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JÁN TEKEL

ISSUE 53 | JAN 2017


IN THIS

JEFF ENGERBRETSON

020

FEATURES

THE BIGGEST SKIING IN AMERICA BIG SKY RESORT  There are quite a few ski resorts that claim to have the biggest ski

014 CAROLINE VAN ‘T HOFF

areas in the world, but you just have to take their word for it. Big Sky

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Among the many famous ski resorts in Western Canada there

READERS’ OFFER EXCLUSIVE SKIING TRIP OFFER 

Head to the Chamonix Valley this March with Emily Sarsfield, Britain’s number one ski-cross racer tour operator, on our InTheSnow readers’ ski trip in conjunction with tour operator Action Outdoors.

are some internationally less well-known ski towns and resorts that give a very different, and some think better, experience.

CAROLINE VAN ‘T HOFF

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EAST OR WEST NELSON IS BEST  PAUL VILLECOURT

017

in Montana is different; here the ski area actually feels huge.


REGULARS

GEAR

ROSS WOODHALL

041

032 BLOW THE BONUS HELI-SKI ICELAND 

5-PAGE BOOT ROOM 041–045 

Gabriella Le Breton explains the economics of heli-skiing and successfully convinces us that £30k is good value for 12 people to go heli-skiing in Iceland, once you factor in the geo-thermal flotation tanks.

Another year begins and there’s still more great ski kit to discover. This month’s big selection includes

COMPETITION 012

everything from the latest avalanche airbags to a choice of footbeds or bat-shaped face masks.

patrick@inthesnow.com Welcome to the 2017 ski season! 2017 is a big year for us all at InTheSnow as it’s our tenth anniversary year, and it’s a decade that has seen a good deal of change in the ski world, the ski publishing world and the wider world. It’s hard to believe that when we launched, social media

10 MINS: WOODSY 054

called freeriding ‘off-piste skiing’. It seems so long ago

had not really taken over the world and people still and yet, a cliché though it may be to say it, it seems like

TEAM

it was just yesterday. Lots of things haven’t changed though, thankfully. The snow still falls each winter, hopefully, and millions of us head out to the slopes each ski season to enjoy it. The

InTheSnow team, and we know most of our readers (and KICKING HORSE / MATT ELLIOTT

035

ALTITUDE TUITION 048

FREERIDE ACTION WITH WARREN MILLER  The Warren Miller Ski Film Tour is back in the UK this month, showing at venues across the country. Amazingly, it’s the 67th film to be released in the great ski movie maker’s name, with Greenland one of the locations.

PUBLISHER

SUB EDITORS

© Copyright 2017

DOMINIC KILLINGER

NICK JONES MARION ADAMS

Printed in the UK.

dom@inthesnow.com

No part of this publication EDITOR

CONTRIBUTORS

may be copied, photocopied

PATRICK THORNE

VANESS FISHER SAM THORNE GABBY LE BRETON ANDY TAYLOR

or reproduced, stored

patrick@inthesnow.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

DEBBIE GABRIEL

in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any way or means, either by recording or otherwise, without permission

debbie@inthesnow.com

EQUIPMENT EDITOR

SALES MANAGER

SALLY BARTLETT ANNA BARTLETT

of the publishers in writing.

these days ‘viewers’), still get ridiculously over-excited with the first snowfalls each autumn and then as the main season draws nearer. Social media has certainly made it much easier to get pictures and video instantly from almost any slopes anywhere than ever before. The build-up to this season saw more than its usual ups and downs in the wider world, mostly due to matters outside our control, but then that snow fell and most

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people realised they just wanted to go skiing – it could be

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the answer to so many of the world’s problems!

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No wonder so many of the world’s top movers and shakers met in the Swiss ski resort of Davos at the end of January each year to talk through the world’s big issues. This year’s World Economic Forum should be quite a humdinger. But there are other reminders this month that the ski world continues as it has for the best part of a century. The famous Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbuhel, for example, and Wengen’s Lauberhorn are still the ones that the world’s best downhillers hope to win each winter. So whatever happens, here’s to a snowy 2017.

Follow us @inthesnowmag

003 // JAN17


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BIG

DANISH SKIING POWERS UP

WORDS: PATRICK THORNE

W

POWER PLANT SKI SLOPE IN NUMBERS Total Slope Length: 440m Number of Runs: 4 Max Vertical: 86m Steepest Pitch: 45% Homes Powered: 60,000

operators plan to build one of the world’s longest

tons of waste annually into enough clean

Tons of Waste Burned: 400,000

year-round, artificial surface dry ski slopes.

energy to power 60,000 homes, as well as

a-r-c.dk/amager-bakke

Actually the total slope length is 440m –

communal heating plants, with pure water the

almost identical to the slope at Ski Dubai, with

waste product.

which this project could become a comparable

For skiers, the numbers are quite impressive

icon in world skiing.

too, as project director Patrik Gustavsson told

Of course the plant, which, this being

InTheSnow,

One concern for skiers is safety on the

Denmark, has been largely publically funded,

“The slope will be divided into four adjacent

slope, which begins with what are essentially

wasn’t built with a ski slope, but the designers,

slopes; beginning from the bottom with two

precipices (the non-sloping sides of the

BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), have a history

green runs (a 60m-long slope with an 18%

building) on three sides.

ill we all be skiing in Denmark by the end of

of ski projects, and it seems they couldn’t

pitch and a 120m-long slope with a 20% pitch),

“We’re working together with some of the

the year?

resist. One of their earlier ideas was to

a blue run (80m-long with a 18–25% pitch)

world’s most renowned ski-security experts to

It’s not the most obvious choice for a ski resort

build an apartment complex with a sloping

and finally a 180m-long red-black steeper run

ensure that it is as safe to go skiing on Amager

– despite being on the edge of Scandinavia

roof on the top of a mountain in Lapland in

pitching at 23–45%,” Patrik explains, adding,

Bakke/Copenslope as it is to go skiing in the

– and it’s not the snowiest country, nor is it

order to increase the ski area’s vertical. The

“Each slope will have its own lift system (three

Alps/US. One possibility is to use nets as

famous for its mountainous terrain.

same company is behind Google’s new £1bn

magic carpets for the first three and one platter

safety devices,” Patrik confirms.

But what the Danes are famous for in the 21st

headquarters at Kings Cross, London.

lift for the upper. If you take the ride form the

The incineration part of the plant is now largely

century is innovation, real commitment to the

With this power plant (unlike Google’s new

top to the bottom we’re talking about a slope

complete, and the company is now looking in

environment, and looking out for the quality

London HQ alas), officially known as the

that is approximately 440m long over about

more detail at the ski slope including which of the

of life of their citizens. They have a huge new

Amager Bakke waste-to-power incinerator

80 vertical metres.”

available dry slope surface materials to use.

project near Copenhagen that ticks all three

plant, BIG figured why not give it a sloping

The building itself is 86m tall and skiers and

BIG originally envisaged the plant blowing a

boxes in one project – and it involves skiing.

roof and put a ski run down it? Fortunately the

boarders will reach the roof at the top of the

giant smoke ring from the top of the building

A new waste-to-power incinerator plant being

inventors saw the sense in that and gave them

slopes by ascending in elevators running up

to symbolise the conversion of waste to clean

close to the capital Copenhagen is currently

the green light.

through the interior of the plant.

power, but as yet a clean smoke ring blowing

nearing completion. Unlike the conventional

The plant, work on which began in 2013, is

“The capacity for the ski slope part of the

device has not been successfully patented,

image of a power station, it’s clad in shiny

however part of Copenhagen’s aim to become

“mountain” is approximately 150-200 people, but

although a crowd-funded project is still trying

aluminium, will be surrounded by parkland

the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2025, with

we have an allowance for up to 1,500 people to

to achieve just that before the slope opens

and, crucially, has a sloping roof on which the

the power station expected to burn 400,000

be on the rooftop at any one time,” Patrik adds.

later this year.

BIG

005 // JAN17


GERMANY’S NEW HIGHEST CABLE CAR The Zugspitze ski area, Germany’s highest, is currently building a new cable car to open in 2017. The existing Eibsee-Seilbahn lift, which opened in 1963, will be replaced by the new Zugspitze cable car which features three new world records. It will have the world’s highest cable-car support tower, measuring 127 metres; the greatest altitude difference of 1,945 metres over one section; and the world’s longest free span, covering 3,213 metres.

NEW CHAIR AND DRAG LIFT IN CHAMONIX Two new lifts have been announced for Chamonix’s Le Brévent ski area this winter. The Parsa chairlift PH PIANALTO

has been upgraded to a new, detachable, six-seat chairlift, with the former fixed-grip lift removed. The Leitner-built lift will cut the uphill ride time to under four minutes and increase capacity on the route to also be replaced by one modern drag lift. The new lifts will mean better skier flow in the sector and better facilities for beginners.

CRYSTAL ASSIST CONFUSED AGENTS Help is at hand for new travel agents who are perhaps not fully au fait with the skiing world, courtesy of the UK’s largest ski holiday operator, Crystal. The company emailed a brand-new edition of the Agent Training Guide, previously known as the Ski Bible, to agents across the country in the summer. It explains all the elements that make up a ski holiday, including types of accommodation, family ski holidays, group ski holidays and much more.

POWDER MOUNTAIN ADDING NEW LIFTS Utah’s Powder Mountain ski area is hoping to add two new lifts this season. The resort’s proposed new Village Lift would run up Lefty’s Canyon to

SAN MARTINO EXPANDS & UPGRADES SNOWMAKING

I

ICE DRIVING IN SWEDEN

taly’s 100% green-energy-

reservoir has grown from 9,000 to

the nursery slope has been

powered ski area of San

60,000 cubic metres thanks to

enlarged and now has a new area

Martino di Castrozza-Passo

its expansion.

for sledging.

Rolle has dramatically

The improvement follows a similar

Snowmaking has also been

expanded and upgraded

upgrade to the Tognola sector

expanded in the Tognola

its snowmaking system.

last year, where the snowmaking

sector with newly programmed

In the resort’s Ces-

reservoir was also increased in size

snowmaking, new pipelines and

A number of ski resorts in the French Alps offer

Colverde sector it’s now

more than fourfold, in its case from

new snow guns installed on

the chance to try ice driving on small circuits,

possible to cover the area

10,000 to 45,000 cubic metres.

the Pista Rododendro and Pista

but if you’d like to really try ice driving on a

within 80 to 85 hours of it

Other improvements this winter

Tognola Uno, a black slope that

grand scale, Sweden offers huge frozen lakes

getting cold enough.

include a bigger area for beginner

has been voted among the 12 most

on which to really get some speed up.

skiers at Alpe Tognola. Here,

beautiful slopes of the Dolomites.

“Ice driving is certainly not for the faint-hearted

In addition, the resort’s Ces

ANDY PARANT

nearly 3,000 people per hour. The old drag lifts will

– driving flat out on a frozen lake in the middle of Sweden really tests your driving skills – but it’s by far the most fun you can have on four

ALPE D’HUEZ REDEVELOPS SIGNAL SECTOR

a planned mountain village development with a

wheels!” enthuses Thomas Brimblecombe, Managing Director of Classic Grand Touring, which is offering three trips to try ice driving near the ski resort of Salen this winter.

second new lift, named “Mary’s”, continuing up the

In association with the new Signal

All guests have two full days of ice driving on

mountain from there. Jeff Werbelow, COO of the

hybrid ski lift, skiers will now find a

the lake including rally car sessions in either

Summit collective, which owns Powder Mountain,

new green run equipped with 22

a Subaru or Mitsubishi. Initial tuition is with a

said the company hoped the lifts could be in place

snow cannons. Starting from the

professional driving coach in three different

peak of the Signal, at an altitude of

cars – a front-wheel drive (FWD), a rear-wheel

2,108 metres, the piste will cross

drive (RWD) and a four-wheel drive (4WD) – in

the summits of the Sarasins and

order to gain the best experience possible.

arrive in the beginners’ area at the

These three-night trips cost from

“Grenouilles”. Beginner skiers can

£1,350pp (two sharing), and include B&B

have fun on the mini jumps, slaloms

accommodation at the Kjølen Hotel, two full

and obstacles en route.

days’ driving on the lake including rally car

in time for the coming ski season.

CAR SHARERS SAVE IN CHAMONIX Chamonix’s lift operator, the Compagnie du MontAlpe d’Huez opened three

the last part of Alpe d’Huez to be

In addition, the Signal Bis piste

sessions and professional tuition on the lake,

offering a 5% discount on Chamonix Le Pass lift

weeks early this season due to

modernised, with a new Telemix

is now equipped with seven new

use of ice go-karts, airport and lake transfers,

tickets (one day to 21 days) to those who arrive

great conditions from the start

hybrid express chairlift replacing

snow cannons, and the Grande Sure

two lunches and three dinners, plus return

of November. This winter, SATA,

the existing Signal chairlift. It can

chairlift has been replaced by a fixed-

flights to Oslo International (London Gatwick).

blablacar.fr website on which a car driver registers

the ski lift management company,

carry 3,300 passengers per hour

clamp, four-seat chairlift, doubling

The three trips are from 7 to 10 February, 10 to

their trip to Chamonix and then passengers book

has invested 12 million euros in

in 39 eight-person chairs and eight

the capacity from the Vieil Alpe area

13 February and 13 to 16 February.

developing the resort’s Signal area,

10-person cabins.

to 1,650 passengers per hour.

classicgt.co.uk

Blanc, is seeking to encourage car sharing by

in a shared car. The system operates via the

space in the car and pay online.

006 // JAN17 // INTHESNOW.COM

@INTHESNOWMAG


CRYSTAL

Heavenly Skiing At Down To Earth Prices

UBER EXPAND THEIR SKI CAR SERVICE IN US

5%

CRYSTAL LAUNCH 2017/18 SEASON HOLIDAY SALES

DISCOUNT

QUOTE CODE 'ITS'

Uber, the global transportation phenomenon, has announced it is

The UK’s largest ski holiday operator, Crystal, has launched its Winter 17/18

expanding a new division it operates in the US: “UberSKI”.

programme in December, before sending out its first charter flights for

UberSKI works in the same way as regular Uber services, but drivers

winter 16/17.

guarantee to have space for four passengers and all of their gear,

Although the main news for 17/18 won’t be published until the middle of

including skis, poles, boots, helmets, goggles, hats, gloves and

this year, the company does say it will be offering “Slope-Ready” holidays

whatever else you want to bring. There’s an additional $6 (£4.50)

at Pamporovo in Bulgaria.

pickup fee for users of the service, which can be booked on the app in

Holidays to this resort will include a lift pass, equipment hire and tuition

the usual way, just with an extra tick box.

– a great-value option for first-time or more seasoned skiers. Prices are

UberSKI was trialled in Reno, California and Salt Lake City, Utah, last

from £579pp based on a stay for two at the Hotel Snezhanka departing

winter and is being expanded this winter at ski hubs including Summit

7 January 2018. The company has lots of other early booking offers for

and Eagle counties in Colorado.

2017/18, including 2-for-1 ski or board hire to European destinations, a

Uber believe that in some cases it will be cheaper for skiers and

2-for-1 lift pass offer in Canada, and numerous other incentives to book

boarders to use the service to get to and from the slopes for a day’s

early including childcare discounts and free child places for families.

skiing than to pay for petrol and parking themselves at the larger, more

There are also free lift passes at Chamrousse and La Clusaz in France and

expensive resorts.

Engelberg in Switzerland. crystalski.co.uk

JOHANNA UNDER THE ICE

MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS TO EDINBURGH

Brain operations, bear attacks and BASE

of her former husbands have been killed in

the Festival Director, promises that the quality is

jumping are some of the topics to be discussed

BASE-jumping accidents.

higher than ever:

at the 14th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

Other speakers include quadruple-amputee

“We’ve had over 150 film entries from across

(EMFF), which runs over the weekend of 4 and

mountaineer Jamie Andrew who, since losing

the globe. It’s a hard task to narrow that down

5 February 2017, at George Square Lecture

his limbs after becoming stranded on a mountain

to about 20 films to screen, but you can be sure

Theatre, Edinburgh.

ridge in the Alps in 1999, has undertaken

that all the films which make the final selection

American BASE jumper, wingsuit flyer and free-

adventures many would have thought impossible.

are going to be the pinnacle of adventure films,

solo climber Steph Davis headlines the guest

The line-up of adventure films to be screened

with some notable premieres in there!”

speakers. With a string of first ascents around

is still being finalised but looks likely to include

The two-day festival is being staged at George

the globe, Steph knows how to push it but has

several ski films including Tight Loose and ice

Square Lecture Theatre in Edinburgh. Tickets

endured more than her share of tragedy – both

sport film Johanna Under The Ice. Stevie Christie,

start at £7 and are on sale now at emff.co.uk.

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

007 // JAN17

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POLLYABALDWIN

FREERIDE NO.16 GOING DIVERGENT AND COPING WITH WHAT THE MOUNTAIN THROWS AT YOU Imagine being able to cope with

problem. Then you can narrow down

single problem.

single solutions? Were you taught one

everything the mountain throws at

the solutions to the most appropriate,

Great skiers don’t look to improve

technique? Do you have a particular

you. All types of terrain, all types

the most desirable, the most suitable.

their “technique”, they look for

way of skiing? Do you ski with your

of snow conditions, all types of

Divergent skiing is where you are

solutions to problems. How to

feet together all the time, stand tall

weather and all types of hazards.

free to constantly change how you

grip more on ice, how to push

all the time, ski low all the time or

Not an easy task, or is it? Phil Smith

ski and to adapt to the ever-changing

heavy snow sideways to control

have your feet apart all the time? If

from Snoworks Ski Courses explains

conditions. To have no set “style”, no

speed off-piste, how to slow down

any of these statements ring true

“going divergent”.

particular “way of skiing”, just be free

quickly, change direction suddenly,

then you learnt convergent. That means sometimes it will work,

to move and adapt and change to

DARE TO BEAT

HELMET COLLECTION

Does this statement sound familiar

suit the ever-changing mountain

to you?

environment.

have good days and bad days.

“Yesterday everything seemed to

Great skiers are all “divergent

To cope with everything and

be going really well, and today I just

skiers”. They have learnt

finish the day where every

can’t get it together.”

divergent, have a divergent

day is a good day, the only

If so, then it’s time to look at the

attitude and ski divergently. You

way is to go divergent.

way you ski and learn the sport

can see this in all the free skiers

Divergent sports people

because what you’re really saying is,

and top racers. They know how

do things differently and

“Yesterday I was so lucky, the snow,

to create solutions on the move,

unexpectedly. They lead the

the weather and the terrain matched

instantaneously. Not thinking

my skiing perfectly – but today I was

they are doing something the

so unlucky, everywhere I skied the

right way or the wrong way, they

terrain, the weather the snow did not

find a way to create a solution.

match my skiing.”

To get down, change direction

Phil Smith is founder of Snoworks

Hannibal said in response to

So how can you get back from

instantaneously, go faster or

All-Mountain Ski Courses. Snoworks

his generals who said it was

skiing every day and say, “Wow,

slower at will whatever the terrain,

run Off-Piste and Backcountry

impossible to cross the Alps

what a day”? The answer is to go

whatever the conditions.

courses throughout the winter along

with elephants, “We will either

“divergent” in your learning, your

On our courses we have many

with Off-Piste Adventure trips to

find a way or make a way.”

attitude and your skiing.

skiers that say things like, “Last

destinations around the world.

Divergent learning, thinking,

year my instructor told me x, y or

info@snoworks.co.uk

skiing and developing a

sometimes it won’t. You will

PHIL SMITH SNOWORKS

way, they don’t follow; they create their own style, they don’t copy. They find many solutions to each problem. As

Divergent learning and skiing –

z.” My answer is always the same:

divergent attitude don’t

creating solutions

“What slope were you on, what

happen overnight if you’ve

Divergent learning starts with a

was the snow like and what was

single problem, and out of the

your objective at the time?”

manoeuvre through a narrow space

some time. There is no one way of

single problem we create multiple

We have skiers that constantly say to

or an awkward bit of terrain.

doing things, no one technique, no

solutions. You keep going with

us, “I need to improve my technique.”

solution after solution until you can’t

As though there is a technique

Conventional teaching –

are used to looking for set answers,

think of any more. You exhaust all

they are looking for, a way of doing

convergent or divergent?

it may seem a bit vague, a bit

possibilities. Great problem solvers

something that will work everywhere.

To begin to go divergent it’s a good

open-ended. But it’s exciting, ever-

are divergent thinkers. Great

They are looking for a single solution

idea to look at how you learnt and

evolving, ever-changing, and that in

businessmen are divergent thinkers.

to multiple problems rather than

think whether it was convergent

itself is so exciting. A mistake isn’t a

You need multiple solutions to every

looking for multiple solutions to each

or divergent. Were you looking for

mistake, it’s an opportunity to learn.

008 // JAN17

learnt convergent. It will take

one style. So to begin with, if you

SNOWORKS.CO.UK


YABULI

Be Ha Ski Moppy, re.

ASIA OVERTAKES NORTH AMERICA IN NUMBER OF SKI AREAS

T

areas in the world.

Most of the remaining ski areas in

economically viable, than opening.

The figures, provided by research

Asia, which is home to two-thirds of

The same slow decline is evident in

company Snow24, which has been

the planet’s population, are in Japan,

most European ski countries.

collecting data on ski resorts since

where skiing boomed in the 1980s

North America does still have many

1991, result from a rapid growth in

and more than 500 ski areas opened.

more lifts and runs than ski areas

small ski area openings in China over

Currently, Snow24 has located 301

in Asia, however, and its ski areas

the past few years. More than 100 new

ski areas in China and 965 areas for

are typically much bigger and

ski areas opened there in 2015 alone

Asia in total, but sources within China

better equipped. The same Chinese

with the number of Chinese people

say the number of ski areas there

source that reports that there are

who tried skiing jumping by nearly a

may now be more than 550, which

more than 550 ski areas in the

quarter. This growth is expected to

puts the total up to 1,229.

country also says there are fewer

increase faster still since China was

Snow24 has records of 840 ski

than 1,200 lifts in China.

he number of ski areas in Asia has

awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics

areas currently operating in North

Snow24’s figures for other continents

passed the 1,000 mark for the first

and both government and commercial

America, and the number of areas

are: Europe (4,131), South America

time, overtaking the number in

interests in the world’s most populous

has gradually declined over the

(42), Australia and New Zealand (39),

North America to make Asia the

country swing ever more behind

last 20 years with more small

Africa (12) and Antarctica (1). World

continent with the second most ski

developing winter sports.

centres closing, being no longer

total: 6,030 ski areas.

It’s your ski holiday so it’s your choice… 60 resorts 8 countries 17 UK airports

STEVEN MCKENNA

SCOTLAND & ICELAND OFFER JOINT SEASON PASSES The agreement was reached by

absolutely every lift at every resort

delegates to the latest North

in both Scotland and Iceland,” said

Atlantic Ski Areas’ Association

Chair of Ski-Scotland, Heather

(NASAA) conference which was

Negus. “With daily flights linking

held recently in the Scottish

Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh

Highlands.

with Reykjavik, we believe many

It’s believed to be the first time

of our customers will see this as

that skiers in one country have the

a wonderful opportunity to ski or

chance to ski free at all ski areas in

snowboard on new terrain and

another country.

enjoy the culture of a new country.

“While there is cross-border

And, of course, we also look

In what is being heralded as a

ski areas will be able to ski free at

cooperation between individual

forward to welcoming Icelandic

landmark agreement, holders of

any of Iceland’s nine ski areas this

ski areas elsewhere, what makes

skiers and boarders to Scotland’s

season tickets for the five Scottish

season, and vice versa.

this unique is that it includes

mountain resorts.”

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

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

Don’t just dream of snow,

book today…

Call one of our ski experts on

023 8020 6971 FB.COM/INTHESNOW

009 // JAN17

or email sales@skiweekends.com


LIFE IN PICTURES

BERTRAND DELAPIERRE

PATRIK LINDQVIST

 PROMOTION Big Air is the next big thing

the 1800s, and Arnold Lunn,

as its longest off-piste run,

at the next Winter Olympics

an early pioneer of both ski

the famed Vallée Blanche, all

in South Korea in just over a

racing and organised ski

providing outstanding skiing,

year’s time, but in Chamonix

holidays for Brits, learned to

there’s simply nowhere quite

they’ve been enjoying

ski here at that same time.

like Chamonix.

getting airborne from the

Over the intervening 120

And although it may be

snow for many years,

years, Chamonix has gone

a historic Alpine town,

including back at the very

from strength to strength,

Chamonix never rests on

first Winter Olympics that we

and is now widely regarded

its laurels, and is also a

staged here in 1924 – when

as the planet’s capital of

holiday resort with state-of-

ski jumping was officially an

mountain sports, year round.

the art amenities (including

Olympic sport but downhill

Located in one of the world’s

its ski jumps, ice-rinks,

ski racing wasn’t!

most extensive networks of

swimming pools, cinema

The first skis had been

ski runs and lifts and home

and interactive museums)

introduced to the valley some

to the biggest lift-served

as well as being a Mecca for

30 years before at the end of

vertical on the planet, as well

shopping and fine dining.

MONNIER

BANNIKOV

HUSKYDALEN

CHAMONIX

010 // JAN17

CHAMONIX.COM


SKI RACE TIMING MOVES FROM GATES TOWARDS CHIPS

I

t’s the beginning of the end

enhancing the traditional race

measurement of the athlete’s speed,

with greater precision than

of one era in ski race timing

timing triggered when the skier

acceleration and deceleration, the

ever before.

and the start of a new one,

leaves the starting gate.

time it takes to reach 100kph and an

Longines, who have been

as Swiss watch makers

The new system was unveiled in

analysis of jumps.

involved in alpine ski racing since

Longines, who provide the

Sölden, where Swiss racer Lara Gut

This data will be presented in the

1933, plan to officially launch

official timing for World

won the World Cup season opener.

form of TV graphics to viewers at

their new technology during

Cup races, have moved to

The chip attached to the skier’s boot,

home, to the spectators attending

the FIS 2017 Alpine World Ski

using data chips attached

equipped with radar and motion

the competitions and to the

Championships in St Moritz, for

to skiers’ boots to time their

sensors, means racers can be

athletes themselves, helping

which the company is an official

progress down the course,

tracked in real time with continuous

them analyse their performances

partner and the official watch.

MAN FINED FOR SKIS ON UNDERGROUND TRAIN

A Montreal man was surprised to

from bringing bikes, skis, sleds

be issued with a $102 (about £61)

or snowboards on the Montreal

spot fine for carrying his cross-

Metro during rush hour.

country skis on the Montreal

Mr Simard said that he and

metro in Canada.

people around him were surprised

Mathieu Simard told CBC News

by the fine being issued. He said

he used the skis to ski to work

he skied to work but could not ski

when the city was blanketed in

home as the snow was cleared

snow and was carrying his skis

by road workers, but that when

home as he had done regularly

it was snowy it was easier to ski

for the past 10 years without a

than ride his bike to work. After

problem. He was approached by

he was fined Mr Simard had to

two ticket inspectors and issued

walk home.

with the fine, which he says he

“Skis and other items are

could hurt someone during a

from carrying skis and other

will be contesting.

not allowed during rush hour

sudden stop,” a Montreal Metro

items on the Montreal Metro

The fine was issued under a

because they are bulky and

spokesperson told CBC, adding

between 6 and 10am and 3 and

bylaw that forbids passengers

sharp objects that, for example,

that the bylaw prevents people

7pm weekdays.

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

heliopic-hotel-spa.com FB.COM/INTHESNOW

011 // JAN17


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PERSPECTIVE CHANGES HERE 7,748 SKIABLE ACRES

PURPOSE CHANGES HERE 125 MILES OF TRAILS

SKI CHANGES HERE

LIFE CHANGES HERE

SKI THE CANADIAN ROCKIES


EAST OR WEST NELSON IS BEST!

W O

RD

S:

JU

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NI

EU

W

EN

HU

YS

IM

AG E

S:

CA R

O

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VA N

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HO

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I

forgot you worked here,”

gear and are quickly known as “the Dutch

of 14m per year and 118 different runs,

legs and a massive grin, I ski towards

our ski buddy Jack says

Girls”. During lunch, I always ask our new

you will be skiing fresh lines every run.

our “taxi”; the sky is the limit! Each run

to a friend. “I try not to

ski friends what brought them to Nelson.

The lodge is located in the Cariboo range,

is more spectacular than the last; I’m

use that four-letter word,”

An oft-heard response is: “I came here for

the most northerly mountain sub-range

completely high on life and can’t get

his friend replies with a

a few days and just never left.” I certainly

of BC, and this northerly location ensures

enough of this heavenly playground.

chuckle. This laid-back

cannot blame them; the deep powder,

great snow quality throughout the whole

The majestic wooden lodge offers

mentality sums up the

pure stoke and genuine atmosphere

season. Heli-skiing in the Cariboos is a

indulgence and comfort, including all

easy-going attitude that is

make WH2O a special place.

proven formula for success as the first

the usual luxuries plus an outdoor hot

the norm in Nelson. Dotted

two heli-ski operations carefully chose

tub with a lake view and a fully stocked

with Victorian gingerbread

this range too in the 1970s. Willy, our

bar. Every evening, a three-course dinner

Austrian guide, who has been guiding

is laid out for us. But if you aren’t careful,

in this area for over 10 years, ensures

you might end up with a heli-belly with all

us that Silvertip has some of the best

that tantalising food. Heli-skiing at Silvertip

cottages, the Canadian town in the Kootenays is

People of the powder

home to dozens of artists, musicians, yogis and, of

Dedicated ski bums of all ages make

heli-skiing terrain in the world. Knowing

Lodge is not just all-you-can-ski; a more

course, powder junkies.

me realise that skiing is more than

he has guided at several operations, we

accurate description would be all-you-can-

Passionate, well-educated

just a sport here; it is positively a way

can’t wait to experience this ourselves!

wish-for-and-more. Life just doesn’t get

ski bums do odd jobs such as tree

of life. Quality of life is the main thing,

planting, mining or growing pot in order

and people here wholeheartedly enjoy

to be able to ski full-time. For us, two

themselves. For us, the combination of

Dutch women, it is extraordinary to be

breathtaking nature and mountains of

surrounded by skiers and, unsurprisingly,

powder – an average of 12m a year – in

Who knew it was possible to climb

we immediately feel at home.

such a friendly and creative town makes

into your private helicopter just metres

For accommodation in Nelson, we

Nelson the best place for us to visit. After

away from the breakfast table? The

recommend the Alpine Inn, a very

all, where else are people so laid-back

adrenaline races through my body as

comfortable motel. The rooms are

that they refer to work as “the four-letter

the pilot clamps on his headphones,

equipped with a small kitchen, and a

word we try not to use”?

and the propellers begin to rotate faster

night in a twin room starts at $99 (about

as formidable mountains loom in the

£78). Make sure to check out the two-

distance. Our very experienced pilot,

day special for $202 (about £159), which

Ben, flies straight to a ridge, skilfully

includes two Whitewater day passes and

swings the tail around, and lands on

two nights in a twin room.

a tiny plateau marked by a stick with

alpine-motel.com

Pure, Simple & Real … DEEP Despite the fact that POWDER magazine readers voted Nelson “Best Ski Town in North America”, it feels like time has

Dream BIG, dream DEEP!

stood still in this powder paradise for

any better than at Silvertip Lodge!

Sky high

Where To Stay

the past 30 years. Whitewater, only

A very exclusive, high-end ski lodge

orange tape, which turns out to be

a 20-minute drive from Nelson, is an

is nestled in the complete wilderness

the landing zone. Kneeling, we watch

Logden Lodge is another great option,

authentic ski hill, and mass tourism is

upon the Quesnel Lake surrounded by

the helicopter take off as the snow

located just outside of Ymir (also a

nowhere to be found. It is the exact

a pebble beach – quite a memorable

whips up and stings our faces. Slowly,

15-minute drive to WH2O) in a dense

opposite of a crowded European resort.

setting for a heli-ski lodge! Silvertip

the humming fades and a deafening

forest with no other sounds than a small

The three old-fashioned, rickety second-

Lodge is so remote; it is only accessible

silence fills the air. We are standing on

running creek. The Dutch owners, Paul

hand chairlifts take you up to extremely

by helicopter on a 45-minute flight from

a summit in the Canadian wilderness,

and Annelies, two former diplomats,

steep tree runs. The only restaurant on

Williams Lake, making your stay a grand

miles away from the nearest ski lift or

designed the cute and boutique

the mountain is a simple, cosy day lodge

backcountry adventure. In the winter of

town. Everywhere we look, we see

cabins themselves, and it is the perfect

made from timber, where young and old

2017, this private heli-ski operation will

endless untouched powder fields and

place to completely relax, for example

mingle and everyone seems to know

open its doors for private groups up to

breathtaking mountains as we drop into

with a book in front of the fireplace.

each other. We stand out in our colourful

10 guests, and with an average snowfall

our 700 vertical metre run. With aching

logdenlodge.com

SKIWHITEWATER.COM | SILVERTIPHELISKIING.COM


13-15

14-19

SCOTT MARKEWITZ

12-15 Wintersköl

Lauberhorn

World Rookie Fest

ASPEN, COLORADO, USA

WENGEN, SWITZERLAND

LIVIGNO, ITALY

Aspen’s annual “toast to winter” dates back

The first of the classic annual World Cup

Young snowboarders under 18 compete in

to January 1951. The four-day fest includes

Downhill races, the Lauberhorn is the

Livigno’s superb Snowpark Mottolino as they

Soupsköl (a soup cook-off), a canine fashion

longest in the world; its length of 4.48km

endeavour to make their names among the next

show, broomball and fat-biking competitions.

results in run times of 2.5 minutes.

generation of the world’s best boarders.

aspenchamber.org

lauberhorn.ch/en/home

livigno.eu/en

15-22 CHRIS COUNCIL & EMILY CHAPLIN

14-29 15-22 d e d u l c n i All the price: in

on commodati 7 nights ac All meals Lift pass hire Equipment struction 12 hours in

Sled Dog Camp

Aspen Gay Ski Week

77TH Hahnenkamm World Cup

PILLERSEETAL, TIROL, AUSTRIA

COLORADO, USA

TIROL, AUSTRIA

It’s a dog’s (and musher’s) life at the sled dog

Aspen’s gay ski week of fun events and

Regarded as the most demanding race course in

camp and races in PillerseeTal where guests

celebrations is one of the world’s biggest

the World Cup circuit, the famous Hahnenkamm

have the opportunity to meet the mushers

winter gay and lesbian holiday events, and it

will attract the world’s best skiers and thousands

and their dogs and try everything themselves.

celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.

of spectators.

kitzbueheler-alpen.com

gayskiweek.com

fis-ski.com

DIARY|JAN–FEB 2017 HALF TERM & EASTER

Les Deux Alpes & Serre Chevalier Prices from

£523

18-21

6

8-19

Both adults and children have a few hours instruction included each day allowing everyone the opportunity to improve at their own pace whilst ensuring plenty of quality time to ski together as a family.

For more information and to book:

www.action-outdoors.co.uk THE UK PARTNE

DETLEF ECKERT

The no-frills family ski holiday that offers the easiest and cheapest option for parents wishing to treat their little ones to a winter holiday in the Alps. 74th Inferno

Billabong Air & Style

World Championships Biathlon

MÜRREN, SWITZERLAND

INNSBRUCK, TIROL, AUSTRIA

HOCHFILZEN, AUSTRIA

The world’s longest downhill ski race, first

One of the longest established of all the big

The World Championships are the big event

staged in 1928. Nearly 2,000 racers descend

snow events and parties, there’s always intense

in the annual biathlon calendar when all of the

from just below the Schilthorn, setting off at

competition and a party atmosphere at the Air &

disciplines are tracked in succession in this

intervals of just 12 seconds.

Style show at the Bergisel ski-jump.

exceptionally exciting-to-watch sport.

inferno-muerren.ch/en

air-style.com

tyrol.com

R FOR

016 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


PAUL VILLECOURT / OUTDOOR-REPORTER.COM

I

will focus on quality ski instruction

all love the mountains and the

in Argentière, and during the

between. During the evenings, there

the Chamonix valley but enjoy a

in one of the world’s premier

group will be full of ski and

evenings, entertainment and

will be lots of social activities for

smaller village atmosphere then

Action Outdoors to

resorts in the Chamonix valley.

snowboard enthusiasts who

activities are available.

those who want to participate.

Argentière is the resort for you!

offer our readers an

You can choose to have ski instruc-

want to have a great holiday

A typical day on the mountain will

Argentière is a small village

Argentière accesses the same five

exclusive skiing holiday

tion or not, but the all-inclusive

located 10 minutes up the valley

ski areas that have made Chamonix

in Argentière – hosted by

price includes seven nights full

a world famous destination. The

the Action Outdoors team

board accommodation with break-

OFFER DETAILS

from Chamonix and sharing the same five ski areas. The

skiing is varied and vast although

in Chamonix alongside

fast, a large buffet lunch and a four

25 March, 2017, price from: £599 all inclusive

village has a more personal and

definitely biased in favour of the

ski writer Rob Stewart and

course evening buffet dinner, 6.5

(7 nights full board accommodation, 6.5 days ski pass,

friendly feel than its world famous

advanced skier. The off-piste/

featuring Emily Sarsfield,

days ski pass, 6.5 days ski or snow-

6.5 days equipment hire, evening entertainment)

neighbour and is a popular

backcountry skiing is what makes

Britain’s number one ski-cross

board equipment hire and evening

action-outdoors.co.uk/deals/inthesnow

hangout among the more serious

the Chamonix valley so special. The

racer, the week will be full of

entertainment. If you choose to

skiers. The Mont Blanc massif

depth and variety of lift-accessed

action as like-minded skiers and

take instruction then there’s a vari-

provides a stunning backdrop

high mountain and backcountry

snowboarders explore one of the

ety of options to choose from.

and enjoy some quality time on

include half a day of instruction

to the valley with some of the

terrain is outstanding, including

world’s top winter sports regions.

As InTheSnow readers the

the slopes.

followed by InTheSnow group ski

most striking Alpine scenery

Europe's longest off-piste run, the

Open to all levels of skier, from

emphasis will be on having a

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are

sessions depending on ability levels,

to be found anywhere in the

Vallée Blanche, and the infamous

beginner to expert, the holiday

great time … in the snow. We

available at the UCPA centre

with lunch at the UCPA centre in

world. If you would like to ski

Grants Montets ski area.

PAUL VILLECOURT / OUTDOOR-REPORTER.COM

nTheSnow Magazine

has teamed up with

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

ACTION-OUTDOORS.CO.UK/DEALS/INTHESNOW


N ALBIN

SMART CAMERAS IN SCANDINAVIAN SNOW PARKS

ZERMATT APP NOW “FUSES REALITY WITH VIRTUALITY”

ISCHGL BANS NIGHT-TIME PARTYING IN SKI BOOTS

A new generation of smart cameras have been set up ready to film

Zermatt Bergbahnen, the famous Swiss resort’s lift company, has

Ischgl, which is known as one of the top après-ski destinations in

your every move when you enter the terrain parks at one of five of

announced improvements to its Skiguide Zermatt app. New for 2017

world skiing, has taken steps to curb overenthusiastic revelry through

Scandinavia’s largest ski areas in Norway and Sweden.

is “User Perspective BETA”, which the company says is a mixed-reality

the evening, or at least make it safer.

The new video service at SkiStar Snow Parks in Åre, Sälen, Vemdalen,

feature that:

The issue the Austrian Tirolean resort is seeking to tackle is the

Hemsedal and Trysil means that the skier’s SkiPass in their pocket is

“…fuses reality and virtuality, allowing users to immerse themselves

wearing of ski boots through the evening and into the night.

all that’s needed for the cameras to track them as soon as they enter

completely in the 3D map and experience their surroundings as a ‘low-

The problem is that thousands of people finish their days on the

the park.

poly world’, generated specially for the app.”

slopes by heading in to one of Ischgl’s famous slopeside après-ski

A smart camera films the run and within minutes, the film has been

This approach offers improved navigation and is a more convenient way

bars. Many, it seems, don’t even attempt to return to their hotels to

uploaded on the skier’s MySkiStar profile online. Here they can view

of providing information about the immediate surroundings, Zermatt

change later, but instead just continue on through the evening in their

their run, save the video and share tricks with friends via social media.

Bergbahnen says.

ski gear and boots.

In addition, for younger children at SkiStar’s resorts, the company has

The intuitive route finder shows users how to reach their favourite

Some apparently remember they’ve left their skis at the base of

launched mascot Valle’s very own ski school, which the company says

mountain restaurant from any location in the ski area and how long they

the slopes late in the evening and clatter off to get it, swaying back

is a really fun way for children aged between three and nine years to

will need to get there using the lifts and pistes currently open, taking into

through the resort centre late in the evening, swinging their gear.

learn how to ski confidently and safely.

account the level of ability entered.

In a new ‘Guest Information’ letter this season, signed by the resort’s

Children who want to begin training in early autumn can try out Valle’s

All map content, such as lifts, pistes and restaurants is interactive,

mayor as well as the head of the tourist board and the head of the ski

Ski Rules Game, a new feature on the Valle app that is now also

and the app also has an online ticketing facility, a personalised graph

lift company, the resort says a new policy to offer a new “high quality

available in English.

showing elevation change, current webcam views and weather outlook

après-ski offer” is the focus this season. To that end, a fine of up to

“We want to help children and young people to discover how great

as well as detailed avalanche hazard levels and other safety alerts.

€2,000 (£1,800) may be levied on anyone caught in ski boots in public

it is to get out and have fun in the outdoors,” said Linda Morell, PR

The app.matterhornparadise.ch website offers a full overview of the

after 8pm until 6am the next morning. They note that in the past

Manager at SkiStar. “It should be simple and fun to go on an active ski

range of built-in functions and a link to the App Store and Google Play

those in ski gear after 8pm have sometimes proved to be “a danger to

holiday with the whole family.”

where it is available free of charge for iOS and Android devices.

themselves and to others.”

PLAN. BOOK. SKI. ANDORRA. arinsal.co.uk pasdelacasa.com soldeu.com andorraresorts.com


SLOVAKIA: HIGH QUALITY. TOP VALUE. EASY TO REACH

T

Affordable, especially in comparison to

It’s part of a big upgrade of Jasná this

stretch over 7,000m2 with five easy-to-use

the website at jasna.sk/en/ for full details),

the Alps and even the UK, it may be. And

winter, which also sees enhanced

conveyor lifts where they can experience

and a wide range of accommodation and

it’s true that the locals are certainly happy

snowmaking – increasing coverage by

their first steps on skis or snowboards.

dining out options.

enough. But for 20 years now, the focus

about 20% so most of the runs are now

As an added attraction, lift passes valid for

Of course, although it may no longer be

has been on quality, so you can expect a

covered; a new base building; a new après-

two days or more include all-day entry to

“cheap and cheerful” exactly, Slovakia

ski holiday more like you might imagine

ski bar; improved signage and live slope

Aquapark Tatralandia (Tropical Packet) or to

does remain highly competitive when

a Swiss or Austrian ski holiday, but with

condition information through electronic

GINO PARADISE BEŠEŇOVÁ (Sea and Fun

it comes to your total ski holiday cost.

greater value and affordability.

information boards; and many other

Packet) so you can enjoy indoor summer at

You get much of the same quality as the

In short, the image of the “cheap

enhancements all designed to improve

30°C in winter at the Tatralandia water park

Alps but pay less for everything from

experience” Eastern European holiday is

the ski experience and ensure it is among

just a 15-minute drive from the resorts. This

your lift pass or ski school lessons to

so last century, darling.

the best available anywhere. The GOPASS

great facility has six all-year-round water

accommodation and evenings out.

If you need evidence, look no further than

packet provides hands-free access to all

slides and 10 pools including a snorkelling

Getting to Slovakia can be easier and

the new hi-tech giant gondola lift with

lifts and many other advantages.

pool with live fish and a number of other

cheaper than getting to most other ski

15-seater cabins that goes into service

Although there’s skiing and boarding for all

attractions for children. GINO PARADISE

regions from Britain with short flight times

on the southern side of Mt Chopok

abilities and tastes (great beginner areas,

BEŠEŇOVÁ has great facilities too, including

and very short resort transfers too. Flights

here are still some outdated perceptions

above Slovakia’s leading resort of Jasná

terrain parks, freeride zone and runs for all

geothermal pools, real sea waves and the

cost from only £12.99, take just 2.5 hours

about skiing on the Eastern side of Europe:

this winter. It makes the ride up to the

standard), children are particularly welcome

fastest and longest water slides in Slovakia.

and then it’s only a 45-minute transfer. Then

that the experience is essentially “cheap

top of the slopes even faster and more

in the world-class Maxiland parks in three

There are plenty of other activities to try

once you’re in Jasná, a free shuttle service

and cheerful”.

comfortable than before.

convenient locations, which together

in Jasná too, a long list, in fact (check out

makes everything even more effortless!

019 // JAN17

JASNA.SK/EN


THE

BIGGEST SKIING IN AMERICA WORDS: PATRICK THORNE | IMAGE: JEFF ENGERBRETSON

020 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


those extensive slopes that you could

Nearing the turn-off up to Big Sky resort

ski for miles and not really see anyone

there was a stylish building with a sign

and there was the lowest skier density

reading “The Warren Miller Performing

per acre of any major North American

Arts Center”. I hadn’t known before, but

resort. How’s your maths? There’s an

the great ski film-making icon spends

average of 3,000 skiers per day and

half his year living here.

the lift capacity is nearly 40,000 skiers

Thankfully, when I finally arrived, Big Sky

per hour.

didn’t disappoint in any way. The opposite was true – it just kept getting better.

ÆÆAt one point it was one of three

The resort base is relatively compact,

adjoining ski areas (a rare scenario in

with everything within a few hundred

hat do you want from the ski resort

the USA, where few ski areas border

metres of wherever you’re staying. The

you choose to visit? Great snow

others), and if you added the terrain

main building is the historic Huntley

conditions are the top priority for

of all three together it was bigger

Lodge, a sprawling mammoth where a

almost all of us, of course. But in terms

than any other ski area in North

convention of medical specialists was

of things we can control, from the

America – so, top five in the world.

underway when I was in town. But there

way travel companies and the resorts

Big Sky actually bought out one of

are still more comfortable condominium

themselves market ski destinations,

those three areas (Moonlight Basin)

complexes and comfortable hotels to

the priorities appear to be ever more

and absorbed its terrain to create

choose from, all just steps from the

comfortable accommodation and ever

the biggest ski area in the USA –

slopes. There are a few dozen shops,

more things to do besides skiing.

for one season – until Vail Resorts

bars and restaurants too, with a nice

The problem, for some, is that some

merged Park City and Canyons ski

eclectic, quirky feel to many of them.

ski areas are now so chock-full of

areas in Utah to the south to take the

The slopes and the scenery exceeded

comfortable slopeside accommodation

“biggest” title.

expectations. Although Park City may have taken that “biggest in the USA” title,

and have so many shops and restaurants and other things to do that the actual

ÆÆBUT the other one of those three

Big Sky Mountain still feels much bigger (I

skiing is almost getting sidelined.

areas was a private ski resort, the

skied both on the trip), perhaps because

In other destinations, if you arrive in

Yellowstone Club, where you had

of all that space all around and the lack of

a busy week the scenario is a lot like

to be at least a multi-millionaire to

any encroaching urban sprawl.

the reality behind the TV car ads. You

own a property, so only the super

I spent my days enjoying those famously

watch a sleek car whizzing along empty

rich and their pals could ski it all

endless slopes, trying everything from

roads in the countryside in the dreamy

(not great, but a fascinating scenario

steep and deep powder terrain to

advertisements, but the reality for most

nonetheless).

long cruisers. One took me past the borderline with Yellowstone where

people is bumper-to-bumper traffic in some urban metropolis.

ÆÆThe scenery was said to be

I could gawk across at some vast

You just watch videos of great skiers

unusually spectacular for the USA –

slopeside mansions.

bouncing through neck-deep powder on

with mountains more like the pointier

A few miles down the road from the main

a big screen in the ski bar of the resort

bits of the Alps.

slopeside base village there’s a rapidly growing community where another

you’re in, but the next day spend your time standing in lift queues or battling

ÆÆOne of Britain’s greatest skiers,

few dozen quirky, locally run shops

for space to turn on the piste.

Martin Bell, and his family had made

and restaurants have appeared, along

So, after 35 years on the slopes

their home here for many years.

with added facilities like a cinema and supermarket. It was down here that the

and several hundred resorts visited, including virtually all of the famous name centres, I tend to find I most often

ÆÆFriends I respected who had visited said I’d love it.

“Yellowstone effect” was visible, as what at first appeared to be your regular small ski area grocery shop turned out to have a

enjoy skiing the smaller places few other people bother with, where I get

Sometimes when I visit a resort I’ve

drinks selection Harrods would be proud

the slopes to myself and quickly get to

had on my bucket list for decades but

of, with $1,000 bottles of rare wines and

know the lift staff in the daytime and bar

have not previously visited, the reality is

plenty of vintage Krug champagne.

staff in the evening.

underwhelming, but as I drove up from

But this being Big Sky, nobody batted

Don’t get me wrong, there are very few

Salt Lake City (now served by a direct

an eyelid whether you splashed the

Open 24 November 2016 – 16 April 2017

ski areas I haven’t liked (and I’ll not name

Delta flight from Heathrow) the signs

cash on a pricey bottle like that or just

ÆÆ10 metres average annual snowfall

those on the list), but I know now what

were increasingly good.

picked up a six-pack of Bud.

I really like, and on a road trip in the

The wide, straight interstate got

Since my visit the owners of Big Sky

Western USA last Easter I finally landed

progressively quieter and the mountains

have announced a huge $150 million,

on a real gem: Big Sky in Montana.

ever more impressive. The speed

10-year spending plan, Big Sky 2025

I’d known about Big Sky for a long time,

limit sign suddenly said 80mph

(bigsky2025.com), which will see almost

Package holidays

and I’d only ever heard good things.

(approximately 129kph), which I had not

all of the lifts replaced with new, faster

ski-i.com/usa/big-sky

These were its key attractions for me:

realised was allowed anywhere in the

models (two are being upgraded for

skisafari.com/usa/big-sky

at one point it had built an intriguingly

USA, and then, as I drove up the side of

this winter), improvements to the resort

kuoni.co.uk/ski-holidays/usa/big-sky

small new cable car to open up what

Yellowstone National Park, a sign said

base and the resort re-taking the title of

was, for a few years, the biggest lift-

“Warning, Buffalo Crossing” and there

“biggest lift-served vertical in the US”.

served vertical in the USA.

were a few dozen of the huge animals

Hopefully all this won’t make Big Sky too

It claimed there were so few skiers on

grazing by the roadside. Wow!

popular: I do love those empty slopes.

BIG SKY ÆÆ5,800 acres of terrain ÆÆ300+ named ski runs ÆÆ32 lifts, mostly chairs

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BIGSKYRESORT.COM


RALF HAUSER

Foto © Christoph Schöch

LECH ALL SET FOR THE RETURN OF “THE WHITE RING” ski race bucket list and is being

The first stage goes via the

the finish in Lech.

staged for the 12th time on 21

Schüttboden lift, the Trittalp

There is added excitement the day

January 2017.

cable car and the notorious

before, on 20 January, with The

The White Ring, open to all-

Hexenboden piste to Zürs.

White Ring race at Speed Race Zürs.

comers, sees 1,000 skiers and

The next big ascent, to 2,444m

On that day it is not the quickest

snowboarders compete on a 22

above sea level, is via the Seekopf

time but the fastest speed that

km-long course, involving 5,500m

and Madloch cable car. Probably

counts when participants have their

of vertical descent as they go

the most challenging part of The

speed recorded on a short course.

round the longest ski race circuit in

White Ring race starts there,

In addition, the day before that (19

the world.

with a descent down the almost

January), race participants can take

The race starts from Lech at

5km-long Madloch ski route to

part in a professional training session

9am with racers heading up

Zug. The competitors then take

with Olympic champion Patrick

ech Zürs am Arlberg in Austria

to the Rüfikopf lift-top station

the Zug cable car to the start of

Ortlieb and the former ski racer Katja

is gearing up for the return of its

at an altitude of 2,350m. Then

the final stage, which goes via

Wirth, and get insider tips on the

famous “White Ring” ski race that

the participants start to race in

Kriegeralpe to Oberlech and down

Speed Race Zürs race track.

has fast become a classic on the

groups of 20 every 1.40 minutes.

the Schlegelkopf descent back to

lech-zuers.at

SIX-DAY PASS PRICES CREEP TOWARDS €300 (£255)

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

included too.

pass at some of the world’s

The Paradiski area, which is also

largest ski areas is creeping

one of the world’s three biggest,

closer to the €300 (£255) mark

will charge €298 (£254) for a ticket

this winter 2016/17.

this winter, and the world’s largest

The price of the Mont Blanc

lift-linked ski area, Les 3 Vallées,

Unlimited pass for the wider

will charge a headline rate of €294

region around Chamonix has

(£250) for a six-day pass. It’s cheaper

increased from €293 (£250) last

if two or three adults buy the same

winter to €299 (£255) this winter,

pass at the same time, and both

although officially it now also

passes offer family savings and

includes the Megève area, taking

about 20% discounts for children

coverage to around 1,000km

aged 5 to 12. It can be cheaper to

season, and it also remains possible

rather than the full pass coverage,

with Courmayeur and Verbier still

buy the passes outside the main

to buy tickets for individual areas

often at savings of 20–40%.

022 // JAN17

LA PLAGNE / P ROYER

POLE BLUE BIRD VARIO GLOVE ELEMENTS PALLADIUM S

The cost of a six-day adult lift

@INTHESNOWMAG


 PROMOTION

LIFE IN PICTURES  PROMOTION style, tailor-made decoration

fireplace and a private spa

superb collection of five

and design, seamlessly

with an infinity Jacuzzi and

gorgeous ski-in/ski-out

blending Swiss tradition with

dry sauna.

chalets perched high on a

a touch of modernity.

Last but not least, the

sun-drenched plateau in the

Crans Luxury Lodges is

professional fully equipped

world-class Swiss ski resort

the perfect place to stay

meeting area of 90m2 is

of Crans Montana.

with your family, friends

ready to welcome small

Comfort is what makes the

or colleagues. Each large

seminars of up to 40 people.

difference at Crans Luxury

chalet extends to 250m2 on

Hotel services include

Lodges – built on land that

two or three floors and with

continental breakfast

has belonged to the same

elegant bedrooms and en

delivered directly to the

family for over 400 years –

suite bathrooms.

chalet, a concierge available

where everything has been

They are fully furnished

to answer all queries and

thought of in order for you to

and equipped with an

book any services required,

find a home away from home.

open kitchen, dining room,

an inclusive housekeeping

Each chalet can provide

plenty of leisure and lounge

and final cleaning service

lovely lodging for eight to

space, wine cellar, large

and a private chef who can

ten people and has its own

terrace with a stunning view,

be booked on request.

STEPHANE GROS

Crans Luxury Lodges is a

STEPHANE GROS

CRANS LUXURY LODGES

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+41 27 480 35 08 | CRANSLUXURYLODGES.COM


GEOFFREYHUBBEL.COM

S

again this year. As part of their

my rendition of The Final Countdown.

World Is Not Enough. The name’s

reserved only for those days when

right track. It’s the red team vs the

quest to create the winter resort

Seeing pink, blue and green

Snow. InTheSnow.

you are not skiing. And, with the

white team in a purpose-built snow

of our dreams, they have put

snow? Now, either those fancy

Smoked Salmon; Beefeater Gin;

restaurant having possibly the best

arena. Grab your mates, grab your

together an unbelievable run of

goggles you got for Christmas are

Le Weekend: all great examples

view of Les Portes du Soleil, it’s

balls and prepare for battle!

features and experiences, so that

playing tricks on you, or you’ve

of British exports to France. Now

worth taking at least a morning off

Keen for more? Head to their

you can have the time of your life

stumbled across the Snowboxx

Snowboxx have one more for them:

the slopes to see the shock on the

website to find out all about Feasts

even when you’re not on skis.

Paintball Fight. Hidden deep

Bottomless Brunches. For those

maître d’s face when you polish off

on the Piste, Human Bowling and

Bored of long, dreary gondola rides?

within the Burton Stash Park (an

not yet aware, this brilliant invention

that 14th glass of Brut.

the Skim Pool. We’ll see you on

No problem. Step inside the Karaoke

all-natural park designed by Mr

combines your favourite breakfast

As night falls, it is time for the

the slopes. Or maybe at Brunch.

Cabins and sing all the way up!

Burton himself, possibly the best

(anything from avocado and

Extreme Snowball Fight. What’s

Probably at Brunch.

The Snowboxx guys have fitted a

snow park in Europe, no biggie) is

poached egg on sourdough right

an extreme snowball fight, I hear

Snowboxx Festival runs from

gondola cabin with wall-to-wall neon,

the snowy paintball arena where

through to a full English, depending

you ask. Well, if you take equal

18 to 25 March in the alpine

nowboxx Festival, known for

speakers, microphones and endless

all your dreams can come true.

on how hipster you are) with two

measures of a snowball fight, a

paradise of Avoriaz. Final tickets

taking things to the next level on

amounts of 80s fancy dress. Let’s

That is, if your dreams are to

hours of unlimited champagne.

Canadian hockey match and Ben

and packages are on sale now,

the mountains, are stepping up

hope I don’t cause an avalanche with

recreate the ski chase from The

This pursuit, we are told, is to be

Stiller’s Dodgeball, you’ll be on the

from £350pp.

024 // JAN17

SNOWBOXX.COM

GEOFFREYHUBBEL.COM

MICHAEL GONCALVES

SNOWBOXX


V

Obereggen the first telemix lift

well as everyone else.

spectacular new snack bar built,

– combining chairs and gondola

The new telemix lift is just one

with eco-sustainable materials

cabins on one lift cable – is also

of three major innovations in the

including local wood and glass,

new this season.

Ski Center Latemar (48km of ski

above the Oberholz chairlift and

The new environmentally friendly

slopes accessible from Predazzo,

with three terraces coming out of

Bellamonte 3.0 Castelir-Morea

Pampeago and Obereggen).

the mountains. The unique structure

gondola at Bellamonte-Alpe Lusia

The telemix lift replaces a fixed-grip

will be composed of a single body

is seen as a new beginning for the

quad chairlift and has six-seater

that will then divide into three large

area. The new lift replaces the two

chairs and eight-seater cabins on

glass windows overlooking the

old chairlifts, meaning only 15 lift

the cable. Telemix guests who

surrounding mountains.

towers are now required, with 13

don’t want to ski can easily reach

Thirdly, in Pampeago, along the

isitors to the stunning Val di Fiemme

removed. The new gondola has

the brand-new sledge trail Absam,

Agnello track which goes through

ski area in Italy’s Trentino region will

a mid-station and a capacity of

which is 750m long, and the ski

the art park RespirArt (one of the

find two cool new-generation ski lifts

2,200 people per hour using 10

slope Laner will be further enlarged

highest parks in the world), you’ll

waiting for them this winter.

passenger cabins; it is especially

and improved in order to guarantee

have the opportunity to admire

In the Bellamonte ski resort a

well adapted to carry children and

a relaxing and pleasant skiing and

new pieces of art realised during

new eco-friendly gondola has

disabled people (for whom the area

sledging experience.

summer 2016 by internationally

just begun operations, and in

has particularly good facilities), as

Obereggen will also see a

renowned artists.

EIDER HP

F. MODICA

MAJOR NEW LIFTS IN VAL DI FIEMME

ergonomic

innovation for freedom Fix a ShapeTM by YKK®, the first zipper that matches the profile of your face

by creating versions that run on

seats, a movable control joystick, a

bio-diesel or event electricity and

crawl tunnel made from varnished

carry ground radar systems so they

plastic and a 4.6m-high snow

don’t groom thin areas and risk

blade designed as a climbing wall.

damaging the ground beneath.

There’s also a wide slide made of

But now, Sunkid, the company

fibreglass and a cable winch used

most famous for its conveyor lift

as a slackline as well as a crane

systems, has created an all-wooden

boom with a rope.

piste basher – so, presumably,

The first of Sunkid’s play groomer

completely eco-friendly – but one

was purchased by Arosa ski area

that’s not designed to move, just to

in Switzerland, but the company

be played on by children!

is happy to produce more on

Manufacturers of the giant tractors

that are used to smooth the pistes

Measuring just under 10m long, 4m

demand. If you’d like one, they cost

– variously known as “snow

are making great efforts to make

wide and 4.8m high, it includes an

€45,000 (about £38,000) ex works

groomers” or “piste bashers” –

their machines more eco-friendly

operator’s compartment with two

and will be delivered in kit form.

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025 // JAN17

Find out more on www.eider.com

S.Secchi©

FIRST WOODEN GROOMER ARRIVES IN AROSA


GROOVE CAIRNGORM RETURNS Groove CairnGorm is back for its second staging this winter. The festival takes place at CairnGorm Mountain and Badaguish Outdoor Centre on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 February 2017, with acts including Basement Jaxx, Craig Charles and Blonde. Tickets including lift pass and après-ski entertainment are £115 for Fri/Sat or £140 for Fri/ Sat/Sun, and are on sale at: skiddle.com/festivals/groove-cairngorm

SKI AREA CLOSED FOR 20 YEARS TO RE-OPEN A ski resort in Michigan that closed in 2000 is FABIAN WESTER

expected to finally re-open, after many false dawns, by 2020. Sugar Loaf (not to be confused with Sugarloaf in Maine) has been bought by a California real estate developer who says the ski area will reopen, but that he wants to do it properly and be sure was once the leading employer in the region.

PHONE RESCUED FROM MOUNTAIN A woman who dropped her mobile phone from a chairlift onto rocks when it fell from her pocket at Whistler Blackcomb in BC never expected to see it again. However, an electrician known only as Brian, who works for the resort, found the phone about a week later and managed to work out the company the woman worked for from the data on it. He emailed the company and insisted on sending the phone back to her at his own expense. Despite being damaged by the fall, its screen and data were intact and it still charges up.

MEET A REINDEER Vemdalen ski area in Sweden’s Bear Kingdom will have lighting on its giant slalom slope for the first time from this season on, which will allow great opportunities for evening skiing and boarding. In

ANYONE FANCY AN APRESSKI BRUNCH PARTY?

B

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SKI WEEKS FROM £523

announced several special parties

February and 1 April 2017.

this winter, when you don’t need to

There’ll also be a ski stimulator

be in the Alps to get in the après-

on which to test out your skills, so

ski mood.

perhaps best not to over-indulge

Après Ski London and tour operator

during the hour of inclusive Moët

The Ski Week are partnering to create

& Chandon cocktails and two

what they’re christening “London’s

hours of Austrian Alpine-inspired

only after-ski brunch parties.”

buffet before the DJs get the

Action Outdoors, which offers ski holiday

Après Ski London will be blasting

dancefloor started.

accommodation inclusive of full board catering,

real snow from above on to High

Tickets for the all-day après-ski

lift pass, equipment rental and tuition, is offering

Street Kensington and will have

parties start at £55, or a fully

Easter week in Serre Chevalier for an all-

odo’s Schloss, the Alpine-chalet-

real reindeer to greet their guests

serviced table costs from £285 for

inclusive price of £523. New this season, the

themed venue in London, has

on arrival at Bodo’s Schloss on 4

each party.

company is also offering Les 2 Alpes during the

YOANN PESIN

the right decisions are made. The 500-acre property

peak February half-term period from £745 per person. Prices include all the main in-resort costs

ANOTHER NEW SKI AREA FOR UTAH

addition, the resort’s Samiland will open right in

mentioned, but do not include travel. Action Outdoors is the UK partner of UCPA, a French non-profit organisation that provides excellent value accommodation for younger

the middle of the children’s area. Here members

Marshall McGonegal, Marketing and

people, although recently they have extended their

of the indigenous Sami people will talk about their

Public Relations Manager at the area,

service to families and individuals up to the age of

told local media. “We only ran two

55 years old. The company operates in Chamonix,

snowcats — we wanted to

Flaine, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Les 2 Alpes, Tignes,

test the waters and get

Val d’Isère, Serre Chevalier and Val Thorens.

everyone excited.”

“Family skiing holidays have a reputation for

The ski area is huge, around six

being expensive, but it’s all the extras that

times larger than the biggest

make it rack up,” commented David Robertson,

conventional (i.e. with ski lifts and

Managing Director of Action Outdoors, “When

groomed runs) ski area in the US. It’s

you have three decent meals a day, ski pass,

also the third new area to open in

lessons and equipment hire already paid

culture and their role in the history of the local Härjedalen region. Reindeer meat and fish will be cooked over an open fire, and skiers can get to meet reindeer up close.

SNOW IN SAUDI ARABIA Saudi Arabia received a rare snowfall when A new ski resort is scheduled to open

of powder snow annually and can

Utah in three years.

for within a price that’s often less than most

in northern Utah this winter.

provide up to 1,000m vertical runs,

Prices start from $450 (£370) for

accommodation-only options during the peak

social media images showed people stopping their

Whisper Ridge doesn’t have any lifts,

had a “soft opening” with limited

a day of cat skiing with the option

weeks of the season, then it’s much easier to

cars on high roads in the country’s north west to slide

but instead will offer 285km2 of back-

guests last season, but this winter

to add a stay in a custom yurt with

manage the budget. We want to make family

on roads and build snowmen and even a snow camel.

country terrain, accessed by eight

plans to be fully operational.

hot tub, sauna and meals cooked

skiing accessible and not some kind of exclusive

snowcats and a helicopter.

“Last year, we slipped under a lot of

by a 5★ chef for $775 (£635).

experience for the super wealthy.”

The ski area, which gets around 8m

people’s radar. It was a light opening,”

whisperridgeutah.com

action-outdoors.co.uk

temperatures, normally closer to 30˚C even in the “colder” months, dropped to -3˚C. YouTube video and

Most of the snowfall was above 600m in altitude around the Tabaraj area. Saudi Arabia recently opened an indoor snow centre for year-round snow fun.

026 // JAN17 // INTHESNOW.COM

@INTHESNOWMAG


TWO-BILLION-YEAR-OLD SNOW FOUND ON VENUS

FAMOUS APRES-SKI BAR REVAMPED

A new study from NASA scientists, using all available evidence and

One of Canada’s legendary après-ski bars, Le P’tit Caribou in Mont-

computer modelling techniques, has postulated that Venus may once

Tremblant, Quebec, has been fully revamped and has now reopened after

have had an atmosphere very similar to that of Earth, with a shallow

three months of major renovations. Although having first opened its doors

ocean, rain and snowfall and even permanently snow-capped mountains.

as recently as 1993, Le P’tit Caribou has become a requisite stop in Mont-

The study found that around two billion years ago Venus may have been

Tremblant and has become an internationally known après-ski experience.

habitable; even though it was closer to the sun, the sun is estimated to

The three new owners – Joshua Wilson, Sébastien Turgeon and Tyler

have been 40% less powerful than it is now.

Matthew Lane (pictured) – took on this major renovation project in the

“In our model it absolutely does snow on Venus. In fact, on its highest

establishment when the last ski season finished. The new-look Le P’tit

peak at 8,000m on Ishtar Terra we see a permanent snow cover,” NASA

Caribou is almost unrecognisable. On the main floor, the establishment

scientist Michael J. Way, one of the report’s authors, told InTheSnow.

still offers a large open space, including an enormous central bar. A new

In fact, other studies have reported it does still snow on Venus, just not

stage has been created for live shows and the DJ booth has been raised

snow as we know it. Scientists believe a kind of “heavy metal snow”

a bit higher and is now located in a gondola cabin. Scattered throughout

can fall on the Venusian surface, as temperatures are so hot that some

the bar are a few old ski lift chairs as a reminder of its choice location at

metals move through the planet’s atmosphere in the way that water

the base of the ski hill. In the basement there’s the Wine & Whisky Bar,

does on earth.

designed for those who enjoy vintage wine and spirits.

UBISOFT

EDDIE “THE EAGLE” IN THE AIR AGAIN

Former British Olympian Eddie “The Eagle”

competing against two pro skydivers, who also

STEEP gives

Edwards has got into the record books again –

attempted to complete the STEEP challenge

players the

this time by attempting a world first – playing a

alongside the national treasure.

opportunity to

video game in a vertical wind tunnel!

The challenge was an in-game wingsuit race

ski, wingsuit, snowboard and paraglide, with

Braving speeds of up to 145kph, Eddie took

on Mont Blanc – just one of many exhilarating

the freedom to explore the incredible wintery

to the air again in a stunt to promote the new

locations in STEEP.

scenes of the game’s open world. Riders can

STEEP™ video game from Ubisoft.

“I couldn’t wait to give it a go. I love a

traverse the Alps solo or drop in side-by-side

Boasting an undeniable sporting prowess and

challenge, but this was unlike anything that I’d

with friends to record and share the most insane

his well-documented determination, Eddie

ever tried before. As soon as I started playing,

tricks ever captured on the slopes. It also allows

did not disappoint and completed this unique

I was determined to glide past that finishing

players to challenge their friends to see who

challenge, finishing in the medal positions, while

line,” said Eddie.

truly comes out on top of the world.

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027 // JAN17


 PROMOTION 028 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


HOW TO HOLIDAY IN MORZINE

famous car manufacturer, is also Premium Plus rated. Built new from the ground up, with an Italian designer, it features floor-toceiling windows offering spec-tacular views.

Alpine Elements is the biggest independent

Along with the Premium Plus service, the

British holiday company in Morzine for

chalet has its own hot tub.

both winter and summer breaks, with a

Or, there are chalets Nyon and Nyon 2, which

large selection of catered or self-catering

are true skiers’ chalets, virtually ski-to-door, in

chalets and hotels in the famous ski village

a won-derful location just 100m from the Nyon

to choose from. They come in a range of

cable car, offering direct access to the Morzine–

price bands from the most affordable to

Les Gets sector of the Portes du Soleil.

quite luxuri-ous, but all options have a focus

Chalet Papy is a 12-bed chalet, with twin

he Portes du Soleil is one of the world’s great

on value, and on location, location, location

and quad bed accommodation, in a great

ski regions. The fact that, with 600km of trails,

in the village and by the slopes! Several

position - just 100m from resort amenities

it’s one of the biggest ski areas on the planet

are ski-in/ski-out – it may surprise you

and the nearest après-ski. The Super

is in some ways not the point. It’s the fact that

how big the selection is and the choice of

Morzine cable car, which accesses the

those 600km of runs interconnect no less

accommodation and “holiday type” you have

Avoriaz and Swiss sectors of the Portes du

than a dozen resorts, most of them traditional

available to you.

Soleil, is only five minutes’ walk away.

villages, and stretch across the border so that

In catered chalets, for example, there are

Alpine Elements also have hotel

you can ski from France into Switzerland, that

both regular and Premium chalets. In all

accommodation available in Morzine. The

makes it truly special.

catered chalets, guests enjoy breakfast and

Hotel Les Dents Blanches, complete with

Altogether there are almost 300 runs in the

afternoon tea and cakes each day along

hot tub, offers very competitively priced B&B

Portes du Soleil (more than 200 of which are

with three-course dinners with wine on six

(cooked or continental) accommoda-tion in

rated blue or red, so suitable for most of us,

days (to give chalet staff a night off). There is

two, three or four-bed rooms and is, again,

with plenty of beginner and expert terrain

also inclusive wi-fi internet, and free games

located close to the resort centre and around

too). Also, there are near-ly 200 lifts in this

rental and use of chalet spa facilities where

200m from the Super M cable car.

huge, amazing ski area.

offered, such as saunas and hot tubs.

A second hotel, the Hotel Renardiere, is

The great size of the region means that you

Premium chalets have a higher specification

locally famous for having one of the cosiest

never need to ski the same run twice. If you’re

of design and service, and Alpine Elements

bars in town that also offers some of the best

an inter-mediate skier, or better, you

prices! Offered exclusively by Alpine

may choose to do a circuit, taking in

Elements and located 10 minutes’

several resorts, stopping in one for a

walk from the Pleney cable car and

mid-morning coffee, another for lunch.

ski slopes (skiers rated intermediate

The area has invested heavily in fast,

or above can ski back via an off-piste

efficient, comfortable lifts that make

route), guests enjoy chalet board

getting around quick and easy, and

and have a hot tub to soak in after a

there’s even a free-to-download app

day on the slopes.

that can ad-vise on route planning

Another hotel, The Hermine Blanche,

with suggested itineraries depending

is located close to the Super Morzine

on your tastes and ability level, and

gondola lifts on the “sun-ny side” of

live information on weather and lifts

Morzine. It also features two, three

status as well as which runs are open.

and four-bed rooms and offers both classic and Premi-um-level chalet-

names – the historic Swiss village

ALPINE ELEMENTS IN MORZINE

of Champéry, France’s only car-free

Sales & Info: 020 3642 3109

outdoor heated pool, indoor Jacuzzi

village, the avant-garde and purpose-

Ski Weeks: alpineelements.co.uk/ski-morzine

hot tub and a sauna, and there’s

built Avoriaz and family-friendly Les

Ski Weekends: sister company: igoski.co.uk

a cosy lounge, licensed bar and

Gets. Then at the heart of it all there’s

Hotel Prices from £65 per night with catering

restau-rant.

Morzine, a historic ski village that

Chalet Prices from £545 per week with catering

Alpine Elements also offer a special

offers all the best parts of the Portes

and flights

“On the Snow” service when you

Those dozen resorts that make up the Portes du Soleil include some famous

hotel’s leisure suite with its indoor/

du Soleil from its central location.

pre-book in-resort services like lift

A long-standing British favourite, and

pass, rentals and ski school through the company. Staff are on hand,

a French resort of chalets rather than

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

style catering. Guests can enjoy the

apartment blocks, Mo-rzine oozes ambience

have even introduced Premium Plus, which

from the moment you arrive, to offer advice

and also has one of the liveliest and most

takes things up another notch still with

and any information required. They can help

extensive après-ski scenes in France. It offers

champagne on arrival!

to fast-track you, where possible, through

a state-of-the-art high-speed giant gondola

Premium chalets include Chalet Ardoiseres,

the ski hire shops to collect your kit and

connection up to Avoriaz and on to Switzerland

which, with its own sauna and hot tub, is

provide any assistance needed getting you

in one direction, or the option to ski over to Les

located in the popular Les Prodains area,

to ski school. The company can also arrange

Gets in a special sector of the Portes du Soleil

at the base of the cable car up to Avoriaz.

discounts on equipment rentals.

shared just by the two villages.

Bright, modern and recently renovated

All holiday packages include flights, transfers

In short, there are few ski resorts anywhere

Chalet Charlie, also rated Premium, is

and accommodation, although you can opt

offering so much choice of terrain, so many

located just 50m from the slopes and has a

to organise you own travel and have the

options each morning and such a vibrant

hot tub offering views out over Morzine.

price reduced.

village in which to base yourself. It’s even one

Chalet Well has the highest Premium Plus

So, having found the ski resort that ticks

of the closest resorts to Geneva, meaning

grade and Alpine Elements service, which

every box for the complete ski holiday, and

shorter airport transfers, and quicker for

offers all the perks of Premium plus extras

a company that ticks every box for choice

self-drivers to reach from the Chunnel, so it’s

like a champagne welcome and luxury

and range of ski holiday option, your only

no surprise that ski holidays here are in such

toiletries. It also has a hot tub.

problem is deciding which ac-commodation

high demand.

Chalet Austin next door, named after the

to choose first.

ALPINEELEMENTS.CO.UK/SKI-MORZINE

029 // JAN17


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XAVIER FERRAND

16/17 COLLECTION

STAY AT THE HEART OF THE ACTION

M

of lively bars, great restaurants and

and the centre of town – or if you’re

In terms of bedrooms, there’s a

enticing shops. The perfect base for

wanting to make it really easy you

choice of light, airy Classic and

a great ski holiday.

can just hop in the ski bus right

Premium en-suite twins, doubles

The main thing to watch out for

outside the hotel.

and family suites with balconies

when you book a Morzine chalet or

This friendly hotel has excellent

and satellite TV showing some

hotel, though, is location. Choose

facilities including a comfy lounge

British channels.

the wrong place and you can be too

complete with pool table and

The Hermine Blanche has so many

far from the lifts, or too far from the

an open fireplace. There’s also

plus points it’s a great choice for

heart of the resort. What’s more, a

a licensed bar, restaurant and a

your Morzine holiday.

lot of the resort spends much of the

wellness suite with indoor/outdoor

orzine is one of the most sought-

winter in shadow most of the time

heated swimming pool, sauna and

after ski resorts in the Alps. Not only

due to the high mountains above,

indoor Jacuzzi hot tub. There’s

Holidays at the Hotel Hermine

does it lie in a key location in the vast

so that’s less fun to stay in!

free wi-fi for guests, and overnight

Blanche in Morzine start from

Portes du Soleil ski area, one of the

The Hermine Blanche is a warm

ski storage includes heated boot

only £577pp (incl. 7 nights

world’s largest, which straddles the

and welcoming hotel run by Alpine

warmers and ski/board storage

catered accommodation,

French–Swiss border, but it’s also

Elements located on the “Sunny

facility. To make the most of the

flights, transfers & 30% off ski

one of the world’s most characterful

Side” of Morzine, facing the sun all

hotels’ elevated sunny position,

and board hire).

resorts. That means it’s no soulless

day long. It’s just a six or seven-

there’s a sun deck from which you

Call 0208 947 2113 or visit

purpose-built high altitude resort but

minute walk from the boot room

can enjoy spectacular views of the

alpineelements.co.uk/hermine

a real historic community now full

to the Super Morzine gondola lifts

resort and ski slopes beyond.

SHEFFIELD SKI VILLAGE REDEVELOPMENT PLAN ANNOUNCED Sheffield may get a new dry slope

facilities which helped lift some of

site has lain derelict since it was

the detail, only wishing the attraction

as part of redevelopment plans

Britain’s current snowsports stars,

destroyed by a fire nearly five years

to be a significant outdoor sports

announced by the city council.

such as Team GB Olympians James

ago, in 2012, and has suffered more

facility with mountain biking trails,

The original Sheffield Ski Village,

‘Woodsy’ Woods, James Machon

than 50 arson attacks since then.

bike park and “national snowsports

which opened in 1988, was once

and Katie Summerhayes, to their

The city council says it wants to

centre” being possible options.

the largest year-round dry-slope

current status among the very best

bring in a private developer to turn

Sheffield City Council say they will

snowsports facility in Europe

in the world in their disciplines.

the site into a “nationally significant

seek expressions of interest over the

and had state-of-the-art freestyle

However, the 12-hectare Ski Village

attraction”, although it is vague on

coming months.

030 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


For stockists information call: 01572 770900


BLOW BONUS HELISKI ICELAND

Ski with Inghams this winter France From only

£489

Austria From only

£519

Andorra From only

£559

Slovenia From only

£499

Italy From only

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Switzerland From only

£629

Departures from 25 UK airports

Call 01483 345 327 or visit inghams.co.uk 0025

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

Top price:

“I’ve been coming here each winter for over

$30,000 (£23,775) per night for 12 guests,

20 years,” he said earnestly. “And, for every

including a day’s heli-skiing for all (using two

million vertical miles one skis, one is given a

helicopters) and accommodation.

free ski suit. So, you see, it’s really rather good.”

WORDS: GABRIELLA LE BRETON

Working on a healthy British Columbia daily

Bargain price:

average of 6,000 vertical metres (at an average

$10,000 (£7,925)pp for four days’ semi-private

£1,200 per day), I hope his suits look every inch

heli-skiing and accommodation.

their $60,000 (£47,500) price tag. So, once you’ve committed to the inevitable

A heli-ski trip is never going to be cheap, even

cost of heli-skiing (and with it, the promise of

if you plump for the decommissioned choppers

bounding through bottomless, virgin powder

and kerosene-drinking pilots of Mother Russia

hour after hour, day after day), you have to pick

rather than a swanky North American lodge

the right heli-ski destination. Sure, you could

with shiny new Bell 212s. Regular heli-skiers

head to Alaska and face the possibility of its

ultimate heli-ski pad: Deplar Farm. An old sheep

are a different breed to “normal” skiers – either

unpredictable weather seeing you spend more

farm, it has been restored and pimped by the

professional freeriders who lap Alaskan spines

time darning your ski socks in a corrugated

high-end American adventure travel company

like they’re bunny hills or like a wonderful silver-

metal shack than skiing. Or, you could go

Eleven Experience. It might still feature a

haired gentleman I met in Revelstoke a few

“mainstream” and stick to the BC heli stalwarts:

traditional grass roof and black timber painted

years back: he spoke like Prince Philip, invited

the Bugaboos, Selkirks and Monashees. There’s

exteriors but the millionaire’s playpen sprawls

me to join him for “sundowners” (remember,

also the option of more exotic destinations such

over 7,000m2, encompassing 12 bedrooms, a

this is in the mining town of Revelstoke, where

as Russia, Chile, Turkey and Georgia.

spa with two flotation tanks, geothermally heated

the social highlight is beers and nachos at The

And then there’s Iceland. One of the most

indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs

Village Idiot) and valiantly attempted to explain

elemental places on our planet, Iceland is a

and a sauna, a private cinema, games room and

what “frightfully good value” heli-skiing is.

country of wind-scoured valleys, blackened cliffs

wine cellar. Oh, and a fleet of snowmobiles, a

battered by the freezing Arctic Ocean, bubbling

customised snowcat, a Mercedes van with Arctic

geothermal fields and unpronounceable

track tyres and a room full of custom Wagner skis

volcanoes. Like the branches of a sea coral, the

and avi gear. This is heli-skiing with benefits.

Troll Peninsula stabs the ocean to the north of

Book into Deplar for heli-skiing and you’ll be

Iceland and it is here that heli-skiing happens.

spending time with Steve, Alan and Barney

While the terrain lacks the steeps and deeps

– three of Eleven Experience’s dedicated

of North America, it makes up for these with

mountain guides who migrate to Iceland

dramatic peak-to-fjord descents, skiing under

each spring from the company’s properties in

the golden light of the midnight sun and virtually

Colorado and France. As you explore Eleven’s

avalanche-free slopes. Furthermore, descents

2,400km2 heli-ski area with the fun-loving,

are long (2,500–3,500 vertical metres) and

knowledgeable and deeply professional

Hobbs time (time spent in the air – get with the

gang, they’ll have you navigating peak-

heli lingo) is a fulsome three hours per day (more

to-fjord descents, sheer colours and vast

if you’ve got the Icelandic króna).

powder bowls. They’ll even let you put your

Set in the rugged Skagafjörður valley,

name to first descents, marking up the lodge

sandwiched between great meringue dollop

map accordingly. Fortunately, they rather

mountains and a bottomless fjord, lies the

diplomatically abbreviated Gaby’s Gully to GG…

ELEVENEXPERIENCE.COM

ELEVEN EXPERIENCE

SKI 16/17


BRANDON HUTTENLOCHER

WOMEN-ONLY SNOWBOARD AND SKI RETREATS IN MERIBEL

NEW HALF-TERM COACH SERVICE TO LES 2 ALPES Snow Express, the UK to French

cost, according to the

Alps direct bus service, has

company’s founder.

launched a brand new half-term

“Since starting Snow Express in

route to Les 2 Alpes for the

the winter of 2009/10 we have

February half-term week.

carried over 14,000 passengers

Departing London on Friday 10

from the UK to the Alps, and

February 2017 (5.30pm) and

increasingly we are finding

leaving the resort on Saturday

a huge variety of people of

18 February 2017 (6.15pm), the

all ages using the service for

return trip costs £199pp.

convenience, rather than just

At the time of writing, for

the cost saving,” said Snow

arrival and departure on the

Express founder, Dave Manley.

same dates, one well-known

“We are also now carrying more

low-cost airline was charging

families than before and our

well in excess of £1,500 for

passenger age range goes right

the lowest-cost fares for a

up to 85 years old.”

family with two adults and

Snow Express operates to

two children (including hold

40 ski resorts in the French

luggage), with times that would

Alps, with departures every

make it extremely difficult and

Friday evening from London or

expensive to get to the resort

Folkestone between December

on arrival. Most of the fares

and April, returning every

with times that work well are in

Saturday evening from resort.

excess of £2,000 for a family of

Fares start from £99pp return;

four, with the prime time fare

there are no excess baggage

coming in at over £3,340. That

charges for luggage or winter

doesn’t include the transfer

sports equipment, and travel

costs from airport to resort.

is direct to the resort itself.

But it’s not just about the

snowexpress.co.uk

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

033 // JAN17

Ex-pro Katie Blundell is to host a week-long

expert coaching with tuition on the boarding

themselves just that bit further. I am sure

snowboarding retreat in Méribel this season.

week provided by one of the highest-qualified

they will get a kick out of trying new tricks,

Organised by snow and surf specialist Ticket to

female snowboard instructors in the world,

landings and generally becoming more

Ride, the week is one of two brand new Méribel-

Corinne Mayhew.

confident in the mountains.”

based snow retreats specifically for women.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun!” said Katie, “but

Both retreats include daily yoga sessions,

The retreats, both running from 2 to 9 April

we’re also going to make sure our riders

healthy home-cooked meals, chalet

2017, one for boarders and one for skiers,

improve like never before. It’s never been

accommodation in central Méribel, lift passes

aim to provide a space for female skiers

a better time to try out different styles of

and transfers from Geneva Airport, plus a

and boarders to improve their skills and

boarding, especially since Jenny Jones’

Nikita goodie bag. The holidays each cost

get confident off-piste in a friendly, relaxed

Olympic slopestyle success, and I hope this

£1,695 for seven nights, excluding flights.

environment. Each incorporates 20 hours of

trip will encourage more women to push

tickettoridegroup.com


ANDREW MAGUIRE

KITZBUHEL INCREASES LINKS TO CHINESE RESORT

NEW GONDOLA PLANNED FOR CRANS-MONTANA

UNDERFLOOR HEATING IN BRECKENRIDGE BASE AREA

Kitzbühel has announced plans to work in co-operation with one of Chi-

Three seasons after the closure of the main lift linking the satellite

The Peak 9 Village Base Area at Breckenridge resort in Colorado

na’s leading ski resorts, Lake Songhua, in the northerly province of Jilin.

resort of Aminona to the skiing of Crans-Montana of which it is a

underwent a facelift ahead of the current season.

A delegation from the Vanke company, which runs the resort, were

part, the famous Swiss ski area has announced plans to install a new

Many of the millions of visitors who have skied Breckenridge since

in the famous Austrian resort recently and signed a Memorandum of

Garaventa-built gondola connection between the village and the

the 1970s have entered the resort through the Village Base area on

Understanding (MoU) for closer cooperation.

slopes to open the winter after next, 2017/18.

Peak 9, which is situated near the south end of Main Street, adjacent

The cooperation includes Chinese resort staff getting to observe resort

The new lift is being tied to further development at what Crans-

to the Village Hotel with access provided via the Quicksilver

operations at Kitzbühel in order to learn from them, while Kitzbühel’s

Montana describes as “the future luxury touristic village of Aminona.”

SuperChair.

senior staff hope to gain a deeper insight into the practices and the

“…the lift (will be built) in a strategic location for the development of

This season the plaza area will see a new snowmelt system and

travel behaviour of Chinese travellers.

the destination (and) will be an important plus for skiers, the future

brick pavers replacing the dated cement surface, “making for a more

A visitor to Songhua Lake – which has eight lifts, around 30km of runs

hotel complex and also for the development of summer tourism in the

inviting and smoother transition to the snow,” according to owners

and just over 500m of skiable vertical – praised the resort in a TripAdvisor

resort. It’s very good news for all fans of the area who visit in all four

Vail Resorts. The new space will also accommodate signature Breck

review after his visit in January. However, he said differences to ski areas

seasons, as well as for the development of the ski area,” a statement

events throughout the year, resort staff say.

he had visited in Europe, North America and Asia included many guests

from Crans-Montana reads.

Breckenridge has also added a brand-new 490-seat restaurant atop

being heavy smokers, including in gondola cabins, a high percentage of

The last lift connection closed around 18 months ago ahead of winter

the Independence SuperChair on Peak 7, one of the resort’s five

dangerous unskilled skiers on the slopes and serious air pollution.

2014/15, and the lift company is reported to have already carried out major

iconic peaks. The new restaurant will offer a variety of housemade

“I am very pleased with the signing of this memorandum and I am

infrastructure work in the area that will host the new resort facilities and

options like fresh-made salads to order and a Mediterranean station,

convinced that the mutual exchange can be mutually beneficial here,”

lift base. The new gondola will be part of a planned 30 million Swiss francs

all coupled with dramatic views of Summit County, Colorado.

explained Signe Reisch, President of Kitzbühel Tourism, who added,

investment by the lift company in the ski area over the next two years.

The restaurant highlights the mining history of Breckenridge’s past,

“China has recorded the world’s largest increase in tourism, and the Chi-

“The group’s strategy in this difficult climate for the tourism industry

as well as catering to skiers who like to play and stay in the terrain

nese love to travel. We offer different long stay packages of five to seven

is improving the offer of the destination and its competitiveness

on the north side of the resort, including Peak 6.

days, including skiing in winter and golf and culture during the summer.”

through investment,” the resort statement concludes.

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


UELI CHRISTOFFEL

AN INDOOR SKI SLOPE AT TIGNES?

The once year-round ski area of Tignes in France is considering

WITH WARREN MILLER

some 400m long at a location 2,000m up in the Alps. Tignes’ Mayor, Jean-Christophe Vitale, believes that in the “near future” the resort’s Grande Motte glacier will no longer be able to offer summer skiing because of global warming. The project is reported to be “just in the planning stage” but it does have a name, “Ski Line”, a price-tag: €62m and a probable location on Tignes’ slalom piste at Val Claret. The centre would also feature other attractions including an indoor surf wave. Work on it could start in 2018 if all permissions are granted, but that may be problematic as the plans have not gone down well with KICKING HORSE ? MATT ELLIOTT

FREERIDE ACTION

putting a roof on one of its ski slopes to make an indoor slope

environmental groups, who have pointed to both environmental damage and what they perceive as the questionable business sense of building such a facility so far from population centres. Tignes say their plans are for a self-sustaining, environment-friendly building, which may be possible as some urban snow slopes line their roofs with solar panels to generate the power they need. Tignes formerly offered skiing 365 days a year thanks to its glacier but is now open for snowsports around nine months of the year; however, it still has France’s longest ski season. It is not the first ski resort to propose putting a roof on a ski run

Start the year with an evening of

untapped terrain in Greenland,

big mountain skier Ingrid Backstrom,

starts in Truro on 9 January and

thrilling freeride adventure! The

complete with the constant threat

who rips up the mountain despite

finishes in Penrith on 19 January.

Warren Miller Ski Film Tour is back

of polar bears.

being seven months pregnant. This

Each evening also involves a prize

in the UK this January, showing at

And it’s not just skiing and

is also the first Warren Miller film in

draw to win exciting snowsports

in the north of the country. It is the longest indoor snow slope

venues across the country.

snowboarding either – extreme

years to feature the legend himself.

goodies, and you’ll be entered into

in the world at over 600m in length but has reported financial

The 67th annual Warren

snowmobiling, comedy pond-

Now 92, Warren is known as the

the draw to win one of two luxury

Miller film Here, There &

skimming and the upcoming sport of

godfather of extreme sports, and

ski trips to Switzerland as well.

Everywhere features epic

fat-biking all make appearances.

here he remembers life as one of

To find out more, enter the

snowsports in stunning locations,

Characters starring in the film

the original ski bums, way back in

competition and watch the

from magnificent lines in

include double Olympic snowboard

the 1940s.

inspirational trailer, see

Switzerland to a lifetime of

cross champion Seth Wescott, and

The Warren Miller Ski Film Tour

warrenmiller.co.uk

for year-round skiing; a similar plan was put forward by another resort around 15 years ago, but didn’t happen. France is home to one existing indoor snow centre at Amnéville

difficulties in recent years.

ASPEN OFFERS FREE POWDER PANCAKES MIKE ARZT

Aspen Snowmass had a good December with lots of big snowfalls. Now, in an instantly popular addition to skiing or riding the famous Colorado resort’s copious amounts of deep powder, Aspen Snowmass has also introduced Powder Pancakes which means free pancakes on all four mountains if it snows 20cm or more overnight. Skiers can fuel up for a day of powder skiing with a free plate of pancakes served between 10 and 11am at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain, Merry-Go-Round restaurant on Aspen Highlands, Bumps on Buttermilk and at the Ullrhof on Snowmass. “Just because there isn’t much that pairs with fluffy pow better than a hot stack of fluffy free pancakes!” said a resort spokesperson. Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. aspensnowmass.com

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

WARRENMILLER.CO.UK.


STEVEN MCKENNA

PAULINA HOLMGREN

BY PATRICK THORNE

GREEN ICE HOTEL TO BE OPEN YEAR ROUND Ice hotels and igloo villages have been with us for more than 20 years now, but they all have a focus on being environmentally friendly, being built each winter from scratch and thawing away in the spring. But this year there’s something new in the shape of the first year-round ice hotel, which has opened in northern Sweden at the home of the original ice hotel (and, just to avoid confusion, they’re building that one again too). In fact the year-round part and the seasonal part that thaws back in to the river each spring are being treated as one ice hotel. The new Icehotel 365 at Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland is “a year-round ice experience,” with 20 suites, an ice bar that serves champagne and drinks, as well as an ice gallery – all created out of snow and ice by select artists from around the globe. Creations include the “Dancers in the Dark” suite and a surreal underwater world at the bottom of

GLENSHEE ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR QUAD CHAIRLIFT

A

RUSSIAN SKIERS PACK TURKISH RESORTS

grip quad chairlift.

is one of its most popular lifts because

The new lift, which would be

of the terrain it accesses, there are

Scotland’s second, joining the existing

often queues at peak times, which

fixed-grip quad at Nevis Range

the new chairlift would accommodate

installed more than 25 years ago,

more quickly, having more than

would replace the Cairnwell T-bar.

double the hourly uplift capacity of

Glenshee’s management say the

the current T-bar. Most of the ski lifts

Turkish news agencies are reporting that Turkish

quad chair, which would have a

in Scotland are elderly draglifts dating

ski areas are largely booked out by Russian skiers

capacity of 1,500 passengers an

from the 1960s and 1970s. Although

for the coming ski season.

hour, would be faster and more

there are about half a dozen chairlifts

One of the country’s leading resorts, Mt

fter the installation of a new

comfortable to use than the T-bar

across the five centres, plus the

Palandöken, is reported to have been running at

triple chair last season, Glenshee

and would make the slopes more

funicular at Cairngorm and gondola at

90% occupancy rates since the season started at

ski area in Scotland has put in

accessible to disabled skiers.

the Nevis range, most of the chairlifts

the end of November and had advance bookings

planning permission to add a fixed-

It also says that, as the Cairnwell T-bar

were bought second-hand.

at similar rates right through to April 2017 at a

the sea. The new hotel walls, floors and ceilings are

similar level.

covered with ice and snow, and the temperature is

The advance bookings are reported to be well

-5° Celsius, year round, in the new building.

up on last winter, when bookings ran at 60% on

The natural environment has always been a key concern at the Icehotel, which basically thaws

SKI JUMPING FOR EVERYONE

average through the winter, local tourism officials said. Mt Palandöken hosted the University Winter Olympics a few seasons ago and in 2001/2 was

away in the spring, leaving no trace. The good news is that the new year-round Icehotel is as

In the Hohe Salve region of the

initially included in the programme of one of the

environmentally friendly as the seasonal original:

Kitzbüheler Alps, wannabe ski

UK’s largest ski tour operators, Inghams, but the

“What’s fascinating is that the sun, which melted

jumpers receive expert training

company dropped it when the second Gulf War

and full guidance before launching

broke out, due to its close proximity to Iraq and

year-round art experience possible. The art in the

themselves off the 15m jump into the

Syria. Russian skiers were seen in ever-greater

permanent part of Icehotel will also change during

air and attempting to fly as far

numbers at ski resorts in the Alps through the

the year and melt back into Torne River again,”

as possible.

first decade or so of this century, but since recent

says Arne Bergh, Creative Director at Icehotel.

The ski jumping centre in Wörgl

conflicts over Ukraine and other issues have led

“The refrigerating plant that makes sure Icehotel

has five ski jumps that meet the

to a dramatic devaluation in the Russian ruble

international FIS standard, with three

with President Putin encouraging Russians to ski

smaller ski jumps (15m, 30m and

at newly developed Russian resorts such as those

the art in the past, is essential for making the

365 is cold during the summer is powered by energy from solar panels, and since Jukkasjärvi is situated 200km north of the Arctic Circle, the

The 1988 Olympic performance

Although The Jump is filmed in a

40m) and a larger one (60m).

in Sochi, the numbers skiing in the Alps have

sun is shining 100 consecutive days during the

of Eddie the Eagle, recently

village called Natters, just outside

“Ski Jumping for Everyone” is

dropped dramatically.

immortalised in a Hollywood film and

Innsbruck, where the ski jump is

available at a cost of €50pp (£43pp)

“Besides Russian guests, ski enthusiasts and

TV show The Jump, has got more

not open to the public, you can

for three hours; to book, email

families from Azerbaijan, Iran and some European

and more people wondering if they

in fact try this thrilling discipline

jedermann@flughunde.at or call

countries have chosen Palandöken for a winter

should give ski jumping a try.

elsewhere in Tirol.

+43 664 34 20 663.

holiday,” local reports state.

summer months,” says Yngve Bergqvist, founder and initiator of the project.

036 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


FWT / T BERNARD

FREERIDE ANDORRA

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and camps, endorsed by the FWT.

and one of the 20 biggest ski

World Tour (FWT), in Andorra last

Vallnord is one of just five global

areas on the planet with more

season. Vallnord, the ski region

stops for the Tour – the others

than 210km of runs, will again play

shared by the resorts of Pal, Arinsal

being Chamonix, Verbier, the

host to the Freeride Junior World

and Arcalis, will host the Tour again

Austrian powder pocket of

Championships this winter.

this winter from 10 to 16 February.

Fieberbrunn and famed extreme

On 5 February 2017, Grandvalira

There are freeriding opportunities

ski town Haines in Alaska. This

will welcome more than 60 young

and expert guides and schools to

illustrious company puts Vallnord’s

riders aged 15–18 from more than

take you to them across Andorra,

status in the freeride world into

15 countries on four continents for

hen skiers talk about Andorra,

but Arcalis in Vallnord has a

context! It has also recently been

the most prestigious junior freeride

they tend to talk about the great

particularly strong reputation and

confirmed that the Tour will be

championships in the world.

value it offers as a ski destination,

an awesome freeride zone with a

heading back for at least another

Andorra Resorts are the experts in

with lively, affordable après-ski

dedicated lift, plus loads of off-piste

three years.

all things Andorra, not least all the

and a surprisingly extensive piste

areas to enjoy. On the Grandvalira

And it’s not just Vallnord. Andorra’s

freeriding opportunities. Ask them

network, the biggest south of the

side there’s now a dedicated

other big ski region, Grandvalira,

for any advice you need:

Alps in fact, served by a huge

Freeride Centre providing lessons

the largest ski area in the Pyrenees

andorraresorts.com

FEEL

AS YOU CRANK DOWN INTO THE TIGHTEST TURNS, A N E W F E E L I N G W I L L R U S H U P T O M E E T Y O U . B U I LT FOR SPEED, THE SUPERSHAPE i-MAGNUM COMBINES U LT R A - L I G H T G R A P H E N E A N D T H E A C C E L E R AT I O N O F K E R S T E C H N O L O G Y. B E Y O N D T H E S C I E N C E , T H E M O S T I M M E R S I V E S K I I N G E X P E R I E N C E Y E T.

queue-gobbling fleet of hi-tech, high-speed ski lifts. What’s not so often talked about is Andorra’s rapidly growing freestyle scene. Of course, the huge amount of off-piste terrain has long been an open secret amongst locals, but it’s only in the past few years that the FWT / T LLOYD

wider world has cottoned on to all the possibilities. That has been helped in part by the arrival of the planet’s flagship

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FREERIDEWORLDTOUR.COM

INNOVATION


Join 1M skiers

FIGHT BACK AGAINST AIRLINE BAG CARRIAGE FEES

I

Send your skis or board separately for less with Bag Solo t’s become one of the

process through bagSOLO.com.

carry it through airports and have it

big jokes of flying in the

Their equipment is collected from

squashed against them in transfer

21st century that quite

their home a few days before

vehicles,” says bagSOLO Managing

MORE INFO:

often the cost of bringing

they travel to their ski resort; then

Director Mike Coyne, who adds:

bagsolo.com

a suitcase with you can

it is delivered pre-arrival to their

“bagSOLO totally disrupts that

020 3870 6706

be more than your own

destination, allowing for hassle-

model and provides another way, a

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airline ticket for a seat

free travel to a ski resort anywhere

better way. Our greatest challenge

YouTube: youtu.be/sX2d0yJKPz4

on the plane. That cost

in the world.

is to change customer behaviour to

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is often far worse when

Prices for carriage start at £99 for

use our service as opposed to their

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you bring your skis or

a round trip to ski resorts in the

current options.”

snowboard too.

Alps – less than airlines and other

“Can I just book a seat

baggage carriage services may

for my skis and save money?” is

charge.

the obvious question. The answer,

The service is also available to

sadly, is “No” … but there is another

skiers and snowboarders heading

way to pay less. Don’t bring your

further afield to destinations such

skis with you on the plane at all –

as Japan or North America, where

INTHESNOW

send them separately using the

travellers often arrange stopovers

specialists in transferring bags,

to other destinations before

@INTHESNOWMAG

bagSOLO, the brand synonymous

arriving at a ski resort.

with travel convenience.

“We know there are skiers

bagSOLO is a brand-new service

and snowboarders out there

that has launched this season,

who want to take their own

offering skiers and snowboarders

equipment away with them, but

a door-to-door service for their

are frustrated with airline charges

luggage. Customers simply book

and the inconvenience of having

the service in a simple four-step

to squeeze their luggage into cars,

INTHESNOW INTHESNOW_MAGAZINE

038 // JAN17

BAGSOLO.COM


GILLES LANSARD

LES MENUIRES OFFERS MORE FOR FAMILIES

A

even more appealing.

building an igloo. When they’ve

Among the first to get the label at

These include an all-new family

finished, the budding little Eskimos

Les Menuires is La Montagnette,

ski pass which allows the whole

take a seat in their winter shelter

a very gentle green with a 400m

family to ski at the children’s price

and enjoy a reviving cup of hot

vertical drop down to the resort

of only €188 (£160) for a six-day Les

chocolate.

centre. For more confident skiers,

Menuires/Saint Martin de Belleville

Les Menuires has been awarded

Le Bouquetin is a blue run to

ski pass based on two adults with

the French government’s Famille

descend at your own pace from

two children aged 5 to 17 years.

Plus label and has specially

La Pointe de la Masse at 2,800m

New activities include an “Igloo

designed areas for families and

down to the resort (almost

Experience” adventure for children

beginners with separate runs and

1,000m drop).

every Wednesday. Ski instructors

tailor-made stays.

SEVABEL (Les Menuires’ lift

lready well known for its beginner

take children on a nighttime

This winter, Les 3 Vallées have

company) has invested €19.5

and family-friendly facilities and

adventure expedition with 15

marked some runs with an “Easy

million over the past two years

services, Les Menuires in Les

minutes of snowshoeing with a

Rider” label showing beginners the

just to endeavour to ensure that

3 Vallées has still more new

head torch to reach base camp,

way to wide runs and gentle slopes

beginners have a fantastic time.

initiatives this winter to make it

where everyone gets stuck in to

that let you enjoy the snow in safety.

LesMenuires.com

CHALET OPERATOR PROVIDES KIDS’ SKI HARNESSES Ski holiday company Kaluma Travel (kalumatravel.co.uk), which operates chalets in St Anton and Courchevel, are making family ski holidays less stressful for parents by equipping all their chalets with Hobbledehoo ski harnesses for children to increase their safety on the slopes. The Hobbledehoo Active Child’s Harness is a simple-to-use piece of kit that features handles at the front IAN BRACEGIRDLE

and back to add some form of “control” of young children, lifting their weight up when pulled to stop them, rather than pulling them down. It’s also particularly useful on chairlifts to prevent the “slip under”. You can lightly hold the rear handle to keep children secure without them realising they are now completely safe in your hands. The rear handle can also be used to help them off the chairlift at the top, lifting them off the seat and guiding them out of harm’s way. Off the slopes, it’s reported to be useful when feeding ducks. Families wishing to buy their own are eligible for a £5 discount by using the discount code “KALUMA5” when buying on hobbledehoo.com

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039 // JAN17

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

PRIVATE & SHARED TRANSFERS TO LES 3 VALLÉES


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

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RESORT INSIDER

ALTA BADIA

Italy’s Alta Badia region contains half-a-dozen traditional ski villages of various sizes. Located on the famous Sellaronda circuit, within the giant Dolomiti Superski region, it’s almost as famous for

...KEEPS YOU SKIING LONGER

IMPROVES SKI POSTURE

its authentic atmosphere (the local Ladin dialect is still spoken here) and superb cuisine as it is for its strong winter-sports heritage. Even the most lowly mountain hut here endeavours to provide gourmet quality cuisine at affordable prices. By Vanessa Fisher

Best café?

food and Italian wines at the rifugios (mountain

the Gran Risa slope in La Villa is considered

Italians famously love their coffee and obviously

huts) on the mountains as you tour by piste

one of the most beautiful slopes in the Ski

the café culture is king in the Dolomites. The

around the Dolomites.

World Cup and has been on the circuit since

terrace at the Hotel Ciasa Soleil in La Villa makes

SHOCK ABSORBERS FOR KNEES

1985. The breathtaking descent in the forest

a coffee, with a stunning view over the Dolomites.

Best for spa?

begins just below the black and red slopes

On the Sellaronda, stop in at the Raetia for a

Many of the 4★ and 5★ hotels in Alta Badia have

of Piz La Ila. After the steep slope at the

home-made cake in their ‘Stua dal te’ – tea room.

their own spas. If you are after a luxury break,

beginning a rapid curve leads on to a steep,

consider booking into one of these for some

narrow section and on with another change in

Best day out?

seriously luxurious après-ski spa action – try the

direction to the base in the centre of La Villa.

The Lagazuoi ski tour: take the cable car to the

4★ Hotel Posta Zirm in Corvara, 4★ Hotel Fanes

top of Mount Lagazuoi, warm up on the red run

in San Cassiano or the 5★ Hotel Rosa Alpina in

What is Ladin Cuisine?

back to the valley base. After your second cable

San Cassiano.

It’s not all Prosecco and prosciutto – the Ladin

car ride up, take the 8.5km Red Armentarola POWERFUL SPRINGS OFFLOAD WEIGHT FROM KNEES

cuisine actually originates from a few simple

following the enchanting Fanes valley and down

Best for romantic evening meal?

ingredients which were available over the

to Sass Dlacia. From here a horse drawn lift will

If the romance continues beyond the spa you

winter months – barley soup, Turtres (little

tow you back to the ski slopes.

can’t go wrong with a meal à deux in either of

fried pastries) Schlutzkrapfen (ravioli filled

these gorgeous restaurants: Hotel Restaurant

with spinach) and Furtaies (a spiral-shaped,

Local drink?

Armentarola in San Cassiano or Hotel La Perla

fried dessert) remain some the most popular

Aperol Spritz is the drink of choice in the Italian

in Corvara.

specialities of Ladin cuisine.

Best ski challenge?

For winter-sports holidays to Alta Badia visit:

The Gran Risa World Cup Slope (black run).

dolomitemountains.com

What not to miss?

With a vertical drop of 448m, a length of

Or for regional info go to:

Join a Gourmet Ski Safari – eat exquisite local

1,255m and a maximum gradient of 53%,

altabadia.org

Dolomites – Prosecco, Aperol and soda with ice

Olympic Mogul Skier Laura Donaldson with her ski~mojo

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

and a slice of orange.

040 // JAN17

DOLOMITEMOUNTAINS.COM


ROSS WOODHALL

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045 // JAN17

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WORDS: DEBBIE GABRIEL

S A M O Ë N S

The

I

Authentic

Village

In

A

Huge

Ski

Region

t can be difficult to find a ski resort

on a mediaeval expression meaning

Massif ski area, one of the world’s biggest,

Off The Slopes in Samoëns

New for this winter is the chance to try

that has lots of character but

“the seven mountains”, a reference

spread over around 40,000 hectares with

Samoëns is not one of the liveliest

out the all-new E-Fat Bike, an electric-

which is also part of one of the

to the peaks around the village.

just under 150 runs to choose from and

for après-ski, but it does boast an

powered mountain bike with over-sized

world’s biggest and best ski areas.

This is why the local people are

endless freeriding opportunities. A modern

eclectic selection of cafés, restaurants

tyres for great grip and comfort on the

Even when you do work out

known as “septimontains” (men) and

gondola lift provides a direct connection

and bars with plenty of high-quality

snow and anywhere else “off-road”. The

a shortlist, you may find that

“septimontaines” (women).

from the heart of the village to the ski slopes.

establishments to choose from on your

E-Fat Bikes are operated by Samoëns-

characterful resort has become

Oozing with French ambience, Samoëns

There’s terrain for all ability levels

ski holiday week, many of them with a

based “Mountain Spirit”, who organise

over-developed and expensive.

just gets better and better season after

including 114 blue and red grade

lively, buzzing atmosphere.

a whole range of fun activities on them

It may also be a long way from

season with ever-better facilities and an

intermediate trails to choose from, one

There’s also plenty to do besides ski or

including night outings, downhill courses

anywhere, or the ski lifts lie on

ever-longer list of activities and services

of which is the famed Cascades descent,

board in and around the village. Still in the

and endurance raids. You can also follow

the outskirts of town, often a ski

to try, but built on that authentic village

one of the world’s longest at 14km. There

great outdoors, there are toboggan runs,

the route of the local Le Giffre river, or

bus ride away.

base and its great location close to

are also 14 black slopes for experienced

sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowshoeing,

ride up in the evening to the Bostan

But there are just a few resorts that tick

Geneva and with a convenient gondola

skiers and a great terrain park.

ice climbing and snowmobiling, or you

mountain hut for a meal. E-Fat Biking is

all the boxes, and Samoëns in the French

lift to whisk you up into one of the world’s

As well as being one of the biggest, the

can even get up in the air for some

available to everyone aged 14 or older

Alps is one of the best. Better still, it’s only

best ski regions.

Grand Massif is one of the snowiest;

paragliding or ballooning.

and is just one more reason to visit

thanks to its proximity to the Mont Blanc

In terms of indoor attractions, there’s

Samoëns this winter!

75 minutes/80km from Geneva Airport. The village dates back to the 12th

The Grand Massif

massif, it has one of the best snow

bowling, an ice rink, a leisure centre, an

century; the name Samoëns is based

Samoëns lies on one side of the Grand

records in the Alps.

eco-museum and a cinema.

046 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


BELGIUM We all whizz down to the Alps or further afield

Timing is likely to be everything, as – again like

1,000m long respectively), and has had a 60-

each winter, but there are ski areas much

Britain – weather conditions can be problematic

day season recently.

closer to home, in Belgium in fact. For many

and quite often Belgian ski areas may only be

A third choice is Ovifat (skialpin-ovifat.com)

Brits living in southern England, that’s even

open a total of 20 days each season.

located in the east of the country near the

closer than Scotland.

Mont des Brumes (montdesbrumes.be/en),

highest peak in Belgium. There are three ski

In Belgium there is in fact a very similar

located near the town of Francorchamps, is

runs served by three drag lifts with something

selection of ski areas to England – indoor

one of the larger centres – although still very

for all ability levels.

snow centres, dry slopes and half-a-dozen

small compared to a big resort in the Alps.

If you want to be certain of ticking off Belgium as

small ‘real’ ski hills. They’re all easy to reach

The ski slopes sit between 350m and 530m

a ski destination you need to head to one of the

by ferry and road or by jumping on the

in altitude, the longest run an 850m red.

country’s three indoor snow centres.

Eurostar then taking a local connecting train.

There’s also a 150m beginner slope you can

Ice Mountain is Belgium’s largest indoor snow

Belgium’s real ski areas are located in the

continue on to for a full kilometre run. There’s

centre; the main run is 210m long (so a little

Ardenne region down in the south of the

also terrain with gradients as steep as 64% if

longer than the UK’s longest) and 30m wide.

country – the verticals aren’t big and the

you’re after a bit of a challenge.

A new indoor snow centre is currently under

peaks are actually half those of Scotland –

Baraque de Fraiture (ski-baraquedefraiture.

construction on the site of one of Belgium’s

mostly nearer the 500–600m mark, but when

be) has some of the highest slopes in

longest established dry slopes, the optimistically

the snow is good it’s great to be able to say

Belgium with runs up to 625m above sea

named Aspen Ski. The new 12,000m2 indoor

you’ve skied Belgium.

level. It has three ski runs (350m, 700m and

snow slope is scheduled to open in November.

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

047 // JAN17


PAUL KEPPEL PHOTOGRAPHY

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

LEARN TO SKI OFF-PISTE

SKI/SNOWBOARD SAFELY

Off-piste skiing and snowboarding

Where to practise?

is something that many people hope

FLOW

avalanche risk.

of your skis/board and in control.

Always descend the slope one at a

If you do sit back, it puts you in a

time to avoid multi burials if caught

tiring position, and from here it is

Once you have chosen a safe slope

in an avalanche, and stop to the

difficult to control and turn the skis/

with low avalanche risk, you can then

Jon holds the top qualifications from

When choosing a slope to

side, away from the fall line of the

board. The same basic principles of

start to practise things that you have

France, Switzerland and Britain,

to be able to master at some point

practise your newly learnt off-piste

route you just came down.

skiing and boarding apply whether

learnt in your lesson. You may find that

and we can say firsthand that he is

during their skiing or snowboarding

technique, pick a slope which is

you are on a groomed run or in

off-piste conditions highlight some

a great ski instructor! Jon heads up

holidays.

gentle and has no natural terrain

TIP: Only ski/ride on steep slopes

fresh snow. Remember what you

of the weaknesses in technique that

the team at Altitude Ski School –

Thanks to the latest safety

traps such as gullies. It is also

between 30° to 45° when there are

have learnt on the piste, and take

you may also have on the piste. If you

Verbier’s most established British ski

equipment and big fat skis and

good to avoid areas with cliffs or

safe avalanche conditions.

this with you to the new fresh snow.

are really struggling in the off-piste, it

school. Each month Jon or one of

boards, inexperienced skiers

large rocks.

How do I avoid the “face plant”?

may be that you need to practise your

his team will provide us with a few

and boarders are now able to

Ideally choose a slope where there

One common mistake is over-

technique a little more on the piste.

tips and words of wisdom to help

experience the wonders of off-piste

are no skiers looking to drop in

turning across the fall line. To avoid

There is no shame in going back to

improve our understanding of skiing.

powder snow much earlier than in

high above you – thus reducing the

this, try to make nice “c” shaped

the piste to practise a little more!

previous years. One downside of

chances of someone else setting

ENERGY AND INJURY

turns, allowing one turn to flow

One element that is crucial for going

such advances in technology is that

off an avalanche from above and

Should I sit back in the “pow”?

nicely into the next. Powder snow

off-piste is to have good timing and

more people are becoming exposed

down onto you.

It is a common misconception

can be quite slow, and speed in

coordination. Focusing on your pole

to potentially dangerous avalanche-

Plan where you wish to ski/ride and

that in powder snow you should

this case can be your friend as it

plant is one thing that can help you

The Altitude winter company portfolio

prone slopes. We decided to

seek advice from an expert on the

sit back to get your skis out of

will help you to float to the surface

to maintain good rhythm, and at the

includes the ski and snowboard

focus this month’s article on both

potential risks of taking this slope.

the snow. There are times when

between turns, which makes

same time it can also help you to

school, the Futures instructor training

technique and safety for off-piste

Always check the weather forecast

we may need to sit back (such as

turning easier.

commit to the new turn. Or pick a

programmes and FREERIDE VERBIER,

skiing and boarding.

– there are local avalanche

when we’re straight running along

good song in your head.

a new school dedicated to off-piste

bulletins available in all resorts;

a flat area in heavy powder), but in

TIP: Start by going straight down

these will tell you about the riskier

general don’t do it; it’s much better

the fall line and turn a little bit less

TIP: Try to count 1, 2, 3, pole plant and

slopes and the general level of

to be in a centred position, on top

than usual – speed is your friend.

turn … 1, 2, 3, pole plant and turn …

048 // JAN17

JON (AKA WESTY)

ALTITUDE

coaching in Verbier.

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


S K I

F O R

KIDS

Do You Own Your Own Skis?

R A C I N G If your child has already skied for quite a few weeks and is looking for a new challenge, then racing can provide a great environment to develop their skiing technique while also having a clear focus on going fast (which kids love) but in a controlled environment. Some possibilities include:

RESORT RACES Most resorts run kids’ races every weekend – they can be great fun and challenging …

SKI SCHOOL HOLIDAY CLUBS These are usually group lessons which run during the holiday periods for advanced children.

ARTIFICIAL SNOW DOMES Before or after your holiday, why not try to join some of the local ski clubs? Usually either focused on racing or freestyle. Altitude in Verbier run a race camp during holiday week. They also run a club every weekend of the season for local children. A typical day would include some fun warm-ups and technical training focused on carving. Then half the day would be focused on racing, making sure the course difficulty is set to the right level. Then a cool-down and some off-snow work looking at tactics and racing line or doing some basic physical training.

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

SAFETY FIRST WITH KIDS: Skiing in a race course and flying past gates can be a daunting experience. While it’s great to push the children to experience new things, we want to make sure that the experience is always positive and enjoyable. A professional coach will always do this, and who knows, perhaps your child could be the next Hermann Maier or Lindsey Vonn?

ALTITUDE-VERBIER.COM

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

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


Use our free expertise to find your perfect ski holiday

 PROMOTION

BOOKING A TRIP TO VERBIER? TALK TO THE EXPERTS!

V Award Winning Specialist Travel Agent for

Verbier & Elsewhere Contact Us 01502 471960 info@mountainbeds.com www.mountainbeds.com

become more of a challenge.

to do just that, and help organise

The company has expanded in one

The good news is that there is a

every other aspect of their clients’

way though; it now offers help to

team of local British and Verbier-

Verbier ski holiday.

book accommodation in any leading

based experts who have been in

“To my surprise, it was an overnight

resort, not just Verbier, through a

resort for three decades now and

success and we were busy from

network of long-standing, trusted

know every nook and cranny of

day one. Now 25 years have flown

partners, built up over the years.

Verbier, and who stand ready to help!

by and it’s just the same,” says

“Verbier has changed almost

Sisters Melissa Brownlow and

Melissa, who adds that they have

beyond recognition since I first

Camilla Benham-Crosswell set up

resisted the temptation to make

arrived in the mid-1980s,” says

Mountain Beds almost 25 years ago

Mountain Beds a bigger company,

Melissa. “In most ways, it’s for the

after Melissa had worked for seven

in order to retain the all-important

better; the lifts in particular have

erbier has long been on the “must

seasons in chalets in the resort.

personal touch, which sees around

greatly improved, and the long

ski” bucket list of all skiers and

Foreseeing the current trend of

80% repeat business.

queues that used to be a regular

snowboarders, but as the popularity

connecting property owners with

Over the years, Mountain Beds has

feature have long since gone. But

of this famous Swiss resort has

people looking for accommodation

worked with nearly every agent,

it has become more of a challenge

soared over the years, so finding

decades before that became a

hotel, chalet company and lots of

to find accommodation, and that’s

affordable accommodation and

“thing” on the internet (in fact, even

private owners in Verbier and is

where our local knowledge and

indeed planning all other aspects

before the internet was a thing at

happy to help them find the best

contacts network can’t be beaten.”

of a successful holiday there has

all), Melissa set up Mountain Beds

holiday for their group and budget.

01502 471960 | mountainbeds.com

MT BAKER HITS 6M SNOWFALL SEASON-TO-DATE STAT snow ever accumulated in a single

deepest snow bases for the start of

Mt Baker does not always get huge

season, has received over 6m of

2017, with 3.1m of snow on upper

snowfalls, however. It was forced to

snowfall already this season.

runs. In the 1998/99 season, Mt

shut down in March 2015 due to a

The ski area in Washington State

Baker received 29m of recorded

lack of snow at the end of a four-year

in the northwest of the country

snowfall, a world record, and most

drought on America’s west coast.

passed the 6m snowfall mark just

years it is one of the three snowiest

This winter, however, it started with

before Christmas when it received

resorts on earth, although last

13cm of snow in October, then got

Mt Baker, the US resort that holds

another 30cm in 24 hours.

season it was beaten by Alyeska

just over 2.5m in November and

the world record for the most

Mt Baker has one of the world’s

in Alaska.

3.5m in December 2016.

050 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


SKI GEAR BRIEFLY CHEAPER IN UK “For British skiers and snowboarders, the weakening pound means that buying in the UK right now is a great option compared to the deal they will get in European shops and when renting in resort,” explained Jason Summerfield, Commercial Manager at Amer Sports, which owns several former ski manufacturing businesses, now known as “brands” He added, “If we look a bit further into the future, the currency situation will inevitably put upward pressure on consumer prices for the 2017/18 season, and although brands The main trade body for the ski

have dropped in Blighty, but

because most gear was bought

will try and minimise the impact,

retail trade in Britain has issued

because they’ve gone up abroad

by retailers at pre-Brexit-vote

some price increases should be

a statement highlighting the fact

as the pound has dropped in

rates. Unless there’s a dramatic

expected. This does, however,

that it’s currently cheaper to buy

value since the vote for Brexit.

strengthening of the pound over

reinforce the feeling that now is

ski gear in Britain compared to

But the Snowsport Industries of

the next six months, they’ll have

a smart time to visit your local

abroad, but they warn it won’t last.

Great Britain (SIGB) say that this

to pay more to buy 2017/18 gear

ski shop if you are considering

And prices are cheaper in the UK

state of affairs won’t last long into

next year and pass those costs on

buying new winter kit.”

than abroad not because prices

next year. It is only the case now

to consumers.

sigb.org.uk/directory/shops

TOUR OP ADDS CHRISTMAS TREES TO MURAL

WINTER PARK SKI TRAIN GETS LONGER

Britain’s longest-established independent tour operator, Erna Low, who

The new ski train from Denver to Winter Park in Colorado will be longer than

in 2015 unveiled a magnificent mural of a snowy mountain ski scene

envisaged as the operator has decided to add an extra carriage to cope

painted on the exterior wall of its offices in Kensington, has added a

with demand. The new service comes several years after the original ski

new feature to it this winter – real Christmas trees. The mural, created

train ceased operating, having previously been the main mode of transport

by artist Johny Midnight, has become a draw for art lovers and was even

for Denver residents to reach the slopes since the 1940s. A “test train”

designated as a Pokéstop during the Pokémon Go craze. The three

last season proved very popular and Amtrak is offering a full service every

Christmas trees are, in fact, still just three-year-old baby trees that have

weekend this season.

arrived from the Kiltarlity Christmas Tree Farm in the Scottish Highlands.

“We will be adding an additional car to the inventory because sales are

They have grown up looking across the valley to one of Scotland’s and

strong,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told The Denver Post.

Britain’s highest peaks, Ben Wyvis. Now down in South Kensington, during

The service will operate from Denver Union Station and travel through

the daytime they sit outside the ski mural, and by night they snuggle up in

29 tunnels up to Winter Park. Some commentators are suggesting the

the reception of Erna Low on the 1950s chairlift from Kitzbühel.

popularity of the train service is down to nostalgia and may not last; others

“The challenge for us at Erna Low is to continue to grow these trees and

say that congestion on the I70 Interstate West from Denver, which links the

we plan to nurture them in Oxfordshire in between seasons and bring

city and airport to many of the state’s great ski areas, has become so bad

them out every winter to adorn our office ski mural,” said Erna Low’s

at peak times the train service is a good alternative and will grow further in

Joanna Yellowlees-Bound. ernalow.co.uk

popularity. amtrak.com/winterparkexpress

FB.COM/INTHESNOW

051 // JAN17

OPENING DECEMBER 5TH NEW HOTELRESTAURANT

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


CALL A SKI SPECIALIST 07827811477

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_SEPT 15 RESIZE.indd 5

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INDOOR BOARDING EVENTS RAISE £41K FOR CANCER CHARITY

A

22/09/2015 21:15

n annual Freestyle Event staged at

Manchester’s Chill Factore indoor

BoobyTrap, with riders treated to

prizes and gifts.

snow slope raised nearly £14,000

a live DJ set and Van’s Waffles as

“We are thrilled with the success

for a local cancer charity.

they enjoyed the unique Subjam

of the event. It was great to see so

Hosted by the Subvert Boardstore,

session.

many riders enjoying the Freestyle

the event was just the latest in a

A private demo village was set up

Park at Chill Factore and testing

series that has so far raised a total

on the slope, allowing customers

out the new season’s collections

of £41,000 donated to The Christie

an exclusive trial of the latest

before anyone else,” said Lorraine

charity, based in Manchester, an

season’s boards and apparel.

and Darren of Subvert, adding,

internationally recognised cancer

Guests on the night were also

“We couldn’t be happier with the

treatment centre.

invited to take part in the event

total raised; it is incredible, and

The event featured freestyle

raffle, where sponsors and local

we would like to thank everyone

sessions courtesy of The

businesses generously donated

involved for their help and support.”

STOWE FIRST TO INSTALL LACTATION SUITE first in the USA to do so.

Sales Manager. “This pod

1.2m by 2.4m pod is meant

“With over 300,000 guests

will help us to further

for individual use, but can

every winter, and 1,500

support our moms with

fit more than one person, as

employees, Stowe is

options. Breastfeeding is of

well as mothers with babies

supporting its nursing mums

course welcome anywhere

and other children in tow.

with this clean, comfortable,

a mom feels comfortable

The Mamava suite embodies

and private space to

throughout our resort, but

the spirit of Mamava’s “happy

pump or nurse,” a resort

for those who prefer privacy

breast” logo – beautifully

spokesperson said.

or need to pump, we now

designed to support and

“We’re thrilled to now have

have this space for you,”

celebrate breastfeeding.

a Mamava lactation suite at

Lauren added.

The Mamava lactation suite

the resort. The installation

The Mamava suite is a

at Stowe Mountain Resort

makes total sense

self-contained, mobile pod

is located at the plaza level

considering everything

with comfortable benches, a

of the Spruce Camp Base

Powder days just got more

has installed a Mamava

we’ve done in recent years

fold-down table, an electrical

Lodge and available during

convenient for nursing mums

lactation suite to support

to add conveniences and

outlet for plugging in a breast

all operational hours of the

at Stowe Mountain Resort

nursing resort guests and

amenities for families,” said

pump, and a door that can

base lodge.

in Vermont, as the US resort

employees. It says it is the

Lauren Simmers, Resort

be locked for privacy. The

mamava.com | stowe.com

052 // JAN17

@INTHESNOWMAG


CARLTON HOTEL ST MORITZ

HOTEL PLEIN SUD SERRE CHEVALIER

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

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

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

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

HOTEL COURCHEVEL OLYMPIC COURCHEVEL 1850 

RESIDENCE LES TERRASSES DE VERET FLAINE 

BELLE EPOQUE HOTEL VICTORIA BERNER OBERLAND 

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

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

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

0203 475 4756 MADAMEVACANCES.CO.UK

0203 475 4756 MADAMEVACANCES.CO.UK

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

RESIDENCE & SPA VALLORCINE CHAMONIX 

L’ AIGLE DES NEIGE VAL D’ISÈRE

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

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

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

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

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

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

FB.COM/INTHESNOW





HÔTEL L’HÉLIOPIC CHAMONIX



053 // JAN17


M

I

N

U

T

E

S

WOODSY INTERVIEW BY: EMMANUELLE CHÂTEL

British freeskiing superstar James “Woodsy”

to the Sosh Big Air in Annecy last October,

Woods was back in the UK recently to

so I was like, “I’m doing it because my

take part in the “Only Mad Dogs and

friend is running the event”, but it looked

Englishmen” Tour, which has seen him

like I was going to do a whole lap of the

touring the country to shred the dry slopes

world for one day, which didn’t seem that

and indoor snow that he grew up on.

appealing. So I thought, “Why not put something on and go back to the UK with

What have you got lined up for the

some of the guys and show them the dry

coming season?

slopes?” The dry slopes and the domes,

W: Olympic qualifications, every World

it’s where I come from. As important as it is

Cup level event will be dialled, so that’s

that everything is on the internet, nothing

a goal. I’m gonna tick those boxes along

is gonna ever beat that facetime; the

the way. I want to make sure I prioritise

events have to happen to the guys to be

that, obviously along with all the massive

interesting on the internet.

competitions around the year, like the X

The biggest surprise was I was half

Games. But above all keep doing what I

expecting nobody to show up. I just really

love to do. That’s the main thing.

wanted to show these guys to the local guys, and we ended up packing out all

How do you get funding?

these places. Full every day. We were

W: As it is an action sport, personal

there for sometimes two hours signing

endorsement is massive; that’s what it has

autographs; it was crazy. But to see the

all been based on for me. I’ve been doing

enthusiasm from tiny little kids, the parents

this for a while; I love what I do but it’s also

and all the ages in between, that was

my job. The support from the GB team

really inspiring; it made me feel we were

as well – what is really good about the

doing something a little bigger than what

British system is we do have people who

I thought.

really do know what they’re talking about and are heavily involved. They’ve known

If you could ski somewhere you have

the industry and what’s going on for a

never been before, where would it be?

very long time. I can absolutely trust them

W: I’ve skied in a lot of places. Well, where

making the correct decisions, not only for

haven’t I been? I would do it all again, but

us but for the sport itself as well. They’re

there is a lot more to skiing than I’ve ever

not trying to dictate or make any changes;

tried with all the big mountain, getting out

it’s all beneficial for everybody.

there exploring. There is so much for me where it is, but I want to go somewhere

Mad Dogs Tour?

that I don’t know and put myself out of my

W: I was in New Zealand and was invited

comfort zone.

054 // JAN17

SHAY WILLIAMS

to figure out and explore, so I don’t know How did you get involved in the


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InTheSnow – Issue 53 (January 2017)  
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