November’s News in Brief

– GB Cross Country Skiers Have Best Ever Start to Season
– British Woman Missing in the Pyrenees
– Public to Choose Logo for 2026 Winter Olympics
– Fancy Some Free Family Skis? ….UPDATED

Monday 30th November

GB Cross Country Skiers Record Best Ever Start To The Season

Not all the news from the skiing world is miserable.

In case you missed it over the weekend, Great Britain’s Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young have achieved some brilliant results in a series of World Cup races in Ruka, Finland.

“The great news keeps rolling in from Ruka with GB Snowsport’s best ever season opening for the Cross Country team,” the governing body announced on its Facebook page.

“Andrew Musgrave came in at 6th overall with Andrew Young placing 14th. ”

They’ve received congratulations from the Chief Executive of GB Snowsport, Vicky Gosling.


Fingers crossed for some more great results as the season continues.

Saturday 29th November

British Woman Missing in the Pyrenees

Esther Dingley, 37, has spent six years on a campervan tour of Europe and has gone missing while walking in the Pyrenees.

She last spoke to her partner Dan Colegate a week ago.

French authorities are now searching for her and her last known whereabouts was Pic de Sauvegarde on the French/Spanish border.

Ms Dingley began a solo walk from Benasque in Spain and planned planned to spend last Sunday  night at Refuge Venasque in France.

Mr Colegate has travelled to the Luchon area to help look for his partner of 18 years.

Helicopters and dogs have been involved in the search but have so far found “no trace”.

Friday 27th November

Public to Choose Logo for 2026 Winter Olympics

The Italian public is set to choose the official logo for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Milan and Cortina.

People will be able to vote online from March 2 to 6 as the logos are unveiled.

Thursday 19th November

Fancy Some Free Family Skis?

Atomic is giving away two sets of family skis in a competition.

It is part of World Snow Day that is run by the International Ski Federation

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Take your best family ski photo
2. Post the photo to your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag “#atomicsnowday”
3. Tune into the World Snow Day channels on 17th January 2021 to find out if you have won

Like last season, Atomic will be providing one set each of Alpine and Cross-Country skis.

“This doubles your chances of winning so get there, enjoy the snow with your family and show us your best moments,” said a statement from Atomic.

Sunday 15th November

Good News and Bad News…

Good News…. Levi in Finland is set to hold the women’s alpine World Cup events on November 21st and 22nd.

The resort has enough snow as it stored some from last winter and has been able to produce man-made snow.

“The weather has been slightly on the warm side lately, but luckily it will not pose any problems to the competition,” said the chief of race, Petri Tuomikoski.

The teams will be arriving in Levi a few days before the actual race as the snow conditions have not allowed for racers to practice.

The Finnish resort of Ruka has been given the green light to hold the men’s Nordic combined and ski jumping events.

They are due to take place 26th -29th November.

Men’s and women’s World Cup cross-country races are also due to be held the same weekend.

There has been little natural snowfall and warm temperatures, but the resort has been able to make some snow and it too has preserved some from last winter.

The forecast is for the temperatures to drop.

Bad News…. Next month’s cross-country, Nordic combined and ski jumping World Cup competitions in Lillehammer, Norway, have been postponed due to Covid-19.

The events were due to be held from December 4th to 6th, but the Norwegian Ski Association and the International Ski Federation have decided to move them to later in the season.

“Based on the difficult time we are currently in, the uncertainty and the consequences of the current status of COVID-19 prevention measures, the Norwegian Ski Association believes that it is not right to arrange the World Cup in Lillehammer right now,” said NSA President Erik Røste.

International Ski Federation

International Ski Federation. Image © FIS.

Thursday 12th November

New Ski Flights in 2020/21 from Bristol

The airline Jet2.com is making Bristol its 10th operating base in the UK with summer and winter flights.

There will be weekend flights to three ski hub airports in the Alps

  • Geneva – weekly Saturday services
  • Grenoble – weekly Sunday services
  • Salzburg – weekly Saturday services

It is a sizeable expansion in these Covid-19 times.

The airline has coronavirus precautions including HEPA filters on aircraft, onboard cleaning and ensuring that everyone wears face masks.

The move will be welcomed by skiers and snowboarders in the South West.

It will bring local economic benefits too.

“Our arrival at Bristol Airport means significant investment for the region. More than 200 new jobs “will be created with roles including flight and cabin crew, engineers and ground operations staff,” said a statement from the airline.

The aviation and travel industry has been battered by coronavirus and is a sign how one company sees the future if things begin to get back to normal next Spring and Summer.

Tuesday 10th November

GB Freestyle Skier to Footballer to Boxer

Anna Vincenti was a part of the GB Park & Pipe squad, competing at the top level in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air, for almost a decade.

In May 2019, we reported that she had hung up her skis to become a professional footballer.

The Scot played for Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League and the Maltese national team (qualifying through her grandfather).

Now, she’s changed sports again.

She’s a boxer.  And she’s aiming for the Olympics.

Here’s an interview she gave recently to Sky Sports about the switch:

An interview I did with Anna Wilcox a few weeks back, probably my favourite interview to date 🤗

Posted by Anna Vincenti on Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Good luck Anna!

Monday 9th November

Avalanche Warnings Start in Scotland

The service normally starts in mid-December but is being offered in some places.

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service, SAIS, provides forecasts for six areas from mid-December to mid-April.

This year it has begun piloting a standby service for the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber.

SAIS said it had observed earlier wintry conditions in recent years, possibly due to climate change.

The information is used by mountain rescue teams and also by hillwalkers and climbers in planning trips into the hills and mountains.

Last week saw fresh snowfall over some of Scotland’s highest hills and mountains.

“We have activated a pilot standby service in view of observed short term, early winter conditions over the last few winters, historically mostly in Lochaber and the Northern Cairngorms,” said SAIS co-ordinator, Mark Diggins, to BBC Scotland.

“This is also, to a certain extent, a reaction to the changes that we are observing with the climate, in particular the early onset of significant snowfalls in the mountains which may present an avalanche hazard in the mountains on occasion prior to the the normal onset of winter which is around early December.”

Scottish Avalanche Information Service

Scottish Avalanche Information Service

Saturday 7th November

Keystone in Colorado Opens for Winter

It is the first resort along the i-70 road in Colorado to fire up its lifts.

The honour usually goes to its neighbour Arapahoe Basin, or nearby Loveland.

Not this year.

The first resort in the state to open was Wolf Creek as we reported earlier on PlanetSKI, US ski resorts open.

There were 3 miles of slopes and 60-acres of terrain open.

Most of it was on man-made snow.

Lift queues to ride the River Run Gondola, Summit Express and Montezuma Express lifts were reportedly not too bad.

The resort’s indoor facilities were limited, with only bathrooms in the base area as well as bathrooms and food and beverage service at the top of Dercum Mountain.

“Happy Opening Day! We’re excited to welcome you back to play this winter season!” said the resort on Facebook.

“Don’t forget that all guests are required to have a reservation and a face covering to join us today, and every day this winter.

“It’s also important to know that Summit County, where Keystone is located, has recently moved to a Safer at Home: Level Orange/High Risk. This new level comes with increased restrictions, including those for retail stores and dining.

“We join Summit County leaders in encouraging all our guests and employees to follow the county’s Six Commitments to Containment.

“The state of Colorado also recently debuted an exposure notification mobile app to help reduce the spread of COVID.

“Let’s all do our part to stay safe this winter and kick off a successful ski and ride season!”

Keystone, and the other ski areas owned or run Vail Resorts, has a reservations system for tis winter due to Covid-19.

Only pass holders will be able to book reservations until December 8th.

After that day lift tickets can be reserved.

Breckenridge is set to open November 13th to pass holders, followed by Vail on November 20th.

Thursday 5th November

Lack of Snow Forces Postponement of World Cup Races

Parallel slalom events for men and women in Lech/Zurs in Austria were due to take place on 14th and 15th November.

A lack of snow and mild temperatures mean they have been put back by two weeks.

“Due to the warm temperatures a reasonable construction of the slopes is not possible and the races have to be rescheduled by two weeks,” said the organisers.

The Austrian Ski Federation said that the parallel event for women had been rescheduled for November 26th.

The men will race the next day.

Thursday, November 26th.
Parallel giant slalom women
10:00 am Qualification rounds
17:00 h live broadcast of the race

Friday, November 27th
Parallel giant slalom men
10:00 am Qualification rounds
17:00 h live broadcast of the race

Tuesday 3rd November

Cairngorm Funicular Repairs Underway

Engineering works designed to return the mountain railway at the Scottish ski area to service for next winter are starting this week.

The 2 kilometre long lift that takes skiers and snowboarders from the base station to the top of the hill has been out of action since September 2018 when a structural inspection raised safety concerns.

The £16m repair project is funded by the Scottish Government and the landowner Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Some preparatory work was carried out last week, including marking out areas designated for environmental protection.

This week the team is starting to excavate around four of the 94 supporting piers.

The mountain will remain open to visitors during the work.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise says reinstating the funicular forms a major part of its plan to sustain Cairngorm as a year-round visitor attraction.

See the full story:

Monday 2nd November

FIS to Promote Skiing in China Ahead of 2022 Olympics

The International Ski Federation has announced a 10-year commercial partnership with IDG Sports to promote the Get into Snow Sports, GISS.

It is a grassroots programme to help people take up skiing and snowboarding.

The Chinese Government has a target of having 300 million winter sport participants by the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.

China goes skiing

The President of FIS, Gian-Franco Kasper, said the new initiative “will undoubtedly serve an important role in developing safe snow sports in China.”

Beijing 2022

Beijing 2022

Sunday 1st November

Scottish Ski Resort Crowdfunds New Snow Cannons

The Lecht is installing four cannons and obtaining a snow groomer.

The £400,000 project is due to be completed by Christmas.

The resort has now launched a crowdfunding campaign for the final £80,000 needed.

“There have always been variations in snow fall in Scotland. At The Lecht, we want to be able to offer consistent, reliable snow conditions,” said the resort’s MD, Pieter du Pon.

“We are therefore committing to installing four of the latest technology snow cannons and a specialised snow groomer and we are delighted that Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to support this major investment in Scottish snowsports.”

A key feature of these state-of-the-art snow cannons is that they can make snow at just below -1℃ compared to the Lecht’s existing 20-year-old cannons which need -4℃.

Only 4 nights in February 2020 were -4°C.

22 nights in the same month were -1°C.

Given the difficulties the current financial situation has caused for many people, various rewards are offered to both individuals and businesses in return for their donations.

Any excess raised will be used for further plant and equipment for snow making.

See here for further details of the crowd funding campaign.

US Ski & Snowboard Bans Fluorinated Waxes from non-FIS Events

The International Ski Federation had wanted to ban the type of wax but has delayed it as the organisation says it needs more research.

The testing of a hand-held test device found some measurement errors and so more work is needed.

FIS had initially agreed to ban the use of fluorinated waxes in all its disciplines from the start of the 2020-2021 season.

The FIS Council agreed to postpone that until July 1 in 2021 to gather more information.

However, US Ski and Snowboard President Tiger Shaw believes banning fluorinated waxes now is the “smart thing to do” to help the environment and “continue to level the playing field”.

US Ski & Snowboard

US Ski & Snowboard