Posts Tagged ‘Ski Independence’
Squaw Valley, at Lake Tahoe, California, is a great resort for all levels of skier, but it’s also home to plenty of big mountain chargers who like nothing more than to try to outdo each other on a big snow day – often at the same time.
It’s become somewhat of a Squaw Valley tradition to line up early on a powder day at the base of the famous KT22 lift which accesses some of Squaw’s most raucous terrain, including Fingers – a particularly challenging cliff section. The results are often spectacular; the race is quickly on to ski the best/steepest/craziest line before everyone else, and the carnage can be witnessed from the safety of base village, which creates a natural amphitheatre for the action:
We currently have some fantastic early booking offers for trips to Squaw Valley, and also great deals on season passes and lift tickets which cover Squaw Valley, neighbouring Alpine Meadows, and other nearby Lake Tahoe resorts including: Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Diamond Peak, Sugar Bowl, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Mt. Rose.
It has been a ‘slow snow year’ for much of the USA – something to do with the jetstream apparently. Seems like most of the snow got sent to Whistler and Banff! So on my recent holiday to Utah I didn’t encounter any of that legendary Utah powder, but there was plenty to ski on, and lots to impress.
Our destination was Park City, and our mode of transport was Air France / Delta Airlines from Edinburgh, via Paris. A few words on this: we flew to Paris the evening before (free stopover if under 24 hours between flights) and stayed in an airport hotel, thus eliminating the 4am start that doing the journey in one-go would entail. There were positives and negatives to this: Charles de Gaulle Airport must be one of the least user friendly airports around: Finding our way to the free hotel shuttle pick up point was a bit like orienteering! Then, horror of horrors the next morning.. French queuing. The French don’t like to stand in line. Fact.
As any parent will know, choosing the right resort can either make or break a family ski holiday. We looked at lots of options before deciding on Le Village Arc 1950 and I don’t think we could have chosen better.
Le Village Arc 1950 is only around 10 years old but has been built in the Savoyarde style so feels very much like an authentic French ski resort. It has been designed to make everything as hassle free as possible and this includes being able to ski from every residence to the slopes and also ski through the middle of the village. Arc 1950 is not only ski-in, ski-out but also ski through! Everything is within easy walking distance with nothing more than a few minutes away and even the two slopes for younger children and complete beginners are within the village, making life easy for parents and at the same time adding to the feeling that everything is safe and secure.
Le Village Arc 1950 has been designed with families in mind and the vast majority of guests are holidaying with their children. This isn’t the resort for anyone looking for full on après ski – we didn’t witness any dancing in ski boots and any noise in the evenings came from kids sledging around the village.
Our flights out of the UK all worked well and our Air France card meant we got the ski baggage for free and helped ourselves to the lounge at Heathrow. The change in Minneapolis was fine, and we had an evening meal there before the second leg to Bozeman. The transfer to the Hotel was pretty good at around only 50 minutes and we got into our room at about 0030hrs so not bad and we were able to get up ready for the first day.
Our hotel, The Summit, was really great, not quite the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole but close and had good eating options at reasonable prices and the included breakfast was extensive and totally met our expectations. The staff were friendly and helpful and everyone we met was really nice …such a break from London. Our studio room was fine and the fold down bed comfortable plus it had a great bathroom and handy kitchen. We’d say a studio was good for two, probably a bit small for four. Our mountain view from the room was nice with only a hot tub between us and the lifts…not sure we have ever had to make so little effort to get onto the slopes before and the swimming pool sized hot tub was really good and even had bar service – highly recommended! Read the rest of this entry »
For the past 10 years Ski Independence has worked in conjunction with the Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Magazine to help organise their annual readers’ ski trip. Over the years, hundreds of satisfied customers have enjoyed these organised and great value trips to resorts including Banff, Fernie, Steamboat, Aspen, Telluride and Whistler just to name a few. On the 1st February this year 45 readers, along with Annika and Eve from Ski Independence, packed their bags and headed for the western state of Utah to ski 6 of the State’s 14 ski resorts.
I bought a new pair of ski boots last week (Atomic Hawx w90 if you’re interested). As any skier will know this is a milestone event. I’ve had my last pair for 10 years and we’ve skied together in 7 different countries and over 50 different resorts. We’re old friends now. I know that when I get them out of the attic for the first few turns of the season they’ll be a bit grouchy – a little light punishment for leaving them in the dark for all those months – but within a few hours they always came good. Now it’s time for them to take semi-retirement and they are soon to be packed off to my mum’s house up north where they’ll be handy for those occasions when Scotland’s snow obliges. I’m told that breaking in a new pair of boots should not be the agonising pain that it used to be – heat moulding speeds up the process and while spending 20 minutes standing in tuck position in the middle of Ellis Brigham made me slightly self conscious I’m hoping to reap the benefits when we get out on the snow! Read the rest of this entry »
Whistler has the most open terrain IN THE WORLD right now! I know we make a big fuss about Whistler but no wonder – they’ve had over 10 feet of snow fall this season alone!
Today the Peak Chair opens, tomorrow Harmony Express opens – I have one question for myself, what am I doing sitting here at my desk? I should be there…
Of course I’m here so I can book holidays for those who are able to take time off at this time of year (and beyond) – I won’t get to ski until Mid March and only then if we are quiet enough, one of the pitfalls of working in the ski industry, we’re busy when the snow is falling and everyone else is skiing. Read the rest of this entry »
I can’t remember what sparked the conversation in the Ski Independence office, but we worked out that between us, we’d visited Whistler Blackcomb over 60 times. That’s far more than any other ski resort we feature but there’s a very good reason; Whistler is our biggest selling North American resort. Apart from meaning we’ve racked up a lot of both air and ski miles, and stayed in a lot of Whistler hotels it also means we know Whistler Blackcomb inside out. Our clients can therefore be confident our unrivalled Whistler knowledge allows us to recommend the perfect flight, transfer and accommodation recommendations to ensure the perfect Whistler ski holiday. Read the rest of this entry »
30 feet of light dry fluffy powder and an annual average of 300 blue sky days a year means Vail Colorado is always near the top of any list of the world’s best ski destinations. Vail Mountain offers a heavy mix of alpine bowls, glades and wide-open trails linked by a super quick and efficient modern lift system. The town of Vail serves up some exceptional après ski, dining and shopping – everywhere you go, superb service is the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »
The excitement in Whistler doesn’t stop with the 8,000 plus acres of ski terrain; there are endless opportunities for adrenaline fuelled fun off the slopes. Here’s the latest low down on just some of the activities available from Leanne at The Adventure Group.
“Intro to adventuring in Whistler” could take a few pages, but I’ll try and keep it short and sweet – the Coles Notes of how to effectively have FUN! With endless opportunities in this winter wonderland, it can sometimes be daunting to choose the best option for your group or family. You want something unique, that you can’t experience anywhere else which make you laugh, right?! Let me give you some “insider tips” to make your holiday that extra bit special… Read the rest of this entry »