Ski Bespoke Blog

Useless ski facts

Written on June 16th, 2014
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According to fitness experts, you can lose up to five pounds during a week’s skiing holiday. This is because a typical day’s skiing can burn up to 3,000 calories – far more than a session at the gym.

Apparently the steeper the slope, the more calories you’ll burn because your body has to work harder to keep your body balanced. Experienced skiers are also more likely to negotiate moguls – which use up even more muscle power and so burn even more calories.

Not only that, but being exposed to subzero temperatures means your body is forced to raise its own body temperature and it does this by burning off even more calories!

Of course it goes without saying taking it easy on the hot chocolate and pastries along with long lunches can also encourage weight loss. High calorific food and drinking alcohol goes hand-in-hand with skiing holidays, but avoiding them will help you lose weight even faster.

 

But hey what’s the fun in that!

Whistler – An insider’s view

Written on June 16th, 2014
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 An insider’s view: Luke Dorking, North American Sales & Product Manager

 

I have been a skier and snowboarder for the last twenty + years, during which time I have been lucky enough to visit some incredible resorts in Europe, Canada and the USA.

I have also been fortunate enough to spend more than a year working in Whistler, BC during both winter and summer seasons with a few subsequent return visits.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Whistler as my number one resort summer or winter to anyone – regardless of age, ability, budget, even non skiers.

 

No other resort compares; when you take into account the snowfall, on-piste terrain, off-piste activities, après, fine dining, nightlife… it has everything and does everything to a level that is consistently high and each time I’ve gone back still continues to surprise.

 

After hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, it has cemented its place firmly on the map of must-ski resorts and is continually voted as one of the best ski resorts in the world.

 

Whistler at a glance

  • Both ski mountains (Whistler and Blackcomb) have an enormous variety of slopes and outstanding terrain, catering for beginners, intermediates and expert skiers and snowboarders.
  • It enjoys a remarkable snow record which means you are able to ski/board late into the season.
  • The diverse skiing offers huge bowls, tree lined runs, hike-able off peak chutes and world class terrain parks.
  • The Peak 2 Peak gondola enables skiers to cross the mountains quickly and easily.
  • Family friendly resort.
  • Superb purpose built resort offers an excellent choice of accommodation to suit all tastes.
  • Shopper’s paradise and great non-ski activities.
  • Short transfer from airport to resort.

Whistler Extends Season Until May!

Written on April 7th, 2014
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February and March were incredible months for skiers and riders at Whistler Blackcomb, with a snowfall total of 508cm. March was the snowiest month of the season and Whistler’s third snowiest March in 10 years. The last week alone brought a storm cycle that deposited 91cm of new snow. Year to date snowfall is 817cm (322 inches or close to 27 feet). As a result of March’s amazing snow and fantastic conditions on the mountains, Whistler Blackcomb is extending spring skiing and riding on Blackcomb Mountain until May 26, 2014.

 

“With a current base of 278cm and more snow in the forecast, we’re once again lucky enough to boast one of the longest ski seasons in North America,” says Stuart Rempel, Senior VP of Marketing and Sales at Whistler Blackcomb. “Spring is just an awesome time to be in Whistler. We have so many exciting events around the corner, such as the legendary World Ski and Snowboard Festival and the first annual GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival. Extending our ski and snowboard season ensures all of our guests can have the best possible spring experience here at Whistler Blackcomb.”

 

Whistler Mountain operations will close on April 21 but Blackcomb Mountain’s expansive slopes and dialed in terrain parks will be open for skiing and riding until May 26, 2014.

 

Experience Whistler This Spring

With longer days, warmer temperatures and lots of sun-soaked patios for après, Whistler Blackcomb is an absolute must for spring skiing. Springtime in Whistler is also well-known for being fully loaded with lots of events and activities including the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF), falling partly over Easter weekend, and GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival taking place during the Victoria Day Long Weekend in May.

 

World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF), April 11 to 20, 2014

The legendary WSSF is back in Whistler and better than ever, featuring sport events such as The Shred Show, a World Snowboard Tour 5-Star event, and the World Skiing Invitational/ Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Cup Championship. WSSF also boasts incredible arts events and concerts, including Intersection, the OLYMPUS 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown and OLYMPUS Pro Photographer Showdown, and free outdoor concerts including De La Soul, The Original Wailers and more. More information on WSSF can be found at whistlerblackcomb.com/festival.

 

GO Fest – Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, May 16 to 19, 2014

The first annual GO Fest brings together all the amazing and diverse aspects of Whistler’s great outdoors, featuring events such as the Green River Challenge, the Great Snow-Earth-Water Race and the Great Slush Cup on Blackcomb Mountain. Award-winning rock and roll band The Sheepdogs will kick off the festival with a free concert in the heart of Whistler Village. More information on GO Fest can be found at http://www.greatoutdoorsfest.com/.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Morrison, Location: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Olympic Cities

Written on January 24th, 2014
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With Sochi just around the corner with only 14 days to go we started thinking about previous winter Olympic venues and discovered that 3 of our popular resorts also held the Olympic games:

Chamonix

1924 – In 1921, the International Olympic Committee gave its patronage to a Winter Sports Week to take place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. This event was a great success, attracting 10,004 paying spectators, and was retrospectively named the First Olympic Winter Games.

St. Moritz

1928 – These Winter Games were the first to be held in a different nation from the Summer Games of the same year. They also marked the participation of Japanese athletes for the first time. A new event was contested: the skeleton.

1948 – After a 12-year break, caused by World War II, these Games were named the “Games of Renewal”.

Cortina d’Ampezzo 

1956 – These Games marked the debut of the USSR team, which immediately won more medals than any other nation. Their speed skaters won three of the four events, while their ice hockey team ended Canada’s domination.

 

Other areas that are part of our main arrival and departure destinations also had the honour of being host:

Squaw Valley

1960 – When officials became unsure as to whether a skier had missed a gate in the men’s slalom they asked CBS-TV if they could review a videotape of the race. This gave CBS the idea of inventing the now ubiquitous “instant replay”.

Innsbruck

1964 – The Innsbruck Games were threatened by a lack of snow. The Austrian army rushed to the rescue, carving out 20,000 blocks of ice from the mountain side and transporting them down to the luge and bobsleigh tracks. They also carried 40,000 cubic metres of snow to the Alpine skiing slopes.

1976 – The 1976 Games had been awarded to Denver, but the people of the state of Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the Games. Innsbruck offered to step in and its offer was accepted by the IOC Executive Board. The city had previously hosted the Winter Games 12 years earlier.

Grenoble

1968 – Norway won the most medals, the first time a country other than the USSR had done so. Gender tests for women were introduced, as were doping controls for both men and women. The Grenoble Games were also the first to be broadcast in colour.

Calgary

1988 – For the first time, the Winter Games extended to 16 days, including three weekends. The Alpine events were expanded from three to five with the inclusion of the super giant slalom and the Alpine combined. Team events were added in Nordic combined and ski jumping.

Vancouver

2010 – Vancouver hosted 17 days of Olympic Games events, with 2566 athletes, 82 participating countries, 10,000 media representatives and 3 billion television viewers worldwide.

 

For more information on previous and current Olympic events, please visit the Official website of the Olympic Movement! (http://www.olympic.org/)

Team GB Selected

Written on January 24th, 2014
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The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced that 19 skiers and snowboarders have been officially selected for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The selected athletes are (full athlete profiles can be found on www.teamgb.com):

DAVE RYDING (born: Bretherton, lives: Bretherton) (Alpine Skiing)

CHEMMY ALCOTT (born: Twickenham, lives: Surrey) (Alpine Skiing)

ANDREW MUSGRAVE (born: Poole, lives: Trondheim, Norway) (Cross Country)

ANDREW YOUNG (born: Huntly, lives: Lillehammer, Norway) (Cross Country)

CALLUM SMITH (born: Bristol, lives: Inverurie) (Cross Country)

ROSAMUND (POSY) MUSGRAVE (born: Cairo, Egypt, lives: Oyne) (Cross Country)

JAMES WOODS (born: Sheffield, lives: Sheffield) (Ski Slopestyle)

KATIE SUMMERHAYES (born: Sheffield, lives: Sheffield) (Ski Slopestyle)

MURRAY BUCHAN (born: Edinburgh, lives: Edinburgh) (Ski Halfpipe)

JAMES MACHON (born: Sheffield, lives: Sheffield) (Ski Halfpipe)

ROWAN CHESHIRE (born: Stoke on Trent, lives: Stoke on Trent) (Ski Halfpipe)

EMMA LONSDALE (born: Settle, Yorkshire, lives: Settle, Yorkshire) (Ski Halfpipe)

ZOE GILLINGS (born: Isle of Man, lives: Leeds) (Snowboard Cross)

BILLY MORGAN (born: Southampton, lives: Southampton) (Snowboard Slopestyle)

JAMIE NICHOLLS (born: Bradford, lives: Bradford) (Snowboard Slopestyle)

JENNY JONES (born: Bristol, lives: Bristol) (Snowboard Slopestyle)

AIMEE FULLER (born: Bromley, lives: Belfast) (Snowboard Slopestyle)

BEN KILNER (born: Banchory, lives: Banchory) (Snowboard Halfpipe)

DOM HARINGTON (born: Leeds, lives: London) (Snowboard Halfpipe)

The race to make the standard for Team GB nomination and subsequent selection went down to the wire for the British skiers and snowboarders, with Aimee Fuller securing her place on the team with a 5th place at the Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup in Stoneham last weekend, and Chemmy Alcott proving to selectors she was fit, despite her final race before selection being cancelled due to heavy snow. The 19 skiers and snowboarders will be one of the biggest numbers ever selected for Team GB for an Olympic Winter Games across the skiing and snowboarding disciplines.

 

Sochi 2014 sees the introduction of Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle and Ski Halfpipe into the Winter Olympics, three disciplines where the United Kingdom hope to make an impact. Snowboard Parallel Slalom will also make its debut on the Olympic Programme, but will not feature any Team GB athletes.

 

In Ski Slopestyle, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods hopes to be challenging for Olympic honours after last year being awarded the FIS Crystal Globe which is given to the best athlete in each discipline competing at World Cup level. Woodsy also won a silver medal at the Freestyle World Championships, becoming only the second ever British medallist at World Championship level. This season has seen some good performances for the Sheffield born athlete, who will be looking to match his performances from last season in Sochi.

 

Woodsy will be joined by fellow Sheffield skier Katie Summerhayes on the Ski Slopestyle course in Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Summerhayes, who is just 18, carried the flag in the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, representing Team GB for the first time. She is back competing again following a knee injury which meant she was out of action all summer and missed the start of this winter’s competition season. Last weekend saw Summerhayes take second place at the World Cup Ski Slopestyle in Gstaad.

 

Alpine skier Chemmy Alcott has defied the odds and come back to world class racing after breaking her leg back in 2010. This return to fitness sees her selected for Team GB as she tries to make a mark in her fourth Olympic Winter Games. Alongside Alcott is Alpine skier Dave Ryding who is a Europa Cup Slalom Winner and from Lancashire. Ryding will race on 22nd January in the Slalom at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.

 

Team GB is well represented in Cross Country skiing with four athletes competing at the Laura Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Centre. Leading the way is Scottish athlete Andrew Musgrave who last weekend won the Sprint title at the Norwegian Championships and recently finished 9th in a World Cup race which made up the Tour de Ski, in which he finished 27th overall. Andrew Musgrave will be joined on the team by fellow countrymen Andrew Young and Callum Smith. For the women, Rosamund Musgrave, better known as Posy, will compete in the sprint events. After an outstanding season Posy, sister of Andrew, looks to make an impact at her first ever Games.

 

Seven snowboarders will take to the slopes for Team GB during Sochi 2014. In the new discipline of Snowboard Slopestyle, Billy Morgan, who came third in the 2013 World Cup finals and second in a 4* World Snowboard Tour event last year will lead the charge. He will be joined by team mate Jamie Nicholls, who has qualified for his first Winter Olympics. For the women, triple X Games winner Jenny Jones will compete in the Snowboard Slopestyle event on 9th February. She is joined by Kent born Aimee Fuller who secured her place on the team after coming 5th in last weekend’s Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup in Stoneham, Canada.

 

In Snowboard Halfpipe, Ben Kilner will go into his second Olympic Winter Games accompanied by team mate Dom Harington. Scottish athlete Kilner placed 18th in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and hopes to better that performance in Sochi. For London based Harington, this will be his first Winter Olympics after being a dominating force alongside Kilner on the British snowboard halfpipe scene for some time.

 

In Snowboard Cross, Zoe Gillings comes into her third Olympic Winter Games for Team GB. In Turin 2006 she finished 15th and in Vancouver 2010 8th in the Ladies Snowboard Cross event. Gillings will take to the course in Rosa Khutor on Sunday 16th February.

A full news article can be found here

Some exciting new developments……..

Written on January 14th, 2014
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The newly opened gondola now links Lech and Warth, significantly expanding the valley’s skiing area. It also opens access to Warth’s exceptional snow record: almost 11 metres (36ft) each winter – three times that which falls in St Anton, and more bountiful even than in Lech. For intrepid intermediate skiers or powder-seekers, the new link makes the Arlberg valley only more rewarding.

The Auenfeldjet is a two-kilometre long lift starting at the upper station of the Weibermahd chairlift in Lech, crossing the Auenfeld pass to the Geissbühel Alpe creating a link between Lech-Zürs and the resorts of Warth-Schröcken – adding another 64km of piste to the Lech-Zürs ski area.

With the opening of this new cable-car, the largest skiing area in Vorarlberg with a total of 47 ski-lifts and cable-cars and 190 kilometres of piste has been created. Adding the ski area of St Anton, St. Christoph and Stuben, the range of facilities is even larger: 94 lifts and cable-cars and 340 kilometres of piste. This places the Arlberg on level with the largest ski resorts in the world and increases the diversity for all winter sports enthusiasts.

This cable-car will be built with utmost care for the environment: trees and the high-alpine vegetation will be preserved, water and source protection areas will not be interfered with. Any intervention with the natural landscape is restricted to the construction itself. Since no new ski pistes or access to slopes will be created, the animal world will not be disturbed in its existing habitat. The cable-car itself will feature just a few high pylons at the western edge of the Auenfeld. There is also a positive side effect in that the existing 30 kV power line crossing the Auenfeld has disappeared from the landscape and was re-laid underground in the cable-car’s cable ditch. For this reason, the Auenfeldjet project is also referred to as a prime example of a non-invasive transport link.

For more details and 3D views on the new cable-car see www.auenfeldjet.at

 

 

Safety First – No helmet could mean No insurance!

Written on January 8th, 2014
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Ski helmets are becoming an increasing sight on the slopes and people are starting to view them as crucial as ski jackets and gloves…but they are not compulsory or could they be? Some insurance companies are starting to take the view that if customers ski without suitable head protection they could run the risk of invalidating their policy. Some companies have even started to offer a lower premium for skiers wearing helmets. Whilst a helmet does not reduce all sports injuries, it does reduce the risk of potentially fatal head injuries.

Things to add to your to do list before you go skiing – check your insurance policy and make sure you are covered appropriately, buy a helmet if you do not own one and for those that do dust it off and get ready to hit the slopes. Forget those woolly hats invest in a good helmet, the best you can afford.

Once you decide which style helmet fits your needs best, it’s time to find a helmet that fits as perfectly as possible. Fit is, by far, the most critical element in choosing a helmet. Just as there is much variation in the size and shape of the human head, so also is there a lot of variation in helmet size and fit.

Start by measuring your head, or better yet, get someone else to help you do it. Measure the circumference of your head above the ears, and about two fingers width above your eyebrows. The biggest mistake people make here is in pulling the tape too tight; get an accurate measurement by pulling it snug but not too tight around your head.

Next, try on as many different helmets as possible to find the one that fits best, one that sits squarely on your head with the front of the helmet about two finger’s width up from your brow. The helmet’s padding should give firm, uniform pressure all around your head. You will know you have a good fit if the skin on your forehead moves when you to try to rotate the helmet from left to right, and from front to back.

Pay close attention to the chin strap retention system as well. The front and rear straps should form a “Y” just below and forward of your ears, and when the straps have been adjusted and the chin strap snapped closed, there should be no slack in the system.

Finally, if you have a special pair of goggles you want to continue to use, take them with you to make sure they are compatible with the helmet you have chosen before you make your purchase.

Remember once again, fit is key. A helmet that is too big will not be as effective in protecting your head, and a lid that is too tight and uncomfortable will probably be left at home.

Take the time to get it right. You only get one head!

 

Austria is now EPIC

Written on May 20th, 2013
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Austria & Switzerland are Now Epic.

Austria 3

Ski the Best of Austria, Switzerland and the USA on One Season Pass!

One thing that unites everyone on the mountain – whether they are old, panda-eyed skiers (who can still remember wooden pole baskets), the younger, brightly coloured generation of snowboarders and skiers, families with young children who are skiing rings around everyone else…is a lift pass.

As we have mentioned before, EPIC Lift Pass holders have exceptional value with the EPIC Pass. The EPIC Pass allows you to ski the WHOLE winter season in some of the major US resorts, but now features five free days of skiing and boarding in Verbier (Switzerland) & the Vor Arlberg (Austria), bringing the total access to 15 world-class mountains in three countries!

That means you can not only ski seven of the major US resorts, but you can now receive five free days in the Vor Arlberg resorts including St. Anton, Lech, Zurs, St. Christoph & Stuben. The pass also entitles you to 5 free days in Verbier, Switzerland.

Combine that with unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin in Colorado, as well as Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe – you can now ski across North America and Europe with just one pass in your pocket!

“Arlberg and Vail Resorts are arguably the world’s premier ski resorts, offering exceptional experiences on the mountain and an unparalleled level of customer service,” said Hermann Fercher, chief executive officer of Lech-Zürs. “We are looking forward to a successful partnership and welcome Epic Pass holders to Austria next winter”, chief executive officer of St. Anton am Arlberg, Martin Ebster, went on to say.

All season pass products are non-transferable and non-refundable. Book your pass early to make the most of this promotion, Something’s are just too good to miss!

Cervinia – An Insider’s View

Written on April 5th, 2013
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It is always a dilemma where to go for my own skiing holiday as we have such a wide choice to choose from and of course there is always the tendency to choose your old favourites (Lech being one of them).

This year myself and my husband ventured to Cervinia, Italy. Here the slopes link to Zermatt in Switzerland which offers more challenging skiing (you can purchase an international pass which covers both resorts or if you would like to venture over to Zermatt just for one day you can have an add on to your Cervinia pass for 32 Euros.

We were fortunate to experience the most fantastic snow conditions and snowed for most of our time there – a great place for late season skiing, as the resort remains open until the 5th May. So plenty of opportunities to have that last minute fix!

We stayed at the Hotel Hermitage a delightful Relais & Chateau property with a glorious view of the Matterhorn although known on the Italian side as Monte Cervino from our bedroom window.

 

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This superb hotel offers a relaxed atmosphere in very comfortable surroundings with a level of service that is second to none; nothing really is too much trouble. The food is divine and thank goodness we were skiing, otherwise it would have been a strict diet on our return – a little one probably wouldn’t go amiss but Shhh don’t tell anyone…..

Written by Lesley Benson, Director

GB Medal Hopes in 2014

Written on April 3rd, 2013
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Team GB Dreams of Medals in Sochi 2014

Great Britain basked in the glory of a tremendously successful London 2012, winning a total of 65 medals, including 29 golds, as the nation was whipped into a supporting frenzy.

In a year’s time, Team GB’s snow and ice athletes could also be set for a record-breaking Winter Olympics.

Britain’s most successful Winter Games was in 1924 when they won four medals – gold in curling, silver in bobsleigh and bronze in figure skating and ice hockey.

But in Sochi, Russia, could this be the year that team GB rewrites the record books?

Elise Christie, short-track speed skater certainly thinks so. She is Britain’s first World Cup champion at 1,000m and has been on the podium in every race at that distance this season.

She’s not alone for a successful Olympics in Sochi, as Great Britain also boasts a world champion skeleton slider, Shelley Rudman who is a double World Cup gold medallist. Team GB also has X Games bronze medallist in freestyle skier James Woods and a number of other athletes with genuine podium potential.

Great Britain has never won an Olympic medal on snow, but that could be rectified in Sochi.

Slopestyle will be making its Winter Olympic debut and Britain just happens to have some incredibly talented freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

James Woods has claimed two historic World Cup titles in the past 12 months and added X Games bronze to his collection last month in Aspen, Colorado.

There are also hopes that snowboarding London Freeze winner Billy Morgan could come into contention, while experienced pair Jenny Jones and two-time Olympian Zoe Gillings will continue to push for finals places in elite events.

GB freestyle skiing head coach has boldly predicted they could win up to three medals, and the sport’s chief executive agrees there is strong potential in the team.

So fingers crossed things go our way in 2014.

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