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NEWS IN BRIEF...
Monday May 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Lenzerheide & Bansko want to host 2019 Alpine Ski World Cup Finals, Mountain plan needed for France + World Snow Day awards handed out NEW & UPDATED

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM APRIL 2017




Wednesday 31st May

TWO RESORTS BID FOR 2019 ALPINE WORLD CUP FINALS

Lenzerheide in Switzerland and Bansko in Bulgaria are in the running to host the 2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup finals.

The two resorts confirmed their wish to stage the season-ending World Cup competition at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Committee meetings in Portorož in Slovenia.

Next season's World Cup finals - to be held in March 2018 - will be held in Åre, a year before the Swedish resort hosts the Alpine World Championships.

Lenzerheide, SwitzerlandLenzerheide, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FIS meetings also confirmed the dates for the 2017-18 World Cup races.

Men's Alpine World Cup calendar

Women's Alpine World Cup Calendar

Sunday 28th May

FRENCH SKI RESORTS CALLS FOR MOUNTAIN TOURISM TO BE PUT CENTRE STAGE

The mayors of some mountain resorts are demanding more efforts are made by the new government of President Emmanuel Macron to boost mountain tourism.

The National Association of Mayors of Mountain Stations (ANMSM), which represent more than 100 mountain areas is concerned about the future and political representation in the new government.

"The French mountain is a key component of our country's tourist attraction, and France must build an ambitious tourism policy to enable our mountain resorts to increase their attractiveness and contribute, with 120,000 jobs and 9 billion euros," it said in a statement.

"The rapid appointment of a minister is essential."

The association makes eight proposals for a "Mountain Plan":

1. Make tourism a national priority by establishing a genuine Ministry of Tourism.

2. Preserving the investment capacity of communities.

3. Simplify and give to the Mayors margins of autonomy in urban planning.

4. Boost employment and strengthen services to the public: education, health.

5. Develop Smart Stations.

6. Strengthen the winter season.

7. Innovation for sustainable tourism 4 seasons.

8. Promoting French mountains in France and abroad.    

French AlpsFrench Alps
















Saturday 27th May

WORLD SNOW DAY AWARDS

The Awards are designed to recognise the best World Snow Day events and actions - see here for our report on the event that took place last January.

There were 478 events in 46 countries across the world as 3m people were involved in the 6th edition that took place last weekend.

The idea is to bring the joy of snowsports to children and their families.

To encourage the next generation.

Combined with the 628 SnowKidz events, the total reaches 1,106 events for the 2016/2017 season.

Amongst this group there was a record eight nationwide initiatives in Austria, Canada, China, Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Russia.

Best World Snow Day: Recognises events which have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Winner:  Zakopane, Poland.
Prize: CHF 10'000

Best Small World Snow Day: Recognises events with under 500 participants
Winner:  Vallesen, Denmark.
Prize: CHF 2'000

Most Creative: Recognises the most creative and innovative World Snow Day actions. 
Winner:  Zagreb, Croatia by Ski and Snowboard Klub Maksimir
Prize: Camera Crew to film their next World Snow Day

Line Honors: The first event to register for World Snow Day 2017
Winner:  Oberstdorf, Germany.
Prize: CHF 1'000

The awards were judged by the World Snow Day team.

"We had 87 nominations submitted and the level was very high. The excellent activities carried out by the Organisers made judging difficult and at the end the winners were separated by only a few points," said FIS Secretary General, Sarah Lewis.

The World Snow Day Awards take place every two years and the next ones will be handed out in 2019.

World Snow DayWorld Snow Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 25th May

7 IN 10 DISAGREE WITH TERM-TIME HOLIDAY FINES

More than half of parents who have taken a child out of school for a holiday and been fined would do the same things again.

That's according to a survey online flight booker Kiwi.com It says 58% would do it again.

73% said they agreed with Jon Platt, who earlier this year lost his High Court battle for the right to take his children out of school during term time.

It was overturned by the Suprme Court.

See here for the PlanetSKI story on the case that includes plenty of reaction and views on the issues.

The Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 22nd May

TIGNES FIREMAN KILLED IN AVALANCHE

A fireman from Tignes has died in an avalanche in nearby Sainte Foy.

Gregory Mistral, who was a well-known mountain photographer and former piste patroller in Val d'Isere, was ski touring with a friend on Saturday when the avalanche struck.

Gregory MistralGregory Mistral - photo Amandine Polopopo Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Le Dauphine news website, the pair had gone to the area with the intention of opening up a new route on the Pointe des Mines, setting up from Monal that morning.

The website reports that Gregory Mistral was swept over a 400 metre cliff.

The Pisteurs Secouristes de Val d'Isere published a tribute to their former colleague on their Facebook page and shared this photo of him from his own Facebook page from 2008. 

Gregory MistralGregory Mistral






   









Sunday 21st May

SHAUN WHITE SETTLES SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE

The 30-year-old Olympic gold medal snowboarder has reportedly settled the case brought against him by a former bandmate.

In 2016 Lena Zaweideh, the former drummer of his band Bad Things, accused him of making sexually explicit and inappropriate remarks.

We reported on the case at the time here on PlanetSKI on August 18th.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

It has been reported that White repeatedly made sexual vulgar remarks and made the drummer watch videos.

Lena  Zaweideh's attorney filed a "notice of unconditional settlement in the case and requested the case to be dismissed."  

Bad ThingsBad Things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 19th May

UELI STECK MEMORIAL SERVICE CONFIRMED

In a recent statement, the family of Swiss climber Ueli Steck announced a public memorial service will be held in Interlaken on May 23rd.

A spokesman for Ueli Steck's family thanked friends, colleagues and fans for their support.

"As a sign of gratitude, the family invites the public and the media to a public commemoration ceremony in the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken, on 23 May 2017 from 4 pm."

The family also requests no photos or videos to be taken during the service. More information here.

Ueli Steck, aged 40, died in an accident during an acclimatization exercise while preparing to climb Everest without oxygen by the new Lhotse route.

Read more here as the news of Ueli's death emerged on 30th April.

He was cremated at the Tengboche Monastery near Kathmandu.

Nicknamed the Swiss Machine, Ueli Steck is known for his speed ascents including the Eiger and Annapurna, he has also climbed Everest without oxygen and succeeded in climbing all 82 alpine peaks over 4000m in 62 days.

The Grindelwald community, that is near the Eiger mountain is considering naming part of the Eiger after the late climber.

SERIOUSLY INJURED SKI CROSS STAR IMPROVING

The Swedish Ski Federation says the Olympic ski cross bronze medalist Anna Holmlund is conscious and able to communicate with her family, more than five months after suffering serious head injuries in a training crash.

The 29-year-old was injured in Italy in December and remained in a coma for a long time.

She is undergoing intensive rehabilitation in hospital. Doctors say it is too early to speculate on the extent of her recovery.

Anna HolmlundAnna Holmlund - photo Swedish Ski Federation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swedish team doctor Jakob Swanberg says in a statement on the Federation's website that the athlete's condition has improved over the past month and she can now give simple verbal answers. But he says it's not possible to say with any certainty whether there will be any further improvements.

Holmlund, who won the bronze at Sochi in 2014, is likely to remain in the hospital until July and then be moved to her hometown of Sundvall where accommodation and further care and rehabilitation is being prepared.

Thursday 18th May

SHARP FALL IN US AVALANCHE DEATHS

There were 12 deaths in the 2016/17 ski season.

During the previous season of 2015-2016 30 people died in avalanches.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Centre four people died in the state of Washington, two in Alaska, two in Montana, one in Idaho, one in Colorado and one in Wyoming.

Five were skiers, four snowmobilers and three snowshoers or hikers.

So, why the fall?

"There is considerable variation from winter to winter in the number of avalanche fatalities in the United States. While the 12 deaths this winter were lowe than usual, it is not unprecedented. There were only 11 avalanche deaths in 2014-15, for example," said Spencer Logan from the Colorado Avalanche Information Centre to PlanetSKI.

"In Colorado, specifically, we did not have problematic weak layers in the middle or lower portion of the snowpack. In "bad" winters, those layers often lead to large avalanches cycles in March and April that catch people off guard.

This year, periods of warmer temperatures consolidated the middle of the snowpack.

Most of our avalanche issues in March and April were related to storm instability or shallow weak layers. Those kind of avalanches tend to be more predictable and easier for backcountry travelers to avoid.

Interestingly, in Colorado we documented 125% more people being caught in avalanches, but only one fatality, 16% of the average numer of deaths."

It comes despite the huge amounts of snow that fell in many ski areas of the USA as we reported in this earlier PlanetSKI story.

US avalanche fatalities downUS avalanche fatalities down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last winter the number of people skiing also rose with an increase of almost 2m skier days - see here for our story on the rise.

LAPTOPS CAN STILL BE TAKEN ON MOST US FLIGHTS

EU and US officials have met in Brussels to discuss a ban on laptops being taken as hand luggage.

More talks have been scheduled in Washington for next week but at the moment there is no extension to an existing ban on some trans-atlantic routes.

The US placed restrictions on flights from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The measure was introduced after Israeli security sources claimed there was an Islamic State plan to blow up a US-bound plane by smuggling a bomb aboard a plane inside a laptop.

We reported on the issue earlier in News In Brief on Tuesday 16th and Sunday 14th lower down this rolling article.

A joint statement said the meeting would allow them to 'further assess shared risks and solutions for protecting airline passengers, whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of global air travel'.

Airline laptop banAirline laptop ban
















Wednesday 17th May

BRITISH ARMY GURKHAS SUMMIT EVEREST 

Three Gurkha soldiers have reached the summit of Mount Everest, two years after calling off an earlier attempt when an earthquake caused devastating avalanches on the mountain.

The climbers are the first to reach the top of the world's highest peak from the south side this season, as strong winds, fresh snow and bitter cold has hampered other attempts.

They are also the first serving Gurkhas to make the summit.

Gurkha Everest Expedition 2017Gurkha Everest Expedition at the top - photo British Army website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following morning 10 more of the Gurkha Everest team made the summit.

For more on this and other British success on Everest, see our separate story.

BOY SUFFERS ELECTRIC SHOCK ON SCOTTISH HILL

Hikers and climbers in Scotland are being warned to take care after a 12-year boy was struck by an electric shock so strong that it blackened his skin.

According to a report in The Scotsman, Rian Duncan was descending Schiehallion in Perthshire at the weekend with family, when the shock passed through his walking pole into his hand, leaving it with a black mark.

Ken Thomson, secretary of the Cairngorm Club, told The Scotsman that this sort of thing occasionally happened on the Scottish hills.

"I have experienced this myself, particularly when carrying ice axes or poles, you get some humming in the iron.

"The best thing to do is to get away from your bits of ironmongery and take shelter in a hollow in the ground.

"There have certainly been fatalities in the Alps but I've not heard of one in Scotland."

Read more on The Scotsman website.

TUESDAY 16th May

EASY JET REPORTS LARGE WINTER LOSS 

The airline has reported a £212m loss for the first half of the financial year.

It blames the loss on the fall in the value of the pound and a late Easter.

It compares with a loss of £21m in the same period last year.

The airline said its performance had been "resilient" and the losses were in line with market expectations.

"Nineteen out of 21 years EasyJet has lost money in the winter and actually airlines do lose money in the winter," said EasyJet's chief executive, Carolyn McCall.

The airline is popular with skiers and snowboarders with Geneva being one its most important destinations in the winter.  

PILOTS FEAR HOLD FIRE FROM LAPTOPS

UK pilots have voiced their concerns of a fire breaking out on board flights in light of a possible ban on people taking their laptops into the cabin as hand luggage.

European and US official are meeting this week to discuss the issue as we reported in News in Brief lower down this page on Sunday 14th May.

Members of the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) say the lithium batteries could lead to a 'catastrophic fire' on board.

"Given the risk of fire from these devices when they are damaged or they short circuit, an incident in the cabin would be spotted earlier and this would enable the crew to react quickly before any fire becomes uncontainable," said BALPA flight safety specialist Steve Landells.

"We don't doubt the security threats that have led to consideration of extending the ban on devices but we urge the authorities to carefully assess the additional fire risk from storing more PEDs in the hold to ensure we're not solving one problem by creating a worse one," he added.

Any lap top ban would also have a big impact on travel especially for those on business. Many people work on their laptops both in the airport while waiting for a flight and on board.

Safety concernsSafety concerns
















SHIFFRIN WINS AWARD


The US skier, Mikaela Shiffrin, is the winner of the 2017 Beck International Award from the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA).

The 22-year-old won the overall Alpine World Cup title last winter with 11 race wins.

See here for a PlanetSKI report as she took the title.

She also won the slalom World Cup title, the discipline in which she is reigning Olympic champion.

"It is an honour to receive the Beck International Award, but even more than that, I want to say thank you to all of the volunteers, coaches, athletes, parents, course workers, race organisers, everyone who is involved in making this sport happen in the United States," said Shiffrin after collecting the award.

MONDAY 15th May

HIKER DIES IN FRONT OF DAUGHTER IN SNOWDONIA

A man from Exeter in Devon has died after falling while climbing mountains in Snowdonia with his daughter.

The man is thought to have been in his early 60s.

He fell while walking on Tryfan at on Saturday.

A climber saw the accident and alerted the rescue services.

He had been walking with his 25-year-old daughter.

For more on the story see this article on the BBC. 

SUNDAY 14th May

LAPTOP BAN ON FLIGHTS FROM EUROPE TO US

The EU is holding talks with the US over a possible extension of the ban on laptops in cabin bags on flights from some European airports.

US airlines met with US Homeland Security officials this week to discuss the impact of extending the ban.

Last March the US authorities banned devices that were larger than a smartphone from flights from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco.

The UK has introduced a similar electronics ban in cabin bags on flights from Turkey and selected countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

"We'll likely expand the restrictions," said a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

Some say a ban could it could happen within 2 weeks and would impact on ski flights next winter.

There is concern that a bomb could be concealed in a laptop or other large electronic and hand-held devices.

"The EU invited the US to come to Brussels next week for talks at political and expert level... to jointly assess the potential risks and review future measures," said an EU  statement.

 Some believe the ban could actually make things less safe with hundreds of such lap tops in the cargo holds on long-haul flights.

It is feared the presence of so many lithium-ion batteries could lead to an increase in the risk of fire.  

Airline laptop banAirline laptop ban
















SATURDAY 13th May

COUPLE  IS FIRST TO CLIMB 14 HIGHEST PEAKS

The Italian husband and wife, Romano and Nives Meroi Benet, have summited Annapurna in Nepal and set a record as the first couple to climb the world's 14 highest mountains.

They reached the 8,091-metre (26,545-foot) Annapurna summit on Thursday morning, without using oxygen or porters just as they have in all their ascents, according to the Italian daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

The final climb to the top starting at an altitude of 7,200 metres was "the hardest but also the most beautiful," Meroi told her sister, Leila.

Only 34 mountain climbers have climbed the 14 highest summits - all over 8,000 metres - and only half of them managed the feat without oxygen.

Into the record booksInto the record books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 12th May

LA GRAVE LIFT CONTRACT SIGNED

It's official.  The lift company that runs Alpe d'Huez has signed on the dotted line to take over the gondola that serves La Grave.

SATA has agreed to operate the lift at the cult off-piste French resort for 30 years from 15th June when the existing lease runs out, as we reported when the decision was made.

The Mayor's office in La Grave has confirmed that the contract was signed this week and the details will be made public next week.

We'll bring you more news about SATA's plans when we get them. 

The municipal council awarded the contract to SATA after the only other bidder, Compagnie des Alpes, pulled out.

La Grave liftThe lift at La Grave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans of La Grave, who want to preserve its wild character, launched a crowdfunding campaign to take over the running of the lift themselves but their proposal was rejected in December.

One of the founders of the campaign, Joost van Zundert, told PlanetSKI that there would be no changes to La Grave in the immediate future, which was good news.

He said he hoped that the campaigners would be allowed to give their views on any future plans.

ELECTRICAL FAULT LED TO CHAIRLIFT DEATH

A mother fell from a chairlift in the US last December and plunged to her death.

Her children, aged 9 and 12, also fell but survived.

Kelly Huber was 40-years old and lived in Texas.

The accident happened on December 29th at Ski Granby Ranch in Colorado.

See here for our report on the accident at the time.

The lift swung from side to side and struck a pylon. The three fell 8m on to hard packed snow.

One eye witness said the mother held her child so she hit the ground first thus protecting her daughter from the full impact.

Others on the lift talked of it slowing down and speeding up before the fatal fall.

Kelly HuberKelly Huber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An exhaustive investigation has concluded an electric drive installed last summer was to blame.

There was "rapid and significant accelerations/decelerations of the lift occurred immediately prior to the incident," according to the report.

The lift operator said he didn't recall changing speeds.

However the report stated  "Fast/Slow speed commands by the operator in rapid succession" along with the tuning of the new electrical drive and other factors "resulted in excessive (Chair 58) swing leading to the collision at Tower 5." 

A number of recommendations have been made.

  • New testing for lift speed under different load weights. 
  • Speed change delays to allow lift cables to come to acceptable speeds for stabilization purposes. 
  • A mandatory stop time to allow a cable to come to a full, stable stop before allowing it to resume movement. 
  • Adding a "black box" device for all aerial lifts to collect data about stops, starts, speed changes and more. 
  • Additional recommendations for digital and analog drive best practices. 

It is unclear if any disciplinary or legal action will be taken against staff or management.

For resort has issued the following statement:

"Granby Ranch is reviewing the report released yesterday by the Colorado Passenger Safety Tramway Board on the incident at Granby Ranch on December 29, 2016. This is a 151 page report that deserves careful review. Granby Ranch continues to comply with all Tramway Board directives. We would again like to offer our condolences to the Huber family for their loss. Granby Ranch is committed to the health and safety of its guests."

THURSDAY 11th May

IS TELEMARK SKIING IN TERMINAL DECLINE?

There are fewer and fewer telemark skiers and gear sales have gone sharply downhill.

It appears the original form of skiing is on the slippery slope.

Check out this article in the US magazine, Powder.

Telemark skiing in declineTelemark skiing in decline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 10th May

IGLU SKI NOMINATED FOR SKI AWARDS

The UK's largest ski travel agent has been shortlisted for 7 awards at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards.

They include Website of the Year + Best Use of Social Media.

 Iglu re-launched its web site last autumn as we reported at the time and it has gone down very well this winter.

Laura launchesIGLU re-launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iglu is a partner of PlanetSKI and we're delighted to see them doing so well.

"It's awesome to have a ski brand up here with some huge travel brands. Fingers crossed for July!" said the ski marketing manager for Iglu Ski, Krystelle Kubicki.

Key features of the site include; a modern attractive design, a more engaging user experience including new responsive design and enhanced search logic.

"We are constantly working on new features and updates to the site and have more projects scheduled in over the summer to enhance the site further for winter 2017/18" added Krystelle.

See here for more.

The winners will be announced on July 11th.

Good luck!Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAN HIDES IN CAVE ON MT EVEREST TO AVOID PAYING PERMIT FEE

A South African man trying to climb Mount Everest on his own, without a permit was found hiding in a cave to avoid paying the climbing fee. 

43 year old, Ryan Sean Davy, was ordered off Mt Everest, he had his passport confiscated and was fined £17,000 - that's double the cost of the £8,500 fee to climb the mountain.

He told officials at base camp that he had climbed alone as far as Camp 2 at 6,400m - to acclimatise ahead of a summit push before he was caught.

Foreigners have to pay the Nepal government £8,500 for permission to climb the 8,848m peak.

The Permit fee is a significant source of revenue for the country.

It is extremely rare and dangersous for someone to attempt climbing Everest solo. Full details on the BBC website.

Ryan Sean Davey made the following statement on Facebook with some disrespectful references to the Nepalese as 'mountain Orks'.

Ryan Sean Davy on Mt Everest (photo: Facebook)Ryan Sean Davy on Mt Everest (photo: Facebook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This follows the death of the professional mountaineer Ueli Steck who died in an accident on the mountain that we reported here.

See 6th May post below of the death of 85 year old Min Bahadur Sherchan from Nepal who was attempting to become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest

TUESDAY 9th May

ORMEROD BACK FROM INJURY

GB's Katie Ormerod is back on her snowboard in Switzerland.

"Fun times in Corvatsch!! Feels awesome to be back on my board after my back injury!!" she said on Twitter.

Katie OrmerodKatie Ormerod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here as PlanetSKI's Jane Peel interviewed her at the BRITS in Laax at the end of last season - she is probably GB's brightest medal prospect on snow for the 2018 Winter Olympics next February.

MONDAY 8th May

WOMEN SURFERS ALLOWED TO COMPETE AT MAVERICKS

It is perhaps the hardest big wave competition of them all - Mavericks in California.

"Since 1999, the world's elite big-wave surfers have battled it out at an event known as the Mount Everest of surf competitions - at Mavericks in California. Until this year, female surfers were banned from taking part. But a small group of determined women have fought their way in."

See here for more on the BBC.

The big wave women The big wave women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 6th May

85-YEAR OLD EVEREST CLIMBER DIES

Min Bahadur Sherchan from Nepal who was attempting to become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest has died.

He died at Base Camp. It is thought he had a heart attack

Min Bahadur Sherchan was a former British Gurkha soldier and was trying to reclaim the record from Japan's Yuichiro Miura from Japan who climbed Mount Everest in 2013 whne he was 80.

Mr Miura broke Sherchan's own record that he set in 2008 when he was 76-years old.

"I want to climb Everest to set a record so that it will inspire people to dream big," he told the German news agency DPA in March. "This will instil a sense of pride among old people like me. My climb will demonstrate that age doesn't stop you from realising your goal."

We reported about his attempt in last month's News In Brief on April 18th

His death follows the death of the Swiss climber Ueli Steck last week that we reported here on PlanetSKI.

Mount EverestMin Bahadur Sherchan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 5th May

LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE

Courchevel and Meribel in France are lining up for contest e against Saalbach and Hinterglemm in Austria. For what?

The right to hold the 2023 Ski World Championships.

The International Ski Federation says the French resorts Courchevel and Meribel have teamed up to apply in a contest with Austria's Saalbach-Hinterglemm.

Neither has bid recently, but Saalbach hosted the 1991 worlds.

Courchevel has held the women's slalom and giant slalom races since 2010.

Meribel  staged the week-long World Cup Finals in 2015.

Saalbach last hosted the World Cup in 2015 with two men's speed races.

France will aim to host the Alpine event for the first time since Val d'Isère did so in 2009 with Saalbach-Hinterglemm wanting to re-stage the event after holding the 1991 edition.

FIS also says Planica, Slovenia, and Trondheim, Norway, want to host the 2023 Nordic ski worlds.

Planica is bidding for a fourth time in a row after losing out in the 2017, 2019 and 2021 races.

"FIS is delighted in the interest for the organisation of our flagship events," said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.

"All four candidates bring a wealth of organisational experience at the highest levels and we anticipate their bids to be both exceptional and very diverse for the FIS World Championships in 2023."

The federation's ruling council will choose hosts for the biennial championships in June 2018.

The next edition of the Alpine World Championships will take place in Åre in Sweden in 2019.

Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy will host in 2021.

THURSDAY 4th May

EXPANSION ON HELI SKI ARES IN SILVERTON, USA

A controversial expansion of helicopter skiing terrain near Silverton has been approved  by the Bureau of Land Management.

The company Silverton Guides now has more than 25,000 acres of helicopter ski terrain in the high country in the San Juan Mountains around Silverton.

Environmentalists and some locals had opposed the expansion.

The company said it will help the areas winter economy and argued it was important for small ski resorts to retain their independence as many are currently being swallowed up by big companies.

"Heli-skiing is a very popular activity in the area that creates a significant boost to the winter economy of Silverton," said a statement.

"This decision lets Silverton Mountain Guides fully utilize their allocated user days while having a minimal effect on other backcountry users. It's a win-win for everyone involved."

The permit from the Bureau of Land Management is for five years.

Silverton heliskiingSilverton heliskiing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO DIE IN SEPARATE ACCIDENTS IN USA

A 59-year-old man died while skiing at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado on Friday.

He died in the trees of the ski area's double-black diamond West Ropes run off Lift 4.

"Loveland Ski Area wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the skier," said Loveland  in a statement.

14 people have died inbounds in Colorado this winter.

It is the highest total since the 2011-2012 season, which saw 22 fatalities.

5 of those deaths have been in Breckenridge the US resort most popular with British skiers and snowboarders.

Meanwhile a 54-year-old man has died in Snowbird in Utah.

The ski patrol found a man unconscious with chest injuries on the Chips Run around 10AM.

It is unclear how the man, Daryl Horton, was injured.

An investigation in underway.

WEDNESDAY 3rd May

SWISS MOUNTAINEER UELI STECK TO BE BURIED IN NEPAL

The Swiss climber died on Sunday while acclimatising for an attempt to climb Mt Everest.

He was known as the "Swiss Machine" and he was preparing to try to climb a new route without oxygen.

His family has asked that the detailed circumstances of his death should not be speculated and discussed in the media.

Ueli Steck’s family will travel to Nepal for a traditional Buddhist ceremony in the next few days.

A memorial service will be held in Switzerland at a later date.

Ueli Steck is considered to be one of the greatest climbers of his generation.

Ueli Steck was the first person to die on Everest this year.  PlanetSKI reported on the accident here.
British mountaineer, Kenton Cool commented on Twitter:

Additional information on 20Min.ch

In tribute to Ueli Steck we have featured some videos of his climbing achievements featured on the 1 May post in the Video page here.

TUESDAY 2nd May

SURFER RESCUED AFTER DRIFTING FOR OVER 30 HOURS

22-year-old Matthew Bryce was air lifted into a rescue helicopter on Monday evening.

He was found drifting 16 miles off the Scottish coast and 13 miles off Northern Ireland, after he had been stranded on his surf-board for 32 hours.

He was reported missing by his family when he failed to return from a Sunday morning surf off the Argyll coast of Scotland.

He was eventually found by a search and rescue helicopter at around 7.30pm on Monday.

He is currently in hospital recovering from hypothermia.

This has nothing to do with skiing or snowboarding apart from the fact that he was on a surf-board!

 

CAR PLUNGES 100s of FEET DOWN GULLY NEAR SCOTTISH SKI RESORT

The 60-year-old woman had a narrow escape and avoided serious injury in the accident.

She was taken by helicopter to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after being cut free from her vehicle.

The incident happened on the A939, south of the Lecht Ski Centre, at 12.40 on Monday.

The woman was flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in a Coastguard helicopter.

Police Scotland closed the road following the incident and it re-opened around 2.30pm.

 

MONDAY 1st May

6 FACE PROSECUTION OVER ITALY HOTEL AVALANCHE

Italian prosecutors are investigating six people for manslaughter after an avalanche killed 29 people last SSS.

They include  the Pescara provincial governor, Antonio Di Marco, the mayor of Farindola, Ilario Lacchetta, and the director of the Rigopiano hotel, Bruno Di Tomasso.

Also under investigation are two provincial employees and a Farindola city hall worker.

See here for our report on the tragedy at the time.

Hotel Rigopiano rescue operationRescue underway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The deadly avalanche buried guests and hotel staff as they waited for a snow plow to clear roads of metres-deep snow so they could leave the hotel after being shaken by a series of strong earthquakes.

Two people escaped the avalanche while nine, including four children, were pulled alive from the snow and debris days after the tragedy.

Investigations have been taking place for the past 3-months.

Most of those killed in the avalanche died from the impact of the avalanche.

Two died of exposure.

Some reports in the media say the first calls for help were treated as a hoax and emergency vehicles did not reach the site until several hours after the avalanche.

Rigopiano Hotel (photo: Virgili del Fuoco)Rigopiano Hotel (pic: Vigili del Fuoco)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMALLER SWISS RESORTS JOIN FORCES TO TAKE ON BIG BOYS

25 resorts have got together to offer a joint lift pass.

They include the well known ones of Crans-Montana and Grimentz- Zinal, but otherwise most are unheard.

Have you heard of La Berra, Nax or Ovornaz?

The idea is to offer so many resorts on a season pass that local decide not to buy a single one in the the popular resorts like Verbier or Zermatt.

The 'Magic Pass' costs 1,299CHF for an adult and 799CHF for children -the passes are currently on special offer for 359CHF and 249CHF

Pass launchPass launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the resorts involved:

Anzere, Bugnenets-Savagnieres, Chandolin, Cret-du-Puy, Grimentz-Zinal, La Berra, La Lecherette, Les Marecottees, Les Moses, Leysin, Mayen de Conthey, Nax, Ovornnaz, Schwarzee, St-Luc, Vercorin Villars-Gryon, Tremelan, Rathvel,  Moleson, Les Paccots,  Les Diablerets, Juan and Crans-Montana.

The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, was in Grimentz and Zinal last Janauary - see here for his report.

Meanwhile our senior news reporter Katie Bamber - visited Crans-Montana in the same month.

There is a bit of a lift pass battle going on in Switzerland at the moment.

Saas-Fee is also trying to entice people to buy a pass early as part of a crowdfunding initiative - see here for an earlier PlanetSKi story.

It is beginning to look like North America where many resorts have reciprocal lift pass arrangements.

In the USA most of the main resorts are either in a group owned and run by Vail Resorts or Aspen - see here for an earlier PlanetSKI story as the two groups line up for an almighty battle to control the US ski industry.

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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