Monday, December 10, 2018

These Videos Will Inspire You to Always Ski With a Helmet

An estimated 1.7 million people per year sustain a traumatic brain injury in the United States and Truckee, California, based non-profit, High Fives Foundation, wants to help change that statistic.

Founded in 2009, the High Fives Foundation "supports the dreams of outdoor action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries."  READ ON...

Friday, December 7, 2018

7 Excuses to Visit Les Portes du Soleil

STORY BY Megan Hughes 

A hugely popular ski area, Les Portes du Soleil is one of the top destinations in the Alps. Here at we are giving you a rundown of 7 reasons why you NEED to visit Les Portes due Soleil this year.

1. Size Matters

With over 650km of marked piste and 196 lifts, Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world. It boasts over 300 runs, 2/3 of which are either red or blue, meaning that skiers of every level will be able to enjoy themselves with an abundance of runs to ensure good variety throughout your visit. Due to the immense size of the ski area, there are good pre-marked trails and circuits that are often popular with holidaymakers due to the ease that comes with their being well signed. If you prefer to make your own routes however, this is simple too thanks to a free app that creates and plans routes based on your ability level and preferences.

You could spend a whole season there and never get bored, so whether you’re thinking of heading off for a week’s holiday or working a winter season, Les Portes du Soleil will provide you more than enough pistes to play with.

2. Superb Snow Parks....READ ON

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Why Morzine France should be your next Ski destination

         Why Morzine France should be your next Ski destination

When asked what my favourite ski resorts are around the world, Morzine France is always in my top 5. It is a resort that suits all types of groups from family ski holidays to a bunch of friends flying in for a weekend. It offers a wide range of activities on and off the slopes and also has a large selection of restaurants and pubs to cater for your needs. Not to mention it is part of one the biggest ski areas in the world, Portes de Soleil, with over 650kms of runs and is only around an hour and a half from Geneva airport. Because of this, it is fast becoming incredibly popular with British skiers/snowboarders.

Out of the 12 resorts that make up the Portes du Soleil ski area, Morzine is the largest and probably the most convenient in regards to resort hopping. It is one of the reasons why I have been here on several occasions during the ski season. It is also the only resort, where I have ever experienced extreme weather conditions from -26 with arctic winds to thunder and lighting while skiing.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

What To Know When Buying New Ski Boots

With so many choices, how do you know what type of ski boots to get?

While few purchases are as exciting as new ski equipment, the act of shopping also comes with a healthy dose of consternation. Nowhere do we get more flustered than trying to figure out how to find the right pair of ski boots.

As a reflection of our many different skiing styles and desires, the industry has produced specific boots to match our ever-segmented world. From fit to style to design to whether or not you want a walk mode and grippy soles, just knowing where to begin can be intimidating. This is true for professionals on down to beginners.

But this issue applies best to those who ski all the time: Boots, which cost a pretty penny, mean a great deal to us. In fact, boots can make or break a season. Since we depend on them all the time, we need them to be comfortable and work as intended. But even those of us who ski regularly have a hard time knowing exactly how a boot should properly fit.

In search of professional advice, I reached out to one of the industry's foremost experts in bootfitting and design. Matt Schiller, 46, has spent the majority of his career dialing equipment for some of the world's best skiers. From the World Cup to big mountain athletes to the X Games, he's been responsible for making sure boots, skis, and bindings are precisely tuned to get every possible advantage on the biggest stage. That includes three years as the service manager for the U.S. Ski Team, six years as Nordica’s race director, and three years as competition director for Atomic, where he helped Mikaela Shiffrin find the best fit for her equipment as she launched her career.

As the saying goes: You don't choose the boot—the boot chooses you. Schiller says finding new boots starts with having an open mind about fit, mechanics, and function. During an appointment, Schiller takes at least a half hour to collect several measurements before he even puts a boot on someone's foot. "I look really hard at mechanics," he says. "That will give them a short list of boots where they can think about fit, stance, and flex, and then they can go pick their top three boots with some guidance. I think that has to happen, no matter if you're a pro or a layman."


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Latest gear - New jackets for winter 2018/19

Check out the newest clothing products for the upcoming winter

Published: AVORINET

Winter is on its way. You can smell it on clear mornings and it won’t be long until the first frosts and proper snowfalls on the mountains.
Clothing forms a big part of winter gear. It’s pretty obvious that you need more clothing for a day skiing at -10ºC than a summer trail run at 25ºC. So, here are some items of clothing to keep an eye out for this winter. In the next couple of months, I’ll take a look at new equipment for this winter, including skis and snowboards.

Rab Microlight Summit Jacket

The Rab Microlight Jacket is, without a doubt, the most popular lightweight down jacket on the market, in the UK at least. It’s crazy how many of these Rab have sold in the past 6 or 7 years. They are a common sight on the mountains and in towns and cities too. The original Microlight is really well designed. Most importantly, though, it’s well priced and carries the Rab logo.
The Microlight Summit is a different beast. It uses an advanced new fabric called Pertex Infinity Weave which enables a seam-free construction. This reduces weight and enhances water and wind resistance too. It’s a pretty cool step forward in down garment design. The Microlight Summit uses Nikwax Hydrophobic Down for better performance in damp conditions and has a long, slim cut for good coverage in cold conditions. It also has a helmet compatible hood, a baffle behind the front zip and stretch nylon cuffs. It won’t be as popular as the original Microlight but it’s great to see Rab pushing the boundaries with this piece.

Icebreaker MerinoLOFT Helix Long Sleeve Zip Hood

Hybrid insulation is a fully established concept these days. Having different types of insulation placed in different zones on a garment gives the user appropriate levels of warmth, breathability and mobility where it’s needed most. Icebreaker MerinoLOFT products use merino wool as the insulation material. As you’d expect, merino is warm, breathable and compressible when used this way. It’s also a nice alternative to traditional synthetic insulation being natural and fairly sustainable. Due to the hybrid fabric construction, the MerinoLOFT Helix Hoody should work really well as a mid layer for cold conditions. It will breathe well and hold warmth really nicely under a shell when skiing, snowboarding or hiking. Like with many Icebreaker products, it looks good for everyday wear too.

The North Face Summit L5 Ultralight Storm Jacket

The L5 Ultralight Storm Jacket comes in at an insanely light 156g, and yet is still completely waterproof and breathable. It uses a super light 7 denier Pertex Shield fabric that offers protection from the elements and gives the jacket a tiny pack size. Despite the low weight, this jacket still has a helmet compatible hood and a chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. The cuffs are elasticated and the long slim fit is ideal for climbing. The L5 Ultralight Storm Jacket looks like a great shell to take along for alpine adventures when you need technical features and performance together with a very low weight and pack size.

Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm Jacket

The Patagonia Stretch Storm Nano looks really cool. It’s an insulated, stretchy waterproof shell that still packs small and remains very breathable. The outer fabric is a waterproof and stretchy H2NO ripstop nylon. Inside is the stretchy Full Range insulation that Patagonia have used to such good effect in the Nano Air series of products. Full Range is warm and effective when wet like all synthetic insulations. It’s also extremely air permeable so can be used in more active situations than traditional synthetic insulation. The Stretch Storm Nano looks awesome for throwing on a summit stops and for belaying, but it also looks great for more active situations. I’m thinking ski touring or alpine climbing in really cold conditions when stop/start exertion can make it difficult to find a layering system that offers enough protection whilst remaining breathable too.

Jargon Buster

Air Permeability
Simply the ease with which air can move through a fabric. Recently synthetic insulation garments, in particular, have started to become more air permeable and therefore more comfortable to wear even when active.
Hybrid Construction
Garments with a hybrid construction use two or more fabrics placed in different areas of the garment in such a way as to make the most of the fabric characteristics where it’s needed most. For example, more insulation might be placed in the core area to preserve warmth and thinner, stretchier materials under the arms to keep bulk to a minimum and improve mobility.
Patagonia’s proprietary waterproof breathable fabric. Similar to Gore-Tex and other waterproof fabrics, H2NO comes in 2 and 3 layer forms, along with stretch versions.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Winter tyres mandatory in French Alps by 2019

Published Avorianet 

    Winter tyres to be mandatory in French Alps

    After the carnage on the roads over the winter of 2017/18 amid record breaking snow fall, authorities will make it illegal for light vehicles to travel in the French Alps without winter tyres from the start of the 2019/20 season.

    The period for mandatory winter tyres has been set from November 1st to March 31st, but the geographical areas and altitudes where the order will apply will be at the discretion of local authorities in the municipalities affected by the new ruling. Which types of winter tyres will be deemed suitable (M+S or 3PMSF), or whether chains or snow socks will suffice, is still unknown

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Morzine Avoriaz 2020 Developments

    Morzine Avoriaz 2020 Developments

    New lifts and piste developments will grace Morzine over the next 20 years. The traditional market town is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area and a speedy lift, known as the Express Morzine Avoriaz will whisk skiers from the centre of Morzine to the Prodains gondola lift in less than 20 minutes, making the resorts easily accessible for skiers and snowboarders wishing to explore more slopes.
    Morzine is a resort located in the heart of one of the most extensive ski regions in the Alps – Portes du Soleil. It’s one of the closest major French resorts to Geneva airport and boasts over 650km of marked ski runs which makes it great from beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. The town itself is a traditional market town that continues to outdo itself each year and we can see why. If you’re considering Morzine for your next ski trip, first of all – great choice and second, make sure to read All about Morzine for some inside tips and suggestions for food, drink and more.

    Let’s go back a few years..

    Morzine 1930's
    The lifts of Morzine have come a long way since 1963
    The mayor of Morzine, Gerard Berger has expressed his interest to link both of the resorts together for quite some time and plans are finally being put into action. But lets go back a few years so we can paint a better picture for you.
    A 30 year deal was signed in 1962 to develop the Avoriaz plateau in to a superb ski resort with great snow and pistes that all skiers and snowboarders would love. This was achieved by opening the original Prodains lift in 1963 (which was updated in 2013), followed by developers purchasing 82 hectares of pasture for just 30,000 Francs and then work for building the resort began. While there are a few ways to get to Avoriaz from Morzine, a direct link just makes it even better.

    Project Morzine Avoriaz 2020

    morzine avoriaz developments 2020
    Morzine Avoriaz 2020 Developments Presentation
    The project Morzine Avoriaz 2020 is sure to pave a way for a better future for both of the resorts. Construction is planned for 2019, kicking it off with the Express Morzine-Avoriaz lift and completions scheduled for 2021. The new development budget is a large €35 million with a further €11.6 million to be spent on surrounding infrastructure. Below we break down the developments that will be put into action for Morzine and Avoriaz.
    • The base station will be located at the top of the Rue du Bourg
    • A tunnel will be built from the bottom of the Pleney lift to a new lift station overlooking the supermarket carpark
    • To better connect the new lift station and the Pleney, the tunnel’s moving walkway will transport skiers and snowboarders to the new Express Morzine Avoriaz lift.
    • Beneath the new lift station in the area known as La Plan, (the current Carrefour carpark) there will be a new bus station
    Overall, the new high speed lift will benefit Morzine and Avoriaz with a much faster connection across the valley, whilst also making it easier for skiers and snowboarders who are staying in Les Gets. Morzine TV published a visualisation of the planned project, we cut out the interesting bit so you can see a short video highlighting the development. You can view the full video here.

    Piste developments in Morzine

    A total of €147.9 million has been allocated to the piste and lift infrastructure developments within the Morzine ski area, including the huge project ‘Morzine Avoriaz 2020’. But what else will be going on in the ski resort?
    From 2025 onwards, new lifts and pistes will be created, with both Tour and Choucas highlighted for development. Not only is the resort improving itself by widening it’s ski area to improve skiers and snowboarder experience, but the village centre and the outskirts of the resort are in for some TLC. They will be adding a pavement to the Poute de la Plagne which widens the Route d’Avoriaz as well as creating 600 new parking spaces within a 5 minute walk of the Pleney lift.
    Morzine will be busy for the next few years developing the popular resort to be better and we’re happy to be able to see it’s progress. In the meantime, if you’ve been hunting for a ski trip to Morzine but haven’t been able to find suitable accommodation as of yet, our catered Chalet Chamois D’or provides stunning panoramic mountain views. Don’t forget to keep up to date with our latest catered and self catered offers either so you can treat yourself!
    Morzine Resort