Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Happened to the Dirtbag Skier?

Gore-Tex or tweed, does it matter in the end? PHOTO: Matt Small
Gore-Tex or tweed, does it matter in the end? PHOTO: Matt Small

This story is supposed to start with “I remember,” so I’ll just start with that. I remember when we used to wear garbage bags to ski in the rain. I remember when CB Sports made the most waterproof winter jackets on the planet and they weren’t even close to waterproof. I remember skiing in boots way too big and skis too small. And it wasn’t just me. Most everyone on the slope around me had a duct tape patch somewhere on their outfit.

Back then, being uncomfortable was an integral part of skiing. It was something that folks on the hill were proud of: black-and-blue shins, frostbit fingertips, soaking wet clothes. It added to the adventure and the subtle insanity of flying downhill on slippery pieces of wood. (That’s what we do, by the way.) In the current age of altimeter watches, wifi on chairlifts, and apps that tell you if you are skiing or sitting at the bar, some of the adventure of the sport has been lost. Or at least hidden behind a commercial façade.
Along with that went some of its spirit.  Read on..

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wolves return to the Alps

There are increasing numbers and are causing some problems. Last month an Austrian farmer shot one after it attacked and killed his sheep.

 Report courtesy of  Planet Ski
The animals have been re-introduced to parts on the Alps and they are a protected species.

They are growing in numbers and getting more adventurous.

There are thought to be about 200 wolves in the French Alps and their numbers are growing.
In France they are a protected species and farmers can not kill them.

Two years ago there were 600 reported wolf attacks on farm animals.
The biggest threat they pose is not to humans but rather livestock, and especially sheep.

A farmer in the Austrian region of Carinthia shot a wolf last month after he claimed it had killed several of his sheep.

Some politicians claim farmers should be compensated if wolves attach their livestock.

Monday, July 14, 2014

How safe are ski helmets?

More and more people wear helmets and sales shot up after the accident of Michael Schumacher. Questions though are being asked about exactly how much protection they offer.

A recent article in the New York Times revealed some disturbing figures.

It quoted figures released from the National Ski Areas Association that although the number of people that wear a helmet has tripled in the last decade to 70% there has been no decrease in the number of deaths or brain injuries on the slopes.

The paper reports that helmets only really offer protection at low speeds.

It pointed out that the behavior of skiers and snowboarders has changed; whether it be greater use of fun parks or more off piste skiing.

It also surmised that people wearing a helmet might ski faster or more aggressively as they believe a helmet would protect them in the case of an accident. Read on..

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hiring for Winter 2014/15

Doorstep Skis is a small, dynamic and motivated ski hire business.  We’re passionate about the service we provide and as such we’re looking for like-minded individuals to join us.

  • -     We’re looking for ski hire technicians!
  • -    Preferably with previous ski and boot fitting experience
  • -    Training provided
  • -     Driver’s License required
  • -     Excellent communication and people skills essential
  • -     Flexibility, reliability and capacity to work under pressure

The position entails the ability to work alone or as part of a small team with the stamina to often handle long hours. The work is engaging, varied and interesting, and you’ll need to be able to think on your feet!

In return you’ll receive good remuneration, plenty of time to ski, and you’ll have a brilliant season shared with like-minded individuals.

Interested? Then email us some details and let us know why you think you’d be suitable for one of our highly coveted ski hire technician positions- info@doorstepskis.com.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fresh calls for ski holidays during term-time

Recent legislation has prevented parents taking children out of school for a holiday. Now a group is reportedly taking the government to the European Court of Human Rights.

There was a sharp reduction in the number of families taking a snowsports holiday during term-time last winter.

Some parents decided to do it anyway and accept a fine - others didn't, according to family ski operators we have been canvassing.

"The new law that see fines and Headteachers refusing leave for holidays has had an undoubted affect," one leading family ski operator said to PlanetSKIRead on...

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Descent in the Alps

For skiers attempting to descend the steepest lines in the world’s great mountain ranges, seasonality of the sport does not apply.

Every month of the year, big lines are in play somewhere in the world, and top-level ski alpinists, like Swiss Gilles Sierro, know where to look. One of those magical times in Sierro’s home mountains is in early June.

IFMGA-certified Sierro hails from Hérémence in the Swiss Valais, a region that’s a virtual gold mine of iconic 3- and 4,000-meter [9- to 14,000-foot] peaks.

On Friday, June 6, Sierro, along with photographer David Carlier, completed a new line on the north face of 11,969-foot Blanche de Perroc. The next day, Sierro, accompanied by Andreas Fransson and one client, made a descent of the Marinelli Couloir, a legendary 8,000-foot run on the Italian (east) side of Monte Rosa.
This descent of the Marinelli came on the one-year anniversary of Sierro’s first descent on the 14,291-foot Dent Blanche via the Swiss Direct, one of the more notable firsts in this heavily trafficked mountain range in years.

Powder caught up with Sierro to ask about his recent successes, what it takes to pull off goals like this, and where he’s looking in the future.  Read on...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer skiing starts

Les 2 Alpes and Tignes in France start their summer season. In Canada Whistler opens with James Woods and others members of Team GB in the resort. With mid-summer day gone it is now downhill to winter.

The French resort of Les 2 Alpes opened for its summer skiing and snowboarding season on Saturday.

The skiing starts at 2,900m and goes up to 3,600m making it one of the largest glaciers for summer skiing in the Alps.

There are 300 acres of marked slopes available and a 18 hectare snow park that attracts international athletes for summer training.

Around 1,500 people a day turn out to enjoy out of the winter season.  Read on...