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May 2021

French 2021 Summer Ski Season Starts Soon

French ski areas have been allowed to resume carrying passengers in ski lifts and, barring any last minute changes, the first of the country’s three remaining summerski resorts, Les 2 Alpes (pictured above last summer), will resume offering lift-accessed skiing from Saturday, May 29th. “If you feel frustrated about having missed your winter ski holiday, why not try a summer ski holiday?” a Les 2 Alpes spokesperson asked, adding, “and, after a winter of heavy snowfall, the glacier will be in excellent condition for visitors this summer.” Travel within the EU is resuming although unfortunately so far leisure travel is not possible from the UK. Les 2 Alpes claims Europe’s biggest skiable glacier – skiers and snowboarders can ride every…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #191

Issued: 12 May 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW The number of ski areas open worldwide is at around its lowest of the year with almost all non-glacier ski areas in Europe now closed, the numbers in North America also down and Japan’s ski season also reaching its end. Next week should mark the turning point though, with more centres opening than closing over the coming seven days.  The numbers open should then increase more rapidly as the Southern Hemisphere’s 2021 season gets underway in just a few weeks’ time now and more glacier areas open in the Alps. As to the past week’s weather, Europe has seen unseasonably low temperatures bringing snow to…

New Zealand “Border Exemptions” For International Ski Workers

New Zealand has issued a number of “border exemptions” to ski resort employees allowing them to enter the country and work for centres there during the upcoming 2021 ski season despite being from countries outside the Australia/New Zealand travel bubble. Ski areas had feared they would not be able to find enough workers from the domestic labour pool to be able to open fully and put in an appeal to the New Zealand government in March. This has now resulted in 27 people from outside the Australia / New Zealand bubble being permitted the right to come and work at ski field this season meaning they can be 100% open. The highly-skilled staff are reported to include high level ski…

Haute Route Skied in Just 31 Hours Non-Stop

British adventurer Aaron Rolph has completed the famous Haute Route between Chamonix and Zermatt in just 31 hours. Rolph’s achievement is believed to be the first successful, single push of the most popular Verbier route. Rolph reached the Swiss mountain town of Zermatt after ski touring non-stop for 31 hours from Chamonix covering a distance of 125km (78 miles) and climbing almost 8000m (26,247 feet) in ascent. Upon doing so, he joined a very short list of ski mountaineering elite to complete the iconic ski challenge in a “single push”. The Haute Route is one of the world’s most coveted ski tours. Many experienced off-piste skiers aspire to complete the route over 7 days, staying in mountain huts en route.…

Ski Areas Extending Seasons Past Mid-May

A number of ski areas in Europe and North America that wouldn’t normally be open to the latter half of May have announced extended ski seasons for at least another week. Some are crediting good snow conditions for their decisions, others the e4asing of pandemic restrictions where they’re located, some both. Around 50 ski areas remain open this weekend, but for about a third of these, this Sunday will be the last of the season, including three resorts still open in Finland, two of which (Levi & Ruka) have clocked up a seven month season since opening in early October and now have less than five months to wait until the 21-22 season starts for them. Winter Park Among the…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #190

Issued: 5 May 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW Åre resort this week Moving into May, the six months of debate over whether or not thousands of ski areas can operate in the Northern Hemisphere (due to different pandemic restrictions in different countries) begins to seem less important as more than 99% of ski areas have now closed anyway as a result of the natural end to the season. Indeed, May is normally one of the quietest periods in the global ski year anyway as the Northern Hemisphere’s season winds down but the Southern Hemisphere’s has not yet started and 2021 is looking no different.  Actually, there may be just slightly more ski areas…

K2 Skier Summits & Descends Previously Unconquered Peak

Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel has become the first man to summit Yawash Sar II (6,178m  / 20,269 ft) in the Karakoram range in Pakistan. He is then reported to have skied down to the mountain’s base. Andrzej Bargiel, who was the first man top successfully summit and ski down the world’s second highest peak, K2, in 2018, climbed with Yendrek Baranowski setting off from Base Camp before camping at 5,100m, then departing for the top at 4am. Images from Andrzej Bargiel Instagram The duo are reported to have made the ascent sooner than originally planned as Pakistan intends to enforce a tourism travel shuts down on May 8 to limit COVID spread during the end-of-Ramadan holidays. Laila Peak Before…

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