Japan’s ski resorts are suffering through one of the worst snow seasons on record, disappointing locals and foreign tourists and jeopardizing the country’s budding reputation as an international ski destination.
On the northern island of Hokkaido, where resorts like Niseko are known for reliable, fresh powder, the snow failed to fall in December and remains scant in the new year. In Sapporo, ski competitions have been canceled and the city is trucking in snow for its annual snow festival. December’s snowfall there was the lowest since the Japan Meteorological Agency began keeping records in 1961.
At resorts farther south, conditions are worse. In Nagano, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, skiers dodge wide patches of grass on the slopes. In Zao, where Japanese kids usually squeal over ‘snow monsters’ created by sticky downfalls that cover trees, there are few to be found. Niigata, setting for the classic novel “Snow Country,’’ has had a quarter of its usual accumulation.
In the snowiest area of Minnesota, on the slopes of the Sawtooth Hills that rise above Lake Superior, a small group of skiers make waves in otherwise untrammeled drifts.
They call themselves Superior Highland Backcountry and they are having a blast doing something most Minnesotans have never heard of.
The idea is to hike or ski uphill in wild areas — or up mountains if you have them — and then ski back down, on specialized equipment that can grip on the way uphill and glide on the way down. You ski between trees, around rocks, over humps and bumps usually through powdery, unpacked snow. The sport is huge in western mountain states, growing in Vermont and the east and in its infancy on the hills of Minnesota's Arrowhead region between Finland and Lutsen.Read the full story at DuluthNewsTribune.com
Winter brings renewed wonder when locals and visitors alike take to the trails at Glenwood Springs’ own Sunlight Mountain ski resort.
A “never-ever” before skier, 17-year-old Cherish Jenkins, went gliding down the ski and snowboard learning area at the National Winter Activity Center, natural as could be.
An hour's drive from Bozeman, Big Sky Ski Resort is one of the largest in North America, but there's plenty to do around here for non-skiers too and the majestic mountain scenery will take your breath away.
A self-induced challenge to climb then ski down all 110 of Vermont's major mountains led Spencer Crispe to places he describes as some of "the best-kept secrets" — and where he was able to do some of most enjoyable skiing of his life.
"Vermont is just so beautiful," he said. "It just reaffirmed, in my opinion, how beautiful the state is and how suited a lot of the terrain is for backcountry skiing and whatnot."
Crispe, a local attorney and West Brattleboro resident who is a ninth-generation Vermonter, finished the challenge Jan. 5 at Middle Jay after four winters of skiing. He had already skied a bunch of the mountains and climbed all 110 during non-winter months.
"I was like, maybe I could climb them in winter, which would be a cool challenge, and ski
The U.S. ski resort industry started with a bunch of mustachioed dudes focused on uphill transportation.
To visit America's newest ski resort, follow the Jersey Turnpike, exit at MetLife Stadium and Meadowlands Racetrack, and head next door to American Dream.
Which, of course, is a mall.
Going to a ski resort is the highlight of many snow-lovers' winters (or summers, depending on where they live!). From the fresh powder to the exciting thrills on the slopes, there's a lot to love about adventuring in tons of snow. Of course, plenty of alpine destinations also offer up excellent shopping, tourism opportunities, and dining.
Governor Tom Wolf has officially declared January 2020 Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month in Pennsylvania with the Senate also making a proclamation.
On Dec. 20, Breckenridge Ski Resort announced on its social media channels that Imperial Express, the highest chairlift in North America reaching 12,840 feet, was officially open for the season. It came with the caveat that opening such high-Alpine terrain is “no small task.”
When the bus rolls up at 6 a.m. in the crisp mountain air, Christian Tichy often is among those who climb aboard to head to work, snowboard in hand.
Kimber Francoeur and co-worker Amee McLaughlin love the outdoors. It's a good thing they do, since they spend most of the winter climbing up and down Jiminy Peak, making sure the snow guns are working and the slopes are ready for the skiers and snowboarders.
“You’re on the ski mountain. It is all perfectly groomed. There’s really no one around, it’s super quiet,” Ted Mahon, ski extraordinaire and talented mountaineer, described reaching the top of a mountain just as the sun was rising in the morning. “You just had this amazing workout, you climbed a mountain in the process and you’re getting ready to ski down. You’re just getting into the warmth of the sun and it’s an incredible start to the day. It’s almost dream-like and that’s why I keep going back.”
Back in 1965, when Snowbird was still a dream coming together in Ted Johnson’s mind, an architect — designing the ski resort secretly taking shape in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains — pondered how to get thousands of skiers up Little Cottonwood Canyon, whose steep and narrow walls were lined with avalanche paths.
Recent rain and warm temperatures have been a setback for cross-country ski areas which had been enjoying a strong start to the season. But one local Nordic center is turning to last winter for some help.
The purchase of Saddleback ski area will be delayed until early next year while a state finance agency reviews an application for debt insurance that the sale depends on.