JUNE’S NEWS IN BRIEF…
1st June 2017
‘Backing the Best’; supporting young talented athletes, Gulmarg gondola accident kills 7 + GB Park & Pipe interview. NEW & UPDATED
…… NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM MAY 2017
Friday 30th June
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.
Wednesday 28th June
FATAL GONDOLA ACCIDENT
More information is released following the gondola accident that killed seven last week in Gulmarg, Kashmir.
Strong winds caused a tree to topple onto the line.
Management of the lift operator has called it an ‘act of God’ and denies any violation of standard operating procedure.
“We don’t operate the gondola during high velocity winds and there is an inbuilt safety mechanism in the system that automatically stops the operation whenever there are gusty winds,” said the lift operating manager, Riyaz Ahmad.
There are various reports of the accident:
- The cabin derailed and crashed to the ground
- The glass of the car was smashed, allowing the victims to fall to the ground from a great height
The victims included a family of four, three Kashmir residents and a guide.
150 stranded others were rescued from the lift, a police statement said.
A specialist team from France will inspect the lift system that claims to be the world’s highest at 4,100m.
Tuesday 27th June
LESLEY MCKENNA – PERFORMANCE MANAGER FOR GB PARK & PIPE
At the end of May 2017, Lesley McKenna visited Matt Barr in Brighton for a fascinating interview in the ‘The Looking Sideways’ series.
Lesley McKenna is three-time Olympian and UK half-pipe champion.
She is now the Performance Manager for GB Park & Pipe.
Matt and Lesley have a frank, honest, informal chat and if you’re into snowsports it’s a definite ‘Must-Listen-To-The-End interview’, especially with the #Pyeonchang2018 Winter Olympics looming.
Lesley started her snowsports life as a skier and then became a snowboarder.
They chat about her extraordinary career and her life, and most significantly they look ahead to #Pyeonchang2018.
Matt Barr has produced the The Looking Sideways podcasts, interviewing snowsport personalities.
Other podcasts include:
Sascha Hamm (UK snowboarder & FWT competitor).
Orlando von Eisendel (Snowboarder & Oscar winner for short documentary The White Helmets).
Ed Leigh (presenter for Ski Sunday & Winter Olympic commentator). Check them out here.
Saturday 24th June
NEVER ENDING WINTER
The ‘never-ending winter’ is ‘plaguing’ the official start of summer, rescue workers from Snohmish County in Washington say.
The still-melting snowpack creates potentially dangerous conditions on mountain trails.
It is to last all season?
A rescue operation to help two hikers was carried out earlier this week in Snohomish Country.
It was the fifth rescue at the same location in a fortnight.
And it’s the same situation throughout the USA.
The weather seems perfect for summer hiking from the starting point.
But rising above the snow line conditions change: many trees are still down on trails, there can be wind, as well as ice and snow for hikers to deal with.
“We can expect to see snow on these north sides of these slopes, probably the entire season this year,” Snohomish County Search and Rescue president, Randy Fay, says.
There are problems in other regions too.
The area of Lake Tahoe is getting busy now for hiking but in many shaded or north facing areas snow can still be found.
Thawing snow and running water hampers higher paths and visitors need to take care.
Grand Teton, Wyoming, has had its rangers advise caution for visitors as the wintertime conditions in late-June may not be expected, especially at an altitude of below 2,700m.
Friday 23rd June
EX-SKI COACH GUILTY OF ABUSING STUDENTS
A former top Canadian ski coach has been found guilty of exploiting and sexually assaulting his young students.
Bernard Charest, who is 52, was convicted by a judge in Quebec of 37 charges relating to nine girls.
His crimes took place more than 20 years ago when he was training potential professional ski racers.
Some happened during his stint as with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and 1998.
The judge described him as a predator whose actions constituted an unequivocal abuse of trust and power.
Charest did not testify at his trial but his lawyer said the defendant believed the young skiers had consented to having sex with him.
He’ll be sentenced later this year.
OK FOR WINTER PARALYMPIC VENUES
The Nordic skiing courses, stadium and biathlon layouts for the next Paralympic Winter Games have been approved following a site inspection.
The OK comes after a two-year design and construction process, with changes made after the test event in March this year.
“The Paralympic courses were not included in the original venue design and construction and had to be retrofitted into the existing facility,” Race Director Len Apedaile explained.
The Paralympics will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea, from 9th to 18th March 2018, with 670 athletes competing across six sports.
Thursday 22nd June
PUBLIC TO DECIDE ON INNSBRUCK OLYMPIC BID
The people of the Austrian Tirol will get to vote on whether Innsbruck should bid to hold the Winter Olympics for a third time.
A feasibility study has painted a positive picture and, with support already secured from the Austrian government, the decision will turn on a public vote in the autumn.
If Innsbruck becomes a candidate for the 2026 Games, it will go up against Sion in neighbouring Switzerland.
Calgary in Canada, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Sapporo in Japan and Erzurum in Turkey are other possible contenders.
The feasibility study found that no permanent new buildings would be needed with competition spread around the whole Tirol.
St Anton would host the Alpine events with Hochfilzen the biathlon and Seefeld the Nordic sports.
The referendum in Tirol could take place on October 15.
Innsbruck has twice staged the Olympics – in 1964 and 1976.
It also held the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
For more details, see Inside the Games
SNOWKIDZ BIGGEST EVER
A global programme to get more children into snowsports has had its biggest season on record.
SnowKidz, set up by FIS, the International Ski Federation, sees events held in several countries.
Over the 12 months to the end of May, 1,231 events took place in 163 locations.
During the year Greece set up its first nationwide programme “Seek a Snowflake”, 12 resorts in Japan gave free season lift passes to children under the age of 12, and Sweden expanded its “Everyone on Snow” campaign, getting more than 100,000 kids involved.
“The steps made now will have an important outcome on snow sports in the future”, the FIS President, Gian Franco Kasper said.
“To see so many nationwide events and individual actions is a very positive and humbling sign for the snow sports community.”
FIS also promotes World Snow Day, an annual event intended to encourage the next generation of skiers and snowboarders.
This year, it took place on 15th January:
The next Alpine World Ski Championships are going green and plan to use no fossil fuels.
In 2019 Åre in Sweden will host the event and has joined forces with the Jämtland County government to limit the impact on the climate.
The 2019 IBU Biathlon World Championships, which will be held in Östersund in the same region, has also agreed to go fossil fuel free.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) says the commitments made will ensure the regional government and the organisers promote sustainable practices in areas such as public transport, electric vehicles and renewable energy.
“Ensuring positive legacies and showing respect for the environment are at the core of our mission and integrated in all our work, said Niklas Carlsson, the Chief Executive of Åre 2019.
“To manage the event’s impact further, we have created a structured sustainability programme and one of our priorities is limiting climate impact by reducing the event’s carbon footprint.”
The Jämtland Härjedalen region aims to become a fossil fuel free region by 2030. It is part of the so-called Green Highway, along with the neighbouring Trondelag region of Norway.
Wednesday 21st June
GOVERNING BODY RENAMED: US SKI & SNOWBOARD
The former United States Ski and Snowboard Association also ‘unveils’ its new logo.
The change looks to ‘unite athletes, members and fans as one team with a vision to be the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding’.
Words from the US Ski & Snowboard’s president and chief executive, Tiger Shaw:
“With the continuous evolution of our sports, it was important for us to have a common brand that truly represented who we are as an organisation…”
“The single, iconic mark will propel us forward as we continue to grow our sports and strive for athletic excellence.”
Experts, such as the strategic advisor at sportswear giant Nike and the marketing officer at the US Olympic Comittee, were consulted during the re-branding.
Tuesday 20th June
SCIENTISTS FEAR HUGE CHUNK OF LARSEN C ICE SHELF WILL CALVE WITHIN WEEKS
The New Scientist Journal has warned that an enormous chunk of the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula looks doomed to calve into the Weddell Sea.
It may break off within weeks.
Should it calve, it will become one of the ten largest icebergs ever recorded to fall off Antarctica.
It is primed to shed an area of more than 5000 sq km.
There has been a sudden change of direction in the 200-kilometre ice crack.
Satelite images reveal that instead of running parallel to the Weddell Sea, its large crack has now turned seawards.
The crack has extended 17 kilometres between 25 and 31 May.
Its movement has been stationary since January, but it is now 13 kilometres from the sea.
“Now that so little ice remains joining the iceberg to the ice shelf, we expect propagation to be quicker, but we really cannot know for sure how long it will take,” says Adrian Luckman of Swansea University, UK, and head of Project MIDAS, that monitors the ice shelf.
“It could be any time, maybe within weeks, or possibly months.”
“Assuming the propagation speed doesn’t diminish, the shorter distance that the crack needs to grow will presumably bring forward the detachment date,” says Richard Hindmarsh of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge.
The ice is already afloat so it will not affect sea level when it calves.
Monday 19th June
MOUTIER LEAVES BERN & JOINS JURA
In a historic referendum on Sunday 18th June, the people of Moutier voted to join the Swiss canton Jura and to leave the canton of Bern.
PlanetSKI wrote about the referendum in the post dated 14th June – below.
The result showed the division of opinion on the issue, with 2,067 people voting ‘YES’ to joining the Jura versus 1,930 who voted ‘NO’.
The narrow 51.72 percent win for the ‘YES’ campaign was an emotional victory for those who have campaigned for many years in favour of the French-speaking commune leaving German-speaking canton Bern.
The result potentially brings an end to the hugely sensitive ‘Jura question’ that has been an issue in the area for more than 70 years, though by such a slim majority tensions may continue.
Dubbed ‘Mouxit’ by the Swiss press, the decision has been seen as a triumph of democracy but has surprised the country, with some comparing it with similar nationalistic tendencies that led to the UK’s Brexit.
— SRF News (@srfnews) June 18, 2017
SWISS LIFT COMPANY NEEDS MONEY TO KEEP RUNNING
Telémorgins-Champoussin SA, which runs some lifts on the Swiss side of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area, needs to find 1.8 million Swiss Francs (almost £1.5 million) by the end of July to continue operating.
A statement on its website says it is in advanced negotiations with its creditors including local councils, cantons and financial institutions.
The company had originally been given a deadline of 30th June to meet its debts but has been granted an extra 30 days.
So far it’s raised CHF 900,000 (about £720,000) and has set up a link on its website for donations.
The lifts at Morgins and Champoussin will be closed this summer, though there will still be access to the Portes du Soleil area.
Earlier this year the Swiss ski resort of Saas Fee launched a successful crowd-funding campaign which offered bidders huge discounts on a next season’s lift pass:
NEW BOSS FOR WHISTLER
Pete Sonntag takes charge after Vail Resorts buys the Canadian resort.
It was sold for £1bn back in August last year as we reported at the time:
For a full story on who the new man is and what challenges are in his in-tray then see this related PlanetSKI story:
Sunday 18th June
SKI TOWN THREATENED BY WILDFIRE
A fast-moving wildfire in Utah has forced the evacuation of a ski town.
Town marshals ordered the population of Brian Head to leave after the blaze threatened the populated area.
It had already engulfed 350 acres in just a few hours on Saturday afternoon.
Up to 750 residents and visitors were forced to abandon their properties and the fire was still raging late on Saturday night.
For a full and updated report see our article:
Saturday 17th June
HIKERS INJURED BY CHARGING COWS, ONE FATAL
It looks like hikers are going to have to keep a wary eye on grazing cows when they trek through fields.
Two incidences took place last weekend where rampaging cows attacked hikers in both the Swiss Jura and in the Austrian Tirol.
One hiker in the Austrian Alps was fatally injured on 7th June when a cow charged at her, say local police.
The victim and her friend were walking their dogs through fields in the TIrol when the attack happened, reports the Tiroler Tageszeitung.
“One or several cows” charged, a police source told the Austria Press Agency (APA), killing the local hiker.
Her companion was unharmed.
The exact circumstances of Wednesday’s incident are not known.
A few days earlier a similar incident occurred in Switzerland.
A hiker was left with broken ribs and vertebrae after she was attacked by a herd of cows.
The 54-year-old woman was out walking with her dog in Chevenez in the canton of Jura on Saturday, Le Matin reports.
Trying to avoid walking through long grass, she left the path and entered a fenced off field where a herd of around 20 cows was grazing.
The cows attacked the woman.
She was left with three broken vertebrae and eight broken ribs.
Despite her injuries she managed to clamber under the electric fence escaping from the cows.
She lay there for five hours before she was rescued, with some help from her dog.
“We went out to look for her and found her dog who took us back to her. Without him she would be dead,” said the couple with whom the injured woman had been staying the weekend.
The dog may also have been part of the problem.
The village’s mayor Michel Baconat spoke to Le Matin warning that walkers should not take dogs into fields with cows especially if there are calves.
“For a cow that is protecting its calves, a dog is a predator,” he said.
“The problem is that when the dog is attacked, it returns to its owner and the cows chasing close behind”.
Thankfully the cows had been de-horned!
He said the woman would probably have been gorged to death if the cows that attacked her hadn’t been de-horned.
The injured woman was taken by air rescue helicopter to hospital in Basel.
So hikers be warned:
- Don’t stray off the path
- Keep your dogs on a lead in a field full of cows
- Don’t get between a cow and her calf
Friday 16th June
PARTS OF CALIFORNIA STILL CLEARING SNOW
As the summer tourist season approaches in California (as if summer isn’t already here!), part of Yosemite National Park is still working through winter conditions.
Crews have been ploughing snow and clearing rocks to allow access to the area.
Much of the Sierra Nevada is still covered in snow after an insane season in the west of (and throughout) the USA.
Thursday 15th June
FINALLY FREE OF HIGH PHONE CHARGES WHEN TRAVELLING ABROAD
Well, not absolutely free, but we’re free of the extortionate extra costs, the limits and roaming charges our phone companies have held over us while travelling.
As of today there will be no roaming charges in countries across Europe and beyond.
This means that when on holiday we can use texts, minutes and data on our phones and tablets as if at home for no extra cost.
After years of suggesting this will be pushed through, 15th June is the day! Goodbye roaming fees…
14 DIE IN USA AS SNOW MELTS
The huge amounts of snow that fell last winter in the US mountains are melting with rivers turning into raging torrents.
In California, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming some rivers are highly swollen.
They have become a tourist attraction with people getting too close and being caught as the river levels rise.
12 of the 14 have died in California.
This year’s velocity of the Merced River that runs through the Yosemite Valley in California is similar to a runaway freight train according to experts.
“You step out in front of it, it’s going to take you,.You’re not going to stop that, and that’s what people need to get their heads around,” said Moose Mutlow of the Yosemite Swift Water Rescue Team.
A 50-year-old man is believed to have drowned at Yosemite after falling into the Merced River from a winding trail.
His body has not been found.
The snowfalls in California have ended a 4-year drought that caused deep worries and water control measures.
Wednesday 14th June
SWISS REFERENDUM – WILL MOUTIER REMAIN IN BERN OR MOVE TO JURA?
You can see from the map below, Moutier is currently within the boundary of Bern but it sits firmly on the border of Jura.
On 18 June the people from the commune of Moutier will decide in a referendum if it should remain in the Canton of Bern or move over to Jura.
The Jura canton was created on New Year’s Day in 1994.
It is the newest of the 26 Swiss Cantons and is situated in NW part of Switzerland.
It was a big moment for a passionate separatist movement that had wished for a long time to see the area get its independence.
The Jura was created to help ease on going tensions related to language, religion and a culture divide which are generally regarded as the ‘Jura Question’.
The potential for serious conflict has been simmering since 1815.
However the question of Moutier remains unresolved, and it will be decided on 18 June.
VERBIER SPORTS BURNS DOWN
So sad that the Verbier Sport Centre has burnt to the ground.
Later this week our reporter in the resort, Catie Friend, will be touring the site and seeing what may rise from the ashes.
Check back for that later in the week.
Rather oddly 4-days after the blaze Verbier has released its summer press pack with full details of the Sports Centre as if nothing had happened:
Here at PlanetSKI we are checking the full details of the damage and will let you know as soon as we hear.
“After a gradual yet complete transformation, the “Centre Sportif” in Verbier is set to become a fun, modern sports and leisure venue.
The first new features will be unveiled this summer with the opening of the multi- purpose indoor arena suitable for basketball, indoor hockey, volleyball, badminton and tchoukball.
As well as two squash courts, the new building houses one indoor and five outdoor tennis courts on the roof of the building for those who like racket sports.
The centre also has an indoor climbing wall.
The old wing of the centre will then be closed this summer to allow the renovation work to continue.
The swimming pools will still be open to holidaymakers.
Once the refurbishment has been completed, this part of the building will become the ultimate place for health, fitness and leisure; housing a gym, 25m pool, children’s pool, water slides and wellness area covering more than 500m2.”
Tuesday 13th June
BEIJING 2022 ADVANCES SUSTAINABILITY PLANS
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission has reported advancement in Beijing’s sustainability and legacy plans, seen during its second trip to China today to review preparation for the Olympic Winter Games.
“Since our last visit, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee has made good progress in its preparations for sustainable Olympic Winter Games that will benefit the city, region and country for decades to come,” Commission Chair Alexander Zhukov said.
“It is very clear that the Chinese organisers have taken care to implement the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 throughout their preparations to host the Olympic Winter Games.”
Many sites are being repurposed, such as the Capital Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Arena from the Olympic Games in 2008.
HIGH SCORES FOR REFURBISHED CHAMBERY AIRPORT
It celebrated its millionth passenger a few years ago and €10m is being spent upgrading the airport over 16-years.
- A revised queuing system
- Improved check-in facilities
- Reorganised passport control and security flow.
This lead to Crystal Ski Holidays customers’ scoring the airport experience as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
“We always strive to improve our customers’ experience and are delighted that reviewing our flying programme coupled with the work our partners at Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc Airport have done, has made a 10% change for the better,” said the GM for France, Switzerland and Andorra Crystal Ski Holidays, Nial McLean.
“Together, we are now providing a good platform for a stress-free start and end to our customers’ ski holiday and will continue to improve even more in the next few years,” McLean added.
For the winter season 2017/18, Crystal adds three new routes from the UK to Chambery – Doncaster, Exeter and Luton.
BEIJING 2022 TO STAGE SNOWBOARDING BIG AIR
Coordination Commission chairman Alexander Zhukov has backed a proposal from Beijing 2022 to hold snowboard big air competitions at the Winter Olympic Games.
Big air was added to the Olympic programme for next year’s Games in Pyeongchang in June 2015, but plans still require the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Beijing 2022 have put forward staging events in an area of the city which is currently being renovated, located in the Shijingshan district and is to be inspected today.
All other snowboarding events at the 2022 Games are to be staged at the Genting Ski Resort in Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, 160km from Beijing.
Should the big air plans be accepted, the event will join curling, ice hockey and the various skating disciplines in being staged in the capital city.
“Using the old facilities and using the sports centres from Beijing 2008 is one of the main ideas of this Olympic Games,” Zhukov added.
Sunday 11th June
FORMER TOP GEAR PRESENTER IN CAR CRASH IN SWISS ALPS
47-year old Richard Hammond is in hospital after crashing a £2m supercar near St Gallen.
He was pulled from the wreckage and shortly after it burst into flames.
He has a fractured knee and other injuries but is lucky to have escaped without further harm.
The car, a Rimac Concept One, is an electronic vehicle that can reach speeds of almost 200mph.
The first video of the crash has now been posted on social media:
Later on Sunday, Richard Hammond was in high spirits in his hospital bed, and according to his Instagram post below, he said, “I AM NOT DEAD”.
He was waiting for a knee operation for a ‘Swiss Army Knee”, and in his post he apologises to his wife and daughters.
He was filming for his new programme, The Grand Tour, that he presents with Jeremy Clarkson and James May for Amazon.
“Richard Hammond was involved in a serious crash after completing the Hemburg Hill Climb in Switzerland in a Rimac Concept One, an electric super car built in Croatia, during filming for The Grand Tour Season 2 on Amazon Prime, but very fortunately suffered no serious injury,” said a spokeswoman from Amazon.
Saturday 10th June
HIGHEST PAVED ROAD IN ALPS OPENS
The Col de l’Iseran above Val d’Isere is at 2,770m and it has opened for the summer with improvements planned.
This year marks the road’s 80th birthday.
This summer the parking area at the top of the pass and footpaths are to be upgraded.
The work takes place in two phases.
This year sees improvements to the parking for bikes and motorbikes.
In summer 2018 the work will be extended to the main car park, restaurant terrace, toilets, and the area around the chapel.
SUMMER ON THE COL DE L’ISERAN
- Skiing on the Pissaillas glacier (at 3400 m) from June 10
- Iserane – road cycling event on June 25th as the Iseran pass road is closed to traffic, allowing cyclists to freely climb the 920m from the resort to the top of the pass.
- Reborn, the Chamois Rally on July 1 and 2:â€¨ In 2016, some 500 enthusiastic motorcyclists from all over the world climbed the col in a recreation of the original rally. This summer they are gathering once again.
- The High Trail Vanoise, July 7 – 9:â€¨ It is made up of five different routes for trail runners of all levels: the Vertical Kilometre up the Face de Bellevarde, Le Grand Parcours (67km and 5400 vertical metres), Le Trail des 6 Cols (39km, 3200 vertical metres), Les Balcons de Val d’Isère (18km, 1300 vertical metres), and there’s even a trail for kids.
- Explore the Col de L’Iseran:â€¨Come and search for high altitude flora with a mountain guide. You can reach the col by free shuttle bus, and the one-hour Flower Tour takes place every Thursday from July 20 to August 17.
- On August 2, the Iseran chapel will be open all day, with the opportunity for motorbikers and cyclists to have their machines blessed!
Thursday 8th June
VAIL RESORTS CLOSE $50M DEAL TO ACQUIRE STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT IN VERMONT
It is the first resort on the east coast to be acquired by the US resort owner.
“We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts,” wrote Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in a statement to The Denver Post newspaper.
“With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders, and we look forward to continuing to enhance the experience for all of our guests.”
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Stowe to our family of world-class resorts, and to offer our Epic Pass, Epic Local, Epic 7-Day, and Epic 4-Day Pass holders exceptional experiences,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
“With the addition of Stowe, the Epic Pass provides guests access to the East Coast’s most iconic skiing, as well as unlimited, unrestricted access to the best of the West – including Vail, Breckenridge, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb, among many additional world-renowned destination resorts throughout North America.”
Wednesday 7th June
VONN UNLIKELY TO RACE AGAINST THE MEN
An official from the International Ski Federation seems to have poured cold water on the US skier’s desire to race again the men.
Lindsey Vonn has been asking to compete against men since 2012.
Her idea has not been viewed favourably.
Now she has re-iterated her desire but the FIS chief race director for women’s Alpine events, Atle Skaardal, has said “It will be a very difficult challenge to find a reasonable way of doing this.”
He also says that if she wants to race again the men then the men should be allowed to race again the women in order to give equal rights for everyone.
“I’m not sure this is a direction we want to go. I see it as a very difficult topic,” he added.
TOP STORIES ON PLANETSKI:
CANADIAN CLIMBER FALLS 20M INTO CREVASSE
The 58-year old was skiing down the main route on the Coleman glacier on Mt Baker when he fell.
His colleagues managed to pull him out and then the rescue services took over and transported him to hospital.
He has head, rib and wrist injuries according to local reports.
Last month two snowmobilers were rescued by a US Navy helicopter crew after they fell into a crevasse on Mt Baker.
Neither suffered serious injuries.
Mt Baker is an active volcano in Washington state.
It is 3,286m tall.
LEGAL CHALLENGE TO ASPEN DEAL
A stockholder in Intrawest Resort Holdings Inc. has filed a legal challenge to the recent deal that saw the acquisition of Intrawest by affiliates of Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital Partners.
The stockholder claims Intrawest’s top executives and board of directors “failed to conduct a sufficient and robust review of strategic alternatives.”
Aspen it snapped up a number of ski resorts to set itself up as the main rival to Vail Resorts.
The lawsuit noted that prior to the merger, Intrawest’s stock was trading at $25.50 per share yet the deal was for $23.75 per share.
For more details then see the full story here.
Sunday 4th June
OLYMPIC PRESIDENT DISMISSES CRITICISM
Thomas Bach has said criticisms of his handing of the Russian Olympic doping scandal is an attempt to “personally discredit” him.
Two IOC-commissioned investigations are currently underway following the McLaren Report’s evidence of institutional doping.
It implicated over 1,000 Russian athletes at events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Thomas Bach hopes that both Commissions will have delivered their results before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics next February so the build-up to the Games is clear.
For full details of the latest story see this article in the web site Inside The Games
Saturday 3rd June
SURF PIONEER DIES
Jack O’Neill has died aged 94.
He opened his first surf shop in San Francisco in 1952 and went on the popularise the use of the neoprene wet suit.
His company became one of the surf brands in the world.
“All I wanted to do was surf, and when I opened that shop in my garage, I thought I would have a few guys there to sell suits and have guys to surf with,” he said. “Nobody is more surprised than I am about how this business has grown.”
Thursday 1st June
VOTING OPENS TODAY FOR EVIE PINCHING AWARD
It’s time to cast your vote for the year’s most promising young snowsports athlete.
The Ski Club of Great Britain has put together a shortlist of six skiers and snowboarders who are in with a chance of winning the Evie Pinching Award.
The award celebrates the next generation of snowsports athletes, aged 24 and under, who are considered ‘ones-to-watch’ in their discipline.
The winning athlete will be awarded a one-off bursary of £1,000 for the year to help with their training and competitions. This year the winner will also have the opportunity to take part in Swiss-Ski athlete training camps in the run up to the 2018 season.
The nominated athletes are:
- Thomas Gerken Schofield – (19) – Moguls
- Ellie Souter (16) – Freeride & Freestyle Snowboard Boardercross
- Laurie Taylor (20) – Alpine skiing
- Kirsty Muir (13) – Freestyle skiing
- James Whitley (19) – Parasnowsports Standing skiing
- Cal Sandieson (19) – Freestyle skiing
To find out more about all six athletes’ achievements and to vote, visit the Ski Club of GB website.
The award is named after Evelyn Pinching, Britain’s first ski World Champion, who won both the Downhill and Combined events at the 1936 World Championships in Innsbruck at the age of 21.
Previous winners include freestyle snowboarder Katie Ormerod who has gone on to win World Cup and X Games medals and visually impaired skier Menna Fitzpatrick who won medals in both World Cup and World Championship GS & Super G in 2017.
The athletes were nominated by British Ski and Snowboard and the individual national governing bodies with the shortlist chosen by the Ski Club.
Voting opens on 1st June at noon and closes on 14th June at 2359hrs.
The athlete with the most votes after the two-week period will receive the Evie Pinching Award, which is supported by the Swiss Embassy and Switzerland Tourism.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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