From comedy festivals to skiing through explosions of colour, music concerts and giant snowball fights, these are the unmissable events to hang your ski or snowboard holiday around this year
10 of the best ski resort festivals for 2016-17
RISE Festival, 10-17 December 2016
Les Deux Alpes, France
RISE Festival promises to be a bassy mix of live bands and DJ sets at both indoor and outdoor venues around the natural amphitheatre of Les Deux Alpes. Your only problem might be getting out of bed in time each morning to make full use of Les Deux Alpes' huge 2,268m of vertical and the biggest pisted glacier ski area in Europe. Combined ticket, lift pass, and accommodation deals are available from £312 per person (based on 4 people sharing).
Altitude Festival, 11 - 17 December 2016
The famous comedy festival billed as "the funniest show on snow" presents a raucous mix of top UK stand-up acts, music and skiing over five fun days. Previous headliners include Eddie Izzard and John Bishop and this season's stellar line up will showcase Zoe Lyons, Andy Askins, Daniel Sloss, Glenn Wool, Kai Humphries and The International Impro Allstars, along with many more acts to be announced. Now moved from its traditional spring dates to season-opening mid-December, the Altitude will end with the Festival of Light in Mayrhofen where free Glühwein and Austrian snacks will be on offer. Because it's the run up to Christmas, Mayrhofen will also be laying on an Austrian Christmas Market.
Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival, February 8-12 2017
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Would you let your child be pulled down a high street and launched off a ski jump by a galloping horse? Then you need to check out Steamboat Springs' Winter Carnival. Celebrating where wild west meets snowsports, this traditional carnival is put on by Steamboat's Winter Sports Club and includes an after dark Night Show Extravaganza with flare-lit processions down the mountain, stunt skiers jumping through burning hoops and fireworks.
6 Resorts Rugby Tournament, 14 February
Val Thorens, France
This unusual ski resort spectacle involves teams from the ski resorts of La Clusaz, St Gervais, Valmorel, Les Ménuires, Val Thorens and Meribel competing in a seven-a-side rugby tournament on snow. Watching big men tackle each other into freezing snow makes for a great spectacle with raucous atmosphere.
Each team is allowed two ex-professional rugby players to play and coach them - and in an interesting spin last season the tournament hosts Meribel made the pros complete a slalom ski run ahead of the evening tournament, holding rugby balls instead of ski poles!
Skicolor, 11 March 2017
Les Gets, France
It's not often that you get the opportunity to be a part of a giant work of art. On skis. On a snowy mountain. But Skicolor in the resort of Let Gets, France is that chance. Based on a US event called The Color Run, the event sees you provided with a white jumpsuit and hat before you ski down a specially built 2,500m piste on the Mont-Chery side of the resort. Every 500m or so you'll ski through an 'explosion' zone and get covered in colourful powder. Friendly and for all the family, this event is all about fun and there are workshops for children as well as a big concert on a stage facing Mont Blanc to top it off.