Ski Independence Blog

Posts Tagged ‘skiing holidays’

Record Opening Weekend in Jackson Hole

The Team November 30th, 2010

What an epic opening day Jackson Hole Mountain Resort had on Saturday 27th November, simply incredible!

Justin Bird, from the Terra Resort Resort – Hotel Terra, was out on the mountain “Wow, it was deep and my aching legs are testament to all the fun I had! We have an incredible season ahead of us, please share the news with your friends & family. Let it continue to snow!”

Words can’t do conditions like this justice – watch for yourself:

Want to head out to Jackson Hole and experience this record start to the season? Take advantage of fantastic early season rates at the Hotel Terra – 7 nights at the beginning of December from £959pp.

North America Snow Update

The Team November 19th, 2010

North America’s 2010-11 ski season is off to a great start with many areas opening early and reporting healthy snow falls.

Among the resorts already open are Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain Colorado; Snowbird in Utah, Killington on the East Coast in Vermont and north of the border Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta.  Whistler has announced it will open nearly a week early, later today, thanks to the great pre-season conditions there.

In California, Mammoth is the latest to open (On Thursday 11th November) with more than 2,000 people arriving to enjoy skiing and boarding down from the 11,053 foot summit via Cornice Bowl. Six lifts were operational and 2,000 vertical feet (about 650 metres) of vertical terrain were open on a base of 18 to 36 inches (45 to 90cm).

First Chair 2010 - Mammoth Mountain

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Steamboat Snow Update

Jenny O Farrell November 16th, 2010

Very warm greetings from my cold, white world in Steamboat, Colorado! We’ve had 23cm of new snow in the last 24 hours, and we already have a 61cm settled snow base at mid-mountain at the top of the Gondola. I also see snowy days and/or cold days in the 10-day forecast, and although I would not dare second guess Mother Nature, all signs indicate an amazing Steamboat opening day on November 24.

I spent both weekend afternoons up on Emerald Mountain in downtown Steamboat Springs.  On Saturday we hiked the 3-mile Lupine Trail up to the quarry in snow clogs, but after constant snow all day and night Saturday and through Sunday, too, we were very happy to have snowshoes and poles on the same trail yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

Possibly the luckiest guy this season?

The Team November 11th, 2010

Last month we announced that Neill Hadden was the lucky winner of our Ultimate Ski Holiday to Whistler, BC. After being somewhat overwhelmed, he has kindly put together this blog post. Warning it has the tendency to make your rather jealous…

I took up snowboarding quite late at age 26, young enough to be enthusuastic, brave and possibly a little reckless but old enough to find the first week a brutal and bruising experience! Since then I have been at every opportunity including trips to Switzerland, Canada and NZ. This year I had been travelling in August including a couple of days boarding in Cardrona, New Zealand and so on my return got cracking with organising the Hadden ski trip for Feb 11. Was looking at various North American options but was beginning to feel the pressure of making all the arrangements for a party of 6 so asked one of the others to help with some research. In the course of this he stumbled on the Ski Independence prize draw and sent me (and probably half his address book!) the link to enter. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 expert runs in North America

Nick November 9th, 2010

We had a heated argument in the pub the other night about the top 5 epic expert ski runs in North America. The debate was fierce – what makes a ski run ‘epic’ – pitch, scale, snow, exposure, elevation, scary terrain features, fear factor, what?

Pitch can be conquered with bullet-proof technique. Scale means stamina. Runs always change their character in different snow conditions, weather, light and time of day. Exposure makes you feel alive. Elevation – no pain, no gain. Scary terrain features? I laugh in the face of ‘mandatory air’! Fear factor – beats the crap out of the X-factor. What should be included, and what criteria should we use? Does Snowbird have better terrain than Kicking Horse? Is the snow depth and quality in Fernie better than Crested Butte? Who can say, but in my opinion a truly epic ski run needs five qualities – (1) a degree of difficulty that keeps you thinking and working hard the whole way down. (2) a fear factor. (3) a tick-the-box factor. (4) an aura. (5) a scale that’s off the dial.

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Insider guide to Panorama

The Team November 4th, 2010

If you’re heading to Panorama this winter, here is an insider view Hayley Wilson from Panorama Mountain Village 

Where do you head for fresh tracks?

On a powder day, Heli-High is usually the first run in Taynton Bowl to open after a storm. Stick to the ridge as long as you can for wide open trees. The bottom is tight and technical but well worth it!

Looking for that cruiser that will take your breath away?

Early in the morning, head over to the Sunbird Chair to Little Dipper, which could also be named Little Ripper. It’s a wide, rolling run that’s off the beaten path, so you might just have it to yourself!

Breathtaking scenery in Panorama

Where should we head if we need an energy boost?

Head to the Summit Hut at the top of the mountain for excellent views, special coffees, and the best homemade brownies around!

Where’s the ultimate lunch stop?

The Elkhorn Cabin on Rollercoaster is the place to go for amazing views of Mt Nelson and delicious all-Canadian fare. I recommend the homemade meat pie; an old Bilodeau family recipe and a classic French Canadian dish.

We need to take some top shots, where’s the best place for a Kodak moment?

Anywhere on the mountain where Mt Nelson acts as a backdrop, such as Top of the World, Picture Perfect or World Cup Way.

After a day on the slopes, where’s the best place for beer ‘o’ clock?

The T-Bar for a great atmosphere, live music on weekends, and a great local crowd.

Other than skiing, what’s a unique après ski activity in Panorama?

Book the Summit Hut with a bunch of friends for après ski fondue. Take the last chairlift up; enjoy great B.C. wines, cheese fondue, and chocolate fondue. Once you’re done, ski down the mountain just before sunset and have it to yourself!

Head to the Summit Hut for some après ski fondue

Final Words of Advice…

Go heliskiing and experience Panorama’s backcountry! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and you don’t have to be an expert!

When the legs are tired, take the Gold Runner Coaster down!

The Team November 2nd, 2010

Over the summer, construction and improvments in Breckenridge have not just been limited to the slopes. 12th November, opening day in Breckenridge, will see the debut of the Gold Runner Coaster, 2500 ft of twists and turns below Peak 8.

Located at the base of Peak 8, thrill seekers can take to the Gold Runner Coaster cars, either solo or with a friend and enjoy a thrilling journey through the forest around and above the ski runs, but don’t worry you have control of your own speed. The BreckConnect Gondola provides easy access to this new adrenaline-packed attraction, which is suitable for adults and children. We can’t wait to try it!

A new way to get to town!

Click here to see more photos of the Gold Runner Coaster

How do you decide?

Karen October 25th, 2010

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 »

Affordable, Available and Awesome Resorts At Half Term

The Team October 14th, 2010

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!

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Going the extra mile

The Team September 29th, 2010

Following five successful seasons, Ski Independence Concierge will be back for the 2010/11 season, providing clients with the ultimate pre-departure service.

You can go up, up and away in Park City with Ski Independence Concierge

We are delighted to now offer over 60 Ski Independence Concierge properties throughout North America and Europe. Booking a Concierge property entitles guests to a complimentary pre-departure Concierge service which include making restaurant reservations, booking private instruction and activities such as dog sledding and hot air ballooning or organising the ultimate spa day. The properties in this group aim to meet the increasing demand from clients looking for those little extras that can make a great holiday even better! Whether guests are looking for a leisurely break or they are die-hard skiers/boarders, a family group or parties including non skiers, our ‘Concierge’ properties offer a level of luxury and an abundance of activities within the Concierge resorts to suit all tastes.

New ‘Concierge’ additions for 2010/11 include a luxury newcomer to the Breckenridge portfolio, One Ski Hill Place and the elegant Grand Hotel des Alpes in Chamonix.  

One Ski Hill Place is an elegant, brand new lodging, in an enviable position at the base of the Peak 8. Imagine after a heart-pounding day on the slopes, unwinding with a tranquil massage, breathing easily through a relaxing steam and finishing the day with a well-mixed cocktail in the après-ski lounge! One Ski Hill Place joins Blue Sky and Crystal Peak Lodge in offering a new level of style and luxury to Breckenridge.

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