Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Ten best ski essentials

Whether you’re sticking to the nursery slopes, bolting down a black run or heading off-piste, we’ve got all the gear to keep you warm and looking cool...

Click on the image on the right to launch the gallery

Skiing: Kostelic increases lead in cup standings

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia extended his runaway start to 2011, winning a men's World Cup slalom yesterday for his fourth victory in 15 days.

Skiing: Kostelic's fine run continues in Switzerland

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic races downhill on his way to victory in the World Cup super-combined slalom race in Wengen, Switzerland yesterday. It was Kostelic's third victory in 12 days, stretching his lead in the overall World Cup standings. "I'm just riding on this wave and going from race to race," said Kostelic.

Skiing: Kostelic sluices home to secure overall top spot

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia completed his excellent week by winning the latest slalom round in the World Cup in Adelboden in Switzerland to move to the top of the overall standings.

Skiing: Walchhofer flying in farewell season

Austria's Michael Walchhofer added another victory to his farewell season yesterday, becoming the first skier to win the gruelling World Cup downhill on the Stelvio course three times.

Briton dies in Alps ski accident

A British man has died in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

Space-age 'huts' for Alpine trekkers irk the traditionalists

An unwritten rule of the mountains states that anyone in need can take refuge in the solitary huts dotted across the world's higher peaks.

The Essential Skiing Guide: The rest of Europe

Almost every country in Europe – even Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal – has at least one ski area. And as well as the "big four" Alpine nations, UK tour operators offer holidays at dozens of resorts in eastern Europe, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia.

A Room Swept White, By Sophie Hannah

When young television producer, Fliss Benson, is suddenly put in charge of a ground-breaking documentary about miscarriages of justice involving a string of cot deaths, alarm bells ring.

Skeletons (NC)

The spirit of Charlie Kaufman lives but doesn't quite soar in this eccentric metaphysical comedy from Nick Whitfield.

Cycling: Vogondy holds off Sicard charge

Nicolas Vogondy of France won yesterday's fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine after breaking away in the last 2km of the final ascent.

Disability sport to get £10m funding rise, says minister

Disability sport is to get a £10m boost from Sport England, the Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said at the weekend.

Skiing: Miller calls halt to season as ankle injury takes its toll

Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller has decided to end his season, a week before the World Cup finals in Germany. The American skier ducked out early to rest a sore right ankle, and said he hopes to discuss his future with the United States men's coach Sasha Rearick.

Skiing: Gisin holds off Vonn to claim surprise victory

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin was a surprise winner of the Crans Montana Super-G at the weekend in the final event before the World Cup finals at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Winter Olympics in Brief: Razzoli follows the Tomba tradition to take gold for Italy

Giuliano Razzoli gave Italy its first gold medal of the Vancouver Games with victory in the men's slalom. Razzoli, making his Olympics debut, led after the first leg and clinched gold with a combined time of one minute 39.32 seconds to become the first Italian man to win an Alpine medal since Alberto Tomba in 1994. Croatia's Ivica Kostelic took the silver 0.16sec back and the bronze went to Sweden's Andre Myhrer, 0.44sec adrift. Austria's Benjamin Raich, the defending champion, was fourth but the American Bode Miller lost his chance of becoming the first man to win four Alpine medals at the same Olympics when he straddled the fifth gate in Saturday's foggy conditions. "It's a dream, I worked a long time for this day. It's incredible," said Razzoli.

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