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FEBRUARY NEWS IN BRIEF
Thursday February 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Changes to airline security checks, new Ikon Pass soon out, skier survives Scottish avalanche + Presidents' Day in US. NEW & UPDATED

 

 

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM JANUARY 2018

 

SUNDAY 25TH FEBRUARY

AIR TRAVELLERS SOON ABLE TO KEEP SHOES ON AT SECURITY

Government funding is being given to a small Derbyshire firm aimed at developing imaging to scan shoes for explosive materials.

Security Screening Technologies is working on a step-on shoe scanner that can rapidly form high-contrast images of footwear.   It means passengers will not need to remove  shoes before going through screening gates.

A company, based in Wales, has also received funding for an alternative walk-through screening system.

Sequestim's new system could reduce the need for manual checks and mean passengers do not have to take off their jackets.

"This latest £1.8 million of funding invests in innovative projects that will ensure we are continuing to capitalise on pioneering research. The aim is to have a safer and smoother travel experience for air passengers," said the Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg.      

THURSDAY 22ND FEBRUARY

IKON PASS ON SALE 6TH MARCH

Ski North America's resorts on a single ski pass a helluva lot cheaper than paying by the day.

Two passes will be available to buy for next season, Winter 18/19:

  • Ikon Pass $899
  • Ikon Base Pass $599

Through 9 US states and 4 Canadian provinces there are 26 resorts to ski on the Ikon Pass:

America's Aspen, Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley, Mammoth Mountain, Big Sky, Alta & Snowbird are among them and in Canada the mighty Revelstoke in BC, and Banff & Lake Louise in Alberta.

 

It rivals the Vail Resorts Epic Pass in the ongoing battle between the big companies that rule the ski market in North America (read more on this below).

All you need to know is that it's an insane deal, with one-day lift tickets in big resorts cositng up to $150 PER DAY!

So if a North America road trip is an option next season, look up your bucket list resorts and see which pass is for you...

An extra tip: Norwegian has low cost air tickets to the US so with these two savings a big ski trip across the Pond could be much more doable than you think!

Ikon Pass mapIkon Pass map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 21ST FEBRUARY

MAN SURVIVES AVALANCHE IN SCOTLAND


Buried up to his neck after causing a snowslide in Glencoe Mountain Resort in the highlands, the skier has escaped injury.

The area's ski patroller on duty, Davy Gunn, helped with several others to dig him free.

"He was a very lucky chap and he knew he was lucky," Gunn has reported.

The area had been roped off due to the risk of avalanche.

It was categorised a level 3 danger, which has the potential to damage or bury a car, the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) defines.

It took the man caught in the slide 40 minutes to reach his mobile telephone, after which he called for help.

He was able to ski down following the dig out.

Photo Davy GunnPhoto Davy Gunn























MONDAY 19TH FEBRUARY

PRESIDENTS' DAY

Today is the day to celebrate the first president of the USA, George Washington.

Essentially it's a US bank holiday where families and friends, if they got it right, travel to the local ski slopes to celebrate.

PlanetSKI has spent the weekend in Sun Valley - the glamorous ski resort in Idaho that's hard to reach, but worth the journey.

A blue sky day following 7cm of fresh snowfall (the first for a long time this dry winter) helped bring 6,000 to the slopes Sunday (a spike from the average peak-season Sunday 3,500).

A day's lift ticket will set you back $149 (plus tax) - Criminal, yes. But after today prices will drop to a decent $135 (plus tax, of course).

On a regular day the pistes are practically private with an impressive number of cool top-to-bottom 'dark blues'.

Music, food and family are what Sun Valley's celebrations are about. Check back for more...

Presidents DayPresidents' Day


























Sun Valley Presidents DaySun Valley Presidents' Day




























Sun Valley lunch spotSun Valley's River Run base lodge look out



 

 

 

Bald Mountain before she wakes upBald Mountain before she wakes up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

AVALANCHE FATALITIES IN THE PYRENEES

Three skiers are reported dead from an avalanche in the Hautes-Pyrenees region in France.

They were off-piste in the ski resort of Cauterets when the avalanche struck on Wednesday.

A helicopter, dog teams and rescuers searched for the the missing French skiers, whose bodies were found Thursday.

The Pyrenees mountain range has had heavy snowfalls this year, as have the Alps.

On Tuesday, a skier lost their life in Gavarnie resort, not far from Cauterets, due to the treacherous conditions and snow slipping.

Franceinfo © M.Dubieilh/France3 OccitanieFranceinfo © M.Dubieilh/France3 Occitanie








THURSDAY 15TH FEBRUARY

NORWEGIAN MAKES £27.4M LOSS

The airline has expanded rapidly in Europe and is now offering the no-frills service to North America.

One of its routes is to Denver with the ski resorts of Colorado on the city's doorstep.

The airline blamed the loss on higher fuel prices and other 'significant costs', including 'passenger care'.

"We are not at all satisfied with the 2017 results. However, the year was also characterized by global expansion driven by new routes, high load factors and continued fleet renewal," said CEO Bjorn Kjos.

"Through our global strategy, we contribute to local economic boost and increased employment at our destinations, as well as ensuring that more people can afford to fly - not least between the continents.

WEDNESDAY 14TH FEBRUARY

CANADIAN WILDFIRES MAY STILL BE SMOULDERING BENEATH SNOW

Parks Canada will check if the Verdant Creek wildfires near the British Columbia and Alberta border are still burning.

They took hold last summer but the authorities will only know if they are completely out once the snow melts this spring.

It is not unusual for intense fires to continue smouldering under the snow during the winter months.

They have the ability to go down deep and to follow roots in hard to access places.

Fire officials will use drones with infrared cameras if smoke is spotted when the snow melts away.

2017 was one of the worst fire seasons for British Columbia with the lightning-sparked Verdant Creek fire burning 180 square kilometres, taking in Kootenay National Park and Assinboine Provincial Park.
Wildfires rageWildfires rage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fire was close to Sunshine Village, where firefighters took up temporary residence - we reported on it here.

The Verdant Creek wildfire was so intense it burned damaged areas from previous fires.

It continued to burn from July 15th and into September.

PlanetSKI was in Canada at the time and reported on the fires. Read More Here.



TUESDAY 13TH FEBRUARY

AVALANCHES IN SCOTLAND

The number of avalanches recorded in the Scottish mountains so far this winter is higher than the total for the whole of last season.

It is no great surprise though as there was little snow last winter and this winter huge amounts have fallen at times - including now.
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) records the snow slides.

Last season, 2016-17, saw the lowest number of recorded avalanches in almost 10 years.

There were 90 avalanches then and there have been 94 so far this season.

The number this season is a provisional figure - confirmation will be released later in the year.

Avalanches in ScotlandAvalanches in Scotland





















THURSDAY 8TH FEBRUARY


OVERNIGHT RESCUE IN CAIRNGORMS

Two cross-country skiers spent the night in a snow hole after getting lost.

One of them alerted his wife by text and the rescue services were called out.

The Mountain Rescue Team spent much of the night searching for the pair but could not find them.

The search was called off at 3.45am and resumed at 6am.

The temperature dropped to -10ºC and the pair survived by digging a snow hole and huddling together for warmth.

Their names have not been released.

The men were found by a night vision camera on board a helicopter.

Found at lastFound at last

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team has posted the following on Facebook. 

"A happy conclusion this morning with yesterday's Navigationally challenged ski tourers located after a cold night out in a snow hole on the Plateau.

Picked up by R951 this morning. Both CMRT, R951 & Glenmore Lodge team members were out until the early hours searching the plateau in poor visibility and difficult deep snow underfoot conditions after leaving our Can Am at the summit of Cairngorm.

Search resumed at first light with CMRT, Glenmore Lodge, Braemar, RAF Lossiemouth teams and R951, casualties located South of Ben Macdui summit."

Cold but rescuedCold but rescued
















TUESDAY 6TH FEBRUARY

1.6 TONS OF SNOW ON ROOF!

Swiss police in the cantion of Solothurn stopped a Swedish bus last weekend that had 40cm of snow depth on its roof.

That would weigh in at 1.6 tons.

They stopped it on the A1 highway near Oensingen.

The driver was ordered to clear off the snow immediately.

Piled with snowPiled with snow























1.6 tons of snow1.6 tons of snow






















Police have appealed to drivers of buses and trucks to ensure that their vehicles are free of snow and ice.

They say it could fall off and endanger other traffic.

Here at PlanetSKI as we sat on a coach leaving the Pyrenees this week this van seemed somewhat top heavy. 

Top heavyTop heavy



























MONDAY 5TH FEBRUARY

TWO DEAD IN AVALANCHE IN ITALY

They were killed in an avalanche while skiing off-piste near the ski resort of Campo Felice in central Italy.

A third person was injured and taken to hospital by helicopter.

The resort is in the Apeninine mountain range and is 75-miles to the east of Rome.

The authorities have not released their identities of the victims as next of kin are informed.

An investigation is underway.  

SATURDAY 3RD FEBRUARY

INFLUENTIAL US SKI RESORT OWNER DIES

77-year old Ian Cumming owned Powdr that in its time controlled the major resorts of Park City and Snowbird in Utah.

Powdr still owns eight ski areas in Colorado, California, Oregon, Vermont and Nevada.

The company lost Park City to Vail Resorts when a key lease agreement went unsigned, after Cumming had passed company leadership to his son.

After he lost it he bought Snowbird resort.

He was a billionaire businessman from humble origins and a long-time Democratic supporter.

Ian CummingIan Cumming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here for further details in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

COMPULSORY HELMETS FOR CHILDREN IN US STATE

The New York state senate has passed legislation that would require children under 14 years old to wear a helmet .

The ski areas would have to post signs telling people that helmets are required and that they are available for rent or purchase.

The legislation's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Betty Little, of Queensbury, claims requiring helmets to be worn by children would reduce the potential for serious head injuries.

The bill now goes to the Democrat-controlled state Assembly.  

FRIDAY 2ND FEBRUARY

COMING UP (AFTER THE WINTER GAMES...) : GAY SKI WEEKS

In March another bout of gay ski weeks will take place in the mountains across Europe and North America.

It's the perfect time for these serious parties, on the snowy slopes under the spring sun.

We've reported here on the big ones for 2017/18 around the world:

But there's one more to add:

'Snowgay' in Ax 3 Domaines in the French Pyrenees.

And it has a cool set-up story:

The city (albeit a small one) of Ax Les Thermes and the ski resort fall into the Ariege department of Occitanie in southwest France.

During the protests to pass gay marriage in France in 2012, many of which took place in close-by Toulouse, Ax joined in the action.

How?

By hosting a gay ski week, Snowgay.

And each year around 500 people come to Ax to celebrate.

That's big for a place of 1,500 residents...

There are parties in the casino, on the slopes, around the city's spas and baths.

Spring 2018 will see it all happen between 15th - 18th March.

Get involved!



Gay Ski Week in AxGay Ski Week in Ax



































THURSDAY 1ST FEBRUARY

PYEONGCHANG MEDAL FACTS

With the Winter Olympics just eight days away, the International Ski Federation has put together some information about the medals to be awarded at PyeongChang 2018.

We love a list, so we're reproducing the fascinating (or not, you decide) facts below.

Pyeongchang 2018 medalsPyeongchang 2018 medals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • There are 102 medal events with 222 medals due to be awarded. Five sets will be set aside in case of a tie.
  • The medals were created by the celebrated designer Lee Suk-woo, who incorporated Hangeul - the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture - into their design.
  • The edge of the medals features consonants from the Hangeul alphabet to spell "Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018".
  • The front bears the Olympic rings along with diagonal lines symbolising Olympic history and determination of the participants. The back lists the sports discipline, event and the Games' emblem.
  • The lanyard ribbon, created using traditional Gapsa fabric, is light teal and light red with patterns that represent "the delicate and refined beauty of Korea".
  • Each medal is 92.6 mm in diameter and averages 6.91 mm in thickness. The gold, silver and bronze medals weigh 586 grams, 580 grams and 493 grams, respectively.

PUTIN APOLOGISES

Russian President Vladimir Putin has apologised to Russian  athletes for "failing to protect" them during the doping scandal.

"We know how difficult it is to achieve victory in sport," he said according to official state news agency RIA Novosti.

"It is twice as difficult when sport is mixed with certain events and phenomena that are unfamiliar.

"Forgive us for not being unable to protect you from this.

"But you and all lovers of sport should have no doubt that Russia has supported and supports the idea of clean sport." Russia is banned from taking part at Pyeongchang 2018 under their own flag and will compete as the Olympic Athletes from Russia - or OAR.

President Putin's comments came before today's rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholding appeals by 28 Russian athletes against their disqualification from the Sochi Winter Games and overturning their lifetime Olympic bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee.

Winter OlympicsWinter Olympics

 

 
















 

 

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this month's News In Brief shortly so do check back...

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

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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