THE SNOW IS HERE!

View from the Independent Mountain HQ

View from the Independent Mountain HQ

FINALLY……The snow has arrived and in good old mountain fashion it is dumping!! After a record number of weeks of opening the curtains and groaning at the sunshine and tepid temperatures we are now jumping for joy as the temperature has dropped and the white stuff has arrived!!
Across the Alps, resorts have been transformed into winter wonderlands and with more on the way, season 11/12 is set to start with lots of fresh powder!
If you like many others have been waiting on the edge of your seat for the snow to arrive to book your ski holiday then there’s no better time than the present! We have lots of fantastic catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation available along with some amazing ski deals!
Check out where you can be enjoying the snow now!!  Too busy christmas shopping…then drop us a line and we will do all the hard work for you!  Check out our catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation Or drop us a line at info@independentmountain.com or give us a call on 00 33 450 748 379

Ski Exercises – Get into Shape for the Season with our Ski Fitness Program

Get your Legs Powder Ready!

Strong legs are essential for winter sports, with huge numbers of skiers and snowboarders suffering knee and lower limb injuries each season….and most of these injuries are due to muscle weakness and fatigue.

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There are two main areas you need to address when performing leg exercises that aim to prevent the risk of you injuring them, these being muscle strength and endurance. Improving the strength and endurance of your primary leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps and calves) will help ensure the integrity of your joints, such as your knee and ankle joints, is maintained when large external forces are applied. It will also mean that you will excel in deep powder days when the leg muscles can fatigue and loss power quickly.

This exercise can be performed simply against your own body weight (beginner) or with dumbbells providing added resistance (intermediate to advanced). Complete the exercise a total of three times, performing it 12 to 15 times each time (3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions). Perform the exercise a minimum of three days per week.

1) Start by standing straight and with your feet shoulder width apart and shoulders set back (dumbbells held in hands by side of the body if using them)

2) Slowly bend an equal amount at your hips and knees and ensure that you maintain a nice flat and straight back during the entire range of the exercise….do not just bend at the knees, bend at the hips too and stick your buttocks out so that you keep your knees behind the tips of your toes and the natural curves of your spine.

3) Slowly continue to bend at the hips and knees and lower yourself towards the ground, performing the exercise to a depth that you are comfortable and confident that you can return to the starting position from without losing your technique.

4) Never perform the exercise to a depth that means that your hips and buttocks are below being parallel with your knees.

5) Slowly push back up to the starting position using your leg muscles only….if your are performing with body weight only do not rest your hands on your thighs and push up using your arms also.

Recommended breathing pattern as you perform the exercise is inhale on relaxation (as you squat down) and exhale on exertion (as you push back up and return to the starting position

For the best resorts and best ski accommodation to put your powder legs to the test please visit independentmountain.com. We have a great range of catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation across the Alps to suit all budgets. Email us on info at indpendentmountain.com or call us on 0033 450 748 379.

Ski Fitness – Get into Shape for your Ski Holiday

There’s nothing worse than being all geared up for your ski holiday only to find that when you and a big dump of snow arrive in resort, your legs are less than powder ready!

To ensure you and your pins are in tip top powder condition for your ski holiday, Independent Mountain has teamed up with mountain fitness gurus, Mountain Bodies, to provide you with a weekly ski fitness program to get you and your legs ready for those long glorious days up the hill.

Week by week, Personal Trainer Troy Knecht, Mountain Bodies, will be bringing you ski exercises of the week, complete with top tips to help you through the ski exercises and most importantly provide you with thighs and buns of steel any pro would be proud of!!

Follow the ski fitness program on the Independent Mountain blog, Facebook page or on Twitter and get yourself fighting fit for the mountains.

To find out more about Troy and the individually designed and highly enjoyable one on one or group fitness sessions he offers in Morzine search for Mountain Bodies on facebook or call him direct on 0644199242. Current summer specials include your first three 60 minute 1 on 1 sessions for a total cost of 35 euros and group classes of between 2 and 6 people at a cost of 10 euro per person.

To book ski accommodation please visit independentmountain.com. We have a great range of catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation across the Alps to suit all budgets. Email us on info at indpendentmountain.com or call us on 0033 450 748 379.

Ski Fitness Exercises- Your Ski Fitness Program to get into shape for the slopes

Getting into shape for your winter holiday is just as important as shaping up to look good on the beach during your summer break. Before heading off for your winter ski holiday it is imperative that you’ve undertaken a ski fitness exercise regime to ensure you are fighting fit for the slopes!

Now you don’t have to transform yourself into a slave to the gym, however, doing a few sets of squats whilst queuing to board the plane will not suffice. To help get you into fine form, without you having to spend lots of money on gym membership or lots of time pumping iron, here are a few simple ski exercises you can build into your weekly regime to give you and your body a fighting chance and nice and prepared for long days up the hill.

Your Ski Fitness Program

Squatastic for Awesome powder Pins

Whilst they may not be everyones favorite exercise, they are the ones that get the best results. Doing sets of squats, lunges and wall sits 2-3 times a week will help build up your muscle strength and whip your thighs into shredding shape in no time. Remember no pain no gain!

The Squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, straighten your back and slightly bend your knees (so they are not locked) Slowly lower yourself down to 90 degrees in a controlled motion focusing on the muscle groups you are working (quads, gluteus and hamstrings). As you lower yourself into the squat it is very important to ensure your knee stays above your ankle and does not go over your toes. As you get to 90 degrees, hold for one count and then slowly rise up to your starting position. Start off with three sets of 8 and gradually increase the reps as your strength increases.

Handy Hint

Worried about your posture? As you lower yourself into the squat imagine you are sitting down onto a chair. This will help you keep the correct posture for your squat.

The Lunge

The Godfather of all thigh exercises, the lunge is a fantastic thigh burning exercise that separates the men from the boys!

Relax your legs (do not lock your knees) Place one leg in front with your foot flat on the floor and your other leg behind you, with your heel raised off the floor so the weight of your leg is on your back toes. Straighten your back and place your hands on your hips to help with balance. Similar to the squat exercise be sure to take your back leg far enough behind you to ensure that when you lower into the lunge your front knee is above your ankle and no further than your toes. Lower yourself into the lunge in a slow and controlled manner, hold for one second and then slowly raise yourself back to your starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Start off with three sets of 8 and gradually increase the reps as your strength increases.

Handy Tip

For a more complex lunge you can add movement by doing a walking lunge from one side of the room to the other. Follow the same principles as a static lunge, however, when you raise out of your first lunge, you then travel forward by moving your other leg to the front and going straight down into the lunge. Repeat on both legs until you reach the other side of the room.

The Wall Sit

Ensure your legs have staying power up the hill with this fantastic resistence exercise.

The aim of the game with the wall sit is to increase your resistence and strength by holding the same position for set periods of time. Stand up straight with soft knees and legs just wider than shoulder distance apart. Lower yourself down into the squat in a slow and controlled manner and hold the position for 30 seconds. Once the 30 seconds is up (or if it becomes too uncomfortable) then raise yourself slowly and controlled into your starting position. Remember to try and evenly distribute the weight throughout your feet. Repeat times to begin with and increase the repetitions as you resitence and strength heightens.

Handy Tip

If you find it uncomfortable try doing the exercises against a wall with a gym ball behind your back. This will offer more support for your back.

By introducing these exercises into your weekly routine, you and your legs will be powder ready in no time and ready to hit the slopes!

Looking for ski accommodation for your ski holiday then check out our fantastic range of catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation across the Alps here at www.independentmountain.com We have ski properties to suit all requirements and budgets! For more information click here, drop us a line at info@independentmountain.com or give us a call on 0033 450 748 379.

The Ski and Snowboard Show 2011 – Dates released

The Ski and Snowboard Show 2011 is back at Earls Court from 19th – 23rd October and is promising to be bigger and better than ever before. The 2011 show is keeping hold of all our old favourites as well as injecting even more excitement with a range of new additions.

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Tickets are on sale now with special discounts for subscribers to Metro Snow. Therefore, book now and start gearing yourself up to a fantastic ski season 2011/12.

For more information click here

To book tickets click here

Start planning your ski holiday and snowboard holiday with Independent Mountain and our fantastic range of catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation. Pay us a visit, drop us a line info@independentmountain.com or give us a call on 0033 450 748 379.

Catch the first snow in November!- Ski Lifts Open Early in Val Thorens

Itching to get back on the slopes? Winter can’t come fast enough for you? If so, then do not fear as you can be skiing as early as November! That’s right in the resort of Val Thorens lifts will be opening on 19th November allowing all out there in need of a snow fix the chance to get some early season shredding in!

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There is a fantastic range of Val Thorens self catered accommodation and Val Thorens catered accommodation suitable for all requirements and here at Independent Mountain we’re on hand to offer you advice on ski properties best for you. Visit here or drop us at info@independentmountain.com and we will do all we can to provide you with the best ski holiday.

Ski Trends 2012 – Apres Ski Fashion

After a hard day up the hill, when your legs are heavy and tootsies screaming to get out of your boots, theres nothing better than slipping into a nice comfy pair of warm snuggly boots.

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Bearpaw shoes have answered our après ski prayers and designed a range of boots that will not only keep us all toasty but also at the top of the style stakes.

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The fun brand who’s motto is “to live life comfortably” offers ranges for all (men, women and children, with new designs on the scene for season 11/12 with their “Buckles & Bling” line, animal print and metallic designs all keeping us on our fashionista toes.

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Check out their different ranges here http://shop.bearpawshoes.com/

Looking for the best ski resort and ski accommodation for you to be enjoying apre ski in a pair of Bear Paw Shoes?  Wanting the best catered ski accommodation or best self catered ski accommodation to suit all budgets?  Then pay Independent Mountain a visit or drop us a line at info@independentmountain.com with your requirements and we will send you the best options available.  Alternatively, call us on 0033 450 748 379.

Ski Fashion 2012 – The latest Ski Trends 2012

The slopes for season 2011/12 are sure going to be filled with some fashion forward sights if what we’ve seen so far for ski trends 2012 is on the money!

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The most eye catching and er unusual item we’ve come across so far is the “Skibeard”! Yes, you heard us correctly… the Skibeard is a fake fur neck gaitor which makes all wearers appear to be have full on beards!

First brought as a fun novelty gift, they are fast becoming known as the latest accessory to keep you nice and cosy on the slopes for season 2011/12.

Set up by Texan entrepreneur, , the beardski have gained lots of attention in the states with the likes of Ellen featuring them on her show, and are set to make the same stir when they start to hit the slopes of Europe. The Beardski come in an array of colours and furs guaranteed to match the very latest ski fashion in 2012.

Check out the Beardski website here – http://www.beardski.com/

For the best accommodation to match your beard drop us a line here at Independent Mountain or pay us a vist to find the best catered ski accommodation or self catered ski accommodation for you.

Family Ski Holidays in France – Tips on How to Book the Best Family Ski Holiday to France

When organising your family ski holiday, it is important to pick the right resort for you and your family. Lots of European ski destinations offer a great range of family friendly ski resorts, however France is a great destination therefore, be sure to consider a family ski holiday in France.

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When booking your family ski holiday in France you need to consider the requirements of everyone in your group and the range of ability to ensure your resort of choice meets everyone’s needs.

Firstly, do your research on the resort. Find out the range of slopes that the resort provides, how many lifts are providing access to the different ski areas, what the childcare facilities are like and how many ski schools there are and where they are located. Be sure to consider the family friendly ski resorts of Morzine, Chatel and Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil and Meribel, La Tania and Courchevel in the Three Valleys. Both ski regions offer a fantasic range of linked skiing and a range of family friendly activities off piste to keep everyone entertained.

It is also extremely important to pick the right family ski accommodation for you. Self catered ski accommodation provides a great option for those groups wanting the flexibility on when and where they eat as well as providing the more budget conscious option of being able to shop at a reasonable price in the local supermarket and cook in, rather than eating out, which is great for large groups and families.

Catered ski accommodation provides you with the luxury of having everything taken care of for you from your ski hire and lift pass right through to your daily meals and lift to the slopes. You are also able to book professional childcare with your catered ski chalet to ensure your children are taken care of and that you have some free time to enjoy a great few runs up the hill followed by a vin chaud.

France is definitely one of the front runners for the best ski resorts in Europe with many offering the best ski conditions and terrain in the world. You do not have to travel as far afield as the states or Canada to be ensured of a holiday that provides fantastic snow conditions and a great range of both pistes and off piste skiing and snowboarding to keep even the most advanced and adventurous entertained.

France has a fantastic range of ski accommodation and family friendly resorts therefore, when booking your next family ski holiday be sure to consider a family ski holiday in France.

To book your family ski holiday please click here or call us on 00 33 450 748 379.

Top Trends for Ski Gear 2011

Okay, so season 2010 ski trip over and done with, there’s no better time to be sorting out next seasons ski and snowboard trip and most importantly your ski and snowboard gear for 2011!

Confused about the latest looks for season 2011, not sure which colours to rock it in whilst shredding? Wondering what the latest hottest style to hit the slopes is going to be?

Independent Mountain to the rescue!!!

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We have had our ear to the ground of those in the know and have put together a nicely styled list to ensure that wherever you venture next season and regardless of technical ability you will be up there when it comes to the fashions stakes!

There are three main themes to the 2011 ski trends:

  1. Technical geek meets style icon – Yes, 2011 sees this partnership as a match made in piste side heaven with a big emphasis on clothing being high in technical ability aswell as style. No longer does one have to miss out to the other with season 2011 seeing a higher emphasis on both the technical ability of the gear as well as the combination of great colours and style

  1. Going green – Now you can express not only your skills but eco conscience on the slopes with a big trend for next season being gear that is sustainable. Therefore, all you eco warriors out there be sure to check out the new ranges for 2011 that use Recycled materials, blue-sign certified textiles, and natural, eco-friendly resources.

  1. Extra Power and Protection in the Powder – Season 2011 sees a number of manufacturers offering ranges designed specifically for powder days! The collections see gear made from high-tech membranes which control the wearers body temperature, the jackets design has a slightly longer cut providing more room and protection with zip in pants and jackets to ensure less chance of powder wet bums and thermals!

With regards to the colour palette for season 2011, there is definitely a theme of there being something for everyone! There has been a star burst of new colours, styles and detailing to ensure that there is something to suit the rainbow of personalities and characters found within the snowboard and ski world.

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vans snowboard gear 2011

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686 womens snowboard gear 2011

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Female ski gear 2011

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Vans Snowboard gear 2011

Lots of fantastic bright colours including neon brights, statement prints and even some gangster bling allowing you to showcase your abilities aswell as personality whilst you are up and amongst it.

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RED Helmets 2011

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Burton Boards 2011

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vans snowboard boots 2011

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Snowboard gloves 2011

Von Zipper Goggles 2011

Von Zipper Goggles 2011

Need to sort ski accommodation as well as your outfit? Then contact us here as we have a fantastic selection of catered ski accommodation and self catered ski accommodation throughout the Alps. Alternatively, please pay us a visit at www.independentmountain.com or give us a call on 00 33 450 748 379 as we would love to chat through suitable options with you!