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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

If you’ve been watching any of the skiing in the Vancouver Winter Olympics you’ve probably seen a fair few of the skiers strutting their stuff with Komperdell poles in hand.  I’ve been skiing with their extendable back country Carbon C2 poles for a number of years now, and I’m a big fan.  They are super light, and very comfortable in hand.  That’s really all I’m looking for in a ski pole.

So imagine my disappointment when in the aftermath of an, err.., incident, I realised that one of my poles was 2/3 of its former self.  Fortunately the damage was limited to the bottom section of the pole.  I contacted the nice people at Komperdell to ask if I could buy a replacement section.  This was their response:

“Unfortunately we aren’t allowed to sell our products to ultimate consumer and by the way it would be too expensive for you to get it from us in Austria… I guess the easiest way for both of us will be to send you one piece of the lower part in additional for free.”

And that’s exactly what they did.  It arrived 3 days later.  Now that’s what I call customer service, and it’s how to win a customer for life.  Thank you Komperdell.  I wish more companies were like you.  You should be proud.

If you’re reading this Mr Snow and Rock, you could do a lot worse than taking a long hard look over the channel to see how friends on the continent talk to their customers.

Picture the scene:  La Rosiere,  -10 degrees, and a raging gale is blowing.  I can hardly see the tips of my skis for the lack of visibility.  Still, I manage to navigate the piste, and even the unseen mogles don’t manage to get the better of me.  And I take that elevator drop in my stride.  It’s pretty rough out there, but nothing is going to unsaddle me today….

Well, that was until I took refuge from the storm in The Roxi Bar at the bottom of the Fourclaz Express and order hot chocolate.  This bad boy set me back £4. It was pretty good though.

I know that this probably isn’t really the most expensive hot chocolate in the world, but it’s a good starter for 10.  If you know of a more expensive specimen, please let us know!

The BBC have just published a piece on how the credit crunch is impacting the ski industry, with the focus on France.  Highlights of the report are as follows:

– bookings are down in traditionally busy times
– most people are bagging lastminute holiday deals
– exchange rates are having an impact on in-resort spending

Clearly the ski industry is in for a tough time for the next couple of seasons, but conversely it will mean that holiday makers who can still afford their annual snow fix will have a wider range of rental properties to choose from, and quieter slopes.  Lucky them.

You can see the full BBC report here:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7794935.stm

In more positive news, the snow in Val d’Isere looks fantastic!

Wondering what to buy for the skier who has everything? Well look no further, because we’ve put together a list of the best snow related gifts and gadgets to help Santa and his little elves this year. From life-saving mountain equipment to the toastiest ski socks, we’ve found some really cool things to make the perfect Christmas present for ski and snowboarding fanatics.

1. Icebreaker – £39.14

Quite simply the best underlayer that money can buy. That’s it. The end. It’s made of marino wool, so it’s got the added bonus of being stink free – you can wear it all week, and it will still smell of roses when it goes back in the bag to go home.

2. Avalung – £97.86Avalung

This bit of kit is something you’ll hope you never use. It’s for helping you to breathe if (heaven forbid), you should be caught in an avalanche. It also has the fringe benefit of making you look seriously hardcore when propping up the bar in apres ski mode.

3. Zinc Sunblock – £3.91

It’s retro. It’s 80’s. It’s outrageous. It’s cool! And if you want to be seriously cool, it should be matched with a day glow Nevica all in one.

4. Navman A300

For the data obsessed skiier this is the perfect gadget. It keeps track of distance skiied, speed (both maximum and average), and altitude.  It’s also water resistant so there’s no need to worry about dropping it in your drink in the bar.

5. Toko ExpressPocket Uniwax– £9.78

Pissed off that you can’t keep up with the kids?  Time to unleash your secret weapon – ExpressPocket Uniwax.  It can be applied on the mountain in the blink of an eye, and will turn your skis into a pair of rockets.

6. Smartwool Socks – from. £13.69

Cold toes and painful shins?  Not in these little puppies.  They are soft, warm, smell-free, and look great.  The best ski socks ever.  They’ll make your feet think they’re in the chalet when they’re actually up the mountain.

7. Adidas ID2 Googles – £117.40

Fed up with fog?  These anti fog goggles actually work (unlike most of the others).  But the real killer feature is that they look damn cool.

8. Cat Tracks – £13.65

Probably the most boring item in the list, but given that they’re going to give you an extra year or two out of your ski boots, we think they’re pretty worthy.  They also help to stop you falling on your arse on the way back from the bar.

9. The POV.1 Helmet Cam – £537.50

This bad boy is the daddy of helmet cams.  It’s not exactly cheap, but think of the milage you’re going to get out of the eXtreme home videos you’re going to be making.

10. Great Canadian Heliski Season Pass – $100,000

Just in case you were thinking of getting a pressie for the ChaletPro team, this is the one we’d like.  1 pass = unlimited heliskiing.  Nothing more to be said.