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July 2021

Portillo to Miss Second Successive Season

The famous ski resort of Portillo in Chile is to miss its second successive season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last winter most ski areas in the country were closed for much of the season by the first wave of the pandemic, although a few were able to open for about a month in August/September 2020 as rules eased, but for most, including Portillo, it was not viable to do so. This winter Chile is one of the world’s leading nations for vaccinating its population and most of the country’s ski areas have been open for about a month although of course operating restrictions are in place. Portillo in happier times However Portillo relies heavily on international visitors and was…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #201

Issued: 28 July 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW Australia is making world snow headlines for a second week with the ongoing storm totals now past 1.5 metres (five feet) for some ski areas and there’s still more in the forecast. Frustratingly, most major cities and the whole state of Victoria, where the ski areas have seen the heaviest falls of all, have spent another week locked down to try to stop Delta variant outbreaks. The good news, as we go to publish though, is that the Victoria lockdown has just ended and resorts say they are re-opening from Wednesday. Elsewhere, some New Zealand ski areas have posted reports of epic days after fresh…

Snowstorm Totals Mount At Locked-Down Aussie Ski Areas

Several ski areas in the Australian state of Victoria have now reported more than 135cm (4.5 feet) of snowfall accumulating in the 10 days since the state went into its fifth lockdown and they were ordered to close.  The state’s government is hoping to stop small outbreaks of the Delta variant there. Ironically the snow started falling just as the lockdown was declared, with the resorts previously only able to open limited terrain to first six weeks of the season as there had not been much snowfall up to that point. The initial lockdown was announced to last Tuesday but has now been extended top next Tuesday and may be extended again. Ski areas in Victoria say they will reopen…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #200

Issued: 21 July 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW We’re in mid-summer, or mid-winter, depending on which side of the world you’re on. Snow has been falling on most ski slopes in the Southern Hemisphere this past week and most resorts are open now in Australia, New Zealand, South America and southern Africa. Although a few remain closed, including a few famous names like Portillo and Las Lenas; the latter due to there being no snow at all there at present after some promising pre-season dumps.In terms of snowfall around the world this past week, it has been a much snowier week than previously in July 2021 so far. There were some decent accumulations…

Norwegian Summer Ski Areas Struggle to Stay Open in Hot Weather

Two of Norway’s three summer ski areas have closed early for the season, with the third about to do the same, as the country’s glaciers are hit by prolonged warm weather, melting the snow cover fast to expose the ice below. One centre reported their snow cover had gone, “...at record speed”, another that the snow had gone, “…much faster than we thought possible.” Ice exposed on the ski run at Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter The three centres usually open in May as the rest of Scandinavia’s ski areas close and aim to stay open to late summer or autumn in a good year.  Last year one of the centres reported snow lying over 15 metres (50 feet) deep and took a…

Some Australian Ski Areas Close For 5 Days

In an escalation of moves by regional governments in the states of Australia to so outbreaks of the Delta variant of COVID 19, The Victorian Government has declared a state-wide five-day lockdown from 11:59pm Thursday 15 July until midnight on Tuesday 20 July. This means that lifts at the state’s ski resorts which include Falls Creek and Mt Hotham will stop spinning for five days from tonight. “We know that this is devastating news for our guests, employees, and local communities, and we want you to know that we share this sadness with you, and that we’ll ensure to be ready to welcome you back when the lockdown has lifted. The safety of our guests, staff and community is, and…

French Team Skis 8,034m High Gasherbrum II

A French ski teams are reported to have summited Gasherbrum II, the 13th highest mountain in the world at 8,034 metres (26,358 ft) above sea level and one of the 16 so called “8000ers” on earth, then skied back down. The group, led by Alpine Adventure Guides, included two women, Tiphaine Duperier who works at Val d'Isère and Aurélia Lanoe, along with Boris Langenstein and Guillaume Pierrel had to wait for more than a month through bad weather before making their ascent, having arrived in the region in early June. They are then reported to have made the summit and ski descent far faster than previous attempts. The mountain was first climbed on July 7, 1956, by an Austrian expedition…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #199

Issued: 14 July 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW There’s been little fresh snow to report anywhere in the world this past week. But it’s a slowly improving picture for most areas in the Southern Hemisphere with cold temperatures allowing consistent snowmaking after some snowfall in New Zealand, at last. More terrain opened up at ski areas in Australia and more centres opened in the Andes, where there’s been some fresh snowfall too, just no big dumps as yet. In the Northern Hemisphere, there remains just over a dozen centres open in seven countries on three continents but high temperatures continue to impact snow cover and the best conditions are early in the morning.…

Snowbird Uses Cogenerators To Cut CO2 Emissions

Snowbird ski resort in Utah has invested in it’s own power system fuelled by natural gas to meet its energy needs. The new 5.3 megawatt cogeneration facility uses 62,000 less dekatherms of natural gas a year, equivalent to removing the carbon dioxide emissions produced from burning nearly 2,000 tonnes of coal. “The creation of Snowbird Power Systems means we have not only updated our stand-alone power grid, ensuring we can be self-reliant, but we have also reinforced Snowbird’s Play Forever corporate responsibility commitment to the environment by becoming more efficient,” states Snowbird President and General Manager Dave Fields. Snowbird’s new power system also recycles the heat produced through generating power with the heat used to warm water for the resort.…

World’s Fastest Sledge Seeks Pilot

A new device, the Super Sledge, is aiming to hit the fastest speed ever recorded for a device without any engines powering it. But the Norwegian team behind the project, which aims to hit speeds of 300 km/h(186 mph) with their sledge, has one problem, they need to find a pilot. Not just anyone can apply either. Although height and weight requirement are fairly flexible as the sledge will be designed around the pilot, whoever gets the job must be pretty fit, with excellent physical and mental health to be able to tolerate both pressure it required during training, but also keep focus during the actual record attempt as well as withstand the g-force involved. He or she will also…

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