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January 2020

Brit and Aussie Win First Ever ‘Augmented’ Skiing World Championships GS Races

The first ever Augmented World Skiing Championships has taken place in the French ski resort of Alpe d’Huez with hundreds of people attending the weekend of competition and just under 50 people entering the race itself. The event is designed for skiers who are assisted with exoskeleton devices and included a giant slalom race and a ski trail tournament. The men’s giant slalom winner was former British Team skier Ashley Kay with a time of 61.61 seconds with the women’s number one spot going to former Australian Winter Olympic skier, Marilla Guss with a time of 63.32 seconds, giving her second place overall in the competition. “It was great to be part of this competition, the first ever of its…

Up To a Metre (40 Inches) of Snowfall Reported in the Alps

The sunshine is back out in much of the Alps after heavy snowfall over the past three days – particularly Tuesday and Wednesday. Resorts reported up to 107cm (just under four feet) of snow falling, the biggest accumulations reported in the Swiss Valais region. Bonneval Sur arc, over the back of Val d’Isere in the French Alps posted the biggest accumulation there – 90cm (three feet) with Cervinia topping the Italian snowfall table with 80cm (2.7 feet). Les Menuires in pictured top and La Rosiere (which has had 80cm/32") below. But there was snowfall right across the region with many resorts posting 30-60cm (1-2 feet) accumulations,. Transforming conditions after the mostly dry and sunny five weeks since Christmas. In Austria…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #124

Issued: 29 January 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup It's full on winter in Ruka Ski Resort in Lapland where the season runs another 15 weeks right through to May 10th. Actually having opened at the start of October, its 7 month + season is one of the world's longest for a ski area without a glacier, alongside the likes of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Mammoth Mountain in the US. INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA A second “mostly good” week for snowfall and temperatures across most of North America’s ski areas after the very mixed fortunes of the first two months of the season across the continent. The Pacific Northwest region has continued to be dumped on…

Ready, set, go! Active winter holiday in Zillertal

Creating the very first tracks in the snow early in the morning, feeling the fresh air on your skin and a unique alpine panorama all around you ... This is the start to a perfect skiing day. But it takes a bit more to fully enjoy the mountaintops. You can experience what that is in Zillertal in Tyrol. The valley combines fun in the snow in every conceivable form with mountain cabin fun, romantic excursions and off-piste action. The following is an inspiration of what it takes to make the winter holiday with your loved ones perfect. © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH, Andre Schönherr Hintertuxer Glacier: What the King of the Valley has to offer A valley that guarantees piste fun?…

Leki Performance S GTX Men’s Gloves

It’s the eternal search for skiers, to find a ski glove that’s affordable but does a good job of keeping your hands both arm and dry, but not sweaty. Leki Performance S GTX gloves fit the bill perfectly though. “Performance” is indeed the name of the game as these gloves are both waterproof and breathable thanks in good part to the use of Primaloft® material in this high-end, extra-warm ski glove. Thanks to its Gore-Tex® membrane the glove is also totally wind proof, and the softshell on the outer hand I means it is breathable too, providing that perfect climatic comfort we all want on the slopes. Providing an extra warm level of warmth, the glove’s palm is made of…

Massive Snowfalls in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees mountains, home to around 50 ski areas in Andorra, France and Spain, have seen huge snowfalls over the past three days. Official snow total stats are up to  1.5 metres (five feet) over the past 72 hours though some skiers have found pockets they believe 1.8 metres (six foot) deep and drifts of up to three metres (10 feet). A number of resorts closed ahead of the snow storm arriving as along, with heavy snowfall, gale force winds were forecast, but these resorts are starting to re-open now as the storm eases.  Initially the biggest snowfalls were expected to impact Spanish ski centres but in the end it was French areas that posted the biggest falls.  Ax 3…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #123

Issued: 22 January 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Some of the best conditions of the season so far right now on North America's east coast, Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort reports 18 inches (45cm) of fresh snow. It has been one of the snowiest weeks of the season so far in North America.  The Pacific Northwest continued to be dumped on, but the snowfall is now covering a much wider area with resorts down in southern California seeing some good snowfalls after a mostly dry month. Even out over the Pacific there was 50cm of snowfall reported on the world's highest mountain, Mauna Kea (albeit with three-quarters of it under-water). The other good…

The season so far in Japan

Last time round I was very hopeful that the snow taps would have been turned on from Christmas onwards and over New Year. Unfortunately, it pains me to say that those taps have yet to be turned on properly and when thinking about what to write about this time round, there was only ever one topic this time round. But before I continue, it is important to say upfront that there is good to be had - I have so far enjoyed quite a few days in some excellent quality snow. While many lower ski resorts are indeed struggling, snow cover is generally not a problem in higher areas even as they have less snow than usual. A few (admittedly…

Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort Project Appears Finally Over

Plans to build a year round ski area on a pristine site on the BC side of the provincial border with Alberta in Canada appear to finally be over. The plans for Jumbo Glacier were first mooted almost 30 years ago back in the early 1990s and the project has ridden the wave of public opinion and political changes over the decades.  Five or so years ago it appeared that it might finally be coming close to actually happening as the site was given official status, some statutory state funding and the first base buildings almost appeared. But construction in zones with high avalanche risk and on land that was both of high environmental value and sacred to the Ktunaxa…

Tourers Invited to Ski Afghanistan in 2020

Although Afghanistan sadly may not have the favourable image it deserves on the world stage, the country is home to some great  back-country skiing in the Koh-e Baba mountain range and in recent years there has been an effort to both revive and encourage snowsports in the country. This winter ISHKAR Explore, a social enterprise that runs trips to places including Afghanistan and Iraqi Kurdistan are launching a completely unique backcountry skiing experience. The group are organising a small ski trip to the historic Bamiyan valley which they say is a stable region of Afghanistan. “This is a chance to see the country that exists beyond the headlines and ski mountains that only a handful of foreigners have ,” said…

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