Will this ski season be known as the winter that kept on giving? The start of winter didn’t get off to the best start but February, March and April have seen fantastic snowfall with many ski resorts in the Alps still open during the last week of April. El Nino has smashed records in North America with reports of increased visitor numbers thanks to the magnificent snowfall throughout winter, creating one of the best seasons in recent years. Jackson Hole in USA ended the season totaling over 10 metres of snowfall for its 50th anniversary year!
Back over in the Alps some of our leading resorts received over 8 metres of snow during the season, including St Anton, Tignes and Flaine. British skiers and snowboarders basked in the excellent ski conditions throughout most of winter.
Powder day in April in Les Arcs
Here at Iglu Ski we work with over 50 ski holiday tour operators in order to provide the largest amount of ski deals in the UK market to ensure we can find the best holiday for our customers. We currently have ski holidays available in over 200 resorts across 16 countries with thousands of ski chalets, hotels and apartment options. With this broad selection of holidays available we have an excellent insight into UK skiers and snowboarders favourite ski destinations. Here are your best-selling ski resorts for winter 2015/16: 10. Courchevel The swankiest ski resort in the prestigious 3 Valleys comes in 10th place again this winter as it attracts thousands of skiers and snowboarders every year to discover the world famous slopes. Despite its elite status, there are plenty of fantastic value chalets here including Chalet Cascades and Chalet Hotel Coq de Bruyere. View ski holidays in Courchevel
9. Les Deux Alpes Les Deux Alpes is consistently popular each season as it is one of the most snow-sure resorts in the Alps and is the perfect destination if you can only travel at the start or end of the season. Delight in the long hours of sunshine and party the night away in the legendary après bars. View ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes 8. Alpe d’Huez This bustling resort attracts extreme sports enthusiast all year round, but truly comes alive in the winter with it’s breathtaking alpine views from Pic Blanc glacier, it’s insane après scene and 250km of fantastic pistes including the longest black ski run in Europe! View ski holidays in Alpe d’Huez
7. Val Thorens If you are after top snow conditions then look no further than the highest ski resort in Europe. With skiing up to 3200m above sea level and access to the 600km of pistes in the 3 Valleys you are guaranteed a fun packed week in this ski wonderland. View ski holidays in Val Thorens 6. Meribel Discover one of the prettiest ski resorts in France and spend a week surrounded by charming chalets and beautiful tree lines runs in the largest linked ski area in the world. Meribel is popular due to the large variety of ski chalets and chalet hotels available. View ski holidays in Meribel
5. La Plagne This ski paradise has managed to push its way up 3 spots since last season as a result of the huge amount of ski accommodation on offer (Iglu Ski currently has 60 properties available) and the dependable snowfall (La Plagne received 839cm of snow in winter 2015/16). Head to La Plagne next winter to explore the extensive 425km of ski runs that make up the Paradiski area. View ski holidays in La Plagne 4. Les Arcs Les Arcs has secured its spot within the top 5 as it is a fantastic ‘all round ski resort.’ With spectacular views, towering peaks and connections to the equally-as-impressive La Plagne, you are always surrounded my pristine mountains vistas during your stay. Together with the fantastic ski area, choice of villages and bustling bars you are guaranteed an exhilarating week on the slopes in Les Arcs. Have you read about the new Mille 8 area?
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3. St Anton British skiers and snowboarders love après. FACT. This is why year after year St Anton makes it into the top 3. If you want the best après, you head to St Anton! Once you’ve experienced Mooserwirt and KK’s there’s no going back to anything else. Winter 2016/17 will see a brand new cable car link in the Arlberg ski area connecting Stuben to Zurs making passage between the ski resorts much easier and faster. This will make ski holidays to St Anton much more desirable and the newly connected 305km of pistes may help push St Anton up the leader board next winter. View ski holidays in St Anton
2. Val d’Isere The Escape Killy duo take the top spots as the world famous ski area attracts thousands of British skiers and snowboarders once again. The charming Val d’Isere village has over 80 ski property options including Chalet Hotel Champs Avalins, Chalet Hotel Savoie and Chalet Lo Soli. View ski holidays in Val d’Isere 1. Tignes Tignes reins at the top for the second year in a row as the most booked ski resort at Iglu Ski for winter 2015/16. With high altitude skiing available nearly all year round, it is one of the most snow dependable resorts in Europe. Totaling 876cm of snowfall this season there has been excellent skiing available most of the winter and the greatest selection of ski chalets, hotels and apartments for all group sizes. View ski holidays in Tignes
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Thinking about next ski season? View 2017 ski deals
In the past few years I've turned into a bit of a fair weather rider and found myself choosing the sunny month of March over the earlier months. Peak December is too expensive, January is too cold, February too busy so I find March to be the perfect month for a ski holiday. If you can only fit in one ski holiday and need to decide what time of the season to go, choose March. By the time March comes around snow bases have built up enough over the season so the slopes are in the best condition for an excellent week of skiing or snowboarding. The days get longer in the spring so you get more ski time for your money, which also means you can take advantage of long lunches in the sunshine whilst still fitting in a few more hours of skiing after. There is also still a good chance of fresh snow, but when the snow does fall it is often just for a short period (overnight or just 1 or 2 days) so there is a good possibility of a perfect bluebird powder day during your ski week. And the best thing about skiing in March… après sessions in the sunshine!
Here are the top 5 ski resorts for skiing in March:
Austria is beautiful whatever the season, whether it's covered in a blanket of snow or the foot of the mountains and villages are surrounded my green grass and budding flowers. As many ski villages in Austria sit at a much lower altitude compared to on top of the mountain, in March you can already see spring coming to life in Mayrhofen village. This means you can spend the day up on the Penken mountain shredding the slopes up to 2500m and then retreat down the mountain to mild temperatures and pretty Austrian scenery for the evening. I was on a group ski holiday in Mayrhofen in March 2015 and had a brilliant week; we even had fresh snowfall 2 out of the 6 days!
White Lounge mountain bar at Ahorn in Mayrhofen
Alpe d'Huez is a brilliant all-round ski resort that caters for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The town sits at 1860m and the ski area peaks at 3330m up on the glacier allowing high altitude skiing and guaranteed snow. The Pic Blanc glacier is so high that on a clear day you can see one-fifth of France! There are plenty of bars and restaurants on and off the mountain for you to soak up the sunshine at any time of the day, and there is even a large open air swimming pool in the middle of town if you feel like a break from the snow.
Skiing in March is all about the beautiful weather and awesome ski conditions, and La Plagne has some of my favorite scenery in France. Sunrises and sunset views from Belle Plagne are magical and heading up the Roche de Mio to take in the vast expanse of the stunning Tarantaise valley is the best start to the ski day. On a clear day (most days in March) you can see the Courchevel and the Altiport across the valley from the top of La Grande Rochette at Plagne Centre.
Belle Plagne in the distance, the top village in La Plagne
Head to the swanky ski resort of Courchevel in the magnificent Three Valleys ski area and enjoy the abundance of mountain sun terraces. At the far end of the budget try the nautical themed Le Cap Horn next to the altiport for the best seafood and sushi in resort. Bel Air in Courchevel 1650 is located in a stunning spot on the mountain. Les Verdons is ideal for a beer break in a deckchair. Bouc Blanc has a huge sun terrace and Le Panoramic wins for the best views!
When the sun is blazing down it always encourages you to stop for a quick cheeky pint or head to an outside bar after skiing. What’s the best place for après?… ST ANTON! Ski hard all day across the epic Arlberg ski region then retire back to St Anton for a legendary session and Krazy Kangaruh or Mooserwirt.
Mooserwirt bar. Photo: Mooserwirt.at
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Here is AJ to tell you more about why his favourite time of the year to ski is March:
Thousands of lucky British children will be going skiing for the first time at half term. For their parents it will be a brilliant break – but only if planned properly.
To help you plan and organise your debut on the slopes, here are our expert top tips for families.
Find more advice on family skiing here.
1. Don’t waste money on expensive ski clothes for your children; they’ll outgrow them by next year. Borrow what you can and also scour the charity shops. 2. Sew name tags on all your children’s ski wear. There’s then a chance they’ll come back from ski school and other outings wearing their own clothes. 3. If you need a pushchair, take one with large wheels. Then it won’t get stuck in the snow. 4. Pack sun block sticks not sprays. Then you won’t have to take your gloves off when you want to rub it on. 5. Don’t pack any best clothes. They’re wasted in a ski resort. Use the space for extra gloves and hats. 6. If you need a baby bottle warmer take your own. Then you won’t have to queue to share the only one in the chalet. 7. Imagine the mess a broken bottle of Calpol would make in your luggage. So take sachets instead. 8. If your child needs disposable nappies, find room for a pack of your usual brand in your luggage – they will be much more expensive in resort, if available at all. 9. Don’t forget slippers 10. If there’s a coach transfer to the resort, sit as near to the front as you can. There’s then less chance of a windy road making your children sick. 11. Write you mobile number on a child’s hand or arm if they’re going to ski school on their own. 12. Don’t be tempted to go to watch your children in ski school. It could distract and upset them. 13. Invest in a set of walkie talkies. Then if you get separated on the slopes you can call each other. 14. Three rigid rules for all the family – never ski without a helmet, never ski alone and never ski after drinking alcohol. 15. Take snacks and entertainment for the plane and coach transfer to resort. As half term is one of the busiest weeks of the season, delays are likely.
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There’s recently been some speculation about how safe skiing is with all the injuries the contestants have experienced on the current season of ‘The Jump.’ Comparing skiing and ski jumping is like comparing football to gymnastics. They are 2 separate sports that use different equipment, require different techniques and performed in different locations. Both skiing and ski jumping are extreme sports, you have to understand the risks you are taking when signing up to these snow sports. Just like any other sport, if you abide by suggested safety rules (FIS Rules of Conduct) you can experience these fantastic sports in a fun and safe manner. The contestants in The Jump take part in a wide variety of snow sports that are all considered extreme sports. Many of the sports attempted in the show are normally only carried out by professionals. The average skier wouldn’t have ever tried ski jumping, skeleton or snow cross. The risk of injury in skiing and snowboarding is low, for every 1000 people skiing and snowboarding in a day, on average between 2 -4 will need medical attention (0.2-0.4%). Sports that have a higher risk include: Football, cycling, baseball and basketball. Find out more about staying safe in the snow.
Don’t confuse skiing with ski jumping. Learn the facts here:
1. Location: A Ski Jump VS a Skiers piste
Even the easiest ski jump wouldn’t be touched by most skiers, ski jumps are generally reserved for the professionals.
A ‘green’ piste is the easiest slope on the mountain and is designed for beginner skiers. A green piste has between 6-25% gradient. As a skier progresses they can move on to the blue, red and then black pistes.
2. Skis: Jumps skis VS Mountain skis
Jump skis are 1 and a half times the athlete’s body length.
Mountain skis normally come up between your chin and the top of your head and then snowboard come up a little shorter.
3. Clothing: Ski jump suit VS ski wear
A skier would get extremely cold on top of a mountain in a tight onesie!
4. Air Time: Flying 100m through the air VS Keeping your skis on the slope
There’s no jumping involved on the mountain unless you choose to. Skiing just involves gliding across the snow on skis.
5. Bindings: Jump bindings VS Mountain Bindings
On a jump ski, you are essentially attached by a toe clamp at the front and just a cord at the back of the boot.
On a mountain ski you are secured into a step in binding that clamps at your heel and toe in order to provide maximum support.
Read more expert guides | View ski deals | Safety in the Mountains
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"Just home from Christmas in Val d'Isere... this was the best ski holiday I have ever been on. Val is stunning, the hotel fabulous, staff sensational and skiing out of this world. We booked through Iglu. They were fantastic. Peter had great ski knowledge, offered advice and went the extra mile. " - Pamela (Dec 2015)