Attract money for ski vacation


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ski Vacation Holidays

Ski resort image

Why take ski vacation holidays?

I you ski or snowboard often, you will need no convincing as to what a thrilling and exhilarating experience skiing can be. That is the reason why you often take ski vacation holidays isn't it?

For those who have not tried this wonderful winter sport, you may wonder what the fuss is all about. Well, let’s put it this way. There are very few outdoor sports that with the assistance gravity and snow can reward participants with such extraordinary pleasure.

Yes, skiing is such an adrenaline filled pursuit that many of us are even addicted to it. Ask any winter skier and they will tell you that after a hearty breakfast in a ski resort and find yourself skiing down pistes groomed to perfection or cruising through deep white powder snow like a weightless astronaut, you can't help but be elated. Some even describe the feeling as almost spiritual like. In other words, the feeling is out of this world!

Learn how to ski

However, you must learn how to ski. Any budding Jonny Moseley ot Herman Maier needs to spend many hours on the snow learning how to ski before skiing becomes effortless and intuitive just like driving a car without much thinking as you operate through your subconscious and muscle memory.

All five continents have skiing terrains and that means there are many breathtaking mountain ranges where you can ski in and all year round if you want to. By traveling between the two hemisphere, you can enjoy back to back winter skiing vacation holidays.

Ski Resorts

The problem is that not all the world’s mountain ranges have ski resorts most noticeable of which are the mountain ranges in the obscure regions of central Asia. However, even then, you can find world class skiing ranges in the Alps, New Zealand, Australia and the American continents.

Although ski resorts in India, Georgia (former Soviet Union) and China (this may change as the ski industry in China is the fastest growing in the world) tend to be small and antiquated, there is magnificent helicopter or heli skiing in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. It may surprise you that even countries like Iran, Lebanon and Korea have excellent ski resorts too.

In South America's Andes where ski resorts are mainly confined to Chile and Argentina, there is an astonishingly high ski lift at Chacaltaya climbing over 18,000ft or 5500m above the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
So if you have never taken ski vacation holidays before, isn't it about time to consider doing it? It may be the most thrilling vacation holiday of your lifetime.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Andermatt Ski Resort

Andermatt Switzerland ski resort image

Andermatt ski resort in Uri, Switzerland

The little known canton of Uri, Andermatt in Switzerland emerged from obscurity when the Teufel bridge was built and it became a gateway between southern Germany and northern Italy about 800 years ago.

Today, the Andermatt Ski Resort town qualifies as a kind of “lost world” of the Swiss Alps. Although some people still describe Andermatt as “at the cross roads of the Alps”, others argue that because Andermatt was “underpassed” by the Gotthard Road Tunnel in 1980, it is an Alpine dead end in winter when natural access is restricted.

From skiing enthusiasts’ point of view, Andermatt’s relative isolation has enhanced its reputation as a much revered arena where experienced skiers can pit their skills and strength against the considerable challenges the mountain offers.

Magic of Andermatt Ski Resort

Like many other ski resorts, Andermatt has its own “magic mountain”. The magnificent Gemsstock at 2964m or 9722ft has made skiing in Andermatt legendary. This is because there is only one way up the mountain by a two stage cable car. From the top of the mountain, there are many ways down and non of them is easy and some even tricky enough to require a guide. The view at the top is breathtaking provided that it is not blanketed in mist or snowfall.

Andermatt is close to the junction of four Alpine passes. These are Susten, St. Gotthard, Oberalp and Grimsel. You can also gaze down into three different cantons, Ticino, Valais and Graubunden.

Although the vertical drop is just over 5000ft (1500m) and the runs are long and steep, the most interesting part of the mountain is formed by two big bowls that dominate the front face of Gemsstock mountain, almost 2500ft (750m) of classic off piste skiing terrain. Snow is certainly guaranteed on Gemsstock’s St. Anna glacier.

Snowboarders and free riders come into their own on nearby Winterhorn which is 8730ft (2660m) higher than its neighboring Hospental. Those looking for more gentle slopes can head for Natschen or Gutsch area or even to Realp. Together, these ski resorts have 34 lifts and more than 100 miles(160km) of pistes. The resorts of Disentis and Sedrun are also included in the Gotthard Oberalp lift pass.

One of Andermatt’s most difficult descent is named after the Sapporo Olympic downhill gold medalist, Bernhard Russi. These days, Russi is better known as a designer for many Olympic downhills. Russi himself described the 2.5 mile (4km) descent as one of his favorite on one of the most beautiful descents in the Alps and for carving skiers, it is sensational.

If you are heading to Europe for a skiing vacation, why not make a stop in the Swiss Alps and make a date with Andermatt Ski Resort?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Skiing In New Zealand Treble Cone

Ski New Zealand Treble ConeNew Zealand Treble Cone image

Winter skiing in Treble Cone New Zealand

Since New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, its winter skiing season happen to be in the summer months for Europe and North America. Avid skiers from the north will head to Australia and New Zealand during their summer vacation holidays. One of the many ski areas in New Zealand is the Treble Cone ski resort.

Treble Cone ski resort

When it comes to the best ski slopes in New Zealand, it is a close call between Mount Ruapehu and Treble Cone. Treble Cone has a stunning and commanding view of the sublime Lake Wanaka and the Matukituki Valley complete with a spectacular view of Mount Aspiring, the highest mountain peak in that region.

Unique to the South Island and Treble Cone is the bold ground parrot or Kea. While these comical looking birds appeals to tourists, some locals view them as pests. They can be seen hopping on top of cars at ski resorts all over South Island and using their strong bills to tug at anything including the rubber from your windshield, stealing your lunch, ski gloves and even the electrical wiring of the ski lifts are not safe from Kea attacks.The Keas are protected birds therefore moving , catching or even killing them can lead to very hefty fines.

Apart from enjoying exhilarating vertical drops of 2,000 ft or 600 m, skiers and snow boarders at Treble Cone can take a short hike to the very top of the mountain at 6,900 ft or 2,100m. From this vantage point is arguably the best scenic spot from any ski area in New Zealand.

There will be long scenic cruising runs like Out Limits, un-groomed descents like Sundance and New Zealand’s first six-seater chair, and Treble Cone’s major tourist attraction, The Saddle Basin which is a cluster of chutes like the Super Pipe, Shooter and Bullet. Boundary Ridge and the Powder Boal chutes complete the skiing menu.

There are also two half pipes one of which is man made. Probably the only snag at Treble Cone skiing area is its “cat track” or snow covered road which can interrupt the cruising of skiers and snow boarders trying to do nonstop runs down trails like the Gun Barrel and Easy Street.

Another place worth a visit in Treble Cone is the nearby Cardrona ski resort. Although Cardrona resort does have some radical skiing for extreme skiers only, the terrain is more mellow than those at Treble Cone. Skiers can also opt for heliskiing here.

Unlike in Canada where heliskiing experience takes place in snow covered wilderness, in New Zealand, you can start from towns like Wanaka, Methven or Queenstown. Even the helicopters at below snow line.

Has anyone been to Treble Cone in New Zealand or had heli-skiing experience, please pen your comments here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Breckenridge Lodging

Breckenridge lodgingBreckenridge lodging vacation rental image

Lodging and accommodation in Breckenridge

When I last wrote about winter skiing vacation at Breckenridge, I have received a few emails from readers about lodging and accommodations in Breckenridge. So today’s posting is to address the issue.

There are many types of lodging available in Breckenridge ski resort ranging from simple bed and breakfast to hotels, vacation rentals, condominiums and even private chalet homes. About 30% of the 20,000 beds available are ski-in ski-out.

For enquiries, you can contact Breckenridge Resort Chambers Central Reservations or for short, the BRC. This reservation system controls more than 90% of lodging beds in Breckenridge.

Luxury Breckenridge lodging

For skiers who prefer a touch of luxury resort lodging and do not mind spending more money, you can try out The Village at Breckenridge. You can indulge in its health club facilities, fitness gym, indoor and outdoor pools, play racquetball, relax in hot tubs etc The Village is located at Peak 9 base area right next to the Quicksilver Super-Six chair.

Alternatively, another luxury lodging can be found at The Great Divide Lodge. This lodge is owned by Vail resorts and they invested about $4million in restoring guestrooms, pool and lobby area. Skiers will find The Great Divide Lodge very convenient as it is just a stone’s throw from the ski slopes.

Budget lodging in Breckenridge

Travelers who are on a tighter budget can head to the Breckenridge Mountain Lodge which offers log cabin type of accommodation. The lodge is situated at the southern end of the main street and it is just a few minutes away from the ski lifts and ski rentals.

There are many things other than skiing you can do in Beckenridge such as going on a dog sleigh tour, visit a goldmine, go fishing or just stroll the village visiting the many quaint stores on Main Street. The Breckenridge Recreation Center offers activities like indoor tennis, indoor rock climbing, swimming, gym, saunas, spa and ice skating facilities.

Breckenridge is a lively ski resort attracting many international visitors. Inadvertently, there will be many bars and restaurants to satisfy visitors from anywhere in the world. You can find a variety of food ranging from Chinese, American, Cajun, Italian, French and the list goes on.

Breckenridge’s nightlife is consistently rated by skiing magazines as the best in reader’s polls taken. Clubs, bars and a whole spectrum of nightspots entice the visitors some of which with weird sounding names such as the Alligator Lounge, The Underworld Club and the Yeti’s (abominable snowman).

So if you are going for a skiing vacation holiday in Breckenridge, lodging and accommodation should not be a problem if you book in advance.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Winter Park Colorado Ski Resort

Colorado ski resortsColorado ski resort image

Winter Park ski resort

Though this ski resort in Colorado is called Winter Park, the name is a misnomer because the resort is not just a park, it is a gigantic ski area of five interconnected mountain terrains with almost 65 miles (105 km) of ski trails. The resort gets the most snow compared to any other ski resorts in Colorado.

Although Colorado have many ski resorts, Winter Park is the closest major resort to the city of Denver. It is just 65 miles west of Denver and is easily accessible by train, car and bus.

Winter Park used to be a small skiing village and with the development of Zephyr Mountain Lodge, it now has ski-in, ski-out accommodations with shops and restaurants peppering the ski village. Of course there are other hotels and lodgings in the village for skiers of various budgets.

Winter Park Resort Ski Areas

Winter Park’s vast skiing area is spread over the mountain summits of Winter Park, Vasquez Ridge, Mary Jane, Vasquez Cirque, Parsenn Bowl and Rail Yard Terrain Park. All in all, there are about 134 ski trails and about 2,900 acres of skiing area.

Winter Park Mountain is the largest of the ski areas with well manicured terrain for the novice, experienced and the advanced skiers from its summit Sunspot, which is at almost 11,000 ft high. On the slopes of this ski area is Discovery Park, an award winning enclosed learning area with its own lifts and gentle slopes. Discovery Park is fenced off from the rest of the mountain so that beginners and learn skiing in a good environment.

Intermediates may head for Hughes and Mary Jane trails. Hughes is fairly steep and well groomed where Mary Jane is long with many steep trails. Mary Jane also offers very challenging mogul terrain for the expert skiers. For bumps, try Golden Spike and Trestle. For Couliers try Vasquez Cirque which is very challenging and for trees and steeps, head for Johnstone Junction.

Parsenn Bowl is at the highest spot on the mountain at about 12,000 ft. This area offers a vertical descent of over 3,000 ft with a fantastic view of the Rocky Mountains. Here, you will find ungroomed skiing trails with moguls and extensive off-piste and gladed terrains.

Vasquez Ridge is at the western most part of Winter Park ski resort. Here, you will find wide-open cruisers and thrilling bump trails.

If you are an expert, then you will love skiing in Vasquez Cirque which is almost 12,000 high and is meant for black and double black diamond skiers seeking deep cornices and extreme backcountry ski terrain. Winter Park ski resort in Colorado certainly offer thrilling skiing for everyone.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Canyons Ski Resort

Canyons ski resortCanyons ski resort image

Ski resorts in Canyons

The Canyons ski resort is one of the largest snowboard and ski vacation resorts in the United States of Utah. It is in close proximity to two other very popular ski resorts, namely Deer Valley and Park City ski resorts. Some of the more adventurous skiers actually ski from Canyons to the other resorts or vice versa.

Canyons Ski Area

The Canyons ski area actually covers eight mountains with about 120 ski trails for all level of skiing. However, the ski area catering to the novice skier is relatively small and thus can get rather crowded occasionally.

Skiing vacation season in the Canyons runs from November to April and the snow record is rather impressive with about 350 inches of snow yearly.

The Canyons’ ski trails are not very wide and are void of trees relatively to other ski resorts and you can find many blue and black ski trails. Beginners can head for the green trails mostly located in the mid mountain area as this area is allocated and designed for the novice or learner skiers.

Intermediate skiers tend to head for the High Meadow and Saddleback areas. The terrains at these ski areas are just varied enough to challenge the beginners and are thus ideally suited for the intermediate skiers.

You are experienced and expert skier? Then head for the Black Diamond Trails where you will be challenged with tree runs, canyons and gully skiing, and couloirs. To add icing to the cake, the view in this area is simply spectacular.

The Devil’s Friend is particularly good for moguls and the best ski trails for powders at Murdock Peak. The descending trail is almost 10,000 feet down.

At present, there are 18 ski lifts in the Canyons ski resort and is capable of ferrying more than 20,000 people per hour. Pretty impressive don’t you think?

Canyons Ski Village

With the ski resorts in the Canyons gaining popularity not only with Americans skiers but also ski enthusiasts from all over the world, the ski village in Canyons naturally prosper and expanded considerably. The ski village neighborhood is themed along the elements of nature such as earth, fire, water and wind. One of the attractions of the Canyons ski village is the 30 ft statue of Tabegauche with a flaming torch which is permanently lighted up.

Naturally, tourist targeted businesses such as restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, hotels and inns dotted the ski village. The more notable hotels and accommodations include the Sundial Lodge and the impressive Grand Summit Resort Hotel.

Is it any wonder why skiing vacations in the Canyons ski resort is such a thrilling and memorable experience?
From snow to tropical Hawaii holiday vacation here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Zealand Ski Holiday Resorts

New Zealand Mount CookNew Zealand ski holiday image

Ski holiday vacation resorts in New Zealand

This is the third article on skiing in New Zealand. You can read the rest of New Zealand ski holiday resorts here.

New Zealand ski resorts descriptions

Skiing in Mackenzie
The Mackenzie County has a rich and colourful history. This area was once the stamping ground for Jock Mackenzie, New Zealand’s most notorious sheep rustler, who used a secret route through the mountains to move his stolen flock of sheep. Today the Mackenzie County is famous for New Zealand’s highest mountain peaks, spectacular clear blue lakes, crisp sunny skies and delightful ski slopes.

The main skiing area is at Roundhill. As its name suggests, Roundhill is a gently undulating hilly terrain. It has the longest T bar lift in the country, beginner’s platter and fantastic views of Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo and the the Southern Alps. There is also a ski and snowboarding school which is ideal for families on skiing holiday vacation to New Zealand.

Skiing in Mount Dobson
The Mount Dobson ski resort has the largest learner and intermediate ski slope in New Zealand. This is the place for skiers to practice basic skiing or snow boarding skills on its wide treeless slopes. This snow field has four tows, including a triple chairlift.

Skiing in Ohau
If you love powder snow, uncrowded slopes and a more than average amount of sunshine, then skiing in Ohau will be your ideal ski holiday vacation. The more adventurous skiers can take the challenge The Elevator or Tom's Drop which is simply exhilarating. The less experienced skiers can cruise the Boulevard, the Sun Run or the Shirt Front which have spectacular views Mount Cook.

If you get bored of skiing in the Mackenzie area there are many other things you could do on your New Zealand holiday vacation such as playing golf, go trout fishing, do some cardio fitness exercises like mountain biking to keep fit and skydiving for a rush of adrenaline. You can also go sight seeing to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park which has the highest mountains and the largest glaciers in New Zealand.

Hotels and accommodations
Hotels and accommodation is plentiful and can suit every budget like simple bed and breakfast to luxurious hotels and ski resorts. You may even choose a farm stay if you are traveling to New Zealand with your family especially you are city folks and want to introduce your children to farm stay lifestyle. New Zealand is a beautiful friendly country and is a perfect place for a family holiday vacation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ski Holidays In New Zealand

New Zealand ski holidaysnew zealand ski holidays image

New Zealand Ski Holidays

This is a continuation from an earlier posting of skiing holiday vacations in New Zealand. Read part one New Zealand Ski Holidays here.

New Zealand’s Lake Wanaka ski resorts has always very popular because of its spectacular alpine like scenery and fantastic climate which is hot and dry in summer, crisp and sunny in winter. Lake Wanaka ski area is adjacent to Mount Aspiring National Park World Heritage, this area is well known for its diverse terrain such as majestic mountains, glacier lakes, snowfields, rock bluffs, green rolling meadows, forests and gushing rivers.

Lake Wanaka’s main ski area is the Treble Cone which is spread over three basins. Treble Cone’s skiing terrain is suitable for skiers of all skill levels with a learners' area built for the beginner skier in mind.

Treble Cone also have a vertical drop of 1550 ft or 705 metres that is nearly double that of nearby fields and so, it also have many ski terrain of the advanced skiers.

Cardrona ski reasort is known for its family oriented nature. About 80% of the terrain at Cardrona Alpine Resort is meant for the novice and intermediate skiers. The snow field also has three Magic Carpet learner lifts, four childcare centers and specialized skiing lessons for children. However, Cardrona ski resort also have some advanced terrains for freestyle skiers and snowboarder boarders with three terrain parks, a wide range of rails and jumps, up to four halfpipes and a Gravity Cross course.

Snow Park ski resort is a specialized freestyle resort. Snow Park is located high above the Cardrona Valley. The park has an incredible amount of terrain features such as a super pipe of international standard, beginner pipe, ride wall, quarter pipe, 40 over rails, boxes and hits of various sizes, two giant hips, a snow skate area and wide terrains for the novice skiers.

Skiing in New Zealand Canterbury Plain

Mighty snow-fed rivers carried shingle down from the Southern Alps to create this vast, smooth expanse called the Canterbury Plains. Today the plains are a mixed of fields and pastures, while the mountains form a majestic background scene.

Mount Hutt is Canterbury’s main and premier skiing are where wide, welcoming slopes deliver world class cross country skiing. Mount Hutt is reputed to have the lightest, driest powder in Australasia continent. It also has the longest skiing season, opening from early June till late October. Remember, New Zealand’s wither months are opposite from the Northern Hemisphere’s winter such as in Europe.

There is a Summit Six six-seater chairlift that can get you from bottom to summit within four minutes. From the black runs of the South Face to the gentle trails of Fascination and Huber's Run, Mount Hutt's trail map is extensively fascinating.

More New Zealand Ski Holiday resorts in the next posting.

New Zealand Ski Holidays

New Zealand ski holidaysNew Zealand ski holidays image

New Zealand ski holidays in Queenstown

New Zealand’s Queenstown was founded during the gold rush years, when the Shotover River yielded a fortunes gold dust and gold nuggets. Winter is one big and long party of snow fun in the mountains including winter skiing in the Remarkables ski resort area which is just across another ski area, Coronet Peak. Coronet Peak, is just 25 minutes from town. With two excellent ski areas in such close proximity, that is why tourists on New Zealand ski holidays will usually choose to ski in Queenstown.

Skiing in Coronet Peak and Remarkables

Coronet Peak ski area has all kinds of terrain to suit every level of skiers from the novice skier to the intermediate and advanced skier. With night skiing and the First Tracks pass, Coronet Peak offers longer on-snow hours than any other ski area in New Zealand.

Deemed as the birthplace of South Island skiing, Coronet Peak plays host to New Zealand's ultimate winter party, the Lindauer Queenstown Winter Festival.

The Remarkables Ski Area have three sunny sheltered bowls surrounded by towering mountain peaks and is well known for its friendly atmosphere and vacation holiday feel.

Remarkables is a fantastic ski area for the novice or beginner skiers, with many skiing terrains suitable for learning how to ski. It even offers free skiing for children under ten years old.

The skiers will also love Remarkables as this ski area has more intermediate skiing terrain than most any other New Zealand ski resorts. Intermediate skiers will have plenty of good fun as there are plenty of wide open slopes and lots of flattish areas to practice skiing.

Athough the Remarkables ski resort caters mainly for families, novice and intermediate skiers, it also have some of New Zealand's finest expert runs and trails for the expert skiers to be thrilled.

The Alta chutes which begin fairly mild in nature, progress towards the Double Cone peak of The Remarkables and each one gets more technical and difficult!

Runs like Terminator, Eliminator, Diangulator and Exterminator will leave your heart thumping and adrenaline pumping. For example, the Diangulator begins with a 2 metre (6.4 ft) drop-in and then dog-legs half way down. This is certainly not for the faint hearted.

The Galipoli chutes will tempt skiers who are not tempted into the extreme alta chutes. These chutes can be accessed by climbing from the top of the Sugar Bowl Quad. Toilet Bowl is an excellent open bowl and an interesting name, is just a climb from Sugar Bowl. Toilet Bowl’s East Face can be traversed to from the top of Shadow Basin. The outstanding Homeward Bound run which finishes well below the ski area car park is a very popular run.

With more than a century of hospitality experience, Queenstown has an excellent accommodation. You can find cozy bunks in low budget lodges to luxurious lakeside vacation rental villas not to talk about the usual hotels and inns.

If you are traveling to New Zealand for ski holidays, Queenstown airport receives international flights from Australia and domestic flights from Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Deer Valley Ski Resort Utah

Deer Valley UtahDeer Valley Ski resort image

Skiing Utah Deer Valley Ski resort

Deer Valley Ski Resort, another world class resort for skiing enthusiasts of all levels is located in Utah's part of the Rocky Mountain Range and may be giving Whistler Blackcomb a run for its money. It is only about 37 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, in the old mining town of Park City. The team that operates Deer Valley Ski Resorts prides itself on providing excellent customer service, consistent quality and attention to details of each and every customer. Skiers on vacation in Deer Valley have consistently voted the resort as one of the best, if not the best ski resort in the world in customer service.

Skiing areas at Deer Valley Ski Resort Utah

Deer Valley ski resort sprawls over four spectacular majestic mountains and this will mean that skiers of every level from the novice to the expert skier can find their own niche ski trails and runs.

At 8,400 ft or 2,560 m, the Bald Eagle Mountain offers terrific skiing terrain for the novice and experienced skiers. Novice skiers will appreciate the separate protected beginners' ski area known as the Wide West which is made accessible by two chairlifts named Snowflake and Burns.

Another Deer Valley mountain, the Bald Mountain, stands at 9,400 feet or 2,865 m, provides more challenging skiing for the more experienced skiing. The scenery at Bald Mountain is simply awesome. The Sultan and Mayflower areas with its numerous runs and exhilarating trails are a favorite with amongst the experienced skiers.

At the Flagstaff Mountain, standing at about 9,100 ft or 2,775 m are a variety of experienced and novice ski trails. Flagstaff Mountain skiing areas are also very suitable for family skiing because of some gentle gladed skiing areas. Skiers also will glide into the Ontario Bowl which boasts of scintillating views of Park City and the Rocky Mountain range.

The last mountain on Deer Valley ski resort Utah is the Empire Canyon which stands 9,570 ft or 2,920 m. Empire Canyon offers intermediate and expert skiing terrain. It offers some of the most advanced skiing experience at Deer Valley, including three bowls and eight chutes.

Deer Valley ski resorts not only offer varying terrain for different grade of skiers, it is also a ski resort built with family fun in mind. Deer Valley ski school offers many coaching programs for children, teenagers and adults. It even has a licensed childcare center for non-skiing children when their parents are out there navigating the ski trails.

With so many wonderful features at Deer Valley Ski Resort Utah, is it any wonder that it is always acclaimed to be one of the world’s top resorts offering the finest in skiing, dining, accommodation and excellent customer service?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Les Arcs La Plagne Ski Resorts

Les Arcs La Plagneles arcs la plagne image

France ski resorts - La Plagne and Les Arcs

Surrounded by a spectacular panorama of mountain peaks in France are the French ski resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne both of which attracts phenomenal amounts of skiing. La Plagne, like a space city with its own suburban satellites and at least 2.5 million “skier days”, has arguably become the single most visited ski resort in the world together with its link to neighboring Les Arcs ski resort. Naturally with so many visitors to La Plagne and Les Arcs, there will be plenty of hotels and accoommodations available.

La Plagne, is the so called “third generation” French ski resorts probably encouraged other resorts like Flaine, Avoriaz and Les Arcs to go for brave new world space age architecture abandoning the traditional charming designs of ski resort architecture.

Les Arcs and La Plagne ski areas

La Plagne has every conceivable permutation of piste and off piste, from exhilarating descents on the huge sweeping glacier at Bellecote (3,000m or almost 10,000ft), to delightful cruising down quiet, meandering, larch lined avenues to the charming villages of Montchavin-Les Coches, Champagny-en-Vanoise and Montalbert. In between these two extremes is La Plagne’s biggest attraction for intermediate skiers anxious to cruise till they drop in the seemingly endless wide open motorway skiing.

Having extended its empire to 10 different villages, La Plagne is planning to send a tentacle across the valley between Montchavin and Peisy Vallandry to form what will arguably be the third ski domain in the world.

Les Arcs, whose connection by Eurostar train terminal at Bourg St. Maurice makes it the most accessible high-altitude French resort and has always been at the cutting edge of skiing and snow boarding. It pioneered “ski evolutif”, a technique for fast learning by progressing quickly from very short skis to longer ones. It became the principle home of the Kilometre Lancee in which daredevils on huge 237cm or 8 ft skis, clad in thin aerodynamic plastic suits and “Darth Vader” style visors, speed down a special track at breakneck speeds of about 240kph or 150mph.

Like La Plagne, Les Arcs has acres of good cruising, but its off piste opportunities are fantastic. The Aiguille Rouge, which dominates the resort has many challenging runs down its front face and is also the starting point for one of the longest descents in the French Alps. The largely black run down to the charming village of Villaroger is over 16km or about 10 miles long. Whew!

No wonder La Plagne and Les Arcs ski resorts claim to attract the most holiday vacation skiers in the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Colorado Ski Resorts - Aspen

Aspen ski resort ColoradoAspen Colorado ski resorts image

Aspen ski resorts in Colorado

If you are looking for Hollywood glamour in skiing, the Aspen Ski Resorts in Colorado may be what you are looking for. Aspen likes to claim, “There is only one!”

When people talk about skiing in Aspen, they are probably referring to Ajax Mountain, which rises directly above the Aspen town. However, there are actually 4 ski mountains linked to the name of Aspen. All four ski areas are linked on the same lift ticket.

Skiing areas in Aspen Colorado resorts

Going down the Roaring Fork Valley, the next ski resort is Aspen Highlands which is technically the most challenging ski area in Aspen, followed by Buttermilk, often touted as the best beginner mountain in the Rockies. Then there is the Snowmass, a ski area bigger than the other 3 combined which prides itself on its extensive intermediate skiing terrain and have plenty of extreme slopes too.

The ski trails and “dump” runs in Ajax have peculiar sounding names like Bear Paw, Zaugg Dump, Last Dollar, Perry’s Prowl and short Snort. All these are fairly short, sharp and challenging descents built on the steep slopes where miners once tunneled their way into the mountain.

Beginners are discouraged from skiing Ajax not so much because of the difficult skiing terrain but because getting off the mountain at the end of the day can be very intimidating. Most of the skiing is at the top of the mountain but the main slopes, Cooper Bowl and Spar Gulch tend to be somewhat fast and furious which intermediates and expert skiers in Aspen Colorado plunge their way home.

Unless beginners travel back down on the Silver Queen gondola, they will be forced into the very narrow, steep gullies to plummet like a missile like their expert counterparts. The ski at Buttermilk will be a better bet for beginner skiers.

Aspen Highlands is Aspen’s real secret weapon. Aspen Highlands is now one of Aspen’s family of ski resorts. As the only one of the four resorts to be independently owned, it had developed a reputation for the most challenging and yet the cheapest and least expensive in the Roaring Fork Valley.

While most skiers on skiing vacation in Aspen Colorado will only ski at Ajax, hard core die hard skiers will head for the ski lift system to take them to the deliciously steep slopes of Aspen Highland’s Olympic Bowl, Steeple Chase and Temerity, skiing exhilarating runs like Mushroom, Aces and Eights and Deception which starts steep and gets steeper along the way.

Going to the Rocky Mountains for your next vacation? Why not stay in Colorado Aspen ski resorts and have a taste of snow skiing Hollywood style. Try skiing in Whistler ski resorts or skiing in Switzerland?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Switzerland Ski Resort-Zermatt Matterhorn

Zermatt MatterhornZermatt Matterhorn Peak image Switzerland

Skiing in Zermatt Matterhorn – Switzerland

Zermatt Matterhorn. The two words are almost inseparable. No matter where you are on the slopes of this magnificent ski resort in Switzerland, the granite peak of Europe’s most famous peak seems to loom over you wherever you go.

At 4478m or 14,692 ft, the Matterhorn peak is by no means the highest of the 29 peaks around Zermatt, but its savage beauty leaves an indelible mark in any memory and is on millions of post cards and pictorial books. The Matterhorn peak has claimed the lives of many climbers attempting to scale it.

Skiing areas at Switzerland's Zermatt Matterhorn

With its great Seiler Hotels, tearooms, boutiques and electric buggies since ordinary traffic is banned there, you will need to travel a little to reach the 3 skiing areas. There is an electrobus linking the two main gateways-Sunnega and Furi. It is recommended that the best way to start skiing and Zermatt Matterhorn is at the “sunny side” of the valley at Sunnega. This is the gateway to skiing slopes that reach 3,000m (10,000ft) and more : Unterrothorn (3103m;10,180ft), Stockhorn (3405m;11,172ft) and of course, the famous Gornergrat (3,090m ; 10,138ft).

Skiers can survey the skiing landscape terrain by taking a leisurely but spectacular 45 minute mountain railroad ride to Gornergrat. There is a large and quaint hotel at the top, the Kulm, with a wide sunny terrace overlooking the Gornergletscher, one of the greatest panoramas in the Swiss alps. Almost shoulder to shoulder are Monte Rosa (4,636m ; 15,204ft) which is second only to Mont Blanc in altitude and Lyskamm, the twin peaks of Castor and Pollux, Breithorn and the Klein Matterhorn. From here, Europe’s highest cable car take skiers and snowboarders to the Italian border.

Furi, at the far end of the ski village is the gateway to Zermatt’s other 2 ski areas, the Trockener Steg link to Klein Matterhorn and the Theodulpass, close to the Italian border and Schwarzsee, near the foot of Matterhorn. The journey up Klein Matterhorn is dramatic. The cable car soars above steep glacial terrain to 3885m (12,746ft).

Some of Zermatt Matterhorn’s ski resort's most challenging bump runs can be found below Schwarzsee, on the way back to Zermatt via Furi. These include Furgg-Furi, Aroleid and Tiefbach. Intermediate skiers can take the Weisse Perle, a pleasant roller coaster red run as an alternative route.

Switzerland's Zermatt Matterhorn ski resort is also known as one of the best resort in the world for non skiers too. Non skiers can have a time of their lives exploring the snowy footpaths, admiring the awesome scenery, sampling the array of restaurants, visit quaint old town Zermatt or simply visiting shops and fascinating museums there. Many actually visit a graveyard, in respect of the many young climbers who perished while attempting to scale the Matterhorn peak.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Skiing Trails At Breckenridge Ski Resorts

Breckenridge ski trailsBreckenridge ski trails

Breckenridge resorts skiing trails

Skiing trails for beginners at Breckenridge

The first thing to remember about Breckenridge ski resorts is that you will be skiing at a high altitude. Even the bottom station at Breckenridge is at 9,600ft or 2,926m with the top soaring to 12,998ft or 3963m. So the air there is thin and you must beware of breathlessness and mountain sickness. So it is advisable to acclimatize before attempting to ski at the resorts.

Breckenridge ski resorts offer several skiing trails designed for beginners who prefer skiing at slower speed. Bonanza and Springmeier are the designated slow skiing trails for beginners at Peak 9 and Peak 8 respectively. These runs are monitored by Ski Patrol and Guest Service staff for the safety of vacationing beginner skiers.

Breckenridge ski resort’s reputation as one of the best in the world was enhanced with the addition of the high speed QuickSilver Super6, the country’s highest capacity chairlift. This lift serves hundreds of acres of exclusively beginner’s terrain. Novice and beginner skiers can take comfort in knowing that Breckenridge ski resorts owners have them in mind when improving the ski resorts.

Intermediate skiing trails at Breckenridge ski resorts
Intermediate skiers can start pff with Peak 9 which offers open cruising all the way from 11,460ft or 3725m right down to the bottom. This is indeed and exhilarating breathtaking ski run. There are plenty of slopes to choose from for the intermediate skiers. There are also new intermediate ski runs and glades at Peak 7 although the favorites for intermediate skiers are on Peak 8 and 9. Swoopy Four O’clock is the longest run and offer great downhill skiing for intermediate skiers. Do check out the ski trails at Spruce, Frosty’s and Dukes.

The favorite way down from Peak 9 is via the Lehman run which offers plenty of space and deep moguls. Peak 9 is also home to Volunteer, American and Peerless ski trails while Peak 10 challenges intermediate skiers with Doublejack, Centennial and Crystal trails which are groomed and designated "blue/black" runs.

Advanced and expert ski trails in Breckenridge Ski Resorts
If one word can sum up the challenge of skiing in Breckenridge ski resorts is – moguls. Big moguls, curly moguls, deep moguls, you name it, Breckenridge has it. It has steep, groomed runs on the face of the mountain with tree skiing o the northern side, called The Burn, along with the difficult and challenging bump trails of Corsair and Spitfire. These are indeed challenging ski trails for the expert an advanced skiers on skiing vacation.

The south side of Peak 10 is a hidden paradise for bump-skiers with spectacular views of the Breckenridge Valley. The resorts also offer many in-bound bowls and exciting ski trails for the expert and advanced skiers. Is it any wonder why the skiing trails in Breckenridge ski resorts are rated one of the best in the world?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Breckenridge Ski Resort Vacation

Breckenridge ski resortBreckenridge ski vacation image

Breckenridge vacation ski area

We discussed Breckenridge ski resort’s history and heritage in the last entry. Today, we will take a look at the vacation ski area in Breckenridge.

With 2,208 acres or 894 ha of skiing area spread across four interconnected mountains, the skiing in Breckenridge resort promises to be very exciting for every level of skier and snowboarder. Artificial snowmaking includes 380 snowmaking guns covering 560 acres or 227 ha, that is 27 percent of the Breckenridge Mountain.

There are 24 green beginner trails, 38 blue intermediate trails and 74 black and double black diamond trails for advanced and expert skiers. Indeed, this resort caters to skiers on vacation at every level of expertise.

The Breckenridge Ski Patrol monitors each run every morning to check for safety hazards so that skiers on vacation can be assured of a safe skiing environment on this ski resort. All manmade objects are padded to specification and/or marked with bamboo, rope and flagging for visibility.

The ski area at this holiday skiing resort also includes world-renowned terrain parks and halfpipes and to accommodate new trails and a new terrain park, the Breckenridge fleet got three additional snowcats and new pipe-grooming implements.

Breckenridge ski lifts

Breckenridge ski resort offers two base areas with interconnecting lifts/ Peak 8 has two high speed quads accessible from the base that connect with other lifts servicing higher terrain. These are the Colorado SuperChair and the Rocky Mountain SuperChair.

Beginner’s lift are chair 7 and chair 5 starting from the base area on Peak 8. These are double chairs. On Peak 9 is the Beaver Run SuperChair at the base of Beaver Run which bring skiers to intermediate skiing terrain. The QuickSilver Super6 passenger chair leaves The Village area at the base of Peak 9 and this chair serves the beginners terrain. It also accesses several other on-mountain lifts which includes the more advanced Peak 10 Falcon Lift.

Lift tickets are interchangeable between other vacation ski resorts like Keystone and Arapaho Basin resorts and one day out of a three day pass is good at Vail ski resort. Peak hour on the lift lines is usually between 10.30am and 1.30pm. So you can beat the queue if you start your skiing early before the peak hours.

Breckenridge Ski School
If you are looking for skiing instructors for skiing lessons in Breckenridge ski resort during your vacation, you can find them at The Breckenridge Ski and Ride School. The school has offices at the base of Peak 8, at The Village at Peak 9 and the Beaver Run ticket office at the base of Beaver run on Peak 9. Average group size is a class of seven skiers. There is a minimum age restriction for kids at three years old.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Breckenridge Ski Resort Holidays

Breckenridge ski holidayBreckenridge ski resort image

Skiing holidays at Breckenridge ski resort

Like Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Breckenridge ski resort attracted many gold prospectors in the Wild Wild West days of old. However, unlike in Lake Tahoe, gold was really found in Breckenridge, Summit County. Today, instead of gold prospectors, these ski resorts are attracting skiers on holidays from all over North America and even some foreign skiers too.

Breckenridge ski resort made skiing history as the first resort in Colorado to permit snowboarders and was the first ski resort in the world to install a high-speed detachable quad chair lift.

Breckenridge ski resort is located in the north central of Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains some 80 miles west of Denver on Colorado State Highway 9. It is less than 20 miles from Summit County’s other ski resorts such as the Beaver Creek, Keystone and the Arapahoe Basin and is about 35 miles from Vail to the west. All these “Vail Ski Resorts” are linked by an interchangeable lift ticket.

Breckenridge Ski Holiday Accommodations

There are ample accommodations in Breckenridge ski resort for skiing vacationers from bed and breakfast lodgings to hotels, condos, service apartments, private homes and even chalet homes. Nearly one third of the accommodations there are ski-in, ski-out. The best way to enquire or book is with Breckenridge Resort Chambers or the BRC. The BRC system holds more than 90 percent of the lodging beds there.

For the upscale high end accommodations, try The Village at Breckenridge with its health club facilities, indoor/outdoor pools, hot tubs, steam/sauna and exercise gyms. It surrounds the Peak 9 base area and is located next to the Quicksilver Super-Six chair.

Another top end accommodation is the Great Divide Lodge. The Great Divide Lodge’s owners, Vail Resorts poured in $4million into remodeling guests rooms, lobby and pool area. The best part of staying here is that it is only 50 yards from the skiing slopes.

For the budget conscious skiers, the Breckenridge Mountain Lodge offers a log cabin exterior with warm hospitality for under $100 a night. The Breckenridge Mountain Lodge is located at the south end of Main Street and it is just a couple of minutes from the ski lifts and rentals. There are also other budget accommodations and Ski Village Lodging can squeeze six people into a two room condo.

In the next posting, we will explore the ski area of Breckenridge Ski Holiday Resort.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort

Skiing Lake TahoeLake Tahoe skiing image

California/Nevada Lake Tahoe ski resort

The breathtaking Lake Tahoe is split roughly into two-third in California and one- third in Nevada and some have billed Lake Tahoe ski resort as one of the most beautiful resorts in the world.

"Gold has been found along the base of Carson-Sierra Range. It is a magnificent lake. It will become a world renowned place." The Placerville Herald reported in 1853. The newspaper was right about every thing except the gold. Lake Tahoe ski resort certainly have a magnificent lake and definitely is world renowned for its beauty and excellent skiing activities.

When Les Otten's American Skiing Company purchased this heavenly resort, he said "We have casinos like Monte Carlo, mountains like the Alps, a magnificent lake and a 24 hour nightlife."

Lake Tahoe ski resorts image

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

This gorgeous cobalt-blue high-alpine lake is surrounded by 15 ski areas. Although commonly called Lake Tahoe ski resort, it is actually a collection of several ski resorts. Some like the Diamond Peak have more sensational views and while others like the Squaw Valley ski resort have superb skiing trails but is too far away to view the lake

Tahoe in Indian speak means 'water in high places'. It certainly is for Lake Tahoe, one of the world’s biggest and highest alpine lakes is almost entirely surrounded by mountains. The entire 15 ski area occupies a space of 27,000 acres (12,000) hectares of ski terrain, 200 lifts and more than a whopping 1,000 trails. Heavenly, with the highest slopes over 3,000meters and that is a rollicking 10,000 feet skiing, is the resort people commonly link to Lake Tahoe with Squaw Valley coming a close second.

For real off-piste challenges, skiers and snow boarders should head for Killbrew Canyon and Mott Canyon where double black diamond chutes and bowls offer excellent powder skiing. Mogul lovers will want to test their skills at the Gunbarrel. Some skiers who call themselves Face Rats, do nothing but ski this seemingly endless bump run, managing as many as 40 descents in one day and recently, two Rats pushed the record up to 54.

Heavenly is also known for its Las Vegas style gambling hotels. There are cabaret shows at places like Harrah's, Harvey's and Caesar's in South Lake Tahoe.

Legend has it that Squaw Valley was discovered in 500AD by the Washoe Indians. In 1860s, rumors of silver deposits brought prospectors flocking to the area, but nothing was ever found.

If you enjoy skiing with a touch of nightlife class act, then a skiing vacation in Lake Tahoe ski resort is certainly indispensable. Read about another world class ski resort, The Whistler ski resort here.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Whistler Ski Resort Holiday

Whistler ski resortSkiing in Whistler image

Whistler Ski Resort Origin

Whistler Ski Resort was not even in existence some 40 years ago. There was virtually nothing on this world famous skin resort but blizzards caused by the moist Pacific air meeting the craggy mountain tops on what was then known as London Mountain. At most, one can see an occasional skier using rudimentary tow or hiking up the slopes.This resort was renamed Whistler Mountain in 1965, named after the hoary marmot or the whistle pig. Today, it is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world.

Whistler Ski Village

The Whistler Village is an attractive, all purpose built-in resort and is touted for terrific skiing vacations. Actually the Ski Resort is also known as Whistler Blackcomb because of the two mountain peaks stood side by side and has the largest vertical drop in the country, both a mile high.

Although always praised, Whistler have its warts too and one of which is its low elevation. At only 2214 ft, it comes under the influence of the Pacific seaboard and tends to attract more rain than other resorts. Although this also attracts more snow on the higher slopes, the prospect of going skiing in the wet is a dampener to the skiing vacation mood.

Whistler Blackcomb
For years Whistler and Blackcomb were two entities and fierce competitors until Intrawest, a major player in the ski resort industry and owner of Blackcomb bought over Whistler in 1997. The two mountains are actually quite similar with each having more than a hundred trails many of which are long cruising runs through stunning pine forests. However, Whistler has more bowls such as The West Bowl, Symphony and Harmony while Blackcomb has glaciers like the Horstman. Blackcomb also have more couloirs such as the Couloir Extreme and Pakalolo.

Toward the bottom of the Extreme are two quad chairs, the Glacier Express and the Jersey Cream Express lies a magnificent collection of chutes and gullies which spreads across the mountain.

Heli Skiing in Whistler Blackcomb Resort
The Whistler is also a have for novice heliskiers. Intrepid individuals can try it for a day before venturing into one of the remote heliskiing lodges for a whole week of heliskiing with Bell 210 or AStar helicopters. Then again, with such fantastic vertical drop in Whistler Ski Resort, who needs helicopters? Click here to read an earlier article about Whistler Ski Resort.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Whistler Ski Resort Vacation

Whistler Blackcomb skiingWhistler ski resort image

About Whistler ski resort

The Whistler ski resort never failed to get voted as one of the best ski resorts not only in North America but the world as well for many years now. Ski Magazine once quoted a voter as saying, "If you can't have a great skiing vacation at Whistler, then find another sport!" Now that speaks volume for this ski resort doesn’t it?

The Whistler ski resort is also famous for its family friendly services and activities. It has fabulous activities for kids such as adventure zones, magic-carpets, play-fort just to mention a few.

New Zealand Ski Holidays

Why choose a Whistler skiing vacation?

Whistler ski resort or its official name Whistler Blackcomb Resort is actually made up of two big mountains. The resort is about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Vancouver, Canada. Holiday makers can fly direct to Whistler, or to Vancouver airport and travel by road to ther resort. If traveling by road, then be warned that driving conditions during winter months can be harzardous.

This ski resort is so popular that it will be hosting the skiing events for the Olympics in 2010. The Whistler Village has a thriving tourist economy and has a variety of restaurants, shops and hotels.

The Whistler-Blackcomb resort more than two hundred mountain skiing trails covering over more than 8000 acres of terrain and nearly a mile of vertical drop with thirty-eight lifts and gondolas and boast of a whopping average snowfall of 30 feet per year.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Whistler ski resort is a family oriented vacation resort. There are very well organized programs for the kids. Whistler Kids is one of the largest kid skiing and snow boarding programs you can find in any ski resorts. The Magic Carpets kids program make learning skiing easy for the young beginners. At the Adventure Camps, your children get to stay with the same group of children learner and instructor all week long. The Whistler ski resorts even have a licensed childcare service.
Your teenagers can also join a week-long "Ride Tribe".

The Big Easy Terrain Garden in the resort is a gentler terrain park meant for kids skiing or snowboarding. Then there are Adventure and Play Zones too. Blackcomb Mountain has a Children's Adventure Park, with runs through the forest and there is even a ski-through castle. For night skiing, families can ride the Magic Chair ski lift use the beginners' slope or have fun on a number of added features such as rails, boxes.

Is it any wonder why The Whistler Ski Resort vacation is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world?

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