Page 1

ISSUE 52 | DEC 2016

PHOTO: DAVID KARVAY | SKIER: JIRKA STIVAK


IN THIS

© DAVOS KLOSTERS

020

FEATURES

ALL ABOARD TO KLOSTERS IN SPECTACULAR SWITZERLAND  Switzerland is home to some of the most spectacular mountain scenery

014 CHRISTOPHER R NUNN

on earth. It also has some of the world’s best rail services. Emmanuelle

@INTHESNOWMAG INTHESNOW INTHESNOW_MAGAZINE

Snowball battles have got serious, well kind of. Seriously organised at least as Daniel Elkan found when he joined in a snowball battle in Avoriaz as a craze that started in Asia heads west.

SAY BKK! AND SKI A DIFFERENT PART OF AUSTRIA 

Most of the Austrian ski resorts we know best are in the west of the country near to Innsbruck and Salzburg, but Franz Klammer’s home town down in the southeast is a little different in more ways than one.

CHRISTOPHER R NUNN

INTHESNOW

LET THE GAMES BEGIN SNOWBALL FIGHTING FUN  GRUBER ARNO SEN.

034

chattel decided to combine the two to get to Klosters.


REGULARS

GEAR

ROSS WOODHALL

SHUTTERSTOCK

041

039 PISTE OF MIND HOW TO TRAVEL LIGHT 

6-PAGE BOOT ROOM 041–046 

Travelling light is something we always aspire o and yet we always seem to end up taking too much, however hard we try. Here are some expert tips on how to do it properly.

With Christmas just around the corner and the weak pound meaning you get better value buying in Britain

COMPETITIONS 022 / 038

than Europe there’s never been a better time to check out what’s new this season for the slopes.

patrick@inthesnow.com Like many skiers, I’ve spent most of the past few months checking snow conditions several times a day, ahead of the start of the main ski season right about now. It’s always a nervous time, and the last two autumns of 2014 and 2015 were particularly so when the weather was warm

10 MINS: HOLGER GASSLER 054

slopes still brown and green.

and dry and December dawned each year with the ski So, this autumn it has seemed almost too good to be true

TEAM

as one wave of heavy snowfall after another has crossed Europe. I’ve almost been in a state of disbelief as the numbers have come in, of events like two-foot snowfalls in 24 hours in early November, leading to an ever-growing list of resorts opening early.

PUBLISHER

DOMINIC KILLINGER dom@inthesnow.com STEVEN MCKENNA

040

ALTITUDE TUITION 048

EDITOR

PATRICK THORNE patrick@inthesnow.com

DEBBIE GABRIEL debbie@inthesnow.com SALES MANAGER

GIANCARLO GAMBARDELLA

Scotland’s Glenshee ski area, close to the UK’s highest mountain road

NICK JONES MARION ADAMS CONTRIBUTORS

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

RESORT INSIDER GLENSHEE SNOWSPORTS CENTRE 

SUB EDITORS

giancarlo@inthesnow.com

and the Queen’s summertime home of Balmoral has something for all

PICTURE EDITOR

ability levels, and it’s great craic to boot, as a local tells us.

ROSS WOODHALL

SAM THORNE GABBY LE BRETON EMMANUELLE CHÂTEL ANDY TAYLOR GIANCARLO GAMBARDELLA EQUIPMENT EDITOR

© Copyright 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 otherwise, without permission

Thankfully, these days we have social media so the evidence is instantly available and you don’t have to fear creative snow number accountancy by over-zealous marketing people in resort. Instead, hundreds of ski areas have been broadcasting live film of heavy snowfall on their slopes on Facebook. I can’t think of a better way to spend a dark autumn evening. Well, other than being there for the real

SALLY BARTLETT ANNA BARTLETT

of the publishers in writing.

COLUMNISTS

INTHESNOW LTD

The great thing is, it’s not just the Alps either: the snow has

THE SNOW STUDIO

been falling on Europe’s outlying snow resorts too, even

JON WEST PHIL SMITH JACK STEELE JENNY BLETCHER DESIGN BY

ROCKET BASE rocketbase.co.uk

thing, of course!

KINGS LANE, BUCKS HP16 0QY

+44 (0)1494 862 423 DOM@INTHESNOW.COM INTHESNOW.COM

in Portugal and southern Spain, as well as the Pyrenees, Dolomites, Scandinavia and closer to home in Scotland – the first area was open there by mid-November. Across the Atlantic things have been a bit more hit-and-miss after a snowy October, but conditions now appear to be picking up there too. Of course, when the big snowfalls start, as they did four to six weeks ago, you fear it has come too soon. I held off writing our main story, detailing the early snowfall, until the last minute I could prior to production and printing, in case there was a sudden warming of the weather; but (and I still fear tempting fate), as I write this and we go to press, it is still dumping down and the forecast for next week is more snow, snow, snow. Yippee! So, fingers crossed it continues and that this season – our tenth for InTheSnow, so a big anniversary winter for us – will be the snowiest of the century so far.

003 // DEC16


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PAUL MORRISON

THE SNOWIEST AUTUMN OF THE CENTURY

WORDS: PATRICK THORNE

A

SNOWY SEASON START STATS

powder in 24 hours – a feat it repeated a week

in mid autumn. The Kitzsteinhorn glacier above

later, further building up its base.

Kaprun was able to open its superpipe before

The Dolomites, which suffered a very

the end of November, and Zermatt already

challenging start to last season after the dry

offered over 100km of cross-border piste to

weather continued well into the winter months,

enjoy by the end of last month too.

also saw resorts opening early with a mix of

North America had a more challenging

natural snowfall and weather cold enough for

November, with a lot of hot air over much

24-hour snow making.

of the continent leading ski areas to delay

Ski areas in the Pyrenees and even as far

opening and the International Ski Federation

south west as Portugal and in the Sierra

to switch a planned World Cup race in Beaver

Nevada in southern Spain got some great

Creek in Colorado to Val d’Isère in France.

November snowfalls too, to get their seasons

Things did turn more wintery at the end of

fter two warm autumns in a row, the good

off to the best start in years. Indeed, the

the month when dozens of ski areas opened

news is that it’s the best start to the ski season

November snow conditions at Portugal’s sole

in time for Thanksgiving, Whistler Blackcomb

for years, and dozens of ski areas have

ski area, Serra da Estrela, made national TV

even a day earlier than planned.

opened early as a result.

there. In the UK there have been the usual

Canada, in fact, had seen some big autumn

Snowfall in parts of the Alps in November is

extreme weather fluctuations but one Scottish

snowfall tallies – over 2.5m at resorts like

believed to be the most for this early in the

area was able to open in mid-November for its

Kicking Horse and Revelstoke in BC, about

season since winter 1999/2000 and led to

opening weekend of 2016–17.

double the average for that early in the

dozens of resorts, including Alpe d’Huez,

Not much help for the northern hemisphere’s

season: it was just rather warm too.

Arosa, Cortina, Davos, Kitzbühel, La Clusaz,

ski season, but it still seemed in keeping with

Of course, snowfall is notoriously unpredictable

Madonna di Campiglio, Schladming, Val

the trend that there was even night-time snow

and, while the previous two winters saw some

good bases for this very early time of the year,

Thorens and Verbier, among plenty of others,

in Australia reported at Falls Creek ski resort

big snowfalls around the start of New Year

with the main season hardly getting started.

opening early for winter 2016/17.

in the last week of their spring, just before

following the dry autumns, the worst case is that

Many already have 1m bases, and some

And the extra good news is that it isn’t just

summer rolled around down under.

the reverse might happen this season: the snow

already have more than 2m of snow lying.

the Alps. Almost all of Scandinavia’s leading

Resorts that are normally open anyway in

stops falling and things warm up.

But, hopefully winter 2016–17 will continue to

ski resorts were open by mid-November, with

autumn thanks to their glacier ski areas

Fortunately, though, all the snow that has fallen

fulfil its potential to become one of the best ski

Norway’s Hemsedal getting a foot of fresh

reported excellent ‘midwinter’-like conditions

so far means that most resorts already have

seasons in recent history.

• Sunshine at Banff had earliest start to the season in 30 years. • Alpe d’Huez opened three weeks early with weekend openings. • Revelstoke, BC, Canada, had 2.4m of snowfall by 1 November. • Snowfalls of up to a metre in 48 hours were reported in the Alps. • Snow depths at 2.5m already above Chamonix by 20 November. • One ski area at Lake Tahoe got 60cm of snow in two days.

005 // DEC16


ACCESS TO SLOPE ON MILITARY LAND CLOSER A determined group of skiers who used to enjoy their sport on a dry slope at Bassingbourn Barracks have been denied access to the slope for the past three-and-a-half years, but their hopes of being able to return have come a little closer. The local council has given the go-ahead for new access to the facility, which would avoid the problem of skiers needing to cross through military property.

TRANSFERS TO SERRE CHEV & MILKY WAY The Resalp Linkbus company have launched a HARALD WISTHALER

new shuttle that will connect Turin Airport to Serre Chevalier Briançon, via the “Milky Way” resorts of Cesana, Claviere and Montgenèvre. This will be a regular direct route running every Saturday and Sunday in season, and it will correspond with the major flights, making getting to the area even

TERM-TIME HOLIDAY RULING MAY BE CHALLENGED

NEW LIFT AND SKI RUN IN THE DOLOMITES Trentino’s Val di Fassa, in Italy’s giant Dolomiti Superski region, will unveil a new ski run this winter. “Volata” is described as a “super-fast technical run” that descends from Col Margherita to Passo San Pellegrino over its 2.35km length, descending 631 vertical metres as it goes. In addition, the Alpe Lusia-San Pellegrino ski area will see a new lift (complete with mid-station) open on the Bellamonte Castelir slope. The new, low-scenery-impacting Castelir-Morea cable car will commence operation this winter.

LAAX OPEN RETURNS Switzerland’s leading freestyle destination for

T he Isle of Wight Council has been

given permission to appeal to the

The government has said it will

Supreme Court regarding a High

consider making changes to the

Court ruling against them and in

law to make sure that parents are

favour of a father whom they had

fined for taking their children on ski

fined for taking his daughter out of

trips and other holidays during term

school for a family holiday during

time. The council lost at the High

term time.

Court on a point of law because the

The High Court had refused the

fines regime introduced in 2013 by

The Special Olympics World Winter Games

council the right to appeal to them,

then education secretary Michael

is one of the world’s biggest winter-sports

and the Supreme Court will still

Gove was a variation of an existing

events, held every four years, and Special

have to decide whether it will hear

law, rather than a clear new law in

Olympics GB have a team of 21 athletes with

the case.

its own right.

intellectual (learning) disabilities to represent their country at the 2017 Games which will be held in Schladming, Austria. Taking place from 14–25 March 2017 The Special Olympics

POUND RISES IN VALUE

more than three decades, and the current home of the world’s largest half-pipe, has confirmed that the dates of the 2017 LAAX OPEN will be from 16–

21 BRITISH ATHLETES FOR WORLD WINTER GAMES

DIEGO AZUBEL

easier with no need to change buses en route. Prices start from €25 (£21)pp. linkbus-alps.com

21 January 2017. Men and women will compete

World Winter Games, president Arnold Schwarzenegger, will welcome almost 3,000 Special Olympics athletes from 110 nations to compete in nine Olympic-type winter sports.

in half-pipe and slopestyle contests up on the pro

£100 of extra currency compared

It’s a return to the venue of the fifth Special

kicker line on Crap Sogn Gion mountain with this

to the October low. So long as it

Olympics World Winter Games which were

season’s LAAX OPEN now upgraded to the status

continues, that’s good news for

held in 1993 in Schladming. Back then around

in-resort costs this season.

1,600 athletes from 63 nations competed in

FairFX also looked at the total cost

five sports in those Games, the first World

of lift passes, rentals and tuition at

Games held outside the United States,

59 resorts worldwide and found

showing the growth of the event in the more

Bled in Slovenia cheapest with a

than two decades since.

week’s ski package costing £261.

“On behalf of our entire Special Olympics

Most expensive was Vail at £1,493.

movement worldwide, I am thrilled to

“The pound has been hit with

award our 2017 World Games to Graz and

AIRPORT LAUNCHES NEW SKI ROUTE George Best Belfast City Airport has launched

BRANDON SKINNER

of a stage in the FIS Snowboard World Cup.

a new ski route to Salzburg, in conjunction with leading ski holiday operators Crystal Ski

Along with all the snow, as we went

Travel money experts FairFX say

volatility in the months following

Schladming in the beautiful state of Styria,”

Holidays and Topflight. Running from Christmas

to press there was another positive

the pound was up 7% against

Brexit. Finally, consumers have seen

said Tim Shriver, Global Chairman of Special

Eve until 11 March 2017, the weekly Aer Lingus

for British skiers with news that

the euro on 1 December and by

a rebound with positivity against

Olympics. “It is fitting that we would return

flight will provide direct access to a wide range

the pound has rallied against the

10% across other European ski

almost every currency globally

to a country that has demonstrated its

of Austrian ski resorts. Holidays are on sale now,

currencies of leading ski nations,

countries, meaning for every

– a boost for anyone planning a

commitment to people with intellectual

incorporating the three-hour flight, which will

rebounding after its post-Brexit-

£1,000 of spending money,

ski holiday this winter,” said Ian

disabilities for decades and will embrace our

vote devaluation.

holidaymakers will get nearly

Strafford-Taylor, CEO. FairFX.com

athletes from around the world.”

depart Belfast at 1.30pm each Saturday, with the return flight arriving in Belfast at 7.50pm.

006 // DEC16 // INTHESNOW.COM

@INTHESNOWMAG


Heavenly Skiing At Down To Earth Prices

NEILSON EXPANDS MOUNTAIN EXPERT

5%

NEW MERIBEL LODGE HAS ROOMS FROM £30PPPN

DISCOUNT

QUOTE CODE 'ITS'

The number of tour operators offering free in-resort “guiding” or “hosting”

Snow and surf specialist Ticket to Ride will open a brand new Mountain

has dropped dramatically in recent years, but long-established ski tour

Lodge in Méribel this winter. At the same time the company is increasing

operator Neilson are expanding their own free service this winter. The

its focus on providing shorter trips, targeting time-short, adrenaline-

service is offered at the company’s Mountain Collection range of seven

seeking holidaymakers that crave the seasonaire lifestyle.

hotels and 17 catered chalets across Europe, run by Neilson, exclusively

Open from 9 December, the new 32-bed Mountain Lodge aims to offer

for Neilson guests. Mountain Collection guests are entitled to the Neilson

snowboarders and skiers the chance to stay at the heart of the world’s

Mountain Expert service, a free guiding and coaching service provided by

biggest ski area at an affordable price. Priced from £30pp per night, the

fully qualified ski and snowboard instructors and a Neilson host. Those who

Ticket to Ride Lodge boasts free wi-fi, Apple TV and unlimited hot drinks.

want to take part in Mountain Experts sessions will be guided around the

“We’re really excited to launch our new Mountain Lodge in Méribel.

area whilst being given tips on technique at the same time. Guests will also

It means we can accommodate more guests than ever before,

be able to jump the lift queues to maximise their time on the mountain.

plus we’ve been able to take on more staff on the ground,” said

“Following the success of the first season running the free guiding and

Linley Lewis, founder of Ticket to Ride, adding, “Our shorter ski and

coaching sessions for Mountain Collection guests, 2016/17 sees even

snowboard experiences are better suited to time-poor adventurers,

more sessions available,” said a Neilson spokesperson. “There is now

who can’t afford long stints away from the day job.”

at least one every day for Mountain Collection hotel guests and at least

The team at the Lodge will help organise everything required by

three a week for Mountain Collection chalet guests. Each guest is still

guests, from airport transfers and lift passes, to torch-lit ski descents

guaranteed at least two sessions each week.” neilson.co.uk

and advice on après-ski events. tickettoridegroup.com

EXTRA FLIGHTS WEST TO NORTH AMERICA

CNW GROUP

High Quality Catered + Self Catered Accommodation

Canadian airline Air Transat have announced that

class resorts, and a gateway to ski areas in states

to the Rocky Mountains with a flight to Calgary

they are to increase flights to the 2010 Winter

to the north like Jackson Hole in Wyoming and

(weekly via Toronto), which is the closest

Olympic city of Vancouver in Canada this winter,

Big Sky in Montana.

international airport to a host of resorts in Western

with a second weekly flight commencing this

Whilst Vancouver is the closest airport to Whistler,

Alberta including Banff and Lake Louise, as well as

month from Gatwick.

Air Transat have also announced new winter

some in Eastern BC like Kicking Horse and Fernie.

The news follows the recent launch of a year-

flights to Toronto, Canada’s largest city and the

Return flight prices to Toronto start from £339

round direct service from Heathrow to Salt Lake

capital of Ontario in the east, which is also home

per person (Vancouver from £361 return, Calgary

City by Virgin and Delta. This will see the first

to a number of leading ski resorts, albeit ones with

from £367 return) and Air Transat offer free ski

direct flights to Utah’s state capital, located

(much) smaller lift-served verticals.

carriage (one bag per person), in addition to the

around an hour or less from half a dozen world-

Air Transat say passengers can also connect

standard baggage allowance.

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

007 // DEC16

French and Swiss Alps Snow Sure Resorts On / Near Piste locations No Hidden Extras Financially Bonded

0151 625 1921 mountainheaven.co.uk


NO.15 Free skier–Free Skiing Free

DARE TO BEAT

HELMET COLLECTION

do it right.”

restrictions that then inhibit you from

adapting them in a “free” manner at a

“I need to be told what I’m

becoming the best. It’s a vicious circle.

later stage. But “freedom” often fails

1. Not imprisoned or enslaved,

doing wrong.”

When I was young and learning to

to materialise at a later stage. The will

being at liberty.

Where does this yearning for doing

surf, youngsters used to watch and

to ski correctly early on sticks with

2. Not controlled by obligation or

it the “right way” come from?

copy the best, so the sport never

many skiers throughout their skiing

the will of another.

Looking at the great sports stars

really changed. But these days

career who end up being restricted

3. Not affected or restricted by a

and world champions, they all have

given condition or circumstance.

one thing in common. They do it

One way of helping you to

4. Not subject to external restraint.

“their” way, not the “right” way. In

be free but effective is to

5. Not literal or exact.

skiing we have the likes of Bode

understand the difference

6. Unguarded in expression

Miller who for many was labelled

between judged and

or manner.

untidy but continued to win

measured sports. Judged is

7. Given, made, or done of one’s

everything. In running we have

someone’s personal opinion,

own accord.

the great Michael Johnson who

measured is fact. Imagine

8. Not fixed in position, capable of

as a child was labelled as running

how far the great sporting

relatively unrestricted motion.

“a bit funny like a duck”. But the

stars I mentioned earlier

9. Not bound, fastened or attached.

child who ran “funny” went on to win 12 Olympic and World

rather than free.

PHIL SMITH SNOWORKS

would have got if their sport had been judged. Luckily

Maybe it’s just who we are and a

Championship gold medals and

trait of humans that we need rules.

hold the 400 metre world record

Rules that govern everything we

for a staggering 17 years. Then

Phil Smith is founder of Snoworks

or park and pipe skiing,

do, even to the extent of how we

there was the great Dick Fosbury

All-Mountain Ski Courses. Snoworks

the judges are becoming

ski! Of course, there always has to

who redefined his sport forever:

run Off-Piste and Backcountry

as versatile as the skiers

be some rules, otherwise we would

when everyone else was going

courses throughout the winter along

themselves and embracing

be in danger of harming others and

over the high jump bar forwards

with Off-Piste Adventure trips to

individuality and innovation.

ourselves. This is why the skiers’

he went over it backwards. In ski

destinations around the world.

Ski instruction is traditionally

code of conduct exists and why we

racing a few seasons ago Ted

info@snoworks.co.uk

judged and can restrict

take lessons – to learn to ski safely.

Ligety redefined the Giant Slalom

innovation, freedom and

But, putting the skiers’ code aside

skiing technique and recorded

individuality. Judged

and other rules that help keep us

some of the biggest winning

and others safe in the mountains,

margins in ski racing.

surfers, skateboarders, BMX bikers,

be useful along with certain rules in

how many skiers actually “free ski”?

Great sport stars don’t try to do it

snowboarders and freestyle skiers

ski teaching that keep us and others

The need to be governed by rules

“right”, they have freedom. This

are creating their own rules as they

safe. But after safety is adhered to,

even in “how” we ski is highlighted

freedom comes from an inner

go along. It’s exciting to watch and

you have the freedom to interpret

when people come on our ski

confidence they have. To be free is

constantly changing and evolving.

skiing how you wish.

courses for the first time and I ask

difficult and if you’re not one of the

Learning to ski so-called “correctly”

It’s a great feeling knowing nobody

them their goals.

best, then you’re asking, “How do I

can be a good thing in the early

else does it quite like you. Be a free

“I need to learn to ski correctly.”

become the best?” And the search

stages. Learning the nuts and bolts

skier, be unique, be the architect of

“I can get down anything but don’t

for becoming the best creates

first. Doing the basics correctly then

your own skiing.

008 // DEC16

now in some judged sports such as freestyle skiing

instruction and feedback can

SNOWORKS.CO.UK

POLLY BALDWIN | DYNAMICPICTURES.CO.UK

FREERIDE


ASMEDIA/A.VILLA

Be Ha Ski Moppy, re.

SPARKS FLY AS NEW SKI WORLD RECORD SET ON ASPHALT

T

a top speed of 63.78kph in

of mine since I first trained behind

plasticised aerodynamic speed

MotorLand Aragón, Spain.

a car back in 2001 with a group

suit for motorcycle leathers and

The previous record was held at

of friends. Technically, skiing in

helmet used by professional

51.4kph (32mph) by Erik Roner

these conditions isn’t easy – during

motorcycle riders.

(USA) at Miller Motorsports Park

the record attempt I was fighting

It’s the second world record for

in Tooele, Utah, for the MTV show

constantly to maintain my trajectory

Jan, who currently races the FIS

Nitro Circus.

on the asphalt, as the skis were

World Cup Speed 1 category,

Jan used a Ferrari F458 Italia

almost uncontrollable. They had a

the fastest non-motorised sport

Competizione, courtesy of Formula

life of their own after about 50kph.

on the planet. He also holds the

GT Experience, driven by Spanish

Now the skis can only be used as

indoor ski speed world record

rally driver Marc Sánchez. The

museum pieces: one for the circuit,

of 104.965kph, set in May 2015

car, sporting 578 horsepower, was

and one for the owners of the car,”

in Snowhall Amnéville. Among

he Brit who holds the world

used to tow the ski racer on the

said Farrell.

his many different projects, he is

record for the fastest ski run on

1,726m straight section of the Moto

The skier used standard-

currently aiming to break a total

indoor snow has set a new record,

GP circuit.

production 195cm-long World Cup

of seven Guinness World Speed

becoming the fastest skier on the

“I set out to break the Asphalt Ski

skis from Atomic, built specifically

records during the next three

planet on asphalt by registering

World Record, a long-time objective

for giant slalom, and swapped his

years. janfarrell.com

It’s your ski holiday so it’s your choice… 60 resorts 8 countries 17 UK airports Weekends, midweeks and weeks

NEW SKI COURSE TO KYRGYZSTAN The ski adventure to Kyrgyzstan

explore some of the country and

next February, with accommodation

take in some of the culture too.

based in traditional yurts, is open

The trip begins on 11 February,

to competent skiers who are

2017, and a place costs £2,325

comfortable on black runs and

per person which includes six and

can ski off-piste. The skiing is

a half days’ ski touring with local

exclusively ski touring based and

guides and a Snoworks Instructor,

located in the Tian Shan Mountain

10 nights’ accommodation,

range, part of the old Silk Road

lunch and evening meals where

Snoworks, a British ski course

Pyrenees. There’s also a new off-

route between the Mediterranean

provided, return transfers from

company, have added two new

piste safety course this November

and Asia.

Bishkek Airport and transfers to

destinations for the coming winter,

added to their programme, based

The skiing will all be accessed via

ski areas. However, it excludes

the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and

in one of the company’s home

snowmobiles from the yurt camp,

flights to Kyrgyzstan.

Baqueira-Beret in the Spanish

resorts of Tignes.

and there are opportunities to

snoworks.com

Hundreds of places to stay, chalets and hotel 2* to 5*

Helping you ski when, where and for as long as you want

Don’t just dream of snow,

book today…

Call one of our ski experts on

023 8020 6971 FB.COM/INTHESNOW

009 // DEC16

or email sales@skiweekends.com


LIFE IN PICTURES

©ANDY PARANT

 PROMOTION

TIGNESVAL D’ISÈRE AREA where there’s permanent

Championship and Olympic

is one of the world’s great

glacier cover. Even the base

Alpine skiing events. This

ski regions and is one of the

of the runs, nearly 1,900

season it unveils its new

planet’s biggest with 10,000

vertical metres below, are

Solaise gondola with heated

hectares of skiable terrain

much higher than many ski

seats and wi-fi as the heart of

and more than 150 marked

areas at 1,550m.

a major upgrade it’s calling the

ski runs altogether making

Val d’Isère and Tignes are

biggest in a decade. Tignes is

up 300km of slopes, served

both world-class resorts in

the most snow-sure resort in

by 78 fast, modern lifts.

their own right, of course. Val

France, open in 11 months out

It’s one of the most snow-

d’Isère is a vibrant, classic

of 12 for snowsports all year.

sure regions in the world

resort and one of just a

It has a young, sporty and

too, with skiing from late

handful worldwide that have

trendy ambience and is the

November to early May, and

hosted World Cup (as it does

place to go for big, fun events

runs right up to 3,456m,

every year) as well as World

all season.

©ANDY PARANT

The Tignes-Val d’Isère Area

010 // DEC16

ESPACEKILLY.COM | VALDISERE.COM/EN | TIGNES.NET


CLUB MED

CHINESE PLAN FRENCHSTYLE SKI RESORT IN JAPAN

ARTISTIC AVALANCHE EXHIBITION OPENING 2017

INVENTION AIMS TO REDUCE AVALANCHE DEATHS

Fosun, a Chinese conglomerate that now owns former British company

An artistic exhibition on the theme of avalanches – their power,

An enterprising student at the University of East London (UEL) is combin-

Thomas Cook as well as the originally French-run Club Med and the

dynamics and their unexpected nature – is to be staged in Gstaad,

ing his passion for skiing and talent for design – by inventing a unique

Canadian Cirque du Soleil, and which has recently opened several

Switzerland, this winter by British curator Neville Wakefield and Swiss

safety device especially for thrill-seeking off-piste skiers.

Club Med ski areas in China, says it plans to open a new Club Med in

artist Olympia Scarry. The exhibition will launch over the weekend of

Charles Caldron, 21, hopes “YETI” will allow adventurous off-piste and he-

Japan next winter in a bid to meet surging demand.

3–5 February 2017 and will feature an international programme of music,

li-skiers (jumping out of helicopters onto the slopes) to get themselves out

Fosun has bought the Tomamu ski resort on Japan’s famous northerly

performance and sound installations.

of the danger zone, should they find themselves trapped by an avalanche.

island of Hokkaido, famous for its powder snow, for £93m and is con-

“Offsetting the ephemeral and transitive nature of these performances

Thanks to some top GPS technology, design ingenuity and countless ski

verting it into Club Med’s fourth ski resort in the region.

will be a number of monumental sculptural and site-specific

holidays and research trips to Les 3 Vallées, Charles thinks he has invent-

Club Med first opened in Yabuli in Northeast China nearly a decade

interventions created by renowned artists from around the globe,” a

ed something that is reliable, user-friendly and could save lives.

ago, but before the growth in the Chinese ski industry its first Asian

statement on behalf of the organisers reads. The exhibition is the latest

“When an avalanche happens, the rescue teams send out an emergency

ski resort was actually established last century at Sahhoro, also on

in a series known as Elevation 1049. First launched in 2014 this features

signal to the YETI module built in to a lightweight ski pole,” says Charles.

Hokkaido in Japan.

site-specific exhibitions created out of the specifics of time and place,

“If the skier turns off the signal within a three-minute window, the rescue

Japan’s National Tourism Organisation say the country received more

curated by Wakefield and Scarry and taking place in and above Gstaad.

team know the skier is alive. If after three minutes the signal isn’t turned

than 10 million foreign visitors in the first five months of this year, a

Elevation 1049 is comprised of work from Swiss and international

off, it could mean the skier is in danger and needs help. As the module

record number, with around a quarter of these arriving from China, a

artists, and as the title suggests, most of the work is displayed outside,

is attached to the skier and sending out GPS signals, it will allow rescue

45% increase on a year ago.

positioned in and defined by the landscape they inhabit.

teams to more easily find the skier.”

Fosun say they intend to “globalise” and become a global leader in the

“Held in the midst of winter, Elevation 1049 exchanges the confines of

Charles plans to meet with representatives of the major ski resorts to ex-

travel sector. It has opened four new Club Med resorts in China since

the white cube for the expansive snow-covered backdrop of the Alpine

plore the possibility of his product integrating with resort mobile phone

buying the company in 2011 and has 15 more due to open before 2020

landscape” the statement continues.

apps, for the live-feed ski pole module.

as well as a planned new ski area in South Korea. Worldwide it has 66

Elevation 1049 is supported by the LUMA Foundation, the founding

“I think it’s got great potential, and with some solid financial backing, I’d

resorts, 23 of which are ski resorts.

patrons and a number of additional private donors. elevation1049.org

like to take it to market in the future,” he says.

+33 (0)4 79 06 18 88 RESERVATION@HOTELAIGLEDESNEIGES.COM EN.HOTELAIGLEDESNEIGES.COM


I

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ALL PICS: CHRISTOPHER R NUNN

T 014 // DEC16

just get fewer opportunities to do so.

from a snowball, and you are out

Luckily, Avoriaz ski resort is changing

for that game. There’s also a referee

that. It has launched snowball fighting

provided, just in case no one is being

as a full-scale organised activity that

honest when they get hit by a ball, and

holidaymakers there can play. In

to judge close calls when players are

January, on holiday in the resort with

diving for the flag under a volley of

a bunch of friends, the urge to try it

snowballs. If nobody has managed to

was irresistible.

grab the flag, it comes down to a count

The games are played on an area

of which team has the most players

about the same size as a basketball

remaining.

court, with seven players in each

Each half of the court contains

team. In the middle of the court is a

rectangular blocks, which players can

he resort of Avoriaz has introduced

flag, and the first side to have a team

use to duck and hide behind as they

competitive snowball fights – Japanese

member grab the flag wins the game.

try to get within striking distance of

style. Daniel Elkan & friends tried it.

Doing so isn’t easy, however, as we

the flag, popping up suddenly to volley

There’s nothing like a snowball in your

were to find out. At the start of the

snowballs at opponents.

hand, ready to throw, to make you feel

game, each team is given a plentiful

The buzz is incredible. From the

like you are seven years old again. No

supply of pre-made snowballs, and

minute the whistle sounded, we edged

one really grows out of the instinct to

uses this ammunition to try to take

forward in nervous camaraderie,

hurl snowballs at their friends – they

out the opposition players. One hit

spreading out to take positions behind

@INTHESNOWMAG


Although the snowballs are made of hard-packed snow to make them strong enough to carry easily and throw well, the defensive blocks, cradling as

they don’t hurt when they hit – and

many snowballs as we could carry,

players carry lightweight helmets

with others staying back to roll more

with visors. The game feels a bit like

snowballs to the players in the more

paintball on snow, and it wasn’t long

attacking positions.

before we were all diving, commando-

The closer you edged forward into

style, for cover and had started to

the court, the more angles a snowball

form tactics. Each game is six minutes

could be fired at you from. My head

long, but with the adrenaline coursing

began to shift from left to right,

through your veins it’s difficult to have

scanning the court like a nervous

any sense of time.

rabbit.

Having organised snowball fighting

Dodging snowballs is easier than

in the resort adds a very different

you think. Get one thrown at you,

experience to the skiing and

swerve it and then – if you have a

snowboarding that you normally come

snowball in your hand – you can turn

to a resort for. We’d spent several

the tables on your foe: the hunter

days exploring the terrain in Avoriaz

becomes the hunted!

and the wider Portes du Soleil area,

Organised snowball fighting actually

which the resort is part of. There are

originates from Hokkaido in northern

650km of pistes here, meaning that

Japan, and it’s there that I’d originally

you can set out in a different direction

discovered it years before. The

every day and find yourself on new

Japanese take it very seriously

runs each time. In fact, so vast is the

– making the games very tense.

ski area that it encompasses 12 resort

“Yukigassen”, to give it its Japanese

villages, including Les Gets, Morzine

name, was actually created in a town

and Châtel. Avoriaz is centrally placed

friends had that “ooh, just one more

called Sobetsu. In summer, the town

within the area, so it was easy to

game” look in their eyes, itching for

had lots of visitors to the volcano but

arrange to meet up for the Yukigassen

revenge for previous games and the

there was little tourism in winter.

battle after our day’s skiing. And it

chance for more glory. But you only

After watching tourists spontaneously

was so much fun.

get an hour per slot, so we headed

throwing snowballs at each other, they

After one hour of intense snowball

for “après snowball” drinks at Le

had the idea to create the sport and

fighting, our time was up. A lot of my

Bistro bar, in the centre of the village.

AVORIAZ:

Yukigassen snowball fights cost

hold tournaments. It was an immediate

We walked in, feeling triumphant,

€10 (£9)pp, in teams of seven,

hit. Seven thousand visitors came

and ordered drinks. The bar staff

and can be booked through

for the first tournament, temporarily

served us, of course, but perhaps they

Avoriaz Tourist Office.

tripling the population of the town.

shouldn’t have done: on the inside,

avoriaz.com; +33 4 50 74 02 11

These days each championship brings

we’d all become seven-year-olds.

in around 25,000 visitors.

Daniel and friends travelled to Avoriaz by train. Return rail fares start from £112, through Voyage SNCF. voyages-sncf.com; 0844 848 5 848

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AVORIAZ.COM


10-17

10-17

11-17

European Film Festival

Rise Festival

Altitude Festival

ARC 1950, FRANCE

LES 2 ALPES, FRANCE

The world’s leading Alpine comedy festival (we’re

The 8th Les Arcs European Film Festival

The first of the big snow and music festivals in

not sure if there are any others), featuring the best

coincides with the opening weekend of Arc

Europe this season. A full-on mix of parties, snow

comedians from the UK and further afield. This

1950 – 120 films screened over the week.

fun, top music (lots of acts, with headliners Seth

year’s stars include Terry Alderton, Zoe Lyons and

Meet the stars in resort or at a screening.

Troxler and Kano), and some snowsport competition regulars, Andrew Maxwell and Marcus Brigstocke.

arc1950.com

if you want to partake. risefestival.co.uk

altitudefestival.com

24-26 29-31 SIMON GARNIER

14-17

MAYRHOFEN, AUSTRIA

All included in the price: Acc

ommod ation All mea ls Lift pas s & hut fees Instruc tion/Gu iding Ski/Sno wb Any req oard and Boo ts uired te chnica l kit

Christmas In Megève

SnowGlobe South Lake Tahoe

VAL GARDENA, ITALY

MEGÈVE, FRANCE

CALIFORNIA, USA

A fortnight after Lake Louise in Alberta, the World Spending Christmas in the mountains is always a

This three-day festival offers dozens of acts, with

Cup tour returns to Europe and the historic

good call and should be the best hope for a truly

this year’s headliners including The Chainsmokers,

racecourse in the Dolomites above Val Gardena.

relaxed, fun, genuine break. All resorts are good

Flume, Major Lazer and Odesza. The festival site lies

The race where Team GB recorded what’s still

for Christmas, but Megève goes that extra mile for

below the resort of Heavenly, so skiing or boarding

their best-ever downhill ski racing result.

old-world charm and a stunning Christmas tree!

and the music festival can easily be combined.

DIARY|DEC 2016–JAN 2017

TOP CLASS FRENCH SKI RESORTS Prices from

Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup Downhill

£559

31

1

7-8

Levels range from introductory courses, for those taking their first steps beyond the piste markers, to expert level expeditions summiting great European peaks by skis. The all inclusive packages are by far the cheapest on the market, making even the most adventurous trips very affordable. For more information and to book: www.action-outdoors.co.uk/off-piste-courses THE UK PARTNE

PETER KLAUNZER

THE UCPA BOASTS THE LARGEST PROGRAMME OF OFF PISTE, SKI TOURING AND SPLITBOARDING COURSES IN EUROPE

Dance Party

Hotsch Race

World Cup Slalom Racing

COURCHEVEL, FRANCE

KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND

ADELBODEN, SWITZERLAND

Nearly all ski resorts let off some fireworks and

There are lots of exciting and fun events for

The weekend before the first of the classic

throw a bit of a party for New Year’s Eve, the

New Year in ski resorts around the world, but

downhill races of 2017, Wengen’s Lauberhorn,

busiest week of the year for all of them so double

the annual piglet race in Klosters is both these

the men are in Adelboden for slalom and giant

reason to celebrate. Courchevel in the French

things and also slightly odd. The excitement

slalom racing. Fingers crossed for some more

Alps throws one of the biggest with its annual

kicks off at 3.00pm as the wee piggies race

top performances from the British team after

Dance Party, incorporating live outdoor music acts.

through the resort centre.

Dave Ryding’s huge success last season.

R FOR

016 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


NINA MATTLI

 PROMOTION

FREE SKI SCHOOL AT SNOW-SURE SWISS RESORT

A

the world’s leading centres for the great

slopes. Thanks to a partnership with many of the

sport of biathlon, an exciting combination of

resort’s hotels, all ski and snowboard classes

cross-country skiing and rifle range target

in groups are free of charge for children born

shooting. There’s a brand-new centre for this

in or after 1999 (so up to around age 17 or 18

sport opening this winter, and you can try it for

depending on the time of your holiday). This offer

yourself with a fun taster session. There are

is valid for a minimum two-night stay in many

even special classes for children.

participating Arosa hotels and holiday apartments.

And there’s plenty more besides: winter hiking,

The classes will be guided by instructors of the

curling and ice skating or even ice hockey,

snowsports schools of ABC Snow Sports School

sledging, snowshoeing and now snow biking to

and SSSA (Swiss Ski and Snowboard School

name but a few.

Arosa), which have a reputation as being among the best in Switzerland.

New Snow Bike Park This upcoming winter, Arosa Lenzerheide will

With Guaranteed Snow

rosa Lenzerheide is the new name of one

open the first snow bike park in Switzerland,

Thanks to its altitude and location, with the ski

of the most exciting developments in Swiss

served by the cable car Rothorn. The resort is

slopes climbing to 2,865m, Arosa Lenzerheide

skiing for years. The ski villages Arosa and

already a big summertime centre for bikers, so

has always been one of the most snow-sure

Lenzerheide have merged their ski areas, thanks

why not winter too? The Curtschin slope has

destinations in the Alps. This autumn it took this

to the construction of a spectacular cable-car lift

been designated exclusively for bikers and,

reputation even further by becoming one of

connection between them, to create a huge ski

depending on snow conditions, will provide steep

the first resorts in the world to open in October,

region of 225km of fully connected pistes served

turns, bumps, dips, jumps and plenty of fun.

a feat usually only possible for resorts with

by more than 40 lifts – one of the world’s biggest.

glaciers. This extraordinary performance was

The huge ski area has an incredible range of

Ski School Included

feasible thanks to a special new snow-making

terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders

The "Ski School Included" programme has been

machine, which is able to create snow even in

ranging from wide, gentle, perfectly groomed

one of the region’s most popular promotions

positive temperatures. Happily, this season has

pistes to big, steep-sided bowls for freeride

and is back for its fifth season this winter 2016/17,

started well anyway with low temperatures and

freaks, and every type of ski run in between.

helping to get more young people skiing on the

lots of natural snowfall.

Freestylers will have a ball in the Arosa Lenzerheide snow park, which extends to four different areas. Not only skiing Although you can ski from dawn until dusk if you wish and then just collapse into one of Arosa Lenzerheide’s enticing restaurants or bars for the evening, there are plenty of other activities to try. For example, Arosa Lenzerheide is one of

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AROSALENZERHEIDE.CH


STUBAIER GLETSCHER

PAOLA DANDREA

DANIEL ELKAN PHOTO : DAVID ANDRÉ

SNOW TRAIN LIVE PRICE CHECKER LAUNCHED

CORTINA CONFIRMED FOR 2021 FIS ALPINE CHAMPS

STUNNING NEW CABLE CAR OPENS AT STUBAI

Travelling from the UK to the Alps by train may be comfortable, relaxing

Cortina d’Ampezzo has been confirmed as host of the 2021 Alpine Ski

A spectacular new £50m+ cable car has gone into operation at Austria’s

and eco-friendly. However, finding out how much journeys cost has

World Championships at the annual gathering of the International Ski

Stubai glacier, which is already open for the 2016/17 ski season.

never been as easy as it should be because there was nowhere for

Federation (FIS).

The brand-new and innovative Eisgrat cable car at the glacier ski area in

skiers to check journeys for popular dates of the season and see – at a

It was fifth time lucky for the famous Italian resort, which had previously

the province of Tirol went into service after two years of construction.

glance – which ones were on sale and how much they cost.

bid to host the Championships in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

The new lift is of the modern “3S” design, which allows multiple large

Now they can. Independent rail-ski website Snowcarbon has launched

When the 2019 Alpine Ski World Championships were awarded to Åre

queue-gobbling cabins to circulate, hopefully making the queues that

a new price-checking resource called Live Train Prices to coincide with

in Sweden, which had last hosted them in 2007, it sparked an angry

would build up at peak times a thing of the past.

the opening of winter rail bookings on the same date, when many of the

reaction from some in Cortina. This time their bid was the only one on

In fact, the sophisticated tri-cable gondola is the longest of its type yet

season’s indirect rail journeys go on sale.

the table and went through unopposed.

to be built in the Alps and has entered the history books, as at a cost of

At a glance, skiers are now able to view live rail prices for journeys from

Cortina last hosted the World Championships in 1956 when they were

€58m (£52m) it’s believed to be the biggest single lift investment made

London to 14 train stations in the Alps, serving over 50 ski resorts in

part of the Winter Olympics, and had also hosted the second-ever

by any ski resort.

France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy connecting with Eurostar services.

Championships way back in 1932.

Its 48 modern cabins are capable of transporting 3,000 people per hour,

Prices for each journey are displayed in tables with associated graphics

"Cortina and the Italian Ski Federation have shown a real commitment

with each journey taking 11 minutes.

to show departure and arrival times at each train station on that route.

to hosting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships," said FIS President

Every cabin offers panoramic views and wi-fi. The new cable car has

“Giving skiers a clear picture of their journey options is a vital part of

Gian-Franco Kasper, adding,

increased access to the glacier, and created a new run called Fernau – a

helping them out of planes and cars and onto trains,” says Snowcarbon

"They have outlined a series of detailed plans to develop the resort

3.8km descent into the valley – for keen skiers and snowboarders.

Founder, Daniel Elkan. “There are many indirect journeys that skiers

for the marquee event with a strong legacy for the future, and we look

Austria’s biggest glacier snowsports area, the Stubai has 104km of pistes

aren’t even aware of, to resorts that they didn’t realise they can reach so

forward to going there in 2021."

and reaches a height of 3,210m.

easily by train.”

The next World Championships, the 46th staging of the bi-annual

The centre is located a short drive from Innsbruck (approx. 35 minutes)

snowcarbon.co.uk/live-ski-and-snow-train-prices

competition, are due to be staged this winter in St Moritz.

and is included in the Innsbruck area pass. stubai.at/en | visittirol.co.uk


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All Abo

Klost

I

was pretty excited to get to Klosters

of the surroundings of Davos high up

last winter as I had never been

on the mountain.

skiing in Switzerland before and

Pischa, with only one cable car, is now a

didn't know what to expect. My visit

freeride-only area that offers great off-piste

started well: arriving by rail through

itineraries for good skiers and boarders.

spectacular Swiss Alpine scenery

Alternatively, take a five-minute bus ride out

was very memorable. The red train

of Klosters village to go to Madrisa. The resort

I was aboard crossed a plain white

is tailored for families, with wide and easy

valley surrounded by superb natural

slopes where children can enjoy various ski

Swiss scenery to really get you in

kindergartens. Don't miss out on the stunning

the mood.

panoramic view at the top and the skiing by the

After arguably the most scenic train

river in amazing scenery on the way down.

ride I’ve ever enjoyed, we pulled into Klosters,

Davos Klosters is such a snow-sure ski resort

where the village's cosy charm immediately

that this season the slopes have been open

welcomed me. Part of the canton of Graubünden,

for more than six weeks already, opening at

the biggest state in Switzerland, Klosters isn’t

the end of October, and the Madrisa sector

small, though; it’s a sizeable and traditional-style

local to Klosters village has seen a huge

village with a relaxed atmosphere.

improvement with fancy new lifts and many other upgrades.

The Skiing

A Winter-sport Pioneer

DAVOS KLOSTERS

Klosters shares 320km of slopes with Davos,

020 // DEC16

spread over five widely separated areas –

From tuberculosis treatment centre to upmarket

Rinerhorn, Jakobshorn, Pischa, Gotschna

skiing destination and even annual host of

and Parsenn – allowing you to ski a different

the World Economic Forum, attracting world

mountain every day for a week if you wish. The

leaders and the bosses of the planet’s biggest

full ski area is available on one pass, bus and

companies each January, Davos Klosters has a

train ride to the slopes included.

long history as a world centre for tourism. Before

To get over to the Davos side, take the cable

being well known as a ski destination, it was a

car from the centre of the village to reach the

health spa destination during the summer.

summit of Gotschna and then carry on over to

Tourism really started in the middle of the

Parsenn, the largest and most varied mountain.

19th century with the construction of the

There’s a great choice of runs, from wide open

Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian railway), which

slopes to skiing through the trees, and with

changed everything, putting the sanatorium

terrain to suit everyone from beginner to expert.

business into decline in favour of winter

The ski area contains plenty of pleasant runs,

sports tourism. Before skiing became

many through frosted forests, ideal for beginners

prominent, tobogganing, ice-skating

and intermediates.

and curling built the resort’s initial

Keen skiers can also take the mountain train to

recreational reputation.

the slopes of Davos at Rinerhorn, Jakobshorn

Skiing arrived in Davos

and Pischa. While Rinerhorn is quieter and

Klosters at the end of the

for nature lovers, Jakobshorn is particularly

19th century almost

snowboarder-friendly, with a breathtaking view

before anywhere


oard To

ters WORDS: EMMANUELLE CHATEL

else in the Alps. Tobias Branger, a local shopkeeper, got the idea of skiing from Scandinavia, where it had taken hold particularly in the Telemark region, and he

a searing hot slab of stone. Very tasty! Finally, the Casa Antica (casaantica-klosters.ch) is part of Klosters' nightlife, a local institution where everybody celebrates until the early hours.

practised his odd new sport by night a century and a quarter ago, as he was regarded as a bit eccentric for even trying it.

Accommodation Options

However, a visit by the famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who decided to give Branger’s

Hotel Alpina is a very cosy and very Swiss hotel.

version of skiing a try, changed everything.

The location could not be better, opposite the

Conan Doyle's write-up of his ski adventure

railway station and the cable car.

convinced hundreds of Brits to come to

Wherever you stay, you can't visit Klosters

Switzerland for the "skiing" season as well as in

and not go to the Chesa Grischuna Hotel

the summer.

(chesagrischuna.ch). Built in 1938, the Chesa

The Davos English Ski Club was established

Grischuna is a legendary hotel with a unique

in the winter of 1903 and the Ski Club of Great

atmosphere. It's one of the most authentic,

Britain in 1904, founded by English brothers

traditional-style hotels you can find, with mural

Richardson and brothers Wroughton.

paintings and woodwork maintaining the “Landi style”. Chesa is also known as “Hollywood on the rocks”, with all the writers, celebrities and

Fuelling Up

movie stars who have loved to stop by since the early 1950s.

On the slopes, head to the Berghaus Alte Schwendi for a nice lunch on the mountains. The place serves traditional Swiss dishes and drinks

Royal Favourite

and is located perfectly, at the end of a long downhill run.

The village’s authenticity also famously draws

Or try the Madrisahof, an old-style wooden

royal families here to enjoy ski holidays. A long-

Alpine cabin that offers a combination of

time favourite of Prince Charles, a regular for so

cosiness and modernity. The view from the

long that a chairlift has been named after him,

terrace overlooking the mountains is spectacular.

Klosters has a name for being quiet and discreet.

For a drink on the slopes, go to Joe's

You can't get a word out of local residents about

outdoor bar at the Gruobenalp, a ski hut

the presence of those distinguished guests.

with breathtaking views of the valley and the

Rather than that, with their warm welcome, they'll

landscape around Davos Klosters.

be keen to show you the best of their village!

In the evening, the Silvretta Hotel (silvretta. ch) has a lovely little old-fashioned bowling alley in the basement, so is great for an

More Information

evening of supper and bowling. The dining concept at Rolf's HotStone Restaurant (rolfs-hotstone-klosters.ch) allows you to cook your fresh meat or seafood on

Davos Klosters: davos.ch/en/ Swiss International Air Lines: swiss.com Swiss Travel System: swisstravelsystem.com/en/ National Tourist Office: myswitzerland.com/en-gb/klosters

DAVOS.CH/EN


Foto © Christoph Schöch

WIN

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HOW TO WIN To enter visit InTheSnow.com/competitions and simply enter your name and email. Good luck. Closing date Friday 6 January. Terms and conditions apply.

STOCKIST INFO ADMIN@ARDBLAIRSPORTS.COM | 01250 873863 WWW.LEKI.COM

022 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


A FAMILY SKI HOLIDAY ON A TIGHT BUDGET

M

WORDS: MARK BARBER

18- to 40-year-olds, but during the school holidays

snow-sure. The only snag is that they are reached

They are, however, incredibly good fun too,

some open their doors to welcome families with

by fast, long and steep drag lifts with a couple of

with a feeling of camaraderie and friendliness

dedicated ski and snowboard packages; so it was

right-angled turns that can be daunting at first.

from the guests and staff alike. All the kids get

that last Easter we set off to Serre Chevalier on our

As part of the UCPA package, tuition and equipment

together and form their own little groups and

dad-and-daughter adventure.

hire is also included. When we arrived we were

friendships, enjoying evening entertainment

The UCPA Serre Chevalier turned out to be large,

asked our ability and put into separate groups. Holly

such as discos and karaoke, while the parents

modern and ski-in/ski-out; positioned right at the

had only completed a week of ski lessons before

get together to chat about the day’s skiing and

bottom of the slopes in the village of Villeneuve.

and I was placed into an advanced snowboarders

snowboarding over a glass of wine and a fully

The resort is known for its sunshine; the centre

group. We both really enjoyed our groups and

loaded cheeseboard.

has a large sun deck and heated swimming

the instructors were very friendly, spoke perfect

All in all we really enjoyed our “Serre Che”

pool overlooking the pistes, and one particularly

English and were very knowledgeable. All the hire

UCPA experience and I highly recommend it for

enjoyable experience was a lunchtime BBQ in the

equipment was top quality.

a family ski trip on a budget. The families I met

sun. So far so good!

If you want a luxury ski holiday then the UCPA is

are repeat customers, and I think I will be joining

y teenage daughter had been bugging me to take

On the (very quiet) slopes we found Serre Chevalier

not for you. The rooms are basic but functional,

them next season.

her skiing for a while, but I had been reluctant to,

to be a vast but picturesque ski area, almost all of

with plenty of storage and warm radiators to dry

just because of cost. So when I discovered Action

it ideal for families, who were the core market, with

wet ski gear. We had our own bathroom with a

Action Outdoors offers family ski holidays to the

Outdoors, a tour operator specialising in good

plenty of long green and blue runs and nursery

shower, but shared a toilet with the room adjacent.

French Alps in school holiday periods. Seven

value holidays based in affordable UCPA centres in

slopes sited by all the villages. There are reds,

The buffet-style lunches and evening meals had

nights in the UCPA centre in Serre Chevalier

the French Alps, run by a non-profit organisation, I

blacks and some good terrain parks too, though.

plenty of salad, pasta, meat and fish options, but

during the Easter Holidays costs £460pp

thought it was time to treat Holly.

Holly and I found the best green runs high above

be aware: it's good, typically French food without

including full board accommodation, ski passes,

For most of the year UCPA centres are exclusive to

Villeneuve. These runs are wide, mellow and

a chicken nugget in sight.

ski/snowboard equipment hire and lessons.

ACTION-OUTDOORS.CO.UK


HUGO PECKHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

 PROMOTION

T

service called Maison Sport

allowing them to make an

seeks to address. Launched by

informed decision prior to

entrepreneurs Aaron Tipping,

booking. Although there’s a small

Nick and Olly Robinson, who are

percentage fee to Maison Sport

ski instructors themselves, the

for each booking, the founders

online service allows individual

have found clients typically pay

ski and board instructors to

LESS than using the traditional ski

advertise their skills, and for

school, as there’s no middle man

skiers and boarders to seek out

between instructor and skier.

and book ski teachers that meet

“Over the last few years I have

he question of finding the best

their needs.

watched ski schools grow

ski instructor for your particular

The instructor's profile, including

and independent instructors’

needs can be tricky, especially if

important information such as

businesses shrink, due to

your time and budget is limited.

languages spoken, experience,

independent instructors’

Traditionally, booking ski lessons

reviews, age and gender, are all

lack of resources to market

can take a lot of research and

instantly available, as are details

themselves,” says Nick.

may end up costing you a

of cost and live availability.

“Booking a ski instructor has

considerable amount of money.

So far the rapidly expanding

also not moved with the times;

Yet there are a few thousand highly

service covers the 50 leading

it’s expensive, takes too long

skilled instructors out there who

French resorts and has more than

and customers aren’t given

are being overlooked and find

300 instructor listings. The rest of

enough choice. Maison Sport

themselves short of work because

Europe and the wider ski world

are helping their customers save

they can’t connect with clients, just

will be rolled out shortly.

money, whilst making it simple

as somebody who could use their

Customers have a wide choice

for them to find and book their

skills fails to find them!

of instructors and can message

ideal ski instructor.”

That’s the conundrum a new

them to ask any questions,

MaisonSport.com

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A SKI HOLIDAY TO ANTARCTICA the coast. Chimu’s Chad Carey said guests will see the dazzling landscapes and unique wildlife at the end of the earth from skis, kayaks and the deck of Icebird. “For the adventurous at heart, climbing a virgin summit is a breathtaking prospect. And to then attach your skis and be the first person to ski down from the summit is just exciting beyond words,” said Chad. While the trip will be an adventure, there will still be some creature comforts along the way in the centrally heated, high-tech expedition yacht fit for six adventure will depart from Southern

sign up for the trip.

passengers.

trip to Antarctica next year, but

Argentina in November next year.

The 28-day adventure will begin

The first trip departs Ushuaia in

unsurprisingly it’s not your average

Only five participants will be able

with a four-day voyage to Antarctica

Argentina on 19 November 2017, and

ski holiday.

to sign up for the trip. They need

from South America. A custom-built

the price includes training, safety

Chimu Adventures, who are based

to be good skiers, undertake

expedition yacht, Icebird, will be the

gear, use of satellite phones and

in Australia but operate worldwide

some expedition training including

base for most of the trip, and skiers

email, accommodation in Ushuaia,

and have a London office, have

crossing glacial crevasses, and

will hike up to earn their turns on

skis, kayaks, sleds, mountaineering

announced that the month-long

have the £20,495 fee required to

hills and mountains accessed from

equipment and meals.

YVES GARNEAU

A travel company is offering a ski

CRYSTAL MAKE ANOTHER BIG DONATION

AUDI QUATTRO FUNSLOPE OPENING AT VERBIER

Crystal Ski Holidays customers and employees have concluded another

This season the Verbier slopes will feature two new courses

year of fundraising for their charity partners Disability Snowsport UK

designed to keep adventure lovers of all ages entertained.

(DSUK) by handing over another big donation for the total raised during

A hybrid of a snowpark and boardercross course, the Audi Quattro

the last year for £68,000.

Funslope will feature 20 different elements for snow enthusiasts

“As a small national charity with a huge remit, funding like this is crucial in

to get to grips with. From a 10m-long “snail” and a 15m-high berm

allowing DSUK to pursue our mission of giving skiers and snowboarders

to a tunnel, jumps and banks, freestylers are set to welcome the

with a disability the opportunity to be able to ski alongside the non-

new park, located on the Savoleyres slopes at 2,226m.

disabled as equals at all ski facilities and resorts,” said Fiona Young, CEO

Capitalising on the rising popularity of snowtubing, Verbier

of DSUK, who added, “I can truly say that without Crystal’s support over

visitors will also be able to enjoy the newest addition to its

the last seven years DSUK would not be here now. From everyone at

winter-sports range this season as a new run opens at Les

DSUK, a huge THANK YOU for all your continued support, and we look

Esserts. Seated inside a giant rubber tyre, those looking for a

forward to carrying on this relationship long into the future.”

gentler downhill thrill will set off down the especially prepared

In the seven years since the partnership began, Crystal have raised

piste, which resembles a bobsleigh track, before taking a well-

well over £320,000. Both Crystal’s overseas and UK employees have

deserved break from their adrenaline pursuits at the nearby Les

organised events throughout the year to support the charity, and Crystal

Esserts restaurant.

customers have also donated generously.

verbier4vallees.ch

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

027 // DEC16


 LAPETUS

028 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


ALL IMAGES: NASA

Tethys  The past few years have seen unprecedented advances in our knowledge of space. We’ve landed a spaceship on a comet, photographed mountain ranges on Pluto, found ever-more Earth-like ‘exo-planets’ in distant solar systems and even photographed snow avalanching on Mars from orbiting spacecraft.

atmosphere, some of which, scientists believe, falls back onto Enceladus as snow, the rest escaping into space and supplying most of the material making up one of Saturn’s famous rings. The snow is so fine that scientists estimate that less than a thousandth of a millimetre falls each year, meaning it takes 30,000 years for a foot of powder to build up.

Richard Branson, owner of The Lodge luxury ski chalet in Verbier, has long been developing the first space planes

BEST RIDGE: IAPETUS

for tourism, and now both NASA and Elon Musk, the billionaire behind PayPal, Tesla electric cars and SpaceX,

Ridge skiers need look no further than Saturn’s moon

1,800km

have announced plans to establish a human colony on

Iapetus, the planet’s third-largest moon and the eleventh

across,

Mars within the next decade.

biggest in the solar system. Iapetus, a world of snow and

with outer rings

So, the big question now is: what will the skiing be like?

ice, has a very interesting terrain feature: an impressive

extending to 3,800km

InTheSnow’s Editor is so interested that he actually

equatorial ridge, known as the Toledo and Tortelosa

in diameter.

sat down with his son Robert and spent the summer

Montes, which runs three-quarters of the way round the

researching the terrain features that space probes have

moon for some 1,300km. It’s 20km wide and averages

already identified and photographed on the moons and

13km high (so half as high again as Mt Everest) and contains

planets of our solar system.

crater impacts, leading scientists to believe it is ancient.

The space-snow-hunting duo not only found mountains,

New photos of Saturn’s moon Mimas, taken by the Cassini

bowls, ridges and pipes that are super-sized compared to anything we have on planet Earth but they also found snow

BEST BOWL FOR STAR WARS FANS: MIMAS

spacecraft and released recently by NASA, got sci-fi fans

LONGEST HALF PIPE: TETHYS

in a rainbow of colours, thanks to different chemical make-

excited due to its resemblance to the Death Star from Star Wars. But snowsports fans ought to be excited too because

ups. They even found a moon where it has been snowing,

Saturn’s inner moon Tethys has a 100km wide trench, known

what appears to be the dish of a vast planet-destroying

scientists think, for millions of years but with powder so fine

as the Ithaca Chasma, which runs from the moon’s North

space gun is in fact one of the solar system’s biggest

that it takes thousands of years to get a foot deep.

Pole to its South Pole for over 2,000km and continues to

powder snow bowls (we’re hoping): an impact crater 141km

They’ve compiled their findings into the first guidebook

span nearly three-quarters of the moon’s circumference.

wide and 10km deep – so quite a ride. Good thermals are

to potential snowsports destinations on other moons and

required though, as the average temp is -141°C.

planets, imaginatively entitled Snow In Space, and here are some of the more-exciting extra-terrestrial terrain features scientists have so far located.

BIGGEST VERTICAL: MARS

STEEPEST RUN: TURGIS

Miranda, the fifth largest of the 27 known moons of Uranus,

The 580km wide Turgis crater on Saturn’s third-largest

was discovered as recently as 1948 and has only been

moon Iapetus has very steep sides descending for 15km

visited from Earth once by the Voyager 2 probe, which

to the base of the impact crater.

Mars is home to the highest mountain so far discovered

made observations of the moon during its Uranus flyby

in the solar system, Olympus Mons, which is about 25km

in January 1986. The moon is believed to be home to the

high, around two-and-a-half times higher than Mt Everest,

biggest known sheer cliff in the solar system, Verona Rupes,

and has a footprint so big that it would cover France if it

which is variously estimated at 5–10km straight down, so the

were on Earth. It’s believed to be snow-capped at times,

potential for the greatest cliff jump in history here.

The Mithrim Montes mountains are on the solar system’s

but how far you can ski down remains an unknown.

However, more-recent observations of Pluto’s moon

second-largest moon, Saturn’s Titan, which is also the

Charon by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which came

only moon to have a full atmosphere of its own. Located

closest to Charon on 14 July 2015, passing by about

near the moon’s equator, they consist of three parallel

80,000km away, revealed a 9km deep canyon, named

ridges oriented east–west and spaced about 25km apart

Argo Chasma, which at an estimated 700km in length is

– so a kind of Les 3 Vallées of Titan, and they’re named

Enceladus, the sixth largest of Saturn’s 62 moons (and

more than twice as long and five times as deep as The

after mountains in Tolkien’s books. They were named as

counting), is believed by scientists to be a world of

Grand Canyon. The canyon may feature sheer cliffs as big

recently as 2012, and the highest peak is 3,337m high.

perpetual snowfall, and probably the best powder in the

as 5km high, potentially rivalling Verona Rupes for the title

BEST POWDER STASH

 Mimas

BIGGEST CLIFF JUMP OPPORTUNITY: MIRANDA OR CHARON?

solar system at that, described as “superfine

BEST FOR LORD OF THE RINGS FANS: TITAN

of the tallest known cliff face in the solar system.

MORE SNOW IN SPACE

ice crystals” by Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in

BEST BOWL SKIING: CALLISTO

Facebook.com/SnowInSpace

The many craters on Jupiter’s moon Callisto, which is the

page, hardback, A5-sized book.

snow is believed to come

third biggest of the 180+ so far discovered in the solar

Published by Snow Hunter Ltd, it is available by mail order

from giant geysers that

system and larger than Pluto, include the largest known in

only and costs £9.99 + £3.01 P&P.

spew material into the

the solar system, Valhalla, the main part of which is some

To order, visit: paypal.me/PatrickThorne/13

Houston, which carried out a

Snow In Space by Patrick and Robert Thorne is a 100-

study into the moon. The water that forms the

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

FACEBOOK.COM/SNOWINSPACE


d

threevalleetransfers

 PROMOTION

www.3vt.co.uk | +44 (0)1323 351964

PRIVATE & SHARED TRANSFERS TO LES 3 VALLÉES

SkiA SkiTrainer SkiA SkiTrainer

Emily Sarsfield

Train and Prepare Anywhere, FAST

TRISTAN SHU

Train and Prepare Anywhere, FAST

NEW SKI TOTAL CHALETS IN LES 3 VALLÉES

T

further expanding Ski Total’s choice

complimentary minibus service

Ski Total chalet holidays include

of properties in these highly sought-

takes chalet guests to and from the

flights, transfers, free wi-fi and

after destinations.

ski lifts each day.

catered chalet accommodations

Chalet La Vieille Forge is located

For those wishing to sample

including buffet breakfast,

just 200m from the Plantrey run

Méribel’s renowned nightlife, the

afternoon tea and a four-course

and close to the heart of buzzing

lively O’Sullivans bar and club

evening meal with complimentary

Courchevel 1850, making it perfect

(formerly the legendary Dick’s Tea

wine on six nights.

for skiers looking for a quick start

Bar) is only a short walk away.

skitotal.com | 01483 791933

to their ski day, and providing easy access to all the resort’s lively après-ski. In Méribel, the new chalets Lou

he experts in first-class affordable

Trave and Castor are both located

chalet holidays, Ski Total, have

in the popular and peaceful

expanded their catered ski chalet

Mussillon area, about 8–10 minutes’

portfolio this winter with three new

walk from the resort centre and the

chalets in the world’s largest ski

focal point of La Chaudanne.

region, Les 3 Vallées.

Both are classic, traditional chalets

The new chalets are located in

with lovely design features. Lou

the two world-famous resorts of

Trave also features extra luxuries

Courchevel 1850 and Méribel,

including a hot tub and sauna. A

LES 3 VALLÉES WILL ALWAYS HAVE MORE TERRAIN OPEN THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

Recommended by:

skia.com

Les 3 Vallées, the world’s largest

to provide a credit note to

ski runs open than Les 3 Vallées

number of interconnected ski

lift-linked ski area with a claimed

anyone who has bought a Les

due to lack of snow and decide

runs on the continent.

600km of ski runs, has issued a

3 Vallées lift pass valid for six

to go and ski there instead.

The guarantee is valid on tickets

guarantee to always have more

days or more for any unused

Les 3 Vallées has more than

bought online, from the Central

skiing available than any other ski

days during the validity of their

2,200 snowmaking guns covering

Bookings Office, through an

area when it’s open.

ski pass if they find any other

49% of its ski area, which means

accommodation provider or

The new Ski Guarantee promises

European ski area that has more

it normally has the highest

through a tour operator.

030 // DEC16


For stockists information call: 01572 770900


Ski with Inghams this winter Andorra

F R O M O N LY

£469 Canada

F R O M O N LY

£789

Austria

F R O M O N LY

£399 France

F R O M O N LY

£389

Italy

Switzerland

£249

£409

F R O M O N LY

F R O M O N LY

NEW YEAR'S EVE BASH

YVES GARNEAU

BLOW BONUS WORDS: GABRIELLA LE BRETON

Top price:

A shining example of Zermatt’s move towards

and sleek TV-cum-playroom more than make

CHF394,700 (£325,000) for one week’s

cutting-edge architecture and design, the seven

up for its relatively diminutive size. And, at

exclusive use of three 7 Heavens chalets,

“heavenly” chalets are definitively contemporary.

555m2 (three times the size of the average

accommodation only.

Located in the heart of town, spitting distance

three-bedroom British house), diminutive is

from the Sunnegga funicular, they’ve sold at sky-

relative. On top of these private facilities,

Bargain price:

high sums of up to £20 million.

guests have the 7 Heavens central hub at

CHF116,100 (£95,600) for one 7 Heavens

Happily, if you can’t be bothered with the faff

their disposal, comprising a reception with

chalet, accommodation only.

of chalet ownership, it’s possible to enjoy

24/7 concierge, a well-stocked bar, swanky

a week’s holiday in one of the completed

cigar lounge and gym.

I don’t often make New Year’s Eve resolutions,

properties. High-end chalet operator Haute

Accustomed to catering to the whims of the rich,

but after one too many disappointing New

Montagne will be managing the trio, each

famous and rock star, Haute Montagne applies

Year’s Eve parties in recent years I was

named after a peak dotted across the globe:

the tried-and-tested super yacht pricing model

inspired to make one on 1 January 2016.

Aconcagua, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. Each

to its chalets rather than factoring in bottomless

Instead of spending rather a lot of money on a

features five bedrooms, large balconies

bubbles and fathomless foie gras. So, when

rather rubbish night, I would throw excessive

overlooking the Matterhorn, a professional

you take a 7 Heavens property, you’ll only

amounts of money at the problem. No over-

kitchen, slick dining room, capacious sitting

pay up front for the chalet and staff (including

priced, reservation-only London bars or

room and private wellness area with indoor

top-notch private chef) – the bill for what you’ve

Nigella Lawson-inspired house parties for me

hot tub and sauna or steam room. If size

consumed, your ski instructors, helicopter rides

this year; I’m going large.

matters, go for the palatial Chalet Kilimanjaro,

and that fleet of Aston Martins will be presented

And I don’t believe it’s possible to go larger in

which comes complete with a private cinema

before you return home. So, if you really fancy

the ski chalet world this winter than by booking

and hot tub large enough for 12. However,

a blowout New Year’s Eve but are a bit short on

out the new 7 Heavens development in Zermatt.

Chalet Aconcagua’s monochrome modernity

readies, you could potentially live on bread and water from 26 to 30 December to save up for a

Departures from 25 UK airports Call 01483 345 091 or visit inghams.co.uk

New Year’s Eve splurge. Taking just one of the 7 Heavens chalets, each accommodating 12 guests, would make for a memorable party. However, for the ultimate New Year’s Eve, take all three for the week (26 December 2016–3 January 2017) and Haute Montagne will provide no fewer than 21 professional staff members to cater for your 36-strong gang of besties. Music to the ears of even the most embittered New Year’s killjoy.

100% BONDED SECURITY *Prices quoted are per person for 7 nights, include flights, transfers and catering as described on our website and are correct at time of going to print. All holidays subject to availability.

HAUTEMONTAGNE.COM


TESLA

ALP PRODUCTIONS LTD.

BRITAIN’S BEST SKI RACE RESULT IN A DECADE

ELECTRIC CAR TRANSFER SERVICE LAUNCHED A new airport transfer service

use, there is still considerable

using only electric cars to reach

space behind them, plus space

French ski resorts from Geneva

under the bonnet where the

and Chambéry airports has

engine would normally be, and

been launched.

in addition to this the ZEAT

ZEAT (Zero Emission Airport

vehicles will use a rear-tow-bar-

Transfers) will run a VIP transfer

mounted luggage box when

service using Tesla’s brand-new

there are groups of five or more.

Model X SUV.

ZEAT will offer a fixed price

“Tesla is the world leader in

regardless of time and date of

electric cars and their new SUV

€500 each way from Chambery

stands head and shoulders

Airport and €600 each way

above all other vehicles in its

from Geneva Airport.

class for everything from safety

The company’s vehicle

and comfort through to speed

charging will be done partly

and handling,” said a ZEAT

through a bank of solar panels

spokesperson, adding, “We are

on the roof of their depot and

the first in the French Alps to offer

partly using power from the

such a groundbreaking service.”

grid, which is supplied through

ZEAT will be offering transfers

local hydroelectric plants,

from Geneva and Chambéry to all

meaning the company is able

resorts in the Tarentaise, including

to offer an airport transfer

Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs, La

service that is genuinely carbon

Plagne, Courchevel and Méribel.

emission free.

Tesla’s X SUV can carry up to

The service will be run by the

six passengers and with the

same team who have operated

two rear seats folded flat the

the Cool Bus transfer service, who

Model X has a cavernous boot.

have over 15 years of experience

Even with the rear seats in

in the industry. zeat.vip

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

033 // DEC16

Delancey British Alpine Team slalom star Dave

and specifically working on my steep sections.

instructor and trainer in Britain, then retiring,

Ryding has started the 2016/17 FIS World Cup

I have been skiing well and performing in

aged just 24, to realise an ambition to set up

season on a high by recording Britain’s best

training, but this was better than I expected.”

his own business.

result in alpine racing for a decade, taking

In further good news for Ryding, Kent’s

“For me sponsoring Dave was a no-brainer.

sixth place in the opening slalom at Levi in

entrepreneur of the year, Quinn Estates

He, like many of our sporting heroes, depends

Finland last month, his first World Cup top 10

MD, Mark Quinn, has announced an £8,000

on financial backing – and getting that

finish and the best result in a decade for a

sponsorship package for the slalom star.

backing can be just as competitive as being

British alpine skier.

The deal is a return to his roots for Quinn as

out on the slopes,” said Mark. “I am delighted

Ryding said after the race: “I am delighted. I

he also skied for the national team, before

to be able to back Dave and wish him every

am sure no one expected a Brit in the top six.

switching to pursue a career in ski coaching,

success, including that gold medal at the next

I have been working really hard all summer

becoming the youngest top-qualified ski

Winter Olympics in 2018. No pressure.”


... AND SKI A DIFFERENT PART OF AUSTRIA WORDS: PATRICK THORNE | IMAGES: MATHIAS PRAGANT

034 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


several grand hotels, too, dating back to the

to do in the Nockberge Mountains. The list

height of the spa era. Yes, BKK has class!

includes a 60km-long well-maintained trail

Indeed, the resort’s motto is “from the piste

network running throughout this Carinthian

to the spas” and the spectacular Römerbad

winter wonderland or, if you prefer to walk

(Roman Baths) thermal centre is located

across fields of untouched snow, you can

right at the bottom of the slopes, with

rent snowshoes and work your way through

admission included in the ski pass price so

feeling as light as a feather.

you can, if you wish, literally dive straight in

There’s also an open-air skating rink under

after your day on the slopes.

the open skies, a cross-country ski track and

It’s the biggest of more than 20 swimming

four toboggan runs to try. A horse-drawn

pools in the village, 21 of them in hotels

sleigh ride snuggled under warm blankets

that are also home to around 50 saunas;

over snowy fields and around the soft curves

in truth, BKK was a spa resort for centuries

of the Nockberge Mountains is a special treat.

before skiing was thought of.

All in all, there’s plenty to keep everyone

There are also quite a few 4★ and 5★

from beginners to the less demanding

ad Kleinkirchheim may be a bit of a

hotels set back from the road. I had not

expert, as well as non-skiers just looking

mouthful to say – which may be why it’s

realised before that Bad Kleinkirchheim

for a wonderful place to spend a winter

more often referred to by the abbreviation

was a little more upmarket than the

holiday, entertained for a week.

BKK in international skiing circles – but it’s

average, although still, as it transpired,

a little different to all the other Austrian ski

friendly and relaxed.

Ski with Klammer

resorts you may have heard of in several

The area’s ski slopes extend to over

If you’re an experienced skier you can ski

other ways too.

100km in a large L shape around the

with “the Kaiser” Franz Klammer on three

First, geographically: while most Austrian

resort, one side of the L following an

dates this winter, but you need to be up early!

ski areas are located in the west of the

adjacent valley to the neighbouring village

Participants meet “the Emperor” at 6.30am

country, it’s over in the south east, not far

of St Oswald, making the distance from

at the valley station of the Kaiserburgbahn

from the Slovenian and Italian borders.

one side of the area to the other quite a

where Klammer will be waiting for guests

Second, there’s its famous connection: my

long trek, giving a real sense of size.

and will also accompany them to a

all-time skiing hero, Franz Klammer, calls

There’s a good mix of terrain, the vast

warm-up breakfast. From 7.30 to 9.30am

BKK home and still does a lot to promote

majority of it below the treeline level

the programme features free skiing with

the place worldwide. You can even ski with

with classic blue, red and black trails cut

Klammer on the World Cup slope.

“the Kaiser”, as he’s affectionately known,

through the forested slopes. Most famous

This will be followed by skiing enjoyment

when you visit. They’re so proud of him

is run number 8 directly above Bad

part two: an exclusive brunch with

that, understandably, one of the best pistes

Kleinkirchheim itself, the Franz Klammer

specialities from the Alpine-Adriatic cuisine

is named after him.

World Cup run. If you’re lucky enough to

in the Klammerstubn, which was created

In fact, there must be something in

be in BKK on one of a few select dates, you

in the Kaiserburg mountain restaurant in

the local mineral water – the surprise

may get the chance to ski with the great

honour of the idol.

winner of the downhill at the last winter

man himself on that run, and on several of

It costs €125pp (£113) to join, the cost

Olympics, Matthias Mayer, comes from the

his other favourites.

including breakfast, brunch and a two-

neighbouring village.

A vast arsenal of 800 snowguns pointing at

hour ski pass. It takes place on 10 and

When you actually arrive here you’ll

97% of BKK’s slopes helps to ensure good

31 January and 21 February 2017. Places

recognise a fairly standard Austrian ski

snow cover. There’s a good mix of lifts too,

are limited and you should email info@

resort, perhaps a mile long, fanning out from

25 in total, with several gondolas and four

badkleinkirchheim.at to book.

the main street with ski areas on each side

quad chairlifts, but also rather a lot of T-bars

of that road. What’s a little different, you’ll

and old double chairs in need of a makeover.

Where to stay in BKK

spot, are two large public swimming pool

Having first been a spa town, then a ski

Inghams offer holidays to Bad

and spa complexes in the very heart of the

resort and a spa town, Bad Kleinkirchheim

Kleinkirchheim with a choice of

resort – because that Bad (“Bath”) in the

is now putting the onus onto its other

accommodation including the 4★ Hotel

name isn’t just there by chance: this is a spa

activities to help it diversify.

Trattlerhof. To learn more visit

resort as well as a ski one and there are

Away from the pistes there’s plenty more

inghams.co.uk/bkk

7 Nights FROM

£779 PER PERSON

Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria • Picturesque ski & spa resort • Two state-of-the-art •

thermal spas in resort Ski the challenging Franz-Klammer run

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/Inghams /InghamsHolidays /InghamsHolidays


ALEXIS CORNU

WORDS: DEBBIE GABRIEL

O

It also has a reputation as one of the most

ski holiday cost in half (pretty much!)

Jacques in Courchevel 1550 last winter

it scored exclusively 5★ reviews from happy

expensive resorts in Europe (you could

book into one of the four that isn’t

and, as I actually prefer smaller, quieter

customers after its first season last winter.

easily pay €7 for a Coke, even before

Courchevel 1850.

village bases for my ski holiday, 1550

I found the chalet was in a good location

they pop some alcohol in with it), but with

Apart from saving money you may well

suited me down to the ground. I’m not

close to the resort centre and opposite

a bit of careful planning you can get all

find quicker, easier and less crowded

sure how long 1550 will stay quiet,

the ski bus stop, so it was easy to get into

the advantages of this world-class resort

access to the slopes than those who

though, as there were plenty of signs

the heart of the Courchevel valley quickly

and its spectacular ski and off-slope

set off from 1850 each morning but,

of development and expansion in this

and from there on to the full 600km of the

facilities for a fraction of the price those

fortunately, an efficient inter-resort lift

sought-after resort.

vast 3 Valleés.

billionaires, hedge fund managers and

network means you can easily be whisked

Chalet Jacques sleeps 10 and is part of

Off the slopes I also got the chance to visit

oligarchs are paying.

up to the off-slope facilities, shops and

Ski World’s “Signature collection”, which

Courchevel’s wonderful new Acquamotion

To start with, Courchevel isn’t just one

restaurants of 1850 whenever you like.

essentially means the crème-de-la-crème

swimming and spa facility, which was very,

resort. The bit where all the money

The next thing to do to save yourself

of service and great facilities – including a

very relaxing – a great facility, open to all

ne of the world’s greatest resorts, home

is focused is up at 1,850m, but as in

from all those big euro bills for drinking

hot tub, steam room and sauna. Of course,

and suitable for everyone. The massage

to more luxury chalets and hotels than

most of the big French resorts there

and eating out is to book into a chalet, so

all five rooms are en-suite and there’s free

there was amazing; I could just do with

any other, and part of Les 3 Valleés, the

are also separate villages at 1,650m,

that’s all included in your booking cost

wi-fi. There was a great attention to detail

another one now ...

world’s biggest ski area, everything about

1,550m, 1,300m and even 1,100m. So,

and not a scary surprise on the slopes.

in the chalet’s furnishings and the food was

skiworld.co.uk/ski-holidays/france/

Courchevel is pretty impressive.

five Courchevels. To instantly cut your

I booked into Ski World’s new Chalet

excellent. They seem to be getting it right, as

courchevel/jacques

036 // DEC16


FOTO FAISTAUER

ZELL AM SEE PLANS TO BE PART OF AUSTRIA’S NEXT BIGGEST SKI AREA

Z

plan to (re)connect Zell am See

already possible to make the ski

“biggest in Austria” title from the

to the Saalbach-Hinterglemm-

connection last season from Zell,

SkiWelt last winter when its link

Fieberbrunn again, will make Zell

although the local ski areas have

to Fieberbrunn took its runs to

am See part of one of Austria’s next

chosen not to promote the fact.

280km.) The Arlberg also claims a

largest ski areas.

More upgrades are planned in the

further 200km of ungroomed off-

The new zellamseeXpress lift, a

area for the 2018/19 season as part

piste ski routes.

fast and comfortable 10-seater

of the €25million project, creating

Over at Zell am See’s other

gondola, links Glemmtal in the

further slopes and an additional

neighbour and main ski resort

Saalbach-Hinterglemm area with

cable car connection from and into

partner, Kaprun, the new

Zell’s Schmittenhöhe area.

Glemmtal. Altogether, the linked

Schmiedingerbahn lift will replace

The new lift runs to the top station

area will have (or already has!) just

the Schmiedinger glacier lifts on

of the Salersbachköpfl at 1,920m,

under 350km of runs, overtaking

the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, becoming

ell am See in Austria’s

reopening access to once popular

once more the Arlberg area, which

Salzburgerland’s highest-situated

Salzburgerland has built a new lift

downhill runs to the Glemm Valley

has claimed it will be Austria’s

chairlift. Operating between

that will allow it to reopen terrain

that resort managers say were

new largest, with 305km, when

2,530m and 2,775m, the modern

not used for more than three

used for 50 years between 1930

it opens its linked run this winter.

eight-seater will include heated

decades.

and 1980. The ski journalist Peter

(It, in turn, will overtake Saalbach-

seats and pull-down weather-

The lift, the first stage in a two-year

Hardy has reported that it was

Hinterglemm, which itself took the

protection hoods.

FEEL

THIS SEASON’S NEW LOOK IS HERE! indeed the one-piece ski-suit.

particularly impressive, featuring a

Kigu has come out with a wide-

big flappy pair of wings and a long

ranging selection of onesies priced

plump tail, so you can swoop down

at only £39.99, which you can wear

the slopes and quite literally have

over your clothing, or as an après-

the wind beneath your wings.

ski outfit.

There’s also the waterproof

Choose from designs including a

and windproof Kigu named the

tiger, festive Rudolf the Reindeer,

Skigurumi and retailing at £69.99.

chipmunk, shark, a dinosaur

It’s available in panda, dinosaur and

version featuring some fierce-

elusive blue unicorn.

There’s always some exciting new

or another.

looking teeth and a staggering

“You get all the fun of the Kigu with

fashion trend at the start of each

This winter though, it’s looking a

stegosaurus-style spine, a unicorn

the added bonus of dryness!” said a

ski season – functional, retro,

little more colourful with a new

and even three French hens.

company spokesperson.

urban chic – it’s always one thing

interpretation of the onesie, and

The Flying Squirrel onesie is

kigu.co.uk

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037 // DEC16

INNOVATION

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POWDER SHINE

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T

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eaming up with Sinner we bring

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038 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


SHUTTERSTOCK

T

boarders are finding that having

bags, queuing with oversized

lots of gear. Skiers with transfer

your baggage collected before

luggage, finding foreign coins for

flights from places like Scotland or

you leave home, then carefully

the airport luggage trolley and

northern England, who can see “in

delivered to your ski resort

waiting at carousels.

hold” charges doubled when using

accommodation so it’s waiting

Using a highly specialist courier

two flights, really benefit.

when you arrive, so it’s hand

team, Piste of Mind delivers to

In addition, with Piste of Mind

luggage only when you travel,

resorts throughout the Alps as well

delivery is guaranteed – a problem

is a much better way. Better

as Bulgaria and Andorra. Prices

(and potential ski holiday nightmare)

still, with the often-high airline

are competitive and particularly

that is becoming prevalent on some

baggage fees, the costs are

cost-friendly when booking as a

airlines who can limit oversized

usually not much higher than if

group or travelling as a family with

luggage on certain flights.

you lug it yourself.

here aren’t many things to dread

Specialists Piste of Mind

when planning your ski holiday,

(pisteofmind.com) have over seven

but the thought of lugging heavy

years’ experience and a proven

ski equipment through the airport,

system that makes ski travel lighter

often having to get it from some

and significantly more convenient,

distant car park to the terminal,

making it a no-brainer when it

then take half of your gear to some

comes to booking.

obscure “ski baggage check-in”

Piste of Mind collect skis, boards

desk after queuing already at bag

and luggage from your home or

drop can be one of them!

designated collection point and

But the good news is that there’s

deliver them directly to your chalet

a way to avoid all that! An ever-

or hotel in time for your arrival.

increasing number of skiers and

Say goodbye to carrying heavy

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STEVEN MCKENNA

T H E VA L D ’ I S E R E AC C O M M O DAT I O N S P E C I A L I S T

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RESORT INSIDER

GLENSHEE SNOWSPORTS CENTRE

...KEEPS YOU SKIING LONGER

Glenshee is one of the five commercial ski areas in Scotland and the most extensive in the UK. Located two hours north of Edinburgh or Glasgow, the Gaelic translation of its name is “Glen of the Faeries”, so it has to be a fun place to hit the slopes! By Christopher Bilsland

IMPROVES SKI POSTURE

SHOCK ABSORBERS FOR KNEES

POWERFUL SPRINGS OFFLOAD WEIGHT FROM KNEES

Olympic Mogul Skier Laura Donaldson with her ski~mojo

Tel. +44 (0)7786 753267 | info@skimojo.com | www.skimojo.com

There’s a great variety of terrain spread across some 810 hectares of stunning Highland scenery combined with a welllinked lift system that in my opinion is unmatched by any of the other British centres. Altogether there are now 22 lifts serving 36 runs with a combined 40km of accessible piste. The first lift was installed back in 1957 – so they’re just coming up to their 60th anniversary – and they’ve been hard at work improving and extending the centre ever since.

Best rental shop?

Lift of choice?

If you’re a boarder, then it’s Glenshee Ski

Glas Maol serves a fantastically varied part of the

Centre. They have hundreds of boards and

mountain with choices including a long, gentle,

friendly staff. If you’re a skier, then it has to be

swooping red, a steeper red or a black from the

The Cabin Ski Hire based in Bridge of Cally.

top, as well as the longest run in the UK at 2km.

We have brand-new equipment, clean comfy boots and the very latest kit every season

Best local accommodation?

from Völkl, K2 and LINE … we even have local

There is a massive variety, from glamping

handmade wooden skis! Alpine-quality set-up

in ecopods and yurts to local hotels, guest

with awesome service.

houses and fantastic holiday homes. We like the stunning self-catering house Balnabea, only 30

Favourite café?

minutes to the slopes, friendly and welcoming

There are three options, but we like Meall o Dhar

with a yummy welcome basket and a sauna!

Best time to arrive?

café on the way over to Glas Maol and Coire

Get here first thing and make the most of the

Fionn; the warmth combined with a wooden

Event of the season?

quiet time as it can get busy later in the morning

interior and friendly atmosphere gives it a cosy,

Scottish Ski and Boarder Cross Championship:

and you’ll beat the ticket queue. Get a hot roll

almost alpine feel. All of the baked delights

four racers at a time battle down a super-fun and

and coffee from the café, pick up a piste map

served at Glenshee come up each morning from

exciting course. This season the comp is to be

and plan your day.

a local bakery on the Braemar side.

held on 4 and 5 March 2017.

First lift of the day?

Locals’ favourite snack?

Best value in Scotland?

Take the new Cairnwell chairlift to the top and

The cafés serve great hot pies, home cooking

Well, a lift ticket costs £6 less than the same

along the bunny run. You’ll then have an option

and the locals’ favourite Yum Yums – these

adult day pass at CairnGorm Mountain, and

of up to six routes to the base with something for

are glazed plaited doughy delicacies! Ideal for

there’s double the lifts.

all abilities. Great for warming up the legs.

dunking in your hot chocolate.

Christopher Bilsland runs The Cabin Ski Hire.

040 // DEC16

THECABINSKIHIRE.CO.UK


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042 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


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heavy, water-resistant jersey with zip pockets

mitts. And just in case you want to post a

this long-length hoodie is a perfect layer for

“no really, I’m totally warm out here,” selfie,

spring riding. Or wear it simply as another layer

there’s touchscreen-friendly Screen Grab™

on those super-cold days.

tech on the thumb, too! £74.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM £79.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

 BURTON GROM SNOWBOARD BINDING Extra-large smack-it ratchets make it easy for little hands to strap in and out of their bindings on their own, even with mitts on. They also have just one strap for easy entry to give the little ones the independence they desire. £64.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

 BATALEON BOSS SNOWBOARD

 ARCADE BLACKWOOD BELT & FOUNDATION BELT

The Boss has a flight-light wood core with

 BURTON CHOPPER JUNIOR SNOWBOARD

carbon stringers underfoot to deliver heaps of

Arcade belts are specifically designed

pop. The core is perfectly milled to maximise

for active people. They are made of

This board is specifically designed to make learning

ollies and tweaks, and the finely tuned

high-tensile elastic and have strong

to snowboard as easy as possible for the little ones.

torsional flex pattern offers a smooth-riding

polymer buckles making them very

It has a flat top with an easy bevel making it almost

feel with plenty of responsive support.

comfortable, strong and versatile.

impossible to catch an edge. This boosts their

£499.95

£24.95 EACH

SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

confidence and helps them master their turns.

 THIRTYTWO WILHELM 5 PANEL FLAT CAP Developed with style and practicality in mind,

flaps to keep the coldest of conditions out.

 THIRTYTWO TM-2 JONES XLT SNOWBOARD BOOT

£24.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

The Thirtytwo TM-2 Jones XLT Snowboard

Thirtytwo have taken popularity of the five-panel design and built it into a Sherpa-lined cap, with ear

£119.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

boot is the Thirtytwo team rider’s favourite pick! The infamous Jeremy Jones has based his signature boot around the original mould of the TM-2. A durable well-fitting boot, with

 BATALEON DISTORTIA SNOWBOARD

supportive flex, perfect for riding the whole mountain. This boot isn’t for the faint hearted

The Distortia offers a medium flex with Twin 3BT shaping, making jibbing easy and edge catching a

and expects to be taken to its limits.

thing of the past. Get stoked on the level of pop this board has thanks to the beech-wood stringers and carbon fibre strips underfoot.

£259.95 SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

£354.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

MORE AT SPUTNIKSNOW BOARDSHOP.COM Sputnik is one of the UK’s largest independent snowboard shops. We offer great choice and service to all our customers. Whether you are beginner or expert, we can kit you out to ensure you have a great day on the mountains. 044 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


 THIRTYTWO LASHED BOA WOMEN’S SNOWBOARD BOOT

4 EASY STEPS TO EDGE SHARPENING SKIS

This top-selling ladies boot from Thirtytwo is built for the progressing to advanced rider. Ultra comfortable with a medium flex and the added bonus of the Boa lacing system. A system that speeds up your regular lacing routine, and has you on the mountain quicker. £229.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

 PICTURE NOVA JACKET The Picture Nova jacket is perfect

Did you know if your skis have sharp edges they

for days in the backcountry or cold

grip and turn much easier?

days on the hill. Some of its features

No more sliding on ice and hard snow and more

include vent zippers, critically

effortless to change direction. With a little know-how

taped seams and powder skirt. The

sharpening skis is straightforward, and if you edge

20k/15k membrane will definitely

them regularly it will not take you too much time.

keep you toasty until the last lift of Equipment Needed:

the day.

Edge Sharpener, Ski File, File Brush, Diamond Stone, Cut-Proof Glove

£279.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

Step 1: Preparing The Ski Ready For Sharpening Clamp your ski or snowboard in a vice, with the base facing away from you and the edge you are about

 PICTURE NOVA PANT

to work on facing upwards. Use brake retainers to keep the binding brakes away from the edge.

For added protection against the

Caution: Always use a protective cut-proof glove

elements, these men’s trousers

to prevent cutting your hand if you slip – it’s a lot

feature a snow skirt, fully taped seams

quicker to put on a glove than a visit to A&E!

and waterproof zips, so no matter what Mother Nature or your friends

Step 2: Sharpening The Edge

throw at you, Picture has you covered!

With a file in an appropriate edge sharpener, pull the file along the edge using short overlapping strokes.

£189.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

Gradually lengthen the strokes as you make each pass down the ski, finishing with one long stroke from one end of the ski to the other. Turn the ski around, so the base is still facing away from you, but you are now working on the other edge. Repeat these steps for the next edge. Always sharpen both edges of both skis. TIP: It doesn’t matter if you file from tip to tail or tail to tip, but always pull the file towards you giving you better control. Don’t press too hard; let the file do the work. Pressing too hard will create burrs and

 BURTON WOMEN’S ACTIVE HOODIE

you’ll have more chance of slipping off the edge. Step 3: Keeping Your File Clean Metal filings build up in the file, so after a few passes

 BURTON [AK] GRID HOODIE This tech fleece is great to use as a mid layer under your jacket or as a spring shredding hoodie. It comes with Polartec® Power Dry® Grid Fleece, which provides the ultimate in quick drying and breathability to ensure lasting comfort.

The Burton active hoodie is a technical

clean the filings out from the teeth. Use a file brush

mid layer with DRYRIDE ultrawick fabric

along the diagonal of the file’s teeth to remove the

designed to keep you warm and dry all

filings out of the grooves.

day. It comes with stretch fabric and chafe

TIP: Keeping the file clean will make the file last longer;

free seams for comfort and thumb loops

it will cut better and the edge will be freer from burrs.

ensure no snow can creep in. Step 4: Detuning The Tip And Tail £59.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

Always sharpen the whole length of the edge; otherwise you’ll be left with no edge in the middle of the ski and lots at either end. You can easily dull the

£79.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

tips and tails of the ski using a gummi block rubbed at 45° to the edge. TIP: Most modern shaped skis require less detuning than older skis as their hourglass shape runs almost from tip to tail. 

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045 // DEC16


 CORNELIA JAMES VORLAUF SKI MITTEN

 ICECUT PRO TUNER EDGE SHARPENER

 PICTURE AROMA WOMEN’S JACKET

When you hold this in your hand, you know

The Picture Aroma Women’s jacket is a college

you’re using a precision tool. Thin pins allow the

team sports inspired riding jacket with sharp

edger to follow the curved contoured edges of

looks and great performance. With a 10k/10k

modern skis, and the pins can be unscrewed

membrane, underarm air vents and hand

and changed for different angles, depending on

gaiters, the Aroma jacket is perfect for those

your preference and skiing experience.

cold and mellow days on the piste.

£99 | SKIBARTLETT.COM

£219.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

With a luxury deerskin outer and possum fur lining, our mitten is the warmest around. The possum fur fibres provide excellent heat retention while the deerskin outer and technical membrane prepare you for whatever the elements may throw at you.

 DRYSURE BOOT DRYERS

£240 | CORNELIAJAMES.COM A simple easy-to-use boot dryer utilising silica drying beads to take the moisture out of your boots. No electricity is needed; just leave them in your boots overnight. Perfect for travelling or to leave in your ski boots anytime you’re not skiing. £29.99 | SKIBARTLETT.COM

 PICTURE TREVA WOMEN'S PANT An impressive-looking pant,filled with tech, from their practical snow gaiters and two handwarmer pockets that can also be used for storage to a high-rise snow skirt, making sure no snow gets in! These pants are ready for the elements the mountain throws at them. £164.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

 BATALEON MAGIC CARPET SNOWBOARD The Magic Carpet redefines the term twin tip and gives new meaning to the word freestyle. Its unique shorter, wider shape generates quick turns, yet it has plenty of sidecut length for high-

 PLANKS WOMEN’S YETI HUNTER 3 LAYER TECH JACKET This superb freeski inspired lightweight technical

speed stability. The bloated tips and progressive 3BT Twin Pow shaping add float, meaning powder days can be park days and vice versa. £459.95 | SPUTNIKSNOWBOARDSHOP.COM

shell stands out from the crowd with its unusual urban styling. Fully waterproof and breathable for the harshest of weathers, all the pockets a girl could need and a relaxed fit to give you freedom of

 GECKO SKI SKINS

movement on all your adventures. Born and bred in the UK, Planks know their jackets need to cover more

Glueless ski skins are now becoming the more

uses than just riding in the Alps and they also know

common choice among ski tourers. Simple, quick

the British weather! Take this jacket wherever you go

and easy to use, they make putting your skins on

and be proud to be British.

and off an effortless experience. You can fold them, you can roll them and they'll easily peel apart when

£239.95 | SKIBARTLETT.COM

you're ready to use them. £150 | SKIBARTLETT.COM

046 // DEC16

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Join 1M skiers @INTHESNOWMAG INTHESNOW

PORTUGAL Spain is, of course, well known for its skiing,

a little over 300km, which means a little over

rather gentle, but there’s a terrain park and

with several famous resorts in the Pyrenees,

three hours’ drive, north-east of capital Lisbon.

also a few small off-piste couloirs to be found

the Alpine World Championships area of

When the snow is good – which isn’t

if snow cover is good. And considering most

Sierra Nevada down by the Med and several

guaranteed, although there is snowmaking

people skiing and boarding in Portugal are

other areas dotted around the country; there’s

and the centre is typically open four to five

doing so for their first time on skis/board, that

even a big indoor snow centre near Madrid.

months a year – the ski lifts are open from

gentle pitch isn’t a bad thing, plus there’s a

But Portugal? Well, although not known for its

9am to 4.30pm daily. There are nine runs,

first-rate dedicated beginners area.

mountain ranges, the highest land in Portugal

with a total of 8km of slopes, which for more

Resort facilities include a ski school and

on its eastern border with Spain climbs to

than half a century were served by three drag

rental shop, and there are a couple of bars

almost 2,000m, the same sort of altitudes as

lifts before a nice quad chair was installed

and restaurants. You can also try non-ski,

the highest lifts at Kitzbühel or the SkiWelt

quite recently. This has increased the skiable

on-snow activities like snowshoeing or

in the Austrian Alps, just at a rather more

vertical by almost half, from 87 to 130 vertical

tubing, and the resort will also organise a

southerly latitude.

metres. Not huge, but, hey, who cares when

gourmet picnic in the snow at 2,000m. Serra

There’s been skiing here in the Serra da

you can say you’ve skied in Portugal!

da Estrela is at its busiest during weekends,

Estrela National Park, the country’s largest

The terrain is mostly on a gently sloping

when the locals arrive en masse; mid-

natural conservation area, spread over some

hillside above the treeline, so snow fences are

week is usually quiet. The ski season runs

1,000km2, for more than 65 years, the first lift

in position to collect snow that might blow off

from December to April, but the best snow

having been installed back in 1951. It’s located

in bad weather. Most of the terrain is therefore

conditions are normally in February.

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PAUL KEPPEL PHOTOGRAPHY

TUITION ALTITUDE-VERBIER.COM | ALTITUDE-FUTURES.COM | FREERIDE-VERBIER.COM

JON (AKA WESTY)

CORE MUSCLES TRAIN TO GAIN

STAYING ON TOP RECOVERY

SPOT YOUR LINE LOOK AHEAD

RHYTHM

The snow has arrived early this

As in all areas of skiing where

When you are challenging yourself

Being able to predict ahead of

Keeping a good rhythm between

France, Switzerland and Britain,

season, so in anticipation of some

your balance gets tested, bumps,

and optimising your performance,

time what the snow is going to feel

turns is something that will always

and we can say firsthand that he is

epic powder and variable snow

off-piste, etc, having a strong

skiing can feel like a series of linked

like and how to react to it will help

help make things “click together”,

a great ski instructor! Jon heads up

conditions, this month Jon looks

core so you don’t get thrown off

recoveries! When skiing in the

your skiing improve tremendously

especially when on challenging

the team at Altitude Ski School –

at some of the skills required to

balance is vital, and nowhere is

variables, this can feel especially

and give you much better “flow”.

terrain or slopes. Prior to setting off,

Verbier’s most established British ski

enable us to ski in these types of

this more important than in variable

true. The art of recovery is an

Experienced skiers are at an

try tapping the rhythm of your turns

school. Each month Jon or one of

conditions. On a groomed regular

conditions. This can be taught well

important one. This is something

advantage because they have the

with your ski pole in the snow. Then

his team will provide us with a few

piste the snow below us can be

before you arrive on holiday and

you will develop with time and

knowledge to help them make

as you set off down the run, try to

tips and words of wisdom to help

quite predictable and constant.

will really help you to enjoy the

practice, but always try to fight to

decisions in advance rather than

stick to this rhythm for all your turns.

improve our understanding of skiing.

Off-piste and in variable conditions,

challenging conditions that you will

stay on your feet, even if it feels like

always reacting.

things are different; they are

hopefully experience this winter.

a battle inside.

Jon holds the top qualifications from

constantly changing and we are required to be super prepared.

TIP: A strong and accurate pole TIP: Make sure you are always

plant is crucial to enable you to ski

ALTITUDE

TIP: If the conditions look variable,

TIP: Variable conditions are

looking ahead and not at the front

with ease and keep good rhythm as

try keeping a bit of tension in your

challenging to the best of skiers,

of your skis so you can see that

you descend the slopes.

core before you set off and maintain

and I can assure you, even though

patch of ice, powder or crud and be

includes the ski and snowboard

that as you ski down.

it may not look like they are working

ready for it, or avoid it if necessary.

school, the Futures instructor

hard, they definitely are!

The Altitude winter company portfolio

training programmes, and FREERIDE VERBIER, a new school dedicated to off-piste coaching in Verbier.

info@altitude-verbier.com +41(0)27 771 6006 048 // DEC16


S K I

F O R

KIDS

Do You Own Your Own Skis?

SKI SAFELY THIS WINTER At the start of the holiday, make sure you and your kids know the FIS safety rules of the slopes. All skiers and snowboarders should know the rules of the slopes, just as you would expect all drivers to know the rules of the road. Too often we see incidents on the slopes, where people’s lack of adherence to the rules leads to accidents or near misses. To help keep your kids safe, make sure you teach them the basic rules: • Control of speed – one of the biggest sources of accidents is people losing control due to going too fast. Of course, kids will want to push the limits, and you can get them used to going faster by choosing a slope that has a good run-out area and is not too crowded. • The person in front has right of way – they can do any manoeuvre they like and it is your responsibility to avoid them. • When overtaking make sure you leave plenty of space for the person you are overtaking – remember they might be nervous. • Stop to the side of the piste and make sure people coming from above can see you so they don’t crash into you. • When setting off, look uphill and make sure it is safe to go before you set off. • Other things for you and your children to be aware of: • Slow down before you get to the bottom of a slope or lift. • Adjust your speed to the slope conditions, slow down if it is crowded, visibility is bad or the piste is in poor condition. • Skiers and snowboarders take different lines; watch out for this when overtaking. • When stopping, stop below the group so you don’t

Can you ski everything you want to? Skis are now much more versatile & user friendly helping you ski with less effort in lots more varied snow conditions. Choose the correct ski for your ability level & preferred terrrain & you will feel huge changes in their ease of use, your progression and your enjoyment. Recent technology and innovation means ski equipment is better than it’s ever been before... isn’t it time you upgraded your equipment and made the most of your experience in the mountains? Before you invest in your next trip... come and visit us today to ensure you have the correct advice from experienced equipment specialists. Bringing you the UK’s largest specialist range of skis & boots and advice and expertise since 1965. We’ll always be here to help and advise you on the correct equipment for wherever your passions and dreams take you. Custom Boot Fitting Specialists Ski Industries of Great Britain Official Ski Testers Winner of the World Snow Awards - Best UK Specialist Retailer

accidentally crash into anyone. • For a full list of the FIS code of conduct, see fis-ski.com. This winter Altitude Ski and Snowboard School in Verbier have their own specialised kids’ instructors who create a fun and safe environment for young children to learn and develop their skills. Remember it is very important that the children stay safe and have lots of fun. For information on which schools provide good facilities throughout the Alps, please don’t hesitate to contact Jon.west@altitude-verbier.com.

ALTITUDE-VERBIER.COM

FREERIDE | FREESTYLE | TOURING | TELEMARK | RACE | RECREATIONAL Ski Bartlett, Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, West London, UB10 0NP T: 020 8848 0040 | E: info@skibartlett.com | www.SkiBartlett.com

Download your FREE Ski Buyers Guide: http://bit.ly/ITS-Buyers-Guide


 PROMOTION

R E A S O N S T

O

V

I

S

I

T

CHAMONIX World-famous Chamonix combines one of

December through to early May. The Mont-

Exceptional sightseeing

the planet’s greatest ski areas (at its most

Blanc Unlimited lift pass offers 1,000km of

Ride the Montenvers cog railway up to

extensive, the area lift pass now covers

pistes, including the domains of Megève,

the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice), or soar to

1,000km of runs in three countries), a

Saint-Gervais and Courmayeur (Italy).

the dizzy heights of the Aiguille du Midi

vibrant and historic ski town, something for

cable car and step into the void. Hop on a

every ski or board ability from first-timer

A wide variety of terrain

bus and visit neighbouring Courmayeur in

to seasoned pro, lots even for non-skiers,

It’s no secret that the Chamonix Valley is

Italy or take the beautiful train ride to the

earth’s biggest lift-served vertical and the

considered a Mecca for freeriders, and it

Roman town of Martigny in Switzerland.

scenic majesty of Mont Blanc. What more

certainly attracts some of the world’s best

Take advantage of the free buses and trains

could you need?

skiers, although you’ll rarely meet them on

within the valley and discover the outlying

a piste! But don’t be misled – the areas of

villages and hamlets, each with their

Easy access, great location

Balme and Les Houches offer wonderful

individual identity and charm.

Given Chamonix’s world-class credentials it’s

family skiing and fun terrain parks, while

great that it’s so easy to reach! The valley is

Brévent and Flégère have a variety of

Special offers this winter

located within one hour of Geneva Airport,

south-facing intermediate slopes with

Internet lift deal: For all online purchases

and there are regular shuttle services to

breathtaking panoramas.

made at least three days prior to the first

resort. There is a train station in the town

day of skiing, get a six-day lift pass for the

and easy road access via the European

A beautiful Alpine town

price of a five-day pass. Offer available for

motorway network. Neighbouring Italy and

You don’t have to be a sports fanatic

the period from 17 December to 17 April.

Switzerland are within 30 minutes’ drive and

to enjoy Chamonix. Succumb to the

compagniedumontblanc.co.uk/en/

are easily accessible by public transport.

atmosphere of this vibrant Alpine town,

lift-passes/mont-blanc-unlimited

witness to 250 years of mountaineering history and human adventures. Sunny street

Spring ski deal to bring a smile to your face!

Around 90% of Chamonix’s skiing is located

cafés are just perfect for watching the world

For the purchase of four adult lift passes,

above 2,000m, which makes it a very safe

go by, while the shopping and gastronomic

your apartment is free! Offer available from

choice for early and late skiing. The highest

choices are quite endless! Facilities include

8 to 29 April 2017.

area is the Grands Montets, 3,300m,

ice rinks, climbing walls, cinema and

booking.chamonix.com/

offering exceptional conditions from

interactive museums.

z7639w2e1_uk-specials.aspx

MONICA DALMASSSO

A snow-sure destination

+33 (0)4 50 54 55 56 reservation@heliopic.com

heliopic-hotel-spa.com 050 // DEC16

@INTHESNOWMAG


PRIVATE FLIGHTS CHEAPER THAN BUDGET AIRLINES FOR FEB HALF-TERM Kaluma say the BA and easyJet prices were the cheapest combination of flights they could find on the day they checked, available from Gatwick to Innsbruck outbound on 11 February, inbound 18 February, with one checked bag, so filling a private plane worked out cheaper. The Eden Rock has a sleek and stylish interior, a spacious wellness area with indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and fitness room and includes 10 en-suite bedrooms. There’s a private bar with open fireplace, restaurant/ dining room, three living rooms and operator Kaluma.

“With easyJet flights already over

sun terraces.

budget and regular scheduled

Kaluma Travel are offering a private

£800 per person and British Airways

Private airfields options around the

services for the key February half-

flight from the UK to Austria for any

flights selling at over £900 per

UK include Southend, Farnborough,

term dates next winter are now so

group exclusively booking their

person, this is the perfect opportunity

Blackbushe, Oxford, Leeds, Bristol

high that it can actually be cheaper

luxury chalet Eden Rock in St Anton

to skip the crowds and enjoy the

and Norwich. Supplements may

to charter a small private plane from

for half-term in February 2017 at the

luxury of a private flight to the Alps,” a

apply in certain circumstances

your local airfield, according to tour

cost of €82,375 (approx. £70,000).

statement from Kaluma states.

depending on the airfield.

CRAIG ROBINSON / BLUEBIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

The cost of seats on so-called

NEW SKI FASHION BRAND INSPIRED BY DRY SLOPES

NEW 007 PISTE IN FRANCE

A new snowsports fashion brand has been launched by a young

winter the area is celebrating 20 years since the film crew were

entrepreneur who has been inspired by the dry slope and indoor-snow

there. Filming took place in January 1997 with the production

scene. Lauren Davies from Cumbria, aged 24, has launched URBANpiste

crew choosing Peyragudes for the opening sequence, as it is

especially to appeal to people who regularly use dry ski slopes and

home to the only airfield in the Pyrenees, which they turned into

indoor snow centres for skiing or boarding.

an Afghan base for the purposes of the film.

Lauren, who studied fashion at Manchester Metropolitan University and

Various themed James Bond events will be taking place in

is a member of Kendal Snowsports Club, which operates its own dry

Peyragudes through the season, but the lasting legacy is the

slopes, told local media that URBANpiste’s roots are set firmly within the

creation of a new piste down to the resort, which will be called

British snowsports scene, representing what she describes as “the UK’s

run: 007. The new run, a scenic blue, starts at 1,967m and

unique and diverse winter-sports scene.”

descends for just under 2.8km to 1,600m, finishing near the forest

Lauren says that although it’s early days, sales are good and steadily

at the height of the altiport where James Bond was shot.

increasing. In addition, URBANpiste already has its own sponsored

Peyragudes now offers 100% ski-in/ski-out accommodation for all

riders, Ella Taylor-Tipton and Sam Pattinson. Both are up-and-coming

ski runs. This means fewer shuttle buses will be needed from the

skiers within the British park and pipe scene, and Ella has recently won

base of the resort to Balestas accommodation, and there will thus

the U18 Junior Female Ski title at the Welsh Championships.

be lower CO2 emissions.

The French Pyrenean ski resort of Peyragudes was a key location in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and this

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051 // DEC16

OPENING DECEMBER 5TH NEW HOTELRESTAURANT

www.rockypop-chamonix.com reservation@rockypop.com 1476 AVENUE DES ALPAGES 74310 LES HOUCHES TEL +33 (0)4 85 30 00 00


PLAN. BOOK. SKI. ANDORRA.

CHOSE FROM 20 CHALETS & APARTMENTS... THE WIDEST CHOICE OF ACCOMMODATION IN LES GETS | FRANCE Economy to Luxury | 2–6 bedroom | Self & fully Catered

www.chalets1066.com 020 7183 5082

NATIONAL SCHOOLS SNOWSPORT WEEK RETURNING IN 2017

A

backing of four Winter Olympians.

offered alternative snow activities

all backgrounds to be given

Aimed at encouraging more

such as tobogganing and tubing

the chance to try skiing or

schools to introduce their pupils to

and even racing or freestyle taster

snowboarding.”

snowsports, the second National

sessions at some slopes.

Winter Olympian and GB Park and

Schools Snowsport Week will take

“I am a huge supporter

Pipe Snowboarder Aimee Fuller is

place from 24 to 30 April 2017

of grassroots skiing and

also backing the initiative. She says,

and will again work with slopes

snowboarding and think that taking

“National Schools Snowsport Week

across England to offer taster ski

up skiing when you are at school is

is a great way to give young people

and snowboard sessions at heavily

the perfect time to catch the bug,”

who may not have considered

discounted prices to primary and

said Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards,

skiing or snowboarding before the

secondary schools, as well as sixth-

who started skiing when aged 13.

chance to give them a go.”

fter being credited with

form colleges.

“I started skiing on a dry slope

The activities at different slopes

introducing more than 1,000

The initiative is backed by Winter

when I was at school,” added

are open to all school ages and to

children to snowsports last spring,

Olympians Eddie “The Eagle”

Delancey British Alpine Team skier

any school keen to get involved.

the second National Schools

Edwards, Dave Ryding, Aimee

Dave Ryding, who continued, “I

Schools can join in with whole

Snowsport Week has been

Fuller and Graham Bell.

am supporting National Schools

classes, whole year groups,

announced by Snowsport England,

As well as taster sessions, classes

Snowsport Week because I

or even with just a handful of

and the initiative has won the

or even whole schools may also be

want children of all ages and

students. nssw.co.uk

NEW CHAIRLIFTS, GONDOLAS & A RITZ HOTEL FOR NISEKO YTL Hotels, which operates most

started work on a luxury 50-

of Niseko Village, one of the base

room Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel

areas and mountain sectors of the

scheduled to open for the 2020/21

full Niseko ski area in Hokkaido,

ski season. There will also be 32

Japan, has announced plans to

new townhouses in YTL Hotels’

install the first six-seater chairlift

Kasara Niseko Village which will be

in Japan, which will also carry

connected to the slopes and village

eight passenger gondola cabins

amenities by a 300m-long gondola.

on the same line, again a first in

Another new chairlift is planned,

Japan. Niseko Village will also

and the new hybrid chair/gondola

get a second new gondola and

lift will also feature glass-

another new chairlift, all set to

bottomed cabins, YTL Hotels say,

open this winter.

the third item on the list of firsts

Niseko Village, which is

saw a two-thirds growth in arrivals

The company say they have also

for Japanese ski areas.

dominated by a huge Hilton hotel,

from the USA last winter.

052 // DEC16

JUHA LAINE

arinsal.co.uk pasdelacasa.com soldeu.com andorraresorts.com

SHUTTERSTOCK

andorraresorts.com

@INTHESNOWMAG


CARLTON HOTEL ST MORITZ

HOTEL PLEIN SUD SERRE CHEVALIER

Located on a sun-soaked plateau above the lake of St Moritz, the hotel boasts captivating views from all of its 60 suites and junior suites. A complete refurbishment now showcases the historical values of the property, built a century ago, with a contemporary re-interpretation. The hotel exhibits the signature unconventional style of interior designer Carlo Rampazzi and a colour palette affording the hotel an unrivalled self-assured luxury.

Located in the heart of Serre Chevalier the hotel Plein Sud is situated only 200m to the slopes, lifts & village centre making it easy. Serre Chevalier offers over 250km of pistes with a varied amount of skiing and a fantastic tree line. Super fast lifts with panoramic views to get you to the heart of the ski area

+41 (0) 81 836 7000 // INFO@CARLTON-STMORITZ.CH CARLTON-STMORITZ.CH

+33 (0) 492 24 17 01 // LYNNE@HOTELPLEINSUD.COM HOTELPLEINSUD.COM

HOTEL COURCHEVEL OLYMPIC COURCHEVEL 1850 

RESIDENCE LES TERRASSES DE VERET FLAINE 

BELLE EPOQUE HOTEL VICTORIA BERNER OBERLAND 

At the heart of Courchevel 1850, just a stone’s throw away from the pistes, this is the perfect base for an unforgettable ski holiday. The recently renovated 28 room hotel offers a relaxing lounge-bar to enjoy a drink by the open fire or shoot some pool. All rooms offer large windows making for a light and airy atmosphere and the new chic boutique-style superior bedrooms offer unparalleled levels of comfort, a spacious balcony and extras including coffee machines, iPod docks and light-up showers.

The Terrasses de Veret residence is a mere 50m from the pistes, is centrally located and boasts a large heated pool, outdoor jacuzzi and sauna. All apartments enjoy balconies with views of the pistes or the valley and interiors offering modern elegance. New for 2016 includes WIFI access in every apartment, luggage storage, games room with table football, and a new-look ski and storage area.

Kandersteg is an ideal family ski resort and cross-country paradise. The idyllic and cosy village is in the heart of the Bernese Oberland and can easily be reached by train or by car. The Hotel Victoria is centrally located and offers a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains. You will find a cheerful and familiar atmosphere combined with Swiss hotel tradition. The ideal place to relax and enjoy oneself.

0203 475 4756 MADAMEVACANCES.CO.UK

0203 475 4756 MADAMEVACANCES.CO.UK

+41 33 675 8000 | INFO@HOTEL-VICTORIA.CH HOTEL-VICTORIA.CH

RESIDENCE & SPA VALLORCINE CHAMONIX 

L’ AIGLE DES NEIGE VAL D’ISÈRE

Nestled in the charming village of Vallorcine, in the Chamonix MontBlanc valley, Vallorcine Mont-Blanc offers a relaxing atmosphere. The 5 Residence gives guests a choice of 50 cosy apartments with services. Facilities include an indoor heated pool, two saunas, a spa, a tea-room, a ski shop and a private ice-rink. Less than 10 minutes from your breakfast to the ski slopes!

Located in the very heart of the old village of Val d’Isère, this hotel is among the most fashionable in the region. Perched at 1850m altitude, it is superbly located just a few steps from the snow, meaning you can be on the slopes straight from your front door. The 109 rooms are spacious and comfortable, seamlessly blending wood and natural colours. It has all the equipment and services of an international hotel with a world-class reputation.

4 hotel with spa in central Chamonix, by the Aiguille du Midi lift, offering a new level of comfort including a 500m2 spa (with pool, onsen, hammam, banya, ice cave and tepidarium), restaurant, bar, ski shop, four conference rooms, take-away shop, free wi-fi and a covered car park.

+33 (0)4 5054 7520 // CONTACT@CHAMONIX-VACANCES.COM CHAMONIX-VACANCES.COM

+33 (0)4 79 06 18 88 // RESERVATION@HOTELAIGLEDESNEIGES.COM EN.HOTELAIGLEDESNEIGES.COM

+33 (0)4 50 54 55 56 // RESERVATION@HELIOPIC.COM HELIOPIC-HOTEL-SPA.COM

FB.COM/INTHESNOW





HÔTEL L’HÉLIOPIC CHAMONIX



053 // DEC16


M

I

N

U

T

E

S

H O L G E R G A S S L E R INTERVIEW BY: ALISON FOSTER

Holger Gassler is Head of Tourism

HG: Innovation is important but it’s not all

Marketing for Europe North, Central, West,

about lifts and access. The Tirol region

East & Overseas and the Five Tirolean

offers one of the greatest lift infrastructures

Glaciers at the Tirol Tourist Board in Austria.

and a high level of comfort among the ski resorts in the world. The architecture on the

Are you looking forward to skiing the new

mountains is also changing and attracting

connection in the Arlberg this winter?

more skiers and visitors; for instance, the

HG: Yes, I’m most excited about testing

new Ice Q restaurant in Sölden, which

out the new Flexenbahn lift, which will

featured in the recent James Bond film, has

create Austria’s largest inter-linked ski area

caused a real surge of interest. The core

this season, and skiing the whole “Run of

aim is the comfort of skiers, outstanding

Fame”. Once the link is complete, skiers

design and minimal environmental impact.

will be able to access the resorts of the

The overall experience is getting more and

Arlberg skiing area and 305km of marked

more important.

ski runs without getting on a bus. The new “Run of Fame” will be an amazing circuit for

Are all the “secret” little ski resorts

skiers to try, and I can’t wait to attempt the

disappearing?

loop from the Tirolean resort of St Anton.

HG: I still believe there are endless hidden

The name “Run of Fame” is inspired by

spots to be discovered in the Tirol region

Arlberg’s greatest ski legends (and some

– you just need to look for them or ask a

of my heroes), including Hannes Schneider,

local. Discovering them is part of the fun.

Karl Schranz and Mario Matt. With 65km of

Alternatively, you could visit in the quieter

runs and 18,000 vertical metres, it will take

times of the season outside of school

the best part of a day to complete it.

holidays, or maybe have a go at night skiing if you want to feel you have the slopes all to

What about the smaller ski areas in Tirol,

yourself, like in Söll in Wilder Kaiser, which is

how do they compete?

one of 29 resorts that offer it.

HG: It really depends what you’re looking for. There are some brilliant smaller villages and

Do you think ski areas will keep merging

ski areas that offer beautiful scenery, excellent

until Tirol is just one huge ski area?!

facilities for families or are perfect for remote

HG: No, but all 90+ ski areas and 3,500km

romantic hideaways. Galtür/Kappl, beside

of ski runs in Tirol can already be accessed

its big brother, Ischgl; Seefeld; St Johann in

on one ticket: the Snow Card Tirol. Of

Tirol; and Axamer Lizum near Innsbruck are

course, not all ski areas will become

all fantastic skiing areas, or you could base

interconnected, because of geographical

yourself in Innsbruck, combine city and ski,

circumstances, or legal and environmental

and access nine different ski areas with one

regulations, and we also wish to ensure

lift pass. The smaller resorts are usually less

the wonderful variety of the villages and

busy, offer a charming atmosphere and are

valleys in the Tirol region remains. In

great for beginners and families.

Tirol, we are in the lucky position to cater for every need, from off-piste skiers to

Have recent ski area mergers led to

beginners, from après-ski connoisseurs to

increased business for them?

those who love silence.

054 // DEC16


p: Oli Gagnon Louif Paradis

Squad | Louif Paradis

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InTheSnow Issue 52 (Dec 2016)  
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