FEBRUARY SKIING SECRETS
1st February 2018
Last modified on August 23rd, 2021
– Siberian village of Oymyakon warms up
– Managing snow in BraÄ – Croatia
– Snowboarding in Rome
– Backflip off a chairlift
– Vintage snowcats
See here for a flavour of what it is all about from last month’s ramble
And now this month…
WEDNESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY
SHOULD HAVE PUT THE JET AWAY!
As the cold weather and snowy conditions take hold of the UK, it looks as though Flt Lt David Stark (Red 3 for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) made a massive schoolboy error and forgot to put his jet away in the hangar!
It looks like a red, white and blue shark fin.
ONE OF THE COLDEST PLACES ON EARTH IS WARMING UP
The documentary “Oymyakon” highlights the effects of climate change in the Siberian village of Oymyakon (Republic of Sakha), known as the coldest inhabited place on Earth, where thermometers broke when temperatures reached near-record levels.
The estimated temperature that night was around -62°C .
Locals said they haven’t recorded such low levels in the past 15 years.
Climate change is posing a real threat to local people’s lives and life structures, changing the soils, the fauna and the flora.
Source: “Oymyakon” by Dominik Bari, Felipe Paiva, Petr Vinokurov.
TUESDAY 27 FEBRUARY
THE BEAST FROM THE EAST
The extreme cold weather nicnamed ‘The Beast from the East’ is affecting vast swathes of Europe.
On the island of BraÄ in Croatia, snow is a rare event and maintaining the roads falls to the farmers, who use their initiative to grit their roads.
Watch how they deal with the weather in the video below, as a young man grits the road from a child’s toboggan, pulled by the tractor.
A rather rare event of winter road maintenance on the island of BraÄ, Croatia on Feb 26th. Snow is very rare on the islands! And of course, there are no snowplows on those islands so the locals had to “invent” their own solutions, even for salting 🙂 Report: Marija CvetkoviÄ‡ pic.twitter.com/ff8dnGUsC3
— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) February 27, 2018
MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY
SNOWBOARDING IN ROME
When in Rome… do as the Romans so of course you go snowboarding.
It’s the first snowfall in the city for six years.
I’M SCREAMING PEOPLE HERE ARE SO NOT USED TO THE SNOW THAT THEY WENT OUT WITH A SNOWBOARD IN ROME pic.twitter.com/T5UaVcJnGM
— ludovica (@khaleesizara) February 26, 2018
Snowboarding where chariots once dueled in Rome’s Circus Maximus. pic.twitter.com/N2CoZzrPmY
— Christopher Livesay (@cLivesay) February 26, 2018
Even the seminarians got to play in the snow in St Peter’s Square.
Snowball fight between seminarians from American College and British College.
A rare snowball fight in St Peter’s Square.
— Alan Holdren (@AlanHoldren) February 26, 2018
FRIDAY 24TH FEBRUARY
AN UNUSUAL BACKFLIP
A young skier uses a chairlift footrest to launch himself into a successul backflip.
We don’t recommend this one should be copied!
THURSDAY 23RD FEBRUARY
As you will no doubt have seen elsewhere on PlanetsKI our editor, James Cove, is on one of his North America road trips.
This week he’s hitting a few of the resorts in Idaho.
The trick with a road trip is to pull over when something catches the eye.
Just outside McCall it was this sign – and the vehicle by it.
He pulled over and glanced over at the nearby ski hill.
It was a rally of vintage snowcats.
Then it was a question of getting up close to look at these magnificent vehicles.
It was a fascinating display of past snow vehicles.
And if you are wondering what they all are then James didn’t have time to find out – he is on a road trip with miles to get under the belt.
But we can tell you this is an ST4 and was built in 1961.
And in case you are wondering about their value one was for sale for $16,000.
TUESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY
HANGING OUT IN ICELAND
“This had to be done”, says Rebekka Guðleifsdótti.
She dug a trench to demonstrate how much snow they had in Isafjörður in Iceland.
It’s a photographic stunt and not a wacky laundry hang-out.
She commented, “This idea wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d spent half an hour digging a narrow meandering path through snow nearly 5 feet deep to reach the clothesline without messing up the #snow in the foreground. In order to properly illustrate the insane amount of snow in #ísafjörður right now. I’m around 174cm and standing.”
The photo has had masses of shares on social media so Rebekka decided on edit her Facebook post as follows:
“Edit: I surely did not expect this picture to get such a response: it appears to me that some people genuinely think that the caption “this had to be done” referred to the fact that the laundry had to be taken in. What I meant was “this joke scenario needed to be created” , but whatever.
Clearly only a handful of people are familiar with my previous self portrait shenanigans in all manner of weather, and think I’m just some crazy ass, determined housewife. That’s amusing, I guess.
As it says somewhere in the comments, I dug a path off to the side of the frame, making a sharp turn to reach the clotheslines.
Trivia that doesn’t matter but I’m going to add for the hell of it: The white t-shirt I’m wearing (which i’ve seen so many comments about, citing it as an impractical choice of clothing in this weather) is more than 30 years old and says “Florida” on it in big letters. I lived there for seven years as a kid, and this amount of snow would have been , literally, my dream come true back then.”
MONDAY 19TH FEBRUARY
DIGGING OUT – PART 2
You may recall this photo we posted on social media during the mega January snowstorms in the Alps…..
What you can see is the roof of a motorhome parked in the French resort of Tignes.
The photo was taken as the owners began the lengthy process of digging it out.
Well, we are happy to report some progress, after almost four weeks.
Thanks to Simon Perry for the photos.
SUNDAY 18TH FEBRUARY
PLAYING WITH WORDS
Kevin Nealon is confronted by racist Colorado ski trails.
SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY
Our editor, James Cove, is on his way from Calgary in Canada to Boise in Idaho, USA, via Seattle.
He likes to consider himself a seasoned international traveller.
So, here I am patiently sitting at gate E89 for the 13.35 Calgary to Seattle flight with Delta.
The route and time is spelled out in bright neon light in front of me.
What could possibly go wrong?
A muffled voice came over the tannoy.
“Would Mr James Cow make his way to gate E92 immediately as his flight is about to depart.”
I looked at the sign again and decided it must be for someone else as I was certainly in the right place.
Thank the Lord I’m not named Mr Cow I thought.
The tannoy message was repeated for Mr Cow and I sauntered up to my gate, E89, a few minutes later as boarding for my flight was announced.
“Sorry sir, but you are on the 13.25 Delta flight to Seattle and this is the Alaska Airlines one. Rather confusingly they leave at the nearly the same time and head to the same destination. I will see what I…….” said the person at the desk.
I didn’t stay to hear him finish his sentence and sprinted off to find Gate E92.
It was like one of those dreams where the faster you try to run the slower you go.
I reached the gate for the Delta flight further along the terminal.
It was shut.
And looked like it had been for quite a while.
Two weeks ago I missed the overnight train back from the Pyrenees and now it seemed I had made a similar error.
Perhaps I am losing my travelling touch.
My wife (should she ever have had the misfortune of traveling with me) would have reminded me how I have recently gone to the wrong airport (London City rather than London Heathrow) , turned up a day early for a channel crossing (easy mistake to make) and stood cursing the non-arrival on my suitcase on belt No 5 at Gatwick while it was making steady progress going round in solitary circles on belt No 4 (immediately behind me).
A uniformed Delta representative suddenly appeared.
“Mr Cove? You have just made it and I will try to stop your luggage being unloaded and ensure it remains on the flight.”
I raced to the plane, took my seat and saw green gunk all over the wings.
Am I dreaming?
The flight though had missed its take off slot and we waited on the tarmac for a while . We eventually made it to Boise.
My suitcase did too.
Unfortunately my skis didn’t.
I had no-one but myself to blame (or so I thought) as the late departure fron Calgary caused the short transfer time at Seattle.
At time of writing the skis are somewhere between Calgary, Seattle and Boise but the good people of Delta are not exactly sure where but they assure me they are on their way.
As I looked at the over-size luggage collection point at Boise Airport the only luggage in evidence was a sad looking pushchair.
UPDATE SUNDAY 18TH…
The skis never turned up on the next flight from Seattle.
Because after Seatlle they weren’t put on the next flight to Boise but rather they went to Denver and then Salt Lake City according to the Delta representative I spoke to this morning.
“Sorry sir it must have been an error,” he said.
Which is a bit of a shame as I am only here for one day and want to ski.
I think I will just head up the hill in my jeans to the locla ski resort of Bogus Basin and just wing it.
You can find out what happened in my road trip blog.
WEDNESDAY 14TH FEBRUARY
Some avalanches are bigger than others.
This one was deliberately set off near Rogers Pass on Highway 1 near the ski resort of Revelstoke in British Columbia.
“Wowza! We needed to reduce snow load in the Lanark Avalanche Path, above the snow shed, on Hwy 1. This resulted in a dramatic cascade that triggered the Twin Path to avalanche at the same time,” said a statement from the transportation authorities.
Look closely and you will see the first deliberate one in the distance.
“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” as Michael Caine would say.
CANDIDE THOVEX – JUMPING AROUND IN POWDER… AGAIN!
We love this man’s videos – apparently he’s ‘warming up’ in this one.
Warming up pic.twitter.com/R9Lth9uZ43
— Candide Thovex (@CandideThovex) February 13, 2018
A LITTLE HALO HOVERS OVER COURCHEVEL
A fabulous halo hovering over Courchevel in the Alps…
7M SNOW WALL IN SPAIN
After several days of heavy snow at the San Isidro mountain pass in Spain’s Asturias region, a difficult clear up begins to clear the solid 7m snow wall #deepsnow
— PlanetSKI Snow News (@planetski) February 14, 2018
MONDAY 12TH FEBRUARY
PLANETSKI’S PROFESSIONAL VIDEO UNIT
Now you have probably wondered what the PlanetSKI outside broadcast unit looks like as we pump out our ever-popular videos from around the mountains.
Producers, sound recordists, lighting staff, make-up, dronecam and multi-camera operations?
We don’t just screech to a halt on the slopes, pull out an i-Phone and waffle away for a bit.
And here is the finished product.
And Katie and James are multi-skilled too.
There is no end to their talent.
James also holds the PlanetSKI camera while Katie presents.
With the occasional fluff…
Katie is normally a one take girl and, of course, she nailed it on the second occasion.
BOOTS – THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF KIT?
One PlanetSKI readeer, Lise Georgeson, certainly thinks so and has just sent us in her thoughts.
“I’d been away from skiing for 25 years when I went back to it last year. I had a great nasty “bruising” on my shins that I have only now fully understood, thanks to the detailed attention and explanations of an experienced ski-boot fitter.
Keen to maintain my return to ski and to avoid similar issues in future, I decided to treat myself to a proper boot fitting.
After a bit of research and advice from I ended up at Snow & Rock (Chertsey branch).
At Snow & Rock, a proper boot fitting is included as part and parcel of the boot sales service they offer.
Friendly, qualified fitters at your disposal to ensure you are matched with the right boot for your feet.
They take details of your feet, the way you stand and move and will also take into account any problems or issues you might have had previously.
I was looked after by Dudley who took the measurements, checked my position, and patiently listened to my issues and concerns.
He then presented a selection of boots and worked through them with me while I tried them on.
Once we found the right boots, I was handed over into the capable hands of Alex who kitted me out with a custom fitted footbed using the latest heatform technology.
The custom footbed is an extra, but the charge is well worth it and I could feel the difference immediately.
I’m a competent, but by no means expert, skier and my trips are limited to a week or so a year but it seems to me that well-fitting boots are absolutely fundamental to overall enjoyment.
In all, I would say that the time (the best part of two hours) and money (only a small extra for the custom footbed) is well-spent.
This week I am in Les Arcs for half-term – I’ll let you know how I get on.”
FRIDAY 9TH FEBRUARY
Some Skijoring, Polish style.
These guys can reach up to 50mph that’s around 80kmh.
THURSDAY 8TH FEBRUARY
WHEN IN PARIS … GO SKIING OF COURSE!
So what do you do on a snowy day in Paris? The Eiffel Tower is closed, the weather is grim, there’s snow everywhere….
Some of the locals took to the streets for a spot of downhill skiing.
I’ve heard of walking to work but #skiing erm this was this morning from #Montmartre to #Paris #France heavy #snow covered ten ground… #neige #ExtremeWeather video Basile Ducournau report: @Meteovilles https://t.co/j6XzxZ0Hvd pic.twitter.com/IMvPYYIzlz
— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) February 7, 2018
While others donned their ski kit and headed to the high point of the city, turning the snow-covered steps by the Sacre Coeur into a ski run to enjoy a few runs in the fresh snow.
There’s not quite as much snow as in the Alps but enough for a few turns and a jump or two.
Others still, were more interested in creating something artistic in keeping with the arty Montmartre district, such as putting together this ‘I Skied in Montmartre’ movie.
WEDNESDAY 7TH FEBRUARY
DECATHLON DOES SKI GEAR
We’ve been out testing the new range of women’s ski gear from Decathlon.
We’ll shorlty be having a full report on what’s on offer but in the meantime here’s Katie Bamber’s video review of her gear from the slopes of Ax3Domaines in the French Pyrenees:
And here she tests out the gear on a proper winter’s day in the Grandvalira in Andorra.
See here for an earlier PlanetSKI feature on what is on offer from Decathlon:
MONDAY 5TH FEBRUARY
LOOKING SIDEWAYS PODCAST WITH BILLY MORGAN
Matt Barr interviews TeamGB’s snowboarder Billy Morgan before he departs for PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
It’s a frank and interesting discussion on snowboarding, discussing Billy’s progression in the sport, his tricks, performance, his injuries along with some quips on snowboarding v skiing!
Does Billy have one more Olympic Games after PyeongChang?
Check it out in the podcast!
Give yourself some time (it’s around an hour long) – it’s worth listening to… moreover we’re looking forward to hearing more about #MonsoonMarch ðŸ¤£
Presented by Matt Barr in the Looking Sideways series of Action Sports Podcasts.
#BillyMorgan #WeAreTheGreat @TeamGB
Skiers and snowboarders popped into the main mountain restaurant in Grau Roig in Andorra for a spot of lunch on Sunday, and some came out to find this.
Glad we put ours in the other rack.
See here for our snow report from Andorra from James Cove:
And here for a rolling blog of our Andorran adventures from Katie Bamber:
SATURDAY 3RD FEBRUARY
MASSIVE AVALANCHE IN SWITZERLAND
It is so big it almost took out some unsuspecting guys standing close to the piste bashers.
The video was posted on facebook on Tuesday 30th January by Lionel-Crinou Urech.
It is unclear exactly where this ocurred, though it is thought to be in the Valais canton.
DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL FAN-APP TO FOLLOW TEAM GB
The countdown to PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics is underway and with only days to go until the opening ceremony.
We are super-obsessed with Team GB athletes and plan to follow our favourites very closely.
To make it easier for fans to keep up with the action at Pyeongchang, the British Olympic Association has developed an App for use on Android and IOS, phones and tablets.
It is designed to enhance the experience for fans, aiming to provide the latest news, event schedules, highlighting all Team GB’s activities with Twitter posts and a medals table…. updated from 9th to 25th February.
It provides bio’s and photos on all Team GB athletes.
Check it out, we’ve downloaded ours – get yours – it’s FREE!
FRIDAY 2ND FEBRUARY
JUMPING FOR JOY!
We don’t do much celeb gossip on PlanetSKI …. er, apart from this one … Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews are engaged!
So, what interest does this have for our readers?
Well, the couple met a year ago on The Jump, that famous death defying Channel 4 series.
Vogue left the series early on due to injury, but there was an obvious spark as we watched the duo interact over the weeks.
They announced their engagement yesterday 1st February.
Vogue showed off a smacking bunch of diamonds on her Instagram page.
The ring is reported to be worth an estimated £150,000 (can that even be for real?) ðŸ’ that’s the value of a lot of ski trips!
If you want a little reminder of what The Jump was all about read these great stories from our Jump reporter.
James Rampton reports on Episode 1 – You May As Well Jump
James Rampton reports on Episode 2 – Just a lot of Jumping
James Rampton reports on Episode 3 – High Speed on Tea Trays
Behind the Scenes of the 2017 Jump – Training with Warren Smith
SWISS UNI OFFERS DEGREE IN YODELING
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (LUASA) is offering degrees in Yodeling.
The three-year bachelor’s degree and two-year master’s in Yodeling will be led by Nadja Räss, a prize winning Swiss yodeler.
Courses start in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Applications will open at the end of February but only three of four students are expected to be chosen.
Listen to the tutor, Nadja Räss yodeling in her teens in 1994:
Yodeling was traditionally used by Swiss herders to communicate in the mountains, but later became popular with musicians as a form of entertainment.
It is a form of singing or calling that involves a rapid alternation between the normal voice and falsetto.
PlanetSKI recently met 96 year old Anni Bischoff at a wine tasting at the Hotel Schönegg in Wengen, when she spontaneously began to yodel.
Anni Bischoff yodeling:
If you feel inspired then full details on the course can be found on the University website.
THURSDAY 1ST FEBRUARY
SIGHTSEEING IN AOSTA
PlanetSKI is visiting ski area of Pila in the Aosta Valley, but before heading up to the ski resort we stopped off for a spot of culture.
The day was spent exploring the delightfull town of Aosta, visiting as many of the numerous sights as possible.
This 500 year old Linden Tree caught our eye – that is an awesome length of time for a tree to thrive.
Among some of the Roman remains and medieval buildings, this particular one tickled our humour, it’s a 12th Century toilet cubicle stuck on to the outside of an old tower!
It’s that protruding blob high up on the tower just beneath the 3 rooftop windows pictured below, there’s a hole at the bottom of the cubicle – that’s some drop!
SAINT ORSO FAIR – AOSTA
On the same visit to Aosta, preparations were underway for the massive artisan-festival that takes place every year, from 30th-31st January.
It’s the Saint Orso Fair (Foire de Saint-Ours) that has been running for over 1,000 years, and to be precise this is its 1,018th year!
That’s got to be the oldest running fair in Europe?
So what is it all about?
Back in 9th Century, Orso or Ursus, the Irish missionary-preacher, headed to Italy.
He ended up in the Roman town of Aosta, to later become the Archdeacon of Aosta.
Apparently Orso helped the poor by giving out clothes and “sabots”, the typical wooden clogs that are still found at the fair today.
So every year in honour of Orso, hundreds of carpenters and artisans arrive in Aosta to show off their trade and to sell their wares.
There’s a lot of fantastic woodwork displayed including large items such as handmade staircases and kitchen cabinets, to smaller beautifully turned wooden bowls, cutlery, gnomes and other figurines…. and we came across a pair of hand made wooden skis.
There’s also a lot of music and celebration and in true Italian style it culminates in a massive all-night party called the “Veillà” (on 30th January) where the streets are full of people partying until dawn.
Maybe they take a swig of the local genepy or grappa out of the Grolla – that’s a drinking vessel carved out of a block of wood.
DIVING IN AT THE DEEP END AT MT BAKER SKI AREA
When there’s so much snow, all you want to do is to dive into it ….. but the snow depth at Mt Baker really is on the deep side.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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