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August 2020

Chilean Ski Areas Inch Towards Possibly Opening

There are increasing signs that some ski areas in Chile might still open for the 2020 ski season as the pandemic lockdown in the country eases slightly. After Argentina opened its centres to locally-based skiers, Chile is now the only one of the world’s major skiing nations that has not yet opened any ski areas. The only other country where the ski season hasn’t yet started is South Africa, which has a single small ski centre. However Chile is one of the world’s hardest hit countries in terms of the pandemic. The closure of Chile’s ski areas comes as resorts there report one of their snowiest winters in years, some saying more than five metres of snow is lying. Nevado…

Small Swiss Ski Area Announces It Won’t Open This Winter Due To Virus

The small ski area of Fideris has announced that it will not open this winter because of operational restrictions likely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The centre’s decision was reported in the leading Swiss German-language newspaper Blick.  The resort’s lift operators were quoted as saying they did not know if they could successfully operate under COVID-19 restrictions, as a lot of their usual skiers typically arrive in mixed groups, which might not meet requirements in the ‘new normal’. Fideris is one of Switzerland and Europe’s highest ski areas with four drag lifts located between 1,950 and 2,333 metres above sea level serving 13km of slopes.  It’s located about 25km from Davos. Other smaller ski areas in Switzerland and around the…

North American Ski Areas Talk Operations Next Season

US and Canadian ski areas have been increasingly issuing statements about their expectations for the 2020-21 ski season. With an eye to advance season-pass sales, an even more key part of the funding of many of the continent’s leading ski areas than they were a decade ago, most are stressing that whilst things will be ”different” they expect to operate a normal schedule. Common themes to reassure those who invest in season passes are the options of a full refund if things don’t go to plan and centres don’t open or a partial-refund and/or voucher towards the cost of a 2021/22 season pass, if operations are limited by any return of government stay-at-home orders.  Squaw Valley last March The precise…

New Zealand Ski Areas Introduce Social Distancing For First Time

Ski areas in New Zealand are moving to operations a little more like those in other nations where ski areas are currently open after operating almost normally for the first few months of the season. Social-distancing, hygiene measures and contact-tracing will all be introduced or stepped up at the country re-introduces Level 2 restrictions in response to the first four cases of COVID-19 to be reported there for more than 100 days.  The cases, in the city of Auckland, have led to a tighter level 3 lockdown being temporarily reintroduced there. Most of the country’s ski areas were closed on Wednesday to make adjustments and train up staff for Level 2 operations, but most say they’ll reopen on Thursday, a…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #152

Issued: 12 August 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE INTRO|  Yet another week of good news and bad for the world’s current winter season areas.  As has all too often been the case this year, the bad news is more COVID-19 related rather than snowfall. New Zealand, which was a shining light in the world’s lockdown back in June, when the country was able to lift restrictions to such an extent that social distancing wasn’t required on the slopes when the season started, has reintroduced level 2 lockdown for at least the next three days.  This is now more like what the rest of the world has as the current norm…

Most Major Ski Areas in Argentina Now Open For 2020 Season

Most of Argentina’s ski areas will have some lift-served terrain open for locally-based skiers from next weekend. The country has been in lockdown since March and appears not to have been as hard hit as some other South American nations by the virus. It began allowing regional authorities to make decisions on easing restrictions for people in their area. His first allowed Cerro Castor ski area in the south of the country to open some facilities, but not its ski lifts, in mid July, then the continent’s largest ski area, Cerro Catedral near Bariloche, started to run its ski lifts at the end of last month. On Saturday, August 1st, Cerro Bayo and Chapelco (pictured above) opened and Cerro Castor…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #151

Issued: 05 August 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE INTRO|  It’s yet another strange week in the world of winter sports, once again primarily due to the ongoing pandemic. There’s good news and bad.  More ski areas in Argentina have been able to re-open for locally based skiers and boarders; the best news from the Andes this winter. There’s also been enough snowfall in Tasmania for one of the world’s most southerly ski areas to open there from the weekend. More snowfall across Australia is starting to transform conditions for the better there. But on the downside, the surge of the virus in the Australian state of Victoria, which has now…

2020 Ski Season Ends at Two Australian Resorts After Only 3 Days

Two ski areas in the COVID-19 hit Australian province of Victoria will not re-open this winter their operators, Vail Resorts, have announced. Mt Hotham and Falls Creek would normally open for the ski season in early June but the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown in Australia delayed the usual opening date for all Australian areas to at least June 22nd, when ski areas were allowed to re-open, with strict pandemic-virus-spread-prevention measures in place as the lockdown eased. However Falls Creek and Mt Hotham continued to delay their opening date for several more weeks as lack of snow cover meant they couldn’t open trails, eventually doing so in early July. But a resurgence of the virus in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, led to Vail…

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