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Ski Resorts

Last Week of the French 2018 Summer Ski Season

Summer glacier skiing and boarding bin France will end this Sunday as Les 2 Alpes winds up its summer ski season. The resort has operated its glacier area – one of the largest in Europe – since late June and most reports have indicated it has been a much better summer for snow depth and quality than recent years, thanks in part to the well above average winter snowfall preceding it. The French national squad are currently training on the glacier. France has two other summer ski destinations – Val d’Isere and Tignes, but they both ended their summer snowsports operations several weeks ago. The next lift-served skiing in France will be from September 29th when Tignes re-opens for the…

Australian Resort Reports Best Snow Conditions for 14 Years

Heavy snowfall in Australia throughout August has led at least one of the country’s ski areas to report ski conditions there are now the best for 14 years. “The snow depth is the best in over 10 years and its awesome.  It’s officially the best snow we've had in 14 years!” a spokesperson for Mt Buller ski resort said today. Many of the country’s ski areas reported 30cm or more of fresh snowfall over the weekend and base depths have now reached the 2m mark at four ski area. (Mt Baw Baw) Falls Creek and Mt Hotham (below) both report 215cm bases and it’s at 203cm at Perisher (top) which has more than 100 trails open at present. Of the big…

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.…

Ski Areas Begin Announcing 2018-19 Oct-Nov Opening Dates

Some ski areas in Europe and North America are gearing up for the start of the 2018-19 ski season already with a number of Colorado ski areas announcing their target opening dates in early November – now less than 100 days away. Colorado has some of the world’s highest ski areas and is home to some of the earliest opening ski areas on the planet, with the temperatures often low enough to begin snow making at some in late September some years and mid-late October opening also a possibility if the weather complies. Arapahoe Basin (pictured) and Loveland are usually the first in the state (and the first in North America if you exclude the year-round Timberline snowfield on Mt Hood…

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),…

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…

SKADI FIS SKI APP REVIEW

SKADI FIS SKI APP €14.99 annual subscription www.skadi.guide/ To use Skadi you input your level of ability and skiing/boarding preferences and it acts as a kind of personalised guide to your resort, providing both visual and audio guidance around the resort. It’s also big on gaming, combining resort-wide ‘crystal hunting’ and ‘marmot catching’ which you can exchange for privileges, bonuses and gifts from Skadi partners. The app has been designed in partnership with the FIS (International Ski Federation), and because it is hands-free – you just plug-in your headphones and follow intelligible audio prompts – it saves fiddling around with piste maps. If you like to cruise around the resort and explore without constant stops to check where you are…

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…

SEARCHING FOR YOUR INNER JAMES BOND IN VERBIER

Verbier brings out the James Bond in all of us reckons Alf Alderson To get some measure of how good the skiing is in Verbier you simply have to meet Aussie mountain guide John Falkiner. Falkiner has skied all over the world; when I shared a ski lift with him in Verbier he was just back from British Columbia and about to leave for Kashmir, and he regaled me with fascinating accounts of his travels with the Australian and K2 freestyle ski teams, not to mention employment as a stunt skier in a James Bond spectacular or two. And he chooses to live in Verbier. John has been there for close on forty years in fact, simply “because…

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…