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August 2021

Sustainable Skiwear Rental Platform Launched

A sustainable skiwear retailer has launched an online, sustainable skiwear rental service in what it believes is a world first. EcoSki Rental, described by the company as, “a contemporary, sustainable skiwear rental service” is the result of a collaboration between EcoSki and rentals business My Wardrobe HQ. “For many of us, skiwear only comes out of our wardrobe once or twice a year. Quality, well-made kit comes with a price tag to match. As a result people are often driven towards the cheaper, poorer-quality alternatives. This is what I want to help change – making high-performance, better-quality (and often kinder) kit more accessible and affordable for all. I hope the EcoSki Rental service will make skiers feel like they are…

3 Ski Resorts That Have Missed 2 Seasons

Most of the world, outside China, began shutting down for the first wave of the global coronavirus pandemic around March 2020, the end of the northern hemisphere’s 2019-20 season. Most, except resorts in France, Germany and Italy and some other countries re-opened last season and more or less all so far hope to open for the coming winter 21-22. But in the southern hemisphere lockdowns were already well underway when the 2020 ski season got underway.  Although most were permitted to re-open late in the season, August last year, some decided not to as it was too late hire staff and prepare slopes with limited income likely for the effort.  Instead they announced they’d definitely be opening in winter 2021.…

Afghanistan’s Ski Club Escapes To Italy, Seek Donations

Members of Afghanistan’s Bamyan Ski Club (its only ski club) who worked with foreign journalists, NGOs and others over the past decade to promote skiing to both local people and visitors have escaped from the country. The Afghan skiers are reported to have been evacuated to Italy on a military plane, accompanied by their young families and they are now applying for refugee status. “Their rescue is a miracle given the current situation in the country,” a statement from the Club says. They are being helped by friends in the Alps and have secured free accommodation for the next year whilst they begin the long process of applying for refugee status.  A target of 60,000 Euros has been set for…

Ski Resort Under Evacuation Warning Due To Forest Fires

The latest North American resorts to be impacted by forest fires are located in the Lake Tahoe region of California. The Caldor Forest fire which erupted on 14th August had grown to engulf 50,000 acres within four days and had reached 100,000 acres at the start of this week and is now at 140,000 acres. The two ski areas closest to it are Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe (webcam image top). “Kirkwood Mountain Resort is under Evacuation Warning from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. We remain in constant communication and are offering our support to the local Fire Department, Cal Fire and United States Forest Service and updates will be provided as more information becomes available,” a statement from…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #205

Issued: 25 August 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW There's major snow news from three continents this past week. Most notable for this season is, finally, a huge snowfall in the Andes.This is two-thirds into a 2021 season that has been marked by drought-like conditions and ski areas struggling to open much terrain, some not opening at all. Snow totals vary but the largest accumulations being reported have reached 1.2 metres (4 feet) in Argentina. New Zealand too has had further heavy snowfall giving by far the best conditions of the season there, and in the Northern Hemisphere ski areas in the North American Rockies north and south of the Canadian/US border have had…

Two New Lifts and Two New Runs for Niseko

Niseko continues to cement its position as Japan’s and one of the world’s leading destinations of the 21st century with two major lifts being installed for the coming winter. The resort’s Hanazono sector will see a new gondola lift with 10-passenger cabins go in to service as well as a new six-seat high-s[peed chairlift complete with heated leather seats. Work on the gondola began last year but its completion was delayed due to travel restrictions on teams coming from Europe to install the lift. The new Hanazono 1 chairlift from Poma swill be a big increase in speed and capacity from the former lift, cutting uphill time to 5.3 minutes on its 1.6km ascent. The new Hanazono Symphony Gondola will…

Norway’s SNØ Indoor Snow Centre Is More Than Carbon Neutral

Norway’s huge SNØ indoor snow centre which opened shortly before the pandemic has been highlighting the fact that despite the image of indoor snow centres needing to use a lot of energy to keep the snow in shape year-round, it is actually a so-called ‘plus building’ – generating more green energy than the power it needs to operate. The surplus energy that we produce goes to the local area, in the form of both district heating and district cooling. It issued this statement. “From a sustainability perspective we can state that we send out around 23% more energy for heating other buildings than we use for electricity from the grid. In addition, we dare to say that SNØ also has…

More Resorts Charge to Ski or Splitboard Uphill as Popularity of Touring Grows

Aspen is the latest North American ski area to begin charging ski tourers to skin up their slopes and ski down. The Colorado resort introduced their new $69 ‘Uphill Pass’, explaining in a media statement, “As the popularity of earning your turns and uphill travel has increased significantly across our mountains, so has the need to manage uphill access. In order to facilitate safety, operational management and better communication, we will be requiring an Uphill Pass for on-resort uphill access during the 2021-22 season.” Ski touring has surged in popularity in recent years in Europe and North America. The growth was occurring even before the global pandemic and resulting lift closures meant skiing up hill, without needing a ski lift…

Ski Areas Re-Opening as Huge Snowfall Hits The Andes

A huge snowstorm is currently hitting ski areas in Argentina and Chile after several months of near drought conditions. Several areas have reported more than 50cm (20 inches) of snowfall already with the upper-end of forecast snowfall totals potentially reaching 2 metres (nearly seven feet) of snowfall for some resorts, although it is more likely to end up nearer half that for most. South American ski areas had been hoping for something of a bounce back in business this winter after 2020 was largely written off by the first wave of the pandemic. This winter saw areas able to open under pandemic operating procedures. However the bigger problem has been drought conditions so ski areas have struggled to open more…

Fresh Snow Spotted in Canada

Fresh snow has been spotted in the Canadian Rockies over the past 24 hours, just days after the last ski area still operating its 2020-21 ski season in North America ended its operations. Sunshine ski area near Banff and Nakiska, the closed ski area to Calgary, both posted images of a dusting of snowfall shown on higher slopes in their webcams.  It could be counted as the first snow of the 21-22 pre-ski-season period, but like all snow in summer, is unlikely to stick around. It’s a reassuring sight as much of the news from Western North America in recent weeks and months has been of extensive forest fires, often shutting down ski areas’ summer operations – either due to…