All clear: Skiers don't need high altitude to get the best of Schladming's wide slopes

Back in snow business: Conditions are perfect on Schladming's championship pistes

Austria cut off: that sums up the headlines this week, with thousands of skiers in leading resorts such as Ischgl and St Anton unable to escape following what was reported as a season's snowfall in a few days. By now the roads should be clear, the skiers home and the prospects fine for the rest of the winter.

Free run: a groomed piste in Cervinia, Italy

Skiing in the slow lane

There's no need to hurtle downhill. Gentle exploration of the pistes makes for a more rewarding experience

The mass consumption of alcohol is a major pastime

Snow patrol: Lois Hechenblaikner's photographs reveal the seamier side of the Alps

Every year, the Tyrol region of Austria is transformed into the ultimate ski resort: snow guaranteed, party-times promised, a wonderland for tourists to descend upon in their droves. And come they certainly do – over 41 million people visited last year.

Travel challenge: A North American ski holiday

Every week we invite three companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a week-long ski holiday in North America. Prices are per person, based on two people travelling together. Each includes transfers and flights from the UK on 21 January.

Winter wonder: Taking to the slopes in Espace Killy

Slopes with savoir faire: Val d'Isère still retains its centuries-old character

Polo, the ski-shop manager at Les Barmes de l'Ours, Val d'Isère's swankiest hotel, is the kind of fellow one finds only in winter-sports resorts and Bond movies: charming, cooler than cool, with an impressive air of worldliness for a man whose horizons are all jagged and snow capped.

Master the mountain: Snowsports can be daunting. Self-hypnosis or extra lessons can help nervous skiers

Feel the fear and ski anyway

After five years away from the slopes, Tracey Davies found the prospect of heading back to the piste terrifying. But a chance encounter taught her a new way to cope with her nerves

All too often though what starts as a dream trip to enjoy the powdery snow can end in a painful sojourn to the emergency ward

Don't let medical bills be your après ski

Hitting the slopes this festive season? Don't forget your travel cover – or count the cost, say Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight

The resort offers excellent and usually snow-sure terrain

Skiing: Those in the know head for Val Tho

It might be the least known of the Trois Vallées resorts, but what it lacks in profile, it makes up for in personality.

The snow-sports fans are already out in force in Whistler

There's no shortage of snow on the slopes of North America

Snow Report: It looks like another bumper year for powder in the US and Canada

Powder at Mount Hood

They like their skiing Eighties-style on the slopes of Oregon's mountains

The wintersports offering in this north-west state seems behind the times when compared with some of the bigger-name American resorts, but it's gaining ground fast. Minty Clinch puts its pistes to the test

Actress Brigitte Bardot wraps up warm to take a stroll on the slopes with the director Roger Vadim in 1961

Going on the piste

If you're hitting the slopes this season – or simply preparing for another Arctic blast to hit Britain –winter warmers abound

Snow joke: mild weather brings chaos to start of ski season

Thrill-seekers are told to aim high for any hope of catching some decent action on the slopes

Sainte Foy has been quietly developing into a chic retreat

Take a left for the thrifty side of the Alps

Lucy Grewcock had passed by the sign for Sainte Foy many times on her way to Val d'Isère...this time, she followed it instead

La Clusaz: A resort with bijou charm

It's time France's La Clusaz was back on the map for British skiers, says Leslie Woit

Canada: Wild or mild in the Rockies

Panorama Mountain Village in British Columbia is a family-friendly resort that also offers off-piste excitement

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