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WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #131

Issued: 25 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne They're still skiing in Sweden. Most resorts are still open at present, all taking strong measures to prevent virus spread. Here's Idre FjälL. North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Ski Apache, believed to be the last ski field operating this winter in New Mexico, will close today after what they say has been a "phenomenal season". The number of ski areas still open in North America can now be counted on one hand as shutdowns continue in the fight to limit the spread of coronavirus. That hasn’t stopped people skiing and boarding in many areas with a number of areas welcoming ski-tourers still, although others are stressing this isn't permitted and/or…

Crowdfunding Keeps US Centre’s Slopes Groomed and Open, But Lifts not Running

A small US ski resort has successfully crowdfunded $6,000 in the past week or so to keep its slopes groomed even though the lifts aren’t running. Snow King Mountain is one of a large number of ski resorts in states not yet in complete lock down where people can hike up the hill and ski down. “It’s a little different picture for us because we’re shut down, and there’s no income for us, but I think it’s a positive thing people are getting out and enjoying the hill, and that’s why we’re doing this campaign,” Snow King General Manager Ryan Stanley told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. More than 150 people contributed to the fundraising since the centre closed…

Is This The Last Ski Area in North America That’s Still Open?

Ski areas in North America have been closing down over the past fortnight due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there has not been the national lockdown that several European countries have enacted, and decisions have been made at state or province level and in some cases left to individual resorts. The last ski area open in Canada, the fairly remote Hudson Bay resort in northern BC (pictured below) had its last skiing day on Sunday and the number of centres still open in the US has been declining by the day too.  Montana, Idaho and Washington State in the lightly-populated North-western US still had more than half-a-dozen areas operating at the weekend between them, each arguing that they had measures…

Ski Areas in Finland Decide to Close At End of Month

Finnish ski areas have begun announcing plans to close early for the ski season, with several of the country’s larger centres announcing they’ll be doing so the weekend after next, at the end of the ski day on Friday 27th or Saturday 28th. Finland is one of five countries where ski areas have mostly stayed open since the sudden mass closure of ski areas in Europe and north America. Along with Finland ski areas in Sweden, Iceland, Scotland and Japan have also stayed open. “Thanks to all of you who we got to enjoy the joys of snow on the fell this winter. Due to the current state of emergency, we will close Ruka slopes and rental services earlier than…

World’s Biggest Resort Operator Closes All Centres For the Season, But Hopes Some Could Re-open Late Spring

Vail Resorts, the world’s largest operator of ski resorts, has announced that all of its North American resorts will remain closed for the 2019-20 winter ski season amidst the continued challenges associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Company’s had initially announced a one week closure from last weekend as mass ski resort closures picked up speed across Europe and North America but has now decided that’s it for winter 2019-20. “The Company will consider reopening Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia in late April/early May, dependent on the situation with COVID-19 as well as weather conditions,” a statement from the group says. Whistler Blackcomb normally stays open in…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #130

Issued: 18 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American Roundup European Roundup Asia Roundup A different approach in Japan where most of the ski areas remain open. Appi Kogen reports 15cm (6 inches of snowfall) in the past few days, temps -2 to -4 and great powder conditions. Fresh snow in New Zealand for St Patrick's Day at Mt Hutt. INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA The reaction to the coronavirus outbreak has been different in North America with, at time of writing, no national advice to close resorts. However, some states and provinces including Colorado and Quebec have instructed ski areas in their regions to close. And perhaps 80-90% of other ski areas closed over the weekend, many because they are…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #129

Issued: 11 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American Roundup European Roundup Asia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA The past week has been much calmer in North America than recent periods with much less snowfall reported anywhere than has been the case for most of our reports this year. What fresh snow has fallen has largely been in the west of the continent with some good snowfalls of one to two feet (30-60cm) reported in the Rockies, California and further north up in Alaska, Alberta and BC. It's been less good news for eastern parts where, after some good snowfalls recently, temperatures have warmed up considerably with periods of rainfall too. That should improve over the next few days though.…

Ski Areas in Six Countries Pass 4m (13 feet+) Base Depth Mark

The recent heavy snowfall in many parts of the skiing wold has boosted bases at resorts which had previously been fairly static for much of 2020 to date. Around 20 ski areas worldwide ae now posting bases of 4 metres (13.3 feet) or deeper on their upper runs, half of them in France. In the Alps, La Plagne in France (pictured bottom) has moved to post the deepest base in the continent at 4.9 metres, which is also third deepest in the world at present. France now has more ski areas, including Avoriaz, Flaine and Les Arcs too, with more than 4 metres (13 feet) lying on their higher slopes than any other country. In Austria St Anton has moved…

The Ski Map of the World

The biggest ever ski map, basically a ski map of the entire world, is now available online, and is looking for any skiers or boarders anywhere to help make it bigger and better still. OpenSnowMap is a community-created and maintained ski map of the world, displaying more than 150,000km of ski pistes on its website. Skiers and snowboarders can browse the map from Antarctica to Alaska, from California to Japan and look at the pistes available in each and every resort, from the smallest to the largest. The coverage goes from the incredibly dense network of nordic trails around Oslo (Norway), to the biggest Alpine resorts of the Alps, to tiny hills in small Slovenian villages. The project doesn’t ‘own’…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #128

Issued: 04 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Lots of snowfall in Eastern North America right now. Vermont's Smugglers' Notch Resort reports 20" (50cm) in the past 30 hours (that's the same in metric…) which brings them to 203 inches (510cm) season to date. It has been a pretty snowy week across North America with ski areas in the East getting some of the biggest falls, in most cases more than expected, whilst there's been more snowfall in the West where bases are approaching six metres (20 feet) now in the Pacific Northwest corner, where it has hardly stopped dumping since Christmas. Stowe in Vermont posted more than a metre (40 inches)…