Thursday, April 9, 2015

33rd Allalin-Race in Saas-Fee


From April 10th to 11th the legendary Allalin Races will take place in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Around 1000 participants are expected at the amateur downhill race. The track descends over a length of 9 kilometers and overcomes an altitude difference of 1800 meters – no wonder your legs start burning! 
The Allalin Races in Saas-Fee belong to the 3 most popular amateur downhill races in Switzerland. The “Super Vier” amateur downhill series consists of the four races Belalp-Hexe, the Inferno Mürren, and the Allalin Races Saas-Fee. Every year the overall masters of the whole series will be announced. The award ceremony and the presentation of the much-coveted cup always take place at the Allalin Races in Saas-Fee as it is the last one of the series.
For over 30 years the Allalin Races and the famous afterparties attract ambitious amateur racers as well as wintersports fans who join the competition just for fun. Surrounded by the highest mountains in Switzerland the race starts on an altitude of 3600 meters above sea level and aims the village on only 1800 meters.
The challenging downhill race was mastered for the first time in 1946. Back than the participants had to hike up to the mountain hut on Längfluh, only to get up the next morning and hike further to the top of the Allalinhorn on 4027 meters. The following race down didn’t happen on perfectly prepared slopes like nowadays. No, they had to pass the dangerous crevasses while getting through powder snow.
Participants can enter four different categories: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the Him and Her Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. Men and women in the individual races usually intent to aim the best time. The participants in the Fun Team Race descend just for fun at a leisurely pace. A pit-stop at a mountain restaurant along the way is almost mandatory and dressing up is actively encouraged. Apparently, in the past a team has even plonked themselves down in the snow for a quick cheese fondue. It’s no wonder, then, that teams in this category have been known to take over five hours to “race” down to the finish line. By contrast, an ambitious, highly trained athlete can complete the course in less than five minutes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

EpicTV Choice Cuts: Cham'Lines, Italian Skier Chick Rips The Sh*t Out Of Steep Chamonix Couloir

Cham'Lines is back with another episode exploring the best steep skiing lines around Chamonix. Today, 2x Freeride World Skiing Champion Aurélien Ducroz, Verbier Xtreme winner Giullia Monego and big mountain baller Brice Bouillane charge the hellacious 500-meter, 55˚ southwest couloir of the Col du Diable. The snow is as hard as concrete and even though the skiers wait, it fails to soften and they must ski the crazy steep couloir in what Aurélien subtly describes as 'difficult' conditions. The massive smiles on their faces at the end of the video reveal how stoked they are to have sent this impressive line in style.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thirty Seconds to Mars To Close Winter Season in Ischgl


Thirty Seconds to Mars are set to play on 2nd May 2015 at the legendary Top of the Mountain Concert in Ischgl, at 2300 metres altitude, right in the centre of the ski area. Entry is free when you have a valid ski pass.
At 2300 metres altitude the band from Los Angeles will be playing songs from their latest album 'Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams'. At 1 p.m. winter sports fans will be able to watch the band perform hits like 'City of Angels' through the Silvretta Arena. At the open-air concert in the middle of the ski area, brothers Jared and Shannon Leto along with guitarist Tomo Miličević, will follow in the footsteps of greats - world stars like Robbie Williams, Elton John, Katy Perry and Rihanna have preceded them on the Top of the Mountain stage. Entry is free when you have a valid ski pass. A day ticket is available for 85 Euro per person. For 4 days and over, standard, discounted ski pass tariffs apply.
Thirty Seconds to Mars is already familiar for a few things – they are in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest concert tour ever. Yet, an open-air concert at 2300 metres is also something new for these experienced musicians. In Ischgl they will present their fourth studio album 'Love Lust Faith + Dreams' - which reached number 3 in the German album charts – on the legendary Idalp stage. In November 2014 the American trio received their third MTV Europe Music Award for 'Best Alternative' act.
Thirty Seconds to Mars took a break from touring in 2012 and spent most of the year recording their fourth album, entitled Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams. The album was produced by Jared Leto with previous collaborator Steve Lillywhite. Leto said that the band took a new direction with Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams. He explained that the album "is more than an evolution, it's a brand new beginning. Creatively, we've gone to an entirely new place, which is exciting, unexpected, and incredibly inspiring".



The legendary Ischgl Top of the Mountain Concert is to provide spectators with world-class entertainment surrounded by ideal winter sport facilities. Skiers are to be transported this year by the new Pardatschgrat tricable gondola lift directly from the centre of the resort to the ski area in next to no time. Freeriders can meanwhile go on the hunt for new lines under the Piz Val Gronda cable car. The area was only opened in winter 2013/2014. The evening will be a time to put the skis down and celebrate the start of the season with a world-famous star.


Thirty Seconds to Mars follows in the footsteps of a galaxy of superstars who have entertained skiers and boarders in the Austrian resort's traditional Top of the Mountain gig. Long time ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Elton John again, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Gossip, The Killers,Roxette, Mariah Carey, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Nickelback, Robbie Williams and James Blunt.


Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 238 km of prepared pistes, 43 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras, such as heated seats in the Fimbabahn cable car built for the 2007/08 season. A variety of slopes and ski routes offer a opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometres from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 metres) to Ischgl village (1,400 metres).
From Ischgl you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Epic TV: Skin Up, Ep. 1. Ski Touring Skills Lead To Insane Virgin Powder Lines In Italy

These skiers just found the best way to prepare for a five-day backcountry ski tour from Chamonix to Zermatt - by skiing untracked pow in Lombardia, Italy. Adrien Coirier and Jérémy Prévost live to charge big lines but they are more accustomed to heli drops than slapping on the climbing skins and earning their turns. So in preparation of their upcoming Haute Route trip they head to a typical rifugio (mountain hut) in Lombardia to meet local mountain guide, Giuliano, who welcomes them with legendary Italian hospitality, teaches them the joy of skinning up, and turns them on to some amazing skiing.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Salomon Freeski TV: Toyland

The real world of urban jibbing and the not-so real world of toys collide in Toyland. Let your imagination run wild.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bye Bye, FWT15 Season is Ended


FWT Journal 2015 - EP28 - Bye Bye, FWT15 season... por FreerideWorldTourTV

The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Vail Resorts to Acquire Perisher, the Largest Mountain Resort in Australia


Vail Resorts today announced that the Company has agreed to acquire its first international mountain resort, Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales, Australia, for total cash consideration of AU$176.6 million (approximately US$136 million), subject to certain adjustments. Perisher is the largest and most visited ski resort in Australia, and is well-positioned with access to the country’s largest cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane. Perisher is also the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 following the satisfaction of certain conditions, including approval by the New South Wales Government under the long-term lease and license noted below.
The Company is purchasing 100 percent of the stock in the entities that operate Perisher from Murray Publishers Pty Ltd and Transfield Corporate Pty Ltd in Sydney. Perisher holds a long-term lease and license with the New South Wales Government under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which expires in 2048 with a 20-year renewal option. The acquisition includes the resort areas known as Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega, along with ski school, lodging, food and beverage, retail/rental and transportation operations, which together comprise Perisher.
"The acquisition of our first international mountain resort is a significant milestone for our Company. We’re thrilled to welcome the guests and employees of Perisher, Australia’s largest and most iconic resort, into the Vail Resorts family and deepen ties with one of our most important international markets", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "This acquisition is part of Vail Resorts’ continued strategy to drive season pass sales and build loyalty with guests from around the world. Australia is one of the most important international markets for ski resorts across the Northern Hemisphere, generating an estimated more than 1 million skier visits annually to resorts in North America, Japan and Europe. We see this as a ground-breaking acquisition that will dramatically enhance the connection between our Company and Australian skiers and riders. We also see the acquisition as a natural fit, as Perisher is the Australian leader in innovation and guest experience – both hallmarks of Vail Resorts".
Vail Resorts also announced that as of today, Perisher has re-opened season pass sales for its upcoming ski season, which is set to open on June 6, 2015. Perisher’s popular “Freedom Pass” is on sale for AU$749 and will include benefits substantially similar to Vail Resorts’ Epic Local Pass, with unlimited skiing and riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City and Canyons in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada. It also will include 10 days of free skiing and riding at Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado. All U.S. resort access will be subject to certain holiday restrictions. Upon closing the acquisition, all previous purchasers of the 2015 Perisher Freedom Pass will also receive these new benefits and all Epic Pass purchasers will receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing at Perisher.
"To immediately showcase the power of this new connection, Vail Resorts is offering Perisher season pass holders an unprecedented opportunity by combining unlimited skiing, from June through October, at the best and largest resort in Australia with season-long skiing, from November through April, at nine of the best mountain resorts in the United States", said Katz. "Our Company looks forward to welcoming an even greater number of Australian guests to our domestic resorts to showcase the incredible experience we provide".
The Company indicated that it expects Perisher to generate incremental Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AU$20 million (approximately US$16 million) during its first twelve months of operation following the acquisition. The Company expects Perisher to generate positive Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AU$38 million (approximately US$30 million) during its ski season, June through September, and negative Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AU$18 million (approximately US$14 million) during its off-season, October through May. Further, the Company expects Perisher to generate approximately US$6 million of free cash flow in its first year of operations, after deducting capital expenditures at the resort, income taxes (both U.S. and Australian) and all interest expense relating to the acquisition. These estimates do not include any incremental benefit of increased visitation to the Company’s U.S. resorts from Australian guests.
At closing, the Company intends to fund the purchase price with cash on hand and the revolver portion of its senior credit facility. Depending upon timing of the closing, the Company will pay the sellers or receive from the sellers the net cash flow of Perisher since January 25, 2015. In addition, the Agreement provides that the Company will pay New South Wales stamp duty related to the acquisition, estimated to be approximately AU$4 million (US$3 million). References to U.S. dollars are based upon currency exchange rates currently in effect.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Freeride World Tour Champions Crowned at the Xtreme Verbier



Yesterday the battle for the FWT titles took place on the mythical 3222m (10570 ft) Bec des Rosses, all while celebrating 20 years of Xtreme. The much respected north face that has provided the stage for the Xtreme Verbier for twenty years, showed a new challenging side, being dressed in a lighter snow cover this year.

Freeride World Tour Champions 2015:

Ski Men: George Rodney (USA)
Ski Women: Eva Walkner (AUT)
Snowboard Men: Jonathan Charlet (FRA)
Snowboard Women: Estelle Balet (SUI)

Men’s Ski

In men's skiing experience beat audacity. Not in the sense of conservatism but in the ability to spot the winning lines.
Aurelien Ducroz (FRA) who has already won three times on this face and who was competing on an honorary wildcard did not let his fans down. He opened the men's skiing with a spectacular line below the highest start that set the expectations of both the judges and the crowd as to the awesomeness needed for a podium. He has now set his print in the history books as the only skier to have won the Xtreme Verbier 4 times with a score of 88.50.
"I'm just really pleased - a 4th victory for the 20th anniversary of the Xtreme! I have so much love for this face. I really feel good here,” Aurelien said emotionally. “I almost changed my line last minute and then with Reine we motivated each other and I went ahead with it. I'm so happy I don't know what to say..."
Just behind Aurelien with a score of 88.12 was another skier who has experience written all over him. Reine Barkered (SWE) went a little slower into the same line as Aurelien but quickly picked up the pace in this line leading to an enormous cliff that he landed perfectly in the exposed area, making it possible for him to take immediate control of the acceleration despite the very steep part of the face. Another A-run from the stomp master that he ended shooting down over the apron at the bottom.
The skier in the golden bib, George Rodney (USA) had quite a comfortable position to reach out for the World Champion title getting into today's contest. All he needed to be untouchable was a 5th place. He knew that he couldn't just play it safe though, especially having Jeremie Heitz (SUI) in his heels, hungry for a win on home turf. George laid out with a big top air getting straight into the game and skied fast and strong down a technical line for a 3rd place finish and a score of 87.75, bringing the rookie the World Champion title after a a very tight top of the field to day and a fantastic season on the FWT.
"Pretty much speechless. My dream came true today – and a lot of hard work that I've put in, has finally paid off", said an obviously moved new World Champion. "It's just so cool – I'm stoked - First time on tour, first time here, first win in Alaska – it's a season of firsts!"

Women’s Ski

The women's ski podium provided everything from bold and ballsy lines, executed whole heartedly and to perfection
by the young Hazel Birnbaum (USA) to the experience-driven line choice of Christine Hargin (SWE). In between was the creativity of the young rookie Silvia Moser (ITA).
The battle for the title was already won by Eva Walkner (AUT) this Monday in Haines, Alaska. Today she had to give in to the classic release of pressure after such a big accomplishment, but hungry hearts were more than ready to step in.
Hazel had spotted the winning line, and the way she rode it got the crowds screaming in excitement twice! First when she stomped an exposed double up top and second after another big double on the bottom. She scored 88.00 standing out as the only woman scoring in the 80es.
"As my rookie year I feel like I learned a lot and I got to be inspired by a lot of incredible women that I've looked up to for so many years, so it's an incredible privilege and an honor to even be part of this event. I'm beyond ecstatic!", Hazel expressed after realizing her outstanding performance.
Fresh off a win in Alaska, Silvia Moser picked an original line all the way out the skier's left of the face and with a committed run lining up feature after feature, she scored 76.25 and took 2nd place.
Christine Hargin showed her experience in knowing exactly how far to take the risk aspect for putting down a solid run evolving around two main features and good speed. The 2012 World Champion could thus walk away with a strong finish to the season and a 3rd place with a score of 72.75.



Men's Snowboard

In the men's snowboard category the battle was very tight and a podium result today was crucial to anybody contending to grab the title. The situation translated directly into what will probably be remembered as one of the most diverse and next-level snowboard freeride event of all times. As if paying tribute to the Bec des Rosses and its greatness and surprises, the riders incessantly showed new interpretations of the face, making for the supreme showcase of what is possible on a snowboard.
Jonathan Charlet (FRA) had the chance of taking over Sammy Luebke (USA) in the overall if he won today's event – provided that the super smooth American rider didn't finish second. Jonathan stepped up to the challenge and delivered a mind-blowing run, perfectly mixing playfulness into his trademark big mountain style of riding, ending it up flying down the apron in what could have been the forerun for wingsuit pilot, Geraldine Fasnacht (SUI).
An incredible score of 91.00 set Jonathan straight to the top.
"I'm super stoked! Everything was just great. I realized a run without any pressure – extraordinary! Long live the Argentois", the new World Champion said with a salute to his hometown.
Jonathan can thank the - as of today - former World Champion, Emilien Badoux (SUI) for taking care of the rest needed to secure the title. Emilien has been out with injury all season, but he showed that he is more than just back in the game. He rode an amazing line where he used the big middle feature below start number 2 as a transfer over to a no-fall zone with a huge triple that no-one else had spotted so far. Stomping 1-2-3 he was completely in sync with her Majesty the 'Bec' earning him 85.75. This put him in front of Sammy who had chosen a third approach. He laid out with the cliff right below start number 1 giving him VIP entrance into the more open patch, finally setting himself up for a very technical finish with two big drops in the fall line earning him a score of 82.75. Good for a 3rd place in this great celebration of 20 years of snowboard on the 'Bec' - yet just 30 ranking points away from the title.
Not on the podium but definitely deserving to be mentioned was the absolute veteran (19 out of 20 possible starts on the Bec des Rosses), Steve Klassen (USA). And what a classy rider! Staying right on top of his game for 19 years, taking features of all shapes and sizes all the way to the very bottom of the face like a certain pink rabbit with excellent batteries.

Women’s Snowboard

Wildcard and former Olympic Champion, Nicola Thost (GER) showed that she has ridden off any wildcard intimidation and re-found her freedom to flow. She set herself apart today, with a score of 71.00 - 16 points more than number two!
"My plan for today worked out really well. It was a perfect day, and I knew from the beginning that I would have a lot of fun. It was super fun to ride this mountain and I’m absolutely stoked I could take the win", the winner said afterwards. "The snow conditions were fine, and it’s just awesome to win Verbier. There’s really a positive vibe going on at this event, and this helps a lot to have fun and stay focussed at the same time".
The battle for the title in the women's snowboard category was between Shannan Yates (USA) and Estelle Balet (SUI).
While Shannan caught up with Estelle in Alaska, Estelle knew how to use her home advantage in Verbier. Opening the contest in the line that Nicola also chose, unfortunately some slough lead her to a minor stop in the flow, but the difficulty of her airs were enough to give her the 2nd place today with a score of 55.00.
Shannan tried to make the difference with a technical line on riders' left which allowed her to keep a good flow but without the same difficulty of features. Enough though to squeeze in on the podium just one quarter of a point ahead of Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA) with a score of 52.25.


The top 16 Ski Men, 8 Snowboard Men, 7 ski women and 4 snowboard women of the final FWT ranking are directly qualified for the FWT 2016.