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Skiing in March and April is our favourite time of the ski season. Days get longer and temperatures start to warm up so you can relish in the brilliant ski conditions in the morning then hit the bars in the afternoon and soak up après in the sun on a mountain top terrace. End of season skiing is a popular option for skiers and snowboarders as there is more availability in favoured accommodations and families can enjoy a cheaper ski holiday in the Easter break compared to the high prices at Christmas and half term. Here are our top 5 reasons why we love spring skiing:
There’s nothing better than carving up the mountain with the sun beating down on your back. You don’t have to cart around lots of layers, you can sunbathe in between ski runs and you’ll have that special code worn only by fellow skiers and boarders – a cracking goggle tan so that everyone knows you’ve just returned fresh from the slopes.
More sunshine = longer days = lifts are open longer = more time out in the snow! Do we need to say any more?
As the slopes get emptier, the prices get cheaper, meaning that a last minute ski holiday is a great way to save the pennies. You'll have a bigger choice of accommodation as chalets and ski in - ski out accommodation won't sell out quite so fast. If you’re looking to squeeze in your second holiday of the season without using up all of your budget, then now’s the time.
If you don't have the time to enjoy a full week on the slopes, there are a number of Weekend Ski Breaks available so you can squueze in that last ski adventure of the season.
Take a look at Last Minute Ski Deals
As the spring months draw nearer, the slopes become quieter and quieter. Airport transfers become much smoother and faster and there are much smaller queues for chairlifts, lunch stops and bars. You’ll have more time to enjoy the breathtaking mountain views, rather than rushing to be first on the lifts.
You'll find that there's much more space on the pistes and if you are lucky enough to enjoy a late season powder day, you’ll be able to ski more fresh laps.
Spring is also a great time to bring along the kids and those who are just learning so they can focus more on their riding and less on trying to dodge others!
Experience some top après as resort bars aim to drink dry the last of their stock, ready to close down for the summer. You’ll find plenty of closing celebrations at just about every resort with live music, BBQ’s and of course, snow – a perfect combination!
The end of season also brings along a lot of festivals, such as Snowbombing, Snowboxx and Zermatt Unplugged.
Snowboxx festival at Folie Douce, Alpe d'Huez
View Ski Holidays in April | Ski Next Weekend | View Snow Reports
If you’re looking to kill a few calories but are unwilling to sign your soul away for an unused year at your local jazzy gym, why not consider the outdoor life and some truly awesome winter sports to get in shape the fun way. Of course the temptation of all that heavenly indulgent mountain food on a ski or snowboarding holiday (Tartiflette, Raclette, Fondue..) might have you concerned about piling it on, but fear not as food = fuel and that’s exactly what you’ll be burning tonnes of each day spent on the slopes.
Snowsports are an excellent form of cardio as well as a great way to tone and strengthen leg, core and arm muscles. Both skiing and snowboarding are particularly good for strengthening the ankles, lower legs, quadriceps and glutes, as you engage these muscles to control your board or skis. Both activities require good balance, which work your core muscles, pulling in your abs and helping to align your spine. As you balance, you use your arm muscles to help steady yourself, working to firm them up, particularly in the upper arms and shoulders.
When your muscles are strong, the body works harder to use them, therefore burning more calories. This, plus being in a cold environment (where your body burns calories just to keep warm) is great news for your metabolism! On top of all these great health benefits, skiing and boarding also release adrenaline and endorphins which lift your mood and make you feel more alert, awake and happy.
Skiing or boarding for 6 hours can burn a whopping 2000 - 3000 calories, depending on your age, weight and height. With that in mind, it may take a lot less time than you think just to burn off that mulled wine and 3 Wiener Schnitzels you had for lunch…
Here are a few examples of some popular, hearty ski foods and drinks with an estimate of how long it takes to burn off each one (each food portion is based on a 300g serving).
The amount of calories burned while out on the slopes are immense and give you reason to feel less guilty about what you consume après ski. A day in the mountains can be exhausting and you will find yourself needing to consume more food in order to feel energised. If you want to know about the best foods to eat in order to keep you powering through, we’ve created a little guide below.
Feeling in the mood for a ski trip now? Check out our Last Minute Ski Holidays 2015.
Thousands of Brits head to the slopes each winter for their one week a year on the slopes. As the mountain lifestyle is so different to our normal 9-5 lifestyle we all have strange traits and habits on a ski holiday – where else can you get away with a Glühwein stop at midmorning or where melted cheese becomes part of your daily diet?
We’ve put together some of our favourite humorous ski characters you’ll find in a ski resort – which one are you and your friends most like?
You don’t bother getting out of bed if there isn’t any fresh snow. If there has been snow forecast, you will be up before sunrise to hike up your favourite mountain for fresh tracks before most people are even eating breakfast. You are an expert in all things backcountry, avalanche safety and snow prediction and often found preaching to people on a chairlift. Ski Chic Even though you have been skiing since a young age, you now only get out on the slopes if it is a perfect blue bird day. You are most likely found occupying sun loungers and bar stools in Zermatt, Courchevel or Davos in late season. Your skis have seen more action in the ski racks of an après bar than on snow.
The Ski Family Are you a super mum that is always fully prepared for any weather or situation? Are you a dad that tries to fit in with the chalet staff at après and is the first one to get the jagerbombs in? Do your children either head straight to the snow park or fly down red runs when there are meant to be sticking to blue pistes? View more characters and full infographic here
Illustrations by Mark Owens
Last month the eagerly awaited announcement of the title and cast for the 24th James Bond film was unveiled to a rousing applause at London’s Pinewood Studios.
SPECTRE will see the return of actor Daniel Craig for his fourth 007 mission, as well as bond returning to the sacred ski slopes. Renowned for filming in the most spectacular locations in the world, director Sam Mendes was eager to announce that shooting will be taking place in Sölden, Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee, Austria.
In the movie, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to the Alps in Austria among many glamorous destinations to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Skiing, the high-octane preserve of the lone wolf perfectly captures the sophisticated and adrenaline fueled persona of James Bond.
Author Ian Fleming, of the original James Bond novels, has certainly passed his love for skiing on to his star subject. Bond has made regular appearances on the slopes; he has never performed any other sport more. With the love for skiing brimming strong in his blood from his Swiss mother, it’s no surprise he’s a natural on the hallowed slopes.
Daniel Craig in Austria for the filmimg of Spectre
Daniel Craig with co-stars Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista
"If you are going to live the high life you've got to ski. Its action packed, it's classy, it's quintessential Bond." said comedian and Bond enthusiast Rob Deering
It’s now 15 years since the snow-loving spy was last seen on skis, when Pierce Brosnan survived a dramatic off-piste chase scene in The World Is Not Enough. It's about time he’s back on the slopes, dodging bullets, causing an avalanche and taking down henchmen, all while demonstrating the most sublime downhill technique.
As the first day of production got underway in Lake Altausse, Austria on Monday 5th January, here at Iglu Ski we decided to take you on a journey back in time to revisit some of Bonds most hair-raising and explosive adventures on the sacred slopes.
After much deliberating, we've whittled down the list of great Bond ski scenes to present you our top 5 favorites (expect some outrageous ski attire, gadgets, stunts and even flying ski-mobiles!)
Pierce Brosnan & Elktra King expertly navigate their way down the slopes with the breath-taking mountains of Chamonix in the background, before battling villains in the sky on flying snowmobiles.
Timothy Dalton's Bond in "Living Daylights" swept down a mountain slope on a ski equipped car, and then on a cello case to escape danger and gun fire to cross the border into Osterreich, Austria.
If snowboarding down a mountain in Switzerland on a blade from a destroyed ski-mobile, while evading henchmen with California Girls by the Beach Boys playing is not quintessential Bond then nothing is.
Roger Moore As Bond produces one of the best chase sequences in the Italian Alps of Cortina D'Ampezzo, performing outrageous jumps while being chased by armed villains on motorbikes, before hurtling down a bobsleigh run while escaping the pursuit.
The most iconic sequence in the James Bond franchise is undoubtedly 'The Spy Who Loved Me', when Bond shot straight off the edge of a cliff at Baffin Island in Canada, we saw him fall and fall, and when the Union Jack parachute opened up and the theme tune kicked in, the world cheered.
Channel you’re inner Bond and take to the slopes with our fantastic ski deals. By Myles
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