Search Our News Hub
Category:

Ski Resorts

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 LOST RESORT

Few people outside of France have heard of Les Sybelles, but it's a big ski area with some big skiing. By Alf Alderson France and skiing – think Three Valleys, Espace Killy, Paradiski and any number of other huge, interlinked ski areas. Or maybe not… Maybe think Les Sybelles instead. Heard of it? Not many skiers from outside France have, yet it’s one of the biggest ski areas in a nation with some ski resorts that are the size of small countries (I kid you not – were the Three Valleys a country it would be bigger than at least two of the planet’s smaller nations). ‘Les Sybelles’ consists of six linked ski resorts in the Maurienne massif;…

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…

THE END OF THE ROAD

As a ski resort Bonneval-sur-Arc is technically quite wee, with just 25km of pistes and 1200m of vertical; but let’s stop there. A ‘mere’ 1200m of vertical has its advantages when the resort in question sits at 1800 metres and its slopes are north facing, and you’re not likely to be driving all the way to the Bonneval just to skoot around on 25km of pistes. Because it is a long drive to get here, up into the Vanoise National Park from Modane, past Val Cenis and snaking along a high mountain road to get, eventually, to this little village at the end of the road to nowhere. I was here to have a poke around the freeride…

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…

LOOKING DOWN ON IT ALL

Alf Alderson heads to one of skiing’s most iconic locations If the weather was playing ball the view from here would be one of the most spectacular in the world – as it is all I can see is whiteness. Where the Matterhorn should be – white; where the Breithorn should be – white. So why, you may reasonably ask, am I trudging upward on climbing skins towards 3479-metre Testa Grigia, some 1800 metres above the famous Swiss mountain town of Zermatt (which needless to say is also lost in whiteness)? Here are the reasons: 1. It’s an alternative to climbing up the 4164-metre Breithorn, which was the day’s original plan; 2. I’m in the company of local…

BC RIDER

Alf Alderson hits the road in a huge ‘RV’ to visit five of BC’s best If there’s one way of guaranteeing first tracks on a powder day it’s to sleep next to the ski lift, which is why I found myself nodding off one night last February within spitting distance of the Silverlode Chair at Red Mountain, BC. Snow had been falling since dusk some six hours ago, but I was safe and warm in a queen-sized bed in a monster-sized ‘recreational vehicle’, or ‘RV’; this was how, along with my mate and co-driver James, we’d managed to negotiate ourselves into pole position for the feeding frenzy that would…

POWDER HOUNDS

If you’re caught in a slide, these are the guys to call… By Alf Alderson I’m buried beneath a metre of snow, a few chinks of sunlight slicing through gaps to the outside world; but I’m not hurt - in fact, I’m not even worried – because I know an avalanche rescue dog is on the way to find me, and these are the go-to guys in this situation. ‘This situation’ is actually an exercise with the Breckenridge Ski Patrol, so apart from getting a little chilly there really is nothing to get anxious about, for within a minute an enthusiastic canine member of the ski patrol team known as ‘Ayup’ can be…

THE GREATEST?

Trying to ski the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’ isn’t as easy as you might think. By Alf Alderson There’s an urban myth that the Inuit have around a hundred words for snow (although a recent article in the Washington Post claims the figure is actually 50), but North American marketing men seem intent on pushing the number of English words for the white stuff even higher. Steamboat Springs has its ‘champagne powder’ (trade-marked too, so don’t try using it without permission; which I just have); BC skiers float through ‘white smoke’; and, of course, if you’re in Utah you’ll be skiing the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’. Or will you? Well, last February, me and my mate James decided…

MOUNTAIN MAJESTY

Alf Alderson enjoys a day amongst the masses and massifs above Chamonix Chamonix is such a peculiar mix – the height of urbanisation and easy living in the town, the height of the Mont Blanc massif above the town, and the surreal combination of the two providing all the thrills any man or woman could want in an average lifetime. There are few places in the world where you can be sipping a breakfast coffee in a swanky ski chalet at 8am, and traversing a knife-edge ridge with death drops either side at 9am. Which is exactly what I’m doing right now, roped up to American mountain guide Zoe Hart and Italian ski journo Luca Cataldini. We’re negotiating…