Thousands of Brits head to the slopes each winter for their one week a year on the slopes. As the mountain lifestyle is so different to our normal 9-5 lifestyle we all have strange traits and habits on a ski holiday – where else can you get away with a Glühwein stop at midmorning or where melted cheese becomes part of your daily diet?
We’ve put together some of our favourite humorous ski characters you’ll find in a ski resort – which one are you and your friends most like?
You don’t bother getting out of bed if there isn’t any fresh snow. If there has been snow forecast, you will be up before sunrise to hike up your favourite mountain for fresh tracks before most people are even eating breakfast. You are an expert in all things backcountry, avalanche safety and snow prediction and often found preaching to people on a chairlift. Ski Chic Even though you have been skiing since a young age, you now only get out on the slopes if it is a perfect blue bird day. You are most likely found occupying sun loungers and bar stools in Zermatt, Courchevel or Davos in late season. Your skis have seen more action in the ski racks of an après bar than on snow.
The Ski Family Are you a super mum that is always fully prepared for any weather or situation? Are you a dad that tries to fit in with the chalet staff at après and is the first one to get the jagerbombs in? Do your children either head straight to the snow park or fly down red runs when there are meant to be sticking to blue pistes? View more characters and full infographic here
Illustrations by Mark Owens
Last winter our lives were taken over by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. This year we can get engrossed in the many more ski and snowboard competitions and events that take place in Europe. Most kick off early season in January, getting us stoked up nicely for the rest of the ski season.
One for the snowboarders. Innsbruck is the second stop on the Air and Style circuit, Emil Ulsletten stole the show at the first event in Beijing in December, and then next step will be Los Angeles in February. The World’s best snowboarders have competed in this big air event over the past two decades. Athletes are whittled down through 3 rounds before the 4 snowboarders battle in out in the super final. Athletes includes at Innsbruck include: GB’s Billy Morgan, Halldor Helgason, Sage Kotsenburg, Max Parrot, Stale Sandbech, Seb Toots & more. Date: 16th & 17th January 2015
One for the British Team This year’s World Championships take place in Kreischberg, Austria. This is the first time that both freestyle skiing and snowboarding have been combined in a World Championships. After Great Britain’s success at Sochi we have a 22 strong squad of skiers and snowboarders competing in the event, including slopestyle, halfpipe, moguls, aerials and more. View the full British team line up. Date: 14th -25th January
One for the girls This is the 5th big air competition of the Suzuki Nine Queens in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria. The world’s best female skiers and snowboarders are invited to this stunning pocket in Tirol for a unique event consisting of a series of jumps and features set around a huge sculpted ice castle. Date: 15th – 20th March 2015
For the utmost dedicated This mammoth snow sports tour consists of five venues in Europe and the USA. 2015 is bigger than ever with two new stops on the Freeride calendar, Vallnord, Andorra and Alaska, USA. Last season more than 637, 000 viewers followed the finest skiers and snowboarders across this spectacular journey.
Taking part in the Freeride World Tour Competition will be 28 male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and 7 female snowboarders. Through the events the riders will be narrowed down to a limited few that will take part in the Grand Finale in Verbier. The FWT season kicks off in the ultimate freeride resort, Chamonix, on 24th January, then heads to Fieberbrunn, Austria, on 31st January before Vallnord, Andorra for the first time on 14th February. Then it is off to Alaska on 14th March before the grande finale and the 20th anniversary of the Xtreme Verbier on 28th March. Athletes that reach the Verbier climax will have to take on the legendary Bec des Rosses mountain face. Two-time winner at the Bec des Rosses, Sweden’s Reine Barkered is delighted to be part of the history of the “Bec”: “I'm excited to have the chance to compete at the 20th anniversary of Verbier Xtreme. Verbier is the crowning point for a freerider and I will do my very best to step up to the top of the podium here a third time.”
One for the ski elite Austria’s greatest ski festival is bigger than ever in 2015 as it is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The Hahnenkamm race is one of the most famous alpine ski races of the world and is the highlight of the World Cup calendar. For Kitzbuhel, this is the best week of the year, as spectators and celebrities flock to the town to see the famous ski racers, as well as joining in the week of partying. The magnificent race features jumps up to 80m, steep slopes including peaking at 85% gradient on the Mausefalle, and skiers reaching speeds up to 140 km per hour along the run. The famous ‘Streif’ is considered the most spectacular ski runs in the world where only the elite can Date: 20th - 25th January 2015
What did you get up to after Christmas? Whilst some were polishing off the turkey leftovers and watching a festive flick on the telebox, others were shredding the gnar in the UK countryside. Parts of the north and midlands received up to 11cm of snow from Boxing Day 2014 which allowed keen skiers and snowboarders to head to the hills for some fresh powder turns. Check out these awesome photos of backcountry riding, UK style!
Team GB Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Nicholls getting some fresh tracks at home in Yorkshire
Jamie laying down a handplant on his mini ramp & Bradford looking very snowy in the background
Friends of Iglu, Lauren Quinnell & Ollie Evans riding near the Peak District in Wessington, Derbyshire
Stunning snowy landscapes in Leek, Staffordshire, perfect day for a fun shred with friends (Credit - Instagram @samcorbett88)
Paragliders jumping off Mam Tor in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
More beautiful snowy scenery in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
Skiers in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
David Mercker Cox taking his board out in Glenariff, Northern Ireland
Snowy Glenariff at sunset
David getting his freestyle on in the snow in Northern Ireland
During the run up to Christmas we have a few giveaways to get you in the festive mood. Make sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep an eye out for the competitions. All competitions will run until the end of the month and we will announce the winners on Friday 2nd January 2015. First up we have a pair of new Oakley goggles up for grabs.
Tanner Hall is a professional freeskier from the USA. He has a long list of trophies and titles under his ‘skis’ including 10 x Winter X Games medallist and 11 x US Open Medallist. Last season Tanner went in search of powder at Revelstoke, his latest edit shows their epic powder day on the deepest day of the trip. Part 2 drops soon!
Oakley is one of the leading goggle brands, notable for top technologies and an innovative range of sporting accessories. They are a big player in the sports industry with a diverse range of professional athletes on the Oakley team. View the Oakley Goggles collection here.
The Oakley Canopy has a large lens volume and low profile design to allow a wide view with maximum vision. The O-Flow Arch technology helps breathing and comfort on the nose. Your Oakley Canopy Goggles comes with Emerald Iridium Lens: • Ideal for medium to bright light • 13% Visible light transmission • Iridium coating to further tune contrast and reduce glare Earlier this year we took a look at the new Oakley Flight Decks Goggles
Courtesy of Shade Station we are giving away this amazing pair of goggles (RRP £150) to one lucky person. For your chance to win a pair of Oakley Tanner Hall Canopy goggles plus a signed poster:How to win
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"I was so impressed with the way Laura handled my initial call that as soon as I got home I decided to forget all of the other agents and companies and call her straight back and book the holiday. Thank you again Iglu for being so user friendly and more importantly thank you to Laura for being such an asset to your company and the sales profession."