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We were lucky enough to enjoy one week skiing in the breath taking Rocky Mountains a couple of weeks ago and visited Breckenridge, Vail and Keystone. Colorado has had record snowfall this season and we definitely caught the bug for skiing in these epic resorts.
Breckenridge is an old mining town with plenty of charm, set at 2926 metres you can be sure to experience the best snow Colorado has to offer. From the top of the Imperial Express super chair, the highest chair in the resort there is a great range of skiing from very wide open perfectly groomed beginner runs to the frankly ridiculous Needle’s Eye, which we enjoyed hugely and were happy to survive. On Main Street there are a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from, we came across Ollie’s Pub at the south end which offers a typical American vibe with sport, beer and burgers in ample supply.
Vail, set just off the Vail Pass is a completely different resort with heated pavements, high-end boutiques and restaurants and has every convenience you expect from a modern ski resort, they even have WIFI on the gondola! The ski area is fantastic with plenty of tree line skiing, wide open runs to practise techniques and a huge amount of back bowls for the more adventurous.
Keystone is a much smaller resort but has plenty to offer, we took advantage of the cat service at $5 each, taking you up the mountain and avoiding a 20 minute hike to some of the best back off-piste around.
If you’re considering a holiday to Colorado book early for best deals, we hope you can make it out to the Rockies to experience what we did – it was an awesome holiday!
by Laura Hester
This group sledging experience is great fun for both adults and kids and involves snaking down the Savonnette piste on a linked sledge of up to 10 people. The sled rides start from 5.45pm, once the slopes have cleared and they run until midnight.
See our ski holidays in Val d'Isere
How fast can you ski? Race your friends and family, while testing your speed on this specially created run. The sessions will run between 10am and midday and will cost 2 Euros per turn.
Ever wondered how the lift system works? Or how fake snow is made? Now you can find out, with this behind the scenes tour of Val d’Isere, where you’ll get to explore the places which are usually off-limits to the public, such as the machine room. Pre booking is essential as there are just 20 places available and you must book before 12pm on the 12th March. The tour group will meet at 3.30pm in front of the Solaise ski pass office.
This unusual alpine festival combines live music, comedy and downhill races with networking opportunities for European financial firms. There will be special guest appearances from comedian Marcus Brigstocke and Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott.
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To book a place, visit the Momentum website
Take the train to 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat where you’ll be greeted with a comforting evening meal of cheese fondue and live music. After your meal you can then choose to take a train back to Zermatt or alternatively, you can enjoy a moonlit ski tour to the Riffelalp.
See our ski holidays in Zermatt
Enjoy a week of ski and snowboard contests, DJ’s on the slopes, ski and board lessons, plus games such as snow volleyball and snow soccer. If you’re looking for some great après ski combined with some serious skiing / boarding, then this is the event for you!
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For more information visit the SnowZone Website
Head to Tignes for the Number 1 European gay sport and winter festival this March. Expect DJ’s, plenty of partying and of course, lots of snow. There will be a host of après entertainment, a welcome buffet with cocktails, live shows and the chance to try dog sledding, snowshoe hiking and ski jeering (sled’s pulled by horses). What’s more, you can also bring your non-skiing friends as the festival welcomes those who don’t wish to hit up the slopes.
See our ski holidays in Tignes
For more information visit the European Snow Pride website
The end of March sees this free music festival in the popular resort of Val Thorens. With lots of DJ’s playing a range of Electro, House, Techno, Trance and more, there’s something to suit everyone.
See our ski holidays in Val Thorens
For more information visit the Festi Val Tho website
With your lift pass as your ticket, this large free festival is ideal for après and music lovers alike. The line-up is set to feature the Klaxons, Babyshambles, Mad Professor and more, set to a stunning mountain backdrop.
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For more information visit the Rock the Pistes website
Britain heads to France in this week-long festival, with live bands, a reggae BBQ and plenty of skiing/snowboarding. There will also be British Slopestyle, Snowboardcross, Skicross and Halfpipe championships, which you can register to compete in either online or on the day of the event.
For more information visit The Brits Website
Featuring well known comedians John Bishop, Marcus Brigstocke and Al Murray, this comedy festival is definitely not one to be missed. Spend a day carving up the slopes followed by an evening of live stand up spread across three different venues.
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For more information visit the Altitude Festival Website
What’s this? Club Med is launching a new resort?
Yes, Club Med are opening a brand new 4 Trident resort in the popular French ski area in Val Thorens in the 3 Vallées. The resort will be called Val Thorens Sensations and is due to open on the 14th December 2014. They’ve used crowdsourcing to help decide on certain aspects of the new build, starting a Facebook community where followers helped to make key decisions, such as whether there should be an indoor climbing wall (they voted yes!). Sensations is set to operate from November to May, promising optimal snow cover during that time due to the resort’s high altitude.
Who is the new resort aimed at?
The new resort will be aimed at groups of friends, singles, couples and families with teenage children. The resort is accessible to young children too (from 2 years up), however, there will no kids clubs or kids entertainment programmes running.
So what makes this newbie stand out from the other Club Med resorts then?
The resort will stand out from the rest due to its contemporary design, which features huge bay windows that will give guests a fantastic view of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. There are 3 sun-facing terraces and the majority of rooms promise to have breathtaking mountain views. Each of the rooms will be one of four different categories – there will be 361 Club Rooms, 12 Deluxe Rooms, 5 Junior Suites and 6 Suites.
We know that Club Med is all inclusive, so what dining options will this new resort provide me with?
There will be 2 onsite restaurants which will stay open from 7.30am till midnight, so whether you’re an early riser or a night owl then there will be something to suit you. One of the restaurants will provide a buffet set up and the other will be a concept restaurant, catering for the more gourmet tastes and offering a menu of local cuisine. For those dying to get out on the slopes, a self-service take-away corner will provide guests with a range of hot drinks and snacks, which can be taken out onto the slopes with them.
What about the après ski?
If you’re after a drink, then Sensations will have the choice of 2 bars and a packed schedule of evening entertainment. One bar will offer a more cosy and intimate setting, whereas the other will provide a more open and lively atmosphere. From 3.30pm each day, the Wine Cellar and Grocery Store will play host to a range of wine tasting sessions, after which guests can purchase goodies to take home with them.
Can I hire equipment direct from the resort?
Val Thorens Sensations have struck up a partnership with Rossignol and will also be supplying equipment by Lacroix and Dupraz, meaning that guests will be able to rent top quality boots, boards, skis and more. Once you’ve got your equipment sorted, you’ll also have the option to take ski and snowboard lessons, which are included in the price and aimed at all levels from beginner through to advanced. The resort is also in a ski-in ski-out position, making it super easy to get out on the slopes once you’ve got your equipment.
When I’m not on the slopes, what other activities can I do?
Sensations will put a special focus on health, fitness and wellbeing, offering a range of additional packages which include fitness training, nutritional advice and spa treatments. If you want a break from the slopes, or you just fancy working on your fitness a bit more, then a range of fitness classes are included in the price of your stay. Zumba, Body-Balance and Pilates are just some of the classes on offer. Alternatively, if you’re a little shy about training in a room full of others, you can choose to join in with a toning workout video, which will be available from the privacy of your room. For all those gym and weight fanatics out there, there is a fully equipped cardio and weight training zone. If you’re on the lookout for a bit more adrenaline then there is also a large 10 metre high climbing wall with 4 routes, mountain biking, sledging, snow mobiling and boardercross. If you fancy a swim, then you can head to a nearby pool, where you’ll receive free entry as a Val Thorens Sensations guest.
I’m too tired for more exercise, what can I do to relax here?
After a hard day on the slopes, why not relax with a Turkish Bath? All customers will have free access to the onsite Turkish Bath and will have the option to pay extra for spa treatments to wind down after an exhausting day.
Spa treatments aren’t really my thing, what else can I do?
If you’re still looking for more to do, then the resort will also house a tenpin bowling alley and a shopping boutique. Also on offer is a selection of ‘a la carte’ excursions, which will allow guests to pick and choose outings as they please. These will include a Baroque art guided tour, a traditional themed evening in a yurt and a snowscooter outing.
What else can you tell me about Sensations?
This new resort promises to be very digitally focused and wi-fi will even be available out on the slopes. High speed internet, ranging from free packages to high speed paid packages will be available in the hotel. The resort even has its own app so that users can look at the daily schedule of events, find ski buddies and share content such as images and music. In most public areas, digital screens will display information relating to daily activities and weather conditions. To top it all off, Sensations promises effective queue management to heighten guests overall experience, making it as stress free, fun and relaxed as possible.
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