July’s News in Brief…
1st July 2020
Last modified on July 12th, 2020
– GB 11-year old is youngest to climb Matterhorn
– Rockfall warnings in Scottish mountains
– Good snow in Tignes
– Aspen joins Facebook advertising boycott… UPDATED
Sunday 12th July
11-year old from Scotland becomes youngest to climb the Matterhorn
Jules Molyneaux from Perthshire reached the 14,692ft summit in the Alps in about four hours.
He spent much of the lockdown building up his fitness to be allowed to attempt the challenge.
He made the ascent with his father, Chris.
The full details can be read on the BBC.
“I feel tired and happy and relieved. It was an experience, definitely tiring and my legs felt like jelly after the climb.
“The sunrise is worth it when you go up. Halfway up the mountain you can see all the orange behind the Alps, it’s amazing.”
Jules’s climb was inspired by theclimbing he had done with his school.
He had to prove his ability to local mountain guides before being allowed to climb.
His father, Chris, said “He kept training and training and then a year ago started to take it seriously, and then six months ago we thought we would give it a shot.
“Where we are based in the highlands of Scotland, we are surrounded by Ben Nevis and all the climbing meccas there, but it’s more of a serious game in the Alps.”
Although there are no official records it’s believed Jules is the youngest person to ever climb the Matterhorn.
This was confirmed to Chris at the Matterhorn museum in Zermatt.
Over 500 people have died while climbing the Matterhorn.
Thursday 9th July
Rockfall Warnings in Scotland
A warning has been issued about large loose boulders, some 1m wide, on melting snow.
Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team issued the warning about the “significantly-sized boulders” at the top of Black Spout, in Deeside.
“Clearly these will dislodge as the snow melts further. Be aware they may travel well beyond the base of Black Spout when they move,” said a statement from the Aberdeen Mountain Rescue.
“Please take this into consideration if you are in the area, even if you are not within Black Spout itself,” it added.
Tuesday 7th July
Decent conditions in ski resorts in the Alps
One of our regular readers, Nick Williams from the UK operator Mountain Heaven, is currently in Tignes.
“It was great to escape the miserable UK and be somewhere that was almost normal, in fact the new normal is almost the same as the old normal!” said Nick.
Thursday 2nd July
Aspen Joins Facebook Advertising Boycott
Aspen Skiing Co. has joined hundreds of companies that stopped advertising on Facebook for at least the month of July to protest how the social media giant handles hate speech.
Skico has posted an announcement of its position on its Facebook page as the boycott started.
“Aspen-Snowmass has long believed that fact-based, civil discourse is critical to finding solutions to the challenges facing our country and the world,” Skico’s statement said.
“We need to engage in dialogue with each other, but there’s a right way to do it, respectful and dignified. That’s why we joined #StopHateForProfit by pulling our advertising on Facebook through July.”
Around 400 companies have vowed to participate in the boycott including The North Face and Patagonia.
Wednesday 1st July
Ellie Soutter Foundation To Hold Online Auction
The charity is holding a Grand Online Auction this Saturday 4th July.
It will be streamed live from three locations in France: Les Gets, Morzine and St Jean d’Aulps.
It takes place from 4.30pm to 7.30pm CET (3.30pm to 6.30pm BST).
All the money raised will go towards The Ellie Soutter Foundation’s commitment to supporting promising ski and snowboard athletes, both financially and mentally to help them fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams.
Ellie Soutter was a talented young British snowboarder who had excelled in freeride and snowboard cross.
She took her own life on her 18th birthday.
The Foundation was set up by Ellie Soutter’s family in her memory to help and assist other young winter athletes.
Up for grabs in the auction are a holiday in Thailand, game fishing in Portugal, a pair of limited-edition skis, a 3-night B&B stay in Morzine and many other lots.
Bidding is already open via this link: https://app.galabid.com/ellie
There is also a raffle with prizes including ski lessons with LGS Snowsports tuition, a pair of Summit goggles and a day trip to Annecy.
Follow the Foundation on Facebook or Instagram to join in with the raffle.
- Ellie Soutter Foundation Awards Its 4th Athlete Grant
- Ellie Soutter Foundation Supports 12-year-old Snowboarder
- Two More Ellie Soutter Foundation Grants Announced At The Ski Festival
- Ellie Soutter Foundation Awards First Grant
For more information, visit The Ellie Soutter Foundation website.
Russia To Host Special Winter Olympics
Kazan in south west Russia has been chosen to replace Sweden as host of the next Special Olympics World Winter Games.
“Hosting the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 adds Kazan to an elite group of international cities leading the inclusion charge for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics.
“The global Special Olympics movement has confidence in Kazan’s ability to host a world-class Games that deliver a lasting impact. Congratulations to Kazan!”
The Special Olympics take place every two years and alternate between a Summer and a Winter Games.
The next event was due to be held in Sweden in 2021 but the event’s organising committee pulled out after failing to secure sufficient funds.
The 2022 Games in Kazan will include alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, and short track speedskating.
Special Olympics Russia has been active for more than two decades and has 128,000 athletes taking part in sport and competition across the country.
However, this represents only 4 percent of the estimated three million people with intellectual disabilities in Russia.
One of the key aims of the World Winter Games will be to grow athlete numbers to 200,000 and expand into all 85 regions of Russia by 2025.
“We are thrilled to host the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022,” said Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia.
“Hosting this prestigious and deeply significant event gives us the opportunity to show Russia and the world that people with intellectual disabilities are capable of competing at the highest levels of sport.
“It will demonstrate the power of our movement not only as a sports organization but also as a leader in the drive towards a truly inclusive world.”
Give Them a Break
Travel Companies in the UK are getting together to provide 10,000 ‘holidays for heroes’.
Give Them A Break (GTAB) is a new nationwide, not-for-profit campaign to thank key workers across the UK for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has launched with a call for donations to its charity fund, which will be used to make thousands of holidays and days out available for key workers to enjoy when lockdown restrictions ease.
● The Give Them A Break Fund – Members of the public and businesses are invited to donate, and funds will then be used to buy holidays and experiences for low income key workers and their families
● The Give Them A Break Directory – A range of exclusive deals and discounted offers from a selection of travel brands which specialise in UK and overseas holidays and experiences.
Travel PR Louise Newton said, “Along with many others, I am so pleased to volunteer for Give Them A Break. To spread the word for such a great new non-profit initiative is a huge pleasure.”
“Everyone is more grateful than ever for all key workers, and now is the perfect time to thank them by donating to this fund. It will be heart-warming to see key workers take up free and discounted trips in the coming months.”
Give Them A Break is a not-for-profit campaign founded by Rachel McCaffery, Director of GreenCase Ltd, with the voluntary assistance of a number of travel industry professionals and supporters.
All donations go directly to Give Them A Breaks’s charity partner, the Family Holiday Association (registered charity number 800262).