Snowfall in Europe | 13,000 Tourists Still Stranded in Zermatt as Heavy Snow Hits European Ski Resort

The snowfall in Europe has been described as “once in a generation”….

zermatt switzerland

A photo from before the heavy snowfall in Zermatt caused the closure of roads and trains. Similar helicopters have been put to use in air evacuations since. Photo: Stuart Kenny

Up to 13,000 tourists remain stranded in the ski town of Zermatt, Switzerland after heavy snowfall dropped two metres of snow on European resorts in 48 hours.

The trains out of Zermatt were meant to restart today from 11.15am and head to the nearby town of Täsch, but this was delayed due to the extremity of the clear-up process, leading to the restarting of an air-evacuation in the area.

A statement from the rail company said: “Contrary to a previous report from 9.20am, the Täsch-Zermatt shuttle can not be re-opened from 11.15am. During the clearing work large amounts of snow were found in the portal area of the gallery “Unnerchriz”, which made the clearing much more difficult.”

“Heavy snowfall dropped two metres of snow on European ski resorts in 48 hours…”

Mainstream newspapers around the globe reported on the situation in Zermatt, with helicopters being brought in to evacuate people who really needed to leave Zermatt and take them to Täsch, from where they could take a replacement bus service.

Zermatt is a car-free town and it’s actually not irregular for the routes out of the resort to be shut – because of the steep faces that surround the town, storms can often ‘strand’ tourists there. This time around though, the closure was longer than normal.

Helicopters were said to be carrying around 100 people per hour away from the nearly three feet of snow which fell on an already deep snowpack, though spokespeople in the area were keen to emphasise that it wasn’t an essential evacuation and there was no immediate danger to those still in the town.

There was actually a charge of 70 CHF (around £53) for those wishing to take the helicopter transfer.

While powder-hunters might think this sounds like something straight out a dream, it’s worth noting that due to the sheer volume of snow in the area, ski slopes, hiking paths and cable cars around the village remained closed due to extreme avalanche danger.

The extreme conditions in Zermatt came after an avalanche hit a building and forced road closures in northern Italy, on the other side of the Matterhorn. Another avalanche was then reported to have burst through window in the converted Olympic village near Turin.

The avalanche risk has since been downgraded however from five to four (at the time of writing), though of course four is still a high ranking of the avalanche scale and many resorts remain closed.

Tourists have been stuck in Zermatt for a couple of days now.  While electricity was down for a while, it has been restored since, and even without the opportunity for skiing or snowboarding, it sounds like quite a quaint time in the town as long as you’re okay with the lack of exit options.

A spokesperson for Zermatt, Janine Imesch, told The Guardian: ““Everything is normal, everything is under control. People are enjoying the snow, going shopping, eating and drinking. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. No one can go skiing or hiking, but it’s quiet, even a little bit romantic.”

They were even giving out raclette for free to those waiting on an air lift!

Still, it’s good to hear that the roads are re-opening, and we can only hope now that the blue skies come out in the days to come, and the skiing conditions progress and become less dangerous from there.

The ski resort that received some of the biggest falls from the mass of storms is actually Bonneval-sur-Arc in France. A crazy photo of the roads surrounding the arrea has been doing the rounds online, taken by Alain Duclos (below). Stay safe out there folks!

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Missing In Tignes | Authorities Search For British Skier After Heavy Snowfall In French Alps

John Bromell, from Lincholnshire, hasn’t been seen since Sunday afternoon

british-skier-John-Bromell

Pictured: John Bromell, who was last seen wearing a multi-coloured hat with pompom.

British skier John Bromell, 39 years old, from Lincolnshire was last seen on the Paquis chairlift in Tignes at 4:30pm, on Sunday. He had gone out alone on the pistes in the French Alps, just as the region was hit by severe weather.

John’s friends and family became concerned for his safety when he failed to return that evening, and subsequently raised the alarm.

According to local reports, there was more than one metre of snowfall in the resort on Monday. The conditions have prompted a warning about the risk of avalanches, and hampered the response of the French police. It is thought that a helicopter has now been deployed to try and find the missing Brit.

John was wearing a multi-coloured woolly hat and checked jacket when he went out on Sunday. People who’ve seen him, or think they might have seen him, are being told to contact the Tignes Gendarmerie on +33 (0) 479063206.

More on this story when we get it.

John-Bromell-British-Skier-Missing

Pictured: John Bromell’s missing person poster

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Julian Carr Interview | We Meet the Skier Trying to Crowdfund a $5.5 Million Climate Change Advert for the Super Bowl

Cliff-dropping king Julian Carr is hoping to drive the topic into the US national narrative…

Julian Carr ski hiking to the peak of Mount Superior. Photo: Scott Markewitz

Julian Carr ski hiking to the peak of Mount Superior. Photo: Scott Markewitz

In 2017 the Super Bowl had a total global audience of 172 million people. It’s reported that 70 percent of households in the USA watched the Super Bowl; that the 2017 edition was the third biggest TV audience in history, and that the Super Bowl has been the most watched US TV broadcast for eight years in a row.

It’s also reported that more 18-30 year olds tune in to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials than they do for the game. That’s why professional skier Julian Carr wants to utilise the platform to air a commercial about climate change which he believes could serve as a huge – and long overdue – wake up call to America.

The only problem is the price tag. He needs to raise 5.5 million dollars to do it first – and he’s created a Kickstarter for exactly that reason.

“I’ve seen and been lucky enough to go to quite a few talks by some of the leading planet scientists and the common theme when I’m at any of these talks is – ‘our message and data never reach a mass body’,” he tells us.

“97% of scientists are aligned that this isn’t a far-off topic or a maybe topic. Their data is conclusive. So I thought how about we get humanity’s biggest issue in front of humanity’s biggest audience. And these days that’s the Super Bowl.

Headshot, Julian Carr. Photo by: Jana Rogers

Headshot, Julian Carr. Photo by: Jana Rogers

“The 18-30 year old generation – more people actually tune in to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials than the actual game. It’s this odd narrative in the United States that there’s so much media around the Super Bowl commercials that even the next week or two after the Super Bowl, there’s countless articles and media covering the commercials and the favourite and controversial commercials. I think that’s the perfect platform to put together a commercial to scream the scientist’s data.”

Carr is no stranger to the topic. The skier – who holds the world record for the largest cliff ever dropped on skis (210ft!) – is an ambassador for both the Jeremy Jones-founded Protect Our Winters and Al Gore-founded Climate Reality Project.

He’s also managed to get advertising agency Goodby Silverstein on board to produce the advert for free should the crowdfunder be successful. They’ve done adverts for everyone from Budweiser to Doritos in the past.

But does he really believes that it’s possible to raise so much money?

“I do,” Julian says. “A large majority of the US care deeply about these topics so we need to get aligned with these people and if we can then they’re going to want to get this into the national narrative.

“There might be a five percent chance it goes viral but I’m a this pro skier, a cliff-guy who drops the biggest cliffs in the world, I’m working with one of the best ad agencies in the world, who are going to do it pro bono, and it’s the Super Bowl – it’s got all the ingredients for it to be a headliner and if there’s even a one percent change of it succeeding then it’s absolutely a project we should be persuing.”

We ask what exactly the aim of the advert would be if all did go to plan, and how it would make people care about climate change if they are currently of the belief that it doesn’t even exist.

Carr admits the focus would not only be on raising awareness in the US, but as a call to action to do something about it led by driving home the harsh truths of the research.

Julian casually dropping off a 210 foot cliff in Engelberg, Switzerland. Photo by: Oskar Enander.

Julian casually dropping off a 210 foot cliff in Engelberg, Switzerland. Photo by: Oskar Enander.

“I don’t know if the majority of these people realise that we’re the only country that’s not in the Paris Agreement. And that’s ridiculous. And I don’t think quite a lot of people know what that means if you live in Louisiana or Florida or California. The coastlines will change and it will be insane.

“A big part of it is to show the reality. There’s carbon isotope graphs you can look at – when people [climate change deniers] say ‘this is part of Earth’s cycle, it goes up and down’ – you can study those carbon graphs, and they are up and down but they’re a really consistent reading machine for the past 800,000 or so years, and then the past 20 years it shoots straight up off the charts like it’s never happened before. We are contributing to that.

“Pop culture has an appeal but the advert would also be dire; a slap in the face to show people that if you think it’s a non-issue and you’ve dismissed climate change as totally bullshit – this is what you’re going to deal with and this is what your children are going to be dealing with. I want it to be a shake up in the national narrative. It has to be something that leaves a deep sense that it’s up to us and we have to do something about it.

“It’s a really easy analogy to say that smoking cigarettes is bad for you. Our planet is essentially smoking cigarettes like crazy. So why not make the world a better place? Let’s get the planet off cigarettes.”

Julian dropping more cliffs. Photo: Bruno Long.

Julian dropping more cliffs. Photo: Bruno Long.

The obvious question to ask a professional skier of course, is if he feels like he’s seen the effects of climate change first hand over the years in the mountains.

While highlighting some interesting points, Julian is measured in his answer and focuses more on the bigger picture.

“There’s more severity,” he says. “Here in the North West, in the United States two years ago, our number one resort that gets the most snowfall annually is Mt. Baker. They average 774 inches of snowfall a year and they closed in March because they didn’t have snow, and then last year we had one of the biggest winters I’ve ever seen – in Utah and in other places actually, and this year we’re having one of the worst, low-tide winters I’ve seen.

“I find that it’s pretty easy to say you can see the effects but I just look at some of the amazing documentaries like ‘Chasing Ice’ in Greenland, where they actually show you how fast ice is melting. Also looking at radars which show the polar ice caps and how they used to freeze completely before the year 2000 but now are not. Looking at polar bears, looking at the sea legacy project – to me there are more conclusive ways to see than me as a pro skier saying that I’m seeing the effects.

“I’m travelling at high alpine at places which typically have consistent snow so it’s hard for me to definitively say that that’s an effect of climate change but I will say that it’s pretty inconsistent and the severity seems to be changing. I have a limited scope and limited ability to provide a conclusive answer to that, but there are conclusive places you can look.”

Next up for Julian is a month-long ski trip to the powder of Japan. With the Super Bowl looming though, it will be interesting to see how the campaign gets along. At the very least, as the skier highlights, he will have brought the conversation back into the public eye once more.

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The post Julian Carr Interview | We Meet the Skier Trying to Crowdfund a $5.5 Million Climate Change Advert for the Super Bowl appeared first on Mpora.

Live Slow Mo | Watch The Dew Tour On Worm App

Catch all the Action from the 2017 Dew Tour Finals in Colorado

brock_crouch_worm-app-dew-tour

Watch replays as they happen using Worm’s unique slow mo functions. Photo: Courtesy Worm App

This weekend, Worm will show the first ever interactive live stream from the Dew Tour finals. Anyone with the app will be able to pick and choose exactly which replays and angles they want to see, as the competition goes down.

Download the app and go to the Dew Tour page to see the live feed, with interactive replays beneath.

Worm is a slow-motion video platform dedicated to action sports, with over 1,000 of the world’s best action sports athletes posting interactive clips daily, 50 event partners and monthly original content projects.

This weekend will be the first live event stream shown on Worm, a feature they’ve been building since they launched in June 2016. Worm sponsors Max ParrotKatie Ormerod, James Woods and loads of other ski and snowboard athletes competing at the event.

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Winter Olympics 2018 | The Sports Most Affected By Russia’s Ban From The Games

Russia took a record 33 medals at the 2014 Games before disqualifications…

2010_olympic_winter_games_opening_ceremony_-_russia_entering

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have officially banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Games will take place in February without a Russian flag at the opening ceremony and without the State Anthem of the Russian Federation.

The ban arrives on the back of a three-year investigation from the IOC which discovered a widespread doping programme being deployed throughout the Russian camp.

The blanket ban of Russian participation doesn’t quite extend to all of their athletes though. The IOC have left room for athletes with a comprehensive history of drug testing to compete as independent athletes under a neutral flag in PyeongChang, where they would be identified as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”. Still, no medal an independent athlete won would be attributed to Russia’s medal tally, which will stay at zero for the 2018 Games.

2010_opening_ceremony_-_russian_federation_entering

Of course, being such a big country, and a really, really cold one at that, Russia actually have quite a few athletes who would have been in contention for a medal. They’re at the right end of competitive in roughly a third of all Winter Olympic events.

In the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia racked up a huge nine gold medals as well as five silver medals and eight bronzes. That’s a total tally of 22 medals… which was originally a record-high 33 medals before the disqualification of many of their 232 (!) competitors.

So, what events will it impact?

The best way to look at who is in contention for a medal at the Olympics isn’t to focus on the previous Games four years ago, but on the most recent World Championship event from each event. Here’s how Russia got on in the most recent round of World Championships…

Russian Gold Medals at Most Recent World Championships

Men’s 4×7.5k Relay (Biathlon)
Men’s Team Sprint Freestyle (Cross-Country Skiing)
Men’s Skiathlon (Cross-Country Skiing)
Women’s Single Skating (Figure Skating)

Russian Silver Medals at Most Recent World Championships

Men’s Sprint Classic (Cross-Country Skiing)
Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle (Cross-Country Skiing)
Men’s 4x10k Relay (Cross-Country Skiing)
Men’s 50k Mass Start Classic (Cross-Country Skiing)
Women’s Event (Curling)
Men’s Singles (Luge)
Men’s 1,500m (Speedskating)

Russian Bronze Medals at Most Recent World Championships

Mixed Relay (Biathlon)
Pair Skating (Figure Skating)
Men’s (Ice Hockey)
Team Relay (Luge)
Men’s Inidividual (Skeleton)
Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom (Snowboard)
Men’s 500m (Speedskating)
Women’s Team Pursuit (Speedskating)

Russian 4th Places at Most Recent World Championships

Women’s 5000m (Speedskating)
Men’s Individual (Skeleton)
Men’s 1500m (Short-Track Speedskating)
Men’s 5000m Relay (Short-Track Speedskating)
Women’s Moguls (Russia)
Men’s 15k Free (Cross-Country Skiing)
Men’s 15k Mass Start (Biathlon)
Men’s 12.5k Pursuit (Biathlon)
Women’s 10k Pursuit (Biathlon)

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