Two ski patrollers died on Sunday in the ski resort in Morillon in the Haute Savoie region of France while setting avalanche control charges before the resort opened to the public. These avalanche-control charges accidentally went off, killing them. Police are investigating the cause of this, which is rare. Ski patrollers set up controlled explosions before the slopes open to mitigate the risk of larger avalanches. You can read my previous interview to Coco Torres, former Head of Operations at Valle de Las Leñas in Argentina, about how patrollers control avalanches in this high-avalanche prone valley.
The accident took place at an altitude of 1,800 metres (6,000 feet). Forecasters at Meteo France warned of high avalanche risks in the Savoie and Hatue-Savoie regions following overnight snowfalls. The risk of avalanches was at 4 out of 5.
These fatalities bring the number of weather-related deaths in Europe this month to at least 26, with heavy snow blanketing the Balkans and part of the Alps.
Two Bulgarian snowboarders were killed by an avalanche in the Pirin Mountains on Friday. The Bulgarian Red Cross said that the pair ignored the warnings and weather alerts and triggered the avalanche.
A 48-year old driver of a snow plough died in Germany this past Friday after his vehicle plunged into an icy river.
In Albania, 2,000 soldiers and emergency workers went out to help people trapped in the snow and clearing roads in the rural areas.
Southwest Serbia has also introduced emergency measures this Friday – where snow is piling up and cutting off rural areas.
In neighbouring Montenegro this first 10 days in January has been the coldest in the country in decades.
In the central Bosnian municipality of Kladani, snow disrupted power supplies and cut phone lines.
During a break in the weather, authorities in Germany and Austria got to clear heavy loads of snow from on top of roofs and roads, but snow set again on Saturday night.
In Kempten, Bavaria, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution on Tuesday as a precaution of the weight of the snow on the roofs could cause any danger.
Trains between the German cities of Munich and Lindau were travelling more slowly than usual because the risk of snow-laden trees falling into the tracks.
The small Alpine resort of Balderschwang on Germany’s border with Austria was cut off due to a pass closed for fear of avalanches.
Also, in central Switzerland, trains carrying cars through the Furka tunnel were suspended due to an avalanche in a nearby road.
We have already covered many news due to this latest spat of snow storms in Europe, as the hotel that was hit by an avalanche of 300 meters of width in Eastern Switzerland.
Recently a British skier was killed after suffering a cardiac arrest on a chairlift falling 32 feet to the ground in Méribel resort in Les Trois Vallées. You can see our recent article on how avalanches claimed two lives in Switzerland the past week. And read more what is the real risk of avalanches. Three Germans have been killed by an avalanche near Lech and a fourth is missing.
The-Ski-Guru TRAVEL can organise your bespoke ski trip to the Americas, Alps or Japan, including for those going from Britain to Europe, booking your Eurotunnel trip, and for all trips: lodging, lift tickets, rentals, ski school, and all you need for an excellent vacation. Go to https://www.the-ski-guru.com/travel and upload your information – this page will be updated soon with more travel ideas. Check our Easter offer to Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Sölden to ski with your family.
You can start thinking about your trip, by reading the articles on the Planning your Ski Trip tab. Or how to pack for your family ski trip. If taking your furry friend abroad to the continent, read about the new Pet Travel Scheme update from DEFRA. Check out our tips for driving to the mountains. If flying and renting a car in Europe, beware of the extra charges they will pass to you if you want winter tyres, snow chains or ski racks. If driving, check the winter tyres news for Europe and North America.
Or you can read our last news on equipment as seen at the London Ski Show. Also, the new range of skis of Black Crows, one of our favourite brands. Lots of snow makes you wonder how the resorts deal with the avalanche danger. Here you can read the interview to Coco Torres, former Head of Operations of Las Leñas, in Argentina, as how they dealt with avalanches at the resort.
Or perhaps you may choose to read the Ski Resort News, Ski Passes News, and the Must-Read Guides to Lech, Zermatt, Courmayeur, Val di Fiemme and Crans-Montana. Coming soon will be the guide to St Anton. Or watch an amazing heli flight over the Mont Blanc Massif. Also see tips on how not to be scammed when booking a ski chalet.
You can also read what’s new at Les Trois Vallées and the last article on what is new at the Tirol ski areas, in Cervinia, in La Plagne, in 3 Zinnen Dolomites , in Adelboden, Lenk and Kandertal, in Gstaad, in Chamonix, in Georgia’s Gudauri Resort and in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. And how the US Ski Team has chosen Alpe Cimbra to train for the following four ski seasons as their European home. Here is the link to our post on the My Voucher Codes ranking of best European Ski Resorts.
Crested Butte will have a new chairlift to replace Teocalli lift for the 2019/20 ski season.
You can plan where to eat in Aspen Snowmass or which events to attend on-mountain while there. Sudtirol ski areas have started and their famous Christmas markets have kicked off too. And Cortina D’Ampezzo is getting ready for this winter and the 2021 World Ski Championships.
Another classic resort, such as St Moritz has been in the news for its famous Cresta Run be opened again for women after a 89 years ban.
Also, you can read how Grandvalira will be staying together as one lift ticket company and how they are adding Ordino Arcalis to this offer. And also read how someone tried to sabotage some lifts in Vallnord’s Pal Arinsal. And as if it is starting to be a trend, there were two lifts sabotaged in Passo Rolle, in Val di Fiemme, Trentino. Fortunately they were repaired in record time to open to the public. Also, Mt Hood Meadows was forced to evacuate one lift with 150 skiers and boarders due to a power failure. And the same was the case in a lift with 140 skiers/boarders in Whitefish, Montana. Or read about the latest investments in Whistler Blackcomb. Or see how Taos is going against the industry trend, and instead of merging with the two biggest oligopolies in skiing at the moment, it goes and buys an airline to get more bums in resort. Or how Jackson Hole is appealing to families and beginners – it is not only a resort for expert skiers anymore. Another great area for families is Stubaital in the Tirol. And a new coming ski area that got funding for its first lift is Skeetawk in Alaska. Courmayeur is opening this season two new trails, one that is 70% steep – not for the faint-hearted! Or read how a group of experienced industry insiders got together to purchase Tamarack Resort. And how Peak Resorts finalised the acquisition of the resorts of Snow Time. You can also check how Vermont’s ski passes are the most expensive in New England. And talking about Vermont, you can read on how Killington is planning to change its North Ridge triple chair with a fixed-gripped quad.
Also read how one employee of Aspen Ski Co got caught in an avalanche but got out unscathed while scouting terrain for the Aspen Mountain Powder Tours. Or how the a gondola of the new American Eagle lift from Copper Mountain crashed into the snow in a trial run. The resort confirmed that the chondola will be fixed before it’s opening day. Plus this week, some gondolas got tangled in Hochzillertal. And there was a gas explosion at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof that injured six, before its opening date.
You can keep up to date on how are the sales for the EPIC and IKON passes are doing here. Read how Emma, the first Digital Mountain Assistant, is launched in Keystone now and will be rolled to eight other resorts this season. And even read about the new incorporation to the IKON Pass: Valle Nevado. Here is also a post on the South American resorts.
Also, Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam donated 2 million USD in grants to support mental and behavioural health programs in ski towns of North America. And see how Aspen Skiing Company released its sustainability report 2018.
And here is a summary of a report by LISTEX on the State of the UK Snowsports Market.
Or check out how now with the EPIC Pass you can ski in Europe, specifically in Les Trois Vallées and the resorts of Skirama Dolomiti in Trentino’s Italy. Or see our review of L’Héliopic Hotel Sweet & Spa if thinking in staying in Chamonix this winter.
Featured Image: Avalanches are a risky business if you venture off-piste. Photo credit Andrew Coelho – Unsplash. Two ski patrollers died in Morillon setting avalanche control charges.