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February 2021

Snow-Forecast’s Rolling News on Ski Resorts Re-Opening (2020-21)

Last Updated 2 March 2021 at 16.10 GMT (Updates so far since commenced on 5 May 2020: 544 The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resorts opening around the world during the pandemic. An estimated 3000+ Ski Areas Are Currently Open Worldwide in at least 40 Countries on 3 Continents including: Asia: Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey. Europe: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine. North America: Canada (except Ontario), USA Ski areas in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mongolia, Morocco, Portugal, Scotland and the Slovak Republic want to open but governments in…

New Zealand Ski Area Announces Terrain Expansion Named After Movie Filmed There

New Zealand, the only country where skiing and snowboarding could continue fairly normally last winter after their successful suppression of the virus, will have some new lift-accessed terrain for winter 2021. Cardrona Alpine Resort has announced that lift-accessed skiing and snowboarding in their Soho ski area will become a reality later this year with the opening of the Willows Quad chairlift, currently under construction at Cardrona Alpine Resort and due to be completed in time for the winter season. In 2018, Cardrona announced the acquisition of the ski area rights for Soho, the terrain that sits on the reverse face of Mt Cardrona, overlooking the Whakatipu Basin and the Southern Alps. Willows Basin is the first area to be unlocked…

World’s Deepest Snowpack: 6 Metre (20′) Base Depth Reached

Although few people are able to travel, the snow keeps falling and the deepest snowpack reported in the world has passed the six metres/20 feet mark for the first time this winter. Here are Snow-forecast we’ve been following snow depth reporting by ski resorts around the planet for several decades now and we’ve noted that the deepest snowpack each season is normally reported at the end of winter and start of spring – just about now in fact – after which the numbers start to drop as the spring thaw sets in. Though not always. The usual contenders tend to include Andermatt and Engelberg in Switzerland, Sierra Nevada in Spain, a variety of ski areas in Scandinavia, and ski centres…

Swiss Tourism Boss Says Keeping Ski Areas Open Was Right Call

Martin Nydegger, boss of Switzerland Tourism, has said he believes Switzerland made the right decision in allowing ski resorts to open this season with pandemic-spread prevention measures in place. Most other ski nations in Western Europe decided to keep ski areas closed, although resorts have opened in Scandinavia, most Eastern European countries and – to local skiers only – Andorra, Austria and Spain. Mr Nydegger told CH-Media group that any localised Covid-19 outbreaks that occurred in ski resort hotels so far in resorts including St Moritz and Wengen had been quickly identified, isolated and snuffed out.  Swissinfo.com reports that he went on to say early international criticism of Switzerland’s position faded in January and increasingly he is hearing other alpine…

Double Backflips into Corbet’s Couloir Win $10,000

Some of the world's top freeskiers and snowboarders gathered at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming to battle it out in the fourth edition of the Kings and Queens of Corbet's competition. The world famous Corbet's Couloir is named after Barry Corbet, a mountaineer who spotted a narrow crease of snow shaped like an upside-down funnel in 1960, high up at Jackson Hole and said, "Someday someone will ski that." Hans Mindnich image by Brett Wilhelm / Red Bull Content Pool / Jackson Hole Mountain These days skiing it is something of a rite of passage for all good skiers in the resort, world famous for its challenging terrain and deep powder (although also with plenty of groomed runs for…

Utah Digs Out After “Biggest Snowfall in 20 Years”

Although the mainstream news focus remains on snow and cold weather in Texas, North America’s ski regions have been seeing some exceptional snowfall too. “We’ve not seen anything like this for 20 years,” said a spokesperson for Snowbird in Utah, which along with neighbouring Alta (From where the pictures in this report are taken) were closed for several days and cut off from the outside world by the high avalanche danger above the resorts caused by the sudden heavy snowfall. Snowbird, where the sun is now back out, reported 112cm (almost four feet) of snowfall during the 60 hour storm.   “Thanks to all of the lodge guests, Alta  residents and employees for riding out this unprecedented  storm. It’s been…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #179

Issued: 17 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It has been a predominantly sunny week in most of Europe’s mountainous areas with some very low temperatures at times and not much fresh snowfall to report anywhere. That said, there has been some, 10-20cm (4-8 inches) in parts of the Alps and right down south in the Balkans. With the pandemic still dominating and travel still at best very difficult but illegal for many,  it generally remains only those who live in the country where the ski slopes are, sometimes only the region where they are, that can actually get to the slopes to ski them. In terms of the virus, the big news was supposed to have…

Some Leading Resorts Announce They Now Won’t Open This Season

Several of Europe’s leading ski areas have announced in the last few days that they won’t be opening at all this season. Formigal in Spain (pictured above) and Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany are among resorts saying that even if restrictions are relaxed in time for them to open in spring and there’s still snow on the ground, it is no longer logistically possible for them to prepare their ski centres and open in time. In a statement the Aramon Group which runs Formigal as well as Panticoa and Cerler said it would never have believed there would be a season with no skiing. The announcements come after several more European nations extended their lockdowns to keep resorts closed into early…

Italian Ski Resorts Ordered Not to Open Hours Before Lifts Were to Re-Open

The Italian Government left it until hours before Italian ski areas had planned to open before finally telling them they could not, announcing a fourth extension of ski are closures instead, this time to March 5th. The first ski areas in Italy had been expecting to open this morning, Monday 15th February, 2-3 months later than they normally would have done so after lockdown rules appeared to be eased to to allow some to do so – under strict pandemic restrictions. The announcement that they would not be allowed to do so after everything had appeared to be finally approved, coming late on Sunday evening, caused anger and frustration. The ski areas had worked for months with local, regional and…

German Ski Areas Say They Won’t Open This Season As Lockdown Extended

A number of German ski areas have said they won’t open at all now this season after the country’s government announced that the current lockdown would be extended to at least March 7th. The country’s best known ski resort, Garmisch Partenkirchen said that unfortunately this latest extension means it will not be able to open in Garmisch - Classic ski region at all this season, even if it is ultimately allowed to in March. That’s because the costs and operational issues involved in starting a ski are of its size for a few final weeks of the season are not practically or financially viable. There remains a hope that another Garmisch area (pictured above in mid-January), the country’s highest ski…

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