The Top Three Ski Resorts in the World

Everyone likes to have a vacation every now and then, but it has to be something truly unique in order to make a lasting impression in their memories. One can always travel to exotic locations and experience several sights and sounds that cannot be found anywhere in his or her home country, or even go to the beach for a nice summer getaway.

However, when it comes to the winter holidays, some individuals would prefer to go on an adrenaline rush. Skiing is one of many favorite activities that thrill-seekers love, and they can simply find much satisfaction in booking accommodations at a ski resort. If you’re planning to take your family out for a really unique vacation, perhaps the following suggestions would truly give you a lifetime’s worth of memories to be cherished.

Are, Sweden – this is the only resort in Sweden dedicated to skiing which truly exudes the same atmosphere of the Alps. You can simply access the trails by way of cable car, leading you to the mountain top so you can ski your way down the square. You have a wide variety of slopes to choose from, ranging from the most leisurely trails to highly challenging ones that will certainly provide quite the adrenaline rush. However, that’s not all you’re in for. As a matter of fact, if you’re looking around for a way to satisfy your shopping needs, you can simply find a lot of the latest skiing gear in here. You can even indulge yourself in some fine gastronomical pleasures courtesy of the many fine restaurants to choose from. World class entertainment is to be expected as well, with many of the finest Swedish artists performing on a stage which resides in the mountains.

Snowmass, USA – Located in Aspen, Colorado, this is simply 4 distinct vacations rolled into one, especially with the four different mountains to choose from for your skiing needs. You get to indulge yourself in a variety of steeps, glades, terrain parks and what is considered as the longest vertical rise in the entire US, which can only be accessed by lift. You will surely be treated to magnificent views as well as a whole lot of fun.

Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France – If you’re planning a family vacation out of the country, this would be a great choice indeed. There’s such magnificent scenery to behold, filled with such awe-inspiring glaciers and ice falls. You’ll get to ride one of the highest cable cars in the whole of Europe as you indulge yourself in skiing pleasure!

Ten Top Sailing Tips for Safer Sailing

Sailors from around the world have sent in their favorite sailing tips, proven time and again to enhance sailing safety for day sailing, racing, or cruising. Check out these “top ten” tips to keep your sailing crew safe and sound!

1. Develop a skipper-mentality underway. Keep a running dialog going in your head that begins with just these two words…

“What If?…

For example…

What if the backstay parts while sailing downwind?

What if a windward shroud snaps while beating?

What if your engine quits in a crowded marina?

What if the mainsail batten jams when hoisting?

What if the anchor drags on a black, stormy night?

2. Shift the helm watch in fog or rough weather every 30 minutes. Extensive research proves that attention spans fall after this period.

3. Tie a small diameter line with a float on one end to the outboard end of your anchor rode or chain. In an emergency you might have to cut the anchor line (or let out all your chain). The float will serve as a marker so that you can retrieve your ground tackle later on.

4. Use this rule if you have a leak… “slow down and raise high”. If under sail, heave to on the same tack as the damaged side of the boat. If under power, shift weights to the undamaged side of the boat.

5. Protect costly sailing rope from chafe. More anchored vessels are lost in storms due to parted anchor lines than dragging anchors. Use lots of chafing gear, check it often, and readjust it as needed.

6. Descend a companionway ladder so that you face the ladder. Grip both handholds and work your way down the ladder on the balls of your feet. If you slip, this position protects you from serious back or neck injury.

7. Add extra security to lifelines when coastal or offshore sailing.Veteran offshore sailors rig an extra set of chest-high rope lifelines. Use shroud cleats to anchor the lifeline between the bow and stern.

8. Make collision avoidance maneuvers early and change course by at least 60 degrees. Large ships can take up to a mile or more to stop in an emergency. Always assume that they cannot see you.

9. Pump more speed and power into your sails on reaches. Ease each sail until the luff just begins to flutter. Then trim each sail just enough to put the luff flutter “to sleep”. Watch your boat accelerate like a stallion on steroids!

10. Button up your boat before heavy weather arrives. Close hatches and ports. Remove cowl vents (except for engine cowls). Apply extra lashings to dinghies. Above all–keep your decks clear!

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Sample Some Walks in Peru Around Lake Titicaca

Most people have heard of Lake Titicaca – thanks to its unusual name. The lake straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru, and there are many towns and villages around the Peruvian side of the lake offering accommodation to those who want to head off on some guided walks in the area.

There are many areas around the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca that are good for walkers to explore. Here are some of the things you can look forward to if you opt to try some walks in Peru here.

Exploring the Uro islands

These unusual islands exist in Lake Titicaca, a short distance out into the lake from Puno, a popular city on the shores of the lake where many tourists stay while exploring this area. There are more than 40 islands in all, and they are artificial – made from totora reeds. The Inca families living on the islands have created them over time from bundles of these reeds, all tied together to form larger islands on which they live. It is quite an experience to see them and to walk from one to another. Indeed you will often feel the reeds give underfoot as you walk across them. Over time, each bundle of reeds breaks up and must be replaced by another. The people living here spend much of their time simply maintaining the islands themselves.

Visiting the Titicaca National Reservation

There are many walks in Peru that can be navigated through the Titicaca National Reservation. This lies at the northern end of the lake and is home to several dozen different types of migratory birds. Other species reside here all year round – the zambullidor del Titicaca being one of them, as you might guess from the name. Watch out for flamingos here too, looking resplendent in their beautiful and familiar colours.

The reserve was initially formed back in 1978. Since then a wide variety of flora and fauna has thrived here. You may even catch sight of the Andean wild wolf while you are there; you never know what you may come across.

Exploring the island of Taquile

This island isn’t far from the Uro islands, but it is markedly bigger than them and is not manmade. It is home to around 2,000 people, every one of whom has a very traditional way of living. This is an island that has refused to bow to modern life. You will see no cars here, which is ideal if you decide to trek across the undulating terrain over the course of a day or two.

These are just three of the places you can visit when enjoying walks in Peru around the area of Lake Titicaca. It is quite easy to spend an entire holiday exploring the shores and islands of the Peruvian side of the lake. The diverse nature of some of the peoples living in this area is quite remarkable and well worth experiencing when you stay in this part of the country.

To Conquer Mount Kinabalu

I have wanted to climb Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. Finally the opportunity arose and I boarded a flight to Kota Kinabalu with my other friends and an equal measure of excitement and trepidation. As ever, the flight was comfortable and timely, delivering us to Kota Kinabalu early in the afternoon with plenty of time to make the two-hour drive up to the Kinabalu Park headquarters. As we approached, in heavy rain, to Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, I got my first glimpse of the great mountain, with the grey rocks of the summit rising majestically from the lush green forest below, teasing us from behind the clouds. We spent the night in the park and awoke the next morning to a brilliant blue sky filled with sunshine. Weather like that never fails to lighten my step, no matter how many I needed to take.

My group set off from Timpohon Gate at 8.00 a.m. The fresh air and cool temperature were a joy. I found the trail well maintained, and the combination of markers at every 500 metres and regularly spaced rest huts meant that I always knew how much progress I was making. It was a six kilometre trek to the Laban Rata resthouse, where we spent half the night before making the final push for the summit. The last leg – about 1.4 km – didn’t sound far but was, in fact, quite a challenge! Whilst there was plenty to look at – the occasional, breathtaking views across the lowlands, the forest, fellow climbers and, porters passing with gas canisters, cases of canned drinks and trays of eggs strapped to their backs – the trail did become a slog and the air got noticeably thinner.

Just short of five hours after setting off, we reached Laban Rata and what a treat that was – sitting out on the terrace, above the clouds in the blinding sunshine, boots off, aching legs but with all-round exhilaration! Aside from adjusting to the altitude and soaking in the view, which got even better at sunset. There wasn’t much to do up there. But the time passed quickly, and at around 3.00 a.m., it was time to depart the resthouse.

Setting out in the dark was the part I had been most nervous about but it was fine. The sky was clear and the stars were spectacular; it made me realise how much artificial light pollutes the cityscape. Once we were up on the plateau, walking became easier; the enormous slabs of granite provided good grip. As the sky began to lighten and the different peaks emerged from the darkness, I reached the last 200 metres of the ascent to Low’s Peak. It could not have been timed better. The orange rays of the rising sun filled the sky as we queued for photographs on the summit of Malaysia’s highest peak at 4,095m. The area is remarkably small, and with 147 climbers reaching the top in close succession, all eager to get their photograph, there was a great need to keep ones’ patience!

Descending to Laban Rata was fabulous as we could see all that had been hidden in the darkness on the way up. We were presented with endless views of Kota Kinabalu and out to sea, the rocky outcrops of the plateau and the beautiful alpine vegetation below. Enroute, we stopped at Laban Rata for a second breakfast and to pick up the gear we temporarily discarded from our packs for the final climb.

There was no getting away from it but the long walk back to the gate was the hardest. It felt like the best part was now behind me. The exhilaration I felt on the summit lasted only a while and, as my knees started to ache with the force of walking down the steps, it became a mental challenge to continue putting one foot in front of the other. Almost four hours later, we finally arrived at the gate. We collected our certificates from the park headquarters and left the place exhausted but ecstatic over our achievement.

Back home looking at the photographs, the trip is almost dream-like. It far exceeded my expectations – the weather, the organisation, the camaraderie of a big group and the feeling of achievement. The experience will live with me forever! Would I do it again? Definitely! Should you do it? Absolutely! One of life’s great experience is at your doorstep, what are you waiting for?