Snowy mountains in Tignes, France

World records, mountain treasure hunts and networking in the snow: why PropSki isn’t just about the skiing

James de Souza | 29.01.18

Earlier this month, 315 property professionals embarked on the seventh annual PropSki trip, which has now officially become the UK’s largest property ski trip. Co-founders Will Chambers and Rupert Parker say this year’s event was the most successful yet. But what is the key to the trip’s success?

Well, according to Rupert, it’s down to a lot more than just skiing. Here he explains some of the reasons PropSki is such a unique experience:

It brings CEOs and graduates together. The snowy slopes of the Alps might seem like an unusual networking environment, but it’s a lot more effective. When you’re out on the mountains skiing or in the sauna recovering, senior property professionals are a lot more approachable. I was really pleased by how well everyone connected from the very first evening when we had the welcome drinks. It’s the shared experience of taking on a challenge that really brings people together.

You make a fantastic difference for charity. The Paragon Mountain Meal is a staple of the PropSki trip, and this time I had to quickly learn a new skill of auctioneering. Thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated prizes and bid for them, we’re thrilled to say we raised £11,545 for LandAid. A special thank you to Richard Upton from U+I for donating one of the most memorable prizes – a weekend in The Bell in Ticehurst staying in the ‘Love Nest’ room with all food and drinks included. During the trip, we also raised £3,500 for the Elifar Foundation.

It’s a brilliant business opportunity. This year, I came away from PropSki having lined up 10-15 business meetings. That’s more than I would get from MIPIM. When you’re in a fun, relaxed setting, it’s incredible how many exciting new contacts you can make. It’s a very inclusive atmosphere, which makes it easy to mingle with professionals at all levels. PropSki is constantly growing too, so it’s not just an exciting trip or a great fundraiser – it makes good business sense to try it as well.

We do more than just skiing. One of the regular highlights of PropSki is the Barwood Capital Mountain Challenge, which is effectively a big mountain treasure hunt in the snow. This year, we gave the clues a technological twist, with QR codes included. The EG Question Time is a fascinating chance to hear from top industry speakers. We also have memorable après, amazing three-course meals and stunning views.

But of course, we do quite a lot of skiing! The Macdonald & Company Race Day includes a range of skiing and snowboarding cups, as well as a team slalom. We also arrange ski tours where you really get the chance to take in the views. But you don’t have to be an experienced skier – in fact, 10% of participants each year are beginners. We’re always impressed by how enthusiastic they are and how determined they are to get stuck in with their lessons and the après.

You witness some world record attempts. When Jon Beswick (from Adventure in Architecture) and I attempted to set a land speed world record on a tandem bike on snow, we realised why it had never been completed before. It’s very tricky to get a decent grip, and when you’re powering down a mountain slope, staying upright and coming to a standstill are near impossible! Yet after a few attempts, we’ve now set the bar at 77km/hour and will be landing in a Guinness World Record Book near you soon. World record attempts could soon become a PropSki tradition!

We’re already planning our PropSki trip for 2019! Find out more about the event on the PropSki website.