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August 2020

Amazon Patent Drone-Pulled Ski Tow Lift

Amazon have patented a drone-powdered-ski-lift designed to tow a skier up a slope or a water skier across water. The tows cable looks very like a “Poma” or “J bar” surface tow ski lift, it’s just that with the drone pulling it it doesn’t have to be fixed on any one slope and, so long as the drone has power, it can keep ongoing up. The concept of drones pulling skiers or snowboarders isn’t new. Amazon originally put in for their patent in 2016 and pack then a Santa-on-a-snowboard-pulled-by-a-drone video went viral too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At3xcj-pTjg However Amazon say one big part of their technology is that the drone can be steered by the user – something that has proved tricky to…

Ischgl Launches Comprehensive Anti-Virus Strategy For Coming Winter

Ischgl, the Austrian ski resort that found itself, more than any other, the subject of criticism as the pandemic spreads in Europe in the late winter, and is now facing a huge class-action lawsuit from those who claim they caught the virus there, have launched the most comprehensive programme to make the resort virus-free this winter. Stressing that “health is the top priority” and signalling a permanent shift from the hedonistic apres-ski scene for which it was infamous, resort managers said there would be a focus on the area’s natural beauty and attributes instead. There will also be more promotion of the extent of the ski area, one of the biggest in the Alps, stretching over to Samnaun in Switzerland.…

Japan Launches ‘Go To Travel’…and some Ski Area History

The rainy season ended later than usual this year, leading us into what has been a hot and humid August across most of Japan. In some central regions, temperatures have been nudging above 40C on some days and temperatures above 35C have been commonplace. Heat in August is of course not entirely unexpected, but I don’t think I will ever get used to it! As we approach the end of August it is still hot, but it usually starts to cool off somewhat by mid September. And then we can get to enjoy the comfortable autumn months - one of the highlights of the year, and of course pleasingly scheduled just before the snow arrives. Go To Travel Campaign In…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #154

Issued: 26 August 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE INTRO|  We’re approaching the start of September which is normally the last full month of the season for ski areas in Argentina, Australia, Chile and New Zealand. It’s the start of the Southern Hemisphere’s spring by the meteorological measure of the seasons, equivalent to March in the Northern Hemisphere. In southern Africa the season usually ends in the last week of August and that will be the case for Afriski, in Lesotho, after a nearly three-month season. Tiffindell, in South Africa, hasn’t been able to open due to the pandemic lockdown there.2020 has been a winter like no other and there’s no…

Third Ski Area To Finally Open For 2020 Season in Chile

A third ski area in Chile, Corralco, has announced it will open for the 2020 season this Saturday – over two months later than normal and a month before the usual end of the ski season there. It joins La Parva (pictured below this week) and El Colorado which opened a fortnight earlier, along with ski areas in Argentina which opened earlier this month. Ski areas in South America have only been allowed to open this month after strict lockdowns were eased slightly.  However they have severe operating restrictions and are only open for limited periods to locally based skiers. The restrictions are so strict several have decided it is not viable for them to open, particularly with such a…

Norwegian Ski Area To Open “Freeride Forest” This Winter After US Study Trip

Norwegian ski area Kvitfjell says it must ensure that powder lovers have "all" their needs met and so this winter will unveil “Pudderskogen” – a sector open only for freeriding. Kvitfjell was already a favourite destination for powder and freeriding, a resort spokesperson said, but this winter they’ll build on that reputation with a new forest area located ​​200 metres to the east of Varden which has now been cleared and is being prepared for free riding. Access trails take skiers from the bottom of the new area back to the lift. “There’s about two kilometres of free riding from top to bottom on a slope between 200 and 400 metres wide,” said Odd Stensrud, the ski area’s general manager…

Big Snowfalls in Australia

Ski areas in Australia are reporting ever deeper snow accumulations as a major storm continues to impact the country’s resorts. Perisher (pictured above today) most recently reported accumulations of 41cm (16 inches) after three days of snow fall, however it also notes, “Blizzard conditions with strong winds, snow fall & limited visibility will continue.” The snowfall has now taken base depths at the resort, which currently has more terrain open than any other area on earth, to 1.3 metres – the first time base depths have gone through the metre mark in what had been a drier than usual winter in Australia up to now. Many of Australia’s main ski areas are currently closed due to the pandemic, including all…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #153

Issued: 19 August 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW Cardrona resort this week SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE INTRO|  The big news this week is that ski areas in Chile have finally been allowed to open. The announcement by the Chilean government that this would be permitted for half-a-dozen ski areas in the country was made last week. La Parva and El Colorado are the first two to open over the last 24 hours; however, there are lots of restrictions. The limitations are perhaps the strictest in the world so far, including no weekend operations, as well as centres only being open to locally-based pass holders. Therefore, some centres say it probably won’t be worth them…

Several Chilean Ski Resorts Opening This Week

Powderquest, the specialist ski and snowboard tour operator to South American ski areas and other destinations, his reporting that the first ski areas in Chile will be able to open from this Tuesday, August 18th. La Parva will open on the 18th and El Colorado on the 19th to pass holders only and with strict pandemic-spread-prevention measures in place.  Along with the many restrictions that are now the ‘new normal’ for ski area operations around the world one appears unique to Chile – ski areas can only operate on weekdays, not weekends. Powderquest report that the move follows a decision by the Chilean government last week to allow some of the country’s ski areas to open under various operational limitations…

Trail-Maps-On-Lens-Cloths Company Moves into Mask Production

Wipeout, the small-business built around owner Julie Slaughter’s genius idea of printing trail maps on to high quality lens cloth that can also be used to clean goggles and sunnies – has branched out in to producing face masks for use during the pandemic. Julie started making the masks for her local town/ commune in France, with her sewing machine and bare hands soon after lockdown began, “My usual work of dealing in Wipeout Microfibre Piste Maps was quickly replaced by home schooling (in French) and the fresh re-stock of products just arrived for the latter half of the season, were now ‘on the shelf’. A few weeks into lockdown, there was a drive by the community to provide a…

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