×

Ski News in Brief

– Happy Easter Folks!
– Multiple Avalanches in Colorado
– Skiing in Afghanistan
– The Patrouille des Glaciers in Verbier
– British Man Dies in Avoriaz…LIVE

Here we cover anything that takes our fancy.

Short news stories, stunning videos, amusing cartoons, things that make us smile/things that make us shout at the screen.

Mainly it is just plain news stories to keep you updated.

It is also anything that catches our eye in the world of skiing and snowsports.


Sunday 31st March

Happy Easter from the Tirol Folks!

PlanetSKI is currently living in Innsbruck in the Tirol – a special place for Easter.

Multiple Avalanches in Colorado

Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported that eight people were caught in seven different avalanches in a two-day period across the high country.


Friday 29th March

Skiing in Afghanistan

This from the South China Morning Post:

Thursday 28th March

The Patrouille des Glaciers in Verbier

It takes place in a unique sporting and military challenge renowned for its display of human courage and endurance.

The Patrouille des Glaciers ski mountaineering race from Zermatt to Verbier Switzerland is scheduled to take place from 15 to 21 April 2024.

Originating in 1943, the Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG) initially emerged as a rigorous military exercise, serving as a testament to the prowess of military personnel in safeguarding Switzerland’s Alpine borders during the tumult of World War II.

Presently, the race features two distinct routes culminating in Verbier, commencing from either Arolla or Zermatt.

In Verbier, the culmination of the Patrouille des Glaciers race marks a momentous occasion as patrols conquer kilometres of challenging terrain and significant differences in altitude.

Spectators are invited to join in the jubilation as patrols cross the finish line, with celebrations lasting throughout the day on Wednesday 17 April and Saturday 20 April, commencing at 7 am.

A seven night stay at Hôtel L’Escale is priced from £376 pp based on two sharing a room with breakfast included.

Flights and transfers extra.

Verbier: www.verbier.ch

Hotel de Verbier. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier. Image © PlanetSKI


British Man Dies in Avoriaz

It is reported that he skied into a tree after swerving off the piste at speed.

Despite attempts by the mountain rescue team to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man is reported to be in his late 60s.

“We are supporting the family of a British man who died in France and are in contact with the local authorities,” said the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Avoriaz, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Avoriaz, France. Image © PlanetSKI


Tuesday 26th March

3 Country Joint bid for 2038 Olympics?

 


Monday 25th March

Charlotte Bankes Ends Season As Runner Up

She finished the season on a high with back-to-back golds:


Saturday 23rd March

British Skier Out of Coma

23-year old Olivia Corbiere was on a ski holiday in Bulgaria when she skied off a path and plunged into a ravine.

She fractured her skull and broke three vertebrae.

Her friends pulled her out and she was taken to hospital where doctors placed her in an induced coma.

She is now out of the coma and her family say she is “awake and responsive”.

We reported on the accident on Wednesday in ‘Ski News in Brief’.

She is expected to be flown back to the UK in the next two weeks.


Friday 22nd March

EasyJet Winter Flights for 2024/25 On Sale

It includes seats during the festive season and for ski holidays, as well as city breaks and beach holidays.

Seats are now available on over 500 routes to and from the UK including ones to gateway airport to ski resorts .

Innsbruck airport

Easyjet at Innsbruck airport


Thursday 21st March

FIS Launches New Web Site

The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) has taken a further step to enhance its digital presence with the launch of its revamped website.

Designed to cater to snow sports enthusiasts, athletes, and industry professionals, the new FIS website promises an immersive experience for all visitors.

Key Features of the FIS Website:

  1. Fresh Design and User-Friendly Interface: The FIS website now boasts a sleek and modern design, making it easier than ever for visitors to navigate. The intuitive interface ensures seamless exploration for all stakeholders.
  2. Comprehensive Sport Coverage: From Alpine Skiing to Freeski and Snowboarding, the FIS website provides in-depth information on all snow sports disciplines. Explore the latest news, highlights, and athlete profiles.
  3. Live Event Updates: Stay up to date with real-time results from FIS competitions. Whether it’s a heart-pounding ski jump, or a thrilling slopestyle run, the website delivers live updates straight from the slopes.
  4. Full Calendar and Results: Find out when and where your favorite competitions are happening and mark your calendar accordingly. Every upcoming event and past result, from FIS level to World Championships, can be found in the all-inclusive calendar.

Explore new website at www.fis-ski.com.

Image c/o FIS

Image © FIS


Wednesday 20th March

British Skier in Coma After Falling into Ravine

The accident happened in Bansko in Bulgaria.

23-year old Olivia Corbiere plunged 5m meters as she came off a path.

She suffered a broken pelvis, three fractured vertebra, broken eye socket and a broken nose.

She is being treated in hospital in Sofia and has been placed in an induced coma.

The exact circumstances of the accident remain unclear.


Tuesday 19th March

GB Skier Charlie Guest Retires


Monday 18th March

Climbers Rescued from Italian Mountain

Three climbers were rescued after getting stuck 2,300m (7,500ft) up Italy’s Monte Mondolè on Saturday morning.

Rescuers from Italy’s fire service took a helicopter, and then climbed using ice axes, to reach the frozen gully where the climbers were.

They were recovered in good health, the fire service told the BBC.


Decent Snow in One of Our  Favourite Resorts in the USA


Glacial Perspectives at Verbier Exhibition

Delve into the captivating world of glaciers through Bernard Garo’s photography exhibition that is in the halls of VFP Immobilier in Verbier.

Renowned for his multidisciplinary artistry, Garo’s collection features stunning colour and black-and-white images that eloquently depict the evolution of glaciers.

A glimpse into Bernard Garo’s background reveals a versatile artist who excels in sculptures, paintings, films and literature.

His accolades include prestigious awards and dedicated programmes such as “Passe-moi les Binoculars” and “Echappées belles”.

Notably, Garo recently completed an 11-month residency at the esteemed Museum of Natural Sciences in Geneva.

Central to Garo’s artistic vision is a profound message of raising awareness through emotion and beauty.

One standout piece showcased at VFP offers a perspective spanning 1,000 years of ice formation.

The exhibition is taking place at VFP Immobilier and will be open every day until 15 April 2024.

Verbier: www.verbier.ch

Hotel de Verbier. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier. Image © PlanetSKI

 

Sunday 17th March

Pitztal Aims to be 100% Solar Powered

The glacier resort in the Tirol in Austria already runs completely on solar electricity in the summer.

Currently the corresponding figure is 30% in the winter but it is aiming to be fully powered by the sun in the ski season.

It would be the first ski resort to do so.

In 2015 it opened a major solar array, at 2840m above sea level.

Pitztal, The Tirol, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Pitztal, The Tirol, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

The panels are suspended on cables and can be adjusted follow the sun and remove snow that builds up on them.

The system generates an average of 1.4 million kwH of electricity from solar energy every year.

Other sources include hydro-energy, wind energy, biomass, other photovoltaics and biogas.

“It is our clear goal to be energy self-sufficient all year round,” said the resort in a statement.

“We are reaching our goal by further expanding our photovoltaic system.

“Since our land is a sensitive natural area, a careful approach is essential and this plant also requires a strict approval process by the environmental authorities.”

However, there is sometimes a difference between what a resort wants to do, and what it actually does.

Here at PlanetSKI we’ll be keeping an eye on developments.

Pitztal, The Tirol, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Pitztal, The Tirol, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI


Updated:

Ryding Races on Sunday


Saturday 16th March

Charlotte Bankes is On the Podium Again


Is the Ski Industry Doing Enough to Encourage People of Colour to Ski?

That is the questioned poised in a recent BBC article.

It looks at the work done by Soft Life Ski, a British collective that aims to bring “Afro-Caribbean culture and vibes to the slopes”.

Soft Life Ski is one of a handful of organisations around the world working to address the sport’s lack of diversity.

“If you go somewhere that is predominantly white [as a Black person], you might not feel at home,” said Edmund Antwi, one of Soft Life Ski’s co-founders.

“We create room for those people to relax, enjoy their music, learn a new skill and have a laugh with people who look like them.”

According to an annual survey conducted by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), 88.1% of US skiers in the 2022-23 season were white, while just 1.5% were Black.

In the UK, 2022 figures from Sport England show that white skiers made up nearly 70% of the total, while Black participation rates were too low to even register.

Here at PlanetSKI we have reported in the past on the US organisation the National Brotherhood of Skiers.

National Brotherhood of Skiers 50th summit. Image c/o NBS

Art Clay & Ben Finley, US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame – photo c/o National Brotherhood of Skiers

See here for the full diversity report on the BBC.


Friday 15th March

Snowboarder Dies in Verbier Fall Over Rocks

The 39-year old Norwegian was outside the marked ski area with a friend when he fell beneath the Col des Gentianes.

He fell at least 100m over rocks where he sustained fatal injuries.

“He is a Norwegian national and living in Norway,” said a statement from the Valais cantonal police.

The accident occurred at an altitude of 2,720m at 3:20 p.m. last Tuesday afternoon and an investigation is underway.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation in collaboration with the cantonal police,” added the Valais Police.

Image c/o Valais Cantonal Police.

Image c/o Valais Cantonal Police.

Updated:

Back on Podium for GB’s Jasmin Taylor


Thursday 14th March

World Ski Industry Report  Set to be Published

The Swiss ski industry expert, Laurent Vanat, will unveil the 2022/23 International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism during Mountain Planet – a trade show for the mountain industry.

It is being held at Grenoble-Alpexpo from April 16th to 18th, 2024.

The annual report lists and analyses data from nearly 2,000 ski resorts in 68 countries around the world.

Facts, figures, investments, visits, trends, snowfall, and more: the report examines and details the ski, snow, and mountain industry.

It contains information on all destinations in the Alps and North America.

Plus new arrivals, such as China &  Eastern Europe, and the less well-known destinations, such as India &  Pakistan.

Here at PlanetSKI we always find it a fascinating report and have posted about it  in the past, and will do so again this year.

The report will be presented at the trade show’s opening ceremony Tuesday, April 16 at 10 AM and PlanetSKI will be posting a live link to the event.

Image c/o Mountain Planet

Image c/o Mountain Planet


Tuesday 12th March

Two New Zealanders Die in Avalanche in Japan

A third person, also from New Zealand, was injured.

A group of six people was backcountry skiing on Mount Yotei in Hokkaido on Monday when they were caught in an avalanche.

They were at 700m on the northern side of the 1,898m mountain.

In a statement to local New Zealand media, the family of Isabella Bolton confirmed she was one of the  victims of the accident.


First Electric Snow Groomer Tested

Flumserberg ski resort in Switzerland is testing the first electric snow groomer, the Prinoth Husky E-Motion.

It is being tested on its cross-country ski trails and winter hiking trails.

Prinoth currently has the only carbon-free snow groomer on the market.

The Husky E-Motion has been in use in Flumserberg since last December and the test continues until the beginning of April.

“We are now trying to plan the grooming sequence in such a way that we are travelling as energy-efficiently as possible,” said the Managing Director of Flumserberg Tourismus, Rolf Blumer.

“The snow groomer has worked very well so far and we can recommend it for grooming with a clear conscience.”

The Prinoth Husky E-Motion.

The Prinoth Husky E-Motion.


BBC Reports on Warmest February in Recent Times

It had an impact on the ski resorts in the Alps – particularly those at low altitude that often saw rain instead of snow.

Each month since June 2023 has seen new temperature highs for the time of year.

The world’s sea surface is at its hottest on record, while Antarctic sea-ice has again reached extreme lows.

If you are interested in how the warming world is happening, and what it may mean for the future, then take a read of the detailed BBC article.

Zell am See/Kaprun. Image © PlanetSKI

Zell am See/Kaprun. Image © PlanetSKI


Monday 11th March

Shiffrin Back to Her Winning Ways


Sunday 10th March

Patrollers at Palisades Tahoe Aim for Union Recognition

Patrollers from the resort in California have submitted a formal petition to unionise.

The United Professional Ski Patrols of America claims that forming a union would allow patrollers to have a stronger voice to negotiate for improved wages, better working conditions and extra staff.

They say this would benefit patrollers, resorts and guests with a safer and more efficient operation for skiers and snowboarders.

Palisades Tahoe has acknowledged the filing and said it is “committed to working directly with our patrollers to address their concerns and ensure a safe and rewarding work environment.”

Palisades Tahoe, California. Image © PlanetSKI

Palisades Tahoe, California. Image © PlanetSKI

Wednesday 6th March

 25th Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, Snowbombing (8-13 April 2024) is famous for its adrenaline-fuelled snowboarding and skiing and lively partying in the resort of Mayrhofen in the Zillertal Alps in the Tirol , with leading DJs, club nights and live acts performing.

Think igloo raves, enchanted forest parties and above all, cutting edge performances.

This year’s line-up includes Fatboy Slim, Bicep and Andy C; it should be a festival to remember.

A five-night stay, from 8 April 2024, is priced from £469 pp (two sharing) and includes a festival wristband and five nights’ B&B accommodation.

Return flights and transfers extra. 

Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk


Tuesday 5th March

Cairngorm Mountain Moves to 5-Day Week

“Cairngorm Mountain is moving to a five-day-a-week operation from March 2024,” the Scottish resort said in a statement.

“This is because we’ve entered a much quieter period following the end of the February school holidays, coupled with the funicular being currently out of operation and a lack of natural snow to access the Ptarmigan Bowl.

“From Monday March 4, we will open from Thursdays through Mondays (closing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) throughout March.

“If weather conditions improve and we get new natural snow, which gives access to the higher snow fields, then we will review our operating model.”

Skiing on Cairngorm Mountain. Image © Dianne Frazer

Saturday 2nd March:

Look Who We Bumped Into

PlanetSKI’s Jane Peel had just unclipped her ski bindings this afternoon at the end of a week in the Norwegian resort of Trysil when she spotted someone who looked familiar.

She couldn’t be sure as she usually sees him in helmet and goggles, throwing himself off a Big Air jump or over the kickers and rails of a slopestyle course.

At the risk of making a fool of herself (it happens often), she approached the young man in question.

It was indeed the Norwegian freestyle skier, Birk Ruud.

Birk Ruud, Norwegian freeski star in Trysil, March 2024. Image © PlanetSKI

Birk Ruud in Trysil, Norway. Image © PlanetSKI

If you’re none the wiser, let us appraise you of a few of his many achievements.

  • Reigning Ski Big Air Olympic Champion (Beijing 2022)
  • Reigning Ski Slopestyle World Champion (Bakuriani 2023)
  • Reigning Ski Slopestyle X Games Champion (Aspen 2024)

He’s also had three World Cup podiums so far this season including a first place in Slopestyle at Laax in January.

The 23-year-old was in Trysil in his role as an ambassador for the resort’s operators, SkiStar, meeting and shredding with a group of kids in the snowpark.

In just over a week he’ll be in Tignes in France for World Cup Big Air and Slopestyle competitions.

Coincidentally, Jane will be there too.

Maybe she’ll bump into him again and grab another selfie with the skiing superstar.

While trying to convince him she’s not stalking him….

PlanetSKI's Jane Peel with Norwegian freestyle skier, Birk Ruud in Trysil, Norway, March 2024. Image © PlanetSKI

Mandatory selfie. Image © PlanetSKI


Results of Snowcamp/Inghams Partnership

Snow Camp’s partnership with Inghams and the dedicated Workaseason brand has just been taken to the next level.

In January this year, building on the support from 2023, Inghams stepped up once again to host Snow Camp Apprentices for a week in Val d’Isere and Tignes.

To find out what it takes to work a season in the mountains.

The  Olympic snowboarder Jamie Nicholls was in resort – shining a light on the partnership and riding with the apprentices on the slopes .

This year’s Apprentices were inspired by Danni and Lamar, former Snow Camp Apprentices who are now fully employed by Inghams and currently working their first full winter season.

PlanetSKI has a close relationship with Inghams and is a HUGE supporter of Snow Camp and all the work it does for underprivileged young people.

3 Valley Rally. Image c/o PlanetSKI

Snow Camp Image c/o PlanetSKI


Friday March 1st

Busy Slopes and High Occupancy Rates in Les Arcs

The resort says it had an 81% commercial apartment occupancy rate in the resort in January 2024.

This compares to an average of 75.9% in the other major French ski resorts.

The skiing goes up to 3,226m and 70% of the mountain ski area is above 2,000m.

The resort claims snow levels at 2,000m of 485cm compared to 130cm this time last year.

Les Arcs, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Les Arcs, France. Image © PlanetSKI


Four People Caught in Avalanche in Scotland

Four people were swept up in an avalanche near Cairn Gorm but did not sustain any serious injuries.

One of the group was buried waist deep.

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service said a ‘human triggered avalanche’ was reported in Ciste Mhearad to the East of the Ptarmigan.

“A group of five people were involved, three were carried down and one buried to the waist thankfully without injury,” said a statement from SAIS.

Avalanche danger sign

Avalanche danger. Image c/o PlanetSKI.

Elsewhere in the mountains an avalanche buried three German backcountry skiers in the Sud Tirol in Italy.

One person died and two others were critically injured.

In Japan an American man in his 30s was killed by an avalanche in a backcountry area of Mount Mitahara.

The area is in Japan’s central Niigata region.


Spring Blanc Event Series in Ischgl

From 31 March to 1 May 2024, Ischgl offers the Spring Blanc event series.

It’s a mix of skiing, music and culinary delights.

Spring Blanc means “white spring”.

With over 90% of the ski runs situated above 2,000 metres, the Silvretta Arena ski resort usually has good  snow conditions with the season ending at the beginning of May.

The event line-up includes:

  • The Top of the Mountain Easter Concert featuring Nina Chuba on 13 March 2024,
  • The Top of the Mountain Spring Concert featuring Andreas Gabalier on 14 April 2024
  • The Spring Snow Festival at the Alp Trida with The BossHoss on 21 April 2024
  • The Top of the Mountain Closing Concert with The Black Eyed Peas on 30 April 2024

A seven night stay at Hotel Alpina, arriving 13 April 2024 is priced from £720 pp based on two sharing a room with breakfast included. Flights and transfers extra.

Ischgl: www.ischgl.com/en

Image c/o Ischgl tourist office

Image © Ischgl tourist office