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Over the past couple of weeks I have been organising a charity pub quiz with fellow iglu-ite Esther Collas, in an attempt to raise money for a London based snowsports charity.
Snow-Camp are a youth charity that offer disadvantaged inner city kids life skills programs and the opportunity to ski and snowboard. As keen snowboarders we were keen to give these kids the chance to experience the sports we love.
Esther - "I was lucky enough to put on my first pair of skis at the age of 13 when I went away with school. At 19 I turned to the dark side (snowboarding) and have never looked back. Not everyone has the opportunity to ski and snowboard and are not as fortunate as myself. Snow-Camp are able to offer this opportunity and I wanted to play a small part in helping someone fall in love with the sport as much as I did."
The idea for the quiz came from wanting to offer something in exchange for donations rather than begging people for money. Esther is taking part in the Everest challenge, where she will join Snow-Camp and other fund-raisers in covering 150km of the Portes du Soleil in 48hrs. The challenge will include snowboarding to every corner of the ski area, a night session and finishing off with a 5 km hike. We are aiming to raise at least £1500 and don't worry the money raised won't be paying for the snowboarding trip, all the participant's pay for that themselves.
The Entertainment - Tim Warwood
You may recognise Tim from the TSA's snowboard films he did with the Lockdown Projects, his MC-ing at the Freeze Festival or the X-Fighters in Battersea. He also has a Kerrang radio show and presents for Freesports of Four and the Extreme Sports Channel. For those who are not familiar with Mr. Warwood his is very entertaining and big supporter of UK snowsports.
With Tim's enthusiasm, humour and charm the evening will go off with a bang, so far he has requested a round involving potatoes and toothpicks (any ideas what these are for please comment below).
First of all we would like to say a big thank you to everyone mentioned below for their generous prize donations and support, to Tim for his quiz master skills and to Richard Downes, the CEO of Iglu who is going to contribute generously.
There is also a rumour that our head of I.T. may have secret prize for us, but when I.T. are involved anything can happen!
Last but by no means least the good chaps at the Kings Arms, where will be hosting the evening, are going to give the winners of the quiz a round of drinks and maybe even some nibbles to get us through the evening.
If you haven't been invited and would like to come give us a shout on the IgluSki Facebook page to find out if there are any tickets left. Wish us well and I'll let you know how it all went next week.
Written by Stephen Adam
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.
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.
One of the ever present arguments of how to get the Alps is the train vs plane debate. With the demise of the infamous snow-train, its all night party culture and its two extra days on the slopes, can the direct Eurostar service hold its own compared to short haul flights?
There are a variety of arguments over why one mode of transport is preferred to another: the resorts you can access, cost, travel time, luggage allowance, comfort, and access to stations and airports. All of these different aspects have to be considered to give a fair opinion on what works for you.
One of the reasons the old snow-train was so popular was the fact that you could be in the resort by 9am Saturday morning and didn't have to get the return train until after 7pm the following week, giving you eight days on the mountain. Everyone from snow addicts, to the one holiday a year crowd, would happily jump on the train, crawl into their couchette and enjoy those extra two days of skiing.
The second factor was the legendary disco-carriage. Many a hangover and even a few pre-skiing injuries were a result of the all night disco from Paris.
The current ski-train, as it has become known, is a direct daytime Eurostar service. But how does it fare without the extra days' skiing and ability to party the night away? Well there are some definite advantages over flying in my opinion. The train departs London St. Pancras at 10am and arrives in Moutiers around 5pm and Bourg around 6pm (this season's times are yet top be published). So you are looking at around an 8-9 hour journey.
Flying, from London Gatwick for example, to comparable resorts, takes around an hour and a half to Geneva and around two hours to Chambery. Chambery transfers range from an hour and a half to two and a half hours, whereas from Geneva you are looking at between three and four hours to the Tarantaise resorts. Add into the mix travelling to the airport two hours before the flight, and the fact that a vast amount of ski holiday flights depart between 6am and 8am and you are looking at a very early start. Once you combine this with a flight to Geneva, collecting your bags and sitting on a four hour transfer to Val d'Isere, you can easily be looking at a 8/9 hour day.
Cost is a funny one, if you are looking at your standard package holiday the price includes flights, usually from a London airport, therefore to go by train often adds a premium. Flights tend to be cheaper than the train, but for someone who can jump on the tube to St. Pancras, getting to the Eurostar is much cheaper than using the Gatwick Express, and much quicker. Therefore depending on the cost of the supplement, and where you live, the price can balance out.
Luggage allowance, on most charter flights you are looking at 20kg and if you're taking your skis an additional £30. If you are travelling by train as long as it fits in your suitcase, and you can carry it, then your baggage is fine, also your ski carriage has been included in previous years. The last time I travelled by train I had a 32kg suitcase and a huge boardbag with two snowboards, boots, bindings, helmet and all my snowboard clothing, the extra charge? Nothing. Lets hope this remains the same for this season.
Resorts; this is where the train does fall down. You can get to three of the five largest ski areas in France, including the largest linked ski area in the world, the Three Valleys. Other resorts include the Espace Killy, Paradiski, La Rosiere and St. Foy. Offering you a fantastic choice of skiing that will suit every ability and preference. By flying you have access to every resort in the world, from Klosters to Borovets and from Whistler to Niseko The choice is incomparable.
For my yearly trip out to Morzine I'll be jumping on a plane to Geneva as it's only an hour transfer, and if I decide go to Austria or Italy this year, the only choice is to fly. Though I have to say if my planned trip to Tignes or Meribel goes ahead I will take the Eurostar. For me its 20 minutes to the station, I don't have to worry about my girlfriend overloading her suitcase and then filling half of mine and I can take one boardbag with all our kit in it. Add in an M&S picnic on the train, a couple of bottles of wine and maybe a film on the lap top and you've got a relaxing journey to the Alps.
The great thing about travel is that there an option that suits everyone.
Written by Stephen Adam.
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