Sunday, April 10, 2016

SPRING SKIING

Spring Skiing header
By The Snow+Rock Team.

Spring skiing is one of the many pleasures of the ski season. Warm days, blue skies and sunshine. It is like the reward for enduring the cold windy weather in the heart of winter.
With the change in weather comes a change in conditions and for the best experience on the snow you need to adapt the way you approach your skiing and how your equipment is tuned.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO SKIING LINGO

A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO SKIING LINGO


You might be new to skiing but there is no way we’re going to let you out on the slops without knowing the skiing lingo. Afterall, as every newcomer to a sport knows, you can get away with looking less than skilful if you’re using the right kit, wearing the right clothing and understand the language.
Slush: Looks like a Slush puppy but rarely comes in the same luridly bright blues or greens. Slush in skiing parlance is when the snow is just starting to melt and has a slushy consistency. It also looks a little like wet granulated sugar. This kind of snow is wet and sticky and will slow you down.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

HOW TO SKI ACROSS WATER

It’s slush cup season! Time to don your most waterproof shell, close your eyes and keep your head up. Oh, and fat skis help too…

I came across my first achievable water splash last winter in Italy, on an Easter trip with the family. It doesn’t matter how neatly you turn or how steep you ski, if you want to impress the yoof you either have to do tricks (which, it turns out, are beyond my return to work recovery time) or ski through water. So I’ll try to float...Read on..
Narrow skis? Check. Ludicrous outfit? Yup. Going down? For sure... | Crystal Mountain

Sunday, March 20, 2016

PDS- still best value ski pass!

Each year Source Magazine Morzine like to compare our own Portes du Soleil lift pass prices with those of Europe’s other large ski areas. This always prompts loads of debate over whether the Portes du Soleil can be called a truly ‘linked’ ski area, but that’s really not the purpose of their comparison. 650km of piste (regardless of the ‘linked’ debate) are available to ski with one lift pass, and that’s the basis of our price comparison.
The Portes du Soleil 2016 lift pass is still the best value big area ski pass in Europe. With 650km of piste available for €247.50 per adult for a 6 day standard lift pass, it costs you just €0.38 per kilometre to ski in the Portes du Soleil.
Click here to see how the other big ski areas break down…

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Skiing The Portes Du Soleil Circuit

The Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world with over 650km of marked pistes encompassing twelve resorts. It stretches between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva, which creates a microclimate that is excellent for snowfall.

Jean Vuarnet was responsible for developing Avoriaz and then linking it to the surrounding resorts creating the Portes du Soleil ski area. The highest point in the area is 2466m and the lowest is at 1000m and there are more than 200 lifts linking the area, which stretches over 14 valleys. Luckily, for skiers and snowboarders who are keen to explore, most of the Portes du Soleil ski area can be reached in a single circuit. The circuit will take most average skiers and snowboarders a whole day to complete so first lifts are advised!

There are two directions the circuit can be skied; clockwise or counterclockwise. Completing the circuit counterclockwise could mean challenging La Chavanette otherwise known as The Swiss Wall or facing the getting the chairlift down. The Swiss Wall is classified as an orange, as it is considered too dangerous to even be a black. The wall should only be attempted if you are a very accomplished skier and are confident you can complete it safely. For this reason, we are taking a look at completing the circuit clockwise – a little bit more achievable for everyone!

There are many different ways of completing the Portes du Soleil circuit but here’s just one of our suggestions…
From Les Gets head up the Chavannes lift and follow signs to Morzine. Ski down the Pleney slope to the bottom where a bus stop is located. Take the petit train across town to the Super Morzine lift, take this up and then the Zore lift and follow the cat track to the Proclou lift, which will take you up to the top of the Lindaret bowl. From here ski down into the bowl - you can even stop to have a play in the famous Burton Stash park on the way down.

From Lindaret, take the Chaux Fleurie lift up and ski down to the bottom of the Plaine Dranse. Take the Chaux-des-Rosées chair up and ski down to Les Combes. Take this lift up and follow the long run down into Linga. From here you can again get the bus across the town of Châtel, to the Super Châtel lift.
If you are doing well for time, you could get the bus across to the Petit Châtel lift and take this followed by the Barbossine. From here ski down and take the Tronchay lift up. From here you can enjoy some great views across Lake Geneva towards Montreux before heading back towards the Super Châtel lift.

From the top of the Super Châtel, take the Chemillon and ski down to the bottom of the Le Corbeau. From here, you can take the bus across the town of Morgins to the Folleuse or it is actually also possible to walk there and take in the beautiful church.

Take the lift up and then ski to the Bochasses following signs for Champoussin. Ski to the bottom of the Aiguilles des Champeys and take the lift up then ski down to the bottom of the Pointe de L’Au, take this lift and then you can ski down into Les Crosets.

From Les Crosets, take the new Grande Conche lift and ski down to the bottom of the Cuboré, take this up and over lift into the Fornet area. Then ski back down into Avoriaz, take the Stade lift and ski down the Prodains home run.
Again take the A bus back into Morzine and take the Pleney bubble up, from here follow signs all the way into Les Gets. Then enjoy a drink before collapsing after a long days skiing - phew!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Who Invented Snowboarding?

Who Invented Snowboarding? Not Jake Burton

By Michael Frank, Adventure Journal on June 7th, 2012
On Christmas Day, 1965, Muskegon, Michigan’s Sherman Poppen’s pregnant wife, Nancy, wanted their two daughters, Wendy and Laurie, to play outside so she could get some rest. When the girls were disappointed they couldn’t safely stand up in their sled to go down the snow-covered dunes in their backyard, Poppen fastened together a pair of kid’s skis and after some tweaking invented Muskegon’s most famous toy, the Snurfer. The rest, as they say, is history. By 1968 Muskegon was hosting the World Snurfing Classic, and Poppen licensed the Snurfer name to Brunswick, which sold over a million of the proto-snowboards by the early 1980s. And even though Poppen didn’t actually bother to take up snowboarding until he was in his late 60s, he’s still considered the father of the sport, honored by the Olympic Committee when snowboarding was inducted into the Games. Poppen is being honored by the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce at a ceremony this week. Via Transworld.
Read more stories like this at Adventure Journal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DO NOT Use a Smart Phone App as an Avalanche Beacon!

do notThe Canadian Avalanche Center has just released a press release denouncing the use of “smart phone apps” as avalanche beacon.  

3 European smart phone apps are offering service as avalanche beacons now and they have been found to NOT WORK.  When you are running out of air underneath an avalanche, you won’t feel that great about having saved $300 bucks by using a smart phone app instead of a real, certified avalanche beacon.

A smart phone app will never replace your avalanche beacon.  There are so many reasons that an app cannot replace an avalanche beacon:  they don’t work properly, battery life, robustness, reliability and interference.  Please get an proper avalanche beacon and learn how to use it.

Please read the Canadian Avalanche Center’s press release:
Canadian Avalanche Centre Warns Backcountry Users About New Smartphone Apps
Apps marketed as transceivers give users false sense of protection
Oct 24, 2013, Revelstoke, BC:   Smartphone avalanche search applications that are marketed as avalanche rescue systems are not recommended, says the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC).Three European-made apps are presenting themselves as economical alternatives to avalanche transceivers, the electronic device used by backcountry users to find buried companions in case of an avalanche.
After close examination, the CAC has found a number of issues with the technology. Two of the main issues are compatibility and frequency range. All avalanche transceivers conform to an international standard of 457 kHz. Regardless of the brand, all transceivers can be used to search and find other transceivers. “Not only are these new apps incapable of connecting with other avalanche transceivers, they are also incompatible between themselves, so one type of app can’t find another,” explains CAC Executive Director Gilles Valade.

The 457 kHz standard was chosen because it transmits very well through dense snow, is not deflected by objects such as trees and rocks, and is accurate. “None of the various communication  methods used by these apps come close to that standard,” adds Valade. “WiFi and Bluetooth signals are significantly weakened when passing through snow, and easily deflected by the solid objects we expect to see in avalanche debris. And the accuracy of a GPS signal is nowhere near the precision required for finding an avalanche victim. ”

Other critical issues include battery life, robustness, reliability and interference. “These apps are being actively marketed as software that turns a smartphone into an avalanche transceiver but the CAC has serious concerns about their vulnerabilities,” says Valade. “We are warning all backcountry users to not use any of these apps in place of an avalanche transceiver.”

The three apps are:
- iSis Intelligent (Mountain) Rescue System http://www.isis-application.com/en/
- Snøg Avalanche Buddy: http://www.avalanchebuddy.com/
- SnoWhere: http://charcoalfrost.com/