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Many Major US and Candian Ski Areas Start Closing Early Due to Coronavirus

Many of the leading ski resorts in the USA are closing due to the coronavirus outbreak in a major change from the policy of the past week. The country's two biggest groups Vail Resorts and Alterra, which together operate nearly 50 of North America's resorts, flipped from saying they intended to stay open at the start of yesterday to announcing closure of their resorts later in the day. This includes resorts such as Whistler, Heavenly, Vail, Breckenridge (pictured above last week), Park City, Stowe, Tremblant and many others. Aspen, which has had at least nine positive coronavirus cases but had said it would keep operating, is also now closing, as are quite a few other resorts. Vail says the closure…

More than 500 Ski Areas in Europe Now Closed by Coronavirus

The number of ski areas closed by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe is accelerating rapidly and is now believed to have passed the 500 mark. Around half of those closed are in Italy, where the country went in to ‘lock down’ with many measures including closing all ski resorts earlier this week. Today it has been announced all ski areas in the Austrian province of Tyrol will close from this weekend. That includes many of the world’s most famous destinations including Kitzbuhel, Innsbruck, Solden and St Anton. Many of Norway’s ski areas have also announced they are closing too including Trysil, pictured. Here resorts decided whether or not they should stay open, based on government advice that they ensure they…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #129

Issued: 11 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American Roundup European Roundup Asia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA The past week has been much calmer in North America than recent periods with much less snowfall reported anywhere than has been the case for most of our reports this year. What fresh snow has fallen has largely been in the west of the continent with some good snowfalls of one to two feet (30-60cm) reported in the Rockies, California and further north up in Alaska, Alberta and BC. It's been less good news for eastern parts where, after some good snowfalls recently, temperatures have warmed up considerably with periods of rainfall too. That should improve over the next few days though.…

Ski Areas in Six Countries Pass 4m (13 feet+) Base Depth Mark

The recent heavy snowfall in many parts of the skiing wold has boosted bases at resorts which had previously been fairly static for much of 2020 to date. Around 20 ski areas worldwide ae now posting bases of 4 metres (13.3 feet) or deeper on their upper runs, half of them in France. In the Alps, La Plagne in France (pictured bottom) has moved to post the deepest base in the continent at 4.9 metres, which is also third deepest in the world at present. France now has more ski areas, including Avoriaz, Flaine and Les Arcs too, with more than 4 metres (13 feet) lying on their higher slopes than any other country. In Austria St Anton has moved…

The Ski Map of the World

The biggest ever ski map, basically a ski map of the entire world, is now available online, and is looking for any skiers or boarders anywhere to help make it bigger and better still. OpenSnowMap is a community-created and maintained ski map of the world, displaying more than 150,000km of ski pistes on its website. Skiers and snowboarders can browse the map from Antarctica to Alaska, from California to Japan and look at the pistes available in each and every resort, from the smallest to the largest. The coverage goes from the incredibly dense network of nordic trails around Oslo (Norway), to the biggest Alpine resorts of the Alps, to tiny hills in small Slovenian villages. The project doesn’t ‘own’…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #128

Issued: 04 March 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Lots of snowfall in Eastern North America right now. Vermont's Smugglers' Notch Resort reports 20" (50cm) in the past 30 hours (that's the same in metric…) which brings them to 203 inches (510cm) season to date. It has been a pretty snowy week across North America with ski areas in the East getting some of the biggest falls, in most cases more than expected, whilst there's been more snowfall in the West where bases are approaching six metres (20 feet) now in the Pacific Northwest corner, where it has hardly stopped dumping since Christmas. Stowe in Vermont posted more than a metre (40 inches)…

New Secondhand Skiwear Reselling Site Launched

A new website where skiers can buy and sell send hand skiwear has launched. The site’s co-founders Nicola Davenport and Sally Warren say they were inspired by the  #ClimateEmergency and the success of the trend for second-hand fashion to create their peer-to-peer marketplace: WhoSki.com “Outdoors clothing is almost impossible to recycle because of the mixed fabrics and specialised coatings. In landfill, it takes literally hundreds of years to decompose. At the charity shop, it’s hard to shift. If you haven’t got a family or friends network to pass on your unwanted or outgrown ski wear, it’s unlikely to find a new home,” said Nicola Davenport. WhoSki.com is marketed as, “…the off-piste way to boost you and your family’s on-piste style…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #127

Issued: 26 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup Summer snowfall reported in New Zealand at Mt Hutt. INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Copper Mountain, in Colorado, had another 10" (25cm) of new snow in 24 hours making this their snowiest February on record with 88 (2.2 metres) so far and it's still falling! In North America there’s been more heavy snowfall in the Rockies. The Pacific Northwests has also received heavy falls almost every week so far this year and resorts in Alaska are continuing the trend this week too.  Western Canada has also seen some more healthy snowfalls with up to 46m (18 inches) in 72 hours to start this week, reported in BC. It’s been…

New Steepest Piste in Europe Opens in Austria

What is claimed to be the steepest groomed ski run ever opened in the Alps with a pitch of nearly 88% (more than 41 degrees) has been unveiled this weekend at Austria's Kaunertal Glacier. The Black Ibex piste pitches at up to 87.85%, which the resort's operators are keen to stress is steeper than the steepest part of the famous Streif slope used in the annual Hahnenkamm downhill races in Kitzbuhel (pictured below). The Harakiri piste above Mayrhofen has built a reputation as Austria’s steepest slope for more than a decade.  It reaches a pitch of 78% over its 375 metres of vertical. However the Lange Zug “extreme ski route” above Lech in the Arlberg, was already steeper with a…

Australian Resort Destroyed By Bushfires Won’t Open This Winter

The Blyton Group which owns Selwyn Snow Resort in Australia’s New South Wales has announced that due to the extent of the damage sustained in the bushfires last month, the ski area will be unable to open for the 2020 snow season. However it will be rebuilt “even better”. An initial assessment of critical resort infrastructure has identified extensive damage to buildings, power, water, sewerage and snowmaking. Selwyn Snow Resort has been advised that restoration of power alone will take several months, due to the damage of several kilometres of power poles leading to the resort. Preparations for the clean-up of the site are underway with demolition of all buildings required, as well as the removal of destroyed resort machinery…