James Rix, Author at The Whiteroom
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James Rix

Sun, Sand, Snow and Spain

Snow Enthusiast’s Rob Stewart takes a family February half-term break in Southern Spain – combining sightseeing, Spanish culture, skiing and even a little beach time. I’d known about Spain’s southern ski resort, Sierra Nevada, for many years and had always had it on the list of ‘must do places’, so when I spotted an opportunity during the February half term week for a multi-activity holiday that didn’t look too price sensitive for a school holiday week, I had to go for it. The itinerary, more enticing (and varied) than a spread of evening tapas served up with a fine sherry, took in the city of Grenada – along with its famous Alhambra palace – four days skiing in the Sierra…

The ultimate ski and snowboard trips for the 2018-19 winter season

At Snow Enthusiast, we’ve been scouring the airways, social media channels and hanging around in dodgy bars for months looking for information to bring you the very best and most interesting ski and snowboard trips for the 2018-19 winter season. Here are some of our favourites: Heliskiing with Chemmy Alcott in Italy Britain’s most successful female skier and BBC sports presenter, Chemmy Alcott, is hosting a four day epic heliskiing trip in Alagna, Italy, this winter. The chance to explore the vast Monterosa ski region, access terrain via a helicopter, eat glorious Italian food and enjoy the company of like-minded skiers and of course the charismatic Chemmy, is surely a trip that should be scrawled on any bucket list. Experienced…

Family Plagne’ing

Michael Wolstenholme travelled to the resort of La Plagne for what was their first time together as a family on a ski holiday. With a 14- year-old and a two-year-old in tow, he describes his first experience with a family specialist operator in what is the most popular destination for UK skiers. We are travelling with Esprit Ski (a specialist family ski tour operator) in the week leading up to Christmas. Previously, it has just been me and 14-year-old step-daughter Chloe, hitting the slopes, but this year the dynamics have changed. My wife (Letang) is back with us along with our two-year-old daughter Lilly who is experiencing her first ever holiday and as the coach ascends up to La Plagne,…

Eco Heroes

The snowsports holidays we all love can sometimes be tough on the environment. But in every part of the industry, passionate pioneers are working hard to give them a sustainable future. Rupert Mellor goes out to investigate who the leaders of the eco movement are in the winter sports industry and discovers just a few of the initiatives of athletes, resorts and brands who are going that one step further to help our planet out. ACTIVISM For Gretchen Bleiler, US Olympic medallist and four times X Games champion snowboarder, days of rain and a melting halfpipe at 2006’s FIS World Cup in Saas-Fee, Switzerland were a wake-up call. ‘I’d seen Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth that year, and now…

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…

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…

Education for off-piste skiing & snowboarding

Thinking about heading off-piste? If so, then training is essential – even if you hire a qualified mountain guide or off-piste instructor, understanding the terrain, conditions and how to avoid getting caught in avalanches means you can self-manage and stay safer. If the unthinkable happens and one of your group is buried in the snow, then understanding how to find them quickly, with the right equipment, can seriously extend the chances of survival. Here’s our pick of some of the best courses and organisations that provide training for skiers and snowboarders in off-piste mountain safety: 1. ISTA – International Snow Training Academy Set up by legendary freeride skier, Dominique Perret in 2016, ISTA is an organisation dedicated to training recreational…