Cutting carbon impact with the support of Ski Line

Welcoming specialist wintersports travel agent Ski Line as a new WhoSki.com partner – you may have spotted their logo on our Partners Page.

We have teamed up with them because of their commitment to sustainability. As the company explains: “Ski Line promises to highlight green initiatives being undertaken by our featured ski resorts”. They also promote more eco-friendly travel options like taking the train. Bravo!

So this is a quick welcome and well done to Ski Line as our latest partner in the #SkiGreen movement, plus a shout out to the 15,000 plus skiers that will be travelling with them this winter.

If just a fraction of those skiers think pre-loved ski clothing this season, we will be keeping A LOT of extra wintersports clothing in active usage and out of landfill. Which is of course what WhoSki.com is all about.

Read the WhoSki.com guest blog on the Ski Line website

University ski trip survival tips

Signed up for the university ski trip? We got a bunch of student ski trip veterans to share their survival tips…

Travel: sURVIVE the bus trip

“It’s pretty brutal but I would highly recommend it for your first ski trip as it’s part of the experience. Lots of students choose to get the bus out but fly home at the end of the week.”

“Although flying is definitely the nicer option, as a first year student, taking the coach with everyone else is really fun and hypes you up for the trip. You have to do it once!”

TIP: Take a travel pillow… “30 hours on the bus without one IS NOT fun”

Be sure to pack…

A Bluetooth speaker. “Essential for pre- après in your room, on the slopes, on the bus.”

Although also: “Be quiet after 10:30ish in your room, the French police are far from friendly and there have been horror stories of confiscated speakers or phones controlling those speakers thrown from balconies. It might be tempting to keep the après going but hit the bar and save yourself a nightmare.”

Alcohol. “Take a bottle of spirits with you: MUCH cheaper than buying in a resort. Plus a small flask to sneak into après.”

“I definitely recommend taking caffeinated painkillers with you because waking up hungover, running on no sleep, with sore legs from the day before… these will resurrect you! You also may not be able to find them in the resort, so keep them handy.”

Ski clothing essentials (as well as the obvious…)

A roomy onesie to wear over your ski gear. “It’s really fun and also makes you and your friends easier to spot on the piste, in the lift queues etc”

Extra socks: “Bring way more socks than you think you’ll need (they always become disgusting and changing before après is an unlikely pleasure)”

“If you want to have style, bring a vintage ski suit with you. Also bring a backpack, ideally one that is older, because it will take a beating.”

“Customise your helmet! At après they all get dumped on the floor, you don’t want to be that guy who goes home empty-handed because of a helmet mix-up. Who doesn’t love a cool sticker?”

On the piste

“Try to go with / make a friend who’s at the same level as you. In my friendship groups we tend to split up into those who can ski well and those who can’t and then meet up for après.”

Lessons: “Everyone I know who did them recommended them. My advice: go in the afternoon if you can. There’s no way you’ll make a 9am ski lesson every day of the week after going out every night.”

“If you’re worried about safety have a buddy ski down with you after the après on the slopes because sometimes people get lost on the way home.”

survive the après

Comfy shoes for going out: “Snowboots are waaay too hot to wear in clubs / bars at night. Something like Converse/Van -style shoes have been the best compromise for me.”

“Try to drink tons of water. Also, try and drink alcohol in your room to save money. Watch yourself in the clubs, because it’s so easy to spend all your money. Don’t take it too far the first few days, it’s all about stamina!”

“No matter how bad the hangover, aim to be on the slopes as early as you can most days. Being at the top of the mountain almost cures the hangover & you can do a week of drinking for free at home, don’t waste the experience.”

“Unless you’re made of stronger stuff than I am, give yourself one pass for the week not to go out drinking (it’s pretty much impossible to ski every day and make après and every night out)”

save money on your ski kit

“On the Uni ski trip, they offer a clothing rental service, but with the prices on WhoSki – it’s cheaper to buy secondhand than rent. Bonus: you get to keep them! For next time or to re-sell after. Genius!”

Read more: Be a sustainable student skier

Join us at The National Snow Show – for FREE

Here’s the deal. We’ve got FREE tickets to give away (limited supply!) so you can join us at The National Snow Show at the NEC, Birmingham, in October.

And when you get there: make sure you pass by the WhoSki.com stand E70 to say hello.

OK, the popping into our stand is not actually compulsory. But we are giving away free tickets. See below for how to get yours.

Perhaps you visited The National Snow Show last year? This year’s show, 15-16 October 2022, promises to be even bigger and better, so we reckon it’s definitely worth a trip.

The organisers are big supporters of the #SkiGreen message so expect a host of eco-ideas to inspire your next ski or snowboard holiday. Plus we are planning to have a rack of pre-loved clothing at the WhoSki.com stand to show off how ‘good-as-new’ is the new ‘new’. But of course, you knew that already.

Do pass by stand E70 and say hello – we always love to hear your feedback.

Get your free ticket to The National Snow Show using code WHOSKI. Offer closes midnight Sept 7, 2022.

See also: Five things we learned at the 2021 National Snow Show

Halsbury backs WhoSki.com to drive the #SkiGreen agenda

The importance of climate change to the younger generation is among the reasons why school ski trip operator Halsbury Ski is now working with WhoSki.com to manage and reduce the carbon footprint of its activities.

When your young clients are among the most enthusiastic supporters of the sustainability movement – and those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – acting on their concerns makes good business sense. Call it the Greta Thunberg effect.

“Working together is a sustainability gain”

Halsbury’s Managing Director Hugues Raulet says: “Working with WhoSki.com is an instant sustainability gain. Encouraging our clients to purchase and dispose responsibly of the clothing they need for an enjoyable trip to the slopes with Halsbury is an important step on the way to reducing the carbon footprint of our activities.”

WhoSki.com Co-Founder Nicola Davenport explains: “Halsbury approached us with a view to working together. Lockdown delayed active collaboration, but we are so pleased that Halsbury will be recommending WhoSki.com as a source of good-as-new clothing for parents when they sign up their children for a Halsbury ski trip.

“By buying and selling through WhoSki.com, you are helping keep hard-to-recycle wintersports clothing in circulation and out of landfill.”

Halsbury: thinking green

Halsbury has sustainability strongly on its radar. It has installed solar panels and electric vehicle charging points at its offices. Electric bikes are provided for staff who want to use them to get to work.

MD Hugues Raulet is an eco-pioneer whose ventures outside Halsbury have included establishing a B Corp-certified recycling business in Argentina, researching and raising awareness about alternative sustainable fuels. He has ambitions for Halsbury to continually reduce its carbon footprint.

Hugues explains: “Our partnership with WhoSki.com is a proactive way to progress our sustainability journey. This is a positive step towards a greener business. We are doing the things that we can with a vision and an ambition to extend and expand our sustainability agenda.”

Student ski clothing: perfect for re-sale

Halsbury will include information about WhoSki.com to parents and students via the schools packs it provides for clients.

Children’s ski clothing is among the best sellers at the WhoSki.com online marketplace – remember – we donate 25% of our commission on every sale to the teen mental health charity stem4.

Cross-country ski clothing essentials

I am freshly back from my first ever cross-country ski experience, three days on the tracks in Kvitfjell, Norway, brilliantly organised by SkiSafari.com.

It was a short, try-out visit, but required an almost complete overhaul of my piste wardrobe. Ski clothing rental is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to our friends at ecoski.co.uk. However, cross-country, aka Nordic skiing, is still a minority interest for UK skiers. That meant no chance of hiring clothing for this ski mini-break.

Luckily, my husband and I both absolutely loved the sport and can’t wait to return, so our kit will be going back in the cupboard until we can get back to the trails.

Buy pre-loved if you can

I am certain that in future it will be possible to buy pre-loved cross-country ski clothes here at WhoSki.com, but these are early days for our peer-to-peer marketplace, so on this occasion, off to the (online) shops we went.

For downhill skiing, clothing needs to both breathe and keep you warm on ski lifts. The way most of us ski makes for short periods of extreme exertion followed by longer stretches of trying to avoid getting cold hands, feet etc.

In contrast, cross-country skiing is physically much tougher, especially for a beginner with poor technique. Bear in mind that you are likely to work up a sweat pretty quickly, so you would roast in your downhill ski jacket and pants. You do, however, need to stay warm while stopped or in bad weather. Yup: we are talking layers.

Lower body

Go for two layers on your legs: a pair of thermals with over-trousers on top. The thickness of your thermal base layer will depend on the outside temperature: thick for colder winter weather, thinner for spring-like temperatures. In late spring you might even drop the thermal layer, or choose a shorter three-quarter-length / Capri style pair of tights or thermals. These will allow more air to circulate and help prevent you from over-heating.

I wore the same thin base layer leggings which I also wear under my usual downhill ski pants, and they were just fine.

If you’re looking for a higher-intensity cross-country ski workout, ski tights alone – similar to running leggings – will suit. Those aiming for gentler touring on skis will also need a pair of shell-type Nordic ski pants to wear over your base layer.

I bought mine from Daehlie, a well-known Norwegian brand, and was very pleased with their performance; wind-resistant micro-fibre material at the front and stretch material at back with tailored legs, elasticated ankles and a small zip pocket. Warm and cool and comfortable.

Upper body

Think three layers, with a thin base layer next to your skin that will wick away sweat, a fleece on top of that and a lightweight over-jacket designed specifically for cross-country skiing. Odds are the fleece will come off as soon as you start working harder on an uphill stretch, so it’s as well to wear a small backpack for your trip out on the trails.

Your over-jacket needs to be windproof, and you might appreciate having a micro-down jacket that weighs light and packs small in your backpack too. You can slip this on for extra warmth on a cold day if you find yourself taking a chairlift or stopping for a prolonged rest.

I found a half-zipped base layer was perfect under my jacket: the zip allowed for extra air circulation when working hard on climbs. It’s the same top I use when downhill skiing, so that was one less item to buy.

Day one began with me wearing a mid-layer fleece – which came off very quickly – and I only wore it again to keep the wind off when we took a chair-lift to the start of a more distant trail. My Halti soft shell jacket also performed beautifully and looked good.

Accessories

Many cross-country skiers wear a headband/ buff to keep their ears warm yet allow heat to escape – a thick hat will be too hot for most of us. However, a thin beanie or cap with ear-flaps that fold up will also suffice.

Your downhill ski gloves are likely to be far too thick / insulated for cross-country skiing, so you might want to invest in specific cross-country touring gloves. Thicker running gloves would also do the job on warmer days. Mittens are recommended for those who suffer from cold hands. I do, but suffered no chills in my new cross-country gloves on this trip (bright spring sunshine, temperatures hovering around zero).

Regarding socks, alpine ski socks are fine although of course you don’t really need the padding or length. My husband was happy in good quality woollen socks. Cross-country ski boots are light yet warm and windproof – and so easy to walk in compared with their alpine equivalents. Heavenly.

As for all skiing, good quality sunglasses are essential (not goggles – too hot for cross-country) as snow glare can cause optical damage.

Make sure you carry a water bottle – cross-country skiing is energetic work. And the little Nordic ski straps provided by our hire shop were genius for holding together the skis when carrying them (which is a joy – they are so light).

Get in Touch

If you’re thinking about trying out cross-country skiing, do drop us a message on social media : @WeWhoSki on Twitter and Instagram. I’d be happy to share tips from our experience.
Nicola

What to pack for your family ski holidays

Most of us heading for the slopes this winter / spring will be seasoned skiers / snowboarders, but if you’re a ski holidays first timer, what ski wear essentials should be in your suitcase?

No one wants to (a) over-pack OR (b) be under-prepared. If you’re not a ski parent, however, it can be hard to know what’s a must-have, and what you can cross off the shopping list. Here’s the children’s ski wear I recommend, after two decades of skiing with children (from age 0 upwards):

SKI WEAR MUST-HAVES:

  • warm, waterproof ski jackets and trousers or ski suit. You cannot ‘make do’ with non-specialist equipment here: waterproofing, flexible movement, pockets and padding will make for an all-round better ski experience.
  • mid-layer. This can be a simple fleece, but make sure it has a zip so the wearer can open and close according to weather and exertion.
  • ski goggles. More protective than sunglasses, less easy to lose, warmer for the face on a cold day or when it is snowing.
  • ski gloves. Absolutely essential as it’s miserable to have cold hands, oft expressed by highly vocal wailing. You might also want to throw in a pair of thin glove liners. Mittens are warmer and perfect for little ones. Kids’ gloves tend to get drenched on a daily basis and they are slow to dry, so taking a spare pair is recommended.
  • ski socks. Longer than normal socks with heat-retaining qualities and the right padding in the right places, two pairs of ski socks for a week’s trip will be enough, provided they go on the radiator to dry between wears.
  • snowboots. No child or adult should ever go to the mountains without a chunky pair of cosy, waterproof snowboots. They mean kids can play in the snow without getting frostbite of the toes, and adults can walk to the bar/supermarket/ski school pick-up point without slipping over. Wear them on the journey to cut down on luggage weight
  • slippers/Crocs. Aka footwear you can wear between bootroom and chalet/hotel room. The first sign you will see at the entrance to your accommodation will be: no outdoor footwear. Without slippers (ideally, something robust with a sturdy sole) your socks will quickly be soggy. Yuck.
  • Lip balm and high SPF sunscreen. Take a few small tubes of suncream with you and slip into pockets so you can top up throughout the day. Ditto for lip balms, which are easily lost.

SKI WEAR NICE-TO-HAVES:

  • handwarmers. Keeping one of these in your pocket for those super-cold ski days can make a big difference, although there will be years when you don’t need them at all. Good news though: they don’t go off, so save them for next season if unused.
  • sunglasses. I would never go skiing without a pair in my pocket, but my kids have been known to stick with goggles whatever the weather. One less thing to lose, too.
  • thermal underwear. I always made sure my young kids wore thermals – and sometimes that was all they needed under their ski suits – but for teens, not essential.
  • helmet. Essential to wear, but easy to rent. You only really need to own one if you’re a habitual skier. For children, make sure there’s a clip at the back to prevent goggles from pinging off. As with cycling and motorcycling, never buy a secondhand helmet: you don’t know what it’s been through, plus build technology has improved year on year so modern styles are safer than ever.
  • ski boots. As above: wait to buy them until your child’s feet have stopped growing/you move to the Alps/you’ve got the ski bug.
  • multi-packs of a favourite sweet snack. Slipping a packet of Haribos or a chocolate bar into a child’s ski jacket pocket provides a welcome energy boost for little ones between runs.

Got children’s ski wear that no longer fits? Pass it on via our preloved ski clothing marketplace. Looking for ski clothes for your family? Browse our peer-to-peer marketplace for high quality secondhand ski gear.

Hurry to WhoSki.com for half-term ski trip essentials

  • Half-term ski trip booked: CHECK
  • Boxes of wintersports clothing retrieved from the loft: CHECK

Like so many others, it’s two years since I last enjoyed a ski holiday (thanks for nothing, pandemic), and – predictably – half the family’s winter wardrobe doesn’t fit.

Sounds familiar? With just a fortnight until thousands of us hit the slopes, there is no chance that any ski or snowboard clothing donated to the charity shop will be sorted and on sale in time to help out another family this season.

But there is still time to shake down your good-as-new clothes, upload them to WhoSki.com (using our new, super-simple marketplace tech) and see them go to a good home.

FIXED-PRICE INSTANT SALES MEAN THERE’S STILL TIME TO SELL – and buy

So if you’re also having a ski kit clear-out, why not sell on your unwanted good-as-new clothing before you head off? And browse our re-launched WhoSki.com marketplace (new items being added all the time) to fill the gaps in your family’s ski and snowboard wardrobe.

Sales via our website are fixed-price so you don’t have to wait for an auction to come to an end, with transactions handled safely by trusted provider Stripe. Find out more about how to buy and sell via WhoSki.com here.

It’s free to register at WhoSki.com, and we donate 25% of our commission to teen mental health charity stem4 on every sale.

Clear out your wardrobe, prevent still useable ski clothing from going to landfill AND do some good: what are you waiting for?

Remember, too, to save putting away the stuff you won’t use again by posting it for sale on WhoSki.com when you return. It’s so simple to use our new upload system, you could do it from your phone while hanging around at the airport or in the car on the way home. Simply register, upload pics and details and click POST LISTING. It is literally that easy.

You’ll be helping people who ski later in the season (at Easter, for example) as well as the environment. Did you know that around 75% of clothing donated to charity shops fails to find a home?

Boom time for UK’s indoor snow centres?

Anyone else resigned to another DNS ski season? Like us, you probably have wintersports pals who have abandoned trying to pre-plan a ski trip. Maybe you’ve held back from the Eurotunnel crossing in favour of the increasingly common ‘wait and see’ approach – particularly if you’ve got school-age kids.

The complications of daily testing in resort, the risks of possibly racking up a Covid19 positive before starting the journey home and the dread of forcing children to miss yet more schooling through self-isolation on their return, make a pre-booked ski trip simply not feasible for many families.

Disappointing for us – but good news for the UK’s indoor real snow slopes that look set to mop up the thousands who are not going to make it to the mountains this winter.

The fact is that not being able to get to the Alps or Dolomites doesn’t mean you and the kids have to miss out on your piste time. This could be a bumper season for indoor snow centres as, to be frank, there really isn’t much in the way of outdoor skiing infra unless you’ve got Glencoe on your doorstep.

If you want your fix of the white stuff, you’re probably going to have to ski and snowboard indoors this winter.

Snow centres have come a long way since the Tamworth Snowdome opened back in 1994. Now there’s a growing network of indoor ski and snowboard centres across the UK. Check out the Ski Club of Great Britain info page here for the full range of real snow and dry ski slopes across GB.  

A word of advice: get your sessions booked NOW – we predict high demand this winter, with so many families disappointed by not being able to get their mountain fix. Why not take the opportunity to learn the basics on a snowboard, grab a few lessons to spruce up your technique or even take your Level 1 instructor exams (could be the perfect Christmas present for an older teen…)?

And fingers’ crossed that the health climate improves enough between now and Easter to allow that long-awaited trip to our favourite pistes before the season is through.

Is cross-country skiing having a moment?

With a British cross-country skier making the FIS podium twice in a fortnight, and the Alps beyond reach for most of us this season, is it time to turn to Nordic skiing?

Cross-country skiing has always been hugely popular in Scandinavia, where almost everyone practises the national sport of ‘langlauf’. It’s so important, in fact, that Norway, Sweden and Finland recently pulled their champion cross-country ski teams from international competition to protect athletes’ health during the pandemic. Professional skiers enjoy massive aerobic capacity, so the risk of respiratory damage to x-country mega-stars like Therese Johaug and Johannes Haesflot Klaebo is simply not worth taking, the Scandi pros have decided.

Their absence has left the competition wide open to athletes from countries like the UK, which don’t normally stand much of a chance against the all-conquering Nordic nations (and Russia). In the last event before the self-imposed travel ban was imposed (Ruka, 27-29 November), for example, Norway’s men took 12 of 16 possible medals. The remaining four went to Russia.

Medal success for Team GB Snowsports

As a result, Team GB Snowsport’s Andrew Young has stepped up to the plate and currently sits in fourth place overall and for sprint in the FIS rankings. His team mate Andrew Musgrave is third in the distance rankings.

Young took sprint silver on the Dresden city centre course last weekend – the best ever World Cup result for a British cross-country skier. He won bronze in Davos seven days earlier.

Brilliant results for Team GB Snowsports, who are encouraging young skiers to get in touch if they’d like to join the crew, with an eye on the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Milan.

The current absence of two of the world’s top three cross-country skiing teams in international competition is doing wonders for the profile of the sport in places like the US whose athletes are also podium-ing. If you can’t do it – watch it.

Where to watch it

We are big fans of Nordic skiing here at WhoSki.com, and thoroughly recommend checking out the races you can find on YouTube, Eurosport and the FIS site even if it’s not possible right now to get out on the mountain.

Ski resort safety this winter

Face masks, table service and hand sanitiser are the means that French resorts are employing to help keep skiers and boarders safe this season.

Wearing a face mask whilst on and queuing for ski lifts, in public indoor spaces and on ski buses will be compulsory for everyone aged 11 and over. Meanwhile, it’s bye-bye buffet as bars and restaurants will have tables spaced 1m apart, with table service only.

“In some public spaces, capacity may be reduced,” the guidelines say.

Rules have been devised by France Montagnes, the association bringing together the major players in the French mountain tourism industry.

Have you signed the Ski Train petition yet?

More than 10k people have signed the petition to Save the Ski Train – which Eurostar has cancelled for winter season 2020/21. And there’s still time to add your name to the list.

The Ski Train, which has been running between London and the Alps since 1997, is hugely popular with UK-based skiers. For the last two years, tickets for travel during for the peak February half term week have sold out within five hours of going on sale.

‘Take the train to the slopes’ website Snowcarbon – whose founder Daniel Elkan took part in our #SkiGreen webinar recently – has long championed Eurostar for its convenience and eco credentials.

24k travellers opt for Ski Train over flying, driving

Some 24,000 travellers a year choose to take Eurostar’s Friday overnight and Saturday daytime services. For ski season 2020/21, the Ski Train was likely to have been the option of choice for even more skiers wanting to avoid airports and busy roads.

That’s why it seems a bonkers time to cancel the Ski Train – and why Snowcarbon launched its Save the Ski Train petition.

So why has Eurostar decided to bin the train to the Alps for the coming season? There has been speculation in the French press that the operating company was hoping to convince the Government to offer subsidies as it has done for other coronavirus-affected businesses / sectors.

Eurostar itself says that it is focusing on high-demand routes between major cities, and would find it challenging to maintain correct hygiene measures on longer distance routes.

Cancelling the Ski Train has led to an avalanche of complaints from ski resorts and operators, already facing a likely drop in visitors for the coming season.

#SkiGreen to cut your carbon footprint

The way you choose to travel to and within your ski resort is by far the biggest contributor to your trip’s environmental footprint at some 57%, according to the Mountain Riders sustainability charity.

Swapping plane for train saves an estimated 80% in CO2 emissions, Snowcarbon says, as well as being more relaxing and often quicker than flying.

A large part of the reason we set up WhoSki.com was to help reduce the eco footprint of wintersports – so the Save the Ski Train campaign is one we 100% support. If you do one thing today: sign the petition.

Stock up on half term ski kit

Dusting down your bags of ski clothing ready for the annual half term trip to the slopes? That’s what’s happening in my household, at least. Today was my day for working out what still fits whom, what can be sold on (via WhoSki.com, of course!) and what new kit is required.

It’s now I remember that my daughter’s snowboots were a bit tight last year – and she’s also grown out of those salopettes she’s been wearing for the last two seasons. Sigh. Meanwhile, my son got a full outfit upgrade at the Ski Show (will he EVER stop growing?) as a thanks for helping out at the WhoSki.com chalet, so his #GoodAsNew jacket and ski pants combo is ready to sell on to another ski-keen teen.

Fixed-price instant sales mean there’s still time to sell

If you’re also having a ski kit clear-out, remember that there’s still time to get it sold before you head off next weekend. Our sales are fixed-price so you don’t have to wait for an auction to come to an end, and we are currently (launch offer) giving 100% of our commission (we charge 20% on every sale) to our teen mental health charity partner stem4.

Clear out your wardrobe, prevent still useable ski clothing from going to landfill AND do some good : what are you waiting for?

Remember too, when you return that you can save putting away the stuff you won’t be using again (maybe it’s too small or you’ve bought new kit in resort) by posting it for sale on WhoSki.com. Simply register, upload pics and details and click SELL.

You’ll be helping people who ski later in the season (universities often ski at Easter, for example) as well as the environment. Did you know that around 75% of clothing donated to charity shops fails to find a home?