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New Charitable Association Aims to Improve Access For All to Verbier

A new charitable organisation ‘Verbier4All’ has been launched with the aim of working towards providing access to all of the many activities that take place in Verbier and the mountains that surround it. By providing access to the necessary equipment and trained ‘buddies,’ Verbier4All aims to ensure that anyone, regardless of physical or visual deficit, can access the mountains all year round. Verbier4All has already received the backing of Téléverbier which is now actively planning to make its infrastructures more user-­friendly for people with a physical or visual deficit, with some improvements will already be apparent this summer. Verbier4All is the result of a long-­cherished dream of Valérie Vaucher and Annick Meystre. Valérie Vaucher, who has extensive experience of running…

100% Electric Piste Groomer Unveiled

One of the big factors in the battle to make ski resorts 100% green powered has been the grooming tractors (or ‘piste bashers’). Whilst it is possible to power lifts, snowmaking and almost everything else with renewable electricity, in quite a few cases now actually generated on site with local wind, solar or hydro schemes, sometimes producing much more than the ski area needs and exporting to the grid, the groomers have still needed diesel.  There are somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 groomers working on the world’s ski slopes each evening through the season too. There have been big steps forward in efficiency with attempts to run groomers on bio-diesel, with hybrid engines and diesel electric drives. The introduction of…

Australian Brothers Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Build ‘Bodyboard for Snow’

Two Australian brothers have launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise funds to build what they’re describing as, “The world’s first carving sled designed to bring snow bodyboarding to life.”  Co-Founders Ben and Michael Bateman say that they have been working on their ‘Snoogee Board’ which is designed to combine the control of a snowboard with the thrill of bodyboarding for eight years. The inspiration for the Snoogee Board came to Co-founder Ben Bateman during a gap year in The United States. He found himself surrounded by snow, but living far from the country’s ski fields. “I’m an adrenaline junkie, and a bodyboarder since I was 13. I saw people using sleds, but there’s no progression of skill which can…

Get your Skiwear Fixed for Free in Resort

Skiwear company Patagonia are taking an unusual approach to selling gear – by offering skiers and boarders the chance to get their damaged skiwear repaired for free, regardless of the brand. The company’s ‘Worn Wear Repair Tour’ has just launched in Innsbruck, Austria and will make its way to snow destinations across Europe over the next few months, repairing zips, buttons, rips and tears, including Gore-Tex apparel. Patagonia have a strong environmental focus, and encouraging people to take good care of their gear - repairing it as necessary, to ensure it lasts as long as it can rather than buying new, is part of that focus. “Fixing your gear and using it for many seasons reduces overall consumption, which is…

Skier Rescued Alive After Being Buried 3 Metres down in an Avalanche for Over an Hour

A skier is rescued to have been rescued alive despite being buried three metres below the snow for more than an hour after getting trapped in an avalanche. Three skiers were skiing in a steep off-piste area at the Swiss destination of Jaun on Monday last week when the avalanche occurred. The avalanche risk at the time was set at 3 (considerable) out of 5 on the European Avalanche Danger Scale and an avalanche 50 metres wide and 250 metres long was set off engulfing the three skiers. A witness called immediately for emergency assistance and a rescue team from REGA (Swiss Air-Rescue) came by helicopter with an avalanche dog and a RECCO detector. A 22-year-old man got buried completely.…

PROTEST DECAY SKI JACKET REVIEW

Protest Decay £169.99 www.protest.eu This excellent value jacket from Protest is a great option if you feel the cold, since it has a warm lining along with breathable and waterproof outer fabric to keep the elements at bay. The camouflage pattern looks pretty cool too, the more so set against the contrasting hood and shoulders, and it also has a warm, soft tactile feel rather than the crinkliness of many shell fabrics. The Decay features a fixed, adjustable hood, zippered hand pockets and pit zips as well as a built-in powder skirt and wrist gaiters to keep the snow out, whilst there are also two internal pockets – one is a security pocket with Velcro fastening, the other a stash…

PICTURE VISK SKI PANTS REVIEW

Picture Visk ski pants £289.99 As ever with Picture, eco-friendly production comes to the fore with the Visk, which is made from 46% recycled polyester and uses a PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) treatment to protect against wet snow and rain. Naturally enough the Visk is waterproof and breathable and very lightweight – it’s focussed on backcountry action, and also has good stretch along with body mapping construction, so provides great ease of movement. It comes with a high waist and attached braces (which may not appeal to everyone) and these, in turn, are attached to Velcro waist adjusters, below which lies a full-length zip running down the outside of each leg; this allows for great venting as well as…

HELLY HANSEN FORCE SKI PANTS REVIEW

Helly Hansen Force ski pants £230 www.hellyhansen.com The Force presents pretty much everything you need in a pair of ski pants, particularly if you’re after a bit more than a shell, since they come with strategically placed Primaloft Black 40g insulation and a soft, stretchy lining to keep you warm, whilst the weather is kept on the outside thanks to durable waterproof and highly-breathable four-way stretch, fully seam-sealed Helly Tech Professional 2L fabric that provides good freedom of movement if you want to start pushing things a bit. Should you start warming up too much there are zippered leg vents, and you get four pockets, all with zips – there are two rear and two hand. An adjustable Velcro waistband…

ARC’TERYX RUSH LT SKI PANTS REVIEW

Arc’teryx Rush LT ski pants £410 www.arcteryx.com The Rush LT is, as the price indicates, a ski pant for serious skiers/boarder, and in particular those who like to head into the backcountry. The pants’ light weight (575g) makes them ideal for those long schleps on skins, whilst the loose, articulated cut and Gore-Tex fabric with a backing of Gore-C-Knit, which offers better breathability and softness, help you stay comfortable both going up and coming down. The Rush LT features a low bib and braces to help keep out snow, and there are big side zips to help with temperature control. Since there’s more chance of scuffing the pants when you’re both climbing and descending in them the lower leg is…

CMP MAN SKI PANTS REVIEW

CMP Man ski pants £164.95 www.cmp.campagnolo.it These less-than-inspiringly named ski pants are actually more interesting than the name would suggest and make a great value option for piste skiers on a budget. They come with a decent range of features and a selection of bright, cheerful colourways. The features include detachable braces, a Velcro-adjustable high rear waistband for added warmth and large belt loops (if you decide to do without the braces), whilst there are two zipped hand pockets for stashing your stuff; more pockets wouldn’t have gone amiss, but that’s not the end of the world by any means. The pants’ four-way stretch fabric provides a comfortable fit and being of Italian origin you won’t be surprised to find…