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mes a g X r e t the win fe a s e d i r , ride hard rs e m m u s alpine winter 2012/13
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The very first Cool Bus transfers w e r e c a r r i e d out way back in 2001 in our original ex- s c h o o l b u s Mercedes. We based the business out of a hostel in Peisey, with a staff of one and an office that consisted of a shoddy website, a Yahoo account and various internet cafes!
Tignes, Val d’Isere, La Plagne & Les Arcs. . . . . . .
Roll forward eleven years and things have changed quite a bit. We now have twenty minibuses, a team of forty, a proper office and now, an onboard magazine! Who would have thought?
The Drift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Use a head-cam to improve your skiing
Safety First . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
While many things have changed over the years, our philosophy has not. We’ve always offered quality airport transfers at a reasonable price and we still aim to make your airport transfer an enjoyable part of your holiday.
Five tips on staying safe in the mountains
The Insider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tried and tested recommendations from the experts
And to that end we present issue number one of “The Cool Bus Magazine”. You’ll find it packed full of local information for the resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere, La Plagne, Les Arcs and everywhere in between. You’ll also find reviews, insider info, interviews, and lots more.
Ride Hard, Ride Safe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Henry’s Avalanche Talk guide to off-piste
Being Graham Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We hope you find our magazine informative as well as entertaining. By all means take it with you when you arrive in resort as we hope you will find it useful during your stay.
Sochi 2014, drugs in sport… he’s got a lot to say!
Winter Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Have a fantastic holiday; we look forward to hearing all about it on the way home!
What’s new for Winter 2013?
The big dates for your diary
Picture Perfect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How to take the best winter holiday pictures
If you have any comments or feedback please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
X Games 2013. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Remember that you can book your airport transfers all year round on our website - www.thecoolbus.co.uk
Jemma Harrison previews Tignes’ biggest event
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When I’m Not Skiing…. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Follow us on Facebook - /coolbustransfer Follow us on Twitter - @CoolBusTransfer Loads of beautiful van photos on Instagram! - Cool_Bus
Other ways to enjoy yourself on the snow
Making the most of your time on the slopes . .
Simple ways to prevent injury
to download a digital copy of this magazine to your smart phone
Style Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fashion expert Yasmin Cowan on what to wear this winter
Many thanks to the Office de Tourisme in Bourg St Maurice, Tignes, Val d’Isere, La Plagne & Les Arcs
Keep on Skiing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Cool Bus is published by Origami Media Ltd on behalf of Cool Bus.
10 reasons to try an indoor snow centre
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What happens when the snow melts?
Copyright - Origami Media Ltd - All material in this magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved by Origami Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publishers. While every effort is made to ensure all prices and data are correct at the time of publication, Cool Bus cannot be held responsible for editorial errors.
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What we love about… It’s always changing and developing to offer new, exciting facilities for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of our favourite things in Tignes this winter…
Fresh Tracks Guaranteed first lines are to be had every Wednesday when the funicular in Tignes opens at 8.30am to carry keen skiers and snowboarders to the top of La Grande Motte glacier. After a briefing by the ski patrol, along with a coffee and a croissant, off you go down 900 vertical meters of groomed snow. What a way to start the day… Tignes Les Boisses They were skiing here in the 1930s, long before the construction of the main resort we know and love today. Tignes Les Boisses has been somewhat neglected in recent years but is now enjoying a rebirth. It’s worth a ski to the traditional mountain village to check out the beautiful renovations and to rediscover the original Tignes. Tignespace The original Tignespace activity centre was built in the 1980s. The redevelopment of the existing site for this winter season now includes concert space for 1400 people, athletics facilities, fitness suites, a weights room, squash courts and a climbing wall, all within a 1525 metre square complex. Ice Diving Alban Michon is somewhat of a local legend, having trained polar explorers at his ice diving centre in Tignes. Alban is an experienced deep sea, cave and ice diving expert and you can join him for a trip under the ice of Lac des Tignes. He offers beginner or advanced courses into the ‘world of 1000 lights’.
It’s not just about the snow. The resort itself has so much to offer during the winter season, such as… Ten different spas The prospect of a blissful, relaxing rub down after a day on the mountain is a staple part of a ski holiday for some. You need never go without in Val d’Isere as the resort now has ten different spas offering everything from massage and beauty treatments to anti-aging procedures. You’ll go home feeling like a different person. Sport & Leisure Centre Modern, high tech, and with something for everyone, including a 25 metre swimming pool, a kids pool, three saunas, a steam bath, climbing wall, squash and badminton courts in addition to a 200 metre sq gym, Espace Killy lift pass holders get one free entry to the centre with every 2 - 15 day lift pass. Apres-ski for kids The ice rink in the centre of the village is open between 2pm and 7pm throughout the winter season. Kids can practice their ‘dancing on ice’ skills while proud parents watch on with a tasty vin chaud. The Savonette slope is also floodlit in the evenings for sledging and snowball fights! Val d’Isere Backstage On Tuesdays and Thursdays during the February school holidays you can join a guided tour behind the scenes of the resort’s main visitor facilities. Expect to see the workings of piste patrol, avalanche safety, snow grooming and the mechanics of the Olympic cable car.
When several vil ages are connected together to make a ski resort you get a mash up of great resort facilities, such as these… 4
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Olympic Bobsleigh Run The 1500m long, 19 bend bobsleigh, luge and skeleton run is usually used as a training track by teams from all over the world and now it’s open to the public. There are two self-piloted ‘bob-rafts’, which seat four people and whizz you down the track at 80km/h, or you can choose a solo ride in the ‘Speed-Luge’ if you dare! 100% Green Lifts Only 100% sustainable energy sources are used to power the lift system across the entire Paradiski lift network. Now that’s a bold claim, but it happens to be true! Paradiski is the only ski area in the world where all of the lifts run on 100% eco-friendly energy. The Ice Tower Open every afternoon during the winter season, the Ice Tower offers everyone the opportunity to try ice climbing, or to simply sit and watch! For more accomplished ice climbers there’s also the chance to practice using ice axes.
Architecturally unique with a reputation for constantly evolving, the ski-in skiout resorts of Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 have never had so much to offer… Igloo Village Brand new for this winter and sitting proud, right opposite Mont Blanc, the giant inter-connected igloos host theme nights but they are worth skiing, snowshoeing or sledging to during the day too. Deep Nature Spa, Arc 1950 This is no ordinary ski resort spa. It features natural mineral pools, steam rooms and sensory showers but also a replenishing volcanic cave that is guaranteed to soothe those aching ski muscles! There are treatment rooms too, if you feel like really spoiling yourself! Bourg St Maurice Regardless of which part of Les Arcs you stay in, a visit to the traditional Savoyarde village of Bourg St Maurice shouldn’t be missed. Yes, it has fantastic travel links but it also has a charming atmosphere and heritage for you to explore with local craft shops, Savoyarde restaurants and Baroque art and culture. 5
Image © Drift Innovations
333 Ski School in Val-Claret have been teaching visitors to Tignes and Val d’Isere to ski for 12 years. During that time lots has changed in terms of teaching techniques and 333 Ski School always stay at the forefront of new technology to ensure their pupils achieve the maximum possible progression during their winter holiday. We asked them what single thing has had the biggest impact on pupil progression in recent years. Their answer? The Drift helmet camera.
Find out more about 333 Ski School on their website: www.333school.com or call +33 (0) 4 79 06 20 88 More information on Drift headcams can be found at www.driftinnovation.com 6
You’ve probably heard of the Go-Pro. Drift are a new action sports camera company who specialise in the capture and sharing of digital imagery across all platforms including social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This also makes them very useful in ski lessons. ‘Using video footage to teach skiing techniques is not a new concept’ explains Ross Creed of 333 Ski School. ‘Over the years many people will have no doubt laughed at footage of themselves tumbling down a mountain in a blaze of powder and lost ski equipment. At the same time we’ve all chuckled at the sight of the over-confident, cameraladen skier as he meets the snow whilst skiing backwards, showing off to his mates’. But why are we seeing such a massive explosion in the use of digital camera equipment in winter sports at the moment? ‘It’s no longer prohibitively expensive to bring a digital camera on your winter holiday with you, and this is great when people are trying to progress their skiing or snowboarding skills’ Ross tells us. Watching yourself ski or snowboard down a run, paying particular attention to your turns, your stance and the distribution of your weight is a great way to see where there is scope for improvements in your technique, which you can then work on the very next day. The helmet-mounted Drift camera also gives amateur photographers and movie-makers the confidence to ski or snowboard without carrying cumbersome equipment in their hands. The batteries are rechargeable and extremely long lasting, while the cameras themselves are hard wearing and durable. At 333 Ski School, all ski instructors are equipped with their own Drift camera – it’s as much a part of their uniform as their skis, Aviator sunglasses and sun block. The camera captures sharp HD images and videos of skiers in their group and because they are helmet mounted, they gather footage of pupils with no hassle or interference. Once the lesson on the snow is over, there’s a 10 minute de-brief during which an instructor uses the footage to point out successes, improvements and areas to concentrate on next time. ‘After booking your ski lessons, the Drift headcam is the single best thing you can use to be a better skier or snowboarder this winter’ concludes Ross.
Ski & Snowboard Carriage
You don’t want to be one of those rude, dangerous skiers do you? The one that gets on everyone’s nerves… Be polite, use common sense and behave safely and you’ll have a much better holiday .
• From £41.25 per person (based on groups of 5 or more) • We collect from your home, deliver it to your resort and return it for you after your holiday • Avoid the hassle, cost and weight restrictions of carrying your kit on your flight with you
• Available during the summer months
Courier & Light Haulage Service
CLOSED MEANS CLOSED
Don’t ski on closed trails . They are closed because they aren’t safe to ski or snowboard on and you risk having your lift pass taken off you if you’re caught .
KNOW YOUR OWN ABILITY
• Single items to full loads, fully insured • Deliveries from UK retailers & manufacturers to your home in the Alps Perfect for individuals, groups, families, club trips, season workers, businesses, expats, removals, building & decorating supplies
+44 (0) 1273 600744 (24hr answerphone) www.deliveriestothealps.co.uk @alpsdeliveries /deliveriestothealps
If you’re a beginner, stick to runs that you can do, leaving the tougher stuff until next time when you’ve got more skill and confidence .
CONTROL YOUR SPEED
Use common sense to judge the situation in front of you . Be aware that your excess speed could scare other skiers into having an accident and remember that the downhill skier or snowboarder always has the right of way .
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
You’ll hear the tutts and sighs when you push into a lift queue so why bother? Wait in line like everyone else or you will make the liftie cross .
Massage in the comfort of your chalet Whether you wish to re-energise tired muscles with a dynamic sports massage or indulge in a luxurious hot stone treatment, Massage Me has a treatment to suit your needs. Treatments available from 40€. Credit cards accepted.
IT’S GOOD TO TALK
If you’re skiing as a group, arrange a centrally located meeting point at the beginning of each day . Keep your mobile phone battery topped up and store this number for emergency piste rescue in it right now… +33 (0) 4 79 07 01 10 Hopefully you won’t need to use it!
8am - 8pm. 7 days a week Group discounts -15% OFF when you book 3 consecutive hours Gift vouchers are available for that perfect present. Visit our website for more informatin and our new treatment menu
+33 (0)6 12 65 34 52
Quote “Cool Bus” when booking for 5% Discount For information: Massage Me offers well-being massage and beauty treatments by qualified non-medical therapists. Massage Me do not offer medical, para-medical or therapeutic massages. Cancellations: Please be considerate and give 24hrs notice otherwise the full fee will be charged. Travel: Due to travel times certain resorts require a minimum booking. Info: Nos massage sont non médicalisés et non-paramédicalisés. Ce sont des soins de bien-etre non thérapeutiques
Between them, the Cool Bus team have a combined total of over 130 winters in the Tarentaise area under their belts. So when it comes to favourite runs, restaurants, parties and everything else, who better to ask? For a great breakfast I head to… Le Petit Danois in Val D’Isere. Their fry-ups are the perfect way to line your stomach before a day on the hill. If it’s a powder day you’ll find me… Sorry, we can’t divulge that information! All we can say is go in search of powder and you’ll have a great time trying to find it! The views are best from… La Rosiere. You can see straight up the valley towards Val D’Isere and down the valley towards Meribel. It also has the best sunsets! During school holidays, to avoid the lift queues I head to… Ste. Foy or any of the other less well-known resorts like Champagny and Areches-Beaufort. For the best mountain lunch I head to… Le Plein Soleil, La Plagne in the Montchavin-Les Coches sector. Stefanie & Christophe offer fantastic service, the views are stunning and the food delicious. When I’m after a cheap and cheerful lunch I go to… Meli’s Snack in Arc 1950. They offer quick and easy take away food including kebabs and you can literally ski in and out again. Apres drinks on sunny afternoons are best at… The brand new terrace at Bar Mont Blanc in Vallandry. The bar also happens to be at the bottom of one of the most fun pistes in Les Arcs! Apres parties are a different thing all together. You’ll find the best one… At La Folie Douce in Val D’Isere. It’s legendary, you probably don’t need us to tell you that! For dinner on a special occasion… L’Arssiban in Bourg St. Maurice. Awesome food and a lovely space with great service, which is probably why it’s in the Michelin Guide! I can never understand why people don’t… Try a day out in a different resort while they are on holiday. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best resorts in the world so why not sample a few while you’re here? La Rosiere is a good example. It’s only a ten minute bus ride up from Bourg to the bottom of the chairlift and you can ski all the way to Italy and back with time for lunch at La Grotta! A big cheesy night out that suits everyone… There is nowhere cheesier to end a night than Jacks nightclub in Tignes le Lac! To warm up try Loop Bar, So Bar and the Marmot Arms. There are also plenty of cheesy bars and clubs in Val Thorens and you can drink in Europe’s highest pub, aptly named The Frog & Roastbeef! The things people should always book in advance are… Ski lessons. Get your skiing right at the start of your holiday, and you’ll get more out of it. Also, your dinner table on the chalet staff night off, which is usually Tuesday or Wednesday. Restaurants get packed out and tables are quickly filled! The best holiday souvenirs are found… In the drinks aisle at the supermarket - a bottle of Genepi is everything you need!
“A rad winter festival - proper riding and proper parties, and we mean proper!”
UDE S LIFT ACCOM PASS MOD A WRIS & FESTIV TION, TBAN AL D
23RD – 30TH MARCH 2013, TIGNES, FRANCE
EUROPEʼS WEEKLONG WINTER FESTIVAL WWW.THE-BRITS.COM
By the time Henry reached the grand old age of 18, he’d already been skiing for 14 years. He’d ranked as one of the best skiers of his age group in the giant slalom in The States and ski racing was all he knew. Arriving in the Alps in the 1980’s, he ventured off-piste for the first time and made an important discovery. The dangerous combination of being a good skier, having no mountain safety knowledge and developing a newfound love for off-piste skiing almost killed Henry in an avalanche. Henry first started his avalanche talks in Val d’Isere in the late 1980’s. He and his team now deliver a regular programme of avalanche awareness and off-piste safety courses to thousands of people each year, both in the UK and across the Alps. If you’ve been lucky enough to attend Henry’s Avalanche Talk then please, go forth and enjoy the powder. If you haven’t, then read on… but remember, if you are not sure how to manage the risk, then think about hiring a mountain guide or a qualified instructor. You are never without risk where nature is concerned, but you can manage the risk. Here Henry tells us how.
Where you go and when
In 90% of avalanche accidents, a person triggers the slide – either the victim or someone in their group sets it off, or someone above them triggers it. It is almost always a dry slab avalanche that is triggered by the victim(s), not a spontaneous wet snow avalanche that comes down from above. This is good news, because it means that we are in control. We can manage the risk.
Slope angles matter. Avalanches in Europe don’t release on slope angles less than 28°, which is like the start of a black run or a very steep part of a red run. Slab avalanches only release on slopes above 28°, but there is a difference between where the avalanche releases and where you actually trigger it. The trigger happens under your skis, but an avalanche frequently releases above you. Remember, you can be on a low angle slope and still trigger an avalanche that releases on a steeper slope above you. Slope angles are critical, so think about them when you’re deciding where to go.
Off-piste, backcountry, secured and unsecured Off-piste and backcountry refer to unsecured areas. For the adventurers out there, venturing off-piste and touring is where it’s at. It touches the pioneering instinct and brings us closer to nature and ourselves. This is what makes it fun. Local authorities do not engage in avalanche control (with explosives for example) in unsecured areas and it’s here that you start taking responsibility for your own safety. Whether you want to go off-piste or not, it’s important that you know where the secured places (marked pistes) end and the unsecured places begin. Danger / Risk Level
5 Extreme 4 High
Snow stability is important. When the snow is stable it takes more than one person to trigger a release. When the snow is less stable, just one person can trigger a slab. Avalanche forecasts tell you about snow stability and it’s essential that you pay attention to them to understand the risks of the day. They include a danger rating and to use the avalanche forecast you must understand the definition of the ratings.
Probability you can Trigger an Avalanche
The snowpack is weakly bonded and very unstable
Triggering is probable on many steep slopes. Frequent medium or large sized natural
Unstable slabs likely on many steep slopes
avalanches are likely. Triggering and exposure is possible on many low angle slopes
Unstable slabs probable on some steep slopes
Unstable slabs possible on some steep slopes
Numerous large natural avalanches are likely to reach low angle slopes. Extensive safety measures are necessary. No off-piste or back country skiing or travel should be undertaken
Triggering is possible, many slopes will be affected. In certain conditions, medium and occasional large sized natural avalanches may occur Triggering is possible with high additional loads, particularly on steep slopes. Large natural avalanches not likely
Very few unstable slabs. The snow pack is well
Triggering is possible only with high additional loads on a very few steep
bonded and stable in most places
slopes. Only a few small natural avalanches possible 10
Whenever the danger rating is three or above, or if you are unsure, ask local professionals such as piste patrol, guides and instructors where you should go and when. Recent avalanche activity is also a great clue. If lots of slopes that face one direction have recent slab avalanches on them, you can expect slopes with similar aspects and similar altitude to be unstable. Look for clues all the time and listen for settling and ‘whoomphing’ – this is the noise that snow makes when it settles and it’s a very clear message that the snow is unstable.
How you go up and down Once you’ve decided where to go, your conduct on the slope will determine your safety. Follow the rules and keep thinking and you’ll have a much lower risk of triggering an avalanche. • Go one at a time on exposed parts of the mountain - the weight of one person is much less likely to trigger a slide than two. • Only ever stop at islands of safety - places where you are protected from potential risks, such as behind a rock or on a ridge. • Avoid convexities - this is where the slope goes from flat to steep abruptly. Slabs fracture here often. • Keep your tracks together - if you follow next to the track of the person in front of you and they didn’t trigger an avalanche, then chances are you won’t either. • Terrain traps might exist below you - these are anything below that could make the consequences of being swept away even worse, such as a hole, a ravine or a lake.
Linge des Alpes.pdf
• Always have escape routes in mind - have a plan in mind should an avalanche happen, but remember most of us will not succeed.
Be prepared You can be prepared with all the right equipment, but if you’re not thinking about what you’re doing, you are an accident waiting to happen. Find out first: • What does the rest of the group want to do? What is their tolerance for risk? • Will someone in the group be pushed beyond their limit and become a danger to the rest of the group? • Most accidents are predictable. What is the avalanche forecast?
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If you are still alive when an avalanche stops but you are buried underneath, you have 15 minutes to live. If your friends have detection equipment (a transceiver, a shovel and a probe) and they know how to use it, they should be able to find you in less than 15 minutes. On nice slopes with fresh powder there is always a risk, but if you are aware of it then you can manage the risk and make off-piste about as safe as driving your car to work. And much more fun! There are loads of avalanche and off-piste resources and advice articles on the HAT website. The website also includes details of their short course programme too. Visit www.henrysavalanchetalk.com.
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Long before he found himself presenting BBC Ski Sunday, Graham Bell competed at five winter Olympics and he’s still regarded as one of the best downhill skiers the UK has ever produced. He retired as a professional skier in 1998 but he’s still the best person to ask about Team GB’s chances at the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics.
ur ‘greatest team’ did a sterling job at London 2012. Do you think this will rub off on the Sochi 2014 winter games team?
Yes, hopefully the momentum will continue and our skiers and snowboarders will learn the winning ways and transfer them to winter sports. We have a much better chance of success in Sochi than at the last winter games – anything will be an improvement on Vancouver when Amy Williams brought us home one medal! Funding is an issue though. I’m a bit worried that London 2012 might have sucked up all funding and sponsorship revenue that our winter athletes need. Hopefully the opposite will happen and there’ll be increased funding off the back of the successes of our summer athletes. It would be a huge waste if the momentum was lost.
hemmy Alcott is back on her skis following her injury and then her stint on Dancing On Ice. What are her chances of Olympic success? I’ve not seen her ski yet this year but she must realise that this winter season is crunch time for her skiing career. She’s got to be competitive and show that she’s made a full recovery. She can’t have a slow comeback season if she wants to make it to Sochi and we’ll be able to tell early on if she’s strong enough. There are new regulations on Super G skis now though, which will probably help her. Everyone competing in the Super G will have to re-learn his or her technique so everyone is in the same boat, which should work to Chemmy’s advantage.
ho else have you got your eye on for success at Sochi 2014?
Our best skier right now is Dave Ryding. He’s a slalom specialist and has been pulling out all the stops while training and competing in New Zealand this summer. He came second, with his best ever FIS result of 9.26 in the New Zealand Championships. Compare that to his 27th place finish in the men’s slalom and 47th in the men’s giant slalom at Vancouver 2010 and you can tell he’s on really good form. Confidence is everything in slalom racing and Dave certainly has it.
erformance drug use in sport has really come to the forefront since the Lance Armstrong episode. What are your views on drugs in winter sports? I’ve got some quite draconian views actually. I believe that the use of performance enhancing drugs should be punishable by criminal prosecution. There should be an
Crédits photos : ©Alexander Garaev - ©Chris Schmid - ©Dell 640- ©Ben Heys - ©Piotr Morawski - Document non contractuel
Images © Graham Bell 2012
Which makes it far more fun to watch and take part in!
ow that you mention it, it’s a while since you retired. Would you have liked to be in your skiing prime now?
As soon as I retired from ski racing I realised that I didn’t miss it at all. I absolutely lived and breathed the sport for so many years, fitting my life around my training regime. Every decision I made was based on my life as a professional skier. I’m more open-minded now, so I choose to take part in sport and to commentate on it. Downhill skiing has got a lot tougher and a lot more competitive in the
Crédits photos : ©Simon Ebel -©Samuel Beck
anti-doping criminal law in the world of professional sports and this should have been in place long before London 2012. Essentially athletes that take performance-enhancing drugs are committing sporting fraud against their sponsors, fans and fellow competitors. I don’t think there’s much of a problem in winter sports though. The so-called ‘dirty doctors’ charge something like £100k per athlete to develop new performance enhancing drugs that the testing system can’t detect or keep up with. Winter sports athletes don’t have anything like this kind of funding or sponsorship so they compete on ability, strength, performance, fitness and skill.
Images ÂŠ Graham Bell 2012 14
last few years, so I’m glad I had my turn a while ago!
ou’re hardly sat twiddling your thumbs though are you Graham. Tell us about the Mont Blanc Challenge?
I did it in the middle of September, fortunately missing the early snowfall by one week! The Mont Blanc Challenge is a nice road cycle ride with three big climbs, covering 176km including 4000m of vertical climbing. Its not massively steep but it is a long day out! The descent at the end was a 30km ride into the beautiful village of Bourg St Maurice – it felt amazing. I’m going to try and set up a mini sportif for next year, taking in the whole circuit around Mont Blanc, starting and finishing in Courmayeur. It could maybe be a charity thing if I got enough people involved.
nd when you’re not skiing or cycling around the Alps, how do you like to unwind?
Right now my 13-year-old daughter is big into lead climbing so I like to go to the climbing wall in Reading to help and support her. I’m quite often training for an iron man competition and I like swimming in the Thames in the early morning near my home in Henley. Doing sport by choice is unwinding for me after all those years sticking to a professional training plan! I also support Caring Cancer Trust and we take a group of poorly kids to Morzine each winter for a fantastic week on the snow. Oh, and I’ve also been commentating on London 2012, which kept me busy for most of the summer.
e did wonder, how come your Ski Sunday partner in crime Ed Leigh managed to get the gig commentating on the women’s beach volleyball while you got fencing?
Well, we all know Ed likes a chat, and the beach volleyball involved hours and hours of commentary. Where as fencing didn’t! So I chose fencing as it was easier basically!
hat will you and Ed be up to in this winter’s series of Ski Sunday? And when does it start?
We’ll be back on BBC 2 from Sunday 6th January. All I can say for now is that we went to Alaska to film a couple of pretty epic features, so look out for those!
8th - 9th & 14th - 15th Val d’Isere - Alpine Skiing World Cup The men’s World Cup in both slalom and giant slalom takes place during the first weekend, followed by the women’s Super G and Downhill events during the second weekend, bringing a great start of season atmosphere to the resort .
20th - 22nd - Tignes The Winter X Games Likely to become a dress rehearsal for the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics, over 150 athletes compete in eight different disciplines over three days, packing the resort with move than 100,000 spectators . Read our preview on pages 18 & 19 .
10th - 16th La Plagne - Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Cup The best male and female athletes from 20 nations arrive in the resort to compete in these two events . Will Team GB’s Amy Williams in be attendance?
23rd - 30th - Tignes The Brits After eight years in Laxx, The Brits team are brining an avalanche of sound and good times to Tignes . With a musical line-up to rival the biggest of snow sports festivals, and a fantastic plan in place to use all of the resort’s freestyle and slopestyle facilities, The Brits is set to be a week to remember . Visit www .the-brits .com for more details .
15th - 22nd - Les Arcs - European Film Festival For the fourth consecutive year both amateur and professional filmmakers gather in the resort for screenings and premiers in stunning locations . Find out more at www .lesarcsfilm-fest . com
23rd - 30th Tignes - European Snow Pride Festival The resort waves the rainbow fl ag during a week of skiing and events dedicated to Gay Pride, including live DJs, a pool party, après ski parties on sunny terraces and group skiing and snowboarding events .
31st - Tignes - Fire Mix Party Say ‘hello’ to 2013 in the company of international DJ and producer of Madonna’s latest album, Martin Solveig, who hosts a giant outdoor dance fl oor in the mountains. Over 25,000 clubbers celebrate the New Year in style .
27th - 1st Apr La Plagne - Urban Plagne Festival The sixth annual festival involves teams of both professional and amateur skiers and snowboarders, who must film and edit their experiences in La Plagne’s ski area over a couple of days . The finished films are then shown to the general public at screenings across the resort .
January 16th - 19th Val d’Isere - Polo Masters Professional polo players from across the globe unite to compete in the sport of kings . Only this time, it’s at night and it’s on snow, at the bottom of the Face de Bellevarde . Visit www .polo-master .com for more information .
April 5th - 7th Val d’Isere - Yoga & Well Being Festival Yoga enthusiasts from around the world gather in the resort for a series of specially arranged yoga and relaxation events against the backdrop of the springtime mountains .
22nd - 21st March Val d’Isere - Classicaval Add a touch of class to your ski holiday by visiting the village’s ancient baroque church St Bernard Menthon, for a classical music recital . The programme changes each week but expect to hear Beethoven and Schumann . Visit the Office de Tourisme for more information .
22nd - 25th - Val d’Isere 17th International Adventure & Discovery Film Festival Amateur and professional filmmakers submit their most daredevil and inspiring documentaries and eleven of the best are shown during the festival . Expect to watch slack lining across canyons and couloirs, BASE-jumping and speed riding against the backdrop of stunning scenery .
29th - 1st Feb - La Plagne - Mix Mountain Ten international DJs arrive to shake things up during this huge party week in La Plagne . The ‘Mix & Grill’ festivities kick off at lunchtime each day, an après party follows and on the last night there’s an outdoor dancefl oor party until the early hours .
24th - 25th - Bourg St Maurice Cool Bus End of Season Party Join us for one hell of a farewell party down by the river . We’ll provide the beers, the music, the lights and the lasers if you turn up and help us celebrate the end of another cracking winter in the Tarantaise .
February 1st - 28th - Tignes / Val d’Isere - Cabaret de la Fruitiere Every day from 2 .30pm La Folie Douce hosts the highest cabaret show in the world . Expect to hear big cabaret classics and see dancers in 1930’s costumes, on a specially built stage at 2,400 metres . 16
By Robbie Davies
It’s that horrible moment when you go to download the pictures from your recent ski holiday. What you imagined was a camera full of beautiful snowy pictures is instead a mass of over exposed, out of focus and disappointing images. You could spend a bit of time touching up to improve them, or you could try to get them right first time. As a professional photographer living in the mountains for the last seven years, I’ve learnt quite a few tricks to make the most of the scenery that we all try so hard to capture on our cameras. Some of my tips are easy and involve just a straightforward change to your camera settings. Others are a little bit more complex, but without a doubt well worth it! The most important thing in my opinion is not to let mistakes get you down. Learn from them and with each photo you take, have a think about how you can make it better next time. I wouldn’t be where I am today without making plenty of errors, so here are a few pointers to help you out. Tackling Brightness Snow might be bright and white to the human eye but your camera sees things rather differently. Most standard digital cameras have a ‘snow’ mode, which will automatically adjust the exposure so your photos wont be too white or dark. If there isn’t a ‘snow’ mode on your camera, try ‘beach’ or ‘sun’ instead. These are settings for bright weather and so should work just fine. The better the camera, the more adjustments you can make to improve your snowy pictures. Keep your white balance on automatic, but try adjusting the exposure to +1 or -1 to brighten up your photos or darken them before you take the photo. If you want to experiment, take your camera off automatic and try adjusting the shutter speed and aperture. Increasing the aperture by a few stops, from f5.6 to f10 for example, means the photo will be of a better quality. This will also decrease the shutter speed so make sure there is plenty of light around. Using a flash can also be helpful too. If this all sounds like gobbledygook, then practice and experiment! Removing the Blues So things are looking brighter but now you’re wondering why your pictures are looking a bit blue. That’s easily fixed too. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to take pictures in the snow, but at any time of day the snow and ice that surround you reflect sunlight, making details appear washed out with no contrast. The best way to tackle this extra brightness is with brightness. Turning on your flash will balance out the light and add depth to the darker features such as shadows in your shot. Safe Keeping A regular sized digital camera in a case should be absolutely fine in your coat pocket or rucksack while you’re out skiing – provided you don’t have too many falls! However, bigger, more specialised camera equipment needs more attention and preparation in the wintery mountains. Well-insulated camera bags are widely available but if you’re taking your camera skiing with you, a waterproof bag is key! The cold will reduce the output of your batteries and you’ll need to replace them more frequently. Carry a spare set with you and keep them close to your body to keep them warm. Not only will they last a lot longer, but also putting cold batteries straight into your camera is not ideal! Only take camera equipment that you can comfortably carry, and this depends on your level of skiing or snowboarding. I wouldn’t recommend carrying a huge SLR if you have only skied for a couple of weeks. Only take your camera out of its bag to take photos. Don’t carry it around your back or neck if you’re not taking photos. It’s likely to swing around to your front and if you take a fall it wont do your or you camera any good. I’ve seen this happen so many times, and it’s not pleasant! Wear a thin pair of gloves inside your regular ski gloves and keep them on when taking photos. You’ll have a better grip on the camera and be better able to make adjustments for that perfect shot if your hands aren’t turning blue and shaking! When you return from a day on the mountain, you’ll be tempted to grab your camera from it’s bag and admire your beautiful pictures. Condensation will occur on the lens, which could cause damage to the camera. There isn’t much you can do to avoid this, other than leave it in the bag for a couple of hours to get back to room temperature. One of the most important things in photography is having confidence in your camera and other equipment, and the knowledge to use them properly. You’ll only get this by experimenting and having a go and if the end result is rubbish, delete it and try again. Practice really does make perfect.
Long gone are the days when apres ski meant a jolly chat about one’s descent over a mug of hot chocolate. Now if you don’t know your cab-double-underﬂips from your backsidetriple-corks you’ll be laughed out the bar. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the X-Games winter format in Tignes, it’s basically So with two main disciplines - the Superpipe and the European Winter X Games Slopestyle . There are different events for skiers returning to Tignes for a fourth time this and snowboarders, with both men and women season there’s no better way to unleash your competing . And the competition is tough! “inner-steeze” than a few days surrounded by Take Slopestyle for example . The course, rad teenagers who are miles better than you’ll which is 800m long with a vertical drop of ever be on a snowboard or a pair of skis . almost 200m, is made up of rails, gaps and the crowd pleasing “Big Air” . Our advice is to The extreme sports scene is growing faster than park yourselves near this jump to see athletes Felix Baumgartner’s fall to Earth . Last year over pushing themselves to the limits . For 2013, in 100 thousand spectators fl ocked to the Espace snowboarding at least, expect new tricks that Killy for X Games 2012 and with the legendary will blow your mind . red-head Shaun White promising to be back for 2013, expect the crowds to multiply . His Top British snowboarder Dom Harington double gold efforts in the Snowboard Freestyle reckons it’s an exciting time to follow the and Superpipe last time round, not to mention the tightest of trousers, meant coverage of the event even made it in to the hands of Daily Mail and Guardian readers . Extreme is now mainstream .
sport, telling us “the standard’s shot up in recent years .” And the 28-year-old champion added, “Snowboarding is progressing massively . Nobody thinks anything of doing a double cork . Nowadays it’s actually quite easy for the pros to do that - so it’s all about the triple” . Yep, you heard him . A TRIPLE! Young British rider Billy Morgan stomped the first ever “triple backside rodeo” in 2012, a trick involving three full fl ips in mid-air. And now, thanks to big steps forward in training facilities, the
With the X Games growing year on year, and the level of competition sky-rocketing, Tignes is prepping itself for the influx of thousands of rad young things in 2013. And they will be everywhere. But if you can’t keep up, feel safe in the knowledge that Val d’Isere is just a hop over the hill where a more gentile pace exists (for that week at least).
standard will only get better. Equipment like foam pits and airbags have made a big difference, and most of the best riders and skiers could have a second career as gymnasts or trampolinists. Dom, who’s the current British pipe champion, trains at the gym everyday and mixes in cycling, running, weights, swimming and the odd skateboarding session over the summer. The stereotypical snowboarder in 2013 is a long way from a kid in a baggy t-shirt with an ounce of weed in his pocket... So if, like Dom, the pipe is more your thing then you won’t be disappointed with what Tignes has to offer. At over 150m long and with sides almost 7m deep “the superpipe in Tignes is the best in Europe - by far”. And Harington knows what he’s on about as a regular rider around Espace Killy adding, “Anyone can have a go. If you’re up early the pipe is smooth, fast and well maintained. It’s not just pros that can ride it, and just before they close it for the X-Games is the best time.” So if you fancy giving it a pop then head out early before the rest of the Tignes “park rats” wreck it for the day. It’s not just the park and the pipe that get the star treatment in March. The three days of the X-Games are about more than tricks and getting gnarly, with the après scene and nightlife being something to watch out for too. “X-Fest” the pop-up village in Val Claret - is a good place to start with a chance to watch some of the snowmobile shows and chin some vin chaud before heading to one of Tignes renowned nightclubs or bars. And you can expect these to be rammed to the rafters!
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When I’m not skiing…
The pressure is on. You’ve got six full days in the Alps and by god you’re going to use them. Skiing or snowboarding from first lift ‘till last, straight to Apres before you sink a vat of cheese for dinner. But you’ve probably not noticed the abundance of other adrenaline-fueled activities your ski resort has to offer this winter. Allow us to share some of them with you…
Combine a pair of skis, a horse and some stunning mountain scenery, and what do you get? A hilariously fun couple of hours and you don’t even need to be a great skier to get involved. A harness is attached to a horse and you hold on behind, keeping your skis parallel and enjoying the ride. The horse tacks around groomed trails specially reserved for the sport. The Ski Joering base is in La Rosiere and 20 minute rides are priced at €35. Contact Evolution 2 on: +33 (0) 4 79 40 19 80 or visit www.evolution2larosiere.com
Give your Apres Mutzig a miss tonight and go skidooing instead. As the sun sets join an organised group or a private tour with Tignes Motoneige from their base under the Chaudannes chairlift. Take turns driving the snowy trails on these motorised snow beasts. As the twinkling lights of the resort come alive below, you’ll be roaring around the piste having a great time. Tignes Motoneige also offer daytime trips too and you can easily ski to their base. Open every day during the winter season (weather permitting!), adults are charged at €50 during the day and €72 in the evening for a 30 minute session on their own skidoo, while passengers are charged at €23 during the day and €45 in the evening. More ‘extreme’ 40-minute sports sessions are also available. Give them a call on +33 (0) 6 07 10 19 62 or visit the Tignes Motoneige website – www.tignes-motoneige.com
If moving slightly slower is more your thing, snowshoeing is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the mountains. Yes, snowshoeing is that thing where you put the tennis rackets on your feet and head off into the wilderness, far away from the busy pistes. Taking a guide with you ensures you have all the correct equipment and that you make the most of the sights. Red Ski Organisation offer group based or private snowshoeing trails throughout the winter season in Tignes and Val d’Isere. Contact Red Ski Organisation on: +33 (0) 4 93 67 43 38 Or visit: www.red-ski-organisation.com 20
Parapenting Also known as paragliding, absolute thrill seekers will find themselves soaring high above the mountains, getting a unique perspective on the resorts below. Tandem flights are readily available during the winter season, and as long as conditions are right, you’ll be able to see for miles before a nice soft landing back in your resort. Arc Aventures in Les Arcs offer tandem parapente flights from around €70 per person and the flight lasts as long as the thermals allow. Remember to wrap up warm! Contact Arc Aventures on +33 (0) 4 79 07 60 02, visit their website at www.arc-aventures.com or drop into their office in Bourg St Maurice for more information.
Husky Mushing As either a driver or a passenger, you’ll get a real taste of Alaska as you hurtle through the snow covered hills behind a pack of husky dogs. Guided tours take you on a tour of the local backcountry where you’re likely to see un-spoilt powder fields and even some wildlife along the way. Horstrace Aventure in La Plagne is a team of wellexperienced Husky mushers. Call them for more information on: +33 (0) 6 12 78 50 05 or e-mail: email@example.com
Making the most of your time on the Slopes…
Words by Lucy Ayres
The health benefits of skiing and snowboarding are huge! Not only can you burn up to 3000 calories a day while having more fun than you can shake a stick at, research also shows that time on the slopes can reduce stress and depression. However, the intensity of a full days skiing can take its toll on your body and sore muscles can put a real dampener on your holiday. Here are a few handy hints to help you make the most of your holiday. 1. Warm it up… Skiing is one of the few sports that give the full body a workout. Many of us jump straight off the lift in freezing conditions and expect our bodies to adjust. Give your muscles a helping hand by warming up before you begin, run up and down the stairs in your chalet, jog on
Hip swings, both forward and back and side to side
the spot for five minutes or even walk to the lift instead of getting the bus. Warming up your muscles in an active way will prepare your body and help reduce the risk of injury. Now surely that’s worth an extra ten minutes in the morning?
2. Enjoy some high quality H20… Dehydration makes the body much less efficient by severely reducing the productivity of muscles. Cold temperatures and altitude can inhibit the body’s desire to drink, so make sure you start your day with at least two glasses of water and carry water in a backpack (ideally in a handy
hydration pack) to drink on every lift. Fruit juices, caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol act as a diuretic and can actually make you thirstier so avoid them wherever possible.
Massage Me provides a quality mobile massage service to the resorts of Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry, La Plagne, Montchavin-Les Coches, La Rosiere, St Foy, Val d’Isere, Tigne and the 3 Valleys. For more information visit their website www.massage-me.co.uk, telephone +33 (0)6 12 653 452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a 5% discount please quote ‘Cool Bus’ when booking. 22
3. Stretch it out… Every time you lean, turn, jump and let’s face it, fall, you’re toning and building muscles . This can be pretty intense for the body even if you are ﬁ ghting ﬁ t. Stretching increases fl exibility, which can help you avoid injury. This is because the more fl exible a muscle is, the more strain it can withstand . Finally, stretching helps you avoid tight, sore and
aching muscles, which can often plague you after a few days out on the mountain . Below are some examples of some simple stretches everyone can do while on holiday to help your muscles recover more quickly .
4. Give your body a break…. Massage after skiing or snowboarding is infinitely beneficial for both the body and mind . Massage prevents and reduces soreness in the muscles by removing metabolic waste such as lactic acid . It also speeds up muscle recovery and increases mobility, which in turn can reduce the risk of injury . All in all it’s an excellent way to help your body bounce back more effectively after a day on the slopes . There are some fabulous
ski specific treatments out there, focusing on the exact muscle groups that you will have been working . A mid week massage could make the difference between surviving the week and skiing for the week! Alternatively, remember you are on holiday and treat yourself to a deliciously decedent luxury treatment, which will soon make you forget any stresses and strains .
Yasmin Cowan is a fashion and style expert . Her Style Mountain blog covers the best in Alpine fashion each winter . Who better to tell you what you should be wearing? 1. The Art Of Layering
Ladies, invest in some thick leggings (put some tights on underneath for extra warmth) or some black thermals or you can even get away with some super stretchy jeggings . Wear them under your ski trousers, then before you hit the bar, just whip off those baggy pants to reveal those fabulous legs . My favourite thermal leggings are the 2XU Thermal Compression Tights (£95), they’re pricey but they actually work . They’re super warm and there’s the added bonus that they make your bum and thighs look pretty darn good . If you’re more
daring then go for some pattern; the fairisle trend is still knocking about and is very much appropriate for après . Check out Red or Dead for some fairisle print leggings . Boys, Jockey
have an endless choice of thermals, you can even get some in tartan . As usual check out all your favourite ski brands for their base layers . If you’re looking for something less mumsy check out the more street wear ski brands like Nikita, Burton, Volcom and O’Neill . They also have some warm and trendy jumpers or soft shell jackets for you all!
Five tips for Après-ski Fashion Perfection Après-ski is a time-honoured tradition and it’s been going strong since the sixties . Whether you want to party or just have a few relaxed tipples, Après ski after a day on the slopes is still the social norm when in a ski resort . As with any other social gathering, there’s an unspoken dress code to abide by . Whether you’re experienced or it’s your first time (and it most certainly won’t be your last) here are my five tips to help you on your way to piste perfect fashion . Don’t worry boys there’s something in here for you too…
2. Pack A Nice Hat
Do not underestimate the importance of a good hat . You lose 40% of body heat through your head, but more importantly, they are a key Fall 2012/13 trend on the runways . It’s always good to combine fashion and function . There’s also a bit of 90’s revival occurring
and if you really want to stand out from the crowd opt for some bright colours with a vintage skiwear feel . Planks in particular are a great brand for these types of beanies, might I suggest the shred bobble beanie to you? Penfield have great bobble beanies in a variety
of colours including neons . They are definitely a must for those 80’s bright and tight theme nights at Après . Starter also have vintage looking beanies and if you’re into snapbacks they have a huge range in all kinds of colours, including animal print . If you’re more into the chunky and cosy spectrum, check out Nikita, Barts, Nobis and O’Neill; they have just what you’re looking for this season . 24
3. Fancy Footwear
Love or loathe it, my all-time favourite is the moonboot style . Hear me out . They have
everything you want; fashion, function, warmth, comfort and they give you grip (vital after a hefty après session) . There’s the traditional Tecnica Moonboot or something a bit different from Barts, O’Neill and GANT . If you’re on a budget the Barts boots are lowpriced and look super luxe . Then there’s Sorel boots, which will never let you down . They’re pricey but the quality adds function, which always justifies the purchase . If you’re not keen on dancing the night away in ski boots then Butterfl y Twists have foldable boots that can literally fit in your pocket, and for only £39 .99 they are a must . Boys, don’t run
around in soggy trainers . Instead get some real man boots that’ll keep your feet nice and cosy . CAT, Pointer, Adidas and Boxfresh are the ones to look out for; they offer style, function and practicality .
4. Invest in a Stylish Jacket There is no doubt about it, you need an extremely warm jacket and if that means forking out £200 then suck it up . Pay more money for better quality then it’ll last for years and can literally be a lifesaver . If you’re going to buy something very pricey then look for something that’ll be timeless, something that would work when you’re in the resort and the city too . My
favourite jacket of all time is from Nobis; they’re built for the arctic conditions of Canada and for around £200 they really are a bargain . They have all kinds of different styles for men and women; you will never feel the cold again when wearing one of these bad boys .
5. Get a Costume Sorted For many of you, dressing up in ridiculous après ski attire is part of your holiday . And let me tell you, you’ll never go wrong with an 80’s fl ashback. Forget trolling Ebay for hours and paying lots of money for some so called Nevica originals from your parents Hayday . Get better quality, better outfits and a better price with Retro Rentals . They have a fantastic range of 80’s ski wear available to hire in resort for only £10 a day and you don’t even have to move a muscle because they deliver straight to your chalet! Alternatively you could drop a bomb on the usual Onepiece onesie and join the rest of the crowd… Visit www.stylemountain.com for more fashion tips like these!
your hat - make it
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10 reasons to try indoor skiing
The team at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead are used to preparing both adults and kids for their ski holidays in the Alps. If you’re reading this article as you head back to the airport, wondering where your next fix of the slippy stuff is going to come from, here’s some reasons to keep the momentum going…
One on one instruction is the best way to gain progression. If you feel that you’ve reached a plateau in your skiing or snowboarding abilities during your holiday, or if you’ve lost a bit of confidence, a couple of sessions with a private instructor is sure to get you back on track. Snow-sports are getting social. The Snow Centre host Ladies’ Mornings twice a week for like-minded women to ski together, while Adult’s Only sessions also take place on three nights each week. But by far the most social events are on Thursday and Friday evenings when freestyle parks are created on the main slope and the number of spectators creates a great atmosphere.
Indoor skiing is the perfect preparation for children. Before you spend money on that first family ski holiday, it’s worth finding out whether your children will take to skiing, snowboarding and the temperatures first. The Snow
It’s possible to make snowsports part of your weekly exercise routine. Regular practice on real snow slopes is great fitness training, both before and after your ski holiday. The team at The Snow Centre offer advice on improving your
Regular use of an indoor snow centre gives you a great excuse to invest in your own ski kit, and in most shops you can borrow skis and snowboards to try out before you buy. Also, buying your equipment in the UK and using it regularly on an indoor slope means you can return it to the shop if you have any problems. And of course you can then wear your boots in and get used to them before you hit the mountains.
Centre offers children’s beginner lessons at convenient times, with an emphasis on fun as well as learning. A family slope pass package at The Snow Centre includes an hour of slope time and a free soft drink in the café for £79 for the whole family.
two Image © The Snow Centre 2012
The biggest difference between an indoor ski slope and the mountains is the length of the runs. If you’re a beginner or a progressing skier, you might find that long runs can be quite tiring. An indoor slope is much shorter, which means you can learn the basics on a manageable piste in preparation for the bigger hills on your next ski holiday!
all-round fitness, with exercises including cardio training, squats and lunges, core strength development and flexibility, all of which are sure to make your next ski holiday more enjoyable! Their Snow Fitness programme includes an hour of circuit style training to target the muscles you’ll need on your ski holiday, for £15 per session.
The snow that falls several times a week at The Snow Centre is just as ‘real’ as the snow you’ll find on any mountain in the Alps. It behaves in exactly the same way, except you don’t have to battle against the harsh mountain winds or the ice! An indoor ski centre offers more consistency in conditions to help you progress your skiing or snowboarding skills, ready for your next ski holiday.
Indoor snow centres have become a breeding ground for new British talent. Sponsored competitions by big snowsports brands such as Westbeach and Burton are now common place up and down the UK, giving talented, up and coming girls and boys the chance to demonstrate their skills and potentially make a career out of them.
If you’re one of those skiers or snowboarders who’s other half or group of mates really don’t understand what the fuss is about, take them to The Snow Centre. They’ll soon get the bug and you’ll then be able to easily persuade them to join you on your annual ski holiday.
Ultimately, you’ll have a better time on your next ski holiday if you keep skiing or snowboarding at regular intervals when you return to the UK. You’ll be more experienced, so you’ll be able to push your limits and achieve new things. You’ll also be fitter, so more able to take advantage of full days without getting tired, and you’ll be less likely to sustain an injury. Find out more about The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead on their website – www.thesnowcentre.com or email@example.com
Can you imagine your snow covered ski resort during the are all stunning summer holiday destinations with loads of Mountain Biking
The area is a mecca for both enduro and downhill mountain biking during the summer months . The lift system is rigged up to carry bikes, and extensive out of season works are undertaken to make the routes as fl owing and challenging as possible . From May until October Cool Bus also offer MTB up-lifts, where we drive you and your bike to some of the hidden trails that can’t be accessed by ski lifts, and then meet you at the bottom so you can do it all over again . Full details of the routes we can take you to can be found on our website .
Each summer the Tour de France passes through the Alps, which isn’t surprising considering the number of challenging Cols in the area . Road bikes are available to hire in each resort and clearly marked route plans are available from each Office de Tourisme .
Getting hitched in the Alps in the summer has never been so popular and the mountains are often used as a stunning backdrop for a wedding ceremony . You’ll find wedding venues in the Tarantaise to suit all sizes and budgets, from small and intimate to huge and spectacular . Just imagine the photos…
Families If endless days spent playing by the lake aren’t enough to satisfy your kids, then surely Sport Beach in Tignes will . Activities include trampolines, tennis courts, mini golf, a football pitch, playing fields and a soft play area for smaller children .
Fishing If a more sedate activity is more your thing, as long as you have the right permits, you can spend hours fishing in Tignes le Lac where the brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout all thrive . There are six other lakes in the area too!
This is a tamer version of rock climbing, which follows marked routes and includes ladders, bridges and steps, all while you’re roped up for safety . The Via Ferrata sites in both Val d’Isere and Tignes take around 2 hours to complete and all the equipment you need is available to hire locally .
Between the middle of June and the beginning of September you can ski the 20km of pistes on the Tignes glacier, hit up the snowpark or practice your cross-country skiing skills . Or you can work up a nice goggle tan on a sunny terrace . The choice is yours!
White Water Rafting
On both the Isere and Doron De Bozel, snow melt produces raging torrents of white water, perfect to skim over in a big bouncy boat! An experienced and full-equipped rafting company will also point out geological formations on the riverbed and the local wildlife too .
The Office de Tourisme in each resort produce a walkers guide, which includes detailed tours of the local hills with varying degrees of difficulty . Hiking is one of the best ways to discover the Alps in the summer months and on a clear day you’ll be treated to amazing views .
summer months? The resorts and villages of the Tarantaise activities, offering something for everyone . Here’s a selection… Photography
The Tignes Cameride is a photography and video competition at the end of July and the beginning of August . Teams of mountain bikers, photographers and videographers compete against each other to produce high adrenalin, inspiring and beautiful images of the local area .
Using the natural gorges and riverbeds of the River Isere, guided canyoning trips involve plunging and abseiling into the mountain river, slipping down the rapids and splashing into pools . It’s certainly a refreshing way to spend a hot afternoon in the Alps!
Cool Bus operate private airport transfers across the
Tignes Golf Club is the highest in Europe . If has 18 perfectly groomed holes for you to navigate, as well as many naturally formed obstacles along the way . Open daily between June and September, there’s also a mini-golf course and a putting green too .
Tarantaise during the summer months . Bikes are transported at no extra charge . Find out more information and make a booking on our website - www .thecoolbus .com
‘Tignes & Val D’Isere’s Mountain bike Experts’ Tignes & Val d’Isere are the most up & coming bike parks in the French Alps. The resorts offer a FREE LIFT PASS with access to over 150km of marked bike trails, singletrack, freeride, airbags, waterjumps and not forgetting the UCI World Cup course. The cheapest bike rental & mobile delivery service in the Tarentaise valley. Fluent English speaking instruction & guiding for all levels with our fully qualified bike school ‘Ongravity’ Visit website to view trail videos, or find us on Youtube Bike hire centre : www.startlinemtb.com firstname.lastname@example.org +33 (0) 6 27 10 97 29 Bike school: www.ongravity.com email@example.com - +33 (0) 6 03 88 63 11
Image © monica-dalmasso-2012
In May ’13 a team of die-hard cyclists will undertake an epic challenge. In aid of Cancer Research UK and inspired by former Cool Bus driver Tim Morris, the team of eight will cycle 1000 kilometres over nine days from John O’Groats to Lands End. They’ll cover a grueling 110km each day, all into a head wind, with a total of 14,000 metres of climbs. Phew!
Cool Bus Chief Rob Forbes explains ‘It’s a fact that at some point in our lives, we will all be touched by cancer. As the ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ campaign has highlighted, we’re on the verge of massive medical developments and a cure is long overdue. Tim Morris has fully recovered from tongue cancer but not everyone is so lucky. It has never been more important to raise money for Cancer Research and that’s why Cool Bus is supporting this challenge’. The team consists of Cool Bus drivers, both past and present, as well as ex World Cup downhill racer and UK mountain bike gravity enduro series winner Neil Donoghue and elite cross country mountain bike racer Matt Loake. Rich Beard, described as a ‘bike mechanic extraordinaire’ will no undoubtedly play an important role in the team while Rob, Tim, Cool Bus Deputy Bry Watt, Ian ‘Dilwyn’ Thomas and Chris ‘Dooze’ Bromley are all well experienced in the saddle.
Orange Bikes have supplied a couple of Orange Carb-O’s for Rob and Bry to ride while the whole team will be fuelled along the way by Karen Brennan from Podium Catering, the team behind GT Factory Racing. Cool Bus driver Lauren Little will be trailing the team along the route in a support vehicle supplied by Cool Bus. She’ll be providing those allimportant supplies and no doubt bucket loads of encouragement. Lauren is also tasked with keeping the momentum going during the challenge and you’ll be able to read her updates on Facebook, Twitter and on the End to End blog. The ‘End to End’ ride will start in John O’Groats on 8th May and the team plan to arrive at Lands End on 16th May. A number of other riders will join them along the way to show their support. Although the numbers for the full 1000 km ride are limited to a team of eight, anyone is welcome to join in along the route. And it’s likely that all eyes will be on Matt Loake as the team roll over the finish line. Just 36 hours later, he’ll be undertaking another life-changing challenge, getting married just down the road in Newquay! We’re sure some celebratory drinks will be in order then… You can find out more about the End to End Challenge on the blog: www.endtoendchallenge.wordpress.com You can show your support for these brave eight lads and help them reach their fundraising target of £10,000 on their Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/coolbusendtoend
Now that you’ve come to the end of The Cool Bus Magazine, you might be wondering what you’re going to read next?
Whitelines is the UK’s premier snowboard magazine – its photography and articles are guaranteed to keep you in the winter spirit, long after you’ve landed back in Blighty . And because you’re a Cool Bus passenger, you can subscribe to the next 8 issues of Whitelines at the hugely discounted special Cool Bus Magazine price of just £29 .99, which includes delivery, the next resort and buyers guides and load of other free stuff too!
There are two ways to claim your discounted Whitelines subscription 1 - Call +44 (0) 1795 414639 and quote the discount code WLCBM12 2 - Visit www .themagfactory .com and use the discount code WLCBM12
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