Ski Canada Magazine

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Living the guide life

Hans

From the Buyer’s Guide 2010 issue More than a good life, “it’s a dream come true,” says Hans Solmssen. Hans is at the top of his profession, one of the most sought-after guides in the Alps. His story is an inspiration to any North American aspiring to the ultimate job. “If you want to be … More »

Verbier: Switching Gears

Pounding music, hoarse yells, diminishing inhibitions and a crush of costumed but not heavily clad flesh beggar the senses. Per Jonsson, pro rider, is sporting a short dress, shaved legs, stubby pink fingernails and an inane grin as he attempts to maintain balance with the help of twin beers and the shoulders of two virtually … More »

Building on success

In the 1920s an impecunious Ernest Hemingway bummed around the Italian Dolomites, hitching rides on pre-dawn milk trains chugging up to high farms, using them as ski lifts. Only a decade ago, the tourist director of St. Anton in Austria told me, “We open our arms to ski bums.” And one who took him up … More »

Swiss Village by Intrawest

Bruson

It’s that good in Bruson. There are only two chairlifts and two brutal T-bars. The groomed piste skiing is distinctly limited, easy enough for an intermediate to exhaust in an hour. But the off-piste excursions are epic in variety and, in my experience, unique in their ability to reinstill the elemental joy of skiing in … More »

Let the Games Begin

It’s a question I get asked often, and one that draws more discussion with readers and editors alike than questions of snow quality and slope inclination. (Not that I am an authority.) Despite my limitations in the downhill department, most of my friends would readily agree that I am a considerably more expert and experienced … More »

Advice for the Europe-bound

Alps, photo by Fred McKinney

Why travel all the way to Europe when Canada has some of the best skiing in the world? Well, you could ask any of the Canadians I wrote about last month why they left to settle with such satisfaction in the Alps. European skiing is more extensive and higher in altitude with more sophisticated ski … More »

How sweet it is

It was Canadian mountain guide John Hogg, for example, who popularized ski safari routes across Switzerland and the Italian Dolomites, and who reconfigured the classic Haute Route ski tour from Zermatt to Chamonix to maximize downhill skiing thrills. And it was Mark Shapiro from the epicentre of skiing in Canada (Hamilton, Ontario) who revolutionized if … More »

Rekindling an Old Love

Skiers suffer a curious seasonal dysfunction. Spring is the time of year, the poets tell us, when we are supposed to come alive with nature. But for skiers, spring is actually the beginning of the end and our spirits lie torpid and dormant through the sultry summer months. It’s now, as the green grass of … More »

The Descent of Man

Ursula, the helpful, effcient woman from the Swiss Tourist Board, was sitting across from us. “Have you thought about where you would like to go?” she asked me. “I’ve been thinking maybe Verbier.” She turned to my ski partner, writer and director Ken Finkleman (CBC’s The Newsroom). “And you?” Ken was leaning forward, running his … More »

Living the guide life

Hans

From the Buyer’s Guide 2010 issue More than a good life, “it’s a dream come true,” says Hans Solmssen. Hans is at the top of his profession, one of the most sought-after guides in the Alps. His story is an inspiration to any North American aspiring to the ultimate job. “If you want to be … More »

Verbier: Switching Gears

Pounding music, hoarse yells, diminishing inhibitions and a crush of costumed but not heavily clad flesh beggar the senses. Per Jonsson, pro rider, is sporting a short dress, shaved legs, stubby pink fingernails and an inane grin as he attempts to maintain balance with the help of twin beers and the shoulders of two virtually … More »

Building on success

In the 1920s an impecunious Ernest Hemingway bummed around the Italian Dolomites, hitching rides on pre-dawn milk trains chugging up to high farms, using them as ski lifts. Only a decade ago, the tourist director of St. Anton in Austria told me, “We open our arms to ski bums.” And one who took him up … More »

Swiss Village by Intrawest

Bruson

It’s that good in Bruson. There are only two chairlifts and two brutal T-bars. The groomed piste skiing is distinctly limited, easy enough for an intermediate to exhaust in an hour. But the off-piste excursions are epic in variety and, in my experience, unique in their ability to reinstill the elemental joy of skiing in … More »

Let the Games Begin

It’s a question I get asked often, and one that draws more discussion with readers and editors alike than questions of snow quality and slope inclination. (Not that I am an authority.) Despite my limitations in the downhill department, most of my friends would readily agree that I am a considerably more expert and experienced … More »

Advice for the Europe-bound

Alps, photo by Fred McKinney

Why travel all the way to Europe when Canada has some of the best skiing in the world? Well, you could ask any of the Canadians I wrote about last month why they left to settle with such satisfaction in the Alps. European skiing is more extensive and higher in altitude with more sophisticated ski … More »

How sweet it is

It was Canadian mountain guide John Hogg, for example, who popularized ski safari routes across Switzerland and the Italian Dolomites, and who reconfigured the classic Haute Route ski tour from Zermatt to Chamonix to maximize downhill skiing thrills. And it was Mark Shapiro from the epicentre of skiing in Canada (Hamilton, Ontario) who revolutionized if … More »

Rekindling an Old Love

Skiers suffer a curious seasonal dysfunction. Spring is the time of year, the poets tell us, when we are supposed to come alive with nature. But for skiers, spring is actually the beginning of the end and our spirits lie torpid and dormant through the sultry summer months. It’s now, as the green grass of … More »

The Descent of Man

Ursula, the helpful, effcient woman from the Swiss Tourist Board, was sitting across from us. “Have you thought about where you would like to go?” she asked me. “I’ve been thinking maybe Verbier.” She turned to my ski partner, writer and director Ken Finkleman (CBC’s The Newsroom). “And you?” Ken was leaning forward, running his … More »

Subscribe and SAVE!

Just $5.00 an issue!

1 year (4 issues) for $20 + tax! Outside Canada is additional for postage.