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Les Arcs Invites Ski Tourers to Test The Snow a Week Before Opening

Les Arcs , which will celebrate its 50th season this winter, has announced that it will be opening for one day only a week ahead of its main season opening date of December 15th – but in a novel move it will open the ski area to ski tourers only, and not turn on the ski lifts. The special one day opening on Saturday 8th December has been christened ‘La Belle Aventure’ by the famous French ski resort and will be free of charge to participate in, with all ability levels welcomed. Skiers will gather from 9am on the day in Arc 2000, then from 10am in groups accompanied by mountain guides, steadily go up to either the Igloo Village or…

Zermatt Opening Over 90km of Runs this Weekend, and New 3S Lift with Solar Power Plant

The combined Zermatt-Cervinia ski area will have the biggest ski area in the world open this weekend with more than 90km of runs accessible on the Swiss and Italian side of the border surrounding Europe’s highest ski lifts. Zermatt will also be running it’s new 3S gondola up to the Klein Matterhorn which has been operating daily since 1st November having taken there years to build during 100-day summer construction weather windows at its high altitude around 3,800 metres above sea level. The new lift, which will run alongside the existing cable car, has won attention for lots of features including some cabins with glass floors and others encrusted with Swarovski crystals, but it is also a very environmentally friendly…

Family Plagne’ing

Michael Wolstenholme travelled to the resort of La Plagne for what was their first time together as a family on a ski holiday. With a 14- year-old and a two-year-old in tow, he describes his first experience with a family specialist operator in what is the most popular destination for UK skiers. We are travelling with Esprit Ski (a specialist family ski tour operator) in the week leading up to Christmas. Previously, it has just been me and 14-year-old step-daughter Chloe, hitting the slopes, but this year the dynamics have changed. My wife (Letang) is back with us along with our two-year-old daughter Lilly who is experiencing her first ever holiday and as the coach ascends up to La Plagne,…

First of the Big Areas Opening in the Alps This Week

Although several dozen ski areas are now open in the Alps for the 18-19 season, few offer more than 20km of terrain so far and most less than 5km. That’s due to change this weekend however as several of the big hitters are scheduled to open on Friday and Saturday meaning that ski areas offering at least 50km of runs will be operational. The French Alps have not had a very snowy Autumn on the whole leading to Tignes opening for its glacier skiing a fortnight later than planned last month and both les 2 Alpes and Val Thorens cancelling planned pre-season snowsports opening. However Val Thorens has now confirmed it will open at least 30% of its terrain this…

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…

Vail Resorts To Cover Its Entire Group Energy Use By Wind Power

One of the world’s largest ski resort operators, Vail Resorts, have announced investment in wind power which will ensure enough wind generated energy to offset 100% of the power needs of its 17 Canadian and US ski resorts by 2020. The agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy will produce enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with Vail Resorts’ estimated North American electricity use by 100 percent, which includes all of the company's 17 Canadian and US resorts and their associated retail, hospitality, and corporate offices. The company has announced a multimillion-dollar long-term wind energy contract with Lincoln Clean Energy which, among other things, will enable the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed…

Eco Heroes

The snowsports holidays we all love can sometimes be tough on the environment. But in every part of the industry, passionate pioneers are working hard to give them a sustainable future. Rupert Mellor goes out to investigate who the leaders of the eco movement are in the winter sports industry and discovers just a few of the initiatives of athletes, resorts and brands who are going that one step further to help our planet out. ACTIVISM For Gretchen Bleiler, US Olympic medallist and four times X Games champion snowboarder, days of rain and a melting halfpipe at 2006’s FIS World Cup in Saas-Fee, Switzerland were a wake-up call. ‘I’d seen Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth that year, and now…

More Resorts Opening Early as Heavy Snowfall Hits Colorado

Three more ski areas will open in Colorado today (November 7th, 2018), and they're all opening earlier than planned. The early-openings, which will take the number of areas already open in the famous ski state to six, are all the result of heavy and repeat snowfalls since early October.  Most of the state's ski areas have now seen more than a metre of snow and those already open report 60-80cm bases. Breckenridge and Keystone are both opening three days ahead of schedule, Eldora 10 days. https://www.facebook.com/eldoramountainresort/videos/10156036480567998/ Breckenridge (pictured below yesterday) has announced it will have 10 runs open today - three greens, two blues and five black diamond runs: Callie’s Alley, Spruce, High Anxiety, Rounders and Little Johnny It's a…

11 Year-Old is Next Big Name in Freeride Skiing

An 11-year-old extreme skier from Wyoming is reported to be taking the world of extreme skiing by storm. Kai Jones, who comes from the town of Victor in Idaho, but skis at Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee resorts in Wyoming as a member of TVSEF/Grand Targhee Freeride. Here he is reported to be skiing everything from the infamous Corbet’s Couloir to tackling the rarely attempted Central Couloir. Kai is described as, “an exceptionally well spoken regular 11 year-old kid who happens to be a prodigy on skis,” by his PR team, who add, “Kai is skiing extreme lines at the infamous Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that most adults won’t even consider.” Kai, who has already been sponsored by Atomic, Teton…

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…