LITTLE BLACK BOOK
SNOWBOARDER Alex ‘‘Chumpy’’ Pullin from Mansfield, Victoria, began competing internationally at 14 and is a Snow Australia ambassador. In January he became Australia’s first snowboard world champion at La Molina, Spain, and in March won a World Cup title in Switzerland. More: alexchumpypullin.com. Desperate to get back to: The Chutes on Mt Buller’s outer ridgeline. I love riding Aussie back country. Perfect place for indulgence: Hanging out in the cool little wine cellars and family-run restaurants along the main street of Valmalenco in the Italian Alps. DEALS OF THE WEEK Clever Club Med: Make an early-bird booking before July 3 to save $600 a person on Club Med’s European ski packages. Select from resorts in France, Switzerland or Italy, including Valmorel’s new chalet and apartments opening in December (with kids’ club from four months to 17 years). More: 1800 258 263; clubmed.com.au. Must visit: Mansfield, on your way to Mt Buller, for great cafes and ski shops with lots of personality. Distinctive hotel: Tirolerhof Hotel in Tux Valley, Austria, for fabulous mountain views. Whistler whiteout: Visit Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics hub on a seven-night package at Whistler Blackcomb’s Town Plaza Condominiums; from $865 a person twin-share, including a six-day lift pass. Valid for travel January 2-February 2, 2012. Book and pay by August 31. More: 1300 136 997; skimax.com.au. Ultimate eco-adventure: Crosscountry skiing at Mt Stirling, Victoria, among the mountain ash and snow gums. Stand-out afternoon tea experience: Watching the sunset on a calm afternoon at Mt Buller’s summit while sharing a drink with friends. Inviting culinary destination: Koflers restaurant, Mt Buller, accessible only on skis or snowboard. Favourite travel website: Snowaustralia.com, a great source of info on Aussie ski resorts. Ideal for newcomers to the sport. Best-spent travel dollars: An upgrade on a flight to Japan so I felt ready to get out on the slopes. Heavenly high: Plan a sevennight US ski holiday in Heavenly, including a stay at Aston Lakeland Village on Lake Tahoe in a deluxe king studio, a seven-day lift pass and ski shuttles; from $899 a person twin-share. All rooms feature balconies, kitchen facilities and fireplaces. Until February 16, 2012. More: valuetours.com.au.