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APRIL NEWS IN BRIEF
Sunday April 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

IOC claims credit for Korean talks, Crystal Ski launches 2018/19 holiday guide + 10 winter deaths in Scottish mountains. NEW & UPDATED



..... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM MARCH 2018


SUNDAY 29TH APRIL

 

IOC PRESIDENT TAKES SOME CREDIT FOR KOREA DEAL

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, has said the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics "opened the door" for relations between North and South Korean to improve.

The two countries have had an historic summit and they have reaffirmed their desire for "complete denuclearisation".

The South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un have pledged to reduce weapons and aim for a full peace treaty this year.

The summit was only the third such meeting between the leaders of the South and North.

Thomas Bach, IOC PresidentThomas Bach, IOC President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 27TH APRIL

CRYSTAL SKI LAUNCHES 2018/19 GUIDE

It used to be called a brochure but the UK's largest ski operator prefers to call it a 'Guide to the Mountain'.

It has features of ski destinations, expert suggestions for beginners and family resorts, Crystal's favourite signature runs and tips how to find the right ski holiday for next winter.

"Last year we made an ambitious decision to change from a traditional tour operator formatted brochure to a travel-style slopeside guide. We asked our customers for their feedback and they liked the new approach as it serves their needs better and it also complements the website, they said," said Crystal Managing Director, Chris Logan.

Guide or brochure?Guide or brochure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The section on insider tips has been expanded: advise on how to get a deal, find solo holidays, what to expect if you travel by snow train and where's best for early or late season skiing.

Crystal offers a choice of 118 destinations in 13 countries, departures from 23 UK airports.

The winter 2018/19 Guide to the Mountain can be ordered from here  or viewed online.

It can also be picked up in the Crystal store in the indoor snow centres at Braehead (Glasgow), Castleford, Hemel Hempstead, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Tamworth.

THURSDAY 26TH APRIL

10 DIE IN SCOTTISH MOUNTAINS THIS WINTER

Figures have just been released for the first 3-months of the year.

Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) said it was "very saddened" by the recent fatalities but that the vast majority enjoy the mountains and hills in total safety.  

For more details on the fatalities then see this story on the BBC. 

Last winter saw significant snowfall in Scotland and 222 avalanches have been provisionally recorded.

In the winter of 2016/17 it was 90.

Avalanche in ScotlandAvalanche in Scotland





















Here on PlanetSKI we have reported on the heavy snowfall and how skiing could go on well into next month after all the snow this winter.

Photo credit: Steven McKenna PhotographyPtarmigan Bowl Cairngorm Mountain looking to Loch Morlich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Steven McKenna Photography

WEDNESDAY 25TH APRIL

VAL D'ISERE TO OPEN WINTER LIFTS IN JUNE

The popular resort in the French Alps will open a few of its non-glacier lifts for skiing this summer for the first time in its 82-year history.

It's planning to fire up a couple of lifts on 3rd June, just over a month after it closes for the winter season on 1st May.

The runs, above La Daille, will open in place of the glacier runs that usually open in early June. The plan this year is for the glacier to open later in the month.

The decision has been taken because of the phenomenal amount of snow this season.

A total of nine metres fell and there is still almost 2.5 metres of snow on the higher slopes and 1 metre in the village.

OK run, La DailleThe OK World Cup downhill run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pistes that will be open from 3rd June include the top of the iconic OK World Cup downhill run and the less demanding Verte, snow conditions permitting.

Skiers will be able to access the area by the Funival funicular from La Daille and the six-person Marmottes chair just above the Folie Douce - exactly the same as in winter.

The pistes will be open from 7am until midday.

The resort is hoping these runs and lifts will stay open for two weeks until the warmer weather arrives, at which point the Pissaillas Glacier, above Le Fornet, will open up.

The delay in opening the glacier will give the snow-clearing teams extra time to clear the road up to the glacier and the Col de l'Iseran, the highest paved road in Europe and the gateway to Italy in the summer.

Once it does open the glacier is due to offer skiing until 13th July.

SUNDAY 15TH APRIL

MOUNTAIN GUIDES ACCEPT PLEA DEAL OVER DEATH OF BRITISH MAN

Two mountain guides have accepted a plea bargain over the death of a British man who died in an avalanche while skiing off-piste with them in Italy.

Graeme Porteous, a 48-year-old investment banker, crashed into a tree after a snow-filled gully collapsed and swept him 30 metres down the mountain.

It happened in Argentera in north-west Italy in February 2015 a day after heavy snowfall.

Mr Porteous and two friends had been taken into the gully by French ski guides Matthieu Desprat and Bruno Roche.

We reported on his death at the time.

According to the Daily Telegraph the two guides entered a plea bargain over charges of manslaughter and causing the disaster and accepted a 10-month suspended sentence.

The deal also means the family of Mr Porteous will be paid compensation.

TUESDAY 10TH APRIL

MOUNTAIN RESCUER WHO SAVED HUNDREDS KILLED IN AVALANCHE

Over three decades as a volunteer mountain rescuer in Aspen, 57-year-old John Galvin was said to have saved hundreds of lives on the hill.

He died on Sunday in an avalanche that hit while skiing in the uncontrolled backcountry of Maroon Bowl, Aspen.

Risky conditions on Monday delayed efforts to recover Galvin's body, the Denver Post reported.

"... the current avalanche danger is considerable. We are not putting people into the field," operations commander Alex Burchetta said Monday.

Photo - Colorado Avalanche Information CenterMaroon Bowl in Feb, 2018 showing a previous snowslide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued a warning on the weekend of the high avalanche danger due to new snow.

Next to the inbounds Highland Bowl, which had been made safe, but Maroon Bowl was not cleared of potential avalanches sitting outside the controlled bounds of the resort.

Galvin and a friend were using skins to enter the site 7 miles from Aspen when the avalanche hit on Sunday afternoon.

Galvin's ski partner was injured but has survived the snowslide.

It is the second avalanche fatality in Colorado this year, the other was in January in the San Juan Mountains, southwestern Colorado.

SUNDAY 8TH APRIL

ABTA WARNS OF WEB SITE HOLIDAY FRAUDS

The Association of British Travel Agents, ABTA, has this weekend issued fresh advice and urged people to be cautious of false adverts on accommodation and holiday web sites.

Last year, 4,700 travellers fell victim to such scams, which included fake airline tickets.

Those affected lost an average of £1,500 each in 2017, a rise of 25% on the previous year.

PlanetSKI investigated the whole  ssue earlier this winter in a special report as fake ski chalet web sites conned people out of £1,000s

See here for our stories:

Scam chaletsScam chalets



























ABTA has re-issued advice this weekend.
  • Do research. Check the holiday company's credentials, and look at several reviews of the property involved.           
  • Check the web address is legitimate, and has not been altered. For example from co.uk to .org          
  • Be cautious about paying directly into an individual's bank account. Bank transfers are like paying by cash, so are difficult to trace. It is safer to use a debit or credit card.

THURSDAY 5TH APRIL

DATE CONFIRMED FOR WORLD SNOW DAY


The event, that is run by the International Ski Federation, will take place on  20th January 2019.

"New support features will be developed to help make staging World Snow Day events/actions easier and more fun. These include new Organiser Care Packages, a new World Snow Day trailer and video content as well as tools to advance the goals of safety and environment," said FIS.

World Snow Day will also be hosting the World Snow Day Awards in 2019.

Information on the awards, deadlines and judging criteria will be released over the next weeks.

   

See here for past PlanetSKI reports on World Snow Day and what it is all about: 
 
WEDNESDAY 4TH APRIL

SEVEN CANDIDATE CITIES FOR 2026 OLYMPICS

The International Olympic Committee has welcomed the 7 cities who have thrown their hats into the ring and called it "a very strong line-up".
  • Graz in Austria
  • Calgary in Canada,
  • Sapporo in Japan
  • Stockholm in Sweden
  • Sion in Switzerland
  • Erzurum in Turkey
  • Joint Italian bid from Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo.
For 2022 it ended up with just two cities bidding against each other, Almaty and Beijing.

The Games went to Beijing - a city with no snow.

A winter Olympics without snow

The Swiss bid from Sion will be subject to a referendum and the outcome is by no means certain.

Swiss government set to back Sion Olympic bid 

A 2026 bid from Innsbruck has already been rejected by a referendum.

Tirol rejects 2026 Olympic bid

Others may drop out but the starting line up for 2026 looks strong.
 
TUESDAY APRIL 3RD

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING TARGETED BY DOPE TESTING

Figures just released by the International Ski Federation for last season show that  the cross-country skiers  were most suspected of cheating.

By far the largest proportion of out-of-competition testing in the six FIS categories of competition was directed at cross-country skiing.

It saw 442 of the 1,238 urine tests, 145 of the 293 blood tests, 229 of the 404 blood/urine tests for erythropoietin starters, and 700 of the 1,129 tests for athletes' blood passports.

Alpine skiing came next, with 294 urine tests, 90 blood tests, 91 blood/urine tests and 262 passport tests.

In the in-competition tests  cross-country skiing had 181 of the 510 urine tests, 61 of the blood/urine tests and 44 of the 46 passport tests.

Targetted at 2018 Winter OlympicsTargetted at 2018 Winter Olympics



































MONDAY APRIL 2ND

EVEREST RECORD ATTEMPT

There can't be many records left to beat on the highest peak on the planet.  

One that will always be pursued is the highest number of successful summits.  

Step forward 48-year-old Nepali climber Kami Rita Sherpa.

Kami Rita SherpaKami Rita Sherpa
























He set off on Sunday.

The current record of 21 successful ascents is held by Kami Rita and two other climbers from Nepal.

The two other climbers have now retired.

Kami Rita Sherpa works as a guide for a US-based company that organises climbing expeditions.

He first climbed Everest in 1994 and completed his most recent ascent last year.  

SUNDAY APRIL 1ST

CALGARY LOOKS SET TO BID FOR 2026 WINTER OLYMPICS


The Canadian city that hosted the Games in 1988 has received financial support for the formation of a Bid Corporation.

The backing comes from the Provincial and Federal Governments.

The backing is essential if the city is to press ahead, but it does not guarantee it will bid.

The deadline for countries interesting in bidding to inform the International Olympic Committee was yesterday, March 31st.
Sion in Switzerland, Stockholm in Sweden, Sapporo in Japan, Erzurum in Turkey and Graz & Schladming in Austria are other contenders in the 2026 race.

A joint Milan-Turin bid has been formally proposed.

The USA, Kazakhstan and Norway have decided to concentrate on potentially bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics. 

Innsbruck rejected a bid in a referendum as we reported earlier on PlanetSKI
A host city for 2026 should be chosen next year.

Winter Olympics beckonWinter Olympics beckon













CANADIAN GUIDE DIES IN AVALANCHE

A 49-year-old Whistler heli-skiing guide has died in an avalanche in the backcountry area of Pemberton.

She was working at the time but the others in the party were not caught.

"Today is a difficult day for the Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts family. We lost a well loved member of our staff and community," said the chief operating officer of Whistler, Pete Sonntag.

"Our hearts go out to her family, friends and fellow employees and we extend them our deepest condolences."

She has been named locally by friends as Lisa Korthals.

An investigation is now underway.

SNOWBOARDERS SHRED IN INFANT CEMETERY

Police in Vermont are searching for 3 male snowboarders who were seen riding in a local cemetery.

They cut down trees to make snow jumps in the Mt Pleasant Cemetery.

They were spotted by a worker in the cemetery who alerted the police.

Police now want to question the men.  

See here for the full details 

Mt Pleasant CemeteryMt Pleasant Cemetery























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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MOUNTAINS IN THE SUMMER (Wednesday May 23, 2018)
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MAY SKIING SECRETS (Wednesday May 23, 2018)
SUMMER GLACIER SKIING 2018 (Tuesday May 22, 2018)
GSTAAD GETS OUR VOTE (Wednesday May 16, 2018)
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