There’s a lot we could have explored in this blog, there’s been many innovations in the snowsports world over the past few years, making a ski adventure easier, cheaper and more enjoyable than ever. Ski and snowboard technology is advancing every season, ski resorts all over the world are constantly upgrading to give visitors a superior ski experience and at the same time gadgets are becoming much more attainable and cheaper so we can use the same ski gear as ski professionals. We’ve picked out our recent favourites that make our ski holidays better than ever.
One of the best features of skiing in Kitzbuhel has got to be its large amount of chairlifts with luxurious heated seats. Kitzbuhel has been named one of the top ski areas in the world because of its ultra-advanced lift system, high levels of comfort and excellent snow making facilities.
There are 9 chairlifts and gondolas in Kitzbuhel which have heated seats, these are spread over the whole ski area and are labelled on the piste map.
Drones have revolutionised the way we document our skiing and snowboarding adventures. In a small space of time we have evolved from wobbly iPhone videos to GoPros on selfie sticks to high quality aerial footage. The Lily Drone allows users to simply throw it in the air and follows them around. There is no controller needed, Lily flies itself and uses GPS and computer vision to follow you around top produce high quality, cinematic style footage.
A new Wi-Fi enabled gondola is coming to one of our best loved ski resorts, the new TC10 Solaise Gondola in Val d’Isere will take you to the top of Solaise in 7 minutes. This gives you enough time to post a photo of your ski holiday straight to Facebook from the slopes.
In winter 2014/15 I was surprised how easy it was to find wifi on the slopes in Mayrhofen. Most of the large ski lifts had hotspots including at the top of Penkenbahn and Horbergbahn. Bergbahnen Solden also have 8 free Wi-Fi access points across the ski area.
Many more ski areas are starting to include Wi-Fi on the slopes to help you keep in touch with your ski group in resort, plus friends back home whilst on the mountain.
Nike and Transitions Optical have joined up to create snow goggles with transitions adaptive technology. When the light changes, the lens adapt automatically by darkening or lighting its level of tint, improving your visual performance on the slopes. No need to carry around extra lenses anymore!
As snowsports enthusiasts are becoming more daring off piste, the correct safety equipment needs to be more readily available. ABS airbag avalanche safety packs have revolutionised off piste safety by using top technology to make mountain exploration safe. Airbags are used to protect you from being buried in the event of an avalanche.
Transceivers, shovels and probes are also important for rescue teams to find you and you to help anyone in need. For more information take a read of this Guide to Avalanche Airbags and the best models available.
A paper piste map is a thing of the past. FATMAP is the future. This revolutionary 3D skiing app is so much more than just a route finder. Discover new adventures and recommended pistes all from the palm of your hand. The ultra-high resolution 3D mapping technology will change the way you navigate around the mountain by being able to explore every angle on and off piste before even stepping out on to snow. Enjoy your ski holiday to the max by assuring the best time on the slopes.Extra features on the app also include, interactive resort information, pinpointing your location and other friends with the app, freeride mapping and much more. Read more about FATMAP.
FATMAP app piste map and features
The Oakley Airwave goggles have a built in mobile dashboard. The Airwave’s heads-up display uses innovative prism technology to provide the display graphics that look like they are projected 5 feet away. You can track and automatically see your speed, jump airtime, your vertical feet, your location on a piste map, music and much more. Ski goggles fit for James Bond!
Every year more and more resorts are becoming interconnected allowing skiers and snowboarders to explore more pistes than ever before. The newly announced ‘Tirol s’ link will connect Fieberbrunn to the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang area creating one of the largest ski circuits in the world with a total of 240 km of piste and 68 lifts.
The New Tirol S gondola will span 2890m over the valley from Hinterglemm to Fieberbrunn
SkiWelt is to construct fastest chairlift in the world for winter 2015/16. The chairlift in Brixten im Thale will operate at a speed of 6 metres per second. Read more about the new chairlift in our ski news section.
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, GoPro have released the new HERO4 Session which is their smallest, lightest and most convenient camera yet. The waterproof design and small size is perfect for snow sports.
The HERO4 Session is 50% small and 40% lighter than any other HERO4 camera
What do is you favourite ski tech? Let us know by commenting below
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where is good for après. The quality of the après scene could make or break a ski holiday for some. After a long day on the mountain, many of us love to unwind and celebrate with a cold beer, great music and dancing. Austria has the best après bars in the world. If you crave a lively ski resort full of lots of entertainment after a day of skiing or snowboarding then look no further than the picturesque villages and beautiful mountains of Austria. Get your après boots at the ready and take a look at our contenders for the best après in Austria:
This party town is popular with younger crowds with its large club like venues such as Whisky Mule and Salven Stadl which are open to the early hours. If you prefer a quieter après venue there are plenty of more sophisticated bars in Soll such as Bella Vita and Rossini café. With around 30 restaurants and bars in resort there are plenty of options to suit everyone’s tastes.
This skiing gem has some of the best après ski in the Alps. Between Saalbach and Hinterglemm there are over 40 après venues! You are truly spoilt for choice in this beautiful part of Austria. One of the most rememberable venues is the ‘goat themed’ Goasstall in Hinterglemm. If you are with to dance in your ski boots until dinner time, look no further than Hinterhag Alm next to the Kohlmais piste.
I was fantastically surprised by the après in Mayrhofen, not only was it spectacular fun, it was great value too (especially compared to the large French resorts). Mayrhofen is a huge party town with a wide variety of pubs, bars and clubs making it a perfect choice for large groups. On piste I loved the White Lounge Igloo bar at the Ahorn and the uber cool Grillhof Alm by the Van park on the Penken side. Once back in the village head to the Ice Bar or Bruck ‘n’Stadl for the liveliest après, then if you are still wanting to carry on the party after dinner, Mo’s, Scotland Yard, Funky’s and Harakiri are open till late.
Bruck n Stadl
There was a divide in the Iglu Ski offices over the top spot on this list. We have a handful of ski experts that believe Ischgl deserves the golden crown. With incredible party venues like Trofana Alm, Schatzi Bar and the Kuhstall you are guaranteed a vibrant week of amazing après.
It’s no surprise that St Anton is the undefeated heavyweight champion with its world renowned legendary après bars. With an abundance of piste-side bars, you can’t avoid stopping off for a post-ski beverage on your last run home. The Krazy Kangaruh and Mooserwirt are 2 of the most famed après bars in resort, that are packed to the brim with skiers and snowboarders daily and the best spots to get your dose of dancing on tables in your ski boots!
Are you thinking about skiing in St Anton this winter? Read our experts guide to St Anton
View our top ski deals in Austria By Krystelle
Live the celebrity lifestyle for a week and discover some of your best-loved A-lister’s favourite ski destinations. Many celebrities set aside a week of their busy schedules each winter to go skiing in their preferred ski resorts. These chic ski towns are filled with designer shops, ritzy hotels, glamorous bars and swanky restaurants. You don’t need to be a millionaire to experience these fantastic ski areas, we offer great value ski holidays to these resorts* so you can go skiing on the same slopes as Posh and Becks without the hefty price tag. Take a look at top celebrity ski destinations:
St Moritz, Switzerland
Nestled at the heart of the largest ski area in the world, Meribel is no stranger to hosting famous people. There are very few hotels here so celebrities can enjoy the privacy of their very own luxury ski chalet holiday. The restaurants and bars aren’t as glitzy as neighbouring resort Courchevel, so this is perfect for anyone wanting some quality time with friends and family away from the crowds. You may have to look a little harder for celebrities here but many have their own properties in this charming village in the 3 Valleys. Emma Watson purchased a luxury chalet in 2008 for £1 million and now the demand for property in Meribel has increased so much that it is now rumoured to be is worth between 3-4 million. Celebrities spotted in Meribel: - Prince William and Kate Middleton - Natalie Imbruglia - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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Left to Right: Meribel ski resort. Sophie Ellis Bextor in resort, photo: The Mirror. Prince William and Kate Skiing, photo: Rex Features
Switzerland is one of the first-rate ski countries in the World. Home to iconic mountains, the most peaks over 4000 m and an elite ski scene fit for the rich and famous.Settled under the illustrious Matterhorn, Zermatt is a picturesque alpine village filled with gourmet restaurants, cosy ski chalets and world-class skiing. Celebrities spotted in Zermatt:
- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt - Phil Collins - Vanessa-Mae and Frida Lyngstad (Abba) have homes in here
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Zermatt ski resort
With over 600 km of pistes on its doorstep, Courchevel is certainly rich in ski terrain. 1850 is the most chic of the villages which is home to six star hotels, Michelin star restaurants and glamourous shops. At peak season uber-rich Russians doned in fur lined ski wear fill the resort and can be spotted sipping their Dom Perignon at apres. This elegant ski town is full of alpine charm and a favourite of many of the Iglu team and the stars. Celebrities spotted in Courchevel: - Leonardo DiCaprio - Posh and Becks - Pippa Middleton - Geri Halliwell
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Left to Right: Courchevel ski resort. Posh and Becks, photo: Daily Mail. Leonardo DiCaprio in resort, photo: EOnline
Aspen ski resort is playground for millionaires and superstars. This ski haven is renowned for its exclusivity and harbors some of the most expensive properties in the US. With designer shops like Dior and Gucci amongst the delectable bistros, it’s no wonder this is a hot spot for the A-listers. A top location to spot a celeb is in the chic 5 star hotel The Little Nell. Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are regular visitors to the resort, having spent 3 previous Presidents’ Day weekends skiing in Aspen. Other celebrities spotted in Aspen: - Mel Gibson - Kate Hudson - Mariah Carey - Paris Hilton - Jay Z and Beyonce - Antonio Banderas - Ben Fogle
Aspen ski resort
Famed for its annual snow Polo World Cup on the frozen lake of St Moritz, this prestigious event started more than 30 years ago and draws in more than 12 000 spectators and a host of top celebrities. At peak times, the resorts very own airport brings in more than 40 private jets a day so the rich and famous can enjoy the Swiss slopes or a ‘designer’ getaway to enjoy the fine amenities of the resort. With designer shops, exclusive sporting events and superb spas, St Moritz is always at the top of the exclusivity lists. You’ll find the biggest names in fashion here including, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Versace. The best places to spot a celeb in resort are Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, Break 7, Roo Bar, Hanselmann tea room and the Polo World Cup. Celebrities spotted in St Moritz: - Robbie Williams - Claudia Schiffer - George Cloony - Charlie Chaplin - Alfred Hitchcock - John Travolta - Robert De Niro - Elizabeth Hurley - Tina Turner- Naomi Campbell- Boris Becker married his model wife here
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Left to Right: St Moritz at night. Naomi Campbell, photo: Daily Mail. Boris Becker getting married in St Moritz, photo: OK
Klosters - The Royals Deer Valley - Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Springsteen and John Travolta Telluride - Tom Cruise and Oprah Verbier - Richard Branson Val d’Isere - Jamie Oliver Obertauern - The Beatles filmed ‘Help’ here Champéry- Noel Gallagher Crans Montana - Roger Moore Cortina d'Ampezzo - Peter Sellers and Frank Sinatra
Have you ever spotted a celebrity on the slopes? Tell us on Twitter @igluski
*We do not offer ski holidays in Aspen
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