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The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show 2015

Day trips to London can be stressful, exhausting, rushed and one needs to be mindful of the moving minutes of the day, to make that plane, train or automobile to get home when the sun goes down but I'm glad to say that this day trip was quite different! Leaving my treeline base in Ireland, I caught the Red Eye to London Gatwick and before I knew it between flying and walking, I was outside Battersea Park in south London. My internal compass is pretty good and don't usually have to resort to smart phones and all so a couple of bouncing bobble hats 200 meters ahead of me could only sound one thing.....I was close! Ten minutes later, I'm through the Ski & Snowboard Show gates, mocha in hand from the wonderful Cafe Gondola outside and away I go! It was a rainy day in London and with the outdoor slope better known as Mount Battersea being refreshed and tended to with snow for the arriving athletes who were performing that day, one got a real sense of that early morning excitement you get on boarding a bus to go to the other side of your chosen winter resort or the the first queue to the gondola!! There was an eagerness shall I say! Inside the main marquee, a vast array of ski & snowboard attire, skis, snowboards, boots, goggle protectors you name it, were on sale!

Norway, Home of Skiing was the main central stand this year and with its 30x20 ceiling mounted flag, it wasnt hard to spot. The stand was welcoming and open and tended by eager representatives from various resorts and the Norwegian tourism authority. My friends from Myrkdalen Hotel & Resort were in situ at the Norway stand. This is a ski facility purposely built for winter sports afficienados that started from humble beginnings and is now one of the premier resorts in all of Scandinavia! We should all remember and thank Norway for inventing our beloved passion for downhill pursuits and the importance of winter sports to its economy was quite evident in the scale that Norway had gone to in promoting their winter sport havens!

I moved on to North America and spoke to Mike from Killington Resort in Vermont and with his small little 10x10 stand, he was working'd swear it was the only ski resort in the world....good job Mike!! Canada was of course very well represented with Vancouver, Banff and Whistler all there and I spent sometime in the Colorado and Utah stands learning more about these unreal territories. Rockies had lots of presence and it was nice speaking to the guys from Colorado to learn more about their backyard. Having skiied in Winter Park before, (2 hours from Denver) I look forward to returning there in the not too distant!!

Off I went to check out the apparall and what to wear and what not to wear this season.....not that I care that much! For someone who still wears a solid ski suit bought in a discount super store 6 years ago, its not the wear that interests me! And then to my horror, I discovered....retro is back! Why....I'll tell you why!! I was transported back a generation to when watching Roger Moore's 007 James Bond wearing his famous yellow suit in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) exited the log cabin after entertaining a young lady!! For those of you who are old enough to remember, the young lady says to James Bond as he leaves the cabin, "But James, I need you!". James (Roger Moore), turns around and says, "So does England!". What entails is the most entertaining couple of minutes of a ski chase culminating in a spine tingling crescendo of one of cinemas most famous musical scores! If you havent seen it....please go onto You Tube! Ok, I got lost there.....Retro Suits.....yes, they are back and not really to my horror because they really are kinda cool. Bold two piece colours, fine lines, luminous, must be luminous! If you have a couple of quid, check them out online and have a bit crack on the slopes....there's a Bond in all of us!

So, food time....this years Alpine Festival had Michelin Star chefs flown in especially for the show! Where else would you get it.....I had a Rosti ; I had delicious Pizza and topped off with a Moose Burger washed down with some excellent Pale Ale....yes it could nearly all end here and I'd be a happy man! Screw that, more to do!! Brilliant job though Foodie Tents....really wonderful effort and food served up in a great atmosphere too I might add!

The Altitude Comedy Festival were also present and why wouldnt they be! This is the No. 1 Alpine Comedy Festival featuring some of the best comedy acts on the planet. Based at Mayrhofen in Austria it runs from the 11th to 15th January 2016. Founded by fellow Irishman, comedien Andrew Maxwell, he and his buddies have brought together what can only be an event managers dream of a job, if he's into boarding or skiing that is! Everything you could want in a festival is at Altitude! Mountains, Snow, Party Time, Comedy, Nightlife....jasus, what a stroke Andrew, fair play to ya! Any chance of a few choc ices?

Moving on, I was delighted to bump into a neighbour of mine (yes a neighbour) who has a wonderful company called More Alps. Sarah and her husband Dan, founded the company

More Alps about 10 years ago and now run and manage 7 high end chalets in the French Alps. This is a true family business and they along with a dedicated team run a great show and really look after their clients, who by the way keep coming back year in year out for more! If there is one website to click on today its

So, the clock is ticking and I have an early evening flight back to my treeline base in Ireland!

One more thing to check out.....Mount Battersea!! A crowd of a couple of thousand people were entertained for 30 minutes to the high flying antics of some of Europes finest free ski and board aerial artists. I didnt get the name of the guy who did the voiceover MC'ing but Andrew Maxwell, give the guy a job....he was great, really entertaining and quick off the mark with good wit...he must be Irish!

My time was coming to an end and it was time to get my ass out of here and get on a plane again! My first visit to London where I tried on new skis, dressed in a retro suit, ate the best mountain food, watched some high flying antics, an aerial assault of the senses and lastly took in a snap shot of what is a fantastic Alpine Village Festival, The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show! I could do this kind of day, every day!

Check out:

For Myrkdalen Resort in Voss, Norway go to

For More Alps go to

For Altitude Festival go to

For Ski & Snowboard Show, London go to


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