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The World’s Biggest Season-End ‘Pond Skimming’ Contest

The concept of the end-of-season meltwater pond skimming competition is long-established and has spread to ski areas around the world. The world’s oldest, The Slush Cup, at Sunshine ski area near Banff in Canada (below) will take place on Monday, May 20th – it will be the 91st. But one French resort takes the ‘skiing/boarding down a snowy slope and then seeing how far you can get across a pool of water’ to another level. La Clusaz in the Aravis mountains near Lake Annecy stage their Défi Foly contest, not on a pool of meltwater, but on the local Lake Confins with competitors seeing how far they can get across it before they sink. The hope is that one day…

Ski Racing on Crete

Although Cyprus can claim to have the most southerly ski slopes in Europe (and there are even a few ski lifts there), the island of Crete, just a fraction of a degree further north, also has snow covered slopes most winters and once even had its own ski area. These days however it has become a Mecca for ski tourers who arrive from around the world each winter, heading for the island’s Psiloritis mountains, the highest of which, Mount Ida, at 2,456 m (8,057 feet), is the highest in Crete – not to mention being the legendary birth place of Zeus, no less. The height of the ski touring season comes in March every two years when a race, Pierra…

Riksgransen 2019 Season Start March 1st

Riksgransen will, as usual, be the final northern hemisphere resort (other than a few summer-only areas) to open for the 2018-19 ski season, on Friday, March 1st. The northern ski area, sometimes referred to as the world's spring skiing capital, located 200km within the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden is famous for offering skiing and snowboarding under the midnight sun from mid-May and then ending its season over the midsummer weekend in late June, when it usually sells out. Last season however there was not enough snow for the centre to stay open that long and it closed in late May after less than three months open. The current snow depth has not been published but it is snowing hard.…

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…

Records Tumble As World’s Best Ski Racers Close in on All Time World Cup Wins Record

It has been a remarkable month, and particularly the past week, in the Alpine Skiing World Cup as the planet’s best ski racers prepare for their brief Christmas break ahead of 2019 and the World Championships in Are, Sweden in less than two months’ time. Among the records broken in recent days: America’s Mikaela Shiffrin (pictured top) has become the youngest person to notch up 50 World cup wins, still aged just 23. She’s one of only eight skiers to get to 50 World Cup wins. Her win in the slalom at Courchevel on Saturday also equalling the most slalom wins by any woman to date: 35. Austria’s Marchel Hirscher (29), pictured above, already a record holder for the most…

Arlberg Region Opens for 2018-19 Season

Lech, Zurs and St. Anton in Austria’s famed Arlberg ski region have kicked off their 2018-19 winter. So far snow cover is a little limited with the base given as 20cm and 14 runs, representing a combined 14km of slopes, open for early arrivals. However heavy snow is forecast for Sunday/Monday December 2nd/3rd with up to 40cm of new snow expected in the region within a 48 hour period. (Lech during snowfall on Wednesday 28 November) St Anton has a number of events and attractions laid on to start the winter season over the weekend under the heading of a new event called "Catch Me if you Can". This includes the chance to test new season ski and snowboard gear…

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Opening 34 New Runs Served by New Quad Chairlift

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) in Coliorado, USA will today open its newest terrain expansion, The Beavers. The 468-acre terrain expansion is served by a new quad chairlift running from 9am to 3:15pm daily and marks an expansion of the existing ski area - one of the world’s highest, by almost a third. The 34 new runs of the expansion include two new intermediate groomed runs, open bowls and what the centre claims is some of the best glade (tree) skiing in Colorado. “We’ve been fortunate to have received good snow in October and November. This past week’s storm of an additional 22” has given us the opportunity to put the finishing touches on the new terrain. The conditions are…

Europe’s most Southerly Ski Area Opens Early with its Biggest Ever Area Open For Last Weekend of November

Europe’s most southerly mainland ski resort and also Spain’s highest ski area, Sierra Nevada, is opening for the 2018-19 ski season tomorrow, Saturday November 24, 2018, a week earlier than planned. What’s more the terrain available will be the largest amount the resort has ever offered this early in the season, staff believe. https://www.facebook.com/sierranevada2.0/videos/2608979242445447/   A total of 9 lifts and 43 kilometres of slopes will be available, providing a vertical drop of 1,100 metres with accumulated snow between 20cm and 150cm depending on the altitude. The news of Sierra Nevada’s early opening came after another Spanish resort, Masella, was one of the first in Europe to open for the season on November 1st following big snowfalls in the Pyrenees…

Les Arcs Invites Ski Tourers to Test The Snow a Week Before Opening

Les Arcs , which will celebrate its 50th season this winter, has announced that it will be opening for one day only a week ahead of its main season opening date of December 15th – but in a novel move it will open the ski area to ski tourers only, and not turn on the ski lifts. The special one day opening on Saturday 8th December has been christened ‘La Belle Aventure’ by the famous French ski resort and will be free of charge to participate in, with all ability levels welcomed. Skiers will gather from 9am on the day in Arc 2000, then from 10am in groups accompanied by mountain guides, steadily go up to either the Igloo Village or…