All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Our writers

Snowcarbon's guides are written by some of the UK's leading ski writers


Daniel Elkan

Daniel Elkan Snowcarbon Founder

As a teenager, Daniel’s only experience of skiing was one run on Hampstead Heath. Many years later, trips to Andorra and Sauze d'Oulx got him hooked. It was on the trip to Sauze that Daniel spotted a railway station near the resort, and began to research how to travel to ski resorts by train.

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.

Back in Europe, Daniel became a freelance travel, health, science and environmental  journalist, writing for publications including The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, New Scientist, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, and Conde Nast Traveller.   He created Snowcarbon in 2009 to help more skiers find out how to travel to resorts by train, and to proactively campaign to make it easier to do so. He has visited more than 60 ski resorts by train.


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.
 


Ben Clatworthy

Arnie Wilson ski writer

Ben first stood on skis at the age of three 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.

View Ben Clatworthy's website


Gabriella Le Breton

Gaby Le Breton ski writer

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.

View Gabriela Le Breton's website


James Cove

James Cove ski writer

James has skied from Alta to Zermatt and around 250 resorts in between. He started skiing at eight years old and remembers lace up leather boots and putting his hand in the air to choose a ski that reached his fingertips.

He has written about skiing for the BBC website and made films each winter for BBC1. He also produces promotional films for ski companies and resorts. In addition.

James runs the independent ski-news website, Planet Ski


Mark Frary

Mark Frary ski writer

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.

View Mark Frary's website


Rob Freeman (RIP)

Rob Freeman ski writer

Rob Freeman sadly passed away in March 2020, but will never be forgotten.  He was a most wonderful person, would brighten any room with his sense of humour. He was a brilliant writer, too.
Rob claimed he'd 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 laboured uncomplainingly – if it's a crime to be dedicated, he would say, 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.  Rob was 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 learned much – most importantly, he would say, to respect the mountains and savour every moment on the slopes.
Rob spent many years years a senior journalist on the Daily Mail, before turning freelance.  He combined a deep love for skiing with that for football. Rob will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered.


Mark Hodson

Mark Hodson ski writer

Mark has been a keen skier for more than 30 years and, despite never getting really good, he takes pride in the fact he can “get down just about anything”. He's written about travel for the past 30 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 three. Mark co-founded Snowcarbon with Daniel in 2009, working on the site till 2014. He left to focus on his other website, the excellent 101 Holiday Ideas.

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.

View Mark's site, 101 Holiday Ideas
 


Patrick Thorne

Patrick Thorne ski writer

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