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NEW SKI RESORTS - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday August 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

There's a host of them being planned across the world but it'll be a while before you can try them.

If you're based in Europe most will require a bit of an effort to get to.

To be fair, some you probably won't want to bother with, though there's at least one that could be the most exciting in decades.

New ski and snowboard areas are being mooted in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea and Romania.

China is at the forefront of development with new resorts springing up all the time: the government wants to create 240 before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

But it's one in Canada that promises to be the biggest and best of the lot.

Let us introduce Valemount in British Columbia.

New ski area, Valemount Glacier Destinations, BCNew ski area - photo Valemount Glacier Destinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its aim is to become North America's first year-round ski and snowboard resort with glacier skiing above 3,000 metres and a vertical drop of more than 2,000 metres.

It's a bold objective with high-altitude summer skiing being hit by worsening glacier conditions in Europe and America.

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The $100 million Valemount development will create the biggest ski area in the whole of North America.

It is based on environmentally-sustainable design and is said to be supported by the local community.

Valemount resort base conceptValemount resort base - image Oberto Oberti Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valemount is to the west of Jasper National Park and close to the BC border with Alberta.

It's between the Cariboo Mountains to the west and the Rockies to the east.

Google maps showing location of ValemountGoogle maps showing location of Valemount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's already popular as a backcountry area for heli-skiers.

"Over the last 20 year the world's elite skiers have discovered the mountains on this side of the Rocky Mountains, and what this project does is open that now to visitors, skiers from the world and sightseers," says Jill Bodkin, Director of Valemount Glacier Destinations in a video produced by the company.

"There are very vew places in the world - none in North America - where you go and ride a lift to the very top and the glacier is below you.

"It's just going to be amazing."

We reported on the development as it was given approval by the provincial government last year:

Have a look at this for more detail of the Valemount Master Plan:

 

Major construction work is expected to start in the summer of 2018.

The developers hope the first stage will be ready in December 2018 but reports suggest it's more likely the opening will be delayed until the 2019-20 season.

The whole project is expected to take 15 to 20 years to complete.

Will it be the new Whistler?

Possibly, but its location could be an issue - it's a five-hour drive from Edmonton, the nearest major airport.

New ski area, Valemount BCNew ski area - photo Valemount Glacier Destinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And in other news.....

North Korea

A North Korean internet news site recently reported that the state's leader Kim Jong Un had ordered the construction of a small ski area near Kanggye City in Chagang Province close to the Chinese border.

If it goes ahead it will be the third ski area to be built in North Korea after Begaebong on Mount Paektu and the much-larger Masikyrong Resort, which the country has been busily trying to promote internationally with this video:

 

Not sure that convinces us.... there are certainly more stable countries to visit for your ski or snoboard fix than North Korea.

Kyrgyzstan

Hardcore skiers who've visited the central Asian country say it is an amazing place for serious backcountry touring. Now a proper ski resort is apparently being planned in Chon-Kemin though details are hard to come by.

Romania

The eastern European country currently has 28 resorts, the most popular of which are in the Transylvanian Alps. The largest and best known is Poina Brasov.

The Tourism Ministry wants to build a new one with 150km of runs in the Fagaras mountains. It's not certain this will happen since the government wants to finance it from public funds.

India

The Uttarakhand region has established a partnership with Chamonix with the aim of developing Auli, Bedni Bugyal and Gorsaon (Chamoli) as "world-class winter ski destinations".

This appears to be a long-term aim.

The Times of India reports that Uttarakhand and Chamonix will promote each other as tourist destinations as part of the deal and French companies will help the Indian region build a glass-bottomed lift.

China

We are pretty sure that China - the fastest expanding market for skiing and snowboarding in the world - will have started building a few more resorts since we started writing this article, so we're not even going to try to keep up.

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

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