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Is North America your best chance for powder days this ski season?

clock 30th December 2015 | comment0 Comments

The West Coast of North America couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. Jackson Hole in Wyoming, USA already boasts 4 metres of snowfall which is the perfect present for their 50th Anniversary celebrations this winter.

Snowfalls have been so good in recent weeks that many base snow depths sit well above one metre in most resorts (only a handful of resorts in Europe have a one metre top snow depth at present!)


 

Epic start to the ski season in North America

There are excellent skiing conditions in ski resorts in Colorado, Utah and California in the USA where top base depths are already higher than they were at any point last winter. Stand out areas include Mammoth (216 upper depth/145cm lower depth), Squaw Valley (206/140cm) and Taos (193cm).

Up to 60cm of snow has fallen in the past week in Western Canada adding to the already high snow bases with lots of powder skiing on offer. Big White (232cm) boasts the deepest snow base in Canada currently with Fernie (193cm) and Whistler (182cm) not too far off. With fluffy, fresh powder off piste and perfect corduroy on piste, these are some of the best conditions in the world at the moment!

If you are looking for a powder filled ski adventure this ski season, your best bet is to head over the pond and avoid Europe’s unreliable winter this year. This winter’s El Nino has caused these huge spikes in snowfall so early on in the season. Predictions say that the Lake Tahoe area, Telluride, Aspen and Vail will be the best resorts to it up for the best snow this year.

The deepest snow bases so far are:

334cm – Cypress Mountain
310cm – Mount Bachelor
244cm – Timberline
231cm – Big White
216cm – Mammoth Mountain
213cm - Alpine Meadows
203cm – Squaw Valley
193cm - Fernie
182cm – Whistler Blackcomb

Don’t believe how good it is? Take a look at these recent photos…

Jackson Hole, USA

Big White, Canada

Aspen, USA

 

Iglu Ski in North America

We’ve already had staff visiting North America this season, including Whistler, Sun Peaks, Vail resorts and Lake Tahoe resorts. Call us up to speak to one of our North American Ski Experts and find out more about skiing and snowboarding in this ski paradise.

 

Lake Tahoe, USA

 

Sales team leader Phil is spending New Years at Lake Tahoe and backflipping his way around the snowy slopes of Heavenly, Northstar and Squaw Valley.

 

Sun Peaks, Canada

 

Product Manager, Nick, left rainy England for a few days in powder filled Sun Peaks, here's what we had to say about the conditions:

After arriving in Sun Peaks late on the 12th December we awoke to a cloudy snow day. Still visibility was good in amongst the trees and we enjoyed fresh turns with hardly a sole in sight. The only hint of a queue was when my group of 9 all arrived at the lifts together. We headed up Mt Morrisy and enjoyed fresh tracks in the relative shelter of the trees on wonderfully named gladed runs such as midlife crisis, showboat and tumble dry!

Crystal Chair on Mt Tod was closed for most of the day due to the weather but a rumour went around the few people of the mountain that it was opening soon and we hightailed it there to be the first up and enjoy an incredible couple of laps of Crystal bowl in un touched powder.

The next day we awoke to clear skies and sunshine allowing us to really take in the sights and see how amazingly convenient Sun Peaks is with its 3 mountains all easily accessible from the centre of town. Heading up Mt Morrisy again and with the clouds gone it was easy to see why this place is so popular as we got great views of the terrain over on Mt Tod and Sundance. We headed up over to Crystal chair again to find trees covered in ice and snow (snow ghosts). A few more laps of Crystal bowl before lunch and then it was off to Gils backcountry area which is now within bounds and patrolled. Sun Peaks offer guided Gils back country tours with a certified guide and instructor. They will show you the safest routes and the best lines whilst improving your technique off piste!

The addition of Gils and a couple of new runs on Mt Morrisy (Wringer and In Tatters) to make Sun Peaks Canadas 2nd largest ski area. The snow was incredible and has only got better since I left.


Many of the holidays we offer to USA and Canada are tailor-made as we cannot guarantee flight prices online, plus we prefer the flexibility of choosing flights, hotels and extras to suit our customer’s needs. Speak to the Iglu Ski experts about a North American ski holiday and we’ll put a package together specific for you.

View 2016 ski holidays in USA | 2016 ski holidays in Canada



A great start to the ski season in Val Thorens

clock 12th December 2015 | comment0 Comments

Last week we ventured to Val Thorens in Les 3 Valleys for Iglu Ski’s first ski season trip. A large group from the Iglu Ski team was lucky enough to be invited by Club Med to visit their newest all inclusive hotel sited in the highest ski domain in Europe.

The stunning Club Med Val Thorens Sensations is a large and contemporary hotel comprised of everything you need to live your day to the full. From extensive all inclusive menus at breakfast, lunch and dinner, to optional evening entertainment every night, to various activities around the hotel including a fitness centre, climbing wall and spa, as well as an ideal location next to the slopes for maximum mountain time.

It’s not often we get the opportunity to ski in the first week of December, but after a huge storm in the Alps at the end of November the mountains were left with a lovely fat snow base. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, so it has altitude on its side making it one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in the Alps and the perfect option for an early or late season ski holiday.



When we arrived in Val Thorens we were greeted with a 90cm snow base and brilliant skiing conditions. This time last year the mountains were still brown and waiting for their first snow covering. The great snow conditions gave us 2 days of glorious skiing and snowboarding before heading back to the UK. The sun was shining but it was still cold so the slope conditions weren’t affected by the blazing sunlight.

Even though there hasn’t been much snowfall since, Val Thorens is still holding up its 90cm base on the top slopes and 50cm base on the lower slopes with snow making and the cold temperatures. It currently boasts one of the top bases in France and is the ideal destination for a last minute ski holiday in December.

Here are some of our photos from Val Thorens:

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

Ski holidays in Val Thorens

 

What the team said about the snow conditions...

James, Head of Ski Product:

Amazing conditions for so early in the season. The pistes were in perfect shape although it was a bit shallow for any off piste. I was there at a similar time last year and things are looking much better this year – it’s a proper base.

Phil, Sales Team Leader:

Great piste conditions, much better than the same time last year. Risky off piste at the moment if rocky, but a good base for when the next snowfall comes.


View more photos from our trip to Val Thorens | View Last Minute Ski Holidays | View Ski Holidays 2016



Top 20 ski resorts for winter 2015/16

clock 4th November 2015 | comment0 Comments
With just one month to go until our first customers of the season take to the slopes, here are the best sellers so far this winter [More]


James Bond's SPECTRE in Tirol

clock 12th October 2015 | comment0 Comments

As we count down the days until the SPECTRE world premiere in London on 26th October, Visit Tirol have released new film stills from some of the big action scenes that took place in Austrian Tirol.

The new James Bond film SPECTRE was filmed in various locations in Tirol and 007 fans are delighted to see Bond back in the snow. It was about a year ago the announcement was made that the 24th James Bond would be returning to the mountains and in January 2015 filming of SPECTRE began.

As well as huge ski and Austria fans, many of us at Iglu Ski are big James Bond fans have been waiting impatiently for the new film to be released. So if you are anything like us, this news should add a glimmer to your day!

Action scenes from the new James Bond film were filmed in two ski resorts in Tirol – Sölden and Obertilliach.

New action film stills from SPECTRE

 

James Bond SPECTRE filling in Austria Tirol

James Bond SPECTRE filling in Austria Tirol

James Bond SPECTRE filling in Austria Tirol

Photos: SPECTRE in Obertilliach Tirol (c) Sony Pictures

007 in Sölden

Sölden is one of the most famous resorts in Austria, if not Europe! The world class terrain and bustling town make it a popular ski holiday hot spot year after year.

Producers and Art Department of SPECTRE felt like Austria had everything there needed to create a spectacular sequence. After discovering the magnificent lift and Ice Q restaurant structure at the Gaislachkogl peak in Sölden they knew they didn’t need to search any further.

After a long journey through many countries, Production Designer, Dennis Gassner stated "What could be more exciting than to be up there, on top of the world?" The ICE Q restaurant in Sölden at 3048m was the unique, modern facility that they were after.

 

Ice Q - The new Restaurant Highlight in Tirol

Photo: Oetztal Tourism by Rudi Wyhlidal

Ice Q - The new Restaurant Highlight in Tirol

Photo: Bergbahnen S +Âlden

007 in Obertilliach

Obertilliach is a small picturesque ski village located in East Tirol which is popular for beginners but quite unknown to the UK holiday maker. A dramatic action scene takes place here, including a huge explosion which features on the newest teaser trailer.

The scene features a local, traditional mountain hut, now called ‘Bond House’ by the locals, which was dismantles and re-assembled on the slopes at the Golzentipp ski area, just for the film!

Four locations in Obertilliach will feature in the film including scenes from the Grade II listed historic village. This was fantastic news for the village, Mayor Matthias Scherer cheered "For a tourist destination, like us, it was like winning the lottery. It’s not every day that a small community of 687 has a British secret agent coming to visit." 

Obertilliach ski resort in Austria

Obertilliach ski resort in Austria

 

Take a sneak peak at the Austrian locations in this behing the scenes footage:



Feel like James Bond for a week at visit Chalet Hotel Hermann in Solden. Prices start from £564 pp 

 

For more 007 fun, read our Top 5 James Bond Ski Scenes

 

By Krystelle 



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"Just home from Christmas in Val d'Isere... this was the best ski holiday I have ever been on. Val is stunning, the hotel fabulous, staff sensational and skiing out of this world. We booked through Iglu. They were fantastic. Peter had great ski knowledge, offered advice and went the extra mile. " - Pamela (Dec 2015)