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Ski Resorts

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…

Most (But Not All) Californian Resorts Close Due To Coronavirus Just as Huge Snowfall Hits the Region

Ski areas in California, like in most in the USA, have closed in the battle to slow the spread of the coronavirus just as a huge snowfall brings some of the best snowfall of the season to the region. Ski resorts in the state reported up to a metre (40 inches) of snowfall over the weekend (at Sugar Bowl), Homewood reported 89cm (three feet). The coronavirus closure come after some areas were forced to close over the weekend by the extreme weather which at sometimes in some places included weather phenomena such as lightening as well as the very heavy snowfall. Although most ski areas in the state have closed, some are still open, or at least were at the…

Many Major US and Candian Ski Areas Start Closing Early Due to Coronavirus

Many of the leading ski resorts in the USA are closing due to the coronavirus outbreak in a major change from the policy of the past week. The country's two biggest groups Vail Resorts and Alterra, which together operate nearly 50 of North America's resorts, flipped from saying they intended to stay open at the start of yesterday to announcing closure of their resorts later in the day. This includes resorts such as Whistler, Heavenly, Vail, Breckenridge (pictured above last week), Park City, Stowe, Tremblant and many others. Aspen, which has had at least nine positive coronavirus cases but had said it would keep operating, is also now closing, as are quite a few other resorts. Vail says the closure…

More than 500 Ski Areas in Europe Now Closed by Coronavirus

The number of ski areas closed by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe is accelerating rapidly and is now believed to have passed the 500 mark. Around half of those closed are in Italy, where the country went in to ‘lock down’ with many measures including closing all ski resorts earlier this week. Today it has been announced all ski areas in the Austrian province of Tyrol will close from this weekend. That includes many of the world’s most famous destinations including Kitzbuhel, Innsbruck, Solden and St Anton. Many of Norway’s ski areas have also announced they are closing too including Trysil, pictured. Here resorts decided whether or not they should stay open, based on government advice that they ensure they…

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’…

New Steepest Piste in Europe Opens in Austria

What is claimed to be the steepest groomed ski run ever opened in the Alps with a pitch of nearly 88% (more than 41 degrees) has been unveiled this weekend at Austria's Kaunertal Glacier. The Black Ibex piste pitches at up to 87.85%, which the resort's operators are keen to stress is steeper than the steepest part of the famous Streif slope used in the annual Hahnenkamm downhill races in Kitzbuhel (pictured below). The Harakiri piste above Mayrhofen has built a reputation as Austria’s steepest slope for more than a decade.  It reaches a pitch of 78% over its 375 metres of vertical. However the Lange Zug “extreme ski route” above Lech in the Arlberg, was already steeper with a…

Australian Resort Destroyed By Bushfires Won’t Open This Winter

The Blyton Group which owns Selwyn Snow Resort in Australia’s New South Wales has announced that due to the extent of the damage sustained in the bushfires last month, the ski area will be unable to open for the 2020 snow season. However it will be rebuilt “even better”. An initial assessment of critical resort infrastructure has identified extensive damage to buildings, power, water, sewerage and snowmaking. Selwyn Snow Resort has been advised that restoration of power alone will take several months, due to the damage of several kilometres of power poles leading to the resort. Preparations for the clean-up of the site are underway with demolition of all buildings required, as well as the removal of destroyed resort machinery…