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“Face Coverings Are Part of Our Culture”

Whilst acknowledging there are many questions about how ski areas will operate next winter, senior management from North American ski centres have said that part of the message they’d like to convey is that ski centres remain good for physical and mental well-being. "It's important to share the benefits ski areas have to offer - there's space to spread out," said Kelly Pawlak, president/CEO of the National Ski Areas Association in the USA, pointing out that the majority of the day is spent outside on a ski trip and that snowsports are great for one's mental health.  “Face coverings are part of our culture," she added. Kelly Pawlak was speaking at an online briefing for journalists organised by the North…

Snow-Forecast’s Rolling News on Ski Resorts Re-Opening (2020)

Last Updated: 2 July 2020 at 11.30 GMT (Updates so far since 5 May: 84) The web's most comprehensive guide of ski resort's opening around the world. More Than 30 Ski Areas Have Currently Re-Opened Worldwide In 10 Countries on 5 Continents:  Africa: Lesotho; Asia: Japan. Europe: Austria, France, Italy, Norway, Switzerland. North America: USA. Oceania: Australia and New Zealand. Countries where ski areas would normally be open but are currently unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic are: Argentina, Chile and South Africa. Browse by country: North America: Canada USA South America: Argentina Chile Europe: Austria France Italy Norway Scotland Slovak Republic Slovenia Sweden Switzerland Africa: Lesotho South Africa Asia: China Japan Oceania: Australia New Zealand New: North American ski resorts say that as we look ahead…

Increasing Concern For Any 2020 Ski Season in South America and South Africa

There’s increasing concern that any ski area will be able to open in the Andes for winter 2020. It’s not looking good in South Africa either, although one ski area in Africa, Afriski in Lesoho, was the first in the southern hemisphere to open in early June. The Andes have seen big June snowfalls with several areas reporting more than a metre (40 inches) of snowfall in the past week, however Chile has recently extended its state-of-emergency by three more months to mid-September. This is close to the end of the country’s normal ski season. Chile has been one of the countries hardest hit by the virus in South America and is one of the seven worst hit worldwide at…

New Zealand Ski Areas ‘Suffering’ Says Country’s PM

More of New Zealand’s ski areas opened at the weekend after some significant snowfalls brought up to 50cm of new cover.  However, although the fact that the country’s ski areas are the envy of the world, as they can operate without restriction due to the successful suppression of the virus in New Zealand, resorts are suffering from a lack of international travellers. Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone have all opened, joining Mt Hutt. Speaking at the opening of Cardrona ski area (pictured top) for winter 2020 New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that the lack of foreign visitor due to New Zealand’s largely closed borders would hit the country’s ski areas hard this winter and asked New Zealanders…

Over A Metre of Snow Falls in the Andes But Ski Areas Can’t Open Due to COVID-19

Ski areas in Chile, where the 2020 ski season should just be getting underway, have been reporting snowfalls of up to 1.2 metres (four feet) in the past few days.  Valle Nevado is pictured top. With South America currently one of the epicentres of the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic however, the governments of both countries have them in full lockdown, which means ski resorts can’t open. The situation is being seen as ironic by some who note that recent seasons have seen challenging starts in the Andes due to a lack of snow. Now there’s plenty, people can’t ski due to the pandemic. Portillo on Wednesday 24 June 2020 as the snow continues to fall. So far there’s no immediate sign of when the situation might…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #145

Issued: 24 June 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW It’s a big week coming up in the southern hemisphere with the delayed 2020 season finally here. Most of the leading ski resorts in Australia are opening over the first half of this week and a sizable chunk of New Zealand’s leading players will open on Friday and Saturday.  So it feels like the delayed start to 2020 is finally starting to take shape. Against that, though there's no news from South America or South Africa on the lifting of lockdowns and as the season should have started by now here, there's an increasingly ominous feeling, rightly or wrongly, about 2020 happening at all…

Australia’s 2020 Ski Season Has Started

Australia has become the third southern hemisphere ski nation to start its 2020 ski season. He lifts started turning earlier today at Thredbo and Mt Baw Baw (pictured top), both reporting limited terrain open, but just joy that the season had started at last. Thredbo described it as a “…a banger bluebird day,” whilst Mt Baw Baw said, “We've had a dusting of snow and are open with limited terrain.” The snow did start falling later at Thredbo and across Australia’s mountains with Mt Buller and Perisher (pictured below), the next due to open on Wednesday 24th June, sporting 15-20cm of snowfall so far and great snowmaking conditions too. Perish 22 June 2020 Australia’s ski areas opening will be seen…

Australian Ski Resort Sells Out of Lift Tickets for Much of Season, Bans Snowballing

In the constantly evolving story of Australia’s soon-to-start 2020 ski season, Thredbo, which was reported to be struggling to cope with demand when it put lift tickets on sale a week ago, now reports that its, “first release lift passes have now sold out until 30 August 2020” – that’s about a month before the scheduled end of the ski season. Falls Creek 1st June 2020 It’s believed that Australian resorts are limiting capacity to about half the normal maximum in order to adhere to social-distancing and other pandemic-spread-prevention measures.  It’s also been reported list ticket prices have increased by 20% at some resorts as they attempt to mitigate the financial loss from having fewer skiers whilst requiring more staff.…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #144

Issued: 17 June 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OVERVIEW We now have two ski nations just about fully open in the Southern Hemisphere with New Zealand, which has been very successful at suppressing COVID-19, seeing it's first area open.  More ski areas in the country are due to open this coming weekend and Aussie areas should be operational from next week.  Lesotho's Afriski is opening up as well. Things are not quite normal in New Zealand even though the country has eased its lockdown to the lowest level yet and social distancing and face masks are not necessary. Before this latest easing resorts had already said operations would be limited and, with borders…

The World’s Six Summer-Only Ski Areas All Open

We’re in that short time window each year when the six ski areas that only open during spring or summer are all open at once. Because of unpredictable snow conditions some years, that doesn’t happen every year and in 2020 it’s particularly welcome news as only a few months ago I was unclear whether any would be able to open in 2020 due to the virus pandemic. The ‘summer only’ areas are different to those winter resorts that stay-open, or re-open, high altitude glacier skiing in the summer like Zermatt or Val d’Isere; and they’re not southern hemisphere ski areas where resorts only open between late autumn through winter to early spring. They’re northern hemisphere ski areas in locations which…