Igluski.com Latest Ski News List of ski news articles updates on Ski Resorts thoughtout the day en-gb http://www.igluski.com 2014-07-28 Boris Johnson Announces New 200m Snow Dome at London's Olympic Park Set to be one of the largest indoor ski resorts in the world — London’s Stratford-based Olympic Park will house a brand new giant snow dome, costing up to £200m.

The project, believed to be funded by Westfield shopping centre developers, is expected to open in 2015 and will boast a ski run reaching 300m in length, along with sled runs and play areas for children.

With around 20,000 sq metres of piste, it will be similar in size to the world’s largest ski snow dome in Dubai and will be almost twice the size of the next largest indoor ski centres in the UK.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced the exciting new venture earlier today, stating “Stratford’s status as a stunning new destination is confirmed by Westfield’s plans for a world-class indoor ski centre. This underscores the massive confidence in this area from investors which is delivering a real payback for taxpayers in terms of jobs and the regeneration of east London.”

Sure to be enormously popular, given the numbers that flock to the slopes at Hemel Hamstead, Milton Keynes and Trafford, over three million visitors are predicted per year.

The project will be sure to boost snowsports in the UK and will be greatly welcomed to London.

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http://www.igluski.com/news/boris-johnson-announces-new-200m-snow-dome-at-londons-olympic-park_a19735936 2013-07-25
Austria's Jewel In Her Skiing Crown Two of Austria's ski areas, once bitter rivals, have teamed up to create the Ski Jewel — the seventh largest ski area in the Tyrol.

Alpbach and Wildschonau — which consists of four villages, Niederau, Oberau, Thierbach and Auffach — have ended local rivalries and formed the 145km Ski Jewel ski area. The newly linked ski area now boasts a total of 47 lifts, 32km of blue runs, 78km or red runs, 18km of black runs, three snow parks and 17km of cross-country skiing.

The resorts are linked by two new cables cars following a €13.5 million investment. The eight passenger lifts are 1.6km & 1.8km long and carry up to 2,400 skiers and snowboarders per hour.

Ludwig Schäffer, Managing Director of the Wildschönau Lift company, said: "For Wildschönau and Alpbach to have a future they both need to offer a modern and sustainable ski area."

Peter Hausberger, Managing Director of the Alpbachtal lift company, added: "Together we have a chance to survive," emphasising how the Ski Jewel connection was made through economic necessity.

For fans of charming, family-centric, Austrian resorts, this is great news, as Alpbach is as picture perfect as they come and now offers three times the skiing than seasons gone by. As the resort's popularity has fallen in recent years there are some real bargains to be found, just take a look at our Alpbach ski deals. Hopefully the new link will help give this charming ski area a resurgence as Austria closes the gap on France for Britain's favourite ski destination.

Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/austria-s-jewel-in-her-skiing-crown_a19735859 2013-01-10
Resort Openings For 2012/13 With the snow arriving in full force and several glaciers already opening their slopes for some early season skiing, most major resorts have finally announced their opening dates for the season.

Starting with France, as that's where most of us plucky Brits go skiing, and Tignes is already open — with the Grand Motte boasting great snow coverage for this time of year. Val Thorens is due to open 24th November and Les Deux Alpes on 1st December, both offering some early season glacier skiing.

  • Now Open: Tignes
  • 24th Nov: Val Thorens
  • 1st Dec: Val d'Isere, Les Deux Alpes
  • 6th Dec: Alpe d'Huez
  • 8th Dec: Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires
  • 15th Dec: Les Arcs, La Plagne, La Rosiere, St. Martin, Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets, Flaine

Heading to Austria, and some of the glaciers are already up-and-running, most notably the Hintertux glacier — just up the road from Mayrhofen — and the Obergurgl Glacier.

  • Now Open: Obergurgl, Solden, Hintertux, Kaprun
  • 23rd Nov: Ischgl
  • 24th Nov: Zell am See
  • 29th Nov: Lech, Zurs
  • 30th Nov: St. Anton, Saalbach, Hinterglemm
  • 15th Dec: Mayrhofen

Switzerland has been enjoying some early November snow and with year-round skiing up on the Matterhorn above Zermatt, it makes sense to look at the Swiss opening times next.

  • Now Open: Zermatt, Saas Fee, St. Moritz
  • 16th Nov: Davos, Klosters,
  • 17th Nov: Crans Montana
  • 1st Dec: Flims Laax, Verbier

We are still waiting on a few resorts to confirm their opening dates, though we expect the vast majority to be up and running from 15th December. So much snow has already fallen, many resorts are opening early, with St. Moritz opening today out of the blue!

The winter is approaching rapidly and, well, I can't wait!

The Snowman


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© Igluski.com

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http://www.igluski.com/news/resort-openings-for-2012-13_a19735847 2012-11-08
Three Valleys To Offer Group Discount Lift Passes The Three Valleys lift company, and its corresponding resorts, has announced plans to offer a discounted rate on lift passes to groups of three or more skiers/snowboarders travelling together.

The world's largest ski area announced that they will be increasing their lift passes from €244 to €260 for next season, representing a 6% increase. This isn't a surprise considering the two new gondola lifts being put into the Meribel Valley, the new Funival in Val Thorens and the new chairlifts in Courchevel. At €260 for a six days pass, Les Trois Valleys will become one of the most expensive lift passes in Europe.


Meribel's forthcoming lift upgrade will look something like this.

In order to help combat the price and to encourage groups to the region, the lift company has announced plans for group discounts for groups of as little as three people. Three people will be able to purchase the new Tribu pass — which is essentially three full area passes — for €735, which is €245 per person, additional passes can also be purchased for just €245pp. This brings the price down to the current season's price.

Though the lift tickets may seem a little steep, you are getting the largest linked ski area in the world and the opportunity to ski in Courchevel, Meribel, St. Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens all under one pass and with one of the most efficient lift systems in the world. The recent upgrades to new, faster gondolas over the past two years, the addition of new cable cars and Funival lifts in Val Thorens and the planned upgrade of some of Courchevel's chairlifts, show that the resorts are investing this money back into the skiing too.

With the Euro at the best rate for years (currently over €1.25 to the £1 18/05/2012), the lift passes with the group discounts will actually work out a little cheaper than last season, so a win-win for any groups of three or more planning to ski in the Three Valleys next season.

The Tribu pass will also be available of local lift passes, for those who prefer a single valley pass — ideal for beginners and those relatively new to skiing. For example a ticket for the Belleville Valley (St. Martin & Les Menuires) will cost €564, which is only €188 each! At €57 less than the full area pass, the local lift ticket is one of the best value out there for an area that still offers world class skiing — just on a smaller scale. At today's exchange rate you'd be paying £150 per ticket, that's not bad when you think about it!

The Three Valleys is continuing to keep pace with the rest of the world's top resorts, therefore lift pass prices are going to rise, but this little 6% discount they are offering will go a long way to retaining skiers' faithful to the area, as well as attracting new skiers and boarders.

Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/three-valleys-to-offer-group-discount-lift-passes_a19735811 2012-05-18
Paradiski Plagnes Big Upgrades This Summer Following on from last week's news about the new lifts and resort upgrades in the Three Valleys resort of Meribel, La Plagne — part of the nearby Paradiski ski area — is also set for a couple of upgrades to their lifts this summer.

Plagne Centre, the resort's main hub, will benefit from one new lift and an extension to another lift, to improve the uphill capacity and the speed at which you can get back up the mountain. La Plagne's lift company plan to replace Becion, the current four-man chairlift, with a new six-man chairlift. In order to fit in the new chairlift, the Biolley drag lift will have to be moved, though details are to be confirmed.

As part of work being done to the Mont Saint Sauveur piste two drag lifts, Cadri & Z, are to be removed. In order to compensate for this, the Colorado chairlift will be extended downhill to accommodation skiers heading down the piste. There is also work being done to improve the layout and size of some of the pistes. Work includes aforementioned Mont Saint Sauveur piste, which will be widened, hence the removal of the drag lifts, and a new beginners zone between the extended Colorado chairlift and the Funiplagne.

There will also be a remodelling of the Jean Luc Cretier stadium and the moving of the stadium building to the Verdons piste— adding an additional 30% of ski terrain to the area.

The Office du Tourisme in La Plagne said: "The object of these works is to completely reorganise the snow front in Plagne Centre to improve skier comfort in this sector."

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/paradiski-plagnes-big-upgrades-this-summer_a19735802 2012-05-03
Some Uplifting Changes In Meribel For 2012/3 Meribel and Meribel Mottaret are both set for lift upgrades this summer, following last summer's first stage improvements of the Saulire gondola. With Meribel only rivalled by Val d'Isere for the number of Brits in resort each winter, new, faster lifts are always good news.

Work started on the Saulire gondola last summer, with the first stage of the lifts completed and running throughout the season, the second phase of the new lift system is due for completion by December 2012 and will whisk skiers from the main lift hub in Meribel, le Chaudanne, to the top of the Saulire in just 12 minutes — previously the lift took 22 minutes.

In order to improve the lifts for this season the lift company completed the second half of the gondola, Saulire Express 2, last summer — which meant skiers looking to head back to the top of the mountain from the mid-station were treated to a high-speed lift first. Once the Saulire Express 1, based in le Chaudanne is complete, the links to ski over to the Courchevel Valley — with arguably some of the best skiing — or Mottaret, will seem lightning-quick to Meribel regulars. The new lift will have cost €20 million by the time of completion, but will boast a capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour and 2,800 per hour during peak season.

In addition to the new high-speed gondola, the Platiers lifts from Meribel Mottaret up toward Les Menuires and Val Thorens is set for a huge upgrade this summer. The existing 28 year old Platiers 1 & 2 will be replaced by a single high-speed gondola and the first 10 seater gondola in the Three Valleys. The lift will cut the previous travel time of 22 minutes down to 9 minutes and will again boast a capacity of 2,800 skiers per hour.

The new Platiers lift will boast a new base station in Meribel Mottaret, across from the current lift, and will cost a whopping €17.2 million. Though Platiers 1 & 2 is being replaced, the current Platiers 3, apart from some new gondola cabins, will remain as is.

Another lift set for an upgrade this summer is the Ourson rope tow at the foot of Mottaret's slopes. The beginners lift will be upgraded to a more modern magic-carpet lift, for the moderate cost of €70,000. Another development for beginner skiers in Mottaret is the re-shaping of the Matre piste — one of the main runs back into the resort — which will see its steepest section given a more gentle gradient. The work on 60m section of slopes is expecting to cost around €2 million.

With the three new lifts and the changes to piste, Meribel will have invested upwards of €40 million on the slope's infrastructure by December this year — and that doesn't include the new-ish Platiers 3 lift. This is a real sign from the resort and that the money is being reinvested to remain among the worlds best. With large sums being invested in the neighbouring resort of Val Thorens — new lifts, hotels, apartments and Wi-Fi on the slopes, the Three Valleys is still the place to be on your skis.

Here are last summer's articles on the Three Valley upgrades, including the Saulire Express and the new lifts and accommodation in Val Thorens.

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/some-uplifting-changes-in-meribel-for-2012-3_a19735797 2012-04-26
Val Thorens' Slopeside Wi-Fi The world renowned resort of Val Thorens, in France's Three Valleys ski area, has announced plans to introduce free Wi-Fi connectivity to the slopes. The resort has decided to deploy free Wi-Fi internet access at a variety of lift stations.

SETAM, The resort's lift company, added Wi-Fi to the Péclet Funitel, the Cairn & Caron gondola and the Cime Caron cable car last season and following its success it plans to open up the system across as much of the resort as possible. As of next season Wi-Fi should be available at the Plein Sud, Moraine and 3 Vallée 2 chair lifts, along with the Bouquetin cable car.

Eric Bonnel, Sales and Marketing Director of ski lift company SETAM, said "We want to offer visitors the best services to facilitate their stay in the resort. We are anticipating their needs by offering them access to Wi-Fi on the ski lifts."

Having free Wi-Fi access on the slopes will be a massive pull to skiers, meaning people can access digital piste maps and instantly upload photos on the slopes, massively reducing the need to use expensive data roaming. For those set-up to do so, people will also be able to Facetime and Skype friends to find out where they are, or to show off to their friends at home.

There are also rumours the resort intends to extend the Wi-Fi network even further, with Orelle — nicknamed the Hidden Valley— in line to also benefit from access at their lift stations in the coming seasons. This modern approach to skiing is great idea and will no doubt be a pull for many people planning their 2012/13 ski holidays.

With completion of the new Funitel lift station, the new hotel, new luxury apartments and new chalets next season, Val Thorens is making strides forward as a resort and is beginning to appeal to a former local who has since holidayed in Meribel (me) once again.

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

Photo: © OT Val Thorens

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http://www.igluski.com/news/val-thorens-slopeside-wi-fi_a19735791 2012-04-17
Epic Lift Pass For 2012/13 Now On Sale Vail resorts have announced that their season pass, the Epic pass, which covers all of their resorts is on sale for next season.

You may think it's odd that we're talking about a full season pass, but if you are planning to ski in Colorado or California next winter, then this could be the lift pass for you. The resorts covered by the Epic pass are Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone & Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe & Kirkwood in California.

At $649 for the season — approximately £420 at the current exchange rate — this Epic pass is the most cost effective way of skiing any of these resorts if you are planning at least eight days on the slopes, and especially if you intend in skiing more than one of the resorts above. With the Epic pass you could take one trip to Colorado, skiing as many of the mentioned resorts as you wish, then head to Tahoe later in the year for another trip all on one lift pass.

Lift pass prices in the USA tend to be higher then Europe, with many resorts charging in excess of $90-a-day to hit the slopes. So if you are thinking of skiing in North America, it's definitely worth doing a longer break to make the trip worthwhile. If you manage 12 days of skiing, the Epic pass becomes comparable to two weeks in France.

The $649 price is only guaranteed until April 15th, and US resorts often increase their prices as the season approaches. To book the lift pass you only have to pay a $50 deposit, with the final payment due in September.

Kirsten Lynch, Chief Marketing Officer of Vail Resorts, said: "With the addition of Kirkwood, this year's season pass line-up offers our guests an epic value with access to the best resorts in Colorado and Lake Tahoe. "

As you can see, it's not just the holiday and flights that are better value to book early, lift passes are too.

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/epic-lift-pass-for-2012-13-now-on-sale_a19735785 2012-03-22
Alpe d'Huez Update - Great Snow & Perfect Pistes Our in resort-reporter, Stuart the Silver haired legend [apparently] from Masterclass Ski, has sent us an update of what's going on in Alpe d'Huez at the moment.

The boys at Masterclass have over the last week skied Les Deux Alpes and Serre Chevalier, as well as their home resort.

It doesn't matter where you go, the skiing on piste is great. Alpe d’Huez has the most snow, by over a meter, but the other two resorts are skiing really well. There is practically no powder following the high wind during last week's storm and off piste is limited to a lot of Sastrugi high up in 2 Alpes and Alpe d'. The only option left for the off piste masochists is a lot of breakable crust. All stations are really quiet and the perfect weather —forecast for the next week — makes this period ideal for piste skiers.

alpe d'huez news

The new lifts in Auris en Oisens, a satellite resort of Alpe d’huez, have been a roaring success, as have the new blue runs that now make the Auris sector available to the more timid skiers. There are also great reports about the new shortcut from the Alpette run to the Alpette lift.

We have just finished hosting the world skicross champs in Alpe d'Huez, where local interest was focused on Ophélie David who announced that she couldn't resist the temptation to compete yet again. After winning the world championship no less than seven times, David unexpectedly continued this season and came a very creditable 5th. Not bad for some one touching 40 years old.

As for the weather, there is a small amount of snow forecast for later next week. Watch this space!

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/alpe-d-huez-update-great-snow--perfect-pistes_a19735739 2012-01-16
Courchevel Changes Its Name To... Courchevel Courchevel, France's number one resort, is changing its name. For the past 54 years the resorts, bar Le Praz and La Tania, that make up the Courchevel valley have been known by their altitude, but not for long.

The decision to re-brand the four resorts was taken in order to move away from the altitude stigma attached to the resorts, plus Courchevel 1850, is actually at 1760 and rumour has it they chose the name in 1947 to match Val d'Isere.

Courchevel 1850 will be known purely as Courchevel, while Courchevel 1650 becomes Courchevel Moriond and Courchevel 1550 has been renamed Courchevel Village. Le Praz, sometimes called Courchevel 1330, is now Courchevel Le Praz and La Tania continues to be called... La Tania — apparently there are too many Brits and not enough Russians to add Courchevel to the name.

Tourist Director Adeline Roux said: "It makes sense to give the resort a single identity. When the decision was taken it was too late to change all the road signs and the brochures for this winter, but by next summer we will be just Courchevel".

Old Courchevel  - New Courchevel 
Courchevel 1850 - Courchevel
Couchevel 1650  - Courchevel Moriand
Courchevel 1550 - Courchevel Village
Courchevel 1330 - Courchevel Le Praz

Source: We Love 2 Ski
Photo: Courchevel Tourisme - Jérome Kélagopian

Written by Stephen Adam
© Igluski

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http://www.igluski.com/news/courchevel-changes-its-name-to-courchevel_a19735719 2011-12-16