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Ski Blog

Snow Clearing Train

clock 18th June 2012 | comment4 Comments

The Kiwis certainly know how to clear snow in style!

The clip below shows a train charging along from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass earlier this month, with the heavy snowfall taking an absolute battering. National Rail could learn a thing or two from this — somehow I don't see "leaves on the track" causing too many delays after this!



Best Chalets & Hotels For Apres Ski Revelry

clock 18th June 2012 | comment0 Comments

Today's blog is bought to you by AJ, Iglu's Head of Sales and keenest après ski participant.

We’re pretty keen on après ski action here at Iglu. So much so that it is one of the main factors that decides where we ski each season. We’ve even rated the best chalets for access to après ski. Some have great locations just a few stumbling steps from the best bars and some offer their own in-house bars that everyone else has to come to.

So, let’s start with the best located chalet in everyone’s favourite French resort, Val d’Isére.

The 5* Chalet Cherrier is slap bang in the middle of the action. I’ve stayed here and counted that it was only 16 paces from the front door to the Petit Danois bar. This is one of our early evening favourite bars with two pool tables and consistently hot Danish and Swedish bar staff. The rooms in the Cherrier are big and don’t suffer from noise after 9 pm.

If your budget is more Carlsberg and KP nuts than Krug Champagne and Beluga caviar then you might want to be above one of the most iconic bars in Val d’Isére, by staying at the Chalet Hotel Morris. This chalet hotel couldn't be more convenient, but if you choose one of the rooms at the front with the sunny balconies, you will hear some noise. At least no one will complain if you're a little noisy yourself.

The most famous après ski resort of them all is St Anton and this next chalet is right amongst the fun.

You can ski directly to this chalet from your après session in the Mooserwirt or the Krazy Kangaruh and you are only a few minutes from the main pedestrian area of central St Anton. The Chalet Alpenheim has a few convenient single rooms and if you have a group of four, than make sure you book the junior suite with two rooms and a kitchenette on the top floor! Here it is really worth paying the extra for a sunny balcony with lovely views.

Italian resorts are usually fairly laid back about après ski but there are exceptions. Cervinia, which links over to Zermatt, has a few lively bars and the liveliest of them all is in the Chalet Dragon right on the slopes as you come down at the end of the day. This place gives Cervinia its aprèsphere.

The rooms in the Chalet Dragon are sectioned off in a separate wing so you don’t get the noise of the bar. The chalet is also very well placed to appreciate all the other bars of Cervinia, being about 100m from the centre. The rooms in this chalet are large and this property was one of our biggest sellers last season, so get in early if you have a group.

The best party in Switzerland is undoubtedly in Verbier, and the Place Central is where it all happens.

Chalet Hotel De Verbier is so popular it’s usually sold out for peak dates long before the season starts. It is directly opposite the best that Verbier has to offer and one the all-time classic après ski bars, the Farinet. Live music, potent shakers, a buzzing dance floor and a sliding roof that opens to let the steam out every couple of hours, come together to provide the ultimate Swiss après ski experience.

Courchevel is the famous name in the world’s biggest ski area, but most people are put off by the prices of the extortionately flashy resort at 1850. To avoid the Ruskies and the €40 fondues, the UK market prefers to head to it's little brother just down the road in Courchevel 1650. The prices are better and the après is more convivial. This part of Les Trois Vallées is the most sun-facing and has the prettiest tree runs. Several of our most popular properties are in this resort like the Chalet Cascades and the Chalet Hotel Les Avals.

The Chalet Hotel Les Avals sleeps 70, so it’s already got a ready-made party on most weeks. The chalet hotel also hosts the best après ski bar in resort, Rocky’s. There is a live band on during après a couple of nights a week and it is well setup with TVs for any UK sport you may want to catch. Handy in February and March for the Six Nations rugby. It also does well priced snacks and lots of daily deals on shooters, shots, bombs and beers — as well as serving the legendary après ski beer, Mützig.

If you are looking for a bargain — with all the ingredients for a riotous week of partying — then look no further than the Club Hotel Les Airelles in Les Deux Alpes.

This property is cheap and cheerful so don’t expect The Ritz. This club hotel has hosted the Iglu April ski trip for the last three years and has never failed to deliver a good time. Our crew are mostly mid-twenties ex-seasonaires that like a party almost as much as deep powder.

Les Deux Alpes attracts a young crowd and is heavily favoured by boarders who appreciate the excellent terrain park. We love the super short transfer from Grenoble, the access to La Grave over the top of the glacier, the cheap bars, the €60 helicopter day trip to Alpe d’Huez, and the reliable snow above 2500m.

And finally, here’s a property that is the best placed in the Ibiza of the Pyrenees, Pas de la Casa.

Llac Negre is right in the centre of the main drag of Pas de la Casa. The town rocks all night and has plenty of great bars including the one in this hotel. The prices are great due to Andorra being a tax free principality. The resort is also at 2000m making it one of the highest in Europe. There has been lots of investment in the lift system of the Granvalira ski area and it now compares favourably with the big French resorts of the Tarantaise Vallée.

This is only a short list of some of our favourites but we have loads more to recommend for après ski action.



Open Source Ski Films & How To Win $100,000

clock 13th June 2012 | comment0 Comments

Teton Gravity Research, the Jackson Hole based ski film company, have launched an open source freeskiing project, The Co-Lab, where the next generation of athletes and filmers have the chance to win $100,000.

The collaborative competition gives budding young athletes and film makers the chance to make the most of the great, affordable HD cameras on offer these days — well, that's if they can get one — the latest GoPro appears to be sold out everywhere! The next generation of pros are invited to upload their segments throughout next season to TetonGravity.com, where users can vote for edits. An outside panel of industry experts will then pick the winning entry.

The best and most popular edit will be put together to make a collaborative film, hence the C-Lab name, which TGR will release and the out-and-out winner will walk away with $100,000. This entire concept is a fantastic idea as the competition is open world wide and gives credence to both the riders and film makers.

With those behind the lens set to gain as much as any young guns looking for their first sponsorship deals, the Co-Lab comp could bring us the next Tim & Gendle (Lockdown Projects), Damian Doyle (Standing Sideways) or Dave Benedek (Robot Food).


TGR's Co-Founders Todd Jones & Steve Jones introducing The Co-Lab.

Over the years, Teton Gravity Research have bought us some of the most stunning and innovative ski and snowboard films to hit the market. Jeremy Jones three parter Deeper, Further, Higher is a particular favourite of mine, with part two — Further — set for release this autumn. TGR have worked with camera men from both sides of the Atlantic, including British photographer Dan Milner.


Jeremy Jones' Further trailer.



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