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Bulgarian Ski Areas Launch ‘Winter Sports Boost Your Health’ Message

The Sofia Globe newspaper is reporting that Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Mariana Nikolova is to launch a ‘Winter sports boost your health’ message to promote ski tourism in the country this winter. The message is the latest in an increasingly vocal movement from European ski resorts that, they believe, the benefits of getting out in to the mountains for an individuals mental and physical health outweigh the risks of spreading the virus. Earlier in the year the ski resort of Bansko announced it would offer free ski breaks to the country’s frontline healthcare workers who were involved in the medical response to the pandemic in the spring. The Sofia Globe also reports that mid-range hotels in the country may also be…

Colorado Expects Heavy Snowfall But Major Resort Delays Opening

The start of the 2020-21 ski season in Colorado is playing out, so far, like no other. That was to be expected with pandemic restrictions in place which had already led Vail resorts to say that as kits ski areas open this month only season pass holders will be able to ski at its resorts this month, and for one of the usual early-openers, Copper Mountain, to delay their opening this year, among many other restrictions. However more random factors are also at play besides the virus – a rather warm, dry autumn and some major forest fires. These are being given as the reason why several of the states high ski areas – Arapahoe Basin and Loveland – have…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #164

Issued: 04 November 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Unfortunately (it is never good to start a weekly snow report with this word), the good progression through autumn 2020 towards the start of the main season has hit a major bump in the road. It’s not due to snow conditions, which remain better than average up on higher slopes, but the resurging virus. It has led Austria, France, Germany and Italy (so far) to go into November lockdowns and close their ski areas.So whilst we have some new areas open that weren’t open a week ago, about 10 of the three dozen ski areas that had opened in October and planned to stay…

10 Swiss Areas Open This Weekend, But Pandemic Measures Increase

10 Swiss ski areas are set to open this weekend, overtaking Austria to become the country with the most areas open in the world at present. Andrematt, Arosa, Laax (pictured top) and Verbier have all announced they’re opening runs on their higher terrain following the good October snowfalls.   They join already-open Saas Fee, Zermatt, Engelberg, Diavolezza Glacier (St Moritz), Glacier 3000 (Les Diablerets/Gstaad) and Davos. Some areas that have been open for months already say they'll be offering more terrain from this weekend as they switch to 'winter operation'. Saas fee say they'll have more than 40km of runs open. It’s notable though that after recent bad publicity in the Alps for glacier areas showing long and apparently not…

New Guidebook Lists 100 Ultimate Skiing Adventures

A new guidebook that’s due to be published next week aims to take skiers on a voyage around the planet’s biggest and best destinations, as well as some of the most unusual ski spots. Compiled by award-winning journalist (and occasional White Room contributor!) Alf Alderson, 100 Ultimate Skiing Adventures covers everywhere from the huge mega-resorts of the French Alps to sailing along Iceland’s north coast in search of great snow. The inspirational descriptions of 100 locations combine Alf’s personal experience with the input of experts in all aspects of skiing and mountain sports and are accompanied by stunning full-page photography from some of the world’s foremost ski photographers. The book is divided into sections on Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North…

New Italian–Austrian Cross-Border Ski Area Gets Go Ahead in Italy

Plans for a new ski connection crossing an international border have been given the green light by the regional government on the Italian side, but still needs approving on the Austrian side. The link between the Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks) ski area on the Italian side and the Sillian Hochpustertal ski area in Austria’s East Tyrol is believed to be the first cross-border ski area between the two countries although Italy has several ski piste and lift links to France, as well as the Cervinia- link to Zermatt in Switzerland and the most recently opened link to Slovenia across the former iron curtain. Austria also has a cross border connection to Switzerland between Ischgl and Samnaun. The Drei Zinnen area,…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #163

Issued: 28 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Whilst coronavirus restrictions continue to loom over the ski areas of Europe, as infection rates rise in most countries, the 2020-21 ski season continues to build momentum with more famous ski resorts opening at the weekend; you could hit the slopes at Cervinia, Kitzbuhel and Davos from last weekend.Unfortunately, in Cervinia’s case, a new national lockdown was announced in Italy on Sunday, starting Monday 26th October. The conditions are not quite as strict as their spring lockdown and with the stated aim of beating the current second wave of the virus, there could be winter holidays. The resort closed after two days by government…

Southern Hemisphere’s 2020 Season Over

The southern hemisphere’s 2020 ski season has ended sooner than hoped with the last ski areas open on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand closing earlier than expected due to warm weather. All ski areas in the southern hemisphere other than the two on Ruapehu had closed by Mid-October, but Ruaphu’s operators had hoped to keep Whakapapa open until next weekend, then re-open Turoa for the first half of November, but that plan has now been ditched. (Ruapehu is pictured above and below 10 days ago) “Unfortunately due to the warm conditions we have decided to make this the last day here at Whakapapa,” a statement from Ruapehu Lifts earlier today, continuing, “It has been a challenging season but we feel…

Some Italian Ski Resorts Close Until November 24th

(Updated 17.00 26 October) Italy has closed most entertainment and leisure facilities including ski centres in a month long ‘mini-lockdown’. However it seems not all are following the 'national directive' so far, due to the country's regional structure. The new national ‘partial lockdown’ announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began on Monday 26th October and is less severe than the March lockdown, but gyms, swimming pools, wellness centres and ski resorts are listed as required to close.  Italians are also being urged not to travel between regions. However the picture has been fast-moving and confused with different Italian regions wanting to take different approaches and some reports indicating centres can open for race team training, but not recreational skiing. On…

New Ski Resort Planed for Kamchatka

A ski resort project has been unveiled for the remote Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East of Russia. The resort, to be named Three Volcanoes Park will be built in a spectacular location with views of the Moutnovsky V, Vilyuchik and Gorely Volcanoes, according to local reports. Kamchatka is known for its spectacular, remote, generally snowsure mountains and has long been a cult destination for heliskiers to aspire to visit. The global HKS architectural firm has won the contract to design the mountain resort, working with the resort’s creators Three Volcano Park LLC, with the objective of creating a year-round mountain destination “rather than a pure ski resort” reports say, “with a focus on the ecological side of the Kamchatka…