Category Archives: Whats On

Ski Season Events Calendar, 2013/14

Ski Season Events Calendar, 2013/14

Summer is closing and the leaves are starting to fall, that means only one thing… the winter ski season 2013/14 is just around the corner! The last few years have seen spectacular starts to the season, with powder skiing in December and fantastic conditions across many resorts.

We can only cross our fingers and hope that this year will see a repeat performance, but of one thing we can be sure – across the Alps, this winter is just as packed full of events, shows, competitions and performances as ever. Here’s a quick rundown of what to look out for from now onwards in London and out across the Alps, in the wind up to December and the start of the season.

The Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show. 30th October – 3 November 2013

The Ski Show takes place in London’s Earls Court and is traditionally the opening whistle for the winter ski season each year. Visitors this year can expect free ski and board lessons, curling and ice skating as well as the usual après ski bars, wine tasting sessions, competitions, prizes and free ski holidays.

Freeze Festival 2013. 27th Nov – 1st Dec 2013

London’s Freeze Festival has moved from Battersea Power Station to Clapham Common, and in doing so seems to have pretty much doubled in size! This year promises much, including an Alpine wonderland of live music, international pro skiers and boarders, Hail the Rail competition and no fewer than five different après ski bars to enjoy, including big names such as Dicks Tea Bar, Bavarian Haus, Metro Lodge, La Folie Douce and Krazy Kangaroo!

First tracks; the opening of the Espace Killy. November 30th & December 1st, 2013

The start of the ski season in Val d’Isère is a big event each year, and with a fantastic 1850 metre altitude the snow in Val is outstanding. Festive parties, ski film premieres and ski tests accompany the fanfare as snow lovers brace themselves for another epic season.

Aprés-Ski-Hits 2014 at the Mooserwirt. 13th and 14th December 2013

Over in St Anton it’s a similar story but with a decidedly Austrian twist, as St Anton’s Mooserwirt Bar plays host to this year’s Aprés-Ski-Hits 2014 party. Revellers drink and dance into the evening as Europarty classics fill the air, intermingled with this winter’s new releases. If you’re lucky you may even catch Axel Fischer or Tim Toupee up on stage, belting out their favourites to the delight of all!

Ibiza Rocks the Snow. 14-21 Dec 2013, then 8-15 Feb 2014, then 29 Mar-5 April ‘14

This winter Meribel will play host to Ibiza Rocks, a festival spread across three separate weeks of season. With daily après ski events organised by some of the finest clubbing brands in Ibiza, a host of international DJs and huge parties all week long, the Ibiza Rocks weeks are going to be big! Up on the slopes, huge kickers and 220m of rails will be installed for the Ibiza Rocks Extreme Sports Showcase, with some of the finest pro riders out to test their mettle.

Christmas and New Year. 21st December 2013 – 5th January 2014

Alpine ski resorts offer a charm and atmosphere over the festive Christmas and New Year like no other, and the French resort of Meribel is no exception. Families and groups coming out to ski at this time of year can enjoy a wonderfully festive atmosphere, with the town centre lit up in myriad twinkling lights and hot mulled wine everywhere you look! The New Year’s fireworks from town centre are truly spectacular, too!

7th Zermatt Unplugged. 8th April – 12th April 2014.

Over in Switzerland, Zermatt’s famous Unplugged Festival began in 2007 as a low-key acoustic festival, and has snowballed into a far larger event. Music fans from all over flock to the resort for five days of wonderful acoustic music, and of course at this altitude the snow is still in great nick so the skiing is still fantastic.

Three Valleys Charity Day. Wed 9th April, Meribel Village.

This event grew out of la Tania, and used to be called the La Tania Charity Day. As word spread the size of the event has grown so it’s now held in Meribel, where there’s a little more space. It’s all in aid of cancer charities in the UK and France, and you can expect spring BBQ, charity raffle, games, beers, laughs and The Charity Ball.

Glacier Patrol. 29th April – 3rd May.

To close the season in style, we look to high altitude Zermatt. The Patrouille des Glaciers is organised by the Swiss Army (good knives) and sees teams of skiers racing over the terrain from Zermatt, into Arolla to end the race in Verbier. The course covers 112 kilometres of ground and is quite evidently not for the faint hearted!

 


Ski Schools in the Three Valleys

Ski Schools in the Three Valleys.

The French ski area of les Trois Vallées, or the Three Valleys as it’s known to its many British visitors, is quite simply one of the finest, largest and most varied ski areas in the world. With terrain suitable for all levels and some of the finest parks and off-piste in France, it can come as no surprise that it’s the destination of choice for so many skiers and snowboarders winter in, winter out.

The quality of the area’s ski schools, too, is no exception and visitors to the Three Valleys can count on expert tuition for beginners learning the basics right through to experts keen to sharpen their mogul, back country or big air skills. High volumes of skiers mean the demand for tuition is very high, and competition between the different schools is strong. For learners and improvers, this means only the good ski schools survive and the standard of tuition remains high.

vignette-snowboard

An international clientèle requires international tuition, and the instructors you’ll find across the Three Valleys generally have three or even four languages to conversation level under their belts. For learners of any age, understanding your instructor and knowing exactly what’s expected of you during the lessons brings enormous peace of mind.

When it comes to the terrain available to learners in the Three Valleys, visitors are spoiled for choice. In Val Thorens the nursery slopes sit below the town within easy reach of a good range of further gentle runs. In les Menuires it’s a similar story, and access to the ski school meeting points is also wonderfully easy. Meribel’s Altiport area is very popular amongst the resort’s different ski schools and for learners it couldn’t be more ideally suited! The undulating green-level piste enjoys shelter from the surrounding pines, and is well serviced by a swift chairlift able to handle a large volume of skier traffic. There’s also a great range of gentle terrain around the base of la Tania, and with Courchevel 1850 in such easy reach that part of the Three Valleys is also perfect for learners.

Whilst the ski schools in operation across the Three Valleys are many and varied, a few have been in operation for years now and have earned a reputation for really world class tuition.

In Meribel, for example, Parallel Lines is the resort’s largest ski school with no fewer than 14 instructors comprehensively covering all the ski and snowboard tuition of learners across the board. They pride themselves on providing fully qualified British instructors and all of their team members have spent many seasons in the area teaching and working. Adult and children ski and snowboard classes are Parallel Lines’ bread and butter, but their private clinics are also excellent.

The British Alpine Ski School is another large Meribel ski school. BASS are another ski school catering largely to Meribel’s many British visitors, and their sizeable team of instructors are perfectly geared to helping learners make the most of their time on the snow. From private lessons, group lessons and children’s courses to advanced off piste clinics and even corporate events, BASS have many bases covered and are an excellent ski school.

Meribel’s smaller and more compact neighbour, la Tania, these days packs more of a punch on the tuition front than ever before. Highlights in this part of the valley include Magic in Motion and New Generation, who also run out of other resorts in the area and provide a similarly exceptional level of tuition as Meribel’s Parallel Lines and BASS. Magic, as it’s known, has a pedigree going back to 1992 and employs staff from Europe and further afield for their enthusiasm, motivated attitude and of course advanced teaching experience.

Smaller schools operating in the la Tania valley worthy of note include The Development Centre, Snow Limits and Momentum Snowsports. These ski schools may not have the staff rota of the larger schools but when it comes to one-on-one tuition and groups of skiers and boarders keen to make serious progression, they are a hard act to follow.


Stand up paddle boarding on the Thames

Thames SUP Challenge – London’s First Mass Participation Charity Watersports event
On Saturday August 31st come and join the Thames Stand Up Paddle Boarding Challenge, a charity event comprising a 4 mile long SUP course along the Thames River, starting in Kew and culminating with an after party at Linden House in Hammersmith.

The event is to raise money for The Isiqalo Foundation, a dynamic UK and Cape Town based charity that uses surfing and the ocean to develop life skills and create opportunities in some of the most impoverished communities.

The Ticket to Ride Group are co-hosting the event with Isiqalo “It should be a great day! We are hoping for 100 applicants, with around 200 to welcome us in at the finish. We are encouraging people to enter in small teams of up to 3 people and as well as friends and family we are encouraging small businesses, sports teams and even larger enterprises all to enter and take part. This is the event’s inaugural year and the plan is to gather momentum to make it an annual. Isiqalo is a very close charity to Ticket to Ride, so hopefully the day should help raise awareness a bit of money too!” commented Linley Lewis, co-event organiser and Ticket to Ride Director.

To date the event has Active 360 on board to provide a handful of boards, Palmera Local providing all competitors a complimentary event t-shirt, Harbour Beer and Alibi Health Drink providing refreshments for competitors, and Gousto providing food packs for prizes.

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The event promises to be a great day for everyone involved, it costs £20 per competitor, with all proceeds going to the charity, plus an additional £15 for board rental. There is no experience necessary for any timid beginners, as SUP instructors will be accompanying the course. Places are limited, and pre-registration is necessary, took your place on www.thamespaddle.eventbrite.co.uk

More Event Information

Book your Place – Confirm your place on EventBrite

Twitter Page – @thamespaddle

Facebook Event Page – Thames Stand Up Paddle Board Event on Facebook


What’s On Guide – Meribel and La Tania – March 2013

What’s On Guide Meribel and La Tania – March 2013

Thanks for popping in and finding out what is on in Meribel and La Tania in the month of March. The other day I was stopped on the slopes by a loyal reader and asked why does Alpine Action only talk about what is on in Meribel and La Tania? Well, dear, loyal reader it is because we only have chalets in Meribel and La Tania. So without any more twaddle, here is what is going on in March.

3rd March – Meribel

DC Shred days is like a big park competition with massive sponsorship, but without the competition element. The idea is for three days of laid back riding with some big names and locals all showing off what they can do. There will be a big variety of terrain for everyone to have a play on. If showboating snowboarders isn’t your thing then you could just turn up for the BBQ and tell stories about the one you nearly landed.

7th March – Meribel

Calling all geeks. Your thirst for information on how they make snow in the Alps is about to be quenched. Meribel are offering you the chance to take a back lot tour of the resorts infrastructure. All you need to do to get on this nerdathon is to get your name on the guest list at the Chadanne lift office. Palaces for this are limited book early to avoid missing out.

10th March – Meribel and La Tania

This is a public service announcement – This is Mothers Day.

14th March – Meribel

There are many things in life that are certain, two of those things are that at some point Marcus Brigstocke will perform a comedy set in Meribel and the band the Feeling, (famous for being married to Sophie Ellis-Bextor ) will play a gig in Meribel. This year they have teamed up and will be killing two birds with one stone and doing a combined performance at the Meribel Auditorium. We have no further details, however, there are rumours that Marcus will be singing that song that the Feeling are famous for.

17th March – La Tania

St Patrick’s day is celebrated in Irish themed bars around the world. Sadly La Tania lacks an Irish Bar, but it does have a pub that loves a good party, especially if there is a theme. So if you are in town then head out to the Ski Lodge for an Irish Stout. You can also expect fiddle music, Guinness paraphernalia, Leprechaun hats, bad accents, things that are green and a drunken Australian.

24th March – Meribel

Where do you rate yourself in the world of skiing? Best in your family? Best of your mates? Best in Resort? Best in Britain? From the 24th of March you could try and find out at the British National Ski Championships.  There will be all the standard formats, such as the Super G, Slalom and Downhill. You don’t have to take part, you could just pop along and have a look at some of Britain’s future stars and pushiest mums.

30th March

Did the idea of British National Ski Champs sound to tame for you? Did watching Marcus Brigstock and the Feeling, back to back, not seem extreme enough for you? Then why not enter the Derby Du Rock Merlet.  It is called a Chinese style race, which means that everyone starts at the same time, there are no rules and the winner is the first person across the finish line. A great event for participants and spectators.


What’s On Guide – Meribel and La Tania

Hello, Salute, Bonjour and welcome to the Alpine Action blog. We have dabbled in the past, but this time we are serious. Serious about blogging, but not always serious blogs. What you can expect is a mixture of info about the Three Valleys, comment, ski news, useful articles, interviews with a good dose of humour. If you like the sound of that then add us to your RSS feed or follow the blog. Most important of all, join in by posting your comments.

Below you will find the first of our monthly ‘ What’s On Guide’ that will tell you all you need to know about the big events in the Three Valleys, as well as smaller events going on in Meribel and La Tania. Make sure you have a look at what is going on before you head out to the mountains to make sure don’t miss out!

February – What’s On Guide

It is worth mentioning for those that don’t have children and can’t remember that much about school that February is half term for most UK schools. This year it starts on the 16th for one week. There are also some schools having half term the week before but so few it’s really not worth worrying about. Also during these weeks many French schools will also be on holiday. You can expect busy resorts during the middle of the month. To avoid the crowds ski early and over lunch time,  also ask your chalet host where the quietest runs are.

7th Feb – MeribelMeribel Center

After  5pm during Après hour, just outside the Méribel  tourist office, the resort is throwing a street party.  There will be free mulled wine and a DJ playing the distorted euro pop out of tinny speakers! Not much to get excited about, I hear you say, but there is also a live band called Willie and the Bandits who are a UK Blues Band. They are not your usual Après band and are well worth checking out. We have seen them many times in the West Country, as they are regulars in many pubs during the summer season.

8th Feb – Meribel

It has been 25 years since the Mont-Vallon ski area opened to the skiing public. Many a guest has spent a joyous time on the Mont-Vallon slopes. Many a guest has also spent a lot of time on the old Plattieres gondola, although the time was not so joyous. Fortunately the Plattieres has been replaced, saving skiers lots of time. To celebrate both the 25th anniversary and the demise of one of the most torturous lift journeys in the Three Valleys, the resort of Meribel will be holding a celebration in Méribel-Mottaret from 7- 8pm. Highlights include free hot chocolate, (with or without popular local nun juice, Chartreuse) and a torchlight descent.

Feb 12th – La Tania

This winter the world’s most culturally diverse festival, Mardi Gras, has teamed up with ultra conservative batter flipping day, Shrove Tuesday, to provide the earth’s population with what may become known as Triple –entendre day. Not one to miss an opportunity to throw a party, The Ski Lodge is holding a fancy dress “Carnival Party”. So dust of your non-stick outfit/frying pan and get ready to toss a few pancakes. Free toffee vodka, one would assume!

14th Feb – Three Valley

St Valentines Day. So you have taken her on a ski holiday, that should cover it. Probably not. Giving her a heart shaped cookie the chalet host knocked up for afternoon tea  probably won’t cover it either.  A vat of melted cheese with bread on a stick, in a traditional mountain restaurant?  You are now on to a winner. Ask your chalet host to recommend the best venue. Treat this as a reminder and a warning!

Feb 21st – Courchevel Courchevel Fireworks

It has been 4 months since you stared at the sky and shouted “Oooooo, Ahhhhh, Weeeee”. If you find yourself in Courchevel from the 21st February, then get ready to say it all again. Only this time you will mean it, as Courchevel hosts the International Firework Festival.  Guaranteed to be better than Granddad’s  back garden display where only  50% of the fireworks leave the plant pot! No sparklers allowed…ok, they are, but it’s strictly BYO!

Feb 23rd – Meribel

Finally your chance to appear on Ski Sunday has come. The Audi FIS Ski World Cup Womens downhill event rolls into town. Dust of your most flamboyant bobble hat, set the Sky + and go and find where Graham Bell does his piece to the camera.  Our tip is to head to the Chaudanne area as this is where the competition takes place. If anyone does get on Ski Sunday please send us the evidence so we can share it on our Facebook page, Chemmy Alcott need not apply!

Whatever you end up doing, whenever you are on your ski trip, please get in touch and tell us about your holiday.


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