What’s the recipe for the perfect ski holiday? Maybe a sprinkle of snow, a big heap of terrain, a soupcon of sunshine, a pinch of stunning scenery, and a dollop of après-ski? Alberta has all the ingredients to make the skiing equivalent of a Michelin star meal!
The Perfect Ski Holiday ingredient #1: Powder
Ski Independence Ski Specialist, Karen Moodie, sums up her recent trip to Eastern Canada:
I was lucky enough to head over to Tremblant with a group of UK tour operators and agents to explore both Tremblant and the Laurentian Moutains. This started off with upgrades to Club World with British Airways and it was amazing to say the least! The champagne welcome drink and three course dinner with your feet up, while watching one of the latest movies, was an experience I never thought I would get the chance to do on a plane, never mind the fully reclining bed for a comfortable sleep. Now I understand what all the fuss is about travelling business class!
Arriving in Montréal late evening we were whisked up to Tremblant which took about an hour and a half along a main road – there are no winding roads to upset your journey at all. It is a smooth ride, what’s more you are on your way before you know it with the very efficient airport system.
Upon arrival at the luxury 5-star Fairmont Tremblant, where we spent two nights, we were shown to our rooms then treated to canapés and fizz in the Nansen Lounge, including miniature confit duck poutine, a posh version of the Canadian favourite! Being my first visit to Canada and to a Fairmont property I was bowled over by the friendliness of everyone and we had only been in the country 2 hours…
If you have recently returned from a trip to the Three Valleys, you might have spotted groups of children whizzing about the slopes in Val Thorens with wings attached to their backs (yes that does say wings!). This has nothing to do with fancy dress. In your head you might be picturing some sparkly fairy wings, but think more parachute-like cape and you will be closer to reality.
Wingjump, to give it its official name, is the latest innovative teaching aid to be employed by instructors working for Ski Cool in Val Thorens. Aiming to provide a better sense of balance and instil confidence in learners, the Wingjump is ideal for skiers who are trying to improve their parallel turns. The added feeling of lift that the Wingjump provides encourages you to keep your weight forward, making turns that bit easier whilst allowing you to build up some speed at the same time. And what’s more it’s great fun!
Here’s a clip from Ski Cool’s Facebook page to give you a flavour: Read the rest of this entry »
Ski Independence PR Roger Ainger has just returned from the beautiful resort of San Cassiano in Italy where he took in a few days skiing the Sud Tyrol’s Dolomiti Superski area. Here he puts together a few words and images to show off this fabulous, welcoming and gastronomic destination.
In about 30 years of skiing, I had thought that I had tried most ways of getting up the mountain without straining the thigh muscles. From low speed, one person chairs through to high-speed 6 packs, button lifts, rope tows, T-bars, gondolas, cable cars, aerial trams, surface trains, under the mountain trains – I have ridden them all. Now for the first time I have used a two horse power lift. However, I get ahead of myself – more of this later…
I have just returned from a wonderful skiing trip to the Sud Tyrol – that part of Italy that is never entirely sure if it is in Italy or Austria. Everybody speaks both German and Italian plus of course the obligatory English. Many as well speak Ladin, but if you are thinking of adding another language to your skills be aware that Ladin is spoken only in a handful of valleys in this part of the world! Read the rest of this entry »
Many ski resorts in Europe enjoyed huge amounts of new snow over the past weekend, which is fantastic timing for the February holidays which are coming soon! We’ve collated some images and a few short videos below to highlight the best of the new snowfall.
First up, a Val d’Isère chairlift ride: “This photo taken from the La Daille chairlift reveals the intensity of the snowfall we had today in Val d’Isère. As of 2250 tonight it is still snowing and expected to continue into the early morning. These intrepid skiers got this snowy in the 6 minutes it takes to get up the chair”, said Henry’s Avalanche Talk.
Snow Photos – our latest selection
Snowfall in Europe has been massive in the last couple of weeks which is great news for anyone either in the Alps now or going there soon. Snow-forecast.com’s latest snow overview reads, “if you’re going to France this week, you couldn’t have timed it any better.”
Over in North America, there has been as much as FIVE METERS falling at Heavenly Lake Tahoe since the start of the year and more snow is expected to across the mountains throughout the week, including Colorado’s Vail, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge; Utah’s Park City Mountain (which has received 226cm in January); and the Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Mountain Resort (500cm in January alone!).
Here’s our round-up of the best recent snow photos from our featured resorts:
Karen M and Adam from the Ski Independence team had the pleasure of visiting a huge number of our featured luxury hotels and residences in the Tarentaise ski resorts of Val Thorens, Tignes, Val d’Isère and Les Arcs in December, as well as sneaking in a couple of days on the slopes. Karen sums up the trip below.
5-Star Experience – First stop: Val Thorens
We arrived in Val Thorens on the afternoon of a beautiful sunny day at the start of December to begin our mini-tour around the Alps. Neither of us had been here before so it was great to see it for the first time on such a lovely day. After quick lunch we started our visits around to a few of the luxury hotels Val Thorens has to offer. Read the rest of this entry »
Voted the best place to live in America in the 2016 US News and World Report, Denver is sophisticated and diverse, boasts a great climate, is packed full of cultural attractions and has a thriving restaurant scene. Our Senior Ski Specialist Karen visited Denver on an educational trip in December 2016. Here are her thoughts on her experience in the Mile High City.
A Denver City Stopover might just surprise you!
I’m not going to lie, Denver, in my head, was an industrial sprawl providing infrastructure for the Rockies, but little else. How wrong I was – downtown Denver is clean, walkable, safe and full of interesting architecture and quirky independent boutiques. Hipsters have well and truly taken over here – it’s virtually impossible to buy a drink that’s not in a jam jar. And if you’re not serving hand-ground-artisan-coffee-beans-personally-sourced-from-an-indigenous-community-in-the-woods then you’re not selling coffee in this town!
Our group stayed at the Crawford Hotel. Part of a new (2 year old) refurbishment of Denver’s Union Station, dating from 1881, it’s an awesome building and there are lots of bars, restaurants and shops on the ground floor. Every outlet is independently owned and local – no chains here. Hotel guests get given a discount card when they check in: this gives you a free coffee, a scoop of ice cream, a beer and discounts in the stores. Entry level rooms are small, but really stylish and comfortable.
Why this hotel is of particular interest, though, is its location. The tram from Denver Airport arrives right at the back door of the hotel and we got from the plane to the hotel in just over an hour! The tram goes every 15 minutes from the airport terminal, and takes just over half an hour. Read the rest of this entry »
Short breaks or ski weekends are becoming more and more popular so we thought we’d put together our top 5 short break tips for skiers.
1. Be flexible; To get the best price and the best availability have a bit of flexibility in your dates. We can book from many local airports in the UK but the prices tend to rise from Thursday to Sunday (as does accommodation cost sometimes) so if you’re looking for the best price then mid-week might suit best.
2. Avoid school holidays; There are very few hotels or apartments that will accept short stays over the Christmas / New Year holidays or the February holidays (that stretch in to March on mainland Europe) so keeping clear of these dates will give most flexibility. Read the rest of this entry »
The whole team at Ski Independence would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you need to get in touch with us please call 0131 243 8097 and please find details of our festive opening hours below.
Festive Opening Hours 2016/17
- Monday 19th December to Friday 23rd December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve: 9am-12.30pm
- Sunday 25th December, Christmas Day: Closed
- Monday 26th December, Boxing Day: Closed
- Tuesday 27th December – Friday 30th December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Saturday 31st December, New Year’s Eve: 9am – 12.30pm
- Sunday 1st January, New Year’s Day and Monday 2nd January: Closed