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February 2021

Italian Ski Areas Begin to Confirm Opening Next Week

Italy has been saying for some time that most of its ski areas could re-open from next Monday, 15th February. However this was the third re-opening date given so they was, and remains, doubts that it would definitely happen. But it does look more promising than the previous two and resorts have now started giving provisional opening dates. The country’s largest ski region, Dolomiti Superski (pictured below), say they’ll start opening from Monday 15th, hopefully. “15th February will probably be the opening day for the ski resorts in Veneto and 17 February for those in the province of Trento. As you may know the ski areas in South Tyrol (province Bolzano) are to stay shut until 28 February,” a statement…

Indoor Snow Centre Plan For Wales Moves Forward

Plans for a first indoor snow centre in Wales, planned for a former quarry site near Merthyr Tydfil, first announced several years ago, remain ‘live’ with the announcement that the project’s developers intend to submit a detailed planning proposal early this summer. At around 500 metres in length the Rhydycar West development will feature by far the longest slope in the UK and indeed one of the 10 longest of the now more than 100 indoor snow centres operating on six continents. The latest plan, to be formally submitted in June, also include a tropical indoor water park in the development. Marvel, the company behind the project, who acquired the 575 acre site in 2013 have been investing heavily in…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #178

Issued: 10 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It has kept snowing in the Alps over the past week, if perhaps not quite so heavily as a week or so back.  In parts of France and Switzerland and north into the Tatra mountains of northeastern Europe the snow turned an eerie orange hue at the weekend as a dust storm from the Sahara desert blew right up across the centre of the continent depositing a dusty layer on the snow.  Extremes of temperature have also been noted with very warm temperatures recorded down in Bulgaria and the southeast of the continent, but very cold up in Scandinavia.  That cold air is now moving down towards the…

Sand on Snow in Europe

A dust storm from the Sahara has created an unusual weather affect in central Europe. The route of the dust. Ski areas in the Alps and as far north as the Tatra mountains in Poland have been posting images of dusty orange mountainscapes and making it clear that this is the result of the dust storm, not an image tint. Witek Kaszhin published the images below from Kaspowsy Wiersch in Poland NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System published images tracking the  Saharan dust drifting up across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe at the weekend (pictured bottom). Skiers able to ski the dust covered snow found it nice and white beneath the Saharan dust coat on top. (Avoriaz pictured…

Giant Chinese Indoor Snowpark Records nearly 2 Million Visitors In First 7 Months of Operation

The giant Sunac Snow Park in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, has reported “nearly two million visitors” in the seven months since it opened in June 2020, despite the pandemic, according to its management. Interviewed by China Global Television Network (CGTN) one snowboarder said he had quite his job and moved home to be closer to the new facility, saying that having lied in the warm south of the country, “snow is an extraordinary thing for us.” Anyone living in Guangdong who wanted to try skiing or even see snow normally had to fly several hours north prior to the opening of the new indoor snow centre, which is the world’s second biggest by slope area…

Cortina Alpine World Ski Championships Prepares For Launch

The Alpine Ski World championships get underway “behind closed doors” this coming Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Despite no spectators being allowed, 600 athletes from 70 nations will be competing for 39 medals in 13 races at what is the second biggest event in the alpine ski racing calendar after the Winter  Olympics. They are among 3,500 people in total involved in staging the event, including volunteers, members of the Federations and 550 accredited media. A global TV audience of  500 million people from all over the world are expected to tune in with coverage on Eurosport.  140 cameras installed for the TV production of the event, 90 of which to work simultaneously.  There is also a Cortina 2021…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #177

Issued: 03 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION A dramatic week for weather in the Alps. After posting up to 1.5 metres (five feet) accumulations in the previous week for some ski areas in Austria and Switzerland, the snowfall, if anything, intensified in the latter half of last week and heavier snowfall was reported further west in France and Switzerland. Unfortunately, it wasn't just snow either, temperatures rose into the weekend and rain was reported as high as 2,000 metres altitude. This combination was not good for snow stability and the avalanche danger rose to the maximum level 5 across a wide swathe of the Alps. A number of resorts, including Zermatt, were cut-off from the…

A New Online Sustainable Skiwear Shop With Repairs Service Launches

A “one-stop online shop” for sustainable skiwear has launched with the stated aim of: “…(helping) champion the most environmentally and socially conscious winter kit on the market and kickstart a sustainable skiwear revolution.” EcoSki.co.uk offers a carefully curated selection of ski and snowboard clothing and accessories for men, women and children, all hand-picked from brands which claim the highest social and environmental credentials. EcoSki also offers a repair service for all ski garments bought via its own website and a re-selling platform for “preloved” ski and snowboard wear via its Instagram shop EcoSki’d to help “close the loop” and prolong the life of hard-wearing winter kit, offering a more sustainable way to enjoy winter sports. Founder Rachael Westbrook decided to…

Woman “Critically Injured” Sliding on Snow in Fresh Powder in Hawaii

A woman is reported to have been “critically injured” either 'snowboarding' or 'sliding on a body board' on the world’s highest mountain, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.  Reports vary. The incident happened after a tropical storm dumped a foot (30cm) of fresh powder on the volcanic peaks. Local media reports that the 23-year-old woman crashed into rocks at an “unknown rate of speed”  sustaining “critical injuries.” She was brought down the mountain by rangers and later transported to a local medical centre.  There is no update on her current condition. Mauna Kea rises 10,211 m (33,500 ft) from the ocean floor but three-fifths of the mountain lies beneath the Pacific. The upper 4,207.3 m (13,803 ft) of the mountain is above sea…

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