The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

The moment I knew my 52-year ski career was over

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017

Michael Sharwood

Michael Sharwood

Michael Sharwood had the last ski run of his life all worked out: a run down the Blackcomb Glacier on his 80th birthday.

Like many of the best laid plans it didn’t eventuate as what seemed to be the most innocuous of falls ended his skiing days three years short in January this year.

But Michael doesn’t want your sympathy. He’s skied 110 resorts over 52 years. He’s travelled the world. He’s made life long friends. He conceived (well, conceived of!) his only daughter on a chairlift in Aspen.

This is his story. And a thank you to the sport he loves so much.

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New rules mean Japan snow jobs easier to get

Posted by on May 9, 2016

Skiing Annupuri in Japan

Michael Coventry getting the goods at Annupuri, Japan. You may be able to join him on your day off ski instructing. Pic: Dale Goulding

Big changes in visa requirements set to make things easier for ski and snowboard instructors wanting a job in Japan.

While Aussies still can’t get enough of skiing and snowboarding in Japan it seems the industry is still on the skids domestically in the land of the rising sun.

But that looks like being to the advantage of foreigners looking for ski instructor jobs with Kyodo News reporting the government plans on easing visa requirements for foreign ski instructors. The belief is it will help the stuttering industry in Japan.

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Ultimate northern hemisphere snow guide

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015

I’m keeping this simple. Real simple folks. I gave myself the task of giving you a 1,000 word rundown of the northern hemisphere snow season that’s full of the things you need to know and all the links but light on the marketing fluff. And without sounding like a total tool, I’ve been to about 90 per cent of the places I’ve listed so I am not cutting and pasting this either.

It will be a fascinating year industry-wise. Will the Vail Resorts pass deal counter the renewed strength of the Greenback? Is Canada set for a surge given it still remains close to parity with the Pacific Peso? How much snow will the predicted big El Nino bring to North America? And will people desert Niseko after an unnamed blogger recently slagged the place off …

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Niseko: time to move on?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015

It’s the Japanese ski resort that once seemed to be sustained by Australian visitations alone. But is Niseko still feeling the love?

The conversation started on a ski lift in Victoria, but a few weeks ago.  “It’s like Bali on the snow”. Yep, heard that one plenty of times before.

But this time it came from someone who was a bit older, a bit wiser and had worked in Niseko. On the brief chairlift ride he took me through drunken boorishness, powder demolished by snowboarders by 9.30am and the cultural wasteland that he thought the place was becoming.

It got me thinking – has the once-revered Niseko jumped the shark as the ultimate Aussie international snow destination?





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