Vote for Ski Lifts!

Vote for Ski Lifts & Get the Chance to Win a Memorable Break for Two!

Vote for Ski Lifts!

At Ski-Lifts we are delighted to announce that we have been selected as a finalist in the highly-anticipated World Ski Awards 2017 category: World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator.

We are really proud to be up for this award and would love to win it for the 3rd time in a row!

If you vote for us as this year’s best ski transfer provider, (just click the vote for us button above) you will automatically be entered into our prize draw to win a Memorable Minibreak voucher worth 200 EUR. 

Vote for Ski Lifts!

Over the last few months we have been working harder than ever… New routes and services are in the pipeline and we have underway a significant scaling-up of our operation in general. We have just opened a new UK HQ in Manchester which is home to our commercial and finance departments

Wherever you are coming from and wherever you are going Ski-Lifts have been there to accommodate your journey – we are the only transfer service who can accommodate you anywhere in the Alps (and world) thanks to our broad range of transfer destinations!

To be crowned World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator 2017 we need your help…

Over the next few weeks we need to generate as many votes as possible from Ski-Lift fans, and so if you think we deserve the title, please help us secure the crown with a vote:

Vote with the button below & get the chance to win a two-night memorable mini break for two (worth 200 EUR):

Vote for Ski Lifts!

Voting closes on 22nd September & winners will be notified by email by the World Ski Awards.

We’re incredibly proud to have won the award the last two years running.  We thank you for recognising our hard work with your votes.

Thank you from all the team at Ski-Lifts!

Vote for Ski Lifts!

Win Panda Optics Polarised Ski Goggles

Win Panda Optics Polarised Ski Goggles

Win Panda Optics Polarised Ski Goggles

To enter into the draw to WIN the goggles you just need write a Review of your Ski-Lifts transfer on our Facebook page and that’s it – you will be entered into the draw! Closing date 26th March 2017

 

The simple concept behind Panda Optics is affordable, fashionable polarised goggles. We found that no goggle on the market offered a great polarised lens option without a huge price tag, after much research we believe we have found the perfect balance between value for money and quality of product with the Diablo and Funnel range.

No single lens is suited to every condition on the mountain (although some photochromic lenses are getting close) we therefore supply a low-light HD lens free with every pair.

Win Panda Optics Polarised Ski GogglesWhy not go to our Facebook page now and add your Review and your name will be in the hat to WIN!

Terms and Conditions apply.

Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip

Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip

Thanks so much for the cool beyond cool competition prize Ski-Lifts and Riders Refuge. What can I say, it’s not too often you get contacted about winning an all-inclusive snow-boarding trip to God’s very own playground! Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip Thanks a million, we had an absolute ball, from the seamless Ski-Lifts airport transfers to the home-from-home feeling supplied by the Riders Refuge staff Kelly, Sam and Mark. We were on cloud nine, throw in DoorStep Skis supplying a board boots bindings and helmet and Ski-Lifts planting that cherry right on the bun with a week’s pass to the Port Du Soleil and you can imagine the feeling. Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip Seven years boarding dust was obliterated within a few hours spent up the Plenty lift on Sunday, then it was an adventure each and every day. We were like kids in a sweet shop pouring over the piste map every evening deciding on tomorrow’s destinations. We devoured the views and runs off the mighty Chamossiere, Ranfolly, Rosta lifts and all that the Les Chavannes bowl had to offer. Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip The area is so well connected and Morzine is the perfect place to be based, just look at a piste map! Avoriaz holds too many jewels to mention, Fornet, Mossette where you can step into Switzerland and have some fun. The Stash for some trick time, Ardent for an après or two, Chatel is only a slide slip and a jump away too – or if you like insanely steep runs head to Linga and straight line it for the pursuit of oblivion. Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip Like I mentioned, it had been seven years since I last visited Morzine and I have played walking down the streets countless times in my head and I wasn’t disappointed to return, what a beautiful timeless town. Prize Winners Tell Us About Their Trip What a shame the woman of my dreams, my wife who I met while in Morzine back in 2009, had to stay at home looking after our nine month old baby Alice. Next time it’ll be the three of us, that’s a promise. By Ski-Lifts client John Pietranek

Top 6 Romantic Resorts

Top 6 Romantic Ski Resorts

There’s nothing more romantic than being on the ski slopes on Valentine’s Day, but some resorts are better than others to wow your loved one. Check out our six top romantic ski resorts for this Valentine’s Day.

La Clusaz, France

Only an hour transfer from Geneva airport. Fantastic for a romantic ski break. Traditional French village, lovely tree lined slopes. Largest night skiing area in Savoie Mont Blanc. Hang out a deux in the new Serge Blanco 850m² spa.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
La Clusaz is situated in the Haute Savoie region

Courmayeur, Italy

Just the other side of Mont Blanc in the Aosta Valley. Beautiful romanic village, promenade down Via Roma in the evening, perfect skiing for a romantic weekend. Restaurants on practically every slope.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
The picturesque village of Courmayeur sits high high in the Aosta Valley

Innsbruck, Austria

City and ski personified. Pretty village, ski above the city or just an hour’s transfer to traditional Alpbach. Pretty tree lined slopes, so ‘gemütlich’.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
Ski-Lifts offer airport transfers from Innsbruck to all of the major ski resorts in the area

Morzine, France

Situated in the heart of the Portes Du Soleil region, Morzine is a picturesque Savoyard mountain town with charming unspoilt chalet-style buildings. It has retained much of its character and charm and has excellent facilities for shopping, eating-out and après-ski.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
Morzine gives unrivalled access to one of the biggest ski areas in the world

Zermatt, Swizterland

Transfer to Visp and then enjoy a train ride in to the village. Overlooked by the iconic Matterhorn. Great for a blow the budget romantic break. Linked skiing over to Cervinia for an Italian lunch.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
Zermatt is in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn

St Martin de Belleville, France

St Martin de Belleville is a gorgeous base in which to access the huge Three Valleys ski area. Only linked to the skiing in the 80s it retains its old world feel. For a blow the budget romantic meal a deux head to La Bouitte, the highest 3* Michelin restaurant in the Alps. Enjoy an après-ski cocktail by the log fire in ‘P’ bar in the village centre.
Top 6 Romantic Resorts
Saint Martin De Belleville has kept hold of the small alpine village character

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps

Planning a family ski trip this winter but not sure where to go? A great range of terrain, good ski schools, off-slope activities and family-friendly accommodation are all important factors in picking the best resort for your family. To help with your decision, check out some of our favourite family ski resorts in the Alps.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Village des Enfants in Avoriaz © S Lerendu – OT Avoriaz

Avoriaz

This ski-in/ski-out, fully pedestrianised town is a fantastic resort for families. It’s part of one of the biggest ski areas in the world, the Portes du Soleil, which offers a superb range of runs. There’s also a number of ski schools, including the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School and Le Village des Enfants. When you’re off the slopes and looking for ways to entertain the kids, Avoriaz has plenty to offer, including Aquariaz – claiming to be Europe’s highest waterpark, the pool complex offers a lazy river, half-pipe slide, climbing walls and an open-air spa heated to 34 degrees. Plus, the resort is located only an hour and a half from Geneva, allowing for a short, hassle-free transfer.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Avoriaz © S Lerendu – OT Avoriaz

Flaine 

With access to a superb ski area (the Grand Massif), Flaine is very popular with many skiers and boarders, but it’s particularly ideal for families. The resort is largely pedestrianised, and there are lots of slopeside accommodations. The ski area is diverse enough to keep beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers happy. Plus, for the time spent off the slopes, there’s an ice rink in Flaine Forum, as well as a cinema and an indoor swimming pool (located in the Le Centaure residence). Additionally, Flaine is only an hour from Geneva airport, making for an easy airport transfer.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Flaine © Y Marot – OT Flaine

Villars 

This traditional Swiss resort is another great option for families, as children under the age of nine ski for free throughout the season. It’s a friendly village, offering gentle nursery slopes for beginners and a great range of intermediate runs, thanks to a link to the slopes of Les Diablerets, creating a combined area of 120km of easy to moderate terrain. The beginner slopes aren’t as easily accessible as in other resorts, but the scenic 20 minute train ride to get there makes for a very pleasant journey. Villars is a particularly great resort for those who don’t wish to spend their entire holiday on the slopes, with a full programme of family-friendly events on during the season.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Villars © Villars Tourism

Les Arcs 

The opening of the Mille 8 development last season ensured this already hugely popular resort became a firm family favourite. The development, located in Arc 1800, contains a swimming pool, a toboggan run and a dedicated beginners’ area. Being part of the Paradiski area, the resort also offers varied terrain to suit all abilities. There is a great range of accommodation to choose from but Le Village Arc 1950 is highly popular with families – the ski-in/ski-out village has indoor and outdoor pools, its own kids’ club and its own ski school.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Les Arcs © Merci L’Agence – OT Les Arcs

Wengen

The site of Europe’s highest train station is also a traditional and charming ski resort. The pedestrianised village is accessible via train from the resort of Lauterbrunnen and is located at the heart of the Jungfrau ski region, with lots of long, gentle runs, which are ideal for intermediates. There’s a beginners’ area in the centre of the village and there’s also one further up the mountain, easily accessed by cable car, which benefits from better snow cover.

The Best Family Ski Resorts in the Alps
Wengen © Jungfrau Region

PowderBeds.com is a specialist ski accommodation website, offering a superb range of apartments and hotels in resorts across France and Switzerland, at the best possible prices.

New Transfers available with Ski-Lifts in 2016

New Transfers Available with Ski-Lifts in 2016

We’re pleased to announce that now, through our trusted network of partners, we are able to offer you two compltely new services for this coming winter.

The first of these is a Carbon Neutral Executive Transfer.

This is a transfer using the Tesla Model X 4-wheel drive, with all charging of this electric vehicle carried out using only 100% renewable energy sources.

New Transfers available with Ski-Lifts in 2016

This is currently available from Geneva and Chambery airports to the main resorts in the Tarentaise including Val D’Isere, Tignes, Les Arcs and La Plagne.

We’re delighted that we are now able to offer this new service and we believe it is the future for transfers to ski resorts. We are also looking to develop relationships with other partners to be able to offer this environmentally friendly airport transfer to other resorts in the Alps soon.

Availability for this particular transfer is currently limited, so we advise booking early to avoid missing out. You can do so in the normal way through our website and selecting the Carbon Neutral Executive Transfer option on the booking page. Don’t forget as well, that if you book through our partner page with Save Our Snow, then we will donate 5% of the transfer cost to them, helping them to raise awareness of iniatives taking place within the ski industry that have an enivornmentally friendly aim.

 

The second new offering, is transfers to and from London airports. So, if you are travelling to the Alps from London City, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton or Southend Airports we can now offer our transfer service to you, to get between your home and these airports at either end of your holiday.

New Transfers available with Ski-Lifts in 2016
Heathrow Airport Transfers

Currently we are offering two transfer types to these airports. The first is a Private Transfer in an 8-seater minibus and the second is an Executive Transfer in a Mercedes Viano or similar.

You can book these transfers in the normal way through our website and the service is exactly the same as you would expect from us in the Alps – you get an instant confirmation of your booking by email, you receive an SMS and email the day before travel confirming your pick up time and on your return to the airport in the UK, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, holding a sign with your name on it and is ready to take you straight home.

When making a booking for your transfer to the Alps, you can simply choose to add more legs on to the booking, meaning you can also add these London airport transfers in to the same booking, meaning everything is confirmed in one go.

If you can’t find a destination that you need please let us know and we will do our best to secure you a quote and hopefully we will soon be able to offer this same service to other airports throughout the UK as well.

 

We hope you find both of these transfer offerings useful and we look forward to seeing you soon.

 

World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator 2016

World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator 2016

World's Best Ski Transfer Operator 2016

Ski-Lifts are delighted to announce that we have for the second year running collected the award for the World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator, at the World Ski Awards. These awards are voted for by members of the public and from industry insiders, so it really means a lot to us to have won this award.

To get this kind of industry recognition is absolutely  fantastic. Twice in a row is mind boggling, but it’s testament to all of the hard work put in over the years by the guys at Ski-Lifts HQ in Morzine.

Our business has grown over the years, adapting to a changing market, changes have been made, ….and made again until the services we can offer are as comprehensive as you will find anywhere in the ski industry.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers and clients for their ongoing support over the years, without your loyalty and you guys challenging us, perhaps we wouldn’t have developed the  solutions which make us the best at what we do.World's Best Ski Transfer Operator 2016

As with any tourism related business, and particularly at Ski-Lifts,  we would be nothing without the  people who continue to choose to use us winter in winter out so thank you all very much.

An added bonus to the award was being invited over to Kitzbuhel for the ceremony over the weekend. We had a nice ( if a little on the whiteout side ) ski, followed by lunch at the top of the Streif where we were so lucky to be joined by 1950 Hahnenkamm winner Fritz Huber. After that it was into the penguin suits and cocktail dresses for the gala dinner and ceremony. The rest as they say is…..( well it’s a little hazy to be honest, there was food, a trophy,  plenty of fine wine, a speech and not a small amount of schnapps! )…..History.

Sore heads nursed, award safely on the mantelpiece in the office and back to work for us. The winter season is upon us and we have a lot of work to do to make sure we live up to our reputation.

Ski Resorts Opening Early for the 16-17 Season

Ski Resorts Opening Early for the 2016-17 Season!

Good afternoon everybody from a very excited Ski-Lifts HQ.  I trust that you have all been keeping a close eye on the snow reports and images that have started to come flooding in from Europe and North America as we have?Ski Resorts Opening Early for the 16-17 Season

 It looks like its stacking up to be a great early start to this winter season with snow coming down in boatloads all across the Alps and beyond. We have been putting some pictures on our Facebook feed showing just a few of the many fantastic snowy scenes out there at the moment.

Obviously after disappointing starts to the winter for the last two years there was understandable hesitancy around planning an early  ski trip this year, however it does now seen to be a case of ‘third time lucky’ as it seems to be shaping up to be a fantastic start to the season with many resorts having already held soft openings in the last couple of weekends, and many opening this weekend coming  (18/19/20 th Nov ).

If any of you are statto’s out there you might like a quick read of our facebook post from earlier this week, on comparative snow records for Avoriaz. If  the stats add up then we could be looking at an epic start to the season. Add to the mix the post Brexit fire sale of holidays offered by many tour operators and agents and you have got the perfect ingredients for a surprisingly cost effective ski holiday.

So, some information for you to consider regarding opening dates and where you can go to make the most of the early snow.  There are a number of glacier resorts in here which will have been open now for a while, or indeed year round, but as far as general openings we have a cluster of them for this very coming weekend. They are as follows:

Cervinia

ChamonixSki Resorts Opening Early for the 16-17 Season

Alpe d’Huez

Engelberg

Kaprun

Madonna di Campiglio

Obertauern

Zermatt

Val Thorens

Ischgl

Montgenevre

Solden

Laax

Zell am See

Verbier

Madesimo

These resorts should be opening in some capacity this weekend, and whilst they might not be operating at their maximum (please check the relevent resorts website for the most up to date information), this is surely a very, very positive sign for the winter to come. Fingers crossed.

Ski-Lifts will be some of the lucky ones this weekend having scored a Saturday ski in Kitzbuhel courtesy of the World Ski Awards where we are hoping to win the award for the World’s Best Ski Transfer provider for the second year in a row. Pictures to follow on Facebook.

Get in touch with www.Ski-Lifts.com or book your transfer right here, to get you from airport to resort in double quick time, to make the most of the white stuff.

Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine

Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine

 Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine
It’s that time of year again… winter is coming and we’re giving you the chance to win yourself a dream holiday here in the French Alps!


The lucky winner will receive a holiday for two to stay at the beautiful Chalet Carclion in Morzine hosted by our friends at Riders Refuge. The holiday will take place between 15th January 2017 and the 22nd January 2017, so you will have to be available and able to get to the UK airport decided upon at the said dates.
Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine
Chalet Carclion is a large catered chalet in Morzine, close to all shops, bars and restaurants. Catering includes breakfast, homemade afternoon tea and a 4-course evening meal including wine. On one evening of your holiday, your chalet hosts take a deserved evening off, giving you the opportunity to wander into town to sample one of the many excellent restaurants Morzine has to offer. Riders Refuge also offer you a free shuttle service in the mornings and afternoons to get you to and from the lifts.
 
On arrival you will be visited by Doorstep Skis who will deliver to you your free ski or snowboard and equipment hire for the week and fit you for it in the comfort of your chalet. None of this hanging around a busy hire shop when you could be relaxing! 

Your lift passes will be waiting for you on arrival, they are being provided courtesy of the Morzine lift office and you will receive two full area, 6-day Portes du Soleil passes so you can explore as much of the 600km of piste as you can manage.

Here at Ski-Lifts we’ll be offering you return flights from a convenient UK airport to Geneva and return shared transfers direct to your accommodation at either end of your holiday.

This awesome prize includes:

  • One weeks half board accommodation in a twin or double room at the Chalet Carclion in Morzine. (Breakfast, afternoon tea & 4 course meal for 6 nights, plus in resort minibus service) provided by Riders Refuge
  • Return transfers to Chalet Carclion from Geneva Airport courtesy of Ski-Lifts
  • Your pick of return flights from any UK airport to Geneva.
  • Two 6-day Portes Du Soleil Lifts passes courtesy of the Morzine Lift pass office.
  • Ski or Snowboard Hire for the week – delivered to the chalet by our partner Doorstep Skis the Premier Ski and Snowboard delivery service in Morzine.
 
So with all this included for you in your free holiday, now you need to know how to enter. Check out the Terms below, but all you need to do to enter is follow these three simple steps;
  1. Head to the Riders Refuge Facebook Page and make sure you’ve liked it.
  2. Head to the Ski-Lifts Facebook page and do the same.
  3. Now you are on the Ski-Lifts page, click the Contest button (or click here) and simply complete your entry.
 
Once you’ve entered, keep your fingers crossed as we’ll announce the lucky winner on the 2nd November!

We’d like to wish you all the very best of luck, and  just maybe, happy holidays!

Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine Win a Holiday for 2 this winter in Morzine

 
Terms and Conditions
1. The closing date for entries is 12:00 GMT on the 1st November 2016. Entries received
after this time will not be counted.
2. To enter the competition you must like the Riders Refuge and Ski-Lifts Facebook pages and then complete your entry having done this through the competition tab of the Ski-Lifts page. Entries by mail, email or telephone, or any other means will not be counted.
3. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries and the winner will be announced on the Ski-Lifts Facebook page at 12:00 GMT on the 2nd November 2016 and contacted by email.
4. The prize is for two people, the winner and their choice of one other person.
5. The holiday will be from the 15th January 2017 until the 22nd January 2017, the dates are non
transferable.
6. The winners will receive 7 nights’ accommodation provided by Riders Refuge, in a twin room at
Chalet Carclion. This is on a fully catered basis which includes breakfast, afternoon tea, 3
course meal (6 nights) and in resort minibus service. Also included in the prize is two 6-day Portes Du
Soleil lift passes and 1 week Ski or snowboard  hire from Doorstep Skis for both people.
7. The prize includes return flights of your choice from any UK airport to Geneva airport (not
exceeding the value of €500 total) Ski-Lifts will also provide return shared transfers to your accommodation from Geneva.
8. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
9. In the event that the winner cannot take the prize a new draw will be taken and a new
winner announced.
10. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
11. By entering the competition you agree to be contacted from time to time via email about
special  offers or promotions from Ski-Lifts Ltd, or the partners for the prize of this competition.
12. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot
be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
13. Ski-Lifts accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment 
incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize. Ski-Lifts
further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to
or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Prize Draw.
14. Ski-Lifts reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue,
temporarily or permanently, this Prize Draw with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its
control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).
15. Ski-Lifts shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is
caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be
limited to, weather conditions, industrial dispute, and inevitable accidents.
16. By entering our competition you are agreeing to the terms and conditions as set out above.

Ski Resorts in France with Short Transfer Times

Ski Resorts in France with Short Transfer Times

France is Europe’s number one ski holiday destination with hundreds of different resorts ranging from picture postcard to purpose built and practical, and a whole host of something in between. If you know what kind of resort you want to visit, now it is time to think about how you want to get there?

Everybody likes to maximise their time in resort or on the slopes when they come on a ski holiday to France. Less time spent negotiating traffic and toll booths is often a critical factor in peoples holiday planning, often allowing for a hasty departure from work on a Friday to arrive in resort in good time for a nights sleep and be up for first lifts on a Saturday morning.  

 

Ski Resorts in France with Short Transfer TimesOther times its parents of a noisy and excited brood who don’t want the kids to sit on a transfer for hours on end, bored to tears before they’ve even had their first hot chocolate.

We have listed below some French resorts which have transfer times of less than 2 hours from destination airports. If you are thinking of a quick getaway, then look to some of these resorts.

NB – All routes have a price attached, based on 4 people travelling. All prices are per person for a return trip to specified airport although alternatives are available, prices are current and subject to change. * denotes no shared transfers available, these transfers are only private. Travel times are indicative and obviously vary with heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions.

Les Carroz – 1hr (Geneva) – £64.21
Chamonix – 1hr (Geneva) – £58.07
Megeve – 1hr (Geneva)* – £92.12
Samoens – 1hr (Geneva) – £64.21
La Grand Bornand – 1hr (Geneva)* – £69.79
La Clusaz – 1hr.30 (Geneva)* – £69.79

These resorts are within an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, that to me is hardly enough time to take in the mountain views as you are checking out the snowline, assessing resort conditions with your driver, looking for your first lift cables and all of the other associated habits of a ski transfer passenger.

Nice often gets overlooked as a ski airport what with its Cote D’Azur location and glamorous summer reputation but from here you can also get to the lovely Isola 2000 in just 1hr.
Ski Resorts in France with Short Transfer Times
Argentiere – 1hr.10 (Geneva) – £58.07
Valmorel – 1hr.10 (Chambery)* – £166.88
Les Gets – 1hr.10 (Geneva) – £56.69
Valmenier – 1hr.15 (Chambery)* – £129.53
Morzine – 1hr.20 (Geneva) – £56.69
Les Menuires  – 1hr.25 (Chambery)* – £165.50
Valloire – 1hr.25 (Chambery)* – £134.56
Flaine – 1hr.30 (Geneva) – £64.21
Chatel – 1hr.30 (Geneva) – £69.79
Courchevel – 1hr.30 (Chambery)* – £160.81                  
Meribel – 1hr.30 (Chambery)* – £160.81
St Martin De Belleville – 1hr.45 (Grenoble)* – £160.81
Alpe D’Huez – 1hr.45 (Grenoble)* – £125.00
Les Deux Alpes – 1hr.50 (Grenoble)* – £125.00

The above resorts range from 1hr to 2hrs transfer time from the airport, more than reasonable really.  I suppose that , as with most things, its horses for courses and some people might prefer to have a longer transfer time to take in the  stunning scenery en route. Some might have a special favourite resort which is only accessible after a 4 hr trek. I cannot speak for everybody’s tastes, but for those who want to get to town quickly, these are hard to beat.

Ski Resorts in France with Short Transfer Times
 

Now we might have missed a few hidden gems here, I apologise in advance .Please feel free to share any secret spots you might have stumbled across.

I will follow up with a similar piece on other countries resorts soon, but for now, if you are going to France for your ski trip this year you could do much worse than to take a look at these resorts. Here at Ski-Lifts we look forward to helping you get to the slopes as quickly as YOU would like.

For now though let’s just take a moment to forget being back at work and think of the nice little ski trip you’ve got coming up in a few months.

Ski Season Dates 2016-17

Ski Season Dates 2016-17

So, the Summer might be giving us a Spanish bloom in the UK , but as we all know only too well, British weather can be a cruel thing indeed. In anticipation of the sun retreating and an end to BBQ’s for most sensible people, we have put together a list of available Resort opening dates to whet your appetites for the season ahead.

It may seem a bit silly to wish away lovely weather as we have been having but we always remember how many times in the past we have said ” just where did the time go “.
So take a look at what’s going to be up and running and when. Maybe you have already sorted your ski trip, maybe it’s on a to do list, just remember that Ski-Lifts can help to get you there. Whether you are planning  on the gorgeous Dolomites in Italy , or the lively Austrian apres, the French big hitters like La Plagne, Avoriaz, or 3 Vallees lets find out just when they are going to let us loose this year.

The table below shows the expected opening and closing dates for lifts in major resorts throughout France, Austria,Switzerland and Italy and also potential early opening dates snow permitting. Remember that dates are subject to change so please check with the local lift company or tourist office websites to confirm the dates before booking.

 

Ski Resort (Ski Area) Partial Opening all dependent on snow conditions Opening Date Closing Date
Alpbach   08-12-2016 17-04-2017
Alpe d’Huez (Grand Domaine)   03-12-2016 23-04-2017
Avoriaz (Portes du Soleil)   11-12-2016 23-04-2017
Bad Gastein   18-12-2016 17-04-2017
Chamonix (Mont Blanc)   12-12-2016 16-04-2017
Châtel Weekends in November and December 17-12-2016 23-04-2017
Courchevel Partial opening 3/4th December 17-12-2016 23-04-2017
Davos & Klosters 18-11-2016 02-12-2016 23-04-2017
Flaine (Grand Massif)   10-12-2016 17-04-2017
Hintertux  Glacier open all year 17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Ischgl   24-11-2016 01-05-2017
Kitzbuhel   08-12-2016 02-04-2017
La Plagne (Paradiski) 10/12/16 – 23/04/17 17-12-2016 17-04-2017
La Rosiere (Espace San Bernardo) 10/12/16 – 16/12/16 10-12-2016 22-04-2017
La Tania   10-12-2016 21-04-2017
Laax 03-12-2016 24-12-2016 17-04-2017
Lech   02-12-2016 23-04-2017
Les Arcs (Paradiski)   17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Les Carroz   05-12-2016 17-04-2017
Les Contamines   17-12-2016 22-04-2017
Les Deux Alpes (Glacier Skiing) November & December 17-12-2016 21-04-2017
Les Gets 22/10/2016 – 01/11/2016 17-12-2016 16-04-2017
Les Houches 26-11-2016 17-12-2016 16-04-2017
Les Menuires (3 Valleys) 19/11/16 – 11/12/16 17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Les Saisies   10-12-2016 21-04-2017
Mayrhofen 26-11-2016 17-12-2016 23-04-2017
Megeve (Mont Blanc)   17-12-2016 21-04-2017
Meribel (3 Valleys) 05-12-2016 19-12-2016 16-04-2017
Morillon   10-12-2016 23-04-2017
Niederau   16-12-2016 02-04-2017
Obergurgl 17-11-2016 18-12-2016 22-04-2017
Peisey-Vallandry (Paradiski)   17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Pila 27-11-2016 17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Saalbach 02-12-2016 24-12-2016 17-04-2017
Sainte Foy Tarentaise   17-12-2016 17-04-2017
Samoens   17-12-2016 10-04-2017
Serre Chevalier   17-12-2016  
Sixt   10-12-2016 22-04-2017
Solden 19-10-2016 17-12-2016 07-05-2017
Soll   08-12-2016 02-04-2017
St Anton   02-12-2016 23-04-2017
St Gervais Mont-Blanc   07-12-2016 22-04-2017
Tignes (Espace Killy)   17-12-2016 16-04-2017
Val d’Isere (Espace Killy) 01-10-2016 26-11-2016 06-05-2017
Val Thorens (3 Valleys)   26-11-2016 01-05-2017
Valmorel   26-11-2016 01-05-2017
Vars   17-12-2016 15-04-2017
Verbier 12-11-2016   17-04-2017
Zell am See   02-12-2016 17-04-2017

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350

Ski-Lifts have been nominated for the World Ski Awards 2016 and to celebrate we’re giving away this great prize to one lucky person who votes for us this year. Read on to find out how to enter and what is included in this ski bundle…….


Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350
We are delighted to announce that we will be defending out title at this year at the Worlds Ski Awards!
 

 
We’ve worked hard since winning the award in 2015, always looking to improve our service to you and we’d love this to be recognised by winning the award as the World’s Best Ski Transfer Operatorfor the 2nd time in a row.
 
To help us win the award this year, we need your support, so please vote for us by clicking the button below, orclicking here. Voting for us only takes a couple of minutes, you’ll be asked to register and then simply vote from our page.
Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350
 
By voting for Ski-Lifts you will automatically be entered in to our competition to win a bundle of apparel and ski apps worth over £350!
 
The prize draw will take place on Friday 30th September 2016, drawn from all of the people who voted for Ski-Lifts for the award and the lucky winner will be contacted by email.
 
Vote for Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards to be in with a chance of winning all this:
Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350An Animal Chamonix technical jacket (RRP £170)

Prepare for next season’s snow with the Animal Chamonix technical jacket. Defend against the elements with 10,000mm waterproofing and fully taped seams, whilst ergonomic heat zone lining keeps the essentials warm. Underarm vents and top-notch breathability prevent overheating. Utility styling and dropped back hem give a neat finish.
A pair of Oakley ski goggles (RRP £117)

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350Courtesy of Discounted Sunglasses an online retailer of past and current season designer sunglasses, frames and ski goggles. They are offering a lucky winner the chance to receive these shiny Oakley A Frame 2.0 goggles (RRP £117, Discounted Sunglasses price £97) to achieve a super sharp look ahead of the new ski season. The goggles come in a stunning polished white to offset any outfit ensemble, with Persimmon lenses. Thanks to its low running costs, Discounted Sunglasses is able to offer fabulous discounts on these items as it charges prices it deems suitable rather than the official RRP.
Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350A premium subscription to Fatmap

Every skier wants their own adventure, but the information we need to decide what we should and shouldn’t ski isn’t always easily available. With highly-detailed 3D ski maps and expert content, you’re able to choose the right line for you. Whether that’s a gnarly couloir or your first red run.
A premium subscription to the Ski School App

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350Get the most out of your skiing holiday with clear, concise and easy-to-understand professional ski lessons to suit the whole family. “The must-have ski app” according to the Sunday Times. You can watch high-quality videos at your own pace, whenever and wherever you like, as no internet connection is required. Track your progress using the split screen analysis and compare yourself to the professional instructor. With lessons from beginner through to expert, Ski School Apps will take your skiing to the next level.
And finally, the winner will also receive a £50 voucher to be used as a discount for their next booking with Ski-Lifts.
Simply vote for Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards and you’ll be automatically entered into the prize draw to win this bundle.

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350

Voting closes on the 23rd September 2016 and the winner will be drawn at random on the 30th September from all of the people who voted for Ski-Lifts and the winner will be contacted by email.
Our Partners

Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350   Win a Ski Bundle Worth Over £350
 

Summer in the Alps 2016

Summer 2016 in the Alps

Good Morning, Bonjour, Buenos Dios, Goedemorgon, Guten Morgen, and Buon Giorno…

First things first, please allow me to get some introductions out of the way. I am the newest member of the Ski-Lifts team and I have been charged with (among other things) delivering to you good people, a regular blog detailing all that’s occurring in and around our lives here at Ski-Lifts. You may call me Liftblogger.
I will be keeping you up to speed on all that’s tickling our fancy, or that we feel is a good story to share. If you have any particular issues to be addressed you can always let me know and I will be happy to try and accommodate you.
 
So the skis and boards are packed away again for another year after some great end of season conditions to send them on their way to the garage/loft/under the bed/southern Hemisphere, (delete as appropriate). It turned out to be somewhat of a saving grace given the pretty slow start to the season across much of Europe but all in all a great season and here at Ski-Lifts we saw greater numbers of guests than ever before with a broader spread of where they were travelling as well. I will get our Statto to dig up some numbers on these trends and get information to you all at some point in the future I promise.
 
As ever, with the closing of one chapter comes the opening of another and we are all looking forward now to getting on our bikes, and limbering up for some stunning Alpine hikes and generally enjoying everything that the mountains provides us once the white stuff has gone into retreat.
 
Here are some of our thoughts for the coming months….
 
Lift Openings for some resorts are already upon us in some cases, and very close in others.
Champerey, Morgins and Les Crosets bike park has stolen a march by opening on the 14th May to the eager early birds.

Summer in the Alps 2016

Les Gets is not that far behind with two consecutive opening weekends over 28/29th of May, and 4/5th of June. This must be in anticipation of hosting the adrenalin packed Crankworks meet from the 15-19th of June. Anyone who like things to go downhill really fast should get psyched for this one, it’s a celebration of all things downhill MTB and is sure to be a blast.

 
Elsewhere in the Portes Du Soleil, Morzine will be opening its lifts for the public for three full months between11th June, and 11th September. This will give anyone wishing to take advantage of this summer Alpine mecca for downhill biking and hiking plenty of time to plan a visit. Personally I prefer the mountains in the Summer, it gives you a bit more time to really take them in and appreciate your surroundings rather than mach 10 down the cruisers during winter. * don’t hold me to that, I am prone to change my mind with the weather!

Summer in the Alps 2016

Also Morzine will be hosting the finish to stage 20 for this year’s Tour de France. The short (but very hilly!) stage from Megeve toMorzine will be played out on Saturday 23rd July and will surely determine the king of the mountains if not Le Tour itself.
This stage will also be used as the Etape stage where amateur cyclists of all abilities will flex their muscles, covering the same ground as the pros. This is a mass participation event not to be missed, and will be held on the 10th July.
 

Les Deux Alpes will be open for summer skiing on the glacier from 18th June, through to 27th August, a great chance for you to brush up on your carving or maybe trim a few hundredths off your PB if that’s more your bag? Either way summer skiing is an experience I would heartily recommend to anyone who has strapped on a set of planks if for the novelty value if nothing else.

Just across the valley Alpe d’Huez will also be open for summer skiing on the Sarenne glacier from late June, with the lifts opening more generally for business on 1st July until 28th August, with the ‘downhill derby’ Mega Avalanche being held from 4th July, until the 10th.
A small chance death/maiming aside I’m told that this is one of the best events to get to if you want a full on ‘elbows out’ battle from the top of the hill to the bottom as fast as you humanly can on a bike. I have a few friends who take part in this madness and from what I’m told it is somewhat of a bucket lister for hardcore downhillers.

Summer in the Alps 2016

If all this adrenalin seems a bit too much I suggest you take advantage of one of the numerous gentle hikes throughout the mountains. From Grindelwald in Switzerland to the Dolomites in Italy the Alps have amazing and seductive scenery to enjoy at your own pace.

Summer in the Alps 2016

The annual Montreaux Jazz Festival is in it’s 50th year this year and as such has a fantastic line up over the dates from 1st -16th July. The lineup includes giants like Neil Young, Patti Smith, Santana, ZZ Top, Van Morrison. And for a more contemporary musical palate, there is Lana Del Rey, Muse, Air, DJ Shadow and Sigur Ros. Something for everybody over the festival. Simply Red are playing as well.
 
There are holidays to suit everyone here in the mountains, you just need to cast your to the hills and see past the lack of snow.
 
It’s the amazing place that we are fortunate to call home, and we hope that we have given you some inspiration to come and join us at some point over the summer?

Here at Ski-Lifts we will of course be happy to get you from whichever A-B you choose to take this summer.
 
All the very best for now, hopefully see you next time.
Liftblogger

The ‘Mini Shred Movement’ Snowboarding with Small Children

The ‘Mini Shred Movement’ Snowboarding with Small Children

  The ‘Mini Shred Movement’ Snowboarding with Small Children

I think we’ve all had those moments on the mountain- seeing small children flying past us, helmets larger than their bodies, miniature skis and more guts than you can shake a stick at.
Normally they leave us baffled and wondering how it is possible for such small humans to be safely travelling at the speed of light.

Until recent times you wouldn’t often see the same instance on a snowboard, we all heard tall tales of snowboarding being bad for the bones, knees and a whole load of other rumours that didn’t appear to have a great deal of grounding.

Well it wasn’t until Burton begin to offer more child specific gear for the 2/3/4 year olds and lead the pack in terms of large investments in Riglet Parks for introducing kids snowboarding all over the US, that the Mini Shred even became an option for kids this age.

From there it seems the red tape has been well and truly ditched and more and more young children and toddlers have been giving the sport a go.

We love the ‘Mini Shred Movement’ and wanted to know more! So we had a chat with Tammy Esten, founder of Mint Snowboarding, who has been the prominent force in Europe in raising the profile for the Mini Shred and offering a variety of lessons and camps to get younger children sliding around on the mountain.

Tammy is really passionate about teaching kids, she started teaching these age groups around 7 years ago, but in more recent times it has really taken off, check out this movie made last year-

Last season it went viral and certainly opened the eyes of many parents to the possibility of the mini shred, so lets see what Tammy can tell us about it…

So Tammy how did this whole ‘movement’ come about?
Well Mint are an official ‘Learn to ride centre’ with Burton and are also part of the Burton Riglet programme aiming to get kids age 3-6 into snowboarding. So we have an existing relationship with them and we began to introduce lessons and camps for this age group a few years ago. Last year’s local camp was a huge success and it’s really grown from there.

What ages is the Mini Shred aimed at?
It’s aimed at 3-6 year olds, but we’ve also recently had a 2 and a half year old on a board so it depends on the child really! We’ve started to call the youngest ages groups the ‘Micro Shred’

How different is teaching kids this age compared to older age groups?
Teaching at these ages changes massively between each age group and we have to treat every child differently, so we’ll use different games and techniques to teach 3-4 year olds and this will vary for 5-6 year old and so on. With young children, ability is all about strength and what they can physically achieve at their age.

What can the kids expect on their Mini Shred snowboarding lesson?
We are all about making it fun, we’ll make up mini tricks to offer variety, sometimes lifting them up to help them feel the sensation of jumps and being on and off the snow.
All of the children get medals after having their session adding an element of achievement and reward to the lessons, and most importantly they can expect fun – our job is to keep it fun, not to teach. (It’s the same with adults actually!)

Do they just stay in one area on the mountain?
Although kids may start on the learner pistes, we tend to take them all over the mountains so then can explore.

What sort of equipment is needed to get started?
Well most of the gear is available online and can also be rented in most good snowboard shops. Burton now offer 1 strap bindings for ease of use, and soft Velcro boots. You’ll also need a riglet reel, which you attach to the board (most come with this attachment) to pull the board along or for the kids to use like a break. I would recommend them as they really led the way in the technology/gear world for this age group and still are.

Do you recommend renting or buying the gear?
I would highly recommend buying the gear, they may grow out of it but it can be easily resold or passed down. It gives you a chance to let the child get familiar with it, I’d recommend playing in the garden, familiarising the child with what it feels like to be on a board. Burton have even done a collaboration with Marvel, so kids can get a Spiderman board if they want!

What advice or words of wisdom would you offer to parents thinking of starting their kids off young?
Make sure they want to do it, give them the choice, there’s nothing to stop them now! It’s up to the kids to choose what they want to do as far as I’m concerned so if they want to ski or board it should be there choice.
I would also say not to try and teach them yourself, getting a lesson is key, its not as simple for these ages, you have to start off very basic- its best to leave it to the experts I think.

Do parents need to worry about snow conditions or weather?
No not really, we’ve had courses where it’s rained and snowed all week and the kids are still keen! We teach in all conditions so it really doesn’t matter.

What sort of Mini Shred lessons are on offer?
Well we don’t have set lessons as such as it so much depends on the age!
We book these on a case by case basis to ensure every child gets the right lesson, we can do shared private lessons,  group lessons and we also offer a local kids camps that normally run for a week.

Can you get lessons for kids this age in the UK?
Well really no one is quite doing it on the same scale that we are here, even in the UK. Some snowdomes do offer some teaching.  Check out Tammys blog here on what indoor slopes are offering.

Hopefully that’s given you a taste of what is available for these ages groups on the mountains and should you have any further questions Mint are ready to help, drop them a message here – info@mintsnowboarding.com

 The ‘Mini Shred Movement’ Snowboarding with Small Children

Fancy getting your little one a 1.5 hour private mini shred lesson? Well we’re giving one away valid for either this season or next season!

To enter the comp head to our Facebook page and answer the following question!

What age group is the ‘Mini Shred’ aimed at?

  1. 1-2 year olds
  2. 3-6 year olds
  3. 10-12 year olds

All correct entries are entered into a prize draw! Winner announced on 10th of March 2016

Terms and Conditions
1. The closing date for entries is at 11:00 GMT on the 10th of March 2016. Entries received after this time will not be counted.
2. Entries can only be made through the Ski-Lifts Facebook by entering via the competition page. Entries by mail, email or telephone, or any other means will not be counted.
3. The winner will be chosen at random from correct entries and the winner will be announced on the Ski-Lifts Facebook page and contacted by email.
4. The prize is for one child between the ages of (3-6).
5. The dates the prize are redeemable from are 14th March 2016 – 18th April 2016 and 10th December 2016 – 17thof April 2017. (Snow conditions permitting, subject to availability and excluding peak dates listed below)
6. The winners will receive 1 free place on private mini-shred lesson based in Morzine/Avoraiz and surrounding areas, location to be set by Mint Snowboarding.
7. Excludes the following peak dates 27/03/2016 – 02/04/2016, 18/12/2016 – 08/01/2016, 11/02/2017 – 19/02/2017, 24/03/2017 – 08/04/2017.
8. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
9. In the event that the winner cannot take the prize a new draw will be taken and a new
winner announced.
10. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
11. By entering the competition you agree to be contacted from time to time via email about
special  offers or promotions from Ski-Lifts Ltd, and the partners for the prize of this
competition.
12. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or
cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
13. Ski-Lifts accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize. Ski-Lifts further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the competition.
14. Ski-Lifts reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue,
temporarily or permanently, this Prize Draw with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).
15. Ski-Lifts shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, industrial dispute, and inevitable accidents.
 

Travel Advice for your Ski Holiday

Top tips when booking Ski or Snowboarding Lessons

 Travel Advice for your Ski Holiday
 

We know how daunting the task of booking ski or snowboarding lessons for you or your nearest and dearest is. A ski holiday will certainly be improved with lessons as you want to hit that sweet spot of enjoyment and progression instead of fear and falling over…But making the right choice can be tricky!

You and your fam’s holiday happiness absolutely relies on this decision – so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. And we’ve all heard the horror stories – 20 people to a lesson, the instructor speaking 3 words of English or you losing your group entirely and finding yourself in the middle of nowhere (or at least nowhere you recognise…)
So as more independent offerings  for ski and snowboarding schools are becoming available for holiday’s makers, we thought it was worth having a think about how to go about your booking with a little advice from Avoriaz Ski School –
SO here are our top tips when booking a ski or snowboarding lesson-

  1. Book lessons where you can see what the max number of students will be- Ideally you don’t want more than 5-10 people even on peak weeks. Any more than this and you’ll get nothing from the lesson, 1 or 2 pieces of feedback is not going to progress your skills on a week’s holiday – so read the fine print or chat with the school directly.
  2. Think about your group– have you got differing abilities? Maybe you want spend time with friends and family on your lessons together -but if your levels are different neither of you are going to get the benefits. Bite the bullet and book the right level for you.
  3. Book in advance– peak weeks are always tricky to come by and despite more schools being available than before the best school will get booked up well in advance – don’t leave it to chance in resort.
  4. Ensure your instructor speaks English– there’s nothing worse than being out of your comfort zone with someone that can only say ‘snow plough’ to get you through! Check they are either native speakers or fluent so you can make the most of your instructor and time on the slopes.
  5. Book the right type of lesson– don’t book onto a freestyle lesson if you are just learning the ropes and likewise –don’t book a back country lesson if you don’t want to ski the powder, read about what each lesson entails and if you’re not sure make an enquiry.

So now you know what to look for when booking your ski lessons why not try our friends at Avoriaz Ski School, AND we’ve up with them to give a spot away on an avalanche safety course! The course is suitable for all levels of skiing or snowboarding and is an essential in keeping you safe on the mountain.

To enter head to our facebook page to vote for which burning ski questions you want the answers to (simply comment the question number you want to see answered) and they’ll post us a tutorial video on the most popular! All votes get entered into a prize draw and the winner picked at random & announced on our facebook page on Sunday the 3rd of January!

 
Travel Advice for your Ski Holiday

Choices are –
1. What’s the trick to skiing in the powder?
2. How do you ski moguls?
3. How do you ski in icy conditions?
4. How do you tackle a jump on skis?

About  Avoriaz Alpine Ski School
A small British run ski school of English, Scottish and French instructors who have been providing excellent ski and snowboard tuition from the Avoriaz Plateau for 23 seasons. Their instructors all hold the highest international certification and provide fun, informative lessons in fluent English focussed on helping customers improve and enjoy their time in the stunning Portes du Soleil ski area.

Terms and Conditions
1. The closing date for entries is at 11:00 GMT on the 10th January 2016. Entries received
after this time will not be counted.
2. Entries can only be made through the Ski-Lifts Facebook by commenting on the competition question. Entries by mail, email or telephone, or any other means will not be counted.
3. The winner will be chosen at random from all comments and the winner will be announced on
the Ski-Lifts Facebook page at 12:00 GMT on the 10th January 2016 and contacted by email.
4. The prize is for one person.
5. The dates the prize are redeemable are from the 11th of January – 24th April. (Snow conditions permitting, subject to availability and excluding peak dates)
6. The winners will receive a free place on an Avalanche Safety course during their stay. If there is no course running that week they may exchange their prize for 1 spot on a group lesson if a suitable level has availability.
7. Excludes peak dates – 8th February – 26th February 2016.
8. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
9. In the event that the winner cannot take the prize a new draw will be taken and a new
winner announced.
10. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
11. By entering the competition you agree to be contacted from time to time via email about
special  offers or promotions from Ski-Lifts Ltd, or the partners for the prize of this
competition.
12. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or
cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
13. Ski-Lifts accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment 
incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize. Ski-Lifts
further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to
or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Prize Draw.
14. Ski-Lifts reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue,
temporarily or permanently, this Prize Draw with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its
control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).
15. Ski-Lifts shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is
caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be
limited to, weather conditions, industrial dispute, and inevitable accidents.

Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards

Ski-Lifts at The World Ski Awards in Kitzbuhel

Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards

Last weekend we whisked ourselves off to Kitzbuhel to see if we had won a World Ski Award for Best Transfer Operator!

After much anticipation in the office, including numerous discussions about what to wear, we arrived in Munich on Friday afternoon ready for our transfer to Kitzbuhel. Met by a very swish Mercedes, (who were event sponsors) the drive made us all understand why our customers opt for executive transfers! 2 hours in leather seat luxury went in a flash and despite some dubious weather conditions we arrived at the very fancy ARosa Hotel in Kitzbuhel. Escorted to our rooms we settled in for an early night so we could maximise the breakfast buffet the next morning…

Waking up fresh faced we proceeded with several courses of waffles and other delightful goods ready for a tour of Kitzbuhel!
Peppi, our Kitzbuhel born and bred tour guide,  lead us round town, giving us the full low down on the history of Kitzbuhel and what the tourist industry means to them. Plus one very detailed throw by throw account of what it’s like to ski the famous Hahnenkamm downhill course.

Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards

That afternoon the World Ski Awards laid on a little Apres Ski Party (despite the lack of Ski) which gave us the chance to enjoy some gluwein (a very tasty spiced hot wine-much like mulled wine) and a very jolly chap in some lieder hosen, playing guitar, keyboard and a large horn. Plus a go at the ‘nail game’. (Answers on a post card for the actual name of this game please we’d like to bring it to Morzine!)

After a quick refresh into our glad rags, we were ready to rub shoulders with anyone from Ski-Resort owners to tour operators and following a champagne reception we were off for dinner and the start of the awards! Anticipation grew course by course and eventually reaching our category we crossed all our fingers and toes!

The lovely Steve Ryder was our host and as he called our name as the winners we all jumped out of our seats in excitement!! A raucous gathering on stage,  a quick handshake and photo op and that was it! We were crowned winners!
And what a weekend it was. It’s been a while since the team have had a chance to get together, winters are so busy for us all and it turned out to be a great pre-season gathering all topped off with us winning!

Big thanks to all that voted we couldn’t have done it without you!

Ski-Lifts at the World Ski Awards

 

Win a Ski Holiday for 2 in the Alps!

Win a Ski Holiday for 2 in the Alps!

 Win a Ski Holiday for 2 in the Alps!

It’s that time of year again… the mountains are calling and we’re giving you the chance to answer their call and win a dream holiday here in the French Alps!


The lucky winner will receive a holiday for 2 to stay at the beautiful Brown Bear Lodge hosted by our friends atReach4theAlps.

Reach4thealps are an independent chalet company based in Morzine, successfully run by Gina and Marcus for over 12 years. Each chalet is individual and a true home from home, with features such as outdoor hot tubs, saunas, open log fires and luxury toiletries. Their chalets are in great locations, with restaurant standard cuisine served by staff who will go the extra mile to make sure you have a truly memorable ski holiday!
 
This awesome prize includes:
  • One weeks half board accommodation in a twin room at the The Brown Bear Lodge in Montriond just a few minutes from Morzine. (Breakfast, afternoon tea & 3 course meal for 6 nights, plus in resort minibus service).
  • Return transfers to the Brown Bear Lodge from Geneva Airport courtesy of Ski-Lifts
  • Your pick of return flights from any UK airport to Geneva.
  • Two 6-day Portes Du Soleil Lifts passes courtesy of the Morzine Lift pass office.
  • Ski or Snowboard Hire for the week – delivered to the chalet by our partner Doorstep Skis the Premier Ski and Snowboard delivery service in Morzine.
 
So kick back and dream of powdery pistes and log fires – to enter the competition head to our Facebook competition page, simply fill out your name and email address for your chance to win!
 

Enter Now

Win a Ski Holiday for 2 in the Alps!

Terms and Conditions
1. The closing date for entries is 11:00 GMT on the 21st January 2016. Entries received
after this time will not be counted.
2. Entries can only be made through the Ski-Lifts competition page on Facebook. Entries by
mail, email or telephone, or any other means will not be counted.
3. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries and the winner will be announced on
the Ski-Lifts Facebook page at 12:00 GMT on the 21st January 2016 and contacted by email.
4. The prize is for two people, the winner and their choice of one other person.
5. The holiday will be from the 10th of April 2016 till the 17th April 2016, the dates are non
transferable.
6. The winners will receive 7 nights’ accommodation provided by Reach4theAlps, in a twin room at
The Brown Bear Lodge. This is on a fully catered basis which includes breakfast, afternoon tea, 3
course meal (6 nights) and in resort minibus service. Also included in the prize is x2 6 day Portes Du
Soleil lift passes and 1 week Ski or snowboard  hire from Doorstep Skis for both people.
7. The prize includes return flights of your choice from any UK airport to Geneva airport (not
exceeding the value of €500 total) Ski-Lifts will also provide return shared transfers to the Brown
Bear Lodge for the 2 from Geneva airport.
8. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
9. In the event that the winner cannot take the prize a new draw will be taken and a new
winner announced.
10. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
11. By entering the competition you agree to be contacted from time to time via email about
special  offers or promotions from Ski-Lifts Ltd, or the partners for the prize of this competition.
12. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot
be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
13. Ski-Lifts accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment 
incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize. Ski-Lifts
further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to
or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Prize Draw.
14. Ski-Lifts reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue,
temporarily or permanently, this Prize Draw with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its
control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud).
15. Ski-Lifts shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is
caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be
limited to, weather conditions, industrial dispute, and inevitable accidents.

European Ski Season Dates – 2015/2016

European Ski Season Dates – 2015/2016

Beanies and boots at the ready, the ski resorts are starting to open! So following on from our post with all the dates on the French Ski resorts, we thought we’d better get the dates for the rest of Europe, so here are all the critical dates you need for ski resorts in Austria, Italy, Andorra, Germany and Switzerland.

European Ski Season Dates - 2015/2016

Austria


SoldenThe glacier ski area is already in operation – dependant on snow conditions but the main area will commence on the 14th of November and operates until the  17th of April with just the glacier continuing to be open until the 8th of May 2016.
St Anton –Opening begins on the 4th of December to 24th of April 2016
Ischgl – Snow dependent but opening from 26th of November until the 1st of May.
Kitzbuhel – Boasting a long season, given that it is not a glacier resort they are hoping to open on the 24th of October until the 5th of May 2016.
Mayrhofen – 28th of November till the 19th of April with the Zillertaler area open from 5th of December until the 14thof April 2016.
Obergurgl – Projecting openings on the 11th of December but the main season starts on the 20th of December and runs until the 24thApril depending on snow conditions.
 
European Ski Season Dates - 2015/2016

Switzerland
 

Saas Fee –Being a glacier resort Sass Fee is already opening to limited runs with more areas due to open soon, they will remain open until the 17th of April.
Verbier –Official opening is said to be the 29th-30th of November, but certain lifts will be opening earlier in November snow dependant. Due to close on the 24th of April but lower area may close sooner.
Zermatt – The Matterhorn, Gornergrat and Rothorn  glacial areas are open all year round, with additional lower areas due to open on the 28th of November until the 17th of April.

Andorra 


The Grandvalira ski area, encompasses the ski resorts of Soldeu, El Tarter, Encamp, Canillo and Pas de la Casaall of which are due to open on the 28th of November (snow permitting) until the 10th of April.
 
 
European Ski Season Dates - 2015/2016
 

Italy


Cervinia Breuil- Cervinia opening from 17th-18th, 24th-25th October and from 31st October 2015 to 1st May 2016. Valtournenche from the 28th November 2015 to the 10th April 2016.
Cortina d’Ampezzo –  11th of November till the 4th of March 2016.
Livigno – 28th of November till the 8th of May 2016.
Val Gardena  – 4th December till 3rd April 2016.
Aosta – Courmayeur at the top of the Aosta Valley plans to be open from the 28th of November until the 10th of April. Pila 5th December till the 10th of April, and Champoluc 27th of November till the 10th of April 2016.

Germany

Garmish Classic due to open from the 5th December (dependant on snow) till 4th April 2016.
 
 
Ski-lifts offer airport transfers to all these resorts, check out the quote generator to get a price instantly.Switzerland

Why we love Winter holidays

Why we love Winter holidays

Ok, so we may have been telling you how incredibly great the mountains are in the summer, but in all honesty we are all winter converts here at Ski-Lifts.

I remember the first time someone suggested to me I give up my yearly beach…sun tanning…cocktail sipping holiday for one in the snow. It was scary and laughable.
So if you are struggling to convert your friends, family or partners to the wild ways of choosing a holiday in the snow instead of one in the sand, here are a few reasons why we’ve never looked back!

1. No sand. No sand in your food, no sand in your drinks and none in your toes. Instead slip your feet into the comfort of a snowboard or ski boot, warm cosy feet, snugly socks and no sand in places we can’t mention.
Why we love Winter holidays

2. No fighting over a sun loungers. No need to worry about this here in the mountains, the towel reservation system in not in play, you will always find an array of deckchairs’ should you want to sun yourself on your way to the next slope or if you fancy an extended lunch pit stop. 

Why we love Winter holidays

3. Sunshine! Yes that’s right. Warm warm sun…! What’s commonly known as a ‘blue bird’ a phrase coined from that blinding blue sky you can get up on the mountain when there isn’t a cloud in sight. We actually get a lot of these little beauties in the Alps, so catching a tan is totally possible and can actually be almost impossible to avoid.

Why we love Winter holidays

4. Catered chalets– step away from the hotel buffets, elbow barges and fight for the last bread roll affair some of the European summer holidays offer, get yourself a catered chalet and have yourself  beautifully  prepared meals,  plus tea and cake waiting after a hard day on the hill. Sheer bliss.

Why we love Winter holidays

5. Apres Ski- Ski holidays are famous for this, a time of day it is socially acceptable to begin drinking earlier than your normal tipple would occur, you’re likely to find live music, great atmospheres and can often find yourself in bed by 10, which means you’ll be fresh as a daisy by the morning (right?!)

Why we love Winter holidays

6. Fresh air…until you’ve been on the chair at first lifts you will not know the inexplicable joy of fresh mountain air. and if that doesn’t cure your après ski hangover I don’t know what will.

Why we love Winter holidays

7. Exercise and adrenaline – The coin beach bum is there for a reason, visit a ski resort and you’re likely to get the best work out you’ve had all year round so you’ve earned those fondue and vin chaud moments.

So maybe our list has converted you or perhaps you want to share it with your nearest and dearest to push a winter holiday to the top of the to do list.

Either way check out our resort guides and quote generator to get planning you next ski holiday!

French Ski Season Dates 2015/2016

French Ski Season Dates 2015/2016

As October begins we’re all starting to see the first signs of winter, and beginning to watch the Snow forecast with eagle eyes. So when can you get going on your holiday? Check out our guide to the French lift opening and closing dates below.

French Ski Season Dates 2015/2016

Portes du Soleil

The ski area is open from 19th December 2015 to 17th April 2016.
(From 11th to 18th December 2015 and from 18th to 24th April the area will be partially open but snow dependant)
Morzine & Les Gets – Set to open on the 19th of December 2015 until the 17th of April 2016.
Avoriaz – Lifts are set open from the 11th of December 2015 – 24th April 2016.
Chatel – Partial openings on the weekends of 28th & 29th November and 5th & 6th December 2015 for the Pré-la-Joux area. On 12th to 18th December 2015 the Linga / Pré-la-Joux areas and link with Avoriaz (depending on snow). From 19th December 2015 the whole area should be available with it closing on the 24th April 2016.  
Ski Lifts shared transfers to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets start from 12th December 2015.

Chamonix Valley

The Grand Montets area in Argentiere will be the first to open, generally in November but will always be weather dependant. Partial openings will start from the 5th December 2015 and full opening from the 19th December.
The full area will close on the 28th April 2016, but some lifts will remain open until the 1st of May.
Les Houches will be open from the 19th December 2015, and on the 17th April 2016. There will be partial openings from the 28th of November but these will be weather dependant.
The Brevent area in Chamonix will be fully open between the same dates as Les Houches, but will have selected lifts open from the 28th of November- and of course these will be dependent on conditions.

Grand Massif

With Flaine being the highest of the resorts in the Grand massif area it has the longest season, with lifts open from the 12th December 2015 until the 24th April 2016.
Les Carroz will be open between 19th December to 17th April 2016, with Morillon and Samoens on the same schedule.
Sixt will be opening on Saturday 19th December 2015 until Friday 11th March 2016.
 

3 Valleys

The Three Valleys area will be open from the 5th December 2015 until the 24th April 2016. Here are the details on each area-
Courchevel 18505th December to 24th April.
Courchevel Moriond 1650 12th December to 24th April.
Courchevel Village 155012th December to 24th April.
Courchevel Le Praz 1300 – 5th December to 24th April.
La Tania 12th December to 24th April.
Meribel & Mottaret (Mottaret opening date will be dependent on snow conditions) 5th December to 24th April.
Brides Les Bains – 18th December to 15th April.
Les Menuires – 12th December to 24th April.
St Martin – 12th December to 24th April.
Orelle – 28th November to 9th May.
Val Thorens will be open longer due to its height so will open from the 21st November to 9th May 2016.

French Ski Season Dates 2015/2016

Espace Killy

Tignes and Val d’Isere areas will open on the 28th of November 2015 to 1st of May 2016.
The Tignes glacier (Grande Motte) will open on the 3rd of October 2015 to 8th of May 2016.

Paradiski

The resorts that make up the Paradiski area (Les Arcs and La Plagne) are open from the 12th December 2015 until April 23rd 2016. Both dates will be subject to snow conditions.

 
The Southern Alps

And finally a run down on the opening dates for the major ski resorts in the Southern French Alps.
 

Alpe D’Huez

The Alpe d’Huez ski area is set open on 5th December 2015 until 23rd April 2016. Vaujany and Oz en Oisans are scheduled to open on the 5th December 2015 to the 23rd April 2016 and La Grave opens later on the 19th December 2015 until 24th April 2016.

Les Deux Alpes

Open from 5th December 2015 to 24th April 2016. 
La Grave is scheduled to open on the 19th December 2015 until 24th April 2016, snow conditions permitting.

French Ski Season Dates 2015/2016

Serre Chevalier

The resort plans to officially open on the 12th December until the 24th April 2016. The Briançon area is scheduled to close on the evening of 10th April 2016 and Monêtier area on 17th April 2016.
 
Ski-Lifts can provide transfers to all these areas, check out the quote generator for pricing and options.

We would always advise if you are planning to go right at the start of the season or nearer the end, to call the local tourist office as most scheduled openings and closure dependant on the snow

Mature and 50+ Holidays in the Alps

50+ and Mature Holidays in the Alps

Let’s talk holidays in the Alps, and namely holidays for our parents and our grandparents, because the Alps is hotting up as a great destination for our more mature relatives!

Reaching the age of 50 is something of a milestone and for most us; it’s not a terribly appealing one.
But really we should be looking forward to 50+, our half-century heralds the start of our best years. Free of the stresses of forging a career, finding a spouse and bringing up young children, worries fade and feelings of happiness start to surge – says research by some smart American boffins*.
 
So it’s no wonder there has been a huge surge in 50+ holidays. It’s not because they are ‘old’ and need to ‘slow down’ (just look at George Clooney or Brad Pitt) it’s because their sense of adventure is still going strong, and quite rightly…
 
For their next adventure they are trying something different and discovering summer in the French Alps.
Mature and 50+ Holidays in the Alps
It’s one of the best kept secrets in travel, as the Alps becomes quieter over the summer months and so visitors can escape the masses and find a sanctuary with likeminded people looking for sun, salvation and adventure.
 
There is plenty to keep even the most active person busy, and for those seeking a more relaxing stay, the unspoilt environment, glorious sunshine and luxury chalets (which can offer as much as 50% reductions over the summer months) will provide all the comfort of a 5* retreat.
Mature and 50+ Holidays in the Alps
 
There are a number of companies who specialise in 50+ holidays in the Alps, and each offer something different.
 
Ramblers holidays specialise in walking adventures as they believe that there is no better way to see the world than by foot. This one is for the more serious walkers and like Walk About Holidays they offer single/ unattached holidays but they also offer private group trips.
 
Walk About Holidays is for those who are single and looking for adventure. They offer the chance to meet new people, as well as enjoy the physical benefits of a walking holidays in the Alps. Holiday makers return fitter, happier and with a new lease of life.
 
Travel 55 offers a range of holidays to France with a selection of World War 1 & 2 battlefield tours if modern history is your thing. They also offer trips to experience the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race and provide tours to the highest peak in Europe – Mont Blanc.
 
 If adventure is what you are looking for, the Alps also offers the following and more:
Mature and 50+ Holidays in the Alps
 Adventure Park / High Ropes, Ballooning (Hot Air)Canyoning, Canoeing,   Horse Riding,Hydrospeed  Swimming (Open Water)  Massage, Mountain Bike, Paddleboard,Paint Ball, Paragliding / Handgliding, Road Cycling,  Running,  Sailing, Climbing, Summer Skiing , Via Ferrata, Walking, Water Skiing, RaftingYoga and Pilates.

Save our Snow & Ski-Lifts

SaveOurSnow & Ski-Lifts

With a constant media presence, the topic of global warming is one that resonates with us here at Ski-Lifts, so when we heard about SaveOurSnow we jumped at the chance to be involved.
Save our Snow & Ski-Lifts
The aim of the website is to provide us all with impartial easily accessible information on all things green ski related – plus access up to date information and reports on global warming and how it may be affecting the world’s climate and more importantly glaciers and snow coverage.

Global warming is having an affect on the shape of our ski resorts and there are some worrying reports being published with equally worrying facts- one for example indicating glaciers all over the world are melting at an alarming rate.

When it comes to a basic snow fall measurements on the surface of things, some resorts have suffered record bad winters and others record good winters. Researchers believe (although difficult for them to project) that climate change will result initially in some areas of the planet receiving more cold weather and precipitation than normal, while others get will be getting warmer and drier, however the fact of the matter will always come back to the world temperature increasing – which we can all assume will not be good for snow in the long term.

Save our Snow & Ski-Lifts
The Ski-Industry we operate in greatly relies on snow coverage and snow fall, so although we may not see immediate effects to the industry we must consider the long term, not only would adverse climate change affect holiday makers but they would affect us and our community, peoples jobs and livelihood, and of course the planet.

In addition to this SaveOurSnow has a green news feed and green directory on all the great initiatives in place and in progress in different resorts, using this we can all make better choices about resorts and accommodation – did you know for example that La Plagne is 100% Renewable Energy Powered? Nope neither did we.
Save our Snow & Ski-Lifts
Patrick Thorne, founder of SaveOurSnow believes that information is the key to making a difference. Patrick says, “When I established SaveOurSnow back in 2004 it was because I noticed that although ski resorts were increasingly doing what they could to combat climate change, and skiers were being told to look out for what resorts were doing on the environment, it was hard to find information and make informed decisions. 
SaveOurSnow bridges the information gap and is the independent place to find out what resorts are doing, where new eco friendly ski resort accommodation is being built and it publicises new ideas that can then be copied by other resorts.  But it’s all volunteer run, so Ski-Lifts support will be a great boost and allow us to do much more – collect more data, build a more pro-active site and help more of the next generation of skiers, students and journalists who want to know more but still find it hard to get information.” 

We got know Patrick Thorne after interviewing him for one of our blogs when he told us about ‘Save Our Snow’,  so we are hoping to raise a good fund and help increase awareness of the initiative, and contribute towards good environmental management of the ski industry.

Ski-Lifts will be donating 5% off all bookings that come via this link http://transfers.ski-lifts.com/wp/saveoursnow to Save Our Snow to ensure they can continue to their great work in securing a future for our powder days.
For more information check out our page on SaveOurSnow here.

If you would like to support SaveOurSnow by hosting a Ski-Lifts widget, banner or link please let us know! With the average price on a transfer being 210 Euros (single trip and a return is usually required) we can almost guarantee that anyone who gets involved will help to raise lots of money and awareness for this great and worthwhile cause.

Things to expect on a Mountain Bike Holiday in Morzine

Things to expect on a mountain bike holiday in Morzine

It’s been an epic summer here in Morzine, the weather has been incredible, we’ve got more bikers than ever exploring our terrain and you may be wondering what all the fuss was about, so we’ve teamed up with our friends at Riders Refuge to tell you all about what to expect on a mountain biking holiday with them and some super handy tips if it’s your first venture…!
So if you have never been on a mountain bike holiday before, here’s a little guide to what to expect on a catered chalet holiday with Riders Refuge.
 
Morzine
Morzine is the perfect place to come for a mountain bike holiday it is part of a huge area known as the Portes Du Soliel and it is linked by 26 chairlifts which will take you and your bike up into the mountains.
There is every type of mountain biking available right here with plenty of trails which are graded according to the level of difficulty, green being the easiest to the hardest which is graded black. Make sure you pick up a free map so you can plan your route. Whatever type of mountain biking you prefer be it downhill, cross country, trail riding, single track, gravity enduro….. it’s all available to you on Morzine’s doorstep.  Morzine is only a short drive from Geneva Airport and most of our guests travel here by plane, we include transfers with all our catered holidays and we will organise this for you so we ensure you get to resort as quick as possible, it only takes about 70 minutes. Some of our guests prefer to drive and we have parking at all our chalets. So if your thing is repeated adrenaline runs down the Pleney mainline or more of a big day out in the mountains riding some amazing single track it’s all here in the Portes Du Soleil for you to take advantage of.
 
Things to expect on a Mountain Bike Holiday in Morzine
 
Getting your bike here
Many of our guests bring their own bike, you can include your bike when booking your flight some airlines charge extra for this for example easy jet charge is £35 each way. You need to make sure your bike is packed in either a bike box or bike bag and make sure you pack it well, pipe insulation is perfect for fitting round you frame, forks etc. Make sure you  protect your rear mech and forks well so that they are not damaged in transit, most of our guests arrive with their bikes as they packed it but occasionally we have seen some bike bags or boxes damaged, the most common issue is a bent rear mech. Once you arrive at your accommodation you will be met by your chalet host, shown to your room and more importantly the bike store and your holiday has properly begun.  All our chalets have secure bike stores with tools and workstands so you can prep and maintain your bike at the chalet, we also have washdown areas for you to clean your bike after a day on the trails. Don’t worry if you prefer to hire a bike there are many bike shops in Morzine where you can rent bikes and many different brands and specs of bike are available. We are happy to assist you with this.
 
Our Package
Our chalets offer breakfast which will fuel you for a day’s riding,  afternoon tea is there for your return which consists of a freshly baked cake plus fresh bread with a selection of jam, there is always tea, coffee, cordials, cookies and fresh fruit for your help yourself to when you choose. Dinner is three courses of delicious home cooked food and we do a barbeque one night a week, let us know at the time of booking about dietary requirements and we can provide for that too. Our chalet hosts have a Wednesday off which allows you to sample one of Morzines restaurants of which there is many to choose from and we are happy to make recommendations and bookings for you.
Things to expect on a Mountain Bike Holiday in Morzine
Weather
Although this summer we have had heat wave here in Morzine with temperatures reaching 40°C and lots of dry dusty trails the weather in the alps can be very changeable. The temperature difference between the valley floor and high up in the mountains can sometimes be as much as 10°C. We recommend you bring a small back pack to take with you on your ride.
Useful items in your back pack
  • Wind/water proof Jacket
  • Spare inner tube
  • Multi tool
  • pump
  • Spare Mech hanger
  • small 1st aid kit – antiseptic wipes, plasters, asprin, bandage
  • Sunscreen (even on a cloudy day)
  • Museli/chocolate bar
Depending on the weather conditions you may need other items to keep you warm and dry. The sun is pretty strong at altitude and it can be deceiving if there is a cool breeze so sunscreen is important.
 
What to wear
You will need a helmet for all riding in the alps and if you are doing more downhill then a full face helmet is recommended plus elbow and knee pads.  Many people choose to wear neck braces and full body amour but there are a range of different trails here and you should always ride within your capabilities and wear what protection you are comfortable with.
Riding tops and shorts are personal preference but we would recommend a technical base layer to keep you comfortable and so you can enjoy your day and not be too cold or too hot when going up the chair lifts, doing an extra bit of climbing or nailing that descent.  A good pair of riding shoes will also be beneficial when riding in the alps. Even on cross country rides you can come across some downhill so it is important that you plan your route and take what protection you think is appropriate for your ride.
Things to expect on a Mountain Bike Holiday in Morzine
Useful Check list
  • Mountain bike with at least 100m of front suspension. We recommend a full suspension mountain bike.
  • Good downhill tyres of at least 2.35 if this fits your frame. Maxis Highroller 2 are a good choice for coming to Morzine
  • Spare inner tubes, downhill tubes are best.
  • Spare brake pads. At least one full set.
  • A backpack. One with a water reservoir is useful.
  • Your usual riding spares as mentioned above to go in your backpack.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Usual summer riding clothes.
  • Helmet  and goggles
  • Gloves.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Swimwear. Boys you will need speedos for the pool in Morzine.
  • Body armour.  We recommend at least elbow and knee pads for riding in the Portes Du Soleil.
We hope that has wet your appetite for a mountain biking trip next summer.

Evergreen Endurance and the rise of the triathlon

Evergreen Endurance & The Rise of the Triathlon

The popularity of Triathlons has been growing for a number of years now, you’ll have seen these super fit people popping up on your Facebook and twitter feeds, making you feel guilty about still being in your PJ’s on a Sunday morning.
Or perhaps it’s you that saw these images a few years ago and said ‘I’m going to do that’ and you went out and bought some running shoes, maybe a bike and a wet suit, and set to it…

The British triathlon clubs (of which there are now over 500!) have recorded a participation increase of over 75,000 people joining the sport since 2009, and the number of race events soaring from 803 to 1207!(http://britishtriathlonmedia.org/triathlon-membership-growth)

Typically consisting in a swim-bike-run format, and standard olympic distances of 1500 swim, 40km bike and 10km run, increasingly more events have been extending these distances (commonly now called ‘Iron distance’) and pushing the limits of human capability and endurance. Which leads us to introduce- the Evergreen Endurance Triathlon….

Evergreen Endurance and the rise of the triathlon

The mountains offer a great location for triathlons, and this one begins its journey in our beautiful alpine valley with the swim in Lac Montriond , the cycle taking you up and over the valley, through Morzine and onto Chamonix where the run is located,
Evergreen Endurance have beautifully paired the amazing mountain scenery with the challenge that the landscape offers.

These guys have gone a step further on extending the distance thing too, with different options available for the participants depending on how far they want to push themselves. The race consists of three options, the Evergreen 118 – a 2km swim, 95km cycle and 21km run, or if you fancy even more of a challenge the Evergreen 228- starting with a 4km swim , 181km cycle and a 43km run…If that’s sounds a bit much, there is a relay option with the same distances but you can select just one event as part of a team (swim/bike/run).

In addition to this you will be impressed with vision that Evergreen have presented and will continue with for future events- ensuring that at the event you ‘hammer the race leave no trace’ taking careful measures to offset their carbon footprint and providing education for their athletes. Not to mention a share of their benefits will go to support environmental preservation projects.

For more info check out their site, they are still looking for volunteers , plus if you do give them a hand, volunteers are guaranteed a spot on next year’s race and a discount on race entry – what better reason to get off Facebook, get outside and dust off the running shoes…?
 

Whats new for the 15-16 ski season

Season 2015/16 is nearly upon us. Let’s see what’s new…

It seems that this year the world of ski has gone crazy for light weight gear and your style needs to get a little more backcountry-centric. Here at Ski-Lifts.com we’re taking a look at whats new and giving you the chance to win some new kit!

There are certain equipment trends that define every new winter season, and based on an early preview of 2015/16 product offerings, lightweight, comfortable snow touring gear is in. The shift from performance-focused gear is a response to an industry with a rapidly growing interest in backcountry touring and mountaineering. Young skiers and snowboarders are turning their backs on chairlifts and instead heading off in search of untamed terrain, equipped with touring skis, split boards and skins.
Whats new for the 15-16 ski season
TOURING:
2016 biggest trend is probably touring, the AT market is exploding. And finally, we’re all embracing light (but skiable) gear. The tech binding has fully penetrated the market with more boots slated to come down the pipeline. This is best exemplified by all of the big mainstream brands such as Atomic and Salomon moving into this market.

With the established specialist brands, now being forced into direct competition with the better known companies, it is likely that we will very quickly see big reductions in price, coupled with big steps forward in development and technology. Win Win!

SKIS: We love Blizzard Zero G
If you thought a lightweight touring skis was beyond your grasp, think again. The Blizzard Zero G 95 Ski comes at a weight that will leave your legs feeling fresh at the top of the skintrack, but will still charge like a proper pair of Blizzards. With what Blizzard is calling Carbon Drive Technology, the Zero G uses both a 3D unidirectional carbon fiber frame and lightweight paulownia wood core to save on weight, and to guarantee fluid flex and torsional rigidity when you lay them on edge.
The versatile mid-width 95mm waist will carve down corn, hold an edge on bulletproof ice, and still float when there’s some freshies to be had. Rocker in the tip and tail help with float, while a generous dose of camber underfoot inspires confidence in variable conditions. Like all Blizzard skis, the Zero G’s maintain a durable and stable sandwich sidewall construction, which boasts some of the best binding retention ratings in the industry.
Whats new for the 15-16 ski season

  • Rockered tip and tail, camber underfoot
  • Sandwich construction
  • Compound sidewalls
  • Carbon Drive technology
  • Flip Core technology
  • Paulownia wood core
  • 95mm underfoot

APPAREL: We love the Animal Zermatt Jacket
Whats new for the 15-16 ski season
While more and more hardgoods companies are pushing their own outerwear lines (Faction, Marker, Black Diamond, etc.), more and more outerwear companies are innovating clever little tricks to make jackets and pants more backcountry-centric.

We particularly like the zermatt jacket by Animal as it has ergonomically placed lining materials to ensure heat stays in all the key areas, but is released where needed. The fabrics have been carefully selected to ensure functionality is key but that you’ll look super styled too.
The Zermatt Jacket has zips under the armpits (pit zips) and around the thigh area, so heat can be ‘dumped’ allowing for a cooler ride. This intelligent garment has taped seams to maximise waterproofing in areas which are more likely to develop a moist build-up such as the hood, neck and shoulders.

We have one of these awesome jackets to win, see bottom of page for competition details. 
Product available from www.animal.co.uk from September ’15

WOMEN: Lets hear it for the girls
Whats new for the 15-16 ski seasonOver the past few seasons more and more companies have been designing gear exclusively for women. Spark R&D brought out a women’s-specific splitboard binding, and Dakine rolled out an update to their popular Heli Pro pack line that was more anatomically matched to a women’s torso. DPS now offer several smaller lengths skis from their popular high performance men range, and other companies like ON3P have been making a women’s line out of their regular men’s molds, and then simply lightening up the build a bit.
For season 2015/26 women can look forward to more thoughtfully designed gear, along with a wider selection of burlier hard goods in their size. YIPEE!


COMPETITION: Your Chance to win this super cool Zermatt Jacket from Animal
We have hooked up with the guys at Animal to bring this competition exclusively to you.
To be in with a chance of winning this truly awesome Zermatt jacket simply answer the following question:

Q. The famous ski touring route, ‘The Haute Route’ takes you from Chamonix to which resort in Switzerland?

Please send your answer by email to info@ski-lifts.com
The competition closes at 12:00 CET on Friday 18th September and the winner will be chosen at random from the correct answers. The winner will be announced on the Ski-Lifts Facebook page at that time.

Ski-Lifts talks to Patrick Thorne

Ski-Lifts talks to Patrick Thorne

Welcome to Ski-Lifts first blog in conjunction with Snow Forecast. For our opening feature we thought we would go big and bring you some insight from the man who knows more about ski holidays and all things snow related than (arguably) anyone else on the planet. Patrick Thorne talks the ski business, family and what’s next for the snow hunter….
 
Ski-Lifts: You’ve been writing about ski travel since 1984, what keeps you hooked on the mountains?

Patrick Thorne: Well I ask myself that quite a lot! …seems to be something in my DNA.  I actually like open space and isolation more so I live in the Scottish Highlands in the centre of an eight acres small holding so don’t see too many people and I generally like going north, whether mountainous or not – to big empty open spaces.  I love some of the vast empty beaches we have up here on the north West coast for example. But I also love snow, so the two come together and I’ve been lucky enough to find work to keep me doing what I love.
Ski-Lifts talks to Patrick Thorne
Ski-Lifts: How did you start in this business?

Patrick Thorne: I dropped out of school half way through my sixth form and then failed my A levels so I didn’t get the one grade E I needed to study economics at Wolverhampton Poly (no idea why I ever thought that would have been a good idea).  I was then two years mostly out of work in the early 1980s, when many others were too, and I wrote to fill the time (before daytime TV and Facebook) about my experiences.
I got lucky and the Sunday Times published these thoughts and from that I got a book deal.  I got in to college to study English and Writing because of that success, even without any A Levels, and I spent the money from the book on ski trips and then got a ski book deal, then from that a ski magazine job and it has just carried on since then! 

Ski-Lifts:  To say you know the ski travel industry is an understatement, given your knowledge where would you say is the must visit resort in the Alps for 2015/2016?

Patrick Thorne: Oh that’s very difficult – it depends who you are, who you’re with, what you want and where the snow is best at any one time really.  But I suppose Courmayeur in Italy is quite an interesting one this season as an incredible new lift system on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, complete with revolving cable cars, which has taken four years and over €100m to build, has recently opened ready for the coming season.
I was also just reading in Courchevel’s press news that they’ve splurged $63m on a new aqua centre complete with France’s largest permanent surf wave so that sounds pretty special.  And Obergurgl in Austria have built a major new lift that incorporates a motorbike museum in the base building – I love unusual ideas like that!

Ski-Lifts:  How do you think the ski travel industry is changing?

Patrick Thorne: It changes in lots of little ways but you can also still have the same ski holidays that people had 50 years ago if you like.  In my 30 years following it I suppose the things I’ve noticed the most would include the arrival of terrain parks; the slowing of the trend to build ever bigger ski areas with most big resorts now concentrating on building comfier chair and gondola lifts rather than ever more drags; a huge growth in snow making installations; skiing being transformed by the arrival of the carving ski making it much easier and off piste skiing being reinvented as ‘freeriding.’   In recent years there’s been all the new techie stuff too which I have mixed feelings about as I think one of the best things about ski holidays can be escaping mobile tech and social media for a few days.

Ski-Lifts:  In your opinion, when is the best time to go skiing in the Alps?

Patrick Thorne: It varies so much depending on the weather you never really know.  But, if the snow is good, it can be great in October and November to get a ski fix before the main season – prices are low, slopes are quiet and you feel you’re getting a jump on the masses.  Equally in April and May, again depending on the snow,  love the relaxed feeling and the sunshine – you perhaps just ski in the morning and  relax in the afternoon sitting on a café terrace with friends.

Ski-Lifts:  What age do you think is best to take young children on their first ski holiday?

Patrick Thorne: We have three sons and they all ended up on ski holidays within a few weeks or months of birth.  They’re all now obsessed skiers but they were very different in how each learned.  The oldest, Sam, we were very keen to get on skis as we were young pushy parents and signed him up for a ‘Mom and me’ class aged about 22 months and he didn’t like it at all, just didn’t like having the ski gear on let alone skiing, but I think he was a keen skier by age 4.  Then because of that we were more cautious with the second son, Alexander, but he was desperate to ski like his big brother and managed to sneak in to a ski class aged about three when he was supposed to be in non-ski nursery.  Then the youngest, Robert, is quite laid back and just started at his own steam.   So I think the important thing is not to push it and age 4-6 is good, but any age above that can be fine.  I did read somewhere it’s easier for kids under age 11 or 12 as they haven’t learned to fear falling over etc but I don’t know if that’s true.  I learned at 15 on a school trip and wish there were more of those.  I’d definitely get someone else to teach your kids if you can, don’t try to do it yourself, and don’t push them in to it too early.
Ski-Lifts talks to Patrick Thorne
Ski-Lifts: What is your most memorable mountain moment?

Patrick Thorne: Again, too many.  I get a buzz out of spectacular scenery, being on snow in unusual places or at unlikely times of the year.  I did take part in the Santa Claus World Championships in Samnaun, Switzerland one year and in one event in that four of us had to pick up a donkey laden with presents and carry it up the slope as out attempt to coax it with a carrot failed, so that was pretty memorable.

Ski-Lifts: We love the fact that you have written about skiing naked – have you ever skied naked?

Patrick Thorne: Sadly not …and if you do do it I would recommend very good sun screen for your nether regions and being aware of the danger of frostbite to your ‘extremities’ – there’s a good anecdote in David Neven’s autobiography about him having to dip his willy in a cup of warm coffee after nearly catching frostbite having skied in too skimpy a ski suit.  I did strip naked at the top of a hill in the Lake District once, years ago, after being stuck in a tent in torrential rain for 48 hours so I felt sorry when those youngsters got in to trouble in Malaysia recently for doing the same thing but offending local standards in their case.

Ski-Lifts: What is in store for the Snow Hunter in 2015/2016?

Patrick Thorne: Not sure yet. We’ve booked a big family trip to the US at Easter (Utah, Wyoming and Montana) and I’m tempted to head back to Italy and Lapland for the coffee and reindeer respectively but I haven’t got anything confirmed.  Along with all my usual work I’m working to relaunch my SaveOurSnow.com website which is all about the efforts of ski resorts around the world to fight climate change.  I created it about 10 years ago but it has been neglected for lack of time and is a bit broken, but a new version is currently in design. There are a lot of exciting new developments in that area which has been one of my main interests for many years so I’d like to be able to report on those.

For more information about Patrick visit http://www.thesnowhunter.com/

Morzine Harley Days 2015

Morzine Harley Days 2015

Engines at the ready, as the Harley Days festival returns to Morzine!
After a year out last year, the bike fest returns to village in style with some big headline names, and plenty of free events.
This is the fourth time Morzine has hosted the Harley event, where you’ll see motorbikes take over the valley and the sound of engines and rock music combine to kick off the summer season.
Previously head liners such as Status Quo have featured and this year American rock band, Toto headline the festival who promise to bring back some classic songs such as ‘Africa’ and ‘Rosanna

Here is the rundown of some of the main events going on over the weekend! All free entry so go fill you bikerboots!
Saturday, July 11

  • 08:00-19:00 Register for Rides at Morzine Morz’N Alp Club tent and & Alpes Spirit Chapter
  • 09:00-18:00 Registration for bike show
  • 10:30-16:00 “Patrimoine” ride with Morz’N Alp Club to Lake Geneva
  • 10:00-19:00 Experience Tour – Free trials of the new range Harley-Davidson 2015
  • 14:30-17:30 “Chapter” ride with Alpes Spirit Chapter

Music on the main stage

  • 21:00 – 22:00 – SOFAÏ
  • 22:30- 00:00 – RIVAL SONS

 Sunday, July 12

  • 09:00-18:00 Bike show registration. 10am: Start of the “patrimoine” ride with Morzn’N Alp Club – Samoens – Fer à Cheval
  • 10:00-19:00 Experience Tour – Free Trials of the new range Harley-Davidson 2015
  • 10:30-11:00 Book signing – Franck Margerin & Marc Cuadrado
  • 16:00  Grande Parade: Morzine – Avoriaz – Morzine – Montriond

Music – “Ladies Night!”  on the main stage

  • 21:00-22:00 JOAN ov ARC
  • 22:30-00:00 BETH HART
    Morzine Harley Days 2015

Monday, July 13

  • 08:00-19:00 Register for Rides at Morzine Morz’N Alp Club tent and & Alpes Spirit Chapter
  • 10:00 Start of Morzine Morz’N Alp Club – Champéry – Portes du Soleil ride
  • 9:00-18h00 11h30-16h00 Registration at bike show ambulatory Groups
  • 10:30-16:00 ride out Club Morzine Morz’N Alp Club Samoens (parking post)
  • 10:30-16:30 Start of “Chapter” Spirit Chapter Alps – Nyon

Music – Main stage

  • 21:30- 00:00 Toto
  • 0:00 Fireworks

 Tuesday, July 14

  • 10:00-20:00 Bike Show, numerous activities.
    Morzine Harley Days 2015

There are loads of other things to see including some pretty impressive customised bikes, loads of stalls and other live music throughout the town. So, dust out your leather and get involved in some summertime Rock and Roll – Biker style!

Ski-Lifts Team

Summer in the Alps – Offers and Activities

Summer in the Alps – Offers and Activities

We know many of you love to visit the Alps in the winter, but would probably only consider holidays here whilst there’s snow on the ground – however in the summer, the Alps transforms from a winter wonderland into a holiday paradise!
Summer is one of the very best times to visit the Alps not just for the vast amount of activities on offer or the warm climate, but because in general -once the ski season is over the Alps becomes an unspoiled nirvana- a secret that the locals try to keep!
Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities

Imagine being able to stay in one of those luxury chalets, the ones with saunas, hot tubs, games rooms and more. The summer is the time to make these dreams come true when prices can be as little as half the price of peak winter rates. Why not have a look at some of the great offers our partners have running this season.

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities
For July you can receive 20% off the prices shown on these great Chalets – http://www.chillypowder.com/summer-prices.htm

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities
Stay at Chalet L’Héren – available at the reduced rate of £1000 per week for up to 10 guests.
http://www.ridersrefuge.co.uk/summer/chalets/chalet-lherens/
Plus some limited availability in Chalet Carclion, a catered chalet, you can receive for £30 off per person.
http://www.ridersrefuge.co.uk/summer/chalets/chalet-carclion/

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities
Get 6 nights in Chalet Chapelle (Self Catered) on 7th – 13th August -with a 35% discount on regular price! – (€172 Euro per person in a twin room rather than €265)
Or why not try a long weekend in Chalet Chapelle for only €150 per person in a twin room, available for 7th – 10th August and  27th – 30th.
Alternatively take a 5 nights stay in Chalet La Chaumiere Apartment in Les Gets, €105 per person rather than €190 for a minimum of 4 people.
www.morzine-mtb.com

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities
Check out the summer offers from Reach 4 the Alps here –https://www.reach4thealps.com/Summer/special-offers.php
 They also have spaces on their triathlon, cycling & multi-activity holidays at the beautiful Brown Bear Lodge-
 http://www.tri4thealps.com/prices-and-availability.html

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities
Rude Lodge Host the – Fox Head and Pro/Am week for the 12th-19th July 2015
Hosted by DH World Cup Mechanic Loïc Delteil, guests get the opportunity to ride with the Fox Head team members Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole. (For all levels of riders from complete beginners to advanced!)
Spaces start from £350pp
http://www.rudechalets.com/summer-holidays/mountain-biking/pro-am-week/
The newly renovated Rude Lodge, has a cafe-restaurant and the unique Le Paradis nightclub. They have teamed with Fox Head for the summer and have and on hand bike mechanic, storage room and sun terrace!

Prices from £27pp per night – space in a shared dorm room (4, 2 or 6 bed)
£31pp per night, for triple room based on full occupancy (2 sharing or 3 sharing).
http://www.rudechalets.com/summer-holidays/morzine/the-rude-lodge/

To book email: info@rudechalets.com


To claim any of these offers just quote ‘Ski-Lifts Summer Deals’ when booking. (Terms and conditions apply.)

On top of fantastic deals on accommodation in the summer, the sunshine brings a host of activities – even more than the winter! Some of our favourites include:

Tennis, Via Ferrata, paintball, ice skating, yoga retreats, horse riding, paragliding, quad biking, summer sledging, glacier skiing, adventure parks, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and golf.

Or why not try Chatel famous Zip-line?  Fantasticable!  http://info.chatel.com/incredible-sensations-unequalled-speed-with-the-fantasticable.html

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities

In Morzine our friends at Torico www.toricomorzine.com can help you with rentals for the following activities-
•             Road Biking
•             Mountain Biking
•             Cross Country Biking

Check out our friends, Frogs Rafting for any of these activities www.frogsrafting.com
•             Rafting
•             Cannoning
•             Hydro speeding

Summer in the Alps - Offers and Activities

So hopefully you’ll see that summer holidays in the Alps offers something for everyone, epic adventure, glorious sunshine, serenity and great value for money.
Perfect for families, couples, stag and hen’s parties, retirement adventures – you name it.

If you are thinking about booking a summer holiday in the Alps and you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Ski-Lifts as anyone from the team will gladly talk with you about what summer in the Alps is really like.

Ski-Lifts finalists for ‘Best Transfer Company’ Award at The World Ski Awards

Ski-Lifts finalists for ‘Best Transfer Company’ Award at The World Ski Awards

Here at Ski-Lifts we don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but we are very excited to announce we have been nominated for a very prestigious award!

We are finalists in the ‘Best Transfer Company’ category of the World Ski Awards and would love to be crowned winners.

‘The World Ski awards is the only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in Ski Tourism’

We’ve been looking after your Ski Resort transfers for over 10 years, working with customers, chalets and tour operators to provide the best service possible. We hope we’ve delivered a great service to you and this award would be a great way to celebrate that for us.

We would love your vote, and it only takes a couple of minutes to cast yours!Ski-Lifts finalists for 'Best Transfer Company' Award at The World Ski Awards

How to vote

  1. Simply click here to go to the site and then register by clicking ‘Sign Up
  2. Once completed, go to your registration email and follow the activation link to the site.
  3. Login and then cast your vote!

Your support means a lot to us!

Chasing the snow – summer skiing in Europe

Chasing the snow – Summer Skiing in Europe

You may think that’s it for Skiing after the winter season ends and fear the price tags for jet setting to Australia, New Zealand or South America may be too much to stomach. Fear not, here is a rundown of the places you can catch some snow closer to home this summer.

You have to go high (over 2500m at least) but glacier skiing is definitely worth a trip, with resorts offering more and more each year. This sort of holiday is great if you missed out on the traditional winter season and the beauty of all of these resorts is that you can combine a summer and a winter holiday, with most offering a package price that gives you access to the whole mountain with other terrain for mountain biking and hiking available lower down.

Here’s some of the major summer skiing resorts and the lift opening dates and liftpass prices for 2015.

Tignes – June 27th to August 9th
There are 20km worth of slopes up on the Grand Motte glacier, they even have a terrain park and around 12 lifts running in the summer, take the funicular train from Val Claret to get access. Or why not try out Acroland on the lake, if you fancy hurtling down a ramp into the icy waters (on your choice of bike, skis or even just your stomach!)
Prices from €36 for a one day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Hintertux – May 9th to October 9th
Here you will find 60km of varied pistes, the park is still open with a huge super pipe, plus rails and boxes, plus access to some freeride terrain. Hintertux even offer a tour inside the glacier (Nature Ice Palace) with ice chambers and deeper into the caves with stalagmites and stalactites to see.
Prices from €41.50 for a one day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Saas Fee – 19th July – 31st October
It is worth a visit simply for the incredible view to be seen from the top of the revolving restaurant. Saas Fees Allalin Glacier may be one of the more expensive summer ski stops but the pistes don’t disappoint, neither will the snow conditions at a massive 3,600m you’ll see plenty of ski teams race training as the conditions here are second to none, the glacier offers 20km of slopes suitable for all levels.
Prices from CHF70 for a one day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Les Deux Alpes – June 20th – August 29th
Les Deux Alpes also boasts a height 3,600m and the lifts are open from 7am till 12.30 to ensure the snow conditions are good. They have 17 lifts open made up mainly of drag lifts and a couple of chair lifts. Terrain is more focused on beginner-intermediate levels with mostly blue runs available however their snow park remains open and it is one of the best.
Prices from €38.50 for a one day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Stubai – May 5th to July 3rd
Stubai has a massive 62km of runs open till July, one of which is 10km long! There is a good range of challenging pistes including one black run and the lift prices are also very reasonable considering the slopes are open all day. A little lower down there is also ice grotto and kids play ground.
Prices from €36.60 for a one day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Zermatt – May 4th – October 18th
Zermatt’s glacier – Theodul reaches 3,883m with 21km of groomed slopes and plenty to do for freestyle skiers and boarders in the Snowpark  -which offers a half pipe, boxes and rails. The view of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains is worth the trip and it is also a popular place for ski race training.
Prices from CHF84 for a day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

Cervinia – June 27th to September 6th
Breil Cervinia, on the Plateau Rosa Glacier, reaches 3,480 and offers great conditions for summer skiers. It is one of the biggest summer skiing areas as it also grants access to Zermatt’s pistes.  The ‘Indianpark’ (freestyle Snowpark) is also considered one of the best parks in the Alps.
Prices from €32 for a day pass.

Chasing the snow - summer skiing in Europe

So, get yourself out to the Alps this summer where you can ride the pistes or park in the mornings, before enjoying an afternoon of alpine activities (and there is a lot to offer, just check our our previous blog entries and summer pages to see how much!). And of course, Ski-Lifts can get you to any of these places with our transfers throughout the summer.

Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps

Summer Mountain Biking and Hiking – Lift Opening Dates in the Alps

Well winter may be over here in the Alps, but dust off your walking shoes and bikes, as its mountain biking andhiking that are now the activities of choice. So let us tell you when and where you can access the breathtaking summer scenery the Alps has to offer.
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Portes Du Soleil
With 650km of mountain bike trails across the valley, there’s a great variety for all levels as well as well marked hiking trails. The ‘PassPortes Du Soleil’ event is the major event to mark the start of the season and is a must for any keen mountain bikers. http://www.passportesdusoleil.com/passportes-2015-edition.html

Lifts are open between these dates:
The Pleney and Morzine – 13th June  – 4th September
Point de Nyon –13th July – 21st August (Hikers only)
Les Gets – 20th June – 6th September
Avoriaz Prodains – 26th to 28th June and 4th July to 31st August
Chatel  -26th June-  6th September
For full details of Portes du Soleil Summer lift dates see here – http://medias.morzine-avoriaz.com/documents/DATES_OUVERTURE_REMONTEES_MECANIQUES_PORTES_DU_SOLEIL_2015.pdf
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Chamonix
With hiking being the resorts main focus, there is something for all levels. If you are up for the challenge, try the Tour of Mont Blanc, a 200km trip around France, Italy and Switzerland, only for accomplished hikers it takes around 8-10 days. Threes plenty of mountains biking trails too, just beware of some restrictions during the busy summer months. (http://www.thechamonixbikebook.com/news/july-august-whats-rideable/)
Aiguille du Midi  –  1st June – 1st November
Vallorcine Cable Car – 27th June – 20th August
Grand Montets – 27th June – 13th September
For full details of the Chamonix Summer lift dates see here – http://www.chamonix.net/english/lift-systems/dates-times#grands-montets
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Verbier
With the now legendary Bike Park, Verbier has plenty to offer for walkers, bikers and climbers.
Les Ruinettes 18th  – 22nd May,  25th  – 29th May, 1st – 3rd June, 8th – 12th June, 15th – 19th June and 22nd– 26thJune
Le Chable – Les Ruinettes (Bike Park) Weekends from the 6th to the 28th June. It is then open through the summer, then back to weekends  from 26th & 27th September to the 25th October.
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Alpe D’Huez
With 100km of mountain biking terrain, and some lifts that are free for pedestrians (Mont de Lans) the great views from the resorts glacier are definitely worth a visit.
4th July -23rd August
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Les Deux Alpes
The resort has recently updated their summer activities, with a new bike park, 100km of tracks and 5 cross country routes, in addition to vast hiking routes for all levels.
20th June – 29th August
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Kitzbuhel
1000km of hiking trails and 800km of cycling and biking trails Kitzbuhel sets a high bar for other resorts. They even have their own mountain bike festival (20-28th June) called Kits Alp Bike celebrating 20 years this year. (http://www.kitzalpbike.com/en/)
Hahnenkamm Cable Car 13th June -26th October, plus  Every Friday, night rides from 26th June to 18th September.
Kitzbüheler Horn Cable Car – 9th May – 4th of October
Horn Cable Car to summit – 16th May – 4th of October
For full details of Kitzbuhel Summer lift dates see here – http://www.bergbahn-kitzbuehel.at/en/timetable-summer-2014.html
 
Summer-Mountain-Biking-and-Hiking-Lift-Opening-Dates-in-the-Alps
 
Mayrhofen
Not as well known for its biking the Zillertal valley has plenty on offer, from hidden lakes and wild flowers for hikers and plenty of mountain biking with 800km of trails available.
Ahornbahn 23th May – 18th October
Horbergbahn4th July to 06th September


If you have more dates or events to add, for any other popualr resorts, please let us know and we’ll add them to this list.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

Every year the Alps seems to become more popular and a bigger tourist destination during the summer months. We’ve spoken many times about why we’re not surprised by this, there is just so much on offer.

We have pages on our website dedicated to just a small selection of some of the activities on offer for people visiting during the summer, from hiking and climbing, road cycling and mountain biking, kayaking and white water rafting, golf, parapenting, skiing and snowboarding and much, much more…..

In addition to the vast array of activities, there are also a wide range of events taking place that you can choose to build a holiday around, whether it is participating or watching. From countless local festivals celebrating the traditional alpine lifestyle, music festivals both big and small, to sporting spectacles where you can see some of the world’s best athletes test their metal in some of the toughest conditions going.

Here are a selection of a few events taking place this summer that could be worth a look.

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

The Tour de France is the world’s biggest annual sporting event and some of the best racing takes place in the Alps and Pyrenees each year. This year, the jewel in the crown for the Alps is taking place on the 25th July, running from Modane Valfrejus to the iconic 21 bends of Alpe D’Huez, passing on the way over the Col du Telegraphe, La Grave and the monsterous 2645m Col du Galibier. This stage has the potential to separate the true contenders from the rest and should make for some fascinating watching.

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

Staying on the biking theme, there is a ton of events for the off road fans. From huge participation events to watching the world’s best show you how it’s done. A few of these for this year include:
The Pass’Portes Du Soleil from the 26-28th June 2015 (taking place across all of the resorts in the Portes Du Soleil, including Morzine, Les Gets, Chatel and more).
Mega Avalanche runs from the 6-12th July in Alpe D’Huez.
Crankworx from the 9-12th July in neighbouring Les Deux Alpes.
The World Mountain Biking Championships round the season off from the 1-6th September in Vallnord, Andorra.

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

Moving from two wheels to four, the annual closing event for Morzine each season is the Mont Blanc Motor Rally, running from the 3-5th September. Watch some of the best drivers and teams from France and the rest of Europe come and test themselves on the twisting alpine roads around Morzine and Les Gets.

Events in the Alps Summer 2015

Head over to Chamonix where you can witness the World Climbing Championships (10-12th July).

Or the North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (24-30th August). This event is made up of five different races of varying lengths and difficulties. The longest and most difficult of these is the PTL, which is an incredible 300KM in length, with 26,000M of ascent and average race time of 136 hours – certainly not one for the faint hearted!


This is just a teaser of some of the events taking place – for more regular updates, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages and most importantly, have a great summer!

The Ski-Lifts Team

To the Moon and Back!

Celebrating Ski-Lifts 25th trip to the moon and back!


This season will see Ski-Lifts complete our 25th trip to the moon and back in booked miles!
That’s 11,625,000 miles and 467 times around the world in total to be exact!
To celebrate our out of this world achievement we would like to donate 10% of bookings to our amazing charity of choice Ski2Freedom.
 
All bookings for the Moon and Back fund raiser need to be booked via this link:
http://transfers.ski-lifts.com/wp/moonandback10


Ski2Freedom is a charity which provides access to comprehensive information on snow-sport and mountain activities for individuals, groups, families and carers from across the globe. We address the specific needs and requirements of all disabilities and additional needs, allowing beneficiaries to undertake fully tailored, life-enhancing Mountain based activities.
For many, Ski2Freedom enhances lives by providing opportunities once thought to have been out of reach. We know this, because our beneficiaries tell us. Participation in mountain-based activities develops self-confidence and self-esteem. It improves quality of life by addressing feelings of social isolation as well as promoting health and well-being.

Festival Scene – Ski Resort Style

Festival Scene – Ski Resort Style

Your summer music festival antics may feel like a distant memory as the temperatures drop to below freezing but rest assured here at Ski-Lifts we have your Winter Festival scene covered!
More and more festivals across Europe are popping up in some of our favourite resorts, so here is the low down on some of the top picks so you can combine your winter holiday with a great festival experience.



What? Snowbombing    Where? Mayrhofen
When? 6th-11th April 2015
One of the better know mountain festivals, this will be its 16th year running. But be warned this is not for the faint hearted, this electro fuelled event will require every ounce of energy you posses. Non stop Après  partying, venues open till 5am and streets lined with people. Rumour has it very little skiing actually gets done at this festival –but mainly because the parties and performances are so great- you won’t want to go home to bed! Snowbombing offers a balance of ski village quirky, mixed with Ibiza clubbing with venues like the ‘Racket Club’ an underground tennis court/turned super club that has seen the likes of Disclosure and Groove Armada in previous years. Not to mention lots of fancy dress opportunities and other great concepts like the Arctic Disco (Pic above).
Line Up – Rudimental, Skrillex, Fat Boy Slim 
Ticket Prices: Package Inc. accommodation start from £334
Transfers from: Available from Munich, Salzburg and Innsbruck
Website: http://www.snowbombing.com/



What? The Brits               Where? Tignes
When? 21-28th March 2015
The Brits is one of the  longest standing festivals you’ll find in the mountains and does a great job of mixing the music based fun with some fantastic freestyle Ski and boarding displays as well as playing host it the Britain’s Snowboard and Freeski Championships. Although the headliners are yet to be announced the music on is generally really varied, previous acts included Ben Howard, Rob Da Bank and Pendulum. The weeklong festival and competition includes Halfpipe, Big Air, Boardercross, Skiercross and Slopestyle events so lots to see and do plus some great Après Party’s. Why not enter the ‘Bangers and Cash’ rail jam where riders get on the spot cash prizes and spectators can enjoy a sausage or two.
Website: http://www.the-brits.com/
Ticket Prices: Use code BRITS2015 when booking your lift pass to get 10% off. €32 for a day or €238 for 7 days
Transfers: Geneva to Tignes



What? Snowboxx            Where? Alpe D’Huez
When? 21-28th March 2015

Snowboxx is a relatively new festival, last year it was hosted in Andorra and this year moved to a new venue in Alpe D’Huez. The festival is definitely the best value snow festival you will find, with ticket prices as low as £229 for a 5 day lift pass, 7 nights accommodation and the festival wrist band. So if you’re student living on a shoe string –this could just take care of your winter holiday! Snowboxx is set to offer up plenty of variety and already have some great features to get excited about, such as winter markets, ice skating and pool parties, giving the après vibe a slightly different approach. You’re likely to find a heavier amount of DJ’s here rather than bands, mostly from the Balearic music scene who would have been headlining shows in Ibiza through the summer. Tickets sold out pretty fast last year so get them whilst you still can…(line up tbc)

Website:  http://snowboxx.com

Ticket Prices: Starting form £229 inc. accommodation and lift pass.

Transfers: Grenoble to Alp D’Huez



What? Altitude Comedy Festival                             Where? Mayrhofen
When? March 23rd 27th March 2015
Altitude is one of the only comedy festivals by the snow, a huge selection of live comedy from some big names acts (2015 yet to be announced) The whole thing is curated by comedian and snowboarder Andrew Maxwell and in the past acts have included the likes of had Phil Jupitas, Al Murray, Nina Conti, in addition to more unusual acts like Abandon Man-  a free style rapper that improvises song from information and stories for the audience. There’s six nights of comedy on offer and addition to this there are still après parties to be had at venues like the ‘Pistetakers’ bar. Described as ‘the funniest show on snow’ the festival will definitely deliver if you are a stand up comedy fan.
Website: http://www.altitudefestival.com
Ticket Prices: £150 + Booking Fee
Transfer From:  Available from Munich, Salzburg and Innsbruck    


 
What? Rock The Pistes                  Where? Portes Du Soliel (Various locations)
When? 14th-21st March 2015
And of course we couldn’t talk about winter festivals without a mention of Portes du Soleil very own festival ‘Rock the Pistes’ This year the resort celebrates its 50th Birthday so we’re sure it will go off with a bang. Last year Klaxons and Baby Shambles entertained the crowd, so bigger named acts are expected to emerge this year. Not to mention tickets are included in your lift pass and with 650km of piste to get round, it’s one of the largest skiing areas in the world. There’s a great mix of acts, from reggae to rock to dance and unlike some of its rival festivals, ‘Rock the Pistes’ actually does what it says on the tin – bringing the music to some prime piste locations, so you really get to explore the ski area and catch some great live music in breath taking locations.
Ticket Prices: Included in your Ski Pass- one day €43.50- 5 days €205
Transfers from: Geneva to Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz
Website: http://www.rockthepistes.com/

Welcome to the Ski-Lifts Blog

Travel Advice for your Ski Holiday

As you may be aware, winter is upon us and here at the Ski-Lifts office there are a few well seasoned team members that are willing to offer some wise words, advice and some sneaky tips for making your snowy holiday run as smoothly as possible.

When to go…
Not booked yet? Well, if at all possible we would suggest trying to avoid the half term queues (and prices) so try to pick your dates wisely.  January is normally a great time for snow, but can be cold.  March can be good for clear skies and small queues and normally great snow conditions. If you wait for last minute deals the start and end of season can be fantastic, with quieter slopes and cheap deals on offer.

Get Organised…
If you have got kids, book your childcare in advance. Most hosts and hotels will be keen to assist you or have in house options, but will also offer advice and contact details for local babysitters and crèches- the same goes for their Ski lessons – book ahead as peak dates will get booked up in advance. If you’re struggling to find accommodation, check out the links here from two of our trusted partners.

All the gear…
If it’s your first holiday on the slopes don’t blow all your money on new kit. Commonly know as ‘all the gear and no idea’ you really ought to try a week before breaking the bank on a top of the range board or a pair of skis. Renting the gear can be expensive so why not try our partners Doorstep Skis to get your gear delivered and fitted directly in your accommodation in resort and receive a discount for booking online. For your jackets and pants try and plan ahead and buy in the end of season sales where you are likely to pick up gear at 50% off.

Work it out…
Depending how dedicated you are to your Skiing or Boarding progression, we would highly recommend doing some physical training before you go. Not only will this increase your endurance on the slopes so you can make the most of your ski pass, but it will help you minimise injury risk. The last thing you want is to be in bed on day two with sore, tired legs! Have a chat with your local gym about what exercises could be good for you, get running round your local park, or just hop on a bike!

Winter Sports Insurance
Double check your insurance policy covers you for winter sports. Some banks offer holiday insurance but make sure you read the small print for what it covers, should the worse happen you won’t want to be paying the costs for mountain rescue! We’ve partnered with Flexicover who offer specialist ski and holiday insurance.

When to book…
And of course book your airport transfers in advance, trying to get something at the airport will set you back a pretty penny and peak dates get booked up very quickly! And of course we can help you with most requests and resorts! Get a quote for your trip here.

A little bit of planning and preparation should mean that you get the most out of your ski or boarding holiday and then we’re confident we’ll see you coming back for more year after year.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Ten Alpine Resorts with Short Transfers

10 Alpine Resorts with Short Transfer Times

Time is precious when you’re on holiday and transfer time is therefore an important consideration when choosing a ski resort. Fortunately, the Alps offer a good range of resorts within easy access of airport and train stations. So whether you are looking for transfers from Geneva or planning on taking the overnight train to Moutiers or Bourg St Maurice; you will find some excellent options close at hand.

Here is a selection of resorts with short transfer times across France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

1. Chamonix, France – 75 minutes (88km) – The transfer from Geneva airport to Chamonix takes just 75 minutes, making this skiing mecca one of the most accessible resorts in the Alps. Geneva airport is also an international hub offering a large selection of flights from all over the UK. On reaching resort, visitors will be able to enjoy some of the finest scenery in the Alps and a huge range of terrain for all levels.


2. Verbier, Switzerland – 50 minutes (54km) Verbier, part of the Four Valleys ski area, is located just 50 minutes from Sion airport. The area boasts 412km of high altitude pistes and is widely regarded as one of the best off-piste resorts in the world. It is worth noting however, that flight options to Sion are much more limited than to Geneva airport, situated 160km or just under 2 hours from Verbier.

3. St Anton, Austria – 60 minutes (100km) St Anton is a lively resort with a large linked ski area offering 260km of marked pistes. The journey time of just one hour from Innsbruck makes the resort an ideal destination for short breaks. The town is famed for its après ski and nightlife and friendly locals. Ski Lifts offers a range of private andshared transfers to St Anton from Innsbruck airport.

4. Espace Killy, France  – Val d’Isere and Tignes 40-45 minutes (30km) – Eurostar runs an overnight service on Fridays and a day service on Saturdays dubbed ‘the snow train’ that runs throughout the winter. A quick transfer later and you arrive in your chosen resort, allowing you to make the most of your holiday time. Transfers from Bourg St Maurice to Val d’Isere and Tignes are becoming increasingly popular for families and groups looking to avoid long airport transfer times. Ski Lifts also provide transfers to Les Arcs, La Plagne and the Three Valleys from snow train stations.



5. Mayrhofen, Austria – 60 minutes (65km) The picturesque Tyrolean resort of Mayhofen is part of the Zillertal valley which offers a huge range of slopes including Austria’s only year-round ski area, the Hintertux glacier. The resort’s terrain and facilities also include some serious steeps and the Vans Penken Park with its 6 dedicated areas. Mayhofen has a lively nightlife and has become well-known for its annual ‘Snowbombing’ festival. Ski Lifts offer private and shared transfers to Mayrhofen from Innsbruck.

6. The French Portes du Soleil resorts (Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets) – 65 minutes (75km). The huge skiable domain of the Portes du Soleil is conveniently located for passengers arriving into Geneva airport. Les Gets is situated just 75km from Geneva with a journey time of approximately 65 minutes, while its close neighbours Morzine and Avoriaz are just another 5 km and 15km away, respectively. Ski Lifts offer a wide selection oftransfers to Morzine and the rest of the Portes du Soleil including shared and economy options on some routes.



7. Sauze d’Oulx, Italy – 90 minutes (90km) Sauze d’Oulx is located approximately 90 minutes from Turin airport. The resort links with Sestriere and Montgenevre to form part of the extensive Milky Way ski area. There are good slopes for all abilities including some excellent off-piste and a terrain park.

8. Megève, France – 65 minutes (87km) Megève is a bustling village with high-end restaurants, designer shops and some of the most picturesque slopes in the Alps. The resort is located close to Chamonix and St Gervais and forms part of the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area offering access to over 450km of pistes. Megève can be reached in approximately 65 minutes from Geneva airport.

9. The Grand Massif, France – 65 minutes (77km) The Grand Massif resorts of Morillon, Samoens and Les Carroz boost some of the shortest transfer times in the Alps. The closest, Morillon village can be reached in approximately one hour from Geneva dependent on road and traffic conditions. The Grand Massif comprises 5 resorts of varied terrain making up the 4th largest linked ski area in France.  The area includes plenty of wide, rolling tree-lined runs as well as a snowpark in Flaine.



10. Alpbach, Austria – 52 minutes (57km) Alpbach is a small Tyrolean ‘chocolate box’ village situated just 57km from Innsbruck airport. A gondola installed in 2012 now connects the resort with its neighbour Auffach offering a combined area of 140km of pistes. This new area, Ski Juwel, offers convenient nursery slopes and a good mix of cruising intermediate runs and more challenging terrain.

French Resort Ski Season Dates 2014-15

French Resorts Ski Season Dates 2014-15

Following on from the Portes du Soilel opening dates, we’re now looking at when the main French resorts will be opening up.

CHAMONIX VALLEY
 
Partial opening of Grand Montets is planned from 6th to 19th December, snow conditions permitting. Brevent-Flegere, Balme/Vallorcine and Les Houches will be partially opening from 13th December and the rest of the area opens up on the 20th.
The majority of the area will stay open until the 19th April, except for Grand Montets, which has a planned closing date of 27th April, but will hopefully be open for longer if snow conditions allow.
 

GRAND MASSIF
 
The lifts in Flaine open on the 14th December, followed by  Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoens & Sixt on the 21st.
The main Grand Massif area is expected to close on the 21st April, with the planned closing date for Flaine on the 27th April.
 
L’ESPACE KILLY
 
The Grand Motte glacier opened at the start of October, so you can already ski in the Epsace Killy!
Tignes and Val D’Isere both open on the 29th November, all the way through to the 3rd May.
 

3 VALLEYS
 
Val Thorens, the highest resort in the Alps, opens on the 22nd November and the lifts are open through until the 10th May. Meribel & Courchevel open on the 6th December and all of the 3 Valleys link open as well.
Planned closing of the 3 Valleys area is 24th April.
 
PARADISKI
 
The higher altitude areas of La Plagne open on the 13th December, with Les Arcs & Peisey Vallandry opening the day after. The Vanoise Express opens up the Paradiski link along with the rest of La Plagne, on the 21st December and the lifts are open until the 26th April.
 
THE SOUTHERN ALPS
 
Alpe D’Huez is open from the 6th December until the 25th April, although some of the smaller resorts close earlier.

Les Deux Alpes is open from the 29th November, La Grave opens later on the 6th December, snow conditions permitting and both resorts close on the 26th April.
 
Serre Chevalier lifts open on the 13th December and are open until the 19th April, although the Briancon area will close slightly earlier, on the 13th April.

Portes Du Soleil Ski Season Dates 14-15

Portes Du Soleil Ski Season Dates 2014-15


With the evenings getting shorter and the mornings decidedly chillier, we’re starting to think about winter and the white stuff! So we’re taking a look at when the lifts are opening across some of the main ski areas in the Alps, starting with the Portes du Soleil.

The first resort to open their lifts in the Portes du Soleil this winter is Les Gets. Snow conditions permitting, there will be a partial opening of the Chavannes area  at weekends  from  the 22nd November, through until  the 13thDecember, when the Chavannes & Nauchets lifts open daily. The rest of the Les Gets ski area will open on the 20thDecember, as will the Morzine lifts.
 
Chatel will also be offering some pre-season, weekend skiing on the Pre-la-Joux area, starting on the 29thNovember. The lifts in the Pre-la-Joux and Linga area will be open from the 13th December, and also, the link withAvoriaz. The rest of the area will open up on the 20th December.
 
Avoriaz opens the lifts on the 12th December and will kick the season off with, Rock on Ultimate, a weekend of ski & snowboarding testing, concerts and parties from the 12th to the 14th. The lifts will be open through until the 26thApril.
 
The whole of the Portes du Soliel area will be open from the 20th December, through until the 19th April.
 
Ski-Lifts offer Shared transfers to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets from the 13th December and Private transfers are available year round.

An El Nino Winter for the Alps?

An El Nino Winter – what would that mean for the season ahead?

There is growing chatter that we could be about to head into an El Nino year and this is particularly prevalent on ski forums, where people hypothesise about what that might mean for the winter ahead.

An El Nino Winter for the Alps?

An El Nino event (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o) is basically caused by warm ocean waters forming in the Pacific, which then sets of a chain of events which can cause significant changes to global weather patterns. Obviously the more noticeable effects occur the closer you are to the Pacific and then gradually reduce the further away you get, but there are plenty of theories that there can be some noticeable effects on the ski season.

In North America the effects should be felt more strongly than in Europe, with the general theory that the Sierra Nevada and Southern Rockies receive more favourable ski conditions than average, but the mountains further north have a warmer and drier season, which is clearly not good.

An El Nino Winter for the Alps?

In Europe, which is much further from the source, it seems that the impact is closely related to the strength of the El Nino event. Looking back at previous El Nino winters it seems that a weak or moderate El Nino may have little discernible impact on the winter season and if anything can perhaps lead to a milder or drier winter. Whereas a strong El Nino can lead to a much colder winter, because the chain of events triggered by a strong event can lead to a weak Polar Vortex, allowing cold winds from Russia to reach Europe and therefore lead to more arctic conditions here.

For example, if you look at the last two El Nino winters, you can see very different results. The winter of 2006/07 was a weak El Nino and that season was one of the worst for a long time in terms of snow cover across the Alps. However the more recent event in 2009/10 was a strong El Nino and that winter saw some of the coldest weather in the Alps for several decades.

Depending on who you listen too, there are differing opinions on what this El Ninjo may bring, if it does indeed form, but best guesses range between a 50 and 80% chance of an extreme El Nino forming. So if that proves to be the case, you may well want to be packing an extra layer of thermals for this winter!

But with no guarantees yet about whether this year will be an El Nino, or even what that might mean for European ski resorts if it is, maybe it’s best to look at other ways of forecasting the weather ahead.

This summer has so far been very wet in the Alps – certainly not ideal conditions for mountain biking. However last time we had a similarly wet summer (2007), the following winter was a very good snow winter.

We’re also heading towards that time of year where you hear rumours circulating around resort about what might be ahead, with some of our favourites always appearing in the Autumn as farmers tales of thick onion skins, or hairy goats legs (both of which apparently point towards a cold or snowy winter in case you are wondering what we are on about).

An El Nino Winter for the Alps?

So, for now, we’ll keep our ears to the ground and if we hear anything more we’ll let you know – whether that’s modern science, or local farming facts!

Things to expect on a mountain biking holiday in Morzine

There is a lot more to Morzine than the winter…


Here at Ski-Lifts we don’t try to hide the fact that we love Morzine – it’s where it all started for us after all and we know a lot about the place.

Most people who are familiar with the town, will know it for skiing or snowboarding, or for downhill mountain biking in the summer months and it goes without saying that it is one of the best destinations in the world for both of those. But one thing that puzzles us is why more people don’t take advantage of the town and what it has to offer, outside of the two peak seasons?

For one thing, if you were to travel here outside of these peak periods, you can get cheaper flights and much cheaper accommodation, as demand is lower. Yet the weather can still be fantastic especially through May, June and September and if you are here to enjoy the mountains you don’t have to go far to pretty much experience them all to yourself. Plus there are always a few shops, restaurants and bars open all year, because unlike many other ski resorts, Morzine is a village where people live – not a purpose built resort.

Obviously one down side could be that the lifts aren’t open on the mountain, so to get up there and enjoy them then you’ve got to use your own steam – but that’s all part of the fun and sense of achievement! Plus, pretty much any other activity on offer through the main summer season that doesn’t require the lifts, is still available in these quieter times and can actually be better.

Things to expect on a mountain biking holiday in Morzine

For example, if you are into road biking, then getting out and tackling some the famous climbs, such as the Col de Joux Plane (one of the most famous climbs of the Tour De France), or the climbs up to Avoriaz, can actually be more enjoyable outside of the main summer months as the temperatures are more comfortable and the roads have less traffic.

In the last couple of years Morzine has become well known as a base for triathlon training because it has something to offer for all three disciplines. The cycling we’ve mentioned, there’s plenty of nice trails to get out for a run and for the swimming there is an Olympic size pool and Lake Montriond. It’s why some of the biggest names in world triathlon are now using this as their base.

And if you prefer your biking of the off-road variety, then you can take on the numerous cross-country trails around and not have to contend with other riders getting in your way.

Finally, you can’t forget one of the oldest ways to enjoy the mountains, which is getting out and hiking – whether it’s in the forest on the lower slopes, or up in the high mountain pastures, the spring and end of summer months are arguably the most pleasant time to really get out there and experience it.

Things to expect on a mountain biking holiday in Morzine

It goes without saying of course, that should you take our advice and come and visit Morzine outside of the peak seasons, we’re still running our airport transfers, so it couldn’t be easier.

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

Forget Glastonbury and the UK festival scene this summer and revisit Europe, where you’ll find some of the best music festivals are just a stone’s throw away.

Take in the cultural surroundings of a new destination and catch some incredible music. This summer there are some great names to be seen and some great festivals to get to.

In recent year’s music festivals in the mountains have been on the rise, such as Snowbombing in Mayrhofen andRock The Pistes in the Portes Du Soleil, meaning when you’re on your skiing or boarding adventure you can team it with the fun and sounds of a music festival.

Snow + beer+ music = what more could you want? Exactly…but when it comes to the UK festival scene, you play weather roulette in the hope that you won’t be knee deep in mud. So, why not team your festival agenda with a bit of sightseeing this summer?

Venture forth to some new ground over in Europe for some more (let’s face it) reliable weather, and a taste of something different, here’s a few we think are worth a look…

Montreux Jazz Festival  4th-19th July 2014.

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

In its 48th year and clearly they are doing something right, there’s something for everyone here, so don’t be fooled by the name. Perfectly placed on the edge of Lake Geneva and surrounded by mountains, Montreux delivers on both scenery and serious line-ups. With 6 stages covering various genres and plenty of free music also available this is an event not to be missed. The festival runs for 2 weeks and you can purchase tickets for particular artists or areas, starting at around £40.

Who’s playing? Stevie Wonder, Pharrell, Lykke Li, Damon Albarn, Ed Sheeran, Outcast, Norma Jean Martine, Thomas Dutronc.

How do I get there? Transfers from Geneva Airport to Montreux take around one hour and are €38 per person (when 8 of you are travelling), you can book online directly with Ski-Lifts.


 Primavera, Barcelona 28th-31st May 2014.

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

The now legendary festival is known for its super friendly crowds and warm weather- this is surely a great excuse to go and see a fantastic city and squeeze in your summer music hit.  Set by the sea just 20 minutes from the city centre you’re likely to see most of the up and coming artists of the year, and some that will no doubt be big next year too.
Tickets are a steal in comparison to what some of the UK festivals ask, starting at just €195.

Who’s Playing? Arcade Fire, Pixies, Haim, SBTRKT, Foals, the National, Jagwa Ma, Hot Chip DJ set, Nine Inch Nails.

How do I get there? Located in the heart of Barcelona there is public transport running from the airport to the festival sight frequently. Or contact us and we will happily arrange private transfers for you.

 
BIG Festival in Biarritz will appeal to the surfers out there.

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

Running from the 16th to the 20th of July and only in its 6th year, this festival is just starting out, but here you can spend the day in the famous Biarritz surf and then head into the festival to catch some big headliners as well as some more local bands. The party goes on till late, with club nights open till dawn – however you might need to go out wearing your wetsuit to catch the morning surf! Some days are free but to catch the bigger headliners tickets are just €49.

Who’s Playing? Placebo, Metronomy, Flight Facilities, Cassius, Claptone.

How do I get there? Book you airport transfers from Biarritz airport with our sister company www.Sea-Lifts.com.

 
The Garden Festival – Croatia. 2nd-9th July.

Summer Music Festival Scene in Europe

This boutique festival stands out in Croatia’s growing independent festival scene, set in Garden Tisno, this festival has got more of an electronic feel to it than its competitors and some really special additions. With a tiki bar, outdoor night club as well as a beach stage this festival is something special. But the highlights not to be missed are its Boat Party’s. The Garden Festival allows you to perfectly combine the best elements of a festival and your summer holiday in one breathtaking place.
Tickets start at £120 for a week’s pass.

Who’s playing? Eats Everything, Greg Wilson, Session Victim, Ben UFO, Midland, Jimmy B.

How do I get there? Book your flight to land in Split, coach transfers to local bus stations are available via the website, or contact us and we will arrange private transfers for you.

 

The Best Ski Resort in The World?

The Best European Resorts For Early Season Skiing

Many of you will have seen pictures of the early snow we’ve had across the alps in the last couple of weeks which are certainly raising excitement levels amongst the ski and snowboard communities. However, for those wanting to make the most of this early snowfall, there are a host of resorts that are either already open or due to open shortly.
Ski-Lifts takes a look at some of the best ski resorts for an early season getaway:

France

Les Deux Alpes
 Les Deux Alpes boasts the largest skiable glacier in Europe and perhaps unsurprisingly attracts a steady stream of skiers and snowboarders in both winter and summer. The glacier opened briefly for half term from late October to early November and is now set to reopen on 30th November. The snowpark that resides on the glacier in summer months is normally relocated to the slopes above mid-station for the winter season.
Transfer time from Grenoble: 2 hours

Tignes
 The Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes is another popular location for summer skiing and snowboarding. The glacier opened for the winter on Saturday, October 12th whilst the Espace Killy is due to open fully on December 21st 2013. Transfers to Tignes from Bourg St Maurice train station are the easiest way of getting to the resort, but there are also an assortment of journeys offered from airports.
Transfer times: Geneva (2 hrs 50 mins) or Bourg St Maurice (50 mins)

Switzerland

Saas Fee
 The ski area of Saas-Fee opened on 1st November and currently has 6 lifts running which give access to a good selection of pistes. In addition, there is an excellent snow park with a half-pipe, large and small kicker lines and a variety of rails for freestyle enthusiasts. Swiss sports shops are currently running their “Swiss ski tests” which is a perfect opportunity to try out the new season’s equipment. Ski Lifts offers airport transfers to Saas Fee from several Swiss airports including Geneva and Zurich.
Transfer times: Geneva (2 hrs 50 mins) and Zurich (3 hrs 25 mins)

Diablerets
 The Glacier 3000 ski area at Les Diablerets opened its doors for snowsports on 26th October and will now remain open until May. The Glacier’s ski area includes 30 km of ski runs at altitudes from 1350 to 3000 m including the 7km long Olden ski run.
Transfer times: Sion (1hr) and Geneva (1 hr 35 mins)

Verbier
 The official opening weekend of the Verbier winter season is scheduled for 30th November 2013. However, certain lifts are open at the weekends throughout November. These are likely to include the Chable-Verbier and the Medran 1 gondolas, the Lac de Vaux 1 chairlift and the Funitel that gives access to the Ruinettes sector. Fortransfers to Verbier from Geneva and Zurich contact the Ski Lifts team.
Transfer times: Geneva (2hrs) and Zurich (3 hrs 10 mins)

Austria

Hintertux
 The closest airport to Hintertux is Salzburg whilst Ski Lifts also provide transfers from Munich. The Hintertux glacier offers around a dozen lifts, 28km of piste and a terrain park year-round. The remainder of the ski area is due to open on Dec 7th 2013.
Transfer times: Salzburg (2 hrs 25 mins) and Munich (2 hrs 30 mins)

The Ski-Lifts Team

Lift opening dates for French Ski Resorts 2013-14

Lift opening dates for French ski areas 2013-14 season

Following on from our last blog post where we gave you the lift opening dates for the Portes Du Soleil, here is a run down on the season dates for the other major ski areas throughout France.
Our best advice is always to check with the local tourist office before booking for the start or end of season as dates are subject to change based on snow conditions.

 
Chamonix Valley
The Grand Montets area in Argentiere will be the first to open, with a partial opening on the 7th December 2013 and full opening from the 21st December.
The full area will close on the 28th April 2014, but some lifts will remain open until the 4th May.
 
Les Houches will be fully open from the 21st December 2014, with a closing date of the 13th April 2014.
The Brevent area in Chamonix will be fully open between the same dates as Les Houches, but will have selected lifts open from the 14th December.
 
 
Grand Massif
Flaine is the highest of the resorts in the Grand massif and therefore has the longest season, with lifts open from the 14th December 2013 until the 27th April 2014.
 
The other resorts such as Samoens, Morillon and Les Carroz open one week later on the 21st December, until the 21st April 2014.
 
 
3 Valleys
The Three Valleys will be open from the 7th December 2013 until the 25th April 2014.
Some lower lifts, such as in La Tania, are scheduled to open one week later on the 14th December.
 
Val Thorens will be open longer, from the 23rd November 2013 until the 11th May 2014.
 
 
Espace Killy
The full Espace Killy ski area (Val D’Isere and Tignes) will be open from the 30th November 2013 until the 4th May 2014.
 
However, the Tignes glacier is already open and will not close until the 11th May 2014!
 
 
Paradiski
The resorts that make up the Paradiski area (Les Arcs and La Plagne) all open from the 14th December 2013, although the connecting lifts to open up the full area do not open until the 20th December.
The lift system closes on the 26th April 2014.
 
 
The Southern Alps
And finally a run down on the opening dates for the major resorts in the Southern French Alps.
 
Alpe D’Huez is open from the 6th December until the 26th April, although some of the satellite resorts will close earlier on the 21st April.
 
Les Deux Alpes is open from the 30th November until the 26th April.
Because of it’s glacier skiing, they also plan to open next week for school half term (26th October until the 3rdNovember)!
 
La Grave is also open from the 21st December until the 4th May.
 
Serre Chevalier plans to open from the 14th December until the 21st April 2014.
 
 
Wherever you are going, we hope you have a great time and don’t forget that we can provide transfers to all of these resorts and more.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Portes Du Soleil Lift Opening Dates 2013-14

Portes du Soleil Lift Opening Dates for the 2013/14 Season

Winter is in the air here in the Portes du Soleil! Following a hot summer and rainy September, temperatures are now dropping steadily. Whilst the very first flakes dusted rooftops in Avoriaz in September, it looks like the first significant snowfall of the winter is set to arrive this week. So it seems like a fitting time to be looking at lift openings and airport transfer start dates for the coming winter season!

The first lifts in the Portes du Soleil are due to open in the Pre-la-Joux area of Chatel at weekends from 30thNovember. Avoriaz, Morzine and Lets Gets follow with partial openings on 14th December 2013. The full Portes du Soleil ski area will then be open from 21st December.

Following the record-breaking snowfall in Avoriaz last winter, the 13/14 ski season has been extended by an additional week. Avoriaz will remain open until 27th April 2014, so despite Easter falling late next year (April 20th) holiday makers will still be able to ski in Easter week (snow-permitting).

Ski Lifts will be starting our shared transfers from Geneva airport to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets from 14thDecember. Private transfers are available year-round.
Following high demand for many dates in the 202/13 season, we would like to encourage our customers to book their transfers from Geneva airport early this year to ensure they secure their preferred dates.

Key Dates

  • Chatel – Partial openings on the weekends of 30th Nov/1st Dec and 7th/8th Dec (Pre-la-Joux area only and snow permitting).
  • Morzine & Les Gets ski lifts are partially open (Pleney and Chavannes) from the 14th December 2013(snow permitting) and then fully open from the 21st December 2013 – 21st April 2014
  • Avoriaz ski lifts are open from the 14th December 2013 – 27th April 2014 (partial openings in the first and last weeks)
  • Ski Lifts shared transfers to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets start from 14th December 2013
  • The Portes du Soleil ski area will be open daily from 21st December 2013 to 27th April 2014

 
We’ll follow up over the coming weeks with more information on lift opening dates for other resorts and areas throughout Europe, but many high altititude glacier resorts are already open so if you simply can’t wait to get on the snow until December then get yourself out there – we are offering transfers right now!

The Ski-Lifts Team

Portes Du Soleil Opening Dates Summer 2013

Portes Du Soleil Lift Opening Dates Summer 2013

It feels like the winter season has only just finished (the peaks are still snow covered which is testament to that) and yet the Portes Du Soleil is gearing up for the summer mountain biking season already. Take a walk past through Morzine and the shops have done a quick turn around and the bikes are out on display. In fact, one week tomorrow the first lifts open to mountain bikes in Les Gets!
 
So here is a run down on the lift opening and closing dates throughout the PDS this summer.
 
Les Gets
Lifts are open daily from the 15th June until the 8th September.
However the Chavannes side opens up for weekends from the 25th May.
 
Morzine
It has been well publicised that the Pleney lift will not be open this summer as it is being replaced, but there is no need to worry. Access to the Pleney side (and to Les Gets) will be provided by chairlifts open between 08:30 and 10:30 every morning from the 28th June until the 1st September.
The Super Morzine lift is also being opened up earlier this year, running daily from the 15th June.
 
Chatel
Lifts open daily between the 22nd June and the 8th September.
The Pierre Longue area will also be open on the weekend of the 15-16th June.
 
Morgins
Open daily from the 28th June until the 1st September.
Also open on weekends from the 8th June until the 16th September.
 
Champery
And finally the cable car in Champery possibly has the longest season of all, from the 15th June until the 6thOctober.
 
 
The big annual event of course is the Pass’Portes Du Soleil (28-30th June) which gives participants access to the whole PDS area, including areas such as Torgon, which is not open at any other time in the summer season.


As usual Ski-Lifts will be offering a full shared and private transfer service for the whole summer season and bikes are transported completely free of charge. Shared transfers start again from the 15th June 2013.


The Ski-Lifts Team

Summer Events in the Alps 2013

Summer Events in the Alps 2013

As a fantastic winter season begins to draw to a close most of us won’t start thinking about heading back out to the mountains until next winter. However, that’s a real missed opportunity to see the ski areas we know so well in a completely different light.

Summer is a great time to visit the Alps, in fact the first tourists to visit these areas were doing so in the summer months, long before the development of snow sports, and now more and more people are re-discovering why it’s the perfect destination for a summer holiday.

First of all there is the obvious plus points – stunning mountain scenery, alpine meadows, lush forests, streams, waterfalls and lakes. Many people perhaps don’t know that the summer months in the Alps can bring some beautiful weather as well, with glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures.

The range of activities to keep anyone occupied are vast – from hiking to white water rafting, downhill mountain biking to golf, paragliding to a relaxed barbeque on the shores of an alpine lake. You can find out much more information on the activities available by clicking here.

There are a multitude of local events and festivals that happen throughout the summer months, including local music festivals, celebrations of alpine cultures and gastronomy, sporting events and much more. Full listings can normally be found on the websites of the tourist office for the area you plan on visiting.

Here are just a small selection of some of the events taking place this summer that you may be able to build into your holiday.

Mountain Biking Events
 Pass’Portes Du Soleil (28-30th June 2013)
This annual event marks the opening of the Portes Du Soleil area for the mountain biking season, with participants covering a vast course taking in the infamous resorts of the Portes Du Soleil such as Morzine, Les Gets, Chateland more.

Mega Avalanche (8-14th July 2013)
One of the most famous mountain bike races in the world! Thousands of competitors tackle a course that runs from the summit to the base of Alpe D’Huez. The course passes through all terrains, including crossing snow and glaciers, before descending into the forest trails lower down the mountain.

Crankwork (6-14th July)
A newer event that celebrates all things mountain bike – with competitions, demonstrations and much more. This event takes place in the resort of Les Deux Alpes.

Events to watch
2013 sees the 100th edition of the Tour De France, which promises to be a spectacle not to be missed, especially after Britain’s first ever winner in the race last year, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
The Alps should prove the decisive stages for the race this year as they make up three of the final stages before the ride into Paris.

18th July 2013 – Gap to Alpe D’Huez.
This year sees the iconic 21 bends up to Alpe D’Huez climbed twice, which will be a stern test for everyone!

19th July 2013 – Bourg D’Oissans to Le Grand Bornand.
The race now moves north up through the Alps, with another demanding stage for some very tired riders by now.

20th July 2013 – Annecy
The penultimate stage of this years race and realistically the last opportunity for anyone to stake their claim for the overall win, this difficult stage is based around the picturesque town of Annecy at the northern edge of the Alps.

Rallye Du Mont Blanc (5-7th September 2013)
If you prefer your racing with an engine, than maybe this is more for you. The annual even based in Morzine marks the finish of the summer season.
See the drivers tackle the narrow mountain roads and tight hairpins at breathtaking speeds. This is the 65th running of the event and is part of the French national championships.

Coupe Icare (19-22 September 2013)
This year is the 40th anniversary of this annual festival of free flight. Held in St Hilaire, near to Grenoble, each year sees hundreds of pilots take to the skies to show their skills.

 Music Festivals
There are some major international music festivals also taking place around the Alps. The three we mention here are situated on the shores of lakes, with views of the surrounding mountains and they offer an unforgettable festival experience.

47th Montreux Jazz Festival (5-20th July 2013)

Musilac (12-14th July 2013)

Paleo (23-28th July 2013)

And don’t forget that if you are planning on travelling out to the Alps for your summer holiday, Ski-Lifts offer transfers year round to all of the resorts throughout the Alps, making getting out here very easy.
We hope you take our advice and have yourself a great holiday!

The Ski-Lifts Team

There is a lot more to Morzine than the winter

The Best Ski Resort In The World?



It seems that the start to the 2012-13 season has been one of the busiest in a long time, with demand over the Christmas and New Year weeks pushing the most popular resorts to capacity.

This got me thinking about what makes these resorts more popular, what keeps many people coming back year after year instead of exploring other lesser know resorts?

It’s a fairly emotive and subjective thing to decide which is ‘the best ski resort’. I’m sure we all have our opinions on the matter, and it’ll be shaped by various criteria – where you enjoyed the most (which possibly could have more to do with the après than the actual riding), what the snow conditions were like when you were there (one of my favourites is a tiny resort simply because when I was there it was a powder heaven which no one else in resort seemed to want to disturb!) and for others it seems to be purely based on reputation.

After trawling the internet it was easy to find numerous lists of the top 10 resorts and funnily enough – none of them quite agree!
Obviously certain resorts seem to pop up on more than one list which should be an indication that it is pretty good.

What also stands out is that there is possibly a bias (maybe subconsciously by the author, maybe targeted towards the expected audience) towards a certain type of resort.

So, we though we’d bring you a selection of these lists (who honestly doesn’t like a good list) and we invite your feedback on resorts that may have been overlooked, or your own top 10 resorts. So, here goes…..

First up is the Top 10 Resorts in Europe taken from the website Sno.co.uk
1. Meribel
2. Morzine
3. Chamonix
4. Verbier
5. Val D’Isere
6. La Plagne
7. Kitzbuhel
8. Courchevel
9. Zermatt
10. St Anton
 
Same criteria, this time from the Outside Online website
 
  1. Chamonix
  2. La Grave
  3. St Anton
  4. Kitzbuhel
  5. Verbier
  6. Murren
  7. Zermatt
  8. Bernese Oberland
  9. Alagna
  10. Andermatt
 
Looking at it perhaps from a different perspective (and expanding it to the whole world, although I think with a little bit of an American bias!) is National Geographic
 
  1. Girdwood, Alaska
  2. Fernie, BC
  3. Zermatt
  4. Bozeman, Montana
  5. Chamonix
  6. Cortina D’Ampezzo
  7. Whitefish, Montana
  8. Crested Butte, Colorado
  9. Aspen, Colorado
  10. Niseko, Japan
Tripadvisor has compiled a list based on feedback from the site users for the best skiing vacations in Europe
 
  1. Interlaken
  2. Zermatt
  3. Chamonix
  4. Lapland
  5. Zell Am See
  6. Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  7. Kitzbuhel
  8. St Moritz
  9. Courchevel
  10. Val D’Isere
  1.        Avoriaz (because we’re not completely impartial and wanted to show where it came in!)
 
So there’s a selection purely based on people’s over all opinions and one thing that stands out on most of those lists is that they are generally big, popular and well known resorts.
But what about the smaller resorts?
 
The Guardian compiled a list of ‘The Top 10 Cheap Ski Resorts in the Shadow of Giants’
 
  1. Soll
  2. Montgenevre
  3. La Tzoumaz
  4. Avajan
  5. St Martin De Belleville
  6. Hochfugen
  7. Les Houches
  8. Andermatt
  9. Jay Peak (USA)
  10. Ogden (USA)
 
You might have to do a bit of research to locate one or two of those!
 
Finally, back to Tripadvisor, who put together two lists using various criteria (cost of accommodation, cost of a lift pass, ski hire, a meal and a beer) to create the top 10 best value and most expensive resorts in Europe.

Top 10 most expensive European ski resorts according to Tripadvisor
1.             Meribel, France
2.             Courchevel, France
3.             St. Moritz, Switzerland
4.             Verbier, Switzerland
5.             Gstaad, Switzerland
6.             Zermatt, Switzerland
7.             Klosters, Switzerland
8.             Ischgl, Austria
9.             Val D’Isere, France
10.           St. Anton, Austria
 
I guess a list dominated by the resorts you might have expected!
But for the best value resorts as below, you might be surprised by a few of them….

Top 10 best value European ski resorts according to Tripadvisor
1.             Mt Etna, Italy
2.             Bansko, Bulgaria
3.             Astún, Spain
4.             Berchtesgaden, Germany
5.             Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
6.             Spitzingsee, Germany
7.             Candanchú, Spain
8.             Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
9.             Oberstdorf, Germany
10.           Serre-Chevalier, France


I’d love to say that Ski-Lifts offer transfers to all of these resorts – but we don’t! It pains me to say it but there were even a few on there I hadn’t even heard of and some (Mount Etna for example) that I can’t imagine drags in that many people for a ski holiday. However, we do offer transfers to most of them, so take the chance to travel with us and get out and explore some of them.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Even more shared transfers to ski resorts

Even more Shared Transfers to Ski Resorts!!

Here at Ski-Lifts we’re always striving to add more shared routes to our transfer portfolio.
We know that they offer great flexibility, are a cost effective way for small groups or individuals, to travel to ski resorts and also because it’s helping to reduce the number of vehicles that are on the road, they are also helping us all to do our bit for the environment.

 

For the 2012-13 ski season we are now offering more shared transfers than we have ever done before!

 

Of course we still have our shared transfer services from Geneva airport to the Chamonix Valley, the resorts of thePortes du Soleil and Grand Massif, including Flaine, Les Carroz, Samoens and Morillon.

For the resorts of Morzine and Les Gets we even offer an Economy Shared Transfer which is the cheapest seat available from Geneva to these resorts!

 

On weekends throughout the winter season we now have a shuttle service running from both Geneva andChambery airports to the resorts in the 3-Valleys, Paradiski, Val D’Isere and Tignes. With prices from just 65 Euros per person!

 

From Grenoble airport, there are regular shuttles running every Saturday throughout the winter to Alpe D’Huez andSerre Chevalier.

 

You can book shared transfers to Verbier, from Geneva airport every day of the week.

 

In Austria we have a huge selection of shared transfers to all of the popular resorts from Innsbruck, Munich andSalzburg airports. These resorts include Kitzbuhel, Mayrhofen, Obergurgl, Solden, St Anton and more…..

 

Before the winter season it will be possible to book shared transfers in Italy, to resorts such as Aosta, Courmayeur,Cervinia and La Thuile from both Turin and Geneva airports.

 

And we’re not stopping at Europe! We even offer a shared service from Denver airport to Whistler.

 

To see the full range of transfers available to any resort, simply get a quote on our website.
If you can’t find what you need, just ask! 


The Ski-Lifts Team

2012-13 Ski Season Dates for French Resorts

2012-13 Ski Season Dates for French Resorts

Here’s a run down on the season dates for the major ski resorts in France for the 2012-13 season.

The Portes Du Soleil
The Portes Du Soleil will be open from the 22nd December 2012 until the 21st April 2013.
Avoriaz and Pre La Joux will open from the 15th December, with Pre La Joux aiming to open for weekends from the 1st December, snow permitting.

Chamonix Valley
The entire Chamonix valley will be open from the 22nd December until the 21st April.
Les Houches is aiming to open for the weekend on the 15-16th December.
The Grand Montets area in Argentiere will open from the 8th December until the 12th May 2013.

Espace Killy
The entire Espace Killy area will be open from the 22nd December until the 27th April.
Lifts in Val D’Isere will be open from the 1st december until the 5th May.
Tignes will have some lifts open from the 29th September until the 11th May!

3 Valleys
The 3-Valleys is aiming to open from the 8th December until the 26th April.
Val Thorens should be open from the 24th November.

Paradiski
The Paradiski area will be fully open from the 22nd december until the 27th April.
Lifts in the resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne will open a week earlier on the 15th December.

Les Deux Alpes
Les Deux Alpes is open from the 1st December until the 27th April.
The glacier will also be opened for one week from the 27th October until the 4th November 2012.

Alpe D’Huez
The main resort of Alpe D’Huez will be open from the 6th December 2012 untill the 26th April.
Some of the smaller satelitte resorts opening on the 15th December.


We always advise you to check with the local resort tourist offices before booking early in the season, as dates can change based on snow conditions.


The Ski-Lifts Team

Fancy Skiing in North America This Winter?

Fancy Skiing in North America This Winter?

It always seems that any year where the Alps suffer for snow, North america more than makes up for it by having record breaking snowfall.

Two years ago was the perfect example for this, with many European resorts struggling to keep pistes open, whilst the North American resorts had the enviable problem of trying to work out what to do with all the snow that kept on coming and some resorts staying open until July!

Move forward a year land you see a complete reversal in fortunes, with European resorts seeing snow levels the like of which hadn’t been seen for decades and many of the American resorts, getting off to an extremely slow start.

Trying to second guess what might happen this year is virtually impossible – there’s always talk about the jet streams, El Nino, El Nina, etc, but as we’re sure Michael Fish would tell you, predicting the weather is not an exact science.
One thing that we do know is that if we could predict it, that would be a very useful talent!

However, there are certain resorts in North America that rarely (if ever) struggle for snow. You start looking at some of the average snowfall’s for these resorts and you’re talking in metres!!

Ski-Lifts have been offering airport transfers to some of the best ski resorts on the North American continent for a couple of years now. So, if you do decide to head out that way this winter, we can still offer you the same great range of transfers to your resort.

We currently offer airport transfers from Denver, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver airports to resorts in theUnited States and Canada.

Check out some of our resort pages to find out more detailed information about each resort (including average snow depths for some of the resorts).

Currently we offer transfers to Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Steamboat andVail in the USA and Banff, Fernie, Golden, Jasper, Panorama, Revelstoke and Whistler in Canada.

We hope you find this information useful and obviously hope that you have a great trip, with perfect snow, where ever you end up. Whether that is a resort in North America, Europe or even Scotland (we’re sorry but airport transfers are not yet available with Ski-Lifts to ski resorts in Scotland!).

The Ski-Lifts Team

Events, Competitions and Festivals in the Alps

Events, Competitions and Festivals in the Alps this Winter

Over the last few years there has been a steady increase in the number of events and festivals that take place throughout the Alps each winter.

Many of these events are focused around skiing or snowboarding competition, or other winter alpine sports, but some are all about the music or something else completely different.

That means that if you plan your holiday around one of these events, you still get to enjoy your time on the mountain and all of the other parts of the holiday that you love, but also you can take in a spectacular event that will give your holiday some stand out memories.

We’ve had a look through some of the events that are going on this winter and have tried to bring together a broad selection of some of the things that are going on.

Mayrhofen in Austria plays host to two of the biggest annual festivals in the Alps each year.

First up this year is the Altitude Comedy Festival (formerly held in Meribel) running from the 18-23rd March 2013. The line up is yet to be released, but 2012 brought in some of the biggest names in stand up, including Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle and Ed Byrne.

Shortly after is the Snowbombing music festival, running from the 1-6th April 2013. Now in its 10th year, past headliners have included Prodigy, Dizzee Rascal, Fatboy Slim, De La Soul and many more.

Morzine in France is one of the resorts to have taken up the challenge and over the last two years it has seen the creation of two new music festivals of its own.

Basscamp Festival launched in April 2012, offering a week of renowned DJs and culminating in a spectacular street party. The dates and line up for 2013 are yet to be announced.

Rock The Pistes, saw numerous bands playing at venues across the mountains right throughout the Portes Du Soleil at the end of March 2012.

For something slightly different, head to Andorra and the resort of Pas De La Casa, for Pas Rocks. A week long celebration of St Patricks Day

If music or comedy aren’t really your thing, then take the opportunity to see how the world’s best skiers and boarders go about things, by watching one of the many competitions taking place throughout the Alps each winter.

 Perhaps the biggest of them all is the winter X-Games, taking place in Tignes from the 20-22nd March 2013. With the biggest stars from around the world turning up to compete in a range of competitions including Slopestyle and in the Super Pipe.

Immediately after this in Tignes, from the 23-30th March, it’s the turn of The Brits – the annual competition and festival moves from its home Laax (Switzerland) this year.

Perhaps you want to watch some of the best extreme freeriders in the world compete?

The Swatch Freeride World Tour hits Chamonix from the 26th January to the 1st February 2013 and then Verbierfrom the 23-31st March 2013.

The FIS World Cup runs from the end of October, right through the season and includes competitions in disciplines ranging from Downhill and Slalom, to Cross Country or Speed Skiing, Freestyle to Ski Jumping.

Events take place throughout the Alps, in resorts such as Val D’Isere and Courchevel in France, St Anton andKitzbuhel in Austria, Alta Badia in Italy and Adelboden in Switzerland.

The World Championships are also taking place this coming winter, in Schladming in Austria from the 5-17thFebruary 2013.

For a completely different spectacle, you could try the Grande Odyssee race. 

This epic husky sledding race makes its way through the French Alps from the 12-23rd January 2013 and takes in resorts such as Les Carroz, Flaine, Megeve and Val Cenis.

Or how about watching Polo being played on a playing surface of snow and ice? 

You can watch the Polo World Cup on Snow, in St Moritz, from the 24-27th January 2013.

Or the Trophee Andros, a French circuit motor racing championship, but where all of the courses are covered in ice. Events are taking place in Alpe D’Huez (21-22nd December 2012) and Val Thorens (8-9th December 2012) to name just two.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is going on, we’ll try to keep you posted with other events as we hear about them, but remember you can always check a resorts website before you go on holiday to see what might be going on there whilst you are visiting.

If you know of any events that you think people should know about, please drop us a message to info@ski-lifts.com and we’ll try to mention it.

Advice on becoming a transfer driver

Advice on becoming an Airport Transfer Driver

A new website specialising in providing advice for people looking to find employment in the Alps this winter, Snow Jobz, have run an article on what it takes to become an airport transfer driver and what you can expect from working a season in this industry.

Read more at:
 http://www.snowjobz.co.uk/working-as-a-transfer-driver.html

The Ski-Lifts Team

Summer has arrived!

Summer has arrived!

It’s safe to say that summer has to truly arrived to the Alps.

The last few days in Morzine have seen scorching temperatures and beautiful blue skies – just in time for the start of the Passportes Du Soleil mountain biking event.
This event will see thousands of riders tackle a course that takes them right the way around the Portes Du Soleil area. It starts today and runs through the weekend and also marks the official opening of the lift network in the Portes Du Soleil for the summer season.
Everyone here at Ski-Lifts wishes all participants the best of luck and we hope you enjoy it. We’re pretty sure that the hot temperatures will mean everyone will be looking forward to a well earned cold drink come the end of the day!

As the summer starts to get into full swing, we’ll try to keep you updated with some of the events that are going on around the Alps.
There is plenty to appeal to everyone, ranging from the chance to go and watch the best rock climbers in the world compete in Chamonix on the weekend of the 14th July, which handily coincides with the Chamonix Beer Festival.
Or maybe something completely different, like the International mechanical musical festival hosted in Les Getslater on in the same month – surely that is not something most people can say they’ve been to see?!

Our transfers are up and running for the summer season, with shared transfers available to resorts such as Morzine, Chamonix and Les Gets and private transfers to all of the other resorts in the Alps.
Don’t forget that your bikes are transported by us free of charge.

Winter 2012-13

Snow is never far from our minds – many of the resorts in the Southern Hemisphere have seen great snowfall for their early season.

It is around about now that we start turning our attention to the winter and begin to plan how we can continue to improve the service that we can offer to our customers. We always welcome suggestions, so please drop us an email if you think we could be doing something different.

In the next few weeks we’ll be releasing our prices for transfers for the 2012-13 winter season.
Early birds can still book transfers now on our website for next winter, at last seasons rates. 

The Ski-Lifts Team

Four Seasons in One Day!

Four Seasons in One Day!

The UK has seen spring weather even more bizarre than normal, with large parts of the country officially being in a drought and yet the wettest April on record!?!

But if you think the UK has strange weather, the Alps can top it!

Looking out of the window here in Morzine, we currently have clear blue skies and its shaping up to be a beautiful warm day.
But within the last few days we have seen the full spectrum of weather conditions, from sunshine like today, to torrential rain and on a couple of occassions even snow!!

But this spring weather shouldn’t last much longer. The reality of summer in the Alps is quite surprising if you’ve never visited before, with plenty of sunny days and quite high temperatures.

In Les Gets for example average temperature highs are around 25-26 Celsius, but can get into the 30’s.
On average there are 8-9 days with rain throughout each of the summer months, but very often these come in the form of spectacular electrical storms in the late afternoon or early evening, so they don’t stop you getting out and about – they are in fact a spectacle to enjoy in themselves (the noise and light seems amplified by being in an alpine valley).


Why visit the Alps in the summer?

There are a number of reasons to visit the Alps in the summer and we list a few on our website, on our summer pages and the events in the alps pages. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there is so much that you can get out and do and enough activities to keep people of all ages occupied.

Whether it is a relaxing holiday, taking in the scenery, enjoying some walking, swimming in the pristine lakes, or getting into some photography or painting – the alps surely can’t be beaten.

But if its an adrenaline holiday, taking in some downhill mountain biking on the world cup courses, a bit of white water rafting, rock climbing or chosing one of the many high altitude zip lines or bungees on offer in various resorts – its pretty difficult to think of where could be better than the alps.

There are plenty of events worth visiting in their own right.
The Tour de France is one of the most watched sporting events in the world and the mountain stages are where much of the action takes place.
As well as these big events, many of the villages and resorts throughout the mountains hold numerous small scale music, sports, arts and folk festivals of their own.
From the International Festival of Mechanical Music (Les Gets) to the annual bread festival (St Jean D’Aulps amongst others).

Two events in Chamonix this summer are of interest.
Over the bastille weekend in the middle of July Chamonix hosts the World Climbing Festival and at the same time as this, they are also running the annual Chamonix Beer Festival.
Towards the end of August a new event is being launched called the Chamonix Adventure Festival.

We’ll try to keep you posted about some of the things happening in the alps this summer, but the only way to really experience it is to get out here.

The Ski-Lifts Team

Welcome to the Ski Lifts Blog

Welcome to the Ski-Lifts Blog……


Welcome to the first ever entry of the Ski-Lifts Blog. We hope to use this to update you with the latest news from Ski-Lifts and on relevant stories and events that are happening in the mountains.

If you have news that you think would be interesting to other readers, please email it through to us at info@ski-lifts.com and we’ll do our best to get the word out from here.

 

 

This Season in the Alps

 

As the 2011-12 ski season draws to a close in Europe, we hope you all managed to get out to the mountains, in what was a bumper year for snow across the Alps.

 

Coming off the back of the 2010-11 season, which was (to put it mildly) not such a great year for most resorts, we were all waiting nervously for the snow to arrive. It left it late, with some resorts having to delay opening dates and the UK press merrily reporting no snow and a disastrous year looming for skiers and snowboarders.

And with perfect timing, on the day that many of these stories came out in the UK, the heavens opened in the Alpsand it started dumping down with snow.

 

And the snow just kept on coming through December and January, with some of the coldest temperatures recorded in decades.

Instead of the patchy slopes of the previous year, some resorts such as Tignes and Val D’Isere and some resorts inSwitzerland and Austria were actually cut off for short periods as the roads in and out of resort became inaccessible – great news for people stuck in resort who got an extra day or two out of their holidays!

 

March produced some beautiful blue skies, with barely a cloud being spotted for days on end and then just as things seemed to be winding down to the end of the season, it started snowing again – a lot!

This meant that everyone had fantastic conditions right to the closing of the lifts in April and May and there is no doubt that many resorts, such as Avoriaz, could easily have carried their season on for another few weeks at least if they had wanted.

 

A particular highlight for us in Morzine was the first ever Basscamp Festival, a week of Music and international dj’s, culminating in a spectacular street party. At Ski-Lifts we were glad to support this new event and look forward to doing so for many more years to come.

 

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who travelled with us this year and we hope to see you again with us in the near future.

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of our staff – we think you all did a brilliant job and helped us provide a great service, especially with the weather throwing some pretty extreme conditions at us!

 

 

The Summer

 

At Ski-Lifts we love the summer in the Alps. It provides a chance to get out and enjoy the mountains in different ways – whether its mountain biking, hiking and climbing, rafting, or more leisurely pass times such as enjoying one of the many lakes or playing a round of golf on some of the most scenic courses you will find any where in the world.
Don’t forget that some resorts re-open in the summer months for skiing and snowboarding on their glaciers.

 

If you’ve never spent any time in the Alps over the summer, we can’t recommend it highly enough. You can find information on just a few events that are taking place this year on the summer events page on our website – but this is just scratching the surface.
You’ll be amazed by the diversity of things going on and activities to do once you get out here!

 

Ski-Lifts run as normal throughout the summer months, so you can still book your transfers through us to all of the destinations that we offer in the winter, which this year topped 260 different ski resorts!!

 

 

If you can’t be tempted to the mountains for your summer holiday then we’d also like to make you aware of our sister website, VaVroom.com which offers airport transfers to other destinations throughout Europe.
This includes city and beach breaks in the most popular destinations and this year transfers to any of the host cities for the Euro 2012 football championships.

 

If you can’t find what you are looking for on the site, give us a shout and we’ll do our best to help.

 

 

So please check back for regular updates from us. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@Ski_Lifts).

We also love to hear your feedback and ideas at info@ski-lifts.com

 

Thanks again & we hope to see you all soon.

 

The Ski-Lifts Team