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April 2021

Billy Morgan Splitboarding in the Scottish Highlands

British snowboard star Billy Morgan stayed close to home this past winter with many of Europe's alpine resorts closed and he used the time to become a splitboarding convert on a fun trip up to Scotland. Southampton-born Morgan broke through onto the global scene with second place overall in the 2012-13 FIS World Cup snowboard Slopestyle rankings before placing 10th at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Billy Morgan / split boarding / hiking up Bold Rush Gully at Aonach Mor In April 2015, Morgan landed the world's first "quad cork" then went on to win his first Winter X Games medal with Big Air bronze in 2016 and repeated that feat at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. For this…

Northern Hemisphere’s Spring-Summer Only Ski Centres Opening for 2021

There are around half-a-dozen ski areas in Europe, Asia and North America that operate to a different season schedule than the thousands of others which typically open in late autumn and close in early spring. There are in fact seven – nearly half of them in Norway – in locations that are so dark, cold or simply “snowed in” in winter that they aren’t really viable ski destinations until the springtime. At that point though, in a normal spring (in some cases summer and autumn too), they’re ready to provide great conditions when 99.5% of other northern hemisphere ski areas have closed for the season. Norway’s Fonna ski area (pictured below prepping) is aiming to open from May 8th, Galdhoppigen…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #189

Issued: 28 April 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION There is, overall, a feeling of optimism in Europe, even if it is rather ironic that it has arrived as the main ski season nears its end. Vaccination numbers are increasing and infection numbers decreasing in most countries now.  After Slovenia and Slovakia allowed their slopes to re-open, the big alpine nations of France and Italy have been easing restrictions now too and Austria says tourism can resume from mid-May. The result of all that is increased confidence that glacier summer skiing will be back in France and Italy in about a month and in Austria more glacier areas plan to open now they have a hope…

No Skiing When Scottish Ski Centres Can Re-open on Monday

The last Scottish ski centre that had hoped to be able to offer some very late season skiing when Scottish centres are allowed to re-open to the public on Monday (26th April) has decided it won’t be able to do so. Glencoe ski area issued a statement on Friday afternoon saying, “Sorry folks only ski touring or hiking for turns available from Monday when we re-open. Unfortunately while it will still be good for touring there is no longer a complete run back to the bottom of the Main Basin. Without the groomer having moved snow around during the winter lots of gaps are now appearing and the snow is currently too soft for the groomer to get around to…

Australian Ski Area Starts Snowmaking, Expects Busy Winter

At least one of Australia’s ski areas say they have started making snow ahead of the 2021 ski season, due to start there in less than 50 days’ time, at the start of June. The country has seen cold weather in April and two periods of natural snowfall. Mt Buller reports that the latest cold snap brought a light covering of fresh snow earlier this week and the resort’s all-weather ‘SnowFactory’ snowmaking machine is helping out with huge mounds of snow now taking shape on the Bourke Street ski run. (You can see it on the live cam) Mt Buller’s SnowFactories can make snow in any conditions and produce up to 330m3 of snow per day, building an important stockpile…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #188

Issued: 21 April 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Winter weather has continued to hang on to parts of Europe bringing more fresh snow to the Alps, Scandinavia, Scotland and the Balkans at times over the past week. But the grasp has got less secure as we move into the latter half of April, with some warm periods too.  More ski areas have closed, but in this odd season ski resorts in Scotland and Slovakia have been given permission to re-open over the coming week. Jasna, in Slovakia, says it will re-open slopes on the northern side of Mt Chopok for the coming weekend. In Scotland, most areas have ruled out offering any snow sports when…

Verbier Announce Replacement of Médran 1 Lift

Verbier has completed its 2020-21 ski season and announced that next winter there’ll be a new Médran 1 gondola lift, nearly doubling uplift capacity on the route. “After 37 years of dedicated service, the Médran 1 lift has taken a well-deserved retirement. A brand-new installation will be built throughout this year, ready to welcome you in winter 2021–2022,” a statement from the Verbier 4Vallées team explains. The new lift will have large 10-seater cabins, the largest currently available for this type of lift. The extra space and speed of the lift will mean uplift capacity will reach 3,200 people per hour, compared to 1,800 today. As well as a new lift, the Médran and Les Ruinettes stations will be improved…

Slovenian Ski Areas Re-Open, Aim To Stay Open in to May

Several ski areas in Slovenia have re-opened after the country’s latest lockdown restrictions were eased. The country is now back to a tiered system, with the highest ‘red level’ now in force. However ski areas are allowed to re-open and three have chosen to do so despite the natural ends of the season being near. Two of there, Krvavec and Kanin, say they intend to stay open to at least early May. Kanin ski area (pictured in May last year) was actually one of the first areas in Europe to re-open last spring after the first lockdown. It re-opening due to good conditions up high from 14th May, 2020 and the Slovenian national squad were training there and organised the…

Slovakia Re-opening for Skiing

Just as most of the ski areas in the northern hemisphere close down for the season, Jasna, the leading resort in the Slovak Republic, has announced it hopes to re-open its slopes. “And it's here! Spring skiing in Jasna starts on Thursday, 22nd April!” a spokesperson for the resort said. Ski areas in Slovakia operated up to January 12th, 2021 when the government announced ski areas would be closed for three weeks to try to slow pandemic spread. Ski areas were initially closed to at least February 7th, but this date had been constantly put back, in to April, as the pandemic continued at quite high infection levels in Slovakia. Jasna on 10th December, 2020 The Jasna slopes that still…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #187

Issued: 14 April 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Even as we approach the middle of the month,April continues to be a more wintery month than March was, with the snow returning to the Alps over the past few days and the mercury dropping to double-digits below freezing. Up to 35cm (14 inches) of fresh snowfall has been reported for some high altitude slopes, but the snow has been falling down to resort level in the valleys too. The snowfall has also continued up in Scandinavia and Scotland and it has even been cold, at times, in the southeast as well as the northeast of the continent. Despite that though, of the hundreds of ski areas…

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