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Canadian Resorts Top Comprehensive Scientific Study Of World’s Top Areas For ‘Skier Comfort’

A new study has rated the top six ski areas in the world for ‘skier comfort’ as locations in North America, and five of them in Canada. What’s unusual for a global survey that puts mostly North American ski areas in the top 10, is that this one has been published in Europe, not the US, and is very methodical, detailed and scientific. In fact the table which ranks the top 50 ski areas for ‘Skier Comfort’ is just one in the latest edition of the annual ‘List of the Worldʼs 100 Largest Ski Areas’ which has just been published by the global ski area experts Ski Welweit and Montenius Consulting. More of a report than a list, the 40…

Are Vail Resorts Now The Biggest Ski Resort Operating Company Ever?

The news today that Vail Resorts have bought another 17 ski areas in what must be the largest single ski resorts purchase in history, taking its total count if ski areas now Vail Resorts owned to 37, begs the question is this now the biggest group of ski resorts ever created? The 17 newly added ski areas, previously owned by the Peak Resorts group and sold for around a quarter of a billion dollars, are mostly small to mid-sized urban areas in seven states in the North Eastern USA, include many areas that are the key local hills for major metropolitan centres in the area including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City and…

Heavy Snowfall in the Andes

There’s powder conditions on the slopes of Argentina this week after a huge snowstorm deposited up to 60cm (two feet) of fresh snow on the country’s ski slopes. The snowfall, described as, “one of the most important of the last 20 years” by a spokesperson at Catedral ski area did cause some problems at some resorts as it fell. Catedral near Bariloche, South America’s biggest ski area by uplift capacity, initially closed terrain as the avalanche danger level reached very high, and then a power outage knocked out the ski area’s electricity supply, along with that of 15,000 homes in the area. The local airport was also closed yesterday by the snow with one airplane reported to have made two…

Major Snowstorm Hits Australian Ski Slopes

A major storm is bringing big snow accumulations to Australia. Resorts in New South Wales and Victoria have reported up to half a metre of snowfall over the past few days, and those totals may almost double by the ends of the weekend. The heavy snowfall, at times accompanied by strong winds, is the first major dump in the country since the season got underway five weeks ago. https://www.facebook.com/FallsAustralia/videos/486383178788448/ It follows good pre-season snowfalls at the end of May and in early June which led four areas to open up to a fortnight earlier than planned for the season. There was a warm spell in early June however followed by mostly cold, clear conditions until now. Perisher 12 July 2019…

Self-Driving Shuttles For Val Thorens

Val Thorens will debut what are believed to be the first four wheel drive self-driving shuttles for guests in a ski resort next winter. Europe’s highest major ski resort will begin operating ‘Berto’ the all-electric self-driving electric shuttle when the ski area opens for the 2019-20 season on 23rd November. In fact Berto has already made its first appearance on the resort’s streets fort a test operation last  March but this coming season it will be fully operational. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoTY5yXu2VQ Seating 15 passengers, the autonomous shuttle will transport skiers and locals around the resort – for free -while protecting the environment. Packed with cutting edge multi sensor technology, cameras and GPS it can operate at up to 25 Kph. And Berto…

New Gondolas With Saunas in Japan

Japanese ski area Happo One will unveil several grounded gondola cabins designed to be used as saunas later this month. The sauna-gondola-cabins are part of a new ‘Mountain beach’ wellness facility being created 1400 metres above sea level at the Hakuna Valley ski area in the Nagano Olympic Prefecture.  It is set to open on July 26th as a the resort’s latest year round attraction, with the saunas due to remain operational through the winter season too. So far it is unclear whether the saunas are in converted gondola cabins or sauna cabins designed to look like gondola cabins. Sauna above the slopes in Yllas Happo One is not, however, the first ski area to put a sauna in a…

Aspen To Re-Open Ski Slopes For Fourth Successive Weekend

Aspen has announced they’ll run their ski lifts this Saturday and Sunday for the fourth weekend in a row. Although it has re-opened slopes for the US Memorial Day holiday in late May before, the re-opening of the Colorado ski area’s slopes through weekends in June is unprecedented. It looks like this weekend will be the final one for summer 2019 however, with the terrain available down from 130 acres over the previous weekends to probably 100 acres this, and the remaining snow cover also diminishing.  Image credit J Swanson / Aspen Ski Co The available ski area is accessed via the Silver Queen Gondola and the Ajax Express chairlift which will run from 9am to 1pm as long as…

Ski Areas Open on Six Continents (Maybe all Seven)

It’s the start of the few months each year when it is possible to ski or snowboard on every continent at the same time. In the Southern Hemisphere, ski resorts have opened in Australia (Mt Hotham which opened yesterday pictured below), New Zealand and in Southern Africa.  There have been some good snowfalls in the Andes too but so far only the snow fun area at Farallones in Chile is known to be open enjoying a ‘pre-opening’ with the main opening next weekend. In Europe, there are currently nine areas open with France (Val d’Isere, pictured below last week) and Italy (Passo Stelvio) re-joining Austria, Switzerland and Norway today as their summer ski areas open. It’s the last weekend of…

New Zealand and Southern Africa’s 2019 Seasons Start

New Zealand’s 2019 ski season has got properly underway today (Friday 7th June), six days after the first skiers and boarders took to the slope of the small snow fun area at Whakapapa ski area, part of Mt Ruapehu on the country’s North Island. Mt Hutt ski field (50/100cm), pictured top and below, opened with top to bottom skiing and all lifts operating and all sector opening after significant snowfall there through the past week. One keen snowsports enthusiast, named as Josh from Christchurch in local media, which didn’t say if he was a skier or boarder, spent Thursday night ‘sleeping’ on the chairlift in order to claim first on the chair at 7am this morning. "Not sure if I…

Southern Hemisphere 2019 Season Underway

The 2019 ski season has got underway in the southern hemisphere. Three Australian ski areas have so far announced they are opening early over the coming three days due to the heavy snowfall in the country this week which has seen accumulations of up to 70cm (28 inches) reported so far. Selwyn Snow Resort in New South Wales (pictured above this morning) was the first to open, earlier today.  It says it will be running its new Chum Chair for free through the weekend. Perisher on 28 May 2019 It will be joined by Australia’s biggest resort, Perisher, also in New South Wales, which announced earlier this week that it would open from tomorrow. A third Australian area, Mt Buller…