Ski News


Austria's highest gondola opens

The new highest lift in Austria, which ascends to 3,440m, has just opened at Pitztal (00 43 5414 86999; The Wildspitze gondola (above) takes skiers and boarders more than two kilometres in under six minutes up to the Hinterer Brunnenkogel, where Austria's highest café is located. From here there are also breathtaking views of the Wildspitze (at 3774m, Austria's second-highest mountain) and more than 50 other 3,000m-plus peaks. Pitztal itself has already been open for nearly two months for autumn glacier skiing, with more than 27km of piste available. Around 60cm of fresh snow arrived at the start of the month.

Wear a helmet or you're not covered

Although the move towards legislation to force skiers and boarders to wear helmets on the slopes appears to have slowed (children aged under 14 must wear helmets in Italy; those under 13 must wear them in Norway and Slovenia), travel insurance company Essential Travel (0845 803 5434; essential reports that 77 per cent of their customers now wear helmets – a 15 per cent increase since 2010, when the company's "Use Your Head" campaign was launched. Essential Travel surveyed customers and found 73 per cent felt they should be rewarded for their decision to protect themselves by paying lower travel insurance premiums. The company cut premiums by 15 per cent on 1 November, but say it is a policy requirement to wear a helmet and "skiers who do not wear a helmet will risk invalidating their policy".

Erna Low turns 80

The UK's original ski tour operator, Erna Low (0844 879 2903;, turns 80 this winter. Miss Low herself died in 2002 but her company is still going strong and to celebrate, there's a book, video and – in keeping with her reputation for innovation – a new website. Aiming High: The Life of Ski and Travel Pioneer Erna Low by ski journalist Mark Frary is available to pre-order (publication 1 January, 2013), priced £16 via The site also has links to vintage film of early British ski holidaymakers. The book's pre-order price is £1 more than the then 23-year-old Viennese graduate's first holiday, advertised in the Morning Post in 1932. That £15 package included a fortnight in Solden, Austria with hotel accommodation and 20 years later, Miss Low pioneered the chalet holiday. Meanwhile, from Erna Low provides a choice of thousands of apartments from 80 resorts.

Easier rail access to Three Valleys

Reaching the world's largest ski area, the Three Valleys in France (above), will be easier from London via Eurostar this winter. A new shared minibus transfer service launches on 5 January, 2013 and is bookable through Skiers arriving on the daytime Eurostar Ski Train at 6.13pm can use the service to the door of their accommodation anywhere in the Méribel valley for a fixed €20 per person, compared to €65 for a private taxi for the 20-minute journey. "Last season, bizarrely, the last public transport Saturday bus would depart for Méribel 13 minutes before the Eurostar Ski Train arrived. This meant the only choice was a taxi," said Daniel Elkan, co-founder of rail-ski website, part of the group behind the new service.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album