– Freestyle in snow
– Ski in a kilt & make money
– Snowboarder videos as Iron Dome intercepts missile
– Moose charges in Breckenridge Resort





It may be freestyle in snow, but it’s not quite what you’d expect.

Watch Freeskier Andri Ragettli, from Graubunden, taking up a new form of snow sport… it’s freestyle snow-swimming complete with sno-rkel, goggles and flippers! 😎

On his facebook post he comments, this is  “My kind of DIVING in switzerland right now!”


If you wear a kilt on the slopes – and you’re not in Scotland – you’re bound to get some attention.

Scot John Malvicini Johnstone knows that.

PlanetSKI’s chief reporter Jane Peel skied with him at the weekend in Madonna di Campiglio and witnessed two approaches.

A woman wanted to check he was wearing something underneath  (the answer is yes, matching green cashmere thermals).

And a man wanted to shake his hand.

John Malvicini Johnstone

John Malvicini Johnstone

Often, John tells Jane, they ask politely if they can have their photo taken with him, and he’s happy to oblige.

Except, once, when he was in another resort in the Dolomites.

A Russian skier came up to him and slapped him on the shoulder.

“I want picture,” he demanded.

“I’m afraid it’s 100 Euros,” John replied, annoyed at his rude approach.

The man put his hand in his pocket and slammed a €100 note on the table in front of John.

Surprised, John duly posed for the photo.

“My friends also want photos,” the man said.

“It’s 100 Euros per photograph,” John replied.

“I picked up 600 Euros that day. I bought these ski boots with the money,” he told Jane.

Here’s a photo of Jane with John in his kilt.

And, no, she assures us, she didn’t have to pay him.

John Malvicini Johnstone & Jane Peel

John and Jane


This snowboarder had a somewhat surreal experience on the ski slopes as he recorded his companion skiing in front of him.

Watch below as people ski on Mount Hermon as Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepts a rocket fired from Syria.

Mount Hermon straddles the borders of Israel, Syria and Lebanon, towering over the Golan Heights.

It has a peak of 2,814 meters.

Video By: Elad Ben-Moshe



A Summit County woman posted a video on Instagram this weekend capturing a moose charging some Saturday skiers and snowboarders at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

The local photographer Lauren “Lo” Drogsvold, came across the moose while making her way down Four O’Clock Run, and managed to capture footage of the charging moose.

Hoping to warn others about the dangers of moose, “Lo” commented on Instagram, “Getting chased by a moose was never on the bucket list, but I’ll go ahead and check that one off anyways. ✅ ”

“But on a more serious note, moose are fast, aggressive and VERY dangerous. If you come across one on the slopes, in town, or in the wild, keep your distance and respect the wildlife”.

A moose can run approximately 35mph so beware, keep your distance.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lo Dro (@snolo) on Jan 19, 2019 at 3:22pm PST


It’s not very often we get to ski with someone who has earned a certain notoriety.

Step forward William Sitwell, who learned the hard way that insulting vegans is really not a very good idea.

William Sitwell

William Sitwell

The BBC Masterchef food critic was forced to resign from his job as Editor of the Waitrose Food magazine after an email he sent to a journalist who had pitched a series on vegan cooking went viral.

His reply – which he describes as a ‘ill-judged joke’ and for which he later apologised – went like this:

How about a series on killing vegans, one by one, ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force feed them meat? Make them eat steak and red wine?

We were amused to discover that not only was PlanetSKI staying in the same Ski Beat chalet in France as THE William Sitwell, but we were sharing it with a couple of vegans too.

We are pleased to report that there were no fisticuffs.

In fact they got on like a house on fire.

William Sitwell and vegans

William Sitwell sandwiched between two vegans

They even hit the slopes together.

William Sitwell & Mark Barber

Carnivore & vegan

William Sitwell is now the restaurant critic of the Daily Telegraph and is a man of many talents.

They include writing poetry.

And making delicious scrambled eggs and bacon.



He was up early to cook them for us on our chalet hosts’ day off.

Well, for some of us.

Not the vegans, obviously.


Spare a thought for our poor editor, James Cove.

He was stuck in Innsbruck earlier this week after the resort he was heading to, St Anton, was cut off due to the huge amounts of snow falling.

So, he decided to check out the new PlanetSKI home/office in Innsbruck that we are renting for 3-months starting February 1st.

We booked through an agency and so far have only seen photographs.

“Honestly the pink/orange colour is not really my style, but I will suffer in silence,” he grumbled.

“The location in the city is passable I suppose,” he conceded.

Heading to Innsbruck

Heading to Innsbruck

See here for more of the move:

And of his eventul arrival in St Anton.


There is so much snow falling in the Alps that we are running out of words to describe it – unprecedented and epic seem to be our two favourite.

But here on Skiing Secrets we have found a new way to measure it.

In Europe it is done in metres and centimetres.

Across the Pond in the USA and Canada it is feet and inches.

But with all the heavy snow in the Alps perhaps we need a new way of measuring the snow.

Something that is fit for purpose in these days of never ending snowfall.

A Bamber perhaps.

Our very own Katie Bamber is in Maria Alm in Austria and it is taller than her.

Far taller.

Bambers of snow in Austria

Bambers of snow in Austria

Almost two Bambers to be precise.

And at night it seems to grow to three Bambers.

Bambers of snow in Austria

Bambers of snow in Austria

And lets not forget a Bamber can also be used for width.

A Bamber width

A Bamber width

Perhaps not so useful when trying to work out volume.

Guess the Bamber volume

Guess the Bamber volume

Nevertheless in these days of unprecdented and epic snow we have at last found a more reliable scale of measurement here at PlanetSKI.

See here for Katie’s latest report on all the snow.

We can’t quite make out the snow depth behind her in this photo from Maria Alm, but lets assume it is two Bambers high.

Katie Bamber

Katie Bamber

And so here we have it.

The new way to measure snow – in Bambers:

The official Bamber measurement

The official Bamber measurement


This time it is INEWS – the electronic version of the old Independent newspaper.

And it is our editor, James Cove, commenting on all the snow in the Alps at the moment.

“The resort of Obergurgl was inaccessible earlier this week because snow was overwhelming efforts to clear the roads,” according to James Cove, editor of snow sports news site, PlanetSKI.

He adds that some lifts in nearby Ischgl were stopped because they were completely buried in places and helicopters were unable to assist with avalanche control blasting because winds were too high.

Cove is returning to Innsbruck on Monday, and says that although many skiers are cancelling their trips, there is no reason to avoid the slopes.

“The piste patrol are trying to keep as much of the resort open as possible. There is limited skiing but everyone out there is having a great time. It’s fabulous skiing out there especially in Austria.”

“Most resorts are advising people to stay-on piste, and they are the experts. Anyone going skiing now should stay on the piste. If a run is closed do not ski it, because it is closed for a reason,” he says.

And he has just been interview by journalist Blaz Mocnik from the largest daily newspaper in Solvenia, Delo.

The piece will be posted later this week.

Seems he is turning into a bit of a media tart!


And not just any old piste basher.

Les Menuires in Les3Vallees has installed a special viewing cabin on the back of one of its machines.

The resort had previously offered rides and they proved very popular.

But it was a bit of a cramped affair in the drivers’ cab.

“It runs three times a week and people can book for the ride and then have a nice savoyard diner in a restaurant on the slopes,” said a spokeswoman from the resort.

“It’s veeeeery successful!” she added.

See the Les Menuires web site for further details.

Bashing the pistes in luxury

Bashing the pistes in luxury

Doing something different

Doing something different

We’ll have to press a few buttons on the computer and we’ll bring it back soon.



We have written about skiers in Canada and the US who are in their 90’s, but Niall Scobbie is the first Scot we have come across who’s is still skiing at 90.

Niall celebrated his 90th birthday in recent days on the ski slopes in St Gervais with family and friends.

His daughter commented, “He is an inspiration as he has just celebrated his 90th Birthday here in St Gervais with my family (Scobbie Family) and his bestie, Gordon McFarlane.”

Watch the inspiring video below of Niall Scobbie skiing in Les Contamines-Montjoie, France with his family and friends.

It embodies the philosophy of Learn it, Love it, Live it with the great sport of skiing offering enjoyment and well-being on so many levels.

Every season he has skied either in Scotland or Europe, visiting his daughter, Siona Tate, in St Gervais several times a season.

Shona is Director of the Bass Chamonix & Megeve ski school.

We wish Niall a very Happy Birthday and hope he continues to ski for many more years to come.

Niall Scobbie - skiing at 90

Niall Scobbie – skiing at 90

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