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June’s Ski News in Brief

– Olympic Torch Summits Aiguille du Midu
– FIS President Nominated for IOC
– Record Number of Mountain Rescues in Japan
– Closed Glasgow Indoor Ski Slope Set for New Life
– 3 Japanese Teachers Appeal Avalanche Death Verdict… LIVE & UPDATED

Olympic Torch Summits Aiguille du Midu

It was carried to the top of the peak that towers above Chamonix ahead of the Paris Olympics next month.

24 torchbearers took part and amoung them were mountain guides, Olympians and elite athletes from a wide range of disciplines, including skiing, alpine skiing, mountaineering, high-lining, paragliding and many others.

FIS President Nominated for IOC

The President of the International Olympic Committee , Thomas Bach, has announced  that FIS President Johan Eliasch has been nominated for the position of IOC Member.

“To be nominated is a great honour. It is a true privilege to represent the values of the Olympic Movement,” said Johan Eliasch.

IOC Members act as representatives of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement and meet on an annual basis at the IOC Session.

Johan Eliasch. Image c/o FIS

Johan Eliasch. Image c/o FIS


Record Number of Mountain Rescues in Japan

The number of people who required assistance on Japanese mountains was a record high of 3,568 in 2023, according to the police.

It was up 62 on the previous year.

335 died or remain missing and 1,400 were injured, according to the National Police Agency data.

“We urge people to make sure they are well-equipped with items, such as hiking boots and mobile phones, and to submit a climbing registration form, which is crucial for search and rescue operations,” said an official to local media.

The data showed a rise in incidents in popular hiking areas and locations near metropolitan areas.

Incidents involving foreign visitors also increased, with a total of 145 people needing help.

The highest number since records on foreign tourist incidents began in 2018.

Summer in Japan ski resort

Summer in Japan ski resort. Image © PlanetSKI


Closed Glasgow Indoor Ski Slope Set for New Life

Braehead closed permanently in October 2023 after almost a year of being shut.

Braehead Leisure Partners (BLP) decided to close the facility permanently after conducting several investigations into its viability.

The ski slope could now become an e-karting venue.

The idea has been put forward by the Scottish firm, Pritchett Planning Consultancy, PPC.

“There have been several changes within the building since its inception,” said the application from PPC.

“However, the ski slope has remained since the outset until its closure in 2022 due to safety, ongoing maintenance, and repair considerations, as well as the sustainability of operating a real snow indoor ski slope which requires 5900kwh of energy to run every day which is unsustainable.

“The reuse of the vacant ski slope is essential for the future wellbeing of the XSite centre which requires the replacement of the former anchor use in the building to support the creation of new jobs and the long term viability of the centre.”


3 Japanese Teachers Appeal Avalanche Death Verdict

They were convicted of professional negligence after eight people died in a 2017 avalanche during a mountaineering lesson in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture north of Tokyo.

Shuichi Inose, 57, Hisao Sugamata, 55, and Hironori Watanabe, 61, were given two-year prison sentences by the Utsunomiya District Court.

We reported on the case lower down this article on June 1st.


Construction of Ariels & Moguls Park for 2026 Olympics Starts

It is being built in Livigno and is set to host events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympic Winter Games.

The venue is located at the base of the Carosello 3000 gondola in the centre of the resort.

The park will be the stage for several events, including aerials, the mixed team aerials event, and moguls.

The 2026 Winter Games will debut the dual moguls competition, expected to be a standout addition to the Olympic program.

Given the past success of moguls events at previous Games, the dual moguls competition is anticipated to deliver a spectacular show for spectators worldwide.

In preparation for the Olympics, Livigno is set to host the World Cup next season, serving as the official test event.

“Everything is progressing on schedule,” said FIS Freestyle Race Director, Andrea Rinaldi.

“During my recent spring site inspection, I was very impressed with the construction work.

We are excited about Livigno joining the World Cup tour next year as a test event and are eagerly anticipating the dual moguls competition’s debut in the Olympic program in 2026.”

2026 Winter Olympics

Image c/o 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics


Swiss Voters Back Plan to Boost Domestic Renewable Energy

The decision in a referendum means solar and wind plants in the Alps will enjoy continued government subsidies and make their construction easier.

The proposal was approved by 69% of voters.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party, the country’s largest political group, had challenged the bill in a referendum after it was passed by parliament.

Swiss glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI

Swiss glaciers. Image © PlanetSKI


 

Snow Camp Hiring London Programme Manager

“This is a really exciting opportunity to play a key role in Snow Camp’s development in London,” said Snow Camp.

“So, if you love working with young people and have solid experience delivering youth programmes, combined with a passion for snowsports – and if you are looking for a challenging and rewarding role working with a committed team of staff at Snow Camp and some amazing young people – this job could be the job for you!”

The closing date is today: midday on Tuesday 11th June 2024

Please see the full Job Description and Personal Specification for further details of this position.

How to apply: Please send your CV and a covering letter telling us why you want to work for Snow Camp and how you meet the requirements of the opportunity to Matt Conroy, Programme Director at matt@snow-camp.org.uk. Please also contact Matt if you would like an informal chat about the role.

Interviews: Thursday 20th June 2024, Snow Camp London Office, Holloway Neighbourhood Group, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT.


More June Snow in Scotland

The summer snow just keeps on coming.

Italian Resort Set to Ban All Plastic

Pejo 3000 is to end the use of plastic cups, cutlery and straws.

It says it will also replace its plastic lift passes.

It is understood to be the first resort in Italy to implement such a measure.

It follows the discovery of plastic particles on the nearby Forni glacier.

The resort say it will use other materials that are compatible with nature.

The resort is located in Trentino.


June Snow Falls in Scotland

For several days this week snow has fallen on the Scottish peaks in the Highlands.

With windchill the temperature has been -10c in places.

Mountain Weather Information Service, MWIS, said Arctic air was affecting the hills, especially in the Highlands.

BBC Weather said snow on mountain tops in June was not that unusual, and usually happened every three to five years on average.

The record for fresh snowfall in June is nine days, which occurred in 1977 and 2012.

See more here on the BBC.

Cairngorm National Park. Image © PlanetSKIazer

Cairngorms National Park. Image © PlanetSKI


Congratulations to Zak Carrick-Smith

He may not have won, but what an achievement even to make the short-list.


Skier Dies While Attempting to Ski Down the Matterhorn

A 34-year-old Italian died while attempting to ski down the Swiss mountain that sits between Zermatt and Cervinia.

Luca Bernini and a partner were coming down the east face of the mountain.

The summit of the mountain is 4,478m and they had climbed to just over 4,000m to ski the east face.

He fell and plunged several hundred meters down the mountain.

With heavy late season snow the conditions were favourable, though it was reported to be difficult at the top by another pair of extreme skiers who completed the descent at the end of May.

His partner called the emergency services who located the body and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Luca Berbine was a respected climber and instructor at the Italian Alpine Club.

The public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation in conjunction with the cantonal police.

The Matterhorn, Zermatt. Image © PlanetSKI

The Matterhorn, Zermatt. Image © PlanetSKI


Italian Ski Racer & Girlfriend Die in Hiking Fall

Jean Daniel Pession and Elisa Arlian fell 700m on Mount Zerbion near Champoluc in the Aosta Valley.

“A terrible tragedy strikes the world of winter sports and speed skiing in particular,” said the Italian Winter Sports Federation.

“Jean Daniel Pession, a twenty-eight-year-old member of the World Cup team, lost his life in a tragic mountain accident…his girlfriend also died together with Pession.”

Pession 15th in the World Cup rankings three years ago and came 22nd at the World Championships in 2022.


Whistler Cancels Summer Glacier Skiing due to Poor Snow

The Horstman Glacier in Whistler-Blackcomb will not open for 2024 summer skiing and snowboarding due to low snow levels fromlast winter

The popular Momentum Snowboard camps have therefore been cancelled.

“Whistler Blackcomb is unable to host camps during the 2024 summer on the Horstman Glacier,” said a resort spokesperson.

“This decision was not made lightly—we know these camps, and this experience, have a long history at our resort.

“Unfortunately, the conditions related to this season’s snowfall prevent summer camps to safely operate this year.”

The Horstman Glacier at Blackcomb is one of only three locations in North America that offers summer skiing.

The other two are Mount Hood in Oregon and Woodward Copper in Colorado, both of which will remain open this summer.

Whistler in Winter. © Katie Dartford/PlanetSKI


Save £100 on Lift Pass & Ski Hire with Inghams Ski

For those already planning ahead for next ski season, Inghams Ski is offering £100 off per person on 2024/25 ski holidays until 3rd June 2024 when customers pre-buy their lift pass and equipment hire/carriage.

Inghams Ski is also offering an extra 5% off for groups of 10 or above.

For those booking their next family ski holiday for winter 2024/25, Inghams Ski also has discounts and free child places on selected family friendly hotels.

All Inghams Ski holidays are available to book with deposits of just £150 per person.

See here for further details.


Three Teachers Jailed After Japan Avalanche Kills Eight

The accident happened during a high school training program in Tochigi Prefecture in 2017.

The three defendants conducted training in deep snow near the Chausudake mountain without necessary safety precautions, despite the risk of an avalanche following snowfall the previous night.

They were members of the Tochigi Prefectural Otawara High School mountaineering club.

The avalanche killed seven students and one teacher.

Presiding Judge Toshifumi Takioka said the defendants,  Shuichi Inose, 57, Hisao Sugamata, 55, and 61-year-old Hironori Watanabe, should have been more aware of  the risk of an avalanche.

He said “It was a man-made disaster caused by a serious degree of carelessness.”


Verbier is Most Expensive Place in the Alps for a Second Home

The latest UBS Alpine Property Focus Report shows on average a property in Verbier will cost CHF 21,500 (£18,675) per square metre,.

Next is St Moritz at CHF 21,200 (£18,415) and third is Zermatt at CHF 19,900 (£17,265)).

Although price rises have been strong over the last 5 years – on average – 30%, UBS analysts suggest the market will stagnate this year as international demand falls.

The most expensive resort in Austria is Kitzbuhel.

In France it is Courchevel.

Cortina is the most expensive in Italy.

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Source: UBS

Source: UBS

See here for the full article on UBS.


Snow Camp Celebrates 20th Birthday Year

The snowsport charity has been looking back on the season of 2023/24.

“With October 2023 marking Snow Camp’s 20th anniversary, the 23/24 winter season was always going to be a special one for everyone involved in the charity,” said Snow Camp.

“Little did we know just how special this season would turn out to be.”

See here for a full report on the birthday season celebrations.

3 Valley Rally. Image c/o PlanetSKI

Snow Camp Image c/o PlanetSKI


Tree Collisions Account for Almost Half of Ski Deaths in Colorado

14 people died on Colorado’s ski slopes last season with six coming from skiers and snowboarders hitting trees.

Ten of the fatalities were men and the deaths ranged from a 14-year old boy to a 78-year old man.

All the tree collision deaths were on intermediate or beginner slopes.

The figures have been compiled by The Colorado Sun