Ski Canada's Swiss Trips 2012

Ski Canada’s first-ever, sold-out readers’ trip to Switzerland last January was such a hit, we’re going back next winter — twice!

Technical editors Marty McLennan and Ron Betts are joining editor Iain MacMillan in the shadows of the Matterhorn at the world’s most famous ski resort, Zermatt, Switzerland, next January. Then, in March, western editor and Alps veteran George Koch, together with one of the most distinguished Swiss mountain guides (and peripatetic Canadian) John Hogg, will be leading a group of readers off-piste for a week of guided easy-access backcountry adventures and five-star digs in (and beyond) Davos-Klosters.

Zermatt: 13-21 January, 2012

There are certain iconic travel destinations that everyone has to make it to once in his or her lifetime, and we think Zermatt in Switzerland’s Valais region, tops the list. Your liftpass is good on almost 100 high-speed gondolas and chairlifts, cable cars, and delightful cog-railways, in both Zermatt, Switzerland, and over the summit into Cervinia, Italy.

Six days of skiing won’t be enough for the almost 500 kms of runs that has something for every level. Endless groomed and soft-snow runs that carry skiers down, through and past cut tree-runs, wide-open alpine bowls, glaciers, sunny picnic spots (Zermatt receives more than 300 days of sunshine a year), family-run mountain lunch huts, overwhelming vistas of the Alp’s most famous peak, the Matterhorn, and its crushingly impressive neighbours on all sides. Distinctive areas around the gargantuan resort offer different conditions each day. Just the vertical drop is more than 2,200 metres. All ages and skier levels welcome!

The centrally located, four-star Alpen Resort in the car-free bustling village of Zermatt welcomes Ski Canada skiers who, if last year’s trip is any indication, will very quickly get to know one another for day and evening adventures. Added bonus: as a trip sponsor, Intersport Zermatt (along with Switzerland Tourism, Zermatt Tourism and Valais Tourism) is offering half-price rentals making travel lighter with no airport 2nd bag charges. As well, Intersport’s excellent equipment can be changed or tuned whenever you like. Also welcome back again, is chocolate sponsor Frey!


 Off-piste in Davos-Klosters: 16-24 March, 2012

Ready to ski the runs of your dreams? Discover huge terrain, big vertical, remote hidden descents and side valleys with untracked powder amid the singular scenery of the Alps — and all within a small-group guided scenario of a trip to remember? Join John and George’s excellent adventure!

John Hogg combines a local’s intimate knowledge of the vast terrain with an unerring ability to find great snow; he’s a man who truly loves to ski and bring the best out of his clients while taking care of their safety and wellbeing. Just at Davos-Klosters alone, John has well over 100 off-piste routes in his personal guiding itinerary.

You don’t need to be a great skier to join the group, but you do need to be fit and keen, able to ski powder and get down double-black-diamond runs at North American ski resorts safely. Skiers will average about one-half to one hour per day of uphill walking on skins daily, while making maximum use of the area’s extensive lift system. There’s no real roughing however with five-star accommodations, meals and spa treatments at the end of each day. If you’ve ever considered guided off-piste skiing, or have lots in your bag with which to compare, this is your trip.

 Who’s John Hogg?

“He’s a personal ski instructor and mentor, an uproarious raconteur, a technical consultant, a connoisseur of fine foods and wine, an equipment procurer, a logistics magician, a hectoring schoolmarm and an outrageously opinionated conversationalist. In short, a one-man rollicking non-stop Alpine off-piste road show.”         —George Koch

Both holidays include return airfare from Toronto and Montreal with minimal add-on fares from other Canadian cities; fuel surcharges and taxes; airport transfers; 4-Star accommodation (Zermatt) and 5-Star (Davos); buffet breakfast and multi-course dinner daily; lift passes; resort fees, taxes — and extras still being organised. Zermatt/Cervinia $2,890. Offpiste Davos-Klosters $4,500.


More info?

Call Simply Swiss: 866/648-7757 www.SimplySwiss.ca




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Contest Winner Announced!


Fernie, British Columbia – A very lucky and very happy resident of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada was the confirmed winner by Tourism Fernie of the sought after Powderhounds wanted contest. The contest, that offered a week long Fernie ski holiday for two featuring a 3-day catskiing and lodging package at Island Lake Lodge, 3 days of skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort, and 4 nights accommodation at Lizard Creek Lodge, was promoted since October in partnership with Ski Canada Magazine. The prize package is valued at over $6,300.

Winner Tom Purtell was just recently contacted about his big win and was at first skeptical…

“When I was first found out I was the winner I thought is was too good to be true! I never win anything and I thought there must be a catch. But it was all true and I was super thrilled as I’ve never skied in Fernie before,” exclaimed Tom.

Tom Purtell resides in Owen Sound, Ontario with his wife Chrissy and newborn daughter Lillianna, where he works for a beverage company. Tom is an active member with the Canadian Ski Patrol at Beaver Valley Ski Club in Markdale.  He has been an avid skier for many years and was excited about the Powderhounds opportunity; it’s been many years since his last trip out west.

Congratulations Tom!

For over 20 years, Island Lake Lodge has set the standard for snowcat skiing. Boasting 7000-acres of private ski terrain riddled with untouched powder runs and set amongst a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks, Island Lake has always been labeled a must-do experience. The lodge itself features lavish accommodation, hot tubs, a full spa, and exemplary fine dining with an extensive wine library.

Fernie represents a true powder ski destination. For more information on these great experiences, cruise www.TourismFernie.com