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January 2023

Japow is Back

Ski areas in Japan have been reporting big snowfalls over the weekend, with snowfall totals on slopes around Myoko Kogen topping the totals with 90cm (three feet) of snowfall in 72 hours. Japan has re-opened to international skiers this winter after three years of border closures due to the pandemic, upto now though snow cover has been good but not epic. The country has been having a bit of a weather roller coaster, similar to many other ski nations around the world, having seen record warm temperatures earlier this month. (Pic from PowderQuest) Now the heavy snowfall came after a major storm hit Japan leading to extreme weather warnings for cold and snow. Bases had been building over the past…

Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Reopens After 4 Years

Cairngorm Mountain above Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands has re-opened its funicular railway, 4 years and 4 months after it was closed down over safety concerns. The 2km funicular railway will now run a regular service taking snowsports enthusiasts to the top of the slopes in around 5 minutes. The reinstatement of the railway comes alongside other major improvement works including new ‘magic carpet’ conveyor belts for the beginner slopes, car park improvements and the refurbishment of the Ptarmigan building. Housing the UK’s highest restaurant, a 270° immersive exhibition space and viewing platform, the Ptarmigan is located at the top station of the mountain railway. The newly designed restaurant has been transformed into a light, contemporary space with an open-plan…

North America’s Largest Ski Areas Fully Open

Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s largest ski area with 8,171 acres (3,307 hectares) of slopes has announced that it is fully open for the first time this season following consistently low temperatures and a break in the storms moving in from the Pacific. “Today, we opened Lower Peak to Creek. This last section of terrain brings us to 100% open for the 2022/23 season,” a resort announcement on Monday, 23rd January explained. Whistler Blackcomb has the second biggest lift-served-vertical in North America (1,609m / 5,280 feet ) after fellow BC resort Revelstoke and say that at 11km long their Peak to Creek trail is the longest consistent run at any ski resort in North America. Elsewhere in North America, the ‘new’…

US Ski Area Closed For 16 Years Re-opening Next Month

A small ski area that last operated in 2007 is to re-open to skiers and boarders on February 4th. Steeplechase, in Mazeppa near Rochester in southern Minnesota reopen last winter but for tubing only. From February 4th though, skiers and snowboarders will be welcomed back. The plan is to open weekends-only with around 10 runs served by two lifts, but there’s the potential to expand to 15 runs served by three lifts if demand is adequate. Tickets are priced at $45 per day. The small ski hill has limited facilities with no café or gear rentals and tickets must be purchased in advance online, there is though a warming chalet with rest rooms. The ski area has around 30 acres…

A Snow Maze in Colorado

Copper Mountain ski area in Colorado has created a new Snow Maze, entirely out of snow, at the base of the ski runs. Located in East Village near the base of the Super Bee chairlift, the maze is free and open to the public to enjoy. The maze was designed and built by Snice Carvings, a local business that designs snow and ice sculptures around the Rockies. Due to its initial popularity, the maze has doubled in size from the previous season. The snow that was used to build the maze was farmed from Rosi’s Run, which is part of the Stifel U.S. Ski Team Speed Center, a training venue the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team uses to train on…

Snow-Forecast’s Rolling News on Ski Resorts Re-Opening (2022)

Last Updated 1 Februry 2023 at 6.20 GMT (Updates so far since commenced on 12 May 2020: 1,529) The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resorts opening around the world during the pandemic. An estimated 4000 Ski Areas Are Currently Open Worldwide in 65 Countries on 3 Continents including: Asia: China, India, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyghizstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan Europe: Andorra, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine North America: Canada, USA Browse by country: North America: Canada USA Europe: Andorra Austria Bulgaria Finland France Germany Italy Norway Scotland Spain Sweden Switzerland Asia: China Japan China reports crowds returning to…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #275

Issued: 18th January 2023 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview It’s one of the most promising weeks of the season so far with heavy snowfall underway in the western Alps and Pyrenees and much colder temperatures, generally well below freezing, across western Europe at last. There is some catching up needed but several of the continent’s largest ski areas including France’s 3 Valleys and Switzerland’s 4 Valleys report around 90% of their terrain open.  Other areas of Europe seeing improved conditions include the Balkans, where it's cold and snowy too in Bulgaria and Bosnia and ski areas are re-opening terrain as fast as they can. And up in Scotland there's also…

US Resorts Stress Safety With Most Snow For Two Decades

The latest storms to hit the US West (in a series that have been continuing to move in from the Pacific for early two months now) has taken snowfall totals to date to the greatest for this point of the season in almost two decades at some areas. Almost all ski resorts are continue to stress the resulting practical and safety issues of all the snow and urging patience and sensible precautions are taken. In Utah Alta ski area said it has reached the 400 inch (10 metres) season-to-date snowfall total with 6 feet/1.8 metres in the last week, while nearby Solitude ski area posted that it’s been 18 years since they’ve reached 350” of snow this early in the…

Chinese Media Report Skiing Bouncing Back Post-Covid & Olympics

A report in China’s Global Times claims the country’s ski business, which grew at exceptional rates ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing nearly a year ago, are now showing “a strong Olympic legacy” as the recent spike of covid infections in the country begins to decrease. The report claims that Chinese people were surprised when many ski areas opened in December despite high pandemic numbers, but that the physical evidence – long queues to rent equipment and buy lift passes at ski resorts, coupled with stats showing online searches for "skiing/snowboarding" in Beijing have increased 182 percent month-on-month, and purchases of skiing/snowboarding packages online have increased six times month-on-month, since November are both evidence of a strong recovery. The…

Seeking Asgard

Holmlands have released a new ski film 'Seeking Asgard: Ski Life Stories from Iceland' on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhxH9Qw-SWM&t=3810s The film is a feature length documentary that explores Icelandic ski culture from a human interest perspective; getting to know the personal stories of some of the country’s most pioneering outdoor industry figures - all of whom have helped to push the boundaries of skiing in Iceland to new levels, though adventure, exploration and hard work.  Shot in April 2022 over three weeks, the team circumnavigated the country holding interviews in all four corners of Iceland - travelling to Ísafjörður in the West, Eskifjörður in the East, Dalvik in the North and Reykjavík in the South, covering over 3000km. The series of interviews…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #274

Issued: 11th January 2023 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Southern Hemisphere European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview It has been the most active week for snow-bearing weather systems since before Christmas across the Northern Hemisphere. In North America yet another major storm system has impacted the continent, again hitting the Pacific coast first and taking the world's deepest snowpack close to the 5 metre/2 feet mark. In fact, by the time measurements are in, a little after this week's report is completed, it's likely it'll be past that by now. But in most of Europe too, where things have been fairly warm and fairly still for weeks, the weather has finally started to change with colder temperatures and…

Snowstorm Brings Respite to the Alps

Snow has been falling across the Alps since Sunday with some resorts reporting half-a-metre (20 inches) of fresh cover on higher slopes by Monday evening. More heavy snowfall is expected through Tuesday and then the storm to ease but the weather to remain cooler than it was over Christmas and New Year, with further snow showers. The heaviest snowfall is of course on higher slopes. Glacier 3000 near Gstaad in Switzerland was one of the resorts posting 50cm (20”) of fresh snowfall in the first 24 hours of the storm. (Verbier reported 30cm/12" in the first 24 hours of the storm, Austria's Pitztal pictured top) However most focus is on lower lying ski areas, including most of the rest of…

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