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Mid season update 2015


Northern delights!

Midday sun in Ruka

Midday sun in Ruka

What can I say….skiing up in Finland was quite amazing and I will be returning next year hopefully. As expected the snow was fantastic and the resort surprisingly good with some great pitches including a FIS slalom piste. The skiing takes place on fels rather than mountains with amazing scenery. Frozen forests as far as you can see and over in to Russia.

 

 

On the slope facilities good with a restaurant at the bottom of most pistes and prices comparable with a mid-priced European resort. Alcoholic drinks in bars not as bad as I thought but more like London prices ( large glass of quality wine €10). Not the place to indulge in heavy après ski!

 

We hired our own chalet with had all the luxuries including a sauna! Self-catering super market prices same as the UK.

Back at HQ ( The Snow Centre) we are now in our busiest period and seeing many people honing their snowsport skills on the slopes of the Hemelayers! With the much improved snow situation across Europe people are starting to consider a trip in the spring. After February half term it just gets a little calmer and is a great time to get back on your skis or snowboard. Remember we have snow every day in Hemel Hempstead!

12 week IASI instructor training group at The Snow Centre!

12 week IASI instructor training group at The Snow Centre!

We are now 5 weeks in to our IASI ( Irish Association Snowsports Instructors) course at The Snow Centre and this is proving to be a very successful option for people wanting to gain a basic instructors qualification.

Well my next trip is up to Norway (Voss) to check out the venue for next season. Then it’s back to the Balkans ( Macedonia) for some freeride adventure followed by the usual Austrian courses for Easter.

Flights now booked for Argentina in September so looking forwards to skiing in the southern hemisphere for the first time!

 

Skiing at the end of the world…Argentina!

Think Snow!

Pete


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Snowsport update on recent activities


Hi All Snowsport lovers!

Been a bit lazy in updating this so thought I better get on to it right now.

Well we are right in the thick of it now with The Snow Centre just entering our Super peak season ( December to March) however to be honest winter never really went away. The centre has seen phenomenal success over the last winter ( partly due to the great buzz coming off the winter Olympics). It never really got quiet which is great as I often look out on to the slope and see so many young people engaged in snowsports. This has become for many a lifestyle, just like it is with our Alpine or Scandinavian cousins.

First Alpine trip for me was back in October when I was part of the training team running our annual team training. This trip takes place on the Soelden glacier. Snow was not so good this year but adequate for training purposes. We had a great and I look forwards to getting back out there end of April 2015.

 

The week later I found myself in Dubai! This was to take a look at the big indoor slope operating over there. There is so much they do well ( low skilled activities) but the actually Alpine skiing was quiet and mainly expat Europeans. Great slope though I must say. Our senior management team travelled out in search or ” inspiration”! We did find it to be honest.

 

 

December saw me back out with the ALPINECOACHING team in our homeland Hintertux, Austria! 5 coaches along with around 30 guests enjoyed great early season conditions on the glacier. Snow on piste was some of the best I have skied at this time of year which is amazing considering most of Europe was suffering a snow drought. We look forwards to getting back to Hinteryux in April 2015. Our team included Dan Gillespie, Guy Nason and Penny Chapman ( All ISIA qualified coaches)

Me on the Glacier December 2014 ( not bad for an old git)

Me on the Glacier December 2014 ( not bad for an old git)


Me on the Glacier December 2014 ( not bad for an old git)

So as I write this im packing in preparation for my trip to Finland tomorrow. I went to Finland back on May 2014 for the ISIA conference and fell in love with the place. Clean, vast and so different from the Alps. I just had to organise a trip back so that me at 3am tomorrow on my way to Gatwick.

 

 

Up and coming we have a Norway trip planned and then it’s back to the wilds of Macedonia for more adventure.

I will check out now but will update soon.

Think snow and stay safe!

Pete


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Season 2014….and its not over yet!


Hi All snow lovers!

 

What a season in some areas with record snowfalls! We are just back from Hintertux running thewww.alpinecoachingsnowsports.com Spring coaching courses. Plenty of snow and fresh tracks to be found every day. Despite the holiday period the slopes ( especially off piste) seemed quiet. We would return run after run and still ski ski fresh tracks right next to our last set of lines. Perfect.

 

A few weeks earlier I had been skiing in Pila just above Aosta running a BASI level 1 instructors course. First time in this resort and I must say I was rather impressed. Great slopes, typically Italian ( perfectly groomed) and all the instructors looked like they had their own page in Hello Magazine. I look forwards to skiing in Aosta again in the future.

 

Our adventure trip was once again back to Popov Shapka in Macedonia. This season I took a few customers with me and we spent 4 days skiing on piste, off piste, touring and using the local CAT skiing operation. The terrain in Macedonia is fantastic for freeride skiing and with a short skin you can access for amazing slopes with beautiful scenery. The infrastructure is a little dated so you need to understand this but the local people are very helpful and pleased to have you as their guests. Food is fantastic ( fusion of Austrian / Mediterranean and Turkish). Macedonia will now be a firm fixture in our annual programme.

 

My next trip will be the ISIA (International ski instructors association ) conference in Finland where the worlds professional ski instructors associations meet to discuss various topics ( 39 nations), this will be followed by the lasts Spring bash on the Hintertux Glacier 24th – 31st May 2014. Join us!

 

Hope you enjoy some pictures from various locations (the season 2014)


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Swiss Gem


Just back from a weekend in Switzerland. My son Dan works for the Swiss Snowsports School in Hoch Ybrig which is a resort 1 hour from Zurich.

What can I say….a little gem of a resort! The resort is an easy drive from Zurich and and has some fantastic terrain. I was genuinely blown away with the freeride and offpiste opportunities.

There would be enough skiing here for a good weekend for all the family, in fact at the weekends it attracts a lot of ex pats from nearby Zug.

Village is small but quaint with a few traditional hotels and restaurants. We stayed in the Muller Post hotel.

The real beauty is the ease of access. Skied all day Sunday, back to the airport ( hired a car) for the 21.30 flight home, I was back in my house for 11pm UK time! A real weekend skiing destination from the UK.

I will be going back!


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Season 2013/14 so far…


What a great  start to 2013/14 season with record early snow falls. My first trip out was in October as part of our pre season training with our Snow Centre school to partner resort Solden. This was the week before the world cup opener and the snow was fantastic! This week gives our team a great opportunity to train together and get ready for the winter season.

November all current BASI trainers attend our annual refresher and this year this took place in the home of British skiing, Aviemore! It was great to be back up in the highlands and this especially close to me as its where I passed my final technical exam ( Grade 1 National ski teacher) back in the day. As I write this now 2 months on from our conference Scotland is enjoying a good season s far with the resorts open.

Back at The Snow Centre we have seen the busiest winter so far since we opened in 2009. Its great to see people making snowsports part of their lifestyle. The Snow Centre has really provided a venue and opportunity for people to participate on a regular basis and we are now seeing some great performance levels in some of the young children who started here back when we first opened.


December saw our training trip out to Hintertux with my other business www.alpinecoachingsnowsports.com Myself along with trainers Ali Smith, Guy Nason and Richi Grassl had a great week coaching our snowsport fans. Weather was fine ( blue sky) with perfect on pste snow conditions. Great for woring on the technical piste turns ( long and short). Off piste was very limited at during that period although we found the odd challenge : )

Since then its been full tilt at The Snow Centre but I have been getting out on the slope 3 or 4 times a week to train with the team. Next week Im off out to Switzerland ( Hoch Ybrig) for a short trip to see how my son Dan is getting on teaching with the Swiss ski school. Its a new resort for me so looking forwards to that.

Our next big challenge is the Feb half term holidays which is our busiest time, then its the Sochi winter games which I hope will inspire many more people both young and old in to trying a snowsport.

Im leading an adventure trip down to Macedonia in early March ( see last years blog on skiing in Macedonia) to ski some off piste. The snow fall in the Balkans has been more progressive than the Alps so im hoping by March we should have a reasonable base. They had a fresh 10cm last night ( 15/1/14). They still need more as its been little bits at a time.

I will update on the up and coming trips. Enjoy the mountains and stay safe.

Pete


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