New on the slopes

New on the slopes

A random round-up of assorted ski news to get you in the mood for the new season…

Val Thorens, in the French Alps, already lays claim to being Europe’s highest ski resort, and is now launching a bid to become to most high-tech. Skiers wanting to record their action on the slopes can hire brilliant HD Go Pro cameras to either attach to their skis or helmets or fly the cameras attached to drones across the icy landscape and capture your friends’ best tricks. With free Wi-Fi on the slopes, it’s the technophile’s perfect ski spot. For more information on camera hire contact Tophoto Galerie Caron +33 (4) 79 00 20 48.

With the winter Olympics on the horizon, ski company Powder White is promising to “channel your inner champion” by teaching adrenaline junkies how to master the Giant Slalom. A new package includes six hours of training with professional coaches on the famous La Tania Stade piste, a demanding red run set in a resort originally built for the 1992 Winter Olympics. Staying in a chalet in Courchevel 1650, seven nights fully catered (including wine) starts at just ?448 per person, excluding travel and transfers. Contact www.powderwhite.com for full details of the new Ski-Racing package.

Girls who want to follow in the snowy footsteps of Bridget Jones – or at least want to visit the venue of Bridget’s first mini-break with Mr Darcy, can do so with a new seven-night package called ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ from the Kristiania Hotel in Lech. Ideally you’ll need five other (single-ish) friends to travel with to the famous Austrian resort, as you’ll be booked into the hotel’s “Dshingis Kan” penthouse which sleeps six. Among the goodies on offer are anytime breakfasts in bed, gourmet dinner, cocktail masterclass, daily private ski lessons and guide, pre-ski shopping experience, massage treatment, workout session, snowshoe safari and picnic. Transfers from Innsbruck or Zurich airports are included, and the price is €1800 per night. Dates are available in January, February and March – visit the hotel’s website for more details.

If you like your ski or snowboarding holidays to have more to them than, well, skiing or snowboarding, then take your pick from this season’s snowy festivals to top up your break. Altitude Festival is drawing big names from comedy (last year Eddie Izzard, John Bishop and Marcus Brigstocke were among the headliners) and discounted earlybird tickets are already available for next year’s which runs from 31 March to 4 April in Mayrhofen, Austria. It’s followed in Mayrhofen with the famous high-adrenalin party that is Snowbombing from 7 – 12 April. No acts are confirmed yet, but names like Carl Cox, Kasabian and Example headlined in 2013, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. Others to look out for include the five-resort rock festival Rock the Pistes in Portes du Soleil in France and Switzerland (26 – 30 March), the firework-frenzy that is the International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art in Courcheval, France from 17 February to 15 March, and the Whistler Film Festival from 4 – 8 December.

Talking of Whistler, Heli-skiing is going to be big at the Canadian ski mecca this winter. You’ll need to be a (at least) a strong intermediate skier to take on the challenge, but it’s never been easier to get a helicopter and try out some of the most amazing white powder runs in the world. Prices start from $899 per person, and be sure to check your ability level before booking one. For more information visit the Whistler website.

Parents of pre-school children are being encouraged to take their toddler to the slopes off-peak by family ski company Ski Famille. Skiing away from the busy periods such as half term and New Year means lower prices, quieter slopes and a less stressful journey – but you can still enjoy some of the best snow conditions of the season. Their catered chalets for families offer everything from free nappies to 8-hours of daily childcare for five of your seven days away. The offers for pre-schoolers apply for the weeks of 25 January, 1 February, 15 March and 22 March, saving around ?100 per child at their resort in Les Gets, south-east France. They can also arrange special classes for your little one’s first time on the slopes (ages two to four). For more details call 0845 64 437 64 or visit the Ski Famille website.

Picture: Skiing around the White Ring, Lech, Austria

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