Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Skier's Bucket List: Other ways to enjoy your vacation on the slopes

The winter season is almost here! The magic of a ski vacation can't be denied. But the question is, what's new about them?

If you think there's none, then, it's time for you to change your perspective to a more exciting one. How? Have a bucket list! Here some ideas you can begin with:

Try a new ski destination
This may be an obvious option, but, did you do it? Don't stick-to-one resort time after time, instead, give other ski vacation destinations a try! It could be a bigger hill, a larger resort, more trail options... It could also be in another country if you want! The options are limitless.

"Ski your age"
From the experience of David Belin of Liftopia, he met a 65-year old man that has a goal of skiing 65 days (relative to his age). You too, can take this challenge and ski to your age.

Share your passion
Pass on your love for the sport to someone who is new to the slopes. Maybe it's one of your friends, relatives, colleagues, etc. Who knows, you might help discover the next Lindsay Vonn or Johnny Moseley.

Tip: Take them for a lesson and let the wonders of the fresh white powder unfold around them.

Hit all the slopes in your state
The difficulty in doing this one may depend on where you live. If you have 27 ski areas in your state, it may take time. But don't give up, the fulfillment you will get in the long run is unbeatable!

Try other ways of gliding on the snow
If you have been a skier your whole life, it may be a great time to strap on a snowboard. If you're an Alpine skier, give telemark skiing a try. This may be a serious challenge but it will help to improve your technique. Expanding your skill-set may even help you become more flexible and stronger as you learn the fundamentals of balance, edging, and pressure on new gear.

Get outside your ski resort
Skiing outside the resort has many forms. It includes simple backcountry and sidecountry skiing to a full blown heli-skiing. There is also a cat skiing, which is a great introduction to skiing outside the ropes.

Tip: If you ski outside the range of your resort, it's recommended to have safety and survival training first before going out on one of these adventures.


Many skiers are now planning for new ways to enjoy their next ski vacation. Start planning your trip now so you can check off as much as possible from that list!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sunshine Village opens for the 2014-15 Ski Season!

Well, if this doesn't whet your appetite for ski season, what will?!?!?



Banff, AB, November 14, 2014 - The wait for winter alpine adventure is over as Sunshine Village officially opens today, November 14, 2014, for the 2014-15 ski and snowboard season. Offering special early-season ticket prices, skiers and riders have access to the Strawberry Quad Chair, the Strawjibbery Terrain Park, as well as two magic carpet lifts.
 
With over 25 cm (10 in) of snow blanketing the mountains over the past week, the resort is opening with a solid start to the 2014- 2015 ski season with a base of over 60 cm (24 in). In addition to opening all on-mountain rentals, dining and retail venues, Sunshine Village is also offering full ski school programs as well as Tiny Tiger and Kids Kampus programs.
 
What’s new for the 2014/15 Season?
 
Recently named one of Canada’s Signature Experiences by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Sunshine Village’s Historical Snowshoe and Fondue tour invites guests to explore off-the-beaten-path with local guides, enjoying 360 degree panoramic alpine views of Banff National Park.  Returning to the warmth and comfort of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, guests further indulge with a traditional Swiss-style cheese fondue.
 
Sunshine Village is once again offering Restorative Yoga and Ski Retreats, combining a majestic Canadian Rockies ski experience with the serenity and relaxation of an on-mountain yoga practice. These weekend retreats also include individualized menus featuring healthy, organic fare crafted exclusively by Executive Chef Martin Brenner of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge and a guided mountain experience with one of Sunshine Village’s certified ski instructors.
 
In August, 2014, Sunshine Village received approval from Parks Canada to construct a new high-speed quad chairlift to replace the existing Tee Pee Town double chair built in 1979.  The new chairlift will include heated seats, footrests and orange bubbles for wind and weather protection and will be the first of its kind in Canada.  Construction is underway and scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015 with full operations commencing in the 2015/16 winter season.
 
Sunshine Village joins the Lake Louise Ski Resort in becoming one of the first ski resorts in Alberta to open for the winter season.  Mt Norquay is tentatively scheduled to open in late November, stay tuned for updates.

Speak with you ski travel specialist at Tours de Sport for vacation specials, ski packages and all the latest updates straight from the resorts.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Save 25% off your stay at the Fairmont Tremblant when you add an overnight in Montreal!


If you needed a reason to slow down and enjoy Montreal we have a great one!
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

You can save 25% off our already discounted rates for both the Fairmont Tremblant and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth located in downtown Montreal.  

Fairmont Tremblant
As skiers we sometime miss a ‘must see’ on the way to hill in our excitement to hit the slopes.  Let this be the year you take and extra night to explore all old town Montreal has to offer while saving on your trip.  Be sure to contact your agent here at Tours de Sport today for the package pricing, this option is not valid for online bookings.




Thanks Mike! Sage advise from a guy who has truly been there and done that!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Support the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation!

Ryan Hawks was raised in the Green Mountains of Vermont.. Ryan was an avid fan of the great outdoors with an unmatched passion for adventure.  A gifted athlete with a heart of gold.  His life was cut short after sustaining injuries in an accident, competing at the 2011 Freeskiing World Tour, in Kirkwood, California.

After his death, his family went into his room and found something that Ryan had written.  This note inspired Ryan's family to set up a non-profit foundation to honor his legacy.

The foundations mission is share Ryan's Core Principles and to award scholarships to financially disadvantaged adventurers, so that they may pursue their dreams. 

This touching and beautifully simple note found on Ryan's computer is what inspired his family to set the foundation in motion.  By living these core values, young adventurers can apply for scholarships while being inspired by a dynamic individual who's life was cut short doing what he loved.

Ryan's Core Principles:

Live everyday, all day
Never stop exploring life
Never lose my adventuresome attitude
Be the best friend I can be                                                            
Be the best brother, son, uncle I can
Look out for others
Look out for myself
Look out for our surroundings
Play like I'm thirteen
Be self-sufficient
Don't be afraid to ask for help
Work hard
Live easy
Live simply


I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan's family at a recent fundraiser in Burlington, VT and could not be happier to share their mission.



Please visit http://www.flyinryanhawks.org/ for more information on how to get involved with this fantastic family-run operation and support a great cause.

Thanks to Andrew Goldman in our Vermont office for sharing Ryan's story.  We can all take something from his principles to apply to our own life. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Melting Snowman Cookies and more on Pinterest!

If you have not found Pinterest you need to. 

Pinterest is a visual tool website that is amazing. It can help you organize and plan just about anything your heart desires. You can search any and every thing. You create your own "boards" and can "Pin" the recipe, ski clothing item, quote, skis, places you dream of traveling onto the boards that you create. Then you will not spend hours searching the Internet for that one website, or idea that you loved and can no longer seem to find. You will have it organized in one spot. Super cool give it a try you just might like it!

This recipe idea was found on Pinterest via the "Baking and Mistaking" blog and what an adorable idea for the winter! 

Melting Snowman Cookies

Recipe: Makes 15 to 20 Melting Snowman Cookies

Sugar Cookies (recipe below)
Royal Icing (recipe below) 
15 to 20 marshmallows
Edible pen
Mini chocolate chips


Make and bake the cookies and icing as per the below recipes. Let the cookies cool, and spread the thinned out icing over the cookies, letting some drip over the edges. 
Place the marshmallows on a microwave-safe plate and zap them for 20 to 25 seconds until puffed out. With greased fingers, carefully place them (and smoosh down slightly) on the cookies, trying not to disrupt the icing.  
If using mini chocolate chips or pearl sprinkles, carefully place three in a row below the marshmallow. 
Let the icing dry completely - at least an hour. 
Using the ink pen, add on arms and faces to your cookies. Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies: 
1/2 cups (1 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Gradually mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Shape the dough into two balls, flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for an hour or two (or refrigerate overnight). Either pinch of pieces of dough and flatten or roll it out and cut out shapes. Bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes at 350F, without letting them get brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Royal Icing: (makes more than enough)

3 egg whites
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pound confectioner's sugar

Beat the egg whites and lemon juice together.
Gradually add in the sifted sugar on low speed until smooth. Beat for several minutes until shiny. 
Use immediately or cover and refrigerate or it will begin to harden.

For this recipe - thin the icing out (with water) until you can swirl a spoon through it, and the mark will disappear in a second or two. Only add a tablespoon or so at a time.

-Kamlyn Cantrell

Kamlyn is our resident foodie, so don't be surprised to see some additional gastronomical tips from her this winter. Personally, I'm hoping for some quick and easy ski trip dinners when your're too tired to do much gourmet cooking after a hard day on the slopes! Kam?