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Ski Blog

Summer Skiing Fix

clock 4th June 2010 | comment0 Comments

Summer Skiing Fix

Most people into skiing and snowboarding tend to take one trip a year to get their fix, but for some of us that just isn't enough. The feeling of fresh powder, corduroy pistes, bluebird skies and a cold apres ski beer runs through our blood all year round.

The winter season gives most of us the chance to get a week in with our ski buddies and maybe the chance to squeeze in a cheeky week with the more hardcore riders. But when the summer comes along how do you get through seven months without snow? Ok so I shouldn't complain about the 24°C weather and beautiful sunshine outside right now, but sitting on a beach, or by a pool with a mojito just doesn't match the adrenaline of a day on my board and sinking a cold beer with friends talking over the days events.

For those of us with the time or money the summer does provide opportunities to feed our addiction. For the weekend warriors out there, there are a handful of summer camps and weekend events held at a select few glaciers in Europe. For the real hardcore (and time rich) there is the powder of Chile & Argentina or the adrenaline-sports-fuelled Queenstown in New Zealand.

If the Southern Hemisphere is a little too far and the idea of hitting the park at 7am, and the skate park or golf course in the afternoon is your idea of fun, then Europe can offer some fun trips. The glacier at Zermatt will be open, with events such as the Natives weekender, for a more upmarket summer trip. If you are looking to hone your freestyle skills then there are a whole host of weekend and week long camps in Les Deux Alpes. With big name riders and UK legends, such as Antti Piirainen & Will Hughes to name a couple, mixing it up and offering coaching for serious enthusiasts and disadvantaged kids who have never seen a ski resort before.

For the powder hounds and serious off-piste skiers and boarders out there then a trip to Chile or Argentina could be for you. Realistically seven days skiing is a ten day trip due to travelling to the country and resort, plus if you were in Argentina why not take in a couple of days in Buenos Aries? Southern Hemisphere skiing is renowned for having easy access to untracked snow; whether taking a lift to the top of a quiet bowl, hiking with a guide or heli-skiing.

Skiing in South America is a specialist field with tailor-made holidays to Les Lenas, Argentina, Valle Nevado and Portillo, Chile. This is definitely one trip that is on my list of places to go before I hit 40 (along with Japan and Alaska), and one trip where I will definitely be letting the experts here at Iglu organise for me.

The problem with summer skiing is the cost and length of travel to the Southern Hemisphere resorts and the conditions in the Alps. Skiing in the likes of Zermatt, Hintertux and Les Deux Alpes usually involves a handful of pistes, slush and early mornings (pistes often open from 7am -1pm).

However serious your addiction to snow, if you can ski this summer you will.


Written by Stephen Adam

The best Aprés Ski bar in the World? Part 2

clock 25th May 2010 | comment0 Comments

First of all to follow on from The best Aprés Ski bar in the World? Part 1 I have to make a decision about my own preference and it's far tougher than I thought it would be. I keep remembering great times at so many bars. In Austria, the Ice Bar in Mayrhofen and the Krazy Kanguruh in St Anton are standouts. In Canada, Merlins on Blackcomb (Whistler) with Guitar Doug rocks. In France, the Rond Pointe of Méribel and in Switzerland the Aprés Ski bar in the Farinet in Verbier are greatly enhanced by the proliferation of uninhibited British customers 'on the lash'.

The number one aprés ski bar in the World is:

For the quality of music, the smoke flares, the flame throwing, the champagne splashing, the waffles, the DJ - David Dupenloup, and the incredible energy of Kely Starlight, the singing and dancing bar top host, it has to be La Folie Douce. This Val d'Isére bar, that is literally the French for sweet madness, just edges out the Krazy Kanguruh.

Secondly, after much deliberation and discussion here's what the Iglu team of experts came up with:

Bauer’s Skialm - Saalbach.

Indoor and outdoor bar areas, but inside is the place to be for the weirdest and wildest music and dancing. A real international crowd making the most of well-priced beers and shots for a torrid three hours: 4-7pm. - Boyd

Umbrella Bar - Santa Christina, Val Gardena

Euro pop, free shots, a fire-breathing bar tender and semi-naked dancing on the tables in ski boots combine to make some of the wildest après ski parties I've seen. It's only open from 4-8 but there aren't many people still able to stand up after that anyway... - James

Le Jump Bar - Courchevel 1850

If you feel that the combination of toffee and vodka is the best thing since sliced bread then this is where you need to be. If it wasn't for a slight uphill and small road you could ski into the front door. - Wade

Le Grotte du Yeti - Tignes

This is a great place to stop for a beer at the end of a hard day on the slopes. They have great drinks offers and a range of music that starts later on in the night as the drinking continues. It has a good upstairs bar and then the bands/DJs raise the roof later on in the night downstairs (definitely the place to be in Tignes when Doctor Bruce are playing). It is also right at the foot of the infamous Palafour, the best skiing in Tignes as any seasonaire will tell you. To top that off the more adventurous skiers can practically ski right to the back door. You can also sit outside and soak up the afternoon rays. What more could you want! - Ade

The Mooserwirt, St Anton

It's for those who want to express themselves by showing off their moves, grooving on the table with a drink in one hand, and an audience that appreciates the extrovert (Without the threat of a burly bouncer taking you out). - Nigel

Scotty's Bar - Tignes

Roaring fire and live music overlooking the heated pool outside. With some tasty bar snacks served if you get peckish. Low ceilings and wooden decor make this a traditional après experience! - Tom

MBC - Chamonix

Perfect place for massive portions of food after a day of skiing or whatever activity you are in Chamonix for. Well worth the walk out of town for one of their big tasty burgers and the fantastic beers brewed on the premises. Perfect for a good night out with a group of friends. - Jay (Cham Fanatic)

Smithy's Tavern - Les Deux Alpes

It's great fun, and serves the best hangover breakfast! - Esther

The infamous Dusty's in Whistler

It has everything you can ask for in an aprés ski bar. Ski to the door location, massive sun deck with BBQ's going in the afternoon. Pool tables inside and the whole bar is so spacious it can take a big crowd. The music, the food and the atmosphere are second to none. - Linda

Bar Le Monde in Val Thorens

Because... 'I love the barmaid'! - Nick J

Red Lion, Vail.

A perfect place to give it large in front of the soft Americans with their Miller Lights. The high altitude boozing promotes a real sense of euphoria. - Adam Calway

Seppi's bar - Kitzbuhel

Great music, icy cold lager, Jagermeisters and the chance you might run into the legendary party primate; 'Spank' the monkey... - Steve

The 'Après Ski Bar' part of the Farinet - Verbier

Total Carnage! Live bands about sixish every day, a roof that opens up occasionally to get rid of the steam, cheap lager and a raging mosh pit. Not a place for the faint hearted. It's starts early and goes very hard for just a few hours so get in straight off the slopes. - Scotty

Rond Point - Méribel

A great place after a day on the mountain. Whether you finish off when the crowds have gone home with a schuss from the top of the Saulire or emerge from the steeper and bumpier Meribel Couloir, where better than this. The talk is all about the day's exploits, everybody coming off the slopes can find it easily and the Live music means the hills really do come alive. - Thomas

The legendary Après Skihut in Rotterdam - Cynthia (you'd never guess she was Dutch)

Mooserwirt - St Anton

Exactly the same kind of atmosphere as the Folie Douce in Val D'Isere. Rather than playing funky house though, it ramps up at the start of the day with Europe 'the final countdown' and then rolls into a mix of euro pop and disco. Absolutely no posers here and with beautiful Austrian girls behind the bar & a seemingly endless supply of Jager Bombs, you can't go wrong! - Adam Clark (Iglu blading and monoboard specialist)

Bar Alexandra - Val d'Isére

One of the few places in Val that isn't rammed full of Henrys and Tarquins. This bar is underrated and away from the melee. Run by Val legend Kiwi Phil, the Alex is frequented mainly by French locals or those in the know. Rack up some pool, enjoy a Desperado, and listen to whatever hip hop or drum n bass cut of choice is playing that day. You can also grab some food in the adjoining 4 seasons, home to a tasty Thai curry. Done. - Dave


Pub Le Skilodge - La Tania

Après ski in the Skilodge is a pretty raucous affair. With a packed pub fuelled on toffee vodka, chartreuse and Mutzig, mixed with some of the best après ski bands in the alps and entertaining locals, anything can happen. Plus, where else in the 3 Valleys can you get a pint for under €5! - Stephen


Ice Bar - Mayrhofen

For those of you who cant get enough of your Dutch Hard House Umpa Lumpa anthems, start your night with ski boot stomping to those funny little dance routines, then the Ice Bar in Mayrhofen is the place for you. At the bottom of the main Penkenbahn gondola in the heart of the resort, this bar is said to have the largest turn over of Grolsch beer per night than any other place in Europe, and it shows as it gets pretty packed. Cool down by the beer spray....this place goes off! Damian

Krazy Kanguruh aka KK's - St Anton.

From the cute girls dressed in fluffy kangaroo outfits showing off their pouches, to the dirty dancing on the tables, I love it all! It can get quite cramped for space by 3pm but there is an awesome atmosphere in and outside, and whatever the time, it's always Jager bomb o'clock. - Nick HH

Darbelos - Courchevel Le Praz

The combination of 8% mutzig, open fires, savoyarde cheeses and weird local music acts is hard to resist. - Dave Mills

Feel free to send us your suggestions on the best apres ski bars on our twitter page.

Written by Adam Johnson


The best Aprés Ski bar in the World? Part 1

clock 25th May 2010 | comment0 Comments

What makes a good apres ski bar?

In these highly political times, when I'm asked my opinion about the the two party system, my answer is always the same. It's the after party you should attend.

In ski resorts around the world the French term for after party has been adopted as the standard. You and I know it as aprés ski.

So where is the best aprés ski bar in the world? I could fill ten pages on this topic and whatever my conclusions, they would be hotly contested by seasonaires from virtually every resort, who have had the time of their lives in their local.

It's generally conceded that the Austrians are the loudest and least inhibited when it comes to dancing on tables in your ski boots. They probably make the toughest tables in the world. However, when I polled the ski experts here in, there was wide spread of countries, and somewhat surprisingly, good number of French bars made the list. So what makes a good bar?

Firstly, you need good bar staff!

The Scandinavian resorts lay claim to having the best looking and best English speaking bar staff; the Italians, the most stylish and charming to the Ladies; the Canadians, the most laid back; the Americans, the least likely to have heard of your quaint country; the Austrians, the most likely to be drinking shots on the tables with you and; the French, where you are more likely to be served by Brits, Aussies and Scandis if the party's going off.

Secondly, you need atmosphere (known as the Aprésphere around here).

No matter where you are in the world, live music makes all the difference. Sweden seems to dominate the market in producing good aprés ski bands that get the crowd rocking in resorts right across Europe. They'll usually be leading the shot drinking games from the stage. It also helps to be in a bar that attracts the women of the resort with free drink offers. As anyone who's ever been to resorts that only offer extreme skiing, like Jackson Hole, can testify, the lack of women can be party deflating.

Thirdly, you need a great range of drinks.

If you really want to make it as a legendary aprés ski bar then you absolutely must have a range of vodka shots and plenty of Jagermeister. Preferably dispensed by an attractive Australian girl offering laybacks at your table. You only have two to three hours to really get involved in an aprés ski session so there's no time for sedate drinking. The bars are crowded so shots and the largest beers you can buy are the order of the day.

With all this in mind I have opened the floor to the Iglu team and will bring you the results by the end of the week. Feel free to tweet us your suggestions.

If you'd like to see what the Iglu team thought check out The best Aprés Ski bar in the World? Part 2. 

Written by Adam Johnson

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