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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.…

All-time Record February Snowfalls in California

Several ski resorts in California have reported they've reached all-time record February snowfall totals with the month only just past halfway through. “How buried are we? #FEBRUBURIED. We smashed our February snowfall record of 196" (498cm) last night. We now have more than 205" (519cm) of snow, and it's still coming down,” said a spokesperson for Squaw Valley. The resort, which currently has the second deepest base in North America, currently has teams hand-digging out chairlift routes up the mountain so that the lifts can operate. Mammoth Mountain, which recently announced it was extending its 2019 opening to at least US Independence Day, July 34th, also says it has had record snowfall in February. “With almost 15 feet (4.5 metres)…

SHORT BREAK SKIING GATEWAY TO THE SUN…AND SNOW

Sports Journalist and ski instructor Bruce Pope tries out Morzine-Avoriaz for the first time and finds far more than just a stash of snow anda short transfer time. Trees are rushing by on either side as I dart down a snowy track. I’m loading my outside ski nice and early, determined not to miss the enticing entrance to a chute on my right that flashed by too quickly on my previous run. The timing is good this time and with the speed I’m carrying I’m airborne for a split-second as the chute dips down, eliciting an involuntary “whoop” along with a small jolt of adrenaline. I’ve come to Morzine for a few days and I’m loving every minute of it,…

Crans-Montana Creates Unique New Ski Touring Routes

In what they’re describing as a world first, Swiss resort Crans Montana has created 15 new ski touring routes with varying levels of difficulty. The resort is positioning itself as one of, if not the, leading ski touring centre in Europe and possibly the world. Working with ski-mountaineering champion, Séverine Pont-Combe, the routes have been created within a vast area of the mountains around the Valais resort which they’ve called The Rando Parc. In total there are more than 40km of marked and secured ski touring routes, which combined include more than 8,000 metres of vertical. Routes are graded blue, red and black and are suitable for everyone from complete beginners to the more advanced. There are three introductory level…

Vail Resorts To Open To Late May at Breckenridge Each Season

Vail Resorts have announced that they’ll aim to have the resort that’s the first to open in Colorado each season in each autumn, as well as the resort that’s last to close in spring. The announcement comes as the multi-resort group said it aims to reach agreement with the US Forest Service to keep the slopes open at Breckenridge later in to spring, and said it planned to keep the resort operating at least until the US Memorial Day holiday at the end of May, starting this season (May 27th this year). “Combined with Keystone’s recent capital announcement to enhance snowmaking and position the resort to be the first to open in Colorado, the two Summit County resorts will offer…

Major Storm Brings Huge Snow Accumulations to California

A major storm currently hitting the Pacific Coast, and particularly California, has been rated one of the five biggest of the past decade by local weather agencies. The reason it is being given such a high weather danger warning is only partly due to the huge snowfalls it’s bringing with it It is also bringing winds of up to 110 miles per hour and people were advised not to go outdoors overnight. “There is a rare "Blizzard Warning" in effect from 10PM tonight through 7AM tomorrow. Avoid travel at that time as it will become extremely dangerous,” a statement from Mammoth Mountain advises, continuing, “The good news? Heavy snowfall is expected and it's looking like an incredible bluebird holiday weekend…

Base Depths Reach 5 Metres in the Alps

Andermatt ski area in Switzerland has posted a 20cm increase in its upper-slope base depth, measuring it at 5m (16.6 feet). It’s the first ski resort in the world to hit the 5 metre mark this season, and the first half of January is an early point in the year for any resort to reach this depth.  The resort has had 50cm of snow in the past 72 hours. Down at resort level the base depth is 65cm (just over two feet).  More heavy snow and strengthening winds are expected tomorrow which seems likely to increase the current avalanche danger level 3 (‘considerable’) in the area to level 4 ‘high’. Loser, over the border in Austria, is close behind with…

Avalanche Danger Reaches Maximum Level 5 in Parts of Austria

The avalanche danger level has been moved up to the maximum level 5 in several provinces of northern Austria today after several days when safety services were thought likely to make the move. Some ski areas in Austria, Eastern Switzerland, southern Germany and Slovakia have had 3 metres (10 feet) of snow in the past week and the amount of snow falling has intensified again. The snow has also been falling accompanied by winds reaching at times 100kph in places, increasing the instability of the snow pack. The Austrian regions where the danger level has been raised to level 5 (“extreme: black”) risk are Salzburgerland, Oberösterreich (Upper Austria) and Steiermark (Styria). The description for this is: “The snowpack is generally…

Snowfall in Austria and the Eastern Alps Gets Ever More Epic

The huge snowstorm that has been sat over the Eastern Alps for several weeks now has brought ever more remarkable volumes of snowfall to the region, and there’s no real sign of it ending any time soon (although current forecasts are for the amount of snow falling to decrease). (Image top: SkiStar St Johann in Tirol) The snowfall initially brought as much at 2.1m (7 feet) snowfall tallies to some areas in 7 days but as the snow has continued falling total accumulations have now passed 3 metres (10 feet) for some resorts. Infact Austria’s Tauplitzalm says it has had 3 metres (10 feet) of snow in the last week, Saalbach 2.7 metres (9 feet). Upper slope base depths are…

More Huge Snowfalls in BC as Kicking Horse Opens New Terrain

A second wave of massive snowfalls in the Pacific northwest region of Canada is seeing powder conditions across the province of British Columbia and in to Western Alberta. Totals for the first three days of 2019 include 45cm (18 inches) at Whistler, 39cm at Fernie (pictured top, image by Jordan Vlasschaert from Shred Kelly) and 28cm at Lake Louise. Revelstoke Mountain Resort , (pictured below yesterday) which usually is in the world’s top dozen for snowfall totals by the end of the ski season, passed through the 6 metres (20 feet) snowfall-to-date-this-season figure with 29cm in the last 24 hours taking it to 619cm so far. Forecasting models are showing more of the same with potentially up to 70cm more for Big White…