May’s Skiing Snippets
1st May 2022
Last modified on May 29th, 2022
– 2 Dead & 9 Injured After Ice Fall in Swiss Alps
– ‘The Ultimate Run’ Wins Sports Emmy® Award
– Spring Ski Descent of Mont Blanc
– Foothills Above Montreux Turn White…LIVE & UPDATED
Here we cover anything that takes our fancy.
Short news stories, eye catching videos, amusing cartoons, 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 few months:
We’re mixing it up:
2 Dead & 9 Injured After Ice Fall in Swiss Alps
The mountaineers were on the Grand Combin in the Valais canton near the ski resort of Verbier.
A series of serac falls, where large blocks of ice collapse, took place around 6am on Friday morning.
The rescue services scrambled 7 helicopters and their teams to deal with the incident.
The fall of the seracs took place at an altitude of 3,400m in the sector of the Plateau du Déjeune during the ascent of the Grand-Combin by the Voie du Gardien route.
17 mountaineers, divided into several different groups, were in the area according to a statement from the local police.
Two people died at the scene of the accident.
They were a 40-year-old French national living in France and a 65-year-old Spaniard living in Spain.
Nine other people were taken to Sion and Lausanne hospitals.
Two are reported to be in a serious condition.
An investigation is underway.
‘The Ultimate Run’ Wins Sports Emmy® Award
The film by Markus Eder won in the category Outstanding Camera Work – Long Form.
The Marker, Dalbello and Völkl athlete has achieved something that not many have accomplished before him: rarely is a ski film nominated for the Sports Emmy® Awards – even more rarely is it honoured with the award and thus recognised beyond the ski world.
Markus Eder’s 10-minute film, “The Ultimate Run”, captures all of his skiing skills in a single, impressive run that unites every sub-genre of modern freeskiing.
It took two years to assemble the footage that eventually became the ultimate run from the top of the Zermatt Glacier, across the Klausberg ski area in South Tirol, and all the way down to Eder’s home village.
It also involved cutting-edge camera work, including aerial and remote cinematography, follow-cam segments, as well as race drone footage.
“’The Ultimate Run’ allowed me to wrap my entire skiing spectrum into a single edit. We filmed a top-to-bottom run in my hometown of Klausberg and were finally able to shoot at all the spots I’ve been dreaming of for years,” said Markus Eder.
Spring Ski Descent of Mont Blanc
Two skiers have descended Mont Blanc at 4,807m, the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe.
Lane Aasen and partner hiked up past the entrance of the Mont Blanc Tunnel to La Para to put on their skis on at about 1,800m.
They then followed the path of the old tram up to Gare des Glaciers and traversed to the Glacier des Bossons.
After a sketchy crossing of La Jonction on thin snow bridges, they reached the Grand Mulets hut at 8 p.m. after about 2,000 metres of climbing.
“Thankfully it wasn’t too later for dinner and we had some cream of mushroom soup and spaghetti carbonara with a few Alaskans before going to bed,” said Aasen.
“We woke up at 3:30 a.m. and started up the climber’s right variation to the Petit Plateau.
“This route is exposed to some seracs but the hut-keeper says he has only heard of two collapses in ten years.”
They skinned across the Petit Plateau, which is threatened by much more active seracs, and climbed a short step on the climber’s left to gain the Grand Plateau and then headed climber’s left to reach the Col de la Brenva.
From there, they climbed a short section of 50 degree ice on the ridge then made a slow high-altitude slog to the summit.
“We skied ice off the summit back down our ascent route and then cut into the North Face where we found some soft snow,” said Aasen.
“We stopped to make water and watched as clouds engulfed the summit.
“The snow quality deteriorated on the rest of the descent and by the bottom it was the worst isothermal mush I have ever skied.
“Finally, a couple hours of hiking back to Chamonix.”
Foothills Above Montreux Turn White
From a distance the meadows in the foothills of the Alps above the Swiss town of Montreux by Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) appear to be covered in fresh snow.
They are covered in narcissus blooms.
Characters of the Cairngorms
Hakuba Powder Run
The Norwegian snowboarder Terje Håkonsen has posted an inspiring video from Japan.
The border was closed all winter due to Covid-19 so the slopes were only available for those living in Japan.
“Honshu island of Japan has amazing terrain. Hakuba mountain rage is the biggest and most challenging terrain,” said Terje Håkonsen.
“It’s normally a little warmer in Honshu than Hokkaido, so it’s not every winter it’s on for two months straight, but 2022 was.”
“Best season ever.”
Five People Die in Plane Crash in French Alps
The light aircraft, a Jodel D140, crashed in the Isere region of the southern French Alps on Saturday afternoon.
Local media report that four of the victims are from the same family.
The plane took off from Versoud airfield Grenoble and was on its maiden flight.
An investigation is underway.
Fancy a Job in the UK Snowsports Industry?
Ski Solutions has two new job roles that are available to apply for. Click the links below to apply for the Digital Marketing Manager and Client Services Executive roles: https://t.co/MioA0oSUH0 https://t.co/GGnH5QnWYK pic.twitter.com/4el9oGzDtL
— Ski Solutions (@skisolutions) May 18, 2022
Skiing as Nature Intended
Snowsport England Aims to Develop Moguls & Ski Cross
The new programmes, which will build on the success of the current “Futures” Park & Pipe project, will encourage increased participation in moguls and ski cross.
It will hopefully lead on to Olympic success for Team GB
It will use facilities found within the UK and will place an emphasis on giving skiers the opportunity to try their hand at a new discipline.
It will help them develop the fundamental skills required to progress in that pathway, or understand and learn the skills necessary to transition between disciplines.
Newly appointed Cross Discipline Pathway Coach, Paul Telling, will lead the programme for Snowsport England.
He will be supported by ski cross coach Luke Feneley and existing moguls coach Joss Englert, as well as Head of Talent at GB Snowsport Mark Ritchie and the wider Home Nations team of coaching and support staff.
“The UK has a huge number of exciting young skiers, and several excellent ski centres and facilities that are keen to be involved in the development of these future champions,” said Paul Telling.
” By providing more opportunities for skiers to develop the skills needed for ski cross and moguls, and more opportunities for skiers to try multiple disciplines, we give ourselves the best chance of increasing participation and raising standards, helping GBS to talent spot the next generation of Olympic athletes.”
Current GB Snowsport ski cross athlete Ollie Davies said: “Ski Cross is an exciting discipline. For more young and up and coming racers to have the opportunity to try ski cross on the domestic scene is great. Hopefully it can be the beginning in shaping the next generation of Olympic ski cross competitors.”
Team GB and Olympic Moguls skier, Will Feneley, added “It’s great to see initiatives like this being put in place. Mogul skiing has been a particularly hidden discipline in the UK, so it’s nice to see that opportunities are being put in place for younger skiers to come through, try the sport out, and take steps towards the top.”
Step forward Mr and Mrs Ryding
HUGE congratulations to you both.
And just in case you missed it from last winter, our extended interview with The Rocket after his silver medal in Garmisch Partenkirchen…. where Dave talks about his upcoming marriage.
Happy Norway National Day
Slush Cup Fever Grows
Our legendary Slush Cup is 1 week away!! 🤘🤘🤘 pic.twitter.com/l1GP5q9Hkr
— Sunshine Village (@SunshineVillage) May 16, 2022
Masks Remain on Flights To & From Italy
The EU-wide requirement to wear masks ends today, Monday 16th May, as we reported earlier on PlanetSKI:
However, the Italian government has confirmed it will still be compulsory for passengers to wear masks on flights to Italy until mid-June.
So, if you are heading to the Italian mountains by plane a mask will still be needed.
Italy’s current rules require that FFP2 masks should be worn on all public transport, including buses, trams, regional and high-speed trains, ferries, and planes.
National regulations take precedence over EU rules.
Electric Snowmobiles Unveiled in Sweden
The eco-friendlier machines, developed by Taiga Motors Corporation, were put through their paces at the ski resort of Salen.
“Low emissions, good performance and a vast improvement on the snowmobiles environmental impact, has encouraged us to choose Taiga’s electric snowmobiles for use by ski patrol and other mountain operations,” said Fanny Sjödin, head of sustainability at SkiStar.
“Sweden continues to be a global pioneer in electrification and sustainable solutions. It’s only a natural decision for us to debut our Nomad snowmobile in Europe at SkiStar in Sälen,” said Taiga CEO Sam Bruneau.
“We’re excited for the SkiStar team to experience these two revolutionary machines, while also bolstering our mission in providing an electric snowmobile that does not compromise on performance, while also preserving the environment.”
Last month PlanetSKI was snowmobiling in Sweden at the resort of Riksgransen, though not on electric machines.
Tui Says No Last Minute Holiday deals as Travel Booms
The world’s largest holiday company that owns the UK’s largest ski operator, Crystal Ski Holidays, has said it expects summer bookings to “almost reach” 2019 levels this year.
Summer bookings have surged with beach destination the most popular, though there is growing interest in summer breaks in the mountains.
“There will be practically no last minute offers at low prices this summer,” said the CEO of Tui, Fritz Joussen.
“2022 will be a good financial year. Capacity almost reaches pre-corona level of 2019.”
He added: “After two years of crisis, we expect Tui to become profitable again in the current financial year… This is the basis for new growth.”
See more on the BBC.
Melting Glaciers Collapse Pakistan Bridge
Pakistan’s climate minister has said that a summer heatwave, which has come months earlier than usual, has been melting glaciers in the Himalayas.
The melting has caused flooding which swept away a large bridge in the town of Hasanabad after a glacial lake outburst.
Heatwaves are a common in Pakistan, but they have come earlier than usual this year across South Asia and reached record levels.
Some regions hit temperatures above 40C (104F).
Congratulations to Menna Fitzpatrick
She is Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian:
Concerns of Mafia Involvement in Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics
The Italian Anti-Mafia Investigation Department (DIA) has called for measures to be put in place to stop the Mafia becoming involved in the preparations and organisation of the Games.
The warning is reported by Prima Milano and picked up by Inside the Games.
“The message I would like to give to all of you is that there is no more time to waste, prevention is very important even if the risk of infiltration is not totally eliminated,” said Alessandra Dolci of the Milan District Anti-Mafia Prosecutor’s Office.
“Part of the reclamation work has already been done, so in order to stem the risk of mafia infiltration into the construction sites for the Olympics, we must act quickly.
“The construction sector is certainly not a secret, even in the north it has historically been infiltrated.”
New Mountain Bike Routes in the Tirol
Two new mountain bike routes are getting ready to open this summer in the PillerseeTal, Austria.
The Hoametzl Ride in Hochfilzen is 8.5 km long and climbs 280 vertical metres from the village of Hochfilzen up to the Hoametzl-Hütte.
Alternatively, try the ride up to the Hochhörndler Hütte in Fieberbrunn, which is an adventurous bike and hike trail.
Keen hikers can dismount at Hochhörndler Hütte, pull on their hiking boots, and complete the final push up to the Wildseelodersee lake at around 2,000m by foot.
Overall, the ride is 10.8 km long and the hike ascends 950 vertical metres.
For more information see here.
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk
Water and Light Festival in the Italian Alps
A water/light festival with 29 big light installations about water in the mountain city Brixen in Northern Italy in the Alps.
California Ski Resort to Stay Open Until End of May
Palisades Tahoe has seen a recent 2m dump of snow and says it hopes to be open until Monday, May 30th.
It means the ski resort will have Lake Tahoe’s longest winter season.
“There’s no significant precipitation or weather in the forecast (though there may be a few windy days), so we are doing our best to preserve the snow we have,” the resort said in a statement.
“We’ll have our grooming teams out midweek next week even when the resort is not open, and they’ll be harvesting snow from closed areas to prolong the life of other lifts.”
Heli-ski Guide Dies in Alaska Avalanche
An investigation is underway after a Valdez heli-ski guide, 46-year-old Michael Hamilton, was killed in an avalanche.
He was carried him approximately 500m down the mountain and over a steep cliff.
He was able to deploy his avalanche airbag system and was equipped with avalanche mitigation equipment.
“Condolences go out to the family and friends of a Local Valdez Legend that passed away on the twenty fifth of April in the Chugach mountains. His passing has left a huge hole in the community, he will not be forgotten,” the Valdez Avalanche Center wrote on its website.
Investigation Underway After Two Climbers Die in Italy
Two German climbers have died after they were hit by an avalanche on the Ortles mountain in the Alto Adige area.
The accident happened at an altitude of 2,500m.
Post-mortem examinations are being carried out and next-of-kin are being contacted.
96-year-old Skis for 96 days Last Season
Utah skiing legend hits slopes for 96 days in his 96th year.
Vail Resorts Reports Skier Visits up by 12.5%
It also says lift ticket revenue was up 19.4% compared to the 2020/21 season.
Ski school revenue was also up 53%, dining revenue was up 73.2%, and retail/rental revenue for North American resort and ski area store locations was up 39.%.
“The prior year was significantly impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, which eased for most resorts in March and April of last year resulting in stronger visitation and revenue relative to the earlier parts of last season,” said the CEO of Vail Resorts, Kirsten Lynch.