As the majority of ski resorts start to close for the season and our minds turn to the 2011/12 season, we thought it would be nice to share a few of the Ski Independence team’s highlights from the past season; on and off the slopes, from the world of social media to memorable runs.
Pip – European Product Manager
February half term is one of the busiest weeks of the whole ski season, with hundreds of families heading across the channel by means of Eurotunnel, flights and ferries for their annual trip. So it is always an anxious few weeks in the run up before, which this year wasn’t made any easier by reports in the British press of poor conditions. However, heart rates decreased and smiles spread across the office when we started to receive word of fresh snow throughout the Alps – hurrah!
My second highlight was my personal ski holiday to Méribel in March. We were blessed with amazing sunshine and snow conditions were much better than anticipated, which is pretty much the feedback which we are getting from clients. Spring days with long lunches in the sunshine can only but put a smile on my face!
Dave – Reservations Consultant
My highlight of the season would have be the red ski run on the Hintertux glacier (25min from Mayrhofen) in Austria, that is accessed by the ‘Tuxerjoch’ 4 man chairlift.
With conditions not faring the best in France, the Hintertux glacier still never fails to surprise me. I have been snowboarding this glacier for a number of years now (summer & winter), and the amount of snow this glacier gets and with the number of runs & terrain available between 2500-3250m, just keeps me coming back for more.
Over to the right hand side of the ski area you will find the 4 man ‘Tuxerjoch’ chairlift. It is generally classed as a beginners area away from the main glacier, with wide open blue runs and a cheeky steep red at the start, but this run is so much fun.
On a ‘blue bird’ day this April, me and my friends still actually managed to find some good off-piste snow near the top of this run. As you sweep down the red run, you hit a couple of wide rolling blue runs, which are great for getting some speed and carving action with some really nice jumps/terrain just off the side of the piste too.
We spent the better part of that day just doing the same loop, but every time we did the run, we found a new feature, jump, off-piste route, and also used the wide open piste to learn a couple of new ‘flat’ tricks.
That was one the best days of our trip, and we ended the day celebrating it with a few hours of Apres Ski and dancing to cheesy Euro-pop.
It just shows that you don’t need 100’s of km’s of piste to make it a great day on the slopes, Just single ski run and a little bit of imagination is all you need.
Michael – Managing Director
The videos and photos which are now uploaded daily onto Facebook and Twitter are of consent entertainment but when I saw this video on YouTube, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes! Let’s just hope this isn’t the usual avalanche technique used by the Russians. The video quality isn’t the best but keep watching…
Claire – Assistant Product Manager
My highlight this season was a short break exploring the Chamonix valley ski area for the first time with Eve and Jane at the start of February. The empty slopes of le Tour were a total playground and sun-soaked Brévènt-Flégère was the ideal spot for a long lunch and a bottle of rosé in the gorgeous alpine sunshine! Off the mountain, we discovered Chambre Neuf – a fantastic après bar with live music to kick off the evening and also stumbled upon a local favourite, MBC (Micro Brasserie de Chamonix). Can’t wait to go back!
Karen – Reservations Consultant
Whilst we were receiving daily emails of fresh snow in Whistler, Vail and Aspen our eyes were fixed on the local conditions and I’m not talking about Glenshee or Cairngorm, I’m taking about Arthur’s Seat – Edinburgh’s city centre ski hill! These early season freshies on Arthurs Seat will stick with me for a good few years to come.
Another highlight for me was Didier ‘the butcher’ Cuche winning the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuhel for the second year running and becoming the oldest man to win it.
Philli – Head of Marketing
My highlight of the season was First Tracks in Aspen. Blue skies, an inch of fresh powder and no-one else on the slopes! Heaven! We were lucky enough to be joined by Olympic snowboarder and Aspen resident Chris Klug, so our gondola rides up were filled with Olympic stories and how he managed to come back to win a medal following a liver transplant. Quite an inspiration for anyone, and his motto has stuck in my mind “Enjoy the ride – don’t take a turn for granted.
Another highlight, which still gives me goose bumps, is when I made the phone call from the London Ski Show to tell Neill Hadden that he was the winner of our competition to win the “Ultimate Ski Holiday to Whistler”. He initially thought it was a prank call but when I confirmed the prize which included return British Airways Club World flights to Vancouver, 7 nights at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, private lessons, dining, spa sessions and 3 nights at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver amongst many other things, totally a value of over £20,000 reality hit and excitement grew! Neill is in fact out in resort as I write this, so check back in a few weeks to see how his trip went!
Annika – Groups Product Manager
My highlights of the 2010/12 season include skiing on Christmas day on Madrisa Mountain in Klosters – fresh snow, blue skies, hardly anybody on the slopes – pure bliss!
Second favourite moment was on the last day of the Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard Reader in Telluride skiing lap after lap in beautiful untracked fresh powder in Revelation bowl!
Jon – Overseas Manager
I first saw this short film in early November 2010, and it was the one video that got me truly excited about the ski season ahead. Candide Thovex has been setting standards and redefining what’s possible on skis for many years, and once again this video moved it to another level. It’s also beautifully filmed and edited – definitely one to watch if you want to get stoked about skiing…even if the things he does are a million miles removed from the capabilities of most of us mere mortals…