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Thursday June 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Jeremy Clarkson helis in for skiing, naked basejumping in Lauterbrunnen, yodelling festival underway + dog derby at Coronet Peak. NEW & UPDATED

See here for a flavour of what it is all about from last month's ramble.

And now this month...

Wednesday 28th June

Now PlanetSKI likes to be first with the news and first into resorts as they open

Sadly we've just been beaten by Jeremy Clarkson. 

PlanetSKI is in the French resort of Les2Alpes for its inaugural Mountain Festival.

Last week, ahead of our arrival and before the resort officially opened, the former 'Top Gear' presenter was there filming a sequence for his new programme that can be seen on Amazon, The Grand Tour.

He popped up in a helicopter for a spot of skiing.  

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France

One PlanetSKI reader has seen the photo and suggested the caption 'Large knob gets out of small chopper'

We asked ourselves how someone could be so rude about a British national TV treasure.  

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France


However we did hear reports of him ordering someone off a skidoo so he could have a sit down and rest his ample frame.  

Others complained of him not meeting or signing autographs for the people that gave up their skiing time to help make up the numbers and the backdrop in the skiing scenes.  

See here for what the glacier skiing is like at the moment from our editor, James Cove.

Monday 26th June


First we reported on a naked climber on El Capitan at Yosemite, now we have a naked basejumper in Switzerland.

Annelise Temple hopped off a cliff at Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland, obviously wearing her chute... but nothing else.


Is it summer madness?

(More on naked Leah Pappajohn climbing El Capitan in June 16th post below).

Annelise Temple - ready to jumpAnnelise Temple - kitted out & ready to jump




















Some handy hints and tips in the video below on how to go basejumping from David Laffargue, Annelise Temple's instructor!



15,000 yodellers, alphornists and flag throwers attended the 30th Federal Yodelling Festival.

The venue, Brig-Glis in canton Valais, had to gear up for a lot of yodellers.

And there was a group of 10 Swiss yodelling emigrants from Alberta, Canada too.

Among the foreign participants, apart from the Canadians, were groups from Japan, Italy and South Africa.


Sunday 25th June


Coronet Peak, in Queenstown, New Zealand, celebrated the opening of its winter season with its usual dog event known as the Monteith's Dog Derby.

It's a tradition that goes back to 1975, and it is a little good humoured madness in our insane world.

Here's a look at it back in the day, and now:

Coronet Peak dog derby 1975Coronet Peak - Monteith's Dog Derby 1975

















Here's what it looked like on Monteith's Dog Derby Day in 2017.

Some young gents this year sporting their tweeds with their pooches securely tethered on leads.

Coronet Peak, QueenstownYoung gents with their pooches at Coronet Peak - 2017
















For a bit of a giggle watch the video below to witness the competitive spirit of the derby, and to watch the chaotic madness unfold ... 🤣 🤣

... and the prizes?

Well it was Pale Ale for the humans and dog biscuits, obviously, for the hounds.

Saturday 24th June


You may well wonder if war has broken out on the slopes of Sunday River as you watch the video below.

The bombardment is orchestrated to the explosive crashes of Tchaikovsky 's 1812 Overture.

But no, the ski area is simply clearing the way for its new Spruce Peak Triple chairlift that is set to open in time for the 2017/18 season.

The blasting took place on several sections of the old Spruce Peak Triple line.

The move comes over a year after the old ski lift toppled when the foundation separated from the mountaintop, causing the structure to break apart and the cable and chairs to drop to the ground.

You could say, it was definitely time for a new lift.

Great video 💥

Friday 23rd June


Between 8th-26th May the snow at the Chill FactorE, in Manchester was refreshed.

The project was done in stages so the slope could stay open as usual.

To highlight the fresh snow to the public and to drum up visitors, 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards is posting a daily, indoor, snow report from the Manchester Chill FactorE.

Here's his latest tongue-in-cheek posted from Friday 23rd June.

Read More:


A bit of yellow-line-fun posted on Twitter by @RossandJohn at Mt Hotham.

What happens when the snow melts? 😎What happens when the snow melts? 😎





















This is a great vintage video highlighting the fears and prejudices against snowboarders from 1985.

Can you imagine what it was like snowboarding back then?

You really had to be determined to overcome all the b***sh** that was being spewed about the sport, the equipment and the people.

Snowboarding wasn't simply a "Californian Fad" of the time..... 32 years on it remains as popular as ever.

#themountainsareforeveryone #determination #followyourdream #innovation

Good point, well madeGood point, well made

Tuesday 20th June


Apparently our world-famous ski jumper, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, is on the verge of becoming a solicitor.

So says a tabloid newspaper.

Er, no he's not.

Among the many achievements of Britain's first and only Olympic ski jumper, who is coming to the end of a speaking tour, is a law degree.

Eddie EdwardsEddie launching his speaking tour
















He completed his degree more than a decade ago.

According to the Daily Star, he is now intending to go one step further and become a "courtroom high-flier".

PlanetSKI showed him the article and asked him about his ambitions.

"Oh? No plans to as yet!" he told us.

Let us know if you go for it, we said.

"Will do," he replied.


That's the end of the "Legal Eagle" headlines for now.

Read our review of Eddie Edwards' first night of his UK theatre tour:


There is a 200-kilometre ice crack on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, that is now extending towards the Weddell Sea.

Scientists are expecting that in a matter of days, the crack will reach the very end of the Larsen C ice shelf and a gigantic iceberg twice the size of Samoa, the size of Delaware, will calve off  into the ocean.

So what should it be named?

Some say it should be called Exxon Knew!

Monday 19th June


Well, we've heard it all now!

It seems that Mount Everest has shrunk.

Or, at least, it might have.

There are concerns that the devastating 2015 earthquake caused the mountain to both shrink and change its geographical position.

How to check? Measure it, of course.

For more see today's entry in our rolling blog:

Friday 16th June


This one is slightly more unusual compared to Alex Honnold's free-solo climb of El Capitan that he achieved in less than 4 hours.

Leah Pappajohn and Jonathan Fleury climbed the Nose in a single day, but they were only wearing their birthday suits, their shoes and of course their helmets.

Congratulations to both, but why were they climbing naked?

Any guesses?

John and Leah taking a break on camp 4 on the Nose route (photo: Facebook Tom Evans)John and Leah taking a break on camp 4 on the Nose route - naked (photo: Facebook Tom Evans)















We Did It!!! @j.fleury and I climbed The Nose naked; the first naked ascent of El Cap! (for you non-climbers out there: "naked" is not a fancy climbing term like "free". It straight-up means I did it without any clothes.) We even broke both of our personal time records on the route: 12hrs exactly! I'm telling ya'll- lightweight is the way to do it!  It's hard to express what I feel after a life dream has been achieved. Yes, I feel some sunburn. I feel a bit sore. I feel proud of myself of course. But overwhelmingly, I feel so loved. I feel supported and encouraged by my friends, all the monkeys, my family (who answered my victory-announcing phone call with EVERYONE on speaker phone to hear), and especially my favorite monkey, Robbie. He has helped me every step of the way, (and even managed to get us on the news!) Anyhow, thanks ya'll for knowing that something this silly was still, honestly important to me.  I guess the thing is, I thought I'd be saying that this is the greatest accomplishment of my life, but that's not true. It feels so much greater to be the best friend, daughter, sister, and partner that I can be. Working at that is always my most worthwhile struggle, and greatest achievement when I feel this kind of love.  #FNA #themonkeysaresending #niad

A post shared by Leah Pappajohn (@leahpappajohn) on Jun 7, 2017 at 7:16am PDT

On instagram Leah Pappajohn commented:
We Did It!!! j.fleury and I climbed The Nose naked; the first naked ascent of El Cap! (for you non-climbers out there: "naked" is not a fancy climbing term like "free".

It straight-up means I did it without any clothes.) We even broke both of our personal time records on the route: 12hrs exactly! I'm telling ya'll- lightweight is the way to do it!
It's hard to express what I feel after a life dream has been achieved.

Yes, I feel some sunburn. I feel a bit sore. I feel proud of myself of course.

But overwhelmingly, I feel so loved. I feel supported and encouraged by my friends, all the monkeys, my family (who answered my victory-announcing phone call with EVERYONE on speaker phone to hear), and especially my favorite monkey, Robbie.

He has helped me every step of the way, (and even managed to get us on the news!) Anyhow, thanks ya'll for knowing that something this silly was still, honestly important to me.

I guess the thing is, I thought I'd be saying that this is the greatest accomplishment of my life, but that's not true.

It feels so much greater to be the best friend, daughter, sister, and partner that I can be.

Working at that is always my most worthwhile struggle, and greatest achievement when I feel this kind of love.

Thursday 15th June


White water rafting ... only this one is on the snow.

Yellow versus the Reds.

Looks like fabulous fun.

Wednesday 14th June

One of our readers has had a letter published in The Times.

Well said Carol!

Good point, well madeGood point, well made

Over on facebook Carol Chambers cutting above has sparked some interest among PlanetSKI readers who have added the following comments:

Bea Dowty:  Now then, that's a GOOD idea.

Brian Wood:  Let's build one.

Stephen Sloan: Do it the Austrian way! For many elderly Austrians their ski boots are their dancing shoes, as can be witnessed early evening in any Austrian resort bar.

Olivia Gordon: Totally agree.

Tuesday 13th June


Well, have you?

Some of the guys in the video below have admitted to smoking weed on a chairlift, while others were a little more coy about answering the question.

Check out the video to find out if some of the professionals have or haven't smoked weed on a chairlift ....

some of the guys include Lucas Magoon, Mark McMorris, Stevie Bell, JP Walker, Todd Richards, Harrison Gordon, Jamie Anderson, Jesse Burtner, Scott Stevens, Eddie Wall, Pat Moore and Torstein Horgmo.

Were any of their answers a surprise?

Monday 12th June


British wingsuit pilot Fraser Corsan has broken the World Record for greatest peak speed flown in a wingsuit.

He jumped out of the plane cruising at 10,823m, (35,508ft), and clocked a speed of 400km/h (249mph).

He was in the air for 9 minutes before opening his parachute to land safely.

In the video he claims to be faster than a Bugatti supercar, though that claim needs to be ratified.

He spent months training for the jump, testing specially designed equipment with refined oxygen sytems suitable for a high altitude jumps.

Fraser is intending to raise £50,000 for the SSAFA Armed Forces Charity.

Fraser Corsan is proposing to make two high altitude jumps to consolidate his record, in US and Canada.

His next high altitude jump with Project Cirrus Fujitsu is to be from a hot air balloon.

He has ambitions to be the fastest, jump the highest, have the longest flight, and travel the furthest distance.


It's good to see that our four-legged friends are catered for at Swiss mountain restaurants.

At this one overlooking the lake, Launensee, not far from the resort of Gstaad, they have their own special bar.

Sign at restaurant, LaunenseeBar for dogs
















The food and drink sold to humans is pretty yummy.

DessertDessert for humans
















The selection for mutts is more limited, but it's the thought that counts.

Restaurant LauenenseeRestaurant Lauenensee


















What a close call ... paraskier swoops down and only just misses the group of bystanders.

Friday 9th June


We just had to share this video posted on Twitter in May showing some serious weather conditions in Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca in Mexico.

This is possibly the most literal sense of #Snowbombing we've come across. 😎

Make sure the volume is turned up for the full impact of this video.

We're guessing the loud cracks are from the massive hail stones crashing on the roof of the building.



Now there's news of another US ski resort on the market, with a distinctive Austrian feel... well it's called Tyrol Basin!

But that is as far as the comparison goes.

The owners of the Tyrol Basin Ski area, in Wisconsin that is close to Mt Horeb have put the operation up for sale.

It went on the market for the princely sum of $3,000,000.

This one is modest in size and comes with 30 acres of tree lined slopes, 3 chairlifts, two tow ropes and a new magic carpet.

It is predominantly a playground for families and beginners with its green runs and claims to have one expert run or black double diamond.

Stats include 79.2m vertical, top elevation at 345m and base elevation from 265m, so it's not exactly high!

Located 5 miles north of Mount Horeb in Wisconsin and 20 minutes west of Madison, it's another one that needs the help of Google maps to pinpoint it precisely.

Tyrol Basin Ski area, Wisconsin Tyrol Basin Ski area, Wisconsin- located at the red pin
















Jim Mohrbacher, of First Weber real estate, says they have had a good response to the sale, with at least a dozen inquiries so far from potential buyers.

The present owners say the sale shouldn't affect the operation of the ski hill that now continues with its summer activities, including mountain biking and trekking.

There is no data on its website for average snowfalls for the 2016/17 season, but there is photographic evidence that the snow looks good in March.

Tyrol Basin ski areaTyrol Basin ski area














Tyrol Basin ski area - tempting?Tyrol Basin ski area  in March - tempted?  





















The Mount Evans road is in Colorado in The Rockies. 

It has been pounded by snow all winter and received another dump last month as storm Valerie came in and left up to 1m in places.

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is 28 miles long and climbs to an altitude of 14,130 feet.

Usually it is open by now but a final section of the road is still being cleared.

This is how it looked two weeks ago (26th May).


And early June it still looks like this, with snow some 12m deep in places that still needs to be cleared.



  • Never ending ski season


    Seems like skiing in Japan is on the rise and the resorts are after ski instructors:























    Wednesday 7th June


    If you're looking to buy a ski resort and have $3.5 million burning a hole in your ski pants pocket, look no further.

    Blacktail Mountain Ski Area in Montana is on the market.

    Do you know where it is?

    We didn't know where it is either so we've found it on Google Maps - see below.

    Blacktail Mountain, MontanaBlacktail Mountain, Montana


















    It is located in Flathead National Forest near Kalispell in Montana and the ski area offers 1,000 acres of ski terrain.

    It goes up to 2,067m with 426 vertical metres.

    The sale includes the summit lodge, the ski lifts and all the equipment.

    This could be yoursThis could be yours












    The resort employs 100 people during the winter and has 45,000 skier visits each year.

    It has two double lifts, one triple lift and a tow-rope, and it enjoys an average of 6.35m of natural snowfall - that's an impressive amount of snow!

    It opened almost 20 years ago in 1998, and its current owner Steve Spencer wants to retire.

    Dig deep, if you can!

    And, enjoy.... judging by the video below .. it looks like a winner!

    Blacktail Mountain on the market for $3.5 millionBlacktail Mountain on the market for $3.5 million











    Tuesday 6th June


    The Chinese are really getting in to skiing.

    We wrote about the new outdoor ski slope opening in Beijing, that is featured at the end of this page in the post dated - 1st June 2017.

    And now there's news that the Wanda Ski Park in Harbin is set to open its gates on 30th June.

    There's also a new video showing the inside the Wanda snowdome.

    It will be the world's biggest indoor ski centre - Read More on the Wanda Ski Park here.

    The video below was released on 4th June and states clearly the steepest 25 degree slope is not yet operational.

    Wanda Ski Park in Harbin - opening on 30th JuneWanda Ski Park in Harbin - opening on 30th June













    We recently posted some drone footage of a patch of snow that is attracting quite a lot of attention - Read More on late snow in the US. here

    The drone footage was taken by Tim Kevin at Killington, Vermont and shows what you need to do when you need some more skiing and the lifts don't work...  take an uphill hike.

    That same patch of snow is now being used for slalom training.

    Watch Robby Kelley and Tucker Marshall skiing on the Killington "Beast World Cup" Superstar Trail.

    Robby and Tucker managed to get in 11 runs each on June 4th 2017.

    It's getting muddier around the edges, but the patch is big enough for a slalom course.

    Sunday 4th June


    Watch some of the biking action below that took place at Fort William on Saturday prior to the World Cup event.

    The main event is to take place on Sunday.

    Some of these guys even take in some air!

    They are truly awesome.

    PlanetSKI is going to mountain bike in Switzerland next week, and we wonder if our reporter will tackle the mountain with the same ferocity?


    Love the position of the logo on the butt!

    Bottoms to sponsorship!Bottoms to sponsorship!

    Saturday 3rd June


    Lets be honest the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, is a bit of a grumpy old man.

    People who know him will vouch for that.

    He's in his late 50s, likes nothing more than a good moan and having been a news journalist all his life he's a bit of a cynic.

    He's just been utterly inspired by an 18-year old and her story. 

    Millie Knight  Millie and James

    It's not often I feel humble and having worked in BBC TV for 20 odd years famous people, celebrities and the like don't usually make much of an impression on me. 

    But today the young lady above did.

    She was giving a private talk to staff at Crystal Ski at the company's head office on Friday in Surbiton and I was fortunate enough to be invited along. 

    Millie Knight has been skiing rather well lately with her gold medal in the downhill at  the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio in Italy. 

    She won 11 medals including seven golds in the months leading up to the championships. 

    Her sighted guide is Brett Wild. 

    It was the first world championship title for a British paraskier.  

    Millie Knight  Millie Knight

    She then went on to take silver in the Super Combined and another silver in the Giant Slalom.    
    Millie KnightMillie Knight

    "I started skiing when I was 6 and fell in love with it, but it happened at the same time as I my sight was failing.

    I was always keen on sport and took up rowing later, but for me skiing was, and is, my passion.  

    When I ski I am in control and I can do anything. 

    I was the flag carrier at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games but I very nearly didn't make the team.

    I was selected for the squad but told I would only go if someone else died.  

    Fortunatlely no-one did die and I made it on merit!"    

    Millie KnightMillie Knight
















    As she showed us a video of the Games I could see her visibly moved by the memories.  

    She admitted to getting goose bumps everytime she views it.      

    When she was 3-years old doctors examining her eyes noticed scars on her right retina.      

    She was diagnosed with toxocariasis and, aged 6,  she lost much of her vision. 

    In her left eye she has 10-20% peripheral vision and in her right eye she has 5%.

    Millie Knight  Millie Knight

    "My guide Brett means everything to me. 

    If you don't get on with your guide then you will not do well.  

    I can only see 2m in front of me and with some slalom gates 7m apart without him I am nothing.  

    I had a few guides before and a couple didn't quite work out but Brett has changed my life.

    He is a Royal Navy submariner and his organisation and discipline has brought so much to me.    

    But he is not perfect - his moves on the dance floor are horrendous."   

    Millie is currently doing her B Techs at Kings Canterbury School in Photography and Sports Science and hopes to go on to Loughborough University. 

    In the meantime there is the small matter of the 2018 Pyongchang Paralympic Games.   

    As she finished to rapturous applause she asked if anyone had any questions. 

    "But don't put your hand up at the back before you ask a question as I won't be able to see - just shout it out."  

    She was an utter inspiration.

    Even to an old cynic like me.



    We want a pair of these!

    Friday 2nd June





















    Stairway to HeavenStairway to Heaven
















    Too true...Too true...




















    Thursday 1st June


    An Irishman is going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with a washing machine on his back!

    Yup it's true.

    Geography teacher, Enda O’Doherty, 49, from County Waterford, proposes to carry a 40kg Beko washing machine strapped to his back to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

    It's not a mountain trek for the faint hearted, at 5,995 metres that's a pretty high mountain.

    Enda's challenge begins early July and consists of a twelve day hike towards the summit where no doubt he will come across snow and ice to make the trek even harder.

    In addition to ice and snow that may hamper his progress, there's also altitude sickness to consider.

    You have to be pretty fit at the best of times to climb Killy, as it's affectionately known, but with 40kg strapped to your back ... well that's amazing.

    What is this gag all about?

    It's to raise awareness for mental health issues, as many people in life carry a heavy, hidden personal load of psychological baggage on their shoulders that no-one else ever sees.

    But why a washing machine?

    It was the most ridiculous thing they could come up with.

    The washing machine is a bit of a gimmick, perhaps, but an effective one with a genuine message in mind - getting people 'to share the load'.

    "From my side, it’s very simple, the washing machine that I’m carrying symbolises the heavy hidden load that many people carry and stay quiet," says Enda O’Doherty.

    "My goal is simple, I aim to to raise vital funds for Pieta House and to spread a positive mental health message," O’Doherty states on his giving page.

    Support the campaign and give Loads-A-Money to Pieta House or visit the Pieta House Facebook page.

    We wish Enda O’Doherty the best of luck.

    Appearing recently on The Ray D'Arcy Show Enda O’Doherty talks about mental health issues and the importance to 'share the load'- see below:


    Enda O’Doherty training for Mt Kilimanjaro, TanzaniaEnda O’Doherty carrying a load for charity - training for Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania













    A herd of Red Deer was spotted in the Cairngorm last week, sensibly keeping cool on a patch of snow.

    Red Deer keeping cool in a heatwave - ScotlandRed Deer keeping cool in a heatwave - Scotland
















    Posted on Facebook by: Being Scottish (Photo by: JimFrost.Pictures)



    Chris Turpin got to be the first person to test out this new outdoor dryslope park at Beijing.

    According to him it has a new artificial snow material that's never been used before.

    The designers of the product invited Chris and Mauro Nunez to check out the facility and to test the product, and to suggest any concerns or ideas about the product.

    Mauro Nunez is the Head Coach for China's National Ski Halfpipe team (training for Beijing 2022).

    The surface is an unusual looking flexible fibre - see image below:

    Close up of ski slope fibres - held by Chris TurpinClose up of ski slope fibres - held by Chris Turpin













    Watch Chris ski the slope below:


    A post shared by Chris Turpin (@christurpin) on May 26, 2017 at 1:53am PDT


    See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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