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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!

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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.

Snow reports by twitter – that’s just so NOW.  Well that’s what we thought, but maybe we’re just a bit on the geeky side.

As usual the story starts in the pub.  It’s a bit of a blur, but someone suggested that it’d be cool if they could get their snow reports delivered directly to their twitter stream.  So that’s exactly what we’ve done.  Initially we’ve only got 11 resorts set up, but people find it useful we’ll add some more. Leave a comment, or drop us a line to info@chaletpro.com to request your favourite resort is added (Europe or N.America, or anywhere for that matter!).

Follow one of the twitter streams below to get daily updates (for today’s forecast, and tomorrow’s forecast):

@chamonix_snow
@chatel_snow
@la_plagne_snow
@la_rosiere_snow
@la_tania_snow
@les_gets_snow
@meribel_snow
@morzine_snow
@samoens_snow
@tignes_snow
@val_disere_snow
@whistler_snow

For more information on our twitter snow reports keep an eye on our main site.  This is where we’ll keep the up to date list of the resorts that we’re twittering snow fall data for.

Big news here at ChaletPro Towers – we’ve finally managed to get the blog up and running.  Whilst everyone else has been enjoying the early snow, we’ve been hard at work.  Typical.  It’s taken a touch longer than we expected (as most things usually do), but hopefully it’ll be worth it.  Over the coming weeks and months we’ll try to keep it up to date with all sorts of ski related posts.  If you’ve got some ideas, or just want to get in touch, drop us a line at info@chaletpro.com