x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

In Brief: Ski update

What's new in the world of skiing this week.

Courchevel resorts renamed this season

The ski areas of Courchevel in the French Alps have been renamed. Courchevel 1850 becomes simply Courchevel, 1650 is now Courchevel Moriond, 1550 is Courchevel Village, and 1300 is Courchevel Le Praz. If you can find the place, at least your children will be safer on the slopes: those taking lessons in the resort with the French Ski School (ESF) will find that all 18 of the resort's chairlifts have been fitted with the Magnestick safety system (www.magnestick.net). Children wear a magnetic ESF waistcoat which clamps on to the back of the seat during transit and releases automatically on arrival.

New ski slopes in the US, Austria and Canada

Ski Jewel (www.skijewul.com), a brand new ski area in Austria's Tirol region, opens next Friday. It has been created by linking the ski areas of Alpbach and Wildschönau (also known as Niederau, Auffach and Oberau); a new lift and ski run have helped create a single area with 145km of pistes.

In the US, the appropriately named Snowmass in Colorado, one of Aspen's four ski areas (www.aspensnowmass.com), will open nearly 100 hectares of new terrain just before Christmas. The newly accessible Burnt Mountain slopes will offer rolling, low-angle meadows, glades and spectacular views but is graded at an advanced black-diamond level. The newly opened Westin Snowmass Resort (www.starwoodhotels.com) adds to the already substantial selection of accommodation.

In Canada, Stoneham (http://ski-stoneham.com) ski area near Quebec City will add two new gladed runs. La Biche ("the doe") is a new intermediate trail in the Family Zone. For the more advanced, L'Urubu (meaning bird of prey) is a steep, new double-black-diamond, 300m descent.

Luxury lodge in Spain's Sierra Nevada

Spain's Sierra Nevada mountain range near Granada is great for intermediate skiing but has always failed to attract an international clientele. This may change this season with the opening of El Lodge, a five-star Finnish-style log cabin with 20 rooms, right on the piste at 2,100m. It has a spa and nightclub, Suite Lounge, which has a sister outlet in Marbella, Spain. Double rooms cost from €300 (Dh1,436) per night (http://ellodge.com).

Ski in China near North Korea border

The latest ski resort to open in China is the Changbaishan International Resort in Fusong County, with 43 ski runs in the Changbai Mountains in the north-east of the country along the North Korean border. At the base of the resort are two luxurious, new Sheraton and Westin hotels (www.starwoodhotels.com).