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The secret to choosing a snow-sure ski resort this winter

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If long-range reports for another beast of a UK winter are casting a pall over your government-sanctioned two units per day, we have good news. Ladbrokes might be offering 7/2 on the coldest winter on record – but you can escape the odds by making tracks to where it counts. The mountains.

Hard on the heels of last winter’s once-in-a-generation snow conditions, hopes are high for another stonking ski season in the Alps. The World Meteorological Organisation predicts a 70 per cent chance of an El Niño winter, when sea surface temperatures in the Pacific are warmer than average.This natural phenomena gets slope users quivering with anticipation as it has the potential to deliver more snow to Europe and North America than in a regular year.

Weather forecasting website Accuweather.com suggests: “Stormy weather will focus on the western Alps, where a slow start to the season could transition to heavy snowfall from December into February.” Over the pond, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) see above average precipitation for the Southern Rockies, Colorado, and parts of Utah in the early season.

Of course long-range models are a tricky business, even according to those who craft them. “In spite of the undisputed advances that have been made over recent years,” admits Meteo Swiss, “the quality and applicability of long-range forecasting for Switzerland is still limited.” But our willingness to hope, pray, even dance for snow knows no limits.

Though we can’t predict the weather conditions we’re likely to encounter with any real long-term accuracy, we can dish up 10 great snow-reliable resorts that won’t disappoint, whatever the season throws at us – from terrific skiing and boarding right down to quality snowmen potential.

Pack your mittens and take the advice of the internet’s favourite philosopher, Aristotle, “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”

What make a resort snow-sure?

The Telegraph’s head of ski content Henry Druce shares his wisdom on how to make sure you get a white welcome this winter.

It’s all about altitude right?

Heading high is one of the the single most important factors for guaranteed snow conditions. Every 1,000m you ascend equates to a drop in temperature of 9.8°C if clear and 6°C if cloudy; every metre higher means you are that much further above the freezing level – the point where rain (one of the worst words in a skiers’ lexicon) turns to snow (one of the most positive).

Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe

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This content is subject to copyright./JACQUES Pierre / hemis.fr

The French resort of Val Thorens is the loftiest village in Europe (2,300m) with access to some of its highest slopes, up to 3,230m. It’s one of the best bankers for snow suredness but any resort with slopes up to 3,000m is a good bet.  

It helps to have a glacier

Often glaciers go hand in hand with high altitude resorts – well you’re not going to find them at low altitude, are you? These gigantic blocks of ice which can be over 100m deep are excellent at preserving snow once fallen, and when mostly scraped off are still useful for perfecting skiing-on-ice skills.

The highest glacier skiing in Europe, the Plateau Rosa at 3,500m, accessed from Zermatt in Switzerland and Cervinia in Italy, offers 21km of prepared pistes. Other notable resorts with glaciers include Sölden and Hintertux in Austria and Tignes in France. On all of them the super-keen can be found honing their skills on training courses during the summer and Autumn months and their snow-sure qualities make them enduringly popular in winter too.

Zermatt in Switzerland provides access to Europe’s highest glacier

Credit:
Pascal Gertschen .ch

North face, happy face

We all know the benefits of a south-facing garden as it gets more sunshine and the same principle holds true for a ski resort’s pistes. Lovely though it is to bask on sun-drenched slopes, it’s not good for snow quality – unless it’s toe-curlingly cold and then it really doesn’t matter. Since north-facing slopes aren’t affected by the sun, conditions remain much more consistent and the snow remains in better nick for longer, especially  late in the season. The problem is, most piste maps rarely reveal the orientation of the slopes – you need a proper chart to assess accurately.

Location, location, location

Some destination have lucked out with benign weather systems. Japanese resorts, especially those on the north island of Hokkaido, are a good example. They are not high, don’t have glaciers and are not overly endowed with north-facing slopes. What they do have is geographical good fortune.

Wind blows from Siberia, hits the Sea of Japan then dumps up to 15m a year of the lightest, fluffiest snow known to humankind. The Utah resorts of Alta and Snowbird have a similar annual snowfall, thanks to a similar effect. Most of Utah’s storm systems come from the Pacific ocean but local geography has an impact too. The Great Salt Lake, north west of the city, warms the approaching air and aids moisture. The warm air rises, cools and starts to drop its snow – a phenomenon known as Lake-effect snow.

Faking it

Snow-making has come on in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years and many resorts have invested millions in the latest technology. Resorts in the Italian Dolomites are a great example where now around 90 per cent of its 1,200km of pistes are covered by snow cannons, if the real stuff comes up short. So long as it’s cold enough, there will be snow… it just might not be natural.

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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)

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(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at marriott.com.

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel

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(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on Marriott.com.

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!

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Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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