May’s Skiing Snippets – See What Catches our Eye in the World of Snowsports…
1st May 2021
Last modified on May 8th, 2021
-Avalanche Service Back in Scotland
-Scandinavian ski areas close after full winter season
-Austria Winter Tourism Hit Hard by Covid-19
-Ski Resort in Finland Reports Record-Breaking Winter ….UPDATED
PlanetSKI’s ‘Skiing Snippets’
Here we cover anything that takes our fancy.
Short news stories, eye catching videos, amusing cartoons, coronavirus updates and developments, things that make us smile/things that make us shout at the screen… in fact anything that catches our eye in the world of snowsports.
Check out all the ‘snippets’ from last month:
We’re mixing it up…
Avalanche Service Back in Scotland
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service, SAIS, has resumed services after fresh snow in the Highlands.
“Due to recent significant snowfall in the Scottish Highlands the SAIS will be issuing avalanche forecasts in the Northern Cairngorms, Southern Cairngorms, Lochaber, Torridon, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe for this weekend,” SAIS said in a statement.
With travel restrictions eased many ski tourers, hill walkers and climbers are heading out to enjoy the recent snow.
Our Scotland reporter, Rod Frazer, is one of them and see here for his report:
Ski Resorts in Scandinavia Close After Full Season
Åre in Sweden and Hemsedal in Norway have marked the end to winter after managing to stay open all season, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The resorts were the last in the SkiStar stable to close on 2nd May.
They managed 150 days of skiing.
“Thanks to the hard work of all our employees and all the precautions we have put in place in close dialogue with both the care providers, the region, the hospitality industry and the whole skiing industry, we have managed to stay open throughout the winter season,” Stefan Sjöstrand, CEO of SkiStar said.
“We are leaving an historic winter season behind us, as SkiStar is one of the few companies in the skiing industry in Europe to have been open throughout the period during the ongoing corona pandemic.
“We’ve missed our international guests, but now we’re preparing for the summer and next winter with a continuing focus on safety and security and a number of new developments for our guests.”
Austria Winter Tourism Hit Hard by Covid-19
The Austria Institute of Economic Research, WIFO, has analysed the first 4-months of winter tourism last season and it makes grim reading.
November 2020 to February 2021 shows arrivals down 95.1% with overnight stays and income falling by 93.5%.
For the entire winter season losses of over 90% are expected.
The outlook for the rest of 2021 remains gloomy at –49% compared to the pre-crisis level in 2019.
See here for the full details of the survey in Snow Industry News.
Overall, from November 2020 to February 2021 in Vienna it was –94.4% and western Austria (Salzburg, Tirol, Vorarlberg) saw –97.4% as tourism came to a virtual standstill.
Signs are improving though as we have reported on PlanetSKI:
WIFO expects overnight stays to rise to around 20% for the calendar year 2021 compared to 2020.
Ski Resort in Finland Reports Record-Breaking Winter
For many resorts it was a winter most would want to forget.
Not so Pyhä that saw a sharp increase in skiers and snowboarders last season.
The resort was open throughout the winter, with some Covid-19 restrictions in place.
Finland saw low levels of Covid-19, with 86,808 confirmed cases and 914 deaths in a population of around 5m.
In 2020-21 the ski resort of Pyhä saw a 50% increase on the previous winter, though the season was cut short as the pandemic spread in March 2020.
It also saw a 25% increase on the last full season of the previous year, 2018/19.
The resort was short on accommodation as people from Finland stayed in their own country and turned to snowsports.
New accommodation, the Kultakero project, is being built to deal with a forecast increase in demand.
Work on a new chairlift starts later in May and it will be installed for next winter.
Airport Planned for Andorra
A new feasibility study has been carried out and there could be up to 12 daily flights with 500,000 passengers per year.
Currently the Principality in the Pyrenees is accessed from Toulouse in France or Barcelona in Spain and then a coach journey.
Talks of an airport has been going on for many years.
It would be a single runway near Grau Roig in the Grandvalira ski area.
It would be able to take planes with around 150 passengers and the planes used would likely be the Airbus A320 NEO and Airbus A220-300 NEO models.
The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Andorra has presented the technical feasibility studies of the national airport project.
The current proposal reduces the construction budget to 345 million euros – previously there was talk of between €500m and €700m.
If the Government finally wants to carry out the project, the national airport could be operational by 2025.
See here for further details.
If it goes ahead it would be operational in time for the 2027 Alpine World Championships that Andorra is bidding for.
US Sees High Number of Avalanche Fatalities
Last season saw 36 deaths in the USA – the most in 11 years.
The winter before the total was 23.
17 of the deaths were skiers, snowmobile accidents accounted for 8 fatalities, snowboarding 5, snowshoeing and climbing also 5.
There was 1 unclassified according to data from the Colorado Avalanche Information Centre.
The state of Colorado saw the most deaths at 12.
Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Utah, Washington and Wyoming also reported fatalities.
Read more here:
GB Snowsport Supports Enough Is Enough
It is backing the social media boycott this weekend initiated by football to stand against racism.
It wants to “show solidarity with those who have suffered abuse and discrimination both online and in the sporting arena.”
For all the latest news on Covid-19 then check out our Special Coronavirus Section on PlanetSKI
And if, like us, you want to move on but are still thinking of Covid-19…