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Saturday September 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Abramovich denied Swiss residency in Verbier, World Snow Day is coming, big increase in Swiss Alps deaths + British backcountry event comes to Edinburgh. NEW & UPDATED





The Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club has been denied Swiss residency after the federal police advised officials to reject his application.

There were alleged suspicions that he might be involved in money laundering or have contact with criminal organisations.

Mr Abramovich denies any wrongdoing.

The ski resort of Verbier was reported to be willing to welcome him.



It's, er, not quite the most exciting ski video we have ever seen.

The trailer promoting the International Ski Federation's (FIS) World Snow Day to be held on January 20 next year.

The day itself though is well worth supporting.

World Snow Day is part of the FIS campaign "Bring Children to the Snow" a campaign that begun in 2007.

The first World Snow Day was held in 2012.

We reported on it at the time on PlanetSKI:

The day is an annual festival, designed to give children and their families a chance to experience and enjoy snow.

Various activities take place around the world on the day, held by organisation such as ski and snowboard schools, ski resorts, tourism organisations and national ski and snowboard associations.

FIS launched World Snow Day after research indicated that the number of people participating in snow related activities was dropping.

The day was introduced in order to reverse this decline and promote recreational skiing and snowboarding across the world.

World Snow DayWorld Snow Day



More than twice as many people died in the Swiss mountains in the first of half 2018 as in the same period last year. 

Figures from the Swiss Alpine Club show that 80 people lost their lives to the end of June.

MatterhornSwiss Alps













Ueli Mosimann of the Club's mountain safety unit told the Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger that because most mountain accidents occur in July and August, this could end up being a record year for deaths. 

The figures are likely to be an underestimate as they exclude fatalities involving any form of transport such as paragliding, speedriding, base jumping and mountain biking.

In a deadly four days this winter, 10 people died in the Swiss Alps, including 7 who had spent the night in a snowstorm after getting lost while on the Haute-Route ski tour:

Most mountain deaths, however, involve hiking which accounted for 37 per cent of all deaths from 1984 to 2017, with ski touring accounting for 17 per cent.


There are workshops, films, talks, gear......oh, and some beer.

It promises to be an evening of inspiration from the brightest and best UK skiers, adventurers, photographers and film makers.

British Backcountry's Blair Aitken will be hosting the evening.

He'll be introducing the talents of photographers such as Nadir Khan and Brodie Hood, skiers such as Peter MacKenzie and Finlay Wild and the latest Scottish ski film from Morrocco Media 'Breaking Free'.

Stewart Brewing will be on hand with liquid refreshments and gear partners will be present with the latest gear to check out.

There's also a raffle to raise funds for the British Freeride Junior Training 2018/19.

Returning for it's third edition The Winter Opener has added daytime workshops to help people sharpen their skills for the mountains.

It all takes place on November 3rd from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm at Central Hall Edinburgh, EH3 9BP.

See here for more details.

Coming soon...Coming soon...













The International Olympic Committee is beginning a two-day visit to China to check up on progress for the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.

The agenda for the IOC's Beijing Coordination Commission is not clear but is likely to include measures to keep the costs of the next Winter Olympics and Paralympics down.

The visit comes following concern about the legacy and cost of Pyeongchang 2018 and the reducing number of potential bidders for the 2026 Games:

The Commission is likely to consider progress at the Games venues and may also discuss arrangements for the new disciplines which will be included in the Beijing programme:

The Beijing 2022 team has already announced that the first test events will be held at the National Alpine Ski Centre in February 2020.

Beijing 2022Hosts of the next Winter Olympics

















Welwyn Garden City dry ski slope in Hertfordshire is a valuable sports facility.

It is now facing closure by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to be replaced by a possible housing development.

The ski slope is used extensively year round by local schools, community groups, disability groups and ski race training camps coming from a wide catchment area.

There have been a number of initiatives over recent years to bring more young people into skiing and snow sports so keeping these facilities is significant.

British skiing is now firmly on the world snow sports map, and is growing quickly.

Dave Ryding, the current World Cup Alpine Ski Racer, started his career on a UK dry ski slope.

Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards started skiing on a UK dry ski slope.

A number of the current Team GB park and pipe athletes, including James Woods and Katie Summerhayes, started their snowsports careers at the Sheffield dry ski slope.

There are hundreds of young skiers that use Welwyn dry ski slope every week.

Some of these have real aspirations to be an international ski racer, many others of all age groups use it for team sport or just to keep fit.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE to keep the Dry Ski Slope Facilities intact.

Welwyn Garden City dry ski slope faces closure Welwyn Garden City dry ski slope faces closure














It is showing interest in adding a Japanese ski resort to lure skiers from Australia and China.

Plus to attract the huge number of Japanese skiers and snowboarders to its resorts in North America.

Oh, and run a profitable resort in Japan.

"We see Japan as the likely first stop from new emerging skiers," said the CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz.

The new skiers and snowboarders come from China, India and Southeast Asia.

"Those markets are going to be where the vast majority of all new skiers are created over the next decade," he added.

When the announcement is made PlanetSKI will have a full length and in-depth feature about the growth of skiing in Asia and how it will shape the future of skiing and snowboarding.

It is the most significant development in the global snowsports industry.

Watch this space...

Eyeing up JapanEyeing up Japan











It is calling mountain lovers to action asking that we protect our beloved environments.

The campaign is called 'Give a Flake'.

"Sometimes caring about an issue isn't enough.

"You have to do something.

"It's time to turn our concern about climate change - and yours - into action."

These are the words of 'Give a Flake'.

Seems great, no? And it certainly is - we are all for all of this here at PlanetSKI.

However, it has been described as a somewhat 'politically tinged' marketing campaign.

Take a look:


Last season Aspen put out a video with the themes of love, commit, unity, respect - again, positive and admirable messages.

But it was received by some as contraversial in the face of the political atmosphere at the time.

Whilst we are completely in support of creating a greener life in the white mountains and maintaining the beatiful world that gives us the grounds for our sports, we can see the statement - one that can possibly offend or even push away a portion of Aspen's market/visitors with certain opinions...

Read more of our past stories on this topic:




China's winter sports athletes are to be genetically screened ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, according to the South China Morning Post.

The newspaper says a document posted by the Ministry of Science and Technology details plans to set up a laboratory to select athletes who will compete for the host nation at the Games by genetic markers.

"Complete genome sequencing will be applied on outstanding athletes competing in the winter games for speed, endurance and explosive force, with at least 300 athletes in each group," the document reportedly says.

The move is likely to prove controversial if it is used as part of the selection process rather than for research purposes.

Read the full story.




A skier accused of trying to jump the crowd at a pond skimming event in Colorado in April has pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment.

Hayden Patrick Wright, who's 27, was skiing down a run at Copper Mountain when he went off the pond skim course and into the crowd, breaking a woman's collarbone and injuring several other people.

The incident was caught on camera by photographer Hugh Carey of The Summit Daily News.

Wright's back flip over the crowd at Copper Mountain credit: Hugh Carey/Summit DailyHayden Wright at the pond skim -  photo Hugh Carey/Summit Daily















The newspaper now reports that Wright has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge, and no contest to a misdemeanor third degree assault charge.

He was given a two-year deferred judgment and sentence, the first year of which he'll be under supervision.

The newspaper says the judgment  also imposes court fees of more than $1,000, 120 hours of useful public service, 10 days in jail by the end of the year and prohibitions from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

Witnesses said Wright had announced his intention to jump the crowd earlier that day, but his girlfriend claimed he was joking and crashed into the crowd by accident.


This year has been the worst in recent memory for the number and voracity of wildfires burning.

This is both in Europe and catastrophically through America and Canada.

California has recorded its most destructive wildfire season ever, and smoke blanketed the skies above mountain resorts in the major ski states of America and up into British Columbia, Canada.

On Sunday a small plane that crashed about 15 miles south of Reno, Nevada has sparked a wildfire.

The blaze is burning Slide Mountain near Mount Rose ski resort.

On Monday it was reported to have burned 80 acres.

The plane crash happened around 2pm Sunday;

The number of people on board and their condition remain unknown as the site of the crash is inaccessible due to fire.

Read on clicking the link below as we reported on the wildfires blazing through August:

And for more crazy climate news and the weather's mood swings, check out these:
 Photo: Adam Mayberry / Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Photo: Adam Mayberry / Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District



















The winter in Australia has been the best for at least a decade.

Perisher recently announced that its lifts would continue to run until 7th October.

They have had the most snow in 14 years, 203.9cm is the deepest snow depth since 2004 and the skiing and boarding the resort says is "simply epic!".

Perisher's Chief Operating Officer, Peter Brulisauer, said: "We are thrilled, the entire resort looks sensational. With the most snow in 14 years we are excited to extend the season into the school holiday period in October for our guests to continue to enjoy the fantastic skiing & snowboarding conditions."

Mount Buller has also seen the best snow since 2004 and the resort states,"It's officially the best snow in 10 years", they said.

On 18th August Mount Hotham officially hit the 2m snow level, and they commented: "This is the first time in 15 years that we have consecutively reached this significant milestone."

Lates Opening/Closing Dates for 2018:

Falls Creek:  Saturday 9th June - closing Sunday 7th October 2018
Mount Buller: Saturday 9th June 2018 - closing Sunday 7th October 2018
Mount Hotham: 9th June 2018 - closing 7th October 2018
Perisher: 7th June 2018 - closing 7th October
Thredbo: 9th June 2018 - closing on 1st October 2018

The closing dates for Australian ski resorts are correct at the time of posting this story:


The hosts of the next Alpine World Ski Championships have committed themselves to making it easier for families to attend.

The event - the biggest in the alpine skiing world after the Olympics - takes place at Åre in Sweden from 5th to 17th February 2019.

Alpine world champs in 2019The next hosts













Skistar, the owners of Scandinavia's largest resort, have have decided that "your lift pass is your entry ticket".

The resort will also provide free access for all children up to the age of eight and lay on special viewing areas for people with a disability.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) says one of the previous hosts, Vail-Beaver Creek, did something similar and reported a high number of families attending.

"The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are an occasion to enjoy spectacular racing but also to enjoy the snow with the family," FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said.

"In order to facilitate easy access, the ‘your lift past ticket is your entry ticket' is a laudable initiative to make it easy for families to enjoy the event and to inspire the new generation."

The Alpine World Ski Championships take place every two years.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news


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