Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nordic Walking in the Austrian Alps

EURO ALPS Nordic Walking TOUR 2014 (nb. Early Bird Prices close 30 Nov!)
You're most likely already aware of the Euro Alps Tours we run every year during June and July. Each year, we introduce, immerse and enjoy the spectacular and special 'Grosses Walsertal' in the Austrian Alps with guests from Australia and around the world. Next year we would love to be doing it with you!
Whilst on tour this year we asked a few of our guests to put their experience (spontaneously) into words. Have a listen and be tantalised by what they had to say...
Jill & Chadi

Fiona and Janet

Anne & Ian
   
For those of you who do not already know about our tours - the 'Euro Alps Tours' are actually a brain child of some of our clients who asked us to invite them over and show them around Patrick's homeland in the Austrian Alps. Of course we listened, and thought - what a great idea!
Since running our sold out tour in the first year, we have hosted more guests and run more tours each year. It is a very personal and autherntic tour that we can pretty much guarantee will be a special experience and holiday to remember for any one who joins us.
Together over 10 days we explore and experience the local Grosses Walsertal valley region in western Austria - not only taking in its majestic mountains, serene spring lake, flower-filled meadows, traditional culture and breathtaking scenery but also experiencing its unique balance of man living in harmony with nature (as recognised by UNESCO’s classification as a model ‘Biosphere Reserve’).
Places are Filling for the 2014 Tour - Don't miss out!
At this stage, there are places still available for next year's tour.
The Early Bird rates are only valid until the end of November so check your diary, talk to your partner/ friends and then be quick to book.
Classic Tour:               20 - 29 June 2014
Return to Eden Tour*:    4 - 13 July 2014
(*  this tour is only open to returning guests)

Early Bird Prices (until 30 Nov)   &   After 30 Nov Tour Prices
Double / Twin:                $2980         $3180
Single:                           $3230         $3430
Tour Highlights - What You Can Expect
  • Experience the stunning landscapes, abundant nature and feelings of vitality that the Alps exude
  • Access an alpine community and traditional culture that is off the main 'tourist trail'
  • Enjoy guided daily Nordic Walks in a diverse range of alpine landscapes
  • Live in a UNESCO Biosphere where man lives in sustainable harmony with nature
  • Visit 4 countries: Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Indulge in 4 star service and the friendly hospitality of the Sperger family in the ‘Faschina Hotel’
  • Satisfy your appetite with delicious daily buffet breakfasts and 4-course dinners
  • Sit back and take in the views as you are chauffeured in style between walks and destinations
  • Enjoy the organised activities and extra outings which are included in the full day programs
  • Relax completely - knowing that you have local hosts who are there every step of the way to ensure you have a wonderful and carefree holiday!

We look forward to sharing 'our' homeland with you.
Patrick & Maree
and the Nordic Academy team
** To find out more about the tours contact Patrick directly on 0433 775 227or email us via euroalps@nordicacademy.com.au  **

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nordic Walking Poles or Trekking / Hiking Poles – what’s the difference?

Can you Nordic Walk with ordinary trekking or walking poles? The simple answer is … No you can’t! However, you can use Nordic Walking poles for trekking so anybody who is looking at purchasing poles, consider Nordic Walking poles as they come with extra benefits.


The significant difference between the two poles is the wrist strap. The Nordic Walking pole has a strap (some call it glove) that is attached to the grip.

The reason for the wrist strap is twofold. For once - the emphasis with Nordic Walking is to apply pressure through the strap onto the pole. One can apply far more pressure through the strap onto the pole than holding onto the grip and applying pressure that way.

The second reason for a proper wrist strap is lies in the Nordic Walking technique – once you push your body past the pole forward, you need to let go of the pole grip to get the pole further back behind the body and for the pole to become an extension of the arm (see picture).

Note: Very few Nordic Walking poles come with detachable wrist straps. While the ability to detach the strap is not essential, it is very convenient to push a button to have the hand free to grab a water bottle or keys or to wash the wrist straps after extensive use for hygienic reasons.



Trekking poles have a variety of grips, many of which are designed for comfort (see pictures) because the trekker will use these to transfer body weight onto the pole which helps to share the load and provide some stability. In general the trekker is not trying to push themselves forward in the way Nordic Walkers do. Therefore they plant the poles in front of them at a much more upright angle.

Note: Trekkers / hikers often use only one pole – we’d not advocate that as it can cause in-balance and back discomfort.


Another difference is the make of the shaft; while most trekking poles are adjustable to be able to be packed away and to be adjusted for different terrain, the ideal Nordic Walking poles are fixed length, providing more strength and better swing abilities. Whether for trekking or Nordic Walking, the fixed length poles are the preferred option – except of when travelling extensively and not wanting to check in poles at the airport.

As for the shaft material for both, Nordic Walking and Trekking poles – generally it can be said, cheaper (price and quality) poles are made from aluminium or fibre glass, more expensive (better) poles are made from a carbon mix up to 100% diamond carbon (used in cross country skiing world cup).



Nowadays, most trekking poles come with rubber pads / paws; certainly all Nordic Walking poles do. The difference lies in the shape of the rubber pads – with Nordic Walking the pole is planted diagonally backwards which is the reason for an angled rubber pad for Nordic Walking poles. A few pole brands now have a special rubber pad system where the pad does not come off anymore but stays on the pole (see picture).

  
For more information contact My Nordic Sports on 1300 791 740 or email info@mynordicsports.com.au.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nordic World Ski Championships – The Winners and the Competitors in 2013



Last Sunday the 12 day Nordic World Ski Championships came to an end in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
The Championships were dominated by Norway winning 8 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals. France and Russia followed in second and third places respectively.
The Swedish XC-skier Johan Olson won the glorious ski marathon race, which was the last race and grand finale of the games. Our ONE WAY athelete, Dario Cologna, finished the 50km marathon in second place BUT as a result of winning the 30km race a few days before, has claimed the title of World Champion. Well done to Dario and to ONE WAY!
The most successful individual participant was Marit Björgen. The Norwegian Ski star won four gold medals across the cross country-competitions.
In the ski jumping events the Austrian Team dominated and achieved the glory (which we are particularly thrilled about). Germany did well and came in second, with Poland coming in with third place.
As for the Australian cross country ski team, they competed well and gave their best but were no threat to the superior European Nations. (They also looked great decked out in their ONE WAY apparel). And as all good sports is about - it’s the taking part, courage, determination and effort that counts.
We are proud of our Aussies – well done to:

Male athletes: 
Callum Watson
Phillip Bellingham
Paul Kovacs
Mark van der Ploeg



Female athletes:
Esther Bottomley
Aimee Watson
Anna Trnka
Lescinska Grimmer


Mark van der Ploeg, 30km Skiathlon

To view more photos of our Aussies in action – go to the official Australian XC-Skiing website: http:// ausxc.com/