Top 5 Expensive Ski Gadgets for 2013   September 15th, 2012

Thought I’d better get this list in early as these are amazing gadgets but they’re not cheap. So you’ll need a little time to save up and convince yourself you can’t possibly hit the slopes next winter without these must have items.

Recon Instruments’ MOD Live ~ £320

A heads-up display inside your ski goggles – just like a jet fighter pilot!  Awesome

Embedded with a GPS, Accelerometer & Gyro – you see stats such as speed, vertical descent, jump airtime, navigation, temperature as you cruise down the mountain.

Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your  smartphone allows you to see text messages as they arrive, or caller ID as anyone phones you, also control your music playlist.

All controlled without having to take your gloves off or your phone out of your pocket.

You’d definitely feel like the Terminator on skis with this bit of kit.

The price doesn’t include the special Recon-Ready goggles you need to purchase too, which are going to cost another £120
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IXS Downhill Cup in Chatel   September 10th, 2012

This last weekend saw the final big summer event in Chatel for 2012, the 6th stage of the IXS European Mountain Bike Downhill Cup was held in the Chatel BikePark on the 8th / 9th September.

24 year old Brit Brendan Fairclough won the event on a fairly wet and slippery course, check out this awesome video of the route he made the day before the event. Love the way he calmly chats his way down the mountain as if he’s taking a walk in the park.

Best of luck Brendan with the final stage which will be on held on 22nd / 23rd September in Todtnau, Germany.

Great to see another British mountain biker leading the pack after last year when Danny Hart won the UCI MTB DHI World Championship held just over the border from Chatel in Champery. Check out the video of his awesome winning run in some of the wettest and muddiest conditions I’ve ever seen anyone ride a bike.

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The Criterium du Dauphine will be arriving in Chatel next weekend for the 8th and final stage.

This is one of Europe’s big annual road cycling races, and many of the Tour de France teams use it as a warm-up for the big event. Being in a mountainous area the race is usually won by a climbing specialist, and often features several of the most famous climbing stage from Le Tour.

This year the Dauphine is made up of a 1 short prologue stage around the town of Grenoble followed by 7 full stages, and covers a total distance of 1,052 kilometres. Starting Sunday 3rd June in Grenoble and finishing on Sunday 10th June in Chatel.

There are 22 teams and 175 riders running this year, with some big names including Brady Wiggins, Cadel Evans & Andy Schleck to name a few. Obviously I’ll be cheering on team Sky and Brady Wiggins (one of only 3 riders from GB), hopefully he should be in the running for winning the race.

Hopefully the weather will be fine, last year in April Chatel hosted a stage from the Tour de Romandie and after 3 weeks of glorious weather it rained all day when the tour arrived. This year Brady Wiggins won the 2012 66th Tour de Romandie, hope that is a good sign for next weekend!

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Walking in the French Alps   May 27th, 2012

While the European Alps are best known for winter sports, there is tremendous scope for summer fun too. Alpine towns like Chamonix and Interlaken are almost as busy during the warmer months. Visitors come to enjoy stunning views (the high peaks are icebound all year), to walk mountain trails that become difficult or impassable in winter, and to experience the wildlife, food, and culture of the Alpine region.

For adventure lovers there is plenty to get excited about, rock climbing on the valley crags, Alpine climbing above, white water rafting and kayaking on snowmelt-filled rivers, and some of the best mountain biking and road cycling in the world.
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Nowadays there is great pressure on everyone from individuals to companies to carry out their business in as eco-friendly way as possible, and the mountain ski resort of Chatel is doing its part to try to keep its environment as healthy as possible.

Chatel has signed up to the Sustainable Development Charter to commit to making sustainable development their central organising principle, which has produced the following initiatives.
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