This is a little off topic but I have been playing with the social software application building "playground", Ning. Its great fun and an easy way to test out ideas for social applications, so here is one I made earlier that may be of interest: Window Seat.
Have you ever wondered which side of the plane to sit on for a great view of, say, Mont Blanc when flying into Geneva? Tthe idea behind this application is to share that information and tag it with a 3 letter airport code and 'left' or 'right'. You can quickly check out which side to sit on by looking up an airport or offer your own advice on the best window seat.
Todd on rec.skiing.snowboard has a great write up of a recent cat-boarding trip to Baldface Lodge in British Columbia.
I previously listed the cat skiing operators in BC from the Snowboard Journal article he mentions and one day I hope I will get the chance to take a trip.
I noticed the Eurostar offer of a day in the Alps for £99 a couple of weeks ago and was tempted.
Traveling overnight on Friday, riding all day Saturday and returning overnight to recover on Sunday is hardcore, so credit to bullet on the snowHeads board for doing it.
Natives has a useful article on exactly how the French Carte Neige insurance scheme works including exactly what it does and does not cover.
Well what else can you do when one season is over but plan the next?
I have been thinking that I would really like to stretch next season over as long a period as possible. I am thinking of starting off with a glacier trip in late autumn in a location that will offer a bit more than just a glacier should there be sufficient snow (maybe Tignes again).
My provisional plan for the season finale is to ride beneath the midnight sun at Riksgränsen, this could be a long weekend making the most of the UK's Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. Given the remoteness of the location, it may need to be a very long weekend.
That lucky fellow, Jake Burton, reports on the African leg of his world tour including snowboarding in the Atlas mountains of Morocco as part of an attempt to ride six continents in a year.
The ski station of La Bresse in the Vosges is nearer to London (758km) than some of the Scottish ski areas, like Glencoe (798km), but (I hope) with much more reliable conditions, both meteorological and financial. With this in mind I have planned a weekend road trip.
We will drive from London next Friday afternoon catching an early evening Eurotunnel (£123 flexible fare for car and up to 5 people) and hope to cover about two thirds of the distance to La Bresse from Calais before crashing out for a few hours in a Formule 1 motel en route (€25 for a room for 1-3 people). Then its an early start on Saturday morning to get to La Bresse for a full day's riding.
It is French half term so all the hotels in La Bresse, and nearby Gérardmer, were fully booked but with the help of the excellent Mappy we found a bargain Etap hotel half an hour away in Remiremont (€30 for a room for 1-3 people).
We will get an early start on Sunday and leave mid afternoon to head back to Calais with an ETA in London shortly before midnight.
The Vosges may not be the Alps but it should satisfy our snow lust for a weekend and it is a bargain trip that does not require any time off work. Expect a full report in due course.
Great chart here from the Les Arcs site showing all the school holiday periods. They are hard to avoid!
Tough new measures on speeding from the French police apparently.
Jake Burton is chasing winter around the globe with his family on a ten month snowboard tour.
Easyjet are now flying between Gatwick and Toulouse with a schedule that would make a weekend trip to the Pyrenees viable. One could leave Gatwick at 18:20 on Friday and return from Toulouse at 21:40 on Sunday. This is much better than Ryanair's daily middle of the day flight to Carcasonne.
openjet.com provides a price comparison service for low cost operators including Ryanair and Easyjet. You specify an itinerary and the site shows what is available from the various carriers. Currently they have some usability issues which they tell me they are working on but it could be a useful resource, especially for getting alternative routings on multi-sector trips from regional (UK and Ireland) airports.
Easyjet have half a million seats on sale for travel between 1 October 2003 and 31 January 2004 inclusive (limited availability on weekend flights and from 18 December to 5 January).
Booking opened early this morning (I can't get on to their site now) and the offer ends at midnight on Monday 1 September 2003.
Limited weekend availability is a shame but there might be some bargains for an early season long weekend.