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AUGUST NEWS IN BRIEF - The PlanetSKI team
Wednesday July 31, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Deer Valley remains in Gwyneth Paltrow lawsuit, predicted drop in US snowpack, future Snow Factory for NZ + back on track. ROLLING...

 

 

 

 

NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM JULY 2019

MONDAY 19TH AUGUST

DEER VALLEY REMAINS IN GWYNETH PALTROW LAWSUIT

The actress and the resort are defendants after a man was allegedly skied into by Gwyneth Paltrow in February 2016.

A ski instructor with her allegedly went up to the man who was knocked over and shouted at him instead of calling for help.

The resort had argued that the case was between the man, retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, and the US actress.

Deer Valley has claimed it wad clear of any responsibility under a law that takes into account the inherent dangers of skiing.

Judge Kent Holmberg said in a written decision that the alleged actions "doesn't qualify as an inherent risk of skiing."

See here for an earlier PlanetSKI story with further details of the story.

In a legal counter claim Paltrow said Terry Sanderson skied into her and she is suing him.

Gwyneth Paltrow on the slopes Gwyneth Paltrow on the slopes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 17TH AUGUST

SCIENTISTS WARN OF DROP IN SNOWPACK IN USA

A new report from the American Geophysical Union says consecutive years of low snowpack may become six times more common for the Western USA by 2050.

For 2050-2079, the average frequency of consecutive snow droughts rose from 6.6% to 42.2% compared to historical conditions from 1970-1999.

Researchers said that ski resorts should prepare for inconsistent and lower snowpacks.

Resorts in lower elevations could also experience an increase in droughts.

"Every time we have a snow drought, we're delving into our water resources and the ecosystem's resources. We're drawing down on our savings without restocking the bank," said the lead author of the study,

Adrienne Marshall, from the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources.

"Today's low-snow years will become the average by the middle of the century," said John Abatzoglou, an associate professor in geography at the University of Idaho. "We still expect some large snow years, but they will become increasingly rare."

The report predicts that average global temperature will increase 9 degrees.

FRIDAY 16TH AUGUST

SNOW FACTORY COULD BE IN USE IN NZ IN THE FUTURE

NZSki has applied to install a "snow factory'' which makes snow regardless of the outdoor air temperature.

They are used in Scotland and elsewhere as we have reported in this earlier article on PlanetSKI:

Scotland promises snow this winter

NZSki operates the ski resorts of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.

There are no immediate plans to get one, but the resorts are looking a few decades ahead when snow may be scarce due to climate change.

NZSki has applied for a concession from the Department of Conservation.

Snow FactorySnow Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We're trying to include in there anything that we might do in the future and, certainly, if a `snow factory' gave us the opportunity to open earlier and close a bit later then that might be a direction we'd go,'' said a statement from the resort.

THURSDAY 15TH AUGUST

BACK ON TRACK

The rack and pinion train from Chamonix to Montenvers has opened today after an accident last weekend.

It takes people from the town to a high altitude station overlooking the glaciers, the peaks and the Vallee Blanche.

150 people were on board at the time.

We reported on it lower down this News In Brief article.

"We are delighted to announce that the Montenvers rack & pinion railway will resume normal service as of Thursday 15th August with its usual timetable," said a statement from the operators.

The accident was caused by human error rather than a technical failure, and new checks have been put in place.

"The decision to resume normal service was taken with no further risks for our customers who will be transported in complete safety," added the statement.

Montenvers trainBack on the rails - photo Mont Blanc Natural Resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It is a popular tourst attraction and PlanetSKI took the train when we were in Chamonix last summer.

See here for a full report what the resort is like in the summer months.

WEDNESDAY 14TH AUGUST

AUSTRALIAN SNOWSPORT ATHLETE ALLEGEDLY SENT PHOTOS OF HIS GENITALIA TO YOUNG GIRLS

Ski & Snowboard Australia is investigating after allegations were made by parents of some girls.

The athlete, in his early 20s, allegedly sent the images to girls on the teams and some were as young as 13.

The athlete has denied the allegations and claims he only sent images to adult teammates who consented.

Under Australian federal law sending images with sexual content to people under-16 is illegal.

The offence carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

It is reported that some of the girls were so distressed and humiliated that they have withdrawn from the teams.

Investigation underwayInvestigation underway












TUESDAY 13TH AUGUST

MONTENVERS-MER DE GLACE TRAIN DERAILS

The famous railway between Montenvers at the foot of the Vallee Blanche and Chamonix is out of action today after a train derailed with 150 people on board.

The Compagnie du Mont Blanc said in a statement that one of the six rack and pinion trains came off the tracks at the Planards points, three quarters of the way back to Chamonix on Sunday afternoon.

There is no mention in the statement of any injuries caused as a result of the derailment.

The train was craned back onto the tracks yesterday and has been taken to Chamonix for further inspection.

Montenvers trainBack on the rails - photo Mont Blanc Natural Resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineers are repairing some minor damage to the tracks.

"We once again present our sincerest apologies & consideration not only to the some 150 customers who were seated in the derailed locomotive but also to the numerous clients at Montenvers last Sunday", the statement reads, adding "we will keep everybody informed with up to date information regarding the track repair & the planned resuming of normal service."

MONDAY 12TH AUGUST

BEIJING SKI JUMP LEGACY

The ski jump venue being built for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will become the world's first permanent ski jumping course, according to the local government in the Chinese region where it's located.

The main structure at the venue in Zhangjiakou will be ready to host test events by the end of this year, the China Internet Information Center says.

InsideTheGames says that the ski jumping functions will be kept for training and competition events but the area will be used for summer activities such as zip-line rides and grass skiing.

Construction work for Beijing Olympics 2022Work underway at Zhangjiakou - photo FIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST

RUSSIAN PARALYMPIC SKIER BANNED FOR DOPING

The cross-country skier Nadezhda Fedorova was a member of the neutral team at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang.

She came fourth in the 5km cross-country skiing event.

She tested positive for oxandrolone metabolites in a urine sample in an out of competition test.

She has been suspended from July 2019 to July 2023 thus ruling her out of competing at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

Russian athletes were banned from competing at Pyeongchang under their own flag after the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC).

It followed widespread and organised drug taking at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Nadezhda FedorovaNadezhda Fedorova





























FRIDAY 9TH AUGUST

US PROFESSOR DIES IN CHAMONIX CLIMBING FALL

47-year-old Steven Gubser from Princeton University was climbing the Comb Needle when he fell 300m.

It is reported that his rope broke.

The physics professor was on holiday with his family at the time.

"He deeply cared about teaching and sharing his enthusiasm for physics with his students," said physics department chair Herman Verlinde.

"His energetic presence, disarming humour and cool style made him into one of our most popular teachers and mentors. Princeton was his home and he contributed to the University in many ways. We will dearly miss him."

He was an accomplished scholar of string theory and black holes, winning numerous awards for his studies.

As well as his studies of string theory and quantum field theory, Gubser was an avid unicyclist and accomplished piano player.

He is survived by his wife and their three daughters.

Steven Gubser Steven Gubser













THURSDAY 8TH AUGUST

MAN DROWNS IN AUSTRIAN LAKE, SUFFERING FOOT CRAMP

A British man has drowned whilst swimming in Austrian lake Mondsee from cramp in his foot.

The 33-year-old was swimming on Wednesday at Schwarzindien beach.

The man disappeared under the water after complaining about the pain in his foot to his companion.

The woman he was with "screamed for help" when he didn't resurface. 

Police reported that nearby swimmers attempted to help, but his body was not recovered in time.

MondseeMondsee



























WEDNESDAY 7TH AUGUST

2022 SPEED SKATING OVAL WLL BE OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

The new venue is being built for the Beijing Winter Games and will be available for the use of both professional athletes and the general public.

That's according to China.orh.cn

The National Speed Skating Oval, nicknamed the "Ice Ribbon" owing to the pattern included in its design, is expected to be finished by the end of this year.

The National Alpine Ski Centre and the National Sliding Centre in Yanqing District will be used for training after the Games.

The big air snowboarding site at Shougang Park will become the world's first permanent setting for the sport.

National Speed Skating OvalNational Speed Skating Oval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 6TH AUGUST

BIG SKI AREA IN AUSTRIA GETS EVEN BIGGER

It has been talked about for years and next season Zell am See will be linked to the Ski Circus.

The Ski Circus has the resorts of Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn in its area.

The new expree gondola lift will open at the beginning of December.

It will mean the area has 347 kms of slopes.

77km in Zell am See and the rest in the Ski Circus.

Coming soon...Coming soon...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 5TH AUGUST

BIRD CAUSES POWER CUT AT PERISHER

Skiers and snowboarders were stuck on lifts in the Australian Snowy Mountains resort of Perisher for hours on Sunday.

A bird flew into the resort's main electricity supply, cutting off the power to all the ski area's lifts and buildings.

Power cut at PerisherPower cut at Perisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outage lasted several hours before the power could be restored.

While some visitors took to social media to complain about what they said was a lack of information from the resort, at least one skier seemed happy to be left hanging around, calling it "the best power cut in the world":

View this post on Instagram

The best power cut in the world #HappyValley

A post shared by Wajiha Said (@vonskunk) on Aug 4, 2019 at 10:47pm PDT


XC SKIER DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS

The former Finnish cross-country skier Mona-Liisa Nousiainen has died at the age of 36 after a long illness.

She won two sprint gold medals in 2013 and competed at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

She retired in 2018.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross Country has paid tribute and offered condolences to family, friends and teammates:

"We mourn the death of Mona-Liisa Nousiainen who lost the fight against a long-term illness last night. 😔 🏵 thank you for sharing your passion, your smiles and your good heart."

The news was shared by the Finland Cross Country Ski Team on Instagram:

 

SATURDAY 3RD AUGUST

A-BASIN JOINS IKON PASS

The  US resort has joined the IKON pass collection of resorts.

It had been on the rival Epic Pass offered by Vail Resorts.

The move from the Colorado resort comes as no surprise.

When Arapahoe Basin left the Epic Pass its chief operating officer, Alan Henceroth, said it would be open to joining other partnerships.

"Arapahoe Basin is thrilled to partner with the Ikon Pass and join its community of like-minded mountain destinations. A-Basin is a bold, aspirational mountain with legendary character that invites skiers and riders to find adventure at every turn, an ideal fit for the Ikon Pass," said Alan Henceroth.

A-Basin is a favourite of PlanetSKI's and we passed through on a month long road trip across the USA and Canada back in 2017.

See here for why we rate it so highly:

Ever expanding...Ever expanding...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the 19/20 season A-Basin will offer full Ikon-Passholders seven days with no blackout dates, and Ikon Base-Passholders five days with limited blackout-dates.

Arapahoe Basin, front sideArapahoe Basin, front side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ikon Pass Stats:

  • Resorts: 40
  • Continents: 4
  • States: 12
  • Canadian Provinces: 4
  • Total Acres: 80,885
  • Trails: 4,712*
  • Lifts: 665

FRIDAY 2ND AUGUST

PLANKS & GB SNOWSPORT TEAM UP

The British ski & snowboard clothing company Planks - whose slogan is 'Drop cliffs not bombs' - has news;

It will be partnering with GB Snowsport.

Planks is going to be kitting out some of the country's best winter sports athletes.

National squads - including Park+Pipe, Ski+Snowboard Cross as well as Para Snowboard and Para Nordic - will sport the Planks getup next season.

GB Snowsport athlete, Olympian and X Games gold medallist James 'Woodsy' Woods has been on the Planks team for the last 3 years.

He even has is own signature series of Planks outerwear.

GB Snowsport CEO Vicky Gosling has said the partnership was a natural fit for both organisations.

"Woodsy has worked with Planks for many years now and we can't wait to see even more GB Snowsport athletes in their kit in the 2019/20 season and beyond," Gosling comments.

"They're not only one of the most fashionable brands in the mountains, they're also continually adapting their products to ensure their range is functional and meets the needs of the world's best."

Word from Planks Founder Jim Adlington:

"[We're] really looking forward to being a part of [GB Snowsport's] success on the world stage.

"We are a grassroots grown brand and being able to help support up and coming UK talent is what we are all about.

"In many ways Planks and GB Snowsport are on a parallel journey."

Planks clothing and GB Snowsports Planks clothing and GB Snowsports link up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'GRANDFATHER' OF SNOWBOARDING DIES

The man who invented the Snurfer, Sherman R. Poppen,  has died aged 89.

The Snurfer was the predecessor of the snowboard and was created in 1965.

It was ridden like a monoski but had no bindings.

Thinking of surfing a wave at the time, he looked out at the snowy hills outside of his house on Christmas day and wondered how he could make something for his daughter to play outside on.

He joined two 36-inch long skis together and added foot grips and a strong on the front - like a toboggan.

This paved the way for 'the snowboarding revolution' and the sport we love now.

Sherman snurfing in 1965Sherman snurfing in 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poppen patented the Snurfer a year on and its popularity went from there.

By 1977 Jake Burton Carpenter, a keen snurfer, began developing an improved model.

Snowboarding was born and replaced snurfers, but Poppen is recognized as a pioneer of the winter sport.

He was inducted into the Banff Snowboarding Hall of Fame in 1995.

Poppen took up snowboarding at the age of 67.

  Steamboat/Larry Pierce Steamboat/Larry Pierce image of Sherman Poppen in 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE:

And we have had some reaction over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page to the passing of Sherman R. Poppen:

Facebook reactionFacebook reaction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



THURSDAY 1ST AUGUST

EXTRA SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR WORLD CUP RACE IN VAL GARDENA

It follows the heavy crash of Marc Gisin last winter in the Downhill.

The Swiss racer suffered several fractured ribs which caused injuries to his lungs.

Gisin was treated in intensive care following his crash.

FIS officials have just visited the venue to inspect the course.

There will be changes to the course itself for the 2019 World Cup.

The super-G start will be relocated to the west, in the direction of Sassolungo.

All A-nets and air fences on the slope have been replaced.

There will be a second helicopter rescue team on duty

A new snowmaking system will 30% more snow to be produced.

The race takes place December 20th and 21st with the super-G first and the downhill the following day.

SQUAW VALLEY AND ALPINE MEADOWS TO LINK

Plans are moving forward to connect the two Lake Tahoe ski resorts with a 2.2-mile-long gondola.

The gondola with eight-passenger cars would transport up to 1,400 people an hour on a 16-minute trip between the bases of the neighbouring resorts.

It would create 6,000 acres of skiable terrain.

The project with two base terminals and two mid-stations has received preliminary approval from the Forest Service but still must win final approval.

Some local environmentalists are against the plan.

Around 20% of the project would be on national forest land.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to linkSquaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRANT FOR NATIONAL SNOWSPORTS CENTRE FOR AUSTRALIA

The New South Wales government has pledged $5m for the training centre at Jindabyne.

The town is near the ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo.

Ski and Snowboard Australia has welcomed the move.

It will be part of the existing Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre.

It will have a dry slope airbag facility, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The airbag technology will allow Slope Style and Big Air competitors to perfect their tricks on a giant inflatable bag before they go onto the snow.

It increases training time and reduces the risk of injury.

It comes as athletes are targeting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Jindabyne, snowsport trainingJindabyne, snowsport training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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