Last Orders: Snap up a late deal
Tired of the Alps? Fancy heli-skiing? Looking for a budget break? Susannah Osborne has all the angles covered
Sunday 22 January 2006
1 Last tram from Jackson
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with its near vertical runs, is synonymous with skiing on the wrong side of madness. And this is your last chance to take the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram. The red, bus-like cable car, featured in extreme ski films, will close in October because of safety concerns. The tram, which allowed skiers to attempt the 20ft drop into Corbett's Couloir, will be replaced.
Best for: daredevils.
Contact: Ski Independence (0845 310 3030; skindependence.co.uk) is offering seven nights' b&b for the price of six at the four-star Lodge at Jackson Hole, that's £820, including return flights. Departs 25 February.
2 Women-only skills school
Seeking women who want to improve their skiing in a testosterone-free environment. Sally Chapman and her crew of top British female ski instructors. All they need is three free days in March; a willingness to be challenged; and a sense of humour. Based in the Portes du Soleil ski area, the course aims to improve skiing in any condition: ice, slush, powder or groomed piste. Accommodation is in Savoyard-style Chalet-Hotel la Chaumière.
Best for: intrepid females.
Contact: Inspired to Ski (0870 128 8989; inspiredtoski.com) is offering the three-day course (15 hours' tuition) for £180, a discount of £60, including transfers and half-board. Return flights from Gatwick to Geneva with easyJet (0905 821 0905, easyjet.com) cost £110.
3 Treat yourself to ski and spa
The St Regis in Aspen, Colorado, is perfect if you believe a ski holiday should be just that a holiday. A stone's throw from the slopes, the refurbished hotel features the decadent Remède Spa. A full menu of treatments (with chocolate truffles and champagne), vapour caves, whirlpool baths, waterfalls and an oxygen lounge are on offer.
Best for: laid-back luxury.
Contact: Ski All America (08701 676 676; skiall america.com) is chopping £50 off flight-inclusive bookings to Aspen made this month. Seven nights' b& b at the St Regis costs from £965, including return flights and transfers. Book by 31 January.
4 Stay just a little bit longer
Planet Subzero organises long-stay and seasonal stays in the French Alps for boarders and skiers with more than just a week to spare. Sharing chalet-style accommodation, usually two to a room, resorts in reach include Paradiski the linked ski area of Les Arcs and La Plagne the Three Valleys and Chamonix.
Best for: snow lovers with time on their hands.
Contact: Planet Subzero (00 33 679 178 578; planetsubzero.com) is offering six weeks' accommodation in Chalet Oliver, Peisey-Vallandry (Les Arcs) for £1,200 from 18 February to 1 April.
5 Keep the family entertained
Esprit Ski is expert in providing holidays for families with kids from four months to 12 years's old; including children with special needs. Childcare options include nannies, ski clubs, supervised lunches and snow clubs. Carers work in strict ratios and one-to-one care can be requested. Ski Esprit's last-minute offers include a family holiday to Selva Val Gardena, Italy. The resort, on the Italy-Austria border, is part of the " Dolomiti Superski" area. It claims to be sunny 300 days a year perfect for tots who get chilly quickly.
Best for: all the family.
Contact: Esprit Ski (01252 618300; esprit-holidays .co.uk) is offering seven nights' half-board in Chalet Waldeck for £899 for a family of four, based on two adults and two children sharing two twin rooms. It includes return flights and transfers.
6 Go on safari in the snow
One resort not enough? See as many as possible on a ski safari. This one takes in the Canadian resorts of Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise.
Best For: "chasing the pow".
Contact: Ski Dream (0870 350 7547; ski-dream.co.uk) is offering £100 off its Ski Alberta Fairmont Ski Safari, which costs from £1,199, including return flights, car hire and room-only accommodation.
7 Fly high for the long way down
The Whistler area of British Columbia has just received six feet of snow in seven days, which makes it the ideal place to go heli-skiing right now. A typical day would include seven or eight heli-drops, with descents of 15,000ft.
Best For: cash-rich powder hounds.
Contact: James Orr Heliski is offering a 5 per cent discount on heli-ski packages that are booked before 31 January (for a minimum of two people). A three-day package costs from £1,620 per person, including three nights' full-board accommodation and heli-drops. Return flights to Vancouver cost from an extra £258 in January with Zoom (0870 240 0055; flyzoom.com).
8 Pastures new in the Arctic
If you've shredded the runs in the Alps, it may be time to seek a new resort. Pyha, a national park in Finnish Lapland, just above the Arctic Circle, is surrounded by stunning scenery. Despite the small number of runs, advanced skiers will be kept happy by the large free-ride, or off-piste, area and half-pipe.
Best For: skiers who are so over The Alps.
Contact: Crystal Ski (0208-939 0842; crystalski.co.uk) is offering seven nights' half-board at the Pyhatunturi Hotel, Pyha, for £349, a discount of £49, including return flights and transfers and three-hour snowshoe excursion. Departs 12 March.
9 Master the art off the piste
So you've mastered your carving turns and you're looking confident on the black runs, but when you venture off piste, it all goes to pot. Fear not, here's your chance to benefit from a week of intense coaching in off-piste technique in Val d'Isère. It's just the ticket to bring you up to scratch on how to deal with different snow conditions.
Best for: piste-bashers.
Contact: Ski Freshtracks (0845 458 0784; skifreshtracks.co.uk) is offering seven nights' half-board accommodation for £825, including return flights, transfers, off-piste instruction and avalanche transceiver hire.
10 A week on the slopes for £200
Andorra has long been the place to ski for snow fans who are counting the pennies. The Pyrenean principality offers fun at knock-down prices but after £95m investment it can no longer be labelled as the place to go back-to-basics. The snowpark at Gran Valira is fast becoming one of the best in Europe.
Best For: bargain hunters.
Details: The Fast Track Ski sale (0871 226 8113; fasttrackski.co.uk) costs £199 and includes return flights, transfers and seven nights' accommodation at the two-star Hotel Envalira. Departs 29 January.
Prices are per person based on two sharing
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