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October 2020

Ed Leigh’s COVID Saving Snow Tips | Ep 43 | Accommodation

https://youtu.be/HJaxgflPcrk Catered chalet holidays are going to be tricky this year, Crystal has canned their whole chalet operation and are just promoting hotels and self-catering apartments. And while I have heard from some indy chalet operators that they will be running catered chalets for different household groups with social distancing and mask wearing in communal areas, which is presently allowed in France for up to 10 people but wouldn’t be under UK guidance, many of the operators I’ve spoken to expect demand to be low. I’m not sure I would risk the catered option unless you can book the whole place out. As for self-catered chalets more generally, the uncertainty does mean there are some insane deals floating around for…

10 Swiss Areas Open This Weekend, But Pandemic Measures Increase

10 Swiss ski areas are set to open this weekend, overtaking Austria to become the country with the most areas open in the world at present. Andrematt, Arosa, Laax (pictured top) and Verbier have all announced they’re opening runs on their higher terrain following the good October snowfalls.   They join already-open Saas Fee, Zermatt, Engelberg, Diavolezza Glacier (St Moritz), Glacier 3000 (Les Diablerets/Gstaad) and Davos. Some areas that have been open for months already say they'll be offering more terrain from this weekend as they switch to 'winter operation'. Saas fee say they'll have more than 40km of runs open. It’s notable though that after recent bad publicity in the Alps for glacier areas showing long and apparently not…

New Guidebook Lists 100 Ultimate Skiing Adventures

A new guidebook that’s due to be published next week aims to take skiers on a voyage around the planet’s biggest and best destinations, as well as some of the most unusual ski spots. Compiled by award-winning journalist (and occasional White Room contributor!) Alf Alderson, 100 Ultimate Skiing Adventures covers everywhere from the huge mega-resorts of the French Alps to sailing along Iceland’s north coast in search of great snow. The inspirational descriptions of 100 locations combine Alf’s personal experience with the input of experts in all aspects of skiing and mountain sports and are accompanied by stunning full-page photography from some of the world’s foremost ski photographers. The book is divided into sections on Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North…

New Italian–Austrian Cross-Border Ski Area Gets Go Ahead in Italy

Plans for a new ski connection crossing an international border have been given the green light by the regional government on the Italian side, but still needs approving on the Austrian side. The link between the Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks) ski area on the Italian side and the Sillian Hochpustertal ski area in Austria’s East Tyrol is believed to be the first cross-border ski area between the two countries although Italy has several ski piste and lift links to France, as well as the Cervinia- link to Zermatt in Switzerland and the most recently opened link to Slovenia across the former iron curtain. Austria also has a cross border connection to Switzerland between Ischgl and Samnaun. The Drei Zinnen area,…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #163

Issued: 28 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Whilst coronavirus restrictions continue to loom over the ski areas of Europe, as infection rates rise in most countries, the 2020-21 ski season continues to build momentum with more famous ski resorts opening at the weekend; you could hit the slopes at Cervinia, Kitzbuhel and Davos from last weekend.Unfortunately, in Cervinia’s case, a new national lockdown was announced in Italy on Sunday, starting Monday 26th October. The conditions are not quite as strict as their spring lockdown and with the stated aim of beating the current second wave of the virus, there could be winter holidays. The resort closed after two days by government…

Southern Hemisphere’s 2020 Season Over

The southern hemisphere’s 2020 ski season has ended sooner than hoped with the last ski areas open on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand closing earlier than expected due to warm weather. All ski areas in the southern hemisphere other than the two on Ruapehu had closed by Mid-October, but Ruaphu’s operators had hoped to keep Whakapapa open until next weekend, then re-open Turoa for the first half of November, but that plan has now been ditched. (Ruapehu is pictured above and below 10 days ago) “Unfortunately due to the warm conditions we have decided to make this the last day here at Whakapapa,” a statement from Ruapehu Lifts earlier today, continuing, “It has been a challenging season but we feel…

Some Italian Ski Resorts Close Until November 24th

(Updated 17.00 26 October) Italy has closed most entertainment and leisure facilities including ski centres in a month long ‘mini-lockdown’. However it seems not all are following the 'national directive' so far, due to the country's regional structure. The new national ‘partial lockdown’ announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began on Monday 26th October and is less severe than the March lockdown, but gyms, swimming pools, wellness centres and ski resorts are listed as required to close.  Italians are also being urged not to travel between regions. However the picture has been fast-moving and confused with different Italian regions wanting to take different approaches and some reports indicating centres can open for race team training, but not recreational skiing. On…

New Ski Resort Planed for Kamchatka

A ski resort project has been unveiled for the remote Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East of Russia. The resort, to be named Three Volcanoes Park will be built in a spectacular location with views of the Moutnovsky V, Vilyuchik and Gorely Volcanoes, according to local reports. Kamchatka is known for its spectacular, remote, generally snowsure mountains and has long been a cult destination for heliskiers to aspire to visit. The global HKS architectural firm has won the contract to design the mountain resort, working with the resort’s creators Three Volcano Park LLC, with the objective of creating a year-round mountain destination “rather than a pure ski resort” reports say, “with a focus on the ecological side of the Kamchatka…

Canada’s 20-21 Ski Season Starting Saturday

Canada’s 20-21 ski season will kick off this Saturday, with Banff in Alberta’s local Mt Norquay ski area opening its slopes. It will be the earliest ever opening in the ski area’s 95 year history and comes after some good October snowfalls and consistent low temperatures in the mountains of Western Canada. “The snow came early, so we got ready early!  Thanks to all the snowfall and chilly temps we've seen lately, we've been busy enhancing the natural conditions with lots of snow-making to get ready for the big day,” a Norquay spokesperson said. The weekend opening is subject to limited ticket sales due to coronavirus restrictions and initial terrain available. Saturday’s allocation quickly sold out. The Canadian area is…

Ed Leigh’s COVID Saving Snow Tips | Ep 42 | Getting There

https://youtu.be/W7GWRDdhweU Forget flying this year. Aside from the Covid risk on the plane, airlines are putting fewer flights on, and often canceling at the last minute if they’re not full, so you could potentially get stuck in the mountains. Getting refunds or amends at the last minute has been a nightmare over the last few months too, even though EU law, which for now still applies, states that you should get refunded for most canceled flights within seven days. I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk at this stage. The ski train has been canceled this year too and while you can still get to the Alps if you change in Paris, whether Eurostar will stick to their full…

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