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APRIL NEWS IN BRIEF
Monday April 1, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

IOC Notre Dame donation, 3 climbers feared dead in Canada avalanche + body of British GP found near Chamonix. ROLLING

 

 

 

 

NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM MARCH 2019

FRIDAY 19TH APRIL

IOC TO DONATE €500K TO NOTRE DAME

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will donate €500,000 - £432,000 - towards the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral.

The donation is to ensure the landmark cathedral is repaired in time for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The head of Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet, was contacted by Olympic President Thomas Bach by letter.

Bach's letter Bach's letterto Paris 2024 head Tony Estanguet



































In this letter, Bach pledges his support of €500,000 and wrote:

"The aim of finishing this reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an additional motivation for us all".

"This will send a strong message about the way in which the Olympic Games are always synonymous with [people] gathering together and aim to put sport at the service of humanity.

"This is why the IOC wants to take part in the reconstruction and restoration efforts.

"The IOC will therefore make a donation of €500,000 for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame."

The fire burnt and destroyed the roof and spire of the medieval cathedral on 15th April.

The main structure and bell towers have been saved, according to officials.

The cause of the fire has not been confirmed.

Donations totalling near to €850 million have been made for the restoration of Notre Dame.

We insert below BBC's breaking news video of the fire:


FRIDAY 19TH APRIL

3 CLIMBERS FEARED DEAD IN AVALANCHE NEAR BANFF

Hansjörg Auer, David Lama and Jess Roskelley were attempting a route on Howse Peak in the Canadian Rockies.

The route, MI6, had only been climbed once.

The alarm was raised when they failed to check in at a scheduled time.

Emergency services flew over the area where they were climbing and saw evidence of "avalanches and debris containing climbing equipment".

Rescue efforts are on hold because of dangerous conditions and the threat of further avalanches.

Bad weather is forecast over the coming days.

David Lama and Hansjoerg Auer came from Austria, and Jess Roskelley, from the USA.

Fellow climbers and many in the climbing community expressed sadness at the reports.

THURSDAY 18TH APRIL

BODY OF BRITISH DOCTOR FOUND IN FRENCH ALPS

Robert Bailey, who was 63, had not been seen since going for a snowshoe hike near Chamonix last month.

He was a GP in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire.

He was reported missing on 22nd March after failing to return from a walk in Les Houches the previous day.

Robert BaileyRobert Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French media report that his body was found in a river bed on Tuesday.

The Foreign Office has said it is supporting the family of a British man who has died in France, and are in contact with the French authorities.

"They have our sympathy at this deeply difficult time," a spokesman said.

WEDNESDAY 17TH APRIL

IKON PASS ADDS ANOTHER

The collective pass is growing and expanding through North America and beyond.

The newest addition:

Mt Buller in Victoria, Australia.  

This means that Ikon Pass holders can take advantage of a year-round winter.

In the Southern Hemisphere there are now six 'summer' destinations.
  • Mt Buller, Thredbo in New South Wales, Australia
  • Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt in New Zealand
  • Valle Nevado in Chile
Mt Buller is located 150 miles outside of Melbourne.

To read more about the Australian resort, check out the reports from the editor of PlanetSKI, James Cove, last summer during his ski trip around Oz:
In addition to access to 33 destinations in the Northern Hemisphere all 19/20 Ikon Pass holders can ride through Mt Buller's 2019 winter season, starting June 2019.

Ikon Pass holders will have 7-day access to Mt Buller on the Ikon Pass with no blackout dates.

On the Ikon Base Pass you'll have five-day access, also with no blackout dates.

More on the collective here:
Buy the IKON Pass for this/next season here:
Mt Buller joins IKONMt Buller joins IKON















TUESDAY 16TH APRIL

BRITISH BOBSLEIGH CELEBRATION

A gala dinner is to be held in London to celebrate the bronze medal recently awarded to the GB 4-man bobsleigh team at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The evening, arranged by the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, will double up as a fundraising event for the youth and para sections of the sports.

John Jackson's 4-man crew were last month officially upgraded to a bronze medal, five years after finishing fifth in Russia:

GB 4-man bob team at Sochi 2014From 5th to 3rd



















 

 

 

The BBSA says that, with the Winter Youth Olympics taking place in Lausanne in February 2020 and its talent ID campaign gathering pace, the money raised will help support the next generation of sliders.

The evening will also support the growth of the Para Bobsleigh programme for athletes with disabilities.

Britain's Corie Mapp is currently one of the world's best in this field.

Corie MappCorie Mapp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BBSA wants to encourage others to follow his lead, while giving Corie support to keep on competing at the top level.

The comic and impressionist, Rory Bremner, will perform at the dinner, which will kick off with a champagne and cocktail reception.

Other Winter Olympic medallists will attend.

It takes place on 24th April at the Boisdale Club in Canary Wharf.

Ticket prices start at £250 with a 50% discount for BBSA members and their guests.

The BBSA recently launched an appeal for donors and sponsors to support its squad of athletes after the government agency UK Sport withdrew its funding:

CRANS-MONTANA BIDS FOR ALPINE WORLD CHAMPS

The Swiss ski resort has officially submitted a bid to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2025.

"Switzerland is an Alpine country that has some of the richest traditions, and we are fighting to attract the World Championships here again in 2025," said Urs Lehmann, President of Swiss-Ski.

Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandCrans-Montana, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The successful host will be elected during the FIS Congress in Thailand at the end of May 2020.

The event was held in Crans-Montana in 1987.

The only other candidate so far is Saalbach in Austria which last hosted the Championships in 1991 and lost out to Courchevel-Meribel in France for the 2023 World Championships.


MONDAY 15TH APRIL

A SKI RAPE VICTIM'S STORY

Hannah was abducted and raped on a skiing holiday in Morzine in France.

She has decided to waive her right to anonymity in the hope of getting justice.

She has been speaking to Channel 5 News.

"My first fear was that they were going to kill me."

FRIDAY 12TH APRIL

POLICE QUESTION TOP CHAMONIX FIGURES

The Mayor of Chamonix and the head of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc have been questioned as part of an investigation into the awarding of the contract to the run the ski area.

The Mayor, Eric Fournier, and the CEO of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc (CMB), Mathieu Dechavann,  are reported to have spent several hours being questioned by gendarmes in Chambery, along with three other people.

Monsieur Fournier has confirmed in a statement that he was summoned to the gendarmerie on Tuesday 9th April.

In 2018 the offices of the town hall and the CMB were searched and documentation seized as part of the investigation.

The CMB was granted a 40-year contract to manage the ski area at the end of 2013, promising 477million Euros of investment to renovate facilities.

The Chamonix muncipality is a shareholder in CMB.

French media reports say the inquiry is investigating whether the contract was tainted by irregularities or favouritism.

THURSDAY 11TH APRIL

EASYJET WINTER FLIGHTS ON SALE

EasyJet has put its winter 2019/20 flights on sale with an assurance that they will operate whatever the Brexit outcome.

Thousands of flights across Europe, including ones to all the ski airport hubs, are now on sale until 28 March 2020.

"Our customers can rest assured that we will be flying as usual whatever the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations," said the airline in a statement.

Easyet at Geneva airportHow much to Geneva next winter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We've had a look at some of the current prices for flights to Geneva, both for off-peak and peak winter dates.

There's a huge variation.

Saturday Jan 4th, returning Saturday Jan 11th

Several flight options travelling from London Gatwick to Geneva at sensible times of the day are available for £57 return, excluding baggage.

There are similar prices flying from Manchester to Geneva.

Easyjet pricesManchester-Geneva prices travelling out 4th January 2020 & returning 7 days later

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February half-term week, Saturday 15th Feb, returning Saturday 22nd

Not surprisingly, the prices are much higher for this period but they are likely to be much lower now than they will be nearer the time.

The cheapest London Gatwick to Geneva return flight is £376pp, excluding baggage, with an evening outbound flight and an 0700hrs return flight.

The highest price for those dates on that route is £738pp return, excluding baggage, with travel out at 0950hrs and back at 1315hrs.

There's been some reaction on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

Facebook commentsReaction on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook commentsReaction on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 10TH APRIL

GLACIERS MELTING FASTER THAN THOUGHT

A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year.

Scientists have claimed they are shrinking 18% faster than an international panel of scientists calculated in 2013.

The world's glaciers are shrinking five times faster now than they were in the 1960s.

Their melt is accelerating due to global warming, and adding more water to already rising seas, the study found.

"Over 30 years suddenly almost all regions started losing mass at the same time," said lead author Michael Zemp, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service at the University of Zurich.

"That's clearly climate change if you look at the global picture."

For further details see this story in the Washington Post

We have written extensively about the melting glaciers in the Alps and the impact on summer skiing in particular:

Alpine glaciersAlpine glaciers
















Alpine glaciersAlpine glaciers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 8TH APRIL

RED BULL RAGNAROK RETURNS FOR ITS 10TH YEAR

250 kites filled the skies above Norway's snowy Hardangervidda plateau in Red Bull's annual kite race.

Red Bull's Ragnarok kite race took place between 4th-7th April.

30 different nations tackled the grueling 5 lap course on either skis or snowboards.

Hardangervidda is the largest mainland national park in Scandinavia.

Participants attempt to use kite power alone to complete five laps of the course in the shortest possible time.

The race format is a mass start and the kiters then have a five-hour time limit to finish the course.

Steph Bridge of the UK topped the women's ski podium, completing the course in 4h 45m.

250 kites fills the sky at Ragnorak (photo: Red Bull Content Pool)250 kites fill the sky at Ragnorak (photo: Red Bull Content Pool)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

250 kites fills the sky at Ragnorak (photo: Red Bull Content Pool)250 kites fill the sky at Ragnorak (photo: Red Bull Content Pool)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 6TH APRIL

SHIFFIN WINS $1m IN PRIZE MONEY

She is the first skier to do so.

She had 60 race wins, collected a few more globes, and took home 17 World Cup wins this season.

WEDNESDAY 3RD APRIL

UK SKI INSTRUCTOR GUILTY OF RAPE

A British ski instructor has pleaded guilty to raping a woman and punching and kicking her friend in Australia.

The incident happened last July in the town of Jindabyne near the ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo.

Police called the attack "horrendous".

Matthew James Williams, now 29, followed the woman and man after they left a pub at night.

He then attacked them.

Police thought there had been a number of attackers due to the severity of the injuries.

The ski instructor, who worked in Perisher, was arrested after his DNA and watch were found at the scene.

Mr Williams pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault, inflicting actual bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse with another, and possessing a prohibited drug.

He will be sentenced next month.

Jindabyne, AustraliaJindabyne, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TUESDAY 2ND APRIL

ANOTHER 3 YEARS FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH BORMIO SKI

Snowsport England has announced that it will extend its contract for the championships with Bormio Ski in Italy.

It extends for another three years until 2022. 

It was a record year this year.

Hundreds of competitors and their families enjoyed an action-packed week of skiing in Bormio, Italy for the 23rd English Alpine Championships.

"The relationship we have with the resort and the town is fantastic and it's a real pleasure to go back there each year," CEO of Snowsport England, Tim Fawke, said.

The English Alpine Championships act as a gateway for future British alpine skiing stars.

World Cup alpine ski racer Dave Ryding used to compete.

They are the most popular championships of the season.

"We're very proud to have hosted the English Alpine Championships for 12 wonderful years," said the CEO of Bormio Ski, Valeriano Giacomelli.

"As a result we've built a long-term relationship owing to the event's continued success."

"The championships represent a full week of high-level competitions and for us brings a boom in terms of tourist numbers coming from the UK."

2020 championships dates: Sunday 16th to Friday 21st February 2020.

Photo credit: Racer ReadyScott Johns competing in U16 Super G. Photo credit: Racer Ready

























Pictured is Abi Bruce. Photo credit: Racer Ready. Pictured is Abi Bruce. Photo credit: Racer Ready.

























Snowsport EnglandSnowsport England












MONDAY 1ST APRIL

BREXIT: A SKI INSTRUCTOR'S VIEW

We post without comment.

 

But it does appear to support what the British Association of Snowsports Instructors claimed earlier:

OZ TO GET ALL YEAR FREESTYLE TRAINING CENTRE

It will be the first one in the Southern Hemisphere and will be built in Brisbane.

The news comes from Australian Olympic Committee.

The project will cost $6.5 million.

The International Freestyle Skiing Training Facility will host elite aerial and mogul skiers, overseas athletes and locals.

It will be an extension of the current Sleeman Sports Centre facility, which has an Olympic-sized pool, accommodation, gymnastic centre, fitness centre and athlete rehabilitation as well as the Anna Meares velodrome and BMX track.

"This facility will be a game-changer for Australian winter sport," said Federal Sports Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie.

"Our Australian winter athletes have been so successful in freestyle skiing despite their training disadvantages, and they have inspired the next generation of participants in skiing - and hopefully producing more Olympic heroes."

The International Freestyle Skiing Training Facility The International Freestyle Skiing Training Facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5G FOR BEIJING OLYMPICS

The city plans to invest £3.4 billion to build a 5G network in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

It is also expected that Beijing will gain an edge in expediting pioneering applications such as self-driving vehicles and remote healthcare according to the China Daily.

The 5G network will cover the core zone of the city.

It will also be used in the Beijing Daxing International Airport.

Beijing Winter OlympicsBeijing Winter Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

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