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Snowfall Returns to The Alps

Snowy conditions are set to return to the Alps (as well as the Dolomites, Pyrenees, Scandinavia and Scotland) after a relatively peaceful week where many areas were able to ‘regroup’ following the extremely heavy snowfall in the Western Alps and storm conditions in the first 10 days of 2018. Snow has already begun falling in many areas with a few dozen resorts, mostly in Switzerland, reporting up to 25cm of fresh snow in the last 24 hours, bringing to an end a period of blue skies for many. The snowfall will also be accompaniued by strong top gale force winds at times. Many areas are expected to get 40-60cm, in most cases with the heaviest snow on Wednesday and Thursday;…

Deepest Base In Europe Passes 5 Metre Mark

The deepest reported snowbase in Europe has already passed the five metres mark – a total hardly touched on throughout last winter. Engelberg in Switzerland says it has 515cm (over 17 feet) of snow lying on its upper slopes following weekend snowfall. https://www.facebook.com/EngelbergTitlis/videos/2020702154606554/   The total comes as heavy snowfall returned to the Western Alps on Monday and Tuesday. Following Storm Eleanor last week this time there was a real focus of the especially heavy snow on the French –Italian border with resorts reporting up to 1.2 metres (four feet) of snow at Bardonecchia.  Pila reported 1 metre (40 inches) in the same period, as did ski areas like Sestriere and Sauze D’Oulx in the Milky Way. (Picture above credit…

Fresh Snow after Worst Start to Season For 33 Years in Colorado

There’s been much needed fresh snow in Western states Colorado, Utah and California over the weekend. The states, and most of their neighbours, have seen very little snow all season and struggled to open much terrain over the crucial Christmas and New Year holiday period. With some people claiming the season is seeing its worst start in the area for up to 50 years, the consensus is that in Colorado at least, it has been the worst start to winter for 33 seasons. More fresh snow, typically 15-30cm, is expected over the next three days across the region. https://www.facebook.com/SteamboatResort/videos/10155237215488963/   Steamboat in Colorado claims to currently have the most terrain open in Colorado, at around 80% of the total, crediting…

Third Ski Area Reported Open in North Korea

A third ski area is reported to have opened in North Korea.  Work on the new ski centre near the country’s northern city of Kanggye is reported to have only started in July but has been completed ahead of schedule according to the country’s media. They say it has two ski runs complete with snow making. North Korea’s ski ambitions are a matter of international political interest. The country’s second ski area, Masikryong or ‘Masik Pass’ (pictured) which opened in 2013 caused international controversy as there were concerns European companies had supplied lifts and snowmaking equipment against international sanctions, but it later transpired that equipment had been sold second hand via China where sanctions at the time on ‘luxury goods’…

Huge Snowfalls For End of 2017 in Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees

There have been some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far in Europe over the past 24 hours and the snowy conditions are expected to continue for at least the next week. The biggest reported snowfall of 120cm (four feet) was reported in the Dolomites, but ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have also reported up to a metre of snow so far too. This was a typical ski resort scene this morning, in this case at Damuls n Austria.   The snow in Europe follows some big snowfalls in Western North America (Up to 90cm in 48 hours) over Christmas which greatly improved conditions at resorts in Colorado and Utah which had been suffering one of…

Swiss Company Offers a Fondue in a Gondola Cabin

A Swiss events company is to stage three evenings of in-gondola-cabin fondues this winter. After the success of initial events in the resort of Villars, Tête à Tête events will be staging their inaugural “Fondue in the Sky” at Verbier and Crans Montana this season, as well as returning to Villars for a fourth staging of the event which sold out on the three previous occasions this year and last. The concept works by the company taking over a gondola lift in its entirety after it has finished its service to skiers for the day. Depending on the lift, the company can temporarily convert up to 70 cabins in to mini pop-up restaurants, inserting maid-to-measure tables between the two benches.…

Exceptionally Snowy Start to the 2017-18 Ski Season in the Alps (Dolomites, Pyrenees…)

The main ski season in Europe is having its best start for five years and if the snow continues to fall at its current rate, potentially the best start this century, with resorts in the Alps reporting up to 1.5m (five feet) of snow in the past week, up to 1.3m (4.3 feet) of bit in the last 72 hours. All this snow fall comes on top of regular snow dumps through October and November in many areas, along with low temperatures for snowmaking meaning there’s deep fresh powder on a good base at many areas, and pristine groomed slopes too.  60-90cm more snow is currently forecast coming up to the weekend in many regions too. https://www.facebook.com/avoriaz1800/videos/1897476413628377/   Around 80%…

$50m+ Of New lifts coming to Whistler Blackcomb For 2018-19

The new ski season is just starting but Vail Resorts, which bought North America’s biggest ski area Whistler Blackcomb in Canada late last year, has announced a bit spending spree at the famous BC ski resort. Vail will spend more than $50m (US) on three state-of-the-art new lifts to dramatically improve uplift speed and capacity on key routes, the company says. The first and biggest of the lifts will be a new gondola with 10-passenger cabins connecting to the famous Peak-2-Peak lift from Blackcomb base. It will replace the Wizard and Solar chairlifts and ascend to the top of Blackcomb Mountain, terminating adjacent to the existing PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which transports guests to and from Blackcomb and Whistler. Upon…

4 of 5 Highland Scottish Ski Centres Open For 17-18, Earliest Opening Ever for One

Four of the five Scottish ski centres have opened for the 2017-18 ski season this week. The first to open, Glencoe on the West Coast (pictured above this morning and in video below), said this was their earliest ever opening. https://www.facebook.com/GlencoeMountain/videos/1959031034124668/   Cairngorm opened a top-to-bottom run serviced by their funicular railway yesterday and posted the image below of some of the first arrivals.   The Lecht and Glenshee have both opened limited terrain today too. The four centres opening follows the opening of the ski runs by the Lowther Hills Ski Club in the south of Scotland last weekend. All four Highland centres report ‘early season conditions’ with thin, in some cases very thin, cover on parts of their open…

Scottish 17-18 Ski Season Close To Kick Off

Hopes of an early start to the Scottish ski season have risen as more snow has fallen through the past 24 hours. The Lowther Hills club field in southern Scotland (image from the local area taken this morning below) looks set to get bragging rights for being first in the country to open for 17-18 as it plans to open its slopes to members this evening after fresh snow overnight – subject to being able to persuade enough volunteers to man the facilities. In the Highlands Glencoe (pictured top) reported 10cm of snowfall in an hour today as part of ongoing snowstorms there. The snow cover at the five Highland centres is so far too thin but several centres have…