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; pitztaler-gletscher.at). 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 travel.co.uk) 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; ernalow.co.uk), 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 ernalow.co.uk/80. 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, skiapartments.co.uk 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 3vt.co.uk. 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 snowcarbon.co.uk, part of the group behind the new service.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
  • Get to the point
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.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...