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Ski Resorts

At Least 8 US Ski Areas in 4 States Expected to Be Open This Weekend

At least eight US ski areas are expected to be open this weekend, thanks to snowfall across the western side of the continent, including some of the first decent dumps of fall in California. Mammoth Mountain has announced it will open nearly a week earlier than planned, this Saturday. A number of other Californian ski areas have hinted they might open, but have not yet confirmed. Sugar Bowl in California Brian Head has also announced it will be the first to open in Utah. Colorado will have five areas open with Loveland joining Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Winter Park, which posted its earliest ever opening earlier this week on Halloween. The Midwest actually had the first areas open in North…

Japan Ski Resorts You May Not Have Heard Of

By Contributor Mike Humphrey  Intrepid travelers, are you looking to find unknown wintery Japan Ski destinations? Japan's powder, vast expanses, and friendly locals make it a favorite destination for international skiers. Most end up heading to Niseko, Hakuba Valley, Nozawa Onsen, or Shiga Kogen. But Japan has over 500 other resorts offering unique Japanese ski experiences. The following list is different from what you find on most sites. For those adventurous few we’ll have you clicking into your bindings away from the crowds. Not for the faint of heart, this list will require you to brush up on your Japanese and get out of your comfort zone. We scoured Japan's renowned alpine resorts to bring you a list of 11…

Snowy Weather in Western North America As More Resorts Open For 22-23

The weather had taken a turn for the better in western North America over the past week with heavy snowfall for many at the start of the week followed by low temperatures and more snow up high over the past few days. Arapahoe Basin was the first in Colorado to open last Sunday (pictured top), more down to its snowmaking efforts through October than the snowfall but looking good. A second Colorado area, Keystone, will open tomorrow (Friday) and says it has a two-mile long slope ready to roll.  A third area, Loveland, has groomers on the hill and also appears close to opening. The heaviest snowfall so far though has been reported in Utah and Montana where Alta and…

New Zealand’s Largest Ski Area Enters Voluntary Administration

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited (RAL), which runs the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski fields on Mt Ruapehu on New Zealand’s North Island, claiming the two areas combined are the country’s largest ski resort,  has gone into voluntary administration. The move follows tough operating years during the pandemic when New Zealand’s ski areas were able to operate but could not receive international visitors, then a disastrous winter 2022 for snowfall. "The Company has had a very difficult last three years, with the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, paired with poor weather this season, meaning that the business has been placed under significant cash flow pressure," a statement from the newly appointed administrators explains. Local politicians have called for Government support saying the move…

New Zealand’s Ski Season Continuing into November

Most of New Zealand’s ski areas have now ended their 2022 seasons, but half-a-dozen or so are planning to keep open for a week or two more, with one aiming for at least partial operation into November. Mt Hutt currently has the deepest base in the country and plans to keep its runs open until November 24th.  It then plans to keep its terrain park operating for ‘spring sessions’  for another fortnight through to at least November the 6th - …less than four weeks from the start of summertime in the country. “Bust out that Hawaiian shirt, pack the sunscreen and get the rig ready for an additional two weeks of park focused skiing and riding. Some choose to don…

Canada Drop All Covid Border Restrictions

Canada has dropped all remaining travel restrictions related to the pandemic meaning vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from anywhere in the world can enter without restrictions. The changes came into effect on 1st October. Canada had lifted most travel restrictions ahead of last winter allowing international travellers back in, but then reintroduced random testing in the summer at a limited number of international airports – but ones key to skiers including Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver, at the time Back at the start of July “For us, bookings have slowed for Canada for 22-23 ski holidays in the last couple of weeks with the announcement they are returning to randomised airport testing on arrival,” Scott Britton, Head of Commercial at the UK’s…

Fresh September Snowfall in the Alps and Dolomites

The hottest spring and summer on record in Europe's mountain has come to an end with snowfall reported down to around 1500-1800 metres in the Alps and Dolomites overnight. Hintertux, the only ski area that has managed to keep operating its glacier slopes, posted pictures (including the one above) of fresh snowfall there. Ski areas in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland also posted images of snowfall on their higher slopes. Chamonix in France is pictured at the end of this report. Italy's Dolomiti Superski posted images of snowfall in the Dolomites too, highlighting the wide extent of the snowfall, including this picture of Falcade. A number of glacier resorts have either opened or announced they are opening or re-opening to…

World’s Largest Ski Resort Operator Announces Limits on Skier Numbers on Their Slopes

Vail Resorts, which operates more than 40 ski areas in the USA, Australia, Canada and Switzerland, say they’ll be limited the number of people allowed on the slopes at each of their North American resorts every day of the coming ski season. “Lift tickets will be limited every day, across every resort, during the 2022/23 season in order to preserve the guest experience at each resort,” a company statement explains. Limiting guest numbers is not new, resorts like Lech in Austria have done so for decades to preserve the quality of the experience, while all ski areas have safety limits on skier numbers too. “Guests planning to visit this winter – whether one day or every day – are encouraged…

China’s Ski Resort Building Boom Slows But Skier Numbers Grow

The 2022 edition of the China Ski Industry White Book has been published – updating the statistics available on skiing in the country as of the end of the 21-22 season, which included the Olympic and Paralympic period in February this year. China has seen a meteoric rise in the number of ski areas operating across the country from just a handful at the turn of the century to reaching over 700 in 2020.  This gives them currently the most ski areas in the world numerically – although many are small, simple centres with just one or two carpet lifts and a snowmaking machine. The new China Ski Industry White Book, authored by long-time China ski industry expert Wu Bin,…

Japan To Ease Travel Restrictions Ahead of Ski Season

Japan, the last major ski nation with strict COVID travel restrictions in place, has announced significant easing of its rules. Japan’s public broadcasting service, NHK, have reported that individual travellers will be permitted to enter the country again from September in the ongoing normalisation process of travel. Previoulys, after having closed their borders for more than two years, Japan resumed accepting tourists from 98 countries on June 10th, but only if they arrived as part of escorted group tours. This did see the numbers arriving from abroad jump from zero to nearly 8,000 in July, but that compared to nearly 2.4 million foreign nationals visiting the in January 2020, before the arrival of the virus and border closure. Japan has…

Swiss Resort Tunnels Piste Through Mountain As Its Glaciers Melt Away

Switzerland’s Glacier 3000 ski area, close to the village of Les Diablerets and resort of Gstaad, has been in the news for several reasons this month, some good, some bad. On the ‘good side’ for skiers and boarders is the news that the resort has dug 100 metres of a 265m long tunnel to provide new access to what it describes as the ‘mythical’ Pierres Pointes sector.  The tunnel will emerge high in the sector and the 3km (nearly 2 miles) long black run emerging from it will pitch at up to 41 degrees below it with a huge 1,000m+ vertical descent down to Pillon (1546m) in the valley below.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FwsnAXlVaE On the bad side, the melting of the…

Only One Ski Area Likely To Be Open In Northern Hemisphere After 21st August

As hot weather continues to impact the Alps and many other mountainous areas around the world, it looks like only one ski area will be open for the final 10 days of August and into September in the northern hemisphere. The number of centres currently open is already at a historic low, with just two areas left open to the skiing public in Europe and one in North America. Two of these have announced they plan to end their seasons on August 21st. This will leave, all being well, Hintertux in the Austrian Tirol (pictured top today) the only ski area still operating. It’s one of two ski centres that usually aim to keep their glacier slopes open 365 days…