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Patrick Thorne

Slovenian Ski Areas Re-Open, Aim To Stay Open in to May

Several ski areas in Slovenia have re-opened after the country’s latest lockdown restrictions were eased. The country is now back to a tiered system, with the highest ‘red level’ now in force. However ski areas are allowed to re-open and three have chosen to do so despite the natural ends of the season being near. Two of there, Krvavec and Kanin, say they intend to stay open to at least early May. Kanin ski area (pictured in May last year) was actually one of the first areas in Europe to re-open last spring after the first lockdown. It re-opening due to good conditions up high from 14th May, 2020 and the Slovenian national squad were training there and organised the…

Snow-Forecast’s Rolling News on Ski Resorts Re-Opening (2020-21)

Last Updated 19 April 2021 at 15.35 GMT (Updates so far since commenced on 5 May 2020: 639 The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resorts opening around the world during the pandemic. An estimated 500+ Ski Areas Are Currently Open Worldwide in at least 25 Countries on 3 Continents including: Asia: Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey. Europe: Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany (some), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine. North America: Canada, USA Ski areas in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany (most) Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan*, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and the Slovak Republic want to open but governments in their countries or region…

Slovakia Re-opening for Skiing

Just as most of the ski areas in the northern hemisphere close down for the season, Jasna, the leading resort in the Slovak Republic, has announced it hopes to re-open its slopes. “And it's here! Spring skiing in Jasna starts on Thursday, 22nd April!” a spokesperson for the resort said. Ski areas in Slovenia operated up to January 12th, 2021 when the government announced ski areas would be closed for three weeks to try to slow pandemic spread. Ski areas were initially closed to at least February 7th, but this date had been constantly put back, in to April, as the pandemic continued at quite high infection levels in Slovakia. Jasna on 10th December, 2020 The Jasna slopes that still…

Snowboarders Can Make Up for a Missed Winter By Riding Sand Dunes in Qatar

The Middle Eastern kingdom of Qatar is offering boarders the chance to hit the hot desert sand this summer to make up for missing out on the snow version of the sport this past winter. “For 2021, the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) is inviting those who missed out on a ski or snowboarding trip to visit the country when borders re-open to get out of their comfort zone and try something new - at a fraction of the cost,” a spokesperson for the organisation said. The QNTC is working in partnership with Q Explorer Tourism to offer this novel alternative in the spectacular dunes of Khor Al Adaid at up to a third off the price of the normal…

Ski Areas Extend Seasons Into May

Despite the pandemic operating restriction affected ski areas the world over, a number of resorts have announced extended operating periods this spring. It is good news for those lucky enough to be able to reach the still-open ski-areas. For the first time ever, Swiss ski resort LAAX (below) is extending its ski season by three weekends, due to favourable conditions on the pistes. The resort had planned to close its slopes this Sunday 11th April, but have decided that thanks to what they say is great snow conditions, they will remain open every weekend until Monday 3rd May, the longest the winter season has ever run in LAAX. “This extended ski season will run alongside the resort’s newly launched spring…

Home Ski Slopes Sales Boom During Lockdown

Artificial ski slope manufacturer Skitrax has reported a mini-boom in sales of mini-ski slopes for home use during the pandemic lockdown. “Many young people in Germany have decided to build a small fun park themselves. Dozens of kids have bought between 15-30 sqm of our Slopetrax mats and added their own obstacles to further increase the fun!” said Wolfgang Schmidt of Skitrax. One snowboarder, Tom Avisic, built a launch ramp with a height of about 2m out of wood. A few metres of wood were then laid across at an angle of inclination of approx 25% to create the slope with the Slopetrax surface attached with wood screws. For the run, the sliding mats were then laid on the lawn…

Frost On Mars

One of the big questions for the first human inhabitants of Mars later this century is what will the skiing be like? The good news is that despite being one of the smaller planets in the solar system, Mars is home to the biggest mountains yet discovered, so can offer the biggest vertical in the solar system. The giant former volcano Olympus Mons is 21km (13 miles) high and rises three times higher than Earth's highest mountain (above sea level) Everest. What Mars has not yet been found to have a lot of though is snow, but the good news is that the world’s space agencies are finding more and more evidence of at least thick frost – so thick…

New Zealand Ski Area Plans for Full Opening

New Zealand ski areas are beginning to publish details of the upcoming 2021 ski season there, and it is looking like it will be more ‘normal’ than 2021. New Zealand has managed to almost completely suppress the virus by strict border controls from day one, and strict quarantine when cases arise.  As a result it came out of its initial lockdown around a year ago with ski areas able to operate fairly normally. However a number of the country’s bigger ski areas rely on international tourism for revenue, so some were forced to limit opening to long-weekends outside peak season, after opening a few weeks later than planned for winter 2020. This, along with social-distancing and similar measures in the…

Might Scottish Ski Centres Re-Open For The (Very) End of the Season?

If all goes to plan Scottish ski centres will be allowed to re-open from 26th April. That’s the same date when, again if all goes to plan, people will be able to travel to the centres from across Scotland and ‘maybe’ the wider UK. But will there be any snow left and will centres want to open if there is?  Again, it is a maybe.  After what was one of the snowiest December to February periods in 11 years, the lasty eight weeks have been much driers and warmer and much of that snow has gone.  But on the upside for skiers the start of April has turned decidedly wintery with snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and that’s the forecast for the…

Ski Lifts Designed to Cope With Melting Glaciers

Glaciers around the world are melting fast due to climate change, including those at ski areas. That’s part of the reason why the number of summer ski areas in Europe has halved over the past decade, and that the 20 or so still operating have repeatedly cut their season length back.  But the thawing glaciers cause practical problems for ski area operators too, as the points at which lifts can be fixed can keep shifting. Solutions to date have included finding fixed rock anchor points that stand out from the ice in order to set lift foundations, where that’s possible, as was done for the Ice Flyer chairlift at Engelberg or installing lifts that are easy to move with the…