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Ski Blog

High Flying Powder Spots

clock 3rd August 2010 | comment0 Comments


Now this may no be everyone's cup of tea, but there isn't much that compares to spending a day flying off a kicker into fresh powder with your friends. Though this is a past time I enjoy I am far from an expert and don't profess to be one.

Cue Ryan Davis, the former Brits winner is renowned for finding killer spots, and styling out the huge kickers he builds. If anyone is qualified to offer up a few resorts it's him.

Freestyle skiing and snowboarding are both growing faster than ever. Gone are the days of purely schussing down the Hahnenkamm or the Face for our thrills, these days winter sports are taking adrenaline levels higher than ever. Though it's easier to head to the snowpark or slalom run, you can't beat a short hike to a secluded spot and hitting natural lines or building your own kicker. Us mere mortals will try and cram as much as possible into our few days on the slopes each year, but there are those who somehow get to do this for a living.

Ryan may not be gracing the front pages of Document Snowboard or Whitelines as often as he used to, but he's happy to share with us his top five resorts for powder kickers. Hey, we might not all be able to float through the air pulling tricks but most of us can still enjoy an afternoon riding white fluffy snow and enjoying the view!

So it's over to Davo.

Ryan's Top Spots

Ok, so Davo's top powder kicker resorts. Basically a good powder kicker resort consists of two main ingredients. 1 - consistent powder, and 2 - good knowledge of the terrain.

I had to say Morzine is my all time top pow kicker resort because I know it better than any other resort and there are loads of great spots.

So here they are.

Written by Stephen Adam featuring Ryan Davis.

Mills on Wheels

clock 13th July 2010 | comment0 Comments

his September Dave Mills, Iglu's Head of Commercial, will be attempting the Conquer the Alps Cycling Challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Conquer the Alps Cycling Challenge takes place from the 15th - 19th September and involves three days of climbs made famous by the Tour de France, including the gruelling 21 bends to Alpe d'Huez. The event involves over 100km of riding per day and will take Dave from Bonneville to Bourg d'Oisans.

I asked Dave how he feels about the challenge, and after reading Lance Armstrong's Tour France tweets he was feeling positive, "I'm 99% terrified and 1% excited, but this could well be the other way round by the time it comes around..."

I've compiled a day-to-day guide of the epic ride, and we'll be keeping up-to-date with Dave once he's on his bike.

Day 1: London to Geneva

Luckily this part of the journey involves a flight to Geneva followed by a transfer to the French town of Bonneville, where the cyclists will stay overnight. Knowing what he has in front of him we'll let him off for not cycling to the start point.

Day 2: The Cycling Begins

The first challenge for Millsy will be the 60 miles from Bonneville to Albertville via the Col de Aravis and the Col Saisies. The first climb from Bonneville involves a 1km rise in altitude and a steady ride up to the 1487m summit of the relatively gentle Col de Aravis. After the first serious descent Dave will be taking on the Col des Saisies, which tops out at 1650m before the long sweeping descent into Albertville where he will spend the second night.

Day 3: Time to Burn

After the first, and a relatively easy day of cycling, the 64 mile route from Albertville to Valloire is going to burn. Heading out of Albertville the first climb of the day is the 25km ride to the Col de la Madeline, after this warm up the descent to La Chambre will be a welcome one.

The afternoon stretch of this journey involves taking on the Col de Telegraph, the 12km climb is shorter but steeper, gaining nearly 900m in height. After the most difficult of these two challenging climbs, it's down to Valloire to rest and recover from the second day's burn.

Day 4: Round the Bend

The route from Valloire to Alpe d'Huez will take Dave via the Col du Glabier. This section of the ride is full of hair-pin bends through the stunning mountains and passes the monument to Henri des Granges, the founder of the Tour de France.

The final climb is the most famous of them all, and possibly the most gruelling in the Alps, the 21 bend to Alpe d'Huez! The ride to the peak is the pinnacle of the challenge, and the bend after bend of cycling to the top is rewarded by the adrenaline fuelled ride back down to Bourg d'Oisans.

Day 5: Homeward Bound

After three days, and 315km on his saddle Dave will make his way home. Hopefully his leg's wont seize up and he'll make it onto the flight home from Geneva having completing this feat, and raising money for a good cause.

This challenge is pretty full on and so far Dave has four months of training behind him, the Iglu team will be supporting him the whole way, and if you would like to support him visit his Just Giving page. Dave is hoping to raise £2000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and will be grateful for every donation.


Get Fit or Ski Trying

clock 8th July 2010 | comment0 Comments

Now the summer solstice has passed, the longest day of the year was three weeks ago, we now have the shorter days of winter to look forward to. The peak time of year to organise, plan and book ski holidays is now upon us.

With that in mind I took to thinking what can I do this winter to make sure I'm fit enough to make the most of a week in the mountains? My pre-season trip last December finished early with a damaged ACL in my right knee, so this year I want to make sure everything is in full working order before I go.

As I'm not a gym bunny, and many of us aren't, I decided to go down the doughnut-friendly and non-scientific route. After a few conversations with the Igluski experts and the help of Iglu's friends and fans from Facebook and Twitter, I have come up with a few helpful tips on getting ready for your skiing holiday. Some of these activities need months of practice, others can be taken up a few weeks before you leave.

Top Tips on being Ski Holiday Fit

Now skiing holidays don't merely involve skiing, there is also the three course meals, carb cravings and the odd après ski drink to prepare yourself for. Not all of us have the ability to eat Christmas dinner proportions of food, followed by skiing the next day for a whole week.

So it may only be July, and the only skiing or boarding I'm likely to do over the next five months will be at one of the fridges in Milton Keynes or Hemel Hempsted, but it's seems as good a time as any to let the training begin.

So where to start?

Bend it like Beckham
One of the first suggestions we had was to try Yoga or Pilates, as they are good for core strength and flexibility. And according the Brad Friedel, yoga is the reason he is still a top goalkeeper at 39. Ok so football isn't exactly skiing, but 'keepers spend a lot of time either in the air or throwing themselves onto the floor, and that I can relate to!

Head to your local dry slope
Instead of handing over £20 to ride the carpet like slopes, another suggestion we had involves both exercise and a real commitment to skiing. Help relay the slope's dendex, this way you experience manual labour, to burn off the summer's ice-creams, and the added benefit of getting in a few turns afterwards.

On you bike
One of the most popular suggestions is among the most cost efficient and easiest. Either jump on your bike or get your trainers on and go for a run.

Don't take the lift
Burn off a few more calories and stretch those leg muscles by taking the stairs instead of lifts or escalators, another free exercise for most office workers or commuters on London's Underground.

Work those hands
My personal favourite. Our in-house ski instructor, August, suggested a great way to improve your ski pole grip is to... squeeze limes. Yes that's right squeezing citrus fruit is good for skiing!

Get your drinking jacket on
According to our sales manager AJ drinking two shots of Jaegermeister a day after work will improve your après ski fitness.

Another colleague in the Iglu team mentioned the biggest mistake he ever made was having two weeks without drinking before a holiday. During which his ESF instructor plied him with a little too much Genepy one lunch, writing off his afternoon on the slopes.

So there you have it. Take a yoga class, use the stairs, go for a run and squeeze some lime into your pre-holiday drink. Now there's a training plan even I could handle.

Written by Stephen Adam


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