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Patrick Thorne

Fresh July Snowfall on Four Continents, North and South of The Equator

There’s been fresh snowfall in the past few days in Europe and North America in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as in South America, Australia and New Zealand. The most unusual snowfall was in Norway where the Fonna Glacier (pictured top today), one of three currently open for skiing in the country, was closed on Friday 3rd June as 35cm (14 inches) of snow fell, closing the centre’s access road. It’s not that unusual for fresh snow at any point in the summer on Norwegian glaciers, but it’s less common for it to happen as part of snowfall happening around the world. Higher slopes in parts of North America have also reported fresh snow although all but Timberline in Oregon…

“Face Coverings Are Part of Our Culture”

Whilst acknowledging there are many questions about how ski areas will operate next winter, senior management from North American ski centres have said that part of the message they’d like to convey is that ski centres remain good for physical and mental well-being. "It's important to share the benefits ski areas have to offer - there's space to spread out," said Kelly Pawlak, president/CEO of the National Ski Areas Association in the USA, pointing out that the majority of the day is spent outside on a ski trip and that snowsports are great for one's mental health.  “Face coverings are part of our culture," she added. Kelly Pawlak was speaking at an online briefing for journalists organised by the North…

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

Last Updated: 2 July 2020 at 11.30 GMT (Updates so far since 5 May: 84) The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resort's opening around the world. More Than 30 Ski Areas Have Currently Re-Opened Worldwide In 10 Countries on 5 Continents:  Africa: Lesotho; Asia: Japan. Europe: Austria, France, Italy, Norway, Switzerland. North America: USA. Oceania: Australia and New Zealand. Countries where ski areas would normally be open but are currently unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic are: Argentina, Chile and South Africa. Browse by country: North America: Canada USA South America: Argentina Chile Europe: Austria France Italy Norway Scotland Slovak Republic Slovenia Sweden Switzerland Africa: Lesotho South Africa Asia: China Japan Oceania: Australia New Zealand New: North American ski resorts say that as we look ahead…

Increasing Concern For Any 2020 Ski Season in South America and South Africa

There’s increasing concern that any ski area will be able to open in the Andes for winter 2020. It’s not looking good in South Africa either, although one ski area in Africa, Afriski in Lesoho, was the first in the southern hemisphere to open in early June. The Andes have seen big June snowfalls with several areas reporting more than a metre (40 inches) of snowfall in the past week, however Chile has recently extended its state-of-emergency by three more months to mid-September. This is close to the end of the country’s normal ski season. Chile has been one of the countries hardest hit by the virus in South America and is one of the seven worst hit worldwide at…

New Zealand Ski Areas ‘Suffering’ Says Country’s PM

More of New Zealand’s ski areas opened at the weekend after some significant snowfalls brought up to 50cm of new cover.  However, although the fact that the country’s ski areas are the envy of the world, as they can operate without restriction due to the successful suppression of the virus in New Zealand, resorts are suffering from a lack of international travellers. Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone have all opened, joining Mt Hutt. Speaking at the opening of Cardrona ski area (pictured top) for winter 2020 New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that the lack of foreign visitor due to New Zealand’s largely closed borders would hit the country’s ski areas hard this winter and asked New Zealanders…

Snowsports Charity Running Virtual Auction on 4th of July

The Ellie Soutter Foundation is staging a virtual auction, this Saturday, July 4th, 2020. The charity, which is dedicated to supporting talented young people in snow sports, will stream the auction live from the French Alps on Saturday 4th July between 4:30-7:30pm CET. Items available to bid for include a holiday in Thailand, game fishing in Portugal, a pair of limited-edition skis, a 3-night B&B stay in Morzine and much more. The online auction is already live now and will close at 7pm CET on Saturday 4th July, to bid simply follow this link. There is also a raffle featuring a whole host of amazing prizes to be won, including: ski lessons with LGS Snowsports tuition, a pair of Summit…

Over A Metre of Snow Falls in the Andes But Ski Areas Can’t Open Due to COVID-19

Ski areas in Chile, where the 2020 ski season should just be getting underway, have been reporting snowfalls of up to 1.2 metres (four feet) in the past few days.  Valle Nevado is pictured top. With South America currently one of the epicentres of the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic however, the governments of both countries have them in full lockdown, which means ski resorts can’t open. The situation is being seen as ironic by some who note that recent seasons have seen challenging starts in the Andes due to a lack of snow. Now there’s plenty, people can’t ski due to the pandemic. Portillo on Wednesday 24 June 2020 as the snow continues to fall. So far there’s no immediate sign of when the situation might…

Protect Our Winters Ask Skiers & Boarders To Join Mass Virtual Lobby of MPS on 30 June

The UK branch of Protect Our Winters (POW), the global movement of skiers and boarders to fight climate change, is urging skiers and boarders to join a virtual lobby, aimed at asking British MPs to take action for a better future. The virtual lobby is being organised by a group called The Climate Coalition, a group of over 100 member organisations including POW. “We are at a turning point. As we build back from the current health crisis, we can choose to tackle climate change and nature’s decline, and rebuild a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society. Or we can let the moment for change pass us by, go back to old ways and wait for new crises to…

New Gondola Is World’s Longest And Has Biggest Vertical Rise of its Type

A new gondola with eight-passenger cabins is the new world’s longest of its type and also climbs the greatest vertical of a single lift, according to its manufacturer, the Swiss firm Bartholet. The lift, with an inclined length of 5682 metres, has been built at the new Turkish ski area of Düziçi, and is, “the world’s longest monocable gondola lift for eight people in a single section,” the company reports. However it is not only the length that is spectacular, but also the outstanding topography that is overcome. The line leads over rough and smooth terrain, past barren rocks and climbs a total vertical of 1,551 metres, a second world record. “Extreme weather conditions, challenging terrain and limited local resources,”…

Australia’s 2020 Ski Season Has Started

Australia has become the third southern hemisphere ski nation to start its 2020 ski season. He lifts started turning earlier today at Thredbo and Mt Baw Baw (pictured top), both reporting limited terrain open, but just joy that the season had started at last. Thredbo described it as a “…a banger bluebird day,” whilst Mt Baw Baw said, “We've had a dusting of snow and are open with limited terrain.” The snow did start falling later at Thredbo and across Australia’s mountains with Mt Buller and Perisher (pictured below), the next due to open on Wednesday 24th June, sporting 15-20cm of snowfall so far and great snowmaking conditions too. Perish 22 June 2020 Australia’s ski areas opening will be seen…