The future of skiing: how tech will change how we ski

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Guest post from our friends at Alpine Infusion: learn more about the impact of existing and future ski technology on all the different aspects of your skiing experience!

Skiing can be traced back thousands of years, from when people living in the mountains used to get on their skis to traverse the snowy conditions, to what we see today as we travel around the world to do it for recreation and fun! During that time skiing itself hasn’t changed too much, but with the digital age, there are some really interesting developments on the way. Below we’re talking you through some of the very best technology for all the skiing enthusiasts out there, with a look at how things will change in the coming years.

Safety equipment

Safety is always a big concern for people when they go skiing, and the evolution of safety equipment will be a big plus in the coming years. We’re talking sensors that can tell whether you’ve been static for a significant period of time, before sending a signal back to the relevant authorities just in case they need to act. Airbags will also become much smaller, lighter and larger when inflated, becoming the standard for skiers over the world.

The evolution of the ski boot

The design of skis themselves might not change too much, but the ski boot could see big alterations. This includes fully mouldable outers and inners, and a change in bindings in an attempt to save on weight. The improved equipment will help to make off-piste skiing more accessible for those who are comfortable enough to try it out.

Wearable ski technology

Struggling to master your chosen piste? Luckily for you, there are wearable tech options out there right now which will assess your performance in real-time, before providing actionable advice for you to improve your experience the second time around. This technology will only get better in the future, improving everything from your jumps to how much angle and force you’re putting into your runs.

Perfect snow machines

Snowmaking has come a long way in the last few decades. Before it was all about getting some snow any way you could, whatever the energy cost and whatever the quality. Nowadays things are much different, with snow machines that control water content so that what they create isn’t too wet, and they’re much kinder to the environment. They will only get better in the coming years as technology improves, and we’ll see ski resorts being able to invite tourists in for far longer than they do now.

Sustainable ski resorts

In a decade or so we could be visiting ski resorts that run on their own energy. Virtually all ski areas have the ability to do this, thanks to a combination of wind, solar, micro-hydro and geothermal. This is just the way the world is going, and it’ll only benefit the environment as we explore more sustainable ways to enjoy our favorite activity.

One-piece stretch suits

One day the reality of layering before we leave our luxury ski chalet will be a distant memory. We’ll be putting on one-piece stretch suits and they’ll automatically regulate our temperature. This means you’ll never have to worry about what to pack and you’ll never have to take off or add more layers when you’re halfway down the mountain.

These are just a few of our future predictions for the world of skiing. As you can see there’s much to be excited about, from an increased level of safety to clothes that will adapt to our own temperature. Who knows, maybe a bit further down the line we’ll be getting on our hoverboards and gliding down the mountains without even touching the snow! Now get back out there and enjoy the ‘traditional’ skiing while you can!

This post was contributed by Alpine Infusion. Alpine Infusion provides the finest selection of award-winning chalets in the Three Valleys, France – the world’s largest skiing area. Follow them on Twitter.

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Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort Guide


Whistler Blackcomb ski resort guide

This post includes affiliate links

Whistler Blackcomb ski resort overview

Whistler, BC (Canada) is the largest ski resort in North America, offering plenty of variety for all levels. People reference it as the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort from the names of the two neighboring mountains.

The Canadian hospitality and charm, combined with an international village boasting lots of après-ski options, make Whistler one of our favorite spots in North America.

Great off-piste itineraries are conveniently within reach from the lifts and heli-skiing departs directly from town. The Whistler Blackomb season runs through May, and the Blackcomb Glacier reopens mid-June for an extra month of summer skiing

Best runs in Whistler

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are directly connected and lift tickets allow to ski both in the same day. To move around:

  • Either direction: Peak 2 Peak gondola. An engineering wonder, it also offers amazing 360 views of the area. Every 15 minutes, catch the special glass-bottom car for a stunning bird’s-eye perspective on the forest below. With bad weather, keep an eye on gondola’s closures on the boards at the bottom of every lift.
  • From Blackcomb: Ski down Village Run following for “Whistler Village”, then take the Whistler Village Gondola back to the top.
  • From Whistler: There is no direct ski trail to Blackcomb. Ski to the base of Whistler mountain and take the Excalibur Gondola which runs across and to Blackcomb.

We recommend sticking to one mountain for the day. Unless snow conditions or the weather require changing plans, both Whistler and Blackomb mountains offer so much terrain and variety that you are better off exploring them one at a time.

While we love the entire ski resort, we also have our personal favorite best runs in Whistler:

  • 7th Heaven (Blackcomb): one of the funniest areas, this is an intermediate playground that advanced skiers will enjoy too. Bring breadcrumbs for the many birds eating directly from skiers’ hands at the base of the lift.
  • Blackcomb Glacier (Blackcomb): a unique spot to experience that real mountain feeling! A short hike from the top of Showcase Tbar takes you to the Balckcomb bowls. While some trails are reserved to experts with proper backcountry equipment, there still is a huge open patrolled area that skiers can enjoy safely. Best on powder days, beautiful all season around.
  • Dave Murray Downhill (Whistler ): named after a local legend, this popular run has hosted World Cup and Olympic downhill races and takes you all the way down!

Best restaurants in Whistler

Whistler’s first class restaurant scene is quite impressive even for us New Yorkers! Far from aspiring to compile a comprehensive list of all places, we are happy to share our personal selection of the best restaurants in Whistler that we actually tried. Along with being avid skiers, we also are foodies and dedicate quite a bit of attention in researching dining options!

  • Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar: great restaurant in the middle of the Village with an amazing wine list. Elegant, always packed (book in advance!), great food options. Seafood and Oysters are delicious, but Araxi features a very complete menu for all with creative farm to table options. For something more informal, don’t miss their 3-5PM Apres-Ski fondue in the lounge.
  • The Rimrock Cafe: located in South Whistler, the fancy and upscale Rimrock Cafe offers great fish and game dishes and an excellent wine list. Reservations are required well in advance, up to two weeks during the peak season. While the restaurant is located a short cab ride from the Village, most hotels also offer a complimentary shuttle to it.
  • Bar Oso: Spanish tapas bar: Montaditos, Lamb albondigas, Octopus, Cheese and Charcuterie platters all to die for. Great Cocktail and Gin selection (we recommend the Local and International tastings). This is one of our favorite spots for informal gatherings in a very cozy setting.
  • Longhorn Saloon & Grill: the ideal place to hit for a drink and quick meal at the bottom of the slopes. Great to relax after a long day of skiing, the Longhorn has indoor and outdoor seating right across the Whistler Village Gondola base. You can’t miss it!
  • Pizzeria Antico: if you are looking for authentic Italian pizza in Whistler, this is the place to go. They carry a great beer selection in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. If you are like us and favor traditional recipes, try the Margherita or Margherita with prosciutto: you won’t be disappointed.
  • Lift Coffee Company: right across the Whistler Village Gondola, this is a very laid back and relaxed coffee shop with indoor and outdoor space. The international team is fun and service is great. Grab a quick breakfast before starting the day or come in for your Hot Chocolate break on a cold day. Don’t miss the muffins and the ham and cheese croissant!

Best hotels in Whistler

Whistler offers plenty of high quality lodging options. If budget allows, we recommend staying in the Village: while hotels are on the expensive side, particularly during high season weekends, the location offers unbeatable convenience to the restaurants and slopes and very nice accommodations. Our choices below all offer a SPA with pool, gym and indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi. Service is great overall: again, you know the Canadian hospitality and charm!

  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler: first class accommodation with heated outdoor pool and spa tubs and a good on-site dining options (Sidecut). While location is a bit less convenient than others, the hotel offers a free shuttle as well as ski concierge service for you to leave your ski gear at Blackcomb base.
  • Fairmont Chateau Whistler: enjoy ski-in / ski-out convenience and luxurious accommodations right at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. This is an award-winning with exceptional dining and full resort amenitiesfor those who don’t want to compromise.
  • The Westin Resort & SPA: the hotel is located right next to Whistler Gondola, at the entrance of Whistler Village. Unbeatable location and great amenities like a shopping gallery and the Avello SPA.
  • Sundial Boutique Lodge: ski-in/ski-out all suite condominium right at the hear of Whistler Village. Beautiful accommodations. Several rooms have a private hot tub overlooking the mountain in addition to the common hot tub on the rooftop.
  • Hilton Whistler Resort & SPA: located just one block from the Whistler Gondola, this hotel features a 24-hour business center, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs as well as an on-site SPA. The Cinnamon Bear Bar is also quite popular for afternoon and evening drinks.

Things to do in Whistler

Whistler Village boasts a multitude of shopping and dining options that cater to local and International visitors. Furthermore, the resort offers great options away from the slopes both for skiers and non-skiers.

  • Olympic Park: the park was built for the 2010 Olympics and is mostly located West of Whistler, where you can enjoy a multitude of winter activities and tour the facilities. You can also enjoy the ice skating rink in Olympic Plaza or hit the Whistler Sliding Center on Blackcomb Mountain for bobsleigh and skeleton.
  • Panoramic ride: non-skiers can still enjoy breathtaking views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains by purchasing Sightseeing Tickets to the Peak 2 Peak gondola.
  • Scandinave Spa: a Nordic-inspired outdoor spa in the heart of nature, just minutes from the Village. Enjoy the hot tubs, the eucalyptus steam bath, the wood Finnish sauna or a rejuvenating private massage.
  • Dog sledding: a real Canadian experience, ride in a dog sled across the snow covered forest while learning all about this ancient tradition
  • Heli-skiing: enjoy the world famous Canadian heli-skiing combined with Whistler beauty and convenience. Whistler Heli-Skiing tours depart directly from the Village and cater to skiers of different levels thanks to over 430,000 acres of diverse terrain and expert guides.

Secret tip for Whistler Blackcomb ski resort

Don’t want to compromise on your skis and boots rental? Then hit the Rossignol Dynastar Lange demo center and rental shop at the bottom of the Wizard Express on the Blackcomb side. This is a separate store from the other rental shops and offers a true premium selection in addition to amazing white glove service.

Getting there and around

Whistler is fairly easy to reach, just about a 2 hour drive from Vancouver on a beautiful and mostly two-lane road. Enjoy the Sea-to-Sky panoramic views: the journey will definitely raise your excitement level even before getting to your destination!

From the Vancouver Airport:

  • Car: this option is the most flexible, and you can easily rent a car directly at Vancouver Airport. It is worth nothing, though, that you will likely not need a car once you get to Whistler.
  • Shuttle: collective door-to-door transportation service from Vancouver Airport to Whistler hostels and back. For about 60-70$ CAD each way, book your desired pick up time, sit back and enjoy the view (or fall asleep!). Be careful of travelling time, though: shuttles stop for hotel drop-offs along the route, therefore making the trip about 2:30 hours. On the way up from the airport, shuttles also wait for reserved passengers arriving on different flights. The additional wait might be less than ideal, particularly if you get in tired on a late flight. 
  • Taxi: for about 250$ CAD a taxi will take you straight up to Whistler. This is more expensive than the shuttle but much more convenient, and if you travel with a group you can split the cost.

Once you get to Whistler, pretty much everything is within walking distance along or around the pedestrian-only Village Stroll. You can also use the seasonal free shuttles to easily reach the Upper Village at the base of Blackcomb.

Whistler Blackcomb ski resort statistics

Whistler MountainBlackcomb Mountain
Skiable Terrain4,757 acres / 1,925 hectares3,414 acres / 1,382 hectares
Type (beg, int, adv)20% / 55% / 25%15% / 55% / 30%
Trails100+100+
Parks, Pipes and Snowcross2 Parks1 Superpipe, 1 Snow Cross, 3 parks

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Best spring skiing in Europe

Includes affiliate links with our recommended hotels

The Alpine region offers some of the best options for spring skiing in Europe. The Alps feature high altitude peaks and over 20 glaciers, with several ski resorts open late into spring. Multiple locations even have sunny and warm summer skiing opportunities definitely worth checking out.

These are our 10 personal favorites for spring skiing in Europe! All information is updated as of the date of this post and we recommend always checking with your final destination.

Are you a real Ski Trotter too? Don’t miss our related post on spring skiing resorts in North America

Best spring skiing in Europe

Zermatt, Switzerland

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Zermatt

Zermatt and the Matterhorn (Photo by Michael Portmann)

Why: The Matterhorn / Cervino and off-piste skiing
Open Until: end of April for the main slopes; 365 days on the glacier
Where to stay: enjoy the unique experience of the Zermatt Igloo Village if you are not afraid of the cold!

The Matterhorn, this is all you need to know! The renowned peak (Cervino in Italian) offers postcard ready views and some of the best spring skiing opportunities in Europe. Sunny skiing in Zermatt is magical and spring really is the best time of the year to visit. The north-facing slopes can get chilly in December and January but will not disappoint under the sun. Take a ride on Europe’s highest cable car and enjoy easy access to 60km of slopes in the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. On good days, you can ski across the boarder to Cervinia for a total of 100Km of pistes usually still open in May. The romantic and car-free village of Zermatt offers plenty of gourmet restaurants and apres-ski options. make sure not to miss the Igloo Village! Those with the appropriate budget and freeriding expertise should not miss the several heliskiing opportunities, particularly the day-long descent from the top of Monterosa right into Zermatt.

Cervinia, Italy

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Zermatt

Cervinia ski piste preparation (Photo by Cervino SPA)

Why: The Matterhorn / Cervino for beginners and intermediates
Open Until: end of April
Where to stay: Saint Hubertus bio resort caters to luxurious travelers looking for first class amenities and personalized attention. Sporthotel Sertorelli is a great option for skiers who value affordable lodging and convenience.

Cervinia sits on the southern Italian side of the Matterhorn. The resort is located at about 2,000m with the slopes reaching as high as 3,500m. Cervinia is directly connected to Zermatt and the Valtournenche area, for a total of over 300km of skiing opportunities. While Zermatt suits skiers looking for steeper runs, the West-facing bowl of Cervinia caters well to beginners and intermediates. The resort is less fancy than its Swiss counterpart, appealing to those looking for a genuine and less polished mountain experience. Food, shopping and accommodations come at somewhat of a lower cost, which is certainly a plus. Lift tickets are also significantly cheaper if purchased in Cervinia than in Zermatt, at least based on current exchange rates.

Val Thorens, France

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Val Thorens

Val Thorens ski-in ski-out village (Photo by C. Cattin)

Why: the piste runs through the resort, tons of ski-in / ski-out accomodations
Open Until: May
Where to stay: Altapura hotel is excellent on every level, from location to food options, the convenient ski shop and the pools & spa facilities. On the expensive side but worth it!

Unlike most resorts in the area, Val Thorens is usually open into May including the run down to the village. The resort is part of the 3 Valleys ski circuit, with 600km of pistes and glacier skiing at over 3,000m. The slopes cater to skiers of all levels and offer easy access to some of the most challenging terrain in the Alps. Snow availability is so consistent that the resort offers a snow guarantee November to May: should conditions not be met, you will get an extra day of free skiing! It is only fair to mention that you will likely need to come back for it, though. The village is Europe’s highest resort (2,300m) and the piste runs right through it, with mostly ski-in/ski-out accommodations. As for many Alpine resorts, guides can accompany expert visitors on several off-piste adventures in the area.

Val d’Isere and Tignes, France

Why: the Espace Killy ski circuit is one of the most extensive high altitude skiing options in Europe
Open Until: beginning of May
Where to stay: Hotel L’Aigle the Neige in Val d’Isere features ski-in / ski-out location, attentive service and a beautiful pool. Le Yule Hotel & Spa, also ski-in / ski-out, is somewhat less fancy but offers great value for money.

Located at the intersection of two weather systems, the area is usually blessed with snow storms late in the season. About 60% of pistes are above 2,500m, which also makes it the most extensive high-altitude ski system in Europe. The resort is an excellent choice for skiers of all levels and boasts 300km of varied runs. Visitors can often ski back to base until May. Both towns are great for spring skiing, with Val d’Isere featuring lost of north-facing terrains and Tignes benefiting from the elevation of its Grande Motte glacier (3,400m). The Grande Motte is easily accessible via the underground funicular and offers fairly steep runs compared to other Alpine glaciers. From Tignes, expert riders can rent a guide and enjoy off-piste trails in the Val Claret area.

Verbier, Switzerland

Why: some of the best off-piste trails in the world; good spring deals in a quite expensive resort
Open Until: late April, early May
Where to stay: W Verbier boasts pure luxury. Hotel Bristol is one of the best valued ski-in / ski-out options, mostly suited for a younger crowd.

Verbier is one of the fanciest and more expensive resorts in Europe, therefore making spring deals even more appealing. Located at the heart of the 4 Valleys ski area, this also is the last resort to close. The 4 Valleys area gathers 5 resorts under one single pass (Verbier, Nendaz, Vevsonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz), offering 410km of runs and some of the most challenging slopes in the Alps. What really makes Verbier unique, though, is the world famous off-piste scene. Mont Gele is regarded as one of the best lifts in the world for easy freeride access, with two official and marked off-piste trails for expert skiers. Mont Fort and Vallon D’Arby also boast some renowned off-piste trails. Don’t get fooled by the easy access, though: these are unforgettable experiences, but all require knowledge of freeriding and mountain conditions, expert guidance and appropriate safety equipment.

Chamonix, France 

#chamonix #argentiere #glacier #grandsmontets

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Why: spring is a better bet for Vallee Blanche
Open Until: mid-May
Where to stay: Hotel Mont-Blanc offers the luxurious charm of a recently renovated historical establishment. Le Faucigny and L’Heliopic both are great options for those looking for a friendlier budget.

While most of Chamonix slopes start closing by mid April, the Grand Montets area usually stays open well into May. This part of the resort is best suited for advanced skiers, with north-facing slopes that reach above 3,000m. Chamonix is also regarded as a European mecca for extreme skiing and adventure lovers. The resort sits beneath Mont-Blanc and – together with Alagna and Verbier – offers some of the best freeriding options in Europe if not in the world.  If this sounds appealing, then spring is definitely the time for you to visit Chamonix. The Vallee Blanche off-piste route is heavily dependent on snow depth and spring represents a better bet for total snow fall. Rent a guide and enjoy 20km of freeriding, a vertical descent of 2,700m and breathtaking scenery!

Hintertux, Austria 

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Hintertux copyright Hintertux Glacier

Hintertux (copyright Hintertux Glacier)

Why: great glacier skiing in late spring and summer
Open Until: May for the overall resort; 365 days on the glacier
Where to stay: enjoy the great cuisine and unparalleled Tyrolese atmosphere at the Alpenhof hotel

Hintertux features one of the largest and most varied glacier experiences in the Alps for 365 days every year. The resort usually has 40km to 60km of good runs still open in May, best suited to intermediates. The village is tiny but with the thermal springs and numerous festivals and parties you will not risk getting bored. We recommend Hintertux for late spring, since earlier in the season it wouldn’t offer the same extensive terrains as other European spring skiing destinations in this list. If the snow holds well, though, you can drive down the valley to several nearby ski resorts for day trips.

Obergurgl / Hochgurgl, Austria

😍 another day in paradise 👍

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Why: Tirolean charme and high quality accommodations
Open Until: early May
Where to stay: Hotel Madeleine is a short walk to the slopes but the Spa facilities make it worth it

The Obergurgl-Hochgurgl area is known as the ‘Diamond of the Alps’, offering lots of 4-star accommodations in town and some of the best chalets right on the slopes. The small village of Obergurgl boasts plenty of Tirolean charme and entertainment for those who value quality of accommodation as much as their day on the snow. Access to the slopes is very convenient, with two lifts at both ends of the town and easy access to off piste opportunities. The mid-mountain gondola also directly connects Obergurgl to Hochgurgl, a picturesque cluster of 7 hotels at 2,150m. While the resort does not feature a glacier, its high and north-facing slopes reach over 3,000m in altitude and cater to skiers of all levels. Glacier skiing can be enjoyed in the neighboring resort of Solden, a mere 20 minutes drive from Obergurgl.

Livigno, Italy 

Best spring skiing in Europe - Winter shopping in Livigno

Winter shopping in Livigno (Photo by Roby Trab)

Why: Duty Free status and sunny days
Open Until: end of April / early May
Where to stay: Park Chalet Village offers incredible service and superb accommodation in your own private cottage, with the added convenience of the complimentary ski shuttle

Livigno is known for its long sunny days and spring skiing in short sleeves. The resort is located in the Italian Alps and although it does not have a glacier, it offers pistes up to 3,000m with the high altitude slopes best suited for beginners and intermediate skiers. Livigno is a Tax Free town where you can enjoy food, drinks and shopping at a great value: to avoid unpleasant surprises at customs, just remember to check allowances and limitations! Overall low prices (at least by ski resort standards) attract a younger crowd as well as families. The town is quite picturesque and offers a free shuttle to easily move around. If you are up for a long day trip, you can also drive or take the bus to the beautiful St Moritz (Switzerland) which is a couple of hours away.

Ruka, Lapland, Finland 

Best spring skiing in Europe Ruka

Ruka slopes and panorama (Photo by Ruka.fi)

Why: Magical atmosphere: pick between seeing the northern lights in winter or enjoying close to 20 hours of daylight in spring
Open Until: May; mid-June on good snow years
Where to stay: if your main focus is on skiing, Cumulus Resort Rukahori may lack some fancy amenities but offers unbeatable value and location

This is not the Alps, but Lapland has a magic of its own. Thanks to its position close to the Arctic Circle and great snow making capabilities, Ruka boasts one of the longest skiing seasons for a non-glacier destination. Ruka usually opens as early as October and the season runs well into May. The resort is fairly small, with a total of 34 runs mainly suited to beginners and intermediates and about 6 runs still open in May. Even though the quality of skiing falls short of other bigger and higher European destinations, Ruka offers a strong local vibe and a very unique experience. Weather it is spotting the winter northern lights or enjoying close to 20 hours of daylight and beautiful sunsets in spring, this place will certainly surprise you. Even more magical, how about skiing with a herd of reindeer right next to you?

Check out or favorites for spring skiing in North America

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Best spring skiing in europe