A Great Buy for those Wanting to Venture into Winter Sports: Ski A to Z by Inspire by Kim (Kimberley Kay)

Ski A to Z in my home in Morgex. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. A Great Buy for those Wanting to Venture into Winter Sports: Ski A to Z by Inspire by Kim (Kimberley Kay)
Inspire by Kim has published early in 2022 the hardback book titled Ski A to Z.
This is a lovely book to gift to anyone, of all ages, wanting to start skiing or boarding (or any winter sports ), and not sure where to start.
 
I love the format, which is very simple, as it goes literally, through all the alphabet. It shows you all the lingo you need to know for getting prepared for this next winter season. It demystifies what it takes to plan your trip to the mountains!
 
And you know that I paint as my part time job, and I love paintings and drawings. The drawings on Ski A to Z are so cute! I always loved these kind of drawings with lots of little people. I think they are magnificent! They will definitely make you smile! You can see some of these drawings on the pictures I am posting of the book in this post.

Continue reading “A Great Buy for those Wanting to Venture into Winter Sports: Ski A to Z by Inspire by Kim (Kimberley Kay)”

Why do Brits love their ski chalet holidays

Ski Vertigo ski chalets- Why do Brits love their ski chalet holidays

Skiing, prior to WWII, was a privilege afforded only by the elite few who stayed at some of the most elaborate Victorian hotels spread across the Alps, in between spending time on the slopes.

However, post 1950, things began to change dramatically as the sport got embraced by a wider group of people, especially the British, who were hungry for some outdoor fun after spending years of life in austerity because of the conflict.

In 1953 the travel industry began running ski parties where groups of Britons were invited to travel with the host to the Alps, but the idea of installing a chalet arose only in 1958 when one Colin Murison Small came out with a brochure offering comfortable, though not luxurious, accommodation including catering with wine at dinner at no extra charge.

The price was not only a bargain, but what was more important was the friendly atmosphere which the young Britons truly enjoyed. Additionally, the helping hand offered as they battled with unfamiliar ski equipment and the lift systems, endeared them to the ski chalet concept in no time at all.

The employment of charter flights in the 60s changed things for the better even further because of simplifying logistics. The weekly schedules of the chalet were perfectly adapted to planes arriving with one group and leaving with the previous guests, keeping both the chalet beds and airline seats always full.

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Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

Aiguille du Midi. Chamonix. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

 
What are the differences I see between skiing in North America and Europe? These differences are, of course subjective and I can hear your point of view, if you want to leave a note to the post!
 
There are pro and cons in both continents. I am lucky to have skied in both sides of the Ocean, plus a bit south in Argentina and Chile, to notice some differences. My view is my own, in accordance to my experience.
Another day of changing boots in the car. The boys with the Cervino on the background. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
Another day of changing boots in the car. The boys with the Cervino on the background. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
 
Here you go, in no special order:
 

Skiing in North America – The Pros. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe

 
Skiing in America is easy.
 
Easy to access usually by plane, or with a plane connection and transfer.
 
Resorts planners built resorts as resorts, so they are functional.
 
Grooming is great, state of the art.
Vail's main street. Soft pastels and pastel pencils on pastel paper. 40x30cm. For sale in my shop. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
Vail’s main street. Soft pastels and pastel pencils on pastel paper. 40x30cm. For sale in my shop. Differences between skiing in North America and Europe
 
Lift attendants are very attentive. They help you mounting and un-mounting lifts with kids.
 
North Americans are masters on getting the singles getting in chairs that are not full. This speeds up the uploading of lifts.
 
People are easy going, everyone salutes you and talk to you as if they knew you from before.

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Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Piste 6 at La Thuile.

Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley

So this was the time of the year, when we go with two family friends driving to the Alps. This is our half term ski safari trip to the Aosta Valley.
I am super lucky to have a place in the Alps and being able – now again – after the pandemic, to go back all year round. We left a bit earlier than usual, waking up at 1 AM to leave at 2.15 AM, as I have booked our crossing with Eurotunnel a bit late. Rates where too expensive to leave at 6.20, so we tried a 5.20 AM departure.
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
Tired kids in the car. Our Half Term Ski Safari Trip to the Aosta Valley
It was not bad at all. But, after the first day of driving, done by my husband, we were exhausted. I don’t drive but I do the copiloting- if that is a word! And try not to fall asleep during all the trip. The idea is to keep my hubby awake!
No-one was at the Eurotunnel terminal and we left one hour early. The weather was good and we did it to Chaumont, to our first pit-stop by 1.30 PM, local time.

The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown

Driving to the Mountains. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.

The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown

 

What a couple of days.  As Omicron made its way with exponential vigour in the British Isles- more so in England, and Boris Johnson was saying that a tidal wave of infections were looming upon us, all European countries started to freak out and make it more difficult- if not impossible, to travel for Christmas. Therefore, we had a mad rush during the last days to get out of Britain in time before lockdown.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here. 

It was Thursday morning and I needed to get into my computer early due to my work. It was then when I’ve seen one pop up on the News of my computer, with Sky News saying that France was cancelling travels from UK starting on Saturday. Our ticket was for crossing the Eurotunnel on Saturday morning. The story was being developed, so I’ve figured out that it was really fresh!

Queue of frantic drivers trying to get to France before the frontier was closed to us. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.
Queue of frantic drivers trying to get to France before the frontier was closed to us. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Mad Rush of the Last Days to get out of Britain in Time before Lockdown.

A French minister has been hinting that more restrictions were going to be done to the UK, as the UK was imposing more severe restrictions to French. But within the twiteratti world of tourism gurus, nobody was seeing this- they’ve thought that maybe the antigen tests were going to be requested 24 hours earlier, as Italy has recently done, or maybe a PCR test would be asked- which was still going to be difficult, as you need to get the result quite quickly if you want them for travelling. You can get PCRs fast, but they tend to be more expensive.

We were making it, getting on board of the Eurotunnel early morning before France closed its borders. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.
We were making it, getting on board of the Eurotunnel early morning before France closed its borders. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

But this was the crude reality- the same was happening pretty much, that happened last year. I’ve grabbed my computer and took it to bed, while my husband was seeing I was trembling. Got into my Eurotunnel reservation, and as I have a trade account, I needed to ask for any changes via email. I’ve figured out that it was going to be impossible to expect an answer in time now, as Eurotunnel will have a lot of people wanting to change their tickets, so I went ahead and bought a new one way. Now, I should have bought a return ticket, but I did not think that at the moment, but that is for next time. (I could finally talk with Eurotunnel once in France, and buy the return ticket, as if you have your outgoing portion as a no-show, the whole ticket gets cancelled!)

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New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

SkyAlps airways. Photo by Armin Pixner- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

A new flight is launching on 15 December 2021 from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps. This flight will operate weekly on Wednesday in December. It will then operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sundays from Jan 5-16 March, 2022.
Prices start at £116 each way. Bolzano is only 90 minutes from renown resort Alta Badia. This is as well as all the different resorts from Sudtirol and Trentino.
Usually people going to Sudtirol or Trentino tend to go to Verona or Innsbruck or Bergamo. This new route opens a much easier connection to the heart of the Dolomites. People going to Trentino or Belluno (home of Cortina d’Ampezzo), use Venice or Milano (MXP or LIN).
Santa Croce in Alta Badia. Photo by Paola Finali- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps
Santa Croce in Alta Badia. Photo by Paola Finali- Alta Badia Brand. New flight from London Gatwick to Bolzano airport with Sky Alps

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$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8

$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8 Photo Aspen Snowmass.

$75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8

In Celebration of Aspen Snowmass’ 75th Anniversary Ski Season, $75 Airfares to/from Southern California to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport

 Special this Winter, Also Book $75 Lift Tickets

This winter, Aspen Snowmass celebrates 75 years of skiing in Aspen. In conjunction with this occasion, airlines are offering special $75 airfares to/from Southern California to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. This unique deal features direct service from Los Angeles and Orange County into Aspen and is available now through Friday, Oct. 8.

Aspen Mountain with the Town of Aspen. Photo Dan Bayer- Aspen Snowmass. $75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8.
Aspen Mountain with the Town of Aspen. Photo Dan Bayer- Aspen Snowmass. $75 Airfare Offering into Aspen; Book by Friday, Oct. 8.

“Our 75th anniversary is a historic milestone and we are thrilled that our airline partners have joined the celebration by matching $75 one-way airfare offerings,” says Kristi Kavanaugh Bradley, vice president of sales, at Aspen Snowmass. “With up to seven flights daily between Los Angeles and Aspen, during the winter season, it’s a great time for guests to take advantage of these specials.”

 

The 75th anniversary airfare offers round-trip flights into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport from carriers American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, with $75 one-way, or $150 roundtrip basic economy fares. Bookings are valid 21 days starting now through Feb. 28. Minimum stay requirements apply and vary based upon departure date. Inventory is limited to certain fare classes and will not be available on every flight. Restrictions may apply. This offer expires Friday, Oct. 8.

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Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.

Photo: Travelski. Travelski is cancelling all guests from the UK from 17th December to 7th January

Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.

European tour operator Travelski (www.uk.Travelski.com, 0800 260 5082) has listened to UK skiers and is exclusively launching rail inclusive packages from St Pancras station direct to six major ski resorts in France.
– The Travelski Express train will leave St Pancras on Friday evenings arriving into Moutiers and then Bourg St Maurice the following morning.
– Transfers will then be waiting at the stations to take guests direct to their accommodation in Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Meribel, Les Menuires or Val d’Isere.
– There is a broad range of accommodation options selected to appeal to the British customer.
– 7-day lift passes are included in the package to enable skiers to ski on arrival day and maximize their ski experience
With a dedicated check in at St Pancras, the service (operated by Eurostar) will be exclusively for guests of Travelski and is not available to book separately, or through other tour operators.
Aimed primarily at families, couples or individuals wanting easy and comfortable travel to their ski holiday, the Travelski Express is a stress-free experience. The emphasis will be on a safe and relaxed environment,
Lead in prices will be from £640pp for a family of 4 staying in an apartment in the Résidence CGH & SPA Kalinda 4* in Tignes, including return rail travel from London, ski passes and transfers to/from the accommodation.
Travelski Express packages will be bookable online and via their call-centre later in September and the packages will be fully ABTA bonded for the peace of mind of our customers.
Eurostar ski train. Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.
Eurostar ski train. Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.
CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac comments “We know that a high proportion of British skiers would like to take the train for their ski holidays. As well as being environmentally advantageous, it is also easy, comfortable and delivers you to the heart of the resorts that are constantly popular with British skiers. Through our exclusive tie up with Eurostar we are now able to offer a rail inclusive package that will appeal to many skiers, especially families. Our packages allow you to check in at our dedicated desk at St Pancras, safe in the knowledge that transport to your accommodation will all then taken care of. We feel that this is a very interesting and valuable addition to our existing portfolio of ski holidays throughout the French resorts”

The only tour operator offering rail inclusive ski holidays direct from London St Pancras, Travelski (https://www.uk.travelski.com/travelski-express ; 0800 260 5082) has opened sales for packages in six popular French ski resorts.

 

Covered by ABTA bonding (number Y6751) for complete security and peace of mind, these packages all include exclusive transfers from the stations of Moutiers or Bourg St Maurice direct to guest’s accommodation in Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Meribel, Les Menuires or Val d’Isere. Seven-day lift passes are also included in the package to enable skiers to get on the slopes on arrival day.

 

The train service will leave London St Pancras at 19.45* on Friday evenings and travel through the night, arriving at Moutiers and Bourg early the following morning.  With a dedicated check in at St Pancras, the service (operated by Eurostar) will be exclusively for guests of Travelski and is not available to book separately, or through other tour operators. Aimed primarily at families, couples or individuals, the emphasis will be on a safe, relaxed and stress free experience.

Example prices on two dates are as below and are shown per person, for a family of four.  The price includes return direct Eurostar from London St Pancras, accommodation, transfers direct to/from accommodation and seven day lift passes.

w/c 15/01/2022   w/c 12/02/2022

Pierre & Vacances Premium residence Arc 1950 Le Village                                 £723             £1,717

Résidence CGH & SPA Kalinda 4* – Tignes 1800                                                £680             £1,710

Résidence Belambra Le Hameau des Airelles – Les Menuires                             £569            £1335

Résidence Prestige Odalys Front de neige 4* – Plagne Villages                            £661             £1,473

Apartments Bec Rouge – Tignes 2100 Le Lac                                                     £620             £1307

Apartments Les Hauts De Rogoney – Val D’Isere centre                                      £726             £1415

Pierre & Vacances Premium residence L’Hévana – Meribel Centre 1600               £741             £1813

 

CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac comments “We are very pleased to be opening bookings today as this will allow skiers to fully assess what is included in the Travelski Express holiday package. Our packages allow you to check in at St Pancras, safe in the knowledge that transport to your accommodation will all then be completely taken care of. We believe Travelski Express offers excellent value for money for skiers wanting a safe and relaxing ski holiday. As well as being environmentally advantageous, the direct train is easy, comfortable and delivers you to the heart of the mountains with minimal fuss. The holiday begins as soon as you get on the train in London and when you arrive in Bourg or Moutiers you are already surrounded by the mountains.”

 

Travelski.com is part of the Travelfactory group which is an online holiday specialist that has been providing excellent holiday options to the Alps for over 15 years. Owned by Compagnie des Alpes, Travelski is expanding its reach by offering premium access to the top end ski resorts in France to the UK ski market.

Continue reading “Ski holidays by train return for 2021/22, from London direct to the heart of the Alps with European tour operator Travelski.”

Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for 2021-22 season

Kids Ski School at Vail, CO. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.

Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for 2021-22 season

Vail Resorts today announced its Winter Operating Plan for the 2021-22 ski and ride season across its 34 North American resorts, centered on its commitment to safety and the guest experience. The protocols were shared in a letter to guests Monday, and focus on the spaces most prone to transmission – those located indoors. 

 

Straight from the Newsroom of VailResorts.com 

Photo: Craig Orsini. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.
Young and Independents walk through the village to ski in Vail, CO. Photo: Craig Orsini. Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts announces indoor safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.

“We are fortunate that the core of our experience takes place outdoors in vast mountain settings,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “However, as we welcome guests from around the world to the indoor experience at our resorts, we feel it’s important to do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19. We all need the opportunity to enjoy and experience the great outdoors, and we could not be more excited to welcome guests back to our resorts for the 2021-22 ski and ride season.” 

 

All safety protocols outlined in Vail Resorts 2021-22 Winter Operating Plan are subject to change based on the evolving nature of the pandemic as well as federal, state and local public health guidelines. Key details include:  
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Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 

The coming 2021-22 ski season might bring the use of the Green Pass to get on the lifts of Sudtirol and the Aosta Valley.

 
This is what it looks like at the moment. It is at least, as per what I’ve read on Neveitalia and as reported by ANSA, La Stampa and the portal Trentino.
Alto Adige - Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alto Adige – Trentino. Photo Iuliia Boiun- Unsplash. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

The case of Alto Adige. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?

 
In Alto Adige (Sudtirol), the president of Dolomiti Superski wants to impose the Green Pass. Dolomiti Superski is a big carrousel of interconnected lifts that is located east of the Autopista del Brennero. It comprises 1,200 km of pistes, including Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme, Kronplatz, amongst others.
 
Helmuth Sartori, the president of Dolomiti Superski supports this motion. He said: “We support political efforts to introduce the Green Pass as a pre-requisite for access the ski lifts.” This was at the assembly of the Association of South Tyrolean cable car operators held in Bolzano. “Winter 2020/21 could have been a record season, considering the early snowfalls and the optimal Easter date, it will instead go down in history as a total failure – added Sartori – and we can no longer allow another to occur a situation of this kind”.
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
Alta Badia. Gruppo del Sella. Photo: IDM Südtirol- Alex Filz- Alta Badia. Will the Green Pass be the new normal on the South Tyrolian and Aosta Valley lifts this coming season?
 
More than 360 million euros in turnover is missing. Companies that did not have been operating during the summer have been without income for 20 months. They are fighting for economic survival. All these solutions have to be looked in advance for the 2021/22 season. Sartori wants that the legal framework is set up in advance.
 
South Tyrolean lifts engineers estimate that lift capacity can be reduced to 80% in closed cablecars. This was reported on the online portal Trentino. They agree to the Green Pass and other measures such as obligation of use of masks and providing desinfectant gel. They want to act now to plan security in advance to the season.
 
 

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