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Patrick Thorne

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

Last Updated: 20 January 2021 at 10.50 GMT (Updates so far since 5 May: 449) The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resorts opening around the world during the pandemic. An estimated 3000+ Ski Areas Are Currently Open Worldwide in at least 40 Countries on 4 Continents including: Africa: Morocco Asia: Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey. Europe: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine. North America: Canada (except Ontario), USA Ski areas in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Mongolia, Scotland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia as well as the province of Ontario in Canada want to…

First Turns of 2021 in Southern Hemisphere

It’s midsummer and nearly six months until the start of the 2021 ski season in the southern hemisphere, but there have been some unseasonal snowfalls reported on ski slopes in the Andes and Australia in recent days. The ‘cover’ in Australia is only a centimetre or two but that was enough for what ski resort Mt Buller described as a “local maniac and all-round legend” to take to the slopes in the small hours of the morning. Lydia Syme @lymecity hit the slopes for the first ski of 2021 in jeans. “It is Summer after all,” Mt Buller explained.…

Up To 55cm Of Snowfall So Far As Big Storm Hits the Alps

Ski areas in the Swiss Bernese Oberland have reported the biggest accumulations so far, but many areas in France, Italy and Austria too have reported 30cm (a foot) or more of fresh snow in the past 24 hours, and for many it is still dumping down. Up to 55cm (22”) of snowfall has been reported falling so far in the Alps, where the first major storm of 2021 is underway. St Anton this morning. The Swiss Jungfrau region has posted 50cm (20 inches) of snowfall so far. This ski region is currently open but unfortunately the Lauberhorn races due to have taken place there this weekend have been moved to Kitzbuhel due to a COVID-19 outbreak which has infected more…

Will Some Ski Resorts Stay Open Later This Season?

With many ski resorts in Europe either prevented from opening or only able to open to locally-based skiers at present, and that date at which they may be allowed to open being repeatedly set back by ski nation after nation, there is some speculation that some resorts will stay open later in to the spring than they might normally do, if the state of the pandemic allows it. Of course it is early days and with all things pandemic related, things can and do change, but at least one of the ski resorts that usually closes with a deep snow based in spring is already talking about possibly staying open later this year – in part to compensate season-pass holders…

French Season Start Delayed Again And Remains Uncertain

The French ski season is yet to get underway and the hoped for January 7th date the country’s ski areas were working towards has now passed. Instead, on that day, French ministers announced infection rates remained too high and said at a press conference on Thursday evening that they’d look again at when ski areas might open on January 20th …but that it would not be before February, probably at least mid-February. Most French resorts are in fact currently open and offering most activities except lift-access to their main runs. As a result most are reporting business levels down 75-95%. February is another busy period, normally, in French mountain resorts with holiday weeks sold out due to school breaks, so…

Learn How To Survive in Avalanche Terrain In Online Chat With A Pro Skier

A professional skier says he has developed a personal method for staying alive in an avalanche and is ready to chat to anyone who would like to find out more about it at an online session on Monday 11th January, 2021. Stian Hagen, a pro skier and mountain guide with decades of experience and a wealth of stories to tell will be online for a live chat at 8pm next Monday, organised by retailer Ellis Brigham. Here he will share stories and insights about how he has used his skill and judgment to stay alive both as a pro skier and professional mountain guide. At the age of 19, Stian took the world by storm with his freeskiing skills and…

Some Leading Austrian Ski Areas Opt Not To Open Yet

Several leading Austrian ski resorts are yet to open to locally-based skiers, even though they now can.The leading ski nation allowed ski areas to open beginning on Christmas Eve, for people living local to the slopes, although hotels and restaurants are still locked down. Two of the country’s biggest resorts, Ischgl and Saalbach-Hinterglemm, are yet to open however, although parts of their ski areas away from the main resort are. Saalbach, which is Austria’s most popular resort by visitor numbers, says it isn’t opening because they were unprepared for the government mandated requirement, announced just a few days before Christmas, that all skiers and boarders must wear medical-grade FFP2 face masks to ride the lifts. Other parts of the wider ski…

Andorra Opening Slopes to Locals Free-of-Charge This Weekend

Andorra has announced it is opening its ski areas for the season this Saturday, 2nd January, initially just for people resident in the principality. Grandvalira, the largest ski area in the Pyrenees, says the lifts will operate free of charge on opening weekend. The other main ski region, VallNord, also says its slopes will be open for free this weekend, issuing this statement: “It's time to say goodbye to 2020 and what better than doing it with this great news? Thank you all for the patience you have had, we will be opening 70 % of the Pal sector for the local public with free access on the 2nd and 3rd. From Monday a reduced rate for the day pass…

Ski Areas Seek To Stay Open But Limit Losses

Ski resorts across the world are trying to survive the impact of the pandemic as their operating conditions continue to deteriorate. Having been forced to close early last season, losing significant sums of money as a result, most resorts then ran up additional coasts investing large sums on measures to make their lift operations as ‘COVID-safe’ as possible (in the case of bigger areas reportedly often $1mUS/€1m+). They are now finding that just when they hoped to begin recouping losses accrued since March, they are being prevented from operating as coronavirus cases rise in ski nations around the world. Even where they are able to open, operations are so restricted that the costs of running lifts greatly outweigh the income…

Several Scottish Ski Areas To Open to Locals Only in Latest Lockdown

Most Scottish ski areas opened for the 20-21 season last weekend, but the Scottish Government announced that most of the country is going in to the ‘#highest tier’ in the Scottish system, which is more-or-less lockdown, from Boxing Day, December 26th, for at least three weeks. This places further restrictions on the already tight restrictions in place due to the pandemic, but most of the centres believe they can continue to operate under tier 4. Although only 'essential travel' is permitted under the new restrictions, "non- contact sport" is allowed so long as only people travelling from the local area participate. The biggest change therefore is that only people living local to the ski areas can ski and board the…