With the ski season well underway and no signs of a ski holiday in the near future, it was only right that I go and mingle with the ski elite to curb my cravings. On Friday 2 November I attended the World Snow Awards 2012 at Earls Court 2. Upon entering the room, I was accosted by the ‘onzzz onzzz onzzz’ of a drum and bass beat and the remnants of artificial snow strewn haphazardly across the red-carpeted floor. I immediately felt right at home.
I was directed through the stalls to the back of the hall to get my wristband, passing stalls and displays of shiny plastic boots, colourful skis and woolly hats and finally to the make-shift ski slope at the rear. The exhibition was about to close, so shoppers and visitors were diminishing quickly. After getting myself a glass of white wine, I sat myself down at one of the café-esque metal table and chairs and surrounded myself with my tools. Dictaphone – check. Pen and paper – check.
Professional I may have tired to look, but there really was no need. Having never been to one of these events before, I had expected people to have taken their seats, kept quiet for the speeches and politely laughed and clapped in all the right places. How wrong I was. Just like out of an off-piste umbrella bar, the audience was full of merry boarders and skiers; bobble hats adorned heads, beer bottles were regularly raised to roars of excitement accompanying even the slightest joke. I was loving it.
Unfortunately, however, the merriment was a little out of place, as celebrity presenter Marcus Brigstocke of Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You cracked jokes and presented awards, his words were swamped by the raucous revellers.
The awards are prestigious accolades recognising the best in the business.
A selection of the winners are as follows:
Best European Resort: Livigno, Italy
Best North American Resort: Fernie, Canada
Best Upcoming Resort: Monterosa Ski, Italy
Best Apres Ski: Zermatt, Switzerland
Best Family Ski: Avoriza, France
Kit and Clothing:
Best Snowboard Manufacturer: Burton
Best Ski: Black Crows Nocta
Best Ski Manufacturer: Volkl
Best Sunglasses: POC
Best Goggles: Salomon
Best Accessory Manufactuer: Scott
UK Specialist Retailer (independent): Ski Barlett
UK Retailer (multiple stores): Ellis Brigham
Best Specialist Insurer: MPI (mpibrokers.com)
Best Mainstream Insurer, including Wintersports: Direct Travel
Best Airline: Swiss
Best Airport: Geneva, Switzerland
Best Specialist Operators: Ski Independence
Polar Bear Award: Arnie Wilson
Thanks to Lynsey Devon of Heaven Publicity for the event.