Search Our News Hub

Unseasonable Warmth Strips Swiss Slopes of Snow, Leaving Ski Resorts Empty

In an alarming demonstration of climate change's impact, the Swiss ski resort Dent-de-Vaulion confronts an unprecedented winter crisis. January's warmth, a concerning 2°C above the 1990-2020 average, has left the resort's slopes barren during what should be the peak season. According to the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Switzerland is warming at nearly double the global average. This alarming trend is particularly evident in mountainous regions, which are known to trap heat more effectively. The present conditions at Dent-de-Vaulion are troubling, with temperatures rising to 9°C, far exceeding the typical January average of -1°C. Forecasts suggest a continued rise, potentially reaching 11°C. Over the current weekend, temperatures at the summit (1,707m) are predicted to hover around 8 degrees…

New World Record Set In Ski Mountaineering

A new world record for the most vertical metres climbed while ski touring in a 24 hour period has been set. Jakob Herrmann, took to the slopes of his home mountain of Radstadt in Austria on January 27th at 3:00pm and kept going to complete 34 x 710 metre vertical ascents, a total of over 24,000 metres climbed. With the ascent length 2.5km per run, he also climbed 85 kilometre (53 miles) in the same period.   Herrmann’s total of 24,242 vertical metres covered beat the previous record set by Kilian Jornet at  Molde, Norway in 2019, which stood at 23,486 vertical metres within 24 hours, by 756 metres. "It has always been a dream of mine to be on…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #227

Issued: 31st January 2024 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European Roundup North America Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview Skiers in much of Europe could be forgiven for thinking we're approaching the start of April, not the start of February, with high pressure dominating and bringing sunny weather and warmer temperatures; much too warm for late January with the freezing point climbing above 3,000m in most regions. Thankfully, the large amount of early winter snowfall means that the snow is lying deep enough to withstand this and slopes remain open in most areas, with conditions remaining good for runs above 2,000m. However, there is a battle to keep runs lower down open, and the more southerly and low-lying centres are facing the…

Swedish Ski Area Operating Fossil Fuel Free

30th January 2024 A small ski area on the outskirts of Stockholm has begun operating with entirely green electric powered machinery from today (30th January, 2024), its owners, the SkiStar Group, have announced. As of 2024, the entire vehicle fleet at Hammarbybacken ski area near Stockholm is being replaced with electric powered vehicles that will be charged with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). The switch also entails a significant change in work routines, including new procedures and staff training. Altogether, the impressive new installation of vehicles consists of two snowmabiles, a Prinoth E motion Husky snow groomer, a Volvo L25 Electric from Volvo CE wheel-loader, a VW ID cargo electric car, a Polaris Ranger EV electric ATV and two…

Thrawn

A new film documenting the resilient and passionate Cairngorm snow community in the Highlands of Scotland and their unmatched dedication to snowsports has been released by Patagonia. In Scotland the word “thrawn” can mean “stubborn,” but it is stubborn for a good reason. The snow community in the Cairngorms take on a virtuous struggle to make the most of what’s available each season. Lesley McKenna, a local to the area and three-time Olympic snowboarder, was raised on this innate tenacity. She has spent her life pushing the boundaries of her sport and advocating for the people and place that shaped her. Her story, and that of her family is an example of what makes the community so special. “Thrawn is…

Freeride World Tour Opener Switches from Pyrenees to Alps

The organizers of the Freeride World Tour have made a quick decision to organize the opening competition of the season in Verbier this weekend. The tour had been due to start in Spain’s Baqueira Beret but it had been announced that wouldn’t be happening as a warm, dry first few months of the season in the Pyrenees means there’s inadequate off piste snow for freeriding. Thanks to what they’re describing as a “weather window” this coming weekend: January 27-28, 2024, the FWT team is aiming to hold the competition on Verbier’s Bec des Rosses. The Alps have had an above average first half of the season for snowfall and it is lying over 4 metres deep on high slopes across…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #226

Issued: 24th January 2024 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview The world’s deepest snow depth reached 5 metres (nearly 17 feet) in the French Alps at the end of last week, quite unusual for Europe to be leading the way when usually it's a ski centre in Japan or the western US topping the tables. However, it reflects the fact that in a week of weather extremes, which included torrential rain at some low lying resorts in the western Alps for nearly 48 hours at the end of last week, higher slopes only a short distance away were getting abundant snowfall instead. Although North America and indeed Japan are playing catch up after…

Billionaire’s Ski Resort Using Wastewater For Snowmaking

A private ski resort in Montana which requires all residents to be at least multi-millionaires and has listed several famous billionaires among them (members are reputed to include Bill Gates and multi-millionaire Justin Timberlake) has begun using purified wastewater into snow. Using wastewater to make snow is not new and ski areas in Australia have won eco awards for recycling snow in this way. At least a dozen US resorts are believed do it, but there was a 20 year battle for it to be permitted at the Arizona Snowbowl, this time with environmentalists teaming up with indigenous peoples to object to the concept of using snow made from purified water that had once carried human excreta on mountain peaks…

All Five Scottish Centres Open For First Time This Season

Glencoe and Nevis Range ski areas on Scotland’s West Coast have opened terrain today, Thursday, 18th January, marking their first full in-bounds run openings, other than sledging slopes and nursery slopes, of the 23-24 season. The move follows a week of subzero weather and snow showers which has allowed the other three Highland centres, Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht to open more terrain beyond their nursery slope areas, which are created with TechnoAlpin SnowFactory all-weather snowmaking systems. Glencoe (pictured above this week) has had a nursery slope, sledging and its access chair running for some time, the latter providing access to ski touring terrain above the ski area, but it now has some in-bounds runs open too. “The best of…

5 Must-Visit Resorts for Your Next Ski Trip

If you are looking to explore new resorts and improve your skiing, then look no further! The expert team at Maison Sport, the industry-leading ski instructor booking platform, has rounded up some of the best resorts that offer a balanced mixture of terrain for skiers of all ability levels. Whether it’s a buzzing apres ski scene, beautiful scenery or challenging slopes that you are looking for, keep reading to discover the perfect ski resort for your next trip. If you are looking to explore new resorts and improve your skiing, then look no further! The expert team at Maison Sport, the industry-leading ski instructor booking platform, has rounded up some of the best resorts that offer a balanced mixture of…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #225

Issued: 17th January 2024 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup World Overview A mixed week for snowfall around the world with things getting a little quieter after the big snowfalls a week ago in Europe, but intensifying further in North America and Japan.  Ski areas in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest have reported particularly exceptional accumulations of up to five feet (1.5 m) of snowfall over the past seven days. The snow has brought these regions, which had been suffering from too little snow up to now, back on track. Once lifts and access roads have been dug out, winds eased and areas made avalanche-safe, resorts have finally been able to open much more terrain.…

World’s Longest 8 Seat Chairlift Coming to Montana

Hot on the heels of unveiling their new Lone Peak Tram during the 50th anniversary week of the creation of Big Sky Resort, the Montana ski area has announced they’ll be installing  their second 8-seater chairlift. Big Sky will be the first North American resort to operate two eight-seat chairlifts and the new Six Shooter lift will be its third to feature state-of-the-art D-line chairlift replacing the existing Six Shooter lift. The new eight-place lift will effectively double the uphill capacity while reducing ride time by 30%, offering guests swift and comfortable access to Big Sky Resort’s north side terrain from the Madison Base Area. This lift will also set a new record globally as the longest eight-place installation in…