Top Five Fridays - September 16, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: North American High Peaks See First Snows of 2016 / 2017:
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen scattered reports of snow pop up across North America. A dusting here, a dusting there; that kind of thing. This week though, it looks like just about the entire North Western United States received snow, resulting in very real feelings of preseason hype. In Utah, Snowbird, Alta, and other resorts in the Wasatch Range received their first dustings. Over in Colorado, numerous resorts along the I-80 corridor shared images of snow, including Vail, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Aspen, and more. To the West, the Lake Tahoe region and especially Kirkwood Mountain saw more than just a dusting, with reports of measurable amounts falling on higher elevations. The real news though, was to the North in Wyoming and Montana- the later of which featured reports from Red Lodge Mountain of approximately 9” of snow. All said and done, this really just means one thing: ski season is right around the corner!
#2: 7 Years After Driving Taliban Away, Pakistani Ski Resort Reopens:
Alright, so technically this news is actually from the beginning of last week, but it takes time for word to travel all the way to Vermont from Pakistan, you know? Anyways, back on September 1st, Malam Jabba Ski Resort inaugurated the operation of it’s brand new chairlift- signifying the reopening of Pakistan’s only ski resort. The resort was unofficially closed back in 2009 when militants destroyed the chairlift, although local residents continued to use it and provide ski lessons. In reopening the resort, locals hope to attract both domestic and international tourism to the mountain, providing much needed financial assistance. According to the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Managing Director Mustaq Ahmed Khan, about 12 million rupees (about $175,000.00 USD) could be generated annually as a result of tourism at the ski resort. With talk of adding mountaineering, camping and even water parks to the area, it appears as though morale is high in the mountain region and the future is looking bright. In an area that constantly deals with the harsh realities of war and turmoil, it’s awesome to see so much positivity surrounding mountain culture. Here’s to hoping the future remains bright and that Malam Jabba becomes an example for future Pakastani ski areas.
#3: Mount Bohemia is Building a Hostel For Ski Bums, Invites a Party Atmosphere:
Despite being located in Michigan, Mt. Bohemia is good at making headlines. Last year they showed up on our radar when they announced plans to create Voodoo Mountain: a cat skiing only resort that will ultimately offer over 1,4000 acres of skiable terrain. This week, they showed up again when they shared their plans with mlive.com to build a hostel at their resort for ski bums who like to party. The vision isn’t just for a bare bones, cheap place to sleep. The entire goal of this hostel is to actually recreate the glory days of ski bumming, when hot dogging was the thing to do. In the words of Mt. Bohemia’s Media Relations Director Stacy Kremer, “In the 60’s skiing was really social. It had a party vibe. I think that’s what millennials are looking for.” So how will this be accomplished? Well, for starters, the top floor of the hostel will feature a bar featuring craft brews and a log cabin vibe. Combine that with a 30-person capacity hot tub and, well, you get the picture. Whether or not this unique approach to drawing in younger customers will pay off in the long run remains to be seen, but for now we’re nothing less than stoked to see a small ski area take a chance on something new and incredibly fun sounding.
#4: Jim Niehues Gives “Epic” Interview:
If you’ve ever been to a sizable resort and had no idea where to go, you probably grabbed a trail map. If you did, you were probably looking at the artwork of Jim Niehues- easily the most iconic ski area map maker out there. A couple of days ago, Tyler Wenzel from EpicSki posted an interview he conducted with the beloved trail map maker. It was done in a similar style as a Reddit Ask Me Anything interview, with many of the questions coming from members of the website. Amongst the over 20 questions that were asked, Niehues gives great insights into his techniques and how he’s come to perfect his style. Take for example his use of ariel photography, “I’ll start up high, then drop down to maybe 500 (feet) get above the summit to get some more detail. Then drop down to mid-mountain and photograph the lower half of the mountain.” In addition to that, Jim shares some techniques on how to make trails look even more accurate than they would in a photograph, how he paints trees, and some of his favorite resorts to paint. There’s tons of interesting information in the interview, so if you’re interested then we’d highly recommend giving it a read!