“PlanetSKI has a simple aim; to entertain and inform skiers and snowboarders about life in the mountains. Most importantly it aims to do it with passion and a love for everything to do with skiing and snowboarding.
It carries news stories, features, video reports, superb photos and a few surprises too. It’s not influenced by glossy press releases and free trips, but rather the unbiased opinions of its writers.
It’s about life in The Alps. Real life.”
The above statement was written in November 2008 just before the site went live.
It is now Winter 2019 and we hope we have kept true to our aims.
PlanetSKI was founded by the journalist, James Cove.
He worked for 22-years at BBC News – starting in local radio and working his way up to become a news editor in the main BBC TV newsroom in London.
He is a qualified ski instructor has skied around 600 resorts across the world: from South & North America, the Alps and the Pyrenees plus other areas in Europe including Russia and Scandinavia.
He’s made turns in the ski fields of Australia and New Zealand.
In 2018/19 he lived in Innsbruck in Austria for three a half months and clocked up 80+ different resorts.
Last winter he was based in Aosta in Italy – but then Covid-19 disrupted things.
Back in 2008 James decided to put his two passions together – journalism and skiing.
PlanetSKI was born.
James Cove – Editor:
In 2008 social media was in its infancy, but it is now at the heart of what we do with 17+ followers on Twitter, 8.8K+ friends on Facebook and 2.2K+ on Instagram.
The PlanetSKI social media supremo and features editor is Kisia Cove.
She likes skiing in the Arctic Circle
And in the wilds of Canada.
The copy is written from a team of writers.
PlanetSKI’s chief reporter is Jane Peel – a former news correspondent with BBC News.
She now criss-crosses the mountains in the winter months for PlanetSKI searching out stories and reporting on all things alpine.
And she remains on her skis in the summer too.
The technical backup and support is done by the techy wizard, Michael Dalton.
Without him nothing would ever make it live on to the site.
We have a team of experienced freelance contributors.
Ian Davis knows the ski industry inside-out, having worked at Crystal Ski Holidays and more recently at Neilson where he had the wonderful job title ‘Head of Winter’.
He now crosses the mountains for PlanetSKI and in March will be in Georgia and deep in the Arctic Circle in Norway.
Some are established ski journalists who write for the national newspapers and leading ski magazines: Arnie Wilson, Rob Freeman, Michael Cranmer, Rob Stewart, Rupert Mellor, Yolanda Carslaw, Lewis Panther, Daniel Elkan, Ben Clatworthy, Lisa Young, Anne Gorringe, Seb Ramsay, James Bedding, Conrad Sutcliffe, Petra Shepherd, Nicola Iseard, Kate Foster, Briony Key and Alf Alderson.
Alf is also the gear and equipment specialist for PlanetSKI.
What he doesn’t know about all the gear isn’t worth knowing.
Others are respected journalists in their own field: Nick Hope from BBC Sport and the newspaper journalist, James Rampton, who writes for The Independent, The Daily Express and other national papers.
He is also a regular guest reviewer of the papers on the BBC News Channel and Sky.
We have others from with the UK snowsports industry – Vanessa Fisher, Katie Waddington, Iain Martin, Chris Moran, Lisa Tyrrell, Francesca Pangli, Lynsey Devon, Rod Fraser, Tord Nilson and Claire Meaney.
Our weather and snow expert is Fraser Wilkin who provides PlanetSKI with a weekly round up of conditions around the mountains during the winter months.
He runs the respected site, weathertoski.co.uk, and knows more about snow and historical data than anyone we know.
Katie Bamber has written much for us over the past few years, but has now moved on to pastures new.
Catie Friend is an occassional contributor.
She lives year round in Le Châble near Verbier in Switzerland and is an outdoor and adventure girl.
And then there are the many, many contacts we have around the mountains and in resorts: from the ski instructors, Warren Smith and Phil Smith, through to ski bums/seasonaires and our readers who keep us up to date.
Warren Smith coaches the Royal Family in Verbier, is a ski teacher to the stars & celebrities and coached the contestants for Channel 4’s The Jump.
Dozens of different writers have contributed to PlanetSKI over the years and continue to write for us – Andy Glenn, Morwen Williams, Brenda Griffiths, Ian Anderson, Simon Wilson and Kevin Geary from the BBC.
Squash Falconer is a mountaineer and adventurer who is based in Tignes year-round.
She regularly tells us about her adventures – whether it be climbing Everest or summer ski touring in Norway.
She also has a passion for motorbikes.
Xavier Adam, Guy Ordway, Christian Ferree and Sarah Vizard have also contributed.
They either live in the Alps or are regular skiers and snowboarders.
PlanetSKI has clocked up well over 12,000 news stories and with more than 16.6m people viewing the site since we launched.
We get more than 120,000 visits a month in the winter and are regularly on the front page of google news searches related to snowsports.
Many seek out our advice on matters and keep us informed about what is going on in the snowsports world.
James is regularly interviewed by the BBC and other sections of the media about skiing/snowsports and he is a judge of annual The World Snow Awards that is run by The Telegraph newspaper.
We are probably the primary source of accurate and independent news and information for the UK ski industry (at least that’s what we are told) and are proud to have reached that position.
PlanetSKI is written by people who live and work out in the mountains.
It aims to be of interest to everyone with a passion for skiing; from pro-riders and seasonaires through to families and beginners just starting to get hooked.
All you need is a love for snow.
PlanetSKI doesn’t have detailed reports on every resort crammed with facts and figures and extensive news on snow conditions. We leave that to the other snowsports web sites.
We don’t aim to cover everything – just things that are interesting.
When we started we also defined ourselves by saying what we are not. Here is what we said:
- It is not another information over-loaded ski web site.
- It is not trying to do everything all the time.
- It is not written to please advertisers.
- It is not padded out with PR stories.
- It is not going to say everything is fantastic the whole time.
- It is not going to ignore stories for fear of upsetting resorts.
- It is not going to sit on the web growing cobwebs.
- It is going to entertain and inform you in a way that no other site does. It’s an organic site that will develop and quite frankly we’re not sure quite how it will grow or where it will go.
So, how have we done?
Keep clicking on and we hope you enjoy what you read and watch…