INSPIRATION • September 2018
It’s hard to beat an alpine weekend away for a maximum sense of escape and minimum travel time – head off on a Friday morning and you could be hitting the slopes that afternoon, with another two full days of snowy entertainment ahead. Ski expert Gabriella Le Breton provides inspiration for some truly memorable ski weekends
Set yourself up for winter with an early-season piste skills course in the snow-sure resort of Hintertux. Run by CDC Performance, the specialist ski-coaching company, the four-day adult camps teach basic race skills, eradicating your bad habits. With mixed and ladies-only camps taking place in early December 2018, there’s no excuse for sloppy carving.
Each January, St Moritz welcomes the Gourmet Festival. Take the three-hour scenic railway journey here for a celebration of all things culinary (11-19 January 2019), including gourmet dinners, wine tastings and cookery demonstrations. As host of some of the festival’s most prestigious events, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains St Moritz is the ideal base for a weekend of feasting and skiing.
Oslo should top the list of anyone seeking to mix cosmopolitan flair and urban culture with skiing. The Norwegian capital boasts cutting-edge restaurants, contemporary architecture, sophisticated nightlife and its very own ski resort: Oslo Vinterpark, just 20 minutes from the centre of town by metro. The resort isn’t vast, but offers plenty for skiers, plus sweeping city views and a tempting organic bakery.
Hone your off-piste skills during a new freeride camp, which will have you skiing with freeride superstars in every powder hound’s preferred resort, Engelberg. Organised by ALS Ski, the camp (9-12 January 2019) will give 10 aspiring freeriders the opportunity to learn from the best. Inspirational evening talks, torch-lit night descents, Alpine picnics and accommodation (and après-ski sessions) at the freerider’s favourite ski lodge are all thrown in for good measure.
On a pristine Alpine plateau encircled by the spectacular Dolomites, the 30-room Adler Mountain Lodge elevates the Alpine ‘cure’ to new heights. There’s skiing on the doorstep, but leave plenty of spa time – with hot tubs and saunas overlooking the mountains, plus massages and facials using local ingredients, you’ll be as blissed out as Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.
Encompassing 12 resorts and 286 pistes across France and Switzerland, the Portes du Soleil ski area offers more than enough terrain to explore over a weekend. Visit during the Rock the Pistes festival (17-23 March 2019) for on-mountain concerts and après-ski gigs. Stay in high-altitude Avoriaz to maximise your piste time, or in Châtel for a traditional Alpine romance and daily concerts.