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JUNE NEWS IN BRIEF
Friday June 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

British man dies on mountain path above Chamonix, climber dies in Matterhorn fall + fancy naming a ski lift? NEW & UPDATED

 

 

.....NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM MAY 2018


SATURDAY 30TH JUNE

BRITISH MAN DIES IN CHAMONIX

A man in his 60s slipped on a mountain path and fell 10m to his death.

Rescue services were scrambled but were unable to revive him and he died at the scene.

Next-of-kin are being informed.  

An investigation is underway.  

He fell on a section of steep pathway that is being used this weekend for the Vertical KM race. 

It is a run that sees more than 500 athletes taking part and is part of a series of trail running events in the Chamonix valley.  

On Tuesday a Polish woman fell to her death as she was approaching the Tête Rousse refuge in Chamonix.

On Wednesday a man was killed in a rock fall in the Mont Blanc Massif. 

FRIDAY 29TH JUNE

CLIMBER DIES IN MATTERHORN FALL

A man has died after falling 500 metres on the Matterhorn above Zermatt in Switzerland.

The accident happened at around 12.30pm local time today.

Swiss police say the man had climbed the mountain alone before descending on the Hörnli ridge.

Witnesses, who alerted rescuers, say he lost his footing while at 3,800 metres.

The body was recovered by the Air Zermatt helicopter and an investigation is underway.

The man has not yet been officially identified.

The MatterhornThe Matterhorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY 28TH JUNE

FANCY NAMING A SKI LIFT?

Loveland in Colorado USA will have a new quad chairlift for next winter and it's asking people for a name.

It will undoubtedly be more original than the name of the old lift: Lift 1.

Work has already started on digging for the new pylons.

Lift ?Lift ?

























"What should we call this new lift? We have a few ideas, but would love to hear from some loyal Lovelanders!" said a statement from the resort.

The deadline to enter is July 16th and the winner gets either a season pass for the 2018/19 season or a chair from the old Lift 1.

See here for further details:  Loveland Ski Area Lift Name Contest   

Any ideas?Any ideas?














TUESDAY 26TH JUNE

BRITISH BASE JUMPER DIES IN ITALY

47- year old Robert Haggarty from Hampshire hit a rock wall after leaping from a mountain top in the Dolomites.

He and a number of others were flown by helicopter to the top Monte Civetta range.

He lept off in a wing suit and deployed a parachute after running into problems.

Rescuers have recovered his body.

An investigation is underway. 

Robert HaggartyRobert Haggarty














SUNDAY 24TH JUNE

MOUNT BULLER TO CREATE NEW LAKE FOR SNOWMAKING

The Australian resort has been awarded a $7.5 million grant to build a 100-megalitre dam on the mountaintop.

The resort plans to use the dam for snowmaking, to provide drinking water and water for fire fighting.

The 100-megalitre water storage site has the capacity of 40 Olympic swimming pools.

It doubles the resort's snowmaking ability and Mt Buller says it is necessary due to climate change and less annual snowfall than in the past.

Mt Buller, AustraliaMt Buller, Australia























TUESDAY 19TH JUNE

UTAH USES SWISS TECHNOLOGY FOR AVALANCHE PREVENTION

Remote Avalanche Control Systems, RACS, were installed in the Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah, USA, last year and now 8 more are set to be ordered.

They are made by the Swiss company, Wyssen.

In the past charges were fired into the snow pack but the new system involves detonating the charge above the snow on a pulley system.

"When you shoot artillery it's landing in the snow and detonating in the snow which prohibits the shock from traveling as far and our system uses an explosive that is held on a rope above the snow and the shock wave can travel a lot farther and more effectively control the area," said Roz Reynolds, US project manager for Wyssen Avalanche Control.

Pylons being installedPylons being installed





























MONDAY 18TH JUNE

BARGIEL HEADS TO K2

Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel is right now heading to the Karakorum mountain range - that spans the borders of Pakistan, India, and China - to try once again to become the first person to complete a ski descent of K2.

His first attempt last year to summit and ski the world's second highest peak ended weeks in to the expedition due to high avalanche and rockfall risks.

Read more on the mission here, as PlanetSKI reported last year:
"Sometimes you gotta lose the battle to win the war," Bargiel said after having to abandon the mission just a year ago.

Already he is back.

This time round before attempting K2 he intends to acclimatize by climbing and descending on skis the Gasherbrum II.

This is the most accessible and lowest altutide of the Karakorum 8,000-metre peaks.

Bargiel is a seasoned extreme athlete who has previously skied Shisapangma and Broad Peak.

Andrzej Bargiel InstagramAndrzej Bargiel Instagram post, 13th June 2018




































"I'm leaving for Karakoram on Friday [15th June]," Bargiel writes on his Instagram page.

"My goal is to complete the #K2SkiChallenge project, which is a ski reunion with K2 - the second highest peak on Earth - 8,611m..."

Yesterday, Bargiel posted that he and his team are leaving Skardu for a village named Askole where a 5-day trek through Baltoro Glacier will begin.

Instagram @AndrzejBargielBargiel at last stop in Pakistan before the Karakorum

































K2 is called the 'savage mountain'.

Mountaineers have tried to descend K2 with fatal consequences.

Italian adventurer Hans Kammerlander had to turn around 400m from the summit during his attempt in 2001 after witnessing a Korean climber fall to his death.

Swedish ski-mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson died in 2010 after a fall near the infamous bottleneck section.

"Somebody will do it, but he'll need a lot of ability and a whole lot of luck..." Kammerlander has stated.

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE

NEW TRIAL FOR MEN CONVICTED OF ASSAULT IN TIGNES

A retrial is to take place of two men convicted of an assault in the French ski resort of Tignes which resulted in a teenager's death.

Tignes snow frontTignes snow front

























Yoann Souffron, who was 17, was hit over the head with a bottle during a fight on 31st December 2013 as 30,000 people gathered on the snow front to celebrate the New Year.

He was seen by a doctor but later left with his friends.

He was unconscious by they had got him back to his parents' home and he died in hospital six days later.

Two men, now aged 21 and 22, were each jailed for seven years on 31st May, but French newspaper reports say one of the two has appealed against his conviction and the case will be reheard, possibly in Annecy.

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE

WARNING - SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS

TUI, the world's biggest travel group, is warning customers against scams on social media.

The company owns Crystal Ski, the largest ski tour operator in the UK.

A fake Facebook page is using the TUI name and branding and is posting offers to win free holidays.

A (fake) competition with 150 holidays for two to Cyprus have been posted as up for grabs.

This offer has had nearly 20,000 likes on Facebook.

The idea is to get personal information from users.

It asks you to sign up with personal details to be contacted if successful.

Fake TUI tweetFake TUI post




































"We are aware of this Facebook page and we can confirm that it has no affiliation with the TUI brand," a TUI spokesperson has said to Wales Online.

"We would like to remind customers of the importance of making sure that the page is verified before interacting with it, which can be easily checked by looking for the blue tick next to our name.

"We have reported this to Facebook and they have advised they will be closing it down as soon as possible."

During the winter there were several scam sites and professional-looking Facebook pages posing as chalet companies.

Read more here of the online fraud, and be vigilant when handing over information or money:

MONDAY 11TH JUNE

CRACKDOWN ON SLOPE-SIDE HIGHS IN AUS

Aussies are big partyers - this is no secret.

But news released yesterday in Australia's The Sunday Telegraph stated that a record number of police will be on duty this winter (that's now, as the ski season Down Under is underway) throughout the popular New South Wales resorts to stamp out what is reportedly an increasing drug trade.

So this means the popular resorts of Thredbo and Perisher - good for apres and atmosphere - and the surrounding towns will have the newly established Southern Region Enforcement Squad carry out "covert drug operations" over the winter months. 

"The amount of drugs that we seize during a snow season would say that our job is not done," NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller stated, published in the Australian Telegraph.

Last year a haul worth more than $10,000 was seized in drug raids.

In 2015 that number was more than $300,000, the news outlet states.

"...I still need to continue to invest staff into that area to make sure people can go down and enjoy it as a family-friendly event," Fuller stated. 

Want to hear more positive stuff about resorts Down Under? Read on here with PlanetSKI's guide:
Crackdown on drugs in NSW resortsCrackdown on drugs in NSW resorts























SUNDAY 10TH JUNE

SKIER VISITS DOWN IN COLORADO

Colorado Ski Country said the number of people skiing at its 24 ski resorts in the US state last winter fell by 2% on the previous year.

Poor snow is to blame.

"These end of season numbers are impressive when looking back over the entire season," Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills said in a statement.

 "We faced historically low snowfall in the early part of the season and resort operations crews deserve credit for their tireless work to get slopes open and operating during an extended period of early-season conditions," he added.

SATURDAY 9TH JUNE

Have you ever thought just how deep the snow underneath you are skiing on is.

Or hiking over...

These towering walls in British Columbia en route up to Whistler's Peak Chair are something spectacular.

The walls are said to reach up to 12m high.

In spring, the access road to the Peak Chair is cleared and a path is cut through the snow.

Whistler Blackcomb's white wallsWhistler Blackcomb's white walls



























The snow will melt quickly up here in June - so you should get your hiking boots quick - but in May-June hikers can actually walk through these enormous snow walls.

How to do it?

It's a gondola to the trail's base, then an approximate 2.5-mile hike along the snow walls to the top of Peak Chair, one-way, Megan Wilson, a lady in the know, has released on local outlet Whistler.com.

If you're there for the snow wall hike remember you need to hike back down as well...

Whistler Blackcomb's white wallsWhistler Blackcomb's white walls
























FRIDAY 8TH JUNE

ST MORITZ REMAINS MOST EXPENSIVE IN SWITZERLAND FOR PROPERTY

 A survey by the Swiss bank, UBS, said property in the resort is CHF 15,400 per square metre.

It is followed by Gstaad with CHF 14,300 per m2.

Over the past 12 month Verbier  (-3.2%) and Crans Montana (-3.0%) have seen the sharpest falls.

However Verbier remains in 6th place with prices at CHF 12,300 per m2.

So, what about elsewhere?
  • Jungfrau region (+4.8%)
  • Gstaad (+1.5%),
  • Flims/Laax (+2.8%),
  • Andermatt (+1.5%),
  • Zermatt (+1.6%)
  • Davos/Klosters (+1.1%)
St MoritzSt Moritz










WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE



WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE

WORK BEGINS ON NORWAY'S INDOOR SKI CENTRE

Work has begun to build Norway's first indoor snow centre.

They claim it will be "the world's largest indoor ski resort" and will have not only a traditional slope for alpine and freestyle but - this being Nordic territory - a suspended cross-country track as well.

Norway's first indoor snow centre Norway's first indoor snow centre (image - Halvorsen & Reine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's in Lørenskog, just over 15km east of the capital, Oslo.

The plan was approved by the municipal council in September 2015 and the area has now be de-forested ready for building work.

De-foresting at site of Norway's first indoor snow centreGetting ready for building - photo Hans Kristian Barbøl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lørenskog Winter Park has been designed to resemble a glacier:

"The architectural vision of the covered alpine hill is a glacier that slides down the valley and pushes stones in front of them. At the foot of the ground the calves 'calve' and become large ice cubes that roll on until they are caught by a confined iwall (mountain sides). The ice cubes are meeting rooms, dining venues, the Winter Academy and sports shops, the surrounding walls are office buildings, homes and hotels."

Norway's first indoor snow centreThe design (image - Halvorsen & Reine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 5TH JUNE

CYCLE THE SAME ROAD AS THE STARS DURING UCI WORLD CHAMPS

From 22nd - 30th September top cyclists from across the world will compete in the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck.

It's the first time it will take place in the Austrian Tirol.

But now all cyclists can be involved as on 29th September amateurs can sign up to a short challenging course from the Hofburg Imperial Palace to climb the Höttinger Höll before finishing above the city at Gramartboden.

The mass event is called the KRONE Ride to Höll.

There's be a male and female rider crowned the King and Queen of Höll.

Date: Saturday 29th September, 2018
Time: 10:00- 12:30
Distance: 3.2 km
Elevation gain: 291 m
Max. gradient: 28%
Registration: €59 (sign up before the end of June)
Registration closes: 23rd September

KRONE ride to HoellKRONE ride to Hoell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The official events of the official UCI 2018 Road World Championships will start in various locations - Kufsterin, Alpbachtal Seenland, Hall-Wattens, Ötztal Valley - and all end in Innsbruck.

The courses will climb through the Tirol's mighty mountains, so it'll be great spectator sport and the week to head nearby in the Tirol. UCI World ChampionshipsUCI World Championships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 4TH JUNE

VAIL RESORTS BUYS MORE SKI RESORTS

Crested Butte in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Stevens Pass Resort in Washington and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire have been bought by the US resort operator in a $304m deal.

"Together, the acquisitions of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass will significantly enhance the Vail Resorts' network of resort experiences, adding even more variety and choice for all of our pass holders and guests," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

"Okemo and Mount Sunapee are terrific complements to Stowe in the Northeast, as is Crested Butte to our four Colorado resorts, and Stevens Pass for our Whistler Blackcomb and Seattle guests," he added.

Vail Resorts says it will spend $35m over the next two years on resort improvements across the four resorts.

They wil be part of the Epic Pass that covers all the resorts owned and operated by Vail Resorts.

Going EpicGoing Epic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last winter saw a fall in the number of US skiers:

Vail Resorts is in a battle for supremacy in North America with Alterra that runs many other rival ski resorts.

See below for earlier PlanetSKI reports on the titanic battle now getting underway.

Further expansionFurther expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY 2ND JUNE

SHOCKING AMOUNTS OF REFUSE LEFT AT MT EVEREST

The short 2018 season is over and bags full of human waste, tents and garbage have been left behind by climbers above Camp II on Mt Everest.

The government has been criticised for failing to implement its rule that states each member of an expedition must bring back at least 8 kilos of garbage, in addition to their own trash from Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Nuptse.

Some Everest climbers have taken advantage of the government’s failure to monitor human activities on higher reaches of the mountain, where rubbish and human waste in the high camps have been left behind.

Company logos have been removed from abandoned tents to prevent identification.

Climber, David Liaño from Mexico, commented, "After seeing the amount of garbage on Everest this year, I couldn’t remain silent. What’s happening to Everest is shameful."

Read more in our updated blog of the Everest 2018 season.

 

Mt Everest Waste 2018 (Photo: David Liaño)Mt Everest Waste 2018 (Photo: David Liaño)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY 1ST JUNE

GLACIER FED RIVERS DRYING UP

A study by the Alpine Club of Canada has revealed what it claims is the latest stark example of the effects of climate change.

In spring of 2016, the glacier-fed Slims River in the Yukon - a major source of water for Kluane Lake - effectively ran dry after the Kaskawulsh Glacier receded so much that its dwindling meltwaters began flowing in a different direction.

By August that year, the 81-kilometre-long lake was a metre lower than its previous record low.

Meltwater stream at front of glacier in the YukonMeltwater along the front of the Kaskawulsh glacier - photo Dan Shugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"This is one stark example of a very big drainage system that utterly and permanently reorganized itself in a single season," says one of the authors of the study, University of Alberta mountain historian Zac Robinson.

"Kluane Lake is a massive lake that isn't being fed any longer and is seeing its levels dropping. What does that do to the ecosystem and the communities on that lake that depend on that water?"

Another of the authors, mountain ecology researcher David Hik says it's the sort of thing that will happen again and again, and not just in the big glaciated regions in the Yukon.

He says glacialogists predict that the Rocky Mountains will lose 80 per cent of their glaciated terrain over the next 50 years.

The details are in the Club's 2018 State of the Mountains Report which has just been published.

You can read or download it here.

CALGARY OLYMPIC SKI JUMPS TO BE TORN DOWN

The team behind the bid for 2026 Winter Olympics says the jumps used in 1988 will not be repaired and reused if Calgary hosts the Games for a second time.

The 1988 Olympics in Calgary was where Britain's first ski jumper, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards, came to fame, cementing his name in the Olympic history books.

The 2026 Calgary Bid Exploration Committee says the cost of renovation for the old ski jumps would not be worth it.

If the city continues with its bid to host the Olympics and is successful, ski jumping is likely to be held at the Whistler, which was used for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards at Calgary Olympic ParkEddie Edwards back at the Calgary ski jump site in March 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

READ MORE:

Calgary's two largest jumps have already been closed and the remaining three smaller ones are being de-commissioned later this year.

However, the chair of Alberta Ski Jump, Mike Bodnarchuk told CBC that tearing down the jumps is a "shameful disregard" for the site's legacy.

"It's the death knell for Ski Jumping Canada if they shut this place down," he said.

Other potential contenders for the 2026 Winter Olympics are Sion in Switzerland, Graz in Austria, Sapporo in Japan, Stockholm in Sweden, Erzurum in Turkey, and a joint Italian bid from Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

CHINA SKI GROWTH

Hebei province is aiming to grow a winter sports industry that is worth more than $23 billion by 2025.

That's the ambitious plan of the provincial government.

The area is preparing to host many of the events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

It is aiming to build 100 ski resorts and 250 ice skating venues by 2025.

Hebei is 97 miles north west of Beijing.

It gets very little real snow but the cold temperatures means it is able to produce man-made snow.

See the links below for some related PlanetSKI stories on the potential growth of skiing in China:

The Olympic effectThe Olympic effect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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