5 Resorts To Visit In Northern Italy- A Freeriders Dream

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5 Resorts To Visit In Northern Italy- A Freeriders Dream

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“You may have the universe if I may have Italy”. Giuseppe Verdi What a perfect quote to summarize the unique and inspiring feelings one gets when you visit Italy. From Rome to Florence, from Naples to Turin and Milan, from sea to mountains Italy is something else. For a lot of the British public in particular, when you think of a classic ski holiday, we automatically think of France or Austria but there are those among us Brits that are, in the know, so to speak. I spend my life in the mountains and most of my year in Italy and and although all these resorts are virtually on my doorstep, I still consider myself immensely lucky to visit these resorts. Not only because I have the benefit of gazing up at the ore inspiring scenery but also because I can discover the most secrets lines!

 

Courmayeur

courma cred aosta valley

Situated on the French/Italian border, at the mouth on the Monte Bianco tunnel, Courmayeur is blessed with tree lined runs, restaurants and bars to rival any major Italian city and scenery for days! Let’s break it down by what’s important as we only want a small summary: you can pick up a pizza and a beer and lunch for about 15€in total, the lift passes are moderately priced but the freeride potential, man, that’s where courmayeur stands out. Taking the James Bond style cable car up to Cresta Youla and beyond to the tippy top and Cresta Arp, you are greeted with the feeling of being top of the world, staring down into the wild, deserted, unpopulated backcountry area. For more info on where to stay, head to the tourism website or check out Air b&b. Be sure to be up first lift and enjoy a full days ski to take in everything this amazing resort has to offer.

courmayeur

Gressoney

gressoney cred aosta valley

A real secret spot, a hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the Aosta Valley, Gressoney is slowly receiving the notoriety it deserves on the freeride scene. However, selfishly, many of us who know and love the resort, would rather this resort stay in the shadows. Home to a freeride zone full of countless lines. By taking a few lifts away from the main body of the resort, you have unprecedented access to breathtaking views and really exciting terrain. The freeride zone is home of amazing open faces above the tree line, jumps and cliffs plus many a touring adventures! So, Pizza and beer wise? A little cheaper, you’re looking about 12€, ideal to save some pennies as there is no apres ski either. Although, after a day shredding the freeride zone, no doubt you will be heading for a chilled beer in front on the fire, back at your accommodation. For more info, click here to head to the tourism website.

Gressoney

Pila

pila cred ski info

Pila, oh Pila, a resort that is very close to my heart. As you climb the mountain and the valley drops away behind, it reveals the most imposing mountain range. With impeccable tree lined runs, perfect corduroy runs, steep, dotted with mouth watering bars and restaurants plus some amazing backcountry lines, you have a recipe for the Italian Dolce Vita! As freeriders we pay little attention to the piste but pila is worth having a little shred, the runs are a little steeper than the rest of the valley and with the literally PERFECTLY groomed piste, you can really let your hair down and accelerate. It’s rather funny, whenever i visit, with my freeride friends in tow, we cause a lot of stress of the piste police, ripping around at full speed, to take advantage on the conditions. Heading up to the Couis 2 chair lift, you have 360 views of The Matterhorn, Monte Bianco, Gran San Bernard and Monte Rosa, the most impressive panorama! Watch out for the secret freeride spots around Couis 1 and Couis 2, grab your touring equipment and head on up! Grab a pizza and a beer for around 10€ here and stay cheap too! Click here to visit the tourism website!

Chamois

chamois

Chamois lives in the shadow of Cervinia but we like is that way, included on the Cervinia pass but just 20 minutes down the road, Chamois is a locals secret! Chamois has long since been the spot that local freeriders head too, a day or 2 after a large fall to enjoy the undisturbed peace and tranquility above the clouds. Noone skies Chamois after a big snowfall which is the biggest shame/gift! The pass is cheaper and you can snap up the pizza and a lunch time beer for about 10€. We have driven down to enjoy the touring/snowshoeing opportunities and we have not been disappointed with the conditions. You still have the incredibly iconic views of the Matterhorn which is a true sight for sore eyes!  Click here for more info.

Italy Edits May 1st (1 of 7)

La Thuile

la thuile

Bordering with the sensational resort of La Rosiere, La Thuile is a really eclectic mix of the Italian and the French! La Thuile offers challenging piste skiing and the difficulty level is nicely reflected in the backcountry. I am always stoked to see when pro riders film in La Thuile which the Petit brother did back in 2015, they found some amazing spots, great pillow lines and other exciting features just waiting to be discovered. Your pizza and beer lunch will be about €15 here, prices on the mountain are a little more expensive due to the growing tourist industry in the resort but that also means after a longs days shredding, there will be plenty of life in the pubs for some Italian style apres ski! Stay in the planibel complex to keep the cost down or treat yourself to a cozy chalet, either way, more info can be found on the tourism website!

la thuile. net

Okay, so basically this list is narrowed down to just the Aosta Valley but after 7 seasons in the area, you get to know a thing or 2; that is what freeriding is all about, sharing the knowledge, the secrets and the low. After all, the Aosta Valley is a gem in the southern alps.

 

Be sure to hit me up with a message if you want to know more, I am here to answer any questions you may have about the area. Be sure to send me your images if you have been before! I would LOVE TO SEE!

Until next time. . .

 

Big love to the Aosta Valley tourist board for the images! For further details on the creds, message me!

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Staying Healthy In The Alps With StrippdVegan Protein. My Top 3 Tips.

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Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. So training for Verbier Freeride Week in well underway and this year I want to keep the focus on over all health and well-being. Don’t get me wrong, being vegan in the Alps is tough but it can be done with a little dedication and some inside secrets.

I have one secret weapon that has really helped me start the day off in the best way possible. Strippd Vegan Protein is absolutely delicious and I am so stoked to be working with them to spread the word about the wonders of the products. In a balanced plant-based lifestyle, you get everything you need from natural products and I certainly, stick by the concept that we should ingest the most simple and nutritionally dense meals. That’s why, when I spotted these guys on Insta I was instantly drawn in. This is what they had to say. . . .

STRIPPD is a new range of premium Whey and Vegan protein powders and supplements that are designed especially for women. Created to support a healthy, balanced lifestyle STRIPPD products can help women of all ages improve their overall wellbeing, boost their energy and vitality, strengthen their muscles and bones and nourish their skin, hair and nails!”

Their philosophy about body image and health is absolutely spot on. . . .”The key to maintaining wellness is ensuring everything you put into your body serves you well. The STRIPPD range utilises nutritional super ingredients like yerba mate – a South American plant extract, natural caffeine and immune booster that can also take the edge off hunger and help keep you trim. The all-natural powders contain just five ingredients meaning you know exactly what you’re putting into your body to ensure you get the most out of it.”

Vegan Protein Vanilla Snow.jpgI stick by a few simple tips that I wanted to share them with you.

  1.  Smoothies are the best way to start the day. I am not talking a skinny girl smoothie, I am talking a no holes bared, nutritious and deliciously packed smoothie. I go for a few different combos but my top 2 are: 1, Stippd Protein (my fave is chocolate) with one or two bananas depending how hungry I am, cacao powder, almond milk and Chia seeds. It’s thick and keeps you going until lunch (plus chia seeds are naturally gelatinous, that help flush toxins from the body). Bare in mind this is my pre workout smoothie, it gives you energy so make the most of it, ski, snowboard or head for some activity! 2, Green smoothie with one large granny smith apple, 1 kiwi, a 3inch cut of cucumber, wheatgrass powder, macha powder and coconut milk. You can feel this smoothie doing you the world of good and it’s awesome!
  2. Stock up on root vegetables. It worth it for me to drive an hour down the mountain to head to Aosta as there are some incredible supermarkets where the variety of fruits and veggies is almost like at home. I like to batch make soup on a windy and cold afternoon, a little bit of culinary therapy is really relaxing for me. I loved my latest concoction of beetroot and potato soup; Its warming and really good for you. Try something like parsnip and sweet potato or carrot too!
  3.  Mountain snacks!- I learnt a killer recipe from my pals of raw vegan flapjacks that keep really well and make the best mountain treats. In a bowl, I place the Strippd lean protein, ground coconut, cacao powder, peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and add nuts or raisins if you like. Once you have thick paste you can squash it all into greased tubawear and cut into slices. Just imagine-mid cable car, everyone is starving for an energy boost and you bust out this absolutely mouth-watering treat and help get your friends once step closer to the reality that vegan eating is just amaze balls!

If anyone EVER has any questions about a plant-based lifestyle while working out regularly, please DON’T hesitate to message me on the socials! I would love to chat, swap stories and keep each other motivated.

 

Snooks Wear- Girl Power!

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Snooks, Madness in the method.

Are you ready for the first of its kind, the UK pioneers of a women’s only ski and snowboard brand, for women by women! We can now say, bye bye butterflies, bye bye poker dots and certainly bye bye to gratuitous amounts of pink! Snooks, is a loud and proud brand, flying the flag for the Made in Britain label.

I wanted to take a bit of time to tell all you lovely readers of the Ski Club GB blog, about these ladies because they are starting something that has been long over due. I don’t want to go on a rant about the boundaries and separations in the Snow sports industry, as Susie Beere and Sophie Kelly are not about that, they are not so concerned about the boys; they are more of the `Boys, you do you`, mind set, Susie and Sophie are about looking after the best interest of us girls while out on the mountain.

 

Who are Snooks and How did they come about?

Sick of buying from the men’s sections, the girls noticed a gap in the market. For myself, I have never been a fan of what I call the “Eurofit”- although I am thoroughly proud of my body, I don’t want my snowboard gear to emphasise the curves, that’s for Friday nights in Leeds. Most of what is available on the market doesn’t, for example, cover your bum, feel loose but comfortable around your chest and hips and worst of all, shows what you ate for breakfast. Snooks is for girls who like a more edgy, cool and relaxed fit, which doesn’t seem to be so readily available for girls.  Then Susie and Sophie had a little conflab and decided it was the right time to start a business together; a company that would focus on the concept of- for women, by women-  and I think these ladies have it bang on so far.

 

What is the drive and why is the “Made In Britain” label so important?

The first range is focussed on fit and that is the essential idea that started the whole concept. Then Sophie and Susie addressed some of the most important factors in fit and naturally, headed off the tailors first. They worked together to design something that’s practical and obviously super cute, products that allow plenty of room for layers underneath while still being flattering and comfortable. They manufacture outerwear in the UK, ensuring their gear is super high quality and they are proud to carry the Made in Britain label- these days this label means a lot more, being more environmentally friendly and promoting that all important British craftsmanship.

Susie says, “We hope to grow as a brand that not only represents the female skiers and snowboarders we design for and break down some gender stereotypes that have passed their sell by date… We understand that most female riders don’t want gear covered in pink butterflies, glitter and pretty flowers. Female riders are about way more than that.” Boom, well said Susie!

 

What so important about promoting women over men?

Sophie says, “It is important to us to celebrate women’s achievements in action sports, especially snowboard and skiing, whether it’s British athletes smashing it on the podium, or your first timer stacking it on a kicker. Hey at least you tried! We want to reflect this in our marketing. Representative not idealistic. . . . ”

I think men have it covered, in the UK in particular, we have some incredible male athletes in the snow sports sector, Billy Morgan, Jamie Woods to name but two, showing the world what British athletes have to offer but now its time for a little female promotion. That Is what Snooks want, as a brand they want to shout about female achievement, however little or big, yayyy for the lasses!

 

How does the Future look for Snooks?

Winter 2016/17 looks like its going to be THE winter for these girls. Now live online with their first line we can get in there and get our outfits for next winter sorted with some awesome prices. These ladies will be touring across the country, so that everyone will get the chance to find out a little bit more about this amazing brand. Watch this space as Snooks- Madness in the Method is coming for you!

https://www.snookswear.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/snooksuk

https://www.instagram.com/thesnooksgirls/

 

 

The Full Moon Yoga Retreat with Kelly Brooks Yoga

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Yoga for snowboarding, a combination that has changed the way I ride.

 

I am so glad yoga came into my life, a force of peace and tranquillity. I started practising yoga about a year ago, in a time where I felt I needed something to help rationalise, well, everything in my life. After last season, I know my competitive career was a success, I still doubted myself, I still looked for gaps in everything I did, when I should have been commending myself for working hard and reaping the rewards. Yoga helped me look inwards, find the appreciation, the serenity and peace I needed. Separately this winter season where the success and failures in my snowboarding career have been totally different, I again turn to yoga for the support.

 

Yoga is a way of life, its not Jennifer Aniston drinking vegan smoothies, its not going to a class once a week and saying you got all zen from that 1 hour. Although, I’m sure Kelly would agree, everyone must be encouraged to take part and do whatever they need to do to fit yoga into their lives; but for me as a professional athlete, I don’t want to be a cafeteria yogi, I want to try and embody every aspect to ensure I have all the resources I need to be a better athlete. That is why the yoga retreat really changed so much for me. Being around similarly yogic people and embodying the lifestyle even down to the cuisine and the general “Vibe”, I wanted to carry it on to my everyday life.  What I mean is, exploring the options of a vegan diet, (as vegan as I can be living in Italy and being from an Italian family) certainly cutting out alcohol, allowing myself the sleep I need, being kind and honourable and doing all I can to really dedicate to my practice and clear my mind to let the yoga guide me.

But how does yoga benefit me as a snowboarder? I cant even begin to tell you how much. If I had to summarise my personal discipline (Freeride/backcountry snowboarding) in simplistic terms, you need strength, endurance and a sense of calm and pensive nature. Now, I had really only practiced Vinyasa yoga, but during the retreat, Kelly blew my mind to the wonders of Iyenger and Ashtanga yoga. These practices helped me explore new muscle groups, building on my strength, in the core and in the weaker areas of my arms. The yoga retreat helped me focus on my breathing; at the top of a couloir, about to drop in or while on a competition, I need calm. The focus on breathing and meditation has taught me skills I can use to really centre myself, I can think pragmatically and rationally but not only that, I have learnt to hold my poses for longer and really feel the power of yoga through ever corner of my body.

The retreat certainly inspired and motivated me. I am now equipped with more techniques to go forward into my summer season of training. Not only that but the retreat was sheer bliss, Chalet Rosiere have really got a good thing going, such a prime location, it’s quiet and set back away from the main hustle and bustle of La Rosiere, Ian the chef was on point, every meal exceeding the last and Kelly- well, Kelly is my guide, her calm and serene nature was just what I needed to discover my inner yogi. The combination of deep house too was incredible. Kelly has really given a lot of thought into exactly what house she chooses, eg. Odesza, a group that have very deep and contemplative music and beat was very helpful for when you are practising longer poses.

If you are lucky enough to live in London get yourself to her classes as you well see a new side to yourself and your yoga ability and if you have ever wanted to combine the incredible sports of skiing and snowboarding with yoga then you simply must join on the next retreat, it was a life changer.

In the mean time follow her on Instagram @kellybrooksyoga and the Chalet @chaletrosiere

#winterisback #allgirlsfreerideedit Back on the Filming

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Finally, it seems winter has returned to us and I couldn’t be happier. Every thing seems to be falling into place which means its time to get my focus back onto filming and making this all girls edit happen. The lovely Tijn is bringing her Dutch Freeriding butt back to me so we can have a few days getting as much done as we can. I am so looking forward to a fun packed schedule, which I am just refining as we speak. The weather seems to be on our side for the most part, giving us 2 weather windows on Monday and Tuesday- giving us a chance to do some helidrops, ski all my favourite lines and do some very much deserved eating and drinking. With the help of the locals and some of my favourite spots in town and on the mountain, we should be able to get some much needed material, to showcase this incredible town. Tijn will be back in the end of March and then we can continue filming and perhaps expand our efforts to my other top spots of Courmayeur, Champoluc and Gressoney. Until then, check out our schedule and if you are around come and join us!

Sunday (Bad Vis Day, Snow and unstable conditions)

– Sun Rise Yoga session

-Early Morning Tour up to Cielo Alto  then descend to the Cielo Alto Lift

– Cielo Alto to shred the forrest

-Sunday Dinner up at Alpage  http://www.alpage-cervinia.com/

Monday (Blue Bird Day, Sun More stable Conditions)

-Heli Ski with the Heliski Cervinia Office guided by Nicola Himself!  http://www.heliskicervinia.com/content_e.asp?ID=4

-Apres Ski At Principe http://www.principedellenevi.com/

Tuesday (Slightly Overcast More stable Conditions)

– Hike and Ski tour to the Bontadini Couloir

-The Plateau Rosa Old life pass station Line

-Lunch at Chalet Etoile http://www.chaletetoile.it/

-The Cimme Bianchi line

-Theodlo Pass

-Dinner at Lo Copa Pan http://www.locopapan.eu/

Wednesday (Rest Day- Editing Day)

-Tijn Departs today so we will spend the morning ensuring we have all the material we needed and planning her next visit at the end of the month.

 

Supporting Women in Sport

activity, adventure, body image, determination, health and fitness, healthy, inspiration, motivation, nature, nutrition, outdoors, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, snowboard, snowboaridng, snowsport, support, Uncategorized, women, women in sport

Hey there everyone,

 

I wanted to check in with you today to talk to you all about something that I have been thinking about a lot. I am talking about supporting women in sport. Now this of course is something very close to my heart, I have so found so much peace and happiness, frustration and craziness in sport and sport has helped me out of many dark places where I thought there was nothing for me in life or a future. Snowboarding has given me the feeling of freedom and purpose I have been looking for my whole life. All of this makes me want to help other women feel the same and find within themselves what sport has helped me find.

I know many women who are either fantastic riders or very impressive athletes but I look at the in all their glory and achievements and wonder if they would want to help others strive to get where they are. I see some women who are so protective over their skill, their craft and the work they have put in the activity, which in a way I understand. Women have to be so ruthless in sport and in the professional world as positions of influence are so hard to come by. However if it means I am not as good or as determined to make it to the top no matter of the cost then so be it. For me if I have the opportunity to help, to pass on knowledge or advice then I want to take it. I want all people, not only women to feel welcomed with open arms when they meet me, to feel they can ask me anything and know I will provide support no matter what.

At the competitions, I am so fortunate that the women are supportive and loving. They embrace new athletes and support existing ones. Especially in the snowboard women category, we are the envy of the other disciplines as we are dolling out high fives and hugging every competitor when they arrive at at the finish. This is so important as its about helping people see their potential and grow from it. I want to employ this mentality in everyday life. When I meet women wanting to learn, wanting to improve, I want to be there offering a supportive word or some gentle advice.  Unlike these women I speak of who try to suitably talk others down, make them feel inadequate, try to outdo them in every way, I say to you that you will not find a friend in me. But to all women out there who want to try snow sports particularly, then go for it. There are groups and organisations out there that want to bring out the best in you and ensure you have all the motivation you need to get where you want to go.

After all an athlete is not just skin and muscle; an athlete is not just awards and accolades, and athlete is a motivator, someone who influences people positively, someone who has a healthy body image and a healthy view on eating and exercise. Most importantly an athlete inspires and I hope deeply that I can be that person to some women out there.

http://www.chickyclinics.com/en

https://www.womeninsport.org/