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Why We Loved Winter 2013/14 | Top 5 Moments of the Ski Season

clock 2nd May 2014 | comment0 Comments
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 5. Winter came early 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 4. Snow Events 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 3. Increase in awareness for safety on the mountain 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. 2. The Winter That Keeps On Giving 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! 1. Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics 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


Top 10 Resorts for Spring Skiing

clock 19th March 2014 | comment0 Comments
With Springtime fast approaching and bluebird days becoming more and more frequent, we’ve put together a list of our top resorts for Spring skiing. At this time of year, the higher altitude resorts and those with glaciers are the best to visit, as snow conditions stay preserved for longer - many even offer all year round glacier skiing. Val Thorens, France Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 31cm Opening dates: November - May Val Thorens is Europe’s highest resort, standing at an altitude of 2230m, with 99% of the runs situated above 2000m. The high-altitude works in its favour to preserve snow conditions for longer, meaning that the resort promises optimal snow cover throughout the season. If you can find another European ski area with more ski runs open than Val Thorens on any of the days that you are there, they’ll give you a free day of skiing as part of their Snow Guarantee. Zermatt, Switzerland Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 54cm Opening dates: All Year Round Zermatt’s high-altitude provides consistent all year round skiing, with its glaciers staying open during the Summer months. The resort is situated just across from Cervinia, which you can access by lift. There are some great heliskiing opportunities on offer in Zermatt – expect stunning views and more challenging runs with this experience. Whistler-Blackcomb, Canada Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 46cm Opening dates: November - July Enjoy spectacular views and a huge selection of runs across both the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. The resort has excellent snow cannon facilities, meaning that the pistes are kept in good condition year round. If freestyle’s your thing you’ll find the award winning Nintendo Parks. The parks feature a special difficulty rating system so there’s something for every ability. The Blackcomb glacier provides skiing through June and July. Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria Opening dates: November - May The high-altitude Obergurgl is linked by cable car to Hochgurgl, which is even higher up the mountain. There are good snow making systems in Hochgurgl to keep pistes in tip-top condition. Obergurgl-Hochgurgl are situated close to the resort of Solden where you can hit up some glacier skiing. Lake Louise, Canada Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 36cm Opening dates: November - April Lake Louise is situated in the stunning Rocky Mountains and is part of the Big 3 (along with Banff and Sunshine Village). The resort won Canada’s Best Ski Resort last year at the World Ski Awards. Snowmaking facilities help to keep the runs in good shape when snow is looking a bit thin. Tignes, France Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 37cm Opening dates: December - May Tignes is another of the French resorts which can guarantee good snow cover well into Spring. There are snow making facilities on those pistes that are more prone to harsh sunlight. The Grande Motte glacier offers skiing and boarding throughout the Summer. Hintertux, Austria Opening dates: All Year Round Hintertux is a glacier resort, which is well renowned for its year-round freestyle park, Betterpark Hintertux. Powder days combined with bluebird conditions can be expected throughout the Spring. Hintertux is home to Snowbombing Festival which runs from the 7-12th April 2014. Cervinia, Italy Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 42cm Opening dates: October - May Cervinia is located just across the border from Zermatt. The glacier, Plateau Rosà offers year-round skiing. Cervinia is home to one of the longest runs in Europe running down to Valtournenche and standing at 13km long. Mammoth, California, USA Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 8cm Opening dates: November - May Mammoth Mountain is home to Springfest, a festival packed full of competitions, après ski, family events and the annual pond skim. Visitors benefit from the California sunshine, whilst experiencing one of the longest ski seasons in North America. Occasionally, the resort opens for Independence Day skiing on the 4th July. Passo Tonale, Italy Snow forecast over the next 9 days: 31cm Opening dates: October - April Passo Tonale is one of Italy’s highest resorts. It offers glacier skiing plus Red and Black runs right through to Summer. There are some great off-piste opportunities, as well as a designated snowpark for freestyle enthusiasts.


December/January Ski + Snowboard Events in Popular Resorts

clock 13th December 2013 | comment0 Comments
1st-21st December 2013 Advent Magic in the Park - St Anton, Austria Escape the Christmas rush this year and visit the picturesque resort of St Anton in the mountains of Austria instead. The start of the month saw St Anton don wonderful Christmas decorations, complete with open fireplaces and wonderful themed areas, getting visitors into the festive spirit. After a hard day out on the slopes, visitors can take part in a selection of fun activities such as designing greeting cards, indulging in delicious festive cookies and listening to recitals of traditional Austrian Christmas stories and poems. This event is perfect for adults and children alike with plenty to keep the little ones entertained – namely a festive trail and craft workshops with the resident elves! To see our ski holidays in St Anton click here Week 1: 14th–21st December 2013, Week 2: 8th-15th February 2014, Week 3: 29th March-5th April 2014 Ibiza Rocks The Snow – Meribel, France Enjoy a touch of Ibiza on the slopes this winter, with the organisers of the infamous Ibiza Rocks music festival. Combine skiing and snowboarding with some wild après ski and cracking live music over the 8 day festival. The festival runs three times over the season starting on December 14th and finishing on April 5th 2014 with performances from artists such as Kissy Sell Out, Mistajam and Clean Bandit. To see our Ibiza Rocks the Snow deals click here Igluski Blog: ‘Ibiza Rocks Is Bringing the Heat To Meribel’ For more information and to buy tickets click here 16th December 2013-14th April 2014 Kissy Sell Out - Various Resorts, France Looking for some wild après ski? Then look no further – electro DJ Kissy Sell Out will be playing at various resorts around France this season. The tour kicks off with an appearance at Meribel for Ibiza Rocks the Snow, followed by further appearances at Les Deux Alpes, Val Thorens and Val d’Isere. For a full list of dates and to buy tickets please visit individual resort websites. To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here To see our ski holidays in Meribel click here To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here To see our ski holidays in Val d’Isere click here 21st December 2013 Synchro Ski World Cup – St Anton, Austria Watch skiers from around the world compete in this entertaining competition in which competitors much complete each run in pairs. The full competition runs from morning till evening, beginning with qualifiers and ending with the final run. To see our ski holidays in St Anton click here 21st December 2013 Ice Skating Gala “Les Etoiles De La Glisse” - Courchevel, France Elegant figure skaters from around the world will gather to perform in this spectacular ice skating gala at one of our favourite resorts. Watch the performers execute graceful moves while donning wonderful costumes against a backdrop of impressive lighting effects. Perfect entertainment for all the family! To see our ski holidays in Courchevel click here 21st-27th December 2013 Christmas, A Magical Week – Courchevel, France & Magical Xmas – Val Thorens, France Spend a magical Christmas abroad in France this year, with plenty of festive entertainment to keep you occupied in between riding the slopes at both the Val Thorens and Couchevel resorts. There will be workshops for the little ones, live music and shows, torchlight descents and to top it all off, a visit from Father Christmas himself. To see our ski holidays in Courchevel click here To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here 22nd December World Snowboard Day – Les Deux Alpes, France Celebrate World Snowboard Day this season at the fantastic Les Deux Alpes resort. Spend 24 hours exploring breathtaking backcountry runs, carving up the slopes and trying out some jibs in the freestyle park. To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here 25th December 2013 X-Mas Events – Les Deux Alpes, France Fancy spending Christmas somewhere a little different? Spend your days riding the slopes, then relax with a glass of mulled wine, a great choice of festive food and epic fireworks to wind down the day. There are also a selection of Christmas markets and a special street parade on Christmas Eve, complete with a visit from Father Christmas. To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here 31st December 2013 Tignes Fire Mix Party – Tignes, France, Val Tho Crazy Night – Val Thorens & NYE – Les Deux Alps, France What better way to see in the new year than on the slopes, combining adrenaline fuelled runs with wild après ski. This New Year’s Eve, Tignes will play host to the Fire Mix Party, featuring a range of top class DJ’s, fireworks and an open air nightclub. It’s time to don those thermals and party into 2014! Val Thorens will also play host to some great NYE entertainment with plans for torchlit descents, ski and snow freestyle shows, live music and fireworks to see in the new year. Finally, Les Deux Alpes will also be spending NYE in style. With a giant firework (and champagne cork!) display and plenty of lively evening entertainment, this celebration provides the perfect end to a day out in the snow. To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alps click here To see our ski holidays in Tignes click here 31st December-20th February 2014 Night Carnival – Val D’Isere, France Experience beautiful illuminations, spectacular ice carvings and comforting hot drinks between your skiing and snowboarding adventures at this winter festival in Val d’Isere. With plenty of market stalls to explore and a host of evening entertainment, you’ll never be stuck for something to do. To see our ski holidays in Val d’Isere click here 4th-25th January 2014 Ladies First – St Anton, Austria Take advantage of a range of wonderful off-piste skiing, ladies-only concessions and plenty of goodies during this ladies week at the St Anton resort. Some of the great offers available include one day of lessons completely free of charge if you book a ski course with Arlberg Ski School. The resort are also offering 20% discount on all ladies slopewear and sportswear. Finally ladies, pick up your special voucher book from any of the Tourist Offices around St Anton for a range of surprises and further special offers, including the chance to win a week’s summer holiday for two! To see our ski holidays in St Anton click here 5th January 2014 Savoie Snowboard Tour – Val Thorens, France Why not take a break from carving up the slopes of Val Thorens to watch this regional 8 circuit snowboard competition. Local competitors under the age of 20 will participate in this event which aims to promote promising new talent as well as the sport of snowboarding. To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here 7th-9th January 2014 X Speed Tour – Tignes, France The X Speed Tour is a celebration of high speed skiing and is organised by the world record speedskiier, Xavier Cousseau, who made the headlines when he achieved a top speed of 131.89mph. Watch the thrilling ski demos and if you’re up for it, then you can even have the chance to try and beat the record yourself! To see our ski holidays in Tignes click here 12th January 2014 Moguls French Cup – Tignes, France Visit Tignes on the 12th January for a chance to watch some spectacular skiers compete in the French Mogul World Cup. With breath taking jumps, tricks and high speed runs fins some inspiration from these talented thrill seekers! To see our ski holidays in Tignes click here 19th January 2014 World Snow Day – Les Deux Alpes, France January 19th plays host to World Snow Day and what better way to celebrate than with a day spent carving up the slopes at Les Deux Alpes. With a Snowboard half-pipe competition, sledging, free of charge skiing lessons and a chance to try a jump onto the Big Air Bag, amongst other things, you’d be mad not to join in! After a day spent exploring all of the adventurous activities, take some time to relax with hot wine and live music from one of the many bars on the resort. To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here Next month: Fun Festivals, the Freeride World Qualifier and an attempt at the World’s Longest Jump!


O'Neill Shoreditch Showdown

clock 27th November 2013 | comment0 Comments
Thursday 21st November was no normal day in Shoreditch, between the hip bars and the trendy hangouts, O’Neill transformed Old Street’s graffiti clad Red Market into an iconic London Street Scene that provided the ultimate backdrop for showcasing the UK’s finest skiers and snowboarders. The Shoreditch Showdown entertained a 500 heavy crowd with a night of world class riding. The 24 man open jam included best tricks on the bus stop, rails, post box and telephone box which built up to the epic head to head final. With a clean frontside 270 to switch boardslide on the rail styled out with a tap on the red post box, Sparrow Knox won over the judges and nailed that Number 1 spot for the snowboarders “I just like to ride, we were all here as mates, I totally didn’t expect to win. It was a great format and a mad set-up.” Meanwhile for freeski 17 year old Tyler Harding killed it all night and ended with a 270 on revert 270 off the rail. Stoked with his win Harding said “It’s something special to win in a place like this, completely unexpected. A great way to set up for the winter.” Both riders recieved £500 for winning each discipline. Other stand out tricks included Team GB snowboarder Jamie Trinder’s 50:50 frontflip off the London bus shelter and George Walton impressed the judges with a bolts 360 nose tap on the red phone box. Snowboarder Andy Nudds had a top night at the event “This is by far one of the best events I’ve been to, everyone has been killing it and the crowd were sick. The standard of British riding has been phenomenal tonight.” Thanks to O’Neill for putting on an amazing rail competition that definitely has been the best event in the snow calendar so far this season. O’Neill’s #RIDEMORE campaign is designed to inspire creativity and innovation. Find some different terrain, step outside the ordinary, and most importantly – be creative, then you too can #RIDEMORE. Ski Results 1st Tyler Harding 2nd Ross Welch 3rd George Walton 4th Michael Rowlands Snowboard Results 1st Sparrow Knox 2nd John Weatherly 3rd Ollie Dutton 4th Andy Nudds Who needs a mountain anyway? The Shoreditch Showdown sure proved that!   Written By Krystelle Image Credits: James North Photography


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