It’s been a busy summer as Ski Safari prepares for the ski season ahead. It promises to be another packed winter programme full of inspirational trips and some new incredible single-centre and multi-resort adventures. Here’s what’s new for 2015-16.
Pump up the volume in Utah
One of the biggest news stories for 2015-16 is the hugely anticipated linking up of Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons. Connected by a new high-speed gondola, the development will create the largest single ski area in the United States, with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. The new eight passenger gondola, named Quicksilver, will run from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The Park City and Canyons brands will be merged into one, under the name Park City with a new logo and tagline “There is only one. Park City.”
Currently one of the biggest players in the ski industry, Vail Resorts, purchased Park City Mountain Resort last year and having already operated Canyons, it wasn’t long before plans started taking shape. With an investment of around $50 million to update the area, plans include re-developing the centre of Park City and building new hotels and infrastructure. Already this year there will be improved on-mountain dining with one brand new restaurant and two newly renovated. There will be further lift upgrades in Park City, such as King Con, which will go from a four to a six person high-speed detachable chair.
Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com) has a 10 night holiday to the 4* Silverado in Park City, starting from £1425 per person. Price based on 4 sharing a 2 bedroom suite and includes flights and transfers. Departs in January 2016.
Happy Birthday Jackson Hole!
This coming season Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will celebrate its 50th anniversary and to mark the occasion the resort is presenting itself with a brand new high-speed lift. The arrival of the Teton Lift on 19th December 2015 will open up access to 200 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain in The Crags, between the Apres Vous and Caspar lifts, which was previously only accessible by hiking. Other improvements this winter include the renovation of Rendezvous Lodge, which will include a new on-mountain dining experience with the contemporary bistro-style restaurant called Piste.
Jackson Hole continues to shine as one of the world’s most compelling resorts for advanced and expert skiers and despite continuing developments still maintains its true spirit, authenticity and Wild West ambiance. Possibly America’s most nail-biting run, ‘Corbet’s Couloir’ is a must for all experts to Jackson Hole. Entering into the couloir by dropping off a cornice, with a free fall of several metres is not for the faint hearted!
Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com) has a 7 night holiday to the 4* Snake River Lodge in Jackson Hole, starting from £1375 per person. Price based on two sharing a hotel room and includes flights and transfers. Departs in January 2016.
Learn to Ski in Scandinavia Programme
This winter Ski Safari has introduced a new Learn to Ski programme in Scandinavia to entice first-timers on to the slopes. Uncrowded slopes, confidence-boosting terrain, patient English-speaking instructors and conveniently located high-quality accommodation are just some of the reasons Scandinavia is one of the best places for that first skiing holiday.
All the Scandinavian Learn to Ski packages feature inclusive prices with lift pass, ski rentals and ski schools covered in the price and they’re better value than you might expect. A half-term holiday in February 2016 starts from only £985 per person for 7 nights staying in a family room at the 4* Hotel Myrkdalen on half board. Price is based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing and includes flights, transfers and a 6 day lift pass and ski rentals plus 5 days ski school.
For ski weekenders, try Oslo Winter Park, staying at the 4*+ Hotel Lysebu for 2 nights on half board, with prices starting from £679 per person. Price includes flights, 2 day lift pass, ski rentals and ski school with Ski Safari (01273 224 068, www.skisafari.com).
The Ultimate – New BC Heli-Ski Safari
This could quite possibly be the trip of a lifetime and one where the memories will stay with you for the rest of your life. Taking in three of British Columbia’s best heli-skiing resorts, Panorama, Revelstoke and Kicking Horse, this new fly drive Heli-Ski Safari will allow skiers and snowboarders to tackle some of the most challenging terrain in North America.
Start in Panorama and spend a few days exploring the long steep pistes and fantastic tree skiing before spending a day with RK Heli Ski. The 3 run package will take you to some of the longest heli-ski runs in Canada.
Next up is Revelstoke and thanks to its annual snowfall of between 11 and 16 metres, there is no shortage of powder, making the tree runs, steep glades and bowls taste ever sweeter. On the 3 run package with Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing, be prepared to enjoy the deepest powder turns of your life and see why Revelstoke is often called the heli-ski Mecca of the world.
Finally there is Kicking Horse, with 75% of the mountain terrain rated either single or double black diamond, there’s plenty of challenges to be had. Purcell Heli-Ski has been owned by the Gertsch family for over 40 years, and they offer the perfect mix of enthusiastic expertise and diverse terrain to make your 5 run package in the Purcell Mountains more than just a memory.
Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com) has a 12 night itinerary, staying 4 nights at the 4* Upper Village Condos in Panorama on a room only basis, 4 nights at the 3* Sandman Inn in Revelstoke on a room only basis and 4 nights on B&B at the 3* Ramada Golden in Kicking Horse, starts from £3000 per person. Price includes a 3 run package with RK Heli in Panorama, a 3 run package with Selkirk Tangiers in Revelstoke and a 5 run package with Purcell in Kicking Horse, based on 2 people. Price also includes flights from LHR to Calgary with Air Canada plus SUV car rental.
New kid on the block – Myrkdalen in Norway
As Norway’s up and coming ski resort, Myrkdalen is now included in the Ski Safari programme for winter 2015-16. It’s a genuine 21st century ski resort as the first lift opened in Myrkdalen in 2003 and the resort is growing steadily with more modern infrastructure. The latest resort addition is a new six-seater chair opening up further terrain. Blessed with an average snowfall of 5m, its snowsure terrain ensures a long season from December through to May and is welcome news for anyone looking for good early or late snow conditions.
Beginner and gentle intermediate slopes make up most of the 28km of skiing, allowing confidence to build slowly. By the end of the week, new and improved skiers and snowboarders will really feel accomplished, having gained that full mountain experience. That’s not to say experts should stay away, far from it, there is a wonderful playground of vast off-piste and back country adventures awaiting powder skiers and boarders.
Located at the base of the slopes, the 4* Hotel Myrkdalen is the hub of the resort and designed for skier’s convenience. Aside from the skiing, there’s the usual ski resort pastimes plus more unique activities, such as a round trip of the nearby fjords or even indoor sky diving at the local wind tunnel.
What sets Myrkdalen apart is that all guests staying in the resort receive a free lift pass. Ski Safari (01273 224 068, www.skisafari.com ) has a 7 night February half-term holiday to the 4* Hotel Myrkdalen in Myrkdalen, starting from £855 per person on half board. Price based on two adults and two children sharing a standard room and includes flights, transfers and ski pass. Departs on 14th February 2016. Alternatively create your own Ski Safari and combine staying in Myrkdalen with the resort of Geilo and the city of Bergen for a multi-centre trip.
Brand new property in Laax – Peaks Place
As one of Ski Safari’s most popular Swiss resorts Laax scores high on many levels. There’s expansive terrain ideal for mixed abilities, with the convenience of ski-in ski-out accommodation and the added benefit of a short transfer of 1.5 hrs from Zurich. Laax has made its name as an international freestyle resort with 3 half pipes, 2 mini ski boardercross courses and 2 freestyle parks that will keep even the best of freestylers happy.
For 2015/16 there will be a new 10-seater gondola, La Siala, which will replace the old 3 seater chairlift and take skiers and boarders up from Alp Sogn Martin to La Siala with added convenience.
Opening in December 2015, Laax’s newest property, the 4*+ Peaks Place, will offer 74 luxurious apartments at the base of the resort just minutes from the slopes and gondola. Drawing from modern alpine influences, these self-catering apartments and its facilities have been designed to look like a 5* hotel along with a spacious spa and wellness area.
Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com ) has a 7 night holiday to the self-catering 4*+ Peaks Place in Laax, starting from £550 per person. Price based on four sharing a two bedroom apartment and includes flights and transfers. Departs in January 2016.
Growth in Japan
The new Niseko and Rusutsu Ski Safari will be the fifth ski safari to be added to the Japan programme. Many of our guests are already staying in Niseko and opting for a ski away day to Rusutsu. To cater for this demand it made sense to combine both of these resorts within a single trip, ensuring guests get the most out of both resorts.
First up is the larger resort of the two, Niseko, which offers some of the best powder in the world, with some great groomed runs and back country to explore. It’s worth staying in Niseko the longest, before moving on to the smaller resort of Rusutsu. Here you will find really quiet slopes and a resort hotel providing everything you need under one roof.
For 2015-16, Kyoto has been included as a city-add on and it’s possible to finish off the Niseko-Rusutsu Safari with a city stay in Tokyo or Kyoto.
When choosing where to stay, the new 4* Ki Niseko is a great option. Having opened in December 2014, the hotel is located next to the Hirafu Gondola and enjoys an enviable ski in ski out experience.
The Niseko and Rusutsu Ski Safari, with a stopover in Tokyo, is offered by Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com), with prices starting from £1975 per person for 12 nights, based on two sharing a standard room and includes flights and transfers. Departs in January 2016.
Lifting you higher – new High Alpine Chair for Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass is the largest ski area of Aspen’s four mountains. With great value accommodation, amazing terrain and many of the properties ski-in ski-out, this is a great destination for everyone.
For 2015-16 the Aspen Skiing Company will replace and realign the existing High Alpine lift on Snowmass, with a new high-speed quad, cutting the riding time in half from 11 minutes to 5.6 minutes. As part of the $8 million investment there will also be increased installation of snowmaking equipment, as well as additional trail and glade construction projects. Skiers and snowboarders will appreciate a vastly improved experience in the High Alpine area on Snowmass for winter 2015-16.
Ski Safari (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com) has a 7 night holiday to the 3*+ Stonebridge Hotel in Snowmass, starting from £1350 per person. Price based on two sharing a standard room and includes flights and transfers. Departs in March 2016. A 7 night holiday to the 5* Viceroy Snowmass starts from £2135 per person. Price based on two sharing a Studio King Room and includes flights and transfers. Departs in March 2016.