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.

On the edge: Look further afield for some stand-out ski resorts in the Four Valleys area

The ski industry is all about numbers. The numbers of runs, the kilometres of pistes, the hourly lift capacity, the number of beds available. Although these figures are rarely representative of the true worth of a ski area (La Grave, for example, with its one lift, is often considered to be one of the world’s best backcountry resorts), established resorts have long seen the value in joining forces with neighbouring ski hills to boost their stats.

Man held after snowboard tow stunt posted on web

A man has been arrested after a video of a car towing a person on a snowboard down a main road was posted on the internet, police said today.

Boarder control: The best terrain parks

Terrain park: two words to send any self-respecting snowboarder into a happy daydream – and most skiers running to the nearest après-ski bar. You may already have eyed one through the ropes at your favourite resort: a cordoned-off area populated by ominous-looking cheese wedge jumps (or "kickers" or "booters" – see panel, right), handrails, picnic tables and boxes bent into unusual shapes (these are known as "jibs"), and young people wearing unfeasibly voluminous trousers.

More drinkers on the Piste

The number of people who drink and ski is on the rise, it was revealed today.

Take off to the slopes: 10 ways to make the most of the snow

The winter sports season is approaching its halfway point, but there's still lots new to try out. Colin Nicholson has the latest stories from the pistes

White Heat, by Wayne Johnson

"This book is intended to put the reader on the mountain," explains ski enthusiast Wayne Johnson in his foreword, but it's a mighty zigzagging ride to the end as he veers between history, technical detail and personal experience in a frequently irritating "Look at me!" novelistic style, much of the time archly referring to himself in the second person.

My Style: Charlotte Dutton

Drop zone: Take to the skies over the Rockies for some heli-boarding action

"If you lose your hat, do not chase it – or you may not have a head left to wear it." Of all the safety advice we were given by our guide Andrew prior to boarding the helicopter, this was the bit that stuck in my mind.

Air time: The brand new ski camp where 'progression is inevitable'

Stephen Wood visits Colorado for a sneak preview of Woodward at Copper

First person: 'I survived a catastrophic avalanche'

Xavier De Le Rue, 29

Dom Joly: Catching a tube offers a route across the piste's grand divide

Weird World of Sport: Skiers, in the Nancy Mitford parlance, are U and snowboarders aremost definitely non-U

Mount Olympics' new lift deserves a medal

The Peak 2 Peak gondola, linking Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, is an awesome feat of engineering. Minty Clinch reports
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee