Despite occurring at the same time every year, Christmas seems to sneak-up on us all very successfully every time; doesn’t it?
Suddenly we realise the struggles that come in trying to find gifts for those friends who just seem to have everything.
Skiers who fall into this category are probably the worst.
Guys and girls who pride themselves in having all the swishy gear and trendy ski-wear. Material objects are usually a no-go – they have it all!
So I’m going to suggest some experiences which you can book your friends or loved ones into.
You want a gift that will make writing a thank-you card difficult. Or at least, one which really prompts them to write one. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t choose sharing an experience with a significant-other over yet another possession; growing dusty with time.
Memories are the greatest possible gift.
The Skeleton Experience With Amy Williams
Tyrol’s capital Innsbruck is a sight to behold. A city built to last, its unmistakably Austrian style and setting in the majestic Inn valley create quite the destination for an alpine retreat.
The atmosphere is a unique blend of city-buzz and raw alpine charm.
The architecture, modern comforts, bars & restaurants that this city have to offer, open the door to making your gift’s recipient’s experience a varied one, and it is the perfect time to visit with their renowned christmas markets. With its own airport, Innsbruck is a more hassle-free experience as well.
In terms of exhilaration, I cannot think of many things greater, than the sport of skeleton bobsleding.
At the elite level this sport accelerates its athletes to eye-watering speeds and jaw-clenching g’s – up to 5 g’s. But this year, Olympic champion and national hero Amy Williams is hosting a masterclass for those of us who didn’t go down the Olympic road.
Between the 10th and 12th December 2016, guests will be treated to an exclusive introduction to the sport by one of Skeleton’s greatest ever champions.
Staying at the luxurious 5* Grand Hotel Europa your friends will not be short of comfort.
With a wonderful blend of modern Italian design and traditional Tyrolean style and hospitality; this hotel will be a treat for any skier.
A short 15-minute drive from Innsbruck is the Olympic Sliding Centre, built for the 1975 Winter Olympics. They’ll be treated to an itinerary of instruction, action and relaxation.
Ride as a Passenger
By the end of the second day, they’ll already be completing skeleton runs of their own and there is also the chance to ride as a passenger in a 4 man bobsleigh.
This really is a special gift; how many people can say they’ve tried the infamous skeleton bobsled?
How many people can say they were taught by an Olympic Champion? Your friends will be dining out on stories from this experience for years to come.
And while you’re there, why not get some early season skiing in? The Stubai glacier is only a 40 minute drive , so it’s easy to add to your city break .
Ski in the morning and some opera at night? That’s as unique as it gets.
Gourmet Ski Weekend with Heston Blumenthal
The ideal gift for the foodie skier, this retreat is a blend of world-class cuisine and sport.
Courmayeur itself sits on the Italian side of the superlative Mont Blanc. The resort has a reputation for outstanding restaurants and this makes it the logical destination for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to host his gourmet adventure.
Its location on Mont Blanc means that Courmayeur enjoys a higher elevation than many other alpine resorts. This meaning that the cooler temperatures are more efficiently maintained throughout the season, allowing the powdery snow to maintain its quality.
This makes Courmayeur an excellent destination for off-piste skiers.
This gift includes guided off-piste at the foot of Mont Blanc, allowing them to relish in some truly unforgettable skiing.
Between the 17th & 20th March 2017, Heston along with his chef friends Sat Bains, Claude Bosi and Jason Atherton will treat your friends to two nights of alchemic dining.
They will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the chefs, enjoy their culinary creations and have three days of fantastic skiing adventures.
Could it sound any better?
I have written about Courmayeur numerous times in the past, it really is a favourite. If you’re tempted yourself, here’s a little guide to Courmayeur I wrote earlier last year.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Romantic Evening Meal Up The Mountain
Staying in the dreamy resort of Courmayeur, perhaps you’d like to treat your loved one to an exquisite dining experience up the mountain, succeeded by a comfortable night in the Super G mountain lodge which boasts its own après-ski, slope-side bar, luxurious suites and ‘centre of wellness’.
This impressive accommodation is paired with equally impressive food. The Restaurant Champagne bar offers a creative experience to rival the best restaurants anywhere in the world.
‘Sounds good, but where’s the skiing’, I hear you ask.
Well, your loved one will wake-up feeling fresh and hit the slopes before the lifts have even opened. Having the mountain to yourself for a couple of runs… now that’s special!
Spa Day in Megeve
We all work hard; we all need a break sometimes. How nice would it be for someone to have a friend buy that break for them?
Well with this gem, you can be that kind Samaritan for a friend or loved one.
The chalet combines a rustic alpine style, suites made entirely from wood with rustic metal features, with cosy modern comforts.
The spa is the flagship of the Made in the Alps label and ensures “you will be immersed in a world where beauty and wellbeing reign supreme.”
The Spa has a pool with idyllic views of the mountain surrounds as well as both indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis to eliminate stress.
In fact, Megeve is my favourite resort in France. It has some great skiing and some of the best restaurants on and off the mountain.
Heli-Skiing in Zermatt
Just thinking about heli-skiing makes any discerning skier excitable. Ever since 007 showed-off his skiing prowess in ‘The World Is Not Enough’, heli-skiing has been the ambition of many-a-skier.
Give your mate the chance to experience this phenomenal sport.
Swiss law allows both pickup and dropoff of skiers by helicopter. This allows those lucky enough to travel to virgin powder-fields and far-flung valleys by helicopter, where ski lifts are an alien concept. All this whilst enjoying views of the world-famous Matterhorn.
For those who love the mountains, this is an opportunity for a breathtakingly organic and awesome skiing experience.
Tickets to A Snow Festival
Combine the two greatest things on this planet – skiing and music. If you have not yet, I cannot recommend snow festivals enough.
The spring sun shines and the best piste conditions prevail.
Enjoy a day of excellent skiing and when you’re ready, descend into the festival to enjoy an afternoon/evening of musical entertainment.
These events are simply magical.
The atmosphere is buzzing – everyone’s there for the love of skiing and of the mountains. One to be recommended is Zermatt Unplugged from the 4th to the 8th of April.
There’s also the Ischgl end of season concerts on the 30th of April. Which are always huge too, and you can experience some great skiing at that time of year.
Items You Can’t Buy On The High Street
If you do indeed decide to go down the object route for your gift (despite all those tantalising options) then I can help there too.
Sure, they might have all the newest gear, but I bet they haven’t heard of these…
The Raden – A Suitcase That Does Everything For You
Raden smart-suitcases are super light and super clever.
Inside you’ll find Bluetooth, inbuilt battery to charge your phone and laptop, USB ports, and a scale… If Dr. Gadget did a ‘go-go gadget suitcase’, then this would be what sprung out from his sleeve!
Goggles That Change Colour
It’s magic. Well at the very least it’s bloody clever!
Dragon’s new Transitions range of eyewear includes ski goggles that change colour according to the light and snow conditions.
These goggles make changing of goggle-lenses a thing of the past, adapting to bright conditions by darkening automatically and vice versa.
The lenses are colour optimised to help enhance contrast and increase depth perception, giving you a clear visual advantage.
…And Some You Can
Arc’teryx Voltair Avalanche Pack
Introducing the new standard in avalanche safety tools, Arc’teryx proudly debuts its Voltair avalanche airbag.
An advanced airbag backpack technology designed to keep skiers and riders at the snow’s surface during an avalanche event, reducing burial depth and increasing survival rate.
Unlike traditional compressed air cylinder airbag systems that are limited to one deployment per charged cylinder.
The Arc’teryx Voltair airbag system is powered by a heavy-duty 22.2V Lithium-Ion Polymer rechargeable battery that allows the user to deploy the airbag multiple times.
KJUS 7 Sphere
7Sphere is a revolutionary Alpine Skiwear Layering System.
It allows the skier precision thermal control over his microclimate in a wide range of weather conditions and adjusting to all activity levels.
The system includes Shell Jacket, Mid-layer Jacket, Down Jacket, Vest and Pants. It has been extensively tested and scientifically approved in climate chambers and on the mountain slopes in Switzerland.
KJUS 7Sphere won an ISPO Award and most recently won the Best Clothing Manufacturer at the World Snow Awards.
Kastle MX84 LTD Carbon Ski
With only 500 available the Kästle MX84 Limited Edition is a truly exclusive product.
Kastle’s MX is their All Mountain Cross skis, and is all about high end mountain performance. The MX84 is one of their most popular ski, being 84mm wide, it’s a sweet spot for most all mountain skiers.
It’s narrow enough to have a superb on piste handling, with great edge to edge control, whilst being wide enough to take into deeper snow and have fun through the trees.
The unique properties of carbon fiber mixed with a wood core, two sheets of 0.5mm titanal, and CAP design, creates dynamic, lightweight and truly distinctive ski.
Snow + Rock’s Gift to You
Best of all, you can get these 3 exclusive items from Snow and Rock who are offering Momentum Ski clients a discount of 15% on the full retail value of current season’s product ranges and is available for use both in store and online.
Your unique code is: AF-MOMSKI-C7
To use your code simply:
- In-store – present a valid form of identification to obtain your discount
- Online – register your address or login. When ready to checkout, key in the code in the Promotion box (not case sensitive). All qualifying items will have the correct price structure applied to the order
- Click & Collect – our Click and Collect services are available for use from most stores, see websites for further information
- Mail Order – please provide your address details to the sales staff quoting the code when ordering
Ready to Get Spending?
In order to buy gifts for those folks who seem to have it all you have to think further than material things, or be very sneaky and find something new and exciting.
I hope these suggestions have given ideas for the festive period; or indeed, sparked a personal interest! Why not comment below and share any other great gifts you’ve found for the skier who has everything?