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April 2022

Southern Hemisphere 2022 Ski Season Starts 2 Months Early

The 2022 ski season has got underway at South America’s largest ski area by uplift, Argentina’s Cerro Catedral are near the ski town of Baroiloche. There has been heavy snowfall in the Andes and other mountainous  areas of South America over the past week, and Cerro Catedral reports they’ve had a 1.5 metre (five foot) accumulation. This is unprecedented for April – which is still early autumn in the southern hemisphere. Chile's Nevados de Chillan this week. Cerro Catedral has opened limited terrain for this weekend only and for a maximum of 300 skiers and boarders. The terrain was prepared in less than 48 hours and access is limited to experienced skiers and boarders aged over 12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoEcpCFq-Xg South America’s…

French 21-22 Season Business Above Pre-Covid Season Average

France has seen a return to pre-covid business levels at its ski resorts this past winter, and in fact is reporting numbers above the average for the winters prior to the first impacted by the pandemic, 2019-20. The good results come despite ongoing covid restrictions, particularly in the first half of the season, and the fact that travel from the key oversea ski market of the UK was banned over the peak Christmas/New Year period due to the Omicron surge at the time. “The season is good, with 4% more skier-days compared to the average for the last three seasons, before Covid-19,” Alexandre Maulin, president of Domaines skiables de France, told French newspaper Le Monde. The figures cover the period…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #237

Issued: 27 April 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup WORLD OVERVIEW Cardrona resort this week We're down to the last hundred or so ski areas still open in the northern hemisphere for the 21-22 season and a good chunk of them, including the last still open in the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, Midwest and Eastern Europe, are due to close this coming weekend having made it to May 1st.  The snow hasn't stopped falling though with a heavy coverage in the Pyrenees after most centres had closed there (Serra de Estrella in Portugal reported its best conditions of the season so far at the weekend) and there was a decent dump too up high in the Alps…

International Report Finds 20/21 Season Worst of 21st Century For Skier Numbers

This 14th edition of the global ski industry’s main ski trends and stats has just been published, and, unsurprisingly, reports that skier visit numbers worldwide in winter 2020-21 were the worst this century, beating the previous worst, the season before, curtailed as it was by the start of the pandemic. The 14th edition of expert consultant Larent Vanat’s annual International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism 2022 was unveiled at the opening conference of Mountain Planet International Exhibition in Grenoble. Vanat noted that although only six countries of the 68 ski countries included in the report were in full lockdown throughout winter 20-21, the global total dropped to 201.2 million skier visits, down by more than a third from the…

One of World’s Largest Ski Resort Operators Switching all Groomers to Biofuel Next Season

The Compagnies de Alpes Group which runs several of the world’s largest ski areas and is Europe’s biggest ski areas operator is stepping up its initiatives to fight climate change. The company, which runs the ski areas of Paradiski (La Plagne, Les Arcs), Tignes and Val d'Isère, much of the 3 Valleys (Méribel and Les Menuires), Serre Chevalier, the Grand Massif (Flaine) and  holds stakes in the ski areas of Megève, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Avoriaz, la Rosière and Valmorel committed last year to achieving Net Zero Carbon (NZC) by 2030. Among many initiatives the company’s ski lifts mostly run on green electricity but the newly announced commitment for next winter is that the 130 slope grooming tractors maintaining the group’s ski slopes…

World’s Best Known Snowboarder Visits Ski Dubai

Arguably the world’s best known and most successful snowboarder, three-time Olympic gold medallist in half-pipe snowboarding Shaun White, has paid a visit to Ski Dubai and met with some of the centre’s sponsored athletes. White (pictured fifth from left above), who has competed at five Olympics and holds the world record for the most X Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, retired after the Beijing Games earlier this year. Ski Dubai 15 young athletes met White including Emirati snowboarder Amenah Almuhairi (13), who had just posted a victory at the FIS (International Ski Federation) Platak Open 2 Competition in Croatia where she won a total of 11 medals and became the first female athlete to…

Spring Terrain Park Shaped Daily Until June in Austria

Betterpark Hintertux on the Hintertux glacier in the Austrian Tirol is launching its annual Spring Park Sessions from Saturday, April 23rd onwards. The park, 3,200m up on the glacier, will be shaped daily until June 6th so that the freestyle can enjoy the best conditions for all riders, who haven’t had enough of winter yet. “The park is calling, with good snow conditions at the glacier right now,” a Hintertux spokesperson said. The park is built and maintain by Wille Kaufmann from betterparks.at who has worked on the park for 18 years and whose mission has always been to build parks, where everyone feels welcome with features for every riding-level. There’s something for everyone from first-timers enjoying their first freestyle-experiences…

US Ski Resort Switches To Continent’s First All-Electric Trail Groomer

Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico, USA, says it will be the first in North America to put an all new fully electrically powered trail groomer to work, smoothing its slopes. Many ski resorts have switched to  fully renewable electric power for their lifts, snowmaking and most other operations, some always have used green electricity, but switching vehicle fleets, particularly heavy users like groomers, has been difficult. The machines manufacturers have been working to move from conventional diesel engines to versions that use bio-fuel, are electric-hybrid or even hydrogen fuelled to cut CO2 emissions and the technology is constantly advancing. All electric models have been trialled over the past few years, the main limit being how much grooming time can…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #236

Issued: 20 April 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup WORLD OVERVIEW Keystone resort this week Across the northern hemisphere, the end of the season continues with hundreds more ski areas calling it a day on the 21-22 season now the Easter weekend is behind us.  Around 200-300 hundred do continue to operate, however, mostly those with operations up to high elevations or at northerly latitudes. The first summer-only ski areas have also started to open for 2022 too.  Those numbers open are set to about half every successive weekend through to mid-May. Ski areas in the Pacific Northwest of the USA continue to experience the most active snow-delivery weather system in the world at present with…

New World Record For Snowboarding Vertical Set

A new Guinness World Record has been set for the most vertical feet snowboarded in 12 hours. Myles Silverman made 56 laps of the mountain at Sugarloaf in Maine, USA, to clock up “just shy of 100,000 vertical feet” (30,500 vertical metres). Sugarloaf set up a special priority lane to give Myles unrestricted access to the resort’s fast Superquad chairlift. Myles passed the former Guinness World Record of 62,355 vertical feet around 1:30 in the  afternoon after 46 laps completed and with two hours of his time left. The previous record of 62,336 ft (9,000m) was set in 2017 by Brit Keith Hayes at Sun Peaks Resort, in British Columbia. Keith spent 9 months training for his attempt which raised…

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