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December 2020

Ski Area Re-Opening Due to Coronavirus

A small ski hill in the US Midwest is set to re-open this winter, indirectly thanks to the coronavirus. Paul Bunyan Ski Hill in Northern Wisconsin shut down in the mid-1990s but the family who own the land have wanted to re-open the slopes for the past decade. Speaking to Fox 11 News the Kerscher family who own the area said that the drop off in business caused by the pandemic in spring and summer gave them the time to focus on renovating lifts and clearing overgrown ski slopes to bring the ski hill back to life. The family purchased the hill, which has a T Bar and rope tow lift, in 1986, but it closed again in 1995 and…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #170

Issued: 16 December 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It’s been a good week for ski areas in countries with names beginning with S. Switzerland is by far and away the big winner for those wanting to ski or snowboard as dozens more ski areas have opened here since a week ago and those that have been open there for weeks or months already have opened up more terrain after the big snowfalls at the beginning of last week. The first resort to report a 3m (10 foot) plus base in the world this season is Andermatt. But in other “countries beginning with ‘S’ news”, Scotland, Sweden, Spain and Slovenia have all opened, or are…

Ed Leigh’s COVID Saving Snow Tips | Ep 49 | Insurance

Hello everyone, I’m slightly pausing the optimism this week, as even though the vaccines are go, it now looks like we can’t go to the EU anyway from Jan 1st because of Brexit & EU-specific Covid restrictions. Here is a Guardian news story on it & another useful piece which has a great explainer on what happens if you’ve already booked a trip. https://youtu.be/P_nnSJbpI4Y I know some people have been missioning it to Switzerland (which would be included in that Jan 1st ban too), but I had been advising against expecting a snow trip before Easter so in that sense not much has changed. Verbier does look good in this CNN video, though Swiss resorts have announced stricter measures today…

Swiss Ski Resort Launches ‘Last Day Lift Passes’ – Each Offsetting One Tonne of CO2

Swiss ski resort Laax has come up with a novel way to raise attention about the rapid thawing of its Vorab glacier, and perhaps even slow its current rapid melting. From 18 December 2020, visitors to the resort can purchase a ‘Last Day Pass’, a biodegradable, wooden card produced locally in Laax, and contribute to the cost to offset carbon emissions. All proceeds from the Last Day Pass will be used to offset CO2 by planting 5,000 - 6,000 indigenous trees, slowing down the melt and pushing back the last day of the Vorab Glacier.  That’s currently very precisely predicted on or before 3rd April 2056, after which date the glacier is predicted to have disappeared entirely. Each card sold,…

Most Swiss Ski Areas Now Open for 20-21 Season

Over 100 Swiss ski areas are now open, most boasting fabulous conditions but with strict operating restrictions due to the pandemic and few international visitors. Most of the remainder of the country’s ski areas will open next weekend. Switzerland has high virus infection rates and individual cantons have closed down many facilities but, despite repeated speculation and pressure from its neighbours which have closed their resorts, Swiss ski slopes have so far stayed open.   Among the ski areas now open are Samnaun, which usually shares a cross-border ski area with neighbouring Ischgl in Austria, however the slopes on the Austrian side are closed until Christmas Eve, when locals can ski, then tourists are currently allowed to arrive from 7th…

21 Days of Non-Stop Polar Night Underway For Skiers in Lapland

The sun set for the last time in 2020 on the ski slopes of Levi. Finland’s largest ski centre, today at 12.32 local time. The next sunrise we be next year, in three weeks’ time on the 1st of January 2021 at 12.05. “We don't live completely in the darkness during the polar night, the brightest hours of the day take place between 10.00 and 13.00, and around them we'll enjoy the atmospheric blue light moments!” a spokesperson for the resort explained. Ski areas are opening across Scandinavia for the 20-21 season. All of Finland’s leading ski areas have opened and in fact Levi has been open for more than two months already, hosting World Cup competitions last month. All…

Tour Op Seeks Unwanted Skiwear Donations For Xmas Gift To Homeless Charities

Tour operator Erna Low is asking skiers and boarders to donate any unwanted old winter clothing which they’ll then donate to two homeless charities as the temperatures plummet. "It is impossible to underestimate the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having across the world and the evidence is showing that those that are being hardest hit are some of the most vulnerable. If we can help even a little bit then that will be great," said Jane Bolton, Erna Low’s Managing Director. Items will be distributed to two London charities, Ealing Soup Kitchen and Acton Homeless Concern, both of which have said any donations will be very gratefully received. The company are asking people to send in any good quality, used…

SPYDER is SKIING

Spyder has been the world’s leading ski specialist brand for over 40 years! Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 1978 by David L Jacobs downhill ski champion he had a mission to create the best ski products! Spyder was born to push the limits of performance – to elevate ski apparel and transcend the boundaries of athletic achievement, leading the industry in innovation and progression of fabrics with a focus on moisture protection and insulation whilst maintaining comfort! Spyder gear is built for skiing and built to last, here are a few of my favorite pieces for all the family… Mens: I have chosen the Hokkaido GTX Jacket - FEATURING GORE-TEX® POW POW 2.0 SNOW-SHEDDING STRETCH FABRIC Named after the powder…

Huge Snowfalls in the Alps

After a six-week period of largely dry and sometimes warm weather, there have been some huge snowfalls in the Alps, as part of wider falls across Europe’s mountain areas. Some areas received more than two metres (nearly seven) feet of snowfall in just a few days, with parts of Austria, Italy and Switzerland particularly hard hit. Austria's Heiligenblut pictured above and top. Sadly a skier died on Monday skiing off piste on Mt Titlis in Engelberg. The fatality came as parts of the Alps hit the maximum level 5 avalanche danger over the weekend with exceptionally heavy snowfall. This, coupled with fluctuating temperatures and strong winds, created a highly unstable snowpack. For most resorts though the snowfall totals were closer…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #169

Issued: 09 December 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION A week of more political decisions and lots of snow for Europe as the continent continues to divide up in terms of which countries will allow their ski areas to open over Christmas and New Year, and which will not.   Big players France, Italy and Germany did put enough pressure on Austria for the country to announce a compromise with ski areas opening late, on Christmas Eve, for locals only then 'ski tourism' beginning January 7th.  Andorra too has agreed not to open its slopes until January, but some smaller ski nations like Romania, Scotland and Slovakia appear to have joined Switzerland with the…