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Whether you are enjoying the last of the winter snow in the Alps, or back in the UK for some spring adventures, Butta’s latest collection is the perfect inter-season wear. It’s that time of year when the weather is so unpredictable in the UK, one minute the sun is shining and then the next it’s chucking it down. If you’re like me and always get caught out by either wearing too many layers or just not enough, then Butta can save you this spring. Their 2015 collection was created and designed for active lifestyles and this erratic British climate.
Butta's 2015 collection
If you’ve had your head under a rock the past few years and haven’t heard of Butta, this awesome company was started in 2011 with an aim to make eco-friendly waxes for skiing, snowboarding and surfing. With greener waxes this can help preserve the mountains and oceans that we love to ride. Last season we named Butta as our top British Brand for Winter 2013/14.
As well as continuing to fine tune and develop their existing wax range, Butta have now created a range of stylish, lifestyle apparel and accessories so you can take Butta on the road with you, whatever your adventure. Last month I went on an end of season snowboarding holiday to Tignes in France to test out the new Butta range. The sun was blazing throughout the week which meant it was too warm for a jacket so I had the perfect opportunity to try out The Crew Sweat.
Spring riding in the Butta Crew Sweat in Tignes
This jumper quickly became my favourite riding top as I abandoned my other hoodies for the rest of the week. The extra length is ideal for snowboarding as it doesn’t ride up your back, plus the longer length adds extra style! The sweater is fleece lined and the elasticated neck, sleeves and waist make sure that there are no cheeky draughts when you’re on a long chairlift. The jumper is also great for weekend adventures, whether it’s a walk in the woods, an evening stroll along the beach or camping at a festival.
If you like the sound of The Crew Sweat, you are going to love The Lumbersexual. This tall style, heavy weighted check shirt is also made with spring riding in mind. Both the Crew Sweat and Lumbersexual are unisex and come in multiple colours.
Left: Wearing The Snapback in Tignes after a day on the mountain. Right: Packing my snowboarding gear
The last item you need to complete your Butta ensemble is the classic Snapback. As everyone should, I always wear a helmet when snowboarding, but as you come off the mountain and hit the first bar at après, The Snapback is perfect for keeping that afternoon sun out of your eyes (as well as taming that helmet hair!) What I love about this collection is the high quality and versatility for the items. I can enjoy these clothes in the mountains and back at home. There’s no need to pack your Butta wear away between seasons as these garments look stylish throughout the year. They'll be the first items I'll pack when winter 2015/16 comes around! Check out Butta’s website for their full collection
Imagine sitting with an ice cold drink, on a sun drenched terrace, overlooking the most awe inspiring mountain views after a day on the slopes. Sounds like paradise doesn't it? Whenever the sun comes out in the UK we cannot help but remember our favourites winter days soaking up the sunshine in the snow. Here at Iglu we’ve had our fair share of sunny days on a mountain restaurant terrace (after a hard day skiing of course!) so the competition was tough but we’ve narrowed it down to our favourites.
Here are our top 5 sun terraces on the slopes in Europe:
Perfect for a Swiss fondue This sun soaked restaurant is well priced for Switzerland and dominated by magnificent mountain views from the middle of the 4 Valleys. Combatseline is located at the top of 63 Novelli chairlift from Siviez, right between Nendez, Veysonnaz and Verbier.
Photo credit: myswitzerland.com
Perfect for people watching This large, swanky, sunny terrace overlooks the Courchevel Altiport and is an ideal spotting celebrities and millionaires. It is the perfect place to make the most of the sunshine, just don’t forget a bundle of cash!
Photo Credit: CAP HORN Courchevel
Perfect for a long lunch This large restaurant terrace is perfectly located at the first DMC stop overlooking the stunning Alpe d’Huez ski slopes. Once you sit down and tuck into your substantial Croque Monsieur, burger or salad you’ll find it had to leave this sun trap whilst surrounded by the glorious vista.
Perfect for a quick pit stop A great spot if you have just skied the Harakiri (the steepest slope in Austria) and you need a beer to calm your nerves (exactly how I came across the bar!) Located in the Penken/Horberg bowl by the Vans Snow Park, surrounded by pistes, this huge terrace is a great place for a quick drink, a spot of lunch or a chill out in the beanbags in the sunshine.
Photo credit: grillhofalm.at
Perfect for après Le Rond Point is a popular spot that offers great food, ski in-ski out sun terrace and lively après ski. Asthe ‘Ronnie’ is located on the sunny side of the valley it is in goggle tan heaven and the ultimate location whether you are looking for a quick refresher drink, or an afternoon of live music and toffee vodka! With regular live music you’ll be rocking in your ski boots throughout après before attempting to ski back to the village.
The runners up... Panorama Alm, Kitzbuhel At Panorama you are really sitting in the ‘front row seat in the Alps’ with the incredible 360 degree mountain views. Located on Pass Thurn Mountain there is a huge sun drenched terrace with tasty and reasonable priced food. Las Vegas Lodge in San Cassiano A jewel in the Dolomites, the beauty of this place is remarkable with its wooden décor, bordered by the finest ski slopes and totally immersed in unforgettable panoramic views. Chez Vrony, Zermatt Priceless views and exceptional food. This beautiful terrace has spectacular views of the Matterhorn and the Vrony burger is a must try!
What a season it has been! It may have not been the best start to the season, but the snow at the end certainly made up for it. Staff and customers have relished in the top snow conditions during the past month leaving lots of happy faces at the end of our favourite season.
The staff here at Iglu Ski have travelled to some brilliant ski resorts this season and we wanted to share with you our favourite moments from this epic winter.
Where have you been this season? Tignes (with a day in Val d'Isere and Val Thorens), Verbier and Mayrhofen. France, Switzerland and Austria in one season, might be a first for me!
What have been your highlights? Staying in the amazing Chalet Cosy Corner with Ski Armadillo in Verbier, waist deep powder on the Hintertux glacier and the amazing pork knuckle I had for dinner one night at the Hotel Perauer in Mayrhofen.
Where would you like to go next winter? Next winter I want to head back to Austria and try Ischgl, or perhaps Livignio in Italy.
Nick in Mayrhofen
Where have you been this season?Les Deux Alpes, Verbier and Tignes
What have been your highlights?Catching a bluebird powder day on a 3 day trip to Verbier, sometimes you just get lucky! Also, soaking up some late season skiing and sunshine in Tignes with good friends on our end of season trip.
Where would you like to go next winter?I really want to go to Ischgl next year, after doing a season in St Anton I hear that the only après that compares is Ischgl’s. Also I really want to arrange a trip to Japan for some epic powder, in the 2012 season Niseko had 21 meters of snow!
Top - Jake in Les Deux Alpes. Bottom Left - Late season slashes in Tignes. Bottom Right - Fresh snow and blue sky in Verbier
Where have you been this season?Val d’Isere/Tignes
What have been your highlights?Returning to skiing after 10 years of snowboarding was immensely rewarding and lots of fun. Hitting small mile stones of progress through the week was terrific with the real highlight coming with an incredible blue bird powder run towards the end of the week. Whilst snowboarding will always have a place in my heart it’s great to know my ski legs are still kicking!
Where would you like to go next winter?The Dolomites. Great skiing, beautiful scenery and delicious Italian food and wine – ticks all the boxes. I have already booked Club Med Pragelato to take advantage of the early booking discount!
Laura in Val d'Isere
Where have you been this season? Whistler, Peisey Vallandry and Valmorel
What have been your highlights? In Whistler I stayed at the Pan Pacific Mountainside, my best bits of the holiday was the zip wire trek between Blackcomb and Whistler mountain, and going on the amazing Peak to Peak gondola – it’s so high up! Plus Canadian people are a lot of fun, which made my stay even more enjoyable. In Peisey Vallandry I stayed at Les Chalet Des Deux Domains which is in an excellent location just a stone throw from the first lift. The chalet staff were brilliant, the child care was fantastic and the quality of the food was way better than I expected. Plus we had loads of snow! It was a great week. In Valmorel we stayed at the All Inclusive Club Med Hotel. The evening show was the best I’ve seen in a Club Med Village. The location is ski in – ski out, you can almost ski to the bar! The food and drink at Club has to get a mention every time. The Club Med Valmorel is the best family village; the facilities for the children can’t be beaten. There is access to a soft play room and early dining for children if wanted, plus there is a baby room available in the evenings if you have a baby booked in. Nothing is a problem when you stay here.
Where would you like to go next winter? Has to be the Dolomites, maybe Selva. I love food, mountain views, great skiing and staying in high end hotels. Otherwise Ischgl, Obergurgl, Vail and Breckenbridge are on the list next.
Scottie in Peisey Vallandry after fresh snow
Where have you been this season? Mayrhofen, Alpe d’Huez and Tignes / Val d'Isere
What have been your highlights? Going to Snowboxx festival in Alpe d’Huez was amazing. I love après and watching live music so being able to go to the events after a day on the slopes was so much fun. You can have plenty of late nights in Alpe d’Huez! When in Mayrhofen I plucked up the courage to snowboard down Harakiri, Austria’s steepest ski slope, plus I conquered Sarenne in Alpe d’Huez, the longest black run in the World.
Where would you like to go next winter?A large group of friends and I have already booked Chalet Zita in Ischgl for March, and then I’d like to go to somewhere I haven’t been before, maybe Les 2 Alpes, Val Thorens, Livigno or Sauze d’Oulx.
Top - Krystelle on Harakiri. Bottom Left - Apres at Folie Douce in Alpe d'Huez at Snowboxx. Bottom Right - Val d'Isere slopes
Where have you been this season? I’ve been to Tignes, Val d’isere, Val Thorens, Hinterglemm and Zell am See
What have been your highlights?Apres at the Goat Bar in Hinterglemm and the night tobogganing.
Where would you like to go next winter? I would like to go to Alpe d’Huez next year. I went there over 10 years ago and really enjoyed the resort so would love to go back. Otherwise I’d like to try Canada and combine it with a city break for a few days.
The Goat Bar, or 'Goaßstall', and ski slopes in Hinterglemm
Where have you been this season? Mayrhofen, Valmorel (with a day in Val Thorens/Les Menuires) and Tignes
What have been your highlights? All three are top notch resorts, so I won’t go on about the skiing too much. I’m lucky to have been able to go for 3 weeks in total this season, all with plenty of good snow. Mayrhofen: Harakiri, Austrian Après – you can’t beat the Europop, the Iglu White Lounge bar, Bus Warten Schnapps and Bruck’n Stadl. Valmorel: Club Med are great, every single one of them I’ve been to have been fantastic. The fondue in the specialty restaurant and some Veuve Clicquot was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday in style! Skiing with 3 of the best skiers in our office made this trip the most challenging skiing-wise. A short drive over on the sunniest day for some great powder skiing in Val Thorens was very much worth it. Tignes: I’ve been to the Espace Killy loads before, but this time with the best crew! It was the Iglu Ski end of season trip and a large group of us stayed in the brilliantly located Chalet Hotel Curling. The lowlight on this trip was when I managed to pop my knee out on the Piste “A” on our way back to the village, the highlight when I potted 2 balls with a train in pool that NOBODY saw!
Where would you like to go next winter? Japan in December if I can afford it, Austria in March (maybe Saalbach) and then somewhere high in France in April, I’d love to go back to Val Thorens or Alpe d’Huez as I’ve not been there before.
AJ and Linda in Val Thorens
Where have you been this season? Tignes, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens, Whistler, Niederau, Kitzbuhel, Park City, Deer Valley and Morzine.
What have been your highlights? New Year in Val d’Isere was really fun; I had an amazing powder day in Kitzbühel with a local guide and finishing the season in the sun in Morzine was perfect.
Where would you like to go next winter? Colorado, the snow parks in Breckenridge and Keystone are two of the best in the world.
Phil in Whistler
Where have you been this season? St Anton, Lech, Morzine, Park City, Canyons, Tignes/Val d’Isere and Verbier.
What have been your highlights? Trying Austria for the first time was a great experience. America was awesome although the snow this year was far inferior to Europe this season. I love Morzine and the Portes du Soleil, so going back is always top of the list for me.
Where would you like to go next winter? Love to try Japan in December or the Dolomites is high on the list.
Top - Beautiful blue bird day in Verbier. Bottom Left - Fresh tracks in Morzine. Bottom Right - Out of Bounds in Park City
Andorra is a hidden gem in the skiing world and is often overlooked when choosing a ski destination. Located between France and Spain, the Andorran ski resorts have just as good slopes as the French Alps but without the lift queues and ridiculous bar tabs. In March 2014 I booked a last minute ski holiday to Soldeu in Andorra. Like many skiers and snowboarders, I had never thought much about skiing the Pyrenees when we have the wealth of popular French and Austrian resorts at our fingertips.
My curiosity got the best of me when a friend that was working in the resort kept on saying how amazing the skiing was and her stunning snowy photos filled up my Facebook feed for most of the winter. As my planned week off quickly approached I decided to discover a new ski destination, so I booked a last minute ski trip to Soldeu.
Going up in the TC8 gondola from Soldeu Andorra is a hidden gem between France and Spain, with just as good slopes as the French Alps but without the lift queues and ridiculous bar tabs. The resort of Soldeu is situated in the middle of 210km of pistes in Grandvalira with linked access to 5 other ski villages including Pas de la Casa.
As Andorra is tax free, alcohol prices in the shops are amazingly cheap. This is great if you are looking for a cheap ski holiday as apartment accommodation prices are very reasonable and you can eat and drink cheaply so you should have no problem with over spending on your trip.
On the slopes in Pas de la Casa
There are regular ski events throughout the season in Grandvalira from professional skiing events to freestyle competitions. Recent events include the Speed Skiing World Championships at the Grau Roig Riberal slope, Alpine Skiing European Cup on the Àgila slope in El Tarter and the Total Fight Master of Freestyle competition held at the El Tarter Snowpark. The Andorran ski resorts have had incredible snowfall the past few seasons, with snow levels even topping our favourite French ski resorts. During the winter 2014/15 ski season Pas de la Casa recieved 734 cm snowfall, Soldeu had 715 cm and Arinsal got 608 cm. Does it all sound too good to be true? Why don’t more holiday makers make Andorra their ski destination of choice?
Fresh snow and quiet slopes on a powder day in Soldeu
I didn’t believe it until I experienced it myself and I had one of my favourite ski weeks ever. I was extremely lucky and encountered a perfect week of snow conditions whilst staying in Soldeu. For the first 3 days I woke up to nearly a foot of fresh snow everyday so I was able to make full use of my new Nitro powder snowboard, and then for the second half of the week we had beautiful bluebird days. I couldn’t have prayed to the snow gods for a more superb ski holiday.
To start your week off there are plenty of blue runs around the Soldeu and El Tarter ski area allowing you to easily warm up your ski legs before venturing on to any intermediate or advanced pistes. Each of the villages are well linked with hardly any need for traversing which is great for snowboarders.
Fantastic wide pistes with stunning views As you progress through the week head over to Grau Roig and Pas De La Casa for a superior choice of wider and longer blue and red runs. The black and red runs on the face in Soldeu are fantastic and are easily accessed straight from the gondola or the TSD 6 man chairlift. For the freestylers, the snowpark at El Tarter is amazing and quick to get to from Soldeu. There is everything you need from fun features to huge kickers for all levels to enjoy.
Mountain restaurant stops in El Tarter
There is no lack of après and nightlife in Soldeu town. If you like a late night or two, this is a resort for you! Fat Alberts is a favourite and where you will end up if it ends up being a big night out. With live music and themed nights throughout the week, it is a popular spot for holiday makers and seasonaires.
The Aspen in the middle of town is one of the most popular bars. The bar staff are awesome, there is a huge choice of drinks, plus there’s also pool tables upstairs and you can watch popular sports events here. The Irish bar, The Harp, is a top bar to hit for après and is often filled with the ski instructors as they finish their day of work. It is the perfect place to get the shots in after a day on the slopes and have some banter with the bar staff.
If you are looking for a late night venue to end your bar crawl, head to Pussycat that is open till 5am!
The end of an amazing week in Soldeu
View Ski Holidays in Soldeu | Ski Holidays in Pas de la Casa | Ski Resorts in Andorra
Words and photos by Krystelle
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"I was so impressed with the way Laura handled my initial call that as soon as I got home I decided to forget all of the other agents and companies and call her straight back and book the holiday. Thank you again Iglu for being so user friendly and more importantly thank you to Laura for being such an asset to your company and the sales profession."