Monthly Archives: February 2010

Winter Sport Skiing In Les Arcs La Plagne

Winter Sport Skiing In Les Arcs La Plagne

As winter is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, many people from all over the world will be planning winter vacations. What better way to enjoy a winter vacation and yet having a healthy full body workout instead of gaining winter weight by going on a skiing vacation?

In this article, we will be taking a look at two of the more popular ski resorts in France and if you are heading to Europe for your winter holidays then the information here may come in useful.

The ski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs in France are surrounded by breathtaking white capped mountain ranges. Both resorts attract skiing enthusiasts mainly from France and Europe. However in the past few years, the resorts are also attracting more and more Asians and American skiers and holiday makers.

La Plagne is one of the largest single ski areas in the world, with 212kms (about 132 miles) of pistes served by 144 ski lifts and is linked to Les Arcs by a four minute cable car ride. This ski resort is made up of 10 villages and is probably the most visited ski resort in the world.

In additional to skiing activities, visitors can also indulge in other activities such as bowling, working out in a fully equipped gym and sports centre, get away from the winter chill by taking sauna baths, go hang-gliding or ice-skating.

For a family outing, there are more than 200 shops to go shopping in or dine in La Plagne myriads of restaurants. Bars and dance clubs light up La Plagne by night.

La Plagne is sometimes billed as the ‘third generation’ French ski resort with its futuristic architectural designs has probably also influenced other ski resorts in France such as Flaine, Avoriaz and Les Arcs to go for the new world space age architecture and abandoning the charming rustic designs of traditional ski resort architecture.

Skiers in La Plagne will encounter various permutation of piste and off piste, from exhilarating steep descents on the huge glacier at Bellecote(3,000m or almost 10,000ft), then cruising delightfully down quiet meandering larch lined avenues to the charming villages of Montchavin-Les Coches, Champagny-en-Vanoise and Montalbert.

Now let’s take a look at Les Arcs. This resort has a Eurostar train terminal connection at Bourg Saint Maurice and thus making it the most accessible high-altitude ski resort in France.

Les Arcs is also known to have pioneered the so called ’ski evolutif’, which is a technique used for fast learning by progressing quickly from short skis to longer skis.

Les Arcs is also the homeground of the “Kilometre Lancee” in which daredevils on huge 237cm or 8 ft skis, clad in thin aerodynamic plastic suits and donning ‘Darth Vader of Star Wars’ style visors, speed down the specially designed track at exhilarating breakneck speed of up to 240kph (150mph) or more.

Just like La Plagne, Les Arcs ski resort has acres and acres seemingly never ending good cruising ski terrain and its off piste opportunities are simply fantastic.

Take for example, the Aiguille Rouge, which dominates the resort has many challenging runs down its front face slopes. The Aiguille Rouge is also the starting point for one of the longest skiing descents in the French Alps. The largely black run down to the charming village of Villaroger is over 16km or about 10 miles long. Whew!

With such fabulous skiing opportunities, it is therefore not surprising that La Plagne along with Les Arcs ski resorts in France is able to attract so many skiing enthusiasts from all the world, isn’t it?

Winter Camping Ideas

Winter Camping Ideas

For those interested in an exciting outdoor adventure in the cooler weather, winter camping may be the choice for you. Winter camping brings an entirely new element to the activity …


For those interested in an exciting outdoor adventure in the cooler weather, winter camping may be the choice for you. Winter camping brings an entirely new element to the activity of camping. Not only do you see the great outdoors in a totally different light, it also offers different challenges from summer camping.

Winter Camping Supplies

It is important to have the correct supplies for winter camping, as this is can, at times, have a level of danger not present at other times of the year. Things to bear in mind include rapid changes in the weather the weather may be fine and sunny, although cool, when you leave to hike to your destination and within minutes a winter storm can blow up. Dress appropriately in layers for winter camping. Avoid wearing cotton. Cotton does not dry quickly and retains the water against your skin causing you to become even colder with the added risk of hypothermia developing.

For winter camping trips always wear nylon or wool clothing … wool should be used for socks. Dress in layers starting with a thin layer of clothing against your skin. There are some sportwool fabrics that are used in long johns, next a warm layer of clothing that may be a fleece type material and finally a quick-drying outer layer from a material like nylon or goretex. Always wear woolen socks to keep the feet dry and comfortable.

Make sure you have appropriate boots for winter camping. Boots must be water repellant or have a protective coating to keep them from absorbing water. Always wear a hat or a woolen beanie and bring an extra one just in case. A great deal of body heat can be lost through an uncovered head.

Wear or carry gloves and have them attached to your jacket to prevent losing them. Light weight glove liners can be added for extra warmth.

Winter-weight camping tents can be purchased, although sometimes they can be heavier to carry. Depending on where you are going and how far you are hiking, you may be quite comfortable in a three-season tent. A four-season or winter tent will stand up to strong winds, will repel all forms of precipitation and be able to withstand a heavy fall of snow.

If you do not have a tent you may be able to build a snow shelter for protection, however, you’ll want to practice building a snow shelter before you actually need to spend a night in one during a winter hike.

Make sure to bring a sleeping bag that is made to withstand the deep freeze of winter. There are many mummy-type bags that are extremely warm and designed to withstand temperatures of 10 degrees and below. A foam underlay may also be a useful addition to keep the sleeping bag off the ground and away from moisture. The pad can also be used to sit on during the day.

When winter camping make sure to bring food that may be eaten without heating up. Although there are water proof matches, sometimes it can be difficult to find tinder when winter camping. Have a supply of food that you carry with you when winter camping, in case you loose your original supply.

Winter camping is an exciting outdoor activity; however, it is imperative that the camper has the appropriate equipment for this venture.

Picking The Right Snowshoes For Your Next Winter Outing

Picking The Right Snowshoes For Your Next Winter Outing

Snowshoeing is a fun winter recreation activity whose popularity has stayed strong since its inception and right up through today. It’s also a popular and easy way to get around in snowbound areas during the winter. Nowadays, there are many types of snowshoes for many types of activities. Here’s a rundown of each type to help you choose the right snowshoes for your lifestyle and activity.

The three main types of snowshoes are:

Running & Aerobic Style

These snowshoes were built with lighter weight materials than normal snowshoes to allow for faster movement. They also feature an extra cleat or cleats for additional traction while you are running or walking fast. Also, the bindings will allow for you to insert running or athletic shoes, so they lace up and cradle as well. There are actually snowshoe races, and this is the type of snowshoe that is used in that type of race. This type of snowshoe is right for anyone who will need to move fast or just wants to walk around their town. These are not appropriate for snowshoeing in rugged terrain.

Mountaineer Style

Mountaineer style snowshoes are built much tougher and heavier than, say, running style snowshoes. This is for added traction and stability on steep and icy hills. They typically include larger crampons to achieve this added traction. The binding will also be able to accommodate larger shoes including climbing shoes and boots. Extra heavy duty material is used to create mountaineer style snowshoes, for better performance during different types of weather situations and various types of terrain. This also makes mountaineer style snowshoes the best choice for walking in deeper snow. Mountaineering snowshoes are the right choice for any serious snowshoeing enthusiast.

Hiking/Recreation Style

This type of snowshoe tends to be the most popular as it is appropriate for hiking, backpacking and light to moderate terrains. Recreation style snowshoes are made to be comfortable, with ease of use and value as a big selling point. This type of shoe is excellent for all around use, light use and the occasional hiker.

Sizes

This is an easier choice as there are only a few sizes of snowshoes available. They are 6×15 inches, 7×18 inches, 8×25 inches, 9×30 inches and 10×36 inches. The smallest snowshoes are usually for children and the middle sizes are usually best for women. Your weight will also be a consideration, as the heavier you are, the larger size of snowshoe you will likely need. You should also consider the weight you will be with your other equipment, skis, snowboard, backpack or other supplies you will be carrying.

Bindings

There are two types of bindings available, the free rotation and the limited rotation. In the limited rotation style, the toes do not go below the decking. In the free rotation the toes are more free. Free rotation bindings are preferred for running, racing and sometimes hiking. It’s best to try both styles and decide which is more comfortable for you.

Whatever size or style of snowshoe you choose, have fun on the trails!

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FISHING IN WINTER PARK, COLORADO

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FISHING IN WINTER PARK, COLORADO

Catching fish couldn’t be any easier than here in the Fraser Valley.  You can wade 1,000 miles of streams, wander around 1,000 acres of high mountain lakes, or troll 11,000 acres of reservoirs.

Whether you’re fly-fishing or have a night crawler on the end of your line, you can find many different species of fish throughout Grand County.  Rainbow, cutthroat, brown & brook trout can be found in most of the rivers, while mackinaw and kokanee salmon cruise the depths of the larger bodies of water.

The Colorado River offers gold medal trout fishing with some of the biggest browns and rainbows found in the state.   The Fraser River runs through the town of Winter Park, as well as the resort, and is fed by many other great little secluded creeks with hidden pockets of trout.  St. Louis Creek and Willow Creek offer brookies, bows and browns with scattered creek-side campgrounds.

The four major lakes of the area are located in the Granby area, and offer plenty of ramps & marinas for boating enjoyment.  With 7,250 surface acres and 40 miles of shoreline, Lake Granby is known for its big mackinaws.  Grand Lake, the largest natural lake in Colorado, and adjoined Shadow Mountain Lake can also produce 20 pounds macks.  The lakes of the area are also well known for great ice fishing in the winter.

You just never know what the snowmelt will do in the high country, but one thing is for sure, it will produce an abundance of streams and lakes to choose from.  The seclusion and surrounding wilderness will make you feel like an early American explorer, discovering your own trout paradise.

Stay just a five minute walk from the base of Winter Park Resort.  Slope View Bed and Breakfast offers views of the Continental Divide, unique amenities and a knowledgeable staff.

Outdoors Sports in Winter

Outdoors Sports in Winter

Outdoors sport in winter and, generally speaking, exercise during this season should be regarded more trustfully by sedentary people as well as by gym-addicts. Advantages such as reinforcing, maintaining and increasing health, characterizing outdoors exercise, do not cease during winter; on the contrary, they can acquire new values.

If winter sports amateurs do not need any pleading, there is a big mass of people who would like to exercise without skis, skates or sleighs. The common reflex is to assault the fitness, body building, aerobics, tae-bo etc. studios. Of course, in this period, force training largely depends on gyms – in the other seasons the push-ups, pull up, squat are much more easily practiced outdoors.

Meanwhile, endurance (aerobic) exercise, which should always accompany anaerobic training, can and should be done outdoors even during the cold season. Fast walking, running and cycling are most recommended. In the case of people who haven’t trained in winter but are used to practicing exercises such as these in other periods of the year, we must stress that dosage of effort should be done more prudently than in the warmer seasons.

The superior as well as the inferior parts of the respiratory apparatus aren’t used to the cold air flow; thus, they need to be trained step by step in order to avoid laryngitis, trachaeitis, bronchitis etc. As pulmonary ventilation increases during aerobic effort, the air flow cannot warm up sufficiently while passing through the respiratory apparatus – thus alternating lower effort periods or even taking breaks is recommended – in order to allow warming up again.

When the body has been trained for winter conditions, the timing of a usual effort session can get close to the one habitual in warmer seasons – a bit reduced. Thus for rapid walking it can extend to an hour, an hour and a half; for running, to 30-45 minutes.

The sports gear is a most important aspect: it must assure thermal protection without overheating. Up-to-date research recommends using three clothing layers which create two successive air layers.

For the first fabric layer, touching the skin, cotton (most recommended in summer) must be avoided. Here synthetic fabrics such as Goretex, Polarteck and Lycra are used – they do not retain perspiration and do not transform themselves into cold wet compresses for the chest and back.

For the second layer, warmer materials – such as wool – can be used; the fabric for the last layer has to be water and windproof.

One must give special attention to protecting the head, neck, hands and feet. Especially the head must be covered with a hat made of the same types of fabric as the first layer: scientific studies have proved that the skull allows the greatest heat loss. For protecting the neck, it is good to wear polo necks or scarves made of the same material as the clothing’s last layer. Leather gloves must be avoided: they forbid eliminating the perspiration – as wearing several pairs of cotton socks does, too.

Last but not least, we must mention the body’s hydrating level: cold as well as heat tend to make the sportsman dehydrate.

If these recommendations are respected, we can train and enjoy exercise also during the cold season.