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Ski Resorts

Saudi Arabia Bids to Host Asian Winter Games at As Yet Unbuilt SkI Area

Saudi Arabia has submitted a bid to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a ski area it plans to build in the Sarawat mountains, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the Red Sea coast. However work on the ski area has not yet commenced. Trojena Sports City has been promoted as an “all year ski village” but it remains unclear how this will be achieved. The Sarawat mountains, which peak at 3,666m over the border in Yemen, are a little cooler than the surrounding area and occasionally see a dusting of snow in winter, but it seems too warm for conventional snowmaking machines. Promotional videos for the project, which appear to show animations of skiers skiing uphill into…

Chairlift and Restaurant Upgrades Above Verbier For 22-23 Winter

Téléverbier SA and Télé-Thyon SA are working with the Swiss lift manufacturer, Bartholet Maschineuabu AG, to replace the fixed chairlift in La Pasay in the Bruson sector of the 4 Valleys with a detachable six-seater chairlift complete with weather hood. The journey time will be reduced from eleven to five minutes and the chair, designed by Porsche Design Studio, will allow guests to enjoy a ride with maximum comfort, whatever the weather. The lift will operate at an initial capacity of 1,600 people per hour and will travel 1,485 metres. Replacing the chairlift is not the only project underway in Bruson this summer, the La Pasay snack bar will be fully renovated and extended to transform it into a traditional,…

India’s Auli To Become “Global Winter Sports Destination”

The long-established Indian ski area at Auli is to be redeveloped into a “global winter sports destination” according to reports from the region. The announcement was made by the local Uttarakhand region’s Chief Secretary SS Sandhu who said that “…the master plan is almost in its final stage.” Auli, known for its stunning natural beauty, is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, in the Indian Himalayas in the far north of the country. Currently the ski area is operated by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVNL), a state government agency and existing facilities include a 4 kilometre (2.5 mi) long gondola lift, a chairlift and a drag lift. Chief Secretary Sandhu said the government wanted to press on…

Cervinia Prepares for Summer Ski Season After Reporting Record Winter Business

Cervinia Prepares for Summer Ski Season After Reporting Record Winter Business Cervinia is due to open for summer skiing this Saturday, June 25th, taking the number of ski areas open in Europe back up to 10. Much of the ski area that will be accessed from Cervinia is open already, as it is the same area accessed from Zermatt on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn year-round.  However, if open, summer  skiing on the Italian side does descend down one run to Laghi Cime Bianche at 2,840m. This is where the new World Cup Downhill race course will host races in the last weekend of October and first weekend of November this autumn. Cervinia said it unexpectedly managed to make…

A New Chairlift in Iceland

Iceland’s largest ski area of Bláfjöll, located only 30km from capital Reykjavik, is currently working on the construction of a new chairlift due to open next winter, it’s first for nearly two decades. Iceland has about a dozen small ski areas, most with just a few surface lifts.  Bláfjöll offers about 15km of slopes served by 15 lifts, again most of them drags but it does has two existing double chairlifts and one quad chairlift.  The new chairlift, a Doppelmayr built fixed-grip quad, will operate in the south of the ski area. The resort says it is also investing in the resort’s first snowmaking system. Bláfjöll ended their season in mid-May saying they only managed to open for 55 days…

Niseko Announces 2022-23 Season Dates

Japan’s Niseko ski area has announced that it is aiming to open the Niseko United ski region for the 22-23 season on 2nd December 2022. It’s expected that the season will run for just over five months to Friday, 5th May, 2023 although initial season confirmation is to Sunday, April 2nd. The Annupuri and Grand Hirafu sectors have specified 2nd December with Hanazono and Niseko Village sectors currently stating ‘ early December’. Excitement levels for next winter, which the resort hopes will be the first when international guests have been able to visit for skiing for three years, are such that the resort has set a second-by-second countdown to the start of the season, over five months away. Last week…

2022 Ski Season Underway in South America

Most of the leading ski areas in Argentina and Chile have opened for the 2022 season. For some it is their first operations since 2019.  It is also the first time in three years that skiers from around the world can head back to the Andes. Various restrictions remain in place, but it is possible at least to travel so long as you meet the criteria – now largely focused on ensuring you have adequate medical insurance to cover repatriation if required. Conditions at most areas are good after up to a metre (40”) of snowfall in June and generally low temperatures this month. Portillo in Chile opened a week early after big snowfalls there. The centre just managed to…

New Zealand Hit by Huge Snowstorm as 2022 Season Starts

New Zealand’s 2022 season was due to start last Friday at Mt Hutt but that has been delayed due to a huge storm hitting the area over the weekend. There also hadn’t been a lot of natural snowfall or cold weather for snowmaking until the storm began last Tuesday. But now, with up to 1.2m (four feet) of snow lying and three metre (10 feet) drifts left by the storm, resort managers and marketing staff are describing conditions as “epic” and “Perhaps the greatest opening conditions ever”. Cardrona, scheduled to open on Saturday, did so as the storm was still building, with just beginner terrain.  It was forced to close again Sunday as the storm intensified. Cardrona said then it…

Blackcomb Glacier Re-Opens For Summer Skiing After 3 Years

Summer skiing and snowboarding is possible again on the Blackcomb glacier above Whistler in BC from this weekend. It’s the first time that the glacier has operated in late spring/early summer for snow sports since 2019. It was possible for it to operate during the pandemic and other facilities in Whistler were open, leading to fears summer skiing and boarding were being dropped altogether until this year’s re-opening was announced.  The centre is due to operate for just over a month, to mid-July. However there is a change from before with the glacier exclusively reserved for private ‘summer camp’ ski and boarding schools’ use, not public access.     “Ski and Snowboard ability level must be advanced to expert, no exceptions.…

Australian Resort Closed by Fire Unable to Re-open Due to Snow

In an ironic twist of events, and Australian ski area that was largely destroyed by bush fires at the start of 2020 and had been rebuilding with a big reopening planned on 2nd July, has now had to delay that date due to huge snowfalls in Australia in recent weeks stopping the final rebuilding work.   I appears that the resort will not now open at all this winter after all. Nichole Overall MP, member for Monaro said, “Given these incredible efforts, it makes the decision not to be able to open at this time – brought on by the very thing we’ve been wishing for, record snow – even more heart-breaking, for the operators, everyone on site and the…

New Zealand Ski Areas Work For Gender Equality in Snowsports

The jointly-owned New Zealand ski areas on Cardrona and Treble Cone have launched a campaign to encourage equal representation of women in snow sports.   “At the end of 2020, our team took stock of gender representation in our social media content,” says Laura Hedley, General Manager of Experience for Cardrona and Treble Cone. “It quickly became clear that we were perpetuating gender stereotypes, often reducing women to ‘lifestyle’ content.” The research revealed that Cardrona and Treble Cone social media audiences consist of nearly 45% women. Despite this, during Winter 2020, only 29% of skiing and snowboarding content featured women in any way. Posts showing women actively participating was even less, at 15% of total, and in many cases were…

Australian Area Opening For Winter 22 Early, This Weekend

A huge snowstorm currently hitting Australia has led the country’s largest ski area, Perisher, to announce it will open a week earlier than planned, this coming weekend. With perfect timing for the start of the 2022 ski season, the storm has already brought more than 30cm (a foot) of snowfall to Perisher’s slopes and another end of the week.  Other Australian ski areas are reporting similar accumulations with Mt Buller describing the storm as, “A ripper start to the season.” The resort has announced that the Perisher Front Valley slopes served by the Village 8 Express chairlift, Mitchell T-Bar and Carpet #4 will be open and that lifts will begin loading at 8:30am. “Early season protocols are in place: Early…