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Ski Blog

7 ski destinations you never knew existed

clock 10th June 2015 | comment0 Comments

Try something totally unique for your next ski adventure and upgrade your skiable country conceptions to include some truly life changing terrain. You’ve likely been to France, Austria, North America and skied the slopes of some serious big hitters, either that or your friends have and consistently remind you of how uh-mazing it was. Go bigger and better with some superstar ski facts on where you plan to conquer next, how about Hawaii for starters?

Top far-out ski havens you need to experience

National Park Torres del Paine, Chile

Hawaii

Picture Hawaii and you’re probably seeing swaying palm trees, fire side hula dances and somewhat of a surfers paradise. But look beyond the tropical front line and you’ll also discover Mount Kea, Hawaii’s skiable White Mountain reaching 4205m high. Not for the faint of heart, this dormant volcano allows for some seriously high skiing, plus the lack of resort facilities mean only the adventurous need apply.

 

India

Rising up as an escape from India’s soaring summer temperatures, Gulmarg is a hill station of Kashmir which now boasts India’s most famed ski resort. High up in the Himalayas, this resort provides astonishing mountain views and also plays host to Asia’s highest gondola. With strong expectations of snow-sure seasons and the bonus of towering terrain, Gulmarg feeds the urge of those needing a completely new adventure.

 

Gulmarg ski resort, India

Japan

A cultural explosion and sensory wonderland, Japan is a popular destination for many reasons. No stranger to snow fans, Japan hosts in excess of 500 ski resorts, unparalleled scenery and pure powder. Rusutsu resort in Hokkaido is fast becoming one of Japan’s most popular resorts. Comprised of three skiable mountains and combining top class skiing with quirky Japanese conventions. Be sure to ski through the abandoned theme park for an unforgettable run.

 

Ski through a theme park in Rusutu. Photo from Japan Ski Experience


Powder lines in Niseko, Japan

South Africa

Five hours drive from Johannesburg and sitting pretty in the Maluti Mountains lies Afriski. This snow coated South African wonder is best for skiing and snowboarding during June and July, meaning you can still get your fix outside of the typical ski season. All levels are catered for, from the top class tuition for beginners to Lesotho’s notable passion for adventure. Their après ski game is strong with unique drink challenges and the highest restaurant in Africa.

 

Afriski Mountain Resort

Australia

You might be inclined to head down under for beach fun, water sports, sizzling BBQ’s and a laid back lifestyle, but did you know that Australia also hosts some pretty awesome skiing? Snow fans and adrenaline junkies should head to the south west, stopping by New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania for a taste of Australian alpine life. Ski eucalyptus tree lined runs and experience a unique après the Aussie way. Popular ski resorts include Perisher, Thredbo, Falls Creek and Mount Buller.

 


Perisher, New South Wales

South Korea

Hosts of the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea has been a favourite amongst ski stars for years; and now it serves a purpose to all wanting a winter adventure with a big cultural injection. Yongpyong in the Gangwan-do region is Korea’s largest ski and snowboard resort and quickly emerging as the most popular. The Rainbow slope comes equipped with plenty junctions and courses making it one of the best in Korea, whilst beginners can let loose and crash-free on the ultra-wide beginner slope.

 

Top of the Rainbow Lift at Yongpyong resort (Pyeongchang)

Chile

Chile offers a completely alternative ski/ snowboarding experience, with its diverse climate and lively Latin American culture. Chile’s snow coated resorts can be found high in the elevated Andean mountain range, providing ultimate dope slopes and views to die for. Get your thrills skiing steaming volcanoes before savouring their famous Chilean red wine to unwind.

 

Fresh powder in Portillo, Chile


DC Snowboarding in Chile

 

If you liked this blog, read our top 5 once in a lifetime ski experiences or top 5 hidden gems

For a powder-filled ski holiday next season try Canada or Japan

By Ciara



Top 5 tree ski runs

clock 22nd May 2015 | comment0 Comments

Everyone loves tree runs, whether it’s a tree lined piste in a lush alpine area or off piste terrain through the sloping glades. As well as tree areas being one of the most beautiful areas in a ski resort, these places are the best spots to head for when it is a white-out. Tree cover offers protection from the elements which allows you to see the slopes and surrounding better and lets you to carry on with your day instead of retreating back to your chalet.

Tree skiing is fantastic as it is accessible for all abilities. There are ski resorts with plenty of tree lined blue pistes which are great for beginners and leisurely skiers, then experienced skiers can head off piste to weave through the powder and trees.

North America and Canada offer the most extensive tree terrain as the mountains don’t reach the heights of Europe’s peaks. Even though tree lines are often low in some of the top European ski resorts, there is still some amazingly fun tree skiing to be had!

Also, take a look at our Top 5 Black Ski Runs

 

 

5. Serre Chevalier

Lovers of tree skiing will adore Serre Chavalier as the resort is famed for its great snow conditions, freestyle terrain and wide trees to weave through. Experienced skiers will be captivated by the ski area around the secret chairlift (aka the Aguillette) over Chantemerle because of the fun off piste and trees to ski through near the 2800m Aguillette red piste.

Chosen by Lucy, Senior Sales Expert

Find out more about Serre Chavalier

4. Val d'Isere

Both the runs into La Daille and La Fornet in Val d’Isere are great when the weather closes in and easy to access from the pistes (and get back to the piste from) for those who aren’t too adventurous. Perfect after a huge dump of snow for laps of fresh tracks through the trees.

Chosen by James, Head of Ski Product 

Find out more about Val d'Isere

3. Whistler

Whistler has some incredible gladed tree runs off the back of Crystal chair on the Blackcomb mountain. On Whistler mountain you can also ski the famous A-line downhill bike track through the trees which feels a bit like a wooded boarder cross course.

Chosen by Laura, Digital Marketing Manager

Plus the off piste Million Dollar Ridge in Whistler is popular with locals; make sure you have a guide in these places as the routes are not on the map.

Chosen by Christian, Senior Sales Expert

Find out more about Whistler

2. Chamonix

There are extensive alpine ski areas and exceptional natural freeride terrain in Chamonix. Over the back of the Tete de Balme chairlift there are some great off piste lines through the trees. Then at the beautiful Les Houches ski area there is lots more skiable tree terrain including Aillouds which is a long, wide, easy going run, plus the red runs down to Saint Gervais take you back through the trees.

Chosen by Krystelle, Digital Marketing Executive

Find out more about Chamonix

1. Avoriaz

The Stash in the Lindaret trees in Avoriaz is one of the great tree runs of the world. My tip is to stay skiers left and go all the way down to Ardent on a powder day. Unbeatable. When the trees get too tight, try and aim for the open glades and look out for the fun drops!

Chosen by AJ, Sales Director

Find out more about Avoriaz

Wildcard: Japan

Travis Rice shredding in fresh, hip deep champagne powder. Get us to Japan!

Find out more about ski holidays in Japan

 

Read a previous blog on Tree Skiing in France

By Krystelle



Top 5 once in a lifetime ski experiences

clock 19th August 2014 | comment2 Comments

When choosing the next skiing trip our mind often wonders to those extraordinary bucket list destinations. There are 97 countries across the world that offer skiing and snowboarding. With ski resorts in the northern and southern hemisphere it is possible to ski throughout the year – it’s always snowing somewhere! With so many possibilities on offer there many fantastic and unique experiences to enjoy in the mountains. Here are our top 5 once in a lifetime ski experiences to get your imagination running wild.

5. Heli Skiing in Alaska

For incredible alpine scenery and breath taking untouched landscapes, there is nothing that rivals a heli-ski adventure in Alaska. The Alaska ranges have been made famous by extreme ski and snowboard films – remember those opening scenes in Art of Flight? This was Alaska's Tordrillo mountain range.



Heli skiing and snowboarding in Alaska is the ultimate freeriding adventure; the varied terrain and epic snowfall will guarantee that adrenaline rush you’ve been craving for. The last frontier is so vast you will feel like the first person discovering a new mountain. There are a large amount of heli ski operators across the Alaskan ranges that run singles days as well as multiple day trips.

Alaska Heli ski runs are long, so you will get lots of skiing mileage during your trip, much more than other ranges in North America. Resorts in Alaska receive huge amounts of snow, with the highest parts of the mountains averaging 20-25m per season

4. Ultimate bragging rights in the 3 Valleys

Can you ski the 10 main resorts of the largest ski area in the world in one day? The answer is yes, and it’s an excellent day out that gets you to all the corners of this massive ski area. What better way to brag to your friends, than saying you’ve skied the 600km of the largest linked ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées.

Our Sales Director, Adam Johnson took 3 Iglu team mates on a mission to conquer the French giant. AJ takes us through their epic day...

3. Magical landscapes in Finland

Skiing in Finland is unlike any other Alpine ski holiday. If you want to ski in breath taking, peaceful scenery surrounded by ice-sculpted forests and frozen lakes, coupled with uncrowded pistes and resorts, a ski holiday to Finland offers you a very refreshing alternative.

Skiing in Finland is varied, with a variety of runs suited for all abilities, but the ski areas are smaller than what we are used to in the Alps and ideally suited to beginners and intermediates. One of the fantastic reasons to come to ski in Finland is to experience one of the many unique activities at your fingertips. Enjoy meeting the animals and learning about their way of life on either the Reindeer safaris or the Husky dog sledding trips or for adrenaline junkies, you can get your pulse racing on one of the exhilarating snowmobile adventures and a magical visit to Santa is an absolute must for the whole family.

If you are very lucky you may even catch one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, the Northern Lights. Head away from the town and bright lights and you should be able to see the lights at certain times throughout winter.

2. Epic Luxury in Val d’Isere

Everyone deserves a spot of luxury in their lives, which is why one must experience the ultimate luxury ski holiday in a stunning chocolate box chalet in one of the finest resorts in the world, Val d’Isere.

Well-stocked wine cellars, gourmet cuisine, private cinemas, chauffeurs, outdoor hot-tubs, a roaring log fire... luxury chalets are all about being pampered to the max. Good food is an essential part of a luxury ski holiday. The talented chefs are experienced and creative artists, producing modern and traditional cuisine to tantalize your taste buds. Everything in the luxury ski chalets are designed to make you feel relaxed, pampered and special.

Val d'Isere offers one of the world's best ski areas, the Espace Killy, along with accommodation for everyone and anyone. If you are looking for a luxury private chalet then look no further than Chalet Lafitenia, run by Val d'Isere's most exclusive chalet operator and offering the standards of accommodation, food and service that you would expect from a luxury chalet in a world class resort.

1. Riding powder in Niseko

Japan is home to the powder your dreams are made of. You may find it surprising that ski resorts in Japan get some of the deepest snow in the world. Located in the northern island Hokkaido in the Abuta district, Niseko is one of the most famous ski resorts in Japan. With an average of 11m of snow fall a year it is regarded as one of the snowiest ski resorts in the world. Niseko is made up of five interlinked areas, Annapuri, Higashiyama (Village), Hirafu, Hanazono & Moiwa. Hirafu is the main resort where you will find the majority of the town and accommodation.

The terrain at Niseko is varied; the main ski area offers great ‘ski-what-you-can-see’ terrain with easy to access to fun off piste between the main ski runs. The legendary tree runs are in the strawberry fields and Miharashi with steep runs at the super alpen course and under the Kogen gondola.

I was lucky enough to be in Niseko for a few months of the 2013-14 season and can guarantee that nothing will compare after a trip to this ski mecca. The trip does require a 13 hour flight to Tokoyo, followed by a domestic flight to Sapporo and then a 2-3 hour coach transfer straight to the resort, but once you’ve had that first day in fresh, waist deep champagne powder you will forget all about that journey to this dream destination.

There may be a ton of snowfall in Niseko but bad weather doesn’t have to mean bad visibility with the bounty of tree runs and off piste forests to ski through. If you are lucky enough to get a clear day on the hill then you can marvel at the stunning view of Mount Yotei and views of the ocean if you get high enough. If you live for powder days and fanaticise about white snowscapes that your favourite skiers and snowboarders go year after year, then start planning your trip to the land of the rising sun and make your ski dreams to come true.


By Krystelle

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