Thursday, September 22, 2016

16 Embarrassing Skiing Faux Pas

Linda Marsh is involved in the day-to-day running of Cophall Parking, one of Gatwick’s oldest off-airport parking and valet services. The 24-hour business that started with just a couple of family members and a single minibus now has 50 staff and a fleet of vehicles.

“In the winter, many of our customers are skiers and boarders, and we love hearing stories from the slopes on their return,” she says. “Although quite a few of them involve the embarrassing behavior of their fellow skiers.” READ ON

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ten Excellent Winter Driving Tips

Jane Bolton is MD at Erna Low Ski Holidays. She’s been selling holidays in Europe and Canada for the past 18 years and regularly drives her family to the Alps for their ski trips. “Loading the family into the car and driving to the Alps means you can travel at your own pace, stop along the way to break up the journey, and save a heap of money on flights”.
Here are a few hints and tricks to make the trip go smoothly:


If you want to avoid the winter weekend queues in – and above – Gatwick and Geneva airports, take to the road. Driving to the Alps gives you the flexibility to travel with as many pairs of skis/boards and as much luggage as you want – something you won’t be able to do on the majority of airlines. READ ON

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

23 Ways To Make A Chairlift Ride Incredibly Awkward

Lift rides can be pretty uncomfortable. Here's some hints on how to make them even more so!

Ski resort chairlift queues are usually buzzing with joy, laughter and unadulterated hatred. It’s one the strangest vibes on the mountain.

The fact that everyone is slowly trying to edge in front of one another means that all civility is either false or non-existent.
And the communal rage directed at anyone who does manage to skip the queue is only matched by the awkwardness felt when you end up on a lift with a silent stranger.

Of course, more often than not the rider you’re seated with is nice enough, easy to chat to and turns out to be pretty cool.
Other times, though, they just stay silent and refuse to talk. If you’re feeling like a bit of dick when that next happens, here are 23 things you can do or say to make that ride incredibly awkward…


Read more ...

Saturday, September 10, 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!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How the Internet Changed Skiing

From simple 15-second Instagram vids to high-stakes virtual contests, videos and social media have changed our world.

The first video I ever saw on the Internet was the trailer for Level 1 Production’s 2005 film, “Shanghai Six.” I couldn’t stop watching it on my clunky Apple iBook in sixth grade science class. Just a few months later, a website called YouTube was introduced to the World Wide Web. And although I was young and foolish at that time, I knew the coolest sport in the world was about to get a whole lot cooler.  Read on

Friday, September 2, 2016

Gear Made Clear: Ski Boots

They say that “a bad day on the ski hill is better than a good day at work,” but foot pain can ruin a skier’s experience faster than a Clayton Kershaw fastball comes across home plate. Your ski boots are the control center of your entire setup and a great deal of fine-tuning is required to ensure you’ll perform at your best out there. Each person has a differently shaped foot and perfecting your boots’ fit is absolutely essential. Below, we’ve broken down the vital information you’ll need in order to make your ski boots perform like Tom Brady and boast comfort like a king-size bed at the Ritz. Read On..


CANTING


Sunday, August 28, 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/