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Snow-Forecast Data Shows This is The Best Start to the Season in The Alps for 21 Years

Research in to early season snow stats has revealed that this is the snowiest start to the season for 21 winters “Although 1998, 2011, 2012 and 2008 were just as snowy in some Alpine resorts, we have to go all the way back to 1996 to find a ski season that was notably better in terms of early season snow depths across the whole of the Alps,” says Snow-Forecast’s Robert Davies, who adds, “Let's not forget that over that two-decade period we have suffered some disastrous seasons with hardly any natural snow below the Alpine glaciers until mid-January.” (Lech is pictured top) Why so good this year? Davies says that first, we avoided a weather event is usually the cause…

Swiss Company Offers a Fondue in a Gondola Cabin

A Swiss events company is to stage three evenings of in-gondola-cabin fondues this winter. After the success of initial events in the resort of Villars, Tête à Tête events will be staging their inaugural “Fondue in the Sky” at Verbier and Crans Montana this season, as well as returning to Villars for a fourth staging of the event which sold out on the three previous occasions this year and last. The concept works by the company taking over a gondola lift in its entirety after it has finished its service to skiers for the day. Depending on the lift, the company can temporarily convert up to 70 cabins in to mini pop-up restaurants, inserting maid-to-measure tables between the two benches.…

Exceptionally Snowy Start to the 2017-18 Ski Season in the Alps (Dolomites, Pyrenees…)

The main ski season in Europe is having its best start for five years and if the snow continues to fall at its current rate, potentially the best start this century, with resorts in the Alps reporting up to 1.5m (five feet) of snow in the past week, up to 1.3m (4.3 feet) of bit in the last 72 hours. All this snow fall comes on top of regular snow dumps through October and November in many areas, along with low temperatures for snowmaking meaning there’s deep fresh powder on a good base at many areas, and pristine groomed slopes too.  60-90cm more snow is currently forecast coming up to the weekend in many regions too. https://www.facebook.com/avoriaz1800/videos/1897476413628377/   Around 80%…

$50m+ Of New lifts coming to Whistler Blackcomb For 2018-19

The new ski season is just starting but Vail Resorts, which bought North America’s biggest ski area Whistler Blackcomb in Canada late last year, has announced a bit spending spree at the famous BC ski resort. Vail will spend more than $50m (US) on three state-of-the-art new lifts to dramatically improve uplift speed and capacity on key routes, the company says. The first and biggest of the lifts will be a new gondola with 10-passenger cabins connecting to the famous Peak-2-Peak lift from Blackcomb base. It will replace the Wizard and Solar chairlifts and ascend to the top of Blackcomb Mountain, terminating adjacent to the existing PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which transports guests to and from Blackcomb and Whistler. Upon…

A Big New Music Festival Coming to Chamonix

Music festivals have become big business in the mountains.  There are no dozens and dozens of them, some run by independent companies, others by the resorts themselves, often a combination of the two. For ski resorts the festivals care seen as good news as they bring in more people including some who wouldn’t normally visit a ski resort and they’re usually staged in quieter weeks at the start of end of the season. Now Chamonix has announced it will partner with a major French summer festival to launch the first winter version of the event next April. The first Musilac pop-rock festival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc will take place from 19th – 21st April and the famous French resort is expecting…

4 of 5 Highland Scottish Ski Centres Open For 17-18, Earliest Opening Ever for One

Four of the five Scottish ski centres have opened for the 2017-18 ski season this week. The first to open, Glencoe on the West Coast (pictured above this morning and in video below), said this was their earliest ever opening. https://www.facebook.com/GlencoeMountain/videos/1959031034124668/   Cairngorm opened a top-to-bottom run serviced by their funicular railway yesterday and posted the image below of some of the first arrivals.   The Lecht and Glenshee have both opened limited terrain today too. The four centres opening follows the opening of the ski runs by the Lowther Hills Ski Club in the south of Scotland last weekend. All four Highland centres report ‘early season conditions’ with thin, in some cases very thin, cover on parts of their open…

Mixed Weather Messages as US Resort Opens Then Closes Again

Conditions in Western North America seem to be fluctuating dramatically with some big snowfalls but also high humidity and rain at times.   As a result whilst some resorts are still opening earlier than expected due to the big snowfalls, others, sometimes in the same state, are delaying opening and in at least one case, has announced it is closing again after opening for the season. The biggest name casualty if the warm temperatures was Snowbird in Utah which opened last Wednesday for the US Thanksgiving Holiday but was forced to close again by Saturday.  An online statement said, "While a strong effort was made from our operations team, unseasonably warm weather has forced a "Delay of Game" and put…

Scottish 17-18 Ski Season Close To Kick Off

Hopes of an early start to the Scottish ski season have risen as more snow has fallen through the past 24 hours. The Lowther Hills club field in southern Scotland (image from the local area taken this morning below) looks set to get bragging rights for being first in the country to open for 17-18 as it plans to open its slopes to members this evening after fresh snow overnight – subject to being able to persuade enough volunteers to man the facilities. In the Highlands Glencoe (pictured top) reported 10cm of snowfall in an hour today as part of ongoing snowstorms there. The snow cover at the five Highland centres is so far too thin but several centres have…

Niseko Opening on Thursday

Japan’s famed ski resort of Niseko has announced it will open for the season this Thursday, November 23rd. The powder snow for which it is most famous has started falling in abundance  with around 100cm blanketing the village over the past week and a further 80cm forecast for the coming few days. Unusually for a Japanese ski centre in the 21st century, Niseko will see two new quad chairlifts go in to service this December in two of its sectors. Both will especially benefit beginner skiers, but there are advantages for more advanced skiers too. Firstly Tokyu Resort Services have upgraded the Grand Hirafu's Ace Family Pair lift to a high speed quad. The original lift was running at capacity…

Food First on the Slopes?

A new study conducted on behalf of tour operator Club Med has found that the range of restaurants and bars in the local area is the most important factor when it comes to making their ski resort destination choice. The claim is made following the consumer research conducted by YouGov who contacted 1000 adults between 5th and 11th October 2017 on behalf of Club Med. “Previously an overlooked aspect of a holiday, 84% of winter sports fans say their week away is the ideal opportunity to try new foods. For 36%, the range of restaurants and bars in the local area is the most important factor when selecting a destination,” a Club Med spokesperson commented. Other stats the survey threw…