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WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #126

Issued: 19 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Skiing New Mexico anyone? Taos Ski Valley reports 25cm (10 inches) of fresh snow in the past 24 hours. North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Jackson Hole reports it has now had more than 400 inches (10 metres) of snowfall so far this season. Another 1.4 metres (56 inches) of it in the past week alone. "Eyeballs deep" apparently. It has been the President's Day holiday long weekend in the US which got resorts across the country battling for business. Fortunately, most are in good shape at present with fresh snowfall reported once more in the northwest (heavy), Rockies (heavy), Midwest (moderate) and Northeast (moderate) over the past few days.Although…

Best Conditions of Season So Far in Scotland

It’s the best conditions this season, and equaling the best for the past few seasons, on Scottish ski slopes at present. An online post from Nevis Range ski centre advises, “The skiing is far too good to go to work today so call in sick now!” They add that their ski patrol report that the skiing is exceptional from their morning safety inspection. Nevis Range, 13th February 2020 Up to now Scotland’s ski season has played out in a similar fashion to recent years with some good snowfalls but then temperatures rising soon afterwards so the snow largely melts away making it difficult to build a base. This time though Storm Ciara kept dumping for four days and currently it…

WWF Seek Global Support to Persuade UNESCO to add ‘Seasons’ to the World Heritage list

The Norwegian branch of the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, working with clothing company Bergans, have launched an initiative to ‘Save the Seasons’ in a bid to have them added, and thus preserved, as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Pyramids, temples, Stonehenge, reefs and... seasons? Everything previously included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list is either a physical object, building or city, but WWF think that the changing seasons due to climate change threaten much of what is on the list, yet, aren’t considered in the preservation of these sites or as a heritage for future generations. “The seasons are the very foundation of life, which in turn is directly linked to our cultural heritage. The seasons must therefore be declared…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #125

Issued: 12 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA The weekend snowstorms in the Rockies brought up to five feet (1.5 metres) of snowfall. Alta Ski Area in Utah, pictured yesterday, was one of the big winners. Although it has kept dumping down for a sixth (or is it seventh?) week in the Pacific Northwest the big snow news story of the last seven days in North America has probably been the huge snowfalls in the Rockies.  The storm has brought deep powder but also, in the short term, lots of less welcome factors like access roads closed by too much snow and avalanche danger. Lifts and runs closed for similar reasons have…

Dave McCoy, Founder of Mammoth Mountain, Dies Aged 104

Dave McCoy, one of the remaining legends from the early history of downhill skiing, and one of the biggest names in ski resort development through much of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 104. Born in 1915, McCoy’s legend include the fact that he made his first skis himself whilst still at school, and then became Californian state skiing champion aged 22. He set up his first rudimentary ski area in 1938, before hitting on the more snowsure location for Mammoth Mountain in 1942. Mammoth started with a simple home-made roadside rope tow, powered by an old truck engine, but over the next 63 years, McCoy and his wife Roma, whom he’d met in the late 1930s,…

At last! Japan Receives the Heavy Snowfall it has Been Waiting For

As the time of writing it is just over three weeks since my last article which sadly had to be heavy on the theme of ‘lack of snow’ over the first part of the winter season here in Japan. Unfortunately, that general trend continued for a few more weeks (and sadly is continuing in some regions). The Chinese New Year holidays are increasingly a time when people from Asia are visiting Japan to come and celebrate their holidays. Many choose a ski holiday or a chance to just visit snowy areas so that they can ‘play in the snow’. This year, the Chinese New Year celebrations generally were from 25th January onwards. Of course, that was just about when the…

Deepest Snow This Century as Swedish Lapland Spring Ski Centres Open For 2020 Season

There’s reported to be the most snowy lying on the Kiruna mountains in Northern Sweden for more than 20 years, as ski areas there begin to open for their 2020 ski season. Measuring depths at Katterjåkk, 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of the region’s capital Kiruna, the Swedish Meteorological Institute found the snow currently lying 169cm (just under six feet) deep,  the largest amount of snow at the start of February in just over 20 years. The last time snowfall was measured deeper was in January 1997 when it measured 180 cm. The two ski areas operated by Lapland Resorts within the Arctic circle in Northern Sweden don’t open for skiing until February each year due to the darkness at…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #125

Issued: 05 February 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA It's still rather too warm, too often, this winter in the Pacific Northwest and it's due to rain today before more heavy snowfall moves in; but that has not stopped Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington State, as usual, building the world's deepest base at 4.8 metres (16 feet) up top so far. A real mix of snow and weather news to report across North America with some resorts reporting their snowiest ever Januaries by the weekend. Whilst at the same time there have been record high temperatures reported in parts of Colorado to start February (although it’s now colder and snowier again). Meanwhile,…

Brit and Aussie Win First Ever ‘Augmented’ Skiing World Championships GS Races

The first ever Augmented World Skiing Championships has taken place in the French ski resort of Alpe d’Huez with hundreds of people attending the weekend of competition and just under 50 people entering the race itself. The event is designed for skiers who are assisted with exoskeleton devices and included a giant slalom race and a ski trail tournament. The men’s giant slalom winner was former British Team skier Ashley Kay with a time of 61.61 seconds with the women’s number one spot going to former Australian Winter Olympic skier, Marilla Guss with a time of 63.32 seconds, giving her second place overall in the competition. “It was great to be part of this competition, the first ever of its…

Up To a Metre (40 Inches) of Snowfall Reported in the Alps

The sunshine is back out in much of the Alps after heavy snowfall over the past three days – particularly Tuesday and Wednesday. Resorts reported up to 107cm (just under four feet) of snow falling, the biggest accumulations reported in the Swiss Valais region. Bonneval Sur arc, over the back of Val d’Isere in the French Alps posted the biggest accumulation there – 90cm (three feet) with Cervinia topping the Italian snowfall table with 80cm (2.7 feet). Les Menuires in pictured top and La Rosiere (which has had 80cm/32") below. But there was snowfall right across the region with many resorts posting 30-60cm (1-2 feet) accumulations,. Transforming conditions after the mostly dry and sunny five weeks since Christmas. In Austria…