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WINTER 2015-16 | VOL. 02










1. Art. 170951/ BLACKCOMB EVOLUTION WARM Shirt l /s crew neck /XS– XL 2. Art. 180042/ BLACKCOMB EVOLUTION WARM Shirt l /s with Facemask/S–XL 3. Art. 526371/SKI COCOON Jacket insulated, XS– XL 4. Art. 525442/ SPIRIT gore-tex® Jacket hardshell, S– XXL 5. Art. 525451/SPIRIT gore-tex® Pants, XS– XL 6. Art. 525452 / SPIRIT gore-tex® Pants, S– XXL



Ski Weekends are the UK’s ski short break specialists offering trips to over 30 resorts from 17 UK airports. We offer a huge a range of accommodation including our own chalets, simple and comfortable private hotels, 5 star luxury hotels with swimming pools and spa’s

and good value apartments. Much of our accommodation is ski-in, ski-out and all our properties are hand picked by our expert team. As ski short break specialists for over 30

years, we know exactly how to maximise your time on the slopes and minimise your hassle, helping you get the best out of your short break at prices that we guarantee can’t be beaten. | 02380 206 971 |

just ended their 2015 run, and later in the

a-beermat maths and reckon the largest

month half a dozen Austrian glaciers will

resorts in Europe and North America

start operating for 2015–16, so maybe it’s

have spent more than half-a-billion euros

about now. In any event you’ll find our

on the biggest projects alone) and lots of

regular "off season" update on where you

useful features with, for example, advice

can ski today within these pages.

on how to make best use of the pound’s

With our bi-annual Love The Mountains

best buying power in most ski nations for

magazine, the InTheSnow team like to

more than five winters.

showcase all that makes us Britain’s best

In fact the ski season never ends for

snow-sports publication – all the latest

InTheSnow, as we’re here all year round

news for the coming season which you

tracking snowfall and ski resort openings

need to know, the best information and

on northern glaciers from spring to autumn,

ideas to plan your snowsports holidays,

and of course in the southern hemisphere,

reetings! It doesn’t seem long since the

the best writing, glorious images and all

as well as breaking the big news stories

last one ended, but the new ski season,

presented in a superb design, thanks to

and special deals for the coming winter

2015–16 is upon us already – well, almost!

the efforts of our designer Tom.

before anyone else. Just head to

Quite when one season ends and the

As always, the highlight of Love The – which has a swish new

next one begins is one of those eternal

Mountains is our spectacular photo

small-screen-friendly design for 2015–16

"chicken and egg" questions, particularly

shoot of all the must-have new season's

by the way – for the latest news and to

at resorts like Zermatt which tries to open

fashions and gear, which we shot in the

sign up for updates, and you can also join

for skiing every day of the year. But as

stunning Norwegian resort of Beitostølen.

our 40K+ followers on Facebook.

Love The Mountains is published, most of

But you’ll also find the latest big news

So here’s to a great 2015–16 ski season!

the summer ski glaciers in the Alps have

stories for ‘15–’16 (we did some back-of-

And why wait? Hit the slopes today!




OTM15 // 005





SLOPESTYLE 2015/16  30-PAGE FASHION SECTION Our much-anticipated directory of the top fashion and best gear for the coming season, all shot in the stunning scenery of the Norwegian mountains.

It’s the age-old battle that has raged since the dawn of time – which is better, ski or board? Opinion remains divided, but is skiing now as cool as boarding, maybe?




8 COOL THINGS TO DO BESIDE SKI IN A SKI RESORT  Why just ski or board down a slope when you can attach yourself to a zipwire or bungee rope and go even faster instead?



“The family that skis together stays together” … Well, that’s the

We take you on a quick tour of some of the planet’s most

theory! Here are some top tips on how to make sure it’s the

stunning scenery to be enjoyed from the ski slopes, or maybe

reality for you and yours.

the restaurant …








Bigger and better than


ever before, our all-new Boot Room has had a fresh lick of paint for 2015–16 and we’ve



fitted in more of


the great ski and


snowboarding gear

we want for the


coming winter.


We asked cool people we knew which of the than the rest, and they chose these.




world’s terrain parks had a bit more va-va-voom





096 If you’ve never visited Banff, this is the season to go. If you’ve already been, you don’t need us to tell you you need to go back.




Why just ride any old ski lift when you can ascend the slopes in one of these cool machines? OK, they may not


have it in your resort, we know, but still… No part of this publication may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or





transmitted, in any way or means, either by recording or otherwise, without permission of the publishers in writing.


WHISTLER BLACKCOMB TURNS 50  One of the world’s most famous resorts celebrates

If you’re planning your big day, why not do on

it’s big 5-0 this winter. It's still North America's

skis, or at least in a spectacular snow resort?

biggest and it’s still innovating…


OTM15 // 007



To Ski

AUTUMN SKIING INFO t may be autumn, but the slopes

(although now we mention it, there are six

put together.

are calling!

good indoor snow centres in the UK).

It’s a great time


Cervinia (open

With anticipation building for the

But two resorts do aim to open 365 days

to be in the


to 6 September

coming ski season, it’s right to get

a year, weather permitting, and several

Austrian Alps as

Hintertux Glacier:

for summer

excited about the start of winter

others are also open now. The Hintertux

you can expect

Kaunertal Glacier:

skiing) will

2015–16, now only a few short

Glacier, a short hop from Innsbruck in


Kitzsteinhorn Glacier:

reopen from

months away.

the Austrian Tirol, along with Zermatt in

flights and

Molltal Glacier:


But why wait? You can hit the

Switzerland, operator of Europe’s highest


Passo Stelvio:

at weekends.

slopes today if you like, test out

ski lifts, both have up to 20km of runs open

free or

Pitztal Glacier:

Tignes in France

the new season’s gear before

in September and a fairly healthy 800m or


Saas Fee:

will also reopen

anyone else does and benefit

so of lift-served vertical.

2016 season


at the start of

from low off-season prices.

You could also opt for Zermatt’s neighbour,

gear to test and

Stubai Glacier:


OK, unless you head to the southern

Saas-Fee, which reopened in July and will

– to cap it all

Val Senales:

But it’s not

hemisphere – where winter 2015 is just

stay open now right through to May 2016.

– Oktoberfest-


just the Alps;

winding down – your chance of finding

In Austria, the Molltal Glacier has also

style beer


the glacier

extensive deep-powder slopes are

reopened while the Pitztal Glacier, which

festivals. In

ski area near

probably not good (although you never

operates the country’s highest lifts up to

some cases new


know; it can snow on any day of the year

3440m, is scheduled to start running its lifts

terrain parks are

in Norway,

on Alpine glaciers – and often does).

again from 19 September.

unveiled for the

It’s also true that September is one of the

Other Austrian glaciers, including the

first time for the new season too.

highest mountain at 2469m, is open for

quietest months of the year, with summer

Kitzsteinhorn, Kaunertal, Sölden and

The Kaunertal Glacier, for example, has

skiing and boarding in the summer only

ski resorts in France and Italy having just

Stubai, are likely to open on or around

already scheduled its 30th “opening”

from May to November, and attracts

ended their 2015 runs too, and not due to

the same date as the Pitztal – subject to

weekend celebrations from 9 to 11 October

several international teams, so you can

reopen until later in the autumn, but still,

conditions. Indeed early autumn is big

with a promise of big contests, parties, side

always head there and hopefully see stars!

the dedicated skier and boarder can find

for Austrian skiing – by early October, up

events and even a movie premiere.

Some Norwegian slopes received 3m of

slopes open to them on any day of the year,

to eight glacier ski areas are operational

In Italy, the Passo dello Stelvio is open,

snow in the first 3 days of summer 2015, so

and that’s without having to venture inside

there – as much as in the rest of the Alps

Val Senales should reopen from mid-

the signs are good …

OTM15 // 008

September and



South Tyrol ... Italy with a twist

South Tyrol is Italy at its best – with an added dash of Alpine influence. Discerning skiers enjoy guaranteed snow coverage on 90% of slopes, cosy huts very close by and an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Dolomites. Add to that, 300 days of sunshine a year, delicious food fusing Italian and alpine flavours and quality regional wines and it’s clear to see why South Tyrol really is Italy with a twist.








went to press, the most expensive in

those who died on the descent from the

Europe. There is a flipside for parents –

original successful conquering of the

children are completely free until age 9,

peak, and the hundreds who have died

then pay half price to age 16, among the

on the mountain in the 150 years since.

most generous child pricing in Europe.

So if you’ve not made it to Zermatt yet,

Costs in resort aren’t cheap either,

what should you expect? Well, the first

although there is a Co-op.

thing to know is that you’re almost certain

So what is it that pops Zermatt over the

to arrive by rail. THE way to arrive is

finish line, to claim that “best in the world”

by train from Geneva Airport, with one

title? The Matterhorn. Quite simply this

change and you’re up on resort, but some

mountain is truly awesome and leaves all

package tour operators run a coach to the

other peaks in its shade (literally in a few

neighbouring village of Tasch from where

cases). When you’re in Zermatt it is simply

a very plush shuttle train trundles you the

”there”, always, dominating the skyline –

5 minutes on to Zermatt from a Eurostar-

somehow even managing to do so when

sized terminal (well, not quite, but it seems

ki resorts come in all shapes and sizes,

it is obscured by cloud.

big for a small village).

and there are several contenders for

Your eyes are constantly drawn to it, to

Zermatt has grown into a big resort

“world’s best resort” – depending on

see how the light is playing on it, from

and, attracting more than two million

what criteria you use or who’s voting –

the first time you look out of the window

visitors annually, it’s busy year round.

but one seems to have captured skiers’

in the morning, to sunset in the evening.

Electric taxis (built in the resort) and a

imaginations more than any other:

I first skied in Zermatt in the summer

ski bus buzz around the streets, and


of 1982 when I was still at school, on

there are also horse-drawn sleighs, so

Why? The famous Swiss resort does

a budget Interrail trip. A friend and I

peaceful does not really sum it up, but

have a great ski area, extending to over

camped on the edge of the resort and

it is perhaps ”quiet” compared to any

350km with runs down across the border

hit the slopes in T-shirt and jeans at 7am

place where vehicles powered by the

into Italy. It also has Europe’s highest

on a July morning, quickly realising how

internal combustion engine are allowed

ski runs, its top lift touching 3900m,

cold it was despite the sunshine, as the

on the roads.

meaning that in quite severe periods of

overnight freeze still had a hold. We

There are multiple access lifts from the

limited snowfall in the Alps it tends to

dived into the mountain restaurant to

valley to the slopes including cable cars,

still have plenty of terrain to offer even

warm up, then clattered off on the frozen

gondola and funicular railway, so you can

when areas of quite high elevation are

corduroy once again and repeated the

normally walk from any property to a lift,

struggling. It also means the lift-served

process. By 10am the snow had softened

but it can be quite a walk if you’re at a

vertical is one of the world’s biggest, and

enough for perfect conditions … which

more distant outpost. The ski bus can get

even the bottom of those 2200 vertical

lasted about 90 minutes before the

crowded, too, so it’s best to check your

metres is at an altitude higher than the

surface had melted too much and the

accommodation is truly close to the lift or

top lifts at some low-lying areas. Plus,

snow was a sticky stodge.

organises electric transport to and from

thanks to its glacier, it’s one of only two

I’ve been lucky enough to go back

the base station.

resorts in the world that tries to open

half a dozen times over the past three

Once up on the slopes you’ll know

for snow sports 365 days a year, so it

decades, most recently earlier this very

you are indeed on one of the planet’s

should be open today. And it is chock-full

summer. The resort has grown a lot over

best ski regions, modestly but fairly

of comfortable accommodation, in an

the years, and new plush chalets and

accurately named ”Matterhorn Paradise”

atmospheric car-free village, rich in skiing

apartments had appeared since I was

by the lift company.

and climbing heritage and with a vibrant

last in town three years before that, but

There really are endless runs through

nightlife to boot.

as usual, these were all dwarfed, made

all kinds of terrain for all ability levels

All this definitely places Zermatt as a

to feel insignificant somehow, by that

here, and one of my favourites is to get

serious contender for that “best in the

eternal mountain presence towering

right to the top of the ski area on the

world” title, and it is the most highly

above. No other ski resort can really

Klein Matterhorn then ski down towards

rated ski area in the world if you count

compete with that, although some –

Cervinia in Italy on a glorious long

TripAdvisor reviews, up there with some of

Niseko, Lake Louise and Murren for

descent of more than 11km and nearly

the world’s best capital cities for popularity.

example – do come close.

1800m of vertical.

But in case the picture is just too rosy,

Zermatt is just completing a summer of

Known as the Pista Ventina, it’s a very long,

there is a downside to being very good,

celebrations of the 150th anniversary of

winding, rolling piste that just lasts forever,

very popular and in Switzerland: high

the first conquering of the Matterhorn,

with southwest exposure at high elevation,

prices. While holidays to Eurozone ski

by Brit Edward Whymper. The mountain

and it’s one of my all-time favourites.

areas are cheaper for 2015–16, a 6-day

was officially ”closed” on the anniversary

Stopping for a proper espresso as you

adult pass for Zermatt and Cervinia is

date in July, partly in recognition of his

cross the border at the first mountain hut

coming in at CHF435, or £295 as we

achievement but also in memory of

on the Italian side is just a bonus.

OTM15 // 011




OTM15 // 012

The world’s longest black run! It sounds an

vertical you get 800m of piste for every 100m

stunning view around the next corner. It’s also

intimidating prospect, one that makes you

of vertical – a 12.5% average gradient. That’s

worth noting that the run is far from the rest of

feel excited if you like a sustained challenge,

not very black, and taking three successive

Alpe d’Huez’s extensive ski area, so you can

and rather alarmed if you prefer to avoid

lifts from Alpe d’Huez up to the start of the

feel like you are really skiing away from it all.

the steep stuff and just cruise around on the

run on a glorious sunny day last February

The final section of the run is a very gentle

blues and reds.

with perfect snow conditions, I found Sarenne

green-grade track meandering through scenic

The good news, if you’re in the latter camp and

wasn’t a very black run.

woodland in the Gorges de Sarenne, the nearly

have a basic grasp of maths, is that the world’s

It’s not 12.5% all the way though – the upper

flat parts balancing out the steeper gradients.

longest black run is not very intimidating at all,

section is the steepest – perhaps around

Quite when to ski it is down to you. First thing

on a good snow day at least, as I found when I

red gradient, and it’s this part which gives

in the morning you might beat the crowds

skied it last winter. But that doesn’t stop it from

the run its black status. It’s reported to be

heading up, but if you head up an hour or

being one of the world’s most awesome runs,

rarely groomed and where an icy mogul field

so before lunchtime, you’ll be arriving at

and happily one that anyone of intermediate

can develop. But when I skied it, that upper

the Auberge de la Combe Haute mountain

ability or above can enjoy.

section was a perfect smooth-cruising red.

restaurant at the end of the run, a great

At 16km long, the Sarenne black piste at Alpe

Before I set off, however, I took the advice of

place for a celebratory meal, and you’ll also

d’Huez in the southern French Alps is one

the local tourist office and stopped to look

find that when you head back out in the

of the most remarkable ski runs in the world.

about. There are views to nearby La Meije,

afternoon, you’re conveniently located in one

As well as being one of the planet’s longest,

the Écrins National Park and far off, but clearly

of the quietest sectors of Alpe d’Huez’s huge

it also makes full use of Alpe d’Huez’s

visible on the skyline, Mont Blanc.

ski domain.

remarkable lift-served vertical, descending

So what’s so good about Sarenne? Well, I

A final option, introduced last season thanks to

2000 vertical metres from its start at the

do like cruising around on reds and blues,

a big investment in lighting, is the once-a-week

glaciated top of the 3330m-high Pic Blanc.

and quite simply this is just the mother of all

chance to ski the Sarenne in the evening with

Now that’s where the maths comes in. If you

reds and blues. It goes on, and on, and on,

a guide, normally with dinner awaiting you at

divide a 16,000m-long run by 2000 metres of

just constant pleasure – often with a new

the bottom as part of the package.


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There are ski lifts and then there are ski lifts. We take a look at ten of the world’s most remarkable lifts up the mountain ...

OTM15 // 0014


earlier this year (see our separate report), but the original opened at


it’s nearly 1000m higher than the

In fact the Swiss resort is already on

highest lifts in Europe. There’s

to its second ‘Rotair’ cable car after

snow but no authorised skiing

the success of the first, and is due

at Dagu; however, the highest

to unveil the new lift this season.

ski lift, also in China, is at Jade

“The new "Rotair" has more glass,

Dragon Snow Mountain, a mere 4600m up.

Sadly (for those not lucky enough to

the beautiful panorama,” said

Before the 2014 Winter Olympics,

be staying there) only available for

Engelberg’s Dominik Ettlin. “Also

Russian ski areas in Sochi put in

use by hotel guests, this remarkable

new is that the whole cabin rotates,

world-record-breaking orders for

mini funicular railway links the 5★

not only the floor as in the old one.”

more than 50 state-of-the-art lifts –


a kilometre or so away. On a track something akin to an uphill roller

those not used to high altitudes –

Engelberg way back in 1992.

so our guests can see much better

Tschuggen Hotel to the ski slopes

station – which could stretch


big fast chairlifts and gondolas on




the whole. Some of these were the finest

coaster, the plush cabins, which

examples of the lift builder’s art

resemble an upmarket Bond villain’s

yet seen and included the world’s

private underground lair access,

longest and fastest tri-cable lift

open at the bottom station of the lift

(ultra-stable, high-speed, high-

When car designer Porsche was

by the hotel’s ski room when a hotel

capacity gondola) ever built and

commissioned to design a new

guest waives his personal access

another tri-cable lift equipped to

chairlift a few seasons back,

card at it. Whizzing up the slope,

carry motor cars up the mountain if

some people wondered what a

Built a little over a decade ago at a

an oligarch or emergency vehicle

car designer could teach a lift

reputed cost of around €50 million,

wants to avoid the crowded

designer. The answer appears to

the Vanoise Express is remarkable

mountain roads.

be both cool style and innovative

seats tilt to allow for the gradient.


for several reasons. First of all, it has double-decker cabins; second,


they can travel independently of


chance to look out at the scenery, not just watch the people on the

with most cable cars; third, the

chair in front to see if they drop

200-person cabin capacity is the

their phone or gloves.


was built to link the ski areas of

terrain, but some of that is prone to

La Plagne and Les Arcs to create

avalanche meaning that any fixed

Paradiski, one of the world’s three

The new cable car that opened a

lift of the conventional sort risks

largest ski regions.

couple of seasons ago to access


Jean Pomagalski, the original owner

the year-round Dachstein glacier has a state-of-the-art design, but also an unusual attraction. Users can ride on the roof.

company, was set the challenge,

There’s no extra fee or special


and boss of the famous POMA lift and he came up with the “Va et

degrees outwards, giving you the

to counter balance each other as

Portillo is famed for its expert

So the great lift-designing mind of

but its individual chairs can tilt 45

one another, rather than needing

world’s biggest; and fourth, the lift

damage and long periods of repair.

design. The lift not only looks good

requirements, apparently, to make

This 180m-long covered carpet lift

use of this service; you just go to

may not look anything special, but

the special loading point in the

its clear gallery cover is. In fact,

lift, it has no towers but three bull

bottom station for roof riders and, if

covered in photovoltaic cells, it

wheels, one at the bottom of the

you’re one of the first there, you’re

actually generates more electricity

Vient” (“come and go”) lift. A kind of half cable car, half drag

slope and two at the top. Two tow

The Scandinavian obsession with

on. We’re hoping this one wasn’t

than it uses to operate – 70%

bars with up to five platter-style

saunas has reached new heights in

announced on April Fool’s Day.

more in its first year of operation,

button seats attached are connected

the Lappish ski resort of Ylläs where

to this contraption pulling up to five

a special gondola cabin, wood clad

skiers, side by side, up the slope

inside and out, is available to hire.

quickly, an experienced likened to

The cabin travels up to the lift’s top

only used 16,000kWh itself. This

uphill water skiing.

station at 718m, where there is a

means the lift “overproduced”

main sauna at the top of Ylläs Fell,

power by about 70% with the

available for private use. From here

“spare” 9000 kWh of clean energy

you can leave your belongings and

fed into the power grid.

rent the sauna gondola from 7–9pm

Emanuel Wohlfarter, CEO of




and experience the most unique

to be precise. The lift generated 27,000kWh of electricity in its first 12 months but

lift developer Sunkid, now

sauna ever. The sauna gondola can

OK, this is actually just a regular

anticipates worldwide demand

take four people at a time, catering

eight-passenger gondola built by

for the new system, due to the

for up to 12 people during a 2-hour

Doppelmayr, the world’s leading

quick return on investment costs

session. The idea is to take it in

lift manufacturer. It makes our

as well as the extremely low

turns with two rounds each, while

list, however, as it’s currently the

operating costs.

The latest revolving cable car opened

friends relax in the main sauna at

world’s highest lift, climbing 1226

on the Italian side of Mont Blanc

the top station.

vertical metres to its 4843m top


OTM15 // 015




The Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie

steel structure with wood frames and an

S.p.A lift company, which runs the ski lifts

abundance of glass to optimise the use of

around Courmayeur, has announced that

natural light. It is located next to the Mont

a remarkable 4-year €110 million project to

Blanc Tunnel with direct access to the A5

rebuild lift access to Pointe Helbronner on

motorway. There is extensive underground

the Italian side of Mont Blanc is complete

parking (more than 330 spaces) and a

and the lifts are operating ready for the

bus station which will be where a shuttle

coming winter. The company says that the

service from Courmayeur stops.

installations will open to the public next

From here the lift ascends to the mid-

month on a date still to be announced.

station in four minutes. The mid-station is

Work to replace the lifts began in 2011

still at Le Pavillon du Mont Fréty, but with

after more than a decade of planning.

a completely new station, and from there

Originally a three-stage cable-car

the second stage of the lift goes direct

connection, the new lifts are now in two

to Pointe Helbronner in just 6 minutes,

stages, which operate much faster and

bypassing the Torino Hut.

with a much higher capacity.

The Pointe Helbronner station has four

There are many remarkable aspects to

levels on a small footprint with terraces

the project and the result. These include

cantilevered out. It has been built with

the fact that the new cable car’s cabins

super-tough materials like titanium

revolve through 360 degrees on the

panelling, zinc-plated steel and super-

ascent and that the new upper station has

tough tempered glass to withstand the

been built to be energy self-sufficient.

elements. A large circular terrace on the

In addition, the Torino Hut is no longer

roof provides spectacular views of Mont

directly accessed by the cable car, but

Blanc and the Vallée Blanche.

is instead accessed by a 154m-long

Each cable-car cabin is round and can

horizontal tunnel and a 70m vertical

carry up to 80 people, compared to 20 in

elevator, from Pointe Helbronner.

the old lift cabins. The greatly increased

All three cable-car stations have been

capacity should, the operator hopes,

completely re-built to designs by award-

eliminate queues. The Doppelmayr-built

winning architects.

lift has hi-tech audio-visual facilities, and

Starting from the bottom: the all-new

the cabins which have floor-to-ceiling

base station is at an all-new location,

glass windows slowly revolve through 360

Entrèves (1300m). It is a ribbed stainless

degrees on the ascent.







Easyjet ( are launching a new

Swiss ( have launched a new

British Airways ( have a new

service to Lyon on 12 December operating

service to Geneva with four flights weekly.

service from Heathrow to Salzburg to

on Saturdays and in winter only. Lyon provides quick access to the French Alps


and is closer to resorts like Alpe d’Huez

reach Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Obertauern and Filzmoos. For Icelandic skiing at areas like Bláfjöll, there’s also a new BA service

and Les Deux Alpes than any other major

Jet 2 have a new service to Geneva

launching to capital Reykjavik, 25km from

airport. Other more distant resorts can be

being used by Inghams to access all of

the slopes. Crystal have a new route from

faster to reach from Lyon than Geneva, as

their Swiss and most French destinations

Heathrow to Toulouse for resorts in Andorra.

the roads may be faster and emptier.

(except Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes).

From Gatwick BA are serving



Germania ( have a new

Ryanair ( are launching a new

ime was when new ski destinations

service to Chambery serving Les 3 Vallées

service to Verona in Italy, great for reaching

from tour operators were the biggest

and Tarentaise which tour op Inghams

ski areas in the Dolomites, and Crystal have

news of the winter, but with air travel

( are using.

a new Zurich route for their Swiss resorts.

ever more complex in its pricing, as well

Crystal ( are adding

as fragmented for skiers and boarders

Birmingham to Verona for their Italian resorts,

trying to get to the slopes but not based

and this winter Thomson Airways will offer

close to a London airport, it is becoming

customers a self-service online account with

There’s a new service to Kuusamo for ski

Bournemouth, Glasgow, Luton and Leeds, at

increasingly interesting to see which new

online ticket and online check-in.

areas in Lapland, Finland, with Crystal.

February half-term dates for departures on



So here’s a lowdown of some of the new

Easyjet have a new service to Kittilä

Easyjet are launching a new Saturday

Austria from Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester,

flight options for 2015–16.

serving ski resorts in Lapland.

service to Lyon on 12 December.

Leeds Bradford and Edinburgh.

flight routes have appeared each winter too, to make reaching the slopes easier

for quicker access to the Arlberg region in Austria, and there’s an extra flight to


Innsbruck with Austrian Airlines.

PEAK DATES Inghams ( are adding extra capacity on 26 December for New Year week flights to France from Birmingham,

for your holiday.


Friedrichshafen in southern Germany

6 Feb to France from Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and on 13 Feb to

OTM15 // 017







lift pass at all if you head to the

B&B accommodation and a 3-day

which all share a common lift pass.

snow-sure resort of Davos Klosters

lift pass.

Despite having been around much

between the start of the season

longer than most ski regions, the

on 21 November and the start of Christmas week on 20 December.

Jungfrau’s ski areas are very up to


date when it comes to offering ski

Pass for Free” offer is back, which

After replacing its rotating cable car,

special-deal packages (such as 4

means you get a free lift pass for

the Rotair, after 20 years’ service,

nights for the price of 3 at selected

every night you stay in a selected

with an even better version last

hotels), check out the special

property during those dates.

winter, this season Engelberg will

“Lastminute” offers in the region’s

Throughout the season, you can

unveil a new connecting gondola

website’s accommodation section.

also take advantage of the Davos

which will dramatically cut journey

Klosters "Inside programme", a

times to the top of its huge 2000m

he strength of the Swiss franc

selection of free daily experiences

skiable vertical.

has proved a challenge for some

compiled by a resort “Insider

Early booking deals are already

British skiers and boarders in recent

Team”. This includes experiences

available for skiers and boarders

The Engadin St. Mortiz is where

seasons, but the good news is that

such as watching the sun rise

ready to hit the slopes between

winter holidays began over 150

the pound is fighting back and the

from a mountain peak, a behind-

14 November and 17 December

years ago and remains one of the

Swiss ski areas are helping!

the-scenes look at an avalanche

2015. Packages at a wide range of

world’s best to this day.

In any case there’s something very

detonation session or even a sit

accommodation include lift pass,

You can enjoy substantial

special about Switzerland that

inside a piste-grooming machine.

local tax and a guest card which

savings on lift pass prices here

makes us keep wanting to return

unlocks many more reductions.

all season long (and it’s a very

long season, starting with glacier

The famous ski destination’s “Lift

regardless. It could be the scenery, with more stunning mountain panoramas per


holiday value. Along with plenty of

Engadin St. Moritz

skiing as soon as 17 October


and continuing right through to

of the world’s top freestyle ski and

Switzerland offers great lift-pass

and Ski Pass” offer is available

snow-surety – with lots of high-

boarding destinations, although

value for families, but the resort

on stays of 2 nights or more and

altitude terrain available – including

there’s plenty for all abilities and

of Arosa, which dramatically

entitles you to buy your Engadin

Europe’s highest lift-served runs,

tastes besides too. So it is the

expanded its ski area last year with

St. Mortiz lift pass for just CHF35

or it might be the seamless, high-

perfect destination for a fun-filled,

a lift connection to neighbouring

(£22) per day.

quality service for which the Swiss

action-packed break – and sharing

Lenzerheide, goes further.

are famous, to name just some of

all this with friends makes it twice as

This winter Arosa is offering

the reasons (cheese and trains

memorable. The resort’s “4 Nights

“Ski School included” group ski/

being two more). There’s also the

for Friends” package includes a

snowboard classes free of charge

high standards of national carrier

4-night stay in an apartment with

for children born in or after 1998

Finally, ski resorts around the world

SWISS, who still carry skis for free

4-day ski-lift ticket included for only

(so actual children including teens

talk about being family-friendly and

with their 'classic' fare, just like the

£191 per person.

up to age 18). The offer, which is

increasingly offer family-price deals,

good old days!

part of a swathe of special deals

but few offer lift tickets that are

As mentioned, the good news is

for families, is valid on bookings

completely free to younger children

that, for whichever reasons we’re


of 2 nights or more in participating

and substantially discounted for

hotels and holiday apartments.

older children as Swiss resorts do.

is gradually fighting back against

Saas-Fee was where Wham! filmed

Children can ski free at up to age

the franc, and Swiss ski resorts are

their famous Last Christmas video

offering ever more great deals to

in the 1980s, and the resort is

keep Swiss ski holidays affordable.

understandably so proud of the fact

Here are some of the savings it’s worth being aware of.

ski area than most other resorts

Laax has a reputation for being one

on the planet; it could be the

in love with Switzerland, the pound

22 May next year). The “Hotel


9 in more than 50 of the country’s

Jungfrau Region

ski resorts; in Zermatt it’s up to age

they are reverting to 1980s pricing

The Jungfrau region is often

price until age 15 or 16, and there are

in celebration.

referred to as one of the most

often ongoing young-adult savings

From 5 to 18 December 2015,

spectacular in the skiing world,

of 20% right up to the early 20s.

Davos Klosters

special “1980s” packages are

as well as being home to no less

So families need to do the lift-

available starting from only

than three classic ski resorts –

pass maths.

You might not need to pay for a

CHF225 (about £145) for 2 nights’

Grindelwald, Mürren and Wengen –

10! Then children typically pay half

OTM15 // 019



Heli-skiing, or indeed heli-boarding, is the kind

not my idea of fun. I was standing outside my

is replaced by big smiles and excitement. The

of winter snow-sports dream that many of us

hotel with it dumping it down with fresh snow, and

ride up to the first drop-off was spectacular, just

powder addicts aspire to, but sadly only a small

thinking what on earth have I let myself in for?!”

miles and miles of untouched mountains, simply

percentage of us ever do.

When he booked, rk heliski had told Tony that

indescribable beauty.”

The most common reasons for this are: we

so long as he could ski or board a European red

“Then time to strap in and go. My first run down

shamefully think we do not have the skills to

run comfortably and in control then he could

was an amazing tree-lined descent through

successfully ski or board that endless pristine

heliboard with them and have an incredible time.

champagne powder. I was like a little kid on

powder like the guys in the movies, or we think it

“As my shuttle approached rk, I could see

Christmas day. I had never ever experienced

will be too expensive.

ground crew getting the helicopters ready for

anything like this before. With Nate and Rod

The truth for those who do decide to give it a

the day. The friendly rk team welcomed me as I

giving great tips and assistance, the more

try is that you don’t have to be that good and

entered the “heli-plex lodge,” they made sure I

relaxed I got the easier I found it.”

it doesn’t have to cost that much if you book

got whatever I wished for breakfast – nothing, it

with a heli-ski company that encourages first

seemed, was too much trouble.”

An addiction begins …

timers. One such company is rk heliski based in

Tony says that the tension mounted, but the staff

“My legs were burning like hell, my helmet and

Panorama BC, Canada, which is a complete ski

put you at ease. “After briefings from ACMG Ski

goggles covered in powder, but it was clear

resort in its own right.

Guides Nate Sereda and Rod Gibbons, it is very

that I was seriously hooked,” recalls Tony. “The

For almost 50 years rk has been offering affordable

quickly clear that these guys not only have a

rest of the day was more of eating powder, a

day trips (and multi-day trips). From Panorama

passion for what they do but also ensure every

few falls, and that feeling of joy from flowing

Mountain Resort you can combine a regular on-

single guest is happy, comfortable and relaxed.

and carving down the mountain creating huge

piste ski holiday with a dream heli-ski experience!

After listening to them I felt much more at ease

powder spray turns.”

Or you can also choose to base your ski

and couldn’t wait to get up there !”

“It was a day I will never forget with a group of

holiday from the ski mecca of Banff, a 2-hour

people with such a passion and love for what

private shuttle ride away, as did first-time British

And it kept getting better …

they do. This is a must for any snowboarder/skier

heliboarder Tony McCann.

“And away we went. The noise of the helicopter

to add to their bucket list. I’m booked back next

“A 5.30am alarm on a Saturday morning is certainly

just gets your heart going and the anticipation

season,” concludes Tony.



OTM15 // 021


D OTM15 // 022

charges for suitcases or for carrying

But there is a swathe of practical,

skis or boards, of course.

safety and legal requirements to be

says InTheSnow’s Editor Patrick

Thirdly, you can travel at your

met by the driver, and it’s important

Thorne. “Driving in the French

own pace, maybe see a bit of the

to ensure you’re fully prepared and

Pyrenees once, a road map and

country as you travel, and can time

protected before you set off.

my sat nav showed me a route

your trips to arrive just before all

The good news is that most tour

between resorts which, after

the poor punters on the transfer

operators offer very detailed

209 miles driving on a lovely

coach and leave at your leisure

and comprehensive advice on

empty road, ended in a wall of

rather than at some awful 5am

self-drive trips, and in the case of

snow – how stupid did I feel?

coach pick-up. Time it right and

specialists like Erna Low or Peak

Conversely, driving in California

you can fit in 8 days’ skiing on a

Retreats there’s detailed practical

one season I was tipped off that a

riving to your ski destination this

week’s holiday if you like.

advice on offer online and from

normally closed-in-winter pass had

winter could be the easy answer to

Then there are the many smaller

their expert staff.

reopened a month early, saving

many a holiday dilemma.

benefits – the chance to stock up

But here are the

hundreds of miles of driving.”

First off, if there’s two or more of

in the hypermarket before you

LoveTheMountains top tips on how

you, it’s likely to be cheaper than

arrive and avoid the high prices in

to have the most seamless drive to

going by air, and if you’re concerned

the resort’s mini markets, or to stop

the Alps.

about the environment, you’ll be

off and see a bit of the country en

doing less damage there too.

route, to name but a few.

Secondly, you can, within the limits

Depending on where you live in

of space, forget those baggage

the UK and where you’re heading,

restrictions and pile in as much gear

the driving time can be as little as 7

“Once you’re in the mountains

Saturday ‘change-over day’ in

as you need. You won’t have to think

hours, though for most in southern

in winter, it’s very important

France, and in the peak season.

about all the endless loading and

Britain it’s likely to be 10 to 12 to the

to take local advice on road

The best time to travel is in the

unloading either, and there are no

closest resorts, plus stops.

conditions, rather than rely on

early hours of the morning or late


sat navs, or even road maps,”

2. AVOID HORRENDOUS TRAFFIC JAMS The roads leading to the mountains can get very congested at the weekends, particular on



from going any further.

breakdown cover are valid for

So before you travel, it’s important

driving in all the countries you want

to have the very latest advice on

to visit and that you carry with you

what setup you need to have, but

what is legally required in each

Sanef, the French motorway

What you need to have with you

some advise just biting the bullet

country. In France, for example,

operator, has now extended its

legally and for your own safety

and getting chains.

you need to have a reflective

Liber-t automatic toll payment

depends on where you’re going.

“Snow chains are like insurance.

safety jacket (which you must

service to UK motorists. To use

The rules differ from country to

You often don't need them and you

have access to in the car – don’t

the service, all you need to do is

If you’re going to stop at the

country and region to region.

may feel buying them is a waste of

put it in the boot) and a warning

register online and they will send

convenient motorway service stops

These days, some countries

money, but when you do require

triangle. You also need “beam

you a small electronic transponder

then just like on the piste it’s best

expect you to have snow tyres

them you are glad you have them in

benders” on your headlights to

(or tag) that you attach to your

to aim for an early or late lunch

fitted and others expect you

the car,” says Xavier Schouller, boss

ensure you don’t dazzle cars when

windscreen. As you approach, a

to avoid the crowds. However,

to carry chains or “socks” –

of self-drive-to-France specialist

you switch to the other side of

device by the barrier will read your

Francophiles tend to advise taking

sometimes both. If you have a

ski tour operator Peak Retreats

the road over the Channel. All of

tag, securely extract your unique

the time to exit the motorway

four-wheel-drive vehicle you may,

( He points out,

these can be purchased cheaply

reference and then automatically

and find a nice little restaurant in

or may not, be exempt from the

“Imagine you were delayed on

at places like Halfords. The rules

open the barrier without you

Champagne or Burgundy and enjoy

“chains” rule. And when the rules

the roads well before that and you

keep changing, but last we heard a

having to stop.

real French food.

are enforced it can vary depending

arrive in the Alps late at night. If you

working breathalyser is no longer

on the particular road you’re on,

get stuck 20 miles from your final

needed nor a spare set of bulbs –

and the time of year.

destination, what do you do?”

although if a light goes you can be

at night if you can plan for that.


to make your travel smoother.


our clients smashed a hire car that way, and we had to get them a replacement car, which meant they missed their flight!”


After all, that’s part of what driving


to the Alps is all about!

On Saturdays when it is snowing,

immediately fined up to €750 on

“Our top tip is ‘think right’,” says

the police/gendarmerie will often

the spot, so it seems smart to carry

Xavier Schouller. “It’s too easy

some regardless.

when leaving a petrol station and

Once you’ve covered the

there is no one on the road to

problems to avoid, there are ways

drive on the wrong side. One of


stand at the bottom of the roads where chains are required and will prevent any vehicle without chains


4. WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Ensure that your insurance and



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OTM15 // 024

t may not be a Banksy, but a

“I bought some raffle tickets from

picturesque ski scene entitled

the Cancer Caring Trust charity,”

“Up, up and away” has been

said Joanna Yellowlees-Bound, Erna

created on the wall of Reece

Low’s CEO. “As a result of that, I

Mews in London’s South Kens-

now own a Johny Midnight picture. I

ington through the summer.

then decided it would be a fantastic

The work by artist Johny Mid-

idea to commission Johny to do a

night has been commissioned

painting on the Reece Mews wall

by long-standing ski holiday

outside our office.”

and property specialists Erna

“Our neighbours have been hugely

Low, who have been based in

supportive and we are excited to be

the quiet street for around 60

adding to the artistic heritage of the

years and have made numer-

area, as Francis Bacon used to live

ous improvements to their head-

immediately opposite,” added Joanna.

quarters over the decades, including

“He was a friend of Miss Low's in the

tunnelling down to create comfortable

old days – and I find myself wondering

underground floors a few years ago.

what he would make of our wall paint-

The idea for the mural started at the

ing right outside his door like this."

London Ski Show last October.


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for those

who really

want to get

away from it

all, here are

InTheSnow’s top 10


“Yellow Wood” shrubs that were discovered by a botanist visiting the area in the 1860s, the resort is known for its big lift-served vertical and huge terrain expanse once you exit the zone closest to the base where most


beginner and intermediate level ski runs are located. When the snow is good (which in recent seasons sadly hasn’t been guaranteed),


highlights for expert skiers include a 24km off-

Stunning scenery and slopes to yourself.

piste descent via Cenidor, Marte and Mercurio,

WHEN TO SKI: Now (June to October)

one of the world's longest runs.





it all, but these days some of the big resorts

At just over 30 years old, Las Leñas is one

SPECTACULAR FACTOR: In most parts of

in the Alps are almost as full of city folk on

of the newest resorts in Argentina and the

the West, the Rockies rarely look like they

vacation as the cities they left behind are. So

whole of South America. Named after the

do in the movies, but here they do, and then

SKIER LEVEL:  to  here was a time when heading off on your


annual ski holiday meant getting away from




some – scenic grandeur in super HD.

mesmerised by the spectacular beauty of the

Chile's original resort is an important

WHEN TO SKI: November to May

place. In addition to over 100 named runs,

name in world skiing, hosting numerous


some over eight kilometres in length, Lake

international events including the 1966

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

Louise offers thousands of acres of open

World Championships. But people have



powder bowls, glades and chutes.

been skiing here far longer, starting from

underestimate just how spectacular the

the Argentina-Chile railway line in 1890.

Pyrenees are in certain areas – none better

Virtually all of the resort's accommodation

than here where hundreds of peaks are

and activities are concentrated in the huge

visible as you descend.

hotel complex where the staff/guest ratio

WHEN TO SKI: December to May

For scenic grandeur, imaginative terrain design and sheer size, the Lake Louise Ski


Resort ranks alongside the finest ski resorts in the world. Encompassing 28.4 km2,


is one employee for every guest, resulting


spread over four separate mountain faces

almost to yourself, and VIP lodging in a

in high service standards. The resort


interconnected by a lift and trail system that

historic lodge in the ski tracks of many great

offers easy and intermediate groomed


is comparable to the European ski circuit

names from the history of skiing.

slopes plus some of the most adventurous

concept, this is the largest ski area in Canada.

WHEN TO SKI: Now (June to October)

and spectacular skiing in the southern

A 100% freeride area accessed from the

Visitors from Europe, who may have been


hemisphere, with heli-skiing an option,

top of a cable car in the French Pyrenees,

somewhat disappointed by the rather boring

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

giving views of the western hemisphere's

created to serve the local observatory. As

rolling hills on which some of North America's


highest mountain – Aconcagua.

with other famous off-piste routes, visitors

most famous ski resorts are located, will be


are strongly recommended to ski with a

OTM15 // 027

guide and sign a disclaimer before setting

For more than a decade now, Greenland

Niseko, on Japan’s northerly island of

off. There are spectacular views from the

Heliskiing have been providing that

Hokkaido, is most famed in the ski world

top and exceptional long powder descents,

opportunity, one of just a handful of very

for its abundant light, fluffy snow, which

but no groomed runs. Overnight stays in the

small expert local operators that can offer

for many powder hounds has made it the

observatory's accommodation and morning

heli-skiing here. They’re based on the

most popular destination on the planet.

descents afterwards are popular.

West Coast (where attracting polar bear

But for lovers of stunning scenery there’s

Rings on snow with dramatic vistas out over

attention is not a problem) rather than the

something very special about descending

the coast.

East, and offer vertical powder descents of

even the groomed easy runs opposite the

WHEN TO SKI: Now (June to October)

up to 2000m in an area of 2300km2 with

beautiful and perfect Mount Yōtei (1898m)



20 hours of daylight during the spring

which dominates the view from the slopes, a

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

unseen by other humans, icebergs floating in

ski season.

perfect (and still active) volcano that appears



the clear blue sea below you, possible polar bear attacks. WHEN TO SKI: Spring




to be a scale replica of Mount Fuji. It hasn’t erupted in 3000 years, but the geo-thermal

Several of New Zealand’s ski areas boast

activity in the area helps to supply hot water

spectacular scenery, but none quite seem

for the various onsens all around – the

to compete with Treble Cone and its

perfect apres-ski natural hot tubs.

magnificent, vast vista looking out over


SPECTACULAR FACTOR: Skiing on perfect


light, fluffy powder across the valley from a

the seas. The southern hemisphere's first

perfect-scale replica of Mount Fuji.

six-seater detachable chair was installed

North America’s third-largest country is of

WHEN TO SKI: November to May

here nearly 20 years ago – a major coup

course covered in ice and snow year round,


and one of numerous improvements through

and with mountains on the country’s East

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

the years that make the skiing here less

Coast rising to 3694m, the only real issue for


challenging to access than some of our more distant inclusions in this list. Treble Cone also


skiers is getting to this pristine wilderness.



boasts New Zealand's biggest ski area in

24-hour daylight is the norm, you can do it all

the country’s famously scenic west coast, right

Heavenly is unique. For those of us who

terms of skiable terrain (550 hectares).

under the midnight sun.

next to Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

collect facts and figures about ski resorts it's

And it all takes place against the backdrop of

Nevis Range really is the perfect playground

unique because it exists in two US States,

some of the most dramatic and spectacular

for intermediates with blue runs making up a

with just over half of its lifts in California,

scenery on earth with the white mountains

third of the skiing. Novices should progress

the remainder in Nevada. It can also claim

towering out of the sea.

quickly around The Fairway with its long,

to have the biggest vertical on the western

wide open slopes. The Summit Run, the

coast of the United States, the biggest ski

highest in Scotland at 1291m, is a very gentle

area in California (and the second biggest

blue, excellent for perfecting technique and,

in North America) and the highest skiing in

as a bonus, on a clear day it has amazing

the famous Tahoe region. More important

views of the surrounding area.

than the numbers though is the stunning

NORWAY LYNGEN LODGE SPECTACULAR FACTOR: Amazing coastal scenery from unspoilt mountain terrain in Western Norway.




SKIER LEVEL:  to 

coast is a global draw, but from the slopes high


above the view is even more stunning and puts many resorts in the Alps in the shade.


scenery as you look down on Lake Tahoe, North America's largest alpine lake, and for many visitors the availability of Tahoe's

There are no ski lifts, no other people in fact,

WHEN TO SKI: December to May

and you take a boat across the Lyngen Fjord



the slopes.

to reach the ski slopes from the luxurious

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

Coast US vibe and amazing views out across

It was the view, and the “heavenly relief” of

Lyngen Lodge in Northern Norway, a very


the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe.

the warm air rising, that led settlers in the

WHEN TO SKI: December to May

1800s (arriving in the area from the backside

different ski experience.

legendary “24-hour nightlife” once they're off

It gets more remarkable still when you

Fortunately you don’t have to go far to find


of Heavenly rather than the Tahoe side) to

consider that a visit in winter can mean skiing

some of the best scenery in world skiing.

SKIER LEVEL:  to 

give the area its name. A century later, the

the virgin powder beneath the northern

Nevis Range, the newest of Scotland’s five ski


name “Heavenly” fortunately turned out to

lights, or if you arrive in late spring, when

areas, just 25 years old, is positioned above


be a marketing man's dream.

OTM15 // 029

Amin Momen is a man with a passion for good coffee who also happens to run a ski travel company, Momentum Ski (, which offers holidays to lots of resorts, including Italian ones. Here Amin tells us why coffee lovers should ski in Italy – and crucially how to ensure you get the real coffee experience. There’s no disputing it: the Italians are

Italian coffee is nothing like the coffee

meal. Inwardly he can’t believe you’d pour

Ristretto: literally “restricted”, half the

the kings of coffee, and if you’re on a ski

you’ll find in a high-street café back home.

hot milk over that wonderful food, as it’s

water is used to extract only the first and

holiday in Italy, you’d be mad to miss the

Consider the cautionary tale of the Starbucks

a common belief that too much milk post

most concentrated drips of an espresso.

authentic experience.

aficionado on holiday in Cervinia. Well

meal unsettles your stomach.

Lungo: literally “long”, double the water

There are few better ways to start the

versed as she was in “Italian” coffee lingo

When it’s breakfast time though, go right

is let through the coffee, like a watered-

day than with a real Italian coffee enjoyed

from her daily half-caff venti skinny vanilla

ahead. If you’re like me and prefer a stronger

down espresso.

after a good breakfast, watching the light

latte, she beamed with pride and excitement

coffee taste, order your cappuccino with

Macchiato: literally “stained”, as in stained

gleam over the mountains.

as she ordered a “latte”.

doppio espresso senza cacao. You can also

with a drop of warm milk (macchiato caldo)

And that mid-afternoon espresso on a

The waiter shot her a quizzical look.

opt for a cappuccino scuro, which has less

or cold milk (macchiato freddo).

piste-side sun terrace? It’s perfection.

“Latte? Caldo o freddo?”

milk than the standard cappuccino.

Corretto: literally “correct ”, this is a classic

Unfortunately, there’s a huge pitfall to

Hot or cold? Clearly he was having a joke.

navigate first: successfully ordering your

“Caldo, of course!” she replied. Sure enough,

delicious beverage. Get it wrong, and you

he returned a minute later with precisely

risk the scorn of the barista – a plight few

what she had ordered – a cup of hot milk.

that experience it ever truly recover from.

Here’s what you need to know to avoid a

An Americano is a shot of espresso with

can often get Nutella® or hazelnut paste in

similar humiliation.

hot water poured on top. Order one and

your espresso (caffè nocciola).

you could well receive an espresso in

The other beauty of Italy is that coffee

a larger cup with a pot of water on the

served as you stand at a bar is typically

side. In fact, pretty much everything is a

very cheap, costing an average of €1 for an

You’re A Long Way From Starbucks, Dorothy …

Cappuccino Is A Breakfast Drink

There’s No Filter Coffee Or Flavours

espresso with a drop of grappa in it. You also won’t find anything with vanilla or hazelnut flavouring, which are so popular in the international-chain cafés, but you

That’s right – knowing what coffee to order

I’m afraid so. Don’t be surprised if you see

variation of espresso. Besides a straight

espresso and just €1.50 for a cappuccino.

(and when) is of critical importance if you

the waiter frowning at you if you order a

espresso, the common varieties are:

However, sit down and you’ll pay as much

want to avoid an international incident.

cappuccino or latte after your delicious

Doppio: a double espresso.

as 50% more for waiter service.



T HE TO P of

COLORADO The readers of Ski Magazine rated Telluride as the top ski destination in Colorado. Vintage charm, modern amenities and breathtaking scenery have travelers leaving the crowds behind and choosing Telluride.

#1 in Colorado in Overall Satisfaction –2015 Ski Magazine





with mates. For the duration of your trip,

Parking up in the mountains is wondrous:

that's all you'll do. No distractions from

nobody around, serene, special and your

the internet or TV, no need to rush to

own nature programme. During these

make that restaurant reservation. It's your

moments we've seen a bear, moose,

time. You can just enjoy the camaraderie,

incredible sunrises and sunsets, watched

banter and most importantly: b*****it.

shooting stars charge across the night

Conventional resort-based holidays,

sky ... the list goes on. There's a genuine

or even hut-to-hut ski touring trips, are

sense of wilderness but without any of

restrictive. You've booked accommodation

the suffering of winter camping. Heating

and bought lift tickets. The snow is better

cranked, brew in hand, warm and dry,

50 miles away, but you can't justifiably

scanning the map for the coming day's

relinquish the investment you've made

adventure ... there's nothing like it.

an an adventure ski holiday ever be

there. No such problem with an RV. You

As ski tourers, we're able to access and

cheap, adventurous and fun?

follow the good weather and snow. You

explore remote corners, summit classic

Sounds perfect doesn't it? But surely

can buy a day pass. You can book a hut for

peaks and ski the best snow. As RV users,

it’s impossible? Cheap destinations

a night. You can park the RV somewhere

we get the odd “Brucey Bonus” too.

generally crawl with visitors and lack spicy

really cool and access amazing terrain,

Being able to arrive at a destination late

terrain, which is banal and unmemorable.

using it as your private backcountry hut.

(with no local accommodation) and get an

Adventure, meanwhile, is at a premium –

Kipping at the bottom of the hill, you have

early start, it's easy to squeeze an activity

and that means £££! Chamonix, Jackson

a head start on everyone else, who'll need

in before skiing. From swimming in the

Hole, Verbier – all resorts renowned and

to drive for an hour just to get there. And,

Colorado River, to climbing the celebrated

revered by the advanced skier, but they

should the weather be poor in the morning,

Ancient Arts Tower, we managed to make

are also extortionate.

you're not stuck on a mountain side, you

our last trip truly multi-activity.

And fun? Well, it is what you make it, but

can just drive off. If somebody wants a

I've not answered the big question yet –

if there's no après scene, a hotel room is

relaxed day, they can return earlier to the

how much? Well, not much. RVs aren't that

a lonely, dull place to be.

expensive to hire. True, they're thirsty,

The alternative? Motorhomes – also

but as you'll be sharing the fuel bill, and

known as ‘Recreational Vehicles’

as we pay more than just about anyone

or RVs. There, I said it! Vilified by Clarkson (“Surely that works in their favour?” Editor), they are, in fact, the


in the UK, you'll find it surprisingly cheap. Then of course you're saving on hotel rooms or hut fees. And restaurants. Not to mention cafés and

future. The answer to the equation. Here's why:

Will is a keen skier and climber and

lunch at a resort. Ski touring is free, and

First of all, they're absolutely MASSIVE,

is lucky enough to work teaching

when you fancy an easy day, you can

and also massively exciting. Anything

both. His company will be running

buy a lift pass; you’re not obliged to

which needs tiptoes to see over the

ski touring courses and trips in

ski every of the 6 days you've paid for

bonnet is a winner, to say nothing of the

Scotland and Norway this winter:

on a week pass. We managed a 7-day

throb of a V10. Remember the sheer

trip to Norway for roughly £300 each,

joy of the first car you encountered

plus flights. For 3 weeks in the USA it

with drink holders and folding trays?

cost £180 each for van hire, and maybe another £100 for fuel. Aside from flights,

Come on, it's okay, everyone loves it. But imagine something resplendent with

comfort and warmth of the homestead. No

I don't think anyone spent over £500, and

9 metres of features to explore! You'll race

sitting and waiting in a cold car or paying

we lived like kings!

from one end to the other, jump on every

exorbitant prices for a hot chocolate in a

And where can you do it? Anywhere that

bed, stand in the shower, sit on the toilet,

café. Flexibility is the key to making the

rents RVs. We've done it in Arctic Norway

open every cupboard, climb onto the roof,

most of a winter-sports holiday, and this is

and the USA. Each had their idiosyncrasies;

crawl through the luggage compartment,

the most flexible way we've found.

Norway was a damper climate, we came

and still know there's more to uncover,

Rigid itineraries are just that: rigid. And

back damp from knee-deep powder most

giddy as you are, 6 years old once more.

rigid is often ... boring! Adventure is the

days. Turning the shower into a drying

You'll witness your mates transformed:

way. Adventure is defined by the Oxford

room, all our kit was warm and dry for

infantile, goofy, thrashing out rock-paper-

English Dictionary as “An unusual and

the next day. The US was cold at night;

scissors for the best bed!

exciting or daring experience” – you can't

we were often sleeping at 3000m. Not a

Aside from the beauty of the RV itself,

get that in a hotel can you? Waking up

problem, that's what the heating's for! We

there are major practical advantages.

and deciding what to do, off the cuff, is

never had any trouble getting water or

You're free. Free as a bird. Drive where

liberating, and rewarding. If you ski and

emptying the toilet (very easy), driving or

you want, stop when you want, stop

board you clearly like adventure. The

parking. Locals notice you, and as such

where you want and, most importantly,

unknown. The risk. The daring. Have

they often take the time to tell you why

make a pot of finest Yorkshire Tea

more of it! Grab your trip by the reins and

their town is great and where's best. Such

whenever you want. Fridges are

go, go, go! Being unconventional with no

knowledge is invaluable!

cavernous and kitchens are complete

fixed agenda enables you to stop and ski

Obviously, skiing, adventuring and

with crockery, utensils, gas hob, and

wherever looks good, rather than having

having a ball with mates is fun. You can't

microwave. You can cook a sumptuous

to push on elsewhere. Explore one area

beat it. I truly hope I've sold the future

feast every night. It's rare in our fast-

as much as you like, then move on to the

to you and proved that ski trips can be

paced modern life to sit, chat and eat

next. On your terms.

cheap, adventurous and fun!


OTM15 // 035


Whistler Blackcomb Turns


winning restaurants, legendary nightlife,

Restaurant which will have a fresh new

located around Whistler and Blackcomb

over 200 shops to browse and a huge

look, a new menu and a new head chef

Mountains, guests will be able to keep

collection of activities too.

when it re-opens this winter.

track of personal stats including their

All this has been achieved with a

number of days on the slopes and total

dedication to the environment which has

Still Innovating

vertical ridden.

seen Whistler recognised as one of the

Whistler Blackcomb has a history of

Customised privacy settings will allow

greenest employers in Canada for the

being a leader and an innovator in the

users to make their WB+ profiles

past 6 years, and it has created an on-site

ski industry – both locally in Canada and

accessible to friends, family members

hydro-electric plant which allows the resort

around the world.

and work colleagues, allowing groups

to export as much green energy to the grid

For its 50th season Whistler Blackcomb

to create goals and fun challenges

as it needs to operate.

will be introducing WB+, a new online

throughout the winter.

interactive platform connected to the ski

Whistler Blackcomb’s 50th ski season kicks

New Dining Options For 2015–16

resort’s RFID technology, which is itself

off on 26 November 2015, and celebrations

ne of the ski world’s greatest success

For the coming winter, besides the birthday

linked to chips contained in your Whistler

are planned right through the winter. There

stories of the past few decades celebrates a

celebrations, the big capital expenditure

Blackcomb lift pass.

are lots of early-booking deals already

big birthday this winter. Whistler Blackcomb,

over the summer has been on multi-million-

WB+ will give guests the option to create a

available to book via the resort’s website,

the 2010 Olympic venue and one of the

dollar improvements to one of the resort’s

personal profile in order to collect stats and

or with British-based travel partners, and

world’s best-known and best-loved ski

key on-mountain dining options.

data about their days on the mountains. By

the pound is at its best rate against the

resorts, as well as North America’s biggest,

The biggest spend is on Rendezvous

taking advantage of the automatic process

Canadian dollar for 5 years, so this is the

is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Lodge on Blackcomb which is getting

of scanning lift passes as you pass through

season to go and join the party.

Over the years, Whistler Blackcomb has

a $5.4 million renovation this summer

one of the RFID chairlift access gates

grown to offer 8,171 acres of terrain for all

meaning that the building will have a

standards of skier and boarder, and all

brand new look with fresh customisable

tastes, served by an efficient network of

menu options in the food court, including

comfortable high-speed lifts and spread

a fresh sushi station, a wok station with

across two mountains, crowned by glaciers

customisable Asian flavours, a fresh

that provide snow surety all season long,

Mexican counter and a burger bar using

and Canada’s only summer glacier skiing.

only naturally raised, hormone- and

At the base of the mile-high mountain

antibiotic-free chicken and beef, as well as

vertical, the vibrant slope-side village has

a vegetarian option.

a vast selection of accommodation options

The upgrades include a totally revamped

ranging from budget to luxury, award-

fine dining experience at Christine’s





Easy Boarding – Coming To A Ski Lift Near You


ki-lift manufacturer Doppelmayr

lift-side, similar to the system used

green lights gives a clear signal to

companies say.

and lift-ticket experts Skidata have

for boarding cable cars. However,

those preparing to board.

“Our ski guests took to the new

been working together on making

clear electronic information screens

Associated benefits of the new

system right from the word go

the lift-boarding process easier, and

explain the boarding process and

system include better use of cabin

and enjoy a significantly easier

have come up with a new way to

count down the number of spaces

space, fewer emergency stops to

and more comfortable boarding

make boarding gondolas a lot less

left in the cabin before groups pass

the lift, and staff having more time

experience. We’re very pleased

stressful than the usual scrum to

through the ticket barrier lighting,

to help people needing help such

with the new access solution. The

grab a place.

so that groups and families can see

as children and seniors.

regulated access flows mean we

The new “Easy Boarding Gate”

whether they will fit in the cabin or

The system was tested on the

make optimal use of gondola lift

allows just the right number of

whether they should wait for the

Stubnerkogelbahn lift in Bad

capacity,” said Franz Schafflinger,

people to fit in the next gondola

next one. Once through, a traffic

Gastein, Austria, last winter and

CEO of Gasteiner Bergbahnen AG.

cabin through the ticket turnstiles to

light system with red, amber and

proved a huge success, the

Mountain Biking Val Thorens, France

Ice Diving Tignes, France

Downhill mountain biking is one of the commonest summer

A number of ski schools offer the chance to dive down

activities in ski resorts, but back in Val Thorens, they say

through the ice at several resorts in France.

“Why wait until summer?” and offer biking descents on snow

Full instruction and scuba diving equipment are provided.

once the lifts close on three evenings each week.

You just have to be “up for it” (or should that be “down for

Starting from a point 3000m above sea level at the foot of

it?”). You’ll dive down through a hole in the ice to watery

the Péclet glacier, bikers hurtle down 700 vertical metres on

winter wonderland beneath the frozen lake surface.

the Tête Ronde blue slope accompanied by a qualified biking instructor. The 6km descent takes about 45 minutes just as


Bobsleigh La Plagne, France

Bungee Catapult Tignes, France Why just make a boring old bungee jump when you can ski, board or even sledge off a

The 1982 Olympic bobsleigh run at La Plagne is one of fewer than a dozen in

30m-long ramp into a 40m void attached on each side to bungee cords? Once you’ve

regular use worldwide, and the resort offers a variety of high-speed experiences,

stopped bouncing, the system locks and you travel down a zip wire to the ground.

including “taxi bob” – riding behind a professional driver in a proper bobsleigh,

“It was only a few seconds of flying through the air, but my stomach was literally

and the resort’s own self-steering “bob raft”, which goes a little slower but also

pushed to the top of my ribcage as I launched off the end screaming. A must-do!” said

costs less and which you can ride down in yourself with friends.

InTheSnow’s own daredevil Debbie Gabriel.

“It was a bit like a roller-coaster experience, with quite a lot of build-up

Called Bun J Ride it is located next to the "Lac" blue run and is open to those aged 13

and some instruction on how to ride the sled correctly, which all

years+ and weighing over 40kg.

made the tension rise a bit,” recalls InTheSnow’s editor Patrick Thorne. “But once we were off, it was a great ride down and you quickly get into it. As soon as I was at the bottom – in less than a minute, I was shouting, ‘Again! Again!’”

038 // OTM15





night is falling.

Snow Coach to Dinner telluride, usa

Ice Driving La Clusaz, France

Telluride Ski Resort’s Alpino Vino is a popular lunch destination on the mountain with

Driving on ice in a controlled

spectacular views, but once the sun sets, having dinner at this acclaimed restaurant

environment = fun. Doing so in a

becomes a truly unique experience. Guests aged 21 and over can take an enclosed

conventional car = bad air and noise

snow coach from the top of the gondola straight to the restaurant’s front door, which

pollution in a pristine mountain

sits just under 3650m near the top of See Forever ski run and Gold Hill. Once there,

environment. The answer = the new

Chef Nicola Peccedi prepares a five course meal of authentic northern Italian fare that

breed of electric cars! Located on the

can be complemented with a specially designed wine pairing by the resort's Wine

edge of the village on the Route des

Director, Andrew Shaffner. The warm, inviting space is reminiscent of restaurants

Confins, the La Clusaz ice circuit offers

found throughout the Dolomites of Northern Italy, letting you escape to another world

Renault Twizy cars to drive, specially

for an evening of fine dining that will keep you talking for years to come.

equipped for driving on ice. The cars are available to rent by groups of friends and, supervised by driving professionals, everyone can quickly learn all the intricacies of


driving an electric car on ice.

O DO BESIDES SKI It used to be that we would roll in to a resort and aim to be on that first lift by 9am then try to stay on the slopes until 5pm for all 6 days

of our ski week, but not anymore. For many years now, destination ski resorts have been reinventing themselves as “mountain resorts”,

The Flyer Serfaus, Austria

Zip Wire Val Thorens, France

Want to take to the air with three friends but can’t find a big enough paraglider? The

The world’s highest zip wire opened above Val Thorens

answer is The Flyer – a kind of giant zip wire at Serfaus ski area in Austria where four

in France last spring. At 1300m (just under a mile) long

people are slung parallel in harnesses beneath a large paraglide-style wing, which

and starting at more than 3200m above sea level, you

itself is suspended below a zip wire – and away you go, hitting speeds of up to 80kph.

ride through the air reaching speeds from 65 to 105kph.

Simple. Children must be at least 1.3m tall to go on The Flyer.

The 105-second-long ride costs €50, taking you up to 250m above the ground, with the journey designed to mimic that of a flying eagle, connecting the Maurienne and Tarentaise regions. The zip wire is reserved for skiers and boarders only, who must be aged 8 or over and be wearing a helmet.

OTM15 // 039


with the aim of offering multiple activities and, ideally, things they can offer year round. Here’s our list of eight of the best:

off down it, unsurprisingly falling at the first wall to slam into surprisingly hard ice and

Watch Others

each other.

Rightly insulted but uninjured by the icy

It was at this point that a decent

pile-up in the half pipe, we decided to hit a

snowboarder – who was using the half pipe

jump (commonly called a kicker). I went first,

properly – had to abort his run because

taking far too much pace into it and flying –

some idiot beginners were messing around

as my friend described – like E.T. and Elliott

in there. Or at least that is what I think the

on his bike past the moon.

torrent of French insults and gestures meant.

I was in the air long enough to shout an expletive that attracted the attention of

Stop & Look Around

people on the nearby chairlift, and long

This brings me nicely onto the next tip. If we

before my snowboard did. I was lucky

had stopped at the top of the park, we would

to escape with just a sprained wrist and

have seen a few snowboarders waiting to

laughter from the chairlift.

drop into the half pipe. In our defence, the

If I’d waited and watched others first, I would

park was almost deserted and they had come

have been able to judge my speed much

from another lift, so we didn’t see them.

better. So watch people point straight and

But when you arrive in the park, stop and

how much air they get, adjust your speed

have a look around: is anyone waiting to

accordingly, and go slow the first time over

drop in? Better skiers and snowboarders

any feature.

enough to rotate so I hit the ground

will start from higher to carry more pace into the features, so be sure to look up slope. In many places, if someone is about to drop-in they’ll signal by holding their arm up.

Protect Yourself Wrist guards would have saved me a sprain,

Whether you are a skier or a snowboarder,

then, I would have avoided adding an

the first run through a snow park is

injury to a quickly acquired insult!

Leave A Big Gap

head. If you are going to play in the park,

Know Your Limits

Do not follow straight after someone into

or boxes, and I believe a helmet is essential.

the park; if they fall, you will crash into them.

Don’t be fooled by videos of the pros going

Instead, wait for them to clear the landing

huge in jeans and a beanie; these guys

area before setting off. If there’s a sequence

are pros for a reason. Invest in the right

of features, wait until they clear the landing

protective gear, follow the above tips and

of the last feature, as once you set off you

you will be better placed than I was to avoid

will not be able to tell if they fell.

adding injury to insult.

of my relationship with snow parks was on the last day of my first week snowboarding. Had

Although we were still mostly falling our way down the mountain, my friend and

I known the tips

I decided that after lunch on our last

I’m generously

day we would try the park. The first

providing below

feature was a half pipe and we set

myself back

OTM15 // 040

then you will have some falls, possibly on rails


exciting and daunting. The beginning

but the most important thing to protect is your



Whistler Experience is a year round experience company based in the very heart of world renowned Olympic resort Whistler Blackcomb. Owner operated, we offer a huge range of accommodation in Whistler from spacious apartments to luxury hotels. Our local resort team are Whistler experts

And we don’t just cater for the adrenaline junk-

We offer all our services in both Canadian Dol-

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ies, we can arrange spa sessions, dining tours

lars and British Pounds so you get the very best

from a private pick up at Vancouver to ski or

and give you the lowdown on the best apres

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snowboard lessons, lift tickets and so much

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more including snow-mobiling, dog sledding,

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heli-skiing, zip lining, snow shoeing and much

will collect your little (or slightly bigger) ones

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much more. We even give you a free GoPro to

from your accommodation and deliver them

us and doesn’t end until we wave you goodbye

use whilst you are with us and we’ll produce a

safely to their lessons or other activity, so you

at the end of your holiday. We promise when

video of your amazing trip for you to keep and

can enjoy your day and meet up to discuss the

you leave, you won’t just have visited Whistler,

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you’ll have experienced it…

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names in boarding (because however t’s 35 years since the first terrain


many freeskiers are in there

parks for snowboarders began

now, boarders have had decades longer

to appear in California, modelled

in the parks), we analysed the various

on skateboard parks, and they’ve

park-user votes on which are the best you

developed in leaps and bounds

can find online and we factored in our

ever since, with ski areas (almost)

own knowledge of parks that consistently

everywhere now offering them

appear year after year, to come up with

– in fact it’s unusual for a resort

our list of the best.

to answer in the wonderful world of skiing.

A possible claimant to the title of top

For one thing, parks are always changing

freestyle resort in Europe, Laax has

– they’re usually redesigned each winter

promoted itself as the cool young

not to have one. But which is the world’s best terrain park? It’s a big

question and one of the more difficult ones

Laax, Switzerland

and are often affected by


snow conditions through

reincarnation of staid

the season – so good snow

old Flims, its larger,

and good maintenance are

conservative neighbour

big factors.

with which it shares a

Next is the question of

ski area. Host to the

what really makes a good

Burton European Open

park? Some argue that size

for many years, one of

isn’t everything and a park

the biggest boarding

with its own lift wins every

events on the

time because you get back

continent each season,

to the top faster than when you have a huge

its terrain parks are popularly

park but then have to ski/board a mile down

regarded as simply the biggest and best.

Avoriaz France

Breckenridge, Colorado, USA

Avoriaz hit the terrain park design headlines

on which are best? The most dedicated

We found Breckenridge, which was one

terrain park concept from the US resort of

park users tend to be younger boarders

of the earliest mainstream adopters of

Northstar. The simple “less is more” concept

and skiers, who haven’t yet had the time to

snowboarding, more than 30 years ago,

from one of boarding’s pioneers and most

check out a huge selection of parks and just

on pretty much every “world top ten

successful entrepreneurs, Jake Burton,

want to have fun, so they’re going to vote

snow parks” list, and not just in American

meant using natural features mixed with

for where they have been and where they

publications (for which all ten would always

jumps made from natural materials to create

had the best time, however good it is really

be in North America).

park features. The concept was designed

on the global scale.

In fact Breck these days has four terrain

to hark back to the roots of boarding and

So for our LoveTheMountains top ten, we

parks with the aim of comprehensively

answer criticisms that all the energy used to

asked some of the longest-established

catering for every taste and ability.

create and groom terrain parks was bad for

the mountain afterwards and ride a long, slow lift to get to do it again.


Then you have the question of who votes


in 2008 when it imported the first “Stash”


moving up to the main park where the international LAAX / GAUDENZDANUSER.COM

pros train and compete. Tignes has a big airbag for safe landings when you’re trying big jumps and also has a


summer park open on its

in early

glacier in July and August

autumn), and

if you need to get a fix

they all stage “park

outside of the main season.

opening” celebrations. Several keep their parks open for eight

Livigno, Italy

or more months each year.

easy rates

to build a

A good snow record, a laid-back

the Kaunertal Glacier’s park as one of the


atmosphere and a lot of effort put into

two best in Austria (along with Mayrhofen’s),

park with all the

creating its state-of-the-art terrain parks

and who are we to argue?

bells and whistles where it is more difficult for them to

all work in favour of Livigno, which also

Mammoth, California, USA

compete against the Alps for long,

Snowboarding and California surf culture are

cutting-edge resort, has done just that,

Niseko, Japan

natural partners, and nowhere more so than

and with a season running from October to

at the huge southern ski area of Mammoth,

May, low temperatures for consistent snow

Niseko is of course most famous for its

which is also famed for its big snow that

quality and the surreal half-light caused by its

snorkel-deep, feather-light powder for

often stretches the season to late spring

northerly latitude mid-winter, it’s a different

freeriders, not freestylers, but it’s less well

(although not last winter), leading to sunny

and special park experience.

known internationally that all the snow can

days in the park in May and June.

the environment and in some ways contrary

be compacted and shaped into some great

Few areas can compete

to the spirit of boarding (although Avoriaz

park terrain, and indeed it is.

with “Mammoth Unbound”,

also has some of the world’s best regular

There are four terrain parks to choose from,

which offers an incredible

terrain parks too!)

suited for all ability levels, and this being

nine parks, the biggest

Another of the big players in

Whatever the ethics, the Stash was a huge

Japan, all meticulously maintained.

with ten huge jumps, up to

terrain parks that tends to get

15 massive jibs and 30 or

mentioned again and again by

Kaunertal, Austria

so rails.

fans, Whistler Blackcomb is in

There’s intense competition between the

Ruka, Finland

organises and hosts some of the biggest events in the European boarding calendar.

success with riders and continues to be so.

Tignes, France

steep runs. Ruka, arguably Finland’s most

Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Canada

fact home to five terrain parks and has a summer park on its

Former host to the European Winter X Games

top 20 or 30 Austrian ski areas to create the

and current host of contests such as The Brits

best park, and it’s difficult (OK, impossible)

A bit off the beaten track for most boarders,

highest-level terrain park offers lines used

– the annual British freestyle ski and board

to call the best. The country has eight

Scandinavian ski areas have actually created

in World Championship competitions and is

competition – Tignes has several beginner

glacier ski areas open in October each

some of the biggest and best parks. Their

universally acknowledged as being among

parks where you can learn your craft before

year (that’s as much as the rest of Europe

smaller verts and many lifts mean that it’s

the planet’s best.


Blackcomb Glacier each July. Its

OTM15 // 043


were only being offered a substandard,

chalet is in a great location in the resort’s

chalet with features including a magnificent

impersonal service by existing providers.

Mussillon area of Meribel, a short hop

lounge with open fireplace from which to

from the slopes and the resort centre. It

savour the views over La Plagne.

The Difference Is Clear.

has been fully refurbished and has a hot

You will also be able to soak away your

This different attitude to both property

tub on the balcony.

aches and pains after a hard day's skiing in

owners and visiting skiers proved to be a

There’s a lot of company focus on the well

a Scandinavian hot tub and Chalet Perle,

hit, and Mountain Heaven’s services were

placed, snow-sure resort of Plagne 1800

which sleeps up to 14, will also have a

immediately in strong demand. However,

ahead of the coming season too. The

sauna and sun terrace. The chalet is one of

Nick and Vicki were concerned that to

new Chalet Perle complements the brand

the closest in La Plagne 1800 to the piste

ensure their personal touch could be

new property Mountain Heaven added

and it’s usually ‘ski in’ with access to the

maintained, the company grew organically

last season, Chalet Boule de Neige. In

slopes being less than a 40m walk.

ountain Heaven, the family-run business

rather than try to do too much too soon.

addition Mountain Heaven’s five bedroom

And Mountain Heaven’s growth shows no

that has built its reputation on going that

But grown it has, and from its first season

Chalet Soleil is having a full refurbishment

signs of abating with some exciting new

extra mile for its customers, is expanding

in Plagne Montalbert the company has

ahead of the coming winter.

developments on the horizon. We are sure

the range of properties it offers its

expanded and now offers both apartment

The seven-bedroom Chalet Perle is being

to see a lot more of Mountain Heaven.

customers once again this winter.

and catered chalet holidays in seven

completely renovated to create a stunning

The company was conceived 11 years ago

resorts – Courchevel, Plagne 1800, La

when founders and still company directors

Rosiere, La Tania, Morzine, Meribel and

Nick and Vicki Williams realised that

in Switzerland the picturesque unspoilt

property owners in the Alps often wanted

village of Grimentz, one of Nick’s personal

to rent out their chalets and apartments

favourites for its spectacular scenery and

when they weren’t using them but lacked

great powder skiing.

reliable people in resort to manage the

Meribel is a new Mountain Heaven

properties for them. At the same time,

resort for next season with the company

people looking for accommodation

offering Chalet la Cote. The five-bedroom




OTM15 // 046

shoot was something of a no

very quick hop from the UK.

cardio equipment, a sauna, a

brainer. Whilst much of Europe

There are in fact two ski area

solarium, a 25-meter pool and a

had a challenging winter for snow

here - the Beitostölen Ski Center

spa. The hotel also features free

for sizable chunks of last season,

in the village which offers the best

high-speed, wireless Internet and

Norwegian resorts were regularly

slopes for children and beginners,

satellite television and there’s an

dumped on from November to, as

and there’s also the Beitostölen

on-site restaurant which serves

it turned out, a month after we’d left

Alpine Centre in

when one of the country’s summer

Raudalen for more

glacier ski areas got 2m of snow

challenging slopes. A

burying its lifts at the start of June.

ski shuttle bus runs

hoosing just where we take

Being further north the snow in

several times a day so

our Love The Mountains photo

Norway remains good for longer,

getting about is easy

shoot for each edition is always

but also from the start of spring

and both resorts share

a challenge. Quite simply, there

the daylight hours extend more

the same lift pass. You

are so many stunning mountain

quickly than in the south, meaning

can book ski holidays

locations around the world to

more daytime for shooting images

here yourself with

choose from.

incorporating the wonderful

Crystal, Inntravel, Ski

There are practical considerations

natural colours of the Scandinavian

Safari, or direct.

for our spring shoot we have

springtime, as well as the fresh

Our team stayed in the

to keep in mind though. We’re

snow, and indeed to get a final bit of

excellent Radisson Blu

photographing the next season’s

skiing in for the season ourselves.

Resort, one of the best

gear at the end of April, and we

Our resort of choice was

hotels in town, a central four star

its famous Super Breakfast Buffet

ideally want a snowsure resort

Beitostølen, a village located in the

located next to all facilities and only

each morning – a great hit with us

that’s operating right in to May

Jotunheim Region in the centre of

50 metres from the ski lifts.

all - and international cuisine for

and we also have a lot of gear to

Norway, which offers a cosy and

The hotel offers panoramic

lunch and dinner.

transport there to photograph, so

intimate atmosphere, along with

views of the surrounding slopes,

As you can see from the pictures,

a resort that’s quite easy to get to

free thinking skiing, as you can see

can organise activities like dog

our choice of Norway’s Beitostölen

from Blighty is another big plus.

from the pictures! Located only 45

sledding and has its own wellness

and staying at the Radisson Blu

Thankfully our choice for this

minutes from the airport it’s also a

centre including a gym with

Resort really paid off.



 (Far Left)

FREJA Woman’s Parka £280 MISSION Womens Pant £90 (Centre Left)

COVERT Womans Jacket £160 VENTURE Womans Pants £90 (Centre Right)

SHELTER Men’s Parker £190 VENTURE Pants £110 Far Right

SIGVARD Men’s Jacket £280 MISSION Pants £90


047 // OTM15

(Woman Left)

JAGER JACKET Back Country Ski Jacket £330 ST ANTON PANT Technical Ski Pants £200 RIDGE BEANIE Ski Beanie £10 ROSSIGNOL WOMENS UNIQUE 4 Skis £355 LEKI POLES LIVAS Ski Poles £39.95 (Man Right)

SOLDEN JACKET Technical Ski Jacket £320 BORMIO PANT Technical Ski Pants £180 CYPRESS BEANIE Reversible Ski Beanie. £25 ROSSIGNOL EXPERIENCE 84 Skis £455

OTM15 // 048

 (Woman Above)

MANHATTAN JACKET Urban Ski Jacket £250

 (Woman Far Left)

SUN PEAK JACKET Technical Ski Jacket £280 BAQUEIRA PANT Fitted Ski Pant £170 LEKI LIVAS POLES Ski Poles £39.99 ROSSIGNOL WOMENS UNIQUE 4 Skis £355

OTM15 // 049

 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999

 (Man Left)

REVELSTOKE JACKET Back Country Ski Jacket £380 SPENCER GTX C-KNIT Freeride Ski Pants £370 RIDGE BEANIE Reversible Slouchy Beanie £10 ROSSIGNOL ALLTRACK PRO 130 Ski Boot £385 (Man Right)

 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999 BRAND NAME PRODUCT NAME Description of Item £999

OTM15 // 050

SOLDEN JACKET Technical Ski Jacket £320 BORMIO PANT Technical Ski Pants £180 KILLINGTON GLOVES Leather Glove £60 LEKI POLES MUSTANG S Ski Poles £59.95

(Man Left)

(Woman Right)

AD 1 Mens Technical Ski Jacket £400

MYSTIC JACKET Womens Technical Jacket £325

CLASSIC PANTS Mens Technical Pant £200

MYSTIC PANTS Womens Softshell Pant £145

HAMMER 130 Ski Boot £375

VECTOR EVO 110W Ski Boot £330

AGENT Helmet £85

AROSA Helmet £65

HORIZON FMR Goggle £85.00 (£100 w/ Spare Lens)


MONSTER 88 Ski & Attack 13 Binding £520

ABSOLUT JOY Ski & Joy 9 Binding £390

OTM15 // 051

(Image Far Left)

(Outside Left)

MAMA Ladies Hoodie £99.99

PARTNER PANT Men’s Ski Pant £189.99

PARISIO Ladies Joggers £64.99

YEAR JACKET Men's Jacket £199.99

SYMBOL Ladies Jacket £149.99

DAMAGE Beanie £29.99

RACOON Beanie £29.99

BEHIND Gloves £69.99

WIND JACKET Shell Jacket £189.99

FLY Pant £189.99

KELOWNA Ladies Jacket £219.99

SINNER JACKIE Sunglasses £35

RESORT Gloves £69.99

SINNER THUNDER Sunglasses £30

PRETTY Gloves £59.99

PALACE Ladies Ski Pants £189.99

(Outside Right)

SINNER THUNDER Sunglasses £30

(Centre Left)

SINNER THUNDER Sunglasses £30

ESQUIMO Gloves £69.99

(Centre Right)

SPINE Backpack £89.99

RACOON Beanie £29.99 FLY Jacket £289.99

PLOW Beanie £31.99

THINK Mens Jacket £299.99 DOOR PANT Mens Ski Pant £209.99

053 // OTM15

 (Woman Left)

WOMENS 3L GUARDIAN Shell Jacket £503 WOMEN’S 3L GUARDIAN Shell Pant £386 MELANGE Beanie £33

(Man Right)

MEN’S 3L GUARDIAN Shell Pant £386 FREE Beanie £33 PIZ BIANCO Jacket £179

OTM15 // 054

 (Man)


MENS ENTHUSE JACKET Mens Technical Ski Jacket £140

WOMENS REFINED JACKET Womens Technical Ski Jacket £170

MENS STAND IN AWE PANT Mens Ski Pants £110

WOMENS STAND FOR PANT Womens Ski Pants £100







ROSSIGNOL - ALL TRACK 130 Ski Boots £385


LEKI - THUNDERBOLT Ski Poles £29.95

ROSSIGNOL PURE ELITE 110 Ski Boots £350 LEKI - LIVAS Ski Poles £39.95

OTM15 // 055

 (Outside Left)

AMADEUS BLUE/RED Mens Technical Ski Jacket £390 IRVING DYNAMIC RED Mens Technical Ski Pant £200 ROSSIGNOL - PURSUIT 500 Skis £415 LEKI - MUSTANG S Poles £59.95 SINNER - TITAN Helmet £80

OTM15 // 056

(Centre Right)


ROSSIGNOL - ALL TRACK 110 Ski Boots £315



ROSSIGNOL ALL SPEED 130 Ski Boots £385


(Centre Left)

SINNER - FERNANDO Sunglass with a polarized SINTEC® £40

ROSSIGNOL - TEMPTATION 75 All Mountain SKi £275

LEKI - LIVAS Poles £39.95

LEKI - MUSTANG S Ski Poles £59.95

SIMIE BLACK Womens Technical Ski Jacket £490 FERGIE DYNAMIC BLACK Womens Technical Ski Pant £200

GLENORA PURPLE Womens Technical Ski Jacket £290 FERGIE DYNAMIC HIBICUS Womens Technical Ski Pant £200 ROSSIGNOL - PURE ELITE 110 Ski Boots £350


SINNER - THUNDER Sun Glasses £30 SINNER - WILDCAT Mittens £20


(Outside Right)

AMADEUS BLACK Mens Technical Ski Jacket £390


IRVING DYNAMIC PEPPER GREEN Mens Technical Ski Pant £200

SINNER - CRYSTAL Helmet with Visor £130



OTM15 // 057


 (Man Right)

NATE Mens Technical Ski Jacket £590 IRVING DYNAMIC Mens Technical Ski Pant £200



SINNER - CRYSTAL Helmet with Visor £130


(Woman Left)

LEKI - LIVAS Poles £39.95


SIMIE BLACK Womens Technical Ski Jacket £490


FERGIE DYNAMIC HIBISCUS Womens Technical Ski Pant £200

ROSSIGNOL - ALL TRACK 130 Ski Boots £385


OTM15 // 058



ROSSIGNOL SKI BOOTS All Speed 130 £385


(Woman Image Above Left)

(Man Image Above Right)

BELEVEDERE II Ski Jacket £390

JOSH Men’s Technical Ski Jacket £490


IRVING DYNAMIC BLACK Mens Technical Ski Pant £200

SINNER - WILDCAT Mittens £20


SINNER JACKIE Sunglasses £35

SINNER - THUNDER Sunglasses £30

LEKI POLES Mustang S £59.99

LEXI POLES Mustang S £59.95

OTM15 // 059

 (Man Left)

(Man Right)

GOOD TIMES JACKET Mens 2L Ski Jacket £199.95

BOMB SHELTER JACKET 3L Softshell Jacket £114.95

GOOD TIMES CARGO PANT Mens 2L Ski Pants £159.95

GOOD TIMES CARGO PANT Mens 2L Ski Pants £159.95

EYE FORCE ONE Polarized Goggle £89.95

BANKJOB BALACLAVA Balaclava £18.95

DROP CLIFFS MK4 Beanie £19.95

 (Man)


MEN'S CORBET 120 Jacket £ 144.99

WOMEN'S CORBET 120 Jacket £144.99


WOMEN'S NTS MID 250 Pattern Crew £79.99

MEN'S NTS MID 250 Asymmetrical Crew £84.99 REVERSIBLE SLOUCH Beanie £19.99 PHD SLOPESTYLE MEDIUM Lincoln Loop Socks £22.99

WOMEN'S NTS MID 250 Bottom £69.99 SKI TOWN Hat £29.99 WOMAN'S PHD SKIMLIGHT Pattern Socks £20.99

OTM15 // 061

(Inset Below Left)

(Main Image)


WOMEN'S TECHNICAL SKI JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £300

WOMENS GOGGLE Ski Goggles £85 (Inset Below Right)

RIDGELINE Men's Technical Ski Jacket £300 MENS BEANIE Beanie £20

WOMEN'S TECHNICAL SKI PANT Insulated Ski Pants £250 VANTAGE 85 Women's Vantage 85 Skis £390 W/O BINDINGS CLOUD 8 Women's Skis £315 With Bindings

MENS GOGGLE Ski Goggles £100

OTM15 // 062



(Woman Left)

(Man Right)

ICETOWN Down Ski Jacket £300

BRILLIANT Ski Jacket £300

ICEGLORY Stretch Ski Pant £170

CHILL OUT Ski Pant With Removable Bib £200

DISCOVERY MID Half Zip Midlayer £50

DISCOVERY MID Half Zip Midlayer £50


HACKER Helmet £85

X-VIEW Goggles £65

X-TEND Goggles £130

NATIVE Gloves £85

ICON GTX Gloves £70

ASTRA All Mountain Skis £420

X-DRIVE 8.0 TI All Mountain Skis £460

X PRO 80 W Ski Boots £230

X PRO 130 Ski Boots £360

SHIVA Poles £35

X 10 Poles £45

OTM15 // 063

 (Man Left)

HELI 2L GRAVITY PANT Insulated Ski Jacket £460 HELI 2L GRAVITY JACKET Insulated Ski Pant £370 M HELI LINER HOOD JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £200


W HELI ALPINE PANT Shell Ski Pant £450

PP HAT 2 Hat £27.50


LEM MID STRAP Waterproof Boot £115 (Woman Left)


OTM15 // 064

W HELI ALPINE JACKET Shell Ski Jacket £550


 (Man Right)

M HELI ALPINE JACKET Shell Ski Jacket £550

PP HAT Hat £27.50 (Woman Right)

M HELI ALPINE JACKET Shell Ski Pant £450

W HELI 2L GRAVITY JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £460

M HELI LINER JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £200

W HELI 2L GRAVITY PANT Insulated Ski Pant £370




OTM15 // 065

 (Man Left)

(Woman Left)

(Man Right)

(Woman Right)

M SUPREME MEGEVE CAMO JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £460

W SUPREME ATTELAS JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £925


W SUPREME MEGEVE JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £460


OTM15 // 066

W SUPREME FLEX PANT Insulated Ski Pant £275 MOONBOOT MONACO FUR Apres Boot £130



 (Woman Left)

W ZEPHRYR JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £295 W SNOWBIRD PANT Insulated Ski Pant £275 PP HAT Ski Hat £27.50 MOONBOOT KAUAI Apres Ski Boot £95 (Woman Centre)

W FREEBIRD JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £350 W PIPELINE PANT Insulated Ski Pant £200 W CHUTE SLIM GLOVE Ski Glove £45 PITCH HAT Ski Hat £37.50 MOONBOOT VINIL Apres Ski Boot £80 (Man Right)

M MAROON JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £275 M MAROON PANT Insulated Ski Pant £225 MOONBOOT LEM MID STRAP Waterproof Boot £115

 (Left)

W ZEPHRYR JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £295 PITCH HAT Ski Hat £37.50 (Middle Right)

W FREEBIRD JACKET Insulated Ski Jacket £350 PITCH HAT Ski Hat £37.50 (Bottom Right)

MOONBOOT LEM MID STRAP Waterproof Boot £115

OTM15 // 067

 (Far Left)

SHARP X LOGIC JACKET Technical Ski Jacket £300 SHARP LOGIC PANTS Technical 3L Shell Ski Pants £270 (Centre)

SHARP LOGIC PANTS Technical 3L Shell Ski Pants £270 AIR COCOON HOODIE DOWN JACKET Mid Weight Down Insulator Jacket £200 LES ARCS FULL ZIP MIDLAYER Fleece Midlayer £110

OTM15 // 068




FAHRENHEIT PRIMALOFT VEST Primaloft Insulation Vest £130

SKI COCOON INSULATED JACKET Technical Ski Jacket £380 SPIRIT GORE TEX PANTS Women’s Technical 3L Shell Ski Pants £330 REVOLUTION WARM TURTLE NECK Ski Baselayer £75

COCOON X JACKET Premium Down Insulation Jacket £270

AIR COCOON VEST Mid Weight Down Insulation Vest £135 BLACKCOMB EVOLUTION WARM FACEMASK Ski Baselayer £80 (Middle)

AIR COCOON HOODIE DOWN JACKET Mid Weight Down Insulator £200

AIR COCOON VEST Mid Weight Down Insulation Vest £135 BLACKCOMB EVOLUTION WARM FACEMASK Ski Baselayer £80 (Bottom Left)


HELIUM COCOON JACKET Lightweight Down Insulator Jacket £140 (Bottom Right)


OTM15 // 069

 (Woman Main Image)

YSSIK STAR WHITE White Colour Slouchy Beanie £27.75 (Man Left)

LAKI BLACK Black Mountain Design £22.75 (Inset Right Top)

BUFF WINDPROOF BALACLAVA Black Balaclava £40 (Inset Right Bottom)

IMANDRA White Headband £40


 (Woman Left)

(Man Right)


ANATOMICA BOXERS STRIPE Balsam/Metro Hthr/ White £35

VERTEX LEGGINGS ICON FAIRISLE Night/Grapefruit £75 ZONE LS CREWE Grapefruit/Night £70 HELIX VEST Grapefruit/Cameo £130 WOMENS SKI+ LIGHT OTC Largo/Admiral/Azalea £23 ATOM HAT Night/Metro Hthr/ Grapefruit £40

ZONE LS CREWE Balsam/Night £70 ZONE ONE SHEEP SUIT Night/Balsam £150 MENS SKI+ LIGHT OTC Ivy Hthr/Largo/Turf £23 ATOM HAT Night/Metro/Balsam £40 (Woman Inset Above)

OASIS LS HALF ZIP HOOD Shore/Night/Grapefruit £80

OTM15 // 071

OTM15 // 072



OTM15 // 073


01637 870640

01572 770900

01572 772437 01275 390451

Snow And Rock Harrods Net a Porter Mr Porter +41 916491000 0845 100 1000

OTM15 // 074


Ski CALENDAR 2015/16



The 2015–16 Alpine ski season gets underway on the glacier above Sölden

season events, and this pre-

Europe’s most northerly resort and

in the Austrian Tirol with Giant Slalom

Christmas celebration of all things

“spring skiing capital” Riksgränsen,

races for the world’s best ladies and

snow sports is billed as a pan-

200km within the Swedish Arctic

men on successive days.

European ride festival where all

Circle, opens for its four-month ski

nationalities and disciplines get

season this weekend. By early May


together for the love of it.

the centre will be enjoying 24 hours

There’s a new location for and new

under the midnight sun.

format to The Telegraph Ski and


Snowboard Show London, which

The biggest event in the

moves to Battersea Park, south of

World Cup racing calendar, the


the river. This year’s 4-day show

Hahnenkamm races, is staged

Mid-March to mid-April is the festival

will feature a tented Alpine-themed

at Kitzbühel in Austria. The blue

month in the Alps with events including

village, performances by comedy

ribbon Men’s Downhill race, which

The Brits and Snowbombing taking

stars from the Altitude Festival and

every racer wants to win, is on

place. As we went to press, most of

high-level freestyle snow sports on

Saturday 23 January. The other

these had not yet confirmed their

real snow. The northern show in

great classic, the Lauberhorn from

dates for 2016, but the sixth edition

Manchester is the week before.

Wengen, takes place the weekend

of Rock The Pistes, which sees acts


providing free concerts around the


of daylight with skiing and boarding

huge Portes du Soleil region, is go.

The new largest ski area in North



America is scheduled to open after

The first official test races for the

World Cup Finals Week in St Moritz,

a $50m (£32.09m) summer spend.

2018 Winter Olympics in South

Switzerland will see the final battle for

Park City Mountain in Utah has

Korea will take place at the all-new

this season’s crystal globes as men’s

merged with neighbour, Canyons,

Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The

and women’s tours come together for a

to create an area of 7300 acres, the

centre has been created from

week of competitions in all disciplines.

largest in the US and second only

scratch to host Alpine events at the

to Whistler Blackcomb in Canada in

Olympics as existing ski centres

North America.

in the country did not offer the required minimum 800m downhill



course. The created course has

Billed as the biggest participation event

an 880m vertical, and a separate

in the ski world calendar, Whistler’s

Hopefully Val Thorens, Europe’s

women’s downhill run with a 790m

annual festival of all things snow sports

highest resort, is a safe bet for early-

vertical has also been created.

includes music, art and sport.


OTM15 // 075


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




ed e: d u l c n i All the pric in


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. 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.

cross-country, and also biathlon – for

piste), under-explored so far by Brits,

which it’s one of the main stops on the

are Albiez and La Toussuire.

annual World Cup tour (next season

Peak Retreats also have the Nordic

the tour is in town from 12–17 January).

ski area of Bessans, close to Val

German ski areas were last in the bro-

Cenis; Chamrousse, a relatively large

chures back in the 1990s but tended

ski area of its own, with 90km of

to have a perception as too expensive

runs and close to Grenoble; Auris,

when the Deutschmark was seen to

which is linked to the superb Alpe

be as strong as the Swiss franc. In the

d’Huez ski region, and Doucy-

intervening two decades, however,

Combelouvière, which is part of

German prices have been pinned to

Valmorel’s giant ski region.

the euro, and its ski costs have tend-

Elsewhere in France, the Pyrenees

he brochures are out – although

ed to stay pretty much unchanged

seem to be getting more popular

these days “are online” is more

while they’ve risen everywhere else –

again. After the launch of Pyrenees

accurate, so they can’t really be called

the result being that many German ski

Collection (

brochures anymore. But anyway, we

costs are now lower than much of the

last winter, the long-established

know the new ski resort destination

rest of the Alps.

operator Erna Low is venturing down

options that our tour operators have

south too, offering the resorts of St


Lary, Peyragudes, La Mongie and ski

Still by far the most popular destination

In the French Alps, Ski Total (skitotal.


nation for British skiers, you’d think

com) has added two catered chalets

there were so many tour ops offering

in La Tania, between Méribel and

Crystal (, the UK’s

holidays there that the list of ski areas

Courchevel in Les 3 Vallées.

biggest operator with 135 resort

that could be offered was exhausted.

destination choices, has also tended

But not so. Peak Retreats (peakretreats.

to be the company that adds a whole, who have French members of

new skiing nation to its destinations

their team and are the award-winning

Among the more interesting new

list each winter.

specialists in finding unspoilt French ski

options, the magical Finnish resort of

In the past, it has been among the first

villages, normally linked to big ski are-

Pyhä is back in the brochures thanks

to offer us Japan and Russia, and next

as, have managed to find half a dozen

to Crystal, who are also bringing back

winter sees the return of Germany and

new options for next winter.

Engelberg in Switzerland, known for

laid on for us. Here are the most interesting of the new crop …

and spa resort Cauterets.


the rest of Ruhpolding to the list. It’s

its big vertical down from the Titlis

one of the country’s top resorts, locat-

glacier, and also Arabba in the Italian


Dolomites, part of the famed Sell-

For more information and to book:

Along with some 44km of downhill

Two new options on the underrated

as being home to some of the most

piste there’s a strong reputation for

Sybelles regional pass (310km of

challenging terrain in the region.


ed in the Bavarian Alps in the south of the country and busy year round.

aronda network and with a reputation


OTM14 // 076



How to get it right


In this special 4-page section SALLY BROOKES looks at the pros and cons of travelling on your family ski holiday w ith a specialist tour operator or to going independently, faces up the conundrum of being forced to travel during school holiday periods, suggests some of the best ski resorts for families ands looks at new deals, destination and ideas from family ski travel specialists for the coming w inter 2015-16. FB.COM/INTHESNOW

OTM15 // 077


So how has skiing with family changed over

days when parents had little option but try

the years? Well for one thing, 20 to 30 years

to teach their children themselves – more

ago, far more children started skiing on

often than not a recipe for family strife and

school trips. These days it’s more likely to be

disaster – or book them into a foreign-

“I was always an independent traveller,

in an indoor snow centre.

language crèche or ski school with the

until I reached a stage where I also wanted

For another, tour operators have done battle

vague hope that the language immersion

relaxation from my holiday,” says Richard

for the family market, endeavouring to ensure

will be beneficial and that all would be well.

Sinclair of ski-specialist travel agency Sno®

a seamless service. Having first focused on

“The variety of childcare options are much

(, highlighting a key issue for

making everything run smoothly for children

greater these days with classes for all

many parents who first look at the myriad

in resort – thus cutting out potential parental

levels of children’s ski ability, so children

of different ways to book a family ski holiday.

stress – they’ve then focused on making

are really learning to ski and improve and

“It’s truly amazing how much more fun you

family holidays good for parents too. So the

not joining a more general crèche to keep

are to be with, for your partner and your

holiday with a specialist really is for the whole

them occupied while parents ski as in the

children, if you’re carrying none of the

family and not just certain members.

past,” confirms Moira.

weight of organising and can simply enjoy

“I think one of the biggest changes is that

And “wrap-around care” with evening care

the moment with them,” adds Richard. “True,

in the old days the mantra used to be ‘if

for those families that want it is more often

you can probably save a bit of cash by

children are happy, then the parents are too’,

the norm too, particularly from the family

doing it all yourself and even self-catering

and that is no longer applicable. Parents

holiday specialist tour operators. It’s less

your ski trip … but if you truly want it to be a

deserve a fabulous holiday as well as their

likely to be only offered for babies and

‘holiday’ for the parents and not just for the

children, so much more attention now goes

toddlers too these days but may cover older

children, there’s no way that comes close to

into ensuring the food, level of service and

children as well.

a fully organised (even better, an ‘inclusive’)

quality of accommodation is also top-notch

“The evening clubs and baby-listening

family ski package. Our clients who’ve done

and not just relying on great childcare to

service are more inclusive of all-age children

it never go back, so we took their advice

keep parents happy,” says Moira Clarke of

so parents can relax over their dinner and

and tried it ourselves this year. Now there’s

family ski holiday tour operator Esprit.

not be constantly on alert for their children

simply no other way.”

Things have improved dramatically from the

during the evenings,” Moira adds.

The Independent Vs Specialist Tour Operator

OTM15 // 078





How to get it right

Many of the best deals are offered during

The free ski pass offer, for any child born on

to avoid the government’s controversial

the Easter holidays, but there’s also some

1 January 2000 or later, is available when an

fines for term-time holidays.

competition to win family business over

accompanying parent purchases a lift pass

Travelzoo’s “Parent Trap 2015 Study” polled

Christmas week. Val d’Isère is offering a

valid for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days.

over 2000 parents of state-school children

Of course, the more confident family can

special deal for families with children aged

Special family packages including

and found that one in five parents had

travel independently on a ski holiday and

11 or under who stay in the famous French

accommodation and lift passes are also

already lied to their children’s school in

arrange all the elements themselves.

resort this Christmas for example.

available at low price during the “Family

order to avoid fines for taking them out of

The key issue to be aware of is that problems

It is offering free accommodation for children

weeks” period. Many other resorts have Easter

school for a cheaper holiday. Over half of UK

and costs tend to multiply according to the

under 12 over the festive period when staying

family specialist packages over the Easter

parents said they were prepared to lie in the

number of people in your party and their ages.

in the same room as their parents in a choice

period, although be careful as some exclude

coming months.

If your travel plans are not bulletproof, things

of several hotels catering, the resort says, for

Easter week – when the school holidays are!

Two-thirds of parents are also willing to ask

can get very bad, very quickly, if you have no

all budgets and can be booked through the

their children to continue the deceit and

tour operator support. Arriving at the airport to

Val Hotel Booking Office.

pretend to their teacher that the reason for

find the transfers you’d hoped for aren’t there

To sweeten the deal even further, for every

and it’s an expensive taxi or you need to look

adult hiring ski equipment and buying a lift

for an affordable hotel with adequate space

pass, one child aged under 12 receives both

One of the biggest issues of a family ski

go on holiday if they cannot afford it during

for you all, for example, or discovering that

hire and their lift pass free.

holiday is controlling costs, and with ski

school holiday dates.

the accommodation you booked online isn’t

Another example is Austria’s Alpbachtal ski

holiday options concentrated into just a few

According to the survey, three-quarters of

owned by the people who “rented” it to you

region, which will offer free skiing to children

weeks, rather than the 6 weeks of summer,

the teachers who were questioned said

are family ski holiday disasters not unheard of.

aged up to 15 during special “Family weeks”

it’s particularly tough on parents trying

they’d experienced parents lying to them

But get things right and, if the kind of

next spring.

to introduce their children to the healthy,

since the penalties came into force; 49%

support, wrap-around services and care a

The offer from the resort, which shares the

educational and life-affirming experience of

said they felt the fines were affecting their

family tour operator offers are not a priority

Ski Jewel region, one of the ten largest in

a ski holiday.

relationship with pupils’ families.

for you, you can take advantage of one of

the Tirol, is available to families skiing in the

In fact a new study by travel deals company

“With more than half of UK parents prepared

the packages you can find by booking direct

area between 19 March and 10 April 2016

Travelzoo has revealed the lengths UK

to lie in order to avoid the fines and over

via a ski resort’s accommodation service.

next season.

parents are now prepared to go to in order

64,000 fines issued from September 2013 to

Independent Family Ski Holidays


School Holiday Planning

absence was not a family holiday. Just 13% of parents polled believe families should not



2014, it’s clear that the current system isn’t


working,” said Louise Hodges of Travelzoo,

This season will see the launch of new

who added, “The fining system is messy,

flexible travel options allowing families to

confusing and makes law-abiding families

combine nationwide scheduled flights or

feel like criminals.”

the direct Eurostar from London St Pancras to the Alps with inclusive transfers to the

How to get it right

New Season Offers & Ideas

company’s properties in La Plagne, Les Gets and Reberty 2000 in the French Alps. In addition, Christmas and New Year packages offer savings of up to £200 for grandparents

Britain’s skiing families have been blessed

joining their families in a chalet.

for more than two decades now by a

Fun and friendly Monty the Marmot will also

number of specialist tour operators who

be joining the Ski Famille childcare team,

make an extra effort to offer family-friendly

tasked with ensuring children of all ages

ski holidays. Here are some of the special

enjoy the mountain environment and take

deals and new ideas for winter 2015–16

part in lots of fun-packed activities.

offered by some of them:


Free L ift P ass For Christmas From The Family Ski Company

Q&A Sessions On Facebook W ith Esprit Ski Family holiday specialists Esprit Ski holidays ( have stepped up

The Family Ski Company (,

their customer (and non-customer) service

which has been an expert in providing fun

by offering a series of Q&A sessions on

and stress-free family ski holidays for more

Facebook so that anyone with any queries

than 20 years, is offering a free lift pass

or concerns about any aspects of a family ski

on bookings made by 1 October 2015 for

holiday can get free advice from an expert.

Christmas week (departures on Sunday 20

#AskEsprit involves key members of

December) in one of its three destinations

company staff, such as Emma Kay, Head of

in the French Alps – which are each located

Child Care, providing answers on anything,

in smaller resorts but within some of the

in real time, from childcare to what to bring

world’s biggest ski regions, namely Portes

with you on a family holiday.

du Soleil (Ardent), Paradiski (Les Coches) or Les 3 Vallées (Reberty).

Low Prices For Grandparents w ith Ski Famille

Online Guide To Family Ski Holidays From The UK’s Biggest Operator Crystal are not a family ski holiday specialist

Next winter is family skiing specialist Ski

per se, but as the biggest ski holiday

Famille’s 25th season in the French Alps,

company in Britain they do take more skiing

but they’re still coming up with new ideas

families to the slopes than any other.

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

01684 540333 | OTM15 // 080



The company have created a new

hop to the resort. Mont-Tremblant is

slopes and, of course, Santa to visit.

online guide for families taking ski

perfectly purpose-built with panache

It can be VERY cold though, so if

holidays, particularly aimed at first

– spacious accommodation is

that’s an issue, best avoid.

timers – the Family Guide to the

located steps away from all facilities

Mountain – which seeks to answer

and the ski slopes in its car-free

Arinsal, Andorra

many of the questions and unknowns

village, and there are excellent off-

As well as being one of the more

for parents taking their children to

slope attractions including an indoor

affordable ski regions, Andorra

the slopes for the first time.

also has great family-

The easiest way to find it is

friendly ski areas, good

probably to Google “Crystal

accommodation and dining

Family Guide to the Mountain”.

options, and excellent

There’s a lot of practical

School Holidays 2015-16

on-slope childcare and

advice in the new guide,

ski school facilities, often

including exactly what

What are the school holiday dates to be aware

staffed by Brits, Aussies

happens on a typical day

of for winter 2015–16? We asked expert Xavier

and Kiwis who make your

for children in nursery

Schouller, who runs travel company Peak

children feel right at home.

and ski school. There are

Retreats (

also reassuring first-hand

“Christmas and New Year are the same school

Avoriaz, France

comments from people

holiday dates across Europe, which means

One of the most family-

working as ski teachers and

they’ll be busy,” says Xavier. “February half-

friendly of the big resorts

nursery staff, as well as from

term for French schools runs from 6 February

in the Alps, there’s a huge

happy customers.

to 5 March with most areas (the whole of

choice of accommodation

France except Paris) from 13 February (the

in this car-free, all-

main UK holiday week). A few other smaller

slopeside, purpose-built

European countries like the Danes will be off

resort. It’s part of the

then too, so it will be a mega-busy week.

same group that owns

“At Easter, Belgium (and despite being a small

Center Parcs, and the

country they usually send more people than

recently added Aquariaz

Familyfriendliest Ski Destinations

the UK at that time of year) join Germany and

is a remarkable tropical

Almost all ski resorts say

the UK for holidays from 26 March. This will

swimming dome complex

they’re family-friendly, but

be the best week for anyone in the UK with

1800m up a mountain.

some are family-friendlier

children: about 50% of the price of half-term,

than others.

still-decent snow conditions in most resorts,

Klosters, Switzerland

Our shortlist below is

normally sunny and longer days, and it won’t

If you’re looking for a

certainly not an exclusive

be busy on the slopes or in the resort. For

traditional resort, you can’t

selection – there are plenty

departures on 2 April (UK second week), only

go far wrong if you follow in

of other good resorts – but

one area of France (Marseille and the north)

the ski tracks of the British

we’ve chosen resorts we’ve

and Belgium will be on holiday, so it shouldn’t

Royal family. What’s more,

tried with our own families

be mega busy either.”

a unique adventure park

and enjoyed happy holidays.

has been created at the

Of course, even at family-

top station of the Madrisa

friendly destinations, you

aerial cableway in Klosters, water park.

Madrisa Land.

accommodation choices and about

Levi, Finland

Aimed at families, it is also the first

other aspects of your ski holiday that

Stay in the compact centre of Levi

adventure park in the Alps to be

can scupper well-made plans.

and you’ll find everything your family

accessible to physically and visually

needs close to your accommodation.

handicapped people.


The huge slopeside Spa Hotel

“The park presents physical and

Quebec, Canada

Levitunturi has a remarkable complex

mental challenges at experience-

Why? Transatlantic flight but one

of more than a dozen themed

oriented task points. Mystery or

of the shorter hops, and once you

swimming pools, and there are some

reality? Fairy tale or fact?” said a

arrive at Montreal airport, it’s a quick

great play areas for children on the

resort spokesperson.



with our Esprit Family Savers

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serving more than 20,000 custom-

Along with the best possible price

ers worldwide so far. Most resorts

you have the added reassurance that

in France and Andorra are covered

you will avoid being disappointed

as well as leading resorts in Austria,

by out of stock items if you arrive in

Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the

resort without having pre-booked

Czech Republic.

and ensure your gear is reserved

A newly launched British website

ready for you.

makes it easy to reserve your gear.

Ski Discount say they achieve their

Booking is quick and simple; just

low prices because retailers respond

select the resort you’re staying at,

to their buying power, and their sole

winter-sports equipment rental com-

choose your dates, select your shop

motivation is to achieve the lowest

pany that has been a huge hit over

and equipment, and then book.

possible price for their customers,

the last 5 years on the continent is

You then simply print your voucher,

rather than being a retail chain want-

expanding its service again this win-

bring it to the ski shop when you get

ing to give the best impression of

ter so that British skiers and boarders

there and pick up your professionally

lowest prices but still of course trying

can take advantage too.

selected products.

to maximise profits.

Ski Discount have proved popular because of their quick and simple-touse booking service through which they deliver discounts of up to 60% on regular retail rates. They also offer a standard deal when you book for a week – your 7th day is free. The company also operates with a huge network of in-resort ski shops – more than 450 so far in fact, located in 340 different ski resorts, so the chanc/INTHESNOW



es are they’ll have one or more shops available in the resort you plan to visit. Ski Discount launched in France in 2010 and has expanded rapidly,

OTM14 // 082






each side of the channel their own cut.

load with cash before they travel and

these days accepted almost everywhere

Having scratched our heads over

then use like a debit card. If you lose

and usable in most foreign ATMS too?

a dozen different press releases

it, your cash is protected. You get the

“Cash is always king, and keep in mind

from different banks and credit card

rate on the day you load the card with

there are still a few mountain restaurants

companies, each telling us they

money, not when you spend, so currency

that don’t take plastic,” points out Ed

were best, we decided to ask an

fluctuations may mean you get a worse

Mannix, Owner/Director of Matterhorn

independent expert.

deal – or a better one.

Chalets in Zermatt (matterhornchalets.

“The cheapest way to spend abroad is

“However,” Jo warns again, “the rate

com). Anyone heading to Eastern

to get a specialist overseas credit card.

isn’t as good as that of a specialist travel

European resorts will also find they’re

These cards smash all other ways to

credit card, and there are a few places

largely cash driven.

get your currency because they don’t

that don’t accept them, including car-hire

“Nearly all UK credit cards levy

add any charges, so the rate you get

firms and pay-at-pump petrol stations.”

significant charges for foreign currency

when you use the card is the rate the

Canton FX market just such a card and

transactions, and cash withdrawals

he era of traveller’s cheques and

bank gets when it changes money. For

Managing Director James Hickman is

don’t come cheap, but exercising your

Eurocheques (remember them?) is

example, spending on a specialist travel

an enthusiast:

flexible friend is convenient and has the

behind us, and a plethora of payment

credit card or getting your travel money

“You can use the card abroad just as

added benefits of insurance cover and

possibilities await us as we head to

from the airport are poles apart – and

you would a debit card; pay for goods

free credit till the end of the month,”

the Alps (or any other ski destination)

the saving can be as big as £80 per

and services, withdraw cash from ATMs

added Ed.

this winter.

€1000 spending,” Jo Gornitzki, Money

and reload your card online or on your

And finally back to Jo at

But in 2016, what’s the best way to

and Insurance Editor at the independent

phone. Our smartphone app allows you to answer that

pay for your lunchtime lasagne or your

website told us,

to load your currency card at any point

great conundrum of the modern era:

après-ski aperitif? And by “best” we of

with the added warning:

before or during your trip, check your

what do you say when asked if you want

course mean spending as much of your

“Just remember to pay it off in full after

balance and transactions and switch

to pay in pounds or local currency when

money as possible on whatever it is

the holiday so you don’t lose everything

currencies, all with zero fees. You are

you hand over your credit or debit card?

you’re buying, and as little as possible

you’ve gained paying interest.”

also able to gain access to real-time,

“Always pick local currency, as if you pay

on commissions to banks; most of all,

The next best option if you don’t want

competitive exchange rates.”

in pounds it means the overseas store/

avoiding the double or triple whammy of

to apply for a special credit card is a

So what about old-fashioned cash, or

bank is doing the conversion, and rates

paying multiple banks and agencies on

prepaid card which anyone can get and

just your regular credit and debit card …

are awful.”


OTM15 // 083




On A Budget Or Blow The Budget? The cost of marrying in the mountains can, of course, range from little more than the cost of your ski holiday to the cost of a small house if you want to organise a fullscale ceremony and fly in guests to a spectacular location. Nearly 22 years ago, young lovers Steve Cross and Jane “Bertie”

he song lyric “it’s a nice day for a

Birtles decided to go for the more

white wedding” takes on a whole

affordable option.

new meaning with the backdrop

The couple were married in the

of spectacular snowy mountain

Hearthside Hotel Restaurant in

scenery, and it should be no surprise

Breckenridge, Colorado, by Judge

that most well-known ski resorts are

Stanley at lunchtime and were out

big on weddings.

on their skis by the afternoon.

In fact there are so many options

“We needed to register the

these days, from a quick, legally

marriage with the Judge’s Clerk

binding “Vegas style” ceremony you

upon arrival in the USA then we

can slot into your ski day (with the

were married a few days later,”

possibility of getting a free lift pass

recalls Bertie. “The licence cost $60

and slice of cake if you take part

(£49) , my flowers cost $36.93 (£24)

in a mass mountain-top wedding

from the city market floral boutique

ceremony), to a full-scale, budget-

and I chose and designed my floral

busting bash in your personally

bouquet. So it came in at under

constructed snow cathedral under

$100 (£65).”

the Matterhorn, there have never

It was a quiet affair. “We had one

been more options for getting

guest by default, our friend Fraser,

married in the mountains …

who drove from Las Vegas to meet


up to ski with us. Fraser arrived at

Pucken, who adds, “As snow is our

10am in checked shirt and cowboy

building material, we can basically

boots, we were married at midday

create anything, depending on the

and skied in the afternoon,” adds


Bertie, recalling that the wedding

The igloo village can be booked for

photographer snapped her in lace

everything from just the ceremony

wedding dress on her K2 skis.

or ceremony and reception to also

What funds the young couple had

including an overnight stay with

saved up for their wedding were

romantic bridal suite.

wisely invested in a 3-week all-

“To put it another way, there are

inclusive stay in a

no limits on what we can create to

Breckenridge chalet.

offer a once-in-a-lifetime, super-

“Tuesday was the chef’s night off

unique winter wedding. Any dream

so we were married on a Tuesday,”

cathedral or church can be built out

continued Bertie. “After skiing, the

of snow,” says Géraldine.

chalet company’s director took us to the other house the company owned to have a three-course meal and homemade wedding cake! The wedding cake was baked last

360° Mountain Views At 2350m Up

minute on our wedding day by Lucy

At Kicking Horse resort

the chalet maid. She put Dopey

( in the

from the seven dwarfs as the groom

Canadian Rockies, which makes

and Tinker Bell as the bride on the

a special effort for weddings, it’s

top of the cake! It was one of the

not unusual to see a bride in full

best days of my life!”

gown tiptoeing to the gondola base station in the resort village with her bridesmaids lifting her train up over


Saying “I Do” In An Igloo

the snow.

If you decide to wed closer to home

which is perched on a prominent

than North America, one option in

peak 2350m above sea level and

the Alps is to marry in one of the

offers stunning 360° views of the

growing number of sophisticated

surrounding Rocky Mountains and

igloo villages that have sprung up

six national parks.

over the past decade on the slopes

“The trend towards mountain

above an ever-growing number

weddings, like their popular cousin,

of ski resorts (or should that be

beach weddings, is growing

sprung up, thawed and then sprung

dramatically,” says Matt Mosteller

up again the next winter?). One

of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies,

of the leading players, the Swiss

which operates Kicking Horse.

company Iglu-Dorf, operates in

“I think it’s because so many

half a dozen top resorts including

couples are looking for that one-of-

Davos, Engelberg, Gstaad and in

a-kind location and metaphorically

Grandvalira, Andorra. They also have

reaching new heights together.

a spectacular location in Zermatt

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

with amazing Matterhorn views.

has to be one of the most magical

The company is already master

and spectacular settings in North

at providing remarkable romantic

America to tie the knot! At the

suites, complete with spectacular

practical level you also have a large

snow carvings and some facilities

capacity of accommodation on site

you might not expect in an igloo

which makes planning easier.”

– champagne (on ice not an

The Eagle’s Eye Restaurant,

issue) and a hot tub, for example.

regarded as “the most romantic in

They’re also used to organising all

Canada” by some reviewers, can

scales of event.

cater for up to 110 people, or for an

“Marrying in one of our igloo

open-air wedding on the terrace,

villages is a great way to do it,”

the number can be as many as 200.

says the company’s Géraldine

There are conveniently two luxury

They’re heading up to the resort’s


spectacular Eagle’s Eye Restaurant,

OTM15 // 085


accommodation suites above the restaurant if the bride and groom don’t wish to descend with the rest of the guests after the wedding.

Getting Married On A Ski Lift Closer to home it’s actually possible not only to ride up to

OTM15 // 086

Ascending To A Higher Plain

but also to actually get married

For many mountain weddings, a

( above

part of what makes it special can

Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands

be the unusual forms of going

to be precise. The only issue is

up the mountain that ski area

you can’t currently get married in

operations offer.

the ski season per se; the service

Brides have arrived on the back of

is normally offered from May to

snowmobiles and in piste groomers

October. That said, CairnGorm’s

in the past, as well as by ski or

ski season often extends into May,

snowboard of course, but it’s the ski

and there’s normally snow up top

lift that comes into its own for many

then anyway, so perhaps you could

a matrimonial ceremony.

have the lift turned on just for you?

Some resorts go further than

The funicular can be hired out

others – at southern Germany’s

for weddings and receptions and

Arber ski area, for example, they

can then follow on to a choice

skilfully converted a gondola cabin

of venues including the modern

into a fairy-tale princess’s carriage

Ptarmigan complex at the top of

complete with white horses.

the lift, at 1097m above sea level,

Gstaad in Switzerland is another

the highest venue in Scotland (you

cable-car conversion specialist,

can also have the wedding here if

although opting for something a

you don’t want to marry on the lift).

little more traditional Swiss Alpine in

The Ptarmigan also has an outdoor

their approach with the gondola up

terrace where the wedding

to the Rellerli Mountain Inn, which

ceremony can be performed

is conveniently also one of the few

against a stunning backdrop of

branches of registry office in the

lochs and mountains.

region. The bridal couple travel free

CairnGorm Mountain’s professional

in the special cabin, and normal

staff can provide all catering and,

rates apply to remaining guests –

if you want a one-stop shop, also

up to 300 of whom can be catered

organise lighting, floristry, dancing

for at the Inn.

and entertainment.

in a ski lift – or the funicular railway at CairnGorm ski area




your wedding venue in a ski lift


Nevada-style Nuptials

any guests expected to fly out as far

If you’ve always liked the idea of

Checking you have every official

saying your vows in Vegas, but also

document you’re likely to need

yearn for a snowy rather than desert

with you is another big one –

destination, your answer could be

this can include birth certificate

Heavenly ski resort which straddles

and previous divorce or widow/

the California/Nevada border.

widower status confirmation

Nevada is the state Las Vegas

among others, and some countries

is in, and there are big casinos

may ask these have been

and relaxed marriage regulations

translated into the local language.

on Heavenly’s Nevada side. But

Brides are advised to book flights in

whichever side of the border you

their maiden name and to talk to the

choose, there are also spectacular

airline about taking their wedding

views of stunning Lake Tahoe for

dress in hand luggage – normally

your wedding backdrop.

allowed but best check first.

Ski resort business Vail Resorts

“Many couples just aren’t aware

own three resorts in the area

of these ‘need to knows’ about

and actually run their own

getting married abroad – essential

weddings business in the area

tips, which are often overlooked in

– the Tahoe Wedding Collection

the planning process,” said site Co-


Founder Steph Bishop.

in advance as possible.

who will be happy to mastermind everything for you with the options again ranging from sweet and simple to full-scale spectacular with

Mass Marriage

hundreds of guests catered for.

Of course, no one is pretending that

In Oregon, the year-round ski

it’s going to be cheap to get hitched

destination of Timberline Lodge

on a mountain top, but there is one


way to tie the knot affordably on

are another wedding specialist.

the ski slopes (well, affordably once

They have a vast choice of flexible

you’ve paid to get there).

wedding packages, but if simple is

The perfectly named Loveland ski

best you can opt for the “Fireside

area in Colorado organises a mass

Elopement Package” from $1390

wedding on Valentine’s Day each

(about £880) excluding travel, which

winter on their slopes high in the

ensures you get hitched and throws

Rockies (

in a few nice extras on top.

wedding.aspx). On “Marry me and ski for free” day, couples arriving in wedding attire

There’s Still The Paperwork

get a buy-one-get-one-free lift ticket

Many ski travel agencies and

be legally married in the ceremony.

tour operators will be able to

Even those already married aren’t

provide practical advice on getting

discriminated against and can

married in the mountains. Ski

renew their vows, and there’s a big

Independence ( is one

party when the skiing is done with

that reports experience in helping

wedding cake for all!


deal and (if previously registered with the paperwork complete) can


slopes for skiing couples.

So there you have it. If you’re not

Another source is independent

married yet, your only decision

destination wedding advice

remaining is how and where to say

website which

your vows in the mountains. The

recently produced a “Top nine

good news is that, as evidenced by

things UK couples typically forget

Steve and Jane, still happily married

when planning to get hitched

more than 21 years after tying the

overseas” list.

knot in Breckenridge, you’re getting

Top point is to ensure you leave

your married life off to a good start

enough time for the paperwork in

as the old saying normally holds

the country you’re going to and to

true, “the family that skis together,

send out “save the date” notes to

stays together.”


to organise the big day on the



THE CARLTON ST. MORITZ St. Moritz is full of impressive places to stay, but one outshines them all



place on the Lake St. Moritz.

who also own the Michelin

The Carlton bar captivates

3★ restaurant “Da Vittorio”

its guests with the two

in Brusaporto, enthuse their

open and historic fireplaces

guests with dishes from the

representing the cosiness of

Italian Lombardy region in

the whole Bel Étage.

the most exclusive location

Bright colours, incredibly

in St. Moritz.

comfortable beds and

Meanwhile the head chef

bathrooms big enough to

Gero Porstein and his team

fit an elephant, all junior

in the second restaurant

suites and suites have

Romanoff serve fine authentic

he impressive and charming

been designed with an

Swiss cuisine where the

boutique hotel Carlton St.

extraordinary focus on

emphasis is placed on

Moritz was originally built in

details, each equipped with

regional specialities and

1913, located in a splendid

a complimentary minibar and

seasonal products.

position above the Lake

Nespresso machine as well

Over three floors and

St. Moritz with stunningly

as slippers and bathrobes for

1200m2 the Leading Spa

beautiful views.

your spa experience.

provides its guests with a

Then in 2007 the hotel was

The most luxurious of them

cosy feeling of well-being.

completely renovated by the

all is the Carlton Penthouse:

There are various saunas

acclaimed interior designer

386m2 with an overwhelming

and steam baths including

Carlo Rampazzi, whose

360° view of the Engadine

an area for women only, a

ability to combine nostalgic

mountain scenery. The living

hydro-massage shower, an

rarities, colourful freshness

room with its fireplace is the

ice fountain, a snow Kneipp

and elegant exclusivity has

perfect place to relax after

trail and a sports pool as

led to what is today a unique,

a day on the slopes. The

well as a heated indoor and

refined character. Where

Penthouse includes three

outdoor pool. And there

once there were two hotel

bedrooms, each with an

is more: in six individually

rooms, now there are single,

en-suite bathroom, a library,

created treatment rooms

luxurious and spacious suites,

an office area and a fully

the professionally trained

Carlton Hotel St. Moritz

every one of which faces out

equipped kitchen.

massage therapists help to

T +41 81 836 7000

over the lake.

Awarded with a Michelin

relax every single muscle.

The Carlton proudly boasts

star and 18 Gault&Millau

“It is our privilege to deliver

the village’s most beautiful

gourmet guide points, the

highest privacy, ultimate

sun terrace with a gorgeous

Restaurant Da Vittorio –

luxury and supreme quality,”

view, the typical champagne

St. Moritz offers culinary

says Dominic Bachofen,

climate and the best box seat

dreams. The master chefs

General Manager of the

to enjoy the top events taking

Enrico and Roberto Cerea,

Carlton Hotel St. Moritz.


OTM15 // 088




A personal assessment with a skilled ski boot fitter

Biomechanical analysis and ski simulation to test boots

Custom insoles to support your feet and improve fit*

Shell customisation and foam liners comfort and precision

Call 020 7736 0046 Profeet 867 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5HP *depending on appointment type





six million Youtube views, of which I’m

“It depends on what you mean with cool,"

guessing the vast majority said, “Wow!

explains Bastian. “If it's about having pas-

That’s cool!”

sion about what you do I would say that

“I have a lot of friends who are skiers and

it's more common among the boarders.

I definitely feel like freestyle skiers are

Boarding is more of a lifestyle than skiing

very different to the average skier on the

is. It probably has something to do with

mountain. I think skiing is tech and the

learning to ski or board, as it’s easier

guys at the top level are amazing. But ski-

to ski than board. But, there are a lot of

ing is not for me; freestyle skiers are cool,

passionate skiers as well – like me!”

but for sure not as cool as snowboarders

So there we have it, incontrovertible

...” says Jamie, 22, adding, “Obviously I'm

proof that if you’re a skier, skiing IS

going to say that though!”

finally as cool as boarding, as far as

Katie Summerhayes (katiesummerhayes.

the skiers are concerned at least, but if, the 19-year-old freestyle skier

you’re a boarder, then it’s still a “Nah,

and Sochi Olympian who also carried

sorry guys.” Peace and love to all.

he battle has raged for more than 30

the flag at the 2012 Winter Youth Olym-

years now. The sport of snowboarding

pics, disagrees.

swept the world in the 1980s (quickly

“I think snowboarders are cool, but

following on from the lacklustre success

skiers are cooler,” she confirmed.

of the monoski) and soon anyone who

British snowboard cross athlete and

was anyone wanted to be a rad snow

Scottish champion Kyle Wise (kylewise.

surfer, and definitely not a boring old, 26, gets philosophical and

“two planker”.

questions who came first, the skier or

Two long, skinny planks that were not

the boarder?

for turning easily at that. The average

“I will always be a snowboarder but

age of skiers touched the 40-years-old

have always respected skiers, cool or

mark, and predictions that snowboard-

otherwise. I’ll poke fun at the supposed

ing would sweep away skiers by the end

rivalry sometimes, but deep down I’m

of the 20th century were rife.

fine with skiers. Neither is about how

But skiing wasn’t going to go down

cool you look; it’s about the enjoyment

without a fight. Instead ski design

the individual gets out of it,” says Kyle,

Although most of the snow-sports world has moved

copied snowboard design and the

but there’s a but:

on over the past three decades or so, three ski areas

tables were turned. Freestyle skiers

“However, trying to see it from an outsid-

in the US remain stuck in a mindset that was prevalent

followed boarders into the terrain park,

er’s point of view, skiers are doing better

in the 1980s – that snowboarders need to be kept off

and barely competent skiers on fat skis

than before, but it looks a bit put on and

ski slopes. Why? Well, that’s always been a bit vague …

followed barely competent boarders

a bit artificial. Snowboarding derives from

they’re reckless young scallywags? It’s too dangerous?

into the off-piste powder – now known

and is influenced by board sports, and

They cause too much damage to the piste with their

as “freeride terrain”.

skiing seems to take the same influences

boards sliding down, ploughing the powder off? Who

The inexorable rise of the snowboard

from these sports rather than doing its


against the skier slowed and in recent

own thing. But who cares anyway, a lot

Anyway, thankfully, snow-slope equality now exists at

years seems to have been reversed with

of snowboarders think boardercross is

99.99999% of the world’s ski areas, but three US areas

cool young freestyle skiers following

uncool and that racing is for skiers, but

– Alta and Deer Valley in Utah and Mad River Glen in

cool young boarders into the Olympics,

when they give it a go they love it – it’s a

Vermont – still ban boarders.

once again copying events created by

crazy winter wonderland!”

For the past year or so, a group of four boarders have

boarders and making the ski equivalent.

But 23-year-old Lucy Dore, who works

been engaged in legal action against Alta, essentially

So in terms of market share, the battle

for ski holiday specialist travel agency

arguing that it’s their constitutional right to be allowed

seems to be won: skiers have seen off

Ski Solutions (, reck-

on the resort’s slopes.

the boarding hordes. But what of the

ons skiing has definitely caught up with

The group targeted Alta because, unlike the other two,

image of skiing – can it ever be as cool


it operates in open US National Forest – or public land,

as boarding? Does anyone care? Is cool

“I would agree that boarding was defi-

where the US constitution appears to grant access for

even an acceptable word to describe

nitely the ‘cool’ snow sport during the

all. However, the boarders were dealt an early blow

something that’s cool anymore? Should

nineties and noughties; however, it is

when the US government’s National Forest Service

it be rad? Or sick?

not so much the case now. For me there

backed Alta’s position.

I don’t know; I’m too old, so I asked

is no competition; I would always prefer

A year ago, a district judge in Utah found in favour of Al-

some whippersnappers on snow what

to go down the slopes forwards rather

ta’s ban, but the boarders have now moved on to a higher

they thought.

than sideways!” says Lucy.

federal appeal court in the next stage of the legal battle.

First up was famous British boarder

Norwegian freestyle skier Bastian Juell

Alta argues its ban is about a business model, offer-

Jamie Nicholls (,

(, 25,

ing skiers a boarder-free environment, but the lawyer

whose many achievements include his

who seems to be the epitome of cool

representing the boarders says it’s about an outdated

memorable outdoor-indoor-outdoor

himself, is the only skier we found who,


descent through The Snow Centre in

with superb Scandinavian magnanim-

"Defendants have transformed public land into a private

Hemel Hempstead last year (and a

ity, comes down in favour of boarders

country club controlled by those exclusive, elitist, and

new improved version is promised this

being cooler than skiers … in certain

discriminatory views," the attorneys for the boarders put

autumn) which earned him more than


in their initial written submission.



OTM15 // 091


Far be it from us to condon e bad habits, but tr avelling the ski world, it’ fascinating s to see which of life’s vice are permitt s ed at some resorts, and which are ba nned, accord ing to national and regional law s.

Illegal Drugs*


Ladies* Of The Night

OK, drinking alcohol is of course legal almost everywhere, although being

“Personal use” of marijuana was

Gambling is possible in lots of ski regions

Nevada again. We won’t delve too far

legalised in two US states a few years

around the world, and many famous

into this one but suffice to say that

drunk on the slopes is also not allowed

ago – Colorado, home to many of

names have their own casinos. In Austria,

despite various moves to stop it over the

almost everywhere, which sometimes

America’s best-known ski resorts, and

Kitzbühel and Seefeld both have classy-

decades, prostitution has been legal in

causes confusion at the après-ski bar.

Washington state, home to the ski area

looking establishments, while the swish

Nevada pretty well since the state was

Drinking affordably can be the

famous for getting the most snow, on

Swiss like to play with their francs in

created, and probably long before that.

“prohibition factor” at many ski resorts,

average (not last winter), of any resort in

Crans Montana or Davos, and the French

But prostitution isn’t legal in many parts of

but if you have an alcohol problem, you

the world, Mt Baker.

have Chamonix and Megève to name

the state, including along the Californian

can buy drink more cheaply than in the

But you need to be careful if you do

but a few. Basically if you think of any

border nor in most other areas where the

UK in Andorra or Bulgaria (or should

intend to light up a joint. Firstly you’re

historic Alpine ski town, it most likely has

desert state’s few ski areas are located.

that be “the countries to avoid are …”).

only allowed to possess a small amount

a casino.

Oddly a couple of resorts in the big four

for personal use, you normally have to

But they’re not all old. Tremblant in

Alpine nations also historically have low

be aged over 21, typically have less than

Quebec, Canada, developed a whole


prices for booze (along with perfume,

an ounce in your possession and keep in

new resort sector around its new casino

With even ski countries famed for their

cigarettes, etc.) – Livigno in Italy or

mind that ski resorts have the right to ban

over the last few years; of course

party culture and low-priced alcohol and

Samnaun in Switzerland (which you can

dope-smoking folk from their slopes and

Nevada, home of Las Vegas, is famous

cigarettes like Andorra and Bulgaria

ski across to from Austria’s Ischgl, but

confiscate lift passes, and most have been

for its gambling and Heavenly, the Lake

bringing in comprehensive indoor

beware the border excise men on patrol)

vocal in saying that’s exactly what they will

Tahoe resort which straddles the border

smoking bans (some have gone for

are both duty free.

do – just as they would for drunk skiers.

with California, has vast casinos towering

outdoor too – Whistler has introduced

There’s also some uncertainty over

up in the middle of the resort a few

a ban on its entire 8000+ acres), it can

what happens if you smoke dope on

inches after you cross the border.

come as surprise to enter an Austrian



National Forest land, where many of the

café and flash back to the 1980s with

ski slopes are located, as they come

fag smoke filling the air. Austrian laws

under federal (national US) government

are flexible with larger restaurants able

control, and at that level, using marijuana

to allow smoking in a separate area but

remains illegal.

smaller establishments able to continue

*1 In The UK; *2 And Probably Gentlemen.


to allow smoking.

OTM15 // 092




The new lift at the Top

ceremony for the project took

some years.

Mountain Crosspoint is

place in the presence of Italian

“Our future guests can take

located on the Timmelsjoch

legend Giacomo Agostini, the

full advantage of an additional

High Alpine Road over to

most successful motorbike

highlight, as a single building

Italy, 2175m above sea level,

racer of all time.

represents four different

and is a major attraction for

“As one of the Alps' top ski

purposes … The museum

motorcyclists – hence the idea

areas we always continue

is dedicated to all biking

for the museum.

developing new attractions.

aficionados. It is open all year

Along with the museum, and

This project is another great

and also makes a great bad-

the new Kirchenkar mountain

chance to draw even more

weather alternative,” he added.

spectacular new gondola lift

gondola base station, the

attention to Hochgurgl,”

The new gondola lift will feature

being built at Obergurgl over

€15million lift’s base building

said Managing Director of

10-person cabins and gives

the summer will feature an

will house an upmarket table-

Hochgurgl’s Lift Company,

quick and easy access to the

interesting attraction in its base

service restaurant and the toll

Alban Scheiber, a motorcycling

Kirchenkar ski slopes. It has

buildings when it opens for next

station for the road.

fan who has been collecting

a capacity of 2400 mountain

winter – a motorbike museum.

The official groundbreaking

bikes with his brother Attila for

lovers per hour.








Saturday in particular, it’s not

their children out of school to

good for flights and transfers,

go skiing outside of holiday

and Sunday isn’t fabulous

periods in England with

either, but we have a Friday

fines (in Scotland it’s more

Christmas this year, which is

likely to be an “unauthorised

OK, pretty much.

absence” but no fine), the

Nick Edwards, who works for

pressure is on February half-

ski specialist travel agency

term once again.

Snow Finders, has noticed

“February half-term will be a

one issue, however – the

sell-out very soon; the uptake

Christmas Day effect on

has been phenomenal this

Boxing Day flights.

year. The government’s

“A 7am flight from the UK on

stance has just exacerbated

Boxing Day morning means a

availability and caused prices

5am check-in and therefore

to increase,” says Nick.

leaving the house at potentially

“From what we are seeing,

2 or 3am, which equates to a

there are some unusual

rather wasted Christmas Day.

school holidays, so there are

Those returning on this date

some half-termers from 7/8

may also feel Christmas Day

February, including Bristol,

t’s the age-old conundrum:

isn’t quite the same, being the

who can bag a bargain.”

when is it best to hit the slopes

last of the holiday and with an

Finally Easter – it’s not too bad

this winter – assuming you’re

early start on Boxing Day.”

this season, in March at least,



in the happy position of being

Some tour operators fly on

albeit the last Sunday of the

able to choose your dates?

Sundays (27 December)

month is on the 27 March. The

Guessing when the snow

anyway, and others are

advice is that, because Easter

will be best remains as

banking on people caring

is not too late and demand

impossible to predict as

more about their ski holiday

on school holiday periods

it always has been. Last

than Christmas Day evening.

continues to rise, bookings are

season was one of the worst

“We will fly on Boxing Day.

high here too, although prices

Decembers for snow cover in

We hope that the desire

significantly lower than in the

the Alps on record, with even

of skiers to go to the

February holidays.

the usual advice of booking

slopes is stronger than the

a resort with high-altitude

desire to sleep in,” said a

slopes not as reliable, as

spokesperson for one of the


even at snow-sure altitudes,

big three tour operators.

On Christmas, New Year and

the cover was thin. But is that

Many school Christmas

Easter, by the way, be aware

the start of a trend, or does

holidays are starting late,

that things won’t be so rosy

it mean that Mother Nature

meaning bookings for

in the winter after next, 2016–

will balance things out this

the weeks commencing

17. Marion Telsnig, who works

year and give us a very white

12 December and even

for the UK’s largest operator,

Christmas? Who knows, but

Christmas-week departures

Crystal, (who’ll be booking

let’s be optimistic and expect

on the 19 December (with

2016–17 ski holidays before

the latter!

some schools not breaking

the end of 2015) warns,

The good news is that two

up until midweek on the 22 or

“The season after this next

of the big variables in the ski

23 December) are lower than

one, THAT’s going to be the

season are pretty favourable

usual but that at the other

perfect storm ... Christmas

this winter.

end of the holiday period into

Eve and New Year’s Eve are

The first of those is the day

early January, they’re up.

both on a Saturday and Easter

of the week of Christmas and

With the UK government still

Sunday is late again, 16 April

New Year. If these fall on a

threatening parents who take

... Brace yourself, ski industry.”

OTM15 // 095

lodging options from simple B&Bs for

convenient daily non-stop BA flight from

gearing up to host the Pond Skimming World

the budget conscious to some of the

Heathrow to Calgary meaning getting to

Championships next spring), and magnificent

world’s most iconic grand hotels such as

Banff’s slopes has never been easier or

Lake Louise – are all famous for their

The Fairmont Banff Springs. There are

more affordable. Last year’s double-digit

feather-light, dry powder snow, uncrowded

hundreds of dining options for all pockets

growth in travel from the UK to Banff looks

slopes and varied, extensive terrain. Thanks

and tastes too, and a long list of winter

set to continue this winter.

to very reliable snow cover, they also boast

activities to enjoy off the slopes if you can

some of the longest ski seasons in the world

face taking a day off, or perhaps have

– running for 7 months from early November

non-skiers in your party. Options include

to late May each winter.

dog sledding, skating on frozen lakes,

But while the skiing is “awesome” in the

hot springs and spas, ice walking and


modern sense of the word, the scenery

snowshoeing to name but a few. Banff is


of the surrounding 1.6 million acres of

also home to a much bigger selection of

Big 3:

unspoiled wilderness that is Banff National

shops than the ski resort norm, with a large

Ski areas:

anff is a bucket-list “must ski” for snow-

Park is truly awesome in the original

and eclectic range of establishments to

Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village

sports fans from Britain and around the

sense of the word. This unique, protected

browse to your heart’s content.

The Lake Louise Ski Resort

world, and once tried, many people just

winter playground in Canada’s original

The extra good news for winter 2015–16

Tour operators include: British Airways,

keep going back.

National Park and one of the world’s three

is that the pound is riding high against

Canadian Affair, Crystal, Frontier Ski,

The historic resort is one of the world’s

oldest, is one of the most spectacular ski

the Canadian dollar, meaning the best

Inghams, Ski Independence, Ski Safari,

classic ski towns, but not everyone realises

destinations on the planet.

value for more than 5 years, and there’s a

SkiWorld, Virgin.

that skiers staying in the area have a choice

It’s that sense of indelible awe that the

of not one but three separate ski areas,

Canadian Rockies inspire, and the chance

each with a unique character of its own but

to stay in an authentic mountain town,

all included on a single lift ticket, accessing

where nature rules and wildlife roams

almost 8000 acres of skiable terrain.

free, that really make Banff truly special.

Banff’s ski areas – Mt Norquay (which

The town of Banff itself and its surrounding

will celebrate 90 years of operations this

area is one of the best ski towns anywhere.

winter), Sunshine Village (opening a new

Banff offers a huge range of high-quality

OTM15 // 096




chairlift with heated seats this autumn and

ourteen year old Brad

wear, keep me warm and they

Rowell is an up-and-coming

provide great protection!

freestyle snowboarder from Dorset who trains on the

Favourite tricks?

local Snowtrax dry slope and

BR: Double Front Flip, Melon

is also part of the GB Park

900 and Cork.

and Pipe Academy. LTM asked Brad about his career

You started as a skier but

to date and future plans.

switched to boarding... how old were you when you

You’re a member of the GB

started skiing and why do

Park and Pipe Academy;

you like boarding more?

how did that came about?

BR: I started skiing when

BR:After competing on the

I was four and a moody

UK circuit and gaining top

French ski instructor put

podiums for a few years I

me off; then years later I

needed to progress further

was bought snowboarding

and wanted the chance to

lessons for my 11th birthday

train with some of the best

and I got on so much better

coaches in the UK and I was

and found it so much

invited into the GB Park and

more fun!

Pipe Academy to train. I sent in an application and was

Finally, what are your

chosen, and then I had to

ambitions and targets for

attend a fitness evaluation.

the coming years?

What’s your favourite gear?

Canada and snowboard

BR: I love my Buff gear. Buff

there and I aim to represent

were my very first sponsor

GB at the Olympics one day

and they are great designs,

and to hopefully compete in

really practical, so comfy to

the X Games.

BR: I would love to live in





was launched. Results show that enquiries from organic search have more than doubled following the launch in July. Like many other ski holiday companies, Skiline had previously relied on outdated technology for their website which, having once been cutting-edge itself just a few years ago, was now stifling their ability to evolve. The new site is far more user-friendly and generates instant holiday prices from nine third-party travel feeds, helping them to provide a much better instant service and move ahead of their competition. Focused on providing the best customer ex-

nly a few years ago, websites that allowed you to

perience possible, the website was launched

put together a ski holiday package quickly online

fully optimised for search engines, with the key

and compare it with competing offers were a nov-

focus now on increasing functionality through

elty, but in our fast-moving world of ever-evolving

non-desktop devices.

websites and apps, those original sites already

Ron Nayee, Director of POLARIS, the company

seem badly dated.

which built Skiline’s new site, said, “Skiline asked

But however high-tech the site, skiers need to know

us to design and develop a website that converts

that they are dealing with an established, reputable

the traffic we drive at a higher rate through im-

company when parting with their cash, so it’s good to

proved user experience and journeys.”

hear that ski holiday specialists Skiline have invested

The upgraded also offers dynamic

in a smooth new site ahead of the coming season.

search functionality on travel dates, chalets and

In fact the ABTA travel agent’s site reported a

destinations, making it very easy to locate a

222% increase in onsite sales enquiries in the

desired ski holiday, regardless of booking criteria

fortnight after their brand new ski holiday website

such as size of group or time of year.

Roofbox and Snowchain hire in the NW of England

OTM15 // 098


Book your equipment online, collect it from the ski store

 Pay up to 60% less

 Skis and snowboards

 Over 20,000 satisfied

 500 ski shops in over

than you would for the same equipment in the shops

customers since 2010

from trusted brands, chosen by respected mountain professionals



Always Cosy Indoors But Can Also Be Big Outdoors ...




vast expanse very quickly when temperatures drop, even when Mother Nature is playing hard to get with the white stuff. Although perhaps best known for being big and with lots of snowmaking capability, the SkiWelt also has a strong reputation for being plain, simple fun with loads of terrain parks and more than 70 jolly mountain huts We all love ski resorts in the Austrian Tirol.

in which to make new friends when you

They’re famous for their cosy chalets,

take a breather from all that piste.

friendly locals, substantial meals and always

The Zillertal Arena interconnect offers

being only a short transfer from the airport.

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau

skiers more than 140km of diverse terrain

village, family-friendly attitude and high-

One of the newest big ski areas in Tirol

Gerlos, Königsleiten, Wald and Krimml on

value ski holiday may not be enough. You

was created when two picturesque valleys

one lift ticket.

may want one of those XL-sized ski areas

– Alpbachtal and Wildschönau – decided

What’s more, the area is located in one

too, where you can ski for miles every

that after 50 years of carving out their own

of the Tirol’s most stunningly beautiful

day and never take the same piste twice

unique identities, the future lay in getting it

locations, the Ziller Valley, and if you’re

(unless you liked it and want to) during your

together and creating Ski Juwel. By joining

staying for 4 days or more your lift pass

whole week on the slopes.

their ski areas together, they created a ski

automatically upgrades to cover all the lifts

For that you need to sacrifice all those

domain with 109km of runs and moved

in the valley – the

good things, pay a lot more and go

into the Tirolean top ten for size in the

other areas a short

elsewhere right? Well, thankfully, no.

process. The Ski Juwel’s longest top-to-

drive away – tripling

Investment in some very swish new

bottom run is the 7km-long Schatzberg–

your piste count on

gondolas and comfy chairlifts (those giant

Auffach piste.

the pass.

six- or eight-seat comfy-armchair-style ones

Thankfully, even though they can together

But you may never

with heated leather seats and pull-down

now offer skiing for every taste, there’s

feel the need to move

windscreen covers) has led to ski areas

been no compromise on those individual

on, as the Zillertal

in the Tirol merging and expanding so

identities, and off the slopes the Alpbach

Arena provides skiers

Tirol’s Ten Biggest Areas:

that today they have not only the biggest

Valley and the Wildschönau will welcome

and riders of all ability

ski areas in Austria, but also some of the

you with friendly local hospitality.

levels a choice of

Kitzbüheler Alpen AllStarCard:

wide-open groomed

cruisers, narrow


classic runs, moguls,

steeps and trees,


all serviced by an

expansive state-of-


But these days, just having an unspoilt

The great thing is, though, you can still stay in one of those friendly, cosy villages at the base and access the huge ski areas above. And making the most of technology does not just mean installing the fastest, most


largest in the world.

to explore above the villages of Zell,


the-art lift network, or

consistently earning

Zillertal Arena:

many neighbouring ski areas on one pass.

awards and praise in

This means you can often use your ticket at

Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Ski Resort

international reviews.


needing to pay out for a new pass.

One of the least well known in the UK is

The biggest of these, the Kitzbüheler

the big Tirolean ski area, Serfaus-Fiss-


Alpen AllStarCard, covers more than

Ladis, which has 160km of linked runs and

And a final mention

1000km of piste above dozens of ski areas

keeps winning awards for the quality of its

must be made to what will become one of

surrounding the famous resort of Kitzbühel.

slopes and its services in public votes of

Austria’s three biggest ski areas this coming

Here are five of our favourite big ski areas

“Favourite ski areas”, so perhaps we ought

season – the all-new TirolS area, which will

in the Tirol:

to get to know it better.

be the first cross-provincial-border ski area

Its success as a family-friendly destination

linking the ski area above Tirol’s Fieberbrunn

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental

is in part due to it investing in some

with that of Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang

almost theme-park-like on-snow rides that

in neighbouring Salzburgerland to create an

The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but

teenagers and young adults love, rather

area of 240km of piste. This is such big news

the long title underlines the fact that “the

than just focusing on younger children

you’ll find a separate news story about it in

SkiWelt”, as you are allowed to call it for

as so many ‘family resorts’ do (although

this magazine, and we’re sure it’s going to

short, is the biggest ski area in the Tirol, in

they are top rated for youngsters too

be great.

Austria and indeed one of the biggest in

with Berta’s Kids Land in Fiss, and

the world with 280km of runs.

Children’s Snow Pasture and Murmli Park

Linking together the skiing above nine

in Serfaus).

villages – some of the best known including

Adrenaline-packed attractions include the

Ellmau and Söll – with state-of-the-art lifts

“Skyswing” – a giant swing – and the “Fisser

and wide sunny pistes, the SkiWelt also has

Flieger”, a kind of hang glider suspended

Austria’s biggest snowmaking operation,

below a zip wire which you “fly” down

covering 85% of the slopes, so it can cover its

strapped beneath with up to three friends.

creating lift-pass networks that include

other areas a short bus ride away without



comfortable queue-gobbling lifts, but also


Zillertal Arena

OTM15 // 0101


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in 2 successive years and offer the

with confidence, as all bookings are

widest selection of accommodation in

fully financially bonded.

the resort that you will find anywhere,

Uniquely, Simply Val d'Isère work with

and for all budgets. They are run by

all operators, hoteliers, ski schools

a dedicated team of Val d’Isère afi-

and in-resort suppliers and have

cionados who have lived and worked

personally visited the majority of

in the resort, winter and summer, for

accommodation available on the site.

more than 17 years and have actively enjoyed everything it has to offer – so they know what they’re talking about! “I feel I know this beautiful resort

al d’Isère is undisputedly one of the

incredibly well and I set up Simply Val

world’s greatest ski resorts, and for

d’Isère when I realised that there was

a sizeable proportion of skiers and

no specialist, experienced agency

boarders it’s THE best. But how does

available, dedicated to assisting

a first-time visitor to this French clas-

people in Val d'Isère to make the right

If you wish, they can book the right

sic and its huge Espace Killy ski area

choices and get the best value for

ski school for you from their personal

make the most of their holiday there?

money,” says Company Founder Kim

experience of all the options, have

The answer is to plan your trip with

Rippin. “Over the years I have seen

lift passes waiting for you on arrival

the company that have built a reputa-

time and time again skiers arriving

and work with the only ski shop in the

tion as THE Val d’Isère experts over

here but having their expectations

resort offering overnight ski storage.

almost two decades, and are currently

quashed due to the lack of knowl-

“The worry of having made the right

a finalist in the Best Ski Travel Agent

edge of their travel agent or lack of

choice is now relieved. This is how

category of the 2015 World Ski

experience themselves.”

travel should be!” says Kim.

Awards – Simply Val d’Isère.

Finding the right holiday can be an

The company were also shortlisted

expensive and often stressful choice,

for Best UK Specialist Travel Agent at

but along with their local expertise,

the World Ski and Snowboard Awards

Simply Val d’Isère allow you to book

OTM14 // 0102

0345 021 0222 |

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All Ambit3 watches come with full route navigation offering the freedom to explore. Plan your own routes or download one from Movescount.

For guided training, Movescount offers training programs and a platform to build and follow your own schedules.

The Ambit3 GPS watches provide accurate speed, pace and distance and, with the Suunto Smart Sensor, let you train within your ideal heart rate zones. The Suunto Ambit3 Sport offers specialised features for running, cycling and swimming.

The Suunto Movescount App is like having Movescount in your pocket. Edit your watch settings, create interval workouts and sync them to your watch on the go. Your Moves made with Suunto Ambit3 are synced to your smartphone and transferred to

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Use the Workout Planner* to create detailed interval workouts. Transfer up to five interval workouts to your watch. Activate the workout at any time during an exercise and get voice guidance when you use your watch with Suunto Movescount App.

While running, for instance, you can follow your real time running performance level versus your the 30day average (powered by Firstbeat).


Austrian Ski Areas Merge To Create New Super Region The ski areas of Fieberbrunn and

conclusion of negotiations over

guests per hour the new lift

Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang

land rights.

will start from a bottom station

will be connected by a new

Along with creating a 240km

at Reckmoos Süd, have a

gondola this summer to create

ski area served by 68 lifts, the

middle station at the base of

one of Austria’s and the world’s

connection, dubbed ‘TirolS’,

the Hörndlinger Graben near

largest ski areas, due to open this

is significant as it marks a

the Pulvermacheralm, and then

December 2015.

ski-lift connection between

continue up to the Reiterkogel in

The plan, reported to be

the two Austrian provinces of

the centre of the Skicircus.

a “dream of Fieberbrunn

Salzburgerland and the Tirol.

A new 3.5km piste will run from

for decades” and involving

The €20-million project will

the Reiterkogel in the area

the construction of a single

be 40% financed by the lift

around the Vierstadlalm, with

Doppelmayr 10-seat gondola lift

companies involved and 60% by

a vertical height difference of

to link the two areas, was made

bank loans.

780m, and will be equipped with

possible after the successful

With a capacity of 2600

powerful snowmaking facilities.


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OTM15 // 0106


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OTM15 // 0108


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This is a true womens-specific binding. It has an

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Even though it’s playful it

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OTM15 // 110






The Cartel offers riders great response and comfort at The Villain from Salomon is the perfect

a great price. The B3 gel in the baseplate gives added

A must-have for any snowboarder. The wall

jib board with its Hybrid profile offering

dampening which keeps your legs feeling fresher

mount allows you to put your board on the

up the best of both worlds allowing

for longer. The lightweight ankle strap has

wall or celling, with or without bindings

for a playful ride with great control. Its

reduced padding allowing the strap to wrap

attached. This allows you to keep the board

Popster Booster construction and NEW

closer around your boot and increasing

out the way or lets you display your pride and

Triax Fibre core gives greater pop and

response through to your board.

joy for all your friends to see.

response and the artwork looks rad too.

ANON  RAIDER HELMET £54.95 The Anon Raider is a skate-inspired helmet

designed for the

mountain. It has been stripped down to offer great protection at a great price, without lots of features you are never going to use. It is fleece lined and has removable ear pads and goggle clip, allowing you to use it off the mountain too.


 BURTON WANTED PARTY SOCK £17.95 Socks don’t have to be boring; let your personality shine through! The Burton Party socks come in a range of colours and graphics, and they’re technical too. They are made with a merino wool blend which will keep you warm all day, and elastic arch and ankle support.

When Burton and L.A.M.B come together to do a collaboration you know you are going to get something pretty special. The Riff Parka is certainly that. This punkrock-inspired jacket lets you rock both on and off the mountain. Its dramatic hemline and floating back makes sure you look good all the way through that 360º.



The Anon M3 goggle has magnets in the lens and

Sputnik is one of the UK’s largest

frame so you can change your lenses in a matter

independent snowboard shops. We

of seconds to suit varying conditions. It also has a

offer great choice and service to

magnetic strip under the frame allowing for the MFI

all our customers. Whether you are

facemask attachment.

beginner or expert, we can kit you


out to ensure you have a great day FB.COM/INTHESNOW

OTM15 // 0111

on the mountains.


With the pound riding high against

offers for those who buy direct on their

“buy now”. You may think, “they would

Chamonix for example), so we are all

a basket of ski currencies, and the

websites and social media channels, it

say that!” … but there’s some reasonable

for booking early.”

number of parts of your ski holiday you

can be worth shopping around for deals

reasoning besides the desire for sales.

“I’d suggest skiers and boarders look

can purchase in advance, the question

on lift passes, rentals and sometimes

“I would say that the most important

out for some of the early-book offers

facing many budget-conscious skiers

even ski school if you have the time,

aspect of booking your ski holiday is

available through specialist ski tour

and boarders these days is should you

patience and nerve.

knowing what your cost is going to

operators, as more often than not these

wait for winter, to see if the pound gets

At the time of writing, the pound was

be, so we always recommend booking

will surpass any benefit one might get

stronger still and buys you even more,

up more than 5% against the Canadian

in advance so that you are able to

by waiting and booking direct,” agrees

or cash in now?

dollar and a whopping 14% against the

budget,” said Jane Bolton, MD of tour

Craig Burton, MD of specialist ski travel

Of course if you are booking with a tour

euro as well as being up against the

operator Erna Low. “We are looking to

agency Ski Solutions (

operator, you may just tick the boxes

Norwegian krone and many other ski

introduce early-booking discounts for

“For example, we had buy-one-get-

to add your lift pass, rentals and tuition

nation currencies. Only the Swiss franc

ski hire, making it even more inviting

one-free lift passes in many European

to your package where offered, but if

and the US dollar were outperforming

to book early, and some of the resorts

resorts if you’d booked back before

travelling independently, or even if on a

us, with the pound worth 8.5% less

we work with also have good early-

31 July, and you will only get these by

package but wanting to buy the extras

than it was in summer 2014 against the

booking discounts

booking in advance (usually just with a

separately, you have the choice of just

American currency.

(La Rosière

low deposit upfront), and savings are

when to tap in your card details and

The truth is, though, that no one really


far more significant than anything you

click “Buy”.

knows if the pound will be stronger or

would find nearer the time.

In many cases your tour operator will

weaker than it is now, come Christmas.

“No one really knows where the euro is

have negotiated preferential rates

Even though indicators may suggest it

going. It could be weaker or it could

months ago, but as currency rates

getting better, or worse, the truth is that

fluctuate and resorts

chaos theory overrides all, so who

and in-resort


retailers post deals and

be stronger by the time winter comes around. So I’d let the tour operators worry about

But the consensus from the travel agency


for ski passes

seems to

currency movements and bag a deal now!” concludes Craig.


OTM15 // 0112



SNOW SPORTS RETAILER W W W. S N O WA N D R O C K . C O M 25 stores nationwide | Tel: 0845 100 1000

J u l i e n N i co l a s

Julien Nicolas, the Managing

number of pistes. But each resort has

Director of SNCF’s official train ticket

its own character.

distributor,, is passionate about promoting the use

What do you especially like about

of rail services to reach ski resorts in

reaching a ski resort by rail?

the Alps, but he is also enthusiastic

JN> Rail travel in general is a more

about winter sports himself.

relaxing way to travel, particularly

British skiers can take a direct

now we have more direct services

Eurostar service from London to

operating which take you to the

Bourg St Maurice overnight or

heart of the action. One of the major

during the day, for resorts such as

benefits for skiers is that there are

Les Arcs and Val d’Isère, or they can

no additional fees or charges for

travel on the new direct service from

carrying skis or snowboards on trains.

London to Lyon, where there are easy

Overnight trains give you all-important

connections to Cluses, Grenoble,

extra time on the slopes.

Chambéry and Annecy, from where it’s only a short transfer to resorts

Do you have any top tips for people

including Morzine and Les Deux

to get the best prices when making a

Alpes. When you include the indirect booking?

options via Paris or Lille, there is even

JN> The golden rule of booking

more options.

rail tickets is always book as early as

TGV Lyria services run direct from Lille

you can. Tickets for Eurostar’s direct

to Geneva, opening up a host of Swiss

services are already on sale and French

resorts; TGV France Italy services from

domestic services open for sale on 15

Paris call at Bardonecchia and Oulx;

October for travel to 4 February. Sign

and overnight services from Paris

up for our email alerts via our website

serve not only the popular Tarentaise

at to

resorts but also those further south

be among the first to know the dates!

such as Montgenèvre and Andorra. organised for next winter?

JN> I’m originally from Lyon, very

JN> I haven’t, but I’ve already started

close to the mountains, so I started

thinking about it! This year is all about

skiing when I was 4 years old. I started

teaching my 5-year-old daughter to

snowboarding at 14 and have done

ski. It’s her first time, so we need a

that ever since. I’ve always loved snow

resort which is geared up for families

sports and was President of the Ski

and young skiers. At the moment

Association in my Business School.

we’re thinking about La Clusaz which

One of my favourite resorts is l’Alpe

is part of the Famille Plus scheme

d’Huez; I always seem to have fantastic

and so has a strong commitment to

weather when I go there. And I really

providing families with the best holiday

like La Plagne for the variety and sheer

experience possible.

OTM15 // 114


Have you got your ski holiday How long have you been boarding?


a skier knows. henrik windstedt in heli vertical. haines, alaska

Love The Mountains (Vol 2) Winter 2015-2016  
Love The Mountains (Vol 2) Winter 2015-2016