Welcome to the Altitude Holidays Ski & Snowboard Blog.
You can read our latest thoughts and news about what is happening in the world of skiing and snowboarding. Information about holidays, equipment, accessories, resorts, weather and of course hopefully our adventures in the snow during the season!
Stay safe, stay well!
Tucked away from the crowdy and busy cities, to find peace somewhere - also during this After-COVID19-period - seems strange, but it is possible!
We must admit, the last months weren’t that easy for anybody of us, no matter where we are from, North or South, East or West. We had to face extended time within our own houses, and for those who had gardens or at least a terrace or balcony, life suddenly seemed to be more comfortable.
Here in the Italian Dolomites, we experienced the same as you did in the UK, even if we were perhaps that lucky that the British people are, who are living in the countryside. In March, April and May, the days were sunny, and we were looking out of our windows – or balcony or terraces. Even if our hearts were a little bit sad because of the entirely white, but empty slopes of our Skiing Mountain Kronplatz – Plan de Corones, but finally we saw nature growing. The landscape was becoming green, strangely sooner than ever.
It is true, living in the mountains was a slight, comfortable advantage during COVID19 period. We could walk first around our houses, then to jog in the fields, and finally walk in the surroundings of our Hotel and our Moutain Lodge. After a while, we could go further and use the hiking paths and forests, lying just right behind our houses, and afterwards, when the authority did allow it, finally climb up our Mountains again.
It is true, we live in an ideal ambience, very near to the UNESCO-DOLOMITES, with lots of opportunities to explore, experience, enjoy and relax.
What we appreciated most: be in nature, more ofter with nobody around us, and in case we did meet somebody, we did use and still do use all security rules in order not to get the Virus. Who actually “has gone” from our Italian Province South-Tyrol – Südtirol - Alto Adige. And we hope, forever.
We have good news: we have reopened our doors for our tourists!
To pamper your palate with finest Mediterranean and Alpine culinary creations in stylish dining rooms - in the perfect distance one from each other - or come to balance with healthy, fresh cuisine, prepared with locally sourced ingredients, all this is again possible!
As we have our SPA area and stylish wellness embedded in nature, it is again possible to enjoy top-notch spa amenities in a great variety of vast open spaces and within a unique combination of luxury, design and exclusive concept.
5 STAR PREMIUM SPA HOTEL Winkler and also – in an even more exclusive ambience – our LUXURY MOUNTAIN CHALET with 5 Suites, Butler- and Concierge Service PURMONTES offer a wide range of sports and leisure activities and now in summer two private outdoor guides, in wintertime – again from December 2020 - ski programs in the Dolomiti Superski Area, at Kronplatz – Plan De Corones or in the Ski Resort 3 Peaks Dolomites or even in Alta Badia, as you like, and finally ski-free explorations of nature in winter.
Hikes and bike tours in summer, springtime and autumn are a must, and for children and teenagers, we are famous for offering a special one-year entertainment program.
With our being very serious and aware in general, we think that we can help you in recovering soon from this extraordinary hard period lived during the last mounts. We hope that you will trust us in that we will do our best in making your holiday in the Italian South Tyrol and UNESCO-DOLOMITES with our appreciated cousin, definitely a memorable one!
Huski are a great service that is changing the face of self catered holidays.
No longer do you have to queue up in busy supermarkets to stock up on food - you don't even need to cook!
Huski will deliver oven ready meals & drinks delivered to the door of your apartment or chalet.
You can mix and match from one or two meals or have a 6 day menu all ready for you!
Rich caught up with Mark to find out more.
Rich meets Mark from Hu.ski
Rich met up with Mark from www.Hu.ski in the sunny snowy Alps and here he updates us on the snow conditions in the resorts they cover.
Huski Snow Report - 7th February 2018
This is a guest blog by Alps 2 Alps Transfers
You’ve bought your essentials, booked your accommodation, organised your ski transfers, but what about those extra accessories you might need during your travels?
When it comes to the latest equipment, there’s a whole variety of choices, products and companies to pick from, all of which can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know where to look.
Whether you’re considering additional safety tech or simple headphones, we’ve picked the best of the bunch and created a guide to must have ski gadgets. These items are sure to make your holiday experience more enjoyable, exciting and easy in 2018.
GoPro Hero 6
Starting off our list with a household name, GoPro is often considered the industry-leader when it comes to outdoor cameras. Their latest model, the Hero 6, looks to make those snowy snaps, selfies and shots a little easier, with brand new features and updated hardware that nudges past its competition.
You’ll find freshly implemented voice controls in seven different languages that can understand an extensive range of commands, as well as a two-inch touchscreen panel and improved image capturing. Recordings can now be shot in 1080p and the new ‘QuikStory’ feature makes social media sharing a breeze, as your camera automatically transfers footage with your phone.
If you’re looking for a sturdy, durable outdoor camera, the GoPro Hero 6 has you covered.
Outdoor Tech Chips 2.0 Wireless Helmet Speakers
Are you in need of some musical inspiration during your descents?
Outdoor Tech has recently released its latest Bluetooth, wireless speakers, designed to fit snugly into any helmet. There’s no need for chords or wires, and you’ll have access to all of your own tunes.
They’re built for cold environments, resisting temperatures of up to -20C, and have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a USB charging cable included.
In addition, a built-in microphone can be used for calls and chats. Easy-access control buttons let you switch, select, pause and play without reaching for your phone. This is a great choice if you’re in need of a soundtrack this ski season.
Lifesystems Intensity 105 Headtorch
Late-night ski-enthusiasts will be keen for a head torch to keep the mountain sides bright during those darker evening runs. If this sounds like you, it’s worth checking out the Intensity 105 head torch, a compact but bright gadget that boasts 105 limens of light in a single white XP-G2 Cree LED.
You can alter the intensity for any time of day with three unique settings, and it offers a range of 45 metres with two night-vision front red LEDs. You’ll benefit from 21 hours of battery life on a full charge, with a standard USB cable provided for charging on the go.
This is a great option for lower-end gadget prices, and one you’ll most likely be using frequently on your travels.
DJI Mavic Pro
For film editors and creatives, the DJI Mavic Pro can contribute to your creative projects with its top-quality computer cores and built-in cameras. This compact, flyable drone has a 7km range, and can fit into your pocket with ease.
Its impressively small size is all thanks to its four foldable wings, all of which have movable rotors that allow for a significant reduction in its overall bulk. Unlike previous DJI models, the Mavic Pro has a small LCD screen that offers navigation without the need for an accompanying app.
This is a great choice for vloggers, photo enthusiasts and tech geeks alike.
Mammut Barryvox S Avalanche Transceiver
A little less on the fun side, but an essential for those headed out to more avalanche-prone territory, the S Avalanche Transceiver improves on previous models with an increased range, improved accessibility and greater location capabilities.
The search range now reached up to 70 metres and it’s easier to read important information thanks to a larger display. It also picks up signals quicker than its predecessors and can separate them immediately.
New features also include customisable profiles and automated switching between searching and sending.
Rossignol/ Piq Sports Sensor
This Rossignol accessory is a great option if you’re in need of additional statistics about your ski runs. Compiled of three different components including a Piq sensor, portable charging unit and ankle strap, this sensor provides information on air time, g-force, in-air rotation and edge-to-edge transition times.
It comes with an additional app available for iOS and Android as a free download, where information is presented in a user-friendly style. You’ll find precise data on turns, jumps and specifics of your runs.
Users can share with the community feature, which allows for sharing of numbers between skiers. One for the professionals and hard-core enthusiasts, this is definitely worth a look!
Now that your accessories are up-to-date, are you in need of a transfer for your skiing holiday? Alps2Alps offers private airport transfers that are professional, efficient, low-cost and reliable.
Available for a vast range of European countries, and with a wide selection of vehicle options and sizes, be sure to book your affordable transfer here!
Guest blog by Mark Fielding of Huski
There are those years that live in the memory long after the oak casks have been emptied, the auction house hammers selling another case of 1989 Haut Brion for a house deposit. Then there are those that vanish into the either as your breath on a cold, frost-bitten chairlift. It’s not like it used to be lament the old-guard on the PMU steps, cigarette and beer in their 10 a.m. hands, their faces as leathery as an old jaded fishnet.
But the weather Gods are low pressure zones out over the north Atlantic and Storm Eleanor has made pretty damn sure that 2017/2018 will be a vintage year. A fireplace fairytale for snowboarding grandparents. As if the season didn’t start off on an exquisite enough foot, two days of total carnage, 100 mph winds and the closure of every ski lift in the known universe has added an extra dimension. Conditions have been so angry drag lifts are making a comeback. Queues were forming at the bottom of the magic carpets on the green runs in the 3 valleys. There were 500 people in the swimming pool in Les Arcs.
It is safe to say it has been a week of chaos and rumour, of avalanche warnings and rain. Sadly, for some the consequences have been hard. Skiing holidays have been shortened and customer service has been working around the clock, and we don’t wish that on anyone. So our sincere condolences if you have been affected by the extreme conditions this last week.
But every storm, apart from knocking down a few ski lifts, brings anticipation, powder panic and calmer conditions. And local weather stations are forecasting a sunny Saturday...oh…. and more snow and rain for the next week? Hold on. No, it depends which one you look at. Should I google search in French? “Le meteo”, will that give me a blue-sky day? French weather forecasters are far more optimistic, aren’t they? Sun. Snow. Rain. Freezing point? It’s fluctuating like a seismogram.
Least we have wine. It’s a 2015. Great year.
NEW IDENTITY FOR COURCHEVEL
Starting this winter, a new logo will unfold on the station of Courchevel. The goal? Improve our visibility by sharing a new logo that is simpler and easier to use for everyone involved in the station.
In recent years, Courchevel no longer had a logo but twenty declinations that coexisted on the station. This diversity was detrimental to the brand and the destination as it weakened its visual identity. The previous logo dating back a dozen years , it was necessary to evolve, make it more readable and simplify to improve the visibility of the Courchevel brand and promote consistent use by all stakeholders.
Thus, the logo has benefited from a real facelift. While keeping the snowflake, true emblem of Courchevel for 45 years, the logo has freed many technical constraints making its complex use: removal of shadows and shades of colors, flattening of the flake, and especially new typography improving the readability of the word Courchevel on any scale.
This new logo is also the symbol of a new territory, that of the new municipality of Courchevel created on January 1, 2017.
A large "cleaning" operation will start this winter to remove the multitude of old logos and a complete graphic chart will soon be sent to socioprofessionals to present the new logo and accompany them in the use of it.
Thsi report comes from the Courchevel site http://www.mairie-courchevel.com/actualites/actualite/nouvelle-identite-visuelle.html
GUEST BLOG FROM STEVE AT FRESH CHALETS
As the snow falls and the start of the season is as good as it has been for many a year I am thinking of how you can make the most of your holiday when you do get out here.
Skiing & snowboarding are open environment sports… the conditions that make up that environment in which we perform are never the same there are too many things out of our control so there is no perfect blend to produce that perfect run.
Instead what we need to do make the most of every single opportunity to make us as good as possible to try and make that perfect run possible.
Of course it would be even better if we could keep in practice all year round by skiing or boarding in the summer on glaciers in Europe or heading to the southern hemisphere, more realistically practicing at an indoor facility or a dry ski slope is a possibility.
There are fewer reasons these days as to why the season should be considered just that - a single (or two at most) season of the year to participate in our sport!
So what can we do?
There are the obvious things you can do between now and when your ski holiday is such as stretching and keeping (or getting!) fit but also practice keeping your balance. Try standing on one leg and flexing right down and back up again without losing balance!
Don’t think you can only practice whilst actually sliding down the slopes. World Cup athletes probably spend more time in the gym than sliding down the mountain!
In fact many sports are true like this a tennis player, for example, doesn’t just play matches he / she spends hours working on improving reaction times for returning their opponents serve.
Here’s a list of simple ‘helpers’ to get you ready to maximise the season ahead:
Cycling is a great exercise – where safe try cycling without your hands on the handlebars but keep pedaling… your dynamic balance will get a work out as well as your aerobic fitness.
When you’re watching tv ‘sit’ but without a seat under your legs / bottom, so back straight against a wall and legs bent with 90 behind the knee… how long can you hold it for (truthfully) - a minute is a great initial target.
Head into your garden or park and attach a rope between two objects (trees / fence post or something ‘fixed, stable & strong’) and try walking from one end to the other. The rope only needs to be a few cm’s above the ground. Set yourself targets as to how far you reach - the further the better. Balance, co-ordination and core will all be developed.
Get a pedal only ‘desk cycle’ and work those leg muscles out - you might look a little silly doing this but try this at work but you'll be laughing last when you have the best ski holiday of your life by being fit for it!
Whatever you do don’t fall into the habit of thinking that you can only improve your performance whilst actually on the slopes.
Then when you do get to the mountains don’t think that you can only get better by practicing the same things on the slopes over and over again… you have to put effort in to get performance back out.
Take a lesson, pick up some points to practice and then go and practice it!
STEVE runs FRESH CHALETS based in Val d'Isere
A small family run operation in Val d’Isere who believe that a high quality, flexible chalet holiday need not cost the earth, especially without sacrificing service.
Check out the chalet here.
Altitude's ski rental partner Skimium are one of the largest ski providers in Europe. But despite their size and market leading prices, they maintain a personal touch. And by booking with the code ALTIT17 you can save a massive 60%!
The stores that are affiliated to skimium.com are independent stores located in the heart of the ski resorts. At these winter sports specialists, who all have a great reputation, you’ll find a wide range of the highest quality material that is available for either sale or rent. You can also find a variety of technical clothing and accessories and the men and machines that provide a highly professional workshop service. In the true mountain spirit, you’ll be looked after and advised by professionals that are passionate about their sport!
skimium.com in a few words: it’s EASY, it’s the COMFORT of ordering from your own home and the BEST PRICE advantage through ordering on the internet (up to 20% discount off the public prices that are communicated in the stores), but it’s not only that...
SKIMIUM IS EVEN MORE:
A wide selection of all the different categories of equipment in order to satisfy the requirements of all types of people, all types of ability and all types of desire.
An on-line Advice Guide enabling you to select the material that is the best suited to your ability, your desire and to what you want to do.
Only 25% deposit required, no administration fees.
Get the most of your skiing holiday with your family and friends with at least a further discount of 5% off the store prices for any reservation that includes at least 4 (or +) pairs of skis or snowboards.
Benefit from the Professional Advice to get the most out of your equipment.
A Commitment to guaranteeing your Safety, through our on-line advice service.
A Direct and Personal Contact with your rental store.
THE STORES THAT ARE AFFILIATED TO SKIMIUM.COM ARE COMMITTED TO:
Operating a Transparent Pricing Policy:
Benefit from the most advantageous prices by reserving on the internet
A Technical Charter:
A selection of the most reputable brands
Up to date material (no more than 3 seasons old)
Equipment that is checked and prepared before each individual rental (sharpening, repairing of bases and waxing of boards; shoes are dried out and treated)
The equipment is adjusted by professionals according to what you are going to do, your ability and your size
A Customer Services Charter:
A friendly and personalised service
A product range dedicated to Women
Your kids treated like little Champions
Comfort for the duration of the rental period
HOW DOES IT WORK?
RESERVING YOUR SKI EQUIPMENT ON SKIMIUM.COM IS VERY EASY AND ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES:
Select a skimium.com store in the resort where you will be heading to and indicate the date of your first skiing day along and for how many days you want to rent the equipment for.
Choose your material from a wide selection of skis, snowboards, shoes, boots and helmets.
You can consult our ‘How to choose the right equipment’ guides to help you find the material that is best adapted to your ability and to what you want to do.
Validate your selection and enter the personal details about yourself (height, weight, sizes...) and your preferences so that your material can be personalised just for you.
Confirm your reservation by paying a deposit of only 25 %. A confirmation email with the reservation form (with all the details concerning your order and other practical information) will be sent to you immediately.
Print and retain your reservation form and start getting ready for your holidays with peace of mind that your equipment will be waiting for you when you get there.
When you get there:
With your reservation form and a proof of identity, go along to the skimium.com store to settle the balance and collect your material that has already been prepared for you, once the adjustments have been checked.
Your skimium.com advisor will be extremely happy to welcome you and advise you on the use of your material.
Get your skis on and make the most of your holiday!
For further information, feel free to refer to our General Rental Conditions
Skimium.com is a partner of Decathlon
Reserve your skis online !
It's been at least two or three years since we had a load of early snow that stayed and made a December break worthwhile and you could actually ski and not just apres ski!
But the snow gods are smiling this year and if you are thinking about heading out to get some early season skiing or snowboarding in then get on the case and book up today!
There are some great early deals around - check them out HERE, and the send us some photos and make us very jealous as we are stuck in the Altitude office!
OH AND THERE IS MORE SNOW FORECAST AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THIS FORECAST FROM SNOW-FORECAST.COM
Weather report by Mark Fielding of Huski, Bourg Saint Maurice.
I arrived in Bourg two weeks ago to tales of a disastrous early season last year. Calamitous accounts of “grass” and “walking” instead of skiing, such was the lack of snow. Rest assured this year will not be the same. It hasn’t stopped snowing for three days now. Here in Bourg Saint Maurice (the gateway to the resorts of the Tarrantaise) cars are being buried, roads are being ploughed, trees are bending under the weight of fresh snow. And we’re only at 800 metres, so you can imagine what it is like further up the mountain.
Our Huski drivers are already delivering to early opening resorts of Tignes and Val d’isere and setting up routes across the Three Valleys. Their reports?
- Val d’Isere – white out, snowing.
- La Plagne – white out, snowing.
- Tignes – white out, snowing.
- Les Arcs – white out, snowing.
- Ste Foy – white out, snowing.
It’s like this all across the Alps. Shops are selling out of snow chains. A metre of fresh sNow. And with freezing temperatures and more snow forecast, the conditions going into Christmas and New Year are set to be some of the best in years. Our Huskies are literally chomping at the bit for those lifts to open next weekend.
If the covering of snow in England has got you all hot under the collar about a last minute skiing holiday but last year has made you doubt the conditions, let me alleviate those fears with some photos.