Category Archives: Ski & Spa

Hiking on the Krippenstein

Winter Hiking on Krippenstein

Hiking on the Krippenstein

Krippenstein, Austria, is known for skiing, but it’s a beautiful destination for other winter activities as well.

One favorite is winter hiking which can manifest as a romantic relaxed hike, a photographer’s dream, or a more aerobic endeavor that has hikers tramping through the deeper snow with snow shoes.

Hiking on the Krippenstein

Hiking Options

Krippenstein offers a variety of hiking opportunities. In fact, the options are too many to mention in one article, but the following is a short list of easier hiking tours from the selection of possible hikes of all difficulty levels.

If you’re looking for a hiking route for the entire family, consider the Dachstein mountain plateau which also offers walks with disabled access to mountain tours lasting several hours!

  • Welterbespirale: An easy hike, this starts from the mountain station via the WeltNATURerbeblick viewing platform a few minutes from the Dachstein Krippenstein mountain cable car station. This hike is an easy walk that takes about 15 minutes
  • 5 Fingers: This is another easy hike which is wheelchair accessible. Walk time is about 30 minutes and offers views of the Trauntal valley.
  • Heilbronner Circular Route: This mountain walk is rated medium difficulty and takes about 3 hours overall. Along the way, hikers will have a chance to see the Dachstein shark which demonstrates that the Dachstein massif was once covered by sea water millions of years ago. It also shows there were pre-historic sharks at that time.

Hiking on the Krippenstein

The Weather

Winter weather in Krippenstein, like many places, varies from day to day. Sometimes fog lingers in the valley for the entire day while up on Krippenstein the sun is shining.

And speaking of the sun, for those who enjoy a gorgeous sunset be sure to watch the sunset from the Lodge’s terrace for a unique sight as the setting sun is reflected on the glistening glacier. It’s stunning!

Other Activities

Along with winter hiking, thrill seekers can also try ice climbing, paragliding, and snow-shoe hiking.

As an added benefit, dog owners will find a number of walking opportunities that accommodate their four-legged friends. Dogs are also allowed in the gondola, but only if they wear a muzzle!

Photo credits: Mark Krupa

Park Hyatt Skiing

Ski, Snowboard, Dogsled and More at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

Park Hyatt Skiing

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek offers an amazing Rocky Mountain winter experience for all ages. From beginner skiers to the most advanced, it makes an ideal location to enjoy the snow.

In fact, the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School offers programs for kids and adults. For the adventurous who want to do more than ski, the resort offers host of other opportunities to enjoy the incredible winter wonderland with a number of tours and rides.

Dog Sledding

Dog sled tours run morning and afternoon on a private ranch in the Wolcott area west of Beaver Creek. These tours take about two hours and cover approximately seven miles for a breathtaking adventure through the snow on a dog sled pulled by Huskies.

Tours include homemade snacks and a hot beverage. This is a popular tour, so be sure to reserve your spot early.

For safety reasons for the dogs, each sled can weigh no more than 400 lbs. (combined weight). Children must be at least 4 years old to take part.

Park Hyatt Tubing

Tubing

Tubing is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Kids must be 36″ tall to ride on their own and must ride down the hill by themselves.

The Buckaroo Express gondola provides a quick ride up the hill to tube down the groomed Haymaker Tubing Hill!

When you’ve had enough tubing, circle around the fire to warm up and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a snack.

The tubing hill is open from mid-December through late March as long as weather permits. Opening and closing times are based on time of sunset as well as the elements.

Ski Biking

Ski Biking also known as Ski Bobbing is a sport that combines skiing with biking. This is the perfect challenge for those looking for a new adventure.

It is recommended participates who sign up for the nighttime guided tours down Vail Mountain be at least intermediate level skiers.

Children must be at least 14 years old and 4’6” in height to take part in this activity.

Allegria Spa

Allegria Spa

Ice Climbing/Rock Climbing

Apex Adventure Guides and Vail Rock and Ice Guides offer year-round adventures and instruction, from climbing basics to advanced courses in alpine climbing.

This activity uses technical climbing equipment which is provided. Kids have to be 13 or older to participate. This is an exciting and unique adventure for the daring looking for a new challenge.

Allegria Spa

When you’re ready to soothe your tired muscles and refresh your body and soul, the Allegria Spa provides a tranquil sanctuary.

Located at the heart of Beaver Creek, Allegria Spa offers treatments from massages to organic scrubs which  utilize the healing elements of Vail Valley. Here you can workouts and enjoy a Swedish massage. Stay as long as you like.

To learn more about additional winter activities contact the hotel concierge.

Photo credits: EastWestResorts Beaver Creek, Beau Ryan, EastWestResorts Beaver Creek

SHA Wellness Clinic

Rejuvenate at Spain’s SHA Wellness Clinic

SHA Wellness Clinic

The SHA Wellness Clinic is a world-class wellness clinic dedicated to its guests’ health and well being.

Nestled in a unique environment within the Sierra Helada Natural Park, it is situated on a beautiful mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Albir Beach and just a 15 minute walk from the nearby picturesque town of Villa de Altea.

SHA Wellness Clinic

SHA Approach

For those looking to rejuvenate, heal, lose weight or just seeking a healthy getaway in a stunningly beautiful location, the clinic’s major fields include natural health, anti-aging and non-invasive aesthetic medicine.

SHA’s approach combines antique Oriental disciplines and innovative Western techniques to re-establish harmony between the body, mind, and spirit.

Their dietary approach includes elements of macrobiotic nutrition and natural therapies as well as a practical educative program, all of which work together to offer a personalized approach to help guests reach their health objectives and to establish healthy habits to improve individual life quality.

SHA Wellness Clinic

Natural Therapies

Natural therapies which complement healthy eating include: acupuncture, shiatsu, yoga, chi-kung, tai-chi, watsu, physiotherapy, laughter therapy reflexology, moxibustion and reiki.

Amenities

SHA features 93 suites with mountain views, sea views, or views overlooking the Natural Park of Sierra Frost (request view when you make your reservation) and enjoy spacious accommodations with a living room and bedroom, a large terrace, modern bathroom with shower, free WiFi and more.

The SHA complex is comprised of six buildings and includes inspirational Zen, Mediterranean and tropical gardens. Guests also can enjoy the complex’s large outdoor heated swimming pools, waterfalls, multiple relaxation areas, a complete hydrotherapy circuit with two heated pools, multiple treatment rooms, a fitness room and more.

Other Things to Do

During visiting the SHA Wellness Clinic, guests are free to enjoy nearby beaches, urban centers, and cultural events. In fact, the clinic can help organize activities of interest including guided tours.

The SHA Wellness Clinic offers the complete package from breathtaking views and ideal climate, to luxury accommodations and state of the art wellness facilities. Visit their website for more information.

Photo credits: Bodaclick TV

Keystone Resort Offers Family-friendly Rocky Mountain Experience

Keystone Resort 8

Keystone Resort in Colorado features plenty of outdoor winter adventure.

It offers three incredible mountains offering more than 3,000 skiable acres, 20 lifts, two gondolas all situated at the foot of a couple of unique villages where visitors will find good food and a selection of lodging options of various sizes.

Keystone Resort

Skiing and Other Winter Activities at Keystone

Keystone is famous for its skiing and snowboarding, and offers plenty of other winter activities to the mix from November to April. These include fun like ice skating, Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, scenic gondola rides, and wine tasting.

For those who enjoy sitting back and enjoying the views, snowcat tours make a perfect choice for families and friends to take in the breathtaking beauty of the back mountains of Keystone Resort. The tour takes in the Continental Divide, Ten Mile Range, and the Gore Range.

Keystone Resort

Snowcat Tour

Save on Lodging

Lodging offered at Keystone Resort includes more than 1200 options with hotels rooms, to condos designed to accommodate guests with various numbers in their party. And the Resort’s knowledgeable concierge service is available to help plan every aspect of your stay with just one phone call.

To save on your stay, book early, and if you make reservations to stay for two nights or more, kids 12 and under get to ski and ride for free.

For additional savings, book before Dec. 2 and this year the Resort is offering a 50% discount on lodging. Be sure to check their website for all the details.

Keystone Resort is a family-friendly resort with first-class runs. Kids ski for free with stays of two or more night, plus there are plenty of other activities for younger kids, too.

The Resort makes a good choice for a holiday vacation with activities like ice skating starting on Thanksgiving weekend.

Photo credits: frontrangebusiness, MountainYahoos, KeystoneColorado

Yosemite Winter

Winter Yosemite a Whole New Experience

Yosemite Winter

Yosemite National Park is a popular summer destination, but what many people don’t realize is that winter paints a whole new experience when visiting the park.

Iconic cliffs frosted with ice stand like sentinels over the quiet winter wonderland where visitors enjoy little traffic and a slackened tourist pace.

Badger Pass Ski area

Badger Pass Ski Area

A favorite destination within the park during the winter months is the Badger Pass ski area which is located 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Here skiers enjoy great views and more snow than elsewhere in the park.

This is one of the original ski locations in California and has been open since 1935. By today’s standards, it’s small but still boasts 88 groomed acres for skiers and snowboarders. It’s a great place to learn to ski and its smaller size provides a more intimate atmosphere perfect for family outings.

Badger Pass also offers more than 90 miles of marked trails for cross country skiing and 25 miles of groomed ski tracts. It’s an ideal place to enjoy solitude and the beauty of nature.

Cross country skiing

Tubing Hill

Along with skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, the park also features a tubing hill which is a perfect activity for family time. The run is about 100 yards long so it’s not too intimidating and provides a great option to still have fun for those who don’t want to try some of the other activities.

Snow Camping

For the adventurous who enjoy backpacking, December through April almost always includes snow camping, too. Outside of holiday weekends, backpackers traveling via skis or snowshoes, will find camping in the winter very different with few neighbors at the campground.

Wilderness permits are required for all overnight wilderness trips in Yosemite. (These can be obtained at Big Oak Flat Information Station.) Also remember that it gets cold, so it’s important to have the proper cold-weather gear to explore Yosemite’s winter landscape.

With this said, visiting Yosemite in the winter does bring with it, its own set of cautions. The Department of Transportation recommends stocking a basic winter survival kit (flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, and a first-aid kit); tire chains, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and even road flares. Along with all this, be sure to let someone know your plans including your route and when you’re due back.

Photo credits: finleyholiday

Ruby Mountains Heli Ski

Heli Skiing Nevada’s Ruby Mountains

Ruby Mountains Heli Ski

The Ruby Mountain Range in Nevada is a narrow range that runs for about 60 miles east of Elko. It got its name back in the days of the gold rush when soldiers panning for gold found garnets, which they mistook for rubies.

This mountain range features 10 peaks above 11,000 feet including the 11,387-foot Ruby Dome, along with endless opportunities for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

At the heart of the Rubies is “Nevada’s Yosemite” (Lamoille Canyon), a U-shaped canyon featuring hanging valleys, towering peaks and year-round snowfields above it.

Ruby Mountains Heli Ski

Heli Skiing

The only way for skiers and snowboarders to access the Rubies is via helicopter. These aircraft are equipped to carry up to five skiers at a time, though it is sometimes necessary to split groups based on ability levels and weight factors.

However these helicopters are hands down the ideal way to find the best possible snow and a great way to meet some interesting people sharing the thrill of backcountry skiing with you and your friends.

Ruby Mountains Heli Ski

Snowcat Terrain

The Ruby Mountains offer stunning corn and powder skiing and at the times when storms, high winds and other weather factors make flying difficult or impossible, the availability of snowcats and cat-specific terrain is usually still accessible.

Snowcats are based at an elevation of 7,400 feet, which is around 1,500 feet above the valley floor which is usually below the cloud level even during a storm. This allows for a great day of skiing as snow accumulates throughout the day during the storm.

Cost

Due to the cost of helicopters and their maintenance, as well as the need for experienced pilots and guides, helicopter skiing is expensive, but the Ruby Mountains Skiing Experience offers more than three decades of backcountry-life experience to ensure the best skiing outing possible.

To check prices and dates available for 3-day trips visit their website. If you’re interested in a single day heli ski trip, contact them directly by phone at 775-753-6867.

Photo credits: Matador Network

Convergent Shell

Black Diamond’s New Convergent Shell Keeps You Warm and Dry

Convergent Shell

Often when skiing or snowboarding, how much fun you have is directly related to how comfortable you are. If you’re too warm or not warm enough, it can make for a miserable outing, so when it comes to ski gear, one of the biggest challenges is finding clothing that’s breathable and water resistant.

The Black Diamond’s new Convergent Men’s Shell Jacket fits that bill. It’s lightweight and designed with a three-layer WindStopper Active membrane that’s hooked up with fully taped seams. It provides better water resistance than the comparable Induction and if offers the same amount of breathability.

Convergent Shell

Helmet Compatible Hood

The Black Diamond Convergent Men’s Shell Jacket is designed with a helmet compatible hood, a brushed microsuede collar, and water resistant zippers.

It’s the perfect combination to help stay dry, not too warm, and wear your helmet without bulky material making it hard to turn your head and without a gap letting in wind, cold or moisture.

It’s an ideal choice whether you’re climbing, skiing, snowboarding, or hiking.

Gore Windstopper

The Convergent Shell coat is an outer layer that functions well in any conditions.

Whether you’re caught in a rain downpour while hiking or hit intense powder on the slopes, the Gore Windstopper which is taped like a full Gore-Tex product, keeps you dry with unbelievable water resistant properties and wind resistant capabilities while still retaining superior breathability.

The Black Diamond Convergent Men’s Shell helps you be prepared for any condition when you understand the basics of layering.

However, the one thing this new shell doesn’t include is the Cohesive Cord Lock Technology that debuted in Black Diamond’s Front Point Shell, but hopefully that will come along in the next model.

For now, the Convergent Shell is a perfect choice for your front-line shell on the mountain and trails.

Photo credits: Amazon

Skiers

Alta Utah a Unique Skiing Paradise

Skiers

Alta, Utah, is considered a skiing paradise by many skiers and is found among the top 5 unique places in skiing.

It’s located just east of Snowbird inside of Little Cottonwood Canyon where it benefits from the canyon’s microclimate with record snowfalls and an annual average of 540 inches. That’s 17 percent more than Snowbird which is also among elite resorts when it comes to snowfall.

In fact, they get more powder than anywhere in Alaska, and it draws a large cross-section of skiers who love the terrain and the pristine quality of the place.

Alta

Alta’s Retro Feel

Alta offers a chance for some old-fashioned skiing fun with small hucks and stashes. Most of the terrain is easily reachable, and skiers willing to put in a little extra effort to get through some trees and past some rocks, will be rewarded with two to three turns at a time in fresh snow.

However, Alta’s routes take time to learn, and it helps to ski with a local who knows their way around, because this is one resort where traversing and side-stepping are necessary skills if you want to get to the best terrain and snow.

Alta’s resort offers a retro feel but has still incorporated updates. Additions have been made to its dining selections over the last decade, and new lodges bring a touch of stylish mountain contemporary to the mix.

They have also rearranged some of the lifts in an effort to alleviate crowding issues during big snow events, and during the spring break weeks in March.

Alta Lift

No Snowboarders Allowed on the Slopes

One of the things that make Alta unique is that it doesn’t allow snowboarders on the slopes. Some consider this a good thing and others think it exclusive and unfair, but really the terrain would be difficult for snowboarders trying to navigate across the slope routes in order to get to the best Alta has to offer.

The bottom line is that Alta is for skiers.

Skiers with flexible schedules will find the best times to beat the crowds and still enjoy the power are in early December and late April. It’s like having piles of fresh snow all to yourself.

Photo credits: Ski Utah

ski boot

Ski Boots Support and Fit Can Improve Control

ski boot

Finding a comfortable fitting ski boot that also performs well can be a challenge. With a properly fitted boot, your toe should come away from the front of the boot when flexing, but when standing it should just touch the front of the boot.

When it comes to comfort and fit, it is a good idea to wear your new ski boots at home first. New boots straight out of the box will be snug. Actually stand in them and flex them to help your feet grow accustomed to the stationary, rigid fit which is much different than wearing regular shoes.

This will help you figure out any adjustments needed, and whether or not you might need custom work done to the boots before you ski in them.

Measure for fit

Oversized Boots Promote Fatigue

Ski boot fit needs to be snug, because ski boot liners compress as you ski which will make your boots roomier the more you wear them.

Because ski boots fit tight right out of the box and feel that way for the first few days of skiing, many people make the mistake of buying boots that are too big. In the long run, this can turn into a painful mistake.

In extreme cases, it can even lead to sprains and bone breaks, but the more common problem is that it can hinder skiing and promote fatigue because your body tries to compensate for poor fit by clawing your toes and tightening your thigh muscles and hamstrings to maintain stability and control.

Ski Boot Fitting

Snug Secure Fit Important

Finding the right fit with ski boots is much different than with most footwear. Shoe size is only one of the variables boot fitters use to help you find the right boot. Right fit will also take your foot shape, including arch length and width, into consideration.

Ski boots need to be snug and secure in order to be comfortable when skiing. They also need to ensure that the interaction of the lower legs, boots, skis and bindings all work together effectively.

When buying ski boots, they should be tried on without the liner, first to see how much room you have in the boot. There should be about 2 centimeters between the heel and shell. This is also the time to ensure that the ankle bone has enough space.

Customize Boot Fit

The ski boot liner itself can adjust to different lengths and widths of feet. The shell of the boot is the hard restrictive part. While there are ways to help customize the fit of your ski boot yourself, it’s often best to seek out a professional boot fitter.

Specialty ski shops often have trained bootfitters on staff who can perform modifications to your boots. They have the knowledge, tools, and experience to help you achieve the best fit. For instance, custom footbeds can stabilize and balance the foot because they are designed to fit your foot. They can also modify the shell of your boot with heat or grinding to eliminate pressure points commonly known as hot spots.

The right fit can make you a better skier. It can maximize your comfort and control because it fits and flexes properly. It pays to take the time to choose the right boot, to wear them at home, and to work out fit issues before your riding the chairlift on a perfect day.

Photo credits: Bergs SkiShop

Galley Bay Resort Antigua

Galley Bay Resort andSpa Conveniently Secluded

Galley Bay Resort Antigua

Whether you’re looking for a honeymoon destination or an all-inclusive vacation destination where you can indulge yourself, the Galley Bay Resort & Spa in Antigua is one place that can make your dreams come true.

This resort is tucked away in the secluded Galley Bay miles from the crowded “big name” resorts.

Galley Bay Resort

Conveniently Located

While the Galley Bay Resort & Spa is miles from the crowds, it is only a 20 minute drive from the airport through St. Johns and across the Northwestern coast by taxi. The trip costs $20 for two people and a dollar per bag.

The resort itself is situated on the sunset side of Antigua in a saltwater bird sanctuary, and offers the perfect place to drink in stunning sunsets while you sip the beverage of your choice.

And the crystal blue bay and white-sand beach is separate from the rest of the island which almost guarantees the privacy you’re looking for in a secluded getaway.

Accommodations

Accommodations at the Galley Bay Resort and Spa feature king size beds whether you’re staying in a premium beachfront suite, beachfront room or one of their cottages. All the rooms are air conditioned and equipped with a ceiling fan.

Guests staying in a first floor beachfront accommodation are able to walk right out onto the sand, while those who stay on the upper floor enjoy stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

Those looking for complete seclusion will be happier in one of the Gaugin Cottages with their private gardens and plunge pools.

Galley Bay Resort & Spa

Candlelit Dinner on the Beach

Those visiting Galley Bay Resort and Spa for a romantic getaway will want to book a candlelit dinner on the beach. This special treat is only available to three couples each evening so be sure to book in advance. The service includes a private waiter and total isolation from the rest of the resort.

Other Things to Do

When you’re done walking the beach or lying in a double hammock there are plenty of activities to enjoy. The resort offers complimentary water-sports, mountain bikes, jogging trails, tennis courts, and snorkeling gear is available to rent.

And when you’re done with it all there’s the spa. The perfect place to get totally relaxed and then do it all over again.

For rates and more information, be sure to visit their website.

Photo Credits: Elite Island Resorts