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Adventures

First Ski Descent of Pakistan’s Laila Peak

A first ski descent of Pakistan’s Laila Peak has been made by French skiers Carole Chambaret, Tiphaine Duperier and Boris Langenstein. Located in the Hushe Valley near Gondogoro Glacier in the Karakoram range Laila Peak has an elevation of 6,096 metres (20,000 ft) and a distinctive spear-like shape. Its northwest face has a slope of 45 degrees for more than 1500 vertical metres. The mountain was first climbed in 1987 when a British expedition climbed the west wall and in 2005 Scandinavian extreme-skiers Fredrik Ericsson and Jörgen Aamot made an attempt to ski the mountain but were forced to turn back 100 metres from the summit due to poor weather conditions. Subsequent attempts to ski the mountain over the past…

Beartooth Basin Delays Opening Due To Too Much Snow

North America’s only ‘summer-only’ ski area, Beartooth Basin, has delayed its 2018 season by a week due to there being too much snow. “We have so much snow! Too much in fact - all this snow has given us a big load of lift maintenance to attend to. We are now planning to open on June 2nd. Thanks for understanding. The good news is that we'll easily be skiing the Basin until mid July!” The ski area, located on the border of Montana and Wyoming, is one of half-a-dozen or so ski areas in the northern hemisphere worldwide that only open during the summer months, either because the roads that access them are closed mountain passes in winter, or because…

World Record For Most Vertical Skied in a Season Broken

The world record for the most vertical skied in one calendar year appears to have been (unofficially) broken, almost two years to the day after it was last broken. Scott Howard, a 65 year old retiree from Vermont, USA, has passed the 6,025,751 vertical feet (1,836,649 vertical metres) record set on 10th May 2015 by Canadian Pierre Marc Jette, skiing at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada two seasons ago. Mr Howard has been skiing predominantly at Killington in Vermont, although he has also skied at another Vermont resort, Stowe, this season.   He measures his vertical using an app called Trace, but he is now hoping to make his achievement official by replacing Mr Jette in the Guinness Book of World…

Ski Slopes Turn Orange in Eastern Europe

We’re used to green, blue, red and black slopes in skiing, but orange? This time it’s not a grading of a ski run either, but the colour the snow has turned across a large swathe of mountainous regions in Eastern Europe. Orange-tinted snow has been falling across Georgia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries with ski areas in eastern Europe. The orange snow has become a tourist attraction in its own right at the 2014 Winter Olympic venue of Sochi in Russia Weather experts report that the unusual phenomenon is the result of sand and dust stirred up and carried into the atmosphere from the Middle East and/or North Africa hitting colder air in Eastern Europe after travelling east and…

Under the Radar in La Plagne’s Backcountry

Ski journalist and photographer Alf Alderson gets more than he bargained for – in every sense of the word – in La Plagne’s backcountry. La Plagne – most ski guides describe it as ‘perfect for intermediates’, ‘great cruiser runs’, ‘popular with families’ – that kind of thing. So, it’s not a ski resort where you’d expect to find world-class off-piste and backcountry; but you’d be wrong in your expectations. In fact, from where I’m standing now, on the east shoulder of 3417m (11,200ft)  Bellecôte, I’m enjoying views to match any in the Alps as line after line of snow-shrouded mountains extends to the horizon like the lines of a monstrous ocean swell. Amongst the peaks in view are some of…

Kicking Horse: Dave Treadway’s 5 top tips

Dave Treadway is a professional freeride skier and Peak Performance ambassador. He’s hosting a trip this winter with UK tour operator, Kicking Horse Powder Tours, in his home resort of Kicking Horse, British Columbia. We caught up with him to ask for his top tips in this legendary Canadian resort. What’s your favourite place for some great powder skiing in KH Dave? Super Bowl - a short hike to fun, long run with good snow and easy cliffs! Kicking Horse is well-known for its lift accessed, super steep chutes that are too numerous to mention, what’s your favourite? CPR Ridge - so many steep run options! After all that adrenaline, where’s your favourite spot for a nice lunch? Eagles Eye…

Legend interview – Dominique Perret

Rob Stewart catches up with freeride pioneer and legend Dominque Perret – founder of the International Snow Training Academy (ISTA), an organisation dedicated to training skiers and snowboarders in off-piste and mountain safety. Dominique Perret has defined himself and his career by the passion to look beyond the norm, to travel a path where there are no pioneers and no finish lines. Press and media have lost little occasion to highlight Dominique’s multiple skiing achievements, films, expeditions, and events crowning him “Best Freeride Skier of the Century” as the most outstanding radical free-skier of his generation. Skiing runs thick in Dominique Perret’s blood. His first skiing experience took place at the age of two and, he spent the next 15…

Location, Location, Location’s Phil Spencer Amongst Team Raising Over £1m For Charity in Gruelling Ski Touring Challenge

A charity fund-raising ski expedition in Switzerland which took place over four days at the end of February to raise funds for research into paediatric brain tumours looks set to raise over £1 million. Along with 30 other intrepid challengers, Phil Spencer, the Channel 4 presenter of Location, Location, Location and Love it or List It joined the charity’s epic ski tour in Verbier, ski-touring a gruelling total of 8,848 metres uphill, the height of Everest.  “It was a personal Everest for everyone. It was simply incredible and something I would never have thought I would have been able to achieve. It was the epic challenge of my life!” Phil said after completing the challenge. Teams ski tour the height…

In search of whitegold on the silk road – adventure skiing in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a country few skiers could spell and fewer still confidently locate on a world map. Once the centre of the world at the heart of the Silk Road and later part of the mighty Soviet bloc, the “Switzerland of Central Asia” (a topographic rather than economic likeness) is bordered by China to the east and a trifecta of fellow ‘Stans- Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan- to the north, south and west. The vast peaks of the Tien Shan and Pamir mountain ranges dominate three-quarters of the country. Once popular with holidaying Russians, the fall of the Soviet Union decimated its tourism industry. But, thanks to its considerable natural attributes and an increasing number of enterprising local and international operators,…

The Italian Drop

Bruce Pope explores the vast terrain of the Monterosa region and experiences heliskiing for the very first time Crouched in the snow, I try to keep my excitement in check as the ‘WHUP-WHUP-WHUP’ sound of the approaching helicopter echoes up the valley towards me. I’ve never been in a helicopter before, but in a couple of minutes, I’ll be whisked between the mountain peaks of the Monte Rosa massif for my introduction to heliskiing. In my head, I run through the instructions I’ve been given by our mountain guide, Roberto Valzer: “Keep low, protect your eyes from the downwash, wait until called forward, be careful climbing aboard, follow the pilot’s instructions. “And leave room for me!” he adds, with a twinkle…