Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Has Snowboarding Lost Its Edge?
LATE last summer when Shaun White, the two-time Olympic gold medal snowboarder and X-Games superstar, was charged with public intoxication and vandalism, he became at age 26 an accidental metaphor for his sport: a young phenom all grown up, and in a spot of trouble.
After exploding onto the scene about two decades ago, snowboarding is now sputtering in the United States, according to a recent study by RRC Associates, which tracks trends that affect the winter-resort industry. “Today, there is every indication that the growth in snowboarding we took for granted has stalled, and visitation from snowboarding is headed toward a path of substantial decline,” Nate Fristoe, RRC Associates’ director of operations, wrote in the National Ski Areas Association Journal.
For several months now, Mr. Fristoe’s report has been the buzz of the industry. For some it’s also become a rallying cry to revive this sport, which, with its bad-boy image, was widely credited with saving a dull and moribund ski industry in the early 1990s.
From just 7.7 percent of all visits to American ski slopes two decades ago, snowboarders accounted for nearly one-third of visitors two years ago. Now that surge has fizzled. The percentage of visits to resorts by snowboarders even declined slightly each of the last two seasons, to 30.2 percent last winter, according to a survey by the National Ski Areas Association.
Friday, August 28, 2015
With the ever-going popularity of climbing the Mont Blanc, the Haute Savoie Prefect have voted unanimously to police both the Gouter Route and the Three Monts Route up to the Mont Blanc from June to September.
In a statement issued by the Haute Savoie Prefect and the Mayor of Saint Gervais, the Gouter (Normal) and the Three Monts route will be manned by a number of gendarmes (police) from June to September.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Morzine and Avoriaz are two of the best ski towns in France and form part of the huge Portes du Soleil area. Purpose-built Avoriaz is perched seemingly precariously on a plateau at 1800m. It is very convenient, offering ski-in ski-out accommodation, but lacks the friendly atmosphere of Morzine which breaks the traditional French stereotype not being as ugly as sin, and instead an attractive village full of wooden chalets with not a high-rise in sight!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Sunday, August 16, 2015
A glorious winter, but the Alps face a warmer world – bringing huge change
Under Mont Blanc's glittering peak, mountain guides and scientists tell the same story: the Alps are warming, the evidence of climate change is clear and the golden years of ski tourism will soon be past. Read on..
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
courtesy of Danny Uhlmann
Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 6:16AM
"...we want to draw attention to the fact that although experience is necessary to develop certain competences....having been exposed to the relevant risks and “got a way with it" is itself no good evidence to having acquired these competences. More generally, we want to caution against the inference that in most mountain sports, experience is by itself a reliable indicator of competence."
Philip A. Ebert and Theoni Photopoulou, "Bayes’ beacon: avalanche prediction, competence, and evidence for competence"
After my first winter season in the Alps (2012-2013) I was both dazzled by the terrain and amazed by the access to it. There were many lessons I learned and many days spent in massive terrain here with clients and on personal trips. I guided all sorts of off-piste and ski touring days and taught a few AIARE 1 avalanche courses. As a new guide to this area it was hard to resist using the approach to stability forecasting and risk management I am used to from North America and apply it here. But the approach in Europe is much different; both among guides and among recreational skiers. The following are my observations about what I have learned, what I feel is missing here is Europe, and what I think we can all do to stay safe in the winter snowpack while riding.
READ ON ..