SKISNOWBOARD EUROPE FEATURES
News from European ski and snowboard resorts
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(July 20, 2007)


WARMING TREND THREATENS ALPS SKI RESORTS

SKI YOUR WAY THROUGH OLYMPIC HISTORY

SKIING IN ITALY WILL REACH A NEW PEAK

FRENCH RESORTS COMMIT "ECOLOGICAL SUICIDE"

OLYMPICS 2014: GOING FOR THE GOLD? GOING TO KAZAKHSTAN?


10 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SKIING IN EUROPE AND THE USA



WARMING TREND THREATENS ALPS SKI RESORTS

Muddy slopes, slushy peaks, unused lifts - this town in the French Alps is living out the nightmare of many a ski resort in a century scientists say is doomed to keep getting warmer.

T he city council of Abondance - its name a cruel reminder of the generous snowfall it once enjoyed - voted last month 9-6 to shut down the ski station that has been its economic raison d'etre for more than 40 years. The reason: not enough snow.

Abondance is the French Alps' first ski station to fall apparent victim to global warming. It will almost certainly not be the last.

At 3,051 feet, this station between Mont Blanc and Lake Leman falls in the altitude range climate scientists say has seen the most dramatic drop in snowfall in recent generations.

The Alps as a whole, which pull in about 70 million tourists every year primarily for winter sports, are "particularly sensitive" to climate change, according to a study last winter by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Read the full story from FORBES.COM

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SKI YOUR WAY THROUGH OLYMPIC HISTORY

By Charles Leocha, special for USATODAY.com

To winter sports enthusiasts, the roll call of Winter Olympic cities recites like an international resort hall of fame. Just being selected as the site of the Olympic games is the equivalent of winning a gold medal, an endorsement that the venue is one of the best on the planet for snowsports. After having the attention of the world intensely focused on them, Olympic venues never seem to retreat back into obscurity.

The aura of the Olympic honor has been tangible for the 16 areas that have hosted the Games since 1924, when 16 nations and 258 athletes gathered in Chamonix, France, for the first competition. Subsequent Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland; Lake Placid, N.Y.; Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; Oslo; Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; Squaw Valley, Calif.; Grenoble, France; and Innsbruck, Austria, put those resorts on the map as world-class winter playgrounds.

Link to the full story

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SKIING IN ITALY WILL REACH A NEW PEAK

Lavish preparations for the Winter Olympics should pay dividends for Piedmont's resorts long after the Games,

Until recently, Italy wasn't a country you would automatically associate with top-level skiing. But, two days from now, that will change when Turin and eight nearby ski resorts in the north-western region of Piedmont host the Winter Olympics.

Relatively overlooked by tourists, who favour the better-known resorts in Switzerland or France, the Piedmont resorts attract mostly Italians and reflect the local outlook - the skiing culture is friendly, laid-back and involves a great deal of eating, drinking and sunbathing on the slopes.

Piedmont, close to the border with France, is renowned for sunshine, picturesque villages and modern facilities (as well as offering the novelty of being able to ski in France and Italy on the same day). And with an estimated one billion euros spent on improving the area in the past six years, it's clearly hoped that the impact of the Olympics will linger long after the world's focus has moved away

Read the full story in the London Telegraph

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FRENCH RESORTS COMMIT "ECOLOGICAL SUICIDE"

Member of parliament for the Savoie and former minister, Herve Gaymard has accused ski areas in the Savoie of committing “ecological suicide”. Gaymard, former president of the ANENA (National Association for the Study of Snow and Avalanches), says that the valley has to “stop the headlong over development of ski resorts.” The battle is over water and the players include local farmers, permanent residents, ski resorts and the EDF, the Government run electric company. Along with other local representatives he has called “for a global approach to water management”. Already residents of some towns in the area have suffered from water shortages during the winter.

Read the full story

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OLYMPICS 2014: GOING FOR THE GOLD? GOING TO KAZAKHSTAN?

Want some quick Olympic street cred? Over the next few weeks, when everyone else is in Turin overdrive — wishing they were on the slopes of northern Italy watching Bode Miller or Jeremy Bloom go for gold, or maybe talking about planning a trip to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games — casually drop into the conversation that you're thinking about going skiing in ... Almaty, Kazakhstan.

For the Central Asian city of Almaty — the word "unknown" barely begins to describe how off-the-radar it is for most sports fans — is one of seven places now bidding for the 2014 Winter Games. They range from a South Korean ski town that nearly won the 2010 bid to perhaps the best known of the bunch, Salzburg, Austria. The pick won't be made until July 2007, so here is a scouting report on the places that may play host to some of the world's greatest athletes in just eight years' time.

Read the full story in the New York Times

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10 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SKIING IN EUROPE AND THE USA

European ski and snowboard resorts have a different flavor from the sport served up in the USA. It will only take an uninitiated American skier or snowboarder a short time in the Alps or the Pyrenees to realize that there is little similar in Europe to the American experience other than snow and the general practice of sliding down the trails on skis or a snowboard.

Many Americans learn to embrace the lifestyle differences during their European ski trips. But for those who can't, there's still a silver lining. Don't care for Europe's leisurely lunches? You'll have the slopes to yourself at midday. Can't party till dawn like the Continental contingent? Revel in the fact there are no lift lines in the morning.

Here are ten differences, both cultural and physical, gleaned from three decades of experience on both continents.

Read the full story in USAToday.com

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