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General News

The Worst Ski Season of the Millennium

It was the year when skiing and snowboarding was stopped in its tracks by the coronavirus pandemic.  Winter 2019-20 was officially the worst of this millennium according to a major report just published. NEW

Snow Centres in England Open Again

England’s indoor snow centres are back in business as the lockdown eases still further. Most of the slopes have welcomed skiers and snowboarders for the first time this year. UPDATED

London Ski & Snowboard Festival Is Back

It’s returning to Battersea Park this October.  The new organisers are promising a ‘snow sport event like no other’.  So what’s new? UPDATED

Avalanche Deaths In Switzerland Up 50% This Winter

It’s been a deadly winter season, with significantly more people killed than the average figure in the last 20-year period.  The majority of victims were off-piste skiers or snowboarders.

Chill Factore is Bought by The Snow Centre

The operators of The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead are adding a second indoor facility to their business – the Chill Factore in Manchester. UPDATED

Diversity and Inclusivity in Snowsports

The UK snowsports industry wants to hear from you. The national governing bodies are gathering information to try to improve diversity and inclusivity.

FIS President Reflects on a Ski & Snowboard Season Like No Other

The head of the International Ski Federation has given his thanks for a competitive season which saw 300 World Cup events take place, despite the problems posed by Covid-19.  He has praised the ‘entire ski family’ for its efforts.

Investigation Continues After 5 Dead in Alaska Heliski Crash

Investigators have recovered the wreckage of the helicopter. The condition of the sole survivor, a former Olympic snowboarder, is improving. The pilot, two ski guides & two of the three passengers died. One of the dead is the Czech Republic billionaire, Petr Kellner.

Skiing Snippets – See What Catches our Eye in the World of Snowsports…

-Transceivers Withdrawn After Technical Problems
-Worth a watch
-Third Wave Fears in Chile
-Whistler Sees Large Outbreak of Variant Virus
-Ski Jumper Injured in Horrific Fall Has Surgery…UPDATED

French Snowboard Champion Dies in Avalanche

40-year old Julie Pomagalski has died in an avalanche in Switzerland. She was a two time Olympian and granddaughter of Jean Pomagalski, who invented the first ski lift in 1934.

Luca Pandolfi, 1973-2021

The 47-year old Italian freeride snowboarder has died in an avalanche in the Gran San Bernardo Valley in Italy. Tributes are being paid.

Ski Instructor Chased by a Brown Bear

The incident happened in the Romanian resort of Predeal as an instructor tried to lure the bear away from other skiers. Check out the video as it goes viral.

2020 Was Record Year for Rescues in Swiss Mountains

Despite the pandemic and its restrictions, the Swiss Alpine Club said that 3,471 people had to be assisted after getting into difficulties in the Alps and the Jura mountain ranges.

Chemmy Alcott Suffers Online Abuse

The Ski Sunday presenter and GB former alpine racer has been subjected to personal abuse on social media. Her co-presenter Ed Leigh described the comments as ‘vile’.

Ed Leigh Keeps Working On BBC’s Ski Sunday Despite Major Injury

The BBC presenter has revealed he had surgery three weeks ago after badly smashing his knee in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland.  He carried on with the job and kept the injury from viewers.

Swiss Tourism Boss Claims Keeping Resorts Open Was Good Decision – Not All Agree

Martin Nydegger has said in an interview that so far this winter there have been no big outbreaks of Covid-19 and no serious damage to Switzerland’s reputation. Not everyone agrees with him with Italy blaming Switzerland for spreading variant viruses to other countries.

Man Survives 7 Nights in Italian Alps with Help From His Dog

A 33-year old man was hiking with his dog when he fell and broke his ankle. He said his dog helped keep him alive until the rescue services arrived.

Another UK SKI Operator Cancels this Season

Hotelplan that runs Inghams, Ski Total and Flexiski has cancelled all holidays for 2020/21. Earlier this week Crystal Ski called it a day.

Two dead in Helicopter Crash in Courchevel

The aircraft came down shortly after 5 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. Three other people were injured, one seriously. NEW

GB Ski Company Looks to the Future

The Tech start-up Maison Sport has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £400,000 as part of a larger £1.4M financing drive. It wants to go global. The company connects skiers and snowboarders with independent instructors, challenging the existing system of ski schools.

Fresh US Avalanche Warnings as Pro Snowboarder Becomes Latest Victim

Heavy storms are leaving more snow on a very unstable and weak snowpack. It has been a record season for avalanche fatalities in the US with 26 deaths.  Conditions remain extremely dangerous across large parts of North America.

UK Snowsport Bodies Start Post-Brexit Negotiations with EU Alpine Nations

There are serious concerns over the ability of UK citizens to work abroad in the mountains and whether qualifications will be recognised. A joint statement has been issued by the Home Nations governing bodies and BASI.

More Miraculous Avalanche Rescues in the Alps

One man was rescued in Tignes after being buried for 4 and a half hours. In Switzerland a couple was buried and their dogs barked for help and attracted the attention of people nearby. Extreme caution is urged across many parts of the Alps after new snow falls on an unstable snowpack.

Miracle Under the Snow

A 50-year old man out walking in the snow with his family in Val d’Isere was dug out after 2 hours and 40 minutes under the snow after an avalanche hit the group. He was located by the signal from his mobile phone.

Sculptures in Snow

The famous snow sculpture competition in the French ski resort of Valloire has taken place. It was the 38th year of the event.

Two Mountain Guides Die in Separate Accidents in Switzerland

One died in a huge avalanche Verbier and the other had a fatal fall in Torgon in the Portes du Soleil. It brings the death toll on the slopes to 4 in the Verbier area alone in the past week and 11 in Switzerland in the past 11 days. The conditions off piste are described as some of the most dangerous in recent years. UPDATED

One of the World’s Top Freeriders Searches for Friend In Verbier Avalanche

Xavier de Le Rue is an Olympian and a Freeride World Tour winner, but this week he was another rider searching desperately for a friend under the snow.  His friend was one of 8 people that died in Switzerland in a tragic 4-day period. The authorities continue to urge extreme caution.

Ski Tech Revolution Ramps Up

A study involving more than 50 winter sports experts has concluded that digital technology is set for a bigger role in the ski industry, thanks to Covid-19.  But many don’t expect a return to pre-pandemic levels of skiing until 2023.

Fire Destroys Historic Motorbike Museum in Austria Ski Resort

It was the highest museum in Europe and perhaps the best motorcycle collection in the world. It housed 100s of historic vintage bikes in Hochgurgl in the Tirol. UPDATED

Second Fatal Avalanche in Verbier

A 29-year old man from Ireland has died. It follows the death of 38-year old Englishman. . Eight people have died in four days In Switzerland – all in different accidents. There have been fatal avalanches in France too.

38-year old British Man Dies in Avalanche in Verbier

He is the latest in a string of separate avalanche deaths across Switzerland after recent snow. Seven people have died in four days. 10 people were caught in the latest accident. A man died in Tignes in France on Saturday and it follows a fatality in Courchevel earlier last week. Extreme caution is urged in many parts of the Alps.

Cross Country Skiing Takes Off In France

More and more skiers are clipping into long, skinny skis to get their snow fix.  PlanetSKI has been talking to a Nordic skiing instructor in the French Alps about the surge in demand for cross country lessons as the lifts remain closed.

Snowmen in St Anton for World Cup Racing

The public is not allowed to gather to watch the races but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a crowd. A crowd of snowmen and snowwomen. By the course, in the grandstand area and around town.

All Travellers to UK Set to Require Negative Covid-19 Test

It is a further blow to travel whether from ski nations or anywhere else. It comes as the South African variant is circulating.  It is seen as a necessary measure to beat coronavirus with much international travel at a halt.

PlanetSKI is Back!

Regular readers will have noticed the web site was down over the weekend. Why? We are pleased to say things are getting back to normal service.

Ski Resorts Shut in Slovakia as Covid-19 Surges

The government has introduced new restrictions as cases continue to rise.  It is a scene that will likely be played out across ski resorts in Europe this winter as cases fall and rise, with resorts opening and closing. The main resort of Jasna has seen growing numbers from the UK in recent years.

Norway Lifts Ban on Flights from UK

The Scandinavian country lifts its ban at the weekend, but most other ski nations are keeping their bans in place. We look at the situation in the alpine nations, though lockdown restrictions mean overseas travel is not allowed for most people in the UK.

Norwegian Ski Hero Jailed for Driving at 125mph High on Cocaine

Two-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Petter Northug is as famous in his country as David Beckham is in the UK. He drove at speeds of 125mph in his Jaguar and filmed the episode on his phone.

Criminals Exploit Pandemic To Con Skiers

One fraudster has been posing as a ski chalet owner, offering his property to rent at a bargain price over Christmas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The chalet is advertised on a website under a false name.

Skiing in Scotland – Ski Areas Prepare To Open

The Scottish snowsports season is here – just. But, for the time being at least, only skiers and snowboarders in Scotland will be allowed on the slopes, and the weather this weekend has postponed things. UPDATED

Skiing, Snowboarding and Working in the EU After January 1st

Whether there is a deal between the UK and the EU, or whether there isn’t, travel and working will look very different in three weeks. The free movement of labour is ending and for many UK nationals working in the mountains will be a thing of the past.

French Ski Resorts Take Government to Court Over Ski Lift Closures

The organisation Domaines Skiables de France has taken its case to the courts this week. Observers believe it will have little chance of success. NEW

GB Snowsport Athletes In Action

There’s alpine skiing, ski cross and cross-country. Check out who’s in action, and where, in snowsport competitions in Europe over the coming days.

More Ski Resorts Open in Spain

The Catalan ski areas in the Pyrenees are opening. Last week’s planned openings were delayed. Some smaller ski areas in Spain have fired up their lifts with skiing underway for locals only. UPDATED

Alpine Elements Plans Relaunch

The ski tour operator has been going for 23 years. It went into administration on Tuesday, blaming Covid-19 and a lack of government support. But the owner has bought the brand and hopes to continue trading. He’s been speaking to PlanetSKI.

Investigation Underway after Five Dead in Helicopter Crash in French Alps

It was carrying out a training rescue operation in poor weather in the Savoie area. A pilot survived the accident. UPDATED

Demand Grows To Ski In England

We could all be looking to ski closer to home this winter. One ski area in England has already had unprecedented demand and is turning skiers and snowboarders away.

Round Up of Resorts Open/Closed + What Rest of Ski Season May Look Like

Most have closed but some are open after a hectic week of decision making and high drama.  Which are open, what are the restrictions and when might we see the others opening?

December’s News in Brief

– Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund Approaches $3m Target
– Avalanche Danger in USA as 3 die in Colorado
– Sanctions on Russians Competing at Beijing 2022
– Val Thorens Ski Cross World Cup Called off Due to Strong Winds …UPDATED

Jobs for British Ski Instructors & Resort Staff Under Threat

Thousands of ski workers who thought they would be able to work in the EU after the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December are being told that may not now be the case.

Four UK Tour Operators Cancel All Ski Holidays in December

Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit and Flexiski have announced they will not be running any ski trips this year, including over the Christmas period. The UK’s largest operator, Crystal Ski, says it still plans to operate in December.

Cairngorm Funicular Repairs Underway

Engineering works designed to get the mountain railway at the Scottish ski area up and running for next winter are starting this week.

Vancouver Bid for 2030 Winter Olympics on Hold Until Spring

A decision on whether the Canadian city should bid to hold the Games 20 years after it last did so has been delayed until next March. UPDATED

November’s News in Brief

– GB Cross Country Skiers Have Best Ever Start to Season
– British Woman Missing in the Pyrenees
– Public to Choose Logo for 2026 Winter Olympics
– Fancy Some Free Family Skis? ….UPDATED

Let It Snow!

The latest storm in the Alps has seen up to 50cm in places. It’s coming down in the Pyrenees and over in North America too as resorts open. UPDATED

New Initiatives To Get Kids On Skis

A drive to get more children interested in skiing and snowboarding is taking place this autumn with two new programmes about to get under way.

Details of New UK Snow Show Unveiled

It takes place in a year’s time at the NEC in Birmingham and promises to be quite an experience. Will it be able to succeed where others have failed?

Crystal Ski Holidays Offers Free Covid-19 Insurance

It will include overseas COVID-19 testing costs, repatriation if medically required, self-isolation costs and new return flights home.

More for Morzine in 2020/21 ski season

The French resort in the heart of the mighty Portes du Soleil that straddles France and Switzerland has some new initiatives for this coming season. With full Covid-19 precautions in place.

Huge Fire Destroys Europe’s Biggest Ski Factory

The Fischer ski factory in the Ukraine has been severely damaged in a blaze. Its cause is unknown and an investigation is continuing.

Snow report

Twitter

PlanetSKI’s ‘Skiing Snippets’…

- Transceivers Withdrawn After Technical Problems
- Worth a watch
- Third Wave Fears in Chile

See here for the full details:

https://planetski.eu/2021/03/28/planetskis-skiing-snippets/

Grace Harrison skiing at @Chill_Factore this week.

Brilliant to see activity back up and running - send us your best photos/videos so we can celebrate the return of the sport together. ⛷ 🏂

Wow! They’ve started to dismantle one of the lifts at the Médran #Verbier ... @verbier4Vallees @VerbierResorts

Twitter feed video.Wow! They’ve started to dismantle one of the lifts at the Médran #Verbier ... @verbier4Vallees @VerbierResorts
Verbier4Vallées@verbier4Vallees

Et voilà, après 37 ans de bons et loyaux services, le démontage de notre télécabine 6 places Médran I est en cours... 👋🏻

Elle va vous manquer cette cabine? 🥴

Ne vous inquiétez pas, nous la remplaçons par quelque chose de mieux!

#verbier4vallees

The worst #ski season of the millennium. The verdict of the 2021 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism

https://planetski.eu/2021/04/14/the-worst-ski-season-of-the-millennium/

@LaurentVanat

PlanetSKI’s ‘Skiing Snippets’:

-#Whistler Sees Largest Outbreak of #VariantVirus Outside #Brazil
-Norwegian Ski Jumper Injured in Horrific Fall Has Successful Surgery
-Air Canada Sets Target of Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050

https://planetski.eu/2021/03/28/planetskis-skiing-snippets/

We are delighted to announce that Blue Sky Ski Holidays Ltd will be exhibiting at the National Snow Show in October. ⁠Blue Sky Ski-ing Ltd pride themselves on their first class customer service. ⁠

http://www.blueskyskiholidays.co.uk

#nationalsnowshow #themountainsareours

PlanetSKI’s ‘Skiing Snippets’…

-#Sundance Improvements Set to Go Ahead
-UK Passport Office Urges People to Apply Early
-Japanese Policeman Goes Snowboarding While On Duty
-Canadian Resort of #SunPeaks Sees #Covid19 Spike

See here for details:

https://planetski.eu/2021/03/28/planetskis-skiing-snippets/

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