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Val d’Isère Re-Opens Winter (non-glacier) Slopes for Summer Skiing

This week, for the first time in the resort’s 82-year history, Val d’Isère reopened some of its winter pistes and lifts, situated just above the village, after they closed on 1 May 2018, at the end of a record-breaking season for snow cover. About 200 skiers and snowboarders took advantage of the exceptional conditions to ride the Funival funicular to the top of Bellevarde on re-opening day, where the first sections of slopes OK, Diebold, 3J and Verte offered skiing on snow lying more than a metre thick. After each run, enthusiasts could jump on the Marmottes chair for another go, exactly the same as in winter. David McCallum, a British property developer who lives in Val d’Isère said, “It…

Australian Ski Season Underway Following “Warmest Autumn on Record”

Australia’s 2018 ski season got underway today and almost all of the country’s ski areas will be opening this weekend, regardless of the snow conditions. The country traditionally starts its ski season in early June for the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend in the country. Perisher (pictured top) was the first to open, but says snow isn't great yet, but hopefully will be by this time next week. “Although the start to this years snow season is rather damp and disappointing, it is an improving picture over the coming week. Skies will clear and temperatures will drop below zero over the next few nights, allowing for some good snow making conditions. From Tuesday, a succession of fronts will sweep across the…

1 More North American ski area Closes for Season But 2 Open For Summer

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado in USA, North America, rounded off its 234 day 2017-18 season last Sunday June 3rd. A-Basin kicked off its season on October 13, 2017, opening first in the state – and was the last to close. It was not the snowiest of seasons, but altogether the ski area, which is among the 10 highest in the world, reported about 300 inches (7.5 metres) of snowfall. “Have no fear, powder hounds - ski season will be here again in the high country before you know it… it’s only about 135 days away!” said A Basin’s Marketing and Communications Manager Adrienne Saia Isaac. Elsewhere in the USA, Mammoth Mountain (below last week) is open for one more week…

Riksgransen Cancels Midsummer Skiing

Riksgransen ski area in Northern Sweden has cancelled its annual midsummer ski in late June and will close for the season this Sunday, May 27th, not making it in to June. The resort which has a long standing reputation as Europe’s spring skiing capital is located 200km north of the Arctic Circle and on the Norwegian border has been a ski destination for about a century, since the railway line arrived here. Riksgransen is located in an area of 24 hour darkness in midwinter and does not open for its ski season until late February each year, normally ending a four month ski season with a sell-out midsummer ski festival in late June. This year however the snow cover has…

World Record For Most Vertical Skied in a Season Broken

The world record for the most vertical skied in one calendar year appears to have been (unofficially) broken, almost two years to the day after it was last broken. Scott Howard, a 65 year old retiree from Vermont, USA, has passed the 6,025,751 vertical feet (1,836,649 vertical metres) record set on 10th May 2015 by Canadian Pierre Marc Jette, skiing at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada two seasons ago. Mr Howard has been skiing predominantly at Killington in Vermont, although he has also skied at another Vermont resort, Stowe, this season.   He measures his vertical using an app called Trace, but he is now hoping to make his achievement official by replacing Mr Jette in the Guinness Book of World…

‘Ski Down the Roof’ Hotel Under Construction

Architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have just revealed plans for their latest building to feature a ‘skiable roof.’ The company, which is behind the design of major projects around the world including Google’s new London HQ and the waste-to-heat power station in Copenhaghen which will feature a 600m long dry ski slope down its roof (below) and is due to open later this year , has gone for a similar theme in its design of a ‘ski out’ hotel in Switzerland. The Hotel des Horlogers in the Vallée de Joux region of the Jura Mountains will have sloping terraces zigzagging down the front of the building allowing guests to ski from their hotel room doors, or indeed the roof,…

Fresh May Powder in the USA

Ski resorts in California and Utah have reported powder days at the start of May after heavy snowfall in the final hours of April and in to the start of May. It has also been snowing on high slopes in the Alps with several glacier areas reporting up to 20cm of fresh snow. Snowbird in Utah and Mammoth in California (pictured below on May 1st) have posted up to 25cm (10 inches) of fresh snow.  The former is open to mid-May, the latter to at least the end of the month. (top image credit Matt Crawley at Snowbird, Utah) In the Alps Chamonix (which closed its lifts for the season yesterday) there’s been 20cm of snow in the last 72…

Legend interview – Dominique Perret

Rob Stewart catches up with freeride pioneer and legend Dominque Perret – founder of the International Snow Training Academy (ISTA), an organisation dedicated to training skiers and snowboarders in off-piste and mountain safety. Dominique Perret has defined himself and his career by the passion to look beyond the norm, to travel a path where there are no pioneers and no finish lines. Press and media have lost little occasion to highlight Dominique’s multiple skiing achievements, films, expeditions, and events crowning him “Best Freeride Skier of the Century” as the most outstanding radical free-skier of his generation. Skiing runs thick in Dominique Perret’s blood. His first skiing experience took place at the age of two and, he spent the next 15…

North American Ski Resorts In Huge 18-19 Lift Pass Sales Battle

Ski resorts across North America are dividing up in to groups participating in one or another different giant lift pass offers for the 2018-19 ski season. The multi-resort passes have gone on sale in the past few weeks for next winter and several groups are battling to persuade skiers and boarders that theirs’ is the pass to buy. Each of the passes covers at least a dozen ski areas and most many more.  Some have usage restrictions, others offer unlimited access all season to all areas. This annual sales battle I not new, Vail Resorts Epic Pass was conceived almost a decade ago now, but its success – with the company now selling more than 750,000 Epic passes  annually in…

Europe’s Most Northerly Ski Area Has Opened for 2018 Ski Season

Europe’s most northerly ski resort, Riksgränsen in Sweden, has opened for its 2018 ski season. Located 250km (150 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, and more than 1500km (nearly 1000 miles) north of Swedish capital Stockholm, it comes as a surprise to most that Riksgransen was once Sweden's top ski destination and it remains on the "must ski before I die" list of most dedicated winter sportsmen and women. The reasons are not immediately apparent, the ski area would not make the world top 1,000 on size or vertical, the lifts are rather old and resort amenities limited.  It's so cold and dark here that the season does not get underway until late February (the video below was filmed in…