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HOLIDAYS ARE COMING  CHRISTMAS FAMILY SKI Anyone for a White Christmas? Of course the ski world has it covered, but should you opt for family-friendly France, traditional Austria or Santa’s home in Lapland?


Skiing in Germany used to be popular and it deserves to be again as prices have dropped, relatively, and airports close to the slopes are now served by low cost airlines.

ABTA No. V4138

If you... #loveski...then ski more often. Ski Weekends is the home of short break packages & tailor-made ski holidays to Europe's best ski resorts. With more choice of catered chalets, hotels & self-catering apartments, flying from 17 UK airports why only ski once a year?

OK, you saw a giant pink rabbit when you were out skiing once but no one believed you, right? Well if you head to a certain resort in Italy there’s a huge pink rabbit they can’t miss. MARKUS TRETTER








BOOT ROOM 062  Our regular round-up of the best in kit. This month we’ve got the latest airbags, helmet crash sensors and alpaca fur hats on the list of desirable items, along with plenty of cool skis, boots and bindings.

10 MINUTES WITH  HENRIK WINDSTEDT Swedish big mountain freeskier Henrik Windstedt began his career as one of Sweden’s top mogul competitors then competed in freestyle competitions before becoming Freeride World Champion.


Ultrasport showcase their 2014 lineup from a bunch of our favourite


brands including Contour, Smith,

I hope I am not tempting fate by saying it has been a

Pow and Bern


promising build-up to the season so far. As I write, the second of two autumn super snowstorms is hitting the


Alps, further building base depths for resorts opening soon. There’s also been good pre-season snow in the Pyrenees, Scandinavia and Scotland, whilst across



the Atlantic, resorts have opened in the first few days of November in such diverse locations as Colorado, Maine, North Carolina and Minneapolis. Now we just need that momentum to continue and it should be the epic winter we all hoped for!


© Copyright 2014



Printed in the UK.

with low-price offers to tempt in early-season skiers

No part of this publication

and boarders up to Christmas week, before prices PRODUCTION DIRECTOR







The connection on Alpbach’s ski area with the neighbouring

Wildschönau (Niederau, Oberau and Auffach) brought together two stunning Tirolean ski areas to make one bigger beautiful destination.

Ski resorts in their thousands will be opening en






may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a



suddenly peak over the much-sought-after New Year

retrieval system or transmitted,

holiday period. If you’ve not booked yet, remember it’s

in any way or means, either by

never too late.

recording or otherwise, without permission of the publishers


masse over the next four weekends in any case, most

in writing.

You’ll be able to see from our December Diary that there’s a lot going on this month, with the World Cup really moving into gear with the first of the big races in


North America and then Europe, as well as fun events


like free skiing for everyone who arrives dressed as


Santa (or one of his elves or reindeer) at some resorts. This issue we have our usual eclectic mix from the


+44 (0)1494 862 423




world of snow sports. I hope you enjoy our feature on some of the more unusual things you can spot on the slopes if you’re in the right place – a giant metal ice shark, for example, or a pink rabbit so big you can see it on Google Earth. Our destination feature focuses on the Italian region of Alta Valtellina, where veteran ski writer, or ski bum

For the latest deals and best prices or call

023 8020 6971

as he prefers to be called, Jimmy Petterson visits the famous resorts of Bormio and Livigno as well as some less-well-known destinations in the region. However you end up spending your December, I hope you manage to get on some snow somewhere. A nice snowfall in Blighty would be great so we can hopefully call work to tell them it’s a “snow day” and go sledging instead. Well, we can hope. I’m lucky enough to be off to the Alps for Christmas for the first time in 20 years, so I’m hoping it’s a white one there as well as here!

again & again with

003 // DEC14

donate here

Download for iOS & Android





world you can grow a moustache, raise some

will provide participants with the very best

funds and support a charity. We wanted to do

Ski Tracks features in terms of measuring

something along the same lines, but with snow

your speed, total distance, vertical drop

sports – and the app now makes this possible,”

and GPS tracking which maps your route

said Snow-Camp Director, Dan Charlish.

on Google Maps.

The app is free to download and available to

It will also be fun, with cartoon characters

You can also text MOON20 £1 (or £2, £3, £5

everyone with a smartphone – Android or IOS.

named after Olympians Jenny Jones

or £10 depending on the amount you wish

Importantly, it will also be free to use when you

(a lady hare) and James Woods (a cool

to donate) to 70070 to make an instant

are skiing, as it does not require data roaming

tortoise), which pop up at various times


to operate.

during your challenge, encouraging you

The concept is simple. You download the

to keep going, congratulating you on

app before you go skiing, you set your

reaching milestones towards your target

own personal ski target in miles and the

or awarding various other achievements.

timeframe you are giving yourself to achieve

Snow-Camp Patron and Olympic Bronze

personal Ski 2 the Moon challenge, which they

outh charity Snow-Camp have launched

this distance. When you want to start your

Medallist Jenny Jones said, “It’s such a great

can easily share with friends and family. There

an innovative way to harness our love of

challenge, you hit “Go” and the app starts to

concept and is so accessible to everyone – I’m

will also be simple ways to support the event

a challenge on the slopes, combined with

track your skiing or snowboarding – and your

really looking forward to supporting the event,

and charity through text giving, with all funds

technology that can now keep track of our turns

miles start helping towards the collective goal

getting people using the app and helping us

raised supporting Snow-Camp’s work with

on the mountain, to launch a new fundraising

of reaching the Moon.

reach the Moon! And growing up I was always

inner-city young people.

event – The Ski 2 the Moon Challenge.

Snow-Camp were able to develop the Ski 2

being called an energiser bunny, so I’m delighted

“What I like about the idea is it can engage

Unlike the various fund-raising efforts in the

the Moon idea after approaching Core Coders,

to have Jenny the Hare named after me!”

everyone who skis or snowboards, whatever

Alps each winter staged by Snow-Camp and

the developers of the popular Ski Tracks

Other graphics within the app enable

their level,” says Charlish. “If you are out in Les

other charities, it doesn’t matter whether you

app now used by over 1.4 million skiers and

participants to see their own personal

2 Alpes for a week with your mates – set a

are in Breckenridge, Borovets or Bromley, you


contribution towards the Moon target and also

200-mile target and do it over a week. If you are

can take part in the Ski 2 the Moon Challenge

“I use Ski Tracks a lot,” said Charlish, “so we

the live ongoing progress of the whole event

spending a day at Chatham Snow Centre – go

anytime and anywhere during the coming

wrote to the developers, explained the idea,

as each combined mile skied by all participants

for 10 miles in a day. If you are doing a season

season – just by downloading the app.

and asked them if it was possible to deliver

is shown on a “totaliser” screen, alongside an

in Whistler – set a target of 3000 miles skiing

The idea is that wherever you’re skiing or

an app utilising their GPS tracking technology.

animated rocket making its way to the Moon.

and a timeframe of the whole season. But the

boarding, every mile you clock up is tracked

They wrote back the same day, they loved the

Of course, everything is easily sharable across

key is that the event brings everyone together

by the app and then combined with everybody

concept and their office happened to be 5

all social media, helping spread awareness to

to achieve one shared goal – and we hope the

else’s in pursuit of our target, the Moon –

minutes down the road from Snow-Camp! They

other snow-sports enthusiasts.

snow-sports community will get behind the idea.”

240,000 miles away.

could have been anywhere in the world – we

The app is free, but as it is a charity event

The event begins on 20 December 2014 and

“We were inspired by the success of

started thinking this was meant to be.”

users will be encouraged to share a

will continue until the end of the season – or

Movember – that wherever you are in the

Powered by Ski Tracks, the Ski 2 the Moon app

prepopulated Just Giving page detailing their

until we reach the Moon!

To support the Ski 2 the Moon event and Snow-Camp’s work you can donate at:

005 // DEC14

CHÂTEL GETS AN AQUATIC CENTRE Châtel in the Portes du Soleil has unveiled its new Forme d’O aquatic centre. The year-round facility, which is already open, includes indoor and outdoor pools, three saunas, two hammams and extensive fitness facilities. A wide range of beauty treatments are available and there’s also a huge range of fun activities and equipment for the kids.

LONDON SKI LODGE GOES TO ALPS Lederhosen- and Dirndl-wearing staff from Bodo’s Schloss, an Austrian skilodge-themed night spot on Kensington High Street in London, will be working a weekend at the famous La Folie Douce in Val d’Isère next spring on the 25 and 26 March 2015. It follows a visit by La Folie Douce staff to work at the London venue



Ski Safari have launched new city stopover breaks in Sweden offering a night in the capital Stockholm followed by 6 nights in Åre, the country’s top resort and venue for the 2019 Alpine World Skiing Championships. A night’s stay at the 4★ Hotel Diplomat, Stockholm, followed by 6 nights at the 4★ Hotel Diplomat Åregården starts from £879pp B&B, including transfers and flights.




last month.

nterlaken in the Swiss

range of culinary options including

lined with traditional hotels and the

Jungfrau is set to be

the Igloo Restaurant, market stalls

popular promenade. Stunningly

transformed this winter

and Winter Lounge as well as skate

situated, it will offer a totally new

by “Top of Europe

rental and Bavarian curling. Anyone

all-round experience.

Ice Magic”. Billed

still a little wobbly on the ice but who

Culinary highlights will include

as a unique skating

would like to cut a more elegant

creamy hot chocolate, warming

experience, Ice Magic

figure can book private instruction.

mulled wine and tasty fondues,

will be creating a winter

Fun aids will also be available to

which are certain to be firm

wonderland which will

help younger visitors with their first

favourites, but in addition the Igloo

Chalet Quezac, a new luxury chalet in Tignes

be open from 10am to

adventure on ice.

Restaurant and various stalls on

owned by free skier Guerlain Chicherit, is

10pm daily between 20 December

In the evening, magical illuminations

the Piazza will serve tasty treats

being marketed as one of the Alps’ most quirky

2014 and 28 February 2015.

will give Top of Europe Ice Magic

including toasted cheese, risotto,

and “out there” properties yet by ski agency

Ice Magic will consist of various-sized

a special ambience. The winter

quiche, macaroni with minced

Summit Retreats.

ice rinks linked by a winding 400m

wonderland will be set in the north-

beef, and other local delicacies.

Chalet Quezac is located in Tignes and

ice runway. There will also be a wide

west corner of the Höhematte,

accommodates 12 adults and four children

Over 100 deaf people tried skiing or

across seven individual suites. The Chalet is

snowboarding for the first time at The Snow

just a few minutes’ drive from the slopes and

Centre in Hemel Hempstead last month


as part of Snowbility’s Deaf Friendly Day. Deaf ski and snowboard instructors and JOSIMOES

for both participants and their families.

artworks as well as being home to one of only two glass bath tubs in the world. The open-plan living area boasts an executive

the National Deaf Children’s Society’s sign communicators helped the day run smoothly

features contemporary design and unique

WORLD’S LATEST LONGEST GONDOLA A new gondola lift has set two world records – for the greatest vertical ascent

of which were sunny. 25 helicopter

office space complete with Apple Mac and

flights were involved in moving the

printer, a billiard table, which easily transforms

gear and the highest concert was at

into ping pong and table football, and a gym.

1900m. In addition to the main event

Summit Retreats, which offers more than 210

there were 27 gigs in the associated

properties, 50 of them new this season, has

‘Off Festival’ staged in resort.”

recently been rebranded, has created a new

Among feedback from the performers,

website and reports that sales are up by 55%.

The Klaxons – a band that’s

New “experience tabs” give users the chance

performed all over the world – said

to choose from chalets that offer alternative

by a single gondola lift, and the longest

The organisers of the fourth Rock The

of music fans ski and board to

their Rock The Pistes gig was among

activities to skiing, such as wood-chopping

gondola lift – but it doesn’t serve a ski

Pistes festival in the French/Swiss

daytime gigs set up at different

their top five concerts ever, while

classes, to gourmet chalets, “back-to-basic”

Portes du Soleil region have published

open air venues throughout the

Babyshambles’ lead singer Pete

chalets, ultimate party chalets and cosy couples’

some results from this year’s event

12-resort/650km circuit.

Doherty arrived for the concert on a

retreats in the forests.

climbs 1369 vertical metres from near

last spring, which had a special focus

“Nearly 20,000 music fans enjoyed


Chalet Quezac costs from £17,000 per week to

sea level over its 5.7km length, taking

on British artists.

the concerts, with 100 people involved

The fifth edition of Rock The Pistes will

rent for exclusive use of the chalet on a fully

The 5-day event sees thousands

in the organisation each day, 88%

take place from 15 to 21 March 2015.

catered basis (

resort. The Bana Big Ropeway in Vietnam, built by Austrian company Doppelmayr,

passengers 17 minutes to make the ascent.




Some of the biggest mid-autumn snowfalls in the Alps for many years

resorts, tour operators and individual properties are all striving ever

brought more than a metre of pre-season snow to slopes in Austria,

harder to create even more for children in ski resorts. Leading French

France, Italy and Switzerland in late October and early November, raising

areas have been particularly pushing children’s spa treatments in

optimism for the coming ski season.

their facilities in recent seasons. But possibly the best so far is the

Huge snowfalls of over a metre were reported on some high-altitude

Consensio Children’s Club, run by the luxury chalet operator.

slopes, and snow fell down to quite low elevations at resorts including

“From the moment you arrive, your little one is gifted with a Charlie

Kitzbühel at the height of the snowstorms.

teddy bear and a challenge card to complete during their stay. The

Around 20 glacier ski areas were already open in the “big four” Alpine

chalet staff are on hand to help children complete their activity card

nations, and when the snow stopped falling, perfect conditions were

(when not busy with their daily responsibilities). Activities include pizza-

reported on glacier slopes, with big crowds descending, particularly at

making classes, best snowman competitions and creating the craziest

weekends, to enjoy the superb early conditions.

snow dances,” said a statement from the company, which works with

However, it is too early to be sure that the conditions will carry through

“The Little Concierge”, a premium baby product company that can

and build up to give wider coverage for the start of the main season and

deliver all your baby products and essentials to your chalet before you

the opening of thousands of ski areas across the continent in coming

arrive. In addition, Consensio’s chalet chefs work with parents and

weeks. The snow has certainly helped build solid bases at areas yet to

children to create a menu which is healthy but attractive. For babies,

open, as well as those already operating, and definitely raised spirits.

purées are created freshly each day. In terms of child safety, Consensio’s

Elsewhere in the skiing world, snow was reported to have fallen in early

chalet pools are fully secured with door-locking systems, stair gates and

November from coast to coast in the US, and more than 20cm of snow

baby monitors. They also provide children with contact wrist bands to

coated the Pyrenees in early December. Scottish and Scandinavian ski

give parents peace of mind while they are out skiing.

centres also reported healthy early snowfalls.


then up in Finnish Lapland; the latter, staging World Cup races by mid-November, had opened in late October. Saas-Fee in Switzerland and Sölden in Austria did greatly expand their open terrain beyond their glaciated area after the second snowstorm hit, however. It’s a slightly more mixed picture in North America. Arapahoe Basin in Colorado opened in October, but two other Colorado ski areas, Copper and Keystone, which had hoped to open on Halloween, delayed doing so by a week, as did Mt Norquay in Banff. But there was heavy snow in North Carolina, allowing Verbier opened three weeks earlier than

same weekend, after reporting more than a

two areas there to open much earlier than

planned, on 8 November, thanks to all the

metre of snow had fallen; a further 50cm was

planned, and Killington in Vermont and

heavy snow that fell there in two big storms

recorded in one 24-hour period during its first

Sunday River in Maine, as well as resorts in

during the preceding fortnight.

week of operation.

California and Minnesota, all opened early in

It was the biggest name of several areas

However, the first non-glacier resorts in

November. Lake Louise opened as planned

in the Alps to open early thanks to all the

Europe to open – Ruka and Levi – had

on 6 November, becoming the first resort to

snow. In Italy, Passo Tonale opened the

already been operating for a week or two by

open in Canada.


007 // DEC14


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instructor’ and this conversation could easily

how to use the kit, learn about the rules, learn

be an exchange between many riders heading

about the mountains.

off-piste every week. We hear about the incidents that go wrong, but we don’t hear about the


narrow escapes. They might appear as learning

Don’t be a Maverick, on an ego trip, pushing the

experiences, even stories that can be swapped

boundaries, taking a chance for a quick buzz,

over some

a good story in the

après-ski. But for

evening, trying to be

many that first

cool in front of your

“mistake” may

mates, the quickest

also be the last.

in, first down. Be

Let’s begin

calm, calculated,

by ensuring

back out, turn away

that you as

when it’s not right

a potential

and play by the

he third in our series of freeriding tips and the

freerider will


most important – safety.

be safe, not

Cometh The Iceman

dangerous, not

Top Gun film enthusiasts will remember fondly

a cowboy, not

the exchange between Maverick and Iceman

a Maverick,

in the locker room after a combat training

taking a

session in the air.


Iceman: You two really are cowboys.

pushing the

Maverick: What’s your problem, Iceman?


Iceman: You’re everyone’s problem, Maverick.

Learn to be an

That’s because every time you go up in the air,

Iceman – cool,

you’re unsafe. I don’t like you because you’re




Maverick: That’s right, Iceman! I am dangerous.

taking no

Off-piste skiing is


dangerous, and a



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Iceman was cool, calculated, played by the rules.

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Here are my three golden rules for off-piste

can learn to be safe, you can learn to have

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skiing for potential freeriders.

exhilarating experiences, you can learn to ski


Maverick ends up losing his best mate, and it

single mistake can

fantastic powder and ski extraordinary places.

took a big lesson before he started playing by the


However, it takes education, professional

rules and became someone others could trust.

Get trained, get educated, book on lots of

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Swap ‘air’ for ‘off-piste’ and ‘Iceman’ for ‘ski

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008 // DEC14





Over 150,000 UK teachers have recently signed a government

Obertauern in Austria is celebrating 50 years since the Beatles rolled up

Leading ski tour operator Neilson ( are working on a new

petition to demand that holiday companies stop charging extortionate

to shoot the ski scenes in the movie Help! on the village’s slopes.

hotel for skiers in the giant French resort of La Plagne.

prices during school holiday time. This means that the issue must be

A series of events are planned through the winter, kicking off with

Scheduled to open mid-way through the season on 7 February

considered for debate in the House of Commons.

Beatles tribute band, The Backwards, performing at the resort’s opening

2015, the new Neilson Hotel Turquoise is located in the high-altitude

Until then, The Chalet Company is offering a discount of 25% to all UK

weekend celebrations on 29 November.

village of Belle Plagne, a snow-sure 2050m up, and is already taking

teachers and a further discount of 10% to family members and friends

Then, from 14 to 21 March 2015 – the exact week, 50 years on, to the

bookings. The new hotel will become part of Neilson’s select new

of teachers during the Easter 2015 school holidays. The 25% discount

one when the fab four came to town – a special “Anniversary Week”

“Mountain Collection” of ski properties. Located directly on the piste

will reduce the cost of a ski holiday for teachers by as much as £112.50.

is planned.

in the car-free village, with the nearest lift 75m away, Hotel Turquoise

“Everyone knows that teachers don’t get paid enough for what they

The full details of the week are still being decided, but confirmed

guests will have ski-in/ski-out access, as well as great views across

do, let alone enough to meet the staggering prices they are charged

events so far include a live performance of the Beatles-inspired

the surrounding mountains from all 25 rooms; the hotel will also boast

during holiday time, so we wanted to show them our appreciation

musical, All You Need Is Love, performed by tribute act Twist and

a bar and lounge area. Belle Plagne is a popular choice with families

by offering them a discount for a stay with The Chalet Company

Shout on 17 March. On 19 March, another tribute band, The Cavern

and beginners – relaxed and with excellent facilities. For experienced

during the Easter holidays,” said Phil Purdie, Co-Founder of The

Club Beatles, will perform “An Evening With ...”, including live musical

skiers, its location at the heart of the immense Paradiski area offers

Chalet Company.

performances of Beatles classics.

access to 425km of groomed runs and some spectacular off-piste

Prices are from £220 per teacher for a week’s catered accommodation

Angie McCartney, Paul’s 84-year-old former stepmother, and the star’s

opportunities. “The Neilson Hotel Turquoise is currently undergoing

in selected chalets in Méribel during the weeks of 28 March to 4 April

stepsister Ruth McCartney will also be attending to provide personal

a major refurbishment to bring it up to Neilson Mountain Collection

and 4 to 11 April 2015, this is for catered accommodation only and does

reminiscences. Tickets for each event are €53 for adults, with children

standards before its launch in February next year. We are delighted

not include flights and transfers.

under 13 free.

to add it to our portfolio of properties in Belle Plagne and look

“This offer flies in the face of convention – and bucks the trend of price

The Beatles stayed in the Hotel Edelweiss during their stay in

forward to welcoming guests in 2015 and beyond,” said Pete Tyler,

discrimination against snow-loving teachers and their families who are

Obertauern and hosted a wrap party for the film’s cast and crew there on

Managing Director at Neilson. Prices start from £649pp for departures

restricted to taking an annual visit to the slopes when school is out,”

the evening of 20 March, 1965.

on week commencing 14 or 21 March 2015 and include a week’s

added Phil.

A number of leading UK ski holiday operators offer packages to

accommodation, flights from London Gatwick, London Heathrow or

Obertauern, including Crystal and Inghams.

Manchester Airport, transfers and accommodation.

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becoming a reality.

aims to raise £1500 so that he

“These events gave the piece

can install a new artwork in Les 3

a purpose, to lighten the mood

Vallées in a location where it won’t

during a very tense time in the

be removed, according to the

mountains,” he concluded.

artist’s spokesman. Funders can

“Caesar is welcome in Méribel,

pledge £5 to £25 for stickers, prints

and we would be pleased to

and T-shirts or up to £500 for a

suggest suitable mediums for him

bespoke artwork.

that are respectful of our traditions

“The piece is not intended to cause

and in line with the character of

n artist calling himself Caesar and

offence but to make people smile.

the resort,” said Alain Etievent,

copying the style and methodology

Caesar has absolutely nothing

from Méribel’s ESF. “However, a

of the famous Banksy has been

against the ESF whatsoever, but

pylon is a private property and

at work in Méribel in the French

more against this perception that

there is a safety issue to consider

Alps, and has now launched a

everyone seems to have that they

as nothing must detract the

crowdfunding initiative to raise

own the mountain,” said

attention of a skier and cause a

funds to create a permanent

the spokesperson with access

danger on the slopes.”

artwork in the Alps.

to Caesar.

“His work could be appropriate in

Caesar’s initial illustrations, a

The spokesperson said Caesar

certain locations and we appreciate

duplicate of Banksy’s famous “Kiss”

had wanted to do an ESF-inspired

that art can be hugely positive

depicting two kissing policemen,

piece for a while now and the

and convey many

but converted to two kissing

Simon Butler case, along with

messages, but he

ESF ski instructors, were quickly

other instances of what he

must respect the

removed at the end of last season

considered unfair treatment of

resort’s infrastructure

from locations under Altiport and on

foreign workers in French resorts,

as of course he must in

a tower of the Saulire lift and were

was the tipping point that led

any other location,” added

only seen by a few people.

to the “Kissing instructors” idea




Caesar’s crowdfunding initiative



Serre Chevalier Vallée is offering 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation

Japan’s leading resort of Niseko is known for its world-beating volumes and

and 6-day lift passes for a family of four for under £1000 this Christmas

quality of powder snow, but there’s also a world-class resort and groomed

(arrivals on 20 December, 2014). You just have to get there. The €1140

piste for regular snow-sports holidaymakers to enjoy, even if they don’t

package is available when booked online at or

particularly want to go powder snorkelling. NISS, one of Niseko’s snow-

direct with the local tourist office’s English-speaking staff on 0033 (0)4

sports schools, is celebrating ten years of offering snow-sports services

92 24 98 98.

to ski and snowboard enthusiasts from around the world this season and

Serre Chevalier has over 250km of piste to explore and stages The

have a number of special events lined up through the season. NISS are also

Festival Jeune Public throughout Christmas week, with free shows for

introducing Niseko’s first designated children’s learning trails. Children love

children and all the family to help you get into the Christmas spirit!

skiing the trees, and to make it safe, fun and great for learning, NISS have

Après-ski options include the recently opened Deval’Bob toboggan

made an exciting adventure trail – Strawberry Bells – located on the right

run launched last season, a 4km-long toboggan run down through

side of Strawberry Fields, with colourful bells and signposts to guide classes

the larch forest, taking in the sights of the valley with its 26 turns and

over and around the best features for learning and development.

573m vertical drop. Access to the run is from the top of the Avaret

“It is bound to be noisy, fun, colourful, safe and a new, exciting way to

gondola, where you can buy a ticket and hire toboggans and helmets.

learn,” said a statement from the school.




NO S H O R TC U T S It’s the moment when you realize its all been worth it— the pre-dawn wake up’s, the bitter cold, the effort that come’s with each step, each deep breath—now its just you, the mountain, and the descent.


DOLOMITI LIFTS REBUILT The ski connection between Malga-Ciapela/ Marmolada and Arabba in the Sellaronda circuit of Dolomiti Superski will be open again this winter. The Padon and Arei 2 lifts were damaged by huge snowfalls last winter which cut off Arabba for a few days. Both lifts have been restored and protected and will be open from 6 December, subject to snow cover!

MAMMOTH BUYS NEIGHBOURS Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is buying its smaller neighbours in the south of the state, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. These two areas attract 800,000 winter visitors each season, many driving up from the Los Angeles conurbation, making the new group of four resorts (Mammoth also owns nearby June Mountain) one of the bigger players in the US with 2 million visitors.

JUNGFRAU CLOSER TO BRIT REGIONS New flight routes from East Midlands, Norwich, Bournemouth, Humberside and Southend airports to Bern Airport in Switzerland with Intersky and SkyWork Airlines will mean skiers land in Switzerland only 45 minutes away from Interlaken and the Jungfrau region (Wengen, Mürren and Grindelwald). will be operating weekly charter flights with 7-night B&B packages including transfers costing from £699 per person.

BOGOF LIFT PASSES VIP SKI are offering skiers the chance to save money on their lift passes when they book an early season holiday for the weeks arriving 14 December at Club Alaska, Morzine (where lift passes are £203), The Lucerne Suite, La Plagne (worth £236), Taiga Lodge, Méribel (worth £201) or Altitude Lodge, Les Gets (worth £203). Prices start from £849pp including lift pass and travel.

NEWBIES ON NORFOLK SLOPES Norfolk Snowsports Club saw more than 270 new-to-snow-sports people taking ski or snowboard taster sessions over a weekend last month, staged as part of Snowsport England’s “30 Days of Snowsport”. Nearly 60 people went a step further and tried freestyle for the first time. The sessions were followed by a Freestyle Jam event where 8-year-old Jack Bantoft was awarded



the Moving Carpet Gallery enclosure

74 solar panels installed on the

which the company developed in

Gallery enclosure, which provide

2001 to protect users from snow,

a total output of about 18.25 kWp,

rain, wind and cold – while offering a

corresponding to 22,000 kWh per

clear view of the outside.

year. kWp means peak kilowatts

For lift operators, the Gallery offers

and is the unit of measurement for

plenty of advantages – particularly

the peak output of solar arrays.

allowing quick and easy start-up

Sunkid CEO Emanuel Wohlfarter now

even in the worst weather and

anticipates worldwide demand for the

In one of the few recent positive statistical

snowfall conditions, with the carpet

new Sunkid system, due to the quick

signs for the British ski and snowboard

year after the installation of a

lift protected for being buried under

return on investment costs, as well as

industry, figures just released by trade body

“Photovoltaic Gallery” at Isskogel

the snow.

the extremely low operating costs.

Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB)

in Gerlos, the Austrian resort has

The 180m-long Gerlos lift has


show a significant jump in sales for last season,

reported that the lift generated

compared to the previous winter (and indeed the

27,000 kWh of electricity over

previous five winters).

the last 12 months, but only used

Snowboard boot sales were up a whopping 21%

16,000 kWh itself. This means the lift

and ski boot sales by 10% from winter 2012/13 to

“overproduced” power by about 70%

2013/14, the first growth in the market since 2008.

with the “spare” 9000 kWh of clean

“This reversal of the five-year downward

energy fed into the power grid.

sales trend demonstrates that skiers and

The energy collection works by

snowboarders place huge importance on the

placing photovoltaic panels along

buying of good-fitting boots in the UK, and that boots are the single most important purchase for participants, where ownership is a better option than renting. The growth in boot sales is


also shown in the junior market, with ski boots up 25% and snowboard boots up 1%,” said an SIGB statement.

A company called are stocking special stickers for helmets designed to

The downward trend in ski sales is still

provide 200 words of medical and contact information for first responders in the

continuing but has slowed, with a 4% drop (in

event of an accident. The information can be accessed by paramedics giving them

2012/13 the reduction was 16%), which the SIGB

vital information at the earliest opportunity when the QR code is scanned. Stickers

hopes means a return to growth is not far away.

retail for £1.50 each including UK postage (international +£1).


“freestyle legend of the day”.




MORE CASH FOR YOUR CASH IN THE ALPS Holidaymakers heading to resorts in the Eurozone will enjoy the benefits of a stronger pound compared to last year, according to No1 Currency, a provider of foreign exchange services in the UK. “Exchange £600 for spending money this year and you’ll get €762, compared to €700 last year,” said Simon Phillips, Head of Retail for No1 Currency, adding, “Ski nuts will enjoy similarly favourable exchange rates heading to Switzerland, with £600 getting you CHF920, up from CHF864 this time last year. This means a few more mulled wines for your money.” “Remember, it’s well worth ordering and collecting your currency before you leave the UK to enjoy the most favourable exchange rates, and that also means no worries about tracking down cashpoints while you’re out having fun with friends and family on the slopes,” concluded Mr Philips.

LUX SKI TRANSFERS Luxury vehicles are available to rent if you wish to be transferred to resort in style this winter. A company called Ski-Lifts ( is offering transfers in vehicles that include Hummer H3 stretch limos, Mercedes S Class, BMW and luxury 4x4 SUVs. Ski-Lifts have extended their car selection this winter as well as the range of destinations served, with dozens of airports in 11 countries and a large number of key Alpine rail stations in the main ski nations covered. The company also says it puts its top priority on safety, with cars fitted with premium winter tyres and employing drivers with extensive training on driving on snow and ice. In terms of pricing, Ski-Lifts’ Charlotte Lee said, “It’s difficult to give an exact ‘prices from’ example as it depends on so many factors.” However, a shared transfer from Geneva to Chamonix in early January could be as low as €35pp for a shared transfer, €170 per vehicle for a private transfer or €157.57pp for an executive minibus transfer.

013 // DEC14



SKI JUWEL LIFE IN PICS The recently created Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau skiing area shines brightly, with 109km of wide, open slopes suitable for all. Freestylers have three snow parks, nightskiing is popular, as are tobogganing, ice-skating and other apres-ski activities. Choose to stay in traditional, authentic mountain villages including Alpbach, a longtime British favourite, or the charming villages of Niederau, Oberau, Thierbach and Auffach which make great bases from the Wildschönau side. TIJMEN SCHUIL

All guests receive a free guest card , offering numerous benefits and discounts on shopping and restaurants plus free use of the local ski bus network. Children are well taken care of with dedicated areas and valley lifts in Reith, Alpbach, Kramsach, Oberau and Niederau. Bobo the Penguin and the Dragon Club are ready to teach your little ones. In addition to downhill, crosscountry skiing makes for an exhilarating alternative, amidst delightful winter scenery with 150km of


well-maintained and prepared routes in Ski Juwel.

HOW MUCH? Neilson Active Holidays (; 0333 014 3351) offers a week half board at the 3★ Hotel Alpenland, Niederau from £475pp including Gatwick flights (Manchester or Birmingham +£20) and transfers. Independent packages start from €182pp for a 3-night Alpbach break, including


3-day Ski Juwel pass.

014 // DEC14




Italy’s giant Dolomiti Superski ski region will celebrate 40 years in

Supertravel Ski (, one of the UK’s longest-established

operation this winter. The pioneering region, which links the ski areas

ski travel companies, is celebrating 50 years in business this winter with

of a dozen valleys and features a combined distance of more than

a range of special offers for its clients. Diana Tomkinson, who raced for

1200km of runs served by nearly 450 ski lifts, was one of the first to

Britain in the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics, was fundamental in the

use computerised lift tickets to make access to many lifts possible on

company’s early years, when holidays cost just £49. Her late husband,

one ticket in winter 1974–75.

Sir David Lewthwaite, founded the company in 1964, and it was soon a

To celebrate, the area is offering a €40 discount on lift passes valid

pioneer in the ski-chalet holiday business. For bookings made during

for four days or longer purchased during Christmas week (21–26

November, anniversary offers include 50 free in-resort massages, 50

December 2014) or in the Easter holidays (4–12 April 2015).

discounts of £200 on full chalet bookings for Zermatt and 50 free lift

In that first season in 1974–75, Dolomiti Superski had 250 lifts, a little

passes for Courchevel or St Anton, all on selected dates for full chalet

over half the total today, although most back then were drag lifts.

bookings. During December the company is running an Advent calendar

There was 740km of piste included on the pass, again a little over half

of social media offers for each day of the 24 only. Also in December, all full

the total today.

chalet bookings for January departure to Courchevel get a free Courchevel

To begin with, Dolomiti Superski covered six skiing areas (Cortina,

lift pass, and for 8 February departures to Zermatt all full chalet bookings

Kronplatz, Alta Badia, Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi, Val di Fassa/Carezza

receive free flights from Gatwick and free train transfers. Supertravel Ski

and Arabba) – today there are 12.

will also unveil their new Eden Rock Chalet in St Anton on 5 December.

In that first winter, 934,469 skier days were reported and 5,565,487 lift

It combines traditional local styling with a contemporary sleek finish and

rides were taken. Last season, there were more than ten times as many

features a wellness suite and fitness centre with counter-current swimming

skier days (10,263,364), and nearly 25 times more lift rides were taken

pool, whirlpool, steam room and sauna. Close to the lifts, it sleeps 20 and


costs from £1499pp including flights, transfers and full chalet board.

n CE Approved EN1621-2 Level 2 Carve n Tested to -20°C n 3D Moulding n Repeat Performance Technology (RPT) n Fully Adjustable n Lightweight n Fully breathable


JENNY JONES LAUNCHES SNOW-SPORTS CLUB people from trying snow sports for the first time to developing their skills in a bid to emulate their Winter Olympic heroes. It has been funded by Sport England’s Satellite Club initiative and facilitated by Sport Hampshire and IOW, and Snowsport England. “I think a new Satellite Club will be amazing,”


“It will give young people the chance to try a sport they normally wouldn’t do. Skiing and snowboarding are so different from traditional sports. Getting out there, jumping off things and speeding down the slopes is just so exciting!” “I’ve never seen so many people getting so Olympian Jenny Jones has helped launch a

sports Satellite Club aimed at 11–18-year-olds.

excited at the slope – it was an incredible

new snow-sports club for young people at the

Hundreds of people attended the launch

feeling,” added Hayley Walker from Alpine

Alpine Snowsports Southampton dry-ski-slope

and just over 60 young people took part in

Snowsports Southampton. “It’s great that

centre (

freestyle and alpine ski sessions as well as

we have been able to open skiing and

The Winter Olympic bronze medallist, joined by

TRY ski and board lessons.

snowboarding up to young people in

British Disabled Ski Team member Tom Murley

The new snow-sports club will run on Thursday

Southampton and make it accessible to all. We

from Southampton, launched the new snow-

evenings during term time and take young

hope they keep coming back for more!”


015 // DEC14

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f you’re on the hunt for

and focus on the fun of learning,

skiing or snowboarding for

your children into a Lunch Club

guaranteed great quality

allowing everyone to progress at

anyone from low intermediate to

so you can enjoy a full day on the

ski and snowboard

their own pace.

advanced. Everything is covered,

slopes? No problem – they can help!

from riding switch, jumps,

In Val d’Isère their Luxury Exclusive

instruction, great value

High Quality Catered + Self Catered Accommodation

and a great time on the

Ski Or Board, Group Or Private,

experimenting on rails, to putting

range can also bring a little

slopes, look no further than

Freeride Or Freestyle …

together a mini-slopestyle.

more luxury to your holiday, with

Oxygène Ski School in La

Oxygène provides group ski or

Plagne and Val d’Isère.

snowboard lessons, off-piste

One-stop Shop

equipment hire – fitted in the

Oxygène is one of the

guiding and private instruction for

Oxygène always goes that little

comfort of your chalet – as well as

largest independent ski

children, teenagers and adults.

bit further. You can reserve your

relaxing spa days, luxury shopping

schools in France and

You can join their off-piste Steep &

equipment hire at the same time as

trips and gourmet evenings out.

offers an all-year-round reservation

Deep course or learn to ride with a

your lessons in their rental shops

Oxygène Ski & Snowboard School

service by a professional English-

Burton-affiliated snowboard school.

located in the heart of their resorts.

/ Ski Shop. Val

speaking team. Their instructors

Also brand new this season are

Looking for adventure après-ski

d’Isère (+33 (0) 479 41 99 58),

understand the needs of everyone

their Freestyle Clinics in either

activities? Or would you like to book

La Plagne (+33 (0) 479 09 03 99).


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

0151 625 1921

private guiding, top-of-the-range

Victoria Coach Station and Dover

from England with secure parking

which has been perfecting its

available if required in Blunham and

service for over 20 years and offers

Dover. It returns from Méribel at 17.30

really good recliner seats with foot

the following Saturday, so it’s 8 days

and leg rests. Pillow bolsters and

in resort. It stops at a lovely hotel in

car rugs are supplied.

Albertville where clients can enjoy a

The service costs from £99pp

subsidised continental breakfast and,

one way, £149pp return and goes

on their return, a nice evening meal.

to central Méribel but stops at

Ski Méribel also offer catered and

Moutiers rail/bus station for those

self-catering packages starting

who need to change to other

from £285pp including travel based

resorts like La Plagne, Tignes,

on four sharing, and have a large

Looking for an affordable way

missed connections, plus 8 days of

Les Arcs, Val d’Isère, Val Thorens,

selection mainly in Méribel and

to get to Méribel that’s really

skiing instead of 6?

etc. There are stops at Les Allues,

Mottaret from two-person studios

comfortable, offers free ski

Then this winter is the time to try

Méribel Village and sometimes

up to large chalets. Group discounts

equipment and luggage carriage

Ski Méribel (,

Mottaret, and a transfer to La Tania

are available and some packages

that’s also direct with no transfers

a sleeper coach service from

is offered for a £10pp supplement.

include discounted ski passes and

to rely on, no airport stress and no

Blunham in Bedfordshire, London

There’s a Friday afternoon service

equipment rental.

016 // DEC14


For stockists information call: 01572 770900



Lechs MetalýMan:

theýgiantýpinkýrabbit If you’re skiing in the little-known Italian region of Artesina, make sure you look out for a pink rabbit. This isn’t any old pink rabbit, either; for one thing it has been knitted, for another it’s huge. Located on Mt Colletto MARKUS TRETTER

Fava near the La Baita bar, it’s lying on its back and is 55m long, 41m wide and 2m high at its belly. The rabbit is in fact an arts piece and it is slowly bio-degrading, having been knitted between 2000 and 2005 by an artists’ collective called Gelatin Arts who performed an artistic piece,

ArtesinasýGiant PinkýRabbit: artesina .it

“I love the rabbit, the rabbit loves me,” when he was declared complete in autumn 2005 and grabbed worldwide media attention. That biodegrading is supposed to be a 20-year process, so this winter marks the halfway stage. Of course, if it’s a snowy winter, the rabbit will be largely buried and will just resemble snowy mounds anyway, so it

ost of us who head to the slopes each winter are impressed

may be hard to identify.

by the mountain scenery surrounding us. Sometimes – in


the Canadian Rockies or Swiss Jungfrau, for example – it can be truly awe inspiring.

Antony Gormley, the sculptor of the famous ‘Angel of the

But sometimes, often when we least expect it, a ski resort

North’, is equally famous for placing small armies of life-

produces something a little more unusual. Have you

size metal men in locations around the world. In 2010 one

ever come across a smiling Jesus, a giant pink rabbit or a

hundred of these statues were placed over a 58m2 area

prehistoric shark high up on the pistes as you’re skiing along?

in the Austrian Alps, centred on the resort of Lech, some

Yes, a wholly different type of manmade ‘sight’ appears

of them close to the resort’s lifts. Two years later, 99 of the

every now and then on ski slopes around the world, and the

statues moved on, but one got left behind.

natural wonders. Here are some of our favourites:

TheýCrystalýCube :

picassoýonýtheýpistes One of the first resorts to embrace the idea of public art on the slopes was Flaine in the French Alps. Sometimes criticised for having a stark concrete 1960s resort


view can sometimes be as amazing in its own way as those

stýmoritzýsubmarine A surfaced submarine in a land-locked, frozen lake is not the first thing you expect to see when you look out of your hotel window in the morning, but that was the case in St Moritz last March when a large sub appeared in Lake St Moritz. The submarine was, in fact, an art installation-cum-pop-up bar, created by the Swiss inventor Andreas Reinhard, who

development at its heart, Flaine is in fact an open-air art

made his name by creating the first upside-down hot-air

statement (even those concrete blocks are a statement

balloon in 1994.

of pure Bauhaus architecture). Various famous artist fans

The Kulm submarine bar, which measured 40m in length,

of Flaine have sent art to the resort, but the best-known

9m high by 4m across, was constructed by a team of 13,

piece, located at the base of the slopes, is a huge sculpture

including an engineer, architect, carpenter, locksmith,

depicting the head of a woman created by Picasso.

electrician, painter and lighting technician. Built over a


two-week period in a warehouse near Zurich, in utmost

Guests of the 4★ Hotel Tirol in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis are

assembled overnight, so that its arrival was a complete

Cube high up on the slopes, 2,600m up. It’s one of the most unusual locations in the world for a meal, cocktail reception or even a registry office wedding ceremony, and quite an

ssoýoný FlainesýPica e: st Pi eý th /flaine

intimate location too, with room for a maximum of eight


always wowed when they first see the remarkable Crystal

secrecy, it was then transported in pieces to St Moritz and surprise to local residents. Sadly the sub has now sailed, but like Nessie the monster in Loch Ness, it may be worth keeping an eye out in case it re-appears.



Statues of Jesus are of course quite common in the Alps,

To access the cube you take the gondola to the Schönjoch

but none quite resemble the Jesus that has been standing

summit station and either walk or ride in an all-terrain

for 60 years on the slopes of Whitefish in Montana. A

vehicle to the Crystal Cube where floor-to-ceiling glazed

much more ‘human’ version of the Messiah than the wood

walls offer breathtaking 360˚ views across the surrounding

or metal effigies, this ‘life-size’ statue of Jesus has been

3,000m high peaks from every vantage point.

welcoming skiers and boarders to his little corner of the

Hotel Tirol guests can dine on a five-course menu of hot

slopes since the 1950s, despite determined (but as yet

and cold Tirolean dishes; menus are personally tailored in

unsuccessful) attempts by secular organisations to argue

discussion with the client. Prices are €71 per adult and €41

that “he” should be removed.

per child including drinks.



Rocky, as he has been imaginatively christened, isn’t just any old rock; he, or it, is probably New Zealand’s bestknown rock. Weighing in at 25 tonnes, he spent millennia

StýMoritzý Submarine: kulm .com

In summer 2013, visitors to Lake Hallstätter See in Austria were surprised to see a Kamov helicopter lift a giant shark out of the watery depths and then carry it up to a point 2100m up where it was stood up on its tail, towering above

on the slopes of the country’s famous Mt Hutt ski area

the surrounding landscape.

before the 2011 eruption led to him rolling down the

The Dachstein shark is a replica of the mighty ice sharks that

mountainside and crashing into the middle of a house

used to swim in the area when it lay on the bottom of the

below – fortunately not hurting anyone. The ski area bought

ocean. This particular specimen has a hollow interior and a

Rocky back in 2013 after paying $50,000 in a charity

ladder so you can enter by its, ahem, rear quarters, and climb

auction. He made a triumphant ascension back up the

up to look out of its open jaws – so it differs from the real

mountain over several celebratory days.

thing in more ways than simply the fact it’s made of metal.

019 // DEC14





World Cup downhill racing in North

The 15th annual Santa Sunday at Sunday

Free skiing for Santa (or Mrs Claus or

America – the men are in Beaver Creek,

River in Maine, USA. Last year 250

an elf) on Christmas Day at Mt Norquay,

USA, the ladies in Lake Louise, Canada.

Santas raised $2100 (£942) for the local

Banff, Canada. “Only those that dress in

Racing continues through the weekend.

Rotary Club’s holiday toy drive.

full costumes will get a free lift ticket.”



Free skiing (as in free of charge, not

Val d’Isère starts the season off in style

freeriding, although you could do both)

with spectacular World Cup ski races

in the Méribel Valley and a free breakfast

which are free for spectators. 13–14 is

to the first 100 people that register on the

Men’s Giant Slalom & Slalom; 20–21 is

opening day of Les 3 Vallées’ season.

Women’s Downhill & Giant Slalom.



28 The Men’s Downhill from Santa Caterina, near Bormio, in Italy.



Austria’s largest ski area, the Skiwelt,

World Cup racing in Val Gardena, Italy.

New Year celebrations in ski resorts

opens. Now bigger than ever, with

This remains the race where Britain got

across the northern hemisphere.

280km of piste, it will also feature one

their best ever World Cup result, when

30,000 are expected in Kitzbühel for

of the world’s most expensive ski lifts,

Konrad Bartelski finished second 33

the legendary display by pyrotechnic

the €10m eight-seater lift complete with

years ago. The Men’s Super-G is on Fri

maestro Armin Lukasser.

heated seats at Scheffau.

19 and the Men’s Downhill on Sat 20.





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Biomechanical analysis Custom insoles to and ski simulation to support your feet test boots and improve fit*

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Sommelier and exquisite food

a dedicated chalet host. There are

Mayfair wine tasting there is also

from their executive chefs.

also three chalets with private hot

a dinner at which to sample some

VIP SKI wines are selected by

tubs. The main reception lounge

of Executive Chef Ben Mellor’s

their Master Sommelier, Xavier

has an open fire, giant cinema

delicious cuisine. Ben changes

Rousset, who in 2002 became

screen, pool table, complimentary

his menus regularly and Mayfair

the youngest Master Sommelier

internet screens, draft beer and

diners can look forward to classic

in the world. For this exclusive

coffee bar, plus three communal

French bistro-style dining.

wine tasting holiday, Xavier

hot tubs on the terrace to the rear

Commencing 8 Feb 15 and

will join guests in Val d’Isère to

of the property.

priced at £1269pp the wine

share his passion and offer his

What’s more, after your enjoyable

week includes two wine tasting

expert advice.

week in the Alps, Xavier

evenings, platinum service

IP SKI ( are

Based in the VIP SKI’s Aspen

exclusively invites you to a wine

dinner on one evening as well

organising a very special week

Lodge Suites right in the heart of

tasting evening featuring some

as flights, transfers and catered

in Val d’Isère this February

the village and only 250m from

surprising New World wines in

accommodation plus the dinner

combining world-renowned

the lifts and nursery slopes, each

his highly acclaimed “28-50’’

and wine tasting evening at “28-

skiing, a head-spinning wine

chalet is entirely independent with

bar and restaurant in the heart

50’’ bar after the holiday on a date

tasting experience from a Master

its own living and dining area and

of Mayfair, London. After the

to be confirmed.


courses being created, the number

located in the White Elements

of half pipes at the world’s ski

Snowpark in the resort’s First

resorts has declined over the years,

sector. The pipe will be built at the

due in part to the often high costs

Bärgelegg in a natural trough in

of building and maintaining them.

the landscape. Using the natural

Grindelwald’s move is the result of

topography of the land greatly

Swiss-bred (Russian-born) athlete

reduces the manufacturing costs

Iouri Iourvich Podladtchikov (iPod to

and impact on resources. After the

his peers) taking gold in the men’s

winter season, the trough will be

Grindelwald in the stunning Swiss

creating a new half pipe for 2014–15.

half pipe at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

fully landscaped and restored to

Jungfrau region is taking steps to

This is big news as, while terrain

Grindelwald will become one

its original state, which will also

expand its attractions for freestyle

parks are forever evolving and

of the few winter-sports areas

ensure minimal impact on the

skiers and boarders this winter by

improving and boarder/skier cross

in Switzerland with a half pipe

surrounding landscape.


021 // DEC14


O.UK C . R E V SKIHI @ S E L SA 4160 4 4 1 8 020

Looking for a great ski holiday? Find it at Snowfinders. Worldwide tailor-made and package ski holidays. Chalets, hotels and apartments.

Call us on 01858 466888. Visit us at





that have English-speaking

wrap up very warm! (Imagine being

of them could barely walk! This

instructors if you don’t speak the

in a massive freezer!)

is not good when you need to go

country’s language. Trust me, trying

après skiing in the evening!

to follow Jacques when he doesn’t

France, good choices include

Skiing requires a lot of core

know how to say “Stop!” in your

Morzine or Méribel, as these

strength, so your abs should be a

native tongue is rather difficult

have lots of lovely wide runs and

focus if you want to start exercising

and won’t help you improve very

a great selection of good ski

before you go. Even doing a set

quickly (NB this is a true story!).

schools. Méribel in particular is

of 50 sit-ups a day in the run-up

It’s also well worth considering a

very picturesque and is a dream

few lessons in an indoor

for those who have

snow centre or on a

never visited a ski

dry slope before

resort before.


you leave

he snow is beginning to fall across

home. The

the Alps and the mountains are


finally turning white again! And

of the indoor

now you know what equipment to

ski slopes

buy for your ski holiday, it’s time to


start preparing for your week in the

the UK has

snow! Deciding on a ski resort can

changed the

be daunting. There are so many,

face of the ski

which one do you possibly choose?

industry and has

As a beginner, you’re really

If you’re looking to travel to



encouraged many more

looking for a resort that has a

skiers to take up the sport. Using

good amount of nursery slopes

to your departure will benefit you and will enable you to stay out on the slopes as late as you possibly can. The legs take a lot of the strain on the slopes, and the best thing

is a good

to strengthen them is to do squats

option if

and lunges. Dedicate 20 minutes

you want

each day to these exercises and

to give

you will see a difference when

Austria a

you’re actually skiing.

go, as it has queue-free

As for cardiovascular exercises, cycling is a great option, as it

lifts, two ski

strengthens the legs, builds up your

areas dedicated to

heart rate and has a low impact on

beginners and English-

the knees. This is important, as the

speaking instructors in abundance.

knees are crucial to your turns and

real snow, these snow domes allow

It’s also a really good idea to

can be very injury prone (although

and green or blue runs (the easiest

new skiers to get a real feel for how

try and get to a relatively good

not so much for snowboarders).

kind on the difficulty scale –

the skis feel turning and gliding on

level of fitness before embarking

Bad injuries are uncommon,

although confusingly only resorts

a surface similar to what you’ll find

on a ski holiday. When I was

fortunately, but they can happen,

in the western Alps have greens).

in the alps. Most centres offer a

a seasonaire living in France,

so it helps to be aware of what you

Generally wide and quiet, these

variety of options when choosing

the amount of punters I spoke

can do to lessen the risk.

are perfect for practising your

lessons, whether it be a session

to who hadn’t done any form

Preparing yourself before a ski

technique at your own pace away

lasting for a couple of hours, an

of ski fitness before travelling

holiday is the best thing you can

from the crowds.

intensive day’s course or a 10-week

was incredible. All suffered with

do, as it is so unlike any summer or

If you want to have ski lessons

course. Don’t be fooled by their

aching limbs, particularly in their

sightseeing holiday – so knowing

while you’re on holiday, it’s

friendly exterior, however – they

legs, and were really tired before

what to expect will help you fully

important to look for ski schools

are seriously cold so you’ll need to

the end of the day. In fact, some

enjoy it.

Aspen House, Kings Head Place, Market Harborough. LE16 7JT 022 // OCT14 ABTA J5552. ATOL 9279.


MARK WARNER ZELL AM SEE Mark Warner has announced the addition of

the decor varies by apartment, with some

Mark Warner level of service, including hearty

the Mountain Lake Resort, a development of 34

boasting a traditional Alpine look and others

continental and cooked breakfasts, indulgent

luxurious new ski apartments in the charming

a more contemporary one. All have high-end

afternoon teas including freshly baked cakes,

Austrian resort of Zell am See, to its 2014/2015

SieMatic kitchens with integrated appliances

and three-course evening meals with wine. For


and flat-screen TVs.

those looking to chill out or warm up, there’s

The one- to four-bedroom apartments, which

The Mountain Lake Resort is two minutes’ walk

an inviting bar plus a swish sauna and steam

include two stunning penthouses, have floor-

from the City Express ski gondola from which to

room, while younger visitors aged 3–12 can be

to-ceiling windows to take in the lake and

enjoy the local Schmittenhöhe ski area, as well

assured of the famous Mark Warner welcome

mountain views. Triple-glazed with underfloor

as the atmospheric medieval centre of Zell.

in the children’s club and the free drop-in

heating to ensure guests stay toasty and warm,

Guests at the resort can expect the usual

evening crèche.


DOES YOUR EQUIPMENT PERFORM AS WELL AS IT SHOULD...? Technology and innovation means ski equipment is better than it’s ever been before... Ski boots are much more customisable, with heat moulded plastic shells that can be shaped to your individual feet. Have you improved since you bought your current skis and boots? Are your boots still comfortable making you reluctant to upgrade them? A pair of custom fitted boots will be more comfortable than you can possibly imagine and give better performance than your old ski boots ever could. Skis have now become much more versatile and user friendly helping you ski in all snow conditions. Or are you still having the hassle of renting equipment? If you choose the correct ski shape and ability level, you will see huge changes in your progression and enjoyment. Clothing is more waterproof and breathable and has added freedom of movement and warmth. Safety has improved, helmets are sleeker and offer much more protection, avalanche transceivers are easier to use and airbag backpacks are becoming essential.


...isn’t it time you upgraded your equipment and made the most of your experience in the mountains? Come and visit us today to ensure you have the correct advice from experienced equipment specialists before you invest in your next trip. Bringing you the largest specialist range of skis & boots in the UK 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.

Olympic boarder Zoe Gillings-Brier

green energy company Ecotricity as an

and Britain’s fastest snowboarder

energy provider.

Jamie Barrow were both in

The boards feature original artwork

attendance at the official launch of

and an all-mountain design with

Striding Edge Snowboards at The

reverse camber, medium flex, twin tips,

Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead to

ABS sidewall construction and IS7500

test out this new British-made eco-

sintered bases for riding on groomed

friendly snowboard brand.

slopes, in the park or in the powder.

“Striding Edge is committed to

“I really liked the board today, it was

inspiring British snowboarders

really nice to ride, it carved well and

by focusing on the quality of our

it absorbed all the little bumps in the

snowboards and by putting the

snow really well and you can get a

environment at the heart of every

nice pop off the tail,” said Zoe Gillings-

decision we make,” said founder

Brier after her testing session.

Graham Koppenhol, “Our goal is for

“I found them brilliant, from the first

Striding Edge to be 100% carbon

run I felt comfortable riding the board,”

neutral within the next 2 years and to

agreed Jamie Barrow, “It was really

become an important part of the UK

easy to get used to, had a lot of speed,

snowboard scene.”

control onto the edge, and it had a

Inspired by the Lake District area

really nice pop – it just got better and

of Northern England, Striding

better and the more I rode it the more

Edge Snowboards have released a

comfortable it was.”

range of eco-friendly snowboards

The Striding Edge signature

using sustainable bamboo in the

board retails at £250.00, a second

construction of the boards, as well as

model, Ponya is priced at £230.00,

climate neutral t-shirts and are using

Custom boot fitting specialists. Ski Industries Of Great Britain official ski testers. Winner of the World Snow Awards - Best UK Speciailst Retailer


023 // DEC14

Ski Bartlett, Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, West London, UB10 0NP T:020 8848 0040 | |




operator in Verbier thanks to a company

experienced and professional staff who care

policy of providing fairly priced ski holidays in

passionately about delivering the highest level of

high-quality chalets, with the aim of offering

service. The number of staff returning for a repeat

exceptional service and food, a business model

season is consistently above 40%. Keeping the

continued at Verbier Exclusive.

chalet collection relatively small allows David and

David and Tom have scrutinised Ski Verbier’s

Tom to focus on getting the finest details and

20 properties and are now offering only the

personal touches absolutely spot on.

seven best, combined with Verbier Exclusive’s

David and Tom say they now plan to develop

chalets. The two companies now offer 14

and nurture the two leading Verbier specialists

chalets in Verbier with a team of more than

in what they believe is the best ski resort in

60 staff. Prices range from £1100 to £4750 pp


per week. Founded in 2009, Verbier Exclusive now has a total of seven chalets, including No.14 Verbier,

avid Pearson and Tom Avery, the Directors of

described as “Verbier’s top chalet” by The

chalet operator Verbier Exclusive, have bought

Daily Telegraph, and “the most luxurious chalet

back their original company, Ski Verbier, which

in Verbier” by The Daily Mail. No.14 Verbier

David founded in 1992 before selling the

achieved 100% occupancy last season and looks

thriving business in 2006.

set to be sold out ahead of this season too.

David built Ski Verbier into the leading chalet

Both companies have a team of highly

ADAPTIVE SKI GUIDE ONLINE A new guide to adaptive skiing – ski facilities for handicapped skiers – has been compiled and published online. Adaptive skiing began in Europe more than 60 years ago, but this guide’s focus is on its development in North America. Along with an American history of adaptive skiing there’s an explanation

F. Marmsater©

of the different facilities available and in-depth reviews of four North American resorts.

024 // DEC14







Never before has technology this

Northwave’s hottest-selling

More than just a basic pipe

The Kingston features Bern’s highest

advanced been brought to the masses.

snowboarding boot is back! The Decade

glove, the stretch nylon twill

level of finished detail. Waxed canvas,

New for 2015, the Camber utilises ultra-

offers the same comfortable fit that it

PU-coated back of hand serves

wind-resistant rubberised ear caps and

light In-Mold construction to minimise

is known for with stability and power,

up stretch and water resistance.

a chin-strap cover provide ultimate

mass and maximise ventilation without

flex and freedom. Featuring a Double

Full synthetic leather palm with

comfort, durability and fit. The Kingston

sacrificing one ounce of protection or

Crossbow sole, it assures a stunning

full-coverage silicone coating

features an external adjustable vent

style. Low-profile regulator adjustable

grip on ice and slippery surfaces. Super

to seal out water and add grip.

slider that allows you to control your

climate control, 20 vents and X-Static

lace closure ensures fast and easy

Phone-friendly stitching on

comfort on the fly. Available in a variety

performance lining ensures maximum

locking for the rider who doesn’t want to

thumbs and index fingers allows

of colours and includes a wireless

comfort. Skullcandy audio systems are

wait, and the TF3 liner delivers all the fit,

you to take calls without

audio-ready premium knit and helmet

available for this model.

flow and support that riders demand.

getting frostbite.

carrying bag.









Equipped with the largest

Brand new from Contour, the ROAM

forget about the past with this new and

The Rex is the next evolution of smart

The founder of the leather revolution,

spherical lens possible, the I/OX

3 is adventure ready right out of the

improved mid-wide Blacklight shape.

speakers in the ultra-portable Boombot

POW Stealth GTX gloves are made from

is the biggest, baddest pair of

box! Featuring an Instant On-Record

Extended width under the bindings

collection. A salute to the king of

‘Grade A’ leather with Touch Tec fingertips

goggles in the Smith I/O family.

switch and Quick Photo Mode, you can

provides additional edge control and

the dinosaurs, it has a revolutionary

mimicking what all touch screens respond

Includes two performance mirror

shoot exactly what you want, when you

board turning performance for increased

acoustic and industrial design, a noise-

to – the touch of the human hand. The

lenses, 5 x Anti-Fog technology,

want! Functioning underwater for up to

all-mountain destruction and domination.

cancelling microphone and a built-in

durable GORE-TEX glove insert is durably

unparalleled peripheral vision,

10m without a case, the ROAM 3 sheds

Charging in and out of the marked runs

clip. The Rex connects using Bluetooth

waterproof, windproof and breathable,

easy interchangeability and perfect

bulk and keeps things simple. Versatile,

has never been more fun. Buckle down,

and is extremely durable, allowing you

keeping you dry and comfortable, while

helmet integration.

sleek and easy to use – the best Contour

drop in, and experience a whole new

to stay connected while keeping your

the premium micro-fleece lining and 4oz

camera yet!

world of snowboarding.

phone safely in your pocket and it’s

of Primaloft Gold insulation help the body

water resistant.

retain warmth in extreme conditions.





NITRO BLACKLIGHT SNOWBOARD It´s time to take three steps forward and



025 // DEC14

threevalleetransfers | +44 (0)1323 351964




Turns your ski outfit from 'Drab to Fab' in seconds! Fits any ski helmet Interchangebale and detachable Non slip and fixes securely Can be worn with goggles Comes in 12 different furs!

For discount enter code snow25 at the checkout.


skiers, snowboarders and sightseers with eight

Games. Whistler Creekside was the host

passengers able to sit comfortably on bench

Alpine Skiing Venue for men’s and women’s

seating. The new cabin configuration also gives

Downhill, Super-G, Giant Slalom, Slalom

guests the option of bringing their ski/snowboard

and Super Combined in 2010. Skiers and

equipment inside with them or storing it

snowboarders alike can experience every

themselves in the outside racks provided.

tight turn, drop, fall-away, and even “Hot Air”,

Opening day also saw the first-time skiers

just as the Olympians did (recommended

and riders at Whistler Blackcomb experience

skiing ability is intermediate to advanced).

the benefits of the newly introduced RFID

If you fancy a real high-speed thrill, head to the

technology around the mountains, including

Olympic Sliding Centre where you can try the

mountain access gates at most lifts.

public bobsleigh and skeleton programmes. One

Whistler Blackcomb was of course the official

of only 15 international competition sliding tracks

Alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and

in the world, the public programmes include

uch to the delight of eager skiers and

Paralympic Winter Games and, five seasons

everything you need to slide down the 2010

snowboarders, Whistler Blackcomb opened 5

on, Whistler Blackcomb’s guests can still relive

Olympic track, starting with a sport orientation,

days ahead of schedule on 22 November.

the Olympic excitement from the 2010 Games

advice on track etiquette, safety guidelines and

“Our snowmaking team worked hard to take

on the slopes and try out sliding sports in the

a mock run before graduating to the real thing.

advantage of an early season cold snap in

Olympic Sliding Centre.

You can expect to reach speeds of up to 125 kph

Whistler and had converted over 60 million

Whistler Blackcomb continues to celebrate its

for bobsleigh and 100 kph for skeleton!

gallons of water into snow prior to opening,”

Olympic legacy from hosting the 2010 Games

said Doug MacFarlane, Director of Mountain

with its “Ski With An Olympian” Snow School

Operations at Whistler Blackcomb. “Their efforts,

programme, its most elite product, and offers

combined with the natural snowfall we have

guests the chance to hire an Olympic athlete


already received at higher elevations, enabled

to be their own personal guide.

Canadian Affair (020 7616 9933;

us to get things rolling early again this year.”

But you don’t have to ski with an Olympian offer 7 nights in Whistler

This season guests have the option to upload

to experience your own Olympic moment!

from £839 per person on selected dates

from the base of Whistler Mountain in brand

You can ski/ride the two Alpine Venue race

in January and February 2015. Package

new cabins installed on the Whistler Village

courses (men’s and women’s), which the

includes return flights from London Gatwick to

Gondola. The new Sigma “Diamond” level walk-

athletes raced on in February and March 2010

Vancouver, airport transfers and 7 nights (twin

in cabins dramatically improve the experience for

during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter

share, room only) at Whistler Village Suites.

026 // DEC14



CANADleA s s! why settle for


SKI WHISTLER 7 nights from



St art your search at...


0203 424 6040

Prices are correct at the time of going to print, are subject to availability and can change. Packages include return flights from London Gatwick to Vancouver, plus return resort transfers and 7 nights 3 hotel. Prices are based on travelling on selected dates in April 2015. See website for full details, or call our ski experts today.


TRY BIATHLON IN MÉRIBEL Visitors can try their hand at biathlon in Méribel this winter at the official Altiport site, which has hosted the French Championships and European Cups. Like the pros, visitors alternate between a 200m cross-country ski circuit and the 50m shooting range, where they shoot real .22 rifles, in the prone and standing positions, for a 90-minute session costing €110.

THE “SOCHI EFFECT” The latest research from Snowsport England indicates that there has been both an immediate and a sustained effect on participation at indoor snow centres and dry slopes this year following the Sochi Olympics. The study found a 12% participation increase year on year (from 2013 to 2014) during the period February to April and an 11% increase year on year during the period May to August.

THRILLER SET IN VAL D’ISÈRE A new thriller set on the ski slopes of France has been published in print and online versions. “d’Ispere” by Benedict Beaumont is a fast-paced holiday read set amongst the seasonnaires of Val d’Isère and is available from book sellers including Amazon. It has been on sale for a month or so on Amazon or via

SAAS-FEE LOOKS BACK TO 1984 Love it or hate it (although, let’s be



teamed up with four-time Olympic

shown the nuances of on-piste

skier Chemmy Alcott, who retired

skiing by Chemmy Alcott. The

from international racing after

package is for skiers confident on

the Sochi Olympics, and the

black runs and includes fine dining.

W Hotel in Verbier, to create

Another weekend, from 6 to 8

some exclusive ski packages

March, will give skiers the chance

this winter, targeted at the more

to be taken on adventures

competent skier.

off-piste, flown to glaciers, race

These include a 3-day weekend

downhill with Chemmy Alcott

On-Piste/Off-Piste package

and finish off each day with long

(29 January–1 February 2015),

dinners and partying into the night

LS Private, a company which

where up to a maximum of eight

at the Farm Club. Heli-skiing is

specialises in creating bespoke,

skiers will be taken off-piste by

available as an optional extra.

high-end ski experiences, has

professional skier Bella Seel and


MORE HELMETS NO LESS FATALITIES A study of snow-sports deaths over the past 15 years has concluded that more helmet use has

honest, we all love it), this year is the 30th

not led to a decrease in deaths on the slopes.

anniversary of Wham!’s worldwide hit “Last

Speaking at the International Extreme Sports

Christmas” – the video of which was filmed

Medicine Annual Congress, in a presentation

in Saas-Fee. To celebrate this, the Saas Valley is staging a series of special events


entitled “Helmets in Snowsports – Good or Bad?”, Dr Irving Scher said that over the past 15 years, death rates had remained relatively

from 6 to 19 December 2014 and from 10 to to try out the full ski product range

constant, despite a huge rise in the number of

of the local Graubünden-based

people wearing helmets.

manufacturer for a whole day and also

The report did find that the number of severe

be pampered for 3 days at the 5★

head injuries had decreased, however, and

deluxe Carlton Hotel St Moritz.

Dr Scher said the findings pointed to the

The offer starts from CHF2620pp

conclusion that if you hit a hard object such

(approx. £1700pp) and in addition to

as a rock or tree, particularly at speed, whilst

and extensive bowl skiing. This winter there’s

the ski testing includes a 1-day ski

wearing a helmet, it is unlikely to help much. On

better access for non-experts to it all though

pass and 2 nights in a junior suite

ice, however, a helmet can be more effective,

with an improved route into the resort’s huge

or suite with breakfast and a credit

although on soft snow it may not be needed,

Superbowl (for intermediate skiers), well

of CHF100pp per day for food and

although Dr Scher still said, “It’s not a bad idea

23 January 2015.

KICKING HORSE “BLUE IT” Kicking Horse is famed for its steep skiing

The Carlton Hotel St Moritz (carlton-

latest gear accompanied by the 2006

drink in the hotel’s restaurants, use

to use one.”

are ‘Blueing’ it, adding intermediate skier/ is working with the

Olympic downhill champion, Antoine

of the 1200m2 luxury Carlton Spa,

The results also reflect claims from some

snowboarder access so that all can enjoy

exclusive ski manufacturer zai

Dénériaz, or Franco Cavegn, the

the private butler service, drinks

commentators that some take greater risks

the incredible alpine bowl skiing and riding

this winter to offer a special skiing

former Olympic and World Cup skier.

from the minibar and 24-hour

when wearing helmets, having a feeling

experience,” says a resort statement.

experience, testing the company’s

Guests will have the opportunity

limousine service in St Moritz.

of “invincibility”.

known for champagne powder, it is big. “We






After ten years of the Fête de la Glisse being the opening weekend

After two successive sell-out festivals in Andorra, the Snowboxx festival

celebration, Avoriaz in France launches the Rock On Ultimate on 12, 13

has found a new home in the French Alps.

and 14 December to get the season started and, they hope, build on

Snowboxx 2015 will be held in Alpe d’Huez from 21 to 28 March and

the 30,000 people who attended in previous years.

promises bigger artists, more pistes and more parties.

Described as a “unique rock and ski concept”, the car-free resort has

Not content with just moving resort, Snowboxx is also redefining the

secured global snowboarding superstar Shaun White to perform with

concept of the festival, offering skiers, snowboarders and festival-goers

his band at this year’s debut festival, which also promises a test village

a “festival village” experience. The town will be split up into four areas:

for trying out the latest gear, free concerts in the resort centre, a giant

The Town Centre, the High Street, Downtown and the Mountain, with

Happy Hour, live music in the evenings in the bars, an open-air Electro

each including a host of spectacles and activities from headline music

Club and much more.

acts, acrobatic ski displays, daily retro après-ski sessions, karaoke

After the €12m spend on the new Prodains Express 3S cable car

ski cabins, slopeside yoga, open-air pool parties, mountain meals, ice

linking Morzine earlier this year, visitors will find two new high-speed

sculptures, an on-the-mountain art project and a fancy dress world

six-seater chairlifts waiting for them this winter.

record attempt!

The Seraussaix chairlift, with a capacity of 2700 skiers/hour, will

Tickets for Snowboxx Alpe d’Huez start from £229 (little more than the

improve capacity to skiing in the Super Morzine sector, and the Proclou

cost of a regular lift pass) and include accommodation, lift pass and a

chairlift, with a capacity of 3200 skiers/hour, will improve skier flow to

festival wristband for 6 nights.

the recently opened Pierre et Vacances 5★ district in the resort.



season is extended, a Kitzsteinhorn statement said, “The new Gletscherjet 3 and 4 lift route means the glacier will be reached even faster and more directly, the whole year through. The central glacial ski area will be completely restructured and wider pistes will open up for winter athletes.” “The heart of the glacial ski area is currently developed with chairlifts and drag lifts. From autumn 2015, the central skiing area on the Kitzsteinhorn will be significantly altered, with newly situated and extended lifts. The glacier will be accessible much more quickly the whole year round and the comfort and capacity will be greatly improved. The new efficient axis opens many more innovative possibilities for the future.” The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier above Kaprun in

in autumn 2015 to tie in with the centre’s

Gletscherjet 3 starting from the Alpincenter

Austria plans to celebrate its 50th birthday

half-century celebrations.

will combine ten-person gondola cabins and

next year by opening two new high-speed,

Austria’s first glacial skiing area was opened

an eight-seater heated chairlift on one cable.

high-capacity lifts and reinvigorating its entire

on the Kitzsteinhorn in 1965 and was originally

Gletscherjet 4 will be a gondola lift with cabins

glacier ski area at a cost of €25m.

planned as a summer skiing area. It has had a

for ten persons that will ascend over the

Work on the new Glacier Jet 3 and 4 lifts

snow guarantee from October to May for most

Schmiedingerkees glacier to the foot of the

has already begun with the 18-month

of the last 50 years.

Kitzsteinhorn summit – nearly 3000 metres

construction schedule due to be completed

Hinting that the new lifts might mean the ski

above sea level.


029 // DEC14






it in turns to each cater for the rest of the group

Ensure you take every bed in the chalet for

for one day in the week.

maximum value. Work out your chalet party in advance and ensure you take a deposit from


everyone who says they’d like to go before you

You can get the lux bargain of the century if your

start searching, otherwise you’ll find people drop

dates are totally flexible. For example, Chalet

out when it comes to paying up. If there is doubt

Marco Polo in Val-d’Isère (pictured) competes

about group size, opt for a “chalet hotel” which

among the very finest, and while the price is an

allows people to join later.

eye-watering £5k per person during half-term week (yes, £80k for one week!), arrive a few


weeks earlier and you can have the same holiday

Much of the hiked-up prices during the school

That’s very “affordable” by lux chalet standards.

but for “only” £1k per person at the end of January.

holiday dates are down to the scarcity of flights.

halet holidays have been something of a

It’s not always wise to wait for a late deal on


British institution for many years. Few other

peak dates, but, if you can drive and you don’t

Book a cheap ski chalet but keep the extra

nationalities even consider booking themselves

mind where you stay, there are often some

budget aside and spend it on your favourite

into a catered chalet, especially with strangers,

great last-minute ski deals to be had. On search

treats. Each party member could have a basket

as may be the case if you don’t rent a full

engines look at chalet prices in school holidays

from Fortnums ( delivered

chalet, and yet we Brits have been doing so for

with flights then switch to self-drive and you

before you arrive, for example (they offer

more than a century.

should see the price plummet. Sort by “Star

European delivery), so you’re stocked up with

And far from tailing off in popularity in the 21st

Rating” to see the 5 and 4 chalets first.

your favourite lux treats. It’s amazing how high-

century, chalet holidays have proved ever more

end your catered chalet experience feels when

in 2008, after which the fixed price catering


model became ever more popular again.

Self-catering chalets can be unbelievably

The big tour operators are offering more

cheap, so become your own tour operator by

chalet options than ever before and the

taking your own chalet with you. If you know

bespoke service provided by smaller

someone who’s done a season, they’ll be able

family run businesses like Mountain Utopia

to easily put together a week’s menu. For the

( in Morzine are going

price of a spare bed and seat in the car down

from strength to strength too. We asked chalet

to the Alps, they can be given a free ski holiday

ski holiday expert Richard Sinclair of

by you guys, in return for doing the cooking.

to give his top tips for getting the most out of a

Fill up on food stocks in the cheap French

chalet holiday for the smallest spend:

supermarkets en route. Failing that, simply take

popular, particularly since the economic downturn

030 // DEC14

you breakfast like a king and lunch like a lord!





S kiing in Germany is not something many Brits

do these days, which is a pity as the southern

of runs. With slopes up to 2225m high and over

can be left at the hotel at the end of your

1400m of skiable vertical, snow cover is good

holiday. This saves a lot of time for guests who

and backed up by snowmaking. There are runs

don’t bring their own equipment.

for all abilities from gentle family slopes to high-

The Viktoria’s two á la carte restaurants serve

speed FIS-accredited racing pistes. Oberstdorf

dinner in an elegant, traditional Bavarian

is located only 40 minutes from Allgäu Airport

atmosphere, or you can choose to dine in the

at Memmingen, and once you reach the resort

cosy parlour or bar area. Wherever you choose

a free ski bus service links everything together.

you will enjoy friendly service and delicious

Oberstdorf is in fact popular with families all

dishes served with specially paired wine or

year round, and there’s lots to do here besides

refreshing Bavarian draught beers.

the skiing and snowboarding. Ski Jumping

Each day begins with a rich breakfast buffet to

World Cup events are staged here annually

set you up for the morning and through the day

and cross-country skiing is very popular

there are different tea and coffee specialities

too – in fact, in 2005, the Nordic Ski World

available along with homemade cakes, ice

Championships took place in the resort for the

cream, light meals

second time since 1987.

and even hearty snacks. Anyone


parts of the country are home to many

with special dietary requirements can be catered for.

magnificent ski areas. In fact, Germany was

Söllereck is Oberstdorf’s “family mountain” with

The hotel’s amenities

once quite a popular choice with British skiers.

12 slopes to choose from and 9.5km of runs.

include a state-of-the-

From the late 1960s to the 1990s package tours

The recently added Söllereck lift is Germany’s

art newly renovated

were organised and German ski destinations

longest six-seat cable car with easy boarding

wellness area with a

were in the big brochures. But then in the era of

and panoramic views as you ascend.

swimming pool, two

the Deutsche Mark, Germany got a reputation,

The Nebelhorn is the highest ski resort in the

indoor saunas and

like Switzerland, for being one of Europe’s most

region meaning normally great snow, and there

an outdoor Finnish

expensive destinations, and its popularity in the

are snow cannons too if needed. From the top

sauna, steam bath

UK waned.

you have a view of over 400 peaks, giving it its

and hay bed with a

Fast forward 20 years and things are very

local nickname, “the stage of the Alps”. There

wide menu of spa


different, and German skiing deserves a

are 13km of runs including a superb 7.5km

treatments available.

fresh look! To begin with, relative prices have

slope all the way to the valley. There are three

Families are

+49 8322 977840

dropped, in part thanks to the Euro and in part

challenging black runs here but also easier runs

particularly welcome

due to low inflation in Germany. Prices have

and a great 2.5km-long toboggan run.

and the Viktoria

risen in other Alpine nations more quickly, and

Finally the linked Fellhorn/Kanzelwand areas

brings the kids with


German skiing has dropped into the “most

represent the biggest of Oberstdorf’s ski

the ski shuttle to the

affordable” bracket.

areas with 41.9km of well-prepared slopes and

Söllereck mountain

Then there’s the fact that it’s now much easier to

several terrain parks to enjoy.

for ski lessons, and

reach. Most of the package tours have gone, but low-cost airlines have created routes to German Alpine airports, meaning ski centres that were


Ski Germany

also has an in-house


kindergarten offering

childcare for children 3 years of age or


Munich are now much closer. The Allgäu Airport

The 4★ Hotel Viktoria is well prepared to

older from 3.30 pm to

at Memmingen in particular has been greatly

accommodate British guests, organising direct

8 pm. There is a large

improved in recent years and offers direct

collections from Allgäu Airport at Memmingen

indoor playing area

Ryanair flights from Stansted or Dublin.

for an effortless arrival.

for children which

So this winter is the time to leave the crowds

Located 5 minutes’ drive north of Oberstdorf

includes adventure

behind, head north of the Swiss and Austrian

in the hamlet of Riedweg, with spectacular

playground facilities including a climbing frame

border and ski in Germany!

mountain views, the family-friendly and

as well as arcade games including table football

family-owned hotel has great Bavarian dining

and air hockey, plus there’s a media room with

opportunities, excellent spa facilities and first-

a Wii and an X-Box. There’s also a special family

class service. There’s also a daily ski shuttle to

sauna in the spa area.

all of the different ski areas nearby.

So with affordable flights from London to an

One of Germany’s biggest and best-known

The hotel also works with a ski school in

airport much less than an hour’s transfer from

resorts, as well as its most southerly, Oberstdorf

Oberstdorf ( to

the slopes, and a ski area rich in history where

has four different ski areas, including the largest

provide lessons if required and these, along

you can stay in a family-friendly hotel where

linked ski area on the northern side of the Alps,

with rental equipment (skis and boots) can

your every need is met – including pick-up

Germany’s longest ski run and an area lift pass

be booked through the hotel’s reception in

from/to the airport at the start and end of your

that extends across the border to include areas

advance. Ski equipment will then be directly

stay, and to the slopes every day – this should

in Austria – the Kleinwalsertal ticket with 128km

delivered to the hotel before your arrival and

be the season that you ski Germany!

once a long transfer to reach from Innsbruck or


033 // OCT14





If you’ve ever drooled over videos of people bouncing down through

A French couple, Stéphanie and Jérémie Gicquel, both 32 years old, are

“Kids at Grandparents, Gone Skiing” is a possible midweek ski escape

deep fluffy powder having been dropped on a mountain top by a

attempting to cross Antarctica on skis (

option being promoted for families by tour operator Ski Weekends

helicopter, but wondered if you could really do it yourself, then a new

Having set off from Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport, a popular arrival

(, who want to make it clear they aren’t just there at

“Ready to Heli” package from Nonstop Ski and Snowboard Coaching

point for British skiers to the French Alps, a month ago, the intrepid

weekends, but do midweek breaks too.

( might be the trip you need to sign up for to find

duo are approaching halfway in their estimated 70-day crossing to

“During the school week the morning and evening routine is set and

out if you can … (Yes, you can!) The 1-week course will teach you all

the opposite coastline of the world’s coldest continent, via the South

easy to follow, making it the best time to hand over the children to

you need to know to master skiing or riding in untouched powder, the

Pole, where the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, an American

friends or family, allowing you a little time to slip away to recharge on

company promises, taking you from a relative off-piste novice to being

research site, holds camp.

a mini break,” said a statement on behalf of the company. “Let’s face it,

dropped at the top of a mountain by helicopter in just 7 days.

It is a sizeable challenge. They must face freezing temperatures,

grandparents love their grandchildren dearly, but the weekday routine

This camp combines 4 days of intensive off-piste coaching from a

which can drop as low as -50°C at this time of year, violent winds

is easier to cope with than the exhaustion of a ‘fun-filled’ weekend

specialist Nonstop instructor, including an exhilarating day of CAT skiing,

and crevasses, and they will have to cross icy plains at high altitude

when kids need to be entertained from dawn until dusk.”

gliding through untracked powder. The course comes to a climax with a

(between 2500m and 3000m) while dragging a sled containing a tent

Along with the advantages of childcare from a trusted relative, the

day with rk heliski in the Purcell mountain range, famed for its dry and

and all the equipment, food rations, communication tools and other

company points out that other advantages include it being typically

light snowfall and the highest landings in Canadian heli-skiing.

safety equipment they need for their expedition.

cheaper than a long weekend, while the lifts and slopes are normally

“With the ideal preparation, you will confidently make fresh tracks

Since Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911,

less busy. Flights are also cheaper midweek, so you won’t be spending

down some of the finest pristine powder in Western Canada, whether

only a handful of adventurers have managed to cross 2000km-wide

their inheritance, the company points out, and you’re back in time for

it’s on the open glacier runs or through the glades,” say Nonstop.

Antarctica via the South Pole, most of whom have done so by kite-skiing.

family time at the weekend.

Prices start from £1950pp for the trip, commencing Saturday 28

Many have attempted the crossing but have had to give up for some

Breaks currently available include 3 nights and 3.5 days skiing at

February 2015 and available to both skiers and snowboarders, based

reason or another. If they accomplish their objective, Stéphanie and

Chalet Belle Neige in Belle Plagne from £454pp based on a Monday

on two sharing. Most guests are solo travellers, who are matched

Jérémie will be the first couple to cross Antarctica on skis.

2 March departure. Or for a bit of added luxury, 3 nights at the 5★

up with suitable roommates. The price includes 7 nights’ B&B

The couple intend to share their experience with as many people as

Hotel Au Coeur du Village in La Clusaz costs from £1079pp based on a

accommodation, three evening meals, Fernie lift pass, airport transfers,

possible at interactive exhibitions, which they will organise on their

Monday 12 January departure. Prices include flights, private transfers

tuition and activities, but excludes flights.

return, notably in Courchevel and at Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport.

and chalet-board accommodation.



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heli-ski operation on Japan’s northern island of

through the coming ski season. But it’s not just

Hokkaido where Niseko is located in the early

about heli-skiing; the project will also focus

1980s. But Japan’s massive recession, declining

on developing better and safer backcountry

Japanese interest in snow sports and rising

access in Japan, along with exploring improved

costs meant the operation closed down when

avalanche safety and forecasting.

Gaman-san deemed it no longer financially

Matt has launched a crowdfunding initiative

viable. Ironically his operation ended just a few

with Kickstarter to cover his costs, with rewards

years before the current boom in ski tourism

for investors including the chance to enjoy

from around the world to Hokkaido began

some of the first heli-ski trips in Japan.

and a new demand for increased off-piste

Matt’s target to fund the documentary project

opportunities took hold.

is $8000 (US). Among the rewards offered are

The first modern helicopter ski and snowboard

as follows: those who pledge $150 can choose

operation, operating on private land, was

from a Black Diamond Tours introductory or

initiated last year by Black Diamond Lodge and

deep powder snowmobile tour (valued at $200);

Dragon Heli.

for $350 you can choose three nights for two

eli-skiing may be returning to public land in

Now Black Diamond Lodge owner/operator

guests at Black Diamond Lodge (low or shoulder

Japan soon if a new study with the aim of

Clayton Kernaghan and Makoto Koizumi of

season), while for $800 you qualify for a Tour de

reintroducing heli-skiing is successful.

Dragon Helicopter are aiming to build the first

Jalaska for one person, including two days of

In spite of (or perhaps because of) its reputation

modern helicopter ski and snowboard operation

guided skiing or snowboarding in an exclusive

for exceptionally abundant deep powder snow,

in northern Japan. But with the increased off-

new backcountry cat zone, with accommodation

all forms of off-piste skiing are carefully controlled

piste skiing safety concerns in the last decade,

at a real hot-springs lodge on the ocean, plus

in Japan, and in recent years there had been

it’s no longer clear whether heli-skiing on public

one day of guided off-piste resort skiing. Those

no heli-skiing in the country, other than a small

land is in fact legal, and the study this winter

who pledge $1200 can enjoy a three-run,

operation aimed at beginner/intermediate skiers

aims to find that out. “It a bit frustrating, seeing

introductory helicopter ski or snowboard day

on the main island of Honshu.

the potential that lies here, but realising that

for two guests, including all safety gear, guide

That was not always the case, however; it’s

government doesn’t know the next step, doesn’t

service, and shuttle, complimentary Hokkaido

a little-known fact that a heli-skiing operation

know what to do,” says Kernaghan.

Backcountry Club membership, two special

did run for nearly three decades until 2003.

Photojournalist Matt Standal (

edition T-shirts, and digital project download.

An Olympic skier and world traveller, Gaman-

blog) will be making a documentary about

A $3,600 version includes seven runs for two

san, had the passion and vision to begin the

the effort to reintroduce heli-skiing in Japan

people plus the Tour de Jalaska.


035 // DEC14


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Arosa and Lenzerheide are of

counter balance one another as on

tracks on a 6.30am start on selected

course not new resorts, but the

a traditional cable car.

Sundays in February and March.

connection of their two ski areas

The long-established ski resort

For lunch and snack time there

in the previous winter season, to

Arosa is a great choice for

are eight restaurants on the Arosa

create one of the largest resorts

beginners and families, thanks to

side, including the popular Motta

in Switzerland with 225km of runs

its wide open slopes in a snowy

hut which is famous for its cream

on three valley sides, IS new! It’s

powder bowl surrounded by

cakes. And it needn’t break the

all found in the highest and most

dramatic mountain peaks.

bank: for a tenner, you’ll receive

snow-sure area of the Eastern Alps.

On the Lenzerheide side you can

the dish of the day plus a drink in

The connection across the Urden

follow the sunshine through the

the three restaurants Alp Lavoz,

Valley from one mountain to the

day thanks to the “Runda Lai”

Alp Stätz and Scharmoin.

other is made in just 5 minutes on

circuit of interconnected slopes

Along with Arosa Lenzerheide,

he leading ski holiday company

the spectacular, sleek new cable car

running from west to east.

Inghams also offer holidays to

Inghams have added the exciting

which spans 1.7km, connecting the

But there’s plenty of steeper terrain

other leading Graubünden ski

new destination of Arosa

Urdenfürggli with the Hörnli peak at

and powder options in this huge

resorts including Davos Klosters

Lenzerheide in the Swiss canton

2494m. It’s so dynamic and hi-tech

area for advanced skiers too. One

and St Moritz.

of Graubünden to their holiday

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MORE PEOPLE SENDING THEIR SKI BAGGAGE AHEAD creasingly stressful airport environment with

“Sending your luggage ahead takes a little

to resort ahead of skiers arriving says their

the convenience of having hand baggage

more planning than travelling with it, but our

business is up 38% on last season.

only, and that they can also save money on

on-time delivery success rate is 98.9%, higher

Luggage Mule ( sends

carriage fees charged by no-frills airlines.

than any airline,” said Luggage Mule’s Man-

bags and ski equipment ahead via their glob-

Prices to send a 20kg suitcase to France

aging Director John Makin. “For families with

al courier network, meaning travellers do not

start from £59.99 for a return service to the

a lot of luggage, this service is a godsend as

need to carry or check in their bags as they’re

UK, and from £77.99 for a return service for

it means they can travel with hand luggage

sent straight to their holiday accommodation.

skis. Prices for the USA and Canada start

only and get through airports at both ends

The company says their clients want the

from £99 each way for a 20kg suitcase

quickly, meaning they can be on the slopes in

convenience of travelling through the in-

plus skis.

record time.”


A company that carries suitcases and skis

GREAT VALUE SKIING IN ANDORRA Andorra is the Brits’ fourth

Closer to the Spanish border

favourite place to ski, and

are two smaller resorts,

recent industry reports* show

Arinsal and Pal, which have an

that people rate it highly for its

entire British section to the ski

lift systems, ski schools, bars

school and are well suited to

and nightlife – and its value

beginners and families. The

for money.

combined area is not extensive

The small, mountainous

– 63km in all – but the piste

country sandwiched between

grooming is consistent and the

France and Spain has in the

slopes sunny.

Grandvalira ski area more

The other main ski area, Arcalis,

than 210km of pistes, linking

is set to make its mark this sea-

Soldeu/El Tarter, Pas de la

son as it hosts a leg of the Fre-

Casa/Grau Roig with Canillo

eride World Tour. An experienced

and Encamp. The area has a

skier’s paradise, Arcalis has no

modern, quick and efficient lift

accommodation at its base but

system, good coverage with

is easily accessed from Arinsal

snowmaking, an excellent ski

and Pal on the free ski bus, and is

school with British instructors

included on the same lift pass.

and a freeride centre.

The capital, Andorra la Vella,

Grandvalira-Soldeu has done

is home to an excellent spa

much to shrug off its boozy

(Caldea) and plenty of duty-free

reputation in recent years, and

shops — so well worth a visit.

is now home to a top-notch 5★

* Ski Club of Great Britain 2014

hotel, the Sport Hotel Hermitage

consumer research.

and Spa, part of the Small Luxury

For more information about the

Hotels of the World group, as

ski resorts and to book inde-

well as a host of Spanish and

pendent holidays to Andorra

Catalan restaurants.


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037 // DEC14

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Various Various dates/resorts dates/resorts New Year weekNew Year week ––see see ourour website website for more forinfo more info 27th Dec. 201427th – 3rd Dec. Jan. 2015 2014 – 3rd Jan. 2015

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• 7 nights accommodation • 7 nights accommodation • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days equipment hire – incl. transceiver, shovel, probe – incl. transceiver, shovel, probe • All meals • All meals • 6.5 days lift pass • 6.5 days lift pass £491 £820 £820 • 23 hrs instruction • 23 hrs instruction

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Well, the ‘Rent-a-Palace’ private-use package

It has been completely refurbished by interior

includes the use of all 100 bedrooms, the

designer Marina Nickels – renovating it in her

services of five restaurants and the hotel’s

signature style of natural colours and with

other facilities all for your personal use. They

her penchant for creating intimate elegant

even throw in breakfast and free wi-fi. If you

spaces reminiscent of a private residence. The

do want to bring anyone else along there are

Penthouse Suite rates are between CHF9950

meeting rooms for up to 300 people.

and CHF15,960 per night.

If the dates don’t suit, the Palace has a further new attraction this winter. The hotel’s remarkable Penthouse Suite (which is ‘subject to request’ when you rent the full hotel) has been fully refurbished and reopens for the season on 19th December 2014. A world of ultimate splendour spread over 240 m2, every detail of The Penthouse Suite

enting a Courchevel chalet for a quarter of a

is designed to add a little something special.

million Euros over New Year is all very well,

There’s space in abundance in one of the

but to really show your class, why not consider

largest penthouse suites in the Alps (possibly

Penthouse suite guests can also make use of

renting an entire palace for CHF50,000 a day?

the largest), which despite its size provides a

the hotel’s newest team member, the Gstaad

Not any old palace either, but the century-

cosy atmosphere with an inviting fireplace.

Palace Ski Butler, who begins work this winter.

old, world-famous and exceptionally

Located on the roof of the Palace, the suite

The Ski Butler (whose services are available

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luxurious beyond-5★ Gstaad Palace in the

– which was originally constructed over the

to all Palace guests) will greet guests on the

iconic Swiss resort.

course of two off-seasons via helicopter access

mountaintop with a hamper filled with delectable

• 6 Days Touring skis, boots, poles • 6 Days Touring skis, boots, poles transceiver, shovel, probe transceiver, shovel, probe • 6 Nights accommodation • 6 Nights accommodation • 6 days guiding • 6 days guiding • Full board • Full board £901 £901 • Return from Zermatt • Return from Zermatt

The hotel is available to rent in its entirety

– comprises three bedrooms with en-suite

sweet treats, savoury snacks and cheeses. After

on certain dates in the ski season (8–12

bathrooms and steam baths, spacious dining

finding a suitable spot to sit down he’ll serve a

December and 15–18 December 2014 as

and living areas and even a kitchenette. It

sumptuous slopeside picnic accompanied by

well as 15–22 March 2015 this winter) with a

also has private access with an elevator and a

chilled champagne or warming glühwein.

minimum stay of 2 nights required.

sauna nestled inside one of the hotel’s turrets,

For further information or to make


So what do you get apart from the run of the

and a rooftop Jacuzzi boasting exceptional

reservations, call (+41) 33 748 50 00 or visit

views of the surrounding mountains.



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038 // DEC14




SKI COOL OFFER “SKI THERAPY” FOR WOMEN Ski Cool, a long-established ski school that has been running for 33 years in Val Thorens, offers what it calls a “creativity-based approach” to its business with the aim of meeting the needs and expectations of its multilingual clientele. The school has launched a range of tuition packages aimed at different needs, including children, women, young advanced skiers, freestyle fans and senior skiers. Women can overcome

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any fears and relax while skiing with the “Ski Therapy” package. “Because women have a subtler and more progressive approach to downhill sports, you want to be listened to, gain confidence and have a relaxing experience. Use breathing techniques and visualisation to escape from stress and worry, feel more confident and enjoy yourself,” said Annie Breyton, Ski Cool’s manager. The made-to-measure package (max. group size of five) for skiers with at least 2 weeks’ experience costs €189 for five mornings per week, with the option of an additional stretching session one or two times a week (

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Ski areas in New Hampshire, USA, have been announcing the construction work currently taking place there this summer, ready for the next ski season. These include a number of new lifts and runs. Ragged Mountain are spending over $5m replacing the old Spear triple chairlift with a new Doppelmayr high-speed detachable quad chairlift. Another high-speed quad, this time Poma-built, is being installed at Mt


Sunapee’s Sunbowl area, replacing a fixed-grip four-person lift there, cutting the ascent time in half from 8 to 4 minutes. This is the first of several lift improvements planned over the next few years which will also see new runs added. Pats Peak opened Cascade Basin last winter with a new triple chairlift and four new trails. This winter, the area will be expanded with two more trails and a new gladed area, as well as expanded snowmaking. FB.COM/INTHESNOW

039 // DEC14

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It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about how lovely a white Christmas would be … and, sadly, how unlikely it is we’ll have one in the UK (except, hopefully, on the Scottish mountains!). WORDS: PATRICK THORNE

041 // DEC14

f or holiday booking, Christmas, like Easter, is an interesting time

because in the ski areas of Europe it’s still early in the season (most resorts will only have opened for the season in the fortnight before Christmas, some only the weekend before), and prices can be

surprisingly low when you consider this is a major holiday period. Late booking deals are also much more common than a week later, over

New Year, when prices can more than double, and availability is slim. Christmas on the slopes is a magical time. The fairy lights strung around the village take on special meaning, festive events are organised, and what could be better than going skiing or boarding on Christmas Day while someone else prepares your meal, and washes up afterwards? The only conundrum occurs when Christmas falls on a weekend. Then you can end up travelling on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, but thankfully that’s definitely not the case in 2014. With Christmas Day on a Thursday, you can avoid the final frenzy on the UK high street and relax for the 5-day run-up to Christmas from Saturday, 20 December in resort; then enjoy Boxing Day on the slopes too before heading home on the 27th to gear up for New Year! Now the only remaining question is where to go?

Lapland It’s great to pop over to see Santa just before he sets off from his home turf on his epic journey. If you’re lucky, you might see the northern lights too. Other positives are that you’ll find the slopes of Finnish ski areas fairly quiet as most people will be in town to see Santa too; not many will be skiers. The only downsides are that as it’s midwinter it will be dark nearly 24 hours a day – although with soft floodlighting, this results in a magical atmosphere which can enhance the Christmas feeling – and in Lapland, Christmas week is, marginally, the most expensive week of the season because everyone loves Santa.


France Of course all ski resorts do their best to make Christmas special, but Valmorel in France goes that extra kilometre, especially for families … To start with, the village is lit up with 1000 lights and there’s a lovely Christmas show and parade with Father Christmas and his little elves that’s free for everyone. During Christmas, there are special story sessions, fireworks, torch-lit winter walks, lanterns in the windows and much more. As an added present, children aged under 13 receive a free 6-day lift pass when an accompanying adult buys an adult pass over the same week from 20 to 26 December 2014.

Christmas Markets Another magical part of Christmas can be attending a traditional continental Christmas market. They’re particularly popular in Germanspeaking parts of the Alps including Austria, eastern Switzerland and the South Tyrol in Italy, but they can pop up anywhere. One of the biggest is in Salzburg, and Crystal ( offer pre-Christmas packages which include a Salzburg stay for a few nights and the rest of the week skiing.

Value Serre Chevalier Vallée is offering 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation and 6-day lift passes for a family of four for under £1000 this Christmas (arrivals on 20 December, 2014). You just have to get there. The €1140 package is available when booked online at or direct with the local tourist office’s Englishspeaking staff on +33 (0)4 92 24 98 98. Serre Chevalier has over 250km of piste to explore and stages The Festival Jeune Public throughout Christmas week with free shows for children and all the family to help you get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Fun A number of resorts put on Christmas-themed contests which can be lots of fun to take part in if you head to the slopes before Christmas week itself. One of the best known is ClauWau (, also known as the Santa Claus World Championships, a fun team event in the duty-free Swiss resort of Samnaun, which is lift-linked to Ischgl in Austria. Alternatively, across the pond at Sunday River in Maine, the annual Santa Sunday sees hundreds of pre-registered Santas arrive at the resort in full attire and with a charitable donation in hand in order to get a free lift pass in exchange for their festive efforts.


Family Skiing Packages If you’d like Christmas savings and all the Christmas trimmings for your family, then the Family Ski Company (; 01684 540333) is offering a remarkable £250 saving per person for Christmas week with


prices now only £499 per adult and £349 per child (infants £100) for chalet holidays in Les Coches. Even more amazingly, the deal (which is subject to availability) includes a free full-area lift pass for adults and a complimentary bottle of Prosecco. The holiday includes full chalet board, Christmas decorations, a tree in the chalet and a glass of bucks fizz before you spend Christmas Day on the slopes, returning to a Christmas turkey meal cooked for you when you get back.

043 // DEC14





A survey carried out on behalf of Crystal Ski has discovered nine out

The current street-food trend is coming to the mountains, and ski areas

Following the decision to end the service known as “ski hosting” or

of ten adults regret not learning a skill when they were younger. The

that have been boasting about their gastronomic and Michelin-starred

“social skiing” on French slopes two seasons ago, leading British tour

poll of 1000 respondents revealed that not learning a language was

restaurants in recent years are now talking up their affordable burger

operators are now set to withdraw the service from Italian resorts too.

the biggest regret, expressed by 59% of people, while not learning a

bars on the slopes. Of course, these are not greasy burgers made of

“Ski hosting” is typically when an employee of a tour operator who,

musical instrument was regretted by half, not learning how to dance by

cheap meat cuts, but something a little more special.

crucially, may not have formal ski teaching qualifications takes guests

18% and not learning to ski/snowboard by 15%.

Establishments that are currently in the ascendency include La K-Bane, a

on a basic orientation tour of the easy slopes at the base of the runs.

The reasons people gave for not doing what they wish they had done

hut at the bottom of the slopes of Praz-sur-Arly which has been awarded

The service is run in many ways in many countries but is currently the

included too little time (38%), trying but not persevering (38%), lack

a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. The owners, a couple from

subject of an ongoing legal case in France, with British tour operators

of confidence (34%), not having enough money (32%), perseverance

the Netherlands, serve delicious meat skewers and their famous K-Bane

arguing it should be allowed and the French authorities saying it

(38%) and lack of facilities (32%), while the activity not being cool (15%)

burger with a home-made sauce. It can be taken away or eaten at some

breaches laws there.

was cited as the biggest reason for not taking up a skill in childhood.

of their outside tables.

In September, all tour operators operating in the Italian Piemonte

Unsurprisingly, Crystal are keen to stress that it’s never too late to learn

The delightfully named Restaurant Le Farto, also in Praz-sur-Arly, offers

region, just over the French border, were contacted by the local Ski

a new skill, and they’re happy to help with that fourth most regretted

a platter with a mini raclette, a mini tartiflette and a mini rissole de

School Association, which advised them that they were in breach of

failure – not learning to ski or board.

Reblochon, a perfect way to try several yummy Savoyard specialities, for

Italian regulations regarding social skiing services on the mountain.

“As ski and board experts, we know the first few days of learning

only €15 a pop. If you prefer seafood, the Bulle Café is an igloo made of

As a result of this, the biggest operator Crystal and, it is understood,

something new can be tough, which is why we offer great packages to

glass at Arcs 2000 Centre which serves six oysters for €9.

other UK operators have taken the decision to remove social skiing

help you try something new in the most stress-free way. What’s more,

Food vans are also doing well. In Orelle, beneath Val Thorens, Anne-Marie,

from all resorts in Italy for this winter.

our experts will be on hand to help you to perfect that all-important

in her food van located at the bottom of the gondola, delights skiers and

“(‘Social skiing’) … is classed as a criminal offence, and if caught

social media picture pose!” said a company statement.

pedestrians with her pizzas prepared with a delicious home-made base.

could result in our reps being fined and prosecuted,” said a Crystal

Crystal ( have learn-to-ski packages from £448 and

And gourmet burgers are on the menu at more and more

statement. “Due to local legal restrictions, our social skiing service

offer ideas for first-timers, tips for budgeting, suggestions for travelling

establishments. An unusual option at 3200m up is a Scandinavian

in Italy has been suspended for this winter. Crystal customers will

with young children, fun ideas for non-skiers, essential what-to-pack

reindeer burger with girolle mushrooms, or a bison burger, at the Caron

continue to be supported by our expert in-resort teams and the new

lists and much more.

Freeride Café in Val Thorens.

Crystal Ski Explorer app.”

The Perfect Family Ski Holiday Independent & Fully Bonded Flexible & Caring

01684 540333 |





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046 // DEC14

When InTheSnow organise a

ski cross star Emily Sarsfield – who

Fernie, Red, Revelstoke or Kicking

reader’s trip we like to offer

is luckily also a BASI Level 4 ski

Horse or head up in to backcountry

something different, and we like

instructor and experienced off-piste

terrain, perhaps using heli-

to go big, so next March we’ve

skier – to host it.

accessed cat skiing.

partnered with The Storm Chasers

The Storm Chasers operate an

to offer you the chance to go

exclusive luxury coach which

For more details visit

powder snow hunting in Western

heads up and down Canada’s and click

Canada. Think ‘Twister’ but with

famed Powder Highway hunting

on Readers Holiday or visit

deep, feather-light powder rather

out perfect conditions. The fully or

than big scary tornadoes.

qualified mountain guides decide

contact Richard Barker:

To make the trip still more epic,

each day whether to choose a

07977 274182,

we’ve teamed up with Team GB

famous resort like Lake Louise,





hearing into Mae’s qualification

calculation of FIS points that do

ban five officials received one-

for the Olympics found flaws

not reflect the true performance

to-two-year bans.

in how she accrued the points

of the competitors that

With the results of the

required to take part.

participated in those events and

competition annulled, Miss

An FIS Hearing Panel looked in

in particular the points awarded

Mae and two other competitors

particular at four giant slalom

to Vanessa Vanakorn (Mae),”

would not have qualified for

competitions for ladies that were

said an FIS statement.

Sochi, information the FIS

organised at the Krvavec Ski

The flaws in the race included

has communicated to the

area in Slovenia in January 2014

competitors listed as taking part

International Olympic Committee.

at the request of Vanessa Mae’s

not being present, a competitor

Mae, 35, a British citizen who


being placed second in a race

was born in Singapore and who

“After considering written

where she fell, a competitor

finished in joint last place in the

he famous violinist Vanessa Mae

submissions and testimony at

starting outside the starting gate

Giant Slalom at Sochi and had

(real name Vanessa Vanankorn)

a hearing on 3 October 2014,

which was manually opened by

said she planned to compete at

who raced at the Sochi Olympics

the Hearing Panel found to its

officials after she was already on

the world championships in Vail

for Thailand earlier this year has

comfortable satisfaction that

the course and the course not

Beaver Creek this season, has

been given a four-year ban from

the results of the four ladies

being changed for the second

said the ruling is unfair and that

competing by the International

giant slalom races … were

runs as required by FIS rules. In

she will appeal to the Court of

Ski Federation (FIS) after a

manipulated, resulting in the

addition to Miss Mae’s four-year

Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.


SEXTEN GETS CONNECTED After the unprecedented five pairs of ski areas getting interconnected last winter, there have been few stories of resorts joining up for 2014–15. However, one Italian area will see the two separate halves of its ski area, located on either side of a mountain valley, connected for the first time, thanks to the installation of two new high-speed gondola lifts with eight passenger cabins. The two new lifts will link the Helm and Rotwand sectors, creating a merged network with 90km of piste in total. This tally will include two all-new runs, the new Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks) descent and the new Stiergarten piste, which will both be major assets to the area. The lifts will reach 2100m on the Stiergarten and provide a totally new view of the Sexten Dolomites, with magnificent views of the Drei Zinnen. The link, which is all part of the giant Dolomiti Superski pass, is scheduled to open on 29 November (


047 // DEC14

We are an innovative ski & snowboard school offering on-piste, off-piste and adventure activities in the best resorts in the French Alps. For more info, visit our website at





St Anton is planning a full weekend of celebrations from

Paralympian Jade Etherington, who shot to British stardom with her

Children’s activity holiday company PGL has a new location for its

5 to 7 December to launch their 2014–15 ski season. The stage is

success with her guide Caroline Powell, winning four medals at the

February half-term Ski and Snowboard “camp” for unaccompanied

set for winter.

Sochi Olympics earlier this year, has decided to retire from competitive

teenagers (13–17 years). It is the Austrian village of Steindorf, where the

The celebrations kick off at 8.45am sharp on Friday, 5 December,

ski racing.

Hotel Schulga sits beside Lake Ossiach in the Carinthian region. This

when the first gondola will leave its starting blocks to access the area’s

“After many discussions with Caroline, we have both decided to retire

is a small and welcoming base for teenagers, with easy access to the

340km of marked runs and 200km of backcountry terrain. Fifteen

from competitive ski racing. We will be sad to leave the Paralympic

Gerlitzen ski area – the highest in the region.

leading ski and snowboard manufacturers will be there, providing their

Alpine Skiing programme, and we will both miss our sport and athletes

“Our February half-term holiday is perfect for teenagers whose family

latest models to test free of charge all weekend.

on the team and circuit,” said Jade, who has 5% vision in both eyes.

can’t or don’t want to ski, and for children with no opportunity to go on

Later on in the day, the resort will stage its famous “Krampalar” Devil’s

“Caroline and I now wish to follow different paths which we feel will be

a school trip,” said PGL’s Holiday Manager Steve Hougham.

Run when the “Krampalar” demons, wearing scary masks and “devil

more fulfilling for us in the long term: Caroline with her instructing in

Teenagers sleep in four-bedded en-suite rooms with PGL staff close

skins”, join St Nicholas as he walks through the streets to get rid of

Switzerland, while I would like to complete my qualification as a teacher

by. Breakfast and dinner are served in the large dining room, and

evil spirits before the winter. Not to worry, behind their disguise these

and increase my motivational speaking,” added Jade, who is now

youngsters take a packed lunch to the slopes each day.

beings are really rather friendly.

working to become a geography teacher.

Après-ski for teens is just as important as daytime activities, and the

Evening festivities include performances by country band The

She continued: “It is hard for me to sum up my last six years on the team,

dining room is turned into an entertainment room each evening. The

BossHoss, a seven-man band from Berlin who achieved international

but I have enjoyed my time, from my personal and athletic development

village also has a cinema and large indoor ice stadium.

success with their striking mix of country and rock only a year after

to making some friends for life. I have improved my skiing ability the

This PGL holiday departs on Saturday, 14 February 2015 with supervised

forming in 2005, and from rock veterans Manfred Mann’s Earth Band,

most since Caroline has become my guide, something that was reflected

overnight coach travel to Austria, 6 nights in the resort and another

both performing at the season launch party on the Saturday evening.

in the success that we had together in Sochi, which I will never forget.

overnight coach journey back, returning to the UK on Sunday, 22 February.

Holders of a 2-day ski pass (€84), or longer, get free entry to the

It was an honour to represent ParalympicsGB and to make history at

The ski package costs £979 per child, or there’s a snowboard package

Opening Party; everyone else pays €39.

the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. Caroline and I are Britain’s most

at £999 with departures from London or Dover. Birmingham and

There’s also an Advent Magic and Christmas Market where you can try

successful Winter Paralympians, and we really hope to inspire more

Manchester departures are also available for a supplement. The

the local “Kiachla” sweet and savoury filled doughnuts, and the chance

people to enjoy skiing as a result. We hope the future team gets the

package includes 6 days’ equipment hire, 6-day lift pass, 6 days of

to test drive an Audi Quattro free of charge.

support they deserve and strives toward Pyeongchang 2018.”

instruction and winter sports and travel insurance (


DOVER to CALAIS 16 crossings a day. Car + 7 skiers and all their gear.



I’m furry happy my board goes free!



business expansion and has secured a 3★ luxury

“All the other BASI level 4 instructors and French

chalet over the Swiss border, the Hôtel du Lac

instructors who passed before the Eurotest was

in Crans-Montana, in order to be able to provide

required like me are all able to work freely,”

continuity and offer guests a fresh location and

says Simon, who has been told his name was

new pistes.

not included on the list drawn up more than a

Bookings are already being taken with dozens of

decade ago due to an “administrative error”.

regular clients eager to sample the Hôtel du Lac,

Simon’s legal fight to be able to teach in France

Crans-Montana, with a week’s package starting

continues, and the next appeal will be held

at £525pp, which includes accommodation,

in Chambéry in January, with a final appeal

Swiss buffet breakfast, afternoon tea, five-course

(assuming the Chambéry one fails) likely in Paris

dinner, and two hours of instruction each day.

by the end of 2015.

Meanwhile those who prefer the slopes of

“The chances of winning in France are at best

Megève can still book a holiday with Simon’s

slim, but the final appeal will take the case out of

handpicked instructors at Chalet d’Antoine, a

France to the European court, and at this stage

TripAdvisor award winner this year.

we are confident of winning and overturning the

“Many people know about my public battle

previous decisions,” said Simon, adding, “I have

imon Butler, the British ski instructor who also

against the French authorities and how they

already been to the EU and held meetings with

runs a successful holiday business, and who has

have discriminated against me. But in fact it

the Commission. I have also supplied them with

been in the headlines for the past two seasons

has encouraged me to expand my business.

my qualifications and paperwork and been told

after the French authorities declared his

I am turning this public battle into a personal

they are in order and perfectly correct and mean

30-year-old ski teaching operation in Megève

victory and, having sourced one of the

I am entitled to work in France.”

illegal, threatening him with jail and fining

most stunning locations in Switzerland, I am

The process of proceeding from one courtroom

him €30,000, has carried out his threat and

confident that we are turning my troubles in

to the next is automatic, but also very expensive:

moved part of his business to Crans-Montana in

France into a success story,” said Simon, who

“The costs involved are huge; legal costs and

Switzerland, while continuing his legal fight and

previously taught in Crans-Montana when he

lawyers rack up bills of hundreds of thousands

continuing to operate his ski holiday business

first qualified as an instructor.

very quickly, especially when you have four

in France.

Simon holds an ISTD level 4 Diploma but has

lawyers and you are up against a French

Arrested on a ski lift and barred from teaching

been banned from teaching in France because

government department with an endless supply

in France, by this point many would give up. But

he does not hold an additional qualification

of funds,” said Simon.

Simon has instead turned his personal battle into

called “Eurotest” which the French insist on.

The only





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049 // DEC14

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have been enjoyed by Leonardo da Vinci back in his day. The next day, we explored the vast northeast-facing “freeride zone” of the Cima Bianca before heading over to explore Santa Caterina and Valdidentro, which were so quiet we felt like we owned the whole mountain. In fact in Valdidentro, the surreal feeling of being alone on a distant planet in some faraway galaxy came over us. Valdidentro is a completely unknown little resort with ancient lifts but 1200 vertical metres of mountain which translates to longer runs than anything in Kitzbühel, Lech, Gstaad, Aspen or Vail. The website for Valdidentro describes it as “a real oasis for those who love calm and stillness even during very crowded times”. They are not kidding. We saw a few tracks, but not a human soul. It was like walking on the moon and seeing Armstrong’s footprints. We knew somebody had been there before us, but there really was no sign of life. It was quite eerie. I do enjoy the solitude of having the powder to myself, but this was a bit over the top. I think Klaus and I were both glad to drive out of the “twilight

he Valtellina Valley is part of Lombardy in northern Italy and

zone” and back into Bormio.

is known for a variety of fine wines made primarily from the

For the final two days, we would ski Livigno, a resort

Nebbiolo grape as well as its tasty Bitto cheese.

perhaps more famous as a tax-free haven than as a ski

Good eating and drinking is always a good starting point

resort. This was a perfect last stop on our trip, since we

in Italy, but the Valtellina Valley offers more than just these

could fill the car’s petrol tank for about a Euro per litre and

pleasures for the palate –including four very interesting ski

stock up on cheap booze.

resorts that make up the Alta Valtellina ski pass.

Livigno is by far the largest ski area in the region, with 30

The separate resorts of Bormio, Santa Caterina Valfurva,

lifts and 115km of pistes. The weather had turned bluebird,

Valdidentro and Livigno joined forces some years back to

and I expected everybody in town to be out pumping

form this ski conglomerate, which today consists of more

powder. Not so. Klaus and I spent two days in Livigno, and

than 60 lifts and about 225km of pistes. It is an unlikely

almost never crossed a track. The pistes were busy, but

marriage, as the four resorts are not at all lift-linked, and

in typical Italian fashion, the powder remained relatively

they are quite far from one another. In fact, it is more than

untouched all day long. Like Bormio, Livignio has begun

50km of winding mountain roads that separate them,

to shed the normal antipathy to off-piste skiing, long

and even in a car, it takes about 75 minutes to drive from

frowned upon by the authorities in Italy. They, too, had

Santa Caterina, at one end of the system, to Livigno at the

opened various freeride zones, complete with avalanche

opposite end. The local buses will certainly take longer,

transceiver test stations. We spent much of our time

and most Brits head to either Bormio or Livigno, not both.

exploring various routes down the back side of Monte

Strange bedfellows, however, are not necessarily bad

Della Neve (2785m) – 800 vertical metres of pure heaven

partners, and these four areas complement each other

that spat us out on the road, a short taxi ride back to the

rather well. Bormio has the height, Livigno gives breadth

Trepalle Lift. We were heli-skiing for our cab fare.

and lift capacity, and little Santa Caterina and Valdidentro

All day long, we had been picking up the taxi next to a

add solitude and authenticity. Believe me, in this day and

tax-free shop, but we never wanted to take the time to go

age of over-marketed and over-populated summer and

in. Now, it was après-ski time, and Klaus and I entered the

winter resorts, there is some true value in solitude.

shop. There was a table full of various schnapps available

The sign on the Bormio 2000 lift station says “Peak to

for free sampling.

Creek”. That is more than a mouthful – it is a ski-full. The

We began with a Williams pear schnapps. “Prost, Klaus!”

cable car drops you off at an elevation of 3012m atop Cima

That was followed by some sort of grappa. “Cin cin, Jimmy!”

Bianca, and the Frodolfo River passes through the village

Two shots of vodka. “Na zdorovie!”

at an elevation of 1225m. That is one long run. In fact, the

Then we sampled the Himbeergeist. “Kippis!” said Klaus in

Pista Stelvio, the 1010-vertical-metre men’s downhill that

his native Finnish as he hugged me.

is second only to the Lauberhorn in Wengen on the World

“We haven’t tried this other grappa yet,” I observed as I

Cup circuit, pales by comparison to a potential off-piste

filled two more plastic shot glasses. “Salud!”

descent of close to 1800 vertical metres.

Klaus didn’t wish to be outdone. After all, he is a Finn, and

Perhaps it was fortunate that we didn’t have to test our

alcohol is a part of their cultural heritage. He filled the

endurance on such a mammoth plunge. There was well

same two plastic glasses with Bombardino. “No point to

over a metre of new snow and thick fog atop the Cima

waste these cups,” he chimed. “Ski heil!”

Bianca when my friend Klaus Arpia and I arrived on the

About this time, we noticed that the woman at the cash

peak. It was much too dangerous to attempt anything

register was eyeing our drinking spree, and we both felt a

peak to creek. It was also completely unnecessary as the

bit guilty. We were, however, already a bit too giddy to feel

powder was waist-deep directly adjacent to the piste.

very guilty. To be exact, we felt just guilty enough to feel

A full day of deep powder left us with a few muscle aches

that we ought to at least make a purchase. We carefully

and pains. Klaus and I found the antidote at the Bagni Vecchi

scrutinised the prices of various beers and each took a

– one of three major mineral baths in and around Bormio.

bottle of Tuborg beer to the cash register. That set us back

This one is situated high on the mountainside above town

a half Euro apiece. If there is a special heaven for ski bums,

and dates all the way back to Roman times. It is also said to

we certainly found it in Livigno.

051 // DEC14



THE FIRST ECOFRIENDLY HELMET Innovative board-sports brand Picture ( have created what they claim to be the first environmentally friendly snow-sports helmet – the Hubber. The company promises the helmet is as technically advanced as it is eco-friendly. Its outer shell is made from a polymer derived


from corn and the liner from compressed and reconstituted polystyrene of a particular

season pass sometimes costing

pass makes it easier for single

type known for its shock-absorbing abilities

less than a 6-day pass when

parents, tri-generational families,

(it started life in the dashboards of Japanese

bought in resort.

really anyone who wants to share

cars). Finally a 100% organic fabric is used in

More recently there’s been the

the mountain experience with

the padding and straps.

emergence of passes offering

their kids,” said Bill Jensen, CEO,

The helmet does not scrimp on tech spec,

a couple of days’ skiing at each

Intrawest Resorts.

of the multiple leading resorts

The Intrawest Passport

on top and at the front, adjustable and

participating in the scheme. The

( is valid at

washable ear and neck padding, a removable

Mountain Collective is one such

resorts including Steamboat and

visor, a goggle retainer and a ring-fit system.

ticket and the recently launched

Winter Park in Colorado, Mont

It’s available in two sizes and is fully safety-

Intrawest Passport offers 6 days’

Tremblant in Quebec and Stratton

skiing at each of six resorts owned

Mountain in Vermont.

by the Intrawest group through

however, and features an active vent system

certification compliant (CE EN 1077).


The latest development,

Decathlon, the world’s largest sports retailer, has

around 0.98kg of CO2 to be emitted during

ift ticket pricing looks set to be a

the 2014-15 season, again for less

happening simultaneously,

a huge range of ski and boarding equipment

its production and distribution – that’s about

new area for corporate price wars.

than a 6-day pass costs in one

reported last month, is ski areas

at very reasonable prices, but insists that its

35% less than the industry norm of nearly

Across the Atlantic the leading

of the resorts. The ticket is being

in the US beginning to price lift

products are functional and of high quality.

1.5kg per helmet.

resort groups are battling it out

strongly pushed as family-friendly

tickets according to demand in

It even innovates, creating industry-leading

Picture is a company founded by three

with ever more innovative lift-

with children aged 12 and under

the same way that hotels and

products. The company’s motto is “Making sport

childhood friends who come from different

ticketing options. A few years

entitled to a free pass, and older

airlines have done for many years.

accessible to all”.

ago, the emphasis was on cheap

children and young adults paying

Although all this is happening in the

Of the many ski-equipment innovations from

sports on snow, water and asphalt.

season passes for those who

half price right up to age 21.

US, it seems only a matter of time

Decathlon’s wintersports brand Wed’ze, there

Based in the French region of Clermont-

purchased their passes at the

“By offering children 12 and under

until the Alps take notice and more

are backpacks with an exclusive «reverse»

end of the season before, with a

free skiing and boarding, this

flexible pricing arrives in Europe.

design which allows you to rotate your pack

Retailing at around £90, the helmet requires

backgrounds but share a love of board

Ferrand, Picture was founded in 2008 with

from back to front, in a single movement,

an ethos of creating unique, colourful and offbeat board-sports clothing that’s also eco-

when boarding the chairlift; affordable heated

friendly and ethical, but rewrites the popular

gloves; goggles with a switch that allows you to

image of “green clothing”. Over the last six years, the company’s success means that its


adjust the lens according to light conditions; or combination goggles and removable face mask. The onus is always on functionality at low prices.

products are now available from more than In Val d’Isère, children from as young as 4 years old can try tandem

Decathlon now has 17 stores in the UK, with two

The company are launching the Hubber

paragliding from the Solaise, either going on skis or for non-skiers on foot.

stores opening in December, in Croydon and

helmet following the success of their first

The famous French resort also lets children sit next to the driver to take a ride

Harlow. Worldwide, there are over 750 stores in

100% recyclable and recycled ski jacket

in a piste basher. Teenagers are welcome to try ice climbing too; with a fixed

33 countries. Everything is also available online

last winter.

point about 30 feet high they can ascend safely with ice axes and crampons.


500 retailers worldwide.



NEW YEAR SAVINGS IN SERRE CHEVALIER With over 250km of pistes, Serre Chevalier is one of the world’s biggest ski areas. The sunny slopes are shared by a number of mountain villages and famed for their relaxed atmosphere and high value. In January they’re better value still with special offers available. The friendly Hôtel Plein Sud (+33 492 24 17 01,, in the village of Chantemerle, 250m from the slopes and lifts, features a heated pool, hammam, bar, restaurant, parking, garages and a ski room. There are a wide range of services available including massages and airport transfers. From 4 to 17 January the Plein Sud is offering a 25% discount on double or twin south-facing rooms with balcony. A week’s stay is just €850 per room on B&B or €1170 for half board. Four-day and five-day stays are also available at €512 B&B or €760 half-board and €640 B&B or €840 half-board respectively. Après-ski options in Serre Chevalier include the 4km Deval’Bob toboggan run down through the larch forest taking in the sights of the valley with its 26 turns and 573m vertical drop.

InTheSnow House FP

JAPAN’S TOMAMU CELEBRATES 30TH One of the world’s newest resorts, Japan’s Tomamu, located in central Hokkaido, turns 30 this season. To celebrate, the resort, located 90 minutes from Sapporo by train, has invested £4m in a new high-speed quad lift, the second in


successive seasons, and added new runs, making it currently one of the top investors in its lift facilities in Japan. Also new this year, Tomamu will offer a daily bus service which will depart resort each morning for those who want to try skiing at other resorts nearby, including Sahoro and Furano. It will make a return trip with pick-ups around 5pm. Hoshino Resort Tomamu is also the only hotel in Hokkaido that has its own snowcat operation. Tomamu’s deep-powder specialist, the Powder Team, operate CAT tours every weekend from mid-January until the end of March, for those who want to experience the pristine powder snow.


053 // DEC14

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This month, with help from some of the

It’s worth reminding yourself that once

Once you have all the required kit, such as

Skinning is an art, and over time, your

team from Verbier’s off-piste school

you venture away from the pistes, just a

skins, touring bindings, and touring boots

technique will become refined and you

Freeride Verbier, Jon will present

few metres or much further afield, you

and lightweight skis, you are set to hike up

will become expert at manoeuvring

some tips for off-piste skiing and ski

are exposing yourself to additional risks.

the mountain. The basic technique is quite

yourself around the mountains. To start

touring. For many, travelling through

No longer will you be on slopes which

simple to master on gentle gradients, but

with, it’s best to follow, not lead, and try to

snow-covered terrain using skis to go

are patrolled and avalanche-safe. For

steeper slopes will expose any weakness-

keep your skis within the track left by the

both uphill and downhill is extremely

this reason, it is extremely important to

es in technique and require more practice.

person in front of you. This will be the path

pleasurable. The attraction of ski

make sure you have the correct off-piste

You may think it would be much like hiking

of least resistance and will be the least

touring is that it can help you access

kit – a transceiver, shovel and probe –

with a load of equipment on your feet! But

physically demanding route.

new slopes and fresh, untouched

and that you know how to use it. It is

unlike hiking, where you lift your feet with

Be aware that as you approach steeper

powder. For the enthusiast, it can take

highly recommended that you get some

every step, with touring you slide each

slopes or icy slopes, your technique might

them on a memorable journey, reaching

training in using your kit from qualified

step. This is both more efficient and can

come under pressure. If you find yourself

new ski areas, natural beauty and

professionals and also make sure your

help you to save energy. As with hiking,

in this situation and losing traction, think

sometimes different cultures and ways

insurance covers you for skiing off-piste

develop a good constant rhythm and an

about standing up straight and feeling

of life and thinking ...

– many don’t, with dire consequences!

even stride (or slide).

your heels in the back of your bindings.

C_inthesnow_issue2_october_jnrHP.qxp_SC_inthesnow_issue2_october_jnrHP 30/09/2014 12:08 Page 1



of visitors can’t be wrong*

“We will return and will definitely recommend the resort to others.”

“Suits all levels.”

“It’s a gem of a place.”

“Great ski area – you have to ski hard and fast.”

*Based on survey of British skiers December 2013. **s/c accommodation inc. 6-day lift pass. Selected dates apply.




including yo ur lift pass

Photo accreditation: Agence Zoom


“This resort represents great value for Brits compared with many of the other big French resorts and it has an excellent ski area and unique ambience,” says Dave Watts, travel writer and Editor of Where to Ski and Snowboard

Call our English speaking Reservations’ desk for this season’s special offers on 0033 (0)4 92 24 9898 or book online: • Tree-lined pistes from 1200-2735m • Easy access: travel by road or rail • Airports: Turin 1.45hrs, Grenoble 2.45 hrs

CHALLENGE & ENTERTAIN THEM One of the things a lot of

an hourglass pattern.


kids enjoy about skiing is the

 Synchronised skiing with

Being comfortable skiing switch

element of challenge. This can

their friends or siblings is always

is important if you want to be

be seen clearly when you ski


proficient in the terrain park, as

with advanced children – they

 Boot skiing can help to aid

well as great fun in itself. Choose

seem to spend most of their time

balance and coordination, and

the same terrain as the flat 360.

looking for more challenging

the kids love it.

Start by using a reverse snow

terrain and bigger jumps!

 Get them to ski bumps

plough and then turn up the hill

As an instructor it is great fun to

with no poles (if they are

to slow down, gradually make

ski with advanced skiers both

really good!).

the snow plough smaller until the

young and old; however, it’s so

 Practise some jumps on

skis become parallel. Practise

important to keep safety as both

the airbag.

until you feel comfortable before


your and their priority. Below I

 Introduce off-piste awareness

progressing to steeper slopes.

have listed a few ways to stay

by hiding the transceiver.

Remember to keep them safe,

safe but also challenge children

Or you could try a flat land 360

but beyond that, try to keep

There is no doubt that the descent is a

Jon holds the top qualifications from

to keep learning.

or skiing switch. This involves

challenging them.

very important part of the experience!

France, Switzerland and Britain, and

One-ski skiing – it’s also

spinning a full 360 degrees

TIP – Always try to make sure

If it’s your first time using ski touring

we can say firsthand that he is an

possible to make it harder and

while your skis are still on

you can do the tasks first so

kit, then you can expect this to feel

inspirational coach. His ski school Altitude

harder as the child progresses

the snow. Choose the flattest

that you do not get left behind!

somewhat unfamiliar. The kit is

is known worldwide for employing a team

by removing their poles or by

slope that you can slide on.

Altitude Ski School in Verbier

much lighter than normal gear, so it

of fantastic ski and snowboard instructors

taking them to a steeper slope.

Start by turning 180 degrees to

runs advanced kids’ groups

is recommended that, before going

who are very passionate about helping

 Try them on a race course

face up the hill keeping your

which cover carving, bumps,

skinning, you practise using your new

people improve. Each month, Jon or one

and set different challenges.

skis flat, then spin back and

off-piste and the park. They

skis and boots on the slopes and sides

of his team will provide us with a few tips

 Take them to more challenging

face forwards. After time and

also run a race camp during all

of slopes. Taking time to adjust to your

and words of wisdom to help improve

slopes, mogul fields, steep

practice, you will be able to link

the busy weeks of the season.

new equipment is likely to make the

your understanding of how to ski.

pitches or jumps in the park.

the two seamlessly.

For more information, speak

off-piste descent after touring a lot more

For more information please contact

 Challenge them to keep to a

Once you have mastered it, move

to Laura or one of the team at

satisfying and enjoyable.

us at or on

certain size of turn, or skiing in

up to hills with a slight gradient.


+41(0)27 771 6006.

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In the Snow Ad 2_Layout 1 06/11/2014 15:32 Page 1

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Main image: Tignes / ©

SKIPLEX FOR FAMILIES significant discounts for their school ski trip preparation lessons. For children that are already good skiers or boarders, Skiplex have set up a new ski race academy offering


“Introduction to ski racing” sessions

0845 6003599

for children

between 6 and

10 years old in association with the British Alpine Racing Ski Clubs (BARSC).

Twitter: skiplexuk Facebook: Skiplex YouTube: 1skiplex Instagram: skiplexUK

The academy Skiplex, the only company in the UK with

the user can see their progress immediately …

gives young

continuous indoor revolving nylon slopes,

and they normally progress quickly.

skiers a fantastic opportunity to fast-track into

have three venues – Chiswick, Reading and

Families and children of all ability levels are

ski racing and the chance to train with top British

Basingstoke – which are ideally suited to help

welcome, including complete beginners,

race coaches. Sessions tie in to the school week

children and families get more out of their skiing

and from 1 to 24 December the Reading and

and term times with trips and include the chance

or boarding.

Basingstoke centres are offering a special Family

to ski at large indoor snow centres in Europe and

Each slope at Skiplex can rotate at varying

Festive deal for up to 10 family members, from

in the Alps.

speeds and gradients, adjusted to suit the ability

toddlers to grandpas, with exclusive hire of the

“We are extremely proud to continue our

of the skier or snowboarder. Sessions are led by

Skiplex slope and instructor for an hour between

sponsorship of the under 10s and under 12s

a qualified instructor offering real-time feedback

9am and 4pm, 7 days a week at a £30 discount.

and wish all of the competitors the best of

and with a giant mirror at the base of the slope,

All centres are also offering local schools

luck,” said Patrick Taylor, Skiplex CEO.

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Pictures have been published of progress being made on Ski Egypt, the

A tribunal in Ontario, Canada has found in favour of a woman who

new indoor snow centre for Egypt under construction by the Majid Al

complained that a ski day staged by the company she worked for,

Futtaim group, the company behind Ski Dubai. The new mall had suffered

which only allowed male employees and male customers of the firm to

delays, reported to be in part due to the political uncertainty in Egypt in

participate, was unfair discrimination.

recent years, but the indoor slope is part of a giant mall with some 400

The tribunal heard that when the woman complained, she was sacked

shops and covering more than 16ha, the construction of which continues

by the company where she had worked for four years.

to move forward. The project mirrors the Mall of the Emirates, home to

The event was organised by Mansfield Ski Club, a private ski-club-

Ski Dubai, which is one of the world’s biggest with over 500 shops.

operated hill, in January 2012, and was promoted as a day without

The mall, which will also contain cinemas and more than 50

women or children.

restaurants, is being built as a joint venture between Egyptian

The woman was awarded $18,000 in damages plus lost wages and

company Orascom and Belgian conglomerate the BESIX Group.

commissions for the six months she was unemployed.

Ski Egypt was expected to open in 2015, but the opening date has now

The company has filed an appeal claiming that the termination award

been put back to 2016.

should not exceed four weeks as set out in her employment contract.

When sharing with

Easter 2 paying adults break savings

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057 // DEC14

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Mürren, in the stunning Swiss Jungfrau region, is the place for all

You may not have thought thermals could get any more hi-tech, but

After the opening of the world’s highest zip wire at Val Thorens

budding ski stars to be from 15 to 21 December as the famous resort

you’d be wrong! Falke’s new skiing underwear is the ultimate high

earlier this year, Tignes have announced their latest high-altitude thrill

stages its second Kandahar Snowsport Festival.

performance “onesie”, weighing in at a cool £310 and described as a

attraction will debut on 21 December.

Of course, lots of resorts stage ski festivals, but this one is different

“limited edition product”.

The new Bun J Ride combines ski jumping, bungee jumping and zip

in several ways. Firstly, it is rooted in the historic Kandahar tradition,

So what’s so good about them? Firstly, the company’s “Skiing Air

wire and is being described by the resort as an “adrenaline overdose”.

started by the British in Mürren, which was the origin of downhill ski

Insulation” is produced through a special knitting process which has no

Riders are equipped with a harness attached on each side of them at

racing more than a century ago and led directly to the first Olympic

seams and creates open ventilation spots. These zones grow larger with

the waist to two mobile elasticated cords. Then, from the top of the ski

downhill races on the Kandahar course in Garmisch in 1936. The

movement and thus enable optimal temperature control and moisture

jump, you simply travel down a ski-jump-style runway approximately

Kandahar name has spread to famous race courses around the world.

management. Then, the polyamide fibre with embedded crystals

30m long that ends with a drop down into the 40m void below!

Secondly, it allows skiers to try a new discipline over the first 4 days

converts the heat of the body into infrared rays and ensures optimal

The two elasticated bungee cords provide support, and the system

of the festival, with free-of-charge tuition from professional racers in

moisture management, even during the passive phases.

automatically locks; once you’ve stopped bouncing, you then travel

freeride, ski cross, Telemark, slalom and giant slalom technique.

Next, those crystals improve the blood circulation and shorten the

down a zip wire to the ground.

Finally, there are fun races at the weekend where participants compete

muscle’s regeneration period, which increases the body’s performance,

The jump is situated next to the “Lac” blue run, accessed by the

in their “new” discipline. The races, which include the 1st. International

the company says.

Merle Blanc chairlift. You need to be at least 13 years old to try it and

Schilthorn GS this year, are open to all ages and all abilities, and can be

In addition, rubbing points are reduced to a minimum because the

a maximum weight of 40kg. You can try the jump wearing skis, a

tackled in whichever snow-sport discipline you like.

underwear is processed with adhesive technology, and there are

snowboard or even on a sledge!

Of course, there are other fun festival-type events, including a spectacular

therefore no irritating seams.

Bun J Ride will be open every day (except on Saturdays) from 10.30am

speed flying spectacle to watch and a barbecue with live music.

Finally, the outfit, made up of two products, allows for 18 individual

to 4.30pm, until 18 April 2015. Various ticket options include “Ski

Participation in everything is free, but you do need to sign up in

variations. The shirt with face mask and gloves can be customised by

Maniac” for €65 and the “Love Jump” for two people at €115

advance to grab a space in a clinic at:

the skier just as easily as the stirrup trousers. Simple!


GET FIT FOR SKIING WITH EMILY SARSFIELD AND THE SKIA SKI TRAINER Emily Sarsfield, Britain’s top ski-cross athlete and seven-time British champion, should know a thing or two about getting fit for skiing. And although pre-ski preparation is often low on the priority list for those of us who only see skiing as a once-a-year holiday, the exercises she recommends aren’t just for pros – recreational skiers will reap the benefits too. Another Pilates exercise that Emily recommends is the shoulder bridge. This combines several dynamics with a constant control level and two distinct tempos. It’s great practice for using your pelvis as a power centre for jumping through those mogul turns.

Lie on a mat and press-up into a “bridge” position.

Emily recommends a mix of cardio

and the other foot back, knee to the

great way to build endurance in the

and strength exercises, at intervals of

floor. The thigh of your fore leg and

abs and back. Lie face down on the

two to three minutes, with a slightly

the shin of your back leg should

floor, resting on your forearms with

shorter break in between. Plyometrics

be parallel with the ground. When

palms flat on the ground. Push up off

(jump training) are great for this as

ready, jump upwards, switching

the floor, raising onto your toes and

they combine both disciplines. Try the

leg positions in mid-air and then

resting on your elbows. Keep your

following jump squats …

landing as low as possible. Repeat

back flat, in a straight line from head

Stand with your feet shoulder-width

as many times as you dare!

to heel. Do not allow your buttocks

Hold this pose, then raise alternate

apart, bend your legs slightly and

Exercises like these can be made

to raise or sag! Hold for between

legs off the floor, keeping your

keep your back straight. Then jump

even more effective when combined

20 to 60 seconds as your strength

pelvis still, with only your shoulders,

upwards, reaching as high as you

with SkiA Ski Trainers. These highly

increases and repeat several times.

head, arms and other foot still

can as your feet leave the floor.

effective balancing tools simply

touching the floor.

strap onto your ski boots and can

Begin these exercises around 12

be used by any ability of skier for

weeks before your time in the

practice on dry land. The trainers

mountains begins. Trust us, you will

enable you to work all your skiing

never underestimate the benefits of

muscles simultaneously, exactly as

pre-ski exercise again!

you do on skis.

You can also try side lunges. Rise


Land squarely in the same position

up off your elbows as if getting into

SkiA Ski Trainers are a dry-land

as you started with both feet

a press-up position, then raise one

ski training device used with ski

flat on the floor, lowering your

arm and leg in a straight line, and

boots. A £45.00 pack includes a

buttocks back and down towards

repeat on each side.

pair of training devices (for the left

the ground. Swing your arms back

and right foot) and four pairs of

and repeat the first step, starting

balance blocks – green, blue, red

with 20 repetitions and working

Pilates and yoga-based exercises

and black. Developed by British ski

upwards as your fitness increases.

are also excellent for strengthening

trainer and author Hugh Monney

Lunges are another obvious and

your core prior to skiing. The plank

and launched in 2012, they are now

essential ski preparation exercise to

– as demonstrated by Emily above

sold worldwide.

get your lower body in shape. Get

– is often used in yoga as part of the

set to lunge with one foot forward

sun salutation sequence and is a


059 // DEC14


with Olympic Snowboarder Aimee Fuller something Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller

“When I am home during the summer, I’m

knows all about! Following her performance in

putting some hours in at the gym and getting

Sochi 2014’s Winter Olympics, the 23-year-old

out on the push bike. For me, one of the more

is about to begin another jam-packed season of

difficult aspects of freestyle snowboarding is

competitions and winter training to keep her at

performing tricks on rails! The Snow Centre,

the top of her game.

Hemel Hempstead has such a good park layout

Kicking off the season in Austria to get her “shred

on Thursday and Friday Freestyle nights and

legs on”, professional snowboarder Aimee spends

you can get so many laps in; so I plan to head

most of her “pre-season” (October and November)

there pre-season to spend a couple of days hot

between Stubai and Hintertux, making the most

lapping a good setup and dialling in some new

of the glaciers, where you will find plenty of snow,

rail tricks.

long before most resorts are open!

“Also, riding all year round is good for keeping

Packing in early training sessions in the

your snow legs going, so when you head out to

Austrian freestyle parks is vital to Aimee Fuller’s

the mountains, your legs don’t go into shock and

preparation for competitions such as Dew Tour in

you can really make the most of your trip! No

s UK temperatures start to drop, thoughts of the

the US or Pleasure Jam on the Dachstein Glacier

matter what you do in the gym, nothing beats just

next snow trip naturally drift to mind! Despite

in November, where Aimee competed with a

getting on your board and achieving the slope

any enthusiasm for the coming season’s snow-

“snow load” of practiced snowboard tricks up her

miles on your legs!

sports fun, dusting off last year’s kit and ideas of

sleeve and finished in the top five!

“My advice: get up to The Snow Centre and rip

reaching new heights on our skis or snowboard

But it’s not just the professionals who can benefit

a few laps – there’s such a good crew and vibe

can bring the realisation that we have some

from a little “snow prep” to stay at the top of their

down there and you can get your rail game on,

serious “snow prep” to organise!

game. Aimee gave us her thoughts on prepping

so when you head out to the mountains you

Prepping for the winter snow season is

for a winter on the snow!

can attack those trickier features!”

060 // DEC14



hoш to prep for the шinter season!


Make your ski holiday perfect Book great car hire to get you to the slopes.



An Icelandic airline, WOW air, is launching transatlantic flights from

The Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships will take place in

Gatwick to the US for just £99 one way in the spring, including to

Tignes next winter, having been staged in Méribel for the last ten years.

Boston, opening up cheap fares to East Coast US ski resorts, including

The Senior, Junior and Children’s National Championships take place at

Stowe and Killington. The service will see a lunchtime service to

the Stade Olympiques de Lognan in Val Claret, Tignes’ highest village,

Reykjavík on Airbus A320 where passengers will change on to a long-

France from Sunday, 22 March to Friday, 3 April 2015.

range Airbus A321 aircraft for a total journey time of around ten hours.

Tignes has stamped its mark as one of the world’s leading resorts

The return service will leave Boston at 7pm and arrive at Gatwick shortly

for major events and has taken on a number of high-profile British

before 11am next day. WOW air charges extra if you wish to take any

and international competitions in recent seasons, including The

luggage: £39 for suitcases up to 20kg and £36 for ski carriage when

Brits and Europe’s Winter X Games while they were running. It also

booked online. The service will launch on 27 March 2015 and tickets

boasts high-altitude skiing with the base of the race piste used for the

are now on sale (

Championships situated at 2100m.

“This is just the beginning of our plans to transform low-cost

“We are immensely grateful to Méribel for ensuring that the

transatlantic flights. Not only are we providing flights to the USA for

Championships has continued to be the biggest event on the British

less than a standard London-to-Edinburgh train ticket, we’re opening

alpine ski racing calendar and look forward to Tignes enhancing

the market to a whole new market of travellers who might previously

this reputation even further – providing an exciting new platform to

not have been able to afford transatlantic travel,” said Skúli Mogensen,

showcase the best athletes in alpine skiing,” said Jamie Ritblat, Founder

CEO of WOW air.

and CEO of Delancey.

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The Car Hire Comparison Site 061 // DEC14


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uninhibited movement. Not just for skiing – once you try this on you’ll be impressed by its figure-hugging shape and you

Snowshepherd sell avalanche equipment, skis

won’t want to leave home without it!

and specialist clothing. They are well known


as the only ski retailer to sell these famous ski worker gloves as used by instructors, guides and


lift workers across the French Alps. They also stock a wide range of other leather ski gloves.

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and is recognised all over the world.


When paired with the smartphone app, the crash sensor detects motion, impact and force. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and in the case



Zaini hats are still the leader of headwear

The Ranger 88 Ti is a powerful all-mountain freeride for almost all abilities.

GPS location to your pre-registered

when it comes to snow sports and with a whole

Developed from the award-winning Watea it offers a freeski rocker giving ease of

emergency contacts. With your registered

new 2014/15 range, they can’t be missed on the

turn and excellent floatation in powder. Suitably light for touring with an easy skin

details on the ICEdot website, including

slopes! Like this NEW ‘Crail’ beanie.

attachment, the Ranger series is at home both on and off the piste.

emergency contacts, medical history and

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of a critical impact, the app-linked crash sensor sends an SOS alert with your

allergies, the emergency services can take immediate action when it matters. Welcome to the modern world of digital safety. £139 | SKIBARTLETT.COM

062 // DEC14





Looking for a comfortable-performance,

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winning Beast 16, incorporating a new

A weatherproof down jacket for both

on the up and the down? Powerful

rotating toe. Ultra-lightweight frameless

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comfortable with its soft flex panels

Ultra-low stand height and four secure

you ski. With its feminine silhouette

around the forefoot, great range

attachment points gives outstanding

and fur-lined collar, once you try this on

of movement and interchangeable

torsional rigidity and ski control on the

you’ll feel amazing and you will not want

soles for touring and hiking. This boot

way down. DIN 5-14.

to take it off!

£560–£570 WITH 105MM


really does deliver everything in one complete package.



 ARMADA ARVTI Featuring top and bottom layers of Titanal, AR Nose Rocker and a comp series base; the ARVti truly is an All Mountain destroyer, stable and wide enough to charge off-piste, but plenty of performance for ripping the piste too. £519.99 | ELLIS-BRIGHAM.COM

 DATAWAX BUTANE HP Make your skis fly this winter! A ski holiday is expensive so make sure you


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If you suffer with cold feet, this is the solution

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A super-thin heating element attaches to

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Optimum freedom of movement with maximum safety. Avalanche airbags protect your head, neck and chest from

Fabulously flattering luxury

injury and help keep your head on the

alpaca fur hats from online

snow’s surface if you’re caught in an

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avalanche. The Alyeska vest combines

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hats are unbelievably warm and

enough to carry your avalanche essential

lightweight. Great colour palette

shovel and probe but slim enough to be

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MORE AT SKIBARTLETT.COM With their renowned reputation for specialist expert advice, combined with their carefully selected and tested range of products, it’s no surprise that Ski Bartlett’s word-of-mouth reputation over the last 50 years has made them the UK’s most popular independent ski shop!






to pay an extra “ski fee”, meaning passengers have

For a further level of complication, some airlines

to purchase a further piece of baggage to accom-

also have different policies according to the class

modate their skis, boots and poles. This ranges from

of ticket bought. Air France, for example, offer the

£50 return with Jet2 up to £100 return with Ryanair.

inclusion of ski equipment in the “classic” ticket

Skyscanner found that the result of these differ-

fare price, but do not permit included ski equip-

ing charges means that what may initially seem

ment for passengers travelling on their “mini” flight

like the cheapest option could more than triple in

ticket; Iberia also operates a similar policy.

price when all the fees are added to become the

“We strive to offer the most transparent pricing

most expensive total price.

on our site, and this guide takes that one step

For example, when looking on 7 November at

further by offering clarity around the varied and

flights from 3 to 10 January 2015 from London

often confusing ski fee charges that airlines

ith a great deal of variation existing between

(Stansted or Gatwick) to Grenoble, the company

impose. We hope that this will enable customers

airlines’ ski baggage fees and policies, travel

found that, for example, a Ryanair flight from

to make an informed decision when choosing

search site Skyscanner has launched a straight-

London to Grenoble for £24.99 each way came

the right flight for them, or indeed whether it is

forward online guide to the cost of bringing ski

to £189.98 with ski carriage compared to £189.14

cost-effective for them to fly with their own ski

equipment on flights to the slopes

with BA including ski equipment up to 23kg and

equipment,” said Skyscanner’s Mary Porter.


£171 with Norwegian Air including ski equipment

The guide analyses more than 20 leading airlines

totalling 40kg.

offering flights to ski destinations, looking at

The guide also highlights that it is not just the

whether they allow ski equipment – such as skis,

differing fees that travellers need to consider

boots and poles – to be taken within the normal

when choosing their ski flights, but also length

hold luggage allowance or whether a ski fee

restrictions of baggage. Some airlines (Air

is charged, if there are weight and dimension

France, Air Berlin, Delta and KLM) have generous

restrictions on the hold luggage and, and if these

policies allowing passengers to bring baggage of

are exceeded, what the additional cost of hold

up to 300cm on board while others (US Airways,

and extra luggage is.

Austrian, Iberia, Lufthansa and United) will not

The guide highlights the significant variation in

permit normal hold baggage to be over 158cm in

baggage policies between the different airlines;

length. It is likely that anyone taller than around

while some of the airlines looked at do allow ski

5ft 6 would have skis longer than this and as

equipment to be carried within the normal hold

such would be forced to pay for extra ski bag-

allowance, most no-frills airlines require passengers

gage with these airlines.

064 // DEC14


A NEW AIRSHIP LAUNCHES OVER CHAMONIX GLACIER The famous Mer de Glace glacier in the

the glacier and note the changes in climatic

First of all, Santa will be here every Saturday

Chamonix valley, which among many other

conditions there. Then secondly there’s a

and Sunday in December, from 13 December,

things is part of the world’s longest ski run, the

tourist objective, as visitors will be able to

and will meet children at Montenvers every

Vallée Blanche descent, may be visible in a

board the airship and have one of the most

afternoon between 2 and 4pm for stories,

whole new way in future following the trial of

fantastic aerial panoramas over the location.”

entertainment and Christmas games, with two

an airship flying above the glacier this autumn.

After the tests, carried out by the company

trains specially decorated too.

“The airship should meet two objectives,” said

Airstar, which designed the flying machine, are

Every Sunday during the February holidays

a statement from the resort. “Firstly there’s an

completed, a decision will be made on whether

there’ll also be fun educational sessions

environmental objective as it will be able to

public use of the airship is feasible and desirable.

based on the legends, customs and songs of

carry measurement instruments and cameras,

In the meantime there’s plenty more to do on the

the glacier, and all winter a new igloo village

which will be able to follow the evolution of

Mer de Glace in winter besides skiing down it.

will be open to visitors.


Moritz (leading to the creation of the

Moritz and Switzerland this winter as

world-famous Cresta Run) and sliding

the resort and country celebrates 150

down the mountain slopes on planks

years of winter tourism.

(the birth of downhill skiing).

But it all began due to one man,

But it all began in the Kulm (which

Johannes Badrutt, who famously made

also hosted many of the events of the

a bet in the summer of 1864 with some

second Winter Olympics in 1928 in its

departing English summer tourists

grounds), and though not normally

that if they did not enjoy a winter stay

open to guests, the original building

(never before attempted) more than

has been absorbed into a corner of

a winter back in London, they’d get a

the mighty establishment there today,

free stay.

with Johannes Badrutt’s original

Mr Badrutt won the bet, the Brits told the

accommodation preserved.

world and history was made. But back

To mark the anniversary, there is a

in 1864, what was then called the Hotel

unique 3 nights’ half-board package

Engadiner Kulm was a far more modest

that will take guests behind the scenes

affair, little more than a farmhouse in fact,

to historic parts of the property, not

in with the Badrutt family living in. That

normally open to members of the

changed rapidly in subsequent decades

public, with an atmospheric candle-lit

and the Kulm is now a huge, luxury 5

gourmet dinner in the wood-panelled

hotel, one of half a dozen in and around

Stüva, the preserved former living

St Moritz, several of the other famous

room of Johannes Badrutt, and then

establishments started by Badrutt’s

the night in the Badruitt’s bedroom.


The CHF1420 (approx £930) package

The Brits returned year after year

also includes champagne in your room,

and soon found ways to entertain

traditional Engadin walnut cake, a

themselves in the snow: sledding from

sleigh ride, massage and spa access.

the Kulm Hotel onto the frozen Lake St


065 // DEC14


Photo credit: Dave Lehl / Athlete: Alex Chumpy Pullin / Design graphique :

There are big celebrations across St




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80% of the ski area is above 2000m, all but guaranteeing good quality powder snow between Christmas and Easter. You can find the current weather

Brides-les-Bains, or just “Brides” to its friends, is located in the

forecast, piste map and GPS on the “Les 3 Vallées” smartphone app.

centre of Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski area in the world. The fast Olympe gondola takes you to Méribel’s snow front from where you can ski to your heart’s content in Courchevel, Val Thorens or Les Ménuires – an amazing total of 600 km, with more than 300 runs for all ability levels, served by 180 state-of-the-art lifts. The resort runs a free shuttle bus service to take

REASON 4 EASY TO REACH No ski resort is easier to reach than Brides! When arriving at Chambéry Airport (only 90km away) on Flybe,

skiers from their hotels and residences to and from and Flyglobespan flights,

the Olympe gondola lift. Every Monday morning

you’ll find a shuttle bus service (run by

the resort’s events team also provides breakfast

Transavia) waiting to take you to Brides

at the foot of the gondola lift, with coffee and hot

every weekend. Lyon–Saint Exupéry

chocolate to get your day off to a wonderful start!

Airport (150km – 1hour 40mins) is served by EasyJet, British Airways, Air France, BMI


and Bmibaby, and Geneva Airport (120km – 2 hours) by British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe and If you arrive by rail, Moûtiers train station (on the Eurostar line

Booking accommodation in Brides means avoiding being crammed in like sardines and not having any nasty surprises! In Brides, paying less for your accommodation doesn’t mean you’ll be any less comfortable. In contrast you’ll find spacious rooms, 2 to 4 hotels and residences equipped with spas,

BRIDES LES BAINS FURTHER INFO Season: 20 December 2014 – 17 April 2015

from London St Pancras) is just 4km from the Savoyard village. All your travel hassles will magically disappear, so all you have to worry about is your luggage!

Jacuzzis or swimming pools … and all of it is typically

Tourist Office: Tel. +33 (0)4 79 55 20 64

30% less expensive than the high-altitude resorts of




Brides is a benchmark thermal resort

Les 3 Vallées. Why waste any more time comparing online reviews before you book?

which boasts one of the few thermal spas

Special Offers:

REASON 3 GUARANTEED SNOW all-inclusive-holiday.html

Going on a winter sports holiday is an investment. Who can’t help worrying about what the snow cover is going to be like? Avoid hours of stressful waiting in front of the weather forecast in the run-up to departure by choosing Brides and Les 3 Vallées!

066 // DEC14

in France: Le Grand Spa Thermal®. It’s a godsend for skiers who can enjoy Brides’ spa expertise and its thermal water’s beneficial effects on the circulatory system. On the programme you’ll find

individual treatments with four themed spa experiences and a multitude of à la carte treatments for recuperating after a great day’s skiing!



Visit our website for special offers

With 10 year’s experience, award-winning snowchateaux offers a fabulous selection of catered ski chalets in the world renowned ski resorts of: La Plagne, Tignes and Les Arcs. Best locations, unforgettable food and helpful staff.



The internationally little-known French ski area of Manigod has an

Dolomiti Superski is a vast area, with around 50 villages in 12 valleys all

unusual offer for families buying their children a lift pass – a free ski

on one lift ticket. There are, however, numerous breaks in the 1200km

jacket with their ticket.

of pistes and lifts, and although it may only be a short bus or taxi ride

The offer from the local LABELLEMONTAGNE lift company is for a free

from one sector to the next, it can be difficult to be sure of how those

ski jacket with every purchase of a child’s 6-day ski pass online.

connections work, and that you are leaving enough time to make a

The warm and stylish jacket for 5 to 12 year olds is produced by

return journey in the day, without local assistance.

French brand SNC in bright colours and uses Novadry® Technologies

Step forward Skido Dolomites, which has launched brand-new ski safari

for weather protection and Stratermic for a light, strong construction.

day tours which cover the ski areas of Kronplatz, Sexten Dolomites,

Different sizes and colours are available.

Cortina d’Ampezzo and the famous Sellaronda circuit.

The free jacket is offered on selected dates only – these include

On the three guided tours, lasting from around 9.30am to 4pm, up to

Christmas week from 20 to 27 December 2014, the first week of the

ten guests and an expert guide will explore the area and all the hidden

February half-term holidays from 7 to 14 February 2015, the last week

spots only a local would know. As well as skiing, guests can take culinary

from 28 February to 7 March and at the end of the season from 11 April.

stops along one of the long Dolomite pistes, with drinks and coffee

In addition, the company is offering 6 days’ free child ski hire with

breaks any time you like.

every adult 6-day ski hire purchased and similarly 6 days of child

The Skido taxi picks you up from your accommodation on each ski safari day

group lessons free with the purchase of any adult 6-day group

and drives you directly to the most beautiful and popular ski areas in South

lessons package.

Tyrol, where skiing instructor Pauli will be waiting to lead you for the day.

The perfect chalet experience










All eyes will be on the GB Park and Pipe Team after their Sochi success, and with them having the lion’s share of available team funding. “Old guard” Sochi bronze medallist Jenny Jones and teammates Aimee Fuller and Jamie Nicholls will be joined by promising young teammates including snowboarders Lewis Courtier-Jones, Rowan Coultas and Matt McCormick. With Chemmy Alcott retired, Dave Ryding, who finished 17th in the slalom at Sochi 2014, is our biggest hope in alpine skiing, with Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley, Cara Brown, Rachelle Rogers and Darcie Mead all looking to represent Britain on the World Cup or Europa

“One of the top 5 places to stay”

Cup circuit this season. After their success in Sochi, the British Ski and

Championships in Kreischberg, Austria

In ski cross, Emily Sarsfield and Liz Stevenson

Snowboard team is looking to build on the

(15–25 January 2015), the Alpine World

are both coming back from injury and hope to

momentum and perform well at the big events

Ski Championships in Vail, Beaver Creek

be back in training this month with other team

this winter. Some have already been in action

(2–15 February 2015), the Telemark World

members Ed Drake and Pam Thorburn. British

in autumn World Cup events in Europe.

Championships in Steamboat Springs

snowboard cross athletes include Stephanie

The highlights of this season’s competitive

(23–27 February) and the Speed Ski World

Gehrig, Zoe Gillings, Coco Merz, Jennifer

skiing and snowboarding calendar include

Championships (28 February to 3 March 2015)

Osborne, Kyle Wise and Danny Chambers.

the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World

in Grandvalira.


067 // DEC14

0800 0664 996

La Plagne • Les Arcs • Tignes







The Omnia is perfectly situated in the centre of Zermatt just off on a hidden back street, giving you the bustle of beautiful Zermatt right on your doorstep, but the peace and quiet you would expect from an escape to the mountains. The warm and friendly welcome is simply hard to beat.

The Hotel Plein Sud is situated close to the Écrins National Park, the mythical Cols du Lauteret Galibier and Izoard made famous by the Tour de France, and very close to the old town of Briançon, which now boasts UNESCO World Heritage status.

+41 (0)27 966 7171 // INFO@THE-OMNIA.COM THE-OMNIA.COM





The luxurious Hotel Avenue Lodge is a superb base in one the world’s great ski areas, the exceptional Espace Killy. You’ll feel welcome from the minute you arrive with valet parking and the concierge service taking care of your luggage. The Hotel Avenue Lodge’s entire team is at your service to make your holiday in our resort an unforgettable stay.

The Hotel Firefly is the first address in Zermatt for travellers who expect luxury and lifestyle of the highest level. In the midst of the breathtaking scenery of the famous glacier ski area, the hotel is only 3 minutes from the Klein Matterhorn cable car and from the centre of Zermatt. Each suite is individual, spacious and luxuriously furnished.

Perfectly located on the slopes of Vaujany, Chalet Saskia features two separate large lounges with log fires, two sun terraces, a big TV and games room, 10 en-suite bedrooms all with balconies and a hot tub. The cuisine is simply inspiring and complemented by the impeccable service and excellent wine selection.


+41 (0)27 967 7676 FIREFLY-ZERMATT.COM





Nesteld 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 !

Quality B&B accommodation offered at great value. Evening meals available most nights. Prices from CHF72 per room. All rooms en-suite, free wi-fi, parking, heated ski room, full UK TV channels. 2 hours from Geneva. 10 min drive to Crans-Montana ski lifts with 140km of pistes. Situated in the small picturesque village of Lens, owned and run by British couple.

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.




068 // DEC14





more pleasant place to stay.

and Snowboard guide book

Tignes-le-Lac in particular has

is celebrating 20 years of

been smartened up by some

publication and its editors have

of its original eyesore buildings

taken the opportunity to re-

being revamped in chalet style

read the first issue published

and the road through to Val

and look at which resorts have

Claret being buried in a tunnel.”

improved the most over those

“Since 1994 the main Val

two decades.

Gardena resorts of Sëlva,

“In 1994 Kitzbühel suffered

Santa Cristina and Ortisei have

from shockingly bad peak-

become much more polished

season queues, especially

resorts but the most impressive

for the Hahnenkamm cable

thing now is the snowmaking,

car out of the town, which

which covers 95% of the slopes

had an hourly capacity of

and guarantees good skiing all

just 380 people. Now the

season whatever the weather –

resort has one of the best lift

the scenery here is spectacular,

systems in the Alps, including

so this is one of the few resorts

the Hahnenkamm gondola

where we pray for sun, not snow.

from town with a capacity of

“In its first edition in 1994,

2000 people an hour and the

Where to Ski carried a

groundbreaking 3-S gondola

special feature box criticising

carrying 30 people in each

Verbier for its dreadful lift

cabin,” say the editors, adding,

system, serious lift queues,

“Twenty years ago, the first

overcrowded pistes, appalling

edition of the book said Tignes

piste map and signposting,

was a great place to ski with

poor snowmaking and shortage

reliably good snow but was

of easy pistes. Twenty years

‘one of the ugliest resorts in

later most of these things have

the Alps’. It is now a much

been significantly improved.”


069 // DEC14

If you like to plan ahead, tickets have just

and it is a quick 45-minute to one-hour

return. The service, believed to be the first

gone on sale for a new direct service from

drive from airport baggage claim to the ski

on this route and run in partnership with

London Gatwick to Reno in Nevada which

lifts – compared with two to four hours from

Ski Lake Tahoe, will provide a twice-weekly

is scheduled to launch in just under a year’s

San Francisco, the nearest major interna-

service until 9 April 2016.

time for winter 2015–16.

tional hub currently used by most to access

The flight will be contingent upon approval

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is one

Tahoe’s slopes.

of landing rights by the U.S. Customs and

the closest airports to major ski resorts

The twice-weekly service from Thomas Cook

Border Protection and will use recently refur-

in North America, including Squaw Valley

Airlines commencing on 19 December 2015

bished A330 aircraft.

and Heavenly. Passengers can see ski runs

will see tickets priced from £399 return, with

from the airport’s runways upon landing,

a new Premium service available from £599


Henrik Windstedt Henrik Windstedt is a Swedish big

and thought it would be a new and fun way

mountain freeskier and a Peak

to get back into competing and skiing at

Performance sponsored athlete

the highest level again.

with immense talent and versatility. He spent his junior years as one of

Is there quite a lot of similarity between

Sweden’s top mogul competitors then

freeride and freestyle for you?

competed in several half pipe and

HW: Well these days for me freeride is all

slopestyle competitions over the years,

about photos and filming, so there is a big

including a second place finish at the

difference for me. But the way you need

US Open in Vail in 2004. He won the

to take care of yourself, sponsors and your

prestigious Scandinavian Big Mountain

career is very similar. It’s really tough to

Championships six times between 2001

make it good these days so you need to

and 2008. In that year, he also became

work hard and be smart.

the Freeride World Champion. Do you have any favourite resorts? When and where did you first start skiing?

HW: Not really. I like to ski La Grave

HW: I was born in Åre, Sweden, so I was

in France a lot. Any powder place in

pretty much born into skiing, you could say.

BC, Canada will do too. But you know,

My mum and dad built a restaurant up in the

anywhere where it’s been dumping is

ski area when I was five and I spent every

always good.

day after school, weekends and holidays up there. After a while I started competing

Your favourite items of gear?

in Alpine racing and, although I wasn’t the

HW: I like everything that I have on me

best, I really liked it so I kept going.

while skiing. I’m happy that my sponsors make high-quality equipment for what I

Did you consciously decide to change

need. It’s nice when you trust your stuff

direction from freestyle to big mountain?

like that.

HW: I was a mogul skier for some years before my freestyle career kicked off.

Any advice for young(er) people starting

The freestyle sport was so young back

in freestyle or freeride?

then and no one knew where it would go,

HW: Keep it up, fight for it. Nothing will

really. I did both until I was 20 before I

come for free, but as long as you have

concentrated 100% on freestyle. In 2005 I

fun chasing your dream you won’t regret

suffered a broken disc in my back and was

it. Ride as much as you can in all kinds of

out for almost two seasons. During that

conditions; that will help too!

time the sport progressed so much, and I had just turned 25 and was pretty much

Do you have any major remaining

one of the oldest doing freestyle, so I felt


less motivated on going back there. The

HW: Right now my goal is to have fun on

Freeride World Tour was just starting up,

skis, do some nice movies/edits and keep

and I got a wild card for the first two stops

on shredding for a long time.

070 // DEC14



InTheSnow Issue 40 - December 2014  

The UK's Most Read Ski Magazine

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