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New Zealand Ski Area to open this Weekend After Rare Summer Snow Storm

A ski area in New Zealand has announced it plans to open more than three months before the scheduled start date of its 2019 ski season, following a freak summer snow storm. It’s currently the final few days of meteorological summer time in the southern hemisphere but several ski areas in New Zealand reported heavy snowfall over the weekend due to a ‘Polar blast’ of cold air arriving from Antarctica. Mt Hutt, one of the country’s largest ski centres, reported it has received “over 50cm” of snow and whilst temperatures are now rising back up to their seasonal norm, meaning a thaw is underway, they believe there’ll be enough snow left to open some runs on Saturday and Sunday –…

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…

Supporting POW: Protect Our Winters

Protect Our Winters UK is the UK branch of the global Protect Our Winters movement started in the United States 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones. They are a registered charity aimed at educating and supporting UK outdoor sports communities to mobilise and take positive action on climate change, starting with snowsports. They do this by engaging individuals and organisations through their snowsports livelihoods and passions. Education is provided to them on the risks of climate change and they are supported to take effective action. Snow-Forecast.com has committed to supporting the POW message to combat climate change. Find out how you can help here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9KVeaeIxhE Our support comprises sharing the message of POW through our website and giving over a…

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.…

Avalanche Danger Reaches Maximum Level 5 in Parts of Austria

The avalanche danger level has been moved up to the maximum level 5 in several provinces of northern Austria today after several days when safety services were thought likely to make the move. Some ski areas in Austria, Eastern Switzerland, southern Germany and Slovakia have had 3 metres (10 feet) of snow in the past week and the amount of snow falling has intensified again. The snow has also been falling accompanied by winds reaching at times 100kph in places, increasing the instability of the snow pack. The Austrian regions where the danger level has been raised to level 5 (“extreme: black”) risk are Salzburgerland, Oberösterreich (Upper Austria) and Steiermark (Styria). The description for this is: “The snowpack is generally…

More Huge Snowfalls in BC as Kicking Horse Opens New Terrain

A second wave of massive snowfalls in the Pacific northwest region of Canada is seeing powder conditions across the province of British Columbia and in to Western Alberta. Totals for the first three days of 2019 include 45cm (18 inches) at Whistler, 39cm at Fernie (pictured top, image by Jordan Vlasschaert from Shred Kelly) and 28cm at Lake Louise. Revelstoke Mountain Resort , (pictured below yesterday) which usually is in the world’s top dozen for snowfall totals by the end of the ski season, passed through the 6 metres (20 feet) snowfall-to-date-this-season figure with 29cm in the last 24 hours taking it to 619cm so far. Forecasting models are showing more of the same with potentially up to 70cm more for Big White…

French Resort Using Three Green Technologies To Cover 30% of Energy Needs

The largest ski resort in the Southern Alps, Serre-Chevalier in France, has announced it will be meeting 30% of its energy needs by 2021 using a combination of green energy sources. Work on the project that will mean hydroelectric, photovoltaic and micro-wind turbine electricity will all be generated in the Vallée, is now underway. The resort will generate the energy in a €3.6m project that will create solar power from Serre Chevalier’s average 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, hydro power from its snowmaking water system and wind power from its exposed high-altitude passes. Altogether this provides a multiple natural resource capable of producing nearly a third of the total consumption of electricity (4.5 gigawatt hours out of a total…

Highest Resolution Photograph Yet Created Shows Mont Blanc in Incredible Detail

A remarkable new photograph is reputed to be the most detailed ever created. The incredible 46 terabytes image (that’s 46,000 gigabytes) depicts Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, which has the ski towns of Chamonix below it on the French side, and Courmayeur over the border on the Italian side (where it is Monte Bianco). The image was created over several months with a team of photographers working to create the picture at the highest resolution yet achieved – a resolution of 365 gigapixels (365,000 megapixels!). Working in often difficult conditions, 3,500 metres up, more than 70,000 individual shots were required to create the massive image. “How to celebrate Her Majesty the Mont Blanc? We just wished to represent it…