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Patrick Thorne

Scotland Hoping for Bounce Back Season After Setbacks

Snowsport Scotland’s CEO Trafford Wilson has spoken of his optimism for a successful ski season this winter, following a string of setback for the country’s ski areas lover the past few years. “It’s fundamentally important we have a good season. We want people to ski and snowboard in Scotland, enjoy it, and make it a habit going forward. This winter season presents a great opportunity for people to make the most of the varied terrain on offer, explore our backcountry playgrounds and to learn how to ski or snowboard on home soil,” said Mr Wilson. Trafford Wilson CEO, Snowsport Scotland at Glencoe Mountain Resort. Mr Wilson (above) was speaking ahead of Scotland’s 21-22 season getting underway this weekend with surging…

‘Melting Gondola’ Artwork Appears

This winter, visitors exiting the Silver Queen Gondola atop Aspen Mountain in Colorado will see a “melting” gondola car. “A symbol of a warming planet, the new art installation launches a climate action campaign in partnership with the non-profit Protect Our Winters (POW) to mobilize outdoorspeople in the fight against climate change,” an Aspen statement explains.  Since Aspen Snowmass first opened in the winter of 1946-47, the region’s average temperature has warmed by three degrees Fahrenheit. The resort has calculated that it has lost 30 days of winter since 1980 alone. “As part of Aspen’s 75th anniversary this season, The Melted Gondola has been installed as a push for people to think about the next 75 years, and to draw…

Super Storm Dumps up To Five Feet of Snow on US West

A major snowstorm that hit the West Coast of America between Sunday and Tuesday has led to accumulations of up to five feet (1.5 metres) of snow on ski slopes in California. It’s a massive change after the region was impacted by a six-week warm and dry spell following an unusually heavy late October snowstorm. The Palisades above and top today. Many of the resorts that had had to postpone opening for several weeks due to too little snow are now scrambling to open after too much arrived too fast. Mammoth Mountain has managed to stay open throughout the dry spell after opening early in late October. It reported snow drifts reaching the top of its 24 foot (8 metres)…

Avalanche Danger Very High As Snow Keeps Falling in Alps and Pyrenees

Ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have reported the avalanche danger has hit 4 on the scale of 5 as huge amounts of snow continues to fall across Europe. A number of areas have now had over a metre of snowfall in just a few days following moderate to heavy snowfall over the previous fortnight.  Many resorts are warning that access roads are becoming more and more difficult and than carrying chains is essential.  They’re also warning that the off-piste avalanche risk is extremely high. “The Savoie department has an orange avalanche risk and yellow vigilance for snow/black ice. For the moment, the Tignes - Val d'Isère ski area remains open, but the off-piste is not recommended (risk 4/5)”…

Sustainable Skis From Finland

A sustainable material tech company and a ski manufacturer have announced a collaboration to create a skis from all natural materials. The premium alpine skis will replace the glass fibre and carbon fibre used in modern skis with fibre made out of wood or waste, making them more sustainable. The new skis are the brainchild of Finnish ski maker PUSU and sustainable material tech company Spinnova, who have already partnered with brands such as adidas and The North Face. Since the end of the wooden-skis era in the 1960s, modern ski manufacturing has relied on non-renewable materials like plastic, glass fibre and carbon fibre blends. However, as the world has woken up to the problems this approach causes, PUSU has…

A Foot of Snow Forecast for Hawaii

The US National Weather Service currently has severe winter weather warnings with heavy snow forecast in place for two states, Alaska and …Hawaii. The tropical islands are expected to receive at least 30cm (12 inches) of snow, driven in on 100 mph winds. "Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility. The strong winds will likely cause significant drifting of snow," the alert warns. Although world famous for its sunshine and surf, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea (library pics used in this piece) is actually one of the world’s tallest mountains, rising around 9,300m from its base making it taller than Everest, and snow-capped year-round.  However about two thirds of…

Austrian Areas Open Hoping For Lockdown End This Week

More than 50 Austrian ski areas are now open for the 21-22 season, although the country is currently closed to tourism. Austria went in to a 20 day lockdown in late November in a bid, which currently seems to be working, to cut down surging coronavirus infection levels in the country. Ski areas though are allowed to open to local people although restaurants and hotels must remain closed. But the 20 days is due to end next Sunday, 12th December – before the main ski season is due to begin – and many of the country’s leading ski regions are clearly hedging their bets that they will be able to reopen to tourism again in the same way that the…

Legend in Ski Instruction Killed In On-Slope Accident

A famous ski coach and instructor who wrote several books that became ‘bibles’ for ski instructors have been killed in an on-slope collision in Colorado. Ron LeMaster, 72, was skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort on Tuesday, November 30th, when he was involved in a collision with a snowboarder and died at the scene. Police investigations in to the incident are ongoing. Ron worked as a ski instructor and race coach for more than three decades. His most influential books included “The Skier’s Edge” and “Ultimate Skiing.” He also wrote technical guides for the Professional Ski Instructors of America. “He was also a kind and generous person willing to drop everything to chat about skiing efficiency, mechanics and methodology,” Dave Schuiling,…

French 21-22 Season Starts Snowy as List of Rules To Go Skiing Grow

The main ski season in France is getting underway despite a growing list of requirements skiers need to meet to get on to the slopes. Ski resorts have reported 20-60cm of fresh snowfall in the past week and as a result, great early season conditions, particularly up high. Tignes was the first to open, back in October, and half a dozen more centres opened at the end of last month. This weekend will  see more than 20 opening, some for ‘preview weekends’ earlier than their expected opening dates, thanks to the snowfall. Snow piling up at Avoriaz Rising pandemic levels in France, in common with most of Europe, means a covid pass is now required to get on the lifts,…

Canadian Resort Closed By Too Much Snow

Although much of north America has been having a slow start to the 21-22 season with warm weather and limited snowfall, Eastern BCC and Western Alberta have been enjoying some fantastic powder days. Ski resorts including Sun Peaks,  Sunshine and Lake Louise currently have the most terrain open of any ski area on the planet. But the snowfall is now starting to cause avalanche danger issues, with a numberof ski areas reporting problems with avalanche danger on access roads. Yesterday, December 1st, Parks Canada closed the access road to Sunshine Village near Banff for the entire day due to heavy snow and extreme avalanche risks. Sunshine last week The resort later announced it will be closed today, December 2nd, too,…