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We love sports here at Iglu, so we have been glued to the Commonwealth Games over the weekend, and it’s got us thinking how amazing it would be to have a winter sports version. We take a look at the best ski resorts suitable to host the ultimate snow events and let you experience feeling like a true pro.
During the 1992 Albertville Olympics, Meribel had the honour of hosting two sporting disciplines: ice hockey and the women's alpine skiing. Five women’s events were staged: the downhill, Super G, giant slalom, special slalom and combined. The tricky Roc de Fer course was designed like the men’s downhill run at Val d’Isere and is one of the longest in Winter Olympic history and thought to be the most difficult women’s course ever. The Roc De Fer Face is accessible via the Olympic chairlift, although if you are looking for a less extreme way of checking out this Olympic route then there is also a blue piste that runs alongside down to Meribel.
Get a taste of the Olympic experience off the slopes and discover La Plagne’s Olympic bobsleigh. Enjoy the ultimate adrenaline rush with this once in a lifetime opportunity on one of the world’s most impressive bobsleigh tracks.There are 3 levels of fun from the family friendly Bob Raft reaching up to 80km/h to the Bob Racing for you speed junkies, where you take a seat behind a professional driver for a decent of up to 120 km/h. For this coming winter a new activity will launch: the chance to embark in pairs on the 4 man bobsled driven by Olympic medallist Bruno Mingeon. After reaching speeds of up to 130 km/h down the 19 turn Olympic track you can then enjoy your favourite aperitif with the man himself. Don’t forget your lucky egg!
The 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy and Sauze d’Oulx was the chosen site of the Freestyle Skiing events which included aerials and moguls. The new freestyle slope built for the Olympics just below the main part of the town, plus the resort benefited from an extensive investment in the lift system. With access to the 400km of the Milky Way and spectacular views to France this Italian ski resort is always considered a favourite. Famed for its nightlife and sense of fun, Sauze d’Oulx is not just a fantastic ski area, but also a perfect resort for an after party!
Situated between Saint Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens in the 3 Valleys, Les Menuires hosted the men's slalom alpine skiing event at the 1992 Winter Olympics. The rest of the men’s speed events were held in Val d’Isere, while the Women’s events were in Meribel. Giant Slalom competitions are often held here, including FIS events and professional training.
The men's Downhill, Super-G and Giant Slalom were held on the Face de Bellevarde in Val d’Isere for the 1992 Albertville Olympic Winter Games. This piste is often regarded as one of the most thrilling black runs in the world with its long length and icy conditions. In December 2013 the Face de Bellevarde hosted the Men’s Giant Slalom in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, proving conditions were as difficult and icy as the rumours say they are. Over the hill, neighbouring resort Tignes played host to the Winter X Games Europe from 2010-2013. The highlight of the winter extreme sports calendar drew in the biggest names in freestyle ski and snowboard including Shaun White, Sage Kotsenburg, Candide Thovex, Torah Bright plus our very own Jenny Jones and James Woods. If you are looking to improve your freestyle, why not test your skills in the very park and half pipe where the X Games took place?
Winter 13/14 has been a truly epic season, we are still buzzing from the amazing snow and fun we have had over the past 6 months, both in the UK and abroad. Here are our Top 5 highlights from this ski season
By 16th November 2013 Tignes had already been blessed with a 2m snow base up top and the Pyrenees had just received 40cm of fresh snow. Thanks to the fantastic snowfall and icy temperatures, resorts in Europe started opening their slopes early in a domino fashion. Alpe d’Huez opened 3 weeks early and continued to open every weekend until the resort’s official opening on 6th December. Kitzbühel and Obergugl began opening their slopes to the public in Austria, as did Verbier in Switzerland while Courchevel had a special free taster opening on Saturday 23rd November. With huge storms in Switzerland and France in late November, keen skiers and snowboarders were able to get their snow fixes earlier than ever thought as more and more resorts opened early – was this the best start to the season ever?
Beautiful conditions in Tignes on 8th Nov 2013
To get us more and more excited as winter approaches, the UK presented a range of exciting ski events to attend as the months became colder. Londoners were lucky enough to take advantage of O’Neil’s Shoreditch Showdown, Ski and Snowboard Film Premieres and Iglu Ski favourite, Freeze Festival. Manchester and London played host to the Ski and Snowboard Shows which are the perfect way to find everything you need for the season. While the Snow Dome’s up and down the country gave us that snow fix before getting out to the Alps. To give our ski holiday’s added fun, an increasing amount of events are popping up across the mountains. Christmas markets and firework displays give the festive weeks an added joyous feeling while music and sports events give unique experiences to your holiday. Ibiza Rocks headed to the mountains for the first time with a series of 3 weeks of parties in Meribel bringing the hottest breakthrough live acts and daily après ski events for ‘Ibiza Rocks the Snow.’
O'Neil Shoreditch Showdown, London
With the early snow dumps then warm conditions there was an increase in avalanches in the Alps and terrible news of accidents dominated the snow news. This has increased our awareness of off piste safety, using safety equipment and taking guided tours for off piste adventures. With the media domination of safety in snowsports, the rise in wearing helmets on the slopes is positive and Snow and Rock have seen a huge increase in helmet sales over the last 5 years. If you’re still not convinced, you must watch Kevin Pearce’s inspiring story ‘The Crash Reel’ and take a look at the Love Your Brain campaign. It is extremely important to stay safe on the mountains and minimise our risk of danger means we can carry on doing what we love for years to come.
For more information on Safety in the Mountains.
Even when resorts are starting to close for the season it is still dumping like its January! The heaviest snowfall has been reported in Switzerland with up to 50cm of knee deep freshies in Andermatt and Zermatt while the 3 Valleys in France and Cervina in Italy also enjoyed the best of the new snowfall. Our friends across the pond are on powder alert as they expect over 50cm this weekend in Lake Louise. Winter 2013-14 has been the season that keep on giving with some epic skiing this spring - We love spring skiing!
Sochi showcased huge exposure for the British ski industry and the world recognised the elite status of Team GB’s athletes. For a country lacking in mountains, Team GB proved we are a country to take seriously when it comes to winter sports. With an Olympic Bronze medal, five top 10 finishes, a further five top 20 and 3 in the top 30, it was the most successful Winter Games to date for British skiers and snowboarders. Both Jamie Nicholls and Billy Morgan made history by representing Great Britain in the first ever Snowboard Slopestyle Olympic Final. After stomping a huge 90.75 in the semi-finals, Billy couldn’t repeat that incredible run and placed 10th in the final while Jamie scored an amazing 85.50 finishing in 6th. Jenny Jones blew the nation away with her Bronze Medal winning run in the Ladies Snowboard Slopestyle Final and confirmed her place as the Queen of British snowboarding. Jenny won Great Britain’s first ever Olympic Snowboard Medal and became the first ever British female to win an Olympic medal on snow. Aimee Fuller was a crowd favourite after throwing a double backflip and landing 9th place in the semi-finals, and then took 17th overall. The Top 10 places continued in the Freestyle Skiing where Katie Summerhayes finished in 7th in the Ladies Ski Slopestyle Final with a solid 70.60 score. Despite James Wood’s injuries, Woodsy qualified in 3rd place with an outstanding first run scoring 87.50 which made him the first ever British athlete to go through to a Men’s Ski Slopestyle Olympic Final. In the face of the hard conditions, the skiers threw down tough competition; Woodsy scored an incredible 86.60 that gave him 5th position in the finals. The list doesn’t stop there; Team GB had a fantastic team of skiers and snowboarders participating in many specialities from Snowboard Cross to Cross Country to the Ski Halfpipe. We cannot forget the other disciplines, particularly the Team GB Curling team and Gold medal winner Elizabeth Yarnold in the Skeleton. Team GB surpassed the 3 medal target and created an unforgettable 2 weeks of winter sports and global recognition of Great Britain’s place on the Olympic mountain. Huge congratulations to all the Team GB athletes, you were all amazing and made us so proud! #backthebrits By Krystelle
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