Archive for October, 2010
Snow covered peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains show the first hint of the snowy La Nina winter ahead during a short reprieve from the recent winter storm.
A base of nearly 40 cm (16 inches) has formed in the alpine with the forecast calling for mid mountain freezing levels and more precipitation in the five day forecast. The countdown to the 2010-2011 winter season at Whistler Blackcomb is officially on; 25th November, 2010 marks the official opening day.
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When it comes to my winter trips abroad, I have to admit that I am a sucker for ski/snowboarding in Austria. You will find that most skiers/snowboarders will agree that it is not only the huge ski areas, amazing snow conditions or great après ski that makes a memorable skiing/boarding trip, but it is the people that you are with, and the people you meet that makes it a fab one. Having snowboarded in most of the countries in the European Alps, and a few North American ones too; I have to admit, that the genuine welcome and general friendliness from the Austrian’s, for me, just can’t be beaten!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Snowbombing, it’s a week long music festival similar to the festivals you get in the UK, but plonked into a lovely traditional Austrian town with some of the best skiing/boarding in the Alps. The festival is generally at the beginning of April so the weather is usually pretty good, with regular spring snowfalls to keep your days interesting. The locals absolutely love it! For local businesses it is a great end of season boost when over 2000 fun lovin’ Brits descend on the town- and they think we are great! They tell me that us Brits are respectful and are always generally polite during our stay. Honest, that’s what they tell me!
Hurrah for autumn! There’s a chill in the air, the first frosts make the world look white again, and in the Ski Independence office we start each day with a barrage of emails with photos of early snowfall. It’s also the time of year that suppliers from various ski resorts come to visit and remind us why theirs is the best ski resort!
It’s an exciting time for all the reservations team – we spend all day, every day, all year long spouting off all kinds of statistics and facts about snow and skiing, but at times we forget just how awesome getting out onto the snow really is. The visits from our overseas friends not only enable us to put faces to names and re-inforce our good relationships , but also remind us exactly what we’re missing when we’re sat behind our desks (thanks guys!) and we really appreciate the considerable effort it take to come to Edinburgh to see us. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve just had an extension to one of the best offers in Canada – save 50% on accommodation when you book 7 nights or more in Panorama.
I’ve been lucky enough to ski Panorama a number of times now and the skiing there is great – wide open groomers, trees, steeps and extreme skiing in the famous Taynton Bowl will keep everyone in your group busy all day long. And if anyone wants more skiing at the end of the day, Panorama will now be open for night skiing until 9pm seven days a week! I’ve usually had enough by 4pm though and think the very best way to end the ski day is by paying a visit to the Panorama Hot Springs – a great outdoor hotpool area (there is a sauna too) where you can relax and soak those tired muscles. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever wondered how chairlifts are put up? Check out this video from Vail to find out.
The new Chair 5 lift will significantly enhance the guest experience of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls by giving skiers and riders a faster lift that provides easier access to lap terrain in the area and also improves skier circulation across Vail Mountain.
February half-term can be busy and unfortunately is one of the more expensive times of year to go skiing however there are still some resorts which are good value despite being high season and there is still availability!
Our main criteria as a French family is to find good value, ski in/ ski out accommodation with something else to do besides skiing and finally but most important a resort with a good snow record! You’ve probably noticed, but French people don’t like queuing…I admit, I am one of them – anything more than 5 minutes is unbearable! So we also look to choose a smaller resort which access to a large ski area or one with an efficient lift system.
Bearing this in mind we have visited Valmorel, Les Saisies, Valloire, La Toussuire, Les Coches, Le Grand Bornand & La Rosiere as those resorts ticked all of our boxes…If you never heard of these resorts or can’t even pronounce their names, no worries you are not the only one! Which is why they are still well kept secrets!
Over the past few weeks the latest ski clothing and hardware has been hitting the shops, so we thought we’d do a roundup of our favourite kit from some of the well known ski suppliers and also the smaller independent stores. We’ve also secured you some top discounts, so get shopping! Read the rest of this entry »
Kel from Mpora – Europe’s largest action sports video site – has put together some top tips for safety on the slopes.
After a while of thinking about how to write this article, I remembered that every sport has its risks and no one should ever be put off of trying anything new by what someone else says. This is not intended to scare someone into protecting themselves while they’re on a ski holiday or to scare them away from skiing altogether but to make sure that you have the maximum amount of fun while you are doing it. The safer you are, the more you push yourself and the more fun it becomes.
Check out the latest ski videos – all professional ski riders are always well equipped. Therefore parents really should protect their children from tip to toe to make them feel safe in the knowledge that after a fall, they’ll bounce right back up with only a plaster being needed to cover a minor scrape and the reason kids blast down a ski slope at breakneck speed is because they have no fear. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Thursday night Vail Resorts hosted the UK premiere of the new Teton Gravity Research (TGR) film, Light the Wick at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. Ski Independence was the official travel partner, having collaborated with Vail Resorts on the night’s big prize giveaway – a seven-night trip for two to Breckenridge, Colorado, including flights, accommodation and transfers.
Things kicked off at 7pm with a DJ providing the soundtrack to an impressive still photo slide show from the previous year’s TGR adventures, and plenty of shots to whet the appetite for skiing from Vail Resorts’ six ski areas: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Heavenly. By 8pm 500 eager ski and snowboard fans were assembled, and after t-shirts were thrown into the crowd and winners of rucksacks, goggles & ski clothing had been announced, it was time for the main feature.
We had the international sales team in from Aspen Snowmass this week to update our reservations team on what’s new in the resort for winter 2010/11. Something that really struck a chord with us all was the huge amount of complimentary services and value-adds that our clients receive as part of a Ski Independence holiday to Aspen Snowmass.
Here’s a few of the great extra benefits you can take advantage of this winter:
If you’re flying into Aspen airport, then most properties offer a complimentary airport-to-resort transfer. Several of our lodging partners offer free daily breakfast. The Sky Hotel has a complimentary nightly manager’s apres-ski reception in the lobby, whilst The Gant offers free transportation around town – they’ll even take you to the shops, or pick you up from the bars. Some hotels even offer complimentary access to a local health club. Read the rest of this entry »