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MARCH NEWS IN BRIEF
Friday March 1, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Brexit: a ski instructor's view, fire badly damages French ski resort hote + GB silver at World Para Snowboard Champs. ROLLING

 


 

NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM FEBRUARY 2019

SATURDAY 30TH MARCH

BREXIT: A SKI INSTRUCTOR'S VIEW

We post without comment.


FRIDAY 29TH MARCH

FIRE BADLY DAMAGES SKI RESORT HOTEL

More than 180 people had to be evacuated after a fire at a hotel in the French ski resort of Megève overnight.

The roof and sixth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel were completely destroyed in the blaze which broke out just before 10pm.

No-one was hurt.

60 firefighters fought the fire which it's thought could have started in a chimney. 

"We're deeply saddened by the fire that broke out and are thankful that all guests and employees are safe," The Four Seasons tweeted this morning.

"We are currently working with the local authorities to assess the cause and damage.

"Thank you for your messages of support."


THURSDAY 28TH MARCH

WORLD CHAMPS MEDAL FOR GB SNOWBOARDER

Briton Owen Pick has won a silver medal at the Para Snowboard World Championships in Finland.

The medal came in the banked slalom and matches his best-ever finish in international competition.

He won the silver in the same event at the 2017 World Championships.

Owen Pick & James SweetOwen Pick at the 2019 Worlds with coach James Sweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick is on great form right now.

He was on the podium twice with bronze medals in the snowboard cross at the World Cup in La Molina in Spain earlier this month.

He has also had two more top 5 finishes in banked slalom.

Owen PickOwen Pick at La Molina - photo Luc Percival, IPC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 27TH MARCH

VAIL TO EXPAND

It's the first expansion in 50 years in the Colorado resort.

The project is to take Golden Peak to the top of the slope with three new trails, one being a dedicated moguls trail.

A new surface lift will take skiers and snowboarders to the top of Golden Peak, adding 250m+ of vertical from the existing Chair 6.

map1_500The Vail expansion project





















It's been planned for nearly 30 years.

It is a project that's been denied in the past over concerns with stream health, soil stability and sedimentation.

But finally the project has been approved.

The terrain will be used primarily by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes.

Pete Seibert Jr., the son of Vail Mountain founder Pete Seibert, calls it the Golden Peak completion, rather than the Golden Peak expansion.

The project is costing $5m.


TUESDAY 26TH MARCH

AUSTRIAN POLICE OFFICER CHARGED AFTER DOPING VIDEO LEAKED

A video appeared on social media allegedly showing the cross-country skier, Max Hauke, having a blood transfusion.

It followed a series of arrests at the Nordic World Championships in Seefeld.

Now a police officer has been charged with leaking the video.

"The police officer from Eastern Austria, who was supporting the operation, is accused of having sent a video on which an athlete can be seen, as he just reinfused blood, in the night of 28.2.2019 to a private WhatsApp group," a statement from the Innsbruck public prosecutor's office.

"This video is an official secret of which the officer was only aware due to his police activity."

"By passing on to a private WhatsApp group, he violated this official secret."

"From this WhatsApp group the video was then further published."

The officer, who has not been named, could face up to three years in prison for the offence.

See here for our PlanetSKI story form the time:

Image from the videoImage from the video






























MONDAY 25TH MARCH

VAIL RESORTS CEO TALKS ABOUT THE FUTURE

Rob Katz defends the Epic Pass and says the next phase is attract the occasional skier, not just the hardcore.

An announcement is imminent.

"We're going to let everybody out there pick and choose exactly how many days they want, as low as one day, as high as seven days."

"We're also going to allow people to customize whether they want to ski on holidays or not."

"The Epic Pass does an amazing job for those who are going to ski more than a few days a season. "

"But what about the occasional skier?"

"What about the person who is just starting out in the sport? I think this decision really speaks to truly everyone. "

"Whether you ski one day, whether you ski all season, whether you ski on holidays or not, we now have a product that works for you."

He also talks of expansion into China, climate change and what skiing may look lie in a decade.

He has been revealing his thoughts to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rob Katz, Vail ResortsRob Katz, Vail Resorts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SKISTAR REPORTS SHARP GROWTH

The Scandinavian company claims 11% growth for the first half of the winter.

Its main Swedish resort of Are hosted the recent Alpine Skiing World Champions and saw a 70% increase in traffic from the UK to its web site.

It sees the UK as a potential growth market and the company is looking at attracting more international visitors.

It operates the ski resorts of Sälen, Åre, Vemdalen, and Hammarbybacken in Sweden,

Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway, and St Johann in Tirol in Austria.

There has been growing interest form the UK in skiing in Scandinavia.

PlanetSKI's Jane Peel was recently in Norway:

SkistarSkistar




















SATURDAY 23RD MARCH

20- YEAR OLD AMERICAN DIES IN VERBIER CLIFF FALL

The accident happened on Wednesday 20th March in the Mont Fort sector.

The authorites were alerted the following day of a missing person by friends.

A search was carried our and a body discovered at the foot of a rocky cliff.

An investigation is underway.

Mont Fort, VerbierMont Fort, Verbier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORWEGIAN SKI RACER HEADS TO COURT IN HELMET SPONSOSHIP ROW

Henrik Kristoffersen is suing Norway's national skiing federation that bans him from having a private sponsor on his helmet.

Kristoffersen claims money from Red Bull would be invested in his training, travel, and other aspects of his skiing.

The Norway federation argues against private sponsorship as it fears it will undermine the collective sponsorships the team reaches on behalf of all team members.

His fellow Norwegian skier, Aksel Lund Svindal, who retired this season had been allowed to have Red Bull's logo on his helmet.

Henrik Kristoffersen Henrik Kristoffersen















THURSDAY 21ST MARCH

It's been six months since the Grand Montets cable car suffered from a fire at the Lognan mid station.

And according to the boss of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc lift company, it's looking like it's going to be three years until lift access is open again.

The old infrastructure will take some effort to remove.

A new routed lift line and 'state-of-the-art' cable car might be on the agenda.

The company is still looking into the options of repairing or rebuilding

But for now it looks like the big Grands Montets descent is just for ski tourers for now.

PlanetSKI was in Chamonix this past weekend and wrote about the ski area Argentiere, and how it's been affected by the fire and lost lift.

Or read the original news story on the fire here:
ArgentiereGrands Montets top station and Lognan lift line skeletons 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WEDNESDAY 20TH MARCH

MAN ARRESTED OVER SKI THEFTS IN BRECKENRIDGE

Police raided the property of 32-year old Thomas Yacko after a one month investigation into a series of thefts.

He was arrested at work and police then searched his home.

Officers recovered 10 snowboards, 10 pairs of skis, six pairs of snowboard bindings, three helmets, 13 sets of goggles, eight pairs of gloves, a bag of ski skins and some poles.

They have a value of $5,000.

The thefts took place in the area of Peak 9 of the US resort.

Since the news has been made public additional victims have come forward.

Thomas YackoThomas Yacko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUNDAY 17TH MARCH

SHIFFRIN WINS HER 60TH RACE TODAY

24 year old American skier, Mikaela Shiffrin, wins her 60th World Cup race in Soldeu, Andorra.

It's her 17 win this season.

She collects her 3rd consecutive overall Crystal Globe, 6th Slalom Globe,1st Super-G Globe and her 1st Giant slalom Globe.

 

ROCKET RYDING 12TH IN WORLD CUP FINALS

Dave Ryding ends the 2018/2019 World Cup racing season with a 12th place finish in Andorra at the World Cup finals.

It means that he is 9th in the World Cup standings for slalom.

Watch his final race below.

 

 

SATURDAY 16TH MARCH

MAN DIES AFTER ROOF AVALANCHE

The accident happened in Crested Bute in Colorado, USA.

25-year old Stephan Michael Martel died and Blair Tulliver Burton, 37, was injured as they tried to clear snow off of a commercial building.

The snow slid off the building taking then men with it.

It followed huge amounts of snow in the ski resort.

There have been a record numbers of avalanches in the USA this season with ‘historic' danger.

 

THURSDAY 14TH MARCH

25th ANNIVERSARY OF BOSS DES BOSSES

The legendary inter-resort seasonaires' bumps competition takes place next week.

PlanetSKI will be streaming it live.

It all began back in two and a half decades ago.

Its home for many years was Chamonix but has now moved over to the Swiss resort of Verbier.


The event this year is next Wednesday, March 20th.

We will streaming a live feed of the event from 11am CET.

Boss des Bosses is backBoss des Bosses is back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 11TH MARCH

RESCUED GLENCOE CLIMBER DIES

A climber who was rescued after going missing near the Glencoe ski area in Scotland has died in hospital.

The 57-year-old man was airlifted from Stob Coire nan Lochan, part of the Three Sisters ridges in Glencoe, on Saturday.

He was one of two climbers picked up with hypothermia after being reported overdue from a climb the previous day.

Glencoe rescueGlencoe rescue operation - photo Oban Mountain Rescue Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other climber, aged 49, is in a stable condition in hospital in Fort William.

The men were found around lunchtime on Saturday following an extensive search and after rescuers had spotted significant avalanche debris.

They were from Nottinghamshire and part of a larger group of climbers.

DRY SKI SLOPE BATTLE GOES ON

Exeter's dry ski slope should remain open for the next two seasons, despite losing the fight against a planned housing development on the site.

Exeter City Council has voted in favour of selling the land which includes the ski centre.

Skiing began there 50 years ago and the centre welcomes around 4,000 skiers every year.

It's the only slope within 100 miles to cater for disabled skiers.

Exeter ski slopeDisabled skiing at Exeter - photo Exeter Adaptive Ski Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See our earlier article:

There's still a long process before the site can be developed and John Redwood of the Exeter Adaptive Ski Club has told PlanetSKI he is hopeful they can keep going at least for the next couple of seasons.

"The most likely outcome is that the site will be developed and that we will be forced to vacate the site," he told us.

"At the council meeting several councillors stated that they wished to support us in facilitating a move to a new site in the city.

"We are hopeful that this will happen and that they will help us to find a new site for the slope from their land bank, together with some significant assistance in financing the move.

"Without such financial help we would find a move extremely difficult."

SATURDAY 9TH MARCH

BODIES OF MISSING CLIMBERS LOCATED

The bodies of two missing climbers Pakistan have been found.

30 year old Tom Ballard from the UK and the Italian climber, Daniele Nardi, 42, went missing on Nanga Parbat at an altitude of 6,300m nealry two weeks ago.

On Wednesday  the search was called off, but resumed when 'shapes' were spotted.

The authorites have said the two shapes are the missing climbers.


Missing climbersTom Ballard & Daniele Nardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TWO CLIMBERS CAUGHT IN AVALANCHE IN SCOTLAND

They were rescued by the emergency services near the ski resort of Glencoe.

Police, coastguard and mountain rescue teams searched for six hours after they were reported missing on Friday.

The search was called off overnight.

They were found shortly after mid-day on Saturday.

They are being treated for hypothermia.

BREXIT IMPACT ON TRAVEL

AIR TRAVEL

The Government confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to air travel to EU if UK leaves without a deal.

The government has said it will reciprocate the plans the European Commission is putting in place, which would allow UK airlines to operate routes to and from the UK to EU countries.

They will also be able to make stops in EU countries and fly over EU airspace.

PASSPORTS

The UK Passport Office website crashed following a surge of applications from Britons ahead of the UK's departure from the EU.

There have bee warnings that people with up to 15 months left on their passport could be denied entry to many European countries after March 29 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"There are currently technical issues with our website. We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and will let you know when it's up and running. We're sorry for any inconvenience," said a statement from the Post Office.

The site is now working again.

FRIDAY 8TH MARCH

RAIN MELTS ICE IN GREENLAND

Rain is becoming more frequent in Greenland and accelerating the melting of its ice.

The BBC reports that scientists say they're "surprised" to discover rain falling even during the long Arctic winter.

The massive Greenland ice-sheet is being watched closely because it holds a huge store of frozen water.

And if all of that ice melted, the sea level would rise by seven metres, threatening coastal population centres around the world.

Read more on the story here on the BBC

Scientists study impact of rainScientists study impact of rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLICE IN UTAH RESCUE DOG

It seems an unthinking owner left their pet in the car as they went for a ski.

The dog was exposed to extreme cold.

Charges have been made.

Police tweetPolice tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY 7TH MARCH

TRAVELLERS AT SHEFFIELD SKI VILLAGE ORDERED OUT

About 30 people living on land off Pickering Road had challenged a eviction notice issued by Sheffield City Council.

But a judge at Sheffield County Court ruled in favour of the local authority.

A council spokesman said it would work with the travellers to help them move out as soon as possible.

We have reported on the case in the past on PlanetSKI:

Sheffield Ski Village opened in the 1990s but has been derelict since a fire in 2012.

In 2017 it was announced the 48-acre (19.4-hectare) plot at Parkwood Springs would be turned into a £22.5m sports site.

"In my judgement it is obvious no developer would be prepared to undertake the task of developing a site such as this without being guaranteed vacant possession of all of it," said Judge Geoffrey Robinson.

See here for our past stories on the development:


Abandoned Sheffield Ski Village - Urban Ghosts Media imageAbandoned Sheffield Ski Village - Urban Ghosts Media image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 6TH MARCH

MISSING CLIMBERS ASSUMED DEAD

The search has been called off for a British and an Italian climber missing on a mountain in Pakistan.

The BBC reports that helicopter, drone and ground searches have found no trace of Tom Ballard (30) or Daniele Nardi (42) .

They are now assumed to be dead.

It's thought they were killed at night by a huge avalanche which was heard by villagers miles away.

We reported on the search below (see entry for Monday 4th March).

The two men last made contact on 24th February from 6,300 metres' altitude at Nanga Parbat.

Tom Ballard is the son of climber Alison Hargreaves, who died descending from the summit of K2 in 1995.

She was the first woman to climb Everest unaided.

TUESDAY 5TH MARCH

ESTONIA X-COUNTRY COACH STRIPPED OF HONOURS

The Estonia ski coach Mati Alaver faces possible criminal charges and is being stripped of two national honours after one of his cross country skiers was arrested for doping.

Five cross-country skiers, including two Estonians, were arrested at the Nordic World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, last week.

Four other people were also arrested.

Nordic World Championships 2019Nordic World Championships 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were at the championships and reported on the news.

ERR News, the English-language service of Estonian Public Broadcasting, reports that the board of the Estonian Ski Association has made a report of a criminal offence to the prosecutor's office.

The President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, has ordered Mati Alaver to return an Order of Merit of the Estonian Red Cross, Fourth Class and an Order of Merit of the White Star, Third Class.

ERR says the coach confirmed in an interview that he had given skier Karel Tammjärv contact information for a German sports doctor but denied allegations that he had tolerated the use of doping.

"This has been the biggest mistake of my life, and I sincerely regret it," he said.

The news follows the decision of an Austrian coach to resign after after two of his skiers were implicated in doping, as we reported below on Sunday 3rd March.

MONDAY 4TH MARCH

UPDATE: SEARCH CONTINUES FOR TWO MISSING CLIMBERS ON NANGA PARBAT

Fears grow for the British and Italian climbers missing on Pakistan's Nanga Parbat mountain.

We reported on the missing climbers here.

Derbyshire born Tom Ballard, 30, was climbing Nanga Parbat in Pakistan with Italian Daniele Nardi, 42, when they lost contact on 24th February.

Missing climbersTom Ballard & Daniele Nardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday the base camp team raised the alarm and requested assistance.

The poor weather combined with raised political tensions over Kashmir between India and Pakistan has hampered the search on the 8,126m mountain.

In recent days poor visibility, low snow clouds and inclement conditions frustrated searches for Friday and Saturday that had to be abandoned.

The temperature in the region can be as low as -40ºC and along with strong winds and the danger of avalanches, the risks for the rescue team are profoundly high.

A window of opportunity opened in the weather system on Monday and a search party was flown in.

Pilots from the Pakistan army have been helping with the helicopter search.

Over £100,000 has been raised in GoFunMe, a fund raising site, to help with the cost of the helicopter search for the two climbers.

A drone search of the surrounding area took place with the help of Basque climber, Alex Txikon.

Weather permitting a further drone search is proposed for Tuesday.

The following short video of the search on Nanga Parbat was posted by Daniele Nardi's support team on his facebook page.

The search continues on Tuesday.

Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain in the world at 8,126m, and has a reputation as the ‘killer mountain'.

It is located in the Daimer District of Pakistan's Gilit Baltistan region.

92-YEAR-OLD FINED FOR DRIVING UP PISTE

Skiers and snowboarders were startled to see a jeep driving up the piste at a resort in northern Italy at the weekend.

Car on pisteHeading the wrong way to lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elderly driver was apparently trying to get to a ski lodge in the resort of Col Rodella in Trento for lunch.

He was stopped by the police on a snowmobile and escorted slowly off the slopes.

According to local media he was trying to find a shortcut to the restaurant which is usually accessed by ski lift.

He was fined €30.

This video was posted on YouTube by Giornale Adige:


SUNDAY 3RD MARCH

AUSTRIA NORDIC SKI COACH QUITS AFTER DOPING SCANDAL

Trond Nystad said he did "not want to go on" after two of his skiers were implicated in doping.

Dominik Baldauf and Max Hauke were among those who have been arrested.

See here for our PlanetSKI news report from Seefeld.

"I can no longer motivate myself when such things happen," Trond Nystad told Norwegian radio and television network NRK.

"If I had expected this, I would never have taken this job," he added.

Alleged drugs cheat is caughtAlleged drugs cheat is caught

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 1ST MARCH

BRITISH MAN DIES AFTER COLLISION IN VAL THORENS

A British man on holiday in Val Thorens has died after a high-speed collision on the slopes.

French media report that the man, in his late 40s, collided with another skier then slid into a signpost.

Piste patrollers tried in vain to resuscitate him.

The crash happened earlier today.

According to the mountain rescue teams the signpost had proper protection. 

FWT IN ANDORRA IS ON

The action takes place on Saturday.

Given the green lightGiven the green light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week it was in Fieberbrunn in the Tirol and PlanetSKI was there:

ELLIS BRIGHAM SUPPORTS MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN

It's been scientifically proven that spending time outdoors is a powerful natural anti-depressant.

Regular exercise can also reduce depression by 30%.

The UK retailer is working in partnership with Trail magazine and the mental health chairy, Mid, to launch Mountains for the Mind.

It's a major new campaign to spread the word about the benefits of being outside.

See here for further details:

Mountains for the MindMountains for the Mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 WEEKS LEFT TO CROWDFUND A SNOWSPORTS REPORT

The International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism is not just any old report.

It is perhaps the most accurate and impartial look at the global world of snowsports.

It is compiled by Laurent Vanat.

Laurent VanatLaurent Vanat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here for our articles on its past content:

Money raised by crowd funding covered about half of the investment in the preparation of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 reports.

2019 will see a new updated issue of the International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism, which will be released in April.

The subscription to the 2019 crowd funding campaign ends in the middle of March.

If you are interested in supporting the report then you can contribute by using this link or email to vanat@vanat.ch

 

HIRING SKI PATROL AT MOUNT ROSE

Mount Rose Ski patrol is already recruiting for the 2019/20 ski season.

Requirements for the job include: Basic EMT, expert skier, adrenaline junkie & a lover of fish.

100% filmed at Mt Rose Ski Tahoe.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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