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Saturday April 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Skiing Secrets may or may not have something to do with skiing.

Often it doesn't - we fill it with anything that takes our fancy.

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

Sunday 30th April


PlanetSKI puts the two hottest skis for next year through their paces to see which is the best all-mountain ski on the market.

We put the HEAD Kore 105 up against the ATOMIC Vantage 100 at the Ellis Brigham Ski Tests in Ischgl.

So, why are we testing these two?

Over on our Facebook page Mike Crawford (Head) and Tord Neilson (Atomic) got into a heated but friendy debate about which is the better ski.

Our editor, James Cove, decided to settle the debate by testing the two skis to their limit - his verdict would be final.

The all-mountain ski is the most popular type of ski sold and it is in a fiercely competitive market.

First we asked Elliot, an expert from Ellis Brigham, for his assessment of the two skis.

Then our editor, James Cove, put them through their paces where it really mattered - out on the pistes and in the powder.

He skied on the two all day long and gather all the evidence for his judgement.

His decision would be final.

Who would prove to be correct, Mike or Tord?

So, what is the verdict of James?


Saturday 29th April


This is a propaganda video released by the North Korean government promoting the Masikryong Ski Resort that was built for the love of his people by Kim Jung-un.

The ski slopes of Switzerland inspired Kim Jong Un to construct the lavish ski area for the people.

The video is full of happy, cheering and waving groups, carefully choreographed on chairlifts and magic carpets.

It does seem an odd time to release a promo video, when the country's politics is hotting up.


You don't have to be on a glacier to experience the dangers of an ice-bridge.

Ooopsy! We hope there was no serious injury apart from the woman's pride, as the ice-bridge collapses.





What a good idea!

Friday 28th April


It is with heavy heart that we have to report a significant ski injury to the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

We leave it to him to tell the story in his own words:

"I hit some barely concealed mud today while skiing off piste through some farmland.

My right ski stopped instantly and I was catapulted forwards at some speed.

Observant viewers will note my left ski ended up facing in the opposite direction of my intended route, such was the impact of the fall.

Over and outOver and out
















The full and harrowing details can be read here but, be warned, they are not for the squeamish.

I hurt my right thumb in the fall and it has swelled up as the evening has progressed .

I now have to hold a beer in my left hand as I have limited strength on the right one.

I apologise for being the bearer of such bad tidings".

Drowning his sorrowsDrowning his sorrows















James has received multiple wishes of good health from his friends over on his Facebook page.


Thursday 27th April


We don't often post promo videos of ski resorts, but this one of Heavenly Mountain is an exception.

Its a flash back at the their 2016/17 winter and a reminder of their amazing volumes of snow across the season.

Wednesday 26th April


The Facebook comment below refers to the post below....













The PlanetSKI editor has fallen in love.


James Cove is currently out on the Ellis Brigham ski tests and decided to try out the latest high-speed women's ski from Atomic - the Cloud 12.

He was smitten.

Ellis Brigham ski testsEllis Brigham ski tests

















Ellis Brigham ski testsEllis Brigham ski tests















See here for his full review


In this Swiss vineyard they've used fire buckets.

The danger of extreme frost and potential damage to the crop has led to unusual measures to keep the vines 'warm'.

It looks pretty! Hope it did the trick.


And on the ski tests no expense has been spared on the latest in 21st century broadcast technology as the team interviews the testers and the ski manufacturers.

It may look like PlanetSKI's Katie Bamber is using an old i-Phone (with a cracked screen and a film over it to hold it together) and James is using a ski glove to muffle the sound of the wind.

Ellis Brigham ski tests Ellis Brigham ski tests















Oh, they are.

Tuesday 25th April


Another spectacular spring avalanche.

This one occured in Turkey.

Orhan Namli shared this dramatic video of an avalanche after very warm weather with rainfall resulted in melting snow in the Kackar mountains.

Fortunately it cascaded into a gorge missing the the red roofed buildings we see in the foreground.

Monday 24th April

We spotted this video posted on Facebook earlier today and contacted Jon Etxezarreta Eraso.

He said he witnessed this avalanche earlier this year (2017) at "Las Montañas Rocosas" aka the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Jon Etxezarreta Eraso was with a small group doing a spot of cross country skiing in the Rocky Mountains, when they were surprised by an avalanche very close to where they had just passed moments before.

The group are from the Basque region of Northern Spain.

Two of the skiers are from Arratia, one from Durango and the fourth is from Elorrio.

We're trying to find out where this avalanche took place and will update this post when we get more details.

It's awesome!


Here's the full unedited version of the avalanche that another member of the group filmed as the snow and debris cascaded down the mountain.

Its like a raging river of snow.

Avalanche.. like a powerful river cascading down the mountain (Canada)Avalanche.. like a powerful river cascading down the mountain














Sunday 23rd April


Winter is over! Austria's Wacky Races took place yesterday, 22nd April in St Anton am Arlberg.

When the lifts closed at 5pm the "White Thrill” started.

There is a massive collective downhill start on the Valluga Ridge that funnels down the mountain, where it is vital to choose the right spot as that can provide a race advantage.

Over 500 skiers, telemarkers and snowboarders take part, in fact anyone can take part as long as they’re fit. Read our report on the 2017 White Thrill event here.

But within moments of yesterday's start there was a little pile up! See below:



Sierra Nevada ended its winter season on Sunday 23rd April a week ahead of schedule.

But on Saturday in complete contrast to St Anton, they celebrated the end of their season with a beach party, including some skiing and some other beach style activities.

Moreover everyone was clad in bikinis and board shorts.


Friday 21st April


He was launching National Schools Snowsport week at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead and PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, caught up with him for a video interview.

And to find out more about the initiative to get school children in England into snowsports then see our main news story here.


Thursday 20th April


Matt Harper-Ward will be running his 8th London marathon on Sunday dressed in all his snowboard gear.

He ran the marathon last year wearing the same outfit, and he also set a Guinness World Record doing so.

The stipulation being he had to carry his snowboard, wear all of the gear down to the boots, and he had to finish in less than 6 hours.

This year he will take on the 26.2 mile challenge again while carrying a snowboard and dressed ready for the slopes - including some rather heavy snow boots.

He will be raising money for the same Charity, Wellchild. Good luck for Sunday.

Last year PlanetSKI spotted 36-year old Al Machell in the throng of runners as he ran the entire London Marathon wearing his ski boots. Read more on Al Machell here.   

Matt Harper-Ward with snowboard - Marathon man



Wednesday 19th April


Winter must be over!

Boo the resident grizzly bear at Kicking Horse Mountain resort has woken up from his winter hibernation.

PlanetSKI had the privilege of meeting Boo last season when visiting British Columbia. Read about our encouter with Boo here >>

In the meantime watch Boo playing around in the spring snow after being released from his winter den.




The ski area of Eldora Mountain Resort in Colordo put out a request, asking the public to help them find second homes for their decommissioned two-man and three-man chairs that are being replaced by bigger capacity six-man chair lifts.

The request was put up on Facebook and within a few hours all the chairs had been snapped up.

Watch the video below to get an idea of the large number of chairs involved.

Eldora Mountain Resort then put up the following statement saying they had all been found new homes: "All the chairs have been adopted! Thank you to everyone who will be giving one a great home! Our chairs really felt the love and were overjoyed to hear that they all have found a special place in someone's heart! <3"

What an excellent idea for recycling decommissioned chairlifts.

Eldora is now closed for the season.

Tuesday 18th April


Spare a thought for Jon Linsley.

His ski jacket is almost more gaffer tape than it is jacket.

He's had it for at least seven years and, since he spends most of every ski season in the French Alps, it's suffered from rather a lot of wear and tear.

The proportion of silver sticky stuff has been growing gradually over the years but now, surely, it is time to invest in a new one?

Gaffer tape repairsTwo-tone jacket
















Jon tells PlanetSKI that he keeps trying, but he can't find a jacket he likes as much as this Degré 7 one.

Apparently, one of the problems is that they don't have enough pockets for his liking.  So he keeps repairing the old one and will probably keep wearing it until it falls off him.

Look out for Jon if you're on the slopes of Tignes/Val d'Isère in the last few weeks of the season - or, indeed,  next winter.  We expect he'll still be wearing it....

Jon LinsleyLook out for the jacket

















Sunday 16th April


We've all heard of the bogeyman but have you heard of the Swiss equivalent, the Böögg man?

He is Switzerland's most famous snowman.

He's a figure that is involved with predicting the summer weather, and the figure that is burned on a pyre.

The burning of the Böögg is a rite of spring, that takes place every year in Zurich.

The Böögg ... predictor of Swiss Summer weatherBurning the Böögg ... predicting Swiss Summer weather













Burning of the snowman figure, the Böögg, is a symbol that drives out the winter weather.

It's  part of the celebration known as Sechseläuten.

This is a Swiss German word that literally translates as "The six o'clock ringing of the bells".

The Böögg or 'snowman' (a straw figure similar to that of the British Guy for Guy Fawkes) is placed on top of a pyre that is set alight and he is burned at 6 O'clock precisely.

His head is filled with fireworks or similar explosives.

The quicker the Böögg's head catches fire, burns and explodes the better the summer weather will be.

The accuracy of the Böögg weather predictions is a little random and doubtful.

However, back in 2003, the burning of the Böögg predicted a very hot summer, and somewhat unexpectedly it was accurate!

His head exploded wtihin a record-breaking 5 minutes 42 seconds, and indeed there was a hot summer!

The Video below has some background on the Böögg and how it is made:

This year the burning of the Böögg takes place in Zurich on Monday 24th April.

As soon as his head explodes, spring will have arrived and the summer weather will be have been forecast. 

So, will Switzerland have a hot summer this year? 

We wonder how long will it will take for the Böögg's head to explode this April?

More info on The infamous Böögg event here >>

Böögg Update 24th April: Looks like it will be a hot summer! - more here >>


20 years ago Vail and Aspen were firm friends - they decided to offer a joint lift pass to GB visitors to help them enjoy the different ski areas that are just a few hours away from each other in Colorado.

The cutting below comes from the 1996/97 brochure of the North America specialist tour operator, Ski Independence.

Friends to foesFriends to foes
















Not any more!

The two resorts have bought many more resorts and are eyeing each other for a titanic struggle to rule the US and North American snowsports industry

See here for our earlier article on the developments across the Atlantic.


Saturday 15th April

One of our regular PlanetSKI readers, Angie Wall, is currently on a multi resort trip in the USA and has just been to Arapahoe Basin in Colorado.

She sent a message to the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, on Facebook:

"I can see why you love this resort so much James Cove. The conditions are still perfect here."

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado
















James responded but it seems his use of the F-word in a live video he did when he was passing through back in February on his road trip  was spot on and had the desired effect!

It made her want to visit - so she did.

Facebook exchangeFacebook exchange

And just in case you want to see the video again Wink


Wednesday 12th April


What a collection of snowsports talent!

PlanetSKI couldn't resist getting a photo of this gang of 5 friends as they hung around together chatting in the sunshine at Laax in Switzerland.

British snowsports stars in LaaxGirl power
















If you're into freestyle skiing and snowboarding you'll know who they are.  Not only are they the best of British, they are some of the best in the world at what they do.

If you still need some prompting they are (L-R):  Katie Summerhayes, Madi Rowlands, Molly Summerhayes, Katie Ormerod, Rowan Cheshire.

Have a great summer, ladies.  We look forward to seeing you again next winter.

Tuesday 11th April


There are some crazy stunts but this one takes the biscuit.

Anton Redkiy was the skier dressed as an angel.

He was taking part in an end of season Pond Skimming contest in the Russian ski area of Sheregesh, in the Kemerovo region.

All participants had to wear costumes and perform the most effective jump from a trampoline into the pond.

Anton poured his white feathered costume with inflammable liquid and set it on fire before launching himself into the cold water.

He was awarded with the top prize of the Pond Skimming contest of 20,000 roubles that's roughly £280.

It took Anton two weeks to make the burning angel costume, and no doubt it will take him longer to recover from the second degree burns he received to his arms and back in the event.

Anton Redkiy - Burning Angel (photo: Instagram)Anton Redkiy - Burning Angel (photo: Instagram)

















Read more here in the Siberian Times

Monday 10th April


Last week the Brits took over Laax in Switzerland in more ways than one.

The British Snowboard and Freeski Championships were held in the resort and PlanetSKI was in town. You can read our report on the final day of competition  here.

On Saturday, for any athletes (and PlanetSKI staff) feeling in need of some home comforts, there were some rather yummy treats on offer.

GB food at market in LaaxYum
















A spring market was selling food from several countries, including the UK.

British food stall in LaaxLittle Britain in Laax
















We spotted one of our top freestyle skiers, Katie Summerhayes, having a sneaky look.

It was a tough call, but both Katie and PlanetSKI resisted the temptation.

Spring market in LaaxFood from around the world in Laax
















Saturday 8th April


Our editor, James Cove, has been banging on about his favourite subject - BREXIT.

He is firmly in favour of remaining in the EU as anyone who has had the misfortune to hear him on the matter will know.

Wifi (or lack of it) used to be the subject he went on and on about.

Now it is the folly of leaving the EU.

And its likely impact on snowsports.

Seems he is extending his reach:

PlanetSKI in The TimesPlanetSKI in The Times
















Wise wordsWise words
















Thursday 6th April


We recently wrote about a man from Arapahoe Basin called Jay DeBaggis, who was intending to ski 60mph wearing a straitjacket.

Well he did it, and he managed to go a little faster hitting 64mph.

Jay DeBaggis spent weeks training, hoping to hit 60mph without the use of his arms for balance.

On Monday morning he clipping into his skis, DeBaggis had some help strapping into a custom made pink straitjacket and set off down the hill.

He was doing this crazy feat to raise money and awareness for the Summit County Mountain Mentors Programme.

Contrast and compare the speeds of DeBaggis and that of the Speed Skiers in the videos below.

This is what it was all about:

Jay DeBaggis at Arapahoe Basin Jay DeBaggis at Arapahoe Basin














Jay DeBaggis in straitjacket at Arapahoe Basin Jay DeBaggis in straitjacket at Arapahoe Basin













Jay DeBaggis at Arapahoe Basin Jay DeBaggis at Arapahoe Basin















Bastien Montes reaches a speed of 251.397kph in Vars on 31st March 2017, but Ivan Origone of Italy still holds the World Speed Record with a final speed of 254.958kph.

Ivan Origone breaks the record in March 2016 (254.958kph), taking the title from his brother Simone Origone:

Wednesday 5th April


We featured some of the winning runs of the final of the Freeride World Tour that took place in Verbier at the weekend on the Bec Des Rosses in this story on PlanetSKI.

But we didn't include Loic Collomb Patton's crash that can be seen here.

After the event he posted this photograph on Instagram thanking Scott helmets for keeping his head safe.

"Today didn't go as expected I crashed but no regreats & huge thanks to @scottfreeski To keep me head safe! Thanks everyone for the support I will be back stronger next year on the @freerideworldtour!"

As you can see his helmet took a bit of a hammering in the crash.

It is mandatory for all the entrants in the Freeride World Tour to wear a helmet.


A replay of the all the men's ski and snowboard runs can be seen here.




Tuesday 4th April


There was fun and games and a rather dodgy brass band to herald the Russian Boogel Woogel festival in Sochi.

'Nearly' 1,200 bikini clad skiers and snowboarders and guys in more modest boarding shorts took to the slopes in Sochi at the weekend in an attempt to break the world record.

Someone needs to tell them 'nearly' isn't good enough for the Guiness Book of Records, they need a definitive number.

Last year 1,008 people turned up sporting their skimpy swimwear so the numbers were definitely up for 2017.

Since the Winter Olympics of 2014 the Boogel Woogel festival is becoming a popular annual event to herald the spring and an excuse to show off some flesh.


Bikini clad at Boogle WoogleBikini clad at Boogel Woogel













Monday 3rd April


There was a football match between Tromsdalen vs Åsane in Norway on Sunday 2nd April.

There was so much snow the pitch had to be dug out in order to start play.

These images were posted on Twitter by

Tromsdalen v Åsane - 2 April 2017Football in Norway:  Tromsdalen v Åsane - 2 April 2017




















Football - Tromsdalen v Åsane - 2 April 2017Football in Norway:  Tromsdalen v Åsane - 2 April 2017












Well, he probably deserves a little rest... Wink

Dave RydingDave Ryding




















And here's why.

Saturday 1st April

That's right April Fool's Day... Wink


Sunshine Village, in Alberta Canada, has drawn a blue line down its ski slopes, dividing it according to the proportion of skiers v snowboarders.

Much to the disgust of some, snowboarders and skiers are to be separated by the blue line.

The split is 70% skiers v 30% snowboarders, so that skiers get the greater 70% of the slope while the snowboarders only get a miserly 30%.

The new initiative is being enforced by the piste patrollers.

According to Sunshine Village the snowboarders need less space anyway as they simply head straight down the mountain without turning.



The Swiss are using sheep as part of their mountain rescue programme.

The training centre is in Zermatt that involves a specific breed of black nosed sheep.

They are sure footed animals knowing exactly where they can safely tread.

The sheep undergo a rigorous training programme and are said to naturally gravitate towards the injured.

Each animal is equipped with a GPS tracker round its neck, a pair of earphones to protect its ears from the helicopter noise and a first aid kit is strapped round its neck.

Finally an additional benefit is the warmth the animals provide the injured until they are rescued.

Watch the training process below:



During the construction of New Zealand’s first cabin-style lift, the McDougall’s Express Chondola at Cardrona Mountain resort a massive gold nugget was found.

The block of stone weighs 3.1kg.

Gold is currently priced at NZD$1746.25 per oz, valuing this nugget at around NZD$190,000. 

Watch out Cardona you're going to be inundated with gold diggers.

In our view the best things are always found in the mountains.

Full details on its discovery here.

Gold nugget found at CardronaGold nugget found at Cardrona















Royal Caribbean has announced a new cruise ship that is "the world's first ski resort at sea" .

It is set to launch in 2021 and the company says  it is perfect fit for those torn between a cruise or ski break.

"A first of its kind, the ship will accommodate a full-size ski resort complete with five real snow runs, a lift and après-ski restaurants, bars and spa," we're told.

There will be green and black runs with ski instructors on board.  

"Our ships push the boundaries of innovation, and Piste of the Seas provides a best of both worlds solution for customers who love their annual ski break but dream of a cruise to sunnier climes," says Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean.

Piste of the SeasPiste of the Seas















But hang on, haven't we heard of such a plan before?

Iglu Ski detailed a cruise ship with a ski slope back in 2011 as we reported here.

Co-incidently details were also released on April 1st.


The IglushipThe Iglucruise












According to the Telegraph they have been fleeing the melting polar ice cap.

See here for more details

On the moveOn the move














Crystal Ski bring us this story today, April 1st

BEWARE THE CHAIRLIFT SELFIE (You Might Fund A Ski Bum's Retirement)
Ever been on a chairlift and looked down to see a solitary glove or ski pole?

That might soon be a thing of the past. We can exclusively reveal today that resorts across the Alps are secretly hiring "slope sweepers" to collect valuables dropped from lifts.

As skiers and snowboarders bring more gadgets with them on holiday and spend more time snapping selfies, a group named FOOL (Foundation for Oops, Ouches and Lost Property) have estimated skiers are dropping up to 40% more items from chairlifts than they did four years ago.
The job of the new slope sweepers is to mop up the mess and keep pistes from looking like gadget graveyards.

"Sometimes I look down when I'm on the chairlift and it looks like the aftermath of your so-called Glastonbury Festival" said Pierre Vacances, CEO of French resort Val Posèur, "but the sweepers are restoring the natural beauty to my mountains".
What many resorts don't know however, is that these sweepers are making a mint selling the gadgets and gear on the side.

We caught up with a "piste balayeuse" called Alan (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) who's made so much cash, he's retiring next month at the grand old age of 30.
"Fundamentally what I'm doing is taking advantage of clumsy people" explained Alan in between gulps of champagne, "so why shouldn't I make a few Francs out of it?" Doubling down defiantly, he argued: "It's not immoral to keep a tenner someone has dropped in the street, and a £600 iPhone dropped from a chairlift is literally no different at all. To-may-to, to-mah-to".
When pushed, Alan revealed that in the course of a single ski season he had 'salvaged' the following:
- Over a thousand iPhones.

- 400 GoPros of varying vintages.

- Over £10,000 worth of miscellaneous ski gear.

- A diamond-crusted tiara which, upon professional inspection was found to be a long-lost trinket belonging to a 15th century French princess.

- And an antique Fabergé egg worth just shy of £5.7million.
While Alan struggled to chomp down caviar-topped canapés with his new gold teeth, we asked him to name some of the weirdest things he's collected.
"Other than the usual selfie sticks, phones and gloves, I've had to pick up all sorts. Hip flasks, Santa hats, cameras; even a flute once. In fact the best one" guffawed Alan, lounging in his brand new carbon fibre hot tub, "was a mankini, like Borat wore. Which implies someone was either just carrying one around for a laugh, or stripped out of it while on a chairlift, which is even more impressive".
Of course selfie culture has rocketed in recent years.

A recent study by Teen Vogue estimated millennials spend at least an hour a day taking and uploading selfies, with Alan suggesting this is the primary cause of his income.

"These people think they can sit on a wobbly chair going at speed, and then try to operate a camera with one hand that's probably numb from the cold. Fools, the lot of them".
So watch out next time you're on a chairlift, or your stuff could fund a retirement chalet for a rogue like Alan.

April 1stApril 1st
















And this time last year PlanetSKI reported on the woollen bobble hat that doubles up as a ski helmet.

It is yet to make it onto the shelves - Read more here

Further research requiredFurther research required

















It's Polish week in Les Menuires in Les3Vallees.

And they are out to have a good time!


World Snow Day 2017 was an occasion a lot of kids will not forget.

Around the world, 458 events and actions took place to provide children and their families a chance to explore enjoy and experience snow sport.

This was World Snow Day 2017.

See you on 21st January 2018 for the next edition of World Snow Day!

The next edition takes place on 21st January 2018. 


"Enjoying some skiing in Avoriaz, France when I tripped at slow speed in some heavy snow and fell down the slope.

My downhill ski caught up in the snow which, meant my body passed over my knee and down the slope.

A few pops sounded - I was hoping it was my binding releasing,  but it was my knee instead!"

Read this fascinating blog as a ski instructor had a reconstructed ACL using a new unconventional surgery technique in the UK....

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

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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