June’s Skiing Snippets – See What Catches our Eye in the World of Snowsports…
1st June 2021
Last modified on June 28th, 2021
-Italy Ends Mask Wearing Outdoors
-Summer Season Starts At Park City in Utah
-Ski Race Series Kicks Off in GB
-Covid Outbreak in Sydney Means Ski Resorts Out of Bounds for Some
-Quarantine-free Travel for the Fully Vaccinated?….UPDATED
PlanetSKI’s ‘Skiing Snippets’
Here we cover anything that takes our fancy.
Short news stories, eye catching videos, amusing cartoons, coronavirus updates, 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…
Italy Ends Mask Wearing Outdoors
From Monday 28th June under the government’s colour-coded system, the entire country is now rated a white zone – or low risk – for the first time since Italy was severely hit by the virus last year.
PlanetSKI was based in Aosta for the winter of 2019/20 as the virus took hold.
We returned last summer for a brief visit as the pandemic eased.
Despite the relaxation the country’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, is urging people to remain cautious.
“It’s an encouraging result, but caution and prudence are still needed, especially because of the new variants,” said Speranza.
“The battle is not yet won.”
Italy has had 4.2 million coronavirus cases and 127,472 deaths.
Summer Season Starts At Park City in Utah
Woodward Park City has opened its indoors and outdoors for the summer….
Have you seen our new summer trail map? Mountain Biking is open, but we’re working to dial in more trails each week! Upper Parley’s Way to The Perch is set to open this Saturday, June 19. Check out our trails & conditions page for the latest – https://t.co/mquNxYylgc #welivethis pic.twitter.com/t45GHpBsVs
— Woodward Park City (@woodwardpc) June 15, 2021
Ski Racing Series Kicks Off in GB
The eola GBR series returns this summer with five races on artificial outdoor slopes and five on indoor snow in England, Wales and Scotland.
The races will feature some of the UK’s most promising skiers, giving them a chance to participate in regular ski races at a high standard across most age groups – from under 10s through to masters.
The event was called off last summer due to the pandemic.
All the events are sanctioned by the Home Nations Governing Bodies with Snowsport England, Snowsport Scotland and Snowsport Wales all hosting races.
The first takes place on 3rd July at Norwich, with later visits to Chill Factore, Llandudno, Hillend and Braehead.
“It has been a hugely challenging year for everyone and it has been great to see activity and races get back up and running,” says Snowsport England CEO Tim Fawke.
“It is fantastic we have a full eola GBR series planned and I am excited to see the series kick off at Norfolk.
“I would like to welcome eola as headline sponsor, it’s great to have them on board for what should be a great series.”
To find out the details of each race, including how to enter, visit https://gbski.com/
Covid Outbreak in Sydney Means Ski Resorts Out of Bounds for Some
Travel restrictions are to be imposed on people living in the Australian city meaning the ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher and others can’t be visited by people who live in sections of the city.
People who live or work in central and eastern Sydney are set to be banned from travelling out of the city.
There is a fast-growing Covid outbreak with 16 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the cluster total to 37 cases with fears it will grow.
“Please abandon non-essential activities, please don’t attend social gatherings unless you absolutely must,” said the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian.
It’s a windy and wild afternoon on the slopes. ☃️ 🏔️ For all our Sydney friends make sure you check out our website for updates on new travel restrictions before planning your trip. 👉 https://t.co/VeMp7E58y9 pic.twitter.com/O9ubYE1y95
— Perisher (@PerisherResort) June 23, 2021
Ski resorts in the area opened earlier this month with some of the best conditions in recent years.
Quarantine-free Travel for the Fully Vaccinated?
The government is working on the plans so people can travel more easily from amber list countries.
Many of the alpine countries, including Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland, are on the UK’s amber list.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said the plans for England had not been “clinically advised yet”.
But he added that the government was looking at plans in order bring back some freedoms.
Scrapping quarantine restrictions for travellers who have been fully-vaccinated would be “reckless”, a group of MPs has said.
“The Delta variant first arrived here in the UK precisely because of inadequate pre-travel requirements and health checks at UK arrival halls, compounded by a lack of support and enforcement of mandatory quarantine,” said Caroline Lucas the vice-chairwoman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus.
“Scrapping quarantine measures now would be reckless and risks squandering the hard-earned freedoms of the British public again, just like they did last summer,” she added.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said it is his “hope and expectation” that coronavirus restrictions in England will end on 19 July.
Italy Introduces 5-Day Quarantine for UK Travellers
Italy has taken the decision due to the growing spread of the Delta variant across the UK.
The UK currently has one of the highest numbers of new confirmed cases in Europe, and is second only to Georgia.
It has 96 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 7-days.
In Italy the figure is 13.
Quarantine is also compulsory including for those people arriving from the UK who are fully vaccinated.
France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria are among European countries that have already put quarantine rules and restrictions in place for travellers from the UK.
One PlanetSKI reader who planning an extended stay in Italy this summer arrived in the Italian Alps on Sunday ahead of the measure coming into force.
“Made it to Lake Como 5 hours before the new quarantine decree for Brits begins at midnight,” he said.
Here are the comparative figures for cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period from the maon skiing nations in Europe.
Spain – 50
Andorra – 37
France – 24
Switzerland – 22
Sweden – 11
Snowboarding Chewbacca Jailed for Attack on Australia Ski Resort Manager
54-year-old Keith Melvyn Wass was snowboarding in Thredbo dressed as the Star Wars character when the resort manager, Jordan Rogers, said kids were getting scared.
After an exchange of words Wass struck the manager with his snowboard.
Judge Garry Neilson who described the attack as “vicious and brutal” and not justified by the verbal disagreement between the two men.
In a victim impact statement Mr Rogers said he experiences anxiety whenever Star Wars is mentioned or he sees one of the movie franchise posters.
Wass pleaded guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.
He will be eligible for parole on October 17th 2022.
Italy Introduces 5-day Quarantine for Travellers from the UK
It comes amid growing concerns about the spread of the Delta variant first identified in India.
The measure will be introduced on Monday.
People arriving from the UK will also be required to have a Covid-19 test.
Italy reported that its daily number of new infections fell to 1,325 from 1,400.
In contrast, the UK reported 11,007 new cases on Thursday.
The UK has the highest infection rate in Europe with 73 confirmed cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria have already put quarantine rules and restrictions for travellers from the UK.
Italy remains on the UK’s ‘amber’ list for travel – travel is possible but passengers must present a pre-departure test result and then quarantine at home for 10 days upon arrival back in the UK.
PCR tests are required on days two and eight of quarantine.
Infection rates in Italy have fallen sharply in recent weeks.
Most of the restrictions within Italy are set to be lifted on Monday.
Austria Eases Covid-19 Restrictions in July
The announcement was made today, Friday 18th June, by the Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.
This information from the website of the Tirol:
Curfew will be abolished: everything that is fun can be done at night again, according to Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
From clubs to wedding celebrations to events, everything would then be possible again at night – without distances and masks.
Elimination of mandatory masks: The FFP2 mask requirement will be eliminated in almost all areas from the beginning of July, but mouth-nose protection (MNS) will remain mandatory for the time being.
For large events (sports and culture), there is only the 3G requirement; masks are no longer mandatory indoors and outdoors.
The same applies to gastronomy, as Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger explains.
In public transport, in closed public places, in trade and museums, a mouth-nose protection may be worn instead of the FFP2 mask. The FFP2 mask obligation remains only in nursing homes and hospitals.
Compulsory testing in summer from the age of twelve: Children up to the age of twelve are exempt from compulsory testing during the summer holidays.
According to the government members, this should make life easier for families.
3-G rule remains: Vaccinated, tested, recovered remains.
This is the prerequisite for further openings on 22 July, according to Chancellor Kurz and Health Minister Mückstein in unison.
Cultural events and functions without restrictions: The restrictions on large-scale events will be substantially reduced.
From 1 July, all events can take place without distances, masks, audience caps and capacity restrictions, in the arts, culture and sports sectors – including catering.
There is, however, an obligation to notify from 100 persons and an obligation to obtain a permit from 500 persons.
On 22 July, the obligation to register in the catering sector will also be abolished.
New Jet2.com Ski Flight to Lyon
It is to have a weekly service from Manchester.
It gives access to resorts in the north-west Alps such as Courchevel and Tignes, plus the southern Alps for resorts in the Isere region such as Les2Alpes and Alp d’Huez.
The flights will operate from December 20th 2021 to April 16th 2022.
It is the airline’s eighth ski destination airport.
Five Dead as 2 Aircraft Crash in Swiss Alps
Two pilots and three passengers – one of them a child – died when the two aircraft came down in Graubunden canton on Saturday 12th June.
The aircraft were a glider with and a small plane which was found nearby.
An investigation is underway to see if the two crashes are linked.
Switzerland’s air rescue service reported on Saturday night that the glider had crashed at 2,700m in the Bivio area, near the Italian border and that the pilot had died.
Recovery work was not immediately possible because of poor weather.
When rescuers arrived on Sunday, they found the wreckage of a small plane – a Robin DR 400 – about 1km away.
The plane had a man, woman and child on board. They died, along with the pilot.
Both aircraft had set off from airfields in Switzerland on Saturday.
FIS Reports Better than Expected Financial Results
The International Ski Federation has defied the pandemic by reporting financial results for the COVID-impacted year of 2020 that were significantly better than originally budgeted.
It made a profit for the year of £1.16 million.
It had projected a loss of £11.3 million.
“Since we had to cancel the last events in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we budgeted a reduction of the sponsorship payments of 20%,” said the newly elected President of FIS, Johan Eliasch.
It turned out that the deductions were only 6.4% as much of the World Cup season was able to go ahead, albeit under coronavirus restrictions.
The federation was also helped by a bounce back in the global stock markets which helped its investments.
Montreux Jazz Festival Goes Ahead
It will be a slimmed down event due to Covid-19 and takes place from July 2nd to 17th by the shores of Lac Leman with the Swiss Alps as a backdrop.
Rag’n’Bone Man and Arlo Parks are among the main acts.
PROGRAMME 2021 🔥
This special edition will feature emerging talents, current trends and tailor-made concerts from major artists. Ticket sales opening: Tuesday June 8!https://t.co/wZOgaznafY#MJF21 #WhereLegendsAreBorn pic.twitter.com/R7MXjQ6f29
— Montreux Jazz Festival (@MontreuxJazz) June 1, 2021
It will have a brand new stage, called Scene Du Lac.
Three other stages with a smaller capacity will be hosting jazz concerts, workshops, sessions and more in the event spaces and gardens of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel.
Other artists include: Woodkid; a debut appearance for Priya Ragu; Yseult; Turkish psych-rockers Altin Gün, and minimal pop artist Oklou.
The Festival will also be available as a digital event.
With Thanks from A-Basin in Colorado…
A new bird’s eye view in Morzine
Last winter a new viewing platform was installed at the summit of nearby Pointe de Nyon in the French resort, but due to Covid-19 restrictions it was unable to open to the public.
Next winter the resort says it is will open to the general public
The Le Pas de l’Aigle is a 10m glass walkway at an altitude of 2,019m.
The attraction is free with 350m drop beneath visitors’ feet and a breath-taking 360° view from Lake Geneva to Mont Blanc.
EU Digital Passport to be Available to non-EU Travellers
The system comes into force EU-wide from the beginning of July.
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain and Poland have already started using it for travel.
It will allow access to the mountain areas of Europe.
More than one million people across the EU now have Covid-19 certificates.
The Covid certificate will show proof that the user has received full Covid-19 vaccination, has already recovered from the virus, or has a negative PCR test result.
Access to it will be subject to individual member states for non-EU nationals residing outside the bloc.
“It will be free of charge, secure and accessible to all. Available in digital format or on paper, it will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, tested negative, or recovered from an infection,” said a statement from the EU Commission.
“It is important that during the coming weeks, all Member States fully finalise their national systems to issue, store and verify certificates, so the system is functioning in time for the holiday season.
“EU citizens are looking forward to travelling again, and they want to do so safely. Having an EU certificate is a crucial step on the way.”
Travel Industry day of Action Set For June 23rd
It will involve a lobby at the Houses of Parliament and there are plans for events across other parts of the UK, targeted at the Devolved Administrations.
It is designed to put pressure on the government to support a safe return to international travel in time for summer.
There are calls to bring forward a package of tailored financial support.
Organisers and supporters ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, Advantage Travel Partnership, TTNG, and the other 11 Members of the Save Future Travel Coalition.
“The UK is falling behind other countries, including many of our competitors in Europe, when it comes to restarting our aviation and travel sectors. With the success of the vaccine rollout, it is vital the government takes steps to capitalise on the progress that has been made,” said the Chief Executive of Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade.
Others in the industry though have expressed reservations about allowing travel to open too quickly and allow the virus to spread.
There is particular concern about the variants and the knowledge that allowing widespread travel last summer led to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Two Snowboarders who set off Avalanche Sentenced to Community Service
Evan Hannibal and Tyler DeWitt pleaded guilty after triggering an avalanche above the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels in Colorado, USA, on March 25th 2020.
They reported the incident and later provided information on the incident to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The huge slide caused damage to remote avalanche control unit and buried a road under snow and debris.
No-one was injured in the slide.
They were subsequently charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.
They faced considerable financial costs and so agreed to a plea bargain with 20 hours of useful community service each.
They will also to pay $1,150 in court fines.
Bars, Restaurants and Sports Halls Open in French Ski Resorts
After seven months of closure they are welcoming people indoors again today.
Restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity with social distancing required.
Outdoor terraces can operate at full capacity.
An overnight curfew will start two hours later at 23:00 local time.
The government has also lifted the demand for people to work from home.
EU nationals and visitors from a small number of other countries can now visit without a PCR test if they’ve been vaccinated.
France remains on the UK’s amber list.
Flurorine Ski Waxes Banned by FIS for Next Season
The International Ski Federation has prohibited any products containing C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA at all events from the season of 2021/2022.
EU regulations have banned the waxes on health and environmental grounds.
FIS has not yet established an effective testing method for next season due to Covid-19 restrictions.
It says a “device will be further tested in the real implementation process during the competition season, without penalisation”.
The implementation process was unfortunately not possible to test adequately during the last season due to the Covid-19 situation.
Reports about the next steps in the development of the Fluorine Tracker and effect of the C8 ban will be prepared for the Council for autumn 2021.
FIS maintains its commitment to developing a reliable test method which guarantees the integrity of its competitions.
Skiing Continues in USA
Crystal Mountain in Washington state has announced that it’s opening again for three days this weekend, from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th June.
Bumper snowfall has allowed the resort to offer a fifth ‘bonus weekend’ of skiing.
Lifts are open 9am to 3pm for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Arapahoe Basin in Colorado is also still going and its Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth has been out on the slopes for the final week.
A-Basin’s last day will be this Sunday, 6th June.
Norwegian Government Backs Narvik 2027 Alpine World Championships Bid
The government has pledged to provide financial guarantees of £24m if the bid from the northern city is successful.
It is bidding to become the first Norwegian city to host the championships.
280 mill når @NarvikfjelletAS vinner konkurransen om å arrangere VM Alpint i 2027. FIS avgjør om ett år. Norge søkt 4 ganger tidligere, aldri nådd frem, nå søker Narvik for første gang med en spektakulær søknad. Heia Narvik, heia Nord-Norge, heia Norge🇳🇴https://t.co/rt95Gyxo5A
— Abid Raja (@abidraja) May 31, 2021
The city in the Arctic Circle is up against the German resorts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Crans Montana in Switzerland and Soldeu in Andorra in the Pyrenees.
BA Tests Covid Travel Pass App on Flights to Switzerland
The IATA app is being trialled on flights to Zurich and Geneva.
Via the app passengers can book a Covid-19 test and the results will be automatically downloaded onto the app.
People can also check the entry requirements for their destination.
Boarding passes and other documents can be downloaded.
“We are committed to exploring ways to ensure that the customer journey is as frictionless as possible,” said the BA CEO and Chairman, Sean Doyle.
“We know that digital travel passes are part of the solution and they will also play a key role in offering those travelling the reassurance they need before they arrive at the airport.
“We hope to be able to offer a customer-friendly digital option for every British Airways international route.”
See more on Travel Mole.
Morzine goes green
The ski and summer alpine resort of Morzine in France has launched a bid to attain the Flocon Vert label.
It is awarded by the European organisation, Mountain Riders, and recognises destinations that demonstrate a commitment to a sustainable development policy.
The label is issued based on compliance with 20 criteria divided into four themes:
- Local economy,
- Social & cultural,
- Governance & destination,
- Environment & natural resources.
Local businesses, the tourist office and Town Hall are all working to reduce the environmental impact caused by residents, visitors and businesses in the resort.
Their goal is to encourage everyone to get involved, by providing all the information needed to help people be greener and to make environmentally friendly options more accessible.
“The environmental project is at the heart of everything we are doing now,” said Sara Burdon from the resort’s tourist office.
“It’s a huge project with the Morzine-Avoriaz Mairie and both Morzine and Avoriaz Tourist Offices working together with local businesses to jointly improve our sustainable development policy.
“We chose to aim for Flocon Vert as is not simply an award, but a process of continuous development to ensure that we stay focused on our plans and work towards ambitious goals.
“The mountains are hugely impacted by climate change and we all need to work towards reducing our impact for future generations.”
Morzine is mainly a winter destination for the British but has a growing summer offering too:
New Study Looks at Greener Energy in Swiss Ski Areas
Wind turbines and solar panels in Alpine regions are the most effective way for Switzerland to become carbon neutral and energy self-sufficient, a new study has concluded.
Scientists say there should be a mix of 75% wind power and 25% solar power to supplement the country’s existing hydropower.
Jura was found to be the region with the most potential for wind-power generation – the model suggests locating 40% of the country’s new wind turbines there.
Sun power is also a good choice for the Alps, also economically, said Michael Lehning, a study co-author.
Last year, a study by the Swiss Energy Foundation (SES) found the Swiss to be among worst solar and wind performers in Europe.
See here for the full report on SwissInfo.
140FT SKI JUMP
London’s largest real snow kicker will be our main outdoor attraction, where the UK’s best ski and snowboard athletes will be performing and competing, with stunning pyrotechnics and lighting…these high-octane performances are not to be missed! #skijumping pic.twitter.com/BT0ENrVs9z
— London Ski & Snowboard Festival (@londonsnowfest) May 12, 2021
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…