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Australia has 15 ski resorts in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and Australian Capital Territory. Perisher in New South
Wales, is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite record snows this summer (their winter), lockdowns due to the spread of
COVID-19 forced intermittent closing of the resorts. So much great snow, and we can't get to it! photo by Flo Maderebrer, Pexels.com
SIA conducted a number of educational presentations during this
past summer, including one called, " The Boom Is Just Beginning " .
The outdoor, snowsports and bike industries have been reaching out
to a growing audience and embracing technology to engage with new
enthusiasts and build community. Nick Sargent, Ski Industries America
(SIA) President, stated that " COVID has given the outdoor industry a
gift of new enthusiasts looking to get more involved in our community " .
Reports from last winter's season in the Tahoe resorts was also
upbeat, per an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, by Gregory
Thomas, Editor of Lifestyle & Outdoors. He noted that Michael Reitzell,
President of the California Ski Industry Association, reported that, " To
make it through the season without a single resort having to shut down operations
and to stay in compliance with all we had to deal with to the end,
is huge. " The pandemic pushed scores of people to explore the outdoors,
even though the Sierra received only about 70% of its annual
historic snowfall.
Skiers and snowboarders wore masks, used their cars as " home
base " to put their boots on and eat lunch, spaced out on chairlifts, abstained
from apres ski parties, and followed COVID restrictions, which
enabled them to enjoy the great outdoors and their favorite winter
sport.
Far West Ski Association conducted its Annual Far West Ski
Week in Sun Valley, January 30-February 6, 2021. Sun Valley's policy
is " Mindfulness in the Mountains " , which means being understanding,
respectful, patient and kind. The mountain wanted to have some semblance
of normalcy and to maintain its operations so everyone could
participate in their snowsports mountain experience. The Ski Week
attendance was quite a bit smaller than the usual number of attendees,
and the activities were modified, but the safety protocols put in place
by both Sun Valley and the FWSA were successful. There was great
snow for plenty of boarding and skiing, uncrowded slopes, and wonderful
food. There was no racing or awards but a great ice skating experience.
Social activities were, of course, curtailed, so there were no
council parties, apr├Ęs ski parties, and the Annual Banquet was takeout
food instead of sitting in a banquet room. But, from all reports, it
was a fantastic Ski Week per those that attended.
Clubs and councils cancelled many activities, but Zoom meetings
kept the organizations' members connected. Outdoor activities in4O
Far West Skier's Guide 2O21 - 2O22
creased, especially as the pandemic waned after the arrival of the vaccine.
As restrictions were loosened, indoor activities were held again,
and it was great to get back to socializing. Winter enthusiasts rejoiced,
with high hopes for the end of the pandemic and a great ski season
ahead.
Record Snowfalls in Australia
The Australian Ski Season runs from June until October, and officially
kicked off on June 4 this year. Most resorts opened as scheduled
on June 12. Most of the resorts ran offers on ski season passes
and accommodations if you purchased well in advance. Their border
was open, and the powder enthusiasts were ready. They were preparing
for post-pandemic enthusiasm and participation.
July and August have the best snow and conditions in Australia,
because they are traditionally the coldest months of the year. In addition,
snow machines ensure plenty of snow for skiing and boarding.
Weather forecasters predicted a solid snowfall for the season, and their
predictions were accurate. There were incredible snowfalls in late
June when the 2021 ski season was fully underway. An Arctic Cold
Snap swept through Eastern Australia, leaving up to five feet of snowfall
in one week at some areas. Unfortunately, most Australians couldn't
get to the ski slopes as the country's main cities were in lockdown
due to the spread of the Delta variant of the virus. The state of Victoria,
which had the most snow, extended a full state lockdown, which
closed the ski areas that had seen the most snowfall to date. (https://
www.inthesnow.com/)
Victoria was to experience 8 lockdowns by the end of August,
with its resorts and other resorts opening and closing, based on local
lockdowns. By August 21 to September 2, it was the first time that all
major ski resorts were closed at the same time during the pandemic.
Australia reported the best snow depth for the start of August since
the year 2000. (www.snow-forecast.com/)
Optimism for 2021-2022
Despite the recent surge, there appears to be a greater optimism
and positivity looking forward to the 2021-2022 ski season compared
to last year at this time. We only had a few Virtual Western Region
Ski & Snowboard Shows listed in last year's Far West Skier's Guide and
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2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide

Index
2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover1
2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide - Cover2
2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide - 1
2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide - 2
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2021 - 2022 Far West Skier's Guide - Index
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