Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sneek Peak K2 2017/2018

The whole K2 line has been consolidated and improved. The big change is that the Pettitor ceases to be, replaced with a 120mm pow ski called The Catamaran. The new ski borrows asymmetric technology from the Marksman and from what I've been hearing from those who've skied it, it's a pretty special offering. The Marksman and Poacher return unchanged except for graphics, but the whole retro theme running through the line looks dope. The Sight and Press get some design tweaks and most significantly, sintered bases, meaning the entire jib line is now sintered correcting an issue so many have had with K2 before. Hype!  READ ON

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why the Portes Du Soleil keeps solo skiers coming back!

Why the Portes Du Soleil keeps solo skiers coming back!

The solo ski experts at The Ski Gathering tell us what is attracting first-timers and veteran solos to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets.

The Ski Gathering offer singles ski holidays for individuals and sociable pairs. They have chalets in Morzine, Les Gets and Meribel. To find out more, visit

Across the board, solo travel has grown enormously in recent years, mirroring a general trend in ‘independent’ and socialising hobbies. Today, people use apps and websites to find flatmates, meet gym buddies, arrange car shares… and plan their solo-travel adventures.

This is particularly noticeable with ski holidays, where solo travellers are increasingly making their mark. Some solos prefer to ski alone, enjoying the total freedom of the mountain. But most see it as a social opportunity to meet other skiers or boarders and avoid paying the empty-bed supplement. For the latter group in particular, the Portes du Soleil has become a focal point in the solo travel revolution. Why is that?

It’s Perfect for Mixed-Ability Groups
It’s Day One of your solo ski holiday and you’re heading out with a group of people you’ve never skied with before. Head for the Les Gets Bowl - the perfect starting point for mixed-ability groups. Here, five lifts serve twelve interconnecting pistes of varying levels of difficulty. Perfect if you all want to try out different slopes but still meet for the lift ride back up or a swift vin chaud.
The speed demons can head straight for the steep Tulipe red run off the Ranfoilly lift; the less flamboyant can find their feet on the more slow-and-steady Reine des Pres.

Beginners won’t be left out
Resorts like Les Gets and Morzine are perfect for beginners. Friendly people, great ski schools, plenty of beginner slopes, and an easy(ish) descent back into resort. While you’re having lessons, the rest of the group probably won’t be too far away, so meeting up for a long social lunch is still on the cards.

Find time for yourself
One of the best things about solo travel is having the total freedom to do what you want, when you want. You can opt out of group activities and blaze your own trail any time you like. For an afternoon in your own company, intermediates and advanced skiers should head over to the back of Mont Chery in Les Gets. It’s so quiet over there, you can virtually have the mountain to yourself. Soak up the silence and get away from it all for the afternoon.

Looking for an adventure
Solo travel is all about creating unforgettable experiences, so set your alarm and have a crack at the Portes du Soleil ‘Loop’. A big day even for serious skiers, this will take you around the perimeter of this, the world’s largest ski area. Probably not one for snowboarders or inexperienced skiers, this is a demanding day’s exercise and you’ll probably need a guide who knows the way without consulting a pistemap. But those who finish the Loop will never forget the experience. Or stop bragging about it.

Have a guide show you the backcountry off-piste
If you’re traveling independently but are not joining a group of solo skiers, a week can be a long time to ski in splendid isolation. One way to break this up is to get lessons or a guide. The Portes du Soleil has vast off-piste skiing opportunities which are essentially off-limits without an experienced guide, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Explore the road less travelled while getting a bit of company for a day.

Discover hidden treasures
If you’re skiing with other solos, you will probably soon forget that you ever travelled out on your own: we often say that solo travel holidays are for groups of friends who haven’t met yet. A great way to cement this kind of dynamic is to discover new things together, and the Portes du Soleil has plenty of hidden treasures for you to seek out. One example is ‘Les Lindarets’, better known as The Goat Village. Named after the many goats which fill the village in summer, this magical location could scarcely be more picturesque and is the perfect spot for a lunchtime stop-off. It’s a skier’s heaven.

Those looking for an equivalent hell might head for the Swiss Wall. Only to be attempted by the most experienced mogul skiers, this near-vertical drop marks the entry point into Switzerland. Ski or snowboard down it, or watch in admiration from the chairlift to meet up at the bottom. You’ll need a head for heights either way.

So, if your group can’t make it this year, or your friends just won’t even try skiing this winter, there’s really no excuse for staying home. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ski hire is all the same, right?

The Good Ski and Boot Guide: Rental Step-By-Step

Ski hire is all the same, it’s just a question of getting the  cheapest price – right? Well you couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you’re planning a ski trip, then sorting out your equipment hire will be high on your list of things to do. The age, the fit, the suitability and the condition of your equipment all make a massive difference to your ability to ski well and progress, not to mention to your comfort, safety and enjoyment.

The internet is awash with sites offering too-good-to-be-true deals on ski hire, and many of the big tour operators will try to sell you ski hire as well. Unfortunately, though, far too often they focus only on the price – as if ski hire was just a commodity – and not on the much more important issues of quality, service and suitability. Yes, of course the price is an issue, but it’s really about the best value for money rather than just the cheapest price or the biggest discount.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Which Ski Run Is Better for the Planet?

The method of clearing a ski run can be the difference between a permanent scar on the mountain and a healthy landscape

PHOTO: Hank de Vre
We’re on a mountain, but at the moment skiing is a distant abstraction. I’m sweating through my shirt and pining for sunscreen, following Jennifer Burt as she leads the way through shoulder-high brush. “In retrospect, maybe I should’ve brought you up the trail,” she says.

We’re at Powder Bowl ski area, north of Lake Tahoe, hiking up the middle of a run—if you could even still call it that. One of dozens of abandoned ski areas scattered around the Tahoe Basin, Powder Bowl closed in 1984. If Burt wasn’t here to tell me, I’d have been hard-pressed to pick out the run from the surrounding forest. But that’s kind of the point. Burt, 40, a restoration ecologist, has been studying how ski slopes regenerate—that is, how they return to their pre-ski-run condition—since 2005, when she was studying for her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis.
Industry experts estimate that as many as half of the country’s ski slopes could close in the coming decades, underscoring the importance—and permanence—of this decision.
Initially, she was broadly interested in the ecology of ski mountains as managed landscapes, but soon she noticed that some ski runs looked markedly different than others. When mountain operators build a new ski run, she discovered, they make a choice that shapes how the mountain will look years, decades, and even centuries later. Industry experts estimate that as many as half of the country’s ski slopes could close in the coming decades, underscoring the importance—and permanence—of this decision. This slope, its edges already fading back into the woods, could be a preview of those future abandoned mountains. Luckily, whoever created it made the right choice, Burt says—they went with the chainsaw instead of the bulldozer. Read on..


Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter is a Sign of Climate Change

This Deep Winter is a Sign of Climate Change

One season of high or low snowfall doesn't mean winter is back to normal

We could tell by the time we turned onto the Crystal Mountain access road that we were in for a big one. “I’ve never seen this much snow this low,” I told Julie, as we watched a truck fishtail, skidding its tires in the line of traffic snaking up the hill.

“I’ve never seen…” seems like the common cry across the ski world this season: Tahoe has its biggest snowpack in two decades; Crested Butte got 100 inches in 10 days; ski hills like Monarch and Arapahoe Basin have had to close temporarily because they can’t keep up with snowfall. Snowfall combined with wind even shut down Jackson Hole for several days last week. This winter has been incredibly snowy, unless you live in Switzerland.

But, as we shovel out, again, and try to go skiing, it’s important to note that this year’s JanuBURIED and DEEPcember are not denials of climate change, they are reflections of it. “This is not normal,” we should keep telling ourselves, even outside of a Trump-induced emotional winter. It’s not normal. And it’s going to continue to be not normal in the face of unprecedented, human-induced global warming.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Staying fit for the slopes the Olympian way

Olympic snowboarders, Aimee Fuller and Jamie Nicholls share their tips for staying fit for the slopes after a day on the hill snowboarding. So whether you're a skier or snowboarder find out how to last the week by clicking here.