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June’s Skiing Snippets

– Back in the Day in Verbier
– Eddie the Eagle Opens Indoor Ski Slope in Devon
– Scientists Investigate ‘Snow Blood’ in the Alps
– International Ski Marathon Federation Bans Russian Athletes
– Spain Backs Out Of Pyrenees 2030 Olympic Bid… LIVE & UPDATED

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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:

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Back in the Day in Verbier…

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Eddie the Eagle Opens Indoor Ski Slope in Devon

A new leisure centre in north Devon has been opened by Olympic ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards.

Edwards, who competed in the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, tried out a revolving carpet slope.

He described the “endless” ski slope as being “like a giant treadmill but for skiing”.

At Calgary the ski jumper came last in both the 70m and 90m events at the Winter Olympics but won the hearts of people around the world.

“When I started on my Olympic dream, I was fortunate that my home town of Cheltenham wasn’t too far from a dry ski slope,” he said.

See more on the BBC.

“So having this facility as part of an amazing new leisure centre here in Barnstaple will hopefully inspire people to give skiing a go, whether that’s just for fun or making a career from this great sport.”

The centre also has a 25m eight-lane competition swimming pool, a 20m four-lane learner pool, a sports hall with four badminton courts, a large gym, two multi-purpose exercise studios, a spinning studio and play areas as well as a reception area and cafe.

The new centre has been part-funded with £1.5m from the Coastal Communities Fund and £1.8m from the National Lottery via Sport England.

It will be run by Lex Leisure and is owned by North Devon Council.

Eddie the Eagle. Image © PlanetSKI

Eddie the Eagle. Image © PlanetSKI

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Scientists Investigate ‘Snow Blood’ in the Alps

At altitude in the Alps patches of snow are turning red in a phenomenon known as “snow blood”.

It is a type of algae growing on the snow.

It accelerates the melting of the snow as as the red pigment reduces the snow’s ability to reflect sunlight.

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The International Ski Marathon Federation Bans Athletes from Russia and Belarus

It comes as the February 24th Russian invasion of Ukraine continues with the support of Belarus.

The decision was made taken at the Annual General Meeting of the organisation’s Executive Committee in Sweden.

“We do not support what is happening in Ukraine,” said the organisation.

“The ongoing illegal Russian military aggression against Ukraine is unacceptable for us as an organisation with democratic values.”

See more on Inside the Games.

 

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Spain Backs Out Of Pyrenees 2030 Olympic Bid

The leaders of the Catalonia and Aragon regions have been unable to reach agreement on a number of key issues. The two sides had significant political differences.

The Spanish Olympic Committee made the announcement.

“We had other brilliant candidacies (for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics) that didn’t go ahead because we were competing with very strong rival cities. But this one we have destroyed ourselves at our own home,” said the committee president, Alejandro Blanco.

“There was no other way out than withdrawing our bid.

“We cannot spend months and months and months with the differences that there were.

“We were transforming an integrating project into a war between constitutionalists and independentists, the Olympic spirit is not about that.”

There has been political infighting over issues including the allocation of events.

Spain has never held the Winter Olympics though Barcelona hosted the Summer Games in  1992.

Cities that have already held the Winter Olympics are in the running for the 2030 Games.

They include Sapporo in Japan, Vancouver in Canada and Salt Lake City in the USA.

Currently Sapporo is seen as the front runner.

 

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Teenager Dies in Ski Accident in Thredbo

18-year old Oliver Johnston crashed into a tree in the Australian resort on Sunday.

He was treated at the scene and then transported to a medical centre where he died.

Police are preparing a report for the coroner.

Ski resorts in Australia opened for their winter season earlier this month.

Thredbo, Australia

Thredbo, Australia. Image © PlanetSKI

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Last Snow Melting Away in Scotland

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Skiing on a Slag Heap!

Monte Kaolino in Bavaria, Germany, is 35 million tonnes of quartz sand that has been piled up over the years from a nearby kaolin mine.

In the 1960s one guy turned up with skis to ride the slope.

Now half a century later it’s a theme-park destination for sandboarders and sandskiers.

See more here: https://www.montekaolino.eu/

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Travellers to New Zealand No Longer Need Covid-19 Pre-Departure Test

The requirement is dropped from Monday 20th June and is good news for those planning to ski in New Zealand.

“We’ve taken a careful and staged approach to reopening our borders to. Our strategy has worked and as a result it’s safe to lift pre-departure test requirements sooner than planned,” said the Covid-19 Response Minister, Dr Ayesha Verrall.

“We had intended to remove the requirement for travellers to have a pre-departure test by 31 July. But with cases continuing to decline there is evidence this measure can now be lifted.”

The winter ski season is getting underway this weekend in New Zealand with bumper amounts of snow as we have reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI:

Skiing in New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand. Image © PlanetSKI

Border measures remain in place for detecting possible new variants of Covid-19.

People will still be required to take a self-test on Day 1 and again on Day 5/6.

If the test is positive, then people must then get a PCR test.

Passengers transiting through New Zealand will no longer need to be vaccinated, nor be required to complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration.

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Colorado Ski Resorts Predict Visits Up by 14%

Colorado Ski Country in the USA is forecasting a record-breaking number of people went skiing or snowboarding in its 22-member ski resorts last winter.

It is projecting a new skier visitation record that is slightly ahead of the previous record of 13.8m visits in 2018-19.

Skier visits during the 2020-21 season was 12 million in total.

“Despite the challenges our mountains faced early in the season, we are pleased to report that our business has recovered from the worst impacts of the pandemic,” said the President and CEO of the organisation, Melanie Mills.

“This winter’s visits have had a positive economic impact in our communities and in our state, while bringing with them challenges that come with growth in visitation.

“That this level of growth comes despite a dry early season and the very limited return of international skiers, is a real credit to the hard work of resort teams and to the warm hospitality of our mountain resort communities.”

Colorado Ski Country

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Bear Attacks Family in Tent in Great Smoky Mountains

A 350-pound black bear has been put down after it attacked a family in their tent in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA.

The family of five, including two parents, a 3-year-old girl and their dog, were asleep at Elkmont Campground when the bear tore into their tent around 5:20 in the morning.

See more from the National Park Service.

The bear attacked the girl and her mother after entering their tent, and both sustained what park officials described as “superficial lacerations to their heads”.

The father frighten the bear away and alerted the authorities.

It was located and humanely killed.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a protected area along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

It is one of the largest designated regions for beats in the USA.

An estimatee 1,500 black bears live in the Smokies – that’s two bears per square mile.

Black bear attacks on humans are rare with only a few reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in recent years.

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Wild Fire Rages in Mountains of New Mexico

Wildfire burns are affecting 360,000 acres of mountains as New Mexico faces its worst wildfire in recent memory.

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First Base Jump off Aiguille du Gouter

Matthias “Super Frenchie” Giraud has pulled off some huge ski-BASE jumps.

He was the first to jump off Mont Blanc near Chamonix in 2019.

Recently became the first person to pull the feat off of the Aiguille du Gouter, also in the Mont Blanc Massif.

It was 10 years in the planning:

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Lindsey Vonn Part of Salt Lake City Winter Olympic bid

The city, which hosted the Games in 2002, is looking at hosting the event again in 2030 or 2034.

It is currently aiming for 2030.

The Salt Lake City plan is set to use existing venues 100%, largely thanks to the 2002 Games.

The retired US ski racer, Lindsey Vonn made, her Olympic debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

According to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune she was instantaneous in her support.

‘Absolutely! How can I be involved?’ she said to Catherine Raney-Norman, the Salt Lake bid chair and a retired Olympic speed skater.

“I think she’s going to share an incredibly unique experience as an athlete, as a global leader in sport, as a champion of mental health. And I think it’s going to be a huge thing,” said Catherine Raney-Norman.

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Image © PlanetSKI

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Image © PlanetSKI

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International Biathlon Union Wants Relay Race added to 2026 Olympics

It is lobbying for a single mixed relay race to be added to the Milan-Cortina Games.

Biathlon had 11 medal events at Beijing 2022, including a mixed relay featuring teams of four, which first featured at Sochi 2014.

See here for more on Inside the Games.

“We believe Single Mixed Relay will add great value to the Games,” said the IBU

Ski mountaineering has already been approved for Milan-Cortina 2026.

The Winter Olympics in 2026 are due to run from 6th – 22nd February.

2026 Winter Olympics

Image c/o 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics

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Air Travel Disruptions Could Extend Into Next Winter & Beyond

That’s the claim from the boss of Heathrow airport as flights continue to be cancelled with some passengers experiencing long delays.

John Holland-Kaye said  large-scale cancellations and delays could last for another 18 months.

“I think it will take 12 to 18 months for the aviation sector to fully recover capacity, so we will have to really carefully manage supply and demand,” Holland-Kay said at the Financial Times’ Global Boardroom conference.

He wants the government to make it easier to recruit staff with security background checks speeded up.

Swiss Air check in at Heathrow Terminal 2 – photo © PlanetSKI

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You Have Been Warned!

If you are planning on camping in the mountains this summer (or anywhere else for that matter)…

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USA Ends Covid Testing for Travellers from Europe

From Sunday fully vaccinated people are able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

Most European countries have long since dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated people.

The US has maintained the policy but is axed it from Sunday 12th June.

The US banned unvaccinated travellers from entry, but this did not apply to US citizens, US residents or people travelling for essential reasons.

As long as the position remains the same next winter the US resorts will become more attractive for skiers and snowboarders from Europe with no need for testing for most.

Airlines have viewed the testing measures as excessive and blamed it for reducing tickets sales.

Health Official have said they may decide to reinstate the requirement if a new and concerning variant of the virus emerges.

San Francisco Airport. Image © PlanetSKI

San Francisco Airport. Image © PlanetSKI

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Ryanair Announces New Winter Routes to Alps & Pyrenees

It is putting on flights to Turin in Italy and Barcelona in Spain. Ryanair will have its highest number of winter routes in 2022/23.

The Italian airport of Turin that serves a number of ski resorts in Aosta Valley and Piedmont.

Barcelona gives access to the Spanish resorts in Aragorn and Catalonia as well as Andorra.

They are part of 13 new winter routes that will see the airline having 449 in total.

It offers flights to all the main ski nations in Europe.

Turin airport

Turin airport. Image © PlanetSKI

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Skiing Suicide Chute

Here’s Miles Clark Skiing Suicide Chute on 11,045′ Mt. Superior, Utah on 6/7/22.

And if you think it doesn’t look very steep then just google ‘suicide chute’ for an image.

Respect.

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TechnoAlpin Wins Contract for Snowmaking at 2026 Winter Olympics

It provided the systems used at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

The competitions will take place in several locations across Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino-Sud Tirol.

This month an initial €1m contract was placed for the first order for the delivery of the snowmaking system.

TechnoAlpin. Image © PlanetSKI

TechnoAlpin. Image © PlanetSKI

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British Base Jumper Dies in the Alps

33-year old Dylan Roberts died in Italy after jumping from an 800m high ledge on Mount Brento.

He was with a group of five friends at the time.

It is thought his parachute failed to open or he made an error with his trajectory.

He was well-known in the base jumping community and was said to be highly experienced.

His body has been recovered by the emergency services.

An investigation is underway.

Image c/o PlanetSKI

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It’s a Wrap at Arapahoe Basin

The resort in Colorado closed last weekend and has been taking a look back at its winter.

Arapahoe Basin had 231-days of skiing and snowboarding.

The Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, is a keen skier and was in the resort on Saturday 4th June.

“We hope you all had as much fun as we did this past winter season!” said the resort as it closed.

“ Our 75th season wouldn’t have been the same without all of our A-mazing guests and staff, so thank you to everyone who came out and made this season one to remember!”

Killington in Vermont also closed last weekend as we reported at the time on PlanetSKI:

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The Rocket is Hungry

James Cove & Dave Ryding. Image © PlanetSKI

James Cove & Dave Ryding. Image © PlanetSKI

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A Date for Your Ski Diary

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4 Dead After Train Cash Near Ski Resort in German Alps

The train derailed near the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria.

Three of the double-deck carriages overturned.

The emergency services pulled people out of the windows to safety.

30 people were injured, 15 were seriously injured and taken to local hospitals.

Some of the people involved were students heading home.

The regional train was bound for Munich.

The Bavarian governor, Markus Söder, said he was shocked and saddened by the accident.

“Everything is being done to help those who were injured, to whom we wish a speedy recovery,” said the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“Our thoughts are with the relatives.”

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Image c/o PlanetSKI

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Search Called Off for GB Snowsport Physio

Raph Rinaldi has been missing in the Italian Alps for the past week-and-a-half.

A substantial search party involving local rescue teams was involved in attempting to locate Raph after he failed to meet a relative at the Giro D’Italia.

“Everyone at GB Snowsport is heartbroken to learn that the search for our friend and colleague, Raph Rinaldi, who has been missing in the Italian Alps for the past week-and-a-half has now ended,” said GB Snowsport in a statement.

Raph had been a significant part of GB Snowsport’s Paralympic team supporting all Paralympic disciplines.

He most recently attending the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games as Lead Physio for the Para Alpine squad.

“We are all devastated to receive this terribly sad news about Raph,” said Jayne Kavanagh, Head of Paralympic Programmes.

“He was such an important member of the GB Snowsport team; staff and athletes are all shocked by his disappearance.

“Our thoughts are with Raph’s family and friends and we will continue to offer our support however we can.”

Image c/o GB Snowsport

Raph Rinaldi. Image c/o GB Snowsport

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Neil & Andrew Simpson Awarded MBEs for Services to Skiing

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Memorial Day Powder in Alta

“The locals were hungry today. It’s not often it snows 16″ in late May. As a result Alta saw bigger crowds than I’ve ever seen post season. A long train of skiers funneled up the mountain from morning till afternoon. The skiing couldn’t have been better. Nowhere near blower pow but absolutely incredible for close to June! ”

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Italy Ends All Covid Entry Curbs for International Travellers

From June 1st unvaccinated tourists no longer need to take a test before arrival.

Travellers also do not need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form, even if they are unvaccinated.

If you are travelling to the Italian mountains and elsewhere in the country there are still  some internal rules in Italy

Masks are still required in certain settings until at least 15 June, this includes on flights to and from Italy and on all public transport.

Masks remain ‘strongly recommended’ in all indoor public places.

Turin airport

Turin airport. Image © PlanetSKI

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Big Snow Indoor Slope in USA Re-opens After Fire

It is the only indoor slope in North America and is situated in the American Dream shopping mall in New Jersey.

It was partially damaged by an electrical fire last year.

8-months on and the 180,000-square-foot park is back in action.

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Milan Takes Steps to Minimise Influence of Mafia at 2026 Winter Olympics

A Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, has been signed between the Municipality of Milan and other stakeholders in the Italian city to develop anti-mafia measures for the Milan- Cortina Winter Games.

Various parties are involved in collaborating to eliminate criminal activity from the Games:

  • The Prefecture of Milan
  • the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Milan
  • the Lombardy Region
  • the Metropolitan City
  • the Milan Monza Brianza Lodi Chamber of Commerce
  • the Polytechnic University of Milan
  • The National Association of Italian Municipalities

“I think the significant thing is to work more on sharing databases,” said Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala as reported by Inside the Games.

“Sometimes all of us are amazed, from the point of view of tax evasion or infiltration phenomena, of how, with all the data in our possession, it is not possible to prevent.

“The protocol is something in addition to some things that are already done.”

2026 Winter Olympics

Image c/o 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics

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20% of Bee Colonies in Switzerland Did Not Survive Winter

The news comes from the umbrella organisation for Swiss beekeepers, Apisuisse.

It is reported on SwissInfo and is the worst decline in a decade.

The Swiss bee population was hit by viruses transmitted by the parasitic varroa mite.

A cold and wet spring in 2021 plus stormy summer limited the access of bees to nectar and pollen.

There are also concerns about the decline in the number of species of flowers that limits access to more food – this goes for both wild bees and honeybees.

“This is why apisuisse is committed, both politically and through its own projects, to promoting a more flower-filled Switzerland,” said the organisation.

1,384 beekeepers were surveyed by Apisuisse and they reported total bee colony losses of 21.4% over the winter period – a rise of 14.2% on the previous year.

Bee colonies in Switzerland in decline. Image © PlanetSKI

Bee colonies in Switzerland in decline. Image © PlanetSKI

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Bears are Back in Banff

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