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February 2020

New Secondhand Skiwear Reselling Site Launched

A new website where skiers can buy and sell send hand skiwear has launched. The site’s co-founders Nicola Davenport and Sally Warren say they were inspired by the  #ClimateEmergency and the success of the trend for second-hand fashion to create their peer-to-peer marketplace: WhoSki.com “Outdoors clothing is almost impossible to recycle because of the mixed fabrics and specialised coatings. In landfill, it takes literally hundreds of years to decompose. At the charity shop, it’s hard to shift. If you haven’t got a family or friends network to pass on your unwanted or outgrown ski wear, it’s unlikely to find a new home,” said Nicola Davenport. WhoSki.com is marketed as, “…the off-piste way to boost you and your family’s on-piste style…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #127

Issued: 26 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup Summer snowfall reported in New Zealand at Mt Hutt. INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Copper Mountain, in Colorado, had another 10" (25cm) of new snow in 24 hours making this their snowiest February on record with 88 (2.2 metres) so far and it's still falling! In North America there’s been more heavy snowfall in the Rockies. The Pacific Northwests has also received heavy falls almost every week so far this year and resorts in Alaska are continuing the trend this week too.  Western Canada has also seen some more healthy snowfalls with up to 46m (18 inches) in 72 hours to start this week, reported in BC. It’s been…

New Steepest Piste in Europe Opens in Austria

What is claimed to be the steepest groomed ski run ever opened in the Alps with a pitch of nearly 88% (more than 41 degrees) has been unveiled this weekend at Austria's Kaunertal Glacier. The Black Ibex piste pitches at up to 87.85%, which the resort's operators are keen to stress is steeper than the steepest part of the famous Streif slope used in the annual Hahnenkamm downhill races in Kitzbuhel (pictured below). The Harakiri piste above Mayrhofen has built a reputation as Austria’s steepest slope for more than a decade.  It reaches a pitch of 78% over its 375 metres of vertical. However the Lange Zug “extreme ski route” above Lech in the Arlberg, was already steeper with a…

Australian Resort Destroyed By Bushfires Won’t Open This Winter

The Blyton Group which owns Selwyn Snow Resort in Australia’s New South Wales has announced that due to the extent of the damage sustained in the bushfires last month, the ski area will be unable to open for the 2020 snow season. However it will be rebuilt “even better”. An initial assessment of critical resort infrastructure has identified extensive damage to buildings, power, water, sewerage and snowmaking. Selwyn Snow Resort has been advised that restoration of power alone will take several months, due to the damage of several kilometres of power poles leading to the resort. Preparations for the clean-up of the site are underway with demolition of all buildings required, as well as the removal of destroyed resort machinery…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #126

Issued: 19 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Skiing New Mexico anyone? Taos Ski Valley reports 25cm (10 inches) of fresh snow in the past 24 hours. North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Jackson Hole reports it has now had more than 400 inches (10 metres) of snowfall so far this season. Another 1.4 metres (56 inches) of it in the past week alone. "Eyeballs deep" apparently. It has been the President's Day holiday long weekend in the US which got resorts across the country battling for business. Fortunately, most are in good shape at present with fresh snowfall reported once more in the northwest (heavy), Rockies (heavy), Midwest (moderate) and Northeast (moderate) over the past few days.Although…

Best Conditions of Season So Far in Scotland

It’s the best conditions this season, and equaling the best for the past few seasons, on Scottish ski slopes at present. An online post from Nevis Range ski centre advises, “The skiing is far too good to go to work today so call in sick now!” They add that their ski patrol report that the skiing is exceptional from their morning safety inspection. Nevis Range, 13th February 2020 Up to now Scotland’s ski season has played out in a similar fashion to recent years with some good snowfalls but then temperatures rising soon afterwards so the snow largely melts away making it difficult to build a base. This time though Storm Ciara kept dumping for four days and currently it…

WWF Seek Global Support to Persuade UNESCO to add ‘Seasons’ to the World Heritage list

The Norwegian branch of the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, working with clothing company Bergans, have launched an initiative to ‘Save the Seasons’ in a bid to have them added, and thus preserved, as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Pyramids, temples, Stonehenge, reefs and... seasons? Everything previously included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list is either a physical object, building or city, but WWF think that the changing seasons due to climate change threaten much of what is on the list, yet, aren’t considered in the preservation of these sites or as a heritage for future generations. “The seasons are the very foundation of life, which in turn is directly linked to our cultural heritage. The seasons must therefore be declared…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #125

Issued: 12 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA The weekend snowstorms in the Rockies brought up to five feet (1.5 metres) of snowfall. Alta Ski Area in Utah, pictured yesterday, was one of the big winners. Although it has kept dumping down for a sixth (or is it seventh?) week in the Pacific Northwest the big snow news story of the last seven days in North America has probably been the huge snowfalls in the Rockies.  The storm has brought deep powder but also, in the short term, lots of less welcome factors like access roads closed by too much snow and avalanche danger. Lifts and runs closed for similar reasons have…

Dave McCoy, Founder of Mammoth Mountain, Dies Aged 104

Dave McCoy, one of the remaining legends from the early history of downhill skiing, and one of the biggest names in ski resort development through much of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 104. Born in 1915, McCoy’s legend include the fact that he made his first skis himself whilst still at school, and then became Californian state skiing champion aged 22. He set up his first rudimentary ski area in 1938, before hitting on the more snowsure location for Mammoth Mountain in 1942. Mammoth started with a simple home-made roadside rope tow, powered by an old truck engine, but over the next 63 years, McCoy and his wife Roma, whom he’d met in the late 1930s,…

At last! Japan Receives the Heavy Snowfall it has Been Waiting For

As the time of writing it is just over three weeks since my last article which sadly had to be heavy on the theme of ‘lack of snow’ over the first part of the winter season here in Japan. Unfortunately, that general trend continued for a few more weeks (and sadly is continuing in some regions). The Chinese New Year holidays are increasingly a time when people from Asia are visiting Japan to come and celebrate their holidays. Many choose a ski holiday or a chance to just visit snowy areas so that they can ‘play in the snow’. This year, the Chinese New Year celebrations generally were from 25th January onwards. Of course, that was just about when the…

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