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MAY SKIING SECRETS
Tuesday May 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Winter opens in NZ with free skiing on Friday, here's some pond skim, cannabis to be used in Olympic sliding track, disappearing snow means animal evolution harmed + Montana ski resort for sale. NEW & UPDATED

 

See here for a flavour of what it is all about from last month's ramble.

 

THURSDAY 31ST MAY

FREE SKIING AT MT RUAPEHU ON FRIDAY 1ST JUNE

Mt Ruapehu is celebrating the start of winter tomorrow with free skiing and snowboarding at Happy Valley.

The New Zealand ski area was set to open on Saturday June 2nd, but it is bending to public pressure and opening a day earlier.

In recent days it has had massive dumps of snow that have led to many requests from the public to open earlier.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive Ross Copland commented, "We've listened and will be offering a free taster in Happy Valley on Friday, so there will be no charges for lift passes to ski from 11am–2pm."

It is the first commercial ski area to open in New Zealand.

Ross Copland continued, "With our snowmaking technology and a big boost from mother nature, which has blanketed Whakapapa ski area with snow over the past week or so, it should make for fantastic early season skiing."

"We're not ruling out an early opening of Turoa as well if this weather keeps delivering snow and cold temperatures."

It's official ... New Zealand about to open for winter snowsports.

Watch this space... 😎

TUESDAY 29TH MAY

Now this is what we call a pond skim.

As done in Fonna glacier resort in Norway:

Sometimes, though, it doesn't quite go to plan....

This happened in Aspen Colorado! 😎



MONDAY 28TH MAY

CANNABIS SET TO BE USED FOR OLYMPIC SLIDING TRACK

Athletes in the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be hurtling down a track that will likely have hemp fibre from cannabis plants in its construction.

The fibres in hemp have significant advantages over traditional reinforcements in supporting concrete.

Canadian Greenfield Technologies based in Calgary in Canada has already used hemp to shore up concrete at numerous swimming pools and skateboard parks in North America.

160kg has been sent to China to be used on the Xiaohaituo Track near Beijing. 

Helping the OlympicsHelping the Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The type of cannabis plant grown to yield hemp contains almost no THC, the ingredient in marijuana.

FRIDAY 25TH MAY

TWENTY ONE SPECIES ADAPTED TO DISAPPEAR IN SNOW, THEN THE SNOW DISAPPEARED

Context is everything when it comes to camouflage.

Animals have evolved over millennia to use camouflage as a lifesaving way to dodge predators.

So what happens to them when, over the course of just a few decades, their environments change?

For snowshoe hares and 20 other species across the northern hemisphere, the white winter coats that once made them almost invisible to predators now make them highly visible to lynx, foxes, weasels and hawks.

Biologist Scott Mills from the University of Montana, who began studying snowshoe hares in the 1990s with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), says finding them has become much easier.

Scientists used to think that meaningful evolutionary changes would take thousands of years to occur.

"But now we know that real changes in body type or behaviors can happen really fast. Under the right conditions, evolution can lead to adaptive shifts in just five or 10 generations,"  said Mills.

His full study was published in the Journal Sience.

These snowshoe hares in the video below are from a population where both brown and white winter forms coexist.

The hares were filmed at L S  Mills’ captive facility at the University of Montana.

It was designed to mimic their natural environment and to allow researchers to monitor the precise timing of seasonal coat color molts and individual responses to camouflage mismatch.

Different hares are recognized using special dyes applied on their ears.

 

THURSDAY 24TH MAY

BLACKTAIL SKI RESORT FOR SALE IN NORTHWEST MONTANA, US

This one could be yours for a mere $3.5 million 💰.

Blacktail Mountain Ski Resort hit the market this month carrying a relatively light $3.5 million price tag.

It features 3 lifts, over 1,000 acres of skiing, a 17,000-square-foot base lodge and attractive views of Flathead Lake close to Kalispell.

It's been operating since 1989 and boasts 40,000 annual skier visits.

Its elevation is just over 2,066m.

Tempted? 🏂⛷

WEDNESDAY 23RD MAY

ON THE ROAD IN IDAHO RE-VISITED

Last February our editor James Cove toured the little-known ski resorts of North Idaho in the USA:  Bogus Basin, Brundage Mountain, Tamarack and Schweitzer.

He was with his partner in crime Alf Alderson, whose piece on the trip has just been published.

Idaho road tripIdaho road trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the articles from James, that were posted in real time as the trip progressed then follow the links below:

Boise in Idaho to ski Bogus Basin:  Back on the road   

Next up was the town of McCall for Brundage Mountain & Tamarack: Idaho ski road trip moves on  

Finally Sandpoint & the resort of Schweitzer Mountain: On the road,  McCall to Sandpoint


James and AlfJames and Alf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 22ND MAY

SLUSH CUP MONDAY AT SUNSHINE VILLAGE

And so it ends at Sunshine Village ...

The last Slush Cup of the winter 2017/2018 took place at Sunshine Village in Alberta, Canada on Monday.

It's an event that marks the end of skiing and snowboarding at the ski area.

It was Sunshine's 90th event and proved to be an exciting yet somewhat damp event 😎

Here's one awesome winning run ....by Sydney Bezenar who defends her slush cup title.


Sunshine Village has one of the longest winter seasons, starting from mid November that runs through to more or less the end of May.

Judging by the photograph below, taken yesterday at the top of the main gondola, there's still plenty of snow around.

Sunshine Village end of season bashSunshine Village end of season bash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KISSING MARMOTS  ❤️

As the snow melts on the ski slopes of Val d'Isere these little creatures wake up from hibernation digging themselves out of their winter snow bunkers.

We've been in the area as the warm spring sunshine awaken the Marmots, and we've spotted them gamboling and capering around the ski slopes.

But we've never seen them kissing before!

This short video clip is so cute ❤️

MONDAY 21ST MAY

 

13 YEAR OLD SNOWBOARDER WINS GOLD AT XGAMES

13 year old Japanese, Kokomo Murase, has just taken home a Gold Medal at the X Games Big Air held in Norway, at the weekend.

Kokomo Murase seized gold with a spectacular Backside Double Cork 1260 Mute sending the crowd and commentators into a frenzy of wild excitement.

Murase is the youngest female snowboarder to win Gold in Big Air, plus she is the first female snowboarder to stomp a 1260 Double Cork in X Games history.

Go Girl....

The moment Kokomo Murase clinches Gold:

@xgames  @xgamesnorway

A post shared by Kokomo Murase (@cocomonsan) on May 20, 2018 at 1:47am PDT


Kokomo Murase - wins Gold at XGamesNorwayKokomo Murase - wins Gold at XGamesNorway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 18TH MAY

PLANETSKI ON THE AGENDA AT FIS

You may have seen our main news story today.

It concerns the decision of the International Ski Federation to push for Telemark skiing to be included in the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022:

Included in the paperwork for voting delegates to consider is a print-out of our earlier article about Telemark's bid for Olympic recognition:
Read all about it!Read all about it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PlanetSKIPlanetSKI on the agenda at FIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Telemark does get the nod from the International Olympic Committee, we might just have to go around telling everyone it was PlanetSKI wot won it.....Wink

THURSDAY 17TH MAY

PROJECT YETI

Here's a hybrid machine that only appears to be suitable for (some) snowy conditions.

We like the look of this Yeti-mean-machine.

Meet... The YettiMeet... The Yetti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We like the way it's being used as a ski tow in skijoering style!

It looks like great fun, but we're not sure how effective a competitor it would be against ski-mobiles?

Yeti Project - ski tow in skijoering styleYeti Project - ski tow in skijoering style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



TUESDAY 15TH MAY

BEACH BUSINESS

Where else would PlanetSKI conduct a business meeting, but er, on the beach!

The shingle beach along the Brighton & Hove seafront in Sussex is quite long.

So where exactly was the arranged meeting spot?

Somewhere "close to the bandstand" were the instructions given by Chris Moran from Intersport.

Here's our editor strutting across the shingle beach hunting for the correct groin.

Here's our editor searching for the correct groin on Hove seafrontHere's our editor searching for the correct groin on Hove seafront

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha! At last.

There he is with a jet-black labrador, Wilson-the-dog, at the appointed spot.

The two men and the dog confer at length....  how did we ever doubt they would find each other?

PlanetSKI business meeting with Intersport in HovePlanetSKI business meeting with Intersport in Hove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after a succesful outcome on the beach for both sides the three of them retired to licensed premises to toast their continuing business relationship and good fortune.

Trebles all roundTrebles all round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop the nearby village of Steyning just outside Brighton to resume negotiations with the, er, legendary Trevor de Villiers from Norway - Home of Skiing.

God help the White Horse this lunchtime.

The pair get up to enough mischief in the winter months.

Trevor and James in NorwayTrevor and James in Norway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See below from when they last met - a cheeky pre-Xmas trip to the ski fields of Norway last December:

MONDAY 14TH MAY

SWIMWEAR SKIING

They're still skiing over at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and at the weekend the resort celebrated its 3rd Annual Swimwear Day with some live music and a free rail jam.

A good excuse for the exhibitionists to show off their fancy dress.

A Basin swimwear dayA Basin swimwear day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Basin swimwear dayA Basin swimwear day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Curtis DeVore at Arapahoe Basin.

SATURDAY 12TH MAY

SKIING HOME USING SKIS AND MOUNTAIN BIKES

A little bit of fun skiing home, using skis (of course), a mountain bike and a tow-rope.

Freestyle skier Andri Ragettli shows us how its done.

Let's assume he's getting some new skis next season...

 

FRIDAY 11TH MAY

SKIS AT KHUMBU ICEFALL

Now here's a photo and video not many of us will ever get the chance to feature in or even to be in the vicinity to take the shot!

This is Matt Moniz is with Willie Benegas at Khumbu Icefall with fat skis.

Yes, that very same Khumbu Icefall of Everest acclaim.

The pair got into trouble with the authories last week for not having the correct 'skiing' paperwork after they skied the Lhotse Face.

DOH 😱

We wrote about it here.

Matt Moniz is with Willie Benegas at Khumbu IcefallMatt Moniz is with Willie Benegas at Khumbu Icefall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Moniz is with Willie Benegas at Khumbu Icefall with fat skis:

 

WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY

THE MAN WHO SKIED LHOTSE IN 1970

There's been some controversy in recent days at Everest Basecamp as two American climbers skied down the Lhotse Face of Everest last week without the correct documentation.

We wrote about it here.

Watch the video below of Yuichiro Miura from Japan who attempted to ski down the Lhotse Face back in May 1970.

Bearing in mind there are no ski lifts up there 🤣 it's a bit of a hike up the mountain before putting on skis.

Fortunately his massive canopy deployed behind him, creating a significant safety-break in the dangerous conditions.

He travelled down approximately 1,829m in about 2 minutes.

The face was sheer ice in places and almost vertical and he was not able to ski on the ice.

He fell 396m, tumbling down the mountain and managed to stop only 76m from a gaping crevasse.

Fortunately we was not hurt.

Yuichiro Miura did not attempted the stunt again.

In 2003, at age 70 Yuichiro Miura summited Everest and again in 2013 at age 80.


Yuichiro Miura from Japan on the Lhotse Face back in May 1970Yuichiro Miura from Japan on the Lhotse Face back in May 1970

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 8TH MAY

WATCH THESE BOYS .... BACKFLIPPING

A post shared by SnowTube (@snowtube) on May 7, 2018 at 11:23am PDT



FIDDLER ON THE SLOPES AT LOVELAND

The ski season came to an end this weekend at Loveland Ski area in Colorado.

In recent days a cellist and fiddler have been seen on the ski slopes making music as they skied.

They skied down the mountain with cumbersome cello cases and violin cases strapped to their backs, while playing the awkward shaped instruments.

Great music guys!

Many thanks to Gabriele Seffert for capturig the moment on video.

Making music in LovelandMaking music in Loveland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







MONDAY 7TH MAY

LA RACE D'HÉRENS - VEIELETT CROWNED QUEEN OF QUEENS

The fight for herd dominance reached the final battle in horn-to-horn combat at the weekend in the annual cow-fighting competition in Sion.

It's an unusual event that takes place every year among the Hérens, a breed of cows found in the Valais region.of Switzerland.

Meet the victor, Veielett, a mere youngster at 4 1/2 years old who fought against older rivals, more experienced in the battle for dominance.

She is the Queen of Queens - for one year.

Veielett Queen for a year - Owned Anton & Fabienne Williner from VispVeielett Queen for a year - Owned Anton & Fabienne Williner from Visp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After quite a long battle against Ruska (owned by Fabrice Marcoz), Veielett (chalked up as Number 131) was crowned Queen at the 2018 national finals in Sion.

She is owned by Anton and Fabienne Williner from Visp.

Read more about the cow-fighting event here.

Watch Veielett fighting for her crown in the final below:

SUNDAY 6TH MAY

BEAR & CUB SPOTTED ON WHISTLER SKI SLOPES

It's that time of year, the bears are waking from hibernation after a long, cold winter.

Vancouver resident Jaime Stien was on a chairlift at Whistler Mountain, BC, when he spotted the bear with her cub.

Bear spotted from a chairlift in Whistler Photo: Jaime Stien Bear spotted from a chairlift in Whistler Photo: Jaime Stien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later as he made his way down the mountain he found the bear and her cub on the ski slope.

Stien waited, but after standing around for a while he decided to slowly pass the bear and captured the moment on video.

As he passed on the right, the bear took a some swift steps towards him, that's when he decided to ski off quickly.

"As I got closer I saw she had a tiny little cub with her... that's when she started to charge towards me a bit towards the end, and I was like 'okay I am getting out of here'," Stien said.

(Video courtesy of Jaime Stien)

FRIDAY 4TH MAY

AVALANCHE SET OFF IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

The footage below was released on by British Columbia Transportation, giving a panoramic view of explosives that triggering a controlled avalanche on Morrissey Ridge near Fernie on April 26.

BC Transportation said the controlled explosion prompted snow debris to come within 100 meters of the nearby Highway 3, that was closed during the work.

The safety procedure follows two fatal skiing incidents in the area in January.

This video shows the explosives activating the avalanche.


THURSDAY 3RD MAY

THE ICING ON THE CAKE...

When you love skiing so much you need to have a celebratory birthday cake of the Aiguille du Midi!

It's a yummy chocolate cake made to order by PataCake London, depicting the Aiguille du Midi and some mini characters on skis on snow white icing - we'll have a slice of that please 😎.

Aguille du Midi! (photo: Instagram @patacakelondon)Aiguille du Midi! (photo: Instagram @patacakelondon)




















TUESDAY 1ST MAY

🤣 CLOSING DAY IN VAL D'ISERE

Some end of season shenanigans in Val. 

UNEXPECTED HAPPENINGS AT BASECAMP

Ex-British Slopestyle Skiing champion, and former Masterchef contestant, Dave White, made it to the top of the hazardous North Col in his bid to summit Everest.

We reported on his achievement here.

However, some days earlier while preparing for the ascent, Dave White got his priorities slightly askew.

Now, this is one activity we just cannot imagine ever happening at Everest Basecamp .....

Doing your laundry!

PRO-SPEEDSKIER ESCAPES AVALANCHE

Professional Speedrider Maxence Cavalade triggered a huge avalanche during his run on the North-East face of Charvet in Val d'Isère, back in February this year.

Fortunately he managed to speedride out of the potential disaster.

CLEARING WINTER SNOW

This guy is clearing some deep snow...... off the roof of his cabin in Norway.

Watch the short video clip!


So besides digging off the snow as shown in the clip above, here's another way of removing it.

These guys used a steel wire attached to a car, that then dragged the wire beneath the snow along the length of the cabin roof.

Then this happened...

A post shared by Bird box cabin (@birdboxcabins) on Mar 23, 2018 at 12:59pm PDT


Here's more snow being cleared off a roof this winter

This time it's in France, close to the Mont Chery bubble lift in Les Gets.

Look closely at the photo below there seems to be at least 1m on this rooftop.

Clearing snow in Les Gets (photo: Instagram by upstix)Clearing very deep snow off a roof n Les Gets (photo: Instagram by upstix)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAAX GOES GREENER

We've visited the famous freestyle resort of Laax in Switzerland in spring for the past three years and have been impressed by its efforts to go green.

Laax has set itself the ambitious target of being the first self-sufficient ski resort by 2030.

We first reported on the Laax Greenstyle project in 2016:

Things have moved on and one of the new initiatives for the season just gone that caught our eye was the KITRO Foodwaste Management System.

A startup company produced the system for the resort's restaurants.

It analyses which foods and how much of them end up being thrown out.

The aim is to reduce waste, as this promo video explains:

Some of the many other measures include a network of charging stations for electric cars and e-bikes, fresh water fountains to discourage the purchase of plastic water bottles, and an engine data system for all its snow groomers to show the best speed for minimal fuel consumption.

Snow groomers in LaaxSnow groomers - photo LAAX GaudenzDanuser.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the last seven years the Graübunden region, which includes Laax, has reduced energy consumption by 15 per cent, but there's a long way to go.

"LAAX is doing quite well on sustainable development, but we are far away from perfect," Reto Fry, the man responsible for the project told PlanetSKI.

"It is an never-ending story, which needs steady effort to improve. New exciting solutions are coming every year."

We look forward to checking out more of them out next season.

Laax, spring 2018Laax, spring 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number 1 for ski news

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