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Fresh July Snowfall on Four Continents, North and South of The Equator

There’s been fresh snowfall in the past few days in Europe and North America in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as in South America, Australia and New Zealand. The most unusual snowfall was in Norway where the Fonna Glacier (pictured top today), one of three currently open for skiing in the country, was closed on Friday 3rd June as 35cm (14 inches) of snow fell, closing the centre’s access road. It’s not that unusual for fresh snow at any point in the summer on Norwegian glaciers, but it’s less common for it to happen as part of snowfall happening around the world. Higher slopes in parts of North America have also reported fresh snow although all but Timberline in Oregon…

Skiing in June and a look forward

At the time of my last report a few ski areas around Japan were still bravely remaining open in increasingly pressured circumstances. That situation did not last too long as the Japanese government was forced to announce a country-wide ‘state of emergency’. Interestingly, the Japanese government is not actually able to legally declare a ‘lockdown’ like other countries have experienced over the last few months. The Japan state of emergency was essentially more of a strong request for co-operation, and it was one that most people and businesses complied with. As of late May, the state of emergency has now been lifted in all regions of Japan. There has been skiing and snowboarding available in May though. The Yokoteyama and…

Ski Industry Professionals Feel Huge Impact of COVID-19, But Most Believe Resorts Will Open Next Winter

A recent survey of UK snowsports industry professionals conducted by Ski Press,as PR and Marketing company specialising in the winter sports and mountain destination travel sector and Skipedia, which specialises in digital marketing for the ski industry, has revealed the damage that COVID-19 has had on their businesses and what they believe the future might hold over the next year. Some of the key findings concluded that: •             82% of companies suffered reduced sales due to the premature end to the 2019-20 season, with two-thirds experiencing lower than usual sales for winter 2020-21 so far. •             Almost 1 in 5 have made staff redundant and a quarter are concerned they could go out of business. •             Although almost all expect…

Norwegian Glacier with 12 Metre / 40 Feet Base Opening For 2020 Summer Ski Season on May 1st

Norway’s Folgefonn (“Fonna”) Glacier summer ski area has announced it has reached agreement with its local municipality to open for the ski season from Friday May 1st. The area, one of three small Norwegian glacier summer ski areas, has been posting pictures of incredible snowfall over the past month and reports the snow lying over 12 metres / 40 feet deep. It is still in the process of just digging out the access road to the ski area, a job which has been going on for five weeks. Norway relaxed its lockdown rules slightly last week and now allows small gatherings of people and small ski areas in the country have been able to apply to their local municipalities to…

Double Punch!

Greetings to you all from Japan. I hope this finds you safe. I so much want to try and make this not be all about coronavirus and gloomy news. No doubt we are all close to overload on that subject! But, alas, it’s almost impossible to ignore the subject given the impact that it is having on all our lives - including the operations of ski resorts and access to our beloved snow. I’ll start off with the good news: some ski resorts in Japan remain open. Over recent weeks I have been noticing that ski resorts around the world have been closing due to restrictions being imposed by various lockdowns. It does feel kind of odd - and certainly…

Last Paradise Revealed

It has taken a lifetime to create the film “Last Paradise” and now its underlying messages have become extremely relevant in these times of pandemic and enforced isolation. The film dips in to a 45-year story of adventure and innovation to reveal the big picture of our world today. In these times of global lockdown people are being challenged to evaluate and rethink their lives and the true meaning of “wealth”. Our lifestyle and even our investments are suddenly facing the ultimate acid test. Whilst some that have focused on wealth creation are seeing their castles crumble, others who have focussed more on lifestyle are seeing their investments pay off like never before. Some people are trapped in concrete caves…

Fonna Glacier Reports 11 Metre (36 Feet) Snow Depth

Norway's Fonna Glacier reports that the snow is lying 11 metres (36 feet) deep on its glacier. The centre is one of three summer-ski areas in the country and had planned to open for the season at Easter. All ski areas in Norway are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic so that date looks unlikely.  However the huge snow depth means the centre could open later in the spring or early summer if restrictions can be lifted. The ski season in Scandinavia has been very mixed, even without the impact of the virus.  Record average high temperatures in central and southerly parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden had caused operating difficulties due to lack of snow for many areas.…

Dave McCoy, Founder of Mammoth Mountain, Dies Aged 104

Dave McCoy, one of the remaining legends from the early history of downhill skiing, and one of the biggest names in ski resort development through much of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 104. Born in 1915, McCoy’s legend include the fact that he made his first skis himself whilst still at school, and then became Californian state skiing champion aged 22. He set up his first rudimentary ski area in 1938, before hitting on the more snowsure location for Mammoth Mountain in 1942. Mammoth started with a simple home-made roadside rope tow, powered by an old truck engine, but over the next 63 years, McCoy and his wife Roma, whom he’d met in the late 1930s,…

Deepest Snow This Century as Swedish Lapland Spring Ski Centres Open For 2020 Season

There’s reported to be the most snowy lying on the Kiruna mountains in Northern Sweden for more than 20 years, as ski areas there begin to open for their 2020 ski season. Measuring depths at Katterjåkk, 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of the region’s capital Kiruna, the Swedish Meteorological Institute found the snow currently lying 169cm (just under six feet) deep,  the largest amount of snow at the start of February in just over 20 years. The last time snowfall was measured deeper was in January 1997 when it measured 180 cm. The two ski areas operated by Lapland Resorts within the Arctic circle in Northern Sweden don’t open for skiing until February each year due to the darkness at…

Ready, set, go! Active winter holiday in Zillertal

Creating the very first tracks in the snow early in the morning, feeling the fresh air on your skin and a unique alpine panorama all around you ... This is the start to a perfect skiing day. But it takes a bit more to fully enjoy the mountaintops. You can experience what that is in Zillertal in Tyrol. The valley combines fun in the snow in every conceivable form with mountain cabin fun, romantic excursions and off-piste action. The following is an inspiration of what it takes to make the winter holiday with your loved ones perfect. © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH, Andre Schönherr Hintertuxer Glacier: What the King of the Valley has to offer A valley that guarantees piste fun?…