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Jean-Yves Michellod Patron of new Verbier4All Association

Jean-Yves Michellod has agreed to become a patron of Verbier4All, the new association which aims to improve all­-year round accessibility to the mountains for people with a physical or visual deficit. Mountain guide and extreme skier, Jean-Yves Michellod  won the Xtreme Verbier in 2004. But two years later, following a serious accident in the mountains, he found himself with partial paralysis. But Jean-Yves didn’t let this slow him down. He stunned the sporting world and beyond with his resolve and unaltered desire to tackle untracked faces. With the Falquet brothers, just one year later, he won Hike and Ride and was also the subject of the film ‘Skieur Libre’ which was awarded gold at the highly acclaimed International Festival of…

Molltal Glacier Latest Summer Ski Area to Close As Snow Melts From Glacier

Austria’s Molltal glacier is the latest summer ski area to report an unscheduled closure as warm summer sunshine and high positive temperatures even above 3,000 metres altitude in the Alps melts the snow cover from glaciers. Molltal aims to operate for more than 10 months a year from mid-June to early May and was two months in to its 2019-20 ski season when forced to close as the glacial ice was exposed directly to the sunshine. It usually operates about 3km of runs in summer used by race training teams as well as recreational skiers and boarders.  However it has been forced to close for periods during August in several recent years. The same view two months ago as the…

Live Information and Advertising Displayed on More Chairlift Safety Bars

A company which puts digital display boards under skiers’ noses as they ride up the mountain on a chairlift is going from strength to strength. Alpine Media Technology was first established a couple of years ago but has received $1m in funding and says it is set to more than double the number of ski areas using its tech by the end of the year. The basic concept is that the safety bar on the chairlift is fitted with an iPad sized digital screen in front of every skier sat on it.  The screen provides live information and also has advertising permanently in view, although Alpine Media Technology are keen to stress that the ads don’t take up more than…

Austria Gears Up for Big Autumn Ski Season Less Than a Month Away

The start of the 2019-20 ski season in Austria may be less than  a month away, although it’s a bit snow dependant. Austria has more glacier ski areas open in late spring and in early autumn than the rest of Europe combined with potentially eight areas, five of them in Tirol alone, likely to be open from early October. In fact two Austrian areas are open year-round, or in one case, almost. The Hintertux glacier is open for skiing every day of the year, weather permitting, the Molltal glacier for nearly 11 months, just closing for a period in May/June, so its 2019-20 season already started. Stubai last week. It has been another hot summer though and although Austrian glaciers…

New Uphill Ski Run Created at French Ski Resort

Ski touring has become increasingly popular in recent years.  There are multiple reasons for this – the equipment has improved and the number of people with the fitness levels and drive to skin up mountains as well as ski down them has also grown. There is also an environmental issue with some (particularly the people who are already fit and determined enough to skin up before skiing down) arguing that if skiers really care about fighting climate change they should forego the lifts and skin up the slopes. The popularity of touring has caused some issues for resorts though as tourers tend to skin up the edges of groomed slopes, which some resorts see as a potential hazard for a…

WORD SNOW ROUNDUP #101

Issued: 21 August 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. It keeps snowing in Australia, base depths at a number of resorts are now past the 2 metre mark and that's getting close to the best numbers this century. Over 40cm more in the past 48 hours in several areas including Perisher (pictured) along with Hotham Alpine Resort. INTRODUCTION:…

First Man To Ski K2 Aims to be First to Ski Everest Without Extra Oxygen

Andrzej Bargiel, the man who became the first to successfully complete a descent of the world’s second highest peak, K2, last summer, has announced his intention to become the first to ski down Everest without using supplementary Oxygen, this autumn. Speaking in an interview in his native Poland, Bargiel said he plans to climb at the end of September, late in the season when its likely there will be more snow and fewer climbers. Whilst he says the team has ideas on routes and approaches to the challenge, they’ll adjust these according to the actual conditions during his time on the world’s highest mountain. The first descent of Everest on skis was made in 1970 by Japanese skier Yuichiro Miura…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #100

Issued: 14 August 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. The snow is getting deeper in Australia from the latest superstorm. Up to 30cm (a foot) reported so far and we're not half-way through yet at most areas. Here's Mt Hotham today. INTRODUCTION: It has been a snowy week for Australia and New Zealand with both countries seeing some…

Formerly Year Round Snow-Capped Area on the Pakistan – Afghanistan Border No Longer Is

An area of the Hindu Kush range that was formerly snow-capped year-round has lost that distinction according to local reports. The Koh-i-Sufaid mountain range which straddle the border rising as high as 4,761 metres forming a natural 160km long barrier between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been permanently snow clad throughout known human history. The mountains are known in the local dialect as “white mountain” and historic poems refer to the eternally white mountains. “The mountains remained snow covered throughout the year, but now for the last several years the hills turn black from white in summer season thus reflecting changes in weather,” a journalist based in the local city of Parachinar has reported. The 42 year old recalls the city…

“Watermelon Pink Snow” on Yosemite’s Mountains

Pink snow has been spotted up on Yosemite’s peaks in California. According to rangers at Yosemite National Park the pink coloured snow, which has been lying for some months, is not that unusual in the area, but now the news is out, it’s getting a lot of media attention. The snow from last spring and winter is still lying in abundance above 2,900 metres altitude, and the pink, sometimes red colour results from an algae bloom, rangers at the national park have explained. This particular algae, called Chlamydomonas nivalis, thrives in freezing temperatures and liquid water, living on the snow. The rangers further explained that whilst the algae is naturally green, the pink-red pigment, called carotenoid, is created as a…