Patrick Thorne, Author at The Whiteroom
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Patrick Thorne

All-time Record February Snowfalls in California

Several ski resorts in California have reported they've reached all-time record February snowfall totals with the month only just past halfway through. “How buried are we? #FEBRUBURIED. We smashed our February snowfall record of 196" (498cm) last night. We now have more than 205" (519cm) of snow, and it's still coming down,” said a spokesperson for Squaw Valley. The resort, which currently has the second deepest base in North America, currently has teams hand-digging out chairlift routes up the mountain so that the lifts can operate. Mammoth Mountain, which recently announced it was extending its 2019 opening to at least US Independence Day, July 34th, also says it has had record snowfall in February. “With almost 15 feet (4.5 metres)…

Mürren Open to Telemark Skiers Only For Closing Weekend

The Swiss ski village of Mürren, famous as one of the first downhill ski resorts, home of the world’s longest ski race the Inferno, location for Bond movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and part of the well-known Jungfrau region which also encompasses the skiing above its neighbouring resorts of Wengen and Grindelwald, has announced that it is going to go ‘Telemark Only’ for the last weekend of the season. Now spread over four days, the resort’s Telemark Only event was started by Paul Flück in May 2016 and to promote Telemark skiing and to increase the number of Telemark skiers.  It has proved a huge success, getting bigger and more popular each year. “How cool is this? Telemark skiers…

New 24 Hour Record Set For Skiing Uphill

Ultra-runner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet has set a new 24-hour uphill skiing record, completing 23,486-metres of elevation on his skis. Based at the Tusten Ski Resort in Norway, Jornet was joined by friends and local skiers during the feat. To complete the challenge, Jornet achieved a total of 51 climbs over 195km in 24 hours. The feat, complete on 8th February, is equivalent to over 2.5 ascents of Mt. Everest. “I’ve been feeling great throughout the 24 hours and the sensations have been really good. Thank you to everyone who came to join in and share this experience with me,” said Jornet. Jornet uploaded the incredible feat to Strava, the social network for athletes, to inspire athletes around the…

Skiing Without Snow on World’s Tallest Mountain “Disrespectful to Hawaiians”

A video that appeared online that shows people skiing and snowboarding over dry land on the slopes of Maunakea in Hawaii has been described as disrespectful and damaging to the environment. Maunakea is a dormant volcano with its peak is 4,207 m above sea level, making it the highest point in the state of Hawaii. Most of the mountain is under water, and when measured from its oceanic base, Maunakea is the tallest mountain in the world measuring over 10,000m. The top of the mountain is often snow-capped in winter and can be skied, although there are no lifts.  Official policy is that people are allowed to ski or board on the snow, but not to ski, board or engage…

4 Day, 3 Metre (10 Foot), Snowstorm Hits US

A massive winter snowstorm has brought huge snowfalls to the Western United States, particularly the Californian Sierras, where resorts have reported up to 3 metres (10 feet) of snowfall in total over the past four days - some receiving snow at a rate of more than a metre in 24 hours at times. The snowfall was driven in on very strong winds, sometimes reaching over 100mph, meaning that there were severe blizzard conditions. Several resorts closed as it was unsafe to be outside, let alone on the ski slopes, although others stayed open throughout. https://www.facebook.com/HomewoodMountainResort/videos/377726909721733/ Mammoth Mountain, pictured top, one of the currently closed resorts, posted the biggest total of 3 metres (10 feet) of snowfall since Saturday on its…

The Deepest Snow Depths in the World so far This Season

As we enter February this week it has been snowing hard again, this time with the Pyrenees and the Western Alps, particularly France, seeing the biggest falls.  But where is the snow lying deepest so far? Nine resorts (dominated numerically by Austrian entries, although with Swiss resorts at the very top) are reporting they have more than 4.5 metres (15 feet) of snow lying on their upper slopes. 6 Metres (20 Feet), Andermatt, Uri, Switzerland Andermatt saw huge snow accumulations during the three-week deluge on the eastern Alps between Christmas and mid-January.  It was cut off by road for periods with the only access via a rail tunnel.   5.2 Metres (17.3 Feet), Engelberg, Central Switzerland Engelberg also saw huge snowfalls…

Get your Skiwear Fixed for Free in Resort

Skiwear company Patagonia are taking an unusual approach to selling gear – by offering skiers and boarders the chance to get their damaged skiwear repaired for free, regardless of the brand. The company’s ‘Worn Wear Repair Tour’ has just launched in Innsbruck, Austria and will make its way to snow destinations across Europe over the next few months, repairing zips, buttons, rips and tears, including Gore-Tex apparel. Patagonia have a strong environmental focus, and encouraging people to take good care of their gear - repairing it as necessary, to ensure it lasts as long as it can rather than buying new, is part of that focus. “Fixing your gear and using it for many seasons reduces overall consumption, which is…

Skier Rescued Alive After Being Buried 3 Metres down in an Avalanche for Over an Hour

A skier is rescued to have been rescued alive despite being buried three metres below the snow for more than an hour after getting trapped in an avalanche. Three skiers were skiing in a steep off-piste area at the Swiss destination of Jaun on Monday last week when the avalanche occurred. The avalanche risk at the time was set at 3 (considerable) out of 5 on the European Avalanche Danger Scale and an avalanche 50 metres wide and 250 metres long was set off engulfing the three skiers. A witness called immediately for emergency assistance and a rescue team from REGA (Swiss Air-Rescue) came by helicopter with an avalanche dog and a RECCO detector. A 22-year-old man got buried completely.…

Crans-Montana Creates Unique New Ski Touring Routes

In what they’re describing as a world first, Swiss resort Crans Montana has created 15 new ski touring routes with varying levels of difficulty. The resort is positioning itself as one of, if not the, leading ski touring centre in Europe and possibly the world. Working with ski-mountaineering champion, Séverine Pont-Combe, the routes have been created within a vast area of the mountains around the Valais resort which they’ve called The Rando Parc. In total there are more than 40km of marked and secured ski touring routes, which combined include more than 8,000 metres of vertical. Routes are graded blue, red and black and are suitable for everyone from complete beginners to the more advanced. There are three introductory level…

Vail Resorts To Open To Late May at Breckenridge Each Season

Vail Resorts have announced that they’ll aim to have the resort that’s the first to open in Colorado each season in each autumn, as well as the resort that’s last to close in spring. The announcement comes as the multi-resort group said it aims to reach agreement with the US Forest Service to keep the slopes open at Breckenridge later in to spring, and said it planned to keep the resort operating at least until the US Memorial Day holiday at the end of May, starting this season (May 27th this year). “Combined with Keystone’s recent capital announcement to enhance snowmaking and position the resort to be the first to open in Colorado, the two Summit County resorts will offer…