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The Independent Online

Brace This

The part of the body most stressed by a ski holiday is not, in fact, the liver, but the knee. According to the International Ski Federation, more than 41,000 knee injuries were treated in France alone last season. But a knee brace can help. Developed in collaboration between University College London, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and Doyle International, the Defender Pro-1 and the Defender Pro Skeletal provide support and freedom of movement. The Pro-1 costs £710 and the Pro Skeletal £530; call 01582 755 000 or see www.dil-kneebrace.com

Pack This

When skiing at a resort, a minimum pack would be sunblock and a lift pass. Venture off-piste, however, and you need more. An avalanche survival kit, with a beacon or transceiver, an avalanche probe and a compact snow shovel, is essential. You can usually hire a kit in the resort, but if you want to buy your own, expect to spend at least £225 on the three items. The Ortovox range is available from branches of Snow and Rock. Call 0845 100 1000 or see www.snowandrock.com

Wear This

Is this the end for the lost lift pass? With the Swatch Access watch, skiers and boarders can buy a lift pass from a Swatch shop in more than 450 ski resorts worldwide. The watch has a built-in antenna and a microchip which allows the ski pass information to be loaded into it. For access to the ski lifts, simply wave your wrist past a scanner at the turnstile.

The watch – called This Closure – costs £32.50. For stockists call 023 8064 6830.

Surf This

Nothing makes someone about to embark on an expensive skiing holiday more anxious than the snow reports. Take away some of the uncertainty by visiting www.snow-forecast.com which updates seven-day forecasts twice daily for more than 400 resorts in 30 regions. The coldest and snowiest resorts are listed with pictures from 1,607 webcams at ski resorts in 31 countries.

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