Search Our News Hub
Category:

Adventures

Fresh Attempt To Ski the Full 2,000m Vertical ‘Dream Line’ of World’s 5th Highest Peak

A group of four Americans have announced plans to try to ski the world’s 5th highest mountain, Lhoste (8516m), close to Mt Everest in the Himalayas. Parts of Lhoste, one of the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000 metres, have been skied already, but no one has made the full top to bottom descent. American big mountain climber Adrian Ballinger, who has already skied two 8,000m+ peaks (one of them twice), his longtime girlfriend and professional rock climber Emily Harrington and two other professional climbing athletes will leave the US on Aug 25 and spend Sept 1-10 before making their attempt between September 11th and October 10th. The key objective of the group’s attempt is to ski a straight line called…

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP REVIEW

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP £9.99 available on Apple Store This is a brilliant app for anyone interested in avalanche safety – which should be anyone heading off-piste. Ullr works with iPhones to provide up-to-date, detailed avalanche forecasts from the regional centre closest to where you’re skiing. But more than that, it also enables you to record field observations whilst you ski, including location, aspect and slopes angle. Using features of your iPhone such as the camera, GPS, inclinometer, compass and data communication it allows you to provide real-time info on avalanche conditions which can be transmitted to the nearest regional avalanche centre to enhance their avy reports and share the data with other users. No mobile or wi-fi…

SATMAP ACTIVE 20 SOLO GPS UNIT REVIEW

SATMAP ACTIVE 20 SOLO GPS UNIT £395 www.satmap.com Although not designed specifically for skiing and boarding, the Active 20 Solo is a large screen sports mapping GPS which displays highly detailed topographic mapping that can be extremely useful if heading off-piste. Operating the Active 20 is pretty easy to get the hang of initially, and as you get to know your way around it better you can easily move on to more advanced features. It will connect to GPS, Glonass and Galileo, ensuring coverage pretty much anywhere on the planet, and it has wireless connectivity through both wi-fi and Bluetooth Smart. The unit comes with a 3.5” hi-res touchscreen plus the option of touch button operation should you prefer it,…

FATMAP APP REVIEW

FATMAP APP £2.99 (two weeks); £25.99 (year) www.fatmap.com Fatmap started off as a tool for freeriders to discover the backcountry terrain at their resort of choice but has since expanded to provide info for summer visitors too (hiking, mountain biking etc.). However, it’s the skiing and boarding we’re interested in… The app covers most of the world’s major ski areas and is expanding all the time, so the chances are you’ll find your favourite resort featured. It offers info such as clear 3-D maps, details on slope gradient, aspect, altitude and other crucial pieces of terrain information, location sharing so you and your group can stay in touch, route maps of the best off-piste lines and the facility to record…

AOSTA VALLEY ROAD TRIP

AOSTA VALLEY ROAD TRIP Alf Alderson Around 90-minutes’ drive north of Turin’s humming autostrada you can find some of the best skiing in the Alps. The Aosta Valley has a range of ski resorts that face different directions and are high enough to ensure that you’ll always find good snow conditions somewhere. You’ll also get spectacular views – the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc (known hereabouts as Monte Cervino and Monte Bianco) are just two of the better known mountains that you may have in your sights. And if you like variety the Aosta Valley is ideal, since not only can you experience Italian ski culture you can also head into Switzerland and France on your skis. All you…

PERFECT TREES

Alf Alderson enjoys some ski touring on Norway’s Arctic coast The island of Senja is located at 69 degrees north, off Norway’s west coast, and with a population of just 7,800 souls spread over almost 1,600 square kilometres it’s out there in every sense of the word. So the advice of our Swedish ski guide Dick Johansson make good sense - “Remember, we’re in a remote area, so ski carefully”. Dick is leading us up the 839-metre peak of Litgemoa on the Norwegian island of Senja. The area’s remoteness means that when you go ski touring here, you’re pretty much guaranteed first tracks – both up and down the mountain. So it is that as our mixed group of Swedes…

GET CONNECTED

Despite less than ideal conditions Alf Alderson finds the Utah Interconnect is still a great ski adventure “’Highway to Heaven’? More like bloody ‘Highway to Hell’” gasped James as he sucked in the dry mountain air. We were on a long traverse some 10,000 feet up in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, enjoying (or maybe enduring) the most testing part of the ‘Utah Interconnect’. Despite the fact that it sounds like an urban transport system the ‘Interconnect’ is actually one of North America’s great days out on skis, a 27-mile long guided adventure that uses a combination of ski lifts and easy backcountry skiing to take you between the best resorts in Utah. Open to any decent intermediate skier, over…

HOW TO BUILD AN IGLOO

  Caught out in a blizzard? Here’s how to stay alive (provided you remembered to bring along your shovel and snow saw…) By Alf Alderson 1 Choosing a site First choose a site that has deep enough snow (at least a metre, preferably more), with enough space and not prone to natural hazards such as avalanches. An igloo big enough for two/three people should have a diameter of about 130cm – you can measure this accurately if you plant a ski pole in what will be the middle of your igloo, place the wrist strap of your other pole over it and use it to mark out an accurate circle in the snow. IGLOO FACT – the word igloo is…

INTO THE FREEZER

Snow conditions a bit dodgy? Head underwater... By Alf Alderson I’m in the French ski resort of Tignes where snow is falling heavily as I squeeze into a dry suit and prepare to dive beneath the surface of the frozen Lac de Tignes – I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of ice diving beneath, and this is the perfect chance to try it. A select few French ski resorts (including Val Thorens and Morzine as well as Tignes) offer ice diving for beginners, and improbable as it seems you don’t actually need any diving experience to give it a go. Ice diving is, admittedly, a pretty niche activity, but for major ski resorts like Tignes it’s no…

STAYING SAFE IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

Heading off-piste? Then you should seriously consider signing up for an 'ISTA' avalanche safety course. By Alf Alderson There’s a sprinkling of fresh powder across the peaks and the sun shines bright from a dazzling blue sky as my breath bursts into the sub-zero air like a steam train; I’m in Verbier to take part in the International Snow Training Academy’s ‘Discovery’ avalanche safety course, and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it involves a good deal of skiing rather than just tramping around with transceivers and digging in the snow. The reason I’m doing the course is because 90 per cent of avalanches affecting skiers are triggered by the skiers themselves; in other…