Ski news: the season so far

 

Snow fall

This season will be remembered for its meteorological mood swings. Despite little snow in much of Europe in early December, winter 2011/12 finally got off to a good start in most resorts before Christmas. Heavy November snowfall in western North America was matched by the Alps in mid-December with resorts receiving up to 135 centimetres in a week. All five Scottish centres were able to open before Christmas, too, for the second year in a row.

In a transatlantic switch-over from last winter, the US (although not Canada) subsequently suffered from limited snowfall while Europe has experienced record falls. Now, though, significant snowfall has resumed in most areas.

Alpine resorts are well set up for the rest of the season. Snow depth on the mountain tops at St Anton is around six metres, and some resorts, such as Nauders (nauders.com) in Austria, are reporting the most January snow for 60 years. This has led to travel problems, with resorts including Zermatt (zermatt.ch), cut off for several days this month. Overall, though, it's good news for tour operators, who will be hoping this will be skiing's bounce-back season, following three seasons of decline.

Use your head

Legislation in France, Italy and, recently, New Jersey in the US – yes, it has a skiing area, Mountain Creek (mountaincreek.com) – has made helmet-wearing a legal requirement for children. However, from next winter, anyone skiing or riding in Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada, which has four small ski areas, will have to "put a lid on". It's the first region worldwide to make helmets compulsory for adults as well.

Child's play

The Revelstoke resort(revelstokemountainresort .com) in British Columbia made headlines a few years back by taking the "biggest lift-served vertical drop in North America" title from its provincial rival, Whistler. This year it's moving away from its "tough runs only" image, with a new beginners' area. There's also the new Revelstoke Outdoors Centre, which contains "fun play structures", a new childcare facility for children aged from 18 months and an après-ski family activities programme making use of a new tubing hill.

Flushed with success

England has half-a-dozen small ski areas on northern hills, each with a tow lift or two and all benefiting from the return to snowy winters. They are Allenheads (ski-allenheads.co.uk), Castleside (01207 502 680), Harwood Common (harwoodski.webs.com), Swinhope Moor (skiweardale.com) and Yad Moss (yadmoss.co.uk) – plus the flanks of Raise near Helvellyn. Here Lake District Ski Club (ldscsnowski.co.uk) is celebrating 75 years of skiing at 760 metres by building the first flushing toilet beside the slopes. "We think there is only one higher flushing lavatory in England and that's in the Civil Aviation Authority's radar building on Great Dun Fell, near Penrith," said committee member, Roger Newbold.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living