Abandoned Ski Resorts

Abandoned Ski Resorts

Many things in life get abandoned, such as ski gloves on piste markers, Chat magazine in your chalet accommodation or that 4th apres Jager bomb that you never wanted in the first place. One thing that we never thought might get abandoned is a ski resort. Maybe because we only visit working ski resorts, the main reason for this is because we go to a ski resort for the ski lifts. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t derelict ski resorts out there. These resorts have closed due to climate change, finance or technological advancement. Here are few ski resorts that have been abandond.

Sarajevo

These days the buzz word for Olympic games is “Legacy”. This probably wasn’t on the minds of the 1984 Winter Olympic hosts. Nore was it on the mind of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean who won gold in the figure skating. Today the olympic infrastructure exists as a collection of derelict sites, overgrown and graffitied.

Sarajevo ski jump enhanced-buzz-wide-24069-1392801787-18

Japan

Not quite a ski resort, this is the Azuma ski lodge near Fukushima in Japan. The lodge has been abandoned long before the nuclear incident in 2010.

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Bolivia

Climate change was the factor that contributed to the closure of the Chacaltaya Ski Resort. At one point in its history it was the highest ski resort in the world. Sadly the retreat of the glacier overtime forced the resort to be abandoned.

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France

France has some of the best ski resorts in the world, with a thriving industry at work so it comes as a mild shock to find an abandoned resort a bit closer to home. This is the abandoned ski project of Saint-Honoré 1500, which due to financial problems the developers were forced to put down tools and abandon the build in 1993. It could have been the next Meribel Mottaret.

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America

The Rainbow Basin ski resort was open for 11 years, when in 1991, due to money problems it had to close. Owner Jack Pickett blamed the weather saying about the lack of snowfall that “It wouldn’t cooperate”.  People still visit it today for Scooby Doo type thrills.

 

Fortunately the resort of Meribel in the 3 Valleys is still going strong, full or great chalets like ours. To book a ski hoiliday to a non-abandond ski resort go to www.alpineaction.co.uk

Article byJim Duncombe

 


MERIBEL – What it really means

MERIBEL – What it really means 

Todays blog is brought to you be the letters M E R I B E L and the number 3.

M. M is for massive ski area. Thanks to the joining up of the 3 Valleys many years ago Meribel is part of the biggest ski area in the world. Some say that a week isn’t long enough to ski every run and others claim that you couldn’t ski all the backcountry in a lifetime.

E. E is for English.  Of all the resorts in the Alps, Meribel is probably the most British. It still retains the french charm that lured us there all those years ago, but we love the UK run bars and pubs that make the Apres so much fun.

R. R is for Rad, short for Radical and Radiliciouse. Rad may hark back to 80′s but used correctly it is a great word. Rad describes Meribel perfectly. The atmosphere is rad, the resort is rad, the people are rad, the skiing is rad and most people come back saying they have had a rad time.

I. I is for Ice Hockey. Sometimes skiing and getting drunk can get a bit, you know, erm… anyway if you do want something else to do then the ice rink often host some big Ice Hockey games that are well worth a watch. Be prepared to be confused about the rules and wince at the aggression.  Also this isnt just any old ice rink this one hosted the Olympic finals in 1992.

B.  B is for Bad, see R.

E. E is for everyone.  Meribel really  does cater for all people. There are great runs and schools for beginners, a generous helping of intermediate skiing as well as plenty of Blacks and accessible off piste for the hardcore. There is also lots to do for the non-skier. And Meribel can cater for any budget.

L. L is for Lift. There are 180 lifts in the 3 Valleys. Just imagine the fun to be had at the top of all of those chairs, gondolas and bubbles. Lifts help fulfil your ski dreams quicker.

By Jim Duncombe


7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

whiteout skiing7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

You wake up in your ski chalet, you look out the window and all you can see is white cloud.  You think to yourself “bugger” and you get back into bed. As you lie in bed you think about going back to sleep and having a lie in, you are on holiday after all. You can hear the chalet host setting up for breakfast and other gusts getting ready to go out. You start to feel guilty and start working out how much the lift pass costs and how much your lie in is worth.  Reluctantly you get out of bed and start dressing for the day at the same time you convince yourself that it is low cloud and that it is bright and sunny up top, probably with a light dusting of snow.

Don’t be downhearted there are lots of ways to have fun in a white out.

1. Trees

Head for the runs that carve through the tree line. There you will find plenty of shade to mark out the piste and the contours.

2. Guilt free lunch

That’s right. You probably wont burn of your lunch today however you can take your time over it. Without feeling guilty that you are not making the most of the perfect conditions.

3. Loose the slow ones

Sometimes you have a few slow mates that you feel duty bound to ski with. Use the flat light as camouflage to accidently on purpose loose them and have a day hooning around.

4. Imagine the adversity of others

We all know the story of  Scott of the Antarctic.  While he never had the luxury of a Folie Douce, piste patrol or chair lifts, he did have his share of poor weather conditions.  Use the whiteout to imagine what it must have been like to face the epic struggle that he went through, then go to the pub.

5. Appear knowledgeable

A whiteout is the perfect time to show your ski knowledge and tell anyone who will listen that the piste markers on with the orange tops should always be on your left to ensure you are in the middle of the piste. Or is it the right?

6. Create a story

When you get home remember know one wants to know about the blue run you skied 8 times in a row. They will be much more interested in the tale about you loosing your partner of the side of a run only for you to have to walk back up, locating them with squeals of “help I am in a hole”, which you dig them out of while laughing at their misfortune.

7. Extended apres ski

Pretty self explanatory. Remember you will regret this when tomorrow is a fresh powder day with blue skies.

 

By Jim Duncombe


Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number. This may be something to do with Pythagoras or Del La Soul however it is not the reason why three is the magic number for us. Three is our magic number for lots of reasons and here they are.

3 Valleys

The biggest ski area in the world, is the 3 Valleys. It has 600 km of piste which is served by 183 lifts. It is regarded as one of the best ski areas in the world. The name comes from the three valleys that the resorts and ski areas are located in, Saint-Bon, Allues, and Belleville. The 3 Valleys is also home to the Alpine Action ski program.

3 valleys logo

3 Great Resorts

Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania are all world class ski resorts houses in the 3 Valleys. Each resort has its own individual vibe and famous for different reasons. There are lots of other resorts that help make up the area, such as La Tania where we also have chalets.

€3

This is the usual price for a demis of beer in most French bars in the Alps.

3 Planks

Many say that when raising a family the ultimate is to have one girl and one boy. I say that when on the mountain it is good to ride with an even ratio of skiers and boarders. 2 skis plus 1 board = 3 planks.

3 Years

It is the best age to start skiing.

3 Layers

I like to wear 3 layers when on the mountain. A good thermal base layer followed by a warm jumper or fleece then a good quality windproof ski coat.

3 Meters

Any fresh powder is good but our favourite is a massive 3 meter dump. Although I am struggling to remember ever experiencing a 3 meter deep powder day but I bet it would be amazing.

3 Chalets in La TaniaChalet Toubkal La Tania, Ski Holiday

Not quite true as we have 4, but one, the Chalet Toubkal can be booked as two separate chalets or as one.

By Jim Duncombe

 


5 Ways to get your Summer Ski Fix

5 Ways to get your Summer Ski Fix
By Jim Duncombe

It is a long wait between ski seasons in Europe. The wait is almost bearable if you’re are a resort worker. But for most of us who can only fit in a one week holiday it is 51 long weeks. So what can you do to get your winter sport fix during the long hot summer months?

1. Indoor and Dry Slopes

There are 100’s of these dotted around the UK, some big and some very small. You can find a full list of slopes on the Ski Club of Great Britain web site. There will be one close to you and they should have a small range of ski hire equipment to. In fact why you are at it you may as well take some non-skiing friends along and try and tempt them into taking it. A double bonus is that if you can then convince them to come on your next holiday you will get a bigger group discount, which is time well spent.

Chairlifts meribel La Tania

2. Water Skiing and Wakeboarding

Admittedly it isn’t the same. For a novice it can be a bit like spending time on a slush drag lift. And a it can work out to cost a lot more than a week’s skiing. And you get wet. But if all that doesn’t put you off then it is a good way to feel that comforting leg burn that you get after a good day hooning around the slopes.

3. Head Down Under

You could probably fit the whole of Australia’s and New Zealand’s ski runs into the Three Valleys, (not an actual fact). Sadly we don’t offer catered ski holidays there and there is a long flight to consider. But that shouldn’t put you off. The skiing is actually very good in both countries. What more could you want from a bit of summer skiing than to be carving down the mountains of Mordor with a tinny instead of a Demis.

4. Create a Ski Holiday at Home

For more information on how to create a ski holiday at home read this handy guide.

5. Find a Glacier in Europe

There are some wonderful glaciers that are open for skiing during the summer. You could even pop over for the weekend. Our favourite is located just down the road from our spiritual home of Meribel, in Tignes. There is also a great one in Zermatt although it will take you about an hour to get to it from the resort.

Or you could just spend the summer reading Ski Magazines, watching Snowboarding Videos and deciding which chalet you will stay in this winter.

 

 

 

 


10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding

10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding

If there was any sport that should have been recognised as an Olympic sport it is this one.  We all know that little skis are by far the superior mode of transport when on snow and it is hard to ignore the huge number of people converting to blading each year. Just take a look at  the slopes in the Three Valleys it is full of Big Feet and Mini Maxs popping 360s. Here are 10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding.

1. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

2. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

3. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

4. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

5. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

snowblading meribe

6. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

7. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

8. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

9. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

10They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

People who read this also read 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding, probably.

By Jim Duncombe

Click here to look at all our snowblader  friendly holidays.  

 

 


10 reasons why skiing is better that snowboarding

10 reasons why skiing is better that snowboarding

Skiing V’s Snowboarding is a more divisive topic than Scotland remaining as part of the UK. The difference is that very soon one will have a resolution on the 18th of September and one will continue to be debated forever. So in the spirit of fuelling the argument here are our top 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding.

1. Feeling Superior

We all know that Skiing is much harder to master than snowboarding. Our gear is more technical. Our Technique is more refined and when done correctly looks amazing. And the history and development of skiing is deeper, to the point that it has been part of several war efforts. Other than in James Bond you won’t see an armed snowboarder.

2. Lifts are designed for skis

How many times has a skier taken you out getting off a chairlift? How many times have you watched a snowboarder struggle with a button lift or T-bar? The reason is that lifts are designed for skiers.

3. Everything is named after us

Ski Holiday, Ski Resort, Après Ski, Ski Sunday, Ski School and the list goes on. With the exception of Board Park which has slowly been renamed Snow Park to make sure us skiers don’t feel alienated and our feelings are not hurt.

Meribel ski holiday

4. Most snowboarders can ski

Most people get their first taste of the mountains on skis. Vary rarely will you find someone that hasn’t skied before getting on a snowboard. Although the ones that deny this are probably lying.

5. Flat sections are easier

Oh no a flat section on a mountain, shall I get off my planks and walk? No need, I can just effortlessly glide to the next downhill.

6. No cold bums

I am always glad that I never have to get off a lift and sit down to strap my board to my boots and then have to do the something again half way down the run. It always seem like an endless battle between the boarder and the ability to remain attached to the board.

7. Off Piste

Sure snowboarders look effortlessly cool with their big gliding turns and huge spray and “cheeky” grabs when freeriding in the backcountry. The truth is that skiers can do that too, but that is too easy. What is much more satisfying is the challenge of looking technically proficient when tackling as steep powder filled incline. More turns are better. What is more is that accessing the inaccessible slopes is much easier, that is why you can now buy a snowboard that turns into skis.

8. Moguls

This isn’t an argument about who creates them, however I will say that moguls were around long before snowboarding.  My point is that they exist and can often be a barrier to a great run deal with them, oh you’re on a snowboard you can’t!

9. Faster

It isn’t all about speed. But sometimes it is. I have done a small experiment and the evidence suggest that when out with a group of skiers and boarders, the skiers spend a small amount of time waiting around for the snowboarders. The boarders often defend this slowness by claiming that they are gibing about or riding switch.

10. Better hire equipment

Your own boots are always a good idea no matter what you ride however I have never heard a snowboarder who is happy with the hire gear they have. Skis are always updated in hire shops and if you pay that little bit extra you will get some really good kit.

Are you a snowboarder? Then read our 10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing.

By Jim Duncombe

Click here to look at all our skier and snowboarder friendly holidays.  


10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

Ever since the first man or woman, I haven’t researched this, strapped on a snowboard there has been a debate about which is better, skiing or snowboarding. We at Alpine Action love both sports however that doesn’t make good reading. Here are our 10 reasons that snowboarding is better than skiing.

1. The boots

Many people think that snowboard boots are really comfy. Compared to many mid 90′s ski boot they are. However they can be just as uncomfortable as a ski boot as times.  Where they really come into their own is walking around resort. Have you ever seen a snowboarder struggling to negotiate a set of stairs?

2. People think we are cool

This depends on your definition of cool. But we assume that baggy clothes, bright colours and a bobble hat no matter what the time of year means cool. Then we are cool.

3. Jenny Jones

Britain’s first olympic medal on the snow was won by a snowboarder. And In a year when the competition was tougher than ever before.  Making her a role model for many youngsters.

4. Sitting down

It’s not because we actually need to we just like the rest.  If us snowboarders wanted to we could easily strap in quickly and get on our way. The truth is that we quite like the social chat while we eye up a jump or route.

5. Off piste is easy

Well not that easy. But in principle tackling some fresh powered is a lot less challenging than on a pair of skis. This means that even people new to the sport can get a taste of the pure enjoyment that is floating on fresh, deep snow.

Snowboarding meribel off piste

6. No poles

Sure there are times when a set of poles would really help, such as long flat sections. But that is why we have skier mates to pull us along.  The up side is that we never loose our poles of a chair lift. It frees up our hands for useful reasons such as eating on a lift and throwing snowballs.

7. Innovation of skiing

Without the fast development of snowboarding in the late 90′s skiing may have not been as quick to develop the technology used today. Imagine all you skiers could still be using 10ft long straight skis with rear entry boots.

8. It is a lot easier to get a bubble for just your group

It may seem that it is a big hassle to get a snowboard in the slot or even squeeze it into the lift. This is actually a tactic to ensure that the lift is taken up by just our mates.

9. We have better computer games

Have you ever played a good skiing game? Thought not.

10. Lots of transferable skills

Once you have mastered skiing you can only use that skill for one other sport, water skiing and everyone knows that isn’t much fun. Once you have mastered snowboarding

Are you a skier? Then read our 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding.

By Jim Duncombe

Click here to look at all our skier and snowboarder friendly holidays.  


This seasons favourite meals!

This seasons favourite meals!

by Kayleigh Foreman

I am sure this is a blog post everyone has been waiting for! During the last season we are happy to announce that the favourite canapé was Honey Mustard Sausages, favourite starter was Garlic Chilli Prawns and the favourite main was Lamb Shanks! So here is a short and sweet post with the recipes for these delicious meals, we thought you might want to try them at home! If you do try these out please post a picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and #alpineactionski we would love to see what you do!

Canapé, Honey Mustard Sausages

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients:

• 550g pack cocktail sausages

• 125g honey

• 60g grainy mustard

• 1 whole loaf brown bread

Method:

1. Prick the sausages and place in a roasting tray.

2. Pour the honey and mustard over the sausages and cook for about 1 hour in the oven until the sausages are nicely sticky. Meanwhile, slice the top off the loaf of bread in one piece. Hollow out the rest of the loaf so that you can use it as a basket to hold the sausages. Keep the insides – they can be used for breadcrumbs. Fill with the sausages and place the lid back on top. Serve immediately.

Starter, Garlic, lemon & herb sautéed Prawns

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking times 15 to 20 minutes

Ingredients

• 1.2kg of large frozen prawns (defrosted).

• 3 lemons

• 10g of fresh parsley chopped

• 10g of fresh coriander chopped

• 10g of fresh chives chopped

• Olive oil

• Salt and pepper

• Mache leaves

Method

1. In a large frying pan heat the oil up then add prawns and sauté for 5 minutes then add the garlic and herbs. And cook for 5 more minutes then add the juice of 1 lemon.

2. Cut the other lemons into wedges place on the side of the plate with a neat pile of the prawns and the dressed leaves then serve.

Main, Confit Lamb Shank

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 2 hours

Ingredients:

• 10 lamb shanks

• 11 sticks fresh rosemary

• 1 onion, finely sliced

• 1 orange

• 45ml olive oil

• 35cl red wine

• 200ml beef stock

• salt & pepper

Method:

1. Grate the zest of the orange.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy lidded casserole dish or roasting tray and brown the lamb shanks on all sides.

3. Remove the shanks, and add the onion to the dish. Cook the onion with the orange zest until browned.

4. Add the wine, beef stock, 1 stick of rosemary and the juice of the orange, with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a simmer.

5. Replace the shanks, cover the dish tightly with foil or a lid and place in a 180ºC oven for 2 1/2 hours. Check once or twice to ensure the liquid is not drying up, and add a little water if necessary.

6. Serve on a bed of sweet potato mash with some of the sauce spooned over the top and roasted vegetables around.


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