Map points the way for skiers wanting reduce their effect on climate change
PUBLISHED: 11:43 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 03 December 2019
Maps showing skiers how to navigate their holidays in the Alps with a low carbon footprint have been flying off the shelves, according to their makers.
Manningtree-based map publishing company 2theAlps said its latest publication - showing skiers how to travel to and around the Alps by train accompanied by a host of useful information - has attracted orders from all over the world, including from South Korea, Australia, Canada and closer to home since its launch in October.
The north Essex firm - which is led by co-directors lan Grimwade and Dennis Hawes and marketing manager and ski guru Neil Guthrie - launched its first SkiRail map of the Alps back in 2011.
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Since then it has published a variety of helpful aids to skiers and snowboarders wanting to travel to and around the Alps by Train, plane or road.
After realising that there were no multi-purpose maps of the Alps on the market, it launched a Ski Resort Map of the Alps in 2017, featuring more than 640 resorts across the seven Alpine countries of France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia and Liechtenstein.
The latest in the series - The Alps - Skiing by Train - has attracted huge interest, said Manningtree businessman Mr Hawes, who is also director of Roger Lascelles (Maps) Ltd, cartographic publishers to the Daily Telegraph, and Heritage House (Maps) Ltd which specialises in walking and cycling maps of England.
"It's been absolutely remarkable - it's really taken off," he said. "It's based on the London underground map and because reducing carbon emissions is a big thing now, it's just come out on the right side.
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"In the ski world everyone is talking about what a fabulous map it is."
He added that the research that had gone into it was immense, and had taken some time to collate into the format. "You can't afford to make a single mistake," he said. Around 160 emails poured in after it featured in a national newspaper report, he added.
The map includes a host of information, including more than 100 rail-served resorts, with bus connections to the nearest station for the remainder, more than 15 linked ski areas including the Sella Ronda, Three Valleys and Portes du Soleil, and a 100-resort factfile with detailed information on the extent and type of skiing available, the number of lifts, altitude range, availability of glacier skiing, and information on the nearest station. Train journey times from the UK to the major resorts such as Grenoble (6h30), Zurich (7h35) and Salzburg (11h50) is also included.
Journey times by train from the UK to major Alpine cities such as Grenoble (6h30), Zurich (7h35) and Salzburg (11h50).
Mr Guthrie said: "There's never been greater awareness of the need for low-carbon travel with ski resorts particularly susceptible to the impact of global warming. Increasing numbers of snowsports holidaymakers are voting with their ski boot-clad feet and travelling to the mountains by train.
"Beyond the obvious environmental advantages, rail travel also offers a more enjoyable and relaxing journey through the breathtaking Alpine landscapes - a holiday highlight in contrast to a long coach transfer or the hassles and uncertainty of hiring a car."
As well as big-name resorts, the map features some lesser known obscurities including Switzerland's Meiringen - home of the eponymous sugary delicacy, and the last known (official) sighting of fictional Victorian sleuth Sherlock Holmes