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Utah Digs Out After “Biggest Snowfall in 20 Years”

Although the mainstream news focus remains on snow and cold weather in Texas, North America’s ski regions have been seeing some exceptional snowfall too. “We’ve not seen anything like this for 20 years,” said a spokesperson for Snowbird in Utah, which along with neighbouring Alta (From where the pictures in this report are taken) were closed for several days and cut off from the outside world by the high avalanche danger above the resorts caused by the sudden heavy snowfall. Snowbird, where the sun is now back out, reported 112cm (almost four feet) of snowfall during the 60 hour storm.   “Thanks to all of the lodge guests, Alta  residents and employees for riding out this unprecedented  storm. It’s been…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #179

Issued: 17 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It has been a predominantly sunny week in most of Europe’s mountainous areas with some very low temperatures at times and not much fresh snowfall to report anywhere. That said, there has been some, 10-20cm (4-8 inches) in parts of the Alps and right down south in the Balkans. With the pandemic still dominating and travel still at best very difficult but illegal for many,  it generally remains only those who live in the country where the ski slopes are, sometimes only the region where they are, that can actually get to the slopes to ski them. In terms of the virus, the big news was supposed to have…

Some Leading Resorts Announce They Now Won’t Open This Season

Several of Europe’s leading ski areas have announced in the last few days that they won’t be opening at all this season. Formigal in Spain (pictured above) and Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany are among resorts saying that even if restrictions are relaxed in time for them to open in spring and there’s still snow on the ground, it is no longer logistically possible for them to prepare their ski centres and open in time. In a statement the Aramon Group which runs Formigal as well as Panticoa and Cerler said it would never have believed there would be a season with no skiing. The announcements come after several more European nations extended their lockdowns to keep resorts closed into early…

Italian Ski Resorts Ordered Not to Open Hours Before Lifts Were to Re-Open

The Italian Government left it until hours before Italian ski areas had planned to open before finally telling them they could not, announcing a fourth extension of ski are closures instead, this time to March 5th. The first ski areas in Italy had been expecting to open this morning, Monday 15th February, 2-3 months later than they normally would have done so after lockdown rules appeared to be eased to to allow some to do so – under strict pandemic restrictions. The announcement that they would not be allowed to do so after everything had appeared to be finally approved, coming late on Sunday evening, caused anger and frustration. The ski areas had worked for months with local, regional and…

German Ski Areas Say They Won’t Open This Season As Lockdown Extended

A number of German ski areas have said they won’t open at all now this season after the country’s government announced that the current lockdown would be extended to at least March 7th. The country’s best known ski resort, Garmisch Partenkirchen said that unfortunately this latest extension means it will not be able to open in Garmisch - Classic ski region at all this season, even if it is ultimately allowed to in March. That’s because the costs and operational issues involved in starting a ski are of its size for a few final weeks of the season are not practically or financially viable. There remains a hope that another Garmisch area (pictured above in mid-January), the country’s highest ski…

Italian Ski Areas Begin to Confirm Opening Next Week

Italy has been saying for some time that most of its ski areas could re-open from next Monday, 15th February. However this was the third re-opening date given so they was, and remains, doubts that it would definitely happen. But it does look more promising than the previous two and resorts have now started giving provisional opening dates. The country’s largest ski region, Dolomiti Superski (pictured below), say they’ll start opening from Monday 15th, hopefully. “15th February will probably be the opening day for the ski resorts in Veneto and 17 February for those in the province of Trento. As you may know the ski areas in South Tyrol (province Bolzano) are to stay shut until 28 February,” a statement…

Indoor Snow Centre Plan For Wales Moves Forward

Plans for a first indoor snow centre in Wales, planned for a former quarry site near Merthyr Tydfil, first announced several years ago, remain ‘live’ with the announcement that the project’s developers intend to submit a detailed planning proposal early this summer. At around 500 metres in length the Rhydycar West development will feature by far the longest slope in the UK and indeed one of the 10 longest of the now more than 100 indoor snow centres operating on six continents. The latest plan, to be formally submitted in June, also include a tropical indoor water park in the development. Marvel, the company behind the project, who acquired the 575 acre site in 2013 have been investing heavily in…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #178

Issued: 10 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It has kept snowing in the Alps over the past week, if perhaps not quite so heavily as a week or so back.  In parts of France and Switzerland and north into the Tatra mountains of northeastern Europe the snow turned an eerie orange hue at the weekend as a dust storm from the Sahara desert blew right up across the centre of the continent depositing a dusty layer on the snow.  Extremes of temperature have also been noted with very warm temperatures recorded down in Bulgaria and the southeast of the continent, but very cold up in Scandinavia.  That cold air is now moving down towards the…

Sand on Snow in Europe

A dust storm from the Sahara has created an unusual weather affect in central Europe. The route of the dust. Ski areas in the Alps and as far north as the Tatra mountains in Poland have been posting images of dusty orange mountainscapes and making it clear that this is the result of the dust storm, not an image tint. Witek Kaszhin published the images below from Kaspowsy Wiersch in Poland NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System published images tracking the  Saharan dust drifting up across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe at the weekend (pictured bottom). Skiers able to ski the dust covered snow found it nice and white beneath the Saharan dust coat on top. (Avoriaz pictured…

Giant Chinese Indoor Snowpark Records nearly 2 Million Visitors In First 7 Months of Operation

The giant Sunac Snow Park in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, has reported “nearly two million visitors” in the seven months since it opened in June 2020, despite the pandemic, according to its management. Interviewed by China Global Television Network (CGTN) one snowboarder said he had quite his job and moved home to be closer to the new facility, saying that having lied in the warm south of the country, “snow is an extraordinary thing for us.” Anyone living in Guangdong who wanted to try skiing or even see snow normally had to fly several hours north prior to the opening of the new indoor snow centre, which is the world’s second biggest by slope area…