A snowboarder takes off in Adelboden

Bear with Bern for Swiss skiing

Stephen Wood arrives at the gateway to the Bernese Oberland with plenty of respect for the slopes – and for the city's ursine inhabitants.

Harry Moran with pro snowboarder Jenny Jones at Tignes

Tignes and toddlers go well in the spring

Warmer days and softer snow can make late-season skiing safer and more fun for children, as Chris Moran discovers

Hot and cold: Alpentherme spa complex

Off piste and into the spa: Austria's Bad Hofgastein offers far more than skiing

Past the town's cross-country skiing track, a little further on from an icy-looking pond peppered with hardy ducks, steam was rising from the valley floor. A series of low-rise modern buildings, large windows brightly lit against the surrounding mountains, awaited me, grouped around a striking dome and a simple glass box.

Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, has opened its slopes

Sochi: All white in this Black Sea ski resort

The venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, has opened its slopes up to British skiers. Adrian Mourby gives it a test run

Upwardly mobile: Snowshoeing across the slopes of Etna

Fire and ice: Strap on your snow shoes and explore Mount Etna

There is one vital ingredient to every snowshoeing trip. And that's snow. Pulling back the curtains of my hotel room window, I gazed out at the sheer slopes of Mount Etna. There wasn't a flake to be seen. Did Luca, my guide, have some bad news? "Don't worry," he said, while loading our snowshoes into the van.

Downhill dangers: knowing and understanding ski safety and the rules of the piste is vital whatever your ability

The safe ski guide

The death of pro skier Sarah Burke has made snow-lovers concerned about the sport’s safety. But a sensible approach to the slopes can reduce the risks.

Fast lane: The Hannig sledge run

Snowed under in Switzerland: Saas-Fee is delightful despite a little too much of the white stuff

A family skiing holiday is all about balance – and not just in the obvious ways. But let's start with them anyway. Obviously, everyone should be trying to stay upright on the slopes. For that there's ski school. In Saas-Fee, the exquisitely sculpted resort at the heart of Switzerland's narrow Saas Valley, there are three to choose from: Optimum (swanky green gear), Eskimo (powder blue) and the Swiss Ski School (red and white, naturally). Given the destination, the Swiss version seemed most appropriate, although my instructor, Robert Fuller, later turned out to be from Essex. As I say, there's a balance to be struck. His homespun acumen would come in very handy. Meanwhile, my two sons, aged nine and six, were assigned a local who would have them carving neat turns on the nursery slopes in no time.

<p>(1) iTrailMap3D</p>
<p>£2.99</p>
<p>Hit the lodge after a hard day's skiing, grab a beer and compare your routes and tracks with your friends using this 3D map and tracking app. When you get home, you can export the info to Google Earth.</p>

The 10 Best ski apps

(1) iTrailMap3D

£2.99

Hit the lodge after a hard day's skiing, grab a beer and compare your routes and tracks with your friends using this 3D map and tracking app. When you get home, you can export the info to Google Earth.

Peak condition: The charming Austrian resort of St Johann

Snow Report: Austria's welcome still warm... after 50 years

I'm proud to say that my mother was one of the first package holiday tourists to venture abroad soon after the Second World War, when leisure travel began to lower its costs and thus widen its appeal beyond the upper classes.

Out cold: The King’s Trail crosses some spectacular and savage terrain

Sweden: Go wild in winter

An extraordinary trek on cross-country skis across the Swedish tundra leaves Simon Birch dazzled by the Arctic landscape

Hip and cool: St Moritz is the place to see and be seen

Switzerland: The original and the best

Davos is the highest city in Europe, St Moritz is all about high style – but both have epic skiing, says Leslie Woit

Traveller's guide: Late-season snow

Fancy some fun in the sun? The time to hit the slopes is as spring takes the edge off winter's chill, says Matt Barr

Ski news: the season so far

Snow fall

Stand ups sit down: the Altitude Comedy Festival has relocated to Austria

Snow joke: altitude with a touch of attitude

The man who skis all day

Music in the mountains

Patrick Thorne works his way around the best mountainous music festivals
Travel
File image: Eight worshipers were killed after lighting struck a Church in Malawi on Saturday
News

Passengers were 'screaming and crying' after bolt hit

Travel
Early Heathrow flights were operating normally
advice

There's a lot to remember before you head to the airport. Simon Calder offers his advice

Travel
News

He was then told to delete the tweet before re-boarding

Travel
Romantic break: Prague stole Frank Turner's heart
people

'A guy was sprawled naked in the hotel corridor. We decided to sleep in the van'

Travel
news

From a taste of Mexico to open-air cinema in New York

Travel
Monkeying around: Victoria Falls station
comment

The man who pays his way

Travel
Wood work: Nordicminimalist decor at the Stracta Hotel
hotels

Make this Icelandic retreat your goal

Travel
£495 - Esprit Sun
news

Alpine summer holiday

Travel
Call the shots: Art'Otel's bar
europe

What to see and where to be seen

Travel
Go in peace: W Retreat and Spa
advice

With its renowned surf, serene temples and wild interior, the Indonesian island offers tranquillity and adventure

Travel
Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way
comment
Travel
Gardening leave: Signal Point Cottage sits in the Arid Garden
hotels
Travel
The Rosewood London offers suite guests a complimentary 'maxi bar'
comment
Travel
There are still summer cruises available in Europe
cruises
Travel
Capital idea: Madrid 'feels like proper Spain'
people
Travel
£896 - Hayes & Jarvis
americas

City break in New York

Travel
Summer time: how long is left on your passport?
comment

The man who pays his way

Travel
Perfect match: modern art is mixed with traditional materials
hotels
Travel
Writing on the wall: Borussia Dortmund's colourful stadium
comment

A new 800km trail shows you where world-beaters are made

Travel
advice
i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Travel

C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

Visitor Experience volunteer

Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

ES Rentals

    Day In a Page

    Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
    Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
    Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
    Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
    Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
    Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform