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Southern Hemisphere’s 2020 Season Over

The southern hemisphere’s 2020 ski season has ended sooner than hoped with the last ski areas open on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand closing earlier than expected due to warm weather. All ski areas in the southern hemisphere other than the two on Ruapehu had closed by Mid-October, but Ruaphu’s operators had hoped to keep Whakapapa open until next weekend, then re-open Turoa for the first half of November, but that plan has now been ditched. (Ruapehu is pictured above and below 10 days ago) “Unfortunately due to the warm conditions we have decided to make this the last day here at Whakapapa,” a statement from Ruapehu Lifts earlier today, continuing, “It has been a challenging season but we feel…

Some Italian Ski Resorts Close Until November 24th

(Updated 17.00 26 October) Italy has closed most entertainment and leisure facilities including ski centres in a month long ‘mini-lockdown’. However it seems not all are following the 'national directive' so far, due to the country's regional structure. The new national ‘partial lockdown’ announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte began on Monday 26th October and is less severe than the March lockdown, but gyms, swimming pools, wellness centres and ski resorts are listed as required to close.  Italians are also being urged not to travel between regions. However the picture has been fast-moving and confused with different Italian regions wanting to take different approaches and some reports indicating centres can open for race team training, but not recreational skiing. On…

New Ski Resort Planed for Kamchatka

A ski resort project has been unveiled for the remote Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East of Russia. The resort, to be named Three Volcanoes Park will be built in a spectacular location with views of the Moutnovsky V, Vilyuchik and Gorely Volcanoes, according to local reports. Kamchatka is known for its spectacular, remote, generally snowsure mountains and has long been a cult destination for heliskiers to aspire to visit. The global HKS architectural firm has won the contract to design the mountain resort, working with the resort’s creators Three Volcano Park LLC, with the objective of creating a year-round mountain destination “rather than a pure ski resort” reports say, “with a focus on the ecological side of the Kamchatka…

Canada’s 20-21 Ski Season Starting Saturday

Canada’s 20-21 ski season will kick off this Saturday, with Banff in Alberta’s local Mt Norquay ski area opening its slopes. It will be the earliest ever opening in the ski area’s 95 year history and comes after some good October snowfalls and consistent low temperatures in the mountains of Western Canada. “The snow came early, so we got ready early!  Thanks to all the snowfall and chilly temps we've seen lately, we've been busy enhancing the natural conditions with lots of snow-making to get ready for the big day,” a Norquay spokesperson said. The weekend opening is subject to limited ticket sales due to coronavirus restrictions and initial terrain available. Saturday’s allocation quickly sold out. The Canadian area is…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #162

Issued: 21 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION The number of ski areas that have opened in Europe continues to creep upwards, nearing the 20 mark as more areas open in Austria (which has the most areas open in the world by some distance at present) as well as the first areas opening for the 20-21 season in France and Sweden. They take the number of countries with ski areas open to seven, for the season to date. Whichever country they're in, the open ski centres have been reporting superb conditions with many seeing more fresh snowfall through last week followed by full sunshine over the weekend and at the start of this week.…

Heavy Snowfall in Western Canada With Season Less Than 2 Weeks Away

Travel to Canada may currently be very limited or impossible from most parts of the world, including near neighbour the USA, but the snow has started falling and the start of the season is probably less than a fortnight away. There had been several ‘dustings’ of snow on higher slopes over the past few months, but the past week has seen more significant snowfalls, the heaviest in Alberta where the 20-21 ski season will hopefully begin on Halloween weekend, in a fortnight’s time. Marmot Basin after 28cm /11" of Snowfall this Week Ski areas including Banff’s Sunshine (pictured top) and Lake Louise ski areas as well as Marmot Basin to the north posted images of up to 30cm (12 inch)…

Third Autumn Snowfall Leaves Alpine Glaciers In Great Shape

A third snowfall in the Alps over recent days has left glacier ski areas posting reports of amazing snow conditions – particularly considering it is still only mid-October. Glaciers reported up to 30cm (a foot) of snowfall to start this week following similar falls a week before and for many even bigger snowfalls the week prior to that. The clouds cleared on Wednesday for many, leaving a beautiful powder day under blue skies at ski areas like Austria's Stubai Glacier, pictured top. 14 glacier ski areas have already opened for the 2020-21 ski season, more than half of them in Austria, the remainder in Italy and Switzerland. However Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both due to open this coming…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #161

Issued: 14 October 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere Roundup EUROPE INTRODUCTION Schladming resort this week It’s been a quieter week than most over the past month with just one ski area opening for the 20-21 season in the last seven days. The Titlis glacier, above Engelberg, started its lifts running; the 14th to begin operation in the Alps so far this autumn.  With a couple more ski areas ending their season in New Zealand, the world count for numbers of areas open is actually down slightly. The snow news is good on the glaciers, with ski centres reporting fabulous conditions once the stormy weather cleared, with lots of snowfall lying, allowing many to expand the…

Race To Open US 20-21 Season is On

The annual battle to be the first ski area in the USA, and usually North America too, is underway. Most ski areas in the West of the continent from Colorado up to BC in Canada reported some natural snowfall over the past 24 hours or so but in Colorado resorts that have a reputation for opening in October have also fired up their snow cannons. “The natural snowfall mostly stopped by early evening yesterday. The temperature dropped with an overnight wet bulb low of 15 F. The snowmakers had all the fan guns spinning. Most of the guns are still running now. We are not sure how warm the day will be, but tonight looks cold again. Our earlier snowmaking…

Snowmaker Blasts Disinfectant Instead of Snow

A company that normally supplies snowmaking equipment has turned its hand to a new concept during the pandemic – disinfecting gondola cabins to ensure any virus unwittingly carried in quickly killed off. Normally this process involves PPE encased personnel hand-spaying disinfectant into every corner of the cabin.  This is labour intensive and can require the lift to be stopped to allow the work to be carried out, or for it only to happen before the lift begins operating in the morning. Italian snowmaking firm Demaclenko’s idea is that after gondola users exit the cabin at the top station, or after the doors have opened before they board at the base, a specially adapted  snowmaking cannon automatically blasts the interior with…