Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to ‘save the glacier’

Skyway Monte Bianco. Photo: Skyway Monte Bianco- Courmayeur Mont Blanc. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to 'save the glacier'

Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to ‘save the glacier’

 
 
Skyway Monte Bianco, part of Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces a new sustainability strategy. The aim of it is to ‘save the glacier’.
 
Skyway Monte Bianco is a unique rotair cablecar that reaches 3,466 and takes you in two steps. Skyway is the first company proposing an environmental sustainable project to preserve the Mont Blanc glacier.
 
Skyway Monte Bianco is a start for the off-piste itineraries towards Courmayeur and Chamonix. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to 'save the glacier'.
Skyway Monte Bianco is a start for the off-piste itineraries towards Courmayeur and Chamonix. Photo: Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to ‘save the glacier’.
The town of Courmayeur, at the bottom of the Monte Bianco Massif. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to 'save the glacier'.
The town of Courmayeur, at the bottom of the Monte Bianco Massif. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to ‘save the glacier’.
The cablecar Skyway Monte Bianco unites the Italian Alps to the French. Therefore, the idea of this project is to create a plan that is social and friendly to the environment.
 
This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
 

The Skyway Sustainability Initiative

 
Skyway has curated this report out of a three-years’ study. They have formed the Save the Glacier project. They started by cleaning up an area of he Gran Flambeau glacier. Here there were many signs of human damage left behind. Partnering with the technicians operation and the Grivel, they retired twenty tons. Scrap and iron materials taken downstream to dispose with safety.
 
After studying how glaciers are suffering, Skyway wants to take concrete actions. This will be in form of green-certified supplies. Skyway intends to reduce waste volume. These will also reduce energy sources and emissions and water. The idea is to have a green consortium.
The views from Skyway Monte Bianco are amazing, wherever you look. You are on the roof of Europe! Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to 'save the glacier'.
The views from Skyway Monte Bianco are amazing, wherever you look. You are on the roof of Europe!  Photo: Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc. Skyway Monte Bianco. Courmayeur Mont Blanc announces new sustainability strategy to ‘save the glacier’.
 

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Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine.

Crans-Montana in winter. Photo: CMTC Luciano Miglionico. Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine.

Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine.

Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine. Covid-19 high risk countries visitors should be able to travel in Switzerland. With negative corona tests they could avoid quarantine, say tourism officials.
 

From Swissinfo.ch – NZZ am Sonntag/sb

 
Now people arriving in Switzerland from high risk coronavirus countries need to quarantine. The Federal Office of Public Health updates this list in frequent basis. People not complying with the quarantine risk a fine. Quarantine in Switzerland is for 10 days.
 
With winter season starting in less than three months, it can be very detrimental for tourism.
 
“If French guests are absent in the autumn and winter season, we will be hit hard,” Martin Nydegger, director of Switzerland Tourism, told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper on September 13.
Saas-Fee is one of the prettiest ski towns in the Valais region. Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine.
Saas-Fee is one of the prettiest ski towns in the Valais region. Switzerland Tourism is asking to offer tests to tourists to avoid quarantine.

Valais is concerned for the upcoming ski season

 
The resorts of the Valais region are nervous with the panorama this winter. Resorts such as Verbier, Zermatt and Crans-Montana depend a lot on international visitors.
 
“There is a lot at stake for us,” said Christophe Darbellay, head of the Valais Department of Economic Affairs.
 
Winter tourism brings in around CHF2 billion ($2.2 billion) a year. Half of the winter tourists come from abroad, from Europe, according to NZZ .

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Cerro Catedral has opened its lifts: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.

Catedral Alta Patagonia, the resort of Bariloche, has opened yesterday. Photo: Diario La Nación. Cerro Catedral has opened: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.

Cerro Catedral has opened its lifts: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.

Cerro Catedral has opened this ski season 2020. Only residents with season pass can ski. This is a pilot scheme for ten days. Catedral is the first resort opening in the region amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first resort in South America opening!
Ski map Catedral Alta Patagonia. Cerro Catedral has opened: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.
Ski map Catedral Alta Patagonia. Cerro Catedral has opened: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.
Cerro Catedral, in San Carlos de Bariloche has opened its ski season 2020 only for locals with a season pass. The first day in the mountain in the year (Thursday 23 July) was fresh and sunny, with a depth of 2 m of snow in the summit.
Depending on this trial, the resort will do a bigger opening of its terrain in August and September.
skiing in Cerro Catedral. Archive photo. Cerro Catedral has opened: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.
skiing in Cerro Catedral. Archive photo. Cerro Catedral has opened: skiing for locals with masks and record snow levels.
Gustavo Gennuso, major of Bariloche told Télam:
“On one hand, the resort has an important role for Bariloche on jobs. But there are also vital needs as the relationship of mountaineers with the mountain. Those are the ones pushing on opening the mountain to help this activity”.

Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review

Warren Miller and his camera. Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review.

Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review

Ski Bum – The Warren Miller Story is out to download from your iTunes. Also, you can get it on Amazon Prime. Watch it yesterday and write a review about it. I loved it. It is the case that I have been off ski movies for a while. I guess I have grown up. Before, I used to love watching all the ski movies, by Warren Miller and all the others that followed his steps. I also used to love watching MTV, as well as Beavis and Butthead and Wayne’s World.
Warren and his friend living in the parking lot of a ski area. The first years as a ski bum. Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review.
Warren and his friend living in the parking lot of a ski area. The first years as a ski bum. Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review.
This is the biography of a self-made man, who started being a ski bum living out of a trailer in the parking lot of a ski area. How he made it there. He talks with candour about his family, his alcoholic dad that was better not to have around. His mother that had no eyes for him but for his sisters. He started going to surf and then to ski to escape it all.

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Warren Miller with his second wife and three kids. Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review.
Warren Miller with his second wife and three kids. Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story- A Review.

What do I think about Ski Bum- The Warren Miller Story

 
It made me laugh and made me cry. It has all the contents to keep you watching over the hour and a half that it plays. Many of the skiers that were skiing for him talk candidly about him. Same for Greg Stump, that managed to ski in a section of a movie that came out when he was producing his first movie. Warren was as competitive to go back to the tape and change Greg’s name for someone else’s.
 
It shows how he manage to shot all the scenes, from his first camera, to his work with other cameramen. One of his long-time cameramen invented the first not-so-portable Go-Pro to put it on skiers. He could make it tilt to capture the scenes depending the posture of the skier.

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The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado

Vail's iconic village with the Gore Range Mountains capturing the sunset in Vail, CO. Photo- Craig Orsini, Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado- Where to Stay, how to ski the Mountain, Where to Eat and Drink.

Vail is one of the most renown ski resorts in the world. It was one of these resorts I always wanted to visit when I was young growing up in Argentina. Luck struck me and I was able to visit several times, and also worked for Vail Resorts long time ago now. International visitors always want to visit either Vail or Aspen. Those are the famous resorts they know. This made me then put together the Must-Read Guide to Vail to help you organise your trip to this grand resort!

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Vail's 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Vail’s 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail, Colorado.

The History of Vail

Ute Indians used to settle within this territory in the summer. They used to travel to the most arid lands on the west during winter. The Utes used to call the Gore Range that overlooked the valley the “Shinning Mountains”.
Came WWII and the United States created a training center called Camp Hale. Here the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine combat. They went on to fight on the Mountains of Northern Italy. When they came back, they were the force to develop the ski industry in the USA.
One veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, Peter Seibert, came back to Colorado. He joined the Aspen Ski Patrol and Ski School. Then he went on to become the manager of Loveland Basin Ski Area. At that moment, Seibert and Earl Eaton start looking on developing a new ski resort in the Rockies.
Eaton was local to Colorado and started skiing when young. By 1940, he was ski racing in Aspen while working for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Glenwood. In 1957, he and Seibert climbed Vail Mountain in winter and realised of its potential as a ski area.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

Must-read guide to Chamonix

Winter in Chamonix- Photo credits: Salome Abrial. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix

Must-read guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Why visit the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley? Well, it should be in every mountain lover’s bucket list! There are plenty of reasons why to go and visit Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley. That is why I put together a Must-Read Guide to Chamonix Mont-Blanc.

 

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You can summarise why Chamonix is so amazing in seven facts:
1) Chamonix lays at the foot of The MONT BLANC (4810m), the highest mountain in Europe, making of it, a unique spot! (You must have read already my Must-Read Guide to Courmayeur. Courmayeur is on the other side – the Italian side, of the Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco).
2) Chamonix in winter is famous for its freeriding and lots of activities for non-skiers. Plus Chamonix is not only for the daredevil! It offers activities and variety of slopes for all levels.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Ski de Randonnée in Chamonix. Photo: Christophe Raylat. OT Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
3) Chamonix in summer is amazing, and you can tell that a favourite spot for visitors. There are lots of incredible sightseeing tours to take. And wide range of outdoor activities for all.
4) Chamonix is a year-round destination and a lively Alpine city. This is not a purposed-built resort, people live here all year. That makes the vibe of the place!
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix. Photo: Salome Abrial. OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
5) Chamonix’s heritage. You can find it through its art, culture, architecture and cuisine.
6) Very close to the highway. Chamonix is one of the easiest towns to reach .
7) Chamonix offers a wide variety of accommodation for all budgets. So, it is not only for the rich and famous!

History of Chamonix. Must-Read Guide to Chamonix

Chamonix has a long and fascinating history. Starting from the first explorers to the golden age of winter sports.
The town has an amazing cultural and architectural heritage.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
Architecture in Chamonix, painting at the Office of the Mountain Guides. Photo: Salome Abrial- OT Vallée de Chamonix. Must-Read guide to Chamonix.
You can book one of the weekly guided heritage tours. In these you can discover the architectural diversity of Chamonix. Baroque churches to Protestan chapels. Hotels and palaces from the “Golden Era” to “Art Deco” facades. From traditional farmhouses, to colossal villas passing through chalets contrasting with modern buildings.
1741: Two English men Windham and Pococke discovered “Chamouny” valley and its glaciers. The population at the time was living on farms. These two men lead the first touristic exploration climbing the Mer de Glace glacier.

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3 Zinnen will continue with its plan to install the Helmjet Sexten 10-seater cable car.

Helmjet Sexten. Drei Zinnen will continue with its plan to install the Helmjet Sexten 10-seater cable car.

3 Zinnen will continue with its plan to install the Helmjet Sexten 10-seater cable car.

3 Zinnen Helmjet Sexten – 3 Zinnen Hotels, where to stay in 3 Zinnen, 3 Zinnen Restaurants,  on-mountain restaurants in 3 Zinnen and where to eat in Sesto and the villages.

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3 Zinnen (Tre Cime) ski resort is going ahead with the plan of replacing its old 40-year-old gondola which connected the village of Sesto/Sexten with the ski mountain of Monte Elmo/Helm, with the new premium 10-seater gondola called Helmjet Sexten.

The new gondola will be a premium upgrade for the 3 Zinnen ski resort in the Dolomites, especially because longer waiting lines in the peak season can now be avoided, due to its capacity to bring around 3.000 people at the top per hour.

Drei Zinnen seen from the Drei Zinnen ski area - photo PXHere.com. Drei Zinnen will continue with its plan to install the Helmjet Sexten 10-seater cable car.
3 Zinnen seen from the Drei Zinnen ski area – photo PXHere.com. Drei Zinnen will continue with its plan to install the Helmjet Sexten 10-seater cable car.

Mark Winkler, CEO of 3 Zinnen Ski Resort Dolomites said:

“Every new lift we build is special to me. But the “HELMJET SEXTEN” is a passion project: we have all been waiting for it for many years. In a way, it is the jewel in the crown of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites sports and mountain destination—the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle of investments we made over the course of the past years. We are giving our main entrance in Sesto a massive upgrade: the state-of-the-art facilities will offer our guests much greater comfort while reducing the rush and waiting times of the old system. Personally, I cannot wait to sit in the new ‘Symphony’ premium gondola for the first time and take in the views of the Sesto Sundial.” 

Completing the puzzle of the resort with Helmjet Sexten.

The Monte Elmo Sesto cable car was first built in February 1981. At the time, it was extremely modern. For nearly forty years, it carried skiers, hikers and families to the top of Monte Elmo daily, until this changed in 2020. This year the dated cable car is replaced by the new detachable premium 10-seater Helmjet Sexten cablecar lift.

Six years ago, the 3 Zinnen Dolomites ski resort (called at the time “Sesto Dolomites”) – consisted only of only 50 km of slopes on two mountains. Today, just over half a decade, the 3 Zinnen AG has turned the area into a little gem of five interconnected mountains and 115 km of slopes, with 31 modern cable cars and chairlifts serving them. On the mountain you find family-run restaurants, ski and bike rental services and the Punka Service Centre, the most advance service facilities in the Alps.

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Comparing the Maps of the Alps.

Comparing the Maps of the Alps.Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse. Unsplash.

Comparing the Maps of the Alps.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Now that the weather is nicer, maybe it is time to plan your next mountain adventure. You can sit in your garden, enjoying the sunny days we are having (at least in Britain) during this Covid19 epidemic and start taking your time, as a hobby, of thinking where your next road trip will be.

For me, it will always be to a mountain, and it will mostly be by car. Unless I travel to America (both North and South), I prefer, if possible, to take the car as driving to the mountains, is part of the trip.

Comparing the Maps of the Alps. Photo by Daniel Gonzalez. Unsplash.
Comparing the Maps of the Alps. Photo by Daniel Gonzalez. Unsplash.

So, I always like opening some maps and guides and see what I want to do. I just measure with my fingers the driving we’ll do as a family on one day- actually, the driving my husband will do, as for me it is too traumatising to change sides of the road again. I did it once from Argentina to the UK and I still have to think each time I drive, which side of the road I have to get in, and what side of the car I have to mount to! But I am a great co-pilot, and enjoy the planning of the trip, as much as the guiding.

Here is a selection of maps, many of which I have already bought- (you cannot ever have enough maps, right?) I might not spend too much in shoes, but I do like my maps, and some travel guides as well!

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How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?

Beaver Mountain. Photo by Indy Pass. How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?

How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

OK, the ski season 19-20 has been cut short, at least we have to count ourselves lucky, as we could ski in December and February as a family, and I even had a cheeky escape in January with some mum friends. We were going to go back in April, but oh well. I feel sorry for those families going only in Easter and having to miss their holiday. But with the crisis and all the people losing loved ones, having to stay at home is not so bad really.

Now, if I start thinking about next season, I don’t have to book lodging, as we have our home in the Valdigne region of the Aosta Valley. But usually by now, I would have booked my Eurotunnel ticket and my hotels on the way up in Chaumont (the Ibis Styles Chaumont Centre Gare), and the Novotel or Holiday Inn in Reims for when we come back….

Visiting the mountains is a good option if you are afraid of too many people on the lifts, there are still lots of activities to do while social distancing.
Visiting the mountains is a good option if you are afraid of too many people on the lifts, there are still lots of activities to do while social distancing. How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season? Photo by The-Ski-Guru. Monte Grivola seen from Morgex, AO.

So far, I am in no hurry to do anything, we’ll have time. I do have a Eurotunnel reservation for late July and the Ibis Styles in Chaumont also for July, I’ve figured out that the way back could be in a different place needed be; and I don’t know if we in the UK are going to be allowed to be crossing the Channel by then… so it will be wait and see.

How social-distancing would work in ski resorts?

So how would ski resorts open in the winter (and summer, as they are getting ready for that now?) They are talking of a whole lot of new measures to keep their guests and employees safe.

There would be much less overcrowding for sure. And that for me would be a silver lining.

Winter walks are always lovely, and you can have the space to relax in the mountains. How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?
Winter walks are always lovely, and you can have the space to relax in the mountains. How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?

I am the kind of person that likes skiing with no people around, I think I’ve written this before, and as I have kids in school age, we are stuck to go on holidays when everyone is going on holidays…. I remember growing up in Argentina, we could take some time off for going skiing during August, avoiding the Winter Holidays in July and not being penalised. There you get (at least when I was growing up, many moons ago), 25 days of absenteeism per year. That means, if coming late by one minute in the morning, you got half an absenteeism. If coming late by more than 5 minutes, you missed your day- you could count that everyone was in time – not sure why they don’t set this up in the UK, as I keep on seeing people coming late (including me, even I live across from the school!). Also, if then you take some holidays, that is fine, you count the days off, but, if you get ill and have to be absent and you pass the 25 days, you repeat the year …. No ifs and buts… (a well-known phrase in the UK- that I actually don’t like.)

Mt Baldy in Southern California just reopened the ski season, and they are asking guests to come at different times, and only four people can go up every 10 minutes. They only have chairlifts, so that is easier. The people are asked to go alone, unless they are in a family group.

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UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.

Les Gets- Images ©Keno_Derleyn_OT_Les_Gets. UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.

UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.

A study of UK snowsports industry professionals conducted by Ski Press and Skipedia have revealed the damage that Covid-19 has had on their business and what they believe the future might hold for next year.

Some of the key findings concluded that:

  • 82% of companies suffered reduced sales due to the premature end to the 2019-20 season, with two-thirds experiencing lower than usual sales for winter 2020-21 so far.
  • Almost 1 in 5 have made staff redundant and a quarter are concerned they could go out of business.
  • Although almost all expect ski resorts to open next winter, over 70% expect this to be with social distancing restrictions in place.
Crans-Montana in winter - Photo: @CMTC_luciano_miglionico. UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.
Crans-Montana in winter – Photo: @CMTC_luciano_miglionico. UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.

With the 2019-20 season cut short, the pressures on UK ski professionals started during March when all Alpine countries started closing ski resorts following the lockdown in Italy. By the middle of March, Austria, France and Switzerland had closed all of its ski resorts and holidays for the rest of the season were cancelled.

60% of winter sports businesses including tour operators and equipment retailers have now furloughed staff members. 17% of respondents have had to make redundancies too.

Whilst 64% are saying they are experiencing reduced sales for next winter, two-thirds expect that it should be ‘business as usual’ this winter, anticipating that they will be able to offer their normal services.

Continue reading “UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.”