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Vail Resorts To Cover Its Entire Group Energy Use By Wind Power

One of the world’s largest ski resort operators, Vail Resorts, have announced investment in wind power which will ensure enough wind generated energy to offset 100% of the power needs of its 17 Canadian and US ski resorts by 2020. The agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy will produce enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with Vail Resorts’ estimated North American electricity use by 100 percent, which includes all of the company's 17 Canadian and US resorts and their associated retail, hospitality, and corporate offices. The company has announced a multimillion-dollar long-term wind energy contract with Lincoln Clean Energy which, among other things, will enable the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed…

Eco Heroes

The snowsports holidays we all love can sometimes be tough on the environment. But in every part of the industry, passionate pioneers are working hard to give them a sustainable future. Rupert Mellor goes out to investigate who the leaders of the eco movement are in the winter sports industry and discovers just a few of the initiatives of athletes, resorts and brands who are going that one step further to help our planet out. ACTIVISM For Gretchen Bleiler, US Olympic medallist and four times X Games champion snowboarder, days of rain and a melting halfpipe at 2006’s FIS World Cup in Saas-Fee, Switzerland were a wake-up call. ‘I’d seen Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth that year, and now…

More Resorts Opening Early as Heavy Snowfall Hits Colorado

Three more ski areas will open in Colorado today (November 7th, 2018), and they're all opening earlier than planned. The early-openings, which will take the number of areas already open in the famous ski state to six, are all the result of heavy and repeat snowfalls since early October.  Most of the state's ski areas have now seen more than a metre of snow and those already open report 60-80cm bases. Breckenridge and Keystone are both opening three days ahead of schedule, Eldora 10 days. https://www.facebook.com/eldoramountainresort/videos/10156036480567998/ Breckenridge (pictured below yesterday) has announced it will have 10 runs open today - three greens, two blues and five black diamond runs: Callie’s Alley, Spruce, High Anxiety, Rounders and Little Johnny It's a…

$35 Million Spend Planned for Queenstown Ski Areas

Two ski areas near Queenstown in New Zealand are about to see significant upgrades to their lift  fleets ahead of winter 2019 in the southern hemisphere. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski fields, where winter 2018 ended last month, are in line for   $35 million (NZ) in upgrades including a new 6-seater express chairlift from the base of The Remarkables, opening up access to brand new trails and providing fast laps through Remarks Parks; four parks plus the Southern Hemisphere’s only Burton Stash terrain park. The new lift is part of a large project that involves the entire redevelopment of the centre’s Sugar Bowl basin. This incorporates the new high-speed D-line Doppelmayr 6-seater chairlift starting from the base area and…

Where’s Open to Ski or Board Already in November?

It's early days of course and it might yet all go wrong but October has been a very promising early start to the 18-19 season, and we begin November with about 30 resorts already open, many of them having seen several feet of snowfall already. The USA received some record-breaking biggest-ever-October snowfalls in the middle of the month allowing Wolf Creek in Colorado to claim the kudos for being the first on the continent to open, but since then eight more have joined it from East to West coasts, and November will see dozens then hundreds more open through the month. In Europe things weren't looking great until the final weekend of the month when huge snowfalls arrived in the…

Weekend of October Snowfall Totals Up to 1m In Alps

A huge snowstorm currently hitting the Alps has now deposited up to a metre of snow over the past 72 hours, and some areas may see another metre before the end of October, with the heaviest snowfall yet expected today, 29th October. Passo Stelvio in Italy (pictured top yesterday) has reported a metre of snow.  It is a summer ski area open for six months from May to November and scheduled to end its 2018 season  this coming weekend.  The Diavolezza glacier ski area in Switzerland's Engadin region reported 85cm in 48 hours yesterday.  It opened for its 2018-19 ski season just over a week ago. In Austria, Solden, which was staging the first weekend of Wild Cup racing for…

Unprecedented Numbers of US Resorts Open Early For Season

An unusually high number of ski areas in the US have opened already for the 2018-19 ski season, with more planning to open this weekend, whilst it's still October. Last winter only Arapahoe Basin and the near-year-round snowfield above Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon were open before November and there's are rarely more than two or three areas open before Halloween in any year. This October however has seen unusually big pre-season snowfalls, particularly in states like Colorado and Utah; as well as consistent cold weather for snowmaking. Wolf Creek in Colorado (above) opened first, the weekend before last, and it was joined by Arapahoe Basin and Loveland last weekend. But ski areas on the US East coast…

New Red and Black Runs For Courmayeur

Courmayeur by Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco as it is known on the Italian side) in the Aosta Valley has announced 1.3km of piste which is roughly divided between successive red and black slopes. The new lift is in the resort’s Arp sector which is in the process of being reborn decades after the Apetta ski lift which used to serve the area was dismantled.  A new lift is reported to be now in the works over the next few years, but in the meantime, the new runs will be opening. The Arp sector provides wonderful views of the southern side of Mont Blanc but until this winter only freeriders have been able to ski there, setting off from the…

Second French Ski Area Unable To Open For Autumn Glacier Skiing

Les 2 Alpes has cancelled its autumn glacier skiing week due to a lack of snow cover on its glacier, joining Tignes, which has been unable to start operating its autumn glacier skiing, which had been scheduled to start in late September. Les 2 Alpes (library picture above) doesn’t open for the season until December, but for several decades has opened for a special week of snowsports on its glacier, which it says is the largest in the Alps, at the end of October and the start of November. A statement issued by the resort says, “The Security Commission decided that it is impossible to open the glacier to the skiers because of high temperatures and lack of natural snow, as…

North American Ski Season Starts on Saturday

A ski resort in Colorado has announced it will open for the 2018-19 ski season on Saturday, 13th October, 2018. The decision by Wolf Creek ski area follows heavy snowfall in Western North America which saw some ski areas report as much as 70cm of snow in 72 hours during the week.  Wold creek says it has had 69cm.  A blue sky day is expected on Saturday, although with temperatures still low. “Wolf Creek received 10 inches in the last 24 hours and 27 inches in 72 hours.  The all-natural settled base is 21 inches at the midway with 27 inches year-to-date this season,” a resort spokesperson said, adding, “Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova lifts will also be operating with…