Whether you meet him travelling to some of the most exciting ski resorts in Canada and the USA, on the indoor slope in Glasgow or on a day trip to his ‘local’ ski area in Aviemore or Nevis Range in the north of Scotland, Alistair McCrae the MD of Snow Unlimited always has a passion for spending time on snow.
Are you a skier or boarder?
I took up skiing in my twenties and became a qualified ski instructor by the time I was 30.
How often are you on the slopes?
I am nearly always planning my next opportunity to get out to the resorts. My trips are usually planned around product visits so that i keep up to date with the latest developments in the resorts and experience first-hand the skiing, apres, hotels and other accommodation options that we offer. I usually manage to get between 15 and 20 days per season.
Which North American resorts have you skied?
I love flying into Denver and travelling around the ski resorts in Colorado. I’ve skied Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Winter Park and Steamboat. I personally love skiing the back bowls in Vail and heading over into Blue Sky Basin for a picnic lunch.
The resorts in Utah are great too. The short transfer from the airport at Salt Lake City up to Park City, which takes under an hour, makes Park City Ski Resort one of the easiest mega-resorts in North America to reach from the UK.
Last ski resort visited?
Whistler, British Columbia. I was there early December last year (2016). This resort has it all. Two superb mountains, now linked with the amazing Peak 2 Peak Gondola. It has one of the longest seasons in North America, a phenomenal snow record and is the largest ski resort in Canada. Combine that with a laid back vibe and a superbly designed pedestrian friendly skier village and it’s really easy to see why Whistler keeps being awarded the accolade of best ski resort in North America.
What’s your favourite all time ski resort?
It’s so hard to pick just one – there are so many fantastic resorts in Western Canada and the Rockies!
If I had to pick one, it would be Vail, Colorado – which is really special to me. It’s where it all began and was one of the first resorts we offered nearly 10 years ago.
Breckenridge is also fantastic – I used to ski here every Easter with a group of friends and we always came back with a tan – you just can’t beat spring skiing in Colorado.
The highlight of last season?
On the slopes it would be pretty hard to beat riding the Peak 2 Peak Gondola which whisks you across the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. The views were breath-taking and the Gondola currently holds the Guinness book of records for being the highest cable car in the world.
Off the slopes – one the highlights for me was the rebrand of the Company from our original ‘frosted grey’ logo to our new brand which re-affirms our tailor-made approach to planning ski holidays for each and every customer. We had great fun over the spring selecting a range of branded merchandise which customers will see in their travel packs this season when they receive their confirmed travel itineraries.
What are you looking forward to most next season?
I can’t wait to travel out to Canada and head down to Panorama Ski Resort. This area is known as the Powder Highway and is renowned for some of the best powder skiing in the world. It’s been on my bucket list for a while and I’m really looking forward to experiencing my first heli–ski adventure, heading into the backcountry for some untracked powder with the local guides from RK Heli Ski.