200 km of road courses, 177 km of cross country and enduro trails, 1 bikepark with red and black tracks, north shores and a pumptrack, 3 hotels certified â€œSwiss Bike Hotelsâ€?. Crans-Montana, the new place for nature and bike lovers.
Book your experience on: www.crans-montana.ch/bike
RENT A FABULOUS CHALET, WITH HOTEL SERVICES, IN THE SWISS ALPS.
THE BIGGEST BIKING EVENTS IN EUROPE 2016 The greatest road races, the biggest mountain biking events, some for all comers, some where you can watch the world’s best – they’re all in the Alps this summer.
18 HIGHLANDER Established as recently as 2003, the Cairngorm National Park is Britain’s largest and most northerly. There's also a tonne of things to do there.
CHASING WINTER It’s summer north of the equator but the 2016 ski season is underway in the southern hemisphere. Here’s the LoveTheMountains guide to where’s best to ski in South America, New Zealand, Australia and even southern Africa and Antarctica this year.
WHERE TO SKI AND SNOWBOARD IN SUMMER 10 Missing the ski season? There’s been lots of late spring snow, so things are looking good on Europe’s summer glacier
ON THE BUCKET LIST We all have places we dream of visiting – maybe the Great Wall of China or the Barrier Reef? Here Alison Heyworth gives us insider tips on making the best of a visit to Machu Picchu – a destination on many a bucket list.
TM16 // 4
DOMINIC KILLINGER email@example.com
DEBBIE GABRIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
36 MY FIRST WHITE WATER
LOVE OUR MOUNTAINS
White water doesn’t have to be too scary to start with; in fact
Although we often think straight away of mountains across the
it can just be good fun, says one 7-year-old. There are also
Channel or even the ocean, we have some of the world’s best
variants to progress on to including hydrospeed and
on our doorstep. Here’s a quick lowdown of what’s where
and what’s on.
PATRICK THORNE email@example.com
MATT NICHOLSON firstname.lastname@example.org
GIANCARLO GAMBARDELLA email@example.com
NICK JONES MARION ADAMS CONTRIBUTORS
EMMANUELLE CHATEL SALLY BROOKS ROB STEWART IAIN MARTIN EQUIPMENT EDITORS
MOUNTAIN FAMILY More and more families are finding that they have much more fun in the fresh air together on a summer mountains holiday than they do fighting the crowds on the beach.
60 WHO WANTS TO BE A MOUNTAINEER? you need to get off the ground.
10 MINS WITH: FRANCESCA EYRE 70
© 2016 PRINTED IN THE UK No part of this publication may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any way or means, either by recording or publishers in writing.
INTHESNOW LTD THE SNOW STUDIO KINGS LANE, BUCKS HP16 0QY +44(0)1494 862 423 DOM@INTHESNOW.COM INTHESNOW.COM
against family tragedy to set
One of the world’s great ski destinations is just as stunning in the
Alps as well as competing in
Francesca Eyre has battled up a year-round mountain
stay even more enticing.
SUMMER IN THE DOLOMITES summer months with a whole host of activities laid on to make a
otherwise, without permission of the
If you’ve thought about climbing but not thought about how and where to start, Emmanuelle Châtel has some top tips on all
SALLY BARTLETT ANNA BARTLETT
holiday company in the French 2016/17
challenging mountain sports endurance events.
TM16 // 5
S reetings! It doesn’t seem long since the last one ended, but the new ski season,
2015–16 is upon us already – well, almost! pring is well and truly here with long days Quite when one season ends and the and (hopefully) warm nights, and in fact next one begins is one of those eternal summer is knocking on the door, so it's "chicken and egg" questions, particularly time to get out there and enjoy the great at resorts like Zermatt which tries to open outdoors! for skiing every day of the year. But as
Love The Mountains is published, most of The magazine you have in your hands is the summer ski glaciers in the Alps have dedicated to all things mountain, from our
own Cairngorms to the far-flung peaks just ended their 2015 run, and later in the of the Andes and the Southern Alps. month half a dozen Austrian glaciers will We don't care whether we're hiking, start operating for 2015–16, so maybe it’s trail running or climbing up, or biking, about now. In any event you’ll find our skiing, white-water rafting or perhaps regular "off season" update on where you parascending down, or just stood on the can ski today within these pages. top taking in the view – we just With our bi-annual Love The Mountains love mountains. magazine, the InTheSnow team like to showcase all that makes us Britain’s best Of course, for those of us who love the snow-sports publication – all the latest mountains in winter as well as summer, news for the coming season which you we might be starting to feel a bit restless need to know, the best information and at the thought that there's six months ideas to plan your snowsports holidays, until the next ski season really kicks the best writing, glorious images and all off, but rest assured you'll find within presented in a superb design, thanks to this magazine details of where you can the efforts of our designer Tom. still hit the snow slopes over the next As always, the highlight of Love The six months in Europe up high on the Mountains is our spectacular photo glaciers; and there's a four-page spread shoot of all the must-have new season's on some of the amazing places where fashions and gear, which we shot in the you can ski in South America, Southern stunning Norwegian resort of Beitostølen. Africa or Oceania during the coming But you’ll also find the latest big news southern hemisphere winter if you're in stories for ‘15–’16 (we did some back-offor the long haul.
But back to the wonder that is spring and a-beermat maths and reckon the largest summer in mountains closer to home. We resorts in Europe and North America look at the attractions on our doorstep in our have spent more than half-a-billion euros own National Parks – there are now 15 of on the biggest projects alone) and lots of them spread across most of Britain (Northern useful features with, for example, advice Ireland is currently debating whether to open on how to make best use of the pound’s theirs first). There's lots to do in them year best buying power in most ski nations for round and some great events coming up more than five winters. this spring, summer and autumn, but official In fact the ski season never ends for figures show only a fraction of us are making InTheSnow, as we’re here all year round the most of them. Maybe this is the year? tracking snowfall and ski resort openings on northern glaciers from spring to autumn, A little further afield, the Alps and other and of course in the southern hemisphere, mountain ranges in mainland Europe have as well as breaking the big news stories ever more activities on offer on top of and special deals for the coming winter the simple pleasure of just being in these before anyone else. Just head to stunning locations in the summer months. InTheSnow.com – which has a swish new We have features on attractions for families, small-screen-friendly design for 2015–16 major cycling and downhill biking events by the way – for the latest news and to over the next few months, white-water thrills sign up for updates, and you can also join and much, much more. our 40K+ followers on Facebook. So here’s to a great 2015–16 ski season! Whichever mountains you end up climbing And why wait? Hit the slopes today! this year, enjoy!
OTM15 // 005
TIPS ummer is a good opportunity to enjoy the thrill of mountain-
to climb with experienced climbers.
climbing! Reaching the top of a mountain is a physical and mental
Never climb alone. The best way to be safe is
Learn about mountaineering ethics.
SIX beginner-friendly mountains to start your climbing career
accomplishment, and above all a
Mountaineers are very concerned to limit
source of pride for a lifetime that
their impact on the environment and to leave
Ben Macdui, Cairngorms, Scotland
is worth all the hard work. But
The second-highest mountain in the UK – 1,309m high
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. And
– Ben Macdui is situated in the heart of the Cairngorm
check out what huts exist on your route.
mountains and offers splendid views over the valley.
first there are a couple of basics you need to have prepared.
What do I need to get started?
Mont Blanc, Alps, France With its 4,810m the Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain On the day you must make your own assessments,
in the Alps. A multiple-level range of routes lead to the
depending on your body and your training, and see what
summit of one of Europe’s most iconic climbing peaks.
Bear in mind that you’ll have to carry everything with you
pace works for you. What works well for some people does
Altitude remains the main consideration.
all the way up. So being loaded down by non-essentials is
not apply to everybody. Start gradually; don’t push it if you
not an option for a mountain-climber.
feel pain. Know your limits and stick to them. It’s best to listen
The Matterhorn, Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Good gear. It’s essential to have special climbing
to your body when it comes to intense physical effort. There
One of the most popular mountains to climb in the world,
clothing. Layering is key to staying comfy when sweating
is no need to rush, so embrace your pace, and don’t compare
the Matterhorn is 4,478m high. A variety of routes to the
during the climb and when the wind hits you at the top.
yourself to others!
summit are accessible. The Hörnli Ridge or Lion Ridge
Food. Good nutrition is crucial; you’ll be burning a
routes are perfectly suited for beginner climbers.
ton of calories, so pack enough to restock the energy burnt, taking easy-to-eat snacks to stuff in that are easily
Monte Bronzone, Lake Lugano, Italy
accessible in your pockets. Make sure you stay hydrated
From the village of Dasio you can reach the 1,433m
and drink a lot before, during and after effort.
summit of Monte Bronzone. Once on top, enjoy the
Accessories. A backpack, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat,
stunning view of Lake Lugano.
hiking boots, first aid equipment and a map.
Świnica, Tatra Mountains, Poland
How Fit do You Need to Be?
Located in southern Poland, the Tatra mountains offer a variety of hiking routes during the summer with spectacular views and lakes on the way.
As a demanding physical activity, mountain climbing requires good fitness and endurance skills. Being in shape
Mt Fuji, Japan
is essential. Any type of regular, physical activity that
Standing at 3,776m in height, Mt Fuji is the tallest
improves your strength and endurance will help you to get
mountain in Japan and one of the most climbed
fit and ready for the summit day.
mountains in the entire world.
TM16 // 8
MOUNTAIN CARTING World-record-holding speed
of Europe's largest parks, and at
this delay meant that there was a
rider Armin Senoner, along with
3,905m is the highest mountain
decline in snow and ice conditions
extreme climber Christoph Hainz,
in South Tyrol. It towers above
with an increased danger of falling
both Italians, and the famous
the remote village of Solda
ice and rocks. It also meant that
Austria extreme skier, Axel
(population 400), sometimes
the planned route in the ice wall
a 3km rough track and get a real buzz from
Naglich, one of the very few men
called the “Siberia of Tyrol”
had to changes as seracs broke
this safe adrenalin sport. Suitable for children
to have completed the descent of
because of its isolated location
away, meaning that established
10 years and older with a minimum height of
the world's biggest skiable vertical
surrounded by many high
“classic routes”, such as the direct
125cm, prices are from £13 for adults and £10
on the treacherous Mount St Elias
mountains and plenty of snow.
Messner-line, are simply no longer
for children aged 10–15. Safety helmets are
in Alaska, took on a new challenge
Switzerland's Jungfrau region has a new attraction this summer, First Mountain Carts. A thrilling cross between a go-kart and a sledge, adventurous carters can thunder down
available free of charge. jungfrau.ch
together at the end of April when
For the attempt, the three extreme
they tackled the Ortler North Face
athletes prepared with a detailed
The climb and subsequent
in the Italian Alps.
inspection, analysis of routes and
descent on skis were,
an exchange of information about
nonetheless, eventually completed
The Ortler North Face, which has
the snow situation. In general, the
successfully. Senoner was first up,
icy descents at up to 80° angles,
Ortler North Face is climbed in the
and while Hainz and Naglich were
is an extreme challenge even
months between May and June,
still ascending the longest ice wall
The United Arab Emirates, home to Ski
for the best climbers. The “Giant
so ascending in the month of April
in the Eastern Alps with its 1,200m
Dubai, is reported to be considering building
Ortler” is located in the heart of
presented an additional challenge
of climbing, Senoner flew down
for the three athletes.
the steep North Face.
Despite all the preparation, bad
Hainz and Naglich were rewarded,
weather conditions led to the
after stopping to take a good
Italy's Stelvio National Park, one
UAE MAY BUILD A MOUNTAIN
a mountain in a bid to increase the chance of rainfall in the country, one of the driest on earth with temperatures reaching 50°C. An
ascent being postponed for several weeks in the wait for good conditions. But
look from the top of South Tyrol's
international study, costing over £250,000, has recommended the idea as a natural way to potentially bring rainfall to the region.
highest peak, with a breathtaking descent from the heavily glaciated Ortler through the Minnigerode couloir, a 50° steep downhill over nearly 1,400 vertical metres
WRITE ABOUT THE MOUNTAINS
of descent. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland is looking for people who love the mountains and are based anywhere in the country to write a piece inspired by the mountains. Winners will receive a cash prize, a free weekend pass, worth about £100, to the 2016 Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival and will see their entries in print in the organisation's quarterly magazine which goes to 12,000 people. Prose entries of up to 2,000 words or poetry of any length should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August.
CURIOSITY ROVER TACKLES MARTIAN MOUNTAIN NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet four years ago, is currently ascending the 5,000m high Mt Sharp. In recent months, NASA scientists have noticed damage to several of the rover's 50cm high wheels, which are made of strong but very thin lightweight metal, but the mission team say the damage over time is in line with predictions made in tests before the rover left earth and that it should still be able to complete its climb.
TM16 // 9
Sadly, the number of summer ski operations in Italy has
Europe's highest lifts up to 3,899m on the Matterhorn
kept decreasing. There used to be half a dozen, but with
glacier paradise above Zermatt are only open in summer,
Val Senales now closing in the summer (it usually reopens
although most of the 20km of slopes are open year round.
he northern hemisphere's ski season may be over for most
in mid-September) and Passo Tonale closed for a second
The nearby resort of Saas-Fee reopens on 16 July.
resorts, but there are a few dozen glacier ski areas that either
season for major infrastructure upgrades, it's down to
stay open year round, or reopen for periods in the summer.
Cervinia and Passo Stelvio, the latter open from the end
You just need to know where and when!
of May on. Cervinia is open weekends in May then every day from 25 June to 4 September. During this period you can ski over the border to Zermatt in Switzerland, quite
impressive for summer skiing options.
SCANDINAVIA Norway has three glacier ski areas, each with one long drag lift that are open through the summer. The Folgefonna glacier is already open, and it's joined by the Stryn and Galdhøpiggen glaciers at the start of June.
Austria has more glacier ski areas open in the warmer months
open to 24 July while the Mölltaler glacier will reopen around
20 June for a 10-month season.
than any other country, with eight to choose from; however, only the Hintertux glacier is open year round and the Dachstein open all summer. Of the remainder, the Kitzsteinhorn will be
In Sweden, the great spring skiing resort of Riksgränsen stays open until Midsummer's Day weekend in late June; it offers skiing under the midnight sun as there's 24-hour daylight there.
Passo Stelvio: passostelvio.com
With all the snow on the west coast of North America this
France has three glacier ski areas that normally open in
winter (bases had reached 5m by Easter), it looks likely
summer at Les 2 Alpes, Tignes and Val d'Isère. Traditionally
some areas like Squaw Valley and Mammoth will be open
Tignes has had around a two-month summer ski season,
through into June. However, the main summer ski area
the longest, but in 2016 Les 2 Alpes announced a 10-week
there is Timberline on Mt Hood in Oregon, which has a
summer season from mid-June to the end of August, starting
Val d'Isère: valdisere.com
permanent snowfield that is normally open virtually year
a fortnight before Tignes; 11 runs and a terrain park are
round (it closes in September). The other big option is
open here, served by more than a dozen lifts. Val d'Isère is
Whistler in BC, Canada, which opens for five-week glacier
normally open for a short period through June to early July.
TM16 // 10
Les 2 Alpes: les2alpes.com Mölltaler: gletscher.co.at
skiing and boarding from 10 June to 18 July.
CRANKWORX - SCOTT ROBARTS
WORDS: PATRICK THORNE
TM16 // 12
number of people arriving here in summer for biking has exploded, and the rate of growth shows no sign of slowing down. Resorts continue to create ever better road and mountain biking trails that are open all season, but there are also big events â€“ some like the world's
he numbers of skiers and
best road and downhill biking
boarders hitting Alpine slopes
events you can come to watch;
each winter has remained fairly
others are mass participation
static for decades, but since
events you can sign up for and
the turn of the millennium the
CRANKWORX LES GETS – FRANCE
Crankworx has grown into one of the biggest events in the downhill biking world over recent years. Originating in Whistler BC, it's now a world tour which kicked off in New Zealand in March this year, has been to France for the past five years and rounds off back in Whistler. Landing in Les Gets this spring is only natural, as the famous ski village in the Portes du Soleil has also been a pioneer mountain biking destination for both mountain bike tourists and racers. It has previously hosted five World Cups and numerous French nationals. Mountain biking fans the world over are well familiar with its steep, verdant alpine trails. “Back in the '80s, Les Gets was one of the first regions in the world to use its lifts to shuttle riders, and its 2004 UCI World Championships is the stuff of legends. This is a location steeped in the culture and history of our sport, and we are thrilled to be adding the region to the World Tour,” said Darren Kinnaird, Crankworx World Tour General Manager. The resort hosts 95km of biking trails, has three dedicated lifts and is only an hour's ride from Geneva airport, giving it the classic Crankworx touch: a place to ride the best terrain alongside the best riders in the world, while watching the world's best racing. The Crankworx World Tour arrives one week before the 80km Pass'Portes du Soleil race. With a family pump track already built for the village square, and riders en route for the 12th year of the Pass'Portes du Soleil, it is expected the inaugural Les Gets festival will draw epic crowds of all ages right out of the gate. Summer holidays in Les Gets are offered by Chalets 1066: chalets1066.com
GIRO D'ITALIA 2016 CORVARA, ALTA BADIA, ITALY
On Saturday 21 May, the 14th leg of the 99th Giro d'Italia will finish in Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites. It's the first time the famous race has reached the famous ski resort since 2002, and the leg in Alta Badia allows you to see the bikers pass by at least three times. If you want to see more than the final rush, head to Passo Pordoi to see the first lap; then follow the second to Arabba. You will still have time to move towards Corvara at the finish line and follow the final sprint. If you want to stay put, though, the “Giro d'Italia Fan Zone” will be positioned in the centre of La Villa. It will feature a live screen to follow all the route and support the bikers before their climb on the Mür dl Giat, the “cat wall”, with a 19% steep incline. During the Giro d'Italia weekend there'll also be the chance to ride some of the “Pink Race” routes with local expert guides showing bikers every nook and cranny of the Dolomite passes. And après-ski becomes après-leg. The famous après-ski bar, L'Murin, in the heart of Corvara, where skiers stop to dance to the sound of groovy music during winter, will welcome the Giro d'Italia. Biking continues all summer in Alta Badia, and on 19 June the 11th edition of the Sellaronda Bike Day will be staged. On the day roads are closed to traffic between 8.30am and 3.30pm, and the bikers are kings!
TM16 // 13
MOUNTAIN OF HELL – STEPHANE CANDE
SUMMER 2016 BIKING CALENDAR May 21 Giro d'Italia 2016, Alta Badia June 15–19: Crankworx, Les Gets; crankworx.com 18–26 KitzAlpBike Festival, Tirol; kitzalpbike.com 19: Sellaronda Bike Day, Dolomites, Italy
ALTA BADIA – MOLOGRAPHY.IT
24–26: Pass'Portes du Soleil, Portes du Soleil; passportesdusoleil.com July 1–3: Mountain of Hell, Les 2 Alpes; les2alpes.com 10: Etape du Tour, Megève to Morzine, letapedutour.com 23: Tour de France, Megève to Morzine, letour.com August 3–6: Ironbike, Ischgl; ischgl.com
TM16 // 14
MOUNTAIN OF HELL LES 2 ALPES, FRANCE
Les 2 Alpes has built a reputation as one of the leading biking destinations in the Alps over a number of years, seeing the potential growth of this market years before most other resorts. There's an eclectic mix of biking events here each summer with new ideas to check out every year, and 2016 is no exception. However, the Mountain of Hell remains their flagship race, staged this year from 1 to 3 July. It is a downhill mountain bike race where amateurs and professionals take on a challenging and spectacular course which starts on the glacier at 3,400m with spectacular views across the Alps and includes 2,500m of descent over 25km. Over 700 riders will take on the qualifying rounds, which start on the Friday, with the main event taking place on Sunday. Riders will face snow, ice, scree, rocks, plants and mud. The fastest riders arrive in less than 30 minutes, and first over the line wins.
KITZALPBIKE AND IRONBIKE FESTIVALS ISCHGL
TIROL, AUSTRIA Austria's Tirol region doesn't do things by halves when it comes to mountain biking. The area operates the Tirol Mountain Bike Safari, a long-distance route criss-crossing the heart of the Alps with over 780km of twisty, fun mountain bike trails. If you do the full distance, it involves a total of 32,000m of elevation gain, but helpfully there are 22 cable cars along the way to lift you up most of it! This being Austria, everything can be organised including luggage transfers and accommodation en route, and you can see videos of the route and download a planner online – all via tyrol.com You can also sign up for some of the big mountain biking events in Tirol this summer if you wish including the KitzAlpBike Festival, a whole week of biking events for all ages, abilities and tastes staged around the Kitzbühel-Brixental area in late June. Later, in early August, the legendary Ischgl Ironbike is back for its 22nd staging with a new format, making it a multi-day MTB festival with a choice of race formats, an extensive exhibition area and events for all the family. Events will include a new night-time hill climb race up some 1,000m of altitude difference on a floodlit route and the Ironbike Junior Trophy for kids aged between 5 and 12, who'll get to sample the real racing atmosphere. There'll also be the “Easy Ironbike”, which has been designed to be a beginner's level tour suitable for everyone. Despite the expanded format, the highlight of the event will remain the crowning finale, the Ischgl Ironbike Marathon race on 6 August, with prize money of over €20,000 (about £15,800) up for grabs and three different route lengths.
CRANKWORX – SEAN ST DENIS
TOUR DE FRANCE MEGEVE TO MORZINE, FRANCE
The Tour de France is a huge annual event in the French mountains, passing through numerous ski resorts and involving some of the most famous climbs on the tour. One of the most exciting stages, almost midway through the race, is the 20th, a 146km stage which takes the riders between two of the country's great ski resorts. The race begins at Megève, 1,050m above sea level, and sees no less than four major climbs to passes 1,500m–1,600m up before descending to Morzine. In 2014 this leg played a crucial part in the whole race. On the way to Courchevel, Alberto Contador lost ground while Britain's Christopher Froome struggled against a royal breakaway led by the likes of Romain Bardet. Mikel Nieve won the stage, but the performance of the day was from Andrew Talansky, who eventually went on to win the race. Two weeks before this stage, cyclists can join the 15,000 cyclists in the Etape du Tour riding the same route as the pro riders in the Tour de France on closed roads.
TM16 // 15
LES GETS OFFICE DE TOURISME.
LES GETS OFFICE DE TOURISME
LES GETS OFFICE DE TOURISME.
nyone who has visited
But if you'd rather push your lungs and limbs to
A summer multipass priced at €2 (about £1.56) per day
the mountains in
their limits, there are plenty of adrenalin activities
gives access to 15 different local activities including use
summer knows that
to try locally, including downhill biking (hundreds of
of the ski lifts (so you can take a lift up then hike or bike
kilometres of trails including an 80km return route over
down), swimming and tennis, and also free use of the
very special about the
the border into Switzerland), road cycling or tandem
Alps in their “green
paragliding from the local peak, Mont Chéry, where
season” when the
first-timers are amazed by the strange combination of
days are long, the
peacefulness and sheer fear that paragliding produces!
sun is warm and
And of course you could turn that gentle stroll into
the landscape is as
a serious mountain hike on one of the hundreds of
stunning as ever.
kilometres of well-maintained and signposted paths!
The traditional village of Les Gets in the French Alps is a classic example of this. In winter it's a famous ski resort, in summer a place to relax and unwind while savouring the mountain views over a long coffee in one of the
The beauty of an Alpine holiday in Les Gets is that it can be
as relaxed or as full-on as you wish. Famous for its family-
The accommodation which Chalets1066 have
friendliness throughout summer and winter, you can choose
available for the summer includes a range of
just to take some gentler strolls or relax by the swimming
self-catered chalets and apartments from good-
lake – fully life-guarded and swimming pool regulated but
family-value apartments to luxurious chalets (fully
a beautiful natural lake with a treetop adventure climbing
catered is offered as well in the ski season). As
course next door.
Chalets1066 have a team in Les Gets, they are
able to offer far more than just basic self-catering – they also offer optional hotel services too. For example, someone is always available to help organise activities such as white-water rafting or paragliding.
While many tour operators come and go from the village during the year, with most just focusing on the ski season, Chalets1066 offer mountain holidays in Les Gets all year round. Based locally, they know everyone and have expert knowledge of all the activities on offer. The business is family run. In the ski season, Susan, Nathan and Morven run operations, and in the summer her son is in charge. Susan's husband, Mark is responsible for marketing and finance all year round. Before the family bought this business, they spent around 10 years taking summer holidays in the Lake District, but Sue believes that Les Gets offers far more than the Lake District and at similar if not lower prices.
For bookings please visit:
The first Chalets1066 property was called Hastings (hence
the company name!), and it remains a favourite and one
which epitomises the summer experience in Les Gets.
phone: 0207 183 5082
Since then they have expanded the business and now run some 20 properties in Les Gets.
TM16 // 16
CUBE TWO15 HPA
MOVE MOUNTAINS , RIDE CUBE
CUBEBIKESUK TM16 // 17
r e d n a l h ig n u o m r e summ
n i s y a d i tain hol
nd a l h g i h h s i t t o c the S
WORDS: SALLY BROOKES
Britain's largest and most northerly National Park is also
and they head out into what is, after all, one of the last
How about dog sledding? You can actually do that on
the country's newest, established as recently as 2003.
great wildernesses of Northern Europe, and one of the
wheels rather than sleds in the Cairngorms in summer,
volunteer local mountain rescue teams needs to be
thanks to the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre, the only daily
working sleddog centre in the UK and one of only five
Stretching over 4,528km2 and including much of the Central and Eastern Highlands, the Cairngorms National
Park actually covers one-fiftieth of the UK's land mass –
You can combine hiking with nature tours if you sign up
that's bigger than Luxembourg and three times the size of
with Speyside Wildlife, which offers full-day wildlife tours.
the city of Greater London. It's big!
Cyclists have more than 480km of promoted routes in the park, which provide a mixture of quiet roads and
Glenmore Lodge, Scotland's outdoor adventure training
The park encompasses a magnificent wilderness of
centre, is also located on the edge of the park near
the high mountains, lochs, rivers and glens of ancient
Aviemore and offers outdoor enthusiasts of all ability
There are many bike rental options in the park including
Caledonian forest, the protection of which is the core
levels (from complete novice to expert) instruction on how
Cairngorm Bike & Hike, and if you'd like to cycle there
reason why the park was established.
to make the most of adventure activities and to
yourself from anywhere in the UK, Route 7 of the national
cycle network (sustrans.org.uk) takes a spectacular
Hiking And Climbing Four of Britain's five highest mountains are located within
route in. For downhill bikers, CairnGorm Mountain, a ski and
the Cairngorms National Park, making it a magnet for
It doesn't have to be a leisurely hike in the hills; there are
snowboard area located within the park in winter, offers
climbers and hikers. There are more than 984km, in fact, of
plenty of high-octane activities offering full-on adrenalin
guided descents from the top of its funicular railway.
core paths for all types of walker and plenty of organised
fun in the park.
Laggan Wolftrax also has another 30km of downhill biking
and guided hikes to join in.
trails free to use, ranging from the 4.8km Green route, The Rothiemurchus estate around Aviemore offers dozens
suitable for all the family, and the 3.6 km Orange grade Fun
Indeed, if you're considering tackling one of the bigger
of different outdoor activities, with everything from archery
Park, to the extremely difficult Black grade trail containing
ascents, it's well worth going with a local guide as it's sadly
or clay pigeon shooting through to off-road Segway
the “2 Ton Drop” and the “Back, Sack and
all too common that visitors overestimate their own abilities,
adventures or off-road Land Rover Defender driving.
Crack Attack” features.
TM16 // 18
Cairngorms National Park: cairngorms.co.uk Visit Cairngorms: visitcairngorms.com Visit Scotland: visitscotland.com Balmoral: balmoralcastle.com Cairngorm Bike & Hike: cairngormbikeandhike.co.uk Cairngorm Brewery: cairngormbrewery.com CairnGorm Mountain: cairngormmountain.org Cairngorm Sleddog Centre: sled-dogs.co.uk Full On Adventure: fullonadventure.co.uk Glenmore Lodge: glenmorelodge.org.uk Highland Wildlife Park: highlandwildlifepark.org Laggan Wolftrax: laggan.com/mountain-biking.asp Landmark: landmarkpark.co.uk Loch Insh Water Sports: lochinsh.com Quad Bike Treks Aviemore: quadtreksaviemore.com Rothiemurchus Estate: rothiemurchus.net Speyside Wildlife: speysidewildlife.co.uk
If you prefer your bikes to have four wheels and a motor,
surface at Loch Insh Water Sports, where you can book
In any case, you can find everything you need for a
Quad Bike Treks Aviemore are the company for you. They
wind surfing, sailing and kayaking rentals and courses.
less intense but still fulfilling experience of the great
offer quad bike treks led by experienced guides through magnificent Caledonian pine woodland and heather moorland with breathtaking views of the Cairngorms and into shallow stretches of the River Druie.
Families And Mixed-Interest Groups
outdoors in the park if that's how you prefer to enjoy it. In fact, at whatever level you experience the
Although on the one hand the Cairngorms are a serious
Cairngorms National Park – full on, laid back or a bit of
mountain wilderness, on the other they are Scotland and
both – the magnificence of the scenery, the splendid
Landmark in Carrbridge is one of the most popular venues
Britain's leading adventure area, and there are plenty of
isolation and the natural beauty are likely to be the main
in the region. A theme park where the theme is forest
attractions down in the valleys for which you don't need to
memories you take away with you.
adventure, there are family-friendly water coasters, forest
be a seriously fit and experienced outdoors person.
towers and more.
It's a long list but, for example, you can find wildlife parks
(there are tigers, polar bears and snow monkeys at the
Cairngorms National Park is easy to reach by road,
Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig), outdoor theme parks,
rail or air with flights from Gatwick, Luton, Heathrow,
Water is life for the park, and you can sail on it, fish in it,
mountain railways, golf courses, horse riding, a reindeer
Manchester and other cities into Inverness. The park's
splash through it, even drink it (it's converted to beer at
farm and a steam railway. Or you can make a distillery visit,
western boundary follows both the modern A9 trunk
Aviemore's Cairngorm Brewery, which offers free tours
or perhaps go royalty-spotting near Balmoral.
road north from Perth and the historic stretch of the
and has its products widely available across the area).
east coast mainline to Inverness served direct by Royal connections with the Cairngorms stretch back
the noon Highland Chieftain train from King's Cross
Full-day white-water rafting expeditions with qualified
more than 160 years, and Royal Deeside was of course
(virgintrainseastcoast.com) or an overnight sleeper from
guides or river tubing and canyoning are offered by the
a particular favourite of Queen Victoria, who purchased
London Euston (sleeper.scot). All other UK rail stations
aptly named Full On Adventure company (01479 420123;
Balmoral Castle in 1852. It has provided a haven to the royal
can be used to access the region with one or
fullonadventure.co.uk). Or if you prefer your water less
family ever since. The castle is open to the public for just
white and frothy, there's the usually serene, smooth
four months each year until 31 July – so it's open now.
TM16 // 19
ee tim it th to h
s e t u a h s e alp
But if you can live with all that, then the
with everything from family-only gentle
rest is pure heaven. It's the centre of alpine
forest meanders to high-altitude trails and
road cycling, amazing for mountain biking,
big gutsy descents such as the famous La
and it is THE white-water centre of France.
Prorel – 14km. worth of downhill adrenalin!
There's more rock climbing than the whole of Yosemite valley, 30 Via Ferrata routes,
The Hautes Alpes is the Alps as it used to
the longest Tyrolean zip line in Europe,
be – a remote region that is one and a half
Ailefroide (France's second centre of
hours drive from the nearest motorway and
Alpinism), the largest man-made lake in
much cheaper than the Northern Alps. It’s
Europe and three National Parks' worth of
home to holiday company AlpBase.com,
walking and hiking on well-marked trails.
run by an English family who moved here
Look out for eagles, chamois, ibex, willow
in 2003. They offer a wide range of self-
grouse and the ubiquitous marmots!
catering chalets and apartments, and are happy to provide further information about
The Hautes Alpes is tucked away just
how to get the most out of this wonderful
beneath the Northern Alps, three hours'
Alpine paradise. Whether you are an ultra-
or lovers of the outdoors, France has a
drive south of Chamonix and three hours
fit weekend warrior, a group of mountain
north of Marseille. It is called the High Alps
lovers or an active outdoor family, there
because it has the largest concentration
is something for everyone in The
The Hautes Alpes (High Alps) is one giant
of 3,000m and 4,000m mountains in
outdoor playground encompassing more
France, as well as arguably the easiest
than 5,000 square kilometres – that's bigger
4,000m peak in Europe – Le dôme des
“As one of the UK's leading expedition
than the Lake District, Peak District and
Écrins (4,015m). That equals a lifetime of
climbers over a 30-year career, I have
Snowdonia National Parks combined. Yet
alpine hiking and mountaineering. The rock
explored the world many times over. But
while they jointly attract 40 million visitors
climbing is equally impressive – there are
honestly I have not found an equal to
each year, the Hautes Alpes only see two
85 crags with over 1,000 sport routes and
this place. It's AWESOME! So if you get
million adventure sport enthusiasts annually.
free climbing routes up to 650m in length.
a chance, come out and visit us and get
The weather's better too, an almost
In the heart of it all is the famous
Mediterranean climate, and with over 300
Durance valley, home to quiet, beautifully
days of sunshine a year and the widest
tarmacked roads that comprise the largest
selection of outdoor activities anywhere in
concentration of world-class road cycling
Europe, there's only one catch: its rubbish
cols anywhere in the Alps – think Col
for shopping! The food is typical “death by
D'Izoard, Galibier or Alpe D'Huez from
cheese” mountain fodder too – expect a lot
your doorstep! The mountain biking is
of raclettes and fondues.
just as good; thousands of kilometres of
a taste of this Southern Comfort Secret!” says AlpBase.com Director Jerry Gore.
Visit AlpBase.com or contact direct: email@example.com
specialist lift-assisted downhill courses
TM16 // 20
National 3 Peaks Challenge – UK
The challenge doesn’t come any bigg er or better than conquering the mighty National Peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon back to back covering 40kms with 2,984m of ascent and descent all within 48 hours.
Kilimanjaro Summit Climb – Tanzania
st volcanoes to break At 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the large summit through a the through the Earth’s crust. Making your way to the high altitude of nts, variety of beautiful forests and challenging asce epic challenge. an ng this extraordinary climb is ideal for those seeki Choose from the Rongai or Lemosho route.
TREK TO NEW HEIGHTS Book now and receive 10% off your registration fee. Quote MOUNTAINS16. Exclusive offer to InTheSnow readers. T&Cs apply *Offer expires 31 December 2016
Take on your ultimate challenge, do something extraordinary and raise money for your chosen charity. Lace up your hiking boots and choose from over 200 expeditions worldwide. From the UK to Asia and beyond, challenge yourself to do something incredible this year.
Everest Base Camp Trek – Nepal
8,848m in the Nepalese Mount Everest stands at a formidable and wonder at the Himalayas. Trek to Everest Base Camp numerous rivers along the ssing Cro breathtaking panoramic views. array of peaks and glaciers way, this trek contains an astonishing before celebrating in Kathmandu.
+44 (0)20 8346 0500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.charitychallenge.com
Avenue of Volcanoes Trek – Ecuador Passing through Ecuadorian rainforests, this spectacular expedition finishes with a magical midnight glacier climb of the majestic Cayambe volcano. This action-packed itinerary includes spectacular views as you trek up and over the mountains.
WORDS: PATRICK THORNEES
TM16 // 22
MARK LASSETER - SOUTHAMERICASKI
For many of us, one of the most annoying things about winter is that it doesn't last long enough! Last winter was a particular case in point;
on summer snow 2016!); you can even ski
to be skiing at one of them in July or
as if the usual four months from mid-
indoors on machine-made snow anytime,
August. Some instructors never really see
December to mid-April at most resorts
but it's not quite the same.
summer as they just follow winter around
wasn't bad enough, last winter didn't really
get started until January in many areas as
So how about that dream trip this year?
the snow came late, cutting the ski season
Down to the southern hemisphere? The
You have four continents (that's one more
to little more than three months.
ski season tends to start in June and last
than in the northern hemisphere), in fact
until September or October. There are
maybe five (some say New Zealand is on
Of course you can find ski areas open in
about 100 ski areas to choose south of the
its own mostly submerged continent of
to May and glacier areas where you can
equator (compared to more than 5,000 on
Zealandia), and six countries to choose
ski all year round (see our separate advice
the northern side), so it's a lot more special
from when picking your destination.
TM16 // 23
HERE'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:
You may be able to count all the ski areas in Africa on the
Australia is home to a few more than a dozen ski areas – all
Can you ski Antarctica? Well, there are plenty of snow-
fingers of your two hands, but it is the only continent with
located in New South Wales or Victoria, along with a couple
covered mountains and indeed icebergs to hike up if you
lift-served ski areas in both northern and
of fairly basic ski hills down on the island of Tasmania.
can get there … and find a rental shop.
southern hemispheres. Snow cover is usually better than you might expect from
Some companies occasionally offer Antarctic ski touring
In our summer you can ski at small areas in South Africa
Australia's hot, dry reputation, and in an average to good
trips for a high price tag, and there are reported to be
and Lesotho, both heavily reliant on snowmaking – so
season bases often reach around the metre mark after a
a few simple rope tows operational at several Antarctic
much snow that they can go all winter without seeing any
month or so and stay there throughout the winter.
bases for use by resident scientists.
snowstorms and fresh powder (up to a metre in 36 hours
You can usually ski from early June to late September here.
There were reports back in the 1990s that some of the
has been reported).
In fact, all the main ski areas open for the Queen's Birthday
international research centres, including the New Zealand
weekend celebrations in Australia at the start of June,
and US bases, on Antarctica set up their own little ski
regardless of whether there's any snow.
slopes using portable rope tows. The story goes, however,
natural snowfall – but equally both sometimes seeing big
Tiffindell in South Africa's North Eastern Cape was created back in 1993 when some innovative young men who had
that the US Government decided to ban skiing at their
studied snowmaking in the USA returned home to set the
The big-name resorts here include Mt Hotham, Falls Creek,
base because if anyone broke a bone it could be months
centre up. Afriski in Lesotho is newer but on a similar scale.
Thredbo and Perisher. The latter, which is the country's
before rescue was possible.
biggest by several measures including uplift with a worldThe ski season in southern Africa is usually earlier than the
class 47 lifts, was purchased last year by the mighty American
The only known permanent drag lift was set up in 1988 at
rest of the hemisphere's resorts. Both areas usually open
Vail Resorts group, which owns around a dozen resorts
Villa Las Estrellas, one of only two civilian communities
at the end of May or start of June and close for the season
including big-name centres in Colorado, California and Utah,
on the continent, by the Chilean Ski Federation. The
at the end of August or the start of September.
clearly seeing the possibilities to grow destination business
200m Doppelmayr drag lift had a vertical rise of 60m. It's
not known if it still operates.
TM16 // 24
SKI PORTILLO AND JONATHAN SELKOWITZ
INFO Afriski: afriski.net Cardrona: cardrona.com Catedral: catedralaltapatagonia.com Cerro Castor: cerrocastor.com Coronet Peak: nzski.com
South America is home to nearly 50 ski areas of various sizes, the vast majority in the Andes mountains, divided between Argentina and Chile. Around half a dozen of these aim to offer the type of resort experience you might experience north of the equator.
Falls Creek: skifalls.com.au Las Leñas: laslenas.com Mt Hotham: hotham.com.au Mt Hutt: nzski.com Perisher: perisher.com.au Portillo: skiportillo.com The Remarkables: nzski.com Ruapehu: mtruapehu.com Thredbo: thredbo.com.au Tiffindell: skisouthafrica.co.za Treble Cone: treblecone.com Valle Nevado: vallenevado.com/en/
Zealandia (SOMETIMES KNOWN AS OCEANIA)
New Zealand is often the ultimate goal for serious skiers and boarders from Blighty. Along with some superb terrain and excellent heli-skiing, there's that Lord of the Rings approved scenery. There are more than two dozen ski areas here, although a sizeable proportion are “club fields” run by local enthusiasts. Of the bigger areas, Mt Ruapehu on the North Island combines the centres of Whakapapa and Turoa and, as well as being the country's largest
Three ski areas close to Chile's capital, Santiago, including
centre and one of the three biggest south of the equator, also often
famous Valle Nevado, originally built by the French and
hemisphere's powder Mecca while resorts like Las
has the southern hemisphere's longest ski season, through to
looking very like something they'd have built in the Alps
Leñas in Argentina can be great and, in terms of
“Snow-vember” some years.
around the same time as Avoriaz or Les Arcs, promote
terrain within its boundaries (not all lift-accessible),
themselves as the Les 3 Valleés of the
it can claim to be the biggest in the southern
There's a concentration of ski areas around the self-styled
hemisphere, but getting a good snowfall seems
year-round adventure capital of the southern hemisphere too:
much more problematic.
Queenstown. Choose from Cardrona, Coronet Peak and
Across the border in Argentina the ski area of Catedral
near Bariloche is home to gondolas and six-seater chairlifts
There are many other interesting choices too. Cerro
among its 40-odd lifts. It was the first ski area built in
Castor was created quite recently down near Tierra
Other famous names include Mt Hutt – and Treble Cone, which is
Argentina, some 80 years ago, and is South
del Fuego at the very southern end of the continent,
one of the most famous in the skiing world for its steep skiing and
using quad chairlifts imported from Andorra. Sadly,
its spectacular views.
the world's former highest ski area, a single tow lift As with Japan and Utah in the northern hemisphere, Chile
more than 5,000m up above Bolivia, was an early
So there you have it, a quick tour of the best ski resorts in
seems to have the edge when it comes to powder. Of
victim of climate change, and the snowfield where
the southern hemisphere. Now you know them all, your only
course you can never be certain from one season to the
it used to operate melted away a few years ago,
problem, just the same as in the northern winter, is deciding
next, but Portillo certainly has a reputation as the southern
handing the highest ski area title to Asia and China.
which one to head to first.
TM16 // 25
The Three Peaks Challenge is a popular rite
depending on our ever-changing British weather
of passage for serious climbers and mountain
– can become extreme. So unless you are very
hikers, and less serious charity fund-raisers.
experienced, a guided group is usually the
An estimated 30,000 people attempt it each
year – some doing it themselves, others as part of a group led by experienced
One of the most popular approaches is to start in the
evening at Ben Nevis. The benefits are that it's seen as the easiest of the three to descend in poor light
The idea is to climb the highest mountains of
and the long A road down to Glasgow is likely to be
Scotland (Ben Nevis 1,344m), England (Scafell
traffic-free through the night (the 400km stretch is
Pike 978m) and Wales (Snowdon 1,085m)
the longest for driving).
within 24 hours. If you're not a super-fit climber, you can make It essentially means walking 42–43km up
the challenge marginally easier at Scafell Pike by
and down the three peaks with around 3km
approaching from the south side starting at Wasdale
of vertical climbed (and the same amount
Head, which is a shorter ascent but a slightly longer
descended) – no mean feat.
drive to reach, rather than the north side starting at Seathwaite (shorter drive but longer ascent).
The challenge is more challenging because of the 24-hour time limitation; it's around
Respect the environment and the locals – some
800km of driving between the bases of the
critics have complained about damage done to
three peaks, and while a large chunk of that
the peaks by people rushing and leaving waste or
can be achieved on motorways at 112kph,
damaging paths and gates, and they have argued
there's also several hundred kilometres on A
that this results in mountain charities spending more
and B roads at a maximum 96kph so driving
on fixing this than is raised by people taking part in
times are typically around 10 hours – if there
the challenges for charities. No one really knows if
are no traffic delays. Add with an average of
that's true. There have also been complaints from
five hours for each peak, you're quickly close
locals living near the three peaks of noise in the
to the time limit even if things go according
middle of the night, so it's important to keep it down
as you arrive and depart from each mountain base.
But the challenge has been achieved in the
There are variations on the Three Peaks Challenge,
past by super-fit climbers taking less time on
including the Welsh and Yorkshire Three Peaks
the climbs, by public transport and even by
Challenges – it can be a good idea to try these first
sailing between the peaks over the Irish Sea.
(less driving and slightly smaller hills) to see how you get on, then you can build up to the national.
Top Tips From The Experts More information: Although many people successfully complete
the challenge each year, it does require a high level of fitness and experience of fast mountain
ascents and descents in environments which –
TM16 // 26
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and finally “reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle”. Respect The Mountains is about more than just words and advice, though. Every year their Envirotrek Clean Up series of mountain clean-ups sees an ever-bigger programme of volunteers around Europe, including in the UK, taking to the hills to collect rubbish others have left.
he Dutch-based Respect The Mountains has been working for more than
In one recent summer's clean-up of
a decade to promote sustainable
European mountains in five countries, a
enjoyment of mountains around
total of 635 tourists and locals spent a
combined 1,255 hours cleaning up and removing 4,600kg of waste filling 428
There are estimated to be 100 million
garbage bags as well as removing scrap
visitors in the European Alps each
metals, car tyres, car doors and much
year, which presents a huge challenge
in preserving the fragile mountain environments, Respect The
“There is a growing need to provide
necessary awareness campaigns to ensure mountain tourists are aware of
They have a simple charter for
the pressures that these popular holiday
responsible behaviour in the mountains:
destinations are under,” said a statement from the organisation.
Book smart – travel low season, travel wise – use public transport to get there,
“The aim of the hikes is to enjoy nature
support sustainable practices, be a
and help by simply cleaning up. A simple
respectful and responsible mountain
way of giving back that is enjoyable and
tourist, leave no trace of your visit
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avalanche rescue system at everest base camp Two years after the tragic avalanche accident in
rescue specialists along with the helicopter
the Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest in which
company Simrik Airlines in Kathmandu in
16 Sherpas were killed, a new avalanche rescue
mountain search and rescue techniques in which
system has been installed. Two local guide and
the RECCO® rescue system was part of
rescue organisations have been equipped with
RECCO® search equipment and detectors. As a result of the training, one RECCO® detector The Nepal Mountaineering Instructors
will be used at Simrik Airlines in Kathmandu. A
Association (NMIA) now has a RECCO® detector
second detector will be placed at Simrik Airline's
at the Everest Base Camp, and there are two
helicopter base in the Annapurna area, which
more based in Kathmandu for use by the
in recent years has suffered severe avalanche
helicopter companies in the area.
RECCO® systems are widely used in ski areas
RECCO wants to make all local guides and
around the world. Unlike with avalanche
porters searchable using RECCO® reflectors
transceiver systems, RECCO® detectors are very
in case of accidents involving avalanches,
lightweight units often built into clothing and can
crevasses or falling ice. The French Yves
be detected by rescuers from the air as well as
Pollet Villard Foundation, with Anselme Baud
as President, has funded 200 reflectors to equip the professional porters working with
“This development is very exciting for RECCO®;
expeditions. It's hoped all commercial climbing
it shows that our rescue system has a wider
groups will be equipped with RECCO® reflectors
application than just adjacent to ski areas and
too as it's a very light rescue feature weighing
freeriding”, says Johan Sauer, VP of RECCO AB.
only 4 grams.
All 50 NMIA guides were trained in search with the RECCO® system last year by the renowned French mountain guide Anselme Baud from Chamonix, and they are all now also equipped with RECCO® reflectors to be searchable in case of an avalanche accident. In addition, Bruno Jelk, long-time Head of Rescue in Zermatt, has trained 12 Nepalese
TM16 // 29
my first wh
of rafts dropping off big waterfalls or
“I was nervous at first when we got the
where specialist operator Spirit1950
overturning going through gnarly rapids,
safety information, but soon I was jumping
(Spirit1950.com) offers a range of
but you can start with something more
into the water, as the river wasn't very deep
activities for children aged eight and up
gentle – often called river rafting – to see
or very fast. At one place we were allowed
including rafting and hydrospeed from
if you have a taste for it or not. While you
to just float in the river using our life vests
Aime to Centron down the Isère river
normally need to be a teenager at least
and that was great fun,” added Robert. “It
or from Bourg-St-Maurice to Gothard,
to try white water, gentler rafting can be
was also good to pull up on the river bank
accompanied by a guide. Over two and a
tackled by children as young as age six.
and cook up a barbecue
half hours you'll travel around
just that when on a Thomson Lakes &
Rafts will normally have eight to 10 people
The company grade their rafting and
Mountains holiday to Kitzbühel in the
on board, and it's important, of course, to
hydrospeed sessions like ski runs with the
ensure you book with a reputable company
easiest, green, available for children aged
with fully qualified guides.
eight or older. For the more challenging
Robert Thorne, then aged seven, did
“We had a lot of fun going down the river,”
HOW ABOUT HYDROSPEED?
here's always something you can do with
said Robert. “It was strange wearing the
water in the mountains. In winter you can
wetsuit, helmet and life vest but I soon
ski on it as snow or maybe climb up it as
got used to it. There were three rafts
ice; then when it all thaws in the spring, we
altogether, and I was the youngest. The
If you find you love rafting then
get white water to enjoy kayaking or rafting
guides were a lot of fun, and to start with
hydrospeed – facing forward on a solo
on. It's a great gift; I hear some people use
we had competitions trying to get ahead
float with flippers on your feet for added
it to generate hydroelectricity and some
of the other rafts and splashing each other.
power and control, a bit like lying on a
have even begun drinking it.
I kept splashing and one of the guides off
toboggan – could be your next challenge.
blue descent, kids need to be 12 and up; for more difficult still red runs, 14 years old; and for the toughest of all, black, 15 years or older.
another raft came and took me onto his raft
WARMER WATERS OF HAUTES-PYRENEES The southerly French department of Hautes-Pyrénées is crossed by hundreds
White water can seem an intimidating
before our guide got me back. That
It's a popular option in action-sports
of streams and rivers, once more
prospect if you've seen action videos
resort Arc 1950 in the French Alps,
descending through spectacular scenery.
TM16 // 30
hite water There are more than 270km of rivers,
Loisirs Aventures (loisirs-aventures-rafting.
waterfalls and streams, fed by snowmelt and
com) offers first-timers as well as half-day
glaciers, to splash down through whirlpools,
and full-day experiences. The company also
natural water slides and clear-water basins.
offers weekend or full week multi-activity holidays with the option to try all the different
The Aure river is fed by the crystal-clear lakes and springs of the Néouvielle National Nature Reserve above Saint-Lary Soulan
activities. Courses run up to 30 September.
STILL MORE OPTIONS
resort, its emerald-green water finally
Thomson Lakes & Mountains (thomsonlakes. co.uk) offers both white-water rafting for children aged 12 and over and the gentler river rafting for children as young as age six on their summer holidays to Kitzbühel. The activity includes a stop for a barbecue en route down the river. It's one of many outdoor activities available,
emptying into the Garonne
Besides rafting and hydrospeed, some
including beginner canoeing, canyoning, guided
operators offer inflatable kayaks, sometimes
mountain hikes and paragliding. Participants
called a “hot dog”, among other floating
need to be aged 12 and older for all of these
Here there's an amazing 8km descent
devices you can tackle white water in or on.
activities except for the high ropes course,
possible by canoe, kayak or raft. It takes only
Tom Rafting (tomrafting.com), run by Thomas
which you can also tackle from age six.
about 75 minutes to make it, due to the fast-
Legeay in Cauterets in the French Pyrenees
and with English-speaking guides, is one
Thomson Lakes & Mountains offers a week
such operator, also offering kayaking
half-board at the 4★ Hotel Jägerwirt in Kitzbühel
from £493pp (family of three from £1,480)
The course is divided into two parts, which
including flights from Gatwick to Salzburg and
makes it a great place for beginners to find their feet on the smoother upper river before
Children, usually teenage or above, as well
resort transfers departing on 16 July 2016.
things start to get a little frothier on the lower
as adults, can also try canyoning – which
Direct flights available from all major UK airports
half as the river flows through the gorges of
involves following a narrow stream bed
at a supplement starting from £20.
Cadéac and passes through the infamous
without any sort of boat and just jumping
“letterbox”, where you'll find out if you're
down waterfalls and into pools as you
going to get “posted” or not.
scramble down its course.
TM16 // 31
SHEFFIELD GETS NEW MOUNTAIN BIKING TRACK A new “dual slalom” mountain bike track has just opened at Parkwood Springs in Sheffield, the first inner-city trail of its kind in the UK. Dual slalom tracks allow two riders to race side by side down two almost identical trails at the same time. The new track, the latest of several built since 2012, is part of the city's “making tracks” project, a partnership between Sheffield Council, Sport
Trek In Nepal It is one year since the devastating earthquake in Nepal,
England and local mountain bikers to improve the
and the country continues to rebuild itself as well as its
city's mountain bike infrastructure.
tourism. What's most important to this ongoing recovery
is that visitors keep coming to trek and climb in Nepal. With rickshaw travel, visitors to Nepal can trek between
MOUNTAIN GOATS CAN KILL
soaring mountain peaks through a remote region of the Annapurna mountain range and observe the progress in rebuilding that Nepal has made over the past year.
Hikers who have allowed mountain goats to get to their food or lick salty sweat from bare skin or pack straps have created dangerous situations
The local people in the Annapurna range have collaborated with the United Nations Development Fund
for hikers who come later, according to experts in
to create a unique trek where hikers will stay at
Idaho, USA. The local branch of the National Forest
eco-lodges and family homes, giving guests the
Service have produced a video, “Hiking Safely With
opportunity to view the culture and village life of
Goats”, that's available on YouTube and advises
hikers on how to interact safely and responsibly with goats. The video was produced after a hiker
Trekkers will also see wonderful wildlife in its natural
was killed by a mountain goat in Olympic
Nepalese habitat and all the time be surrounded by
magnificent mountainous backdrops. Guests will be welcomed into local homes, some of
MOUNTAIN COASTER FIRST IN NORTH AMERICA
which are the eco-lodges, in villages that are off the beaten trekking path. They will fall asleep after feeling the comforting warmth of home-cooked Nepalese meals
The new Pipe Mountain Coaster at Revelstoke,
in their stomachs and wake up to watch the sun rise
which opens for this spring/summer season in
over the Annapurna mountains.
BC, Canada, descends for more than 1.4km over a 279m vertical drop including twists and turns
The six-day trek is priced at £395 including
through a tunnel and forest at speeds of up to
accommodation (price based on two people sharing),
42kph. The coaster is the first single-rail type in
all meals during the trek, return transfer from Pokhara,
North America, making for a ride that's closer to
English-speaking guide and one porter per two people.
the ground and with more variation. The gravitypowered ride was originally designed to emulate the feeling of downhill mountain biking by the Brandauer family in Austria.
Kenton Cool First Briton to Summit Everest Since 2014 Thursday 12 May at 8.15am saw Sherpa Adventure Gear ambassador, Kenton Cool, complete his 12th successful summit of Mount Everest (a British record) and become the first Briton to reach the top of the highest peak since before the avalanche in 2014. Alongside fellow mountaineer Robert Lucas, he successfully reached the top of the world's highest peak together, with two Sherpa guides.
TM16 // 32
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The famous cycling hill climb to Alpe d'Huez on the Tour
“Change position. Try to ride in the saddle as much as you
de France is steeped in cycling history and attracts keen
can as it is the most efficient way to climb, but try to get
cyclists from all around the world year round eager to
out the saddle at regular intervals to stretch your back/
tackle the “Alpe”.
save your bottom,” Gary advises, adding, “The last 4km will really start to bite. There is no way of getting round
The venue for battles between Tour de France legends
it. Accept its coming and make sure you eat/drink at the
since 1952, the 13.8km-long climb up to Alpe d'Huez at
start of the climb so you are filled for the final push to the
1,860m has 21 hairpin bends each named after a previous
FANCY CYCLING FROM LONDON TO MONT BLANC?
stage winner and for cyclists actually bring welcome respite from the constant climbing. The average gradient is 8.1%
Once you reach the town of Alpe d'Huez, you arrive at a
Gary's company 001sport.co.uk is organising the
and the maximum 13%.
roundabout where you have a flat/slight downhill section
London Mont Blanc ride this August, a fully supported
before the last 300m to the traditional Tour de France
ride through the beating heart of rural France.
finish line. Easy!
Starting at the Shard in London and finishing at the
Experienced cyclist and l'Alpe veteran Gary Willis, who runs 001 Sport, a company which organises cycling holidays for
Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, it is a true point-to-
good cyclists, has some top tips for anyone tempted to try
The “Alpe” not only draws cyclists from all over the world
point ride. Not for the faint-hearted, the distances are
to try and conquer the climb but just as much attracts fans
between 161km and 193km per day. Each ride is made
of the sport to come and watch the race from the roadside.
up of small groups of five people with their support
“The first section of 200m to the first hairpin bend is one
When the tour comes to town, the usually quiet climb
car with the focus on helping you get through the
of the steepest parts, so don't let it psych you out!” warns
becomes a constant 14km parking lot of camper vans and
kilometres each day and arrive at Western Europe's
Gary. “Then ride at a tempo you can maintain. Remember
fans with every available inch of tarmac having a name,
highest mountain really having achieved something
you could be climbing for up to two hours (for the record
flag or encouragement in any language imaginable. The
you would never have thought possible from the
the fastest time on Strava is by Thibaut Pinot in 42:18 during
Alpe d'Huez climb is a must-do for all lovers of the Tour de
the Tour de France in 2015).
France, the mountains and cycling.
TM16 // 34
Twenty-four years after being paralysed
Shaun, from Lancaster, was involved in
lining. I met my best friend, soul mate and
Beet It concentrated high-nitrate beetroot
in a life-changing car accident, paraplegic
a road traffic accident as a back-seat
wife, Dawn, at the rehab home, and we've
juice, a product for which he is a brand
athlete Shaun Gash (45) will rise against
passenger at the age of 20, which left
now been married for 20 years and have
ambassador, to give him an extra boost
all odds and ascend Mount Kilimanjaro, to
him completely paralysed from the chest
three children, Sharna, Kyle and Niamh.”
and help with acclimatisation.
raise funds for CancerCare and a children's
down, yet this has not stopped him from
charity, Alexandra House, this summer.
completing tasks most able-bodied
Shaun's training for the climb consists
“Kilimanjaro is the ultimate test of
people would struggle with.
of a series of cardio-based exercises
endurance in anyone's eyes, but more
with trainers on a CrossFit programme
so for me, as I'm in a wheelchair and
The dad of three, who has overcome adversity and both physical and emotional
“The car turned over and I was thrown
of strength-based circuits and WarriorFit
completely paralysed from my chest
obstacles to raise over £20,000 for charity,
out of the back window, breaking my
classes four times a week.
down. It is going to be an incredible
will undertake his biggest challenge yet,
shoulder, ribs, puncturing my lungs and
when he ascends the Rongai route of
breaking my spine,” said Shaun. “I spent
For the climb, Shaun will be using a
can do anything if they put their mind to
Kilimanjaro in a specially designed all-
almost six months in hospital and a further
special wheelchair that includes a series
it. I hope it inspires others to push their
terrain wheelchair on a nine-day trip
three years in a rehab home for spinal
of pulleys and equipment to tackle the
boundaries when they are faced with a
injuries. But every cloud has a silver
climb. He will also take regular shots of
barrier,” Shaun added.
achievement for a worthy cause. Anyone
GREAT REASONS TO TRAVEL
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There's a wealth of resources on offer from our National Parks —available for free to
ENGLAND'S 10 National ParkS
everyone—for enjoying the great outdoors. As well as dramatic scenery and stunning views, visitors to the National Parks can
Northumberland National Park is home
Lake District National Park is renowned
to Hadrian's Wall, a World Heritage site.
enjoy the best of British food, with over a third of England's diverse range of protected foods produced within National
The Broads National Park is famous for its inland waterways, a haven for a quarter of the UK's rarest species, located on Norwich's doorstep.
around the world for its mountaineering
Parks – including Yorkshire Wensleydale
and has the highest concentration of
cheese and Lakeland Herdwick lamb.
outdoor activity centres in the UK.
South Downs National Park has inspired the words of Jane Austen, paintings of Turner and music of Elgar.
Over half of the population in England live within an hour of a National Park, and in addition to all the good things
North York Moors National Park
Peak District National Park was Britain's
features heather moorlands and exceptional coastal geology.
on offer, research published recently by Natural England showed that taking part in
ritain's 15 National Parks (there are 10 in
nature-based activities can contribute to a
England from tranquil Northumberland
reduction in anxiety, stress and depression.
first to be given the status and reaches five different counties: Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and
Downs, three in Wales and two in
Natural England recommended greater use
Scotland, including Britain's biggest by far)
of “green care” to help people suffering
together welcome over 100 million visitors
from mental ill health, including taking part
every year and make a major contribution
in environmental conservation.
to the rural economy. Always a great place to go when you
the crown of our beautiful countryside
want some fresh air and freedom, spring,
and something to be very proud of. They
summer and autumn 2016 see ever
are living, working landscapes that need
more organised events, things to do and
careful stewardship, for the benefit and
festivals and courses across all of
enjoyment of all,” said Jim Bailey, Chair of
National Parks England.
royal hunting ground and is believed ancient trees in Western Europe.
Yorkshire Dales National Park sits just to the north-west of Leeds, famous for its man-made patchwork of dry stone
“Our National Parks are the jewels in
New Forest National Park was once a to have the highest concentration of
to the wide open spaces of the South
TM16 // 36
Exmoor National Park covers an area of hilly open moorland in West Somerset and North Devon.
Dartmoor National Park is the largest open space in Southern England and sits between Exeter and Plymouth.
walls and history of livestock farming.
GOVERNMENT AIMS TO GET MORE KIDS IN THE PARKS The UK government believes that too few children in our country are aware of these natural wonders of our National Parks. Under new plans announced this spring, every schoolchild in England will have the chance to visit our inspiring National Parks at each stage of their education. The new plans were announced by Environment
EVENTS IN OUR National ParkS IN SUMMER 2016
Secretary Elizabeth Truss as new figures
10–12 June, The Great North Swim – Lake Windermere, Lake District National Park
the Peak District National Park's much-
reveal only 10% of schoolchildren currently
loved traffic-free trails with a sponsored
have access to outdoor learning.
walk on the Monsal Trail. The event will There's always something happening in the
Brought to us by the same organisation as the
also feature abseiling and wildlife-themed
The new plan for National Parks aims
UK's 15 National Parks. Here's just a small
Great North Run, this open-water swimming
guided walks and a cycle skills track among
to encourage 80,000 young people to
selection of the events lined up for the next
event sees around 10,000 participants tackle
other events. peakwalkinthepark.com
visit National Parks and put them in the
few months across the country:
two brand-new 10k challenges. Participants of all abilities including families and friends
19–22 May, Keswick Mountain Festival, Lake District National Park
take the plunge safe in the knowledge that expert safety kayakers will be with them every
curriculum. At secondary school this
7–16 October, Cowalfest 2016, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
stroke of the way. There are also elite races
includes a target to double the number of youth volunteers in National Parks as part of the National Citizen Service. There's also to be a new apprenticeship standard and
Outdoor activities, world-class speakers,
with some of the world's best swimmers.
One of Scotland's largest and most varied
doubling of apprenticeships in National
sporting events, camping and live music in the
walking festivals with more than 80 walks
Parks by 2020.
evening – there will be something for every adventurer at Keswick Mountain Festival.
20–22 May, Summit Snowdon Weekend, Snowdonia National Park
led by expert and knowledgeable leaders,
26 July, Bogtastic, Exmoor National Park
catering for all ages and abilities. Themed
Along with work already underway to
walks include wildlife, bird watching, drama,
give schools in England one million native
A fun-packed adventure day for all ages
photography, art, history, heritage, folklore,
British trees to plant in their communities,
exploring the bogs, wildlife and heritage in and
t'ai chi, great gardens and great houses as
National Parks will be a key part of a new
around Simonsbath and Blackpitts, whatever
well as some great hill walks. cowalfest.org
government campaign that will launch later
A weekend away in Snowdonia with packages
the weather – indeed, “the wetter the better”
including two nights of accommodation and
say the organisers. Activities include guided
a guided walk up Snowdon on the Saturday,
walks, stream dipping and the infamous
plus several other shorter hikes, weather
Bogstacle Course. exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
21 May, Royal Marsden South Downs Trekathon, South Downs National Park
this year to connect more children with VISIT ENGLAND
nature and the environment. “Just as Yellowstone is known worldwide as one of America's national treasures, our
19–21 August, Walk In The Park, Peak District National Park
beautiful lakes and dales, moors and fells are a symbol of this country, part of our British identity – they are also huge public
“Walk in the Park” is a new event based at
assets that should benefit as many people
A 26-mile (about 42km) charity fund-raising
Bakewell Showground that aims to get more
as possible. By instilling a love of nature
walk from Lewes to Beachy Head along
people into the great outdoors for a true
in our young people and building thriving
the South Downs Way starting at 7am.
adventure and a weekend full of fun. It's also a
communities in every National Park, our
family-friendly first-ever fundraiser to support
plan will allow these unique spaces to flourish for generations to come,” said Elizabeth Truss.
TM16 // 37
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zenithholidays.co.uk 0203 137 7678
TM16 // 38
MEND our A major new crowdfunding campaign has been launched
alone gave just 20p, we would hit our target,” said Carey
to raise money for environmental projects on some of
Davies, BMC Hill Walking Officer, adding, “More people
Britain's most iconic peaks.
experiencing the outdoors is great news, improving our
M O U N TA I N S
collective health, enriching our culture, encouraging Mend Our Mountains (crowdfunder.co.uk/
engagement with nature and keeping rural economies
mendourmountains) has been launched by the British
alive. But it puts pressure on the landscape.”
Mountaineering Council (BMC) and is supported by worldfamous mountaineers Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott
The Mend Our Mountains campaign runs until
CBE as well as nature TV presenter Julia Bradbury.
mid-May, and funders have the chance to buy a walk in Borrowdale in the Lake District and pub lunch with Sir
“Booming visitor numbers and smaller budgets,
Chris Bonington if they pledge £1,000 (only one available)
compounded by the extensive damage of recent flooding,
or a place on a full day's walk in the Lake District with
means that National Park authorities and conservation
filmmaker Terry Abraham if they pledge £100
bodies are struggling to keep up,” said a BMC
spokesperson. There's also the chance to secure a day out for three Working with eight National Parks, the BMC is aiming
people in the Cairngorms with long-distance walker Chris
to raise more than £100,000 to repair damaged paths
Townsend for a £250 pledge (one available) or a day of
on some of Britain's most popular peaks, including the
traditional climbing tuition for two people in Snowdonia
respective highest mountains of England and Wales –
with top climber James McHaffie for a £250 pledge (one
Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
The campaign will also feature Ingleborough (Yorkshire
Other rewards include helicopter rides in the Yorkshire
Dales), Kinder Scout (Peak District) and part of the Brecon
Dales, handcrafted and personalised Yorkshire Three
Beacons Horseshoe, as well as vital repairs to moorland
Peaks signposts, VIP tickets to the finish of the Devon
on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the North York Moors.
stage of the Tour of Britain, and there's a 15% discount at
Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online, for every donation The campaign has been generously backed by top
outdoor retailer Cotswold Outdoor, clothing company Alpkit and adventure film website SteepEdge, along with
Everyone who makes a donation will have a choice of
many other smaller sponsors for individual projects.
either giving their money to an individual project featured
Snowdon's Watkin Path and Kinder Scout's Ringing Roger,
loves the outdoors needs to come together. If the same
will not go ahead if they do not reach their Mend Our
number of people who walked up Snowdon in a year
THE OUTDOOR GUIDE
between the eight projects. Many of the projects, like
at a time of need. To make this happen, everyone who
THE OUTDOOR GUIDE
in the campaign or to an overall total which will be split “We want to provide a financial lifeline for National Parks
TM16 // 39
GO CANOEING WEEK! If you've always fancied getting out on the
Whatever you take part in, everyone can log
“The great thing about canoeing is there is
water and trying canoeing, or you've done
on to the Go Canoeing Week website to submit
something for everyone, whether you take part
it long ago and want to try again, or even if
the individual miles they paddle to help reach
as a family or have been paddling for years
you're a regular wanting to play your part,
and want to keep challenging yourself,” said
then National Go Canoeing Week, coming up
Jenny Spencer, Go Canoeing Development
from Saturday 28 May and running over two
If you're new to canoeing and not sure if it
Manager. “To add to the excitement of the week,
weekends to Sunday 5 June, is where to get
will be your thing, you can come to a Starter
everyone that registers their paddling miles on
session to get a real feel of what paddling is all
the website will be in with a chance of winning
about. Just turn up, and the centre will provide
one of our top prizes. We look forward to seeing
Go Canoeing, the Olympic-inspired initiative
all of the equipment needed, and you can still
you out on the water, so come along and get
run by British Canoeing (the national governing
contribute your mile paddled to the total
involved! Nothing to lose, new passion to gain!”
body for the sport), aims to get as many people
as possible out on the water having fun, no matter what their ability – you can be as
If it's independence you crave, take in the
adventurous or as chilled as your heart desires!
summer scenery on one of the hand-picked one-, three- or six-mile Challenge Paddles.
“With last year's Road to Rio target distance
Simply hire a boat, grab your waterproofs and
of 24,901 miles (40,074km) well and truly
be on your way. Or, if you would prefer the
smashed, we decided to make this Olympic
security of a guide leading the way, there will
year bigger and better and aim for the nation
be a whole host of Guided Tours, for all of the
to collectively paddle 30,000 miles (48,280km),
family to enjoy.
achieved through a whole range of fun events and activities,” said Amy Jarratt of
If you're more au fait with the paddling world,
you can push yourself or your friends to paddle further or faster than you have ever done
There are over 400 clubs and centres across
before; use this as the perfect opportunity
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
to take up one of the Go Canoeing Three
running activities during the week, so there will
Lakes challenges or make up your own mini
be something for everyone all over the UK.
TM16 // 40
SURF, SKI OR BOARD, BIKE AND RUN
IN ONE DAY Up for a challenge but can't decide
Real fitness junkies can also opt to test
On to your bike, and the Knolls Loop is a
Packages from the UK cost from £1,595pp,
between a winter and a summer holiday?
their endurance and complete the “Sierra
multi-use trail that is a favourite for its close
including flights from London Heathrow to
Why not do both on the same trip?
Trifecta” at Mammoth while taking in the
proximity to the town of Mammoth Lakes
Mineta San José, car hire, three nights at
stunning surroundings. This is essentially
and one of the first areas to be free of
the Dream Inn on Santa Cruz Beach and
to ski, bike and run in one day.
snow in the spring. A combination of single
seven nights in the Juniper
track, sandy off-highway-vehicle trails and
Chill by the beach in California for a few days and work on your balance on a surfboard before heading up to Mammoth
For good skiers, a favourite start is to
fire roads, the route meanders through
Mountain to hit the ski slopes that are still
head down from Cornice Bowl to Gremlin's
Jeffrey pine forests and over rolling hills.
open to late spring with the snow lying
Gulch, a steep black diamond run that is
more than 3m deep.
regularly groomed, and when the snow
Finally, the Sherwin Meadow – Enchanted
softens up, it is fun for fast turns. Once
Forest Loop is the favourite trail run in
You can even snowboard in the morning
at the bottom, roll over into the Gremlin's
town. The route combines dirt roads and
then hit the waves and surf on a board in
Gulch—a natural half-pipe-like gully that
single-track trails for a moderate loop with
the late afternoon if you plan it right.
heads towards Chair 23.
Boatloads of family fun this summer!
bon-voyage.co.uk and visitmammoth.com
Our collection of award-winning holidays is designed for families who want far more than the usual summer break. Try white-water rafting in Austria, snorkelling off the Galapagos Islands or canyoning in Tuscany. We have a range of holidays to suit all ages and abilities.
Visit www.activitiesabroad.com or call 01670 785 082 to ﬁnd out more
n i a t n u o
outside and enjoy the great outdoors
Once you try a family summer mountain
after discovering that, although half of
holiday, it's easy to get hooked. The
the UK's population live within an hour
Fischer family, who have three pre-
of one of our National Parks, only 10%
teenage children, are summer mountain
actually ever visit one.
And research published recently by
“My family loves summers in the
Natural England showed that taking
mountains. Two summers ago we had
part in nature-based activities is not
a brilliant week based in Argentière,
just good for physical fitness but
a highlight finding a waterfall above
can also contribute to a reduction in
Vallorcine perfect for picnicking and cold-
anxiety, stress and depression. In fact,
water plunging!” says mum Vanessa.
it recommended greater use of “green
ore and more families are finding that
care” to help people suffering from
“Last summer we discovered some new
spending quality time together in the
mental ill health, including taking part in
treehouses on the edge of the Hautes-
mountains in summer can beat beach
Pyrénées. One was big enough to sleep
holidays hands down.
our family of five, and it was a night we For families, there are ever more
will remember forever, sleeping high up
Holidays to the European lakes and
companies offering summer mountain
in the trees, and in the morning huge
mountains aren't about lying on a sunbed,
holidays in Europe, and there's ever
excitement pulling up our basket of
reading a novel and slipping into the
more for families to do once there.
breakfast with fresh croissants and hot
swimming pool (although they can be that
TM16 // 42
y l i am
coffee and chocolate left at the bottom of
too if you like!). Instead the local lifestyle, the
Prices tend to be much lower than
culture and the fresh mountain air make you
in winter too as ski resorts battle to
to want to get out and explore, to awaken
fill chalet and apartment beds, often
That treehouse also has a nice wooden
offering free or very cheap activities as
hot tub heated to 39°C as an added
part of a package once you book your
What's more, the British government wants
accommodation and have been awarded
more people, particularly children, to get
your “guest card”. It's a buyer's market.
a rope below us!”
GET MOVING ON A FATTY
“Another summer we combined the lake at Annecy with day trips to the nearby resorts of La Clusaz and Le Grand
For something a little different for young families, the Gut
Bornand – the summer sledging in La Clusaz was great fun
Fat biking – mountain biking on bikes with over-sized tyres
Steinbach hotel in Reit im Winkl in southern Germany is
and only a few euros, and in Le Grand Bornand we spent
– has been all the rage in Alpine resorts over the past year.
next to “pram-friendly” hiking routes of 3–9km and offers
the afternoon in the fabulous outdoor pool with its fun
The bikes can cover all kinds of terrain and are popular
a family night hike in summer during which you carry
slide,” said Vanessa.
for use over snow in winter as well as wet soft surfaces in
burning torches through the local Klausenberg gorge to
enjoy a campfire and barbecue at the far end.
Now the concept is being extended to other modes of
This summer, VIP SKI will open 13 chalets in Morzine, Les
transportation for added fun.
Gets and Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps offering ideal
“Our holidays in the mountains always involve day trips to
mountain retreats for families looking for a short break or
find local adventure activities and always include water –
a week away.
be it an outdoor pool, river or stream,” concluded Vanessa.
Those twin 800m-long toboggan runs are accessed by a gondola lift and great fun for all the family.
In Savoie Mont Blanc in France they've got new ideas on the “Fat” theme. For example, in Val d'Arly, a ski area in winter, they're offering “Fat Scooting” – you guessed it, a
One option is for families to enjoy the high wires
scooter with fat tyres.
in the Alpine forests of Les Gets as they try “accrobranche”: an obstacle course constructed
FAMILY MOUNTAIN HOLIDAYS COMPANIES
Fat scooters can be taken up the mountain on the Torraz
among the trees, where holidaymakers of all ages
chairlift from where there's an amazing descent covering a
can let their sense of adventure run wild. Those
full 700m of vertical.
that wish to take part will be securely harnessed
with a belay as they negotiate their way through
(French Alps holidays – see our separate feature)
the various obstacles on the course.
Chalets 1066: chalets1066.com
The resort is offering half-day lessons on its mountain bike tracks accompanied by an instructor all summer, priced at €55pp (about £43pp) (with equipment included). See alpesaventures.com.
(Les Gets holidays – see our separate feature)
MOUNTAIN FAMILIES FESTIVAL
And why keep your fat devices on land? At Lake
Chilly Powder: chillypowder.com (Morzine holidays) Erna Low: ernalowsummer.co.uk (French Alps) Inghams: inghams.co.uk (European mountains)
Aiguebelette you can try “Fat stand-up boarding” – yes,
If you're looking for a little more on offer than
Peak Retreats: peakretreats.co.uk
a giant inflated paddle board which is difficult enough to
just a regular family week in the mountains, the
control if there's just you alone trying to paddle, but once
French Aravis region will be staging a Mountain
Thomson Lakes & Mountains: thomsonlakes.co.uk
the whole family of four or five get on, it is even more so!
Families Festival this July. Running from the 18th
to the 22nd of the month, the five-day festival will
VIP SKI: vip-chalets.com/summer-alps
This summer, fat paddle boards that can accommodate five
see a swathe of activities and events across four
to six paddlers will be available to hire at the lake
mountain challenges in the region. The Fischer
Zenith Holidays: zenithholidays.co.uk (European mountains
family have already been there and checked it out:
– see our separate feature)
TM16 // 43
SKIMMING WORLD CUP
National Go Canoeing Week is a celebration of all things paddlesport! Whether you have never picked up a paddle before or you are a seasoned pro there is something for everyone.
The ski season is over at most of the
Pond skimmers have been taking part in
Northern Hemisphere's ski areas, but a few
qualifying events across a variety of North
select resorts battle on into May – and not
American ski resorts in order to qualify for the
just for skiing and boarding.
finals in Banff National Park, and later this month on 23 May we'll find out just who is the first-ever
The Slush Cup at Sunshine ski area is the
Pond Skimming World Champion!
mother of all “pond skimming” contests in the mountains and has taken place in mid-May
The Slush Cup has been staged for 88 years and
each year for nearly 90 years – believed to
helps to highlight Sunshine's long season. Last
be longer than anywhere else.
year the event attracted around 7,000 spectators.
With hundreds of events and challenges on offer across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will find adventure on the water whatever your level!
Pond skimming? It's that end-of-winter rite-of-
Some of the highest base elevations in Canada,
passage when skiers attempt to cross melt-
coupled with a heavy annual snow accumulation,
water ponds of freezing waters on their skis,
provide the ski resorts of Banff National Park with
snowboard or sometimes any other vaguely
one of the longest non-glaciated ski seasons in
sliding/floating object. Usually participants
the world, typically opening in early November
are in fancy dress, sometimes swimming
and staying open to the latter half of May for a
costumes, but the atmosphere is always fun.
near seven-month ski season.
This year there's something new in the pond
Long after many other resorts have completed
skimming calendar as Banff will also serve as
their end-of-season parties and pond skimming
the host for the first Annual Pond Skimming
events, Sunshine Village remains open, making
the Canadian Rockies the ideal location to host the Pond Skimming World Cup.
gocanoeingweek.org.uk TM16 // 44
Colorado Colorado is becoming increasingly
(Tour de France competitor for Garmin).
popular with UK cyclists looking for a
The experience is entirely customisable
holiday where they can indulge their
and can include activities such as a just
love of cycling. The physical challenge
over 40km ride to Sustainable Settings
of the altitude combines with amazing
Farm followed by a true farm-to-table
alpine views for a road-biker's dream
dinner prepared by Viceroy's Executive
destination. During the summer, many
Chef, Will Nolan. Or take a ride to the
of Colorado's road-bike races and
Maroon Bells and Castle Creek/Ashcroft
mountain-bike races cater to serious
followed by a massage at the hotel.
competitors, but they also have shorter and less intense routes for more casual
In addition, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre
cyclists â€“ and you'll get fresh mountain
(redrocksonline.com) is a naturally formed,
air and a loud cheer at the finish line, no
world-famous outdoor music venue just
matter the length of the ride.
24km west of Denver and is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect
Powderhorn Mountain (powderhorn.
amphitheatre in the world. It's well known
com) will debut two new mountain
in certain circles for U2's performance
bike trails in summer 2016. The bike
there in 1983.
trails will be serviced by the newly built high-speed quad. Powderhorn is also
Throughout 2016, the amphitheatre
working with local area bike shops to
will celebrate its 75th anniversary with
build and grow a downhill bike series.
special concerts and events. Red Rocks is recognised for its star-studded concert
Also new for summer 2016, the Viceroy
roster, natural acoustics and ambience, as
well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking
com) will offer a cycling programme led by former pro cyclist Will Frischkorn
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Explorer’s Grand Slam Masha Gordon, a British mum-of-two
and business woman, is on course
She is in the process of setting up
to enter the world record books
a charity, Grit & Rock, to encourage
by becoming the fastest woman to
teenage girls in deprived areas to take up
complete the Explorers' Grand Slam
mountaineering as a way to build grit and
other leadership qualities.
This ultimate adventure challenge
By the end of Masha's challenge, she will
involves climbing the world's highest
have scaled the world's highest peaks on
peaks on each of the seven continents
each of the seven continents – Everest
as well as trekking to the geographic
(Asia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif
North and South Poles.
(Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia), Mt. Elbrus
Amateur climber Masha, 42, from North
(Europe) and Denali (North America) as
London, is due to finish the challenge
well as trekked to the geographic poles.
in June this year – in a world-recordbreaking eight months.
The extraordinary demands of the challenge mean she will have been
As a young girl, Masha failed at PE at
pushed to the edge of physical endurance
“As a teenage girl who hated any form of physical
school, and at the age of 31 she was
and mental resilience. She will have spent
exercise, it would have been unimaginable to think that I
unable to run 5km without being out
over 100 days in a tent including three
would one day scale Everest – far less climb the world's
of breath. While on maternity leave
weeks trekking on skis to the North and
highest peaks on each of the seven continents and trek
in her 30s, she discovered a love of
South Poles in -40°C weather and exposed
to the North and South Poles in just eight months,” said
mountaineering after a friend invited
herself to the “death zone” – the high
her to join her on a climb during a visit
altitude above 8,000m where there is not
enough oxygen for humans to breathe.
A mother to Freya (8) and son Theo
Only 45 people have completed the
personal endurance challenge will inspire young women
(6), Masha wants to inspire other
Explorer's Grand Slam challenge to date
to do what may have been unimaginable to them. As I
women to take up challenges that were
and only two of those in under a year. The
have discovered, mountaineering and outdoor sports are
previously unimaginable to them, and
current female world record title holder,
a fantastic way for women to build up self-confidence and
for girls to take up outdoor activities to
Vanessa O'Brien, completed the record in
build their self-confidence and mental
“It takes grit to succeed in life – the ability to face challenges, motivate yourself and persevere. I hope my
TM16 // 46
After four extremely successful editions, the popular
This is followed by three clinic days on the mountain
alpine educational event Arc'teryx Alpine Academy is
and side programme including seminars, movie
taking place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc again.
night and academy dinner. All workshops are led by
THE aRC'TERYX ALPINE ACADEMY 2016 professional mountain guides from the Compagnie On 16–19 June, Arc'teryx will unite alpine enthusiasts,
des Guides de Chamonix, the British Mountain
mountain guides and professional athletes aiming to
Guides (BMG), Chamex Guides and Arc'teryx Pro
create a space where beginners and experts alike
Athletes like Ines Papert, Luka Lindič, Stian Hagen
can gain alpine knowledge and respect for the alpine
and many more.
environment through top-notch clinics and experience sharing.
Nina Caprez will lead the advanced rock climbing course “7+ climbing” with the targe of improving
The four-day event will start on Thursday with the
the sport climbing technique of her students.
big Mountain Clean-up. Participants can join certified
Another new clinic down in the valley of Chamonix
mountains guides and over 20 international Arc'teryx
is bouldering, held by Mina-Leslie Wujastyk. She will
athletes to collect rubbish on the mountain. This
help to improve climbing and movement skills by
initiative is a collaboration between the Arc'teryx
looking at various techniques and methods.
Alpine Academy and the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc (CMB) with the goal to help keep our mountains pure.
ON THE BUCKET LIST:
MACHU PICCHU Words - Patrick Thorne
Chances are the famous Peruvian citadel
Machu Picchu was built around a century
Picchu, so the Peruvian government has
of Machu Picchu is on there, one of the
before the Spanish conquest of Peru
taken steps to strictly limit the numbers
modern-day “Seven Wonders of the World”
and was abandoned after only 100 years
visiting the site. It's also quite high in the
which we can still actually visit, according to
at about the same time as the invasion.
Andes mountains, so accessing it isn't
an internet poll.
However, it is believed the Spanish never
quite as easy as just flying in there – you
knew it existed at the time, and it was
need to be prepared to climb a lot of steps,
Built in an extraordinarily stunning location
only discovered by explorers a little over a
and for the altitude.
in the middle of a tropical mountain forest
century ago in 1911 (although its existence
in the Upper Amazon basin, rich with flora
is reported to have been known about
We asked world traveller Alison Heyworth,
and fauna, it is the crowning achievement
who has already ticked off many of the
of the Inca Empire at the peak of its powers.
items on her own personal bucket list, The site is still being restored in an
including many of the world's most famous
Constructed more than 500 years ago on
ongoing process over the decades; so
attractions, for her top tips on a visit to
rocky terraces 2,430m above sea-level
far, less than half of the site is believed to
on the eastern slopes of the Andes, the
have been excavated and restored.
he Northern Lights, the Great Wall of
city's massive dry-stone walls and terraces
China, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the
and ramps seem as if they have been cut
However, as with many of the world's great
Great Barrier Reef … what's on your
naturally in the continuous
attractions, as it gets ever easier to travel,
more and more people can get to Machu
TM16 // 48
“It's a great trip, Machu Picchu; doesn't disappoint!” Alison confirmed, so we're off to a good start.
Alison's five top tips: I. BOOK YOUR SPACE
that, our guide said most people just take a photo and then go straight back down again, and he seemed a little taken aback by our barrage of questions, but he rallied to the
Because so many people want to visit Machu Picchu these
days, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture limits the numbers allowed on the site in order to ensure it isn't damaged. Advance reservation is required, and you need to know what you're doing because you have to decide on which entry route you'll be taking to reach the site – professional advice from a
4. BE AWARE OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS
travel expert can be invaluable here. “Altitude sickness is definitely an issue for many people, “You have to book ahead to enter. They have a limit on people
and we suffered a bit ourselves, but saw others who were
allowed in each day; I think it's 2,500,” confirms Alison, who
in a lot more discomfort,” said Alison.
added, “In addition to the main site, there's an 'extra' hill – Huayna Picchu. It also has a separate limit of about 400 each
If you think altitude sickness might be an issue for you, or
day, and there are only two early-morning time slots to access
you're not sure, the advice is to spend a couple of days
it; we weren't organised enough to do that!”
lower down to acclimatise before heading up.
The admission price is a little under £30, children under eight
“The locals recommend coca leaves and we drank this (in
years old are admitted free of charge and there's a reduced
tea form) without a care in the world, but it was funny as
student rate for eight- to 17-year-olds.
two young women at the same hotel, who we got to know, worked for the US Drug Enforcement Agency and daren't
A popular and often fun way to reach Machu Picchu is by train.
risk taking it; they said they get drug-tested every six
From the train station you then get buses up a precipitous
months. No idea if the coca helped or not!” Alison added.
road with hairpin bends and are deposited at the entry station, which has a ticket office, café and other facilities.
2. MAKE SURE YOU'RE UP TO IT
5. CHECK OUT THE WIDER REGION Although Machu Picchu may be the main attraction, don't forget
This is high mountain territory, and you need to be fairly fit to
that there's lots more to see in the wider region.
tackle Machu Picchu's many brilliantly sculptured ramps and slopes.
One popular approach is to spend four days or so doing the Inca Trail, which brings together many of these sights.
“It's surprisingly strenuous!” confirms Alison. “There's a lot of climbing. It sounds obvious, but we saw quite a few people
“We were blown away by how many other Inca sites there are
struggling. I think maybe because it's such an iconic site that
– we had no idea!” said Alison. “We explored a couple more
you kind of feel you're familiar with it before you get there – a
once we did, but they were all over the place, and we ran out of
bit like you can feel with the Great Wall, but once you factor in
time. You could easily spend a couple of weeks just touring the
getting there in the first place, the high altitude, possibly high
temperatures and often high humidity, you do need to be reasonably fit to make the most of it.
“In fact the Inca are still living and working in the area, speaking the same language, dressing in the same clothes, farming
3. HIRE A GUIDE
traditionally and eating and drinking Inca food and drink,” Alison added. “There are still many original Inca buildings, kind of made with polished dry-stone walls. It was all really interesting,
Hiring a guide is relatively inexpensive and highly
and we'd love to go back sometime.”
recommended to make the most of your visit. There's not much information provided at the site, so it's important to ensure you have a good guide book so you know what you're looking at if you are interested in more than just the initial “wow” factor. “We definitely needed a guide; it would have been a huge amount of guesswork without one,” said Alison. “Having said
INFO Official site: machupicchu.gob.pe UNESCO listing: whc.unesco.org/en/list/274
TM16 // 49
E R E S T V
It's just over one year since the Nepal earthquake
the children's hospice for East and West Sussex
killed over 8,000 people and injured more than
and South East Hampshire, as well as covering the
himself lucky to have come out alive.
21,000 as well as devastating the mountain
cost of essential equipment for his Everest 2K16
Although that experience was incredibly tough,
kingdom's fragile infrastructure.
Rupert has come back fighting and is determined to
Ever since then, the global climbing and trekking
“I am very passionate about supporting the only
community have been trying to help – both on the
children's hospice in Sussex as I feel my family
“At Chestnut Tree House we are familiar with young
ground and by fundraising worldwide – as well as
would have greatly benefited from such a service
people tackling the unimaginable; we help children
trying to ensure that vital climbing and trekking
when my younger brother was receiving treatment
and young people to make the most of their lives,
tourism revenue continues to flow into Nepal.
for a life-threatening heart defect as a child,” said
however short. Rupert is an amazing young man and
Rupert. “I am so grateful to everybody who has
we wish him all the luck in the world for his incredible
Rupert Jones Warner, aged just 24, was in Nepal
already donated to my GoFundMe page, and
challenge,” said Linda Perry, Director of Children's
when the earthquake happened last year and is now
although I am nervous about taking on a challenge
Services at Chestnut Tree House.
back in the country attempting to set a new record
that many view as impossible, I know this great
by becoming the first Briton and the youngest in the
cause will keep me motivated.”
re-attempt breaking this world record.
world to climb Mount Everest twice. Rupert's Everest 2K16 expedition is already In order to break the existing record, Rupert will
underway and will last a total of 70 days.
need to climb both the Nepalese and Tibetan sides
Temperatures will drop below -40°C, winds will
of the Earth's highest mountain consecutively. This
reach up to 100mph (160kph) and Rupert will be
attempt has only ever been accomplished once
tested by an altitude of over 8,000m, which is now
before, by a Mexican named David Liaño – who was
universally known as the “Death Zone” due to the
then 33. Rupert was trying to set this same record,
effect it has on your body. If he's successful, Rupert
aged 23, a year ago when the earthquake struck,
will return in early June.
but he is back to try again.
Everest Twice, Take Two Rupert's Mount Everest expedition began a year Rupert is taking on this challenging task in the
and a half ago; however, six weeks into the initial
name of charity and has set up a GoFundMe page
expedition in April 2015, Rupert was caught up in
to help raise an ambitious £50,000. The money
the devastating Nepalese earthquake which was the
raised will help raise funds for Chestnut Tree House,
worst to hit the country in 80 years, and considers
TM16 // 50
It's a familiar scenario. You want to improve your skills on the slopes to make the most of a coming ski holiday to your dream destination … but if you wait until you actually arrive in the resort, perhaps timing it perfectly
British ski course company Snoworks, whose
if you're lucky so that deep fresh powder is
teachers include Phil Smith (presenter
Courses include the All-Terrain class, where
waiting on day one, you then have to head
of Channel 4's Ski Tips), Emma Carrick-
you can hone your skills across the mountain
to your lessons at the start of your holiday
Anderson (four-times Olympic ski racer)
to become a confident skier in all conditions
rather than just getting out there, having a
and Mike Barker (former Head Coach for
(aimed at least adventurous intermediate
blast, and enjoying it.
the England Ski Squad), have an extensive
standard) offered on 2 and 9 July with five
programme of ski courses available through
half-days Monday to Friday for £300.
The answer? How about a cheeky bit
the summer based in the high-altitude
of technique training on the glacier this
resort of Tignes where the large summer
There are also Junior Race Camps for kids
Accommodation is offered in Hotel Lo
summer, so you're already advanced and
ski area is open throughout July (weather
who can ski but either want to get into racing
Terrachu (http://www.loterrachu.com/) at
improved before you arrive in the mountain
and conditions permitting). The summer ski
through the gates or are looking to improve
£295pp half-board seven nights and Geneva
in winter. Simple! The added bonus – costs in
season in 2016 is looking likely to be a good
their times (must be able to perform parallels
Airport transfer (shared) is offered for
the summer are lower and the slopes
one with larger than average snow depths up
on red runs). Again, five mornings of tuition
on the Tignes glacier and extended winter
are priced at £300 with course dates 2, 9, 16
conditions prevailing into May.
and 23 July.
350 guidebooks for active adventures Specialists for Alps Pyrenees Himalaya UK mountains Ski mountaineering and touring Hiking and trekking cycle touring
DOLOMITI UNESCO WORLD NATURAL HERITAGE
D. Lira - Trentino Marketing
Enjoy the outdoors in the Dolomites
In Madonna di Campiglio-Pinzolo-Val Rendena, between the Brenta Dolomites-Unesco World Heritage and the Adamello Presanella Group, summer means real nature and sport in open air. From easy walks to treks, from mountain bike and e-bike to downhill race, from fishing to golf, from climbing to vie ferrate and paragliding, holiday becomes wellbeing for body and soul in one of the most extraordinary areas of the Alps. MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO PINZOLO VAL RENDENA TOURIST BOARD Madonna di Campiglio ph. +39 0465.447501 | Pinzolo ph. +39 0465.501007 www.campigliodolomiti.it | firstname.lastname@example.org
f you're planning a summer escape
are available on request. There's even
Vallorcine's main lift still runs in the summer
to the mountains, why not consider
the chance to enjoy some spa time with
of course, and you can ascend by gondola
the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley,
your children (aged 7 to 16 years) with the
to the hiking trails of the Le Tour/Vallorcine
Europe's year-round action mountain-
area. Or you can drive up to the fabulous
sports capital where there's a vast choice of outdoor activities to enjoy.
Emosson Dam in Switzerland, where the In-room TVs are fitted with a modern
Tour de France 2016 is stopping on 20
interactive system, providing a wide range
July 2016 (above Vallorcine). There's also
But just because you enjoy
of movies and music. Additional facilities
an Alpine zoo and outdoor pool to visit
adventuring in the great outdoors, you don't
include free and unlimited wi-fi and one
in nearby Les Marécottes (Switzerland),
have to rough it! Instead, plan to base your
indoor parking space per apartment.
and Chamonix has its own leisure park
summer escape in the village of Vallorcine
Towels are provided and the beds are
complete with summer luge.
Mont-Blanc in the heart of the Chamonix
freshly made upon arrival.
Easy to reach by fast modern roads from The resort has a superb location set
the Channel, the close proximity of Geneva
Here the 5★ Residence & Spa Vallorcine
between the vibrant Chamonix town and
Airport (110km away) also makes it the
Mont-Blanc offers 50 spacious self-catering
the Swiss border.
perfect easy-to-reach location for outdoor
apartments just a five-minute walk from the biking roads and hiking trails.
activities around the Mont-Blanc massif. The trails around Vallorcine are a favourite for trail-runners (see our separate article
Located 15 minutes away from the centre
Chamonix's Vallée du Trail for more
of Chamonix, in the charming village of
information) and for cyclists from across
Vallorcine, the property offers cosy chalet-
the world, with the high altitude providing
style apartments from one-bedroom to
breathtaking views. The Valley and its
three-bedroom family suites with their own
surrounding peaks have long been a
world famous draw for hikers and alpinists too.
Guests of The Residence are offered a free train pass upon arrival and can leave their
There are 80km of maintained hiking trails
cars in the indoor private parking facility until
adapted to all hikers and starting from the
the end of their stay.
centre of Vallorcine. You could also sign
Residence & Spa Vallorcine Mont-Blanc Costs from €135/£104 per night for a self-catered one-bedroom apartment (27 m2, and from €165/£127 per night for a two-bedroom apartment (50 m2). For more information visit www.chamonix-vacances.com
up for whitewater sports including rafting, The main building has a reception, tearoom,
hydrospeeding and canyoning in the
lounge and wellness centre with a large
pure "Black Water" River, for paragliding,
indoor heated swimming pool, two saunas,
fishing, pony riding or dog-hiking
gym and a beautiful spa by Cinq Mondes,
(“cani-rando”) in French, together with
where massages and beauty treatments
friendly husky dogs…
TM16 // 53
TRENTINO AND RONNY KIAULEHN VAL DI FIEMME
m Words - Sa
Trentino and Ronny Kiaulehn Val di Fiemme
INFO Visit Trentino: visittrentino.it/en Trentino mountain guides: guidealpinetrentino.it Trentino mountain huts: trentinorifugi.com Dolomiti Brenta Bike: dolomitibrentabike.it Dolomiti Lagorai Bike: www.dolomitilagoraibike.it Mountain & Garda Bike: mountaingardabike.it
TM16 // 54
n centuries past, no one ever used
At the same time there's much more
specific facilities for hikers).
to venture into the mountains
organisation of traditional summer mountain
There is also the possibility of spending two
in winter. There was a lot of
activities like hiking and biking – routes
nights in Rifugio Torre di Pisa while trying
superstition about bad spirits and
are interlinked to create flexible multi-day
the Latemar Trekking, in Val di Fiemme, with
malevolent fairy creatures lurking up
itineraries with a whole range of support
its 360° Grand Panorama view.
there in the ice and snow. Instead,
services in place too.
the first visitors to the mountains were summer tourists, often young Brits looking for adventure.
The Long Walk
Trentino offers over 400km of cycle paths
Some destinations have always been
But whatever great new ideas there are, the
as well as three exciting mountain-biking
more popular in summer than winter,
best way to explore a fascinating natural
networks through scenery that ranges from
but for many the lure of white gold –
environment like the Dolomites is probably
Alpine lakes to the peaks and spires of the
snowsports – led to winter becoming the
still the simplest one there is. Walking. It
dominant season when most people visited
doesn't matter how fast or slow you go,
throughout the 20th century and in most
or how high you climb – all that counts
All routes are properly graded, with some
cases right up to the present day.
is the intimacy you develop with your
“family trails” suitable for children under 12.
surroundings when you set out on
Most routes can be tackled as individual
stages or mini-circuits and, if you wish,
But after decades of talking about a more balanced year with equal summer and
tied into hotel packages with luggage
winter business helping to keep mountain
And now you can get to know the Brenta
transfer services and routes which can be
communities more stable, there are
Dolomites and eastern Trentino, the wild
downloaded from the relevant website.
signs of a change. The number of people
Lagorai chain and the Fassa and Fiemme
There are also reliable bike shops en route
heading to the mountains in summer is
Dolomites through two huge circuits that
which can deal with any repairs required,
on the rise, in part as people look for a
can each be undertaken in stages.
and there are also bike-taxis, bike-shuttles
change from the inevitable beach holiday,
and bike-buses to take the strain when
in part as they seek out the fresher air of
The two networks of well-maintained
needed. Electric bikes are also available
the mountains if they live most of their
footpaths (part of an amazing 5,000km of
to rent at an ever-increasing number of
life in a hot city and in part because
signposted footpaths in Trentino) pass by
mountain areas themselves are offering
no less than 143 mountain huts, and there
ever more ways to entertain and engage
is a small army of mountain guides ready to
The Dolomiti di Brenta Bike is a network of
their summer guests – often at a very low
provide all the support you need.
trails winding through the wild expanses
cost, or even free of charge when you
of the Adamello Brenta park. The hardcore
stay in local accommodation and receive
The Dolomiti di Brenta Trek Country
circuit suits expert bikers, travelling along
the free “guest card” – a ticket to free
(dolomitibrentatrek.it) is an easy 90km
dirt tracks with adrenalin-fuelled steep
public transport in the region and free or
circular route divided into 17 stages that
descents and views of peaks, waterfalls and
discounted admission to dozens
winds its way through the imposing Brenta
Dolomites with a total height gain of 8,200m
Trentino In Summer
(there is also the Expert version for fitter
Alternatively, the family-friendly “country
walkers with 11 stages of paths and via
trail” is far gentler, taking in hamlets,
ferratas – climbing routes with ropes to hold
vineyards, apple orchards and easy riding
on cycle paths. Sections can even be done
Italy's Trentino region is typical of the trend.
by bus or rail to sidestep the steepest
Its ski regions have been dramatically
Alternatively the Dolomiti Panorama Trek is a
expanding their summer offer so that ski
classic 200km route at high altitude through
lifts don't just give hikers and downhill
San Martino, Val di Fassa and Val di Fiemme.
Other options include the Dolomiti Lagorai
bikers access to summer trails but also
If you want to walk part of it accompanied by
Bike network in eastern Trentino, which
access to summer-only attractions.
a mountain guide, you can choose one of the
explores over 1,000km of off-road trails
“certified routes”, graded blue, red or black
past Alpine lakes and meadows in the Val
according to the level of difficulty you prefer.
di Fassa and Val di Fiemme, and it even
At the Ski Center Latemar, for example, in Val di Fiemme, there are a variety of family-
runs into the Pale di San Martino Dolomites.
friendly interpretive trails with lots for
One of the most spectacular routes of the
Apart from lapping up the wild beauty of
children to investigate, effortlessly learning
Dolomiti Panorama trek is the Palaronda Trek
the Lagorai chain, you can cool down with a
and exercising as they go. Multilingual
(palarondatrek.com), which has a five-stage
swim in Lake Levico or Caldonazzo.
child-oriented booklets are handed out so
“hard” circuit and a four-stage “soft” circuit,
kids know what to look for too, and there's
both of which start and finish in San Martino
Thirdly, the Mountain and Garda Bike
the option to ride a mountain coaster, a
network covers Trentino's part of Lake
kind of downhill roller-coaster course, back
400Km of Cycle Paths
Garda, Italy's largest lake, as well as Lake
to the base at the end. All these initiatives
The Dolomiti Trek King is a six-day trek
Ledro, Monte Baldo, Monte Bondone and
have been a huge hit, and customer
along the paths of Val di Fassa, from refuge
the Valle dei Laghi. This eye-catching and
numbers are up dramatically.
to refuge with two overnight stays in the
exhilarating route takes you from rocky
Dolomiti Walking Hotels (hotels that offer
peaks to sightings of sparkling lakes.
TM16 // 55
FOOTBALL TEAM TRAINING IN THE FRENCH ALPS
Words - Iain Martin
harder. The body quickly adapts, producing
added. “Some days the players had
“The training camp definitely helped our
more red blood cells, improved circulation
three sessions, so you always see an
start to the season,” said Hughton. “Tignes
and endurance levels.
improvement in fitness levels.”
is an incredible environment. You're training
Various sports teams have trained in
Adam Brett noticed that the players only
Tignes including the Gloucester and Toulon
took a couple of days to acclimatise, but
rugby teams, as well as the French national
that they “felt significant benefits” when
Both David Ginola and Eric Cantona have
football team, but Brighton were the first
they played back at sea level at the end of
enjoyed ski holidays since their retirement.
British football team to go there.
Would Hughton return for some skiing?
“The idea was first brought to me by the
Also important to Hughton were the team-
“Not with my knees, I'm afraid,” he admitted,
head of our medical team, Adam Brett,”
bonding activities on offer. However, the
“but it's a wonderful setting for a glass of
Hughton said. “He'd been there with
players were banned from activities that
wine in the evening!”
Gloucester and knew the facilities
presented a risk of injury, so while they
enjoyed watching mountain bikers coming
in lovely sunny weather, with the backdrop of huge mountains.”
down the tracks, they couldn't take part. The most important aspect for a preseason camp is a high-quality pitch, but
The players were let off the leash one
ast year Chris Hughton, manager of
when Brighton sent someone to inspect
afternoon when they went down to Bourg
Championship team Brighton and Hove
the facilities, there was still snow on the
St Maurice for a rafting session on the
Albion, decided his first summer in charge
However, the club were reassured by
Club captain Iñigo Calderón was impressed
the fact that seven-time Ligue 1 winners
with Tignes. The Spanish defender took
Instead of heading to typical venues such
Olympique Lyonnais had reserved the
the funicular to the Grande Motte glacier
as La Manga or Tenerife, Brighton chose to
facilities for the week before Brighton.
at 3,456m and loved the spectacular view,
would see a change to their traditional pre-season training.
base themselves at altitude in the French ski resort of Tignes.
declaring the trip “the best pre-season I've “They actually cancelled in the end as they
had a big offer to go to the States,” said Training at altitude has proven fitness
Hughton, “but that ended up working for us
Overall the trip was a huge success for
benefits. The lower oxygen concentration
as the pitch was in perfect condition.”
Brighton; they went on to a 21-game
makes relatively low-intensity training much
“It's a hard week of training,” Hughton
unbeaten run at the start of the season.
TM16 // 56
hike three times as high
as ben nevis
before breakfast If you've ever felt jealous of
as guests will be taught the
all the fun activities children
full set of skills required to
sumptuous breakfast buffet
can look forward to on an
complete all the activities on
and half-board dinner.
outdoor adventure camp, a
this special holiday package
hotel in Switzerland could
offered by the Grand Hotel
Participants also have
have the answer for you,
Kronenhof this summer.
unlimited access to the
with a very similar type of
Kronenhof Spa and an
holiday to the one that kids
The “Alpinism Adventure
included 50-minute aktiVital
enjoy – only this time aimed
Days” package at the hotel,
which is located in the stunning Engadin region
The package is available
The holiday includes ice
about 9.5km from St Moritz,
on 4 to 9 July, 19 to 24
training on glaciers, rock
includes all the guided alpine
September or 10 to 15
climbing, an overnight stay
activities and tuition over
atop a mountain and an
four days plus the use of
early-morning alarm call to
all equipment required in
Rates start from CHF1,865pp
hike up a 3,900m peak (that's activities (except outdoor
(approx. £1,320pp) sharing a
nearly three times as high
mountain clothing) and
as Ben Nevis) in time to see
transfers to all activities.
For more details and to book,
the sun rise (it's a 4am start
please visit the Grand Hotel
and you'll be wearing a head But as this is aimed at torch).
Kronenhof website at
adults not children, and as the Kronenhof is a historic,
Beginners as well as
luxury hotel, the package
intermediates are welcome,
also includes five nights'
If you had an 8th Day, what would you do with it?
Explore, race, challenge yourself, or just simply have a bit of fun. 8th Day Adventure is a community for all of this. Find things to do, where to do them, and who to do them with!
There’s loads of 3rd party listings and also The Club from which it all started 10 years ago - the Club organises 100s of events a year, from mid-week evenings to weekend trips to holidays, doing almost any sport or activity you can think of. And all from just £25 membership per year!
So come and join the community! Check us out at www.8thdayadventure.co.uk
celand is one of the world's great natural
But one of the best ways to see Iceland's many
The farm offers itineraries that range from one or
action sports centres and a land of
wonders is the way people originally got around on
two hours to several days to suit riders of all ages
stunning natural scenery with its volcanic
this island which still has very few roads, especially
and abilities, and works with Hotel Eldhestar to
landscape crowned by glaciers and
ones with a solid surface: on the back of an
provide meals and accommodation. Children as
punctuated by stunning waterfalls and
young as age five can be catered for on the short tours, and most tours are conducted in English.
spouting geysers. There are several pony riding operations and one
It's no surprise that the country has seen
of the biggest and best is Eldhestar, located in the
One of the most exciting is the week-long trek to
double-digit tourism growth in recent
heart of Iceland's south-western countryside along
Krýsuvík and the Blue Lagoon for experienced
years, and the opportunities just keep
Road No. 1, only half an hour's drive from Reykjavík in
riders which covers around 100km on horseback
growing. Icelandair recently added Aberdeen
a spectacular location between volcanic mountains,
over four days in the saddle. Along with rivers
to its route list to capital Reykjavik, joining
rivers and the ocean (not that there are many
and beaches, the trip involves a dip in the famous
Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and
locations in Iceland that aren't spectacular). They've
geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon.
Glasgow airports. Several other airlines also offer
been organising pony treks from here for
direct flights, including WOW air from Bristol
This trip has departures on 1 and 24 June and 17 August in 2016, and there are many others to
and Edinburgh. The area around the Hengill volcano with its beautiful Akureyri, Iceland's second city and the gateway
valleys, hot springs and the chance to bath in natural
to Iceland's north, has built a particularly strong
warm water is the origin of the Eldhestar name which
reputation in recent years for the wide range of
means “Volcano Horses” in Icelandic.
activities there, many showcased in the country's Winter Games, now a major annual fixture at the start
“You'll get to know an Iceland you may not have
of spring. The games feature everything from dog
seen before – the Iceland of 100 or 1,000 years
sledding and horse riding to surfing just offshore, as
ago – endless meadows, rushing glacial streams,
it's a great location for that too.
hidden valleys, dormant volcanoes, and high mountains,” an Eldhestar spokesperson says.
Akureyri was recently chosen by a panel of editors at Lonely Planet as THE number one destination of choice in Europe in their annual top 10 (from the many thousands of possibilities across the continent). Perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise as its location surrounded by mountains and located along a long fjord is particularly stunning.
TM16 // 58
TRAIN AS A SKI INSTRUCTOR THIS SUMMER
f you fancy starting work as a ski instructor
The course takes place from 3 to 23
The price for the three-week course is £2,995,
Once you have an Antwärter qualification, the
next winter (or perhaps working in an
July with eight days of training and ten
which includes three weeks of training and
first of four stages of ski instructor qualification,
indoor snow centre through the “warm
days of examination included in
exam assessment, half-board accommodation
you can be employed by any ski school
months”), you don't have to wait until the
in a 4★ hotel, return airport transfers from
start of NEXT winter to do your training.
Munich, ski pass and that guaranteed job “For postgraduates, the obvious benefit
Snoworks are offering a short summer
is that the course takes place during the
course on the glacier at Hintertux that allows
summer break, leaving some time in the
successful candidates to teach skiing in St
autumn before the winter starts to earn
Anton during next winter season – in fact
extra money or relax before the start
they're even guaranteeing a job. You do need
of winter,” said Snoworks GAP Director
a basic level of German though, as most of
Lee Townend, who added, “For students
the course is conducted in German, as well as
taking a gap year between their A levels
good skiing ability.
and university, it's also ideally placed
in St Anton.
so that you can maximise your time Students who successfully pass the three-
working on the snow during the winter
week course will receive the Antwärter
with a qualification way before those
qualification that is the entry level required to
who choose to join GAP ski courses
work and teach in a ski school in Austria.
over the winter.”
Play From your base in Zell am See there is so much to do in this truly all year round resort.
Zell am See Apartment Specialists
Natural Wonders Apartment rentals from only £70 per person per week. Call or email us for a quote. 00447917815819
Summer fun for all the family! Explore your wild side from this stunning lakeside town Hike
Windsurf and Sail
Iron man 2016
who wants to be a
mountain eer? Words - Robert Stewart
FACT BOX: Action Outdoors run 'Introduction to Alpine Mountaineering' courses based in the UCPA centre in Chamonix, France. Seven nights full-board accommodation, instruction and guiding, lift passes, equipment hire costs from ÂŁ516pp 2016 Dates: from 5 June to 4 September
action-outdoors.co.uk 0203 328 5443 email@example.com
TM16 // 60
tepping out of your
mountain, Mt Blanc. It's an obvious place to
comfort zone to reach
learn the skills required for mountaineering,
heights you hadn't
whether you're planning to tackle routes in the
dreamt possible before
Alps or head further afield to the Himalayas or
might be easier than
Andes in the future.
you think. If you're considering a climbing holiday, then you've
Your life in their hands
most probably been to your local climbing wall or had lessons on a nearby crag in the UK –
Despite its image in the media as an adrenalin-
now you want to step that up and head to the
fuelled action sport reserved only for those
Alps and have a go at climbing some serious
with a lust for danger, mountaineering is
mountains. We take a look at the differences
accessible for anyone with a moderate level
between rock climbing and mountaineering
of fitness and a sprinkle of determination.
and what you should expect from your
Finding the right organisation to instruct and
first-ever mountaineering holiday.
guide you is clearly important, and a fully
Bolted versus traditional
qualified mountain guide is essential.
Things to expect
If you're rock climbing in the French Alps then
Here's what you'd expect to be doing during
it's likely you'll be on a route that is “bolted”.
your first week of mountaineering
This is known as sport climbing and makes the task of leading a route very safe, as the
Rock climbing, abseiling, ice climbing,
bolts are permanently secured into the rock.
crevasse rescue, walking across glaciers with
Traditional climbing is more common in the UK
crampons, navigating in the mountains and
and routes are left bolt-free to allow climbers
general mountain safety.
to place their own security into the rock face.
Sport Climbing versus Mountaineering
Got to have all the gear Fortunately, you can hire a lot of the necessary
Although these two activities go hand in
equipment during your initial mountaineering
hand, neither one is necessarily harder than
courses without having to make any large
the other – sport slimbing can be done at
investments. Here's what you can hire:
all levels, as can mountaineering. Sport climbing is generally about short pitches on
Crampons, boots, helmet, ice axe, harness,
bolted crags (rock faces) with graded routes
ropes and quick draws (for rock climbing), and
that range in difficulty level from "easy" to
a backpack if needed.
"extreme", whilst mountaineering is essentially the journey from the bottom of a mountain, to
What you would be expect to own yourself is
waterproof and windproof outerwear ( jacket
So you want to be a Mountaineer
and trousers). The best option is a shell (no insulation) outer that is breathable and waterproof, preferably with taped seams (to ensure no water leakage) and a hood that
You'll need a pretty large toolbox of skills to
is designed to fit over a helmet. Underneath
succeed, and understanding the basics of
this outer layer, you can build layers including
rock climbing is a good starting point.
mid (fleece or lightweight jacket) and base (thermal under layers that wick moisture from
Finding your nearest indoor climbing centre
the body). Waterproof gloves and, a woolly hat
and getting some instruction is a sensible step
(the kind you might use for skiing) and walking
before you embark on any alpine adventure.
socks should also form part of your kit bag.
As well as rock climbing skills, you'll also learn how to use crampons and ice axes, cross a
glacier safely and make any crevasse rescue that might be necessary – you will also learn
Get outdoors and walk in all weathers, and
about route planning and navigation.
if you live close to hills then take advantage
Where to now?
of that and climb them – mountaineering involves a combination of cardiovascular fitness alongside a good level of arm and leg
Chamonix is the capital of mountaineering
strength. You don't need to be an athlete, but
in Europe, with a huge range of options for
some work in the gym on your arm and leg
all levels that include sport climbing crags
strength will help you out at times when you
accessible from the centre of town, right
need extra strength during long days in
through to some of the toughest peaks in the
world including Western Europe's highest
TM16 // 61
How To Prepare & Pack For Your First Biking Holidays Summer is the perfect time to head out for a first biking trip in the mountains. To help you, we have put together a list of essentials to pack smart and travel light.
Words - Emmanuelle Chatel
14 Things You Need To Take On Your First Trip 12 – Chow Set
1 – A Good Base Layer
6 - First-Aid Kit
Staying out all day, it's essential to get it right. Merino wool
Accidents may happen, so it's good to bring a basic first-
essential to round out your camping equipment. The set
has multiple benefits: it keeps you warm, is lightweight
aid kit (scissors, bandages, sterile gauze, antiseptic).
consists of a camp stove, a pan, a cup, a fork, spoon and
and above all doesn't start to smell for a long time! Even if the forecast is good, carry extra lightweight layers in case
7 - Bicycle Tool Kit
Mother Nature decides on something different…
A tool kit is a must-have when travelling by bicycle. You
2 - Rain Jacket A good and light waterproof jacket is a must to avoid
To ensure having a hot meal every night, a chow kit is
knife. Size, performance and various fuel options should be taken into account when picking out a stove.
don't need your whole workshop and can easily get by
13 – A Deluxe Sleeping Bag
with just a few key items.
Getting a good night's sleep is vital, so make no compromise on comfort. The right sleeping bag will
ruining your ride. Breathable and high-tech fabrics can be
8 - Flat Repair Kit
worth the extra money to stay dry without making
The extra weight of the kit (pump, spare tube, tyre
patches and tyre levers) is worthwhile. You'll be prepared
14 – Calories & Water
for any eventuality.
Energy is your number one essential. It's important to
3 – Extra Padding Padded shorts and gloves will prevent you from getting
9 - Waterproof Matches
sore on the bike.
Fire is important for the outdoors enthusiast, for heat,
4 – Extra Footwear
light or cooking. So you'd better be able to start it easilly.
make all the difference.
carry a supply of quick-energy foods and water bottles. Cereal or chocolate bars will do the trick to quickly regain power.
Always carry a second pair of shoes for when you're off
10 – Headlamp
On a night ride or as a backup if your handlebars light
travel light. The less you carry, the more fun it is to ride.
fails, you'll find your way out safely.
Accessibility is key so pack things in the order you'll
5 – Helmet A bike helmet is always necessary, but if you're running
11 - Multi-Tool Kit
out of space, check out the flat-pack version, a lot more
This all-in-one multi-purpose tool fits easily in
convenient to carry.
TM16 // 62
However long your trip, it pays to keep it simple and
need them and store essentials where they're easy to reach, remembering to balance the load too to keep you stable once in motion.
BAREFOOT WALKING ON THE TICKLE TRAIL Engelberg in Central Switzerland is a spectacular destination at any time of year. Open for snowsports until 22 May thanks to its glacier, 2,000 vertical metres above the town, it has a huge programme of summer activities too. Fancy a bungee jump from a cable car, perhaps? Or, new this summer, really getting back to nature by hiking barefoot in the mountains? Then Engelberg is the place for you! Getting up high is easy too, as Engelberg has spent tens of millions of Swiss francs over the past few years building a fancy new gondola linked to a cable car with circular cabins that gently revolve through 360° as you ascend!
All included in the price:
Barefoot hiking is possible along the “Tickle Trail” on Engelberg's Brunni mountain, and is described as “an
Accomm o hut fees dation incl. (if requir ed) All mea ls Lift pas s Instructi on/Guid ing Any req uired te chnical kit
enjoyable tactile experience” – so long as you don't mind having your feet tickled, that is. Separate night hikes (with your boots on) are also being organised on Brunni on 18 June and 19 August. Also new this year is the “Buiräbähnli” Safari
which combines hiking and overnight stays in
simple mountain huts with the use of traditional “Buiräbähnli” (the small Alpine cable cars that the local farmers use) to ascend.
THE UCPA RUN A HUGE RANGE OF MOUNTAINEERING COURSES FROM THEIR ALPINE BASE IN CHAMONIX
The whole tour takes approximately 20 hours and includes one or two overnight stays in one of the many Alpine huts along the way. It conveniently starts and ends at the Engelberg train station.
They have opportunities for all levels from introductory courses for those keen to learn the basics, to advanced courses perfecting technical skills and attempting challenging alpine routes and world famous summits, including Mont Blanc.
And if you're missing winter in summer, why not attend the resort's ice festival up on the glacier on 3 July? Free for kids and with half-price lift tickets for adults to access, there's everything from abseiling in glacial crevasses, chocolate-covered marshmallow Glacier park.
More than just guided courses, the UCPA educates in the real environment, teaching vital skills and autonomy alongside a guided adventure.
Engelberg.ch, Titlis.ch, Brunni.ch
For more information and to book:
shooting, face painting and snow tubing at the
www.action-outdoors.co.uk/ mountaineering THE UK PARTNE
TM16 // 63
S ' X I N O M
A L I A H R T C LLéE DU VA
Next up, L'UTMB® (ultratrailmb.com) Camps for beginners are available to anyone aged 16 to 55 years old and
From 22 to 28 August 2016 is a more
starting at €30 per person (about
serious affair that attracts even more
These include a beginner's route that takes
£23.50pp). Prices for a Three-Day Trail
participants – some 7,500 runners from
a maximum of an hour, then four different
Preparation without lodging start at €150
87 countries supported by over 2,000
smaller routes each expected to take you
volunteers. In the past 13 years this
one to two hours, five medium routes with
race has become an international event
an expected duration of two to four hours
For more information email:
and includes no less than five ultra-
and five large runs with a running time of
endurance events around Mont-Blanc.
four to eight hours. In addition there are four XL routes which take longer still. The
The namesake race is the Ultra Tour of
Trail Running Races 2016
starting point for all of the itineraries is accessible via train or bus.
Mont-Blanc: three countries, 170km and 10,000m + vertical with a time limit of
If you prefer to take part in a competitive
47 hours max.
race on Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley's There's a special Vallée du Trail app to
trails, then there's a choice of marathons or
download to your mobile device which
ultramarathons to sign up for.
uses GPS to geo-locate your position and
Finally, LE TRAIL DES AIGUILLES ROUGES (aiguillesrouges.fr)
show route progress on IGN maps. New
Some 7,000 runners from 65 nations
hamonix has, of course, been one of the
for 2016 is a timed route from Chamonix
are expected in the Valley to kick off the
On 25 September 2016, this will attract
world's greatest (some believe the greatest)
to the Plan de l'Aiguille, which enables
season with the Mont
trail running experts keen to tackle the
skiing and climbing centres for over a
runners to measure their performance
(montblancmarathon.fr) staged from 24–26
50km course with its 4,000m vertical
century, but there's much, much more to do
and to compare with other runners.
June 2016. This can be tackled in any one
gain that has become known in recent
in the famous French mountain town, and the
The tourist office also organises special
of six race formats depending on your
years as “the” mountain trail race. The
surrounding valley, summer or winter.
accommodation packages all season long;
preference, from the mini-cross or Vertical
new Petit 15km-long TAR race was
click on “Specials” at sejour.chamonix.com.
KM up to the quarter- or half-marathon
created four years ago and involves a
distance 10km and 23km races, or the
less demanding (albeit still demanding
full 42km marathon and for the most
enough for most of us) 1,200m of
experienced and able, the very technical
vertical climbing along the route.
One of the more recently discovered summer sporting activities to try is trail
TRAIL RUNNING CAMPS
running, and in just a few years, Chamonix-
Mont-Blanc Valley has become a favourite
If you'd like to join in with fellow trail
Mont-Blanc 80km race with a vertical of
of trail runners the world over, just as it is
runners, UCPA Chamonix Valley offers
for climbers and skiers, attracting tens of
accompanied preparation camps (with
thousands each summer.
or without lodging), youth camps and initiation camps. Half-day Trail Initiation
There are currently 18 different trail running routes that collectively form Chamonix's Vallée Du Trail (valleedutrail.com).
TM16 // 64
SUNWISE Greenwich GS White £59.99 Greenwich GS White featuring innovative Polafusion® lens technology are ideal sunglasses for all outdoor adventures. From hiking to mountain biking the unique
BOLLÉ Kingsnake 12122 Matt Blue/Polarised TNS Gun Oleo AF £59.99
polarised lens system filters out potentially damaging light, eliminates glare and provides intense colour contrast for sharp and defined vision.
(polarised grey with oleophobic/hydrophobic coating – prevents
The water-repellent lenses are easy to clean and can handle all weather
smears – anti-fog coatings)
conditions. The lightweight and flexible frames provide maximum wearing comfort for long
Bollé Kingsnake is a sports performance sunglass featuring
periods of time while the bright and bold British designs set the trend this season!
embedded polarised technology, to align light and combat glare;
oleophobic and hydrophobic treatments to prevent dirt, grease and water clinging to the lens; and anti-fog (AF) to repel moisture to keep your vision crystal clear. Bollé Kingsnake is medium fit, wrapped, lightweight and available in various colourways. Bollé offers a wide range of sunglasses in prescription +6.00 to -8.00 (cyls of 4.00).
RAB ASCENT 500 SLEEPING BAG £220 The Rab Ascent 500 is a mid-weight, down-filled sleeping bag, designed specifically for regular outdoor use and ideal for those buying their first down sleeping bag. Using a highly durable Pertex Microlight inner and outer fabric, the Ascent 500 is filled with 500g of 650FP European Duck Down with features such as internal YKK stash pockets, anti-snag webbing tape and a trapezoidal baffle design to eliminate cold spots. Hand filled in Derbyshire, UK.
LOWE ALPINE LOWE ALPINE AIRZONE PRO 35:45
The Lowe Alpine AirZone technology is one of the most breathable air-back systems in the world, designed for trekking and hiking throughout the seasons. This best-selling pack, available in two different sizes, offers a combination of comfort, support and stability with a clean aesthetic and full feature set, including a detachable rain cover, unique walking pole “Tip Grippers” and hip belt pockets. Hydration compatible means you can access your water easily while on the go. This is a must-have pack for hiking and backpacking in 2016. lowealpine.com
SMITH Forefront Helmet Without MIPS £149.99 MIPS £169.99 The award-winning Forefront is your ultimate do-anything
BLACK EYE Black Eye was founded by three friends who shared a passion for board sports and photography. Skateboard photographer Arto Ekman and professional snowboarders Fredu Sirviö and Eero Ettala wanted to make filming and photography with smartphones easier for everyone.
all-mountain helmet. The Forefront fully integrates with both goggles and sunglasses – no more wild jabbing to get your glasses in place. The Forefront also offers full compatibility with your action camera to record those epic rides. The visor is adjustable and removable, providing protection from the sun while not hindering vision or ventilation. Also available with Multi-Directional Impact Protection System – MIPS.
TM16 // 66
ANATOM FOOTWEAR V2 Vorlich & Lomond Light Hiking Boots SRP £100 Don't rely on its lightness, the Anatom V2 is made from extremely high-quality durable materials backed up by a lifetime warranty. The calibrated nylon midsole ensures the appropriate torsional support and flex combined with the lining water-
ANATOM FOOTWEAR New S1 SkyeTrail Shoe for Fast Hiking
Ultra-light and strong, this women's shoe is an incredibly comfortable multi-activity
hydrophobic interface. Engineered to deliver comfort, the boot is ideal for those looking for a fast and light experience out on the trail and offers the best balance of
shoe for trail walking and fast hikes. The S1 Skye Trail is made from Anatom's latest technology: the upper of the shoe is made from ballistic polyester and high-quality suede that stand up to scratches and abrasions, while a thin lining creates
lightness and performance underfoot.
a waterproof barrier and allows for breathability. For increased support, webbing lace
for long-lasting comfort on every walk.
loops add stability as they are tightened and a crash pad in the heel absorbs impacts, anatomfootwear.co.uk
STORM Clean & Proof in Just One Wash with Storm's Cleaner & Proofer Twin Pack SRP £6 – PFC-free option SRP £7 This is the handy way to get both the
JACK WOLFSKIN Gossamer II £140.00
JACK WOLFSKIN CROSSWIND Jacket
use the same technology that many
The Gossamer II is a lightweight tunnel tent
The CROSSWIND Jacket is a softshell
leading industry brands use on their
that is great for the summer months. It has
jacket made from Jack Wolfskin's
own apparel at manufacture, making it
enough room for two people and can be
STORMLOCK SOFTSHELL fabric. It is
the perfect complementary solution for
packed up small, making it the perfect tent
both windproof and water resistant,
extending the waterproof performance of
for trekking trips. The tunnel shape has two
making it perfect for windy hiking
outdoor apparel. Use the cleaner in the
entrances as well as two internal storage
trips. The jacket has a special lining
detergent compartment and the proofer
pockets, and the the inner tent is made from
on the front and collar which absorbs
in the conditioner compartment, set the
mesh fabric, which can also be pitched alone
water quickly and ensures that it
machine off and job done.
for mosquito protection.
wicks away from your skin. The jacket
cleaner and proofer in one wash. Suitable for the aftercare and re-proofing of
all technical textiles, Storm products
is also lightweight and breathable, a
comfortable wear for any outing.
SMITH Squad Goggles
SMITH Overdrive Glasses
ECOVESSEL BOULDER Insulated Water Bottle SRP 600ml £29.95, 700ml £32.95 £139.99
Polarised £149.99 The Squad are a highly versatile, fully helmet-compatible
Ditch your plastic bottle for this triple-insulated stainless steel bottle which
set of goggles with excellent clarity and field of view.
The PivLock™ Overdrive sunglasses provide
will keep you hydrated all day! Versatile, this
They have interchangeable lenses and come with a
excellent all-round eye protection without
bottle is available in the most popular sizes,
premium mirrored lens and a clear Lexan option.
compromise. Interchangeable carbonic TLT lenses
includes a removable strainer and keeps hot
The Squad is fully vented to stop you steaming up
with a hydroleophobic coating allow the Overdrive
up to eight hours and cold up to 36 hours.
when things get heated and the lattice vent design
to perform in all light conditions, meaning you
Perfect to take anywhere and enjoy your
provides increased stability and fit precision while the
can keep performing too. Each pair of glasses
favourite drinks. Its secure top with a wide
Sweat-X F.A.T. 3-layer foam manages any sweat you do
is supplied with three easy-to-change sets of
opening for easy filling and a small opening
produce. The signature Semenuk ID model, designed by
lenses so you can adapt to whatever the trail or
for easy drinking will keep drinks inside
Smith-sponsored pro-rider Brandon Semenuk, feature
road throws at you. The Overdrive fully integrates
where they belong !
a distinctive black-and-white pattern paired with vibrant
Smith's Forefront Helmet.
TM16 // 67
ALPINE FRENCH SCHOOL
Get more out of Morzine Words - Robert Stewart
It's a mega mountain adventure paradise and it's called Morzine, a winter ski resort close to Geneva Airport
BEST FOR ACTION Mountain Biking with Torico Performance Bicycles
that transforms into a summer
that for anyone wishing to
groups and families and
indulge themselves in a
rather more serene activity
have a small but highly
during the day can do so
qualified team of guides
while their friends and
and instructors who know
fun park packed with things
It's not a push to state that
family burn adrenalin. Of
every inch of the water and
to do for families, adventure
Morzine is a global centre
course, taking advantage
ways that it can change
junkies and all-round
for mountain biking, and
of these facilities at the end
with nature with the
the town attracts a huge
of a hard day's hiking and
seasons. Rafting prices start
number of recreational and
biking can also soothe the
at €36pp (about £28pp).
Here's a pick of some of the
professional cyclists every
mind and body. British-run
very best activities you can
summer. With a wide variety
do this summer in one of our
of trails to suit all levels,
com) offer spa treatments
favourite Alpine towns.
it's possible to experience
for women and men seven
some real action whether
days a week. There's
you're a complete beginner
also a fantastic swimming
or experienced veteran. Lift-
complex in Morzine with
serviced single-track and
indoor and outdoor pools
bike parks combine with
(outdoor pool open from
British-run Alpine French
high Alpine cross-country
26 June to 30 August 2016.
Amelia Pearson is an
School provide language
trails that stretch over into
Opening times: 8.00am to
experienced triathlete who
courses for all levels all year
Switzerland with some of
7.00pm Monday to Friday
runs Buzz Performance
round in Morzine. During the
the finest scenery in the
and 10.00am to 7.00pm
based in Morzine,
summer holidays, families can
Alps on offer. Torico offer
specialising in fitness
participate in courses that
high-end Downhill (€89/
combine outdoor activities
about £70 day) and Enduro
with a few hours of French
(€84/about £66 day) bikes.
BEST FOR FAMILIES Learn a language with Alpine French School
a day. It's a fun and relaxed way to either learn some
basic French or sharpen up for exam time. Some of the activities on offer include mountain biking, horse riding, hiking, tennis, yoga and
BEST FOR RELAXING Spa treatments with Indulge
kayaking – if that all sounds a
BEST FOR FITNESS FANS Triathlon training with Buzz Performance
through the summer months. Amelia and her husband,
BEST FOR ADVENTURE Rafting and Kayaking with Frogs
Joe, help individuals and groups train for triathlon and the separate elements within that (swimming, cycling, running) at all levels.
Both the Dranse and Giffre
They also run bike skills
rivers, just outside Morzine,
courses for beginners and
offer kayakers of all levels
intermediates as well as
little too strenuous, then you
Whether it's labelled as
the chance to paddle down
strength and conditioning
can choose simply to relax
spa, wellness or simply
spectacular gorges or end
clinics. Prices vary according
around the pool and enjoy
relaxation, the growth
up in the pretty town of
to courses and number
in beauty and massage
Samoëns (Giffre river) for
treatment services in
a spot of lunch. Rafting is
mountain resorts means
also a popular activity for
TM16 // 68
If you enjoy your yoga (or think you might
the midst of our unspoilt Alpine setting,
The hotel boasts 100 rooms and suites
like to try it), and you love the mountains,
are a natural fit for our discerning and
which combine contemporary glamour
plus a bit of a luxury pampering, a new
with Alpine cosiness, and there's a
package from the famed 5★ superior
choice of five restaurants, as well as a
Gstaad Palace hotel in Switzerland that
Each day there will be five sessions of
large spa and the Palace's own famous
launches in June could be for you.
meditative and physical exercise aimed
nightclub, the GreenGo, known for its
at rebalancing body and mind.
legendary parties and its distinguished
The Palace has teamed up with the
London-based wellbeing and lifestyle
Vinyasa yoga and Pranayama
club, Grace Belgravia, to offer a six-day
Kriya yoga classes will be offered
“Yoga is for everybody and therefore all
retreat in the Swiss Alps – Yoga in the
complemented with gong bath
levels are welcome on this retreat,” said
meditations as well as a special diet
Kate Percival, Founder and CEO of Grace
plan to encourage optimum gut health.
completely new kind of health offering
The luxurious Gstaad Palace opened
“In addition all sessions are completely
in our hotel,” said Andrea Scherz, third-
its doors for the first time just over a
optional to ensure that all participants
generation owner and General Manager
century ago in December 1913 and
can develop at their own pace and do
at the Gstaad palace, who added:
has been in the possession of the
not miss out on the enjoyment of the
Scherz family for three generations,
stunning Swiss Alps.”
“We are excited to introduce a
“Urban wellness and lifestyle trends,
making it one of the last family-run
combined with ancient yoga practices in
establishments of its kind in Europe.
Francesca Eyre Francesca Eyre is the eldest child of four.
ITS> What do you love the most about
She lost her sister Jo (aged 15) and brother
the mountains around Morzine?
Nick (aged 34) to cystic fibrosis and is a carrier of the faulty gene. Following Jo's
FE> We are very lucky that we go from
death, Francesca moved to Ireland to
800m up to 1,800m. There is a massive
train as a chef in Dublin. She set up a very
difference in the different pastures; the
successful catering company but returned
higher up you get, the starker and more
to England when her mum was diagnosed
tree free the mountains become. Down
with cancer, taking care of her two brothers
below in the summer we have pastures,
after her mum passed away.
streams, thigh-height wild flowers and then from about 1,600m the trees start
While her brother Nick was being cared
to disappear and the scenery becomes
for by family, Francesca took a holiday to
more dramatic, rocky and you get
Morzine, France, where she met and fell
smaller wild flowers. In the winter, you
in love with Paul, now her husband. After
can ski through the trees lower down
running a series of chalets together, they
and past ancient shepherds' hamlets;
decided that it made sense to set up their
higher up you ski in powder and have
own chalet business with Francesca as the
“couloirs”, etc. to challenge yourself.
chef and Paul as the surveyor. This was how Chilly Powder was born. Francesca and Paul
ITS> You compete in a lot of tough
designed the chalet and literally built up the
events to raise funds for cystic fibrosis
business from nothing. Francesca is “front
research. Which has been the most
of house” and runs the day-to-day operation
challenging, and what's up next?
and service of all the properties. Paul runs the business and controls the accounts,
FE> The Manaslu trail run was
marketing, administration, staff salaries and
amazing but very tough at the same
time – 220km with 15,000m of ascent. This run is in Nepal and based around
Married with their own business, the couple
the seventh highest mountain in the
started to think about starting a family.
world; the highest path that you run/
walk across is at 5,400m. The Nepalese are amazing people, so the sights and
“We didn't know if Paul was a carrier of the
sounds pushed me through the blisters
faulty gene but decided to try for children.
and altitude sickness! I think I smiled the
The chances of him being a carrier were 1
whole way round!
in 20, and we decided as a couple that we would not terminate a cystic fibrosis baby.
ITS> You have now raised over £6,000
Thankfully all three of my children
for the CF charity.
are healthy.” FE> For me I live my life to the absolute Now, 20 years on, Chilly Powder
full, on behalf of my mother, my brother
(chillypowder.com) is one of the most
and my sister, who have not been able
desirable ski chalet operators in the region.
to. I breathe for them.
TM16 // 70
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