Ski Independence Blog

Posts Tagged ‘skiing’

Marmot Basin gets first big snowfall of the season

The Team September 21st, 2010

Canada’s most elevated ski area, Jasper’s Marmot Basin, received over 10 cm of snow today with considerably more accumulation at higher elevations.

At 1,700 metres, Marmot boasts the highest base elevation of all Canadian ski resorts meaning it often gets large amounts of snow early season. That was exactly the case today, see the image below:

Early Season Snow For Marmot Basin

Last winter Marmot opened on 11th November, its earliest opening date ever, with ideal snow conditions. So far this fall is shaping up to deliver a repeat performance of last year’s early season snowfalls which helped contribute to Marmot’s record setting year for attendance. “I think this snow is here to stay”, predicted an optimistic Brian Rode, Marmot’s VP of Marketing and Sales. “We may still get some warm weather, but given that it’s nearing the end of September, I am quite sure this is the beginning of a very good base layer”, added Rode.

Marmot Basin is once again targeting 11th November as the opening day of the season, only 52 days from today.

Experience More With A Twin Centre Ski Holiday

The Team September 7th, 2010

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next ski holiday then how about combining a couple of resorts for a North American twin centre trip?

Here are a couple of our favourite suggestions:

Fernie & Kicking Horse – The Powder Highway Read the rest of this entry »

Win The Ultimate Ski Holiday To Whistler

The Team September 2nd, 2010

Ever fancied taking your seat in business class, sitting back and sipping champagne, looking forward to a 10 day holiday of unadulterated luxury? Then this is your chance…

We are delighted to be offering one lucky winner and a friend the opportunity to experience Whistler and Vancouver in true style staying at two luxury 5* hotels whilst everything ranging from lift tickets to snowmobiling, shopping gift cards to sightseeing tours in Vancouver is taken care of, making what is possibly the Ultimate Ski Holiday to Whistler, British Columbia. Read the rest of this entry »

Vail Resorts Announce EpicMix

The Team August 31st, 2010

Vail Resorts have just announced the launch of EpicMix, a new online and mobile application which allows skiers and snowboarders to digitally capture their ski experience and will completely transform the holiday experience for skiers and snowboarders this year at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly.

An radio frequency-enabled chip embedded in Vail Resorts’ EPIC season passes will automatically track your lift rides, calculating vertical feet skied and days on the mountain and will recognize special achievements and accomplishments by granting you commemorative, collectible digital pins. EpicMix will have hundreds of available digital pins for a multitude of unique experiences available at each resort. Read the rest of this entry »

Beware of men who ski with a gumshield…

Nick May 11th, 2010

Sunshine Village is one of three ski resorts on Banff’s excellent tri-area ski lift ticket. It sits a short 20 minute drive from downtown Banff. It’s one of my favourite places to ski – it has a huge amount of interesting terrain, dramatic scenery, a great snow record and a long season, with skiing available well into May.  Today was cold, bright and crisp with a load of new snow – perfect conditions for an adventure… Read the rest of this entry »

High and Wide – a week in Val Thorens

The Team April 26th, 2010

Après ski announcements don’t come much more euphoric than ‘you are on top of the world!’ and this is certainly how we felt during our sun-drenched week in Val Thorens this season (13th-20th March).

I was pleasantly surprised by the vast array terrain and facilities Val Thorens holds. Val Thorens is a purpose built resort sitting at 2300-2400 metres altitude.  As our transfer bus dropped us off I realised immediately that Val Thorens was a layout of large concrete buildings of different shapes and sizes depending on their age.  The aesthetics are unlikely to entice those looking for a ‘chocolate box’ Savoyard village but, whatever the resort lacks in appearance it makes up with functionality and when, being honest, do you really go to a ski resort to study architecture?  Or to ski?

Simply put, Val Thorens is placed at the head of the Belleville valley. The stunning teeth of L’Aiguille de Peclet which look down on the resort village, act as a reminder of the vertical ascent still available at this altitude. Furthermore, the surrounding slopes are as wide as they are high with sweeping pistes rolling across the bowl within which Val Thorens sits.

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Family Time in Les Arcs 1950

John April 14th, 2010

John Bennett, Chairman of Ski Independence, is currently out in Les Arcs staying at Le Village with his family. Here is a short report from his stay so far…

This trip was all about taking one of the grandchildren with us and so school holidays dictated dates.  Now ,I’m not a fan of late season skiing but this trip – so far – has changed my view.

Arcs 1950 was developed by Intrawest, the Canadian company that operates Whistler and a number of other resorts in North America.   They have created a great village atmosphere high up in the Tarantaise with quality accommodation. The snow covered main street means everything is ski-in and ski-out – brilliant with kids involved and lined with a sufficiency of shops, bars and restaurants. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Olympic Experience Day 5: Canada wins gold!

Nick March 15th, 2010

Got up at stupid o’clock again to get the shuttle bus up to Whistler village for another slide using the Fresh Tracks ticket.

Skied all over Whistler mountain for a couple of hours with a few good powder runs down Harmony Bowl and even a run off the Peak Chair – the sun even came out in time to wave us goodbye. About 11am we skied top to bottom – a great run as there was virtually no-one on the mountain that day due to it being the end of the Games and the Gold Medal ice hockey was just about to start.

After a quick shower, I jumped on the airport bus and it was off back to YVR. With a constant stream of hockey updates being texted to us from friends in Whistler we drove through a bizarrely deserted Vancouver and arrived at the airport just as Sidney Crosby (think Wayne Rooney on skates) slotted home the winner in overtime for the Canadians. YVR departures was insane – no-one was checking in, no-one was shopping, no-one was eating – everyone was gathered around the massive video screen cheering on the Canadian victory. Awesome stuff, and a fantastic way to finish the trip.

Did I mention we flew back with the Norwegian ladies 4 x 5km relay team…

Whistler Experience Day 4: The Snow Leopard & Usher in one day!

Nick March 12th, 2010

Another early start. Met our Canadian hosts at 0715 for a home-cooked breakfast at Chez Merrell – I knew it was going to be a fun day as we started with a Caesar (similar Bloody Mary- contains vodka, clamato (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth) , followed quickly by a Mimosa (Bucks Fizz).

The Snow Leopard & Whistler Blackcomb at the Metro Ski Show 2009

The Snow Leopard & Whistler Blackcomb at the Metro Ski Show 2009

After a huge plate of waffles and bacon with the obligatory maple syrup, and a tonne of coffee, we walked over to the Olympic venue at Whistler Creekside for the Men’s Slalom race – security was airport style (which I have to say was slightly OTT) before we were allowed access.  Once inside the venue we grabbed our seats in the stadium just as the 3 forerunners were skiing the first course. There was live commentary from Chris Davenport and all the video playback and display you could handle on a giant screen. The atmosphere was intense and the venue was packed with loads of different nationalities – we sat beside the ‘snow leopard’s’ supporters from Ghana. The Croatians were all in to watch Ivica Kostelic, the Italians were there en-masse, everyone it seemed had a cowbell to ring, the Russians were there in hordes again and the beer was flowing. Suddenly it was time for the first of the 103 skiers (the top 30 are seeded, then the rest follow). They have a run down the first course, then a run down the second course after a short break – the times are added together and the winner has the fastest overall combined time. The best feature is that the fastest 30 skiers from the first run, then ski in reverse order for the second run – ie: the 30th placed skier in the first run starts 1st in the second run. It makes for a very exciting finale. I was blown away by the talent the skiers showed – the course was steep and very icy and visibility was awful, but they blasted down the course as if they were on rails. Out of 103 starters on run 1, only 53 posted a time and went through to the second run.

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Winter Olympic Experience Day 3: Fresh Tracks

Nick March 11th, 2010

Got up at 6am on Friday to get ready for an epic ski day…

Jumped on the first bus at Creekside and travelled 5 minutes up the road to Whistler Village to grab our skis from the Salomon store underneath the Pan Pacific Mountainside. I’d rented a new pair of K2 Apache Xplorer all-mountain skis (which turned out to be so good, I think I’ll have to buy a pair). We then walked the 200m over to the Whistler gondola for 7.15am to head up the mountain for full buffet breakfast – this is called Fresh Tracks and is a separate ticket to your lift ticket: you get early access to the mountain and a huge buffet breakfast at the top of the mountain – it is one of Whistler’s best features, especially on a powder day. Today was a powder day!

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