Where The Snow’s Been, But You Haven’t…
The 2020-21 winter has been a complete write-off for most people. Particularly those in the UK where international travel has been put on hold. Even the dry slopes and indoor snowdomes have been off limits, resulting in thousands of snow-hungry skiers and snowboarders desperate for a few slick runs.
While some of us have fingers crossed for another extended winter season in northern California, or the lifting of restrictions for summer snow in the southern hemisphere, we take a look at some of the areas that saw prime conditions for the locals.
Jackson Hole, USA
Although Jackson Hole was the home of the first event on the new Natural Selection tour, Jackson Hole is one of those resorts that has seen successful snowfall, without the usual hordes of tourists. US mainland travel has still been allowed, but without foreign tourism the runs are less congested, and according to our sources the powder is waaay less tracked out.
Austria’s Ziller valley has seen some hefty snowfall with resorts only open to residents. As a result, both the lift queues and car parks have been eerily quiet while the mountain maintains wide open groomers. With the increase in split boarding also taking place, there are few people we are more enviable of than Ziller locals with enough stamina and time on their hands to hike into the backcountry. Pristine in every sense.
Shiga Kogen, Japan
With only seven resorts open in Japan right now, Shiga Kogen has had the most lifts open with 35 out of its 58 green-lit. The obligatory Japanese treelines have been assaulted, alongside Japan's signature pillowlines with around three and a half metres of snow in mid March. However, without the influx of Aussie powder hounds, as well as those from across the globe, the stash is well and truly preserved.
As with America, most ski resorts in Canada are open under strict Covid-19 protocols. Sunshine Village in Banff is renowned for having the best winter conditions partnered with the most diverse terrain, ranging from easy green runs through to world class double blacks. Early this winter the resort was descended upon and saw people being turned away when the car park was full. While Sunshine remains busy, the numbers are now more manageable and the three mountains are being torn-apart by Canadian shredders
So as we begin to wrap up the 20/21 season, we can still look forward to the potential late spring seasons, summer glacier riding and the hope for adventures to the southern hemisphere.