What is snowcarbon?
snowcarbon is an independent website dedicated to helping skiers and snowboarders reach ski resorts by train from the UK.
snowcarbon was founded by two travel journalists, Daniel Elkan and Mark Hodson, in order to pull together all the information you need into one easy-to-use resource. The site has a wide choice of great ski resorts, each convenient by train, with journey details, booking guides and booking forms. We're always working to improve it, so please get in touch if you see ways we might make it better..
Who are we?
Daniel is an avid snowboarder. He writes ski features for publications including The Guardian, The Observer, Daily Mail and Ski+Board magazine, and about environmental issues for Geographical, The Ecologist, The Guardian and The Sunday Times.
Mark is a keen skier. He has written about travel and skiing for newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times. He also works as a consultant to the online travel industry and is co-founder of the travel inspiration website, 101 Holiday Ideas.
Why did we set up the site?
snowcarbon was conceived in the Italian resort of Sauze d’Oulx. Daniel had endured a tedious, delayed journey by air. While slumped on a coach transfer approaching the village, Daniel glimpsed a railway line further down the hill and wondered if he could have travelled by rail instead.
Finding the information proved difficult – but the rail journey itself from London was relatively easy and would be far less damaging to the environment. Since then, Daniel has spent five years researching and writing about rail travel to European ski resorts (PDF document). Finally, in the autumn of 2009, he realised that a website on the subject was needed, to act as a resource for the increasing number of skiers and snowboarders wanting to travel this way.
Can you book rail tickets on snowcarbon?
Yes. The booking forms on this site have been created for us by Eurostar, Rail Europe and Deutche Bahn to make it easier for you to book rail travel to ski destinations.
When you click through from snowcarbon to make a booking, the enquiry and transaction takes place on the rail company's site and costs the same as booking directly, but snowcarbon receives a small commission. This helps to support the costs of the site. We are also grateful to ski resorts and tourist boards, who have helped make this site possible by providing initial financial support.
Can you rely on the transport information on snowcarbon?
Yes. All the transport and timetable information on this website has been thoroughly researched by us and double checked rail companies and bus companies, resort tourist offices and regional tourist boards. The rail journey information uses a unique database of hand-researched journeys, showing the best options to each resort on any given date during the season.
Over the course of three years, we've tested almost all of these rail journeys – each train, couchette, connecting bus service – and most of the restaurants, and taken our own photographs.
Do we feature every ski resort accessible by train?
No. There are hundreds of ski resorts in Europe. Some have convenient journeys by train, others less so. By limiting the number of resorts featured, we can provide detailed information on the resort and how to get there. Those we selected met two criteria: a great resort and a convenient journey by train.
Who helped make snowcarbon happen?
We are grateful to our writers (right), whose detailed ski knowledge proved invaluable. We are indebted to our research assistants, Sharmin Ahammad, Melissa Brown and Louise Foster, and, in particular Tom Higgins, who worked ceaselessly throughout the launch period.
What about the future?
The snowcarbon philosophy of enjoyable, low-carbon travel is one that we believe will benefit skiers, snowboarders and the entire wintersports industry. We aim to be a catalyst for change, encouraging and co-ordinating travel improvements to make rail journeys to ski resorts ever more convenient. Look out for some exciting new developments in 2012.
Link to us
If you have found this website useful please help us to spread the word by giving us a mention on Facebook and Twitter. If you have your own website or blog and would like to help skiers and snowboarders reach resorts by train, please link to us.