With up to a metre of snow having fallen in some resorts before the end of September, it’s time to start thinking seriously about the 2020/21 ski season. Rather excitingly, a handful of ski resorts in Austria and Switzerland have already welcomed their first skiers.
There have been one or two news stories that have rather dominated the travel and snowsports agenda … but at Snowresort, we have gone looking for the innovations and new developments which will help skiers and boarders get the most from their time on the snow. This is our round up of ski resort news and ski equipment news from around the world.
What is new for this winter?
New gondola linking to Alpe d’Huez
The huge Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain Ski in the Isère region of France is seeing further expansion. The new Eau d’Olle Express lift will link the village of Allemond into the ski area via the village of Oz-en-Oisans. This quick new gondola will open up new accommodation options for visitors and Allemond is sure to see further developments in the future.
Glamp aux Gets
Ever popular ski resort Les Gets, located in the vast Portes du Soleil ski area that straddles the French/Swiss border, has launched a glamping option for Winter 20/21. The snug glamping domes are located just above the resort on Mont Chery and offer wood burning stoves, electricity and wifi (for those all important back to basics selfies!) and stunning views. Is this the ultimate social distancing ski accommodation option?If the past few months have given you a desire to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains with even more of a “back to nature” approach then the world’s first “no lift” resort opens in Colorado this winter. Bluebird Backcountrywill open for just 15 days from 15th February 2020 offering skiers and boarders 1,500 acres of backcountry skiing. There will be a limit of 300 passes a day and to get to the top you’re going to need skins or snowshoes.
At one with nature
The holistic eco approach to enjoying the mountains continues with a new service that is being offered in both La Plagne and the Three Valleys. In La Plagne ski instructor and sophrologist (don’t worry – we had to look it up too) Karine helps her guests connect with nature by spending time amongst the trees in the local forests. Similar sessions are available in Saint Martin de Belleville throughout March and April 2021.
World’s Highest Zip Wire – Verbier
If pumping adrenaline is more your thing than tree hugging, then Verbier’s Mount 4 Zipline could be well worth a visit. This new installation starts at 3,300m above the Tortin glacier and descends by 380 metres of vertical over distance of 1.4km. The breathtaking descent can hit speeds of up to 100kph (62 mph). The Mount 4 Zipline has taken the “highest” and “longest” title from the zip wire installed in Val Thorens (France) two seasons ago.
Ski like a champion in Courchevel
If you prefer to get your thrills with your feet – mostly – on the ground then a new run in Courchevel (3 Valleys, France) will get your pulse racing. The 3km black piste takes you down to Courchevel La Praz through shady tree sections with plenty of lumps and bumps. With a vertical drop of nearly 1,000m you may not have much time to enjoy the scenery.
New 4* Hotel for St Martin de Belleville
Staying in the 3 Valleys, Hotel le Lodji is opening in the heart of picturesque St Martin de Belleville. St Martin is one of the prettiest places to stay in this vast ski area and this new 4* hotel will offer 47 contemporary rooms and modern spa facilities. Temptingly for visitors as well as residents, the Belgian owners are offering pancakes and Liège waffles on the terrace restaurant. This is bound to become a popular refuelling stop.
Skiwear in the Fast Lane
Dare 2b have recently released their AW20 ski range in collaboration with former Formula One Champion Jenson Button. Dare 2b have long been a go to name for good value ski clothing and this new range adds a high quality technical option to their Winter 20/21 offering. This isn’t the first time the motorsports star has worked with the brand, last year Dare 2b sponsored Button’s team in the Baja 1000, the world’s biggest off-road motorsport event.
Equality of access to great kit
Rather refreshingly Fischer has decided to drop gendered product ranges for 2021. They have recognised that factors such as height, weight and skiing style / ability are far more important than whether a skier is male or female. They now offer identical products to both women and men with the option of different colors dependent on personal taste. Fischer also has a new range of boots that incorporates data from over 40,000 3D foot scans.
Ski like James Bond
Finally the Austrian resort of Murren is promoting “The Ultimate James Bond Pilgrimage” to tie with the launch of “No Time to Die” on 12th November 2020. Much of the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed in Murren and the resort has a “Bond World” museum beneath the mountaintop revolving restaurant at the Schilthorn that served as Blofeld’s research station. The award-winning Bond loos are, we are assured, worth a visit in their own right. Sporting a 1980’s style Roger Moore all-in-one ski suit is optional