Jon’s one of the few in the Ski-buzz team who’s a snowboarder and despite efforts to convince him otherwise, has yet to try his hand at skiing. Jon learnt to snowboard in the Paradiski ski area in France and has boarded in France, Austria and Canada.
Favourite resort: It has to be Banff in Canada. The people are so friendly, Banff town is great and with the three different resorts to choose from I could have been there a month. I’d go back tomorrow.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: taking on a steep black run off the glacier in Solden in quite icy conditions. I was pushing it, trying to keep up with a friend I was with (who was on skis). The next thing I knew I was lying at the bottom of the slope eating snow and looking like yeti surrounded by lots of worried faces. I was fine, my skiing ego less so.
Amy’s been skiing since the age of eight and has been lucky enough to ski across Europe, Canada, as well as in Scotland. Having worked several ski seasons in Europe as a ski rep, mainly in Italy, she returned to the UK and has been working for Crystal Ski for the past 3 years.
Favourite resort: Courmayeur, Italy because it’s so pretty, there’s a brilliant atmosphere in town, and a massive choice of skiing on your doorstep and in neighbouring resorts.
Most embarrassing ski memory: Managing to drop both skis and both poles out of a yoghurt pot lift on to a closed black run during ski school. And that terrible hat I thought was cool when I was a student.
Michael is Ski-buzz’s quirky resort expert – he knows Canada and the USA like the back of his hand, and has skied everywhere from South America, to Japan, to Russia, and all over Europe including Norway and Finland.
Favourite resort: I can’t pledge allegiance to any North American resorts – they are all so good in their own way and I’m totally hooked on the USA/Canada ski culture. I’m a massive fan of St Anton and Val d’Isere in Europe but like finding the smaller places too which tend to be a little quieter.
Most embarrassing ski memory: Getting my tracksuit bottoms caught in the button lift at Gloucester dry ski slope and getting dragged around the pulley and back down the other side before someone hit the stop button, I then had to ski down in essentially my pants, holding my rags of trousers. They were not nice pants.
John calls himself an expert on beginner skiing, mainly because he is bloody brilliant at being a beginner skier. Out of all the people who aren’t very good at skiing, he is without doubt the best. Away from the slopes he is a copywriter, photographer, HTML-fiddler, Mac fiend and gluer of hand to iPhone. If it has an internal cooling fan then he has an opinion.
Favourite resort: Pamporovo. Where the beginner is king and the beer is cheap.
Most embarrassing ski memory: Referring to a nursery slope as “the big nursery slope.”
Rob Stewart is a qualified BASI ski instructor (ISIA), full-time ski writer and editor of The Skiing Department. With over 25 years of skiing experience, Rob’s travels include France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Andorra, North America, Africa, New Zealand and even the Cotswolds. Having competed in freestyle and freeride skiing, Rob’s a highly experienced off-piste skier.
Favourite resort: Verbier, Switzerland – the off-piste terrain that’s lift accessible is fantastic and although it gets skied out a little quickly these days, it still offers an enormous range of opportunities. Afterwards, the atmosphere in town is always great and there’s a party every night of the week.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: Competing at the New Zealand national freestyle ski championships I realised I’d left my ski boots at home, so was loaned a a pair by a girl in the Swedish team. After squeezing them on, by the time I was due to race I was in agony. Halfway down the course I hit a jump and went flying off the side, landing on top of a TV cameraman. Probably should have stayed a spectator that day.
Tess was a late starter to skiing, only learning in mid 20s after being nagged by friends. She very quickly fell in love with skiing and changed professions, setting up Little Skiers, a children’s ski wear store. She’s now happlily passing on her skiing addiction to her two young children.
Favourite resort: La Thuile, Italy, because of its fantastic wide open runs and almost a lunar landscape. Also Flaine, France, because of its links to a massive ski area and as every time I’ve been there I enjoyed fantastic powder skiing.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: Trying to keep up with friends who’d been skiing since school age and attempting my first red run. I went over the top (which looked like a cliff edge to me), completely chickened out and had to side-step back up to the top, all the time with small children whizzing past with ease.
Fall-Line is a magazine, started by a bunch of ex-pat Brits in Chamonix in 1990, dedicated to fantastic skiing. Everyone who reads the mag finishes it and can’t wait to hit the slopes. It’s like an injection of snow that starts in September and doesn’t let up until March, filling you with inspiration.
Our writers are a mix of the best skiers on the globe and the best writers about skiing – the latter would be the first to admit they’re not dropping off cliffs any day soon, but they’ll find the secret runs full of fresh powder and the gear that will make your skiing even better.
Fall-Line is funny, irreverent, knowledgeable, tuned-in and industry-leading. People like the way it’s written and they like the take we have on skiing. Our website holds far more information in one place, but it doesn’t give anything like the rounded feel of being on the slopes that Fall-Line does. We love making it, we take the responsibility of the printed word seriously and we know that there’s nothing as inspiring as reading a great mag.
Helen has been skiing since she was five years old, and is very much a skier who occasionally attempts to be a boarder, failing miserably each season.
After doing 4 winter seasons in the French Alps and Canada she then decided it was time for a “proper job” and ended up working in the Crystal head office.
Favourite resort: It has to be Meribel – I had my favourite winter ever living there. In my opinion it’s got the best ski area in the whole of the Alps, the town is really lively and the après is loads of fun.
What more could you want?
Ben loves to ski and learnt as a teenager on school ski trips. He’s since been clocking up the miles on family holidays, done backcountry with the RAF, and fitted in a few cheeky ski days away from the office whilst working in Seattle. Ben’s on the TUI Travel Specialist & Activity Management Training Scheme, currently working on product development for Crystal Ski.
Favourite resort: It’s got to be Val Thorens; with an altitude to make you sick (and guarantee snow), the largest ski area in the world (Les 3 Vallées) on your doorstep and daily dancing on the tables at Les Folie Douce, there’s nowhere else I’d rather ski.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: snapping my rental ski poles on the first run of the week by forgetting to lift them up as I got off a chairlift. A schoolboy error if ever there was one.
Neil found the joy of skiing at the age of 25 and has been addicted ever since. He first learnt to ski in Chamonix, then ‘saw the light’ and went to Austria where he worked 3 seasons, followed by numerous amazing holidays ever since. His claim to fame – he has never set foot on a snowboard. He is now one of the product experts at the Crystal head office.
Favourite resort: St Anton & the Arlberg. Steep and challenging in St Anton – with amazing piste skiing and no queues in Lech and Zürs. Après ski and nightlife in St Anton are off the scale.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: On my 2nd day of skiing, I put my rear-entry hire boots on the wrong feet and spent 10 minutes trying to work out why I couldn’t get my skis on.
Camilla has been lucky enough to have started skiing when she was 8 years old. She has tried snowboarding twice but spent the majority of her time on the floor, so decided skiing is for her. Camilla works in the Product team at Crystal and is looking forward to her next trip on the slopes.
Favourite resort: St Anton would have to be my favourite resort as it’s such a beautiful place with brilliant après. Mooserwirt has the best atmosphere and is the perfect place to watch the sun set with a drink.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: When I was skiing in St Anton, last year, I managed to get lost from my ski school during a white out. I didn’t have a piste map and I didn’t know my way around the slopes as it was my first morning skiing there. To make things worse, I’d forgotten my goggles.
Dave is one of the few members of the Ski-buzz team who enjoys both snowboarding and skiing. He wishes he could ski as well as he can board. Or, rather, he wishes he could board like a really good snowboarder. He spent a number of years working and visiting different resorts in France. Although a confirmed Francophile (after finally cracking the language), he loves the excitement of visiting new resorts, especially lesser known regions; the Nordic region and resorts in Central & Eastern Europe in particular.
Favourite resort:I’m torn between two favourites. For its sheer beauty, Iso-Syote, Finland is one of my unforgettable resorts. La Clusaz, France is also a firm favourite. It’s a fantastic board (and ski) area and has a great village centre.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: My classic ‘beginner boarder’ story takes place many years ago, while taking on a seriously steep drag lift (honest) in Avoriaz. After roughly eight attempts of just trying to just to get on the lift, followed by a further seven making it up to around about the half way mark, I ended up losing control and letting go of the T-bar. I rolled several times and finishing with a face plant.
Matt is a fairly experienced snowboarder and loves to be on the mountain nice and early in the morning. In the afternoon, you will usually find him propping up the bar with a nice cold beer or warming gluhwein. Last year, Matt decided to learn to ski and promptly injured himself. This year, Matt is taking a very jealous sabbatical from the slopes after surgery on a torn ACL.
Favourite resort:My favourite place is wherever I am going next. That way, I am always looking forward to the next trip. I’ve been riding in Canada, New Zealand, Andorra, Bulgaria, France, Slovenia, Poland, Austria and even my down my local heath on a snowy February morning (not recommended).
Most embarrassing skiing memory: Coming in rather too quickly toward a lift, I slammed on the breaks but ended up hitting a patch of ice. I ended up sliding out under the lift gate and onto the little travelator. Luckily there wasn’t anyone else queuing but the liftie didn’t seem too impressed.
Hannah has spent her last two winters skiing in Italy and France and has progressed from screaming on a blue run to now screaming on black runs. She enjoys skiing a lot but lacks the confidence on the steeper runs to go down them with more dignity. She can’t wait for her next adventure.
Favourite resort: Madonna di Campiglio is my favourite resort so far. There’s wide sweeping runs, tree lined pistes, stunning scenery, scrumptious food and most importantly of all, a hot chocolate so thick you can eat it with a spoon. If that wasn’t enough calories then it’s even topped with whipped cream. It’s also the first place I attempted a black run.
Most embarrassing skiing memory: On one of my first ski escorting days, we were caught in a white out, so I started to head back to resort. I went over what I thought was a slope and turned out to be a jump. Let’s just say the 20 customers behind me thought it hilarious when they found me on the floor looking a bit shell shocked.
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