INTHE SNOW ISSUE40 | DEC2014
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IN THIS MONTH
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
032 SKI GERMANY & STAY AT HOTEL VIKTORIA
STRANGE SIGHTS IN SKIING UNEXPECTED SCULPTURES
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 025
Ultrasport showcase their 2014 lineup from a bunch of our favourite
BLOW THE BONUS 038
brands including Contour, Smith,
I hope I am not tempting fate by saying it has been a
Pow and Bern
ALTITUDE SKI TUITION 054
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
NICK JONES MARION ADAMS
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
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LIFE IN PICS SKI JUWEL
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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
SAM THORNE OLIVIA PARRY-JONES AMIE POSTINGS ANDY TAYLOR GABRIELLA LE BRETON
may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a
SALLY BARTLETT COLUMNISTS
JON WEST PHIL SMITH LORNA MCGACHIE HEMEL SNOW CENTRE
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
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
THE SNOW STUDIO
like free skiing for everyone who arrives dressed as
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Santa (or one of his elves or reindeer) at some resorts. This issue we have our usual eclectic mix from the
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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
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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 Skiweekends.com
003 // DEC14
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SKI 2 THE MOON WITH SNOW-CAMP
WORDS: PATRICK THORNE
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
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. skisafari.com
DEAF FRIENDLY SKI DAY
TIGNES CHALET IS “OUT THERE” ANDYPARANT.COM
ICY INTERLAKEN’S WINTER WONDERLAND
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
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
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
ROCK THE PISTES PUBLISH RESULTS
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
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 (summitretreats.com).
resort. The Bana Big Ropeway in Vietnam, built by Austrian company Doppelmayr,
passengers 17 minutes to make the ascent.
006 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
EXPRIENCE 88 SERRE CHEVALIER SCV DOMAINE SKIABLE
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.
RESORTS OPEN EARLY FOR SEASON BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT
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
What does a luxury ski holiday for younger children look like? Ski
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N O. 3
S M A R T,
S A F E
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
LEAVE YOUR EGO BEHIND
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,
a good story in the
après-ski. But for
evening, trying to be
many that first
cool in front of your
mates, the quickest
also be the last.
in, first down. Be
back out, turn away
that you as
when it’s not right
and play by the
he third in our series of freeriding tips and the
most important – safety.
be safe, not
Cometh The Iceman
Top Gun film enthusiasts will remember fondly
a cowboy, not
the exchange between Maverick and Iceman
in the locker room after a combat training
session in the air.
Iceman: You two really are cowboys.
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.
Off-piste skiing is
dangerous, and a
SAY NO TO PEER PRESSURE
PHIL SMITH SNOWORKS
Don’t feel under pressure. Learn
Phil Smith is founder of Snoworks
to say no – learn
All-Mountain Ski Courses. Snoworks
to say no to your
run Off-Piste and Backcountry courses
mates, learn to
throughout the winter along with Off-
say no to yourself,
Piste Adventure trips to destinations around the world. firstname.lastname@example.org
learn to say no to temptation.
Iceman was cool, calculated, played by the rules.
playing by the
But Maverick did things his way, bent the rules
rules. Don’t let that first mistake be your last.
be costly both to yourself and others, but you
Merino fibre wrapped around a nylon core for strength, then brushed to maximise warmth and softness
and pushed the boundaries; he was wild, would
Here are my three golden rules for off-piste
can learn to be safe, you can learn to have
take a chance, appeared fun to be with – but
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
advice and local knowledge. It takes the cool,
Swap ‘air’ for ‘off-piste’ and ‘Iceman’ for ‘ski
courses – hire guides or instructors, learn
calm collectedness of the Iceman.
Icebreaker is sustainable, renewable, merino clothing from the Southern Alps of New Zealand. For stockists information telephone 01572 772437
008 // DEC14
CHALET CO OFFER TEACHERS DISCOUNT
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS SINCE BEATLES VISIT
NEILSON’S NEW LA PLAGNE HOTEL
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 (neilson.co.uk) 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.
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
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
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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CONTROVERSIAL ART IN THE ALPS
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
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.
“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
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
NISEKO HANAZONO RESORT
Caesar’s crowdfunding initiative
BARGAIN FAMILY CHRISTMAS
MORE FOR CHILDREN TO DO IN NISEKO
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 serre-chevalier.com 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.
010 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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.
SCOTT-SPORTS.COM © SCOTT SPORTS SA 2014 | Photo: Dom Daher
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). TopSkiSwiss.com will be operating weekly charter flights with 7-night B&B packages including transfers costing from £699 per person. flyskywork.com
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. vip-chalets.com
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
SKI LIFT MAKES 70% MORE ELECTRICITY THAN IT USES
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 extremely low operating costs.
Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB)
in Gerlos, the Austrian resort has
The 180m-long Gerlos lift has
SKI & SNOWBOARD BOOT SALES UP
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
QR CODE HELMET STICKER
also shown in the junior market, with ski boots up 25% and snowboard boots up 1%,” said an SIGB statement.
A company called cerql.co.uk 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”.
012 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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 (ski-lifts.com) 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 (neilson.co.uk; 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
SKIJUWEL.COM | VISITTIROL.CO.UK
€40 OFF TO CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF SUPERSKI
SUPERTRAVEL’S FIFTY FOR FIFTY
Italy’s giant Dolomiti Superski ski region will celebrate 40 years in
Supertravel Ski (supertravel.co.uk/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
TESTED - PROVEN - TRUSTED
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,”
T H E VA L D ’ I S E R E AC C O M M O DAT I O N S P E C I A L I S T
“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
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
Over 100 Chalet Holidays Over 100 Self Catered Apartments 30 Hotels Fully Bonded Very Experienced Here To Help
UK: 0345 021 0222 OVERSEAS: +33 (0)634409097 simplyvaldisere.com
Heavenly Skiing At Down To Earth Prices
INDEPENDENT SKI INSTRUCTION IN FRANCE
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
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. oxygene-ski.com 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).
ALL ABOARD TO MÉRIBEL
French and Swiss Alps Snow Sure Resorts On / Near Piste locations No Hidden Extras Financially Bonded
0151 625 1921 mountainheaven.co.uk
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 (skimeribel.co.uk),
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
016 // DEC14
For stockists information call: 01572 770900
PILEDýBY: DOSSIERýCOM rne PatrickýTho
018 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
Lechs MetalýMan: lechzuers.com
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 : hotel-tirol.net
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
HOTEL-TIROL / FOTO-MUELLER.COM
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 winter.grand-massif.com
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
JACK AFFLECK MITCHELL WINTON
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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LOVE SKIING? LOVE WINE? LOVE FOOD? LOVE THIS!
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
week in the Alps, Xavier
evenings, platinum service
IP SKI (vip-chalets.com) 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
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.
GRINDELWALD GETS A HALF PIPE RAIMOND SPEKKING
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
021 // DEC14
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WORDS: LORNA MCGACHIE
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
he snow is beginning to fall across
the Alps and the mountains are
finally turning white again! And
of the indoor
now you know what equipment to
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
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
PREPARING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY
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
and lunges. Dedicate 20 minutes
each day to these exercises and
you will see a difference when
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
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
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Olympic boarder Zoe Gillings-Brier
green energy company Ecotricity as an
and Britain’s fastest snowboarder
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,
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
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023 // DEC14
Ski Bartlett, Uxbridge Road, Hillingdon, West London, UB10 0NP T:020 8848 0040 | E:email@example.com | www.SkiBartlett.com
VERBIER EXCLUSIVE & SKI VERBIER UNITED
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
of the different facilities available and in-depth reviews of four North American resorts. bit.ly/1vmgrIJ
024 // DEC14
SMITH OPTICS CAMBER HELMET
NORTHWAVE DECADE SNOWBOARDING BOOT
NEFF CHAMELEON PIPE GLOVE
BERN UNLIMITED KINGSTON HELMET
Never before has technology this
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.
£115 | SURFANIC.CO.UK
£220 | THE SNOWBOARD ASYLUM
£39.95 | FREEZEPROSHOP.COM
£119.99 | ABSOLUTE-SNOW.COM
SMITH OPTICS I/OX GOGGLES
CONTOUR ROAM 3
POW STEALTH TT GTX
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
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
world of snowboarding.
phone safely in your pocket and it’s
of Primaloft Gold insulation help the body
retain warmth in extreme conditions.
£189.99 | CONTOURSHOP.COM
£469 | THE SNOWBOARD ASYLUM
£59 | PLANET GIZMO
£105 | SURFDOME.COM
NITRO BLACKLIGHT SNOWBOARD It´s time to take three steps forward and
£160 | SNOWANDROCK.COM
025 // DEC14
threevalleetransfers www.3vt.co.uk | +44 (0)1323 351964
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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
WHISTLER WITH CANADIAN AFFAIR
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
canadianaffair.com 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
INCREDIBLE SNOW NO LIFT QUEUES KIDS SKI FREE GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY
SKI WHISTLER 7 nights from
INCL. RETURN FLIGHTS FROM LONDON
St art your search at...
CANADIANAFFAIR.COM Or call us on
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 benedictbeaumont.com.
SAAS-FEE LOOKS BACK TO 1984 Love it or hate it (although, let’s be
SKI WITH CHEMMY
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
off-piste, flown to glaciers, race
These include a 3-day weekend
downhill with Chemmy Alcott
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
BECOME A ZAI SKI VIP IN ST MORITZ
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. saas-fee.ch
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/
stmoritz.ch) 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.
known for champagne powder, it is big. “We
028 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
AVORIAZ ROCKS ON
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.
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.
MAJOR NEW KITZSTEINHORN LIFTS FOR 50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS ZELL AM SEE-KAPRUN TOURISMUS GMBH/GLETSCHERBAHNEN KAPRUN AG
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
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
WORDS: PATRICK THORNE
1. FILL THE CHALET:
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
4. GO LUX, BUT LOW-SEASON.
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
2. IF YOU MUST DO PEAK DATES, DRIVE:
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
5. UPGRADE YOURSELF!
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 (fortnumandmason.com) 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
3. TAKE YOUR OWN CHALET GIRL/BOY:
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
(mountainutopia.co.uk) 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 sno.co.uk
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!
WORDS: PATRICK THORNE PICS: EYECATCHME
032 // OCT14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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
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
fresh look! To begin with, relative prices have
slope all the way to the valley. There are three
+49 8322 977840
dropped, in part thanks to the Euro and in part
challenging black runs here but also easier runs
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
areas with 41.9km of well-prepared slopes and
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
WHERE TO STAY
also has an in-house
ALLGÄU AIRPORT / DESTINATION MEMMINGEN:
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
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 (neue-Skischule-oberstdorf.de) 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
NONSTOP ASK ARE YOU READY TO HELI?
COUPLE CROSSING ANTARCTICA ON SKIS
KIDS AT GRANDPARENTS, GONE SKIING
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 (acrossantarctica2014.com).
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
(Skiweekends.com), 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.
(nonstopsnow.com) 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);
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 (mattstandal.com/
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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URS HOMBERGER AROSA SWITZERLAND
INGHAMS OFFER EVEN MORE GRAUBÜNDEN RESORTS
SkiA SkiTrainer Trains The SkillsTo TransformYour Skiing
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
that both cabins can cross parallel
option is to sign up for an Early Bird
To book your holidays visit
options this winter.
with each other, instead of having to
Tour which guarantees you first
Emily Sarsfield, Ed Drake
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1 e nt cod discou 0’ 1 ‘ITS 036 // DEC14
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 (luggagemule.co.uk) 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-
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
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
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
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
Live in comfort
Colour in sport
Manbi Patterned Ski Socks Manbi Winter Sports Accessories
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Park Kids Invaders Black
037 // DEC14
For stockists visit: manbi.com | olang.co.uk | coolcasc.co.uk | salice.co.uk
Weekly coach travel from the UK to the French Alps
The cheapest and easiest environmentally friendly way to over 40 great French Ski resorts Departs from London & Folkestone Free on-board magazine Group discounts available
Free and reasonable luggage policy Free ski/snowboard carriage Generous leg room
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– for full list of resorts and prices
THE UK PARTNER FOR UCPA
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STUDENT STUDENT WEEKS WEEKSDEUX ALPES DEUX ALPES
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
• 7 nights accommodation • 7 nights accommodation • All meals • All meals • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days lift pass • 6.5 days lift pass From From • 12 hrs instruction • 12 hrs instruction
• 7 nights accommodation • 7 nights accommodation • All meals • All meals • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days lift pass • 6.5 days lift pass • 12 hrs instruction • 12 hrs instruction
SPLITBOARD SPLITBOARD WEEK WEEK Argentiére. Various Argentiére. dates Various dates – see our website – see for more our website info for more info
Christmas Christmas weekweek 20th 20th – 27th – 27th December December 2014 2014
• 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
• 7 nights accommodation • 7 nights accommodation • All meals • All meals • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days equipment hire • 6.5 days lift pass • 6.5 days lift pass • 12 hrs instruction • 12 hrs instruction
WORDS: GABY LE BRETON
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
Ski Ski Touring. Touring. Various Various dates dates ––see see ourour website website for more forinfo more info
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
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reservations, call (+41) 33 748 50 00 or visit
views of the surrounding mountains.
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038 // DEC14
TOP PHOTO VAL THORENS
L E V E L YO U R H O R I Z O N S
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 (ski-cool.com).
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NEW LIFTS AND RUNS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
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.
039 // DEC14
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040 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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.
042 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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 (crystalski.co.uk) 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 serre-chevalier.com 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 (clauwau.com), 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 (familyski.co.uk; 01684 540333) is offering a remarkable £250 saving per person for Christmas week with
PASCAL “SCALP” GOMBERT
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
NOT LEARNING TO SKI LISTED AS “TOP REGRET”
STREET FOOD IS PISTE FOOD
SKI HOSTING ENDS IN ITALY TOO
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 (crystalski.co.uk) 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.”
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HOLIDAY PHOTOGRAPHY: CAROLINE VANTHOFF
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
InTheSnow.com 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
than big scary tornadoes.
qualified mountain guides decide
contact Richard Barker:
To make the trip still more epic,
each day whether to choose a
we’ve teamed up with Team GB
famous resort like Lake Louise,
ULTIMATE READERS’ TRIP
VANESSA MAE GETS FOUR-YEAR SKI RACING BAN
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
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.
SOUTH TYROL TOURIST OFFICE
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 (s-dolomiten.com).
047 // DEC14
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ST ANTON’S OPENING WEEKEND PARTY
JADE ETHERINGTON RETIRES AT 23
HALF-TERM SKIING FOR UNACCOMPANIED TEENS
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,
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 (pgl.co.uk).
DOVER to CALAIS 16 crossings a day. Car + 7 skiers and all their gear.
I’m furry happy my board goes free!
SIMON BUTLER TURNS LEGAL PROBLEMS INTO SUCCESS
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
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
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.
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050 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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
Green BY PATRICK THORNE
THE FIRST ECOFRIENDLY HELMET Innovative board-sports brand Picture (picture-organic-clothing.com) 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
LIFT TICKET PRICE WARS?
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
of the multiple leading resorts
The Intrawest Passport
on top and at the front, adjustable and
participating in the scheme. The
(intrawestpassport.com) 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).
AFFORDABLE AND INNOVATIVE SKI GEAR
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
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
PARAGLIDING FOR 4-YEAR-OLDS
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
point about 30 feet high they can ascend safely with ice axes and crampons.
500 retailers worldwide.
052 // DEC14 // INTHESNOW.COM
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, hotelpleinsud.com) 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
FREE APP FOR ALL DEVICES
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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LESSON #03 OFF-PISTE ATTRACTION
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: www.serre-chevalier.com • 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.
SWITCH (BACKWARDS) SKIING
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
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
until you feel comfortable before
JON (AKA WESTY) AT ALTITUDE
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
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 email@example.com or on
certain size of turn, or skiing in
up to hills with a slight gradient.
+41(0)27 771 6006.
AlpineAnswers No one knows ski holidays like us
At Alpine Answers we use over twenty two years of holiday planning experience to offer the ultimate chalet and hotel collection. We also know the best resorts and operators, and use our wealth of knowledge and expertise to tailor your perfect ski holiday. So call us and let us help you plan your next winter break.
Call us: 020 7801 1080 Visit us: www.alpineanswers.co.uk
InTheSnow have teamed up with Fischer to give a lucky reader the chance to win either a pair of Men’s FUSE 8 CF or Women’s FUSE W7 CF Vacuum Fit boots. Fischer’s legendary technology is
ski boot completely to the anatomy
partially formed Comfort Fit Vacuum
with added response. With added
now available across a wide range
of any foot.
shell, the heel area is heated and
Ski/Walk mode, the Fuse is the
of participating stores in the UK.
What’s up for grabs - either a men’s
cooled to fit the anatomy of your
pinnacle of comfort.
The technology makes it possible for
or women’s pair of FUSE Vacuum
foot. This adaptable fit allows you to
Check out the latest Fischer videos
the first time to adapt the shell of the
Fit Boots – Constructed with the
get the most comfort from your boot
To enter, visit InTheSnow.com/competition and leave your name and email address Terms & Conditions: We reserve the right to offer a substitute model if size not available; claim within one month of the winner being announced; no returns, exchanges or cash alternative and a fitting charge may apply to non-participating dealers. Competition ends: 16 January 2015.
In the Snow Ad 2_Layout 1 06/11/2014 15:32 Page 1
Fantastic availability and offers on tailor-made ski holidays to France, Switzerland, Canada, the USA, Austria and Japan. • Superb self-catering residences • Hand-picked ski hotels • Flexible short breaks
0131 243 8097 www.ski-i.com
Main image: Tignes / ©andyparant.com
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
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 …
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
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.
16684 Snowcoach 1/4pp Ad_Layout 1 19/11/2014 10:21 Page 1
for great value skiing in France by coach, air, train & self-drive
Free ski & boots at Xmas
Free adult lift passes
3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th adult in a room receive a free pass when sharing with two full paying adults
Kids Ski Free
Free lift passes and free ski hire
SKI EGYPT MOVES AHEAD
SKI DAY SEX DISCRIMINATION
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
FREE Ski Hire and 1/2 price Ski Passes on all holidays Applies to all dates from Fri 27 March up to Sat 18 April
Grea by air t value sk iing in , coac France h, se lf-driv e and
order or download your 2014/2015 brochure online!
taw FREE ay:
trans airport fers
by co ach: da
call us today on 01727 866177
057 // DEC14
or visit our website at www.snowcoach.co.uk
MARKUS ZIMMERMANN INTERLAKEN-SWITZERLAND
SNOWSPORT FESTIVAL IN MÜRREN
THE WORLD’S MOST HI-TECH THERMALS?
BUN J RIDE IS NEW TIGNES THRILL RIDE!
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: murrenkandaharraces.com.
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
ABOUT THE SKIA SKI TRAINERS
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
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,
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
MOTION STOPPERS PHOTOGRAPHY
hoш to prep for the шinter season!
Make your ski holiday perfect Book great car hire to get you to the slopes.
SPRING FLIGHTS TO NEW ENGLAND
BRITISH SKI CHAMPS MOVE TO TIGNES
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 (wowair.co.uk.).
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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great quality at a very reasonable
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deals appear first
on the company’s
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Online retailer Powder Monkey
sports fans, the company ethos
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Powder Monkey do all they
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boards, Head ski wear, Summit
Powder Monkey Instagram,
Founded by two avid snow-
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goggles, SnoKart luggage systems
YouTube and Google+ channels.
following and include @
AVIS, AutoEurope, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and many more
The Car Hire Comparison Site 061 // DEC14
MAMMUT RIDE PROTECTION SNOWPULSE AIRBAG
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with functional features and very
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comfortable to carry, it’s suitable for
time and signalling when your helmet
freeriding and 1-day tours. New for this
needs replacing! This award-winning
year is its removable airbag, meaning
helmet has to be the most technologically
economical interchangeability with
advanced helmet on the market, for the
the slim Alyeska vest or a larger hut-
most precious part of your body!
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£420 | SKIBARTLETT.COM
BACKPACK £175 + AIRBAG £430 | SKIBARTLETT.COM
BLACK CROWS OVA BIRDIE A great agile-performance ski with a lively feel. On-piste performance, edge grip and stability at speed are impressive; get
SCOTT DECODER INSULATOR FLEECE
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Stay warm but don’t compromise on
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SNOWSHEPHERD LEATHER SKI GLOVES
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
HELMET CRASH SENSOR
as the only ski retailer to sell these famous ski worker gloves as used by instructors, guides and
£160 | SKIBARTLETT.COM
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.
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When paired with the smartphone app, the crash sensor detects motion, impact and force. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and in the case
ZAINI CRAIL BEANIE
FISCHER RANGER 88 TI
Zaini hats are still the leader of headwear
The Ranger 88 Ti is a powerful all-mountain freeride for almost all abilities.
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062 // DEC14
ATOMIC WAYMAKER CARBON 130 BOOT
DYNAFIT BEAST 14 BINDING
SALOMON ICETOWN WOMEN’S DOWN JACKET
Looking for a comfortable-performance,
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Ultra-low stand height and four secure
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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
SIDAS PRO FOOT WARMING SYSTEM
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MAMMUT ALYESKA PROTECTION AIRBAG PERILLA ALPACA FUR HATS
Optimum freedom of movement with maximum safety. Avalanche airbags protect your head, neck and chest from
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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!
INTHESNOW.COM // DEC14 // 063
S K I B AG G AG E F E E S
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
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.
STAY WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
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,
with Johannes Badrutt’s original
Mr Badrutt won the bet, the Brits told the
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
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LES BAINS REASON 1 LES 3 VALLÉES FOR LESS
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
Jet2.com 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
REASON 2 COMFORTABLE ACCOMMODATION FOR LESS
and Bmibaby, and Geneva Airport (120km – 2 hours) by British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe and Jet2.com. 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
REASON 5 SPA
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
REASON 3 GUARANTEED SNOW
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!
MANIGOD SKI RESOPRT / F CAVAZZANA
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.
KID’S SKIING COVERED IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
TOUR THE DOLOMITES ON THE PISTE
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
Tyrol, where skiing instructor Pauli will be waiting to lead you for the day.
The perfect chalet experience
BRITISH TEAM GEARS UP FOR 2014/15 GEPA PICTURES
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
067 // DEC14
0800 0664 996
La Plagne • Les Arcs • Tignes
THE OMNIA ZERMATT
HOTEL AVENUE LODGE VAL D’ISÈRE
HOTEL PLEIN SUD SERRE CHEVALIER
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
+33 (0) 492 24 17 01 // LYNNE@HOTELPLEINSUD.COM HOTELPLEINSUD.COM
HOTEL FIREFLY ZERMATT
CHALET SASKIA VAUJANY
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.
+33 (0)47 900 6767 // CONTACT@HOTELAVENUELODGE.COM HOTELAVENUELODGE.COM
+41 (0)27 967 7676 FIREFLY-ZERMATT.COM
01428 608070 // INFO@SKIPEAK.NET SKIPEAK.NET
RESIDENCE & SPA VALLORCINE CHAMONIX
CHALET DES ALPES CRANS-MONTANA
HÔTEL L’HÉLIOPIC CHAMONIX
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.
+33 (0)4 5054 7520 // CONTACT@CHAMONIX-VACANCES.COM CHAMONIX-VACANCES.COM
+41 (0)27 483 23 09 // INFO@CHALETDESALPES.CH CHALETDESALPES.CH
+33 (0)4 50 54 55 56 // RESERVATION@HELIOPIC.COM HELIOPIC-HOTEL-SPA.COM
068 // DEC14
TICKETS ON SALE FOR NEW TAHOE DIRECT FLIGHTS FOR 2015/16
GUIDE BOOK LISTS MOST IMPROVED RESORTS The annual Where to Ski
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
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
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
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?
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
THE ART OF LAYERING FALL-WINTER 14/15 ODLO.COM