Over the weekend, the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in the French Pyrenees used a helicopter to bring in fresh snow to the slopes from higher elevations. The chopper dumped 50 tonnes of snow on the beginner and ski school slopes. From The Guardian:
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Hervé Pounau, the director of the local department council, said the cost of the operation would be recouped many times over by the business that would have been lost to a lack of snow.
“It will cost us between €5,000 and €6,000, in the knowledge that over the long term we will get at least 10 times’ return on that investment,” Pounau said in a statement...
The operation has angered French ecologists. Bastien Ho, the secretary of Europe Écologie Les Verts party, said the snow transfer operation was evidence of an “upside-down world”.
“Instead of adapting to global warming we’re going to end up with a double problem: something that costs a lot of energy, that contributes heavily to global warming and that in addition is only for an elite group of people who can afford it. It is the world upside down,” he told French television.
Watch as pro skier Josh Daiek of South Lake Tahoe backflips over a Highway 50 road gap!
Daiek, known for his fearlessness in the mountains, launched himself from the edge of a 90-foot cliff above the roadway near Echo Summit, threw a backflip while clearing westbound semitrucks on the pavement below, then landed on his feet in the snowy embankment on the other side. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done,” Daiek said recently.
He pulled off the jump a year ago, on Feb. 6, 2019, after eyeing that spot in the road for a decade and waiting for the snow conditions to align for a safe landing. “It was a harebrained idea I thought just might be possible, and I’m really stoked to have pulled it off.”
Read the Chronicle's recent interview with Daiek to learn how he did this absolutely crazy stunt.
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Swiss freeskier and filmmaker Nico Vuignier of Centriphone fame, delivers "Heatseeker," an exhilarating night skiing adventure illuminated by fiery shots from a flare gun.
Edited by Nicolas Vuignier & Jules Guarneri; Shot by Jules Guarneri; Riders:
Jeremie Heitz, Nicolas Vuignier, Samuel Anthamatten, Laurent DeMartin, Florian Bruchez, Mathieu Schaer
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Last winter, Samm Sheperd took another stab at skiing with a propeller backpack (his first try overheated). The first four minutes show the build for those who want to jump to the testing. Read the rest
With snowpack disappearing and desertification expanding globally, the Global Warming Riders are making the best of a bad situation and shredding some challenging dunes. Read the rest
This point-of-view footage from NBC Sports offers an exhilarating, terrifying glimpse into what it’s like to be an Olympic downhill skier. Read the rest
Heart-pounding snowboard footage set to the original version of "Major Tom"? Yes please! Read the rest
Musical theatre student Evan W. Gadda has heard stories about Burning Man but hasn't made the journey himself. He is asthmatic. and because of cerebral palsy, paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, so making the trip to Black Rock City has been deemed impossible, until now. Through a HTC Vive VR headset, he has been able to attend the desert event virtually.
His response? "Oh my God."
The team at University of Nevada, Reno who created the experience for Gadda, also sent him to Squaw Valley to (virtually) ski, something he hasn't done since he was 15 years old. It brought him to tears.
Here are the two videos he watched:
Thanks, Andie! Read the rest
Stefan Kraft beat the world record on this attempt, 253.5 meters, which is over 831 feet. There was some discussion about whether he landed it legally, but he prevailed. Regardless, it's a mind-blowing feat. Read the rest
Devin Stratton, 25, was backcountry skiing in Utah's Wasatch Range when he accidentally glided right off a 150-foot cliff. It was unmarked. Above, his Instagram post with the video evidence. Read the rest
LiveLeaker w4chi posted a video of what it's like to survive an avalanche while wearing a special inflatable backpack. Read the rest
Tree wells are a natural phenomenon in deep mountain snow. Evergreens basically act as flour sifters, causing snow around the trees to have less density than surrounding snowpack. Backcountry snowsport enthusiasts on ungroomed courses who get too close to these trees drop in (usually head-first) and can't extricate themselves. Read the rest
Skier Mathieu Bijasson didn't think it was insane enough to ski down the steepest faces of the French Alps during the day, so he rigged up some skis and poles with LED lighting and did it at night. The result is visually beautiful and teeth-clenchingly terrifying all at once. Read the rest
This famed 5,000-year-old rock carving on the island of Tro, near Nordland, Norway, depicting a figure on skis, is one of the most important historical sites in the country. Two teenagers may be prosecuted for scratching into the stone to make the artwork clearer. (Above: image at left is before, right is after.)
The boys came forward last week, and apologized for their actions.
“It was done out of good intentions," said local mayor Bård Anders Langø. "They were trying to make it more visible actually, and I don’t think they understood how serious it was."
According to The Telegraph, the teens may still face prosecution under Norway’s Cultural Heritage Act.
“It’s a sad, sad story,” Nordland Country archaeologist Tor-Kristian Storvik said. “The new lines are both in and outside where the old marks had been. We will never again be able to experience these carvings again the way we have for the last 5,000 years.”
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I'm not a hardcore skiier, but growing up in Canada I did learn, and my family and I go skiing about once a year. Read the rest