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.
PLANETSKI SPLASHES OUT
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
Oh, they are.
Tuesday 25th April
DRAMATIC FOOTAGE OF AVALANCHE IN TURKEY
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.
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
Sunday 23rd April
DER WEISSER RAUCH AKA 'WHITE THRILL' RACE
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.
But within moments of yesterday's start there was a little pile up! See below:
SIERRA NEVADA BEACH PARTY
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 beach party, including some skiing and some other beach style activities. Moreover everyone was clad in bikinis and board shorts.
Friday 21st April
PLANETSKI SPEAKS TO EDDIE THE EAGLE
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.
A post shared by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (@kickinghorsemtn) on Apr 18, 2017 at 9:28am PDT
"ADOPT A CHAIR" - FROM A DECOMMISSIONED CHAIRLIFT
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
HOW LONG CAN YOU MAKE YOUR SKI JACKET LAST?
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?
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....
Look out for the jacket
Sunday 16th April
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE SWISS BÖÖGG MAN?
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.
Burning 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?
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 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
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.
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 Seas
But hang on, haven't we heard of such a plan before?
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.
And this time last year PlanetSKI reported on the woollen bobble hat that doubles up as a ski helmet.