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JULY NEWS IN BRIEF...
Saturday July 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Man claimed he could hardly walk but managed to ski, climb & win a triathlon, Canadian resort sold + bodies found on glacier after 75 years. NEW & UPDATED

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM JUNE 2017

 

 

THURSDAY 20TH JULY

MAN WHO SKIED & CLIMBED KILIMANJARO CLAIMED HE COULD BARELY WALK

A benefits cheat who claimed he couldn't walk more than 50 metres has been convicted of fraud after it emerged that he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, went skiing and won a triathlon.

Mark Lloyd, of Ynysybwl, Rhondda Cynon Taff, claimed £6,551.80 in Personal Independence Payments, saying a slipped disc in his back left him in agony.

But the 33-year-old competed in races, climbed Africa's highest peak, went wing-walking and skied in the Alps.

He was convicted of fraud at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced in August.

A report on the BBC website says Lloyd claimed the benefits between October 2014 and February 2016.

Photos showed he competed in a triathlon in September 2015, winning in the adult taster category.

The same month he was pictured on a five-day trek to the peak of Kilimanjaro which involved walking 8 to 12 hours a day.

He also took part in the World Powerboat Championships in Malta.

The report says Lloyd was medically discharged from the Army in 2011 after suffering an injury to his lower back while serving in Afghanistan.

His lawyer said Lloyd had been able to push through the pain barrier because of his army training.

For the full story see the BBC News Website.

WEDNESDAY 19TH JULY

VANCOUVER SKI RESORT SOLD

A popular Canadian ski resort has been sold for an undisclosed amount to a partnership that includes a Chinese investment group. 

Grouse Mountain Resorts near Vancouver has been controlled by the same family for more than 40 years, but it was put up for sale last September.

Grouse Mountain ResortGrouse Mountain Resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
CBC News reports that the new owner is GM Resorts Limited Partnership, an entity created by CM (Canada) Asset Management Co Ltd, with about 60 per cent Canadian investors, and Chinese investment firm CMIG.

"We understand that Grouse Mountain is treasured by locals and visitors alike," said Kenny Zou, director of CM Canada.

"People should expect the very same Grouse Mountain experience they've been getting."

Zou said the Chinese group will be "silent investors," and all operating decisions will be made by CM Canada, a "completely Canadian company through and through."

For more, see CBC News

TUESDAY 18TH JULY

SHRINKING GLACIER GIVES UP BODIES AFTER 75 YEARS

A shrinking glacier in Switzerland has revealed two frozen bodies believed to be of a couple who went missing 75 years ago.

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, who were farmers, disappeared after going to tend their cows above Les Diablerets in August 1942.

It's thought they may have fallen into a crevasse.

Extensive searches at the time failed to find any trace of them.

A DNA test will be carried out to confirm the identities.

Swiss media is reporting that the bodies were found last week on Tsanfleuron glacier by an employee of the ski lift company, Glacier 3000.

The couple had seven children who were placed with different families after their parents disappeared.

Their youngest daughter, who's now 79, said she was now planning to give her parents the funeral they deserved.

"We spent our whole lives looking for them," Marceline Udry-Dumoulin told Lausanne daily Le Matin.

Bernard Tschannen where the bodies were found Bernhard Tschannen where the bodies were found - photo Television Suisse Romande

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Director of the lift company, Bernhard Tschannen, said his employee found some backpacks, tin bowls and a glass bottle, as well as male and female shoes, and part of a body under the ice.

"The bodies were lying near each other. It was a man and a woman wearing clothing dating from the period of World War Two," he told Le Matin.

Read more on this on the BBC website.

SATURDAY 15TH JULY

SNOW CAMP CITY DRINKS AND SUMMER AUCTION

The annual Snow-Camp summer event took place on Wednesday 12th July in its usual location at the Norton Rose Fulbright penthouse suite overlooking London.

Graham Bell and Snow-Camp Founder Dan Charlish welcomed the 200 guests.

Patrons Jenny Jones and Warren Smith also attended along with Ambassadors Emily Sarsfield and Nick Moynihan.

It kicked off with the BBC2 interview of former Snow-Camp Apprentice, Jonjoe Boulter with Jenny Jones.

In the interview Jonjoe Boulter describes his journey through the Snow-Camp system and applauds the enormous support provided by Warren Smith Academy.

The event also raised £15,000 in its charity auction.

The money raised funds the snow-camp initiative to work with young people.

In case you missed the BBC2 interview:


FRIDAY 14th JULY

Deal cleared for Aspen Ski Co. to acquire Intrawest Resort Holdings.

The proposed deal of $1.5 billion was announced in April.

The issue was antitrust issues but the U.S Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has deemed that there is no cause for challenge.

A required 30-day wait time has now passed, during which the proposition is determined if it would 'substantially lessen competition', according to the FTC website.

"Expiration of the waiting period under the [Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements] Act satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger," the company said.

Photo: summitdaily.comPhoto: summitdaily.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY 13TH JULY

CHANGE TO CANDIDATURE PROCESS FOR OLYMPICS 2026

Aimed to reduce costs, simplify the procedure and give better assistance during the bidding process to National Olympic Committees, it will come into play for the Winter Olympic Games 2026.

What's altered?

  • Invitation Phase to extend to a full year
  • Candidature Phase will shorten from two years to one

It will give cities more time to get together their proposals and the shortened second phase aims to reduce cost.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will give better assistance and support to potential candidate cities before they commit.

The changes were approved on 11th July and have come following ongoing concern over the cost and complexity of the Candidature Process.

The expanded Invitation Phase for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 will begin in September 2017.

© NordicFocusPhoto - © NordicFocus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY 12TH JULY

TRIBUTE PAID TO CZECH FIS GRASS SKIING OFFICIAL

Jiri Russwurm died on 28th June, aged 63.

Russwurm was chairman of the FIS Grass Skiing Committee from 1999-2004.

He contributed greatly to the sport's development and helped establish the FIS Grass Skiing World Cup season.

"FIS would like to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jiri Russwurm whose contributions will be long remembered," a FIS statement read.

FIS Tribute - Jiri RusswurmFIS Tribute - Jiri Russwurm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 10TH JULY

CLIMBER DIES AFTER FALLING ON SCOTLAND'S BEN NEVIS

The Lochaber mountain rescue team reported that the man climbing the peak on Saturday morning sustained fatal injuries.

He fell on Tower Ridge.

The body was recovered after a two-hour operation, following the man's fall.

The conditions were good and he was with a climbing partner but climbing has it's risks and unfortnately this accident ended sadly.

There were 20 deaths reported in the Scottish mountains during 2016.

Ben Nevis sees around 100,000 reach its summit each year.

Photo: ben-nevis.comPhoto: ben-nevis.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISMF ADDS SKI MOUNTAINEERING TO LAUSANNE 2020 GAMES

On 9th July the IOC and the ISMF (International Ski Mountaineering Federation) announced that ski mountaineering will be one of the eight sports in the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympics.

Ski mountaineering involves climbing mountains either on skis or while carrying them, depending on the steepness of the ascent, before descending on skis.

It will join the seven Winter Olympic sports of skiing, luge, bobsleigh, ice hockey, ice skating, curling and biathlon.

The event will take place in Villars sur Ollons and 48 athletes aged 17 and 18 will compete, with all 31 ISMF member states being invited to put forward their top youth athletes.

The disciplines being represented are individual race, sprint and relay.

This should really showcase the athletic ability of these incredible athletes in both an endurance and sprint envrionment.

The news comes almost a year after the sport was awarded full IOC recognition and is a great step towards inclusion in the full Winter Olympics.

Many congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to make this long held dream a reality.

Read More:

ISMF confirms Ski Mountaineering for Lousanne 2020 Youth OlympicsISMF confirms Ski Mountaineering for Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 8TH JULY

DAVOS GETS A NEW 6-SEATER CHAIRLIFT FOR 2017/18

A new 6-seater chairlift is currently under construction to replace the 45 year old Furka double-chairlift built in 1972.

Though judging by the photograph taken today it stil looks as though it has a long way to go.

Its opening is planned for the 2017/18 winter season in the Parsenn ski area.

The Parsenn ski arena is currently reached from Davos using the 80 year old Parsenn funicular railway and from Klosters by the Gotschna cable car.

The 1,587m long chairlift will climb 380m, transport 2,500 people per hour and shorten the trip from the Gruobenalp to the Parsennfurgga by around 5 minutes.

The chairlift is designed like a single-seater – but also features heated seats and covers.

We've been keeping an eye on the construction site and this is how it looked on Saturday 8th July.

Some Technical Data:

  • Travel time: 5 minutes
  • Capacity: 2500 persons
  • Length: 1587 m
  • Difference: 380 m
  • Speed: 6 m/s
  • Hoist cable: 47 mm
  • Pillars: 13
  • Nominal power: 472 kW

Under construction - New 6-seater chairlift to replace the Furka double-chairlift Under construction - New 6-seater chairlift to replace the Furka double-chairlift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New 6-seater chairlift to replace the Furka double-chairlift New 6-seater chairlift to replace the Furka double-chairlif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 4TH JULY

AUSTRIAN MAN DIES ON VIA FERRATA IN VALAIS

An Austrian man died on Sunday afternoon after he fell from a rockface whilst climbing a via ferrata in the canton of Valais.

The 37-year-old was part of a group of six climbing the Farinetta route at the Salentze gorge near the village of Saillon, the Valais Police stated.

He lived in the canton of Vaud.

The group were on the third section that is the most difficult part of the via ferrata when the victim fell.

It is unclear why he fell and an investigation into his death is taking place.

The man's body was taken from the scene by an Air Glaciers helicopter.

The hardest section of the Farinetta route opened three years ago, and it is classified at K5 difficulty.

Some consider it to be almost a K6, that is the hardest via ferrata level.

It requires climbing skills and is not suitable for amateurs.

Since it opened the Air Glaciers rescue service has had to help almost a dozen people in difficulty.

The via ferrata is a popular activity that attracts hundreds of enthusiasts, and it is free.

Photo: ValaisPhoto: Valais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARA SKIING & SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP DATES RELEASED

The calendars for elite competition in all the Para snowsport discipines have been announced as the athletes prepare for a big year.

"The upcoming season is a very important one, with the Winter Paralympics being held in PyeongChang, South Korea," Dimitrije Lazarovski, Head of World Para Snow Sports, said.

"All winter Para athletes have trained very hard for the past three seasons to reach the Winter Paralympics in their best possible form and deliver outstanding performances once again on the biggest stage of all.

"For that reason, we wanted to create the most diverse and competitive World Cup calendars possible, in order to give more athletes from around the globe further opportunities to compete in the highest level."

Britain has a great chance of picking up multiple medals.

The candidates include visually-impaired alpine skier, Millie Knight.

With her guide, Brett Wild, she triumphed at the World Championships, winning gold in the downhill.

At a recent talk, she inspired our editor, James Cove.

See his report (under the entry for 3rd June) in Skiing Secrets.

Millie Knight & Brett WildGB Paralympic hopefuls Millie Knight & guide Brett Wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-18 DATES

Alpine skiing

St. Moritz, Switzerland from 11-15 December; Kuhtai, Austria, from 18-21 December; Zagreb, Croatia, from 8-9 January; Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, 11-12 January; Veysonnaz, Switzerland, from 14-18 January; Tignes, France, from 21-26 January; Kimberley, Canada, from 8-11 February.

Nordic skiing

Canmore, Canada, from 9-17 December; Oberried, Germany, from 20-28 January; Vuokatti, Finland (World Cup Finals) from 2-10 February.

Snowboard

Treble Cone, New Zealand, 2 September; Landgraaf, the Netherlands, from 15-16 November; Pyha, Finland, from 30 November-2 December; Big White, Canada, from 5-12 February.

The Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 9-18 March 2018 with up to 670 athletes competing in 80 medal events across six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, snowboard, ice hockey and wheelchair curling.

WILDFIRE NEAR WHISTLER

A wildfire that broke out close to hotels in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler has been contained.

Whistler Blackcomb staff used a high-pressure water line to hold the fire as they waited for emergency crews.

About 20 firefighters tackled the blaze on Blackcomb Mountain.

Resident Chris Kent told Global News that it was "probably the closest I've ever seen a wildfire to buildings in Whistler in my 27 years living here."

Wildfires are not unusual in the US and Canada in the summer.

A massive blaze that broke out on 17th June and is still burning in Utah threatened the ski town of Brian Head, before moving away from the resort.

READ MORE:

MONDAY 3RD JULY

WINTER OLYMPICS CAN HELP RECONCILE NORTH & SOUTH KOREA - IOC HEAD

The head of the International Olympic Committee has said he appreciates the efforts of South Korea's President to involve North Korea in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

IOC PresidentThomas Bach was speaking after discussions with President Moon Jae-In about preparations for the Games next February.

But he made no specific reference to the controversial suggestion that North Korea - a totalitarian state - could host some of the skiing events or be part of a joint North-South Korea team for some events.

"The IOC appreciates very much President Moon's vision of how the Olympic Games can support dialogue and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula and beyond," he said.

The IOC has invited North Korea to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics and is supporting a number of its athletes to help them qualify.

Last week it was reported that Bach had described the idea of North-South collaboration at the Olympics was "in the spirit of Olympism".  (See our entry below for Saturday 1st July).

President Moon said: "The Olympic Winter Games can greatly assist in the reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas and peace on the Korean peninsula."

SUNDAY 2nd JULY

INVESTIGATION AS 11 PEOPLE DIE IN PAKISTAN CHAIRLIFT ACCIDENT


A cable broke on the lift in Murree in Rawalpindi.

Nine men, one woman and a child died - two others remain critically ill.

The improvised chairlift was used by villlagers to cross a ravine in the mountains in Hazara division of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

It is alleged the operator overloaded the lift and he has fled.

Accident sceneAccident scene
















SATURDAY 1ST JULY

IOC WELCOMES NORTH KOREA OLYMPIC PLAN

The head of the International Olympic Committee has given his support to the controversial idea of North Korean involvement in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

President Thomas Bach described the suggestion that there should be a unified North and South Korean team at the Games in February as being "in the spirit of Olympism".

"The Olympic Games are about understanding; they're about dialogue and they're about peace as much as they are about competition," the Korea Herald quoted Bach as saying.

The prospects of collaboration - put forward by the South Korean President - have been played down by the North Koreans.

The country's IOC member, Chang Ung, said it would be "very difficult".

South Korea's sports minister is said to want to discuss the possibility of some Olympic skiing events being held at the Masikyrong resort in North Korea.

The two countries are still technically at war.

Human rights groups say involving a totalitarian state in the Olympics would send the wrong message.

See our earlier report:

Read more at Inside The Games.

KILLINGTON SKI RESORT TO INSTALL SOLAR PANELS

USA east coast resort Killington plans to become more environmentally friendly by this summer building two solar panels.

Already the resort has purchased 100% green energy and invests in solar energy produced by larger green energy suppliers in Vermont.

The panels will produce 560 kilowatt hours of green power.

Killington has also been part of initiaves such as cow-powered gondolas, using energy generated from local dairy farms' manure.

Currently it has 12 walk-in coolers that use outside air to refrigerate food, rather than high energy consuption options.

Killington Resort celebrating Earth DayKillington Resort celebrating Earth Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACKING THE BEST

The programme 'Backing The Best' supports young talented athletes.

It has run its first workshop offering expert insight and guidance from Olympic and World Cup sports women and men.

'Backing The Best' is run by SportsAid for Sport England.

It supports those who would otherwise face difficulties progressing in their sport due to funding.

There were 70 young athletes involved in the programme's first year in 2016.

"At the workshop, athletes have the opportunity to listen to some experts that might make them just think about the space they are in right now, and their next options," SportsAid chief executive, Chris Lawler, says.


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

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

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