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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…

Team of Mums Raise over £95,000 for ‘Everest in the Alps’ Charity Challenge

Seven mums from Twyford are about to take on the challenge of scaling the height of Everest on skis in just four days in a charity fundraiser. Tanya Ritchie, whose ten-year-old son Toby, has a low grade brain tumour, heads up Toby’s Team, which, along with six other teams, will take on the epic challenge on Monday 26 February to raise funds for vital research into childhood brain tumours. The four-day challenge will test all skiers to their limits. They’ll be ascending over 2,500 metres every day to reach their target, burning off the equivalent calories of running several back-to-back marathons on each of the four days. “The challenge next week has ruled our lives for months now. The training,…

World Record Broken for Speed on a Snowboard

Britain’s Jamie Barrow has broken his own world record for speed on a snowboard. Barrow hit 149.65 km/h (92.99mph) being towed behind a Maserati Levante SUV car on his snowboard on frozen Lake St. Moritz on Monday, 19 February. Barrow broke his own record of 99.87 kilometres per hour which he had set almost exactly two years previously at the same location. This time however the snow was less sticky and his course longer. https://www.facebook.com/barrowboarder/videos/1693783640672213/   Barrow, who has dual Swiss citizenship, has made his name in recent years getting faster and faster on a board, but usually travelling horizontally, often being towed behind a car or even a plane, across a frozen lake, usually in St Moritz.  On one…

Climbers Make First Winter Summit of Highest Peak in Polar Arctic

Two climbers have successfully completed an ascent of Gora Pobeda (Pik Pobeda), the highest mountain in Siberia, in the Polar Arctic Circle, the coldest inhabited place on earth. Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro successfully reached the mountain’s 3003m summit on Sunday, 11th February at 3.37pm then returned to their base within a total time of 11 hours, covering 27.3km and 2047m of elevation gain whilst avoiding the need to camp out in the extreme conditions. Had they fallen, a rescue would have been impossible. “It snowed all day long, but luckily there was good visibility. It was cold but thankfully cloud cover was in our favor, warding off the extreme temperatures. Low wind and -30/35 is what we can realistically…

The Skier Climbing Everest To Raise Funds for Snow-Camp and Protect Our Winters

On the 1st April 2018, professional chef, Dave White, whose day job is that of a professional chef on a super yacht, will be boarding a plane from London to Kathmandu in Nepal to take on a life changing expedition, attempting to summit the North Col of Mt Everest. Why? Well apart from wishing to challenge himself, Dave will be raising funds for snowsports charity  Snow-Camp, the snowsports youth charity dedicated to changing the lives of inner-city young people with snowsports. He is also going to be raising money for POW UK (ProtectOurWinters) as well as documenting the changes in the Himalayas on my journey to raise awareness about climate change . “Being on mountains has become a big part…

Warren Miller Has Died

Warren Miller, whose ski films made him a legend in the ski world in his own lifetime, has died at the age of 93. Miller was born in 1924 in depression era USA.  Being keen on skiing, surfing and photography as a boy he joined the navy during the war and shot his first ski films at Yosemite on a borrowed cine camera whilst on leave at Christmas 1944. Leaving the navy in 1946 he spent his winters working as a ski instructor at Sun Valley, Idaho where he filmed fellow young ski teachers to help them improve their technique. His films became increasingly popular, not just for their commentary but for humorous commentary and scenes Miller added in.  In…

Third Ski Area Reported Open in North Korea

A third ski area is reported to have opened in North Korea.  Work on the new ski centre near the country’s northern city of Kanggye is reported to have only started in July but has been completed ahead of schedule according to the country’s media. They say it has two ski runs complete with snow making. North Korea’s ski ambitions are a matter of international political interest. The country’s second ski area, Masikryong or ‘Masik Pass’ (pictured) which opened in 2013 caused international controversy as there were concerns European companies had supplied lifts and snowmaking equipment against international sanctions, but it later transpired that equipment had been sold second hand via China where sanctions at the time on ‘luxury goods’…

Ski Trips On Offer To Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan This Winter

Several travel companies have announced they’re offering ski tours to destinations previously considered ‘off the ski map’ this coming winter.    Untamed Borders, which specialises in winter and summer trips to this type of destination has organised trips to Afghanistan for eight seasons now, and will be back in the Kurdish north of Iraq for the second time this coming winter after an initial trip at the start of this year (pictured top and below). The area does have one basic ski area with a chairlift, Korek, which is included in the tour, along with participation in Iraq’s first ever ski touring race due to be staged this winter, but the ski area rarely has enough snow for the lift…