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October 2020

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #162

Issued: 21 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION The number of ski areas that have opened in Europe continues to creep upwards, nearing the 20 mark as more areas open in Austria (which has the most areas open in the world by some distance at present) as well as the first areas opening for the 20-21 season in France and Sweden. They take the number of countries with ski areas open to seven, for the season to date. Whichever country they're in, the open ski centres have been reporting superb conditions with many seeing more fresh snowfall through last week followed by full sunshine over the weekend and at the start of this week.…

Heavy Snowfall in Western Canada With Season Less Than 2 Weeks Away

Travel to Canada may currently be very limited or impossible from most parts of the world, including near neighbour the USA, but the snow has started falling and the start of the season is probably less than a fortnight away. There had been several ‘dustings’ of snow on higher slopes over the past few months, but the past week has seen more significant snowfalls, the heaviest in Alberta where the 20-21 ski season will hopefully begin on Halloween weekend, in a fortnight’s time. Marmot Basin after 28cm /11" of Snowfall this Week Ski areas including Banff’s Sunshine (pictured top) and Lake Louise ski areas as well as Marmot Basin to the north posted images of up to 30cm (12 inch)…

Ed Leigh’s COVID Saving Snow Tips | Ep 41 | The Covid Teaser

https://youtu.be/42NXHhcHuVk So, this is already a crazy year… but the key question for a lot of us (me included), is still… can I definitely not go skiing and snowboarding this winter!? Given the news right now, you might imagine the answer is a quick and obvious no, but actually, this season might not be a total write off, even though I appreciate that’s hard to imagine at the moment. It seems reasonable to expect resorts to open to domestic visitors on some level (the mountains are outdoors after all) though whether we can travel internationally will depend on governments getting the virus under control over the next few months. And beyond that loosening travel restrictions so we can visit the…

Third Autumn Snowfall Leaves Alpine Glaciers In Great Shape

A third snowfall in the Alps over recent days has left glacier ski areas posting reports of amazing snow conditions – particularly considering it is still only mid-October. Glaciers reported up to 30cm (a foot) of snowfall to start this week following similar falls a week before and for many even bigger snowfalls the week prior to that. The clouds cleared on Wednesday for many, leaving a beautiful powder day under blue skies at ski areas like Austria's Stubai Glacier, pictured top. 14 glacier ski areas have already opened for the 2020-21 ski season, more than half of them in Austria, the remainder in Italy and Switzerland. However Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both due to open this coming…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #161

Issued: 14 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Schladming resort this week It’s been a quieter week than most over the past month with just one ski area opening for the 20-21 season in the last seven days. The Titlis glacier, above Engelberg, started its lifts running; the 14th to begin operation in the Alps so far this autumn.  With a couple more ski areas ending their season in New Zealand, the world count for numbers of areas open is actually down slightly. The snow news is good on the glaciers, with ski centres reporting fabulous conditions once the stormy weather cleared, with lots of snowfall lying, allowing many to expand the…

Race To Open US 20-21 Season is On

The annual battle to be the first ski area in the USA, and usually North America too, is underway. Most ski areas in the West of the continent from Colorado up to BC in Canada reported some natural snowfall over the past 24 hours or so but in Colorado resorts that have a reputation for opening in October have also fired up their snow cannons. “The natural snowfall mostly stopped by early evening yesterday. The temperature dropped with an overnight wet bulb low of 15 F. The snowmakers had all the fan guns spinning. Most of the guns are still running now. We are not sure how warm the day will be, but tonight looks cold again. Our earlier snowmaking…

Snowmaker Blasts Disinfectant Instead of Snow

A company that normally supplies snowmaking equipment has turned its hand to a new concept during the pandemic – disinfecting gondola cabins to ensure any virus unwittingly carried in quickly killed off. Normally this process involves PPE encased personnel hand-spaying disinfectant into every corner of the cabin.  This is labour intensive and can require the lift to be stopped to allow the work to be carried out, or for it only to happen before the lift begins operating in the morning. Italian snowmaking firm Demaclenko’s idea is that after gondola users exit the cabin at the top station, or after the doors have opened before they board at the base, a specially adapted  snowmaking cannon automatically blasts the interior with…

Two Areas To Launch French 20-21 Ski Season Next Week

In an unusual move in what looks certain to be an unusual ski season, it looks like two French glacier ski resorts will together launch the country’s 20-21 ski season a week on Saturday – 17th October. Tignes (pictured below this week) is traditionally the first area in the country to open and is often the only area open for much of the autumn until French areas open en-masse from late November. However climate-change has led to it opening its glacier ski area later each autumn in recent years and its traditional September opening date has slipped. The good news though is that the French alps have seen two successive weekends of heavy snowfall, with up to 50cm reported falling…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #160

Issued: 07 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION There was stormy weather in the Alps on Friday and Saturday which led some of the glacier resorts to delay opening by 24 hours. The biggest names included Austria’s Stubai (0/35cm) and Kitzsteinhorn (0/40cm / 0/16”) which, together with several others, took the number of centres now open for the 20-21 season into double figures.  12 are now operational in Austria, Italy and Switzerland. France’s 20-21 season is due to begin next weekend. The storms did bring a second weekend of fresh snow to high slopes (torrential rain below), with snowfall continuing on Monday and Tuesday in some places, but it wasn’t just in…

Austrian Ski Area Seeks Exemption From Opening this Winter

The operators of an Austrian ski centre are reported to have asked local authorities for permission not to operate this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic. Axamer Lizum is one of the ski areas close to Innsbruck, it was a venue for downhill racing at successive Innsbruck Winter Olympic Games and is included on the Innsbruck regional ski pass. Reports in The Tyrolean newspaper say that the centre’s operators have submitted an application to the Tyrolean state government for exemption from operating this winter, which it is otherwise legally required to do. Axamer Lizum Kalkkögel ©Tirol Werbung Mallaun Josef The reasons for the request are reported to include travel bans or restrictions coming in to force from countries from which…

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