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February 2022

The World’s Spring Ski Centres in Good Shape for 2022

The half-dozen ski areas in Asia, Europe and North America which only open in spring are mostly in good shape for their 2022 ski seasons. Riksgränsen (pictured below), the “world’s spring skiing capital” is due to open this weekend for its 2022 season which famously incorporates skiing under the midnight sun in May and usually a re-opening in late-June for Midsummer. It reports plenty of snowy lying. It’s also believed to be the only ski area in the world to have operated throughout the pandemic. However, the three Norwegian glacier centres of Fonna (pictured top earlier this month), Stryn (pictured below last week) and Galdhøpiggen are the ones posting images of lift towers almost completely buried by snow.  They usually…

Major Snowfall in Western USA

A snowstorm has deposited up to three feet (90cm) of snow so far in the Western US. Heavenly in California (pictured top) reported 50cm (20”) of new snowfall in total, Palisades Tahoe 43cm (17”) Further East ski areas across the Rockies report deep powder with Aspen in Colorado posting 19” in just 24 hours. The storm is being particularly welcomed as it’s the first major fall for two months, since the last big dump at the end of December. Ski areas had been open all or most of their terrain thanks to those early falls in December but have had little of the light powder snow skiing and boarding to offer for which they’re particularly renowned, until now.  …

Does Northern Sweden Represent European Skiing’s Last Resort?

By Harald Rice For the ski industry, climate change isn't just the elephant in the room; it's a woolly mammoth in a cramped cable car. The reliance on manufactured snow at the recent Beijing Olympics might have highlighted the ludicrousness of hosting skiing events in a location that recorded just 2 cm of snow last winter, but it should offer cold comfort to ski resorts in the European Alps. Even if emissions are substantially reduced in the coming decades, only one previous European host of the Winter Olympics would have the climatic conditions to be a reliable host of the games. Furthermore, under a 4°C rise in temperatures, not a totally unreasonable scenario given current emission trajectories, only 42% of…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #231

Issued: 23rd February 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup WORLD OVERVIEW It has been a week of quite unsettled weather in many parts of the world. Storms impacted much of North America and much of Europe bringing disruptive, strong winds to many areas along with more snowfall.  As a result of the latter, in most areas, the unusual trend of a declining snowpack in the first 4-6 weeks of the year has now been reversed. There was fresh snowfall in the Alps, Carpathians and Pyrenees as well as for Scandinavia and Scotland, the latter enabling centres there to open by far the most terrain of the season so far at the weekend. In North America the main…

New Photo Book Features Famous Female Snowboarders

A new book: Heroes: Women in Snowboarding has been published by ACC Art Books. Photographer Jérôme Tanon spent two years travelling the world to photograph these inspiring and talented female boarders and he is now ready to tell their stories in his new book. Among the snowboarders featured are Olympic Gold Medalists Anna Gasser and Jamie Anderson, Silver Medalist Laurie Blouin among other famous snowboarders. While the images are the heart of the book, each snowboarder gave snippets of their story which are included in the book alongside their artistic action shots. Heroes: Women in Snowboarding is available worldwide on Amazon.…

Ski Resort Businesses Offers Discount Pass to Skiers who Choose Low Carbon Travel To Reach Them

A new initiative by the well-known French ski resort of Morzine will see skiers and snowboarders who arrive by train rewarded with discounts offered them by businesses in the village. The new AlpinExpress Pass is an initiative with a single focus – to reduce the carbon emissions of ski holidays. Among the discounts being offered are savings on accommodation, transfers, ski hire, ski and snowboard lessons, restaurant meals and other experiences across Morzine-Avoriaz and the neighbouring villages of Les Gets and the Vallée d'Aulps. The total savings mean that a train ticket now becomes not only a low carbon but also cheaper way to travel to the Alps. The pass has been conceived and delivered by Montagne Verte, an environmental…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #230

Issued: 16th February 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup WORLD OVERVIEW Some snowfall, if not a huge amount, in most areas of the world over the past seven days.  Even New Zealand's Mt Hutt reported 10cm (4") at the weekend and it is still summertime there.  In Europe, there was light to moderate snowfall across the Alps with some snowfall reported in the Dolomites and Pyrenees. Snowfall too up in Scotland and Scandinavia. There’s been little change in the weather trend of the past few weeks now in North America with continuing dry, sunny and rather warm weather in the west, cold and snowy in the east. With dry and warm weather for nearly two months up…

Finnish Resort To Create “Glacier” For Skiers

Finland’s leading ski resort of Levi has announced plans to create a permanent snow slope with a combination of snow-farming, snowmaking and protecting the slope from summer heat with hi-tec insulation. They’re calling it the ‘Levi Glacier’. Levi already uses snow-farming to open a slope in early October each year at the beginning of a seven month season, but rather than store piles of snow over summer to spread on the slope each autumn, they will now keep building on a permanent snow slope. Levi’s commercial director Marko Mustonen said that for now the run will still open in early October, but that the ultimate goal is to stretch the season for as long as possible. “After 2-3 years, we…

Easter Ski Holiday Bookings Up Fast As Restrictions Ease

Easter ski holidays are reported to be booking up fast as countries ease restrictions on travel. With most countries going in to lockdown in early March 2020, this Easter will be the first that ski slopes in countries including Austria, France and Italy have been open to skiers. Some people who prefer to ski at Easter have actually held holidays booked for Easter 2020 twice, after being forced to miss last Easter too, to this Easter. Others who booked earlier this season but then couldn't reach the slopes due to lockdowns or other issues have also rebooked for Easter. Then at the same time pent-up demand from two-years of lockdown is being released as the restrictions on travel appear to…

New Impact Test for Snowboard Wrist Protectors Could Ultimately Reduce Risk of Injuries

Most snowboarding injuries are to the lower arm and wrist and are mainly seen in beginners and children who are learning the sport and are more likely to put their hands out when they fall, causing sprains and fractures from the impact. Elite athletes, including those competing at the current Beijing Olympics, are also susceptible to this type of injury due to travelling at high speeds and performing tricks on jumps. But now a new test for measuring the impact performance of wrist protectors worn by snowboarders has been developed at Manchester Metropolitan University Institute, in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. Researchers from the two universities have developed the new testing device that can replicate injury risk scenarios and test…

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