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BEST & WORST TIMES OF THE WINTER
Wednesday April 12, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

As the season of 2016/17 draws to a close it's time to look back as we hear from our reporters, readers, snowsports athletes, celebrities and many others on the good times (and the bad ones)... UPDATED

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriella Burden, Mark Warner

Best time: My best part was heading out on 5 ski trips this season, which although were mostly short breaks, I managed to get heaps of skiing in and update my knowledge of resorts!

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Worst time: Leaving the mountains over and over. Why don't I live there again?!

Lee Townend, Snoworks + BASI Trainer

Best Time: The highlight of my season this year, was getting a 100% pass rate at BASI level 1 and the BASI level 2 on the SnoworksGAP ski instructor course in autumn on the teaching module, and an incredible 16 out of 20 passing their level 2 technical module. These guys and girls then set off to enjoy fantastic seasons teaching and skiing in Austria, Switzerland and Japan! Rewarding work and a fantastic 8 weeks.  AWESOME!

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Worst time: Low snow levels = skis in the bin! I have had another fantastic season and many a powder day with our clients, however this year was a bit of a snow drought in comparison to the previous years. This meant that skiing off piste in the early months caused excessive ski damage and two sets of skis not making it to the ski servicing bench or shop, but straight into the dustbin!
OUCH!

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Sue Freeman, Ski-Write

Best time: Whizzing down the mountain on Ischgl's new 2km long Skyfly - parallel ziplines from mid-station to the village, apparently reaching  speeds of 50mph. What a thrill! You can do it as a pedestrian or a skier/boarder, as skis/board can be strapped to your back. I did it once with and once without skis and much preferred doing it as a pedestrian.

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Worst time: Falling on hard-packed snow and bruising my coccyx when trying out cross-country skiing in Galtür. I wasn't the only one in my group to fall and suffer the same injury. We spent the rest of the trip wincing every time we sat down. I still do, actually, several weeks later.

Kisia Cove, PlanetSKI social media editor and co-founder

Best time(s):  And there were a few: ... Finally seeing a stunning aurora borealis in Finland; hearing that our son Alex Cove had become a level 3 ski instructor, and doing a pre-Christmas Warren Smith Ski Academy course with my friend Heather.

Sadly though I didn't get a chance to practise anything I had been taught so on the bright side I need to book another one this December 😍

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Worst Time: Holding the PlanetSKI 'fort' and uploading endless deals & discounts every Tuesday on to the website whilst the PlanetSKI editor was endlessly uploading stunning skiing photos! 😱

Pam Thorburn, GB Ski Cross Athlete

Best time: Getting my head right in Sweden, hitting some of the biggest jumps of my life and finding the fun again after 22 months out of competition.

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Worst Time: Crashing at World Championships and ending up in Spanish hospital... and trying to drive a rental car with a full cast on my leg 🙈.

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James Rampton, PlanetSKI reporter

Best time: Over the past decade, the Altitude Comedy Festival at Mayrhofen in the Austrian Tirol has played host to more legends than King Arthur's Round Table.

But surely legends do not come any bigger than one of the acts who topped the bill at Altitude in December: Eddie the Eagle.

I had the pleasure of a day's skiing with this icon of the slopes.

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A plasterer from Gloucester who glided from complete obscurity to worldwide fame after coming last in the ski jump at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1998, Edwards is a likeable and witty man.

An extremely able skier who narrowly missed out on selection for the British team as a downhiller in 1984, he absolutely whizzes down the slopes.

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I have been skiing for more years  than I care to remember, but I struggled to keep up with the supersonic Eagle.

With a hint of a smile, he told us that, "Speed is an addiction."

The Eagle spent the day soaring down the slopes.

Shame that I was so far behind him, I could scarcely see him.

But I'm still very glad to be able to say that I've swooped down the mountain like an Eagle - or at least an Emu.

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See here for the reports of James Rampton from the Altitude Comedy Festival.


Worst time: Serre Chevalier is a very pleasant, underrated French resort. The skiing and snooc-ing (see Katie Waddington's entry below) are a delight. But there was one winter sport that I did find quite so joyous: ice-karting.

I was convinced I was going to make like Lewis Hamilton at the race track in Serre Chevalier.

As the starting hooter sounded, however, I fear I far more closely resembled Mr Toad.

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As I spluttered off the starting line, I was immediately overtaken by a yob - is that the right collective noun? - of French teenage boy racers.

And that was only the beginning of my misery.

Skidding round corners that even Torvill and Dean might have found hard to negotiate, I was overtaken no fewer than five times in ten minutes by said boy racers.

I'm afraid my driving was more Granny Prix than Grand Prix.

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Dave Ryding, GB's top alpine racer, World Cup silver medallist at Kitzbühel

Best time

Crossing the line on the 2nd run of Kitzbühel and seeing position number 2. The time from then until bed was a whirlwind of TV interviews, press conference, phone calls and of course the podium ceremony! The whole season was beyond my expectations but that topped it, of course.

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Worst time

The 24 hour travel back from Aspen, USA.  4 flights to get the luggage back to Europe and then get myself back to the UK... that was a long old day and I was checking off the hours as they went by.

James Cove, PlanetSKI editor

Best time: February 28th 2017: I finally skied Jackson Hole in Wyoming - a resort I have wanted to ski for decades. And guess what?  It was a powder day and it was followed by two more; I had hit it in the snowiest February the resort had ever had.

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See here for the blog from James on his time in Jackson Hole.

Worst time:  A few days later I was filling up the car with petrol on the way to Powder Mountain and Alta in Utah, stuck my hand in my pockets and couldn't find my credit card. I had a stonking hangover and a vague recollection of using it the night before in some bar in Grand Targhee to buy a round or three. I wondered whether anyone else had spent something on it after it left my possession. My thoughts then turned to how I was going to pay for the petrol (I had no cash) and fund the rest of the trip.

One of our readers, Colin Matthews from Meriski, very kindly sent us the four pictures below, but no words to go with them.

So we will just have to use our imagination.

One thing is for certain - the people present when the first photo was taken and who had to experience the sight of Colin's legs (that's him on the left) will undoubtedly have had one of their worst experiences of their winter. Wink

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Feel free to send in your words Colin! Wink

Warren Smith, Warren Smith Ski Academy

Best time: Best has to be our first Academy trip in partnership with CMH heliskiing in Canada for a week. Epic snow and 40 happy clients. Riding a heli constantly for a week it just amazing. Skiing un-skied powder all week.

Warren Smith in Canada Warren Smith - Best Time in Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Worst time: Worst for me was teaching in China in November with jet lag. Minus 30 degrees and jet lag combined with teaching with a translator was pretty harsh. Still a first world problem though. Lucky to have even been there.

See here for PlanetSKI's report on The Warren Smith Ski Academy's expansion into China.

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Krystelle Kubicki, Iglu Ski

Best time:  My highlight of the season was being able to tick off many 'firsts,' first time snowboarding in Switzerland on Iglu Ski's start of season trip to Cervinia/Zermatt and my first time in Canada. Canada was my top bucket list destination and I was super stoked to discover this spectacular country in the best way - on a road trip! We visited Vancouver, Whistler and Sun Peaks and was blessed with endless powder and generous hospitality through the entire trip - which I'll be day-dreaming about all through the summer!

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Worst time: Having to leave all the snow behind in Canada was the worst moment of the season so far... But winter isn't over for me yet. I'm off to Tignes this weekend to enjoy some end of season slush and closing parties.

And we have had others comment over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

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And if you want to add your comments on Facebook  then here is our Facebook page.

Paddy Griffith, Huski

Best time: Seeing our shiny new Huski vans ready to deliver food around the Alps for the first time.

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Worst time: Seeing one of our shiny new Huski vans wrapped around a concrete post after one of our Huski drivers swerved to avoid hitting a dog. The irony.

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Katie Waddington, co-founder Zenith Holidays

Best time: Learning to snooc in Serre Chevalier - being followed down the slopes by PlanetSKI's very own, James Rampton.

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See here for the PlanetSKI article on snoocing  by James Rampton.

Worst time: Being offered a glass of Viperine in the southern alps by a ski school director - an alcoholic drink which as the name suggest has a dead viper in it! I hate snakes - although dead ones are better than live ones I suppose! - no photo as I ran away much to the amusement of everyone else!

Jane Bolton, Erna Low.

Worst time: My worst moment was feeling so poorly for most of the season that I hadn't been able to ski.

Best time: The best moment without doubt was skiing with Rob Freeman after all his illness too. We both just felt very lucky to be there having such fun.

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Alf Alderson, award-winning ski writer.

Best time: Arriving in Alta, Utah, just as that legendary 'Greatest Snow on Earth' started to do its thing.

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Worst time: Arriving in Deer Valley, Utah, just as that legendary 'Greatest Snow on Earth' turned to rain - all the way to the top of the resort.

Even worst time: Having to do all this with James Cove.

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See here for the PlanetSKI blog on their Utah road trip together.

Phil Smith, Director Snoworks Ski Courses

Best time:  Easy - Our boys' skiing hero Dave Ryding clocking the fastest time on the first run at the World Cup Slalom Kitzbuhel. The noise hit the roof in our house.

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See here for the PlanetSKI story on THAT day in Kitzbuehel.

Worst time:  Being smashed by my wife Emma Carrick-Anderson in a children's ski race in Italy.

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Conrad Sutcliff, ski writer

Worst time: Today. My ski buddy David has broken another leg - operation in Sallanches today. He tripped over a pipe in Courmayeur and went down a bank into a tree stump. 

Best time:  Day trip to Combloux, a hidden gem little explored by the Brits. Worth more than a day trip. Good cruising, views to die for and decent grub on the hills. 

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Jane Peel, PlanetSKI Chief Reporter

Best time:  Colorado. I'd never skied in Colorado and I'd never been cat skiing before.  I loved the tree skiing and the backcountry experience without the effort!

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See here for our story Skiing By Snowcat.

Worst time: Colorado.  Trying to ski at 3,700m, barely able to breathe as a result of the altitude and a hacking cough.  Then, to cap it all, when I finally recovered from the jet lag that had been waking me up at 3am without fail, I found I had slept through Dave Ryding winning his silver medal at Kitzbühel!

Ed Mannix of Matterhorn Chalets in Zermatt

Well, Zermatt will have to finish its ski season without me, although I will of course still be here as this is home.

It's just that having survived a pretty active winter on the mountain, doing all sorts of slightly silly and precarious things on skis, concluded by an excellent week on piste with a group of guests staying in Chalet Ulysse, I fell over in the bathroom last Saturday morning and broke two ribs.

One hears about how painful rib injuries can be, but without having actually experienced one, it is impossible to imagine how much they hurt.

So that's our "Haute Route Backwards" ski tour cancelled with a big sorry to Andreas the guide and the other members of the team. The consolation however, is that when I'm fit again in about 6 weeks, I'll be able to go skiing immediately as the Zermatt Klein Matterhorn ski area stays open year-round.

Rob Stewart, Ski Press

Best time: I've been lucky enough to have skied in seven different countries this winter across over fifteen ski resorts but the best moment for me was in Glenshee, Scotland in dubious, but skiable, snow conditions during the February half-term week. It was a family ski trip and we were staying in the brand new Braemar Cabins - my 7 year old daughter had to ski with four guys, all professional skiers and she absolutely loved it. Seeing her improve her skiing during the three days there was a joy and I could not drag her off the mountain at the end of the day. For me, a family ski holiday is the highlight of the winter, well that along with the fantastic powder we had in Kuhtai during the SIGB ski test week......

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Worst time: It was more sad than bad - alongside some good industry friends in February we attempted to ski the height of Everest in a day to help raise money for the charity Ski 4 Cancer. These friends had lost very close loved ones recently and it was an emotional day. Skiing the height of Everest in a day is a fairly achievable feat for many skiers, but the conditions were tough in Saalbach-Hinterglemm where heavy snow slowed us all down and meant our world record to get over 250 people skiing the 8,848 metre height of the world's highest mountain didn't happen. We raised some significant funds for the charity which was great, but it was a tough day. Hopefully next year we can get that world record and continue to support this great event.

See here for a PlanetSKI preview of the event.

Michael Brabin, Crystal Ski

Worst time: I honestly don't think I have any worst... oh, apart from trying to hockey stop to cover the new Crystal Ski MD, Chris Logan, in snow, catching my edges, thankfully missing him but hurtling into Ryan from Banff Lake Louise Tourism (see pic of us untangling!), who thankfully was unhurt!

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Best time: The best snow day was a 12cm blue bird day in Sun Peaks - no one on the mountain and hiked the inbounds Gill's area about 4 times to get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th tracks - I attach a photo, don't mention my technique, in my head it was sublime.

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See here for our report on Sun Peaks from PlanetSKI's Kisia Cove.

Lewis Panther, ski writer.

Best time: Skiing knee - sometimes thigh - deep powder in early December in Niseko, straight off the first lift.

Worst time: Breaking fibula two-and-a-half days in, going too slow on a poxy path trying to check out the area about to opened up for night skiing that had even deeper pow. And then having to suffer the continuing Alderson-Cove bromance.

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And if you want to share your best and worst moments then please send them in to inbox@planetski.eu or post them over on our Facebook page.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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