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October 2021

Japan’s 21-22 Season Underway

Japan’s Fujiyama Snow Resort YETI has become the first in the country to open for the ski season, as it has been most years in recent times. The resort, which also markets itself as the nearest ski area to Mount Fuji uses an all-weather snowmaking machine to create a short stretch of snow. Opening day always brings skiers and boarders in fancy dress to celebrate to the centre near  Hadano City in Shizuoka Prefecture. Most of Japan’s well-known resorts open in the latter half of November.  There have been some light to moderate snowfalls reported in recent weeks. Niseko on 17th October The country’s borders are currently closed to international leisure travel arrivals due to the pandemic but travel companies…

Crowdfunder Launched for Photo Book on The Inside Story of Snowboarding

Photographer Patrick ‘Brusti' Armbruster has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance a new coffee table photo book titled 'Barely Made It' on the evolution of snowboarding, which he has been involved in for three decades. Patrick grew up in a Zurich suburb and through skateboarding discovered snowboarding in the late 80's. In 1994 he had his first pictures published in a Swiss Snowboard Magazine and by 1996 he had become a senior photographer at Snowboarder (Monster Backside Magazine) before moving to Onboard magazine. In 1999 Patrick (above) started to produce one of the first European 16mm snowboard movies together with Drew Stevenson which then turned into the Absinthe Films production company with Justin Hostynek, going on to release a snowboard…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #214

Issued: 27 October 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW Winter is really starting to take hold in western North America with more ski centres opening early and some more big October snowfalls, incredibly over a metre (40”) reported by some Californian ski centres. There’s been the first cold and snowy weather for the eastern side of the continent too raising hopes of imminent first openings for ski areas here. In Europe, more glacier centres have been opening in the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland and the first events of the 21-22 Alpine Skiing World Cup have been staged at Solden under a blue sky. Mountainous areas in other parts of the continent have…

Two Californian Ski Areas Opening Early For The Season, This Friday

Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) and Mammoth Mountain have both announced they’re opening early for their 21-22 ski seasons – this Friday – in time for Halloween weekend. The decision comes after a huge snowstorm deposited “over three feet” (90cm) of snowfall on their upper slopes. “Friday will be only the third time in 72 years of operation that the resort has opened in October. The last time we were able to open in October with comparable terrain was in 2004,” a spokesperson for Palisades Tahoe said, adding “We can’t wait to kick off winter and make some Halloween weekend turns!” The resort will be kicking off the season with the Funitel, Gold Coast, and Shirley Lake lifts spinning 9am-3pm…

New Film Follows Boarders From Diverse Backgrounds on Human-Powered Alaskan Tour

A new film is released this week following three professional snowboarders – Jeremy Jones, Ryan Hudson, and Rafael Pease - on a human-powered 10-day mission in a remote corner of Alaska's Chugach Mountain Range. Along with showing some incredible boarding in stunning locations, Mountain Revelations sets out to examine how the riders from very different backgrounds evolving into three of the world's preeminent big mountain snowboarders. Ryan Hudson grew up homeless on San Diego's streets to find the mountains and changing his life. Rafael's experiences growing up between Miami, Texas, and Chile and becoming a young, elite mountain explorer, to Jeremy Jones' adventures growing up on Cape Cod. “Despite the differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, skin colour, and opportunity, they each…

Lift Manufacturer Installs Huge Solar Energy Array

Although new ski lifts are ever more energy efficient, with an increasing proportion running, at least partially, on renewable energy, often generating power through solar panels built in to their structures and increasingly exporting the heat generated by their motors to warm nearby buildings, there remains the question of the energy required for the new lifts’ production in the first place. Lift-manufacturer Garaventa, part of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, the world's largest ropeway manufacturer, has had over 2,000 solar panels installed on its roof of its subsidiary at Goldau in Switzerland, creating an array that can meet more than a third of its annual energy requirements. The new facility of 2,122 panels covers an area of 5,400 square metres and has…

Mammoth Mountain To Open A Fortnight Early, For Halloween Weekend

Mammoth Mountain ski area in California has announced that thanks to October snowfalls and with more heavy snowfall on the way, it plans to open a fortnight earlier than expected. With its original opening day target already one of the world’s earliest on November 13th, the new dates of October 29th will make it one of the first in the world without a glacier to open for the 21-22 season. Forecasts indicate the resort will receive up half a metre (20 inches) of snowfall from a storm due to hit at the start of the new week from lunchtime Sunday 25th. Three Colorado ski areas have already opened, the first in North America. Wolf Creek opened on the 16th and…

A Century of Slalom Racing

This coming January marks an important anniversary in the history of ski racing. Mürren in the spectacular Jungfrau Region of Switzerland is preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first slalom race held on 21 January 1922. This was the first Alpine ski race ever to be a battle to be the fastest down a gated race course with no marks for style and no prescribed turns. Mürren’s ties with the British go back to the Victorian era and tour operator Henry Lunn launched it as a winter resort before the First World War and it was Henry’s son Arnold who campaigned for recognition of the then new sport of Alpine ski racing which culminated with the first Alpine…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #213

Issued: 20 October 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW Winter continues to move closer in the Northern Hemisphere. There were some big snowfalls across western North America over the past week and in the Alps snow levels reached the valley floor at ski regions in Austria and Switzerland. Other mountain ranges on both continents posted fresh snowfall up high. In North America, Silverton Mountain in Colorado was one of those reporting a big dump of powder in the middle of last week and ski patrol staff turned on the chairlift and made some turns. Over in Utah, Alta reported 14” (35cm) of snowfall in 24 hours and Solitude, 33” (83cm). Skiers hiked up to…

French 21-22 Ski Season Underway

Tignes has opened for its 21-22 Ski season, the first in France to do so. The glacier has 50cm (20”) of snow lying on it. Although the French alps have not had the heavy snowfall of some Austrian and Swiss glaciers in recent weeks, there has been some snow this month and Tignes reports 8cm (3”) freshly fallen in the past few weeks and current temperatures on the glacier at -4C. There’s about 6km of slopes open so far with Tignes reporting the funiculaire and cable car are running from 8:30am to 3:15pm and the Vanoise and Panoramic chair lifts as well as the Champagny and Termignon lifts running too. The French national ski team were training on the slopes…