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When you’re talking about surfing spots, Hawaii probably enjoys the same value as Canada among freeriders in the snowboarding scene: a Mecca of the sport with close to perfect conditions. But given that Canada isn‘t made for everybody’s budget and Germany’s higher elevations are quite solid in terms of snow, you don’t always have to travel as ambitious pow hunter. That’s why Red Bull athlete Marco Smolla and six of the best German snowboarders went on a splitboard mission to check out the Bavarian backcountry and to savour freeriding in front of their own doorstep. And in fact they found untouched slopes, idyllic huts and unforgettable moments at home.
The short documentary Marco Smolla’s Bavarian Split (in German) is a goody if you've ever wondered what split boarding is all about and why its becoming increasingly popular.
The 24-year-old snowboard pro and physics student Marco Smolla feels most comfortable in the backcountry because there he can live out best the creative side of his riding. For him mountains are a vast playground with boundless possibilities that can be rediscovered over and over again. But after countless journeys to foreign countries it was about time to explore his homeland: “Snowboarding brought me to some of the most remote places on this planet, but some time ago I recognized how little I know the mountains in my native region.”
To put things right Marco activated his snowboard homies Xaver Hoffmann (age: 38 – multiple German halfpipe champion), David Benedek (age: 33 – 1st Place Air & Style 2002, Burton European Open 2003) Christophe Schmidt (age: 30 – Olympic athlete snowboarding halfpipe 2006), twin brothers Fips and Tobi Strauss (age: 25 – members of the infamous ISENSEVEN crew), Elias Elhardt (age: 25 – German snowboarder of the year 2009 & 2010). The crew was completed by the 16-year-old rookie Luis Eckert who brought some fresh blood to the table.
In March the task force set off with film-makers and photographer to investigate for three weeks the mountains around the Allgäu and Garmisch including hefty hikes and laid-back huts. “I’m really looking forward to hit the Bavarian Alps with four generations of German snowboarding on splitboards, to sleep in huts and to enjoy the beauty of our mountains.”, stated Marco enthusiastically in the run-up to the project.
Given that splitboards and alpine hiking has been virgin soil to most of the guys and you better not underestimate the risks in the mountains, the group was accompanied by the experienced JDAV guide Martin “Witti” Wittmann. Especially his expertise as “Check Your Risk” coach, the avalanche prevention program of the JDAV, helped a lot in pathless terrain and with building kickers at safe spots.
The atmospheric short documentary Marco Smolla‘s Bavarian Split shows that the boys got used pretty fast to the unfamiliar equipment and the challenges of the Bavarian Alps. The result is fantastic pictures of excellent powder lines, solid kicker action, idyllic hut life, and above all plenty of fun, which couldn’t emerged much better in Canada’s the renowned freeriding destinations.
The members of the expedition agree that the Bavarian mountains offer a remarkable potential for alpine hiking and backcountry snowboarding. Marco is more than happy with the project’s outcome and will probably spend a few days more at home in the near future because now he’s convinced: “It doesn’t always have to be Canada!”.
That Jamie Nicholls has a way of making it all look a bit too easy.
You may have already seen this on Whitelines, but we thought we'd whack it up here on SCUK (yes, we did ask). It is an interesting read and great ammo for when confronted by one of those old-school skiers types. For the source of the information, see below the image.
Typo: Of course the snowboard was invented by "Sherman Poppen", not his Essex cousin "Shane". If you fancied giving an original 1968 Snurfer a go, why not pop along to this Saturday's Happy Slamming event at Chill Factore as Dunx will have one of his along to play with.
The figures were cribbed together mainly from reports about the USA market, a couple of news reports and wikipedia.
The deaths and accidents figures are from this NSAA report from 2012.
Snowboarders more likely to be injured, but less likely to be fatal was widely reported but found in the Guardian.
Demographics and participants come from a US report on the 2012/13 season.
Frequent injury numbers for snowboarders were from Wikipedia, skiing from Yahoo Sports.
Prices from averaging the prices from Snow+Rock.
O’Neill is pleased to announce its official UK ski & snowboard team for winter 13. With an already ripe selection of talent in the pack, the brand welcomes two hearty new snowboarders including the UK’s finest fridge shredder Andy Nudds and Glasgow ripper Matt McCormick. Joining Paddy Graham, Lewis Courtier Jones and the ‘nicest chick in snowboarding’ Katie Blundell, the two new lads are looking forward to an exciting season on the team.
Andy Nudds riding for Bangers and Cash at the 2013 Brits
Representing the UK O’Neill snowboard line up, Matt McCormick is one of best Scottish shredders known to man. At a tender age of just 16, Matt isn’t afraid to invert himself on a Dendex dry slope or throw down some of the most technical tricks on Europe’s kickers. Recent training in Austria with the GB team saw this guy land his first ever Double 10 (check out the attached footage!).
Adding yet another British title to his name this year, Andy Nudds is one of the UK’s most respected riders killing it on both the indoor slopes & mountains. Known for being super-tech and the epitome of style, it’s not surprising Captain Nudds has the opening section in the latest Grindhouse movie.
Holding up the female side of the team, Katie Blundell with her slick style had a busy 2013 securing herself a place at the prestigious Miss Superpark event in Colorado and claiming the title of British Slopestyle Champion on her home turf in Tignes.
Courchevel resident and GB team member Lewis Courtier Jones has been snowboarding since the age of three. As a key figure in the newly launched web series #Parklife, this guy’s life in the mountains is being fully documented and most definitely worth a watch.
When it comes to Freeski, Paddy Graham is certainly not a name that goes unnoticed. Currently training hard for Olympic qualification and picking up numerous awards for his recent film ‘Legs of Steel, Lost’ Paddy is part of both the UK & European O’Neill team. Two time Battle of Britain winner, this rock loving Freeski legend is fast becoming quite a media interest.
With a fine selection of handpicked riders from the UK scene, O’Neill is looking forward to a snowy season. Catch the full O’Neill team showing off their skills and ability to #ridemore on UK soil at this Thursday’s O’Neill Shoreditch Showdown www.oneillshoreditchshowdown.com
Patrick Thorne is undertaking a report for FIS on the costs of snowboarding tickets for families and part of it is a short survey on what people think about kid’s ticket prices. If you are able to help out Patrick, who has been one of the best and longest behind-the-scenes supporters of SCUK, we'd very much appreciate it.
Click for the 30 second survey.
Winter tyres are going to be on a lot of minds this year - Britain could face a particularly harsh winter, with snow falling from as early as November. If you've got a four-wheel drive car, you probably think you're properly prepared - but are you?
We went up to Tamworth Snowdome to find out if a front-wheel drive car with winter tyres has more traction in the snow than a 4x4 with summer tyres fitted. We used two Ford Kugas, both with 2.0-litre diesel engines and manual gearboxes - but one is front-wheel drive, and the other all-wheel drive. The 4x4 Ford Kuga costs £1500 more than the normal model.
Full article on autoexpress.com
Celtek UK are pretty stoked to announce the arrival of Jamie Trinder on the team. If you don’t know who Jamie is then check out the edit on the link below with a little cameo from team mate Jesse Smith. Currently schmoozin and hopefully riding in hintertux, we are hoping for more Trinder action in the near future.
Jamie hails from Scotland and is already smashing it with his parklife edits. Take a mooch at his parklife website here full of edits, photos and general chat… http://www.parklifeseries.com/
Watch out for Jamie sporting the latest in hand coverings and accessories from Celtek… Lucky boy. Check out www.celtek.com for the latest collection of mitts, triggers and just general radness or keep up to date with Celtek UK in a social media fashion by following us on Instagram, twitter and facebook… just search Celtek UK.
#RIDEMORE is an open invitation for all riders to join in and enjoy the ride in every possible way. Why? Because every day can’t be a bluebird powder day. Some days you can’t even get to the mountain. Some days the best riding is in your hometown. #RIDEMORE is about finding alternative ways to ride wherever you are. To find different terrain, to step outside the ordinary, and most of all - be creative.
#RIDEMORE kicks off on October 15th with the release of O’Neill’s latest film set in Montreal. Featuring team riders Seb Toots, David Wise, Max Parrott, Frederik Evensen, Erica Langman and Veronique Picard - watch as they turn the Canadian city into a freestyle playground – jibbing every imaginable hit. Throughout the season, the creativity continues and our pros will be sharing images and videos on the #RIDEMORE Tumblr page – throwing down the gauntlet that challenges you to think & ride outside the box.
Most importantly, we want to help YOU #RIDEMORE. Why? Because over 60 years ago, Jack O’Neill invented the wetsuit and gave birth to an industry out of a San Francisco garage - just because he wanted to surf longer. We’re here for the same reason we’ve always been here: to enable the world to ride more.
Here’s how you can join the ride…
Every week we’ll be giving away prizes of outerwear, accessories and headphones – all you need to do is upload and share images or videos that inspire you to #RIDEMORE on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our Tumblr page…
#FOLLOW THE LEADER
Once a week, one of our pros will post a new trick, tagged with #RIDEMORE and the trick name, e.g. #RIDEMORE#5050. Recreate and share your take on the trick - it doesn’t have to be on snow - and our favourite entries (based on creativity, not craziness) will win prizes and massive kudos.
Do you walk past a set of steps in your city and daydream about 50:50’ing them on your way to work? Can you imagine yourself landing a massive 540 on the slope outside the Sacré Coeur? Upload a picture of your dream city riding spot and at the end of the season O’Neill will make it rideable with a truckload of real snow. Each week one of the most original entries will be rewarded with O’Neill gear #RIDEMORE #CITYNAME
Plus throughout the season local O’Neill stores throughout Europe will be giving away swag and organizing pop-up events to get local riders connecting together and helping everyone to #RIDEMORE.
Ride & Slide chalets have been working with Vans for over 7 years, representing the brand and supporting the UK team when they head to the mountains for some shred time, photo shoots, filming or contests. After winning awards through Trip Advisor for their excellent service it’s no surprise that they have reached the finals of the World Snow Awards, Best Specialist UK Tour Operator and it’s fair to say… they’re pretty stoked.
The Vans UK Team - Avoriaz
Take a look at www.rideslide.co.uk and check out their S.N.O.W concierge service to give you more shred time on the mountain! If you stay with Ride & Slide you not only get to stay in a luxury chalet with amazing food but they will make sure you get a sneak peek into the Vans Snow range and also book everything you could possibly need during your stay. This means you don’t have to worry if you want to get some freestyle coaching, hire a split board to make the most of the pow or get a much needed massage after a hard days riding. S.N.O.W Concierge by Ride & Slide is the way forward for optimum riding and chill time!
SCUK Members can take advantage of various discounts at Ride & Slide.
With some sports equipment spanning several metres and tipping the scales, air travel can be difficult and costly for sports lovers with some airlines charging as much as £100*. No surprise then that Virgin Atlantic is bucking the trend with a whole new game plan – offering free check-in of sports luggage on its Little Red service.
Whether you’re a fan of cycling, surfing, skiing, snowboarding or golf – to name just a few – the rock and roll airline is allowing all customers up to 23kg additional luggage on top of the standard personal baggage allowance, promising sports lovers a welcome break from the additional charges they traditionally face when flying.
Leading the way in red hot service in the sky, Virgin Atlantic’s free sports luggage policy is available on its domestic Little Red service as well as on international routes all over the globe.
So golfers heading to Edinburgh or Aberdeen can travel with their clubs, their suitcase and their hand luggage at no extra cost. Surfers can also catch a break as well as a wave using Little Red as their connecting flight to Heathrow before heading on to surf destination far, far away.
With savings on average of £40* when travelling between Edinburgh and London Heathrow, golfers travelling to play some of the best courses in the world will not only know their prized equipment is in safe hands but they will have enough spare cash for a round at the 19th hole.
On each flight, Little Red offers a taste of the customer service Virgin Atlantic is world-renowned for with pre-assigned seats, complimentary snacks and drinks and even hot breakfasts on early morning flights. Tyrrells has created special Little Red ‘Plane crisps’ made from miniature potatoes, Bacardi Martini offer a variety of exclusive miniature spirits and Scotland’s favourite drink, Irn Bru is available on the on the Scottish services.
Bringing a splash of red to the skies, Sir Richard Branson’s Little Red service flies from London Heathrow and six times daily to Edinburgh, three times daily to Aberdeen as well as four daily round-trips between Manchester and Heathrow.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic and ultimate kite surfer said: “How can we hold back our nation of sports-lovers by charging them to travel with their equipment? Our free sports luggage policy is just another way Virgin Atlantic is shaking things up, bringing our pioneering spirit to the skies and continuing to deliver exceptional customer service, and thoughtful little extras that have never been available on domestic flights before.”
The flights schedule is timed to maximise connections for passengers travelling onwards from London across Virgin Atlantic’s global network to destinations as far apart as San Francisco and Shanghai, making the free sports luggage policy effective not just for those travelling in Great Britain but also for connecting flights for foreign travel.
Additional fees will apply for any equipment weighing more 23kg and some length and height restrictions do apply. Travellers can check the policy for specific equipment online at www.virgin-atlantic.com.
Little Red flights operate to and from Heathrow Terminal 1 with excellent connections with Virgin Atlantic’s international flights from Terminal 3.
For details on Virgin Atlantic Little Red flights go to: www.virgin-atlantic.com
For details on the free sports luggage policy go to: www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/travel-information/baggage/sports-equipment
Ahead of the coming winter sports season the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has put together the some "top tips" for those who will be hitting the slopes this winter.
Top Tips for staying safe on the slopes
SCUK can help!
SCUK can help with money saving discounts on insurance and safety equipment.
Check out SCUK's own Slope Safety Guidelines.
Glencoe are delighted to announce that they've teamed up with Davie Gunn (36 years experience with ski patrol and mountain rescue) to provide you with regular Avalanche Awareness Training at Glencoe this winter. They expect these courses to fill up very quickly so please book as soon as you can Other course dates will be announced once these ones are full. The courses are planned to be suitable for all levels of skier and boarder from very experienced back country skiers/boarders right through to the individual looking to make there first foray off piste.
Sat 28th Dec 2013
4 Jan 2014
18th Jan 2014
Please come prepared for a days skiing on the slopes. Even if the mountain is winded off or not open for skiing yet, with our portable beacon training park and equipment we can still achieve most of the training aims of the day. A limited number of beacons (avalanche transceivers) are available for testing on the day. Places are limited to six. £35 per person (Price doesn't include a lift pass but discounts will be available at the ticket office for anyone taking part on the course) Please email email@example.com to book.
At the end of the training participants will be able to:
Meet and greet 09:00 at the Glencoe Mountain Base Cafe
• Weather and Avalanche Forecast Interpretation
• Types of Avalanche
• Consequence Reduction
• Pre depart Equipment Checks
On Snow or Outside Scenarios, including:
• Hazard Evaluation & Slope Safety Measures
• Calling Help (MRT, Ski Patrol)
• Beacon Searching, Effective Digging and Victim Recovery
• Basic First Aid for the Avalanche victim
Henry’s Avalanche Talks are back for 2013-14 and being staged at a number of English venues this autumn as, "The Arc’teryx Avalanche Awareness Tour".
“Skiing off-piste is fun and more and more people are venturing into the backcountry to enjoy powder snow conditions,” says Val d’Isère based Henry Schniewind who has given over 800 talks in the last 20 years on mountain safety and also runs Henry’s Off-Piste 3 Day Courses, “Riding safe means understanding the conditions and making decisions that can keep you safe, then knowing what to do if the worst does happen.”
Henry helps answer the fundamental questions, ‘is it safe out there?’ in his 90 minute presentation (£10 booked online, £12 on the door) on how off-piste skiing is fun, but also how close you can come to dangerous situations if you’re not paying attention.
He delivers a decision making and risk management formula that will help you understand that riding off-piste doesn’t have to be any more dangerous than the activities you engage with in your normal everyday life, followed by the option of one of four in-depth modules which focuses on one of the main themes of the talk.
There will be seven evening talks within Ellis Brigham stores based in Manchester (23rd, 24th October), London (Covent Garden 30th, 31st October; St Paul's 6th November, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, London 7th November) and Bristol (12th November).
Eurostar have announced their 2013-14 timetable to the French and Swiss Alps.
First launched last winter, Eurostar’s new service to the Swiss Alps transports skiers and snowboarders from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the Swiss Valais region accessing resorts like Verbier, Zermatt and Saas Fee, with a change to a TGV service at Lille.
This year, return fares start from £179 with no supplements for taking equipment and the route will run over five peak weeks during the 2013/2014 ski season including Christmas, New Year and February half term.
Eurostar’s direct day and night services to the French ski towns of Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg St Maurice start from £149 and ski services will run weekly from 20 December 2013 until 12 April 2014.
Eurostar runs a Friday overnight service which arrives in the French Alps early on a Saturday morning and a return leg departing late on a Saturday evening - perfect for winter sports enthusiasts looking to maximise their time on the slopes. The destination stations offer easy access to a variety of top ski resorts including Les Arcs, Courchevel, Tignes, Val D'Isère, Meribel and many more.
Snowsport England have announced they will run a series of ‘Slide2Sochi’ roadshows in conjunction with 23 indoor and artificial snow slopes this autumn and winter in a bid to inspire more people to engage with skiing and snowboarding and get behind Great Britain’s wintersports athletes ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi next year.
The Slide2Sochi roadshows will be run at slopes across the country and will involve demonstrations, fun competitions on and off the slopes for all ages, giveaways, stalls and refreshments and some slopes will run taster sessions for those wanting to give skiing or snowboarding a go. All information on the roadshows will be available on www.slide2sochi.org.uk or on Twitter #slide2sochi.
Slide2Sochi roadshows will also be the place to meet members of the British Ski and Snowboard teams, with visitors at many of the roadshows being able to rub shoulders with Great Britain’s potential Olympic medallists and stars of the future.
Highlights include a three day Slide2Sochi roadshow at the Chill Factore on 27th, 28th and 29th September where members of the GB ski team will be present, an appearance by GB skier Chemmy Alcott at the Slide2Sochi roadshow on 6th October at Skiplex in Reading and a soon to be announced celebrity appearance at the Slide2Sochi roadshow at SNOzone, Milton Keynes on 5th October.
The Slide2Sochi roadshows will complement Snowsport England’s new national participation campaign GO SKI GO BOARD which is aimed at getting more people into and back into snowsports. Supported by the Tirol Tourist Board as exclusive destination partner, the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign offers value for money taster, beginner, improver and recreational sessions at a number of indoor and artificial slopes.
CEO of Snowsport England, Tim Fawke, said of the announcement: “We want to make sure that no opportunity is missed to capitalise on the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. To complement our GO SKI GO BOARD campaign we are running a fun and interactive set of roadshows which will get people excited and engaged with both snowsports and with our athletes ahead of Sochi 2014. Each Slide2Sochi roadshow will offer something different, depending on the slope, but all will get people involved and will offer the chance to sign up for a GO SKI GO BOARD course.”
Dates and locations
Find out more information on the Slide2Sochi website, www.slide2sochi.org.uk or search #slide2sochi on Twitter.
GO SKI GO BOARD aims to get more people into skiing and snowboarding
The largest ever national snowsports participation campaign, GO SKI GO BOARD, has launched, aiming to get more people into and back into snowsports just five months ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The new campaign which is being run by national governing body Snowsport England and supported by the Tirol Tourist Board as exclusive destination partner, and has brought together a network of the UK’s indoor and artificial snow slopes to offer value for money taster, beginner, improver and recreational sessions for people whose imagination has been captured by our skiing and snowboarding stars. Participating slopes will offer programmes at four levels as part of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign; TRY SKIING or BOARDING, GET SKIING or BOARDING, GO SKI or BOARD and JUST SKI or BOARD.
TRY SKIING or BOARDING is aimed at getting new people into snowsports through a taster session with a qualified instructor. For beginners who know they have caught the bug, GET SKIING or BOARDING offers six hours of instruction to help build a solid foundation of fundamental skills. For those who can already ski or board, GO SKI or BOARD offers development sessions with instructors to help refine technique and for people who simply want to ski or board with a group of people, there is the recreational social JUST SKI or BOARD sessions.
Costs of all the courses will vary between slopes, but will offer value for money and will be all inclusive with no hidden costs. Typically the costs of GO SKI GO BOARD sessions will include instruction, slope time andequipment . Apart from the TRY SKIING or BOARDING taster session, all courses are 6 hours of tuition generally over 6 weeks.
CEO of Snowsport EnglandCEO of Snowsport England, Tim Fawke, said of the campaign: “With Sochi 2014 on the horizon and a continued buzz around the country after London 2012, we believe there has never been a better time to engage people into snowsports than now. Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most exhilarating sports around and we hope by offering value for money, all inclusive sessions as part of GO SKI GO BOARD we can give more people the chance to give the sports a go – whether it is their first time or they are trying them again after several years.”
The GO SKI GO BOARD website, www.goskigoboard.org.uk, will offer information about all the courses and group offers available as part of GO SKI GO BOARD and people can locate their nearest course using the “Find My Nearest” search. When contacting slopes about booking courses interested participants should specifically mention the GO SKI GO BOARD programme. GO SKI GO BOARD has its own Facebook page – www.facebook.com/goskigoboard and can be found on Twitter by searching #goskigoboard.
Go Ski (or Board)! © Racer Ready
For people who have a small group of friends who want to learn to ski or board, instead of having to fit into the existing GO SKI GO BOARD course dates, they can become a Snowsport Maker and will be able to book suitable times and sessions with participating slopes and get a course at a great price. This is part of the GO SKI GO BOARD Snowsport Makers programme, encouraging people to get groups together to give skiing or boarding a go - www.goskigoboard.org.uk/snowsportmaker
To complement GO SKI GO BOARD, Snowsport England are running a series of Slide2Sochi roadshows at indoor snow centres and outdoor slopes across the country. Aimed at bringing people into the slopes or centres and to engage in snowsports, Slide2Sochi roadshows will involve demonstrations, fun competitions on and off the slope, interactive games, giveaways, stalls and refreshments and some slopes will run taster sessions. They will also be the place to find out more about GO SKI GO BOARD. All the Slide2Sochi dates and more information can be found on www.slide2sochi.org.uk or on Twitter by searching #slide2sochi.
Snowsport England is the national governing body for snowsport in England www.snowsportengland.co.uk or www.facebook.com/SnowsportEngland.
GO SKI GO BOARD is supported by funding from Sport England as part of Snowsport England Whole Sport Plan. Over £1.1 million is being invested in increasing participation into Snowsport England over the next four years. With the aim of increasing the number of people regularly skiing and snowboarding at facilities in England. This is the largest ever investment Sport England has made into Snowsport England. www.sportengland.org
The Tirol Tourist Board is the exclusive destination partner of GO SKI GO BOARD. For more information visit www.visittirol.co.uk
A news article on the BBC reports that "last year there were more academic papers published on snowboarding than human extinction".
All is well with the academic world we think.
September is when we can officially start to get excited about the coming ski season. The first of the pre-Sochi Olympics international competitions have taken place in the southern hemisphere and the first snowfalls of the season have happened in the Alps and the Rockies. The southern hemisphere’s 2013 season is also starting to wind down, adding to the feeling that the north is next, although its still snowing heavily in many areas, with several New Zealand resorts reporting 25cm of new snow in 24 hours in the last days of August. Heavy snowfall adding up to 15cm to glaciers in the Alps in the last week of August helped get pulses racing too.
In fact September is traditionally one of the two quietest months in world ski area openings (along with June) particularly in the northern hemisphere as summer skiing ends if it hasn’t already at most glacier resorts but few really get started for autumn. There’ll be no where (except indoors) to snow ski in France and in North America the only (nearly) year round ski area of Timberline in Oregon chooses September for its annual closure month. If we do get a lot of early snow the place to look is Austria where all eight glacier centres are already to open or ready to as soon as they can…
A quarter of Austria’s eight glacier ski centres are open as we enter September, all eight may be by the end of the month, if there’s plenty of fresh snow this month. Warm summer temperatures had been melting snow bases through the summer but the two Austrian glacier centres still open have several feet still lying thanks to the huge spring falls, topped up by that fresh snow at the end of August. There’s still 22km of piste open on the year-round Hintertux glacier and the Molltal glacier says there are three runs open with snow depths of a rather variable 5 – 170cm.
Glacier resorts planning to open in September include Solden on the 7th, Pitztal on the 14th and Kaunertal on the 21st. These opening dates will be subject to change according to conditions. Kitzsteinhorn, which currently has a 50ocm base but isn’t open, says it may open from mid-September if conditions continue to be favourable. The Stubai has also not predicted a date but will open as soon as conditions are good enough in September. That said it’ reports snow depths currently down to 10cm so it could do with a good dump first. The Dachstein, which says it tries to open for skiing year round, has a similar problem with 10cm cover and no runs open at present.
Alpe d’Huez, Les 2 Alpes and Tignes all ended their summer skiing in August and Tignes, which in recent season re-opened on the last weekend of September, this year says it doesn’t plan to open until October 12th, subject to snow conditions.
Cervinia, where the snow is currently about 1.2m thick, is due to end its summer skiing season on Sunday 8th September, before re-opening for weekends in October. The other Italian option is Passo Stelvio which should remain open through the month.
Year-round Zermatt, along with Saas Fee, which began its long 2013-14 ski season in July are both open with similar conditions to other alpine glacier areas and base depths around 1.2m base. Zermatt’s operating Europe’s highest lifts and Saas Fee offers a half pipe in its summer terrain park which isn’t available in the winter months. The Jungfraujoch at the top of the railway line from Wengen and Grindelwald is also open for skiing and boarding to October 13th on its small area with one lift.
Norway’s three spring and summer glacier ski areas are believed to have all now closed for the season.
Ski areas in Colorado such as Loveland and A Basin usually turn on snowmaking in September although they rarely have enough accumulated to open before early October. Timberline in Oregon, the only nearly-year-round resort with lifts open in North America through the summer closes on 2nd September for six weeks before re-opening on October 10th So this is the month when there’s nowhere really to ski, with lift assistance, except perhaps on an artificial surface slope like the Snowflex at Liberty University in Virginia, on the whole continent.
Afriski in Lesotho ends its season on September 1st. Tiffindell in South Africa’s first season officially open after two closed will also close for 2013 at the start of this month.
Although not an epic season for most Argentinian resorts there were some substantial August snowfalls and conditions at the start of September are relatively good with, typically 60-120cm on upper slopes, nearer a foot down at base levels. Most resorts are open through September but closing around the last weekend of the month. Catedral, the largest resort in South America and with the greatest lift infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, reports a 30-110cm base and will close on September 30th.
Like Argentina, September is the last month of the season for most ski areas in Chile. For most it has been quite a good winter, at Portillo base depths are around 1-1.2m, it’s had around five metres of snow so far this season, and it was snowing again last week. At Valle Nevado it’s a similar, if slightly less snowy picture – three metres, season-to-date, fresh snow still falling, current base around 60cm on average.
Australia’s ski areas have seen the best conditions of the season so far during August with base depths passing the metre mark for the first time at many following falls of up to 80cm at a time during the past few weeks. As with most southern hemisphere ski resorts (excluding New Zealand), most Aussie areas close towards the end of September but thanks to all the fresh snow it’s looking like a good last month of the 2013 ski season down under.
Conditions are looking excellent at most new Zealand ski areas with base depths of 2-3m now the norm on upper slopes at several. Mt Hutt, which was one of the areas to report a 25cm in 24 hours as the latest fall at the end of August has announced plans to stay open to at least mid-October because of the accumulated base. Mt Ruapehu, which is often the last area to close in the southern hemisphere each year in mid-November, reports a 2.5m base at Turoa.
Kids off piste in Coronet © Morgan McFie
Kolin Buzerak and Pete Oswald do powder turns on Sunrise Face at The Remarkables © Ben Kien
Fresh lines at Mt Hutt © James Urquhart
Rest Of The World
There are more than 50 indoor snow slopes operating worldwide including slopes more than 500m long in France, Germany and Lithuania as well as the six British centres.
Arinsal, Snow Sports School in the Vallnord area of Andorra is recruiting Instructors for season 2013/14.
If you are a highly motivated and professional Snow Sports Instructor and hold a minimum of a BASI Level 2 and are dual qualified, this is your opportunity to join a fantastic school.
A recruitment and selection day will be taking place on the 4th October 2013.
To apply and for more information please send a copy of your CV and a photo of yourself at:
When she was 19, Amy Purdy lost both her legs below the knee. And now ... she's a pro snowboarder. In this powerful talk, she shows us how to draw inspiration from life's obstacles.
Amy Purdy became a professional snowboarder despite losing both her legs to meningitis. She encourages us to take control of our lives, and our limits. Full bio.
The extreme stunts – and risk of injury – of snowboarding might seem like they’re best left to the young.
But not any more, according to new figures that show more than a threefold surge in the sport among the over-50s.
Older generations are turning to the high risk sport in an attempt to maintain their youth, the study found.
Read the full article : Daily Mail
A specialist development coach for Freestyle Snowboarding and Skiing has been appointed – the first post of its kind in the UK – to help produce future Olympic champions.
Highly acclaimed coach Ben Kinnear will start his role in August, which will be based at Aberdeen Snowsports Centre, and he cannot wait to get started.
Ben said: “I am so excited about the prospect of developing future World and Olympic medallists.
“The Grampian region, with its wealth of snow sports specific training areas – such as those found at Aberdeen Snowsports Centre, Glenshee, and the Lecht, plus its many other cross-training facilities – makes it the perfect location to nurture blossoming talent.”
With Scotland’s freestyle snowboarders and skiers already making an impact on the international stage it is hoped that Ben’s appointment will help to improve results further.
Ben will work closely with Mark Ritchie, from sport scotland, who played a key part in establishing the role, which is being funded by sport scotland, Aberdeen Snowsports Centre, and Aberdeen Snowsports Club.
Mark Ritchie, institute network manager at sport scotland, said “All the partners involved in this initiative believe we have the environment and potential athlete base in the region to help create a host of future champions, and the addition of a coach of Ben’s calibre is another major step forward. However, it is not just about Ben leading the programme as we will need help from club volunteers, who are already doing a fantastic job, and other facilities in the area, such as the world-class diving facility which will open soon at Aberdeen Sports Village. Using such a wide range of facilities will bring the all-important cross-training element required for the aspiring freestyle athlete.”
Dave Jacobs, Aberdeen Snowsports Centre Manager, said “This appointment gives us a unique opportunity to develop Freestyle snow sport athletes into potential World and Olympic medallists who will have done the majority of their training on UK soil.
Neil Cameron, Chairman of Aberdeen Snowsports Club, said: “Aberdeen Snowsports Club is at the forefront of snow sports in the UK, with a long and proud history of innovation. This appointment will allow the club to build on its existing volunteer base by providing focused coaching, training, and mentoring to our young athletes.”
Finlay Jacobs at the Scottish Champs
The success of Scottish freestyle snowboarders and skiers was demonstrated at this year’s British Freestyle Championships in Tignes, France, with six medals won as follows :-
Ben Kilner [snowboard] – x1 gold men’s ½ pipe
Finlay Bremner [snowboard] x2 golds – youth ½ pipe and slope style
Grant Donald – [ski] x1 silver men’s slopestyle
Abbie Dorwood – [snowboard] x1 silver girls’ slope Style
Abbie Dorwood [snowboard] – x1 bronze girls’ ½ pipe
Finlay Jacobs [ski] – x1 bronze kids’ slope style
Finlay Jacobs [ski] – 6th kids’ ½ pipe
Cam Smith [snowboard] - Cameron Smith 7th Snowboard Kids’ slope style, 8th Boarder Cross, 4th kids half pipe
Abbie Dorwood [snowboard] – snowboard cross 5th
New figures published today by the UK’s largest tour operator, Crystal, show that last season saw a small overall increase in ski holidays taken by Brits, after four successive seasons of decline following the economic crash.
The overall ski market increased by 1% last winter. The overall number of skiers increased by 5,000 year on year, increasing the number travelling abroad to 899,700 in 2012/13, the first increase of numbers since the peak in 2007/8.
The authors of the 2013 Crystal Ski industry Report believe that the 2012/13 season finally turned the corner due to fantastic snow across European resorts, a ‘good calendar’ for Christmas and New Year departures, and an early Easter holiday in March.
“As anticipated, last year the decline in the ski market has now bottomed out and we are starting to see signs of recovery and growth. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and need to continue to deliver exceptional value, innovation and great service if we are to see the market return to pre-recession levels,” said Simon Cross, managing director Crystal Ski.
Tour operators and the independent travel sector experienced a 1% rise with packages including lift passes, equipment and catering proving popular with consumers seeking good value and financial certainty.
Amongst the small signs of good news, including the fact that the student market increased slightly due to high value packages, there was more bad news for the schools sector. With a variety of different school trips now competing with the traditional ski trip, and pressure still being exerted on families’ disposable income the schools market has again declined year on year says the Report. The combined school and student market reduced by a further 2% to 115,700.
Market share has moved only fractionally between the different travel sectors and the different ski nations.
The top seven ski operators' market share remained stable at 84% of the total tour operator market. Crystal Ski strengthened its leadership last season with a 1% rise in market share to 34% helped by its value-for-money Ski Plus packages as well as inclusive and early booking offers. Thomson Ski saw an increase of about 3000 skiers. TUI Ski which runs Crystal, Thomson and several other brands has the largest market share at just over 41%, the same as last year.
Hotelplan, the second largest operator, increased its share to 26% (up 1%) of the total tour operator market with Inghams rebuilding their portfolio And other brands Esprit and Ski Total also increasing their share marginally. Thomas Cook owned Neilson remains in third place with just under 12% and an 15.8% decline in sold holidays during the year.
The independent travel sector also experienced a marginal increase in volume of 1%, predominantly as a result of more flight options to the Alps, notably Geneva as well as Jet2 and Easyjet into Grenoble airport according to the Report.
France continues to be the most popular country with British skiers, taking 34.8% in the 2012/13 season, an increase in market share from 34.6% due to improved self catering accommodation and ‘added value’ offers.
Austria's edged 0.1% closer to regaining that ‘most popular destination country’ slot it once held as its market share rose to 28.2% from 27.9% due to growth in newly linked ski areas and well priced packages especially in smaller resorts.
Italy's share slightly decreased from 15.4% to 15.2% as Neilson reduced capacity into Turin. Andorran resorts capitalised on market demand for value with its share rising marginally to 6.6%.
Confidence returns to Swiss ski holidays as the Swiss National Bank continues to cap its exchange rate and the ongoing marketing investments pay off. Increase from 4.9% to 5.5%.
The USA continues to see a decline especially in Colorado, whereas Canada grows market share through exceptional marketing campaigns and differentiated offers. In total, North America's 4% share has dropped from 4.5%. Bulgaria also saw a fall to 2.4% due to Inghams withdrawing.
Scandinavia’s growth to 1.3% is fed through additional flights to Finland and the increase of skiers who also like to peruse other snow related activities than skiing.
“With initiatives from Snowsport England, the indoor ski centres in the UK, our own first time ski or board promotions and the efforts of resorts in Europe and beyond, there is a real focus on attracting new or lapsed skiers to the market,” concluded Simon Cross, “This focus, combined with the additional exposure that the Winter Olympics in Sochi will bring to the sport, should ensure that the growth that we experienced last season is the start of the recovery.”
Have you always wanted to Ski or Snowboard or do you know a group of people that do?
Well, with the upcoming Winter Olympic Games taking place in Sochi next February, there has never been a better chance to give it a go!
The GO SKI GO BOARD campaign has brought together a network of the UK’s indoor and artificial snow slopes and clubs to offer skiing and snowboard opportunities across all skill levels. So we know you will find a slope near you to get involved at whilst getting fit and making new friends.
All prices are inclusive with no hidden cost- the price you see is the price you pay.
Of course once you have completed your first set of GO SKI GO BOARD sessions we will point you in the right direction to continue.
GET SKIING or GET BOARDING (Beginners)
Always wanted to Ski or Snowboard? Well now is your chance!!
A perfect starting point to get a feel for the slope. Six hours of instruction with friendly fully qualified instructors, who will help you build a solid foundation of fundamental skills.
GO SKI or GO BOARD (Improvers)
Can you already ski or snowboard and you are confident on the main slope?
Then we have something for you too! Six hours of development sessions are ideal to help refine your techniques and style.
JUST SKI or JUST BOARD (Recreational)
Just want to ski or snowboard with a group of like-minded people?
It’s Simple, just six hours of recreational social skiing or boarding sessions.
How do I get Involved?
You can find your nearest GO SKI GO BOARD sessions or group offers using our “Find My Nearest” search at www.goskigoboard.org.uk don’t forget to mention GO SKI GO BOARD when booking!
Even better, if you have a small group of friends who all want to learn, you could become a Snowsport Maker meaning you and your group will be able to book times and dates suitable for you and get a discount on session costs (restrictions apply).
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