Ski Independence Blog

Posts Tagged ‘skiing’

What’s new in Val Thorens for 2012?

The Team September 20th, 2011

The French ski resort of Val Thorens has had a busy summer with the completion of a forth Funitel, the addition of a great new 4 star hotel, the Hotel ALTAPURA, and the development of 3 new slopes.  The addition of these new pistes, Asters, Chocard and Triton increase the overall ski area of Val Thorens-Orelle to 150km of runs!

We’re really excited to be featuring the Hotel Altapura in our 2011/12 brochure, it’ll be a great addition to our extensive 3 Valleys offerings. The hotel has 3 restaurants, 3 bars, an indoor / outdoor pool and a fantastic spa, everything you would want from a 4 star hotel and the location is hard to beat being right on the slopes. Read the rest of this entry »

Fairmont Chateau Whistler – It’ll be hard to leave…

The Team August 1st, 2011

I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the stunning Fairmont Chateau Whistler in April and needless to say when my time was up, I didn’t want to leave…

Without a shadow of a doubt, this hotel deserves it reputation, it’s Whistler’s flagship property but it’s more than just another luxury hotel. It really does have a great slope side location – I don’t think I’ve ever actually stayed somewhere and been able to ski right back to the door, but you can here. I stayed in a Mountain View Suite which was huge and had great view of the mountains and Blackcomb slopes. I had a sitting room, 2 bathrooms and an amazing bed, it’s well worth the upgrade! Read the rest of this entry »

Top Tip – Free Cookies in Beaver Creek

The Team July 26th, 2011

The friendly folk in Beaver Creek want to make your ski holiday as enjoyable as possible. They know that a way to the heart is through the stomach, and this particularly true with children!

So, after a day on the slopes in Beaver Creek make sure you head to the Centennial Chairlift (Chair #6) at 3pm where you’ll find resort staff handing out hot, chocolate chip cookies. But don’t worry they are for adults too!

Beaver Creek Cookie Chef

Beaver Creek Cookie Chef. Photo: MountainYahoo

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Moguls move uphill – who knew?

The Team July 5th, 2011

Scientists studying the formation of moguls in Winter Park, Colorado (we want their job!) have found that over time moguls actually move uphill.

It sounds illogical, but the science behind it is that as skiers and snowboarders turn the snow is pushed downhill and into piles, causing the start of bump formations. Each time a skier scrapes snow off the downhill side of a bump, it simultaneously collects on the uphill side of the bump below. Each mogul therefore is scraped away on the downhill side, but collects new snow on the uphill part of the bump…the result being bumps moving uphill. Just watch the time-lapse video below filmed over the course of several  weeks to see the proof! Read the rest of this entry »

Too much snow in Japan?

The Team June 22nd, 2011

Here in the office we’re currently working away on our 2011/12 ski brochure. Part of this job is making sure that all the resort statistics are up to date, which means contacting all the tourist offices checking if there are any new runs, lifts and most importantly the snowfall from the past season.

For the most part, this is a fairly simple job – certainly after the epic snow season in North America this year, with resorts boasting about the snowfall on the homepages of their websites. If the stats weren’t on the websites then our trusty friends in resort couldn’t answer quickly enough with emails boasting nearly 60ft of snow in Mammoth, over 51ft in Whistler and 46ft in Jackson Hole. However, after searching high and low on the websites for the Japanese ski resorts which we feature – Niseko, Furano, & Rusutsu – I couldn’t find any numbers anywhere.

This left me baffled. Why are there no statistics for resorts which average over 40 feet of snow year? Surely these are figures that they should be shouting about? Read the rest of this entry »

First Tracks in Steamboat

Jenny O Farrell January 25th, 2011

When you book Steamboat First Tracks three weeks out to coincide with a client visit, you certainly hope for either a fat Champagne Powder® snow day or a sunny corduroy dawn, but today exceeded all expectations.

My very charming and punctual guests showed up at 7:45am and we immediately boarded the Gondola and headed up the mountain under grey skies and a tolerable 15F/-9C with a report of 1”/2.5cm of new snow.  From the top of the Gondola, we rode down Spur Run to Huffmans to the Sundown Express lift, where we claimed chairs #1 and #2 of the day, and as we climbed out of the Sunshine basin, we popped through the clouds into a brilliantly sunny daybreak.  Sunbeams peaked through the snow-covered aspens and illuminated the snow surface with a diamond-like sparkle, and the whole world warmed. Read the rest of this entry »

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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Snowbombing 2011, Mayrhofen

Dave October 27th, 2010

Now that Easyjet have released their Easter flights for next year, I am starting to get pretty excited about my trip to the Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen, Austria next April.

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!

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Ever wondered how chairlifts are put up?

The Team October 18th, 2010

Ever wondered how chairlifts are put up? Check out this video from Vail to find out.

Chair 5 tower install from satchele Burns on Vimeo.

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.

Ski Safety Tips

The Team October 7th, 2010

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 »

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