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November’s Skiing Snippets – See What Catches our Eye in the World of Snowsports…

– Japan to Close Borders to All Foreigners
– Covid Rules for Ski Resorts in British Columbia, Canada
– Drug-Taking Ski Instructor Responsible for GB Surgeon’s Death
– Ski Season Starts in the USA …LIVE & UPDATED

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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 the last few months:

We’re mixing it up…

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Japan to Close Borders to All Foreigners

The rules comes into force at midnight on Tuesday.

That includes tourists who might be heading to the country to ski, business travellers and foreign students.

The measure has been  imposed for an initial period of one-month.

Image © PlanetSKI

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Covid Rules for Ski Resorts in British Columbia, Canada

Whistler will not make it compulsory for skiers and snowboarders to be vaccinate.

Proof of vaccination will be required when dining at restaurants and bars, including mountain restaurants.

All staff will be vaccinated.

In Whistler face masks will be required indoors, but not outdoors in lift queues, chair lifts or gondolas.

Big White Ski Resort will require masks on the gondolas, while Sun Peaks Resort encourages the use of face coverings while in lift lines and on the chairlift.

Sun Peaks said all resort staff will be fully vaccinated.

Some resorts are requiring people to be vaccinated before they enter the ski resort.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is requiring guests aged 12 and older to provide proof of vaccination to access all facilities at the resort, including the lifts.

Face masks will be required in all indoor locations for people age five and older.

The resort said all staff members will be fully vaccinated.

Grouse Mountain Resort is also requiring guests to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming season.

Canada

Canada. Image © PlanetSKI.

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Drug-Taking Ski Instructor Responsible for GB Surgeon’s Death

The urology consultant William Choi from Kent fell 250m down a steep off piste slope in La Plagne in 2016.

The assistant coroner in Maidstone, Sonia Hayes, heard this week the ski instructor, Philippe Drigo, was under the influence of cannabis at the time.

Drigo has already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter by French prosecutors.

The instructor appealed against the decision, but it was upheld by the French legal authorities.

Mr Choi fell on a steep slope and his head hit a rock which knocked his helmet off.

He continued to slide to the bottom of the slope.

A post-mortem recorded Mr Choi died from neck and spinal injuries.

Mr Drigo denied taking drugs or alcohol, but he was found to be under the influence of cannabis.

The inquest heard this could have impacted his judgement.

Image © PlanetSKI

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Ski Season Starts in the USA

Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the ski season in the US.

This year the snow gods have not been kind but proceedings are underway anyway.

Things are getting going in Jackson Hole in Wyoming too.

And at A-Basin in Colorado:

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Ski & Snowboard Cross Set to Start

Competiton begins at Zhangjiakou’s Secret Garden resort in China.

The occasion is also a Beijing 2022 test event.

The Ski Cross World Cup finals are on Saturday November 27th, with the Snowboard Cross World Cup finals on Sunday November 28th.

Season Trailers for Ski & Snowboard Cross:

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Alterra Sees Pent Up Demand for Skiing & Snowboarding

Rusty Gregory, CEO of Alterra Mountain Company, talks about what to expect as the snow rises across the USA and Canada.

Meanwhile in Utah…

Image c/o Ikon Pass

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The Last of the Ski Bums (1969)

Got some spare time?

1 hour, 26 minutes and 19 seconds to be precise.

A classic, highly under-rated ski film and well worth your time:

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Preparing a World Cup Race slope

Do you know how Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slopes are being prepared?

Check out how work is progressing in Lapland ahead of the first two women’s slaloms of the season in Levi, Finland.

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Beijing Winter Olympics Competition Venues Completed & Signed Off

All 12 venues have been approved by the respective International Federations.

The three Olympic Villages, main media centre, national stadium, and other non-competition venues have also been handed over for use.

The venues will now host various test events and refinements will be made.

The Games take place at Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics take place February 4th to 20th.

The Paralympics are due to take place March 4th to 13th.

Beijing 2022

Beijing 2022. Image c/o IOC.

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GB Athletes Prepare for First Slopestle World Cup of the Season

The Slopestyle World Cup Opener on Stubai Glacier in the Tirol will hint Olympic hopes as it take place 17th–20th November, 2021.

The athletes will come from more than 20 nations as the elite men and women of freeski will aim to secure an Olympic ticket at the FIS Freeski World Cup Stubai.

For GB Katie Summerhayes and Kirsty Muir are there in the women’s event.

Representing the GB men is Jamie Woods and Chris McCormick.

We’ll be following events this week on PlanetSKI.

Here’s a taste of what’s to come…

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Booster Jab to be Added to NHS App

There were concerns amoung travellers that it might affect ski trips as some ski nations required a jab to have been had within the past 9-months.

The app is being updated to display booster jab and the booster for travel will be ‘important’ as more countries put an expiry on regular vaccinations.

Austria and Switzerland have limits as we reported earlier on PlanetSKI:

“If anybody wants to travel, you can see that getting vaccinated with a booster will make your life easier for foreign travel. If you’re thinking about that, this is yet another reason to get it done,” said the PM Boris Johnson.

“It’s very clear that getting three jabs will become an important fact and it will make life easier for you in all sorts of ways.”

“The booster massively increases your protection. It takes it right back up to over 90%.”

Nearly 13 million people across the UK have already received a booster.

Innsbruck airport

Innsbruck airport, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

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GB’s Rutherford completes first bobsleigh run

34-year old Greg Rutherford won gold at the London Summer Games in 2012, now he wants to win a winter medal at Beijing 2022.

If he does so he would be the first GB athlete to win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

He has been named in one of the squads hoping to represent GB next February.

He took up the bobsleigh in April 2021.

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Well is it?

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What next for Jasmine Taylor?

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World Freestyle Skiing Champion Detained in Belarus

Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya has been held and fined for violating anti-protest laws in the country.

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation said the 25-year-old had also been fined $1,000 (£746/€873) for her alleged offences.

She is a double Winter Universiade gold medallist.

She competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

See here for further details on the Reuters news agency.

The International Olympic Committee has already suspended the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus after it failed to protect athletes who had joined political protests.

More than 2,000 people involved in Belarusian sport, including  Ramanouskaya, signed a letter that condemned as fraudulent the 2020 presidential election that saw Alexander Lukashenko retain power.

He denies accusations that the vote was rigged.

Image © PlanetSKI

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Grizzly Bears in Town in Jackson Hole

Police in the US ski resort town of Jackson Hole in Wyoming have shared a video of a group of grizzly bears strolling through town.

They were filmed on CCTV cameras.

The leader of the pack was ‘Grizzly 399’ who is something of a social media star with her own facebook and twitter pages.

The police escorted the celebrity bear and her entourage out of town.

“We had some visitors last night. #399 and her Cubs swung by to say hi 🐻🧸🧸🧸🧸 ” said the Jackson Hole Police Department.

And we are pleased to report that a PlanetSKI reader observed proceedings in Jackson.

“They walked down the street in front of my house!” said one of our regular readers.

“My dog was unusually edgy for a few minutes that evening, but the last thing I expected to see in the morning was the news of her taking a family stroll through my neighborhood.

“A reminder of how truly, and spectacularly, wild we live here in Jackson Hole.

“399 is a magnificent creature – however, I honestly hope she keeps heading north back into the folds of Grand Teton National Park for the winter!

“It’s nearly time to hibernate for that crew.”

Meanwhile if you want to find out a bit more about the skiing this winter in Jackson Hole….

13th October 2021. Image c/o Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

13th October 2021. Image c/o Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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Climate Change Impact on Glaciers in the Alps

Watch the exclusive premiere of the documentary that follows ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, along with a team of glaciologists and climate experts on their journey across the Alps to learn how rising temperatures are taking their toll on glaciers.

The documentary features the Gorner Glacier, plus interviews with climate specialists as they explain how they monitor glaciers.

Credit: European Space Agency

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US Indoor Snow Centre to Remain Closed

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Design of Medals for Beijing 2022 Revealed

The IOC says the design of the medals reflects “the culture and spirit of the host country” and “the medals encapsulate the innovative ideas and inspiring creativity of the artists”.

They are composed of rings and a centre, based on the ancient Chinese jade concentric circle pendants, with five rings representing the Chinese cultural connotation of “the unity of heaven and earth and the unity of people’s hearts”.

The design also symbolises the Olympic spirit of bringing people together from all over the world to participate in the Games.

Image c/o IOC

Image © IOC – International Olympic Committee

Image c/o IOC

Image © IOC – International Olympic Committee

Lets hope we see a few of them round the necks of GB athletes.

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New Flights to Grenoble

This winter sees the introduction of three new ski routes from the UK to Grenoble Alpes Isère airport.

Holidaymakers can fly from London Gatwick or London Stansted every Monday, Tuesday or Thursday during the winter season, meaning guests can opt for a short ski break.

Picking a resort with short transfers from the airport, savvy skiers can squeeze in an extra half day – or even full day – on the slopes, allowing skiers to save valuable holiday days, without taking a full week off to enjoy the mountains.

See here for a separate PlanetSKI feature on what the Isere Region in France offers.

Ski resorts in Isere

Ski resorts in Isere. Image c/o Isere.

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Canadian Province of Ottowa Will Not Require Covid Passport for Lifts

There will also be no capacity limits in chairlifts.

COVID-19 vaccine passports and other rules that apply to restaurants and bars will apply to dining establishments at ski hills across Ontario.

Ontario’s high vaccination rate and the relative safety of outdoor activities led to the decision to not require proof of vaccination outdoors.

Covid Passports will be required in the province of Quebec as we have earlier reported.

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UK’s ‘longest-lasting’ snow patch melts away

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Ski Resorts in Canadian Province of Quebec Require Vaccine Passport

The Quebec Ski Areas Association (ASSQ) will need the vaccine passport to be shown for everyone over 13-years old to use enclosed lifts and access certain services offered in day lodges.

It has 75 ski resorts with the most well-known one for UK skiers and snowboarder being Mont Treblant.

“We welcome the news to be able to operate ski lifts at full capacity as well as having no limit to the number of visitors outside,” said the CEO of the ASSQ, Yves Juneau.

“For the ski industry, the implementation of the vaccine passport is certainly an operational challenge, but it will allow for the easing of other health measures, and for that we are thankful. Our guest surveys show that the vast majority of skiers are in favor of the vaccine passport. The big impact for visitors will be the peace of mind that comes with this measure.”

  • People with COVID symptoms are asked to stay home.
  • Vaccine passport is required for the use of ski lifts and access to day lodge services (restaurants, cafeterias, bars, lunch sections). Restaurant rules will apply inside buildings with food and beverage service.
  • For lift lines and ski lifts, it is recommended to wear a neck warmer or balaclava covering the nose and mouth outdoors for all visitors aged 3 and over, including during a ski lesson.
  • Wearing a face covering indoors and in enclosed carriers such as gondolas.
  • Physical distancing is required.
  • Frequent hand washing.
Canada

Canada. Image © PlanetSKI

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The ‘Ultimate Run’

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Stoke the Fire

See behind the scenes in the Teton Gravity Research film.

There’s a whole lot of work that goes on to make those few minutes of stoke come to life on screen.

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Woof, Woof!

At Mount Bachelor in Oregon, USA, there’s a special unit of workers dedicated just to avalanche rescue—and the training starts young.

An inside look at Bachelor’s own avalanche dog program that trains canines to find buried skiers and snowboarders.

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Team GB Predicted to Win 3 Medals at Beijing Winter Olympics

If so, it will be a disappointment after 5 medals (1 gold and 4 bronzes) at Pyeongchang 2018.

The prediction comes from the sports data company, Gracenote, that uses data from previous Olympics, World Championships and World Cups.

It then feeds it into a statistical model that then makes its predictions.

The three medals predicted for Team GB are 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.

There are now under 100 days to go to the Beijing Winter Games.

Gracenote claims the country with the largest tally will be Norway, with 44 medals.

22 of those are predicted to be gold.

The Norwegians excel in cross-county and biathlon.

Norway at 2019 World Championships, Seefeld. Image © PlanetSKI

Norway at 2019 World Championships, Seefeld. Image © PlanetSKI

There are 109 medals events in total at Beijing.

China itself may struggle and is predicted to get 6 medals which would put it in 14th spot.

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Memorial Ceremony Announced  for Former FIS President

The International Ski Federation will formally recognize the life and legacy of its former President, Gian Franco Kasper.

There will be a special ceremony following the women’s super-G race in his hometown  of St Moritz in Switzerland on the 12th December.

“We can think of no better way to honor the memory of Gian Franco Kasper than brining the friends and family of FIS together on the snow in his hometown at a FIS World Cup race,” commented FIS Secretary General, Michel Vion.

“We hope this will give our FIS Family the chance to reflect on Gian Franco’s legacy and pay tribute to him in way that we know he would fully appreciate.”

Gian-Franco Kasper. Image c/o FIS

Kasper dies in July 2021 after stepping down as President.

He had been President of FIS for 23 years.

His term as President of FIS included included five Olympic Winter Games:

  • Salt Lake City 2002
  • Turin 2006
  • Vancouver 2010
  • Sochi 2014
  • PyeongChang 2018

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Fancy Skiing in Norway Next Winter?

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New Lift to Val Thorens

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Image © PlanetSKI

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