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World’s Coolest Ski Lift Version 2 Unveiled

A new version of arguably the world’s coolest ski lift has gone in to service. The Tschuggen Express lift which first began operating in 2009 is a private ski lift for guests of the luxuriuous Tschuggen Grand Hotel in the Swiss ski resort of Arosa, which also boasts one of the biggest and best spa facilities in the skiing world. The lift is a small and luxurious private funicular railway which quickly climbs a steep and undulating track to deposit skiers up on the slopes of the huge Arosa – Lenzerheide ski area in just two and a half minutes. Guests leave the hotel’s boot room and board the lift, which has two self-levelling, six-seat cabins using their hotel room key.…

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

A group of 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 had originally planned to make their attempt in September or October but this has been postponed for the time being with a new date pending. When the attempt is made, the key objective of the group’s…

YUGE PARADISKI SKI APP REVIEW

YUGE PARADISKI SKI APP Free www.paradiski.com Yuge is a free app offered by the Paradiski area which helps you make the most of everything from skiing to après-ski whilst in resort. We’re featuring it as an example simply because our reviewer spends his winters in the area so has plenty of direct personal experience of the app; you can expect apps offered by other resorts to be very similar, although that said Yuge apparently scores highest of all resort apps in user reviews. It’s possible to personalise Yuge so it provides information that’s specific to your skiing ability and where you’re staying in resort, and a potentially really useful feature is real time information on lift queues (or lack of),…

Where Can You Ski or Snowboard in August 2018?

August is one of the hottest months in the year in the Northern Hemisphere so it’s no surprise that we’re down to just nine ski areas open this month for lift-served skiing and boarding in Europe and North America. These include three resorts open year-round, four summer-ski destinations and two that have already begun their 9-11 month long 2018-19 ski seasons. Europe A year ago a number of glacier ski areas in the Alps had to shut down temporarily as the intense summer heat melted snow cover from their glaciers.  This August that doesn’t look to quite be the case in the Alps as it hasn’t been quite so hot up high (there’s even been a few quick snow storms…

Kitzbühel Commits to 200 Day Ski Season

One of the lowest altitude major ski areas in the Alps, Kitzbühel, has now committed to a 200+ day ski season, from October to May, in its advertising. Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tirol was once the subject of media attention when a major UN report on climate change more than a decade ago said that low altitude ski areas in the Alps would be the first to suffer the effects of average temperature warming. The resort subsequently published season by season snowfall data going back many decades which appeared to confirm climate change predictions with less snowfall in the autumn and spring but more intense snowfall in the main season. Despite the predictions and the apparent reality with temperatures often too…

THE REAL WILD WEST – JUST ASK HOLLYWOOD

Alf Alderson discovers the real wild west in Telluride, Colorado Driving down Telluride’s wide main strip, otherwise known as Colorado Avenue, is quite an experience; authentic western-style hotels, bars and restaurants line the street, the snow draped ridges and peaks of the San Juan Mountains line the horizon and the steep ski runs of the town’s high altitude ski resort snake down to the edge of town – throw in a Hollywood star lounging about on the corner of Colorado and Aspen and it all becomes slightly surreal. “Look, look, it’s Samuel L. Jackson!” I cry to my buddy Tom. “Nah, it can’t be…” “You didn’t see, you’re driving…let’s turn back and check”. After all, it’s…

ELECTRIC FAT BIKING IN LES DEUX ALPES

I’m standing at the bottom of the Vallée Blanche chairlift at 1600-metres in Les Deux Alpes; fresh snow lies all around but despite my ski wear I’m not going skiing. Today I’m mountain biking on the snow instead; and I’m doing it the easy way, with an electric fat bike. Huge balloon tyres ensure a good grip on the snow and, best of all, the Bafang 8Fun motor ensures the hills are conquered with ease. I’m riding with Sylvain Marulaz, an ‘Accompagnateur en Montagne’ who, after guiding mountain bikers around the superb range of trails at Les Deux Alpes in summers decided to combine the upsurge in popularity in fat bikes and electric bikes to offer a winter…

SKIING WITH SHARKS…

Heliskiing in Iceland is a unique experience  By Alf Alderson When a man tells you his family have lived in the same valley since God was a lad you can understand how it is that he knows the area so well – indeed, ski guide Jökull Bergmann’s ancestors settled in northern Iceland before God even existed as far as they were concerned. His Viking forbears were still worshipping Thor when they rolled ashore on the Troll Peninsula in their longboats in the 9th century; more than a thousand years later their great, great, great (etc.) grandson, universally known as ‘JB’, travels around the area by helicopter as the head guide with Arctic Heliskiing, Iceland’s only heliski operation. And…

SAIL AND SKI

Ski touring by boat along Iceland’s north coast By Alf Alderson It’s possible that the hardest thing about sailing and skiing along the north coast of Iceland isn’t the logistics, the navigating of rocky shorelines, the beach landings in choppy seas and the long climbs to the summits of various sub-Arctic peaks, but pronouncing the place names. For instance, on the second day of my adventure here our schooner ‘Hildur’ anchored in Rauðavík Bay before we took the tender ashore to climb a 1129-metre mountain that goes by the entirely unpronounceable name of Skálavíkurhnjúhur. Getting to the top of Skálavíkurhnjúhur is no less demanding than trying to pronounce it, for although there’s no real climbing involved, it’s a…

WHY YOU, TOO, SHOULD GO HELISKIING…

If the thought of paying for a heliski trip makes your palms sweat, that’s fair enough – but it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, and you don’t need to be a pro-level rider either. Here’s why you should consider give it a go. All images courtesy of Last Frontier Heliskiing www.lastfrontierheli.com   By Alf Alderson I’m standing on the summit of 3040-metre Pizzo Zembranka on the border of Italy’s Stelvio National Park with four other skiers and a guide. I got here by helicopter in order to deal with the little matter of a 2090-metre descent down wide open, humanity free powder fields… And to do so I had to shell out just 180…