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March’s Skiing Snippets

– Skiing in Scotland: the videos
– Look Who We Bumped Into
– CEO of Aspen Skiing Company Steps Down
– Ukranians Take Refuge in the Mountains …LIVE & UPDATED

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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 past couple of months:

We’re mixing it up:

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Skiing in Scotland

Well, that was a fun timed in Glencoe for the Mighty Coe and then the Nevis Range for the Scottish Slopestyle Champs last weekend.

Check out the added videos:

And our full report here from PlanetSKI’s Scotland reporter, Rod Frazer:

The Mighty Coe. Image © Rod FrazerSKI

The Mighty Coe. Image © Rod Frazer

Nevis Range. Image © Rod Frazer

Nevis Range. Image © Rod Frazer

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Cross Country Snowboarding?

It’s amazing who you bump into on the slopes.

The first thing our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, spotted were the shorts, then the GB Snowsport team kit.

But the snowboard splitboard threw her.

He didn’t look like any Team GB snowboarder she knew.

PlanetSKI’s Jane Peel with GB cross country skier James Clugnet in Chamrousse – photo © PlanetSKI

Turns out it’s James Clugnet, one of the three elite cross-country skiers in the GB World Cup Squad.

He was having a bit of end-of-season fun with friends at his local resort of Chamrousse in France.

The 25-year-old, who made his Winter Olympics debut at Beijing in February, was born and raised in Grenoble to a French dad and English mum.

Good to meet you, James!

James Clugnet in Chamrousse – photo © PlanetSKI

Jane was in Chamrousse as part of a mini road trip to discover some of the lesser-known resorts in the Isère region.

You can read her first two articles, from Villard de Lans and Les 7 Laux, here:

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CEO of Aspen Skiing Company Steps Down

Mike Kaplan has announced he is retiring in April 2023.

He is also President of the company.

His surprise announcement came at an end of season staff party.

“Today, I write to you with a tear in my eye and a knot in my stomach as I announce my retirement as President and CEO from Aspen Skiing Company, effective next year, April 30, 2023,” he said in a letter released to staff.

His announcement did not offer any details on the decision.

He said that “it’s time for me to step back and welcome new leadership and perspectives.”

Aspen, Colorado. Image © PlanetSKI

Aspen, Colorado. Image © PlanetSKI

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Ukranians Take Refuge in the Mountains

​​As Ukrainians try to escape the Russian invasion, some are seeking shelter in the Carpathian Mountains – a region that has been a refuge for people fleeing war for centuries.

While nowhere in Ukraine feels completely safe, a mother tells NBC News’ Molly Hunter that her family is “blessed” to have the support of the people of Volovets.

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Skiing in the Sky

Fred Fred Fugen dives from a hot air balloon chairlift for a world first skydiving & skiing combination.

He free flies, before speedriding down mountain slopes with a parachute.

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EasyJet Drops Mask Wearing on Some Flights

The airline has said that where masks are no longer legally required at both ends of the route mask wearing would be a personal choice on board.

They will remain in place on most flights to alpine destinations

It means they will have to be worn on UK flights to Scotland.

The rule change will apply to flights to Denmark, Gibraltar, Iceland and Hungary.

To those locations it will “not mandate customers and crew to wear masks onboard the flight”, the airline said.

“Any customers or crew who wish to continue wearing a mask will of course have their personal choice respected.

“As a pan-European airline operating between over 30 countries, we must continue to ensure that we and our customers follow the legal requirements of all the countries we fly to.”

Several other airlines have recently relaxed rules on mask-wearing rules including British Airways, Jet2.com and Tui Airways.

Innsbruck airport

Easyjet at Innsbruck airport

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Ryding Reflects

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Dog Found Alive 2 days After being Caught in Avalanche

The animal was with two people off piste on Mount Pack in Monarch Pass in Colorado when the avalanche struck.

One person was not buried and was able to pull their companion out of the snow, but the dog vanished.

It was presumed dead, but two days later it was found in the area.

Four people and three dogs traveling with their owners have been killed in avalanches this winter in Colorado.

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Finale of FWT

It’s coming soon at the Verbier Xtreme:

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Ski Industry Report Set to Be Unveiled

The Swiss consultant, Laurent Vanat, will unveil his 2020/21 International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism at the end of next month.

It will be released during the Mountain Planet  trade show at Grenoble-Alpexpo, April 26th – 28th 2022.

The report lists and analyses data from over 6,000 ski resorts in 68 countries around the world.

Laurent Vanat has been publishing his report for the past 14 years.

It contains facts, figures, investments, visits, trends, snowfall, and should make interesting reading in these changing and challenging times for the snowsports industry.

Needless to say with two years of Covid19 the recent findings of the report have been mixed:

Laurent Vanat

Laurent Vanat. Image © PlanetSKI

Here at PlanetSKI we find it a fascinating read and are looking forward to it.

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Snip, Snip

Lets hope this gentleman has read and understood the sign to his right in St Johann in Austria or he may be in trouble.

Image c/o PlanetSKI

Image c/o PlanetSKI

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Shiffrin Takes 4th Overall Alpine Ski World Cup Title

It comes after the US skier finished second in the Super-G in Courchevel in France.

She now holds a 236-point lead at the top of the table that cannot be overtaken.

It comes after a hugely disappointing Olympics in Beijing last month for Mikaela Shiffrin where she failed to win a medal and made numerous errors.

Since The Winter Games she has had four podium finishes.

She also won the overall crown in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“It’s been some high moments this season and it’s been some really difficult moments as well,” she said after her triumph.

“Ending it on a high and  finding some really nice moments on the last races, that’s really important and very special.”

Her boyfriend, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, won the men’s super-G Crystal Globe.

He has also won the downhill title.

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Scottish Ski Legend Dies

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That Junior World Champion Feeling

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Groupe de Haute Montagne Reacts to Russian Invasion of Ukraine

GHM is an apolitical club of alpinists based in France.

It includes members from around the world. It has praised a Ukranian team that recently summited Annapurna III in Nepal.

“One of the most significant ascents of 2021 was achieved by an Ukrainian trio on Annapurna III in Nepal,” said GHM.

“Our special thoughts go to them and their families.”

“War is destruction and a tragedy for the citizens who are directly impacted.

“Since February 24, probably thousands of Ukrainians and Russians have already been killed, tens of thousands have been injured, over two million Ukrainians have left their country, and several thousand Russians have been arrested by Putin’s regime.

“There are no words for a such a total disaster.

“The GHM very strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate cease-fire.

“All our thoughts go to our Ukrainian and Russian friends who are directly impacted, and who are standing up openly against this war.

“We are currently in touch with them and are trying to support the best we can.”

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Ski Resort Planned for Saudi Arabia

The Trojena project is set for completion by 2026 and will be the first outdoor ski area in the region.

It is part of a  $500 billion holiday development in Neom in the north-west of the country.

“The blue waters of the Red Sea, beauty of the Neom mountain ranges and the golden desert sand dunes will provide skiers a first-of-its-kind experience that combines these diverse environments with fun-filled and adventurous moments,” said a statement issued on behalf of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Temperatures in the area drop below zero in winter and artificial snow will be made alongside some natural snowfall.

Trojena is situated 50 kms from the Gulf of Aqaba with the mountains going up to 2,600m.

Facilities planned include a ski slope, hotels and other accommodation, shops and restaurants, watersports facilities, mountain biking and a nature reserve.

It claims it will attract 700,000 visitors and 7,000 permanent residents by 2030.

See here for a promotional video:

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Knight and Wild win first medal for ParalympicsGB in Beijing

Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild won ParalympicsGB’s first medal on the opening day of competition at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

They were taking part in the Women’s Downhill Visually Impaired.

They finished in a time of 1:23.20 at the Yanqing National Alpine Centre.

Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Gary Smith finished in fifth place with a time of 1:30.49

Knight, from Canterbury is competing at her third Paralympic Games.

”The feelings haven’t really sunk in, there are so many thoughts and emotions going through my head,” she said after the event.

“I feel like I’m on cloud nine and I just genuinely can’t believe that this is happening to us.

“Crossing the line with a smile on my face was our number one goal – we genuinely didn’t believe we were at the level that would get us a medal. This bronze is something very special.

“Brett’s belief and confidence in me has very much inspired me and made me want to do it not just for me, my family friends and sponsors but for Brett.

“This medal ranks above our silver 4 years ago in PyeongChang – we are every different people and have gone through some tough things and it’s changed us.

“The conditions were perfect, absolutely unbelievable. The snow was amazing and the course had fantastic features – it was so much fun.

“We genuinely did not think a medal would be achievable especially with the standard at the moment –  I didn’t think I was good enough to be up there. At the start I was just thinking find the seconds, do anything you can do to go faster, it doesn’t matter if you’re scared, keep going.

“It’s unbelievable to be here competing especially with all the difficulties going on at the moment. I feel very grateful that we can compete but obviously my thoughts go out to all the Ukrainians.”

Image c/o Paralympics GB

Image c/o Paralympics GB

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Paralympics Set to Start

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Fancy competing?

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UK Sport statement on Russia and Belarus

“UK Sport calls on all International Federations to take the strongest possible sporting sanctions against Russia and Belarus and we are working closely with colleagues in government and sports and partners across the Olympic and Paralympic family to enable this.

“We must be clear with Russia and their allies that their appalling actions will not be tolerated within the international sporting community and will have consequences.

“Sport has the ability to bring communities across the world together and in these darkest of hours, we must stand united.

“Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and our friends and colleagues in Ukraine at this terrible time.”

UK Sport

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Blow to Menna Fitzpatrick ahead of Paralympics as ski guide gets Covid

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Royal Navy Wishes GB Paralympians ‘Good Luck’

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PlanetSKI Heads to St Anton This Week

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Avalanche Warnings in Colorado

Heavy snow has left an unstable snow pack over a wide area according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Centre.

One killed one person and two dogs died near Marble.

They were in a group out snowshoeing.

Four people and two dogs were travelling to a home along “an unmaintained road” on Friday when the avalanche occurred, the CAIC said in a statement.

See here for more details.

Mountain Rescue Aspen “would like to remind backcountry travellers to be aware that smaller slopes have the potential to be hazardous,” the sheriff’s office said.

People are advised to carry avalanche rescue gear if they head into the backcountry.

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Bulgaria to Ease Covid-19 Restrictions

From March 5th, all foreign travellers who have a green pass will be allowed entry to Bulgaria – a move that should boost its late season ski industry.

The country is home to the main ski resorts of Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets.

PlanetSKI was in the country a few years back:

PlanetSKI in Bulgaria

PlanetSKI in Bulgaria. Image © PlanetSKI

It plans to lift the compulsory green pass for restaurants, shopping malls and other public venue from March 20th.

The pass shows someone has been vaccinated, tested negative or is recently recovered from covid-19.

“We managed to pass through the Omicron wave without massive closures of schools or businesses… Our forecasts show that around March 20 it would be possible to end all restrictions in the country linked to the Green Certificate,” said the Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov.

Very busy Saturday in Borovets, Bulgaria. Image © PlanetSKI

Looking up at the run named after Italian skier Tomba in Bansko

Bansko, Bulgaria – photo © PlanetSKI

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Image © PlanetSKI

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