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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…

Cortina Alpine World Ski Championships Prepares For Launch

The Alpine Ski World championships get underway “behind closed doors” this coming Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Despite no spectators being allowed, 600 athletes from 70 nations will be competing for 39 medals in 13 races at what is the second biggest event in the alpine ski racing calendar after the Winter  Olympics. They are among 3,500 people in total involved in staging the event, including volunteers, members of the Federations and 550 accredited media. A global TV audience of  500 million people from all over the world are expected to tune in with coverage on Eurosport.  140 cameras installed for the TV production of the event, 90 of which to work simultaneously.  There is also a Cortina 2021…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #177

Issued: 03 February 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION A dramatic week for weather in the Alps. After posting up to 1.5 metres (five feet) accumulations in the previous week for some ski areas in Austria and Switzerland, the snowfall, if anything, intensified in the latter half of last week and heavier snowfall was reported further west in France and Switzerland. Unfortunately, it wasn't just snow either, temperatures rose into the weekend and rain was reported as high as 2,000 metres altitude. This combination was not good for snow stability and the avalanche danger rose to the maximum level 5 across a wide swathe of the Alps. A number of resorts, including Zermatt, were cut-off from the…

A New Online Sustainable Skiwear Shop With Repairs Service Launches

A “one-stop online shop” for sustainable skiwear has launched with the stated aim of: “…(helping) champion the most environmentally and socially conscious winter kit on the market and kickstart a sustainable skiwear revolution.” EcoSki.co.uk offers a carefully curated selection of ski and snowboard clothing and accessories for men, women and children, all hand-picked from brands which claim the highest social and environmental credentials. EcoSki also offers a repair service for all ski garments bought via its own website and a re-selling platform for “preloved” ski and snowboard wear via its Instagram shop EcoSki’d to help “close the loop” and prolong the life of hard-wearing winter kit, offering a more sustainable way to enjoy winter sports. Founder Rachael Westbrook decided to…

Woman “Critically Injured” Sliding on Snow in Fresh Powder in Hawaii

A woman is reported to have been “critically injured” either 'snowboarding' or 'sliding on a body board' on the world’s highest mountain, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.  Reports vary. The incident happened after a tropical storm dumped a foot (30cm) of fresh powder on the volcanic peaks. Local media reports that the 23-year-old woman crashed into rocks at an “unknown rate of speed”  sustaining “critical injuries.” She was brought down the mountain by rangers and later transported to a local medical centre.  There is no update on her current condition. Mauna Kea rises 10,211 m (33,500 ft) from the ocean floor but three-fifths of the mountain lies beneath the Pacific. The upper 4,207.3 m (13,803 ft) of the mountain is above sea…

Up To 3 Metres/10 Feet of Snowfall in Europe and North America

The past few days have seen some huge snowfall totals in both the Alps and Western North America. Some ski areas in California have reported receiving more than three metres (10 feet) of snowfall since Tuesday. Donner Ski Ranch is pictured above. In the Alps ski centres have posted up to two metres (nearly 7 feet) of snowfall in the same period. Mammoth, below, has had one of the biggest snow totals. The snow in the Alps has been accompanied by warm periods bringing rain to high altitudes creating a highly unstable snowpack and sending the avalanche danger to its highest level. Some ski areas, including Zermatt pictured below) were temporarily cut off as access roads were closed due to…

High Avalanche Danger in the Alps With Heavy Snowfall, Rain and Warmth

The Alps are currently seeing big snowfalls, which is generally good news of course both for those few people lucky enough to be able to access the mountains during the pandemic, and perhaps for base building for the more optimistic who still hope to be able to travel to the mountains this season, perhaps at Easter or later. Up to a metre (40”) of snowfall is forecast to arrive over the next 48 hours. But ski areas and snow forecasters are warning that the current avalanche danger is extremely high. Along with the heavy snowfall there is expected to be a period of rain to as high as 2,000 metres altitude during a short warm spell, and that combination means…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #176

Issued: 27 January 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION It has been one of those weeks when Europe’s ski areas have seen a bit of everything or perhaps that should be, different parts of Europe have seen different bits of weather covering almost every type of winter conditions possible. The Alps saw warm weather at the start of the weekend in the north of the region although it remained cold in the south, in some cases 10 or 20 degrees colder than further north. There was plenty of fresh snowfall, which has continued this week, but also amongst those warmer temperatures periods of rain or sleet at time. Thrown into the mix were some gale force winds…

Finnish City Introduces Urban Ski Sharing Public Mobility Programme

The Finnish city of Lahti is rolling out the world’s first urban ski-sharing program. Lahti, the reigning European Green Capital, wants to encourage people to reduce their transport-related carbon emissions. Finns are no strangers to snow, but when the roads get icy and the snow is knee-deep, skiing might just be the fastest way to get around. That’s why the city of Lahti in Southern Finland has decided to roll-out a public ski-sharing scheme, the first city in the world to do so.  “City Skis work the same as city bikes: the skis can be borrowed from a ski point, where they should be returned to after use,” says Saara Vauramo, the programme director of Lahti European Green Capital. There…

Most Alpine Music Festivals Cancelled for Second Successive Year

A number of music festivals which were forced to cancel at short notice in March 2020 as the first wave of the pandemic began are beginning to abandon hope that their return this spring can happen. Although no national governments have a yet announced ski areas will stay closed into March, when the festivals are due to take place, any hope of being able to organise events is fast diminishing. Tomorrowland Winter 2020 (above and top) which had been due to be staged in Alpe d’Huez last March was one of the biggest casualties of the fast-moving end to the 2019-20 season. Attracting around 20,000 festival-goers it was already to go with a vast stage built when lockdown was announced.…