All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Our writers

The ski-resort guides on Snowcarbon are written by some of the UK's leading ski writers. Here's a bit more about them

Arnie Wilson

Arnie Wilson ski writer

Arnie is living proof that you can take up skiing relatively late (30 in his case) and become an expert. Mind you, he has skied rather a lot – in more than 725 resorts in 30 countries – including an entire year in 1994 when he skied for 365 consecutive days, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records. All that's changed these days is that he stops for lunch on the mountain instead of skiing remorselessly from dawn to dusk.
After a career in Fleet Street, TV and radio, Arnie started writing about skiing for the Financial Times in 1986, and edited the Ski Club of Great Britain's magazine Ski+board from 2001 until 2014. Arnie has also written or co-written five ski books.
Visit Arnie Wilson's website

Ben Clatworthy

couchettes  Ben Clatworthy

Ben first stood on skis at the age of 3 and was immediately bitten by the snow bug. Ben turned this passion for skiing into a sport when, aged 11, he joined the UK’s oldest ski team, Kandahar. Ben spent the next eight years competing in national and international races. During this time Ben started writing, at first about racing, then skiing in general.
Since then Ben’s enthusiasm for the snow has led him to write winter sports news, features and blogs for a number of the UK’s leading ski outlets. Ben is currently the news editor and a features writer for InTheSnow Magazine.
He has skied throughout the Alps and the USA, visiting some of world’s premiere ski resorts along with some of the most obscure. Ben is the UK’s youngest professional ski and travel journalist.
Ben Clatworthy's website

Daniel Elkan

reclining seats  Daniel Elkan

As a teenager, Daniel’s only experience of skiing was one run on Hampstead Heath. Unimpressed with the lift system, he didn't pursue the sport until a few years later when he took a first ski holiday to Andorra, and was hooked.
Living in Sapporo, Japan, for three years gave Daniel a weekly helping of copious Hokkaido powder in the resorts of Niseko, and Rusutsu, where each day’s skiing would be finished off with a piping hot onsen - occasionally with a sake-fuelled naked roll in the snow -  but always with a bowl of miso ramen noodles.
In Europe, Daniel has worked as a rep and led holidays for Ski Club of Great Britain in Saas Fee, Cortina, Andorra and Davos. Despite being a decent snowboarder, Daniel is only beginning to shake off his instinctive fear of jumping off anything higher than a half a metre.
Daniel has written ski features for The Guardian, Observer, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Ski+Board, Daily Mail Ski&Snowboard and Conde Nast Traveller, and visited more than 50 ski resorts by train.
He is Snowcarbon's co-founder, along with Mark Hodson.

Felix Milns

snack bar  Felix Milns

Felix has been writing about skiing for the past 12 years and his snow-bound odysseys have taken him everywhere from the Cedars of Lebanon to Russia's Caucasus peaks.

Always the first to jump into a couloir, he has skied in more than 200 resorts and has written about skiing for most of the UK broadsheets, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and Daily Telegraph, and many other skiing and lifestyle magazines.

Felix was the launch editor of InTheSnow magazine. He has also co-authored two ski guidebooks and many other online guides.


Frances Booth

introduction  Frances Booth

After an unglamorous start to her ski career, involving 28-hour bus journeys between Newcastle upon Tyne to the Alps, Frances had her Eureka moment sitting on a chairlift one year in La Plagne. She realised that “people actually work here”.
Instead of getting a proper job after university, she applied to be a ski rep. As a seasonaire in Montgenèvre and then Saint Martin de Belleville she met hundreds of interesting characters and got to ski almost every day. Some of her favourite things about skiing are: sitting at the top of a silent mountain, dancing in ski boots and chugging past snow-covered trees on a chairlift.
Frances – a former winner of the Guardian Young Travel Journalist of the Year award – has worked for five years on national newspapers as a writer, sub-editor and web editor. As a ski journalist, she has written articles for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Skier and Snowboarder and She has contributed to the book, Working in Ski Resorts.

Frances Booth's website


Gabriella Le Breton

couchettes  Gabriella Le Breton

From the moment Gabriella first stood on skis aged 3 – wearing a canary yellow all-in-one snowsuit – she was hooked. The thrill of skiing, trying to keep up with her big brother and stepping up to receive her first ski school prize utterly captivated her.

Gabriella spent much of her youth living in Austria and Switzerland, striving to perfect the art of the hip-swinging, 1980s 'Euro-style' skiing, before discovering parabolic skis and relearning how to ski while she spent two winter seasons in Aspen, Colorado.
Now in her early 30s and undeterred by repeated knee injuries, a broken thumb, three concussions, countless black toenails and frequent Jägerbomb-induced hangovers, Gabriella is as enthusiastic as ever about hitting the slopes.
She has skied in more than 90 resorts across the world, co-wrote the Footprint Skiing Europe guidebook in 2008 and contributes articles about skiing and other adventure travel pursuits to a range of newspapers and magazines including The Telegraph, Metro, Spectator Business, Condé Nast Traveller and Ski & Board magazine.


James Cove

reclining seats  James Cove

James has skied from Alta to Zermatt and around 250 resorts in between. He’s currently based in Verbier working as a ski instructor, writing for various magazines and websites.
He writes about skiing for the BBC website and makes several films each winter for BBC1. He also produces promotional films for ski companies and resorts. In addition, he runs the independent ski web site,
James has been a director of the Ski Club of Great Britain and has been commissioned to write the official history of the British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI).
He started skiing at 8 years old and remembers lace up leather boots and putting his hand in the air to choose a ski that reached his fingertips. His worst moment was ripping his anterior cruciate ligament on a glacier near Tignes and skiing down on one leg.

James Cove's website

Mark Frary

snack bar  Mark Frary

Mark Frary has written about skiing for many publications, including the Times and Ski & Board magazines, on everything from skiing-obsessed nuclear physicists to learning to drive a piste-basher.
He lived in Geneva for several years, skiing for much of the winter in the neighbouring resorts, and has visited resorts all over the world. Fondue is his favourite food and regularly eats it in summer, despite the protestation of purists who view it as an exclusively winter dish. He has several favourite resorts including a soft-spot for Les Contamines in France.
He puts his interest in the mountains down to being brought up in Norfolk which, as Noel Coward so succinctly said, is “very flat”.
He is also the author of five books, including The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and Freaky Science.
Mark Frary's website

Mark Hodson

introduction  Mark Hodson

Mark is a travel journalist and co-founder of Snowcarbon and of travel website 101 Holidays. He has been a keen skier for more than 20 years and, despite never getting really good, he takes pride in the fact he can “get down just about anything”.
Mark was written about travel for the past 20 years for a number of newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times. His immediate family are all addicted to the mountains, including his son Callum and daughter Helena, who first hit the slopes aged 3.
His ideal ski day: blue skies, a fresh dump of powder, an experienced local guide and a challenging tour off-piste. Not forgetting a long lunch on the terrace of a gourmet mountain restaurant.
Mark hopes that one day he’ll be able to ski moguls properly.
101 Holidays


Patrick Thorne

couchettes  Patrick Thorne

Patrick has made a lifelong career out of his obsession with snow. At the age of just 20, his first book on the subject, The Essential Ski Holiday Guide, was published by Collins. Now, 25 years later, he’s still going strong.

In the 1990s Patrick began collecting details on every ski area on Earth, eventually identifying more than 6,000 in 80 countries. This now forms the basis of ski resort reference material on numerous websites, atlases, guide books, tour operator brochures and CD-Roms.

He also runs the Green Ski Resort Guide database of what the world’s 250 leading ski resorts are each doing to minimise their environmental impact.

Now sought after as a consultant by everyone from the International Ski Federation to the largest ski resort in Australia, Patrick was named ‘One of 20 People to Know in Ski’ by The Times.

Patrick has visited more than 250 ski resorts, written a dozen ski guide books and contributed to dozens more. He lives in the Highlands of Scotland with his wife Sally, three sons, two ponies and 18 chickens.

Patrick Thorne's website


Rob Freeman

reclining seats  Rob Freeman

Rob Freeman claims he's never had a ski holiday, just a series of work trips that happen to involve skiing, checking out runs, restaurants, bars and spas for newspapers, ski and flight magazines, books and websites. He labours uncomplainingly – if it's a crime to be dedicated, he says, he pleads guilty as charged.
He learnt to ski many years ago in Les Arcs, where a skiing cousin told him that ski boots had to be so tight it took three grown men to force the clips into place each morning. It took three hours each evening for any feeling to return. His boots are much more comfortable now.
He's been lucky enough to have skied many great resorts, following the tracks of many great skiers including downhill superstar Franz Klammer and powder guru Josef Mallaun. From them he has learned much – most importantly, he says, to respect the mountains and savour every moment on the slopes.
Rob is a qualified ski instructor and was for many years years a senior journalist on the Daily Mail. He still writes frequently for The Mail’s travel website. Now he travels more frequently than ever from his Buckinghamshire home to the ski slopes. His main dilemma is juggling his love for skiing with that for football – their seasons so inconveniently clash.
Rob is the UK's leading authority on skiing in Austria and has written the Snowfinder guidebook on Austrian resorts.