Ski Bespoke Blog

Safety First

Written on December 14th, 2011
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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.

-Lesley

Embedded – The Final Cut

Written on December 1st, 2011
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The 6th and final installment in the 6-part EMBEDDED video series is now available at http://whistlerblackcomb.com/embedded

Embedded Day 6 – The Master Cut

Looking back on 6 days and nights Embedded at the Peak of Whistler Mountain, pro skier Mike Douglas pays tribute to the hard-working men and women, and the intense coast mountain storms that he witnessed. Reflecting on the beauty of a mountain in transformation, seen from inside the story, Mike concludes what every passionate skier and rider knows in their heart – it’s all about snow!

Here’s a quick idea of how the snow currently looks in North America right now!

EMBEDDED ON WHISTLER FOR SIX DAYS

Written on November 16th, 2011
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Mike Douglas – Godfather of Freeskiing – has his first EMBEDDED instalment from the top of Whistler Blackcomb.


EMBEDDED Day 1 of 6 – Patience from Whistler Blackcomb on Vimeo.

Mike Douglas “The Godfather of Freeskiing,” is currently EMBEDDED on Whistler Mountain for six days, documenting the inside story as Whistler Blackcomb prepares for its early opening on Friday, November 18.

Armed with only his camera equipment and winter gear, Douglas is living solo in the patrol hut atop the iconic Peak Chair at 7,160 feet on Whistler Mountain. He’ll be producing a series of short videos that bring to life the behind the scenes work that goes into opening a world-class ski area for the season. Douglas will be EMBEDDED with Whistler Blackcomb snowmakers, groomers, patrollers, and lift operations teams as they mobilize in preparation for Friday.
“Good things seem to come to those who wait. As the snow falls on Whistler Blackcomb, we all want to be up there as soon as possible, which is an exercise in patience,” says Douglas, co-founder of award winning film crew Switchback Entertainment. “After a long wait, I’ve finally made it up Whistler Mountain and it’s so good! The morning views have been spectacular and there is lots of snow up here. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

With a snow base of 55 centimetres at Pig Alley (1,650 metres), Douglas could be in for a few exclusive ski laps with patrol as they prep the mountain to safely open for the public. There will be no general public access to the alpine terrain on November 18, as early season conditions still apply.

As much as 35cm of snow expected by Friday and Douglas could experience one of the raging storms that frequent the Peak of Whistler Mountain each winter; frequently clocking winds of more than 100km per hour. The EMBEDDED story has only begun….

DAY 1

Patience — it’s the one thing we all have to learn in the weeks leading up to winter. The anticipation is often unbearable as the weather taunts us with tell-tale signs that winter is on its way. For pro skier Mike Douglas, embedded at the top of Whistler Mountain, the anticipation is over and winter has arrived…big time. Follow Mike as he journeys to the Patrol Shack on Whistler Peak that will be his home-away-from-home for the next 6 days and nights, and follow his progress has he documents the Mountain’s transformation and preparation for opening day.

http://embedded.whistlerblackcomb.com

3 Words We Love Hearing

Written on November 11th, 2011
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Depending on where you live and how you see storms as good or bad, your perception may obviously differ… but for snow-hungry people in Colorado, this is the type of news you wait all year for!

WINTER STORM WARNING:
http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=COZ010&warncounty=COC097&firewxzone=COZ203&local_place1=Aspen+CO&product1=Winter+Storm+Warning
courtesy of the NOAA.

Opening day for Alberta

Written on November 7th, 2011
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As our resident ‘North American expert’ predicted,  the La Nina season has headed to Lake Louise Ski Area and Mt. Norquay in Banff, as they opened up for their lifts for the start of the season on Saturday 5th November

They were also joined by neighbours Keystone and Copper Mountains in Colorado who opened on Friday November 4th, taking that state’s tally to five areas open so far.

“We have all heard the La Nina rumours and are expecting another great snow filled season,” says Dan Markham, Director of Marketing and Sales at Ski Banff Lake Louise Sunshine.

“With some help from Mother Nature in terms of natural snow fall, as well as cooler temperatures, we’ve been able to work diligently making snow” says The Lake Louise Ski Area President Charlie Locke.

The resort will continue to add more lifts and more terrain daily as snow conditions permit.
One thing is for sure, the season has well and truly started!

New for Chamonix 2011

Written on October 28th, 2011
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This winter sees a new ski school operating in Chamonix. Tinderbox Ski School is a team of fully qualified independent ski teachers and mountain guides based in Chamonix, the team is headed up by Chris Fecher a British K2 & Mountain Hardwear pro freeskier.  They are offering tuition from novice to pro, private or group lessons and are covering backcountry skiing, all mountain skiing and piste skiing.

Their ethos – Driven by a willingness to share a passion for skiing and the outdoors, we aim to provide the most honest and authentic experience and services.

Chamonix is great place to ski due to its long season. The season starts from 03 December and end around the 06 May. Please see our website for details on Chamonix.

Breck celebrating early?!

Written on October 26th, 2011
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The resort of Breckenridge, Colorado celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

As a British ski favourite for many years, this resort shows no signs of slowing down whatsoever! Check out their anniversary preview here : http://youtu.be/ivoPZi5YQTY

If that isnt enough to make you think about strapping on a pair of skis, how about this latest weather flash coutesy of The Weather Channel:

 

This isn’t some Photoshop jiggery-pokery, its legitimate. That’s 1-2 FEET expected at Breckenridge Ski Resort and 8-12″ at Aspen/Snowmass. Talk about Early Season Pow!

Embedded

Written on October 14th, 2011
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This November, professional freeskier Mike Douglas will document Whistler Blackcomb’s transition to winter living at the patrol shack atop Whistler Mountain. Armed only with his computer, his camera and a sleeping bag, the “Godfather of Freeskiing” will document the inside story behind what it takes to open the Whistler Blackcomb ski area for the season.

Watch the [EMBEDDED] video teaser.

“Embedded is a once in lifetime experience.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to step right inside winter at the beginning of the season when the stoke level is at its highest point,” says Douglas. “It will be a challenge to document the experience, but it’s the kind of challenge I love. I can’t wait to get up there.”

Douglas will head up the mountain 6 days before opening day in November.

isit whistlerblackcomb.com/embedded to sign up for an email alert when the journey kicks off.

You can see what we think of Whistler by checking out our Resort Page and range of accommodation options!

Ready to ski?

Written on October 7th, 2011
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As the summer ends thoughts turn to the winter and skiing. Things to think about, booking the ski holiday, ski hire, lesson, car parking at the airport……oh and fitness!? How ready are you?

To make the most of your time on the slopes it is important for your body to be ready before you start getting into those ski boots and throwing yourself down a mountain. Your body needs a little helping hand after a long time of no slopes, snow and sitting behind that dreaded desk before you get onto the pistes.

Plan ahead, start slowly and build up your exercise gradually is the key.

Our office has started (updates throughout the rest of winter are coming!), so get those trainers at let’s get ready for a great winter season!

Another BIG season in North America?!

Written on September 23rd, 2011
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Here are some promising Reports from around the web…

www.ExactaWeather.com

Our weather models consider all of these factors and are currently showing a particularly harsh winter for many parts of the US during 2011-2012. Large parts of Central and North America will face below average temperatures with above average snowfall throughout this winter, with temperatures in many Eastern and Western parts also showing as below average with above average snowfall amounts.

We expect the Pacific Northwest region to experience a very severe winter and the Cascades snowpack is likely to see increased levels due to the negative (cold) phase of PDO. Our weather models are also showing an increased likelihood for major snow events in Northeastern and Midwestern parts of the US throughout December 2011 and January 2012, that could see severe blizzard conditions hit New York City and Chicago.

With low solar activity levels, the negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and the general trend for a much colder winter after the onset of last year’s La Niña, this winter could prove to be a record breaker with extremely cold temperatures and exceptional levels of snow for many parts of the US.

www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Skiers and snowboarders take note: the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) has issued a La Niña Advisory. This means La Niña conditions are likely to drive weather trends this winter, however, it is still too soon to know the potential strength of La Niña or if Colorado ski areas will benefit from enhanced snowfall.

“Historically, it seems that many of the secondary dips in La Niña events are slightly weaker than the first dip (which occurred last winter), but that is not always the case since sometimes they are stronger,” said Michelle L’Heureux, ENSO team lead at the CPC. “At this time, the Climate Forecast System (CFS) models are predicting an episode rivaling the same strength as last winter, but that forecast may change quite a bit as we get closer to the winter.”

Better get booking up now!?

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