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JANUARY NEWS IN BRIEF
Monday January 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

No flag rule for Russian athletes in Pyeongchang,150 rescued after chairlift breaks down in Austria, dramatic mountain rescue in Pakistan +Japan volcano erupts close to ski resort.NEW & UPDATED

 

 

...... NEWS IN BRIEF STORIES FROM DECEMBER 2017

 

TUESDAY 30TH JANUARY

NO FLAG RULE FOR RUSSIAN ATHLETES AT PYEONGCHANG

The International Olympic Committee has published a set of conduct guidelines for the Olympic Athletes from Russia competing at the Winter Games.

They risk having their accreditation withdrawn if they fail to comply.

Competitors will not be able to accept Russian national flags from spectators.

They're also being told not to display Russian flags in public or use any Russian emblems or the national anthem in their posts on social media.

A large team of 169 athletes from Russia is expected to be at Pyeongchang despite the ban imposed on the country over the doping scandal.

The athletes will not compete under the Russian flag but will be known as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).

The 43 Russians who were retrospectively disqualified from the Sochi 2014 Games for doping offences are among those who miss out since they've received a lifetime Olympic ban.

Some of them are in the process of appealing against that decision.

CHAIRLIFT RESCUE IN AUSTRIA

About 150 skiers and snowboarders stuck on a broken chairlift in Austria for up to two and a half hours have been rescued.

Helicopters and mountain rescue teams were called in to the small resort of Kreischberg in Styria after the Rozenkranz lift stopped working early in the afternoon on Monday.

Chairlift rescue at KreischbergChairlift rescue at Kreischberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local media reported that it would have taken too long to fix the technical problem, so the authorities decided to get the skiers off the lift.

Some of those stranded were airlifted to safety by helicopters. Others were escorted down on ropes after rescuers climbed up to them.

This video was posted on social media by the Austrian Armed Forces:

 

There were no injuries

The broken lift was reported to have been between seven and 10 metres off the ground.

SUNDAY 28TH JANUARY

A French climber has been rescued from one of Pakistan's most deadly Himalayan mountains.

It follows a dramatic rescue operation.

The search for her Polish climbing partner has been called off.

Ms Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz were climbing Nanga Parbat, nicknamed "Killer Mountain", when they got stuck at 7,400m.

A Polish climbing team on nearby K2 came to the rescue, scaling Nanga Parbat overnight to rescue her.  

Tomasz MackiewiczTomasz Mackiewicz













WEDNESDAY 24TH JANUARY

VOLCANO ERUPTS CLOSE TO JAPANESE SKI RESORT

Mount Kusatsu-Shirane volcano in Japan erupted unexpectedly on Tuesday 23rd January, close to a ski resort, killing at least one and injuring many others.

The eruption triggered an avalanche at a ski resort close by.

Some skiers were injured when they became trapped by the avalanche or were hit by falling volcanic rocks from Mount Kusatsu-Shirane.

The volcano is about 100 miles northwest of Tokyo in Gunma Prefecture, or region.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) has not ruled out further eruptions

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and 47 of them are monitored around the clock.

ITV reporters were on a snowboarding trip and captured some of the images below.

Additional footage is captured below:


SUNDAY 21ST JANUARY

Six women from the British Army have become the largest all-female group to ski across Antarctica. 

The Ice Maiden team started their 1,000-mile coast-coast crossing on 20th November - each woman had 80kg sledge.

After 62 days on the ice, the six soldiers crossed the finish line at the Hercules Inlet.

They were expected to take between 75 and 90 days, with the team tackling winds of up to 60mph and temperatures reaching as low as -40ºC. 

The Ice MaidensThe Ice Maidens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ice MaindensThe Ice Maidens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ice MaindensThe Ice Maidens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY 18TH JANUARY

STEAMBOAT BOASTS LONGEST MOUNTAIN COASTER

The Colorado ski resort's new family roller coaster is over a mile long, that's the biggest in North America...

These family friendly 'mountain coasters' are becoming more popular.

Utah's Park City has one, as does Les3Vallees resort Les Menuires, in case you're thinking of travelling all that way for this highlight...

Steamboat's 'Outlaw' has 120-metre vertical descent and rises 12m off the ground.

Or - for the less fact conscious among you - it dips, waves, turns and spins 360°!

At first we thought this cool new US trend of building mini rollercoasters was for summer fun in the mountain resorts.

But 'Outlaw' is open daily through winter to 15th April, 2018.

You'll find it near to the Christie Peak Express and takes a decent 10 minutes to complete, with riders travel at speeds of up to 27mph.

$20 is the cost, $15 for a companion ( - for a kid?!)...

Mountain CoasterMountain Coaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A user's video - start to finish:

THURSDAY 18TH JANUARY

THE MOST COMMON SNOWSPORTS INJURIES

The most common injuries are to the spine, pelvis, shoulder, wrist, hands, knees, foot and ankle.

Snowboarders were three times more likely than skiers to get injured.

The findings come in new US research.

"While some injuries are unavoidable, many are caused by skiers and snowboarders exceeding their comfort zone in either speed or technical challenges on the mountain. It is critical to stay in control and be prepared to slow and stop to avoid contact with another person on the slope," said Dr Owens from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Rhode Island.

Skiers are more likely to experience lower extremity injuries, especially to their knees, due to the rotational forces on the knee.

Snowboarders are more likely to experience upper extremity injuries "due to falls onto their hands."  

The dreaded blood wagonThe dreaded blood wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WEDNESDAY 17TH JANUARY

TRAVIS RICE JOINS FWT

The US snowboarder Travis Rice gets a wild card entry to the Freeride World Tour in Japan this month.

"Excited to get a wildcard to compete in this year's Freeride World Tour Hakuba, Japan. This location is a favorite of mine and I'm honored to wear a contest bib with a very diverse group of both Men and Women competitors from around the world," said 35-year old Travis.

Other wild card riders include Terje Haakonsen (NOR), Gigi Rüf (AUT), and Tadashi Fuse (JPN) in the snowboard men category.    

MONDAY 15TH JANUARY

BOY IN CHAIRLIFT FALL

A 7-year-old boy is reported to have survived unharmed after falling 65ft from a chairlift at a ski resort in China.

Footage shows him hanging from the bottom of the chair and then falling.

Boy hanging from chairlift in ChinaChairlift fall





















He is said to have landed in deep snow.

A spokesman for the Chongli Ski Tourism Centre said the boy, who was not with his parents, picked himself up and carried on skiing.

SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY

NORTH KOREA COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF NEW SKI RESORT

North Korea says it has completed construction of a winter sports resort amid proposed talks to secure the country's attendance at the Winter Olympics in neighbouring South Korea.

It is thought this is the third ski area to open in North Korea.

The announcement came on the country's Ryugyong news website, which boasts in typical North Korean style that the resort in Kanggye was completed ahead of schedule to reflect the "supreme will of the people", and would endow "workers and youths with solid physical strength".

Construction of the resort near the northern city was begun in July 2017 on the orders of leader Kim Jong-un, with North Korean state-run DPRK Today saying that it would feature two ski slopes with the capability of producing their own snow "so skiing would not be hindered if snow doesn't fall in the winter".

READ MORE HERE ON BBC

FRIDAY 12TH JANUARY

NO TO GROWTH OF BULGARIAN SKI RESORT

Environmentalists in Bulgaria are protesting the further development of a ski resort in Pirin National Park, Sofia.

The demonstrations in the capital saw thousands gather to block further ski runs and lifts being built.

But there were also those there pro the ski area expansion.

The development intends to drive winter tourism in the country.

But those against claim it violates nature protection laws, will endanger wildlife in the park and pull down pine trees that are hundreds of years old in the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Protestors 'demanded the resignation of the environment minister who they say is sabotaging the main goal of his ministry' Reuters new outlet reports.

The demonstations coincided with the country's offical ceremonies for the start of its six-month rotating presidency of the EU.

REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov ReutersImage from REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov. Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in 2010 the Bulgarian Green Party threatened to go to the EC due to the illegal construction of lifts in the Pirin park.

WEDNESDAY 10TH JANUARY

GB WHEELCHAIR CURLERS SELECTED

Five wheelchair curlers have been selected to represent ParalympicsGB at the PyeongChang Games in March.

Four of the team that claimed bronze at Sochi 2014 are returning to the Paralympic stage with skip Aileen Neilson contesting her third Games, Gregor Ewan and Robert McPherson making their second appearances, while Angie Malone MBE is set to take part in her fourth Games.

Malone has competed at every Games since the sport made its debut at Turin in 2006.

She won silver on that occasion, as well as bronze in Sochi, making her GB's most decorated Paralympic curler.

GB Wheelchair curling teamSelected GB athletes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fifth selected athlete is Hugh Nibloe who is set to make his Games debut after getting a taste of top-flight competition on the Paralympic Inspiration Programme in Sochi.

The team will compete at the Gangeung Curling Centre in PyeongChang, the venue where the same group claimed a bronze medal for Scotland at the Wheelchair Curling World Championships in 2017.

Today's announcement takes the number of athletes currently selected for ParalympicsGB to 14 after nine alpine skiers and snowboarders were announced last week:

Yesterday, UK Sport announced its medal targets for sports competing at both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics:
CROWDFUNDING CALL

Accurate facts and figures are hard to come by for the worldwide snowsports industry.

The best source that we know here at PlanetSKI is the International Report on Snow & Mountains Tourism, by Laurent Vanat.

It provides a wealth of data and information.

But it takes time and money to research and Laurent is once again calling on Crowdfunding.

This support covered half the costs of the 2016 and 2017 editions.

And if you want to make a contribution then you can email Laurent at Lvanat@bluewin.ch

We use it as a reference base and also it provides us with some interesting news stories.

Laurent VanatLaurent Vanat
















MONDAY 8TH JANUARY

BRITISH MAN GOES MISSING IN FRENCH ALPS

A 39-year-old British holidaymaker has gone missing in Tignes.

The local police say John Promell, who speaks only English, was last seen at 4.30pm on Sunday on the Paquis chairlift which is in the Lavachet area of the resort.

They have released photographs of him and the clothes he was wearing at the time.

They are appealing for information from anyone who has seen him or knows of his whereabouts.

Missing Brit in TignesMissing in Tignes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Promell is on holiday for a week in the high altitude French resort.

His roommate reported him missing at 11pm on Sunday night.

NORTH & SOUTH KOREA PREPARE TO TALK PYEONGCHANG

North Korea has accepted a proposal from South Korea to hold talks about whether to take part in the Winter Olympics next month.

The talks are scheduled for tomorrow,  Tuesday January 9th, at the Peace House in Panmunjeom - a demilitarised zone between the two countries.

They are the first official talks to take place between North and South Korea for two years.

The deadlock was broken when North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has said a team may go to the Games in a New Year message as we reported earlier.

 Kim Jong-un Kim Jong-un




















SATURDAY 6TH JANUARY

NARROW ESCAPE FROM AVALANCHE

This person, 28-year old Alfons Garcia, had a narrow escape as he snowboarded off piste in the Pyrenees shortly before Xmas.

The video is now doing the rounds on social media.

He is clearly a skilled snowboarder and had some luck.

It indicates how fragile the snowpack can be and just how dangerous as it spreads quickly.

Take care if you venture off piste.

 

BRITISH MAN FREEZES TO DEATH AFTER NIGHT OUT

The body of 22-year old, Owen Lewis, has been found by the authorities in the French ski resort of Risoul.

An investigation is underway.

It is understood he had been in a bar and got lost on his way home in the early hours of the morning.

A search operation was launched with posters put up in the bar.

His body was found by a stream the following day and footprints in the snow indicated that he had become lost.

He lived in France and worked as a school supervisor.

It comes as a new survey warns of the dangers of alcohol in ski resorts.

THURSDAY 4TH JANUARY

SNOWFACTORY SNOW FOR GLENCOE BEGINNERS

The new Snowfactory leased by Scotland's Glencoe Mountain has been pumping out snow which is being put to use at base station.

The artificial snow is being used to create a sheltered beginners' area.

The resort posted this photo on social media asking supporters to pledge more money so the TechnoAlpin snowfactory can be purchased.

GlencoeBase station beginners' area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The factory is on lease until the end of April.

READ MORE

Crowdfunding has so far raised almost £57,000, just under 30 per cent of what the resort is seeking.

It's looking to raise £190,000 of the £430,000 project costs.

The idea is to have the factory operating year-round and lay on special events such as summer sledging or an autumn rail jam.

You can pledge your support on Glencoe's PledgeSports.org page.

It's looking pretty white on the mountain at the moment.

This is the view from WinterHighland webcam at Coire Pollach on Wednesday afternoon.

GlencoeGlencoe Wednesday 3rd January

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY 1ST JANUARY

DEATH OF US SKI LIFT MECHANIC

40-year old Adam Lee was killed while working on a so-called Magic Carpet lift at Loveland in Colorado.

He was married with four children.

It is understood a co-worker started the lift and he was dragged under.

"It's a tragedy that's hard to put into words for everybody that's been affected by it. We're all a big family up here. And this has affected everybody a great deal," said a statement from the resort.

He had worked at Loveland Ski Area for three seasons.

A fund has been set up for people to donate to help the family he leaves behind:  www.youcaring.com/erikamackey-1054724

An investigation is underway by the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

EMERGENCY PYEONCHANG EVACUATION PLANS FOR US TEAM

US Ski & Snowboard have emergency evacuation plans in place for athletes, coaches and officials should a "nightmare scenario" unfold during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The crisis response specialists believe the prospect of such a scenario is "very low".

However it  there are plans to  evacuate the athletes quickly tensions between the United States and North Korea escalate into a wider conflict.

Rise in ticket salesRise in ticket sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOLO CLIMBERS BANNED IN NEPAL

The ban extends to Mt Everest and is being done in an attempt to promote safety and reduce accidents.

"The mountains in Nepal are unique, and it's always better for climbers to go with guides. This is good for their own safety," said the president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, Santa Bir Lama.

Nepal has eight of the world's 10 tallest mountains, including Mount Everest.

The ban will likely be in place for the spring climbing season.

Climbers with physical disabilities will also be required to obtain health clearance from their doctors before climbing permits are issued.

Mt EverestMt Everest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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