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AUGUST NEWS IN BRIEF
Tuesday August 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Hard Rock Cafe for Davos, Marcel Hirscher injured in training, lucky avalanche escape at Mt Hutt + Snowmass cannabis shops? NEW & UPDATED

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM JULY 2017

 

 

SATURDAY 19TH AUGUST

HARD ROCK CAFE TO OPEN IN DAVOS

The global burger bar, Hard Rock Cafe, will be opening in Davos this December.

It will be taking over the 130-year old building that was the Spenglers Hotel in Davos, positioned close to the railway station.

It is currently being renovated to include the rock paraphanelia that the franchise is best known for, but it won't be an oasis of calm or tranquility.

It promises to be a true Hard Rock hotel enticing guests with rock music.

Guests will be allowed to set  the mood with complimentary vinyl players and records or they will be able to rock out on a Fender guitar during in-room jamming sessions, complete with amp and head phones.

It appears that more Hard Rock Cafe sites are proposed for the mountains with new venues in Innsbruck and Andorra la Vella.

Hard Rock International (HRI) is currently found in 75 countries, including 176 Cafes, 24 hotels, and 11 casinos.

The first Hard Rock Cafe opened in London on 14th June 1971.


THURSDAY 17TH AUGUST

MARCEL HIRSCHER INJURED DURING TRAINING

Six time World Cup ski champion, Marcel Hirscher was injured today while training on the Moelltaler glacier.

He broke his left ankle on his first day back on skis.

The 28-year-old Austrian will be in a cast for six weeks and although he did not require an operation there was no indication when he would be able to ski again.

The new season, starts on 29th October with the Giant Slalom in Soelden in Austria.

His injury  does not bode well for the the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.

He seemed upbeat on Facebook, commenting with the video he posted below, that "The next ski day has to wait a bit..."

We wish Marcel a speedy recovery.

Hirscher also posted the following image on Twitter, with the ironic caption "Time for a break".


LUCKY ESCAPE AT MT HUTT NZ

Hennie Murray and his mates were lucky to escape unscathed after an avalanche half-buried their vehicle while driving along the Mt Hutt access road on Wednesday.

The avalanche pushed Murray's car close to the cliff edge.

There were around 20 cars in a convoy leaving Canterbury's Mt Hutt skifield, that was struck by a snowstorm on Wednesday afternoon.

The following video was taken by Hennie Murray from the inside of his car.

 

GOING TO POT?

Skiers and snowboarders heading to Snowmass in Colorado might soon be able to buy cannabis.

The town council is to ask locals what they think about pot shops being allowed in the village.

Colorado state law allows the sale of small amounts of the drug for personal use and "marijuana dispensaries" can be found in some ski areas, including Breckenridge.


Breckenridge, ColoradoPot shop, Breckenridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Aspen Times is reporting that a questionnaire will be sent out seeking views before the council meets to discuss the idea.

It quotes town manager Clint Kinney saying that Aspen Skiing Co., which part owns the Base Village, is against pot shops and the only option might be to have them in Snowmass Village Center.

Read more in The Aspen Times.

TUESDAY 15TH AUGUST

DETAILS OF INNSBRUCK WINTER OLYMPICS BID GIVEN

Officials behind the potential Innsbruck bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have been giving more details of their plans.

Inside the Games reports that they include the possibility of staging some events over the border in Germany.

The Austrian Olympic Committee says Inzell, which is 20 km across the border, is the preferred site for speed skating.

It would allow the Games to stick to their promise of using existing infrastructure to cut costs.

Christmas marketInnsbruck, capital of Tirol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other events would be spread across the whole of the Austrian Tirol.

St Anton has been chosen for the Alpine competitions with Hochfilzen and Seefeld staging biathlon and Nordic sports respectively.

The proposal to bid for the 2026 games - the third to be held in Innsbruck - will go to a public vote on 15th October.

It's already received the support of the Austrian government.

For the full story read Inside The Games.

SATURDAY 12TH AUGUST

100 YEARS OLD & PERFECTLY PRESERVED

In this case we're talking about fruitcake found in Antarctica that seems to be perfectly preserved and possibly still edible, though we don't think anyone has tried it yet.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators found the 100 year old fruitcake among the artefacts from Cape Adare.

Made by Huntley & Palmers, and said to be one of Robert Falcon Scott's favourites, the fruitcake is still wrapped in paper and encased in the remains of a tin-plated iron alloy tin.

The cake probably dates to the Cape Adare-based Northern Party of Scott's Terra Nova expedition (1910 - 1913).

It has been documented that Scott took this particular brand of cake with him at that time.

Although the tin was in poor condition, the conservation team said "the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible"

Conservation Manager for Artefacts Lizzie Meek said "Finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise. It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice."

Conservators have been excavating artefacts in the hut since May 2016, and have unearthed some 1,500 items.

They include tools and clothing, and - according to Ms Meek - some "badly deteriorated" meat and fish, and "rather nice-looking" jams.

Everything they find - fruitcake included - is restored and returned to its original resting place.

Fruit cake found at Cape Adare thought to be from Scott's Northern Party (1911)Fruitcake found at Cape Adare thought to be from Scott's Northern Party (1911)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huntley and Palmer's fruit cake in wrapperHuntley and Palmer's fruitcake in wrapper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit cake tin after conservation treatmentFruitcake tin after conservation treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO GERMAN CLIMBERS DIE ON MONT BLANC

The two men went missing on Tuesday as they attempted to climb the 4,248-metre Mont Blanc du Tacul in France.

They were in their 40s.

Their bodies have been recovered and it is believed they froze to death as the weather changed suddenly.

Reports say they had taken the difficult "Devil's Ridge" route.

Their names have not been released as next of kin are informed.  

FRIDAY 11th AUGUST

JAPAN RESORT JOINS MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE

Niseko is the latest resort to become a global affiliate of Mountain Collective.

The organisation has reciprocal lift ticket deals with 20 resorts, mostly in North America.

Passholders  receive a free two-day lift pass at all partnered ski resorts and also get 50% off additional single-day lift passes at the 16 Collective Destinations.

Participating Resorts
Collective Destinations


Alta Ski Area (USA) Aspen Snowmass (USA) Jackson Hole (USA) Mammoth Mountain (USA)
Snowbasin Resort (USA) Snowbird (USA) Squaw Valley (USA) Sugarbush (USA)
Sun Valley (USA) Taos Ski Valley (USA) Telluride Ski Resort (USA) Banff Sunshine (CAN)
Lake Louise (CAN) Revelstoke (CAN) Coronet Peak (NZ) Thredbo (AUS)
Global Affiliates



Niseko United (JPN) Hakuba Valley (JPN) Valle Nevade (CL) Chamonix (FR)








 
The Mountain Collective is a rival to the Epic Pass offered by Vail Resorts that also has a number of international resorts in its portfolio.    

Niseko joins Mountain CollectiveNiseko joins Mountain Collective






















THURSDAY 10th AUGUST
 

US SKI RESORT FINED AFTER SKI PATROLLER DEATH

The Californian resort of Squaw Valley has been fined more than $20,000 after 42-year old Joe Zuiches died as he was detonating avalanches last January following a heavy snowfall.

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health has cited and fined Squaw Valley Ski Holdings for violating two workplace safety codes.

Here at PlanetSKI we reported on his death at the time  
He died when one of his charges exploded.

It was a hand held charge that contained ammonium nitrate.  

The resort was fined for  "failing to ensure that all crewmembers maintained visual contact or awareness of physical location of crewmembers at all times during avalanche control activities" and "failing to correct an identified unsafe working condition by implementing a procedure for protection against the workplace hazards associated with hang cord entanglement during hang cord blasting operations."

Squaw ValleySquaw Valley









   





IS A FINE GOOD ENOUGH?


As investigations continue into Russia's doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics there are calls for stricter punishments than just a fine.

The Athlete Committee of the World Ant-Doping Agency  says fining Russia rather than restricting  its  participation at next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang would be a "superficial gesture" rather than a genuine punishment.

Sochi 2014Sochi 2014





















WEDNESDAY 9TH AUGUST

100TH BIRTHDAY OF SWITZERLAND'S HIGHEST REFUGE

The highest mountain refuge in Switzerland has celebrated its centenary.

The Solvay Hut - or bivouac - is perched precariously at 4,003 metres altitude on the Hörnli ridge of the Matterhorn.

Solvay HutSolvay Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Hörnligrat is the most common route to the summit.

The famous mountain has claimed many lives since the first ascent was made 150 years ago and the hut was built in response to the tragedies.

It's named after the Belgian climber and philanthropist, Ernest Solvay, who donated CHF 20,000 for its construction.

The process of building it in such a remote location was difficult and dangerous.

Building the Solvay hutBuilding the Solvay Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The workmen toiled for hours wearing simple studded shoes on terrain where the slightest inattention could be fatal.

The only accident was a dislocated shoulder.

The hut was completed in two months in August 1915 but bad weather delayed the opening.

It was officially inaugurated two years later on 8th August 1917.

Solvay hutThe completed Solvay Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally the hut was for use only in an emergency but now it provides overnight accommodation for between 400 and 600 mountaineers every year.

Bruno Jelk, a mountain rescuer from Zermatt for 35 years, has been called out to help 1,600 mountaineers of whom 262 died.

He says that whenever there is a storm at noon, he knows there'll be work for him as people find themselves stuck on the ridge with not enough time to descend.

"We would have a lot fewer problems if the Matterhorn didn't exist at all!" he told the Swiss Alpine Club.

Solvay HutSolvay Hut

 




















Information from the Swiss Alpine Club website where you can find more details of the history of the hut (in French).


TUESDAY 8TH AUGUST

POLICE OFFICERS SACKED FOR FAKE EVEREST CLAIM

Two police officers have been sacked after an inquiry found their claim to be the first Indian couple to climb Everest was fake.

Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod said last year that they had successfully reached the summit of the world's highest mountain.

The BBC reports that police in Maharashtra state said on Monday the couple had "morphed photographs" to show a successful ascent.

The inquiry was launched after the pair's claims were questioned by other climbers.

Nepalese authorities imposed a 10 year mountaineering ban last summer on the couple.

READ MORE:
The Nepal tourism department had initially certified their ascent but rescinded that decision after conducting its own investigation.

Not quite as it seemsNot quite as it seems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A photograph presented as "proof" of the couple's successful summit was claimed by another climber who said it had been doctored.

There was also suspicion that the couple could not have reached the summit at 8,850 metres so soon after arriving at base camp.

For more on this story, see the BBC website.

NO "CURRENT PLANS" FOR TORCH RELAY TO VISIT NORTH KOREA

The organisers the South Korea Winter Olympics have played down reports suggesting that the Olympic Torch relay could visit North Korea.

Pyeongchang 2018 has told Inside The Games that the secretive state is not part of "current plans".

South Korean media reported that the North could feature on the Winter Olympic Relay route, despite heightened tensions in the region.

On Saturday the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea aimed at reducing the country's export revenues by a third.

It follows the country's repeated missile tests.

North Korea has said it intends to continue with its nuclear and ballistic missiles programme.

Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, has called for North Korean participation at Pyeongchang 2018 in recent months, insisting that the door will remain open "until the very last minute".

Officials are keen to ensure Northern participation as a means to show the unifying power of sport at a time when relations are increasingly strained politically.

The Korea Herald said an anonymous source, reportedly close to Pyeongchang 2018's preparations, had revealed that the Relay could visit North Korea's capital Pyongyang or Mount Kumkang, a mountain resort located close to the South Korean border.

But Pyeongchang 2018 told Inside The Games that North Korea was not currently part of Torch Relay plans, however, although officials are hopeful that their neighbour will have some in the Games.

MONDAY 7TH AUGUST

VOLUNTEER FOR A NIGHT

Heard of the Match Stick Productions (MSP) film premieres before?

Well there's to be a national tour of MSP film Drop Everything.

It's the result of a partnership of Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) and Holmland Events.

DSUK need representatives at the screenings and are looking for volunteers.

It means a free ticket to the screening event and the work is to collect donations and to meet and interact with the guests.

Screenings run 7pm - 10pm.
Dates & venues
  • Thursday 2nd November 2017  Ham Yard Theatre, London
  • Tuesday 7th November 2017  The Cameo Picturehouse, Edinburgh
  • Wednesday 8th November  2017  The Grosvenor Cinema, Glasgow
  • Tuesday 14th November 2017  Printworks, Manchester
  • Wednesday 15th November 2017  Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham 
Volunteering for any of the screenings and get in touch by Friday 25th August - Email fundraising here


DROP EVERYTHING Official Trailer 4k from mspfilms on Vimeo.


FRIDAY 4TH AUGUST

CAIRNGORM CLEAR-UP

The Scottish mountain is being cleared of the remains of old, unsightly and unused ski lifts this summer.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which owns Cairngorm and its funicular railway, has contracted Aviemore based civil and environmental engineering firm, McGowan Limited to remove 24 chairlift towers in Coire na Ciste, which have been derelict since 2005.

The company will also remove cables, access ramps, motors, lift huts and snowfencing in a project costing £267,000.

Concrete bases at the former White Lady T-Bar, Aonach Poma and Fiacaill T-Bar lift lines are going too.

Items removed from the site will be recycled where possible and proceeds from the sale of scrap metal will be donated to a local charity involved in promoting skiing to people with disabilities.

Cairngorm MountainCairngorm Mountain
























"This work will significantly enhance the appearance of Cairngorm and thereby contribute to the wider future success of the mountain as a year-round tourism attraction," Keith Bryers, HIE's head of property and infrastructure, said.

Janette Jansson, General Manager at CairnGorm Mountain, said: "We are extremely pleased that this significant programme of work will shortly begin.

"This package of works allows for a cost effective and time efficient way to remove historical and redundant infrastructure from the ski area, much of which could pose a risk to public safety and negatively impacts the appearance of the mountain."

A Cairngorm Mountain blog will be regularly updated to reflect progress on site.

THURSDAY 3RD AUGUST

SKIING BENEFITS CHEAT JAILED

Mark Lloyd, who went skiing in the Alps and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro while claiming he could not walk more than 50 metres has been jailed for 20 weeks.

The former paratrooper, of Ynysybwl, Rhondda Cynon Taff, also competed in a triathlon and took part in the World Powerboat Championships.

He received more than £6,500 in Personal Independence Payments after saying a slipped disc in his back left him in agony.

He was convicted of fraud in July and sentenced today.

The BBC reports that District Judge Martin Brown said Lloyd "exaggerated grossly" his condition, while taking part in "a number of gruelling events".

He had "no basis" for claiming benefits.

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

He will serve half of his 20-week sentence in prison.

For the full story, see the BBC News website.

WEDNESDAY 2ND AUGUST

CHRIS FROOME TO PROMOTE WINTER OLYMPICS

Britain's Chris Froome, the four-time Tour de France winning cyclist, is doing his bit to promote the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

He's to take part in the second L'Etape Korea by Le Tour de France, an event for amateur cyclists which takes place between the South Korean capital Seoul and PyeongChang in October.

The race is on a 160 kilometres course.

The South Korean marketing firm WAGTI says the presence of Froome, who has won four of the last five editions of the Tour de France, including this year's, will help raise awareness of PyeongChang 2018.

It will be the second year that 32-year-old Froome, a double Olympic bronze medallist in the time trial at London 2012 and Rio 2016, has taken part in the event.

He also rode in last year's L'Etape.

Froome at 2016 L'Etape Korea - photo WAGTIFroome at 2016 L'Etape Korea - photo WAGTI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on Chris Froome's upcoming racing schedule, see Inside The Games

TUESDAY 1ST AUGUST

GB'S SARSFIELD BOOSTED BY NEW SPONSOR

With the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics just around the corner, eight-times British ski cross champion Emily Sarsfield has a new sponsor for the coming winter.

Construction company ABC will back Emily, who is aiming to break into the world top 10.

"I am so excited and motivated by the new support" Sarsfield has said.

"Having ABC on board is a dream come true, it allows me to focus 100% as an athlete.

"I can finally be on a level playing field with my peers and put my all into making GB proud.

"It's been a tough road to get here, but I'm determined and looking forward to the journey ahead with #TeamABC!"

Emily SarsfieldEmily Sarsfield





















FAREWELL MONT GELÉ

Verbier's oldest lift installation, built in 1960, has run for the last time.  

The Mont Gelé cable car, believed to be the first of its kind to give access to off-piste only, will be replaced after they knock down the entire lift station and start again.

Reportedly costing 6 million Swiss Francs, the new cable car will still only carry 45 people, limiting the number of powder hounds to 400 per hour.  

This new lift is hoped to be in place by December 2017. 

PlanetSKI has so many fond memories of the lift as well as the itinerary and freeride terrain it leads to. 

In fact, you could almost never get on it without sharing the small, sweaty space with some of the world's best freeriders.

"In one season alone I was there, on separate occasions, with Xavier de le Rue, Sam Smoothy and Geraldine Fasnacht," said PlanetSKI's  reporter in the resort, Catie Friend.

"Then there is the time it wasn't running and she was intrepid enough to climb to the top in ski boots and ski down, but that is a story for another day," added Catie. 

Our editor, James Cove, also has many fond memories.

"The runs off Mont Gelé are some of my favourites in the Alps.  It is perhaps my favourite lift. There are so many challenges up there and I remember skiing down the front face with my daughter Tashie when she was 16. She is 21 now but still talks about that day as her first real day of freeriding!," said James.

Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier


























Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier


























Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier




 






























"And when it was closed I have booted up the first section of the front face many times to get some powder turns in.  Often with my son, Alex," added James.     

Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier


























Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier



























Mont Gele, VerbierMont Gele, Verbier



























NEW FLIGHT TO COLORADO SKI RESORTS


A new route from United is to start operating from March 2018 from London Heathrow to Denver in Colorado.

It will give people the chance to squeeze in some late season turns in some of the best resorts in the USA including Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, Arapahoe Basin and many others.  

Many of the resorts are open into April with generally good late season snow. 

It will be a Boeing 77-8 Dreamliner with 219 seats - 36 flat bed seats in business class, 70 Economy Plus seats and 113 in Economy.

The Dreamliner was 30% larger windows more overhead bin space and a filtration system that keeps cabin air cleaner with increased oxygen levels that apparently reduces fatigue and jet lag.

Late season turns?Late season turns?








"Be great for some late season Colorado skiing deals," said Jim Odoire who represents the resort of Aspen.  

See here for when PlanetSKI visited Aspen last winter on a 4-week North America road trip.  

And the links below as we visited some of the other resorts in Colorado - we passed through the state twice on the trip.

GB COULD WIN 7  MEDALS ON SNOW AT 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS

That's according to the  British Ski and Snowboard performance director Dan Hunt.

 "I'm confident this will be our most successful Winter Olympics ever," said Hunt.

"We feel we have five to seven athletes with medals opportunities."

Pyeongchang in South Korea will stage the Games from 9-25 February 2018.

Britain's best haul in all disciplines at a Winter Olympics is four, in 1924 and 2014.

His remarks were recently reported on the BBC
.

Here on PlanetSKI we have been following the progress of all our snowsports athletes and the team closely in recent months:


Selection for Team GB will be finalised on 24 January, with 24 snowsports athletes having already achieved the Olympic qualifying standard.  

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.
 
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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

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