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June 2022

Climber Contemplating Making First Female Ski Descent of K2

ExplorersWeb reports that American ski mountaineer Sarah Strattan is currently at K2 Base Camp and is considering skiing all or some of the world’s second highest mountain. Strattan says she will decide on that depending on how things go. “I am here to try and climb K2 this summer, but I will also have my skis with me. I want to ski what I can safely. Hopefully from the summit,” Strattan told ExplorersWeb. Last year Strattan attempted Broad Peak, another of the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000m and skied from 7,700m. “When I saw K2 towering above Broad Peak Base Camp, I was in absolute awe. It was the most amazing, imposing, and beautiful mountain I had ever seen,” Strattan…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #246

Issued: 29th June 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview After the big June snowfalls first in the Andes then Australia and finally New Zealand, over the first three weeks of June, the past seven days (the first of full wintertime by both astronomical and meteorological measures in the southern hemisphere) have been rather quiet for most ski areas around the world with just light snowfall, if any at all, reported for most. That said, at least some fresh snowfall was reported on all six continents, up high in the northern hemisphere of course. The biggest snowfalls reported though over the past seven days have been in South America. In the northern…

First Ski Descent of Pakistan’s Nearly 6,000m Falak Sar Peak

A Chamonix-based international team has completed the second successful summit and first ever ski descent of the highest mountain in Swat Valley, Pakistan. On 9th June a mixed nationality three-person team based out of Chamonix skied the summit of Falak Sar, the highest peak in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. It is understood to be the first ski descent of the peak which is just short of 6000m. The team – Brit Aaron Rolph, Slovenian Bine Žalohar and Tom Grant who has dual American-British citizenship - recorded a new height of 5963m, around 40m higher than a previous New Zealand expedition casting doubt into whether they reached the true summit. The Pakistan expedition in 2019 recorded a similar height. “Putting…

Banff’s Sunshine Re-Opening for July Skiing

Banff’s Sunshine ski area has announced it is re-opening its ski slopes this week. The resort first teased the idea after receiving fresh snowfall at the end of last week on top of what’s still plenty of snow left from last season. The idea got such a positive response that within 24 hours the plan was confirmed. Fresh snowfall last week. The key idea is to open for Canada Day, when the country celebrates its foundation, this Friday July 1st, however the centre says it expects to be open for six days in total, from Tuesday June 28th through to Sunday July 3rd – conditions permitting. It will be the first time the area has opened in July for more…

Cervinia Prepares for Summer Ski Season After Reporting Record Winter Business

Cervinia Prepares for Summer Ski Season After Reporting Record Winter Business Cervinia is due to open for summer skiing this Saturday, June 25th, taking the number of ski areas open in Europe back up to 10. Much of the ski area that will be accessed from Cervinia is open already, as it is the same area accessed from Zermatt on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn year-round.  However, if open, summer  skiing on the Italian side does descend down one run to Laghi Cime Bianche at 2,840m. This is where the new World Cup Downhill race course will host races in the last weekend of October and first weekend of November this autumn. Cervinia said it unexpectedly managed to make…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #245

Issued: 22nd June 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup WORLD OVERVIEW This week marks the start of winter, by the astronomical measure of the seasons, in the southern hemisphere, three weeks after winter by the meteorological measure began. In the northern hemisphere, it is now summertime by both measures, but about a dozen ski areas remain open, most of them on European glaciers. The two main snow news stories of the past week are the 2022 ski season getting underway in the Andes, and the major snowstorm that has hit New Zealand leading to some of the best early season conditions in years. Elsewhere in the skiing world, there's been colder than average temperatures…

A New Chairlift in Iceland

Iceland’s largest ski area of Bláfjöll, located only 30km from capital Reykjavik, is currently working on the construction of a new chairlift due to open next winter, it’s first for nearly two decades. Iceland has about a dozen small ski areas, most with just a few surface lifts.  Bláfjöll offers about 15km of slopes served by 15 lifts, again most of them drags but it does has two existing double chairlifts and one quad chairlift.  The new chairlift, a Doppelmayr built fixed-grip quad, will operate in the south of the ski area. The resort says it is also investing in the resort’s first snowmaking system. Bláfjöll ended their season in mid-May saying they only managed to open for 55 days…

Niseko Announces 2022-23 Season Dates

Japan’s Niseko ski area has announced that it is aiming to open the Niseko United ski region for the 22-23 season on 2nd December 2022. It’s expected that the season will run for just over five months to Friday, 5th May, 2023 although initial season confirmation is to Sunday, April 2nd. The Annupuri and Grand Hirafu sectors have specified 2nd December with Hanazono and Niseko Village sectors currently stating ‘ early December’. Excitement levels for next winter, which the resort hopes will be the first when international guests have been able to visit for skiing for three years, are such that the resort has set a second-by-second countdown to the start of the season, over five months away. Last week…

2022 Ski Season Underway in South America

Most of the leading ski areas in Argentina and Chile have opened for the 2022 season. For some it is their first operations since 2019.  It is also the first time in three years that skiers from around the world can head back to the Andes. Various restrictions remain in place, but it is possible at least to travel so long as you meet the criteria – now largely focused on ensuring you have adequate medical insurance to cover repatriation if required. Conditions at most areas are good after up to a metre (40”) of snowfall in June and generally low temperatures this month. Portillo in Chile opened a week early after big snowfalls there. The centre just managed to…

Saving Snow Through Summer – Good or Bad?

More and more ski resorts are stockpiling snow though the summer ready for use next autumn. Up in Finland resorts like Ruka, Kvitfjell and Levi spread the snow back out on the slopes in early m autumn as temperatures cool and the rate of thaw slows.  Levi say they are aiming to “create a glacier” from 2022 on, by keeping an area permanently snow covered year round. Italy’s Livigno announced they completed piling up and covering over 10,000 cubic metres of snow this week to be saved for next season. “The snow will be used to guarantee good conditions even in the first days of the season, saving water and energy used for the snowmaking,” a resort statement says. Along…

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