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December 2022

California Braces for Repeat of New Year 2022 Blizzards

After a brief lull yet another major snow storm is hitting north America’s Pacific Coast. Heavy snowfall is expected but there are also likely to be periods of high wind, freezing rain and low visibility. It all looks very like the huge storms that impacted California ski areas at the end of 2021, the main difference is that last year the storms were a saviour after months of warm, dry weather, setting the region up for the rest of the 21-22 ski season. This season has been very different with a series of storms hitting Western North America since November. Mammoth (above) is posting the world’s deepest snowpack with over 14 feet (4.2 metres) of snow on its upper slopes.…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #272

Issued: 28th December 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview Stormy, rather than snowy weather, has been a factor for Christmas skiers on both sides of the Atlantic, although there has been a lot more snow for North America too. Here the huge Storm Elliot moved across the continent from west to east with its most marked features, gale force winds and bone-chillingly cold temperatures, closing resorts for several days. It did dump a lot of snow too. Unfortunately, that's not the case in Europe where less dramatic winds led to resort closures at the end of last week. However, here it was warm, reaching double-digits above freezing. At best, snow…

Some Scottish Ski Slopes Open

Scottish ski areas have re-opened today after brief Christmas Day closures. Most have little open so far but report an improving situation with low temperatures and snow falling. The road up to Cairngorm (above) was blocked until 10am on boxing day by drifting snow but t is now open., The centre above Aviemore has a short run open using mostly SnowFactory machine made snow. Glenshee say they too are currently operating on machine made snow over the Plastic, Dink Dink and Rope Tow served slopes and that advanced booking is required due to limited snow space. The Lecht also reports limited terrain open with about 50 metres of vertical and four lifts running to access short slopes with mostly machine…

International Skiers To Return to Afghanistan

A guided group of skiers from around the world are set to return to Afghanistan this winter with specialist operator Untamed Borders announcing a return of trips there. “I was in Afghanistan with a group of (non-skiing) tourists in September and we have resumed cultural tourism in Afghanistan. The Taliban seem to be fairly ambivalent about whether tourists come or not. Certainly in Bamian (where the skiing takes place) the government is happy to see tourists and have stated that we are welcome to come and ski,” explained James Willcox who leads Untamed Borders. Afghanistan has a skiing history going back almost a century and had a rudimentary ski area in the early years of the sport. However the main…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #271

Issued: 21st December 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview As we begin winter, by both the astronomical and meteorological measures of the seasons in the northern hemisphere, and the run-up to the Christmas weekend, things are looking fairly good, to very good for this early in the season, across much of the skiing world. With hundreds more ski areas opening last weekend and a few hundred more planning to open over the next few days before Christmas Eve the season is largely on track in most areas. In North America, its the west of the continent that's leading the world in terms of snow depth and open terrain down to…

Ski Stores Recommend More Gear Recycling in 2023

Ski shops and manufacturers are recommending more skiers and boarders make a New Year resolution to recycle their old ski equipment. A growing number of manufacturers have been working to put processes in place to make it possible to recycle items like skis and ski boots, often made up of a number of tightly bonded compounds, making traditional recycling difficult. More and more shops are getting involved in this circular process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9KcjfF3b20&t=1s “Wondering what to do with your old ski boots?  Rather than send them to landfill, take them into your local Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports shop and drop them into the recycling bin provided.  They will then go off to the Nordica/Tecnica project to be transformed into pellets which…

Second Best World Cup Halfpipe Score Ever Achieved

Australia’s Scotty James scored the second-highest ever score in men's snowboard halfpipe history to win the FIS World Cup event in Copper Mountain in Colorado at the weekend. James recorded the second-highest score in the history of International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) events with a 99 to win the men's snowboard halfpipe leaving Swiss Jan Scherrer in second and Japan's Kaishu Hirano third. James started with a switch McTwist Japan leading into a cab 1440 stalefish, frontside 1080 tail grab, cab 900 indy, and ended with a switch backside double cork 1260 indy to bank the 99 that is second only to Shaun White's 100 given at the 2018 Aspen Snowmass World Cup. James, 28, said: "The progression is…

Californian Ski Area Planning To Only Open To Those Who Can Afford Lifetime Membership

A long-established Californian ski area is to become “members-only”. Homewood Mountain, which has operated above Lake Tahoe for 60 years, plans to offer a number of “lifetime memberships”, and will phase out the sale of day passes and annual season passes. Homewood’s owners since 2006, San Francisco-based real estate investment company JMA Ventures, say the plan is to re-invest income from the sale of lifetime passes into new infrastructure to replace aging machinery then use annual dues to not only keep the centre ticking over, but convert it to a private luxury ski resort. “There will be nothing like this in the Tahoe basin,” Art Chapman, chairman of JMA Ventures, Homewood’s owner, told local media, “It will be an extraordinary…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #270

Issued: 14th December 2022 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview Palisades With the second weekend of the winter behind us, around 90% of the world's big-name ski areas are now open and the next few weekends should see thousands more smaller, more low-lying centres join them.   Western North America and particularly California has continued to dominate world snow news headlines with two more major storms bringing several feet more snowfall, on top of the four or five feet many ski areas have already seen in recent weeks from four previous storms that moved in in rapid succession.  All the snowfall this early in the season is great news for the…

Morzine Offers 10% Off Lift Passes For Rail Arrivals

Morzine has expanded the benefits of its recently introduced AlpinExpress Pass which rewards those who arrive by rail. This winter the AlpinExpress Pass gives skiers and snowboarders up to 10 % off ski passes as well as  ski hire, accommodation, and eating out with its wide range of partners including boutique hotel The Farmhouse, local brewery Bec Jaune, welcoming café Satellite Coffee, and transfer organisation Skiidy Gonzales. The pass was created by a group of businesses in the French resort who have got together to promote environmental awareness under the name Montagne Verte, offering a wide range of discounts and benefits to those who arrive by train rather than plane. There are two train stations near Morzine, both served by…

Scottish Ski Season Starting After Snowfall

Glenshee ski area says it will open some runs from Monday, 11th December, following snowfall. “We will need to move the snow around a bit to get some of the runs into condition but at the moment we aim to open our Plastic, Dink Dink and Rope tows tomorrow morning from 9.30am,” the resort posted on its social media on Sunday afternoon, reporting temperatures of -7C, and adding, “With the forecast of continued minus temperatures and the chance of a bit more snow during the week we hope we can get a bit more open in the coming days and we will update this as things develop.” It’s currently unclear if any of the four other Scottish centres will open…

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