Friday, February 25, 2011

Bansko to Host Men's Alpine Ski World Cup

The Men's Alpine Ski World Cup will be held in Bansko (Bulgaria). The largest ski resort in the Balkan area is organizing its first Men World Cup events this weekend, two years after having hosted the Ladies tour a week after the 2009 FIS World Championships at Val d’Isère.
Bansko is by far the most well-known ski resort in South Eastern Europe. Located just 160 kilometers away from Sofia, the contemporary town of Bansko is a unique mixture of old traditions and modern style, where new-built hotels and apartment houses are separated from more than 100 years old ethnographic houses by just a tiny, stone-paved street. The town centre is a listed World Heritage Site.
The ski pistes are located in two main ski centres: Chalin Valog (1100-1600 m) and Shiligarnika (1700-2500 m). They are approximately 10 km above the town on the northern slopes of Pirin Mountain, and are easily accessible for approximately 25 minutes ride on the new Gondola lift which starts from Bansko. The total length of the marked pistes is 70 kilometers. During the recent years a multi-million euros investment in a brand new skiing area has been made by Yulen, the management company of the resort. Bansko has the best snow record and the longest ski season (15 Dec - 15 May) of all Bulgarian ski resorts. During the last couple of years this resort is under a massive investment process with new hotels and resort facilities being under construction. A brand new resort area with super luxury hotels and holiday apartments is being developed just opposite the Gondola lift, which also makes Bansko the resort with the best hotels.
Nowadays, a dozen of modern ‘Dopplemayer’ lifts – including spacious gondolas and fast chairlifts – take the tourists up to the different slopes being regularly groomed by the local workers. A network of over two hundred snow guns takes care of the entire ski park.
Over 80 km of runs designed for beginners to experts have been built year after year on the mostly wooden slopes, the steepest being named the ‘Alberto Tomba’ run after the visit of the triple Olympic champion here in 2004.

Are to Host Ladies' FIS World Cup Events

This weeskend, Are (Sweden) will be hosting the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup .
The ski resort Åre is one of Northern Europes most attractive ski resorts, with a long tradition and heart for skiing. Åre ski resort, is located 650 km northwest of Stockholm, and actually comprises three villages, Duved/Tegefjäll to the west, Åre in the middle and Åre Björnen. You will be surprised to discover a small village with both historical landmarks as "Bergbanan" at the Åre square and the modern atmosphere with great restaurants and shops with high class fashion. The village with its surrounding mountain, Åreskutan, will create a stunning backdrop for the Arenas of the World Cup Finals 2009.
SkiStar owns and operates Åre. Company's operations in Åre include the ski area, seven ski rentals and a ski school. Approximately 35% of the land on which operations in the ski area are conducted is owned by SkiStar and the remaining 65% is leased for between 30 and 50 years.
SkiStar is one of the leading resort operators in the world and the largest company in the Scandinavian Ski Industry (Company’s market share of ski-pass sales in Scandinavia amounts to 43%). The Group owns and operates alpine destinations in Sälen, Åre and Vemdalen in Sweden, and Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway. The Company’s market share of ski-pass sales in Scandinavia amounts to 43%.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fresh Snow In The Alps And Incredible snowfall In California

It’s been a snowy week on both sides of the Atlantic – the Alps have had the snow they’ve been waiting for and there’s been snow for the Dolomites and Pyrenees too, while Western North American resorts have seen huge snowfalls.
The snow in Europe hit first on the French Italian border before moving across the French alps and then also bringing heavy snow in parts of Austria and Switzerland where the biggest recorded accumulation was 60cm.
The Pyrenees has also seen more heavy snowfall with several powder alarms for 20cm (8 inches) or more of fresh snow in the past four days, sometimes on multiple occasions at the same resort.
The Dolomites too have had some good snowfalls with several resorts reporting up to 60cm (two feet) of snow in recent days.
Lots of snow was reported in Germany in the last 48 hours bringing 20cm of snowfall to Reit im Winkl, Alpspitz, Oberstdorf and Balderschwang. "Everything is white at the Moment, even in the valley", confirmed the marketing manager of Oberstdorf tourism. "Slopes are in a good shape because of the snow we had last autumn, now this base is reinforced". More snowfall is expected in the next days with temperatures staying low.
Meanwhile falls in North America have been ever more remarkable with most ski areas by Lake Tahoe reporting at least 3 metres (10 feet) of snowfall over the 3-4 days at the end of last week. The biggest accumulations were an incredible 5.1m (17 feet) in 7 days and the snow continued to deluge inland resorts as it moved East over Colorado and Utah.
Conditions are still good in Scandinavia but Scotland’s snow cover - although currently in good shape – may be threatened by a warm front that will bring double digit temperatures above zero in the next 72 hours for the first time in nearly four months.
The end of the weekend was the beginning of quite heavy snowfalls in Austria. In Pitztal and Soelden 21cm of new snow were reported. More resorts are glad to have 20 cm new snow now, like Kleinwalsertal, Silvretta and Gargellen. It is still snowing in some resorts, conditions for skiing are good. "We have a perfect winter panorama with the snow coming last night", says Leopold Holzmann from the Oetztal tourism office in charge of Obergurgl and Solden. "Slopes are in a good shape and we hope to hold this quality till the end of the season in the beginning of May".
In France up to 75cm of new snow has fallen on ski slopes in the past week, greatly refreshing snow conditions which were already still in good shape on most pistes over 1600m
The biggest falls were in the Pyrenees where between 35 and 75cm of snow fell including 75 cm at Formigueres, 50cm at La Mongie, 43cm at Gourette and 35 cm at Font-Romeu.
There was between 25 and 45cm of snow in the Southern Alps including 45cm at freeride centre la Grave, 35cm at Auron and 25cm at Vars and Risoul while the Northern Alps saw between 15 and 35cm on the northern Alps with 30cm at Valfréjus and Chamonix, 23cm at Tignes and 21cm at La Clusaz and Les Carroz). There were also powder alarms for 20-25cm of fresh snow at freeride centre Bonneval as well as St Gervais and Valfrejus on Sunday.
For the next few days, more new snow is expected, mainly over the Pyrenees and the Massif Central. Snow depth is around two metres at fifteen or so leading resorts.
Italy returned to wintery conditions over the past week and the country still boasts some og the deepest snow depths in Europe. There were good snowfalls across the north of the country, the largest last Wednesday, 16h February including in the Alps, Sestriere – Vialattea had 40cm (snow depth 140cm) and in the Dolomites the Presena Glacier got 50cm (taking its snow depth to five metres, the second deepest I Europe). The on the 17th Madonna di Campiglio received 55cm of new snow (taking snow depth 175 cm) and in Arabba Marmolada with 70 cm (taking the snow depth to 330cm). Most recently Cortina received 35cm on Monday, 21st February taking its snow depth to 170cm.
In Switzerland 41 ski resorts reported 20cm and more new snow from Sunday to Monday. That is next to a record and brings lots of skiers to the lift stations again. Ski-fans can test the new powder and definitely enjoy the white slopes. On Monday Gstaad, Engelberg and Loetschtal measured 30 cm – 40cm of new snow on higher slopes. In the last week a dozen resorts had snowfall between 30cm and 60cm. After a couple of weeks with nearly no snow worth mentioning this is what skiers were looking for.
There’s been fresh snow across the Pyrenees, in Spain there were powder alarms for Astun, Candanchu and other resorts on Saturday when more than 20m of snow fell. You’ll find same conditions in Andorra.
The snowfall has slowed a little in Norway with only one powder alarm at Kvitfjell but conditions remain generally good. Here’s a list of all snow depths in Norway.
Snow cover remains good across Canada. The snow is continuing to fall in Banff-Lake Louise, Alberta, with almost half a metre of snow this past week. This follows the best January in five years for snowfall. Last month, 167cm of dry, light snow blanketed the area – well above the 30 year average. "Bright blue skies between the snow storms and mild temperatures have produced amazing conditions for skiers and riders at Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village. And there’s plenty of time left to enjoy it with three and a half months of skiing still to go in Canada’s Protected Playground, Banff National Park", said a statement from the area.
There have been incredible snowfalls in California (USA) with several resorts around Lake Tahoe in California reporting more than 3 metres (10 feet) of snow had fallen during the week to Sunday, most of it over the previous 3-4 days. The biggest accumulation was 5.1m at Homewood, while Alpine Meadows base passed 6m (20 feet) – the greatest depth at any resort in Europe or North America this winter. The snow continued Eastwards and several feet of powder fell in Utah and Colorado earlier this week.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Freeride World Tour continues in Snowy Kirkwood, California

The Top Freeride World Tour 2011 athletes are in the Lake Tahoe in preparation for the next event of the Tour. The North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada is scheduled to take place this Saturday, 26 February, at Kirkwood ski station located just south of California’s Lake Tahoe (USA). The Freeride World Tour is back for a third year in California’s Sierra Nevada, a real hub for big mountain skiing in the USA. The rowdy local crowd will be rooting hard for their hometown heroes whilst the tour's big European names will be seeking to further solidify their position in the tour rankings.
The Freeride World Tour is collaborating with the North American Freeskiing Championships, an exciting event featuring the top riders from North America as well as the athletes competing in the Freeride World Tour.
Weather permitting, qualifiers are set to being on Thursday, 24 February with finals scheduled for Saturday, 26 February. The Freeride World Tour athletes are automatically qualified into the finals.
The venue for the Kirkwood event is an area called The Cirque, which is a 260-meter face at the top of 2987-meter Thimble Peak. The face is heavily featured with the possibility for cliff drops of all sizes, multiple drops and fun rock hits.
Kirkwood has been getting so much snow recently that on 19 February 2011 Skiinfo.com proclaimed, "Kirkwood has received the most snowfall in the world in the past 7 days” after the resort received almost three meters in one week. This abundance of fresh snow on top of a 445cm base should provide the kind of soft landings that will allow the riders to launch big airs and throw down their best tricks".
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is located atop the Sierra Crest with a geographical advantage that accounts for the lightest and driest snow in the Lake Tahoe region. With an annual snowfall of over 600 inches, it is easy to see why Kirkwood has become synonymous with deep powder skiing and riding. With over 2,300 acres of legendary terrain and an intimate mountain village setting, Kirkwood Mountain Resort provides destination guests a perfect backdrop for an energizing getaway. Kirkwood was ranked No. 10 in the country by Ski Magazine (October 2009), the only South Tahoe resort ranked in the top 10, and readers of Silicon Valley's The Wave Magazine selected Kirkwood as Resort of Choice for Winter 2008.



Winter Games New Zealand To Recruit Volunteers

With over 600 volunteers to recruit, 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games has developed a new streamline volunteering system that will provide a valuable legacy for other New Zealand snow sports events by providing a resource of active and skilled volunteers that is easily adaptable to Snow Sports New Zealand's requirements.
The online system allows volunteers to manage their own registration. On signing up, they are issued with a user name and password that allows them to reaccess the system and update any details such as contact details, availability and preferred role. Once registered, through the new system volunteer manager, Anna Hiatt can allocated them a role, provide them with a detailed job description and, during the event itself, generate TXT updates that will ensure everyone knows where they need to be and when.
With volunteers playing an essential and hugely valuable role in all sports, Arthur Klap, Winter Games NZ CEO, said this new system would have signifcant knock-on benefits. "This is a hugely valuable tool that will allow us to build a database over the years, creating a pathway to more skilled volunteers, not only for the Games but also for Snow Sports New Zealand", he said. "It is also much more streamlined way of managing the system allowing for more efficient allocation and management of volunteers".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oslo FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011

In 3 days, from 23rd February-6th March, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 will take place in Oslo, Norway. After years of intensive preparations, Oslo is ready for the grand championships premiere of the new Holmenkollen Arena. All the events will be held at Holmenkollen’s National Arena, which consists of the Holmenkollen hill (K-120/HS 134), the Midtstuen hill (K 95/HS 106) and the cross-country stadium. The official medal ceremonies will take place in the centre of Oslo. The forthcoming FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will represent the 48th edition. Norway has previously organised the World Ski Championships four times: in 1930 (Oslo), 1966 (Oslo), 1982 (Oslo) and 1997 (Trondheim).
The organisers expect about 1,800 media representatives, at least 300,000 spectators and several hundred million TV viewers all over the world. 2200 volunteers will assist during the days of the championships.
The event will include 21 competitions within Cross-Country, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. The Oslo 2011 Championships promise to be a superb spectacle with plenty of vivid experiences in store for around 53 nations and a total of 653 athletes, of which 437 are entered for Cross-Country.
The Organizing Committee for Oslo 2011 and the competition venue - Holmenkollen Cross-Country area - are prepared for the World Championships. The courses with more than 50 cm of snow are getting their last fine-tuning and substantial snow reserves will guarantee the best conditions even if a warm weather spell should arrive.
The courses in Oslo are tough and especially the traditional 50 km race is thought to be one of hardest in the world due to the demanding uphills. "Considering the extensive preparation that today's stars have, I am sure that the favorites all look forward to a challenging competition", says Oslo 2011 Sport Director John Aalberg. He notes that the hills from the main arena and up to Frognerseteren are very hard, but also a joy to those who are strongest and at their best. "It will be very exciting to see who can lead this year, and I think that everyone in the cross-country skiing community will see the winner of the 50 km as the toughest skier of the season and of the World Championship".
Beside the athletes and the sport, special attention is being paid to the Nordic fans who will visit these unique World Championships. The Organizing Committee of Oslo 2011 together with Oslo Tourism will provide entertainment for visitors of all ages, through a variety of wintery and folk-themed events. A number of artists will raise fan spirit in the stands and on the road to Holmenkollen. Their goals are to spread excitement and winter joy through showing the cultural diversity of Oslo and Norway. To get smoothly to the venues, the Organizing Committee is offering free public transit in Oslo. Spectators from downtown reach Holmenkollen via the Metro line 1 towards Frognerseteren.

Timeline Episode 5. Fully committed: Sluff and Ice

Without a decent snowfall in weeks, Xavier kept himself busy this past month in the Alps. The crew found and filmed spots that should make it in Standard Films TB 20 and next VideoGrass movie. In these conditions sluff and ice make for some radical lines.

Xavier de le Rue's Timeline Project
: "Twice a month TimeLine will get you behind the scenes access to exclusive footage of my season. You’ll discover what it takes to film a big mountain video part, to compete on the Freeride World Tour and what is happening during trips to Canada, Japan, Norway or Alaska. It will show you team efforts of passionate friends to seek the best lines and best snow and use the best mountains as our playground, Guido Perrini as filmer, Tero Repo as photographer and myself along with my friends", Xavier de le Rue.

Fully committed: sluff and ice - TimeLine S01E05 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 14: Jean-Baptiste Grange Won The Men's Slalom

On the last day of the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Jean-Baptiste Grange won the Gold Medal at the Men's Slalom Event. Grange a specialist in the most thecnical discipline was Bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2007 and he won the overall ranking of the Slalom in the season 2008/09. Then he missed the Olympics and was out for most of last year’s World Cup season with a torn ligament in his right knee. He kicked off his comeback season with an immediate win at the World Cup in Levi, then followed up with a podium in the Wengen slalom and huge victories in Kitzbuehel and Schladming. "It’s just amazing for me", Grange said. "It was so tough the last two years with the world championships in France and then my injury. I just focused to push today and cross the line (...) I knew the snow conditions were not very good. I was just focused on skiing fast and pushing on, because if I thought about everything – the medals, the pressure – that’s not going to be good. So it is a wonderful gift. I give a lot to have that. It’s perfect".
Coming in for a surprise silver, Swedish slalom specialist Jens Byggmark made his first podium in more than three years, earning his first career medal, finishing 0.43 seconds behind Grange. Byggmark trailed Grange by more than a second going into run No. 2, but between runs announced "I’m running for a medal. That’s why we’re all here", and then capitalized on his coach’s second run course set.
Blazing downfast in both runs on the slushy slope, Italy’s Manfred Moelgg rounded out the podium with the bronze, finishing 0.61 seconds off Grange’s winning time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 13: Austrian Marlies Schild won the Ladies Slalom

Fifth Ladies' Event of the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the fourth Gold medal for Austria. Marlies Schild won the Ladies Slalom, the best female Slalom skier of the last years is now the World Champion. Although the 29-year-old has won eight medals – five World Championship and three Olympic – the victory in Garmisch is the first gold of her long career. "It’s an amazing feeling. I already can’t believe it", Schild said. "It was difficult. Everyone wanted me to stay on the top after this race and it was hard for me not to think about it because I wanted it, too. It was a really difficult race for me. My heart was beating at the start of the second run like it never did, but now I’m really happy".
The Austrian won in ahead of her team-mate Kathrin Zettel. "It was so hard a time, from summer to the winter, every time I had pain and problems. It’s not what I wanted it to be", said Zettel, who has missed several races this season – including a chance to defend her 2009 title in the World Champs Super-combined race a few days ago, to nurse a sore right hip. "I wanted to be faster and make more podiums, so I can’t believe that I made this podium here. I still have pain but I’m quite strong in my head. Mentally, it worked a lot today. I’m so happy about the medal".
Bronze went to Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner. The 24-year-old has become a Slalom specialist this season, although her only other medal was silver in Giant Slalom four years ago in Are. She narrowly missed a medal in the Olympic Slalom Race, finishing fourth last February and only podiumed on the World Cup once (Levi Slalom 2008) before she won her first World Cup race this season – the Slalom in Aspen. She won the Munich City Parallel Slalom Event on January. She is currently on the 4th place of the Slalom World Cup. "It’s absolutely the best season. I am really happy about the medal", Pietilae-Holmner said. "It wasn’t the easiest conditions. I just had one focus, to really keep up my tempo and go really hard. I think that paid off".
The 2011 World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is coming to the end tomorrow with the Men’s Slalom Event.



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event.

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 12: Ted Ligety Took Gold on the Giant Slalom

Ted Ligety won Gold on the Giant Slalom in the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. With his three wins this season in Beaver Creek, Val-d’Isere and Alta Badia, the American Ted Ligety was the big favourite and the one to beat in the Giant Slalom on Friday. After a 4th place in the first run Ligety won the gold medal thanks to a superb second run, finishing with a total time of 2 minutes, 10.56 seconds, just 0.08 hundredths of a second ahead of French silver medalist Cyprien Richard and 0.43 ahead of French bronze medalist Austrian Philipp Schoerghofer.
Due to fog that once again settled on the Kandahar slope on Friday, officials shortened the GS course but visibility was challenging and the snow spring-like and tricky. "Today was tough. It’s not easy being one of the favorites and to perform under those conditions", said Ligety, who leads the World Cup Giant Slalom standings and has twice won the Giant Slalom globe – last year and in 2008. Ligety adds this medal to his Olympic gold from the 2006 combined and also his bronze in the world champs Giant Slalom in 2006. "Winning the World Championships when you’re the favorite is a lot more difficult than being a surprise victor, so it’s pretty special to be able to handle that pressure and win, (...) I knew what my mindset was those first three races, and I just tried to get back to that and ski with certainty and attack and that’s what I did", Ligety added.
Cyprien Richard, who was a key component in France’s gold medal in the Team Event, was glowing with his silver medal – won on conditions that were also not his strength and putting down a very fast second run, in particular. "My goal, I said a lot of times, is to stay at a high level in all conditions, on all pistes", Richard said. "I knew the snow is very wet, it’s spring conditions here. It’s always tough for us to ski fast in these conditions because usually we are training on the ice and harder snow. I’m proud to have done this here".
Philipp Schoerghofer said that while it is unfortunate that the Austrian men’s technical team has lost some of its top contenders this season, with Hannes Reichelt, Marcel Hirscher and now Benjamin Raich all out with injury, he is still focused on what he can do. "It’s very bad for our team to have a lot of people who have injuries, but skiing is a one-man show, so I’m happy for Austria and I’m most happy for me", he said.
The 2011 World Championships continue tomorrow in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the Ladies' Slalom and wrap up with Men’s Slalom on Sunday.

From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event.

FIS' World Snow Day Presentation at Garmisch-Partenkirchen

FIS and the Organizing Committee of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Innsbruck 2012 hosted a joint media event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Tuesday 15th February to promote both the first edition of the winter YOG and the inaugural FIS World Snow Day, both of which will take place in just less than a year. The launch of the World Snow Day is scheduled for 22nd January 2012 which will be the concluding day of Innsbruck YOG 2012 and the day of the traditional Hahnenkamm Slalom Race in Kitzbühel.
Although Innsbruck will be the very first organizer to host the winter edition of YOG, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said he could not think of a better venue to host the event: "Innsbruck has a long tradition of hosting Olympic Winter Games and top winter sports events, and a great location in the middle of the Alps. I believe they have all it takes to host a successful event next year".
The World Snow Day represents the next step in the international FIS Campaign "Bring Children to the Snow" and more importantly, a great chance for pooling resources of the various snow industry stakeholders. By promoting and encouraging people to do activities in the snow and showing that snow can be a way to explore, enjoy and experience, FIS and the various stakeholders hope to gain more active participation in snow activities in the future, especially by families.
Fireside panel participants Josef Margraiter, head of Tirol Tourism, Sammy Salm, Director of Best of the Alps and Helmut Müller from Input-Doppelmayr, joined FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and Peter Bayer, CEO of Innsbruck 2012, to discuss the importance of working together to create special initiatives that help bring youngsters and their families to the snow and agreed on the importance of cooperation to stage more and different actions for the benefit of snow sports.
Helmut Müller revealed interesting facts from a recent large study completed in Germany which showed that there is still much potential in the big Central European markets to be exploited for the snow sports especially through creative activities in the urban centers. Both Josef Margraiter and Sammy Salm pledged to work within their communities to bring about concerted action on and around the World Snow Day to make the day a truly special snow experience.

FIS Freestyle World Cup continues in Japan and Belorussia

FIS Freestyle World Cup moves this weekend to Japan, for the moguls and dual moguls competition, and to Belorussia for the Aerials.
Inawashiro (猪苗代町, Inawashiro-Machi) is a town located in Yama District, Fukushima, Japan. Inawashiro rests on the shores of Lake Inawashiro, one of the largest lakes in Japan. During the Edo period, it was part of the Aizu domain, and was the home of Aizu's secondary castle town. It is also the birthplace of the famous doctor, Hideyo Noguchi who contributed to knowledge in the fight against syphilis and yellow fever. Listel Ski Fantasia Ski Resort is a well-known ski resort to both athletes and fans as it has started to hold the World Cup Moguls since 1988. The size of the ski slope is not so big but its daffy course, the stage for Moguls and Dual Moguls, is famous as the one of the most difficult courses for its fall line as steep as 37 degree. The World Cup Aerials and the World Championships were also held here. A lot of Freestyle skiers visit here through a year since it has facilities for the Water Jumps.
The picturesque village and Olympic Sports Complex of Raubichi is located about 20 km northeast of Minsk. It is the large Ski Resort in Belorussia. It's a very popular place during winter, with cross-country skiing and ski trampolines for practising aerial skiing; local and world championships are held here, too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 11: Tina Maze Won Gold

Tina Maze finally found the hundredths of a second she needed to go from silver medalist to world champion. The Slovenian veteran lived up to her No. 1 bib in the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen today, and after her run of silver medals in the world championships and the Winter Olympics over the last two years, landed her first gold. Tina Maze already won the Silver medal in the Super-Combined at the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She also finished the Ladies Giant Slalom at the Olympic Games in Vancouver last year and at the World Championships in Val-d’Isère in 2009 on the second place. "It’s greeeeaaat!", said Maze in the finish area. "I’m so happy. I was fighting for it a long time and the hundredths weren’t on my side but this time it worked out".
After leading the first run, delayed for two hours due to fog on the Kandahar course, Maze held on to just enough speed for the gold medal, finishing with a total time of 2 minutes, 20.54 seconds, just 0.09 hundredths of a second ahead of Italian silver medalist Federica Brignone and 0.48 ahead of French bronze medalist Tessa Worley.
The 2011 world championships continue on Friday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with Men’s Giant Slalom followed by Ladies Slalom on Saturday and wrap up with Men’s Slalom on Sunday.



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event.

Fresh Snow News - Fresh Snow In The Italian Alps (And Almost Everywhere Else)

At long last there has been snow in the Western Alps over the past 48 hours. Although so far only parts of Western Italy and southern France have seen significant falls of up to 30cm, most other areas are beginning to see at least a few centimetres of snow after many weeks with little or no new accumulations.
In Germany the world’s best Alpine Skiers are still fighting for the best ski-run at the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The most snowfall there in the past week was at Hohenbogen with 20 cm. Oberhof, Winterberg and Willingen each got 5cm of snow in seven days. It is very cold in the flat north of Germany and quite mild in the mountainous south. Germany’s highest mountain by Garmisch has the most snow with 190cm and Oberstdorf has 120cm.
On Monday a few small resorts in Austria got 10cm of fresh snow, including Weinebene and Koralpe, however most big resorts are still waiting for new powder. Ischgl has 110cm of snow on its upper slopes, St. Anton 175cm and Kitzbühel 80cm but the last snowfall is now more than two weeks ago. For the last week Klippitztörl reports the most snowfall with 20cm in seven days, Katschberg, Dachstein and Sölden follow with nearly 15cm each. You can find the best snow depth between 206-260cm in Mölltal, Hintertux, Pitztal and Sölden.
At long last there has been significant snowfall in France in the past 48 hours. For several days the weather forecast predicted a change in the weather and possible snow. All ski resorts hoped so but yesterday (Tuesday 15th February) only a few have so far benefited from the snowfall. In the Southern Alps there was 15 cm in Superdevoluy and Chaillol, 10 cm in Les Orres, Orcières 1850, Risoul, Puy St Vincent, Ancelle, Laye and Val d'Allos. These accumulations kept growing with Montgenèvre leading the pack with 20cm yesterday and a further 10cm so far today – so 30cm/a foot in 36 hours. Today La Clusaz is the first resort in the northern French Alps to report reasonable snowfall of 10cm in the past 24 hours. The French Pyrenees received 10 cm in Peyragudes, Cauterets, La Pierre St Martin and Luz Ardiden on Monday. Overall, the snow remains reasonable at medium altitude (Massif Central) and still very good over 1600m (Southern Alps and the Northern Alps).
It has been a good 24 hours in Italy. Ski areas in the West of the country were among the first in the Alps to receive significant snowfall yesterday, with Bardonecchia issuing the first powder alarm in mainland Europe for many weeks with a 20cm fall. However falls in the Dolomites today have surpassed this total, with Madonna di Campiglio reporting 25cm of snow today and Arabba a remarkable 60cm in 24 hours. Here are all snow depths in Italy.
Only three ski resorts in Switzerland reported snowfall in the last seven days, Andermatt had the most, but still only 5cm. Weather forecasters expect snow by Friday. The very high ski resorts have the best snow conditions, particularly those with glaciers, with Engelberg reporting 295cm, Laax 200cm and Andermatt also 200cm. In higher reaches slopes are still in a good condition except off piste.
There’s been fresh snow across the Pyrenees, in Spain at the end of the weekend the weather began to change at Formigal (picture attached) and in the early hours of Monday morning it started snowing, with an initial 10cm fall and more forecast. It’s a similar story at in Andorra and more snow is expected in the coming days.
Conditions remain excellent in Scandinavia with Norway’s resorts receiving consistent heavy snowfalls while he Alps stayed snow free. At the end of last week the little Norwegian ski area of Jolster reported the most snowfall in the wall for the previous seven days.
In Canada, Whistler has seen big snowfalls in the past week and is currently lying second in the world behind a small resort in neighbouring Alaska for having had the most snow in the past 7 days for any ski area in the world. There’s been fresh snow on the East coast too with Le Massif in Quebec reporting 23cm of new snow and issuing a powder alarm on Monday.
There’s been more snow on both East and west coasts of the USA and it continues to be a great season across the country. Alaska currently leads the ‘most snow in the world in the past week’ table with 1.2m (four feet) at Eaglecrest, but Colorado resorts are only a few inches behind. With this week’s 10 inches (25cm) of fresh show blanketing the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort, the mid-season snow totals are already hovering around the 8 meter mark (the traditional total season average) with two of the snowiest months still to come!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sochi to host FIS Alpine Ski Events

After the positive snow control last Saturday, both the Ladies' and Men's European Cup circuits will be visiting Rosa Khutor, near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, for two weekends of Alpine speed racing marking the first international test events for the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. The competition schedule features a Downhill and Super-G Race for each gender. The Men's races are scheduled on 17th-18th February whilst the Ladies will compete on 24th-26th February.
Over 160 athletes from countries including Russia, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland along with 100 officials are expected to test the slopes of Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort. With these test competitions the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will be able to check systems and staff efficiency in the alpine center as well as the technical readiness of the facility for international competitions in Alpine Skiing. The Russian Alpine Ski and Snowboard Federation is responsible for the preparation and hosting of the event. Svetlana Gladysheva, its President, underlined that "the primary purpose of the test competitions being held this February is to test the Olympic slopes. The Alpine Complex and the Alpine Skiing competitions are the most complicated to prepare and stage, and that's why we are paying special attention to the athletes' safety".
From 8th-13th February, one week prior to the European Cup event, a stage of the Russian Cup was held on the slopes of Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort. An International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation including Jean-Claude Killy, the IOC's Sochi 2014 Coordination Commission Chairman, and Christophe Dubi, IOC Sports Director, will observe the European Cup and meet with FIS officials afterwards to discuss the implementation of the test event program.
The Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort is located at the Aibga Ridge and will host all Alpine Skiing disciplines during the Olympics: Downhill, Combined (Downhill and Slalom), Giant Slalom, Super-G and Slalom.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected last July 4th Sochi as the host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 during its 119th Session in Guatemala City. The Russian resort triumphed over competing bids from Pyongchang in South Korea and Salzburg in Austria.
Set between the golden shores of the Black Sea and the soaring snow-capped Caucasus mountains, Sochi is a treasure among winter sport enthusiasts, who can discover here a paradise of alpine valleys and skiing trails. Beautiful weather and an abundance of powdery snow are enough reasons to travel to Sochi.
The Caucasus Mountains, which form a backdrop to Sochi, are one of the few large mountain areas in the world that have escaped significant human impact. Extensive tracts of undisturbed forests, from the lowlands to the sub-alpine zone, are unique in Europe. The mountain scenery of high peaks, wide valleys, mountain lakes and 60 remnant glaciers will be an unforgettable but undisturbed backdrop to the most celebrated winter sporting event in the world.

Timeline Episode 4: Fantastic Lines in Japan with Lucas Debari & Xavier de le Rue

Discover Japan like you had never seen it. Combine action packed sequences with backstage access, Japanese powder with big lines, waiting games with bullet speed riding, building/sleeping in a snowcave with riding at sunrise, and you have the recipe of this The North Face Expedition with Lucas Debari as a guest rider and the regular TimeLine crew Xavier de le Rue, Tero Repo and Guido Perrini. If you like this webisode as much as the team enjoyed the trip, tell your friends.

Xavier de le Rue's Timeline Project: "Twice a month TimeLine will get you behind the scenes access to exclusive footage of my season. You’ll discover what it takes to film a big mountain video part, to compete on the Freeride World Tour and what is happening during trips to Canada, Japan, Norway or Alaska. It will show you team efforts of passionate friends to seek the best lines and best snow and use the best mountains as our playground, Guido Perrini as filmer, Tero Repo as photographer and myself along with my friends", Xavier de le Rue.

Fantastic Lines in Japan with Lucas Debari & Xavier de le Rue - TimeLine S01E04 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 10: France Took Gold on the Teams Event

The French team took gold in the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Nations Team event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The head-to-head matchups between 11 nations were intense from the first heat to the last – several coming down to the last hundredth of a second and in the end – France barely squeaked by Austria for the gold. "It was very, very close, a lot of suspense … it was great", said France’s Tessa Worley, who had a fierce final run against world Super-combined champion Anna Fenninger and lost by 0.10 seconds, but her teammates – Cyprien Richard and Anemone Marmottan,– came through with wins in their runs and enough of a margin for the collective victory. Both Austria and France won two of the final four runs, but the gold medal was decided by the 0.05 hundredths by which France’s collective times were faster.
The Silver medal went to the Austrian team. Baumann, in particular, had thought his Austrian team, which swept Italy in the semi-finals, would get the gold. It came down to the final run between he and Fanara and the Austrian won by 0.39 seconds. "I think everyone on our team was really, really aggressive and wanted this medal so much", Baumann said. "We did a good job. We knew this [final heat against France] is going to be close. They had nearly the same times in the races before. All in all it’s just a few hundredths of a second. First when I came to the finish and saw the green light around Austria, I thought, ‘Yeah! we did it! But 10 seconds later the light switched and we were second. But second place is OK, too".
The Swedish team ended up with the bronze, and was dominating through several heats, so much so in the quarterfinals that Hans Olsson spun around backwards when he crossed the finish line during his heat against Switzerland. In the small final, the Swedes won every race against Italy. "It’s so fun to ski togethter with the team, both girls and boys – it’s a little more pressure when you know you’re skiing for the team, but I think it’s fun and it’s part of this game", said Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who won every race she did all day, her closest being against Worley, in which she pulled ahead by 0.03 seconds. "For me, this is like a normal race. I’m doing the same thing. It’s a little different distance, but it’s a fun and important race for me, too. Maybe the atmosphere is a little less serious, but when it’s four ski racers on the start and you’re competing against each other, we are really into the race".



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 9: The Day Before the Nations' Battle

Tomorrow the best nations of the Ski World will compete on the Nations Team Event at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In 2005 the Event was introduced into the program of the Alpine Ski World Championships, but only two out of three events were held. Due to bad weather conditions the event was cancelled in Val d'Isere 2009. The FIS changed the rules to make it ordinary and established the new Team Event at the season World Cup finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last year.
"We look forward to the 3rd edition of the Nations Team Event. I hope everyone will see for themselves that the Nations’ Team Event is one of the most important events for the future. We have seen in disciplines like Cross-Country Skiing and Ski Jumping that the team events are the most-loved events for the fans", commented FIS President Gian Franco Kasper and added: "After a successful event here at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we hope that the NTE will not just be part of the FIS World Championships and World Cup but also on the program of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014".
The Nations' Team Event at the the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will be carried out in the Parallel format. The Teams, consisting of six athletes maximum, compete in a playoff table. They compete against in knock out rounds. The winner is qualified for the next round and the loser is out of the competition until there are only two teams for the final.
The big favorite is Austria, they have been the best nation in the Ski World Cup for over 20 years. Austria had won all the overall nations rankings in FIS World Cup since the season 1989/1990. They are the favourites since FIS invented the Nations Team Event. The Alpine country dominated the World Cup. Austria's Team in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is represented by World Champions Benjamin Raich, Michaela Kirchgasser and Anna Fenninger. Slalom World Cup leader Marlies Schild, Romed Baumann and Philipp Schörghofer complete the Team.
In 2005 in Bormio Germany was the winner. Austria won in Aare in 2007. Who will be the winner tomorrow?

Program

Qualification 11:00 (Austria, USA, Italy, France and Switzerland are pre-qualified for the quarter final).

Croatia - Canada
Germany - Slovakia
Sweden - Czech Republic

Quarter Final 11:25

Q1: Austria - Croatia/Canada
Q2: USA - Italy
Q3: France - Germany/Slovakia
Q4: Switzerland - Sweden/Czech Republic

Semi Final 1 11:55

S1: Winner Q1 - Winner Q2
S2: Winner Q3 - Winner Q4

Small Final 12:15

Runner up S1 - Runner up S2

Big Final 12:25

Winner S1 - Winner S2

Timeline Episode 3: Camping in Canada mid December

Early season is often hard to find good freeride terrain, especially when planned in the summer, so the team heads to British Columbia, Canada, on a camping mission to find untracked powder fields and get the legs in the shape split boarding.

Xavier de le Rue's Timeline Project: "Twice a month TimeLine will get you behind the scenes access to exclusive footage of my season. You’ll discover what it takes to film a big mountain video part, to compete on the Freeride World Tour and what is happening during trips to Canada, Japan, Norway or Alaska. It will show you team efforts of passionate friends to seek the best lines and best snow and use the best mountains as our playground, Guido Perrini as filmer, Tero Repo as photographer and myself along with my friends", Xavier de le Rue.

Camping in Canada mid December - TimeLine S01E03 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

Leitner Acquires Snowmaking Company Lenko

Leitner Technologies has purchased 100% of the Swedish company Lenko including its Austrian, Italian, US and Canadian subsidiaries, which operates globally in the field of snowmaking facilities along with developing an active participation with the Südtirol snowmaking company Demac.
The Leitner group unifies ropeways, snow groomers, utility vehicles, urban transport systems and wind energy under one roof and has already been operating in the field of snowmaking facilities since the 1980s and 1990s. High level synergies and International locations characterize this company. The global orientation of Leitner Technologies and, thus, the opportunity to use International sites will represent a special future advantage for Demac and the Swedish company Lenko.
This new partnership provides the opportunity to have one supplier for the whole winter technology and to be able to meet customer and service requirements in a more efficient way.
The company Demac, which is based in Selva, was established by Roland Demetz over 20 years ago and offers a wide range of products and services pertaining to the field of technical snowmaking. The product range of Demac comprises lances as well as "fan type" snowguns, and Demac’s professional competence in the construction of snowmaking facilities was demonstrated at the latest with its designation as official supplier of the whole snowmaking equipment for the alpine world ski championships held in St. Moritz in 2003.
The traditional company Lenko was established in 1955 in Östersund (Sweden). In the late 1970s development of the snowmakers was started. The first model was brought on the market in 1983. Almost 10,000 snowmakers have been manufactured and delivered worldwide since then. Lenko is based in Östersund and has a network of branches in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Lenko has established itself on the global market thanks to its snowmakers and the complete solution for snowmaking facilities and is a leading manufacturer of snowguns. Lenko is for instance also the supplier of the world ski championships in Garmisch.
Established in 1888 as a machine shop, the company from Sterzing in Südtirol is now one of the world's leading manufacturers of ropeways under the trade name Leitner Ropeways. Over the last few decades the group has also expanded successfully into the market for snow groomers.
Thanks to its advanced technologies combined with forward-looking design, Prinoth plays a leading role on the world market and offers the world’s most complete range of snow groomers. In February 2009, Prinoth enlarged its field of activities by acquiring the Camoplast Track Machine Group of the Canadian Camoplast Inc. The tracked utility vehicles are developed and produced for the following applications: Transport, Tool Carrier, Public Works and Vegetation Management.
Under the Leitwind brand name the Leitner Group also produces wind turbines.
The fourth business division is called MiniMetro and takes the concept of automatic people mover systems from the mountains to the metropolises.
The company group Leitner achieved an annual turnover of approximately 700 million euro in 2010 and employs globally over 2,700 staff members.

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 9: Rest Day

Waiting for Wednesday Teams event, it's time to take a look about some facts of the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. GAP 2011 set some records and also denote some special historical milestones. Exactly eighty years ago in February 1931, the first ever World Championships in Alpine Skiing were organized by Sir Arnold Lunn in Muerren, Switzerland. Back then, the Ladies and Men only competed in Downhill and Slalom. The GAP 2011 Championships also celebrate the 75 year anniversary of the first Olympic Winter Games that included Alpine Skiing competitions held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936.
And now again will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. 33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.
The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship. "We are all exited before the start of the most important winter sports event in Central Europe this season. The Host broadcaster, GAP TV2011 which is acting on behalf of ARD and ZDF, is ready to deliver a first-class TV signal to broadcasters around the world. We are convinced that the Garmisch-Partenkirchen championships will be a great and memorable spectacle for the sport of Alpine Skiing", commented Ingolfur Hannesson, Head of Winter Sports for European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the television and marketing rights holder for the event.
The production of the international television signal at GAP 2011 is the responsibility of the German broadcasters ARD and ZDF that hold the role of Host Broadcaster (HBC). The goal of GAP TV2011, a joint management group under the leadership of ZDF, is to ensure the best possible coverage in the most advanced broadcasting technology with an impressive total number of 63 cameras at the three main venues (Kandahar Arena, Gudiberg Arena and the Medal Plaza). The entire production of the international signal is a HD production in 16:9 aspect ratio.
EBU's marketing partner Tridem Sports announced that the Championships are sold from the perspective of sponsoring. The international group of sponsors is led by presenting sponsor Audi, marking its fourth appearance in a row in this role, along with the official timing sponsor Hublot and the main sponsors Vattenfall, Halti, Milka and Deichmann.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Stoneham waits for the Snowboard World Cup

After the first ever World Cup in China, the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will continue in Canada. From February 17th till 20th, a total of four events are scheduled in Quebec and Stoneham. Besides a Snowboard Cross, a Halfpipe contest and a Parallel Giant Slalom, the first World Cup title winner will be crowned after the season’s last Big Air.
"The World Cup race in Stoneham is always one that I look forward to competing in. The course is challenging and there is energy around the hill. This year will be even more fun and historic as I am thinking this may be the last season racing", said current leader of the World Cup local snowboarder Dominique Maltais. "I am really excited to have the opportunity to race at home. I am having a great World Cup season so far, and will be looking to give my all in front of my fans at Stoneham".
Stoneham, Quebec, has a long history as a World Cup host with the first competitions being held in the resort in December 2002. But it is a special mixture which makes this stop at the mountain located within a 30 min drive from Quebec City so tradition-rich. Since the 2007-2008 season, Stoneham organises the Snowjamboree Festival which brings everything together what snowboarding is all about. Lifestyle, fashion, music, youth and sport - all in a whole package make the tour's stop in Quebec a memorable one where all the riders love to come back to.
A total of 39 trails of which the half also form the largest network for night skiing and snowboarding in Canada are covering 326 acres on four mountains. However, for the World Cup competitions, only one is needed which provides all, the snowboard cross course, the parallel giant slope course and right in between, a 22-foot superpipe which is equipped with flood light making night finals possible. In addition, an average annual snowfall of 420 centimetres and a high performance snow making system make this winter resort snow secure.
Since two seasons, also a Big Air contest is staged in urban scenery. Between the ramp and the exit of highway 440, which is closed for traffic during the competition day, a massive ramp is built forming the perfect set-up for breathing taking snowboard action in front of some 20,000 spectators right in the heart of Quebec City.

Timeline Episode 2: Greenland Trip

As the boys prepare for the first trip and camping mission of the winter in Canada, they look back on the first trip they all took together in Greenland.
From the amazing snow and people as well as breath taking landscapes, Greenland remains one of the ultimate riding destinations. They discovered this incredible destination as part of the crew for the 'Lives of the Artists' documentary for Relentless energy.

Xavier de le Rue's Timeline Project: "Twice a month TimeLine will get you behind the scenes access to exclusive footage of my season. You’ll discover what it takes to film a big mountain video part, to compete on the Freeride World Tour and what is happening during trips to Canada, Japan, Norway or Alaska. It will show you team efforts of passionate friends to seek the best lines and best snow and use the best mountains as our playground, Guido Perrini as filmer, Tero Repo as photographer and myself along with my friends", Xavier de le Rue.

Greenland Trip - Timeline S01E02 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 8: Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal won the gold medal

Aksel Lund Svindal lead after the Downhill on Kandahar and was still first after his Slalom run down the Gudiberg course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Norwegian defended his title of 2009 won in Val d'Isere and is the old and new World Champion of the Super Combined. "I crashed two days ago in the downhill and I wasn’t sure if I could ski after that. The knees were bothering me, but a lot of treatment up until the race and then I nailed it, so I’m definitely psyched", Svindal said. "I wanted to show again that I could ski fast in downhill and I did. Then I managed to put together a slalom run, too, so I’m pretty excited".
Italians Christof Innerhofer and Peter Fill won silver and bronze. Innerhofer completed a full medal set, consisting of gold, silver and bronze at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
"After the gold medal I was so relaxed and I said, yeah, I have two chances more. I think that I must go really well in downhill when I want to make the medal, but in the downhill I was so tired after the middle, the last 100 meters I couldn’t stay in position. I said, ‘Hey Christof, how do you do the slalom when you’re so tired in the downhill?’ It’s crazy", Innerhofer said, adding that before Monday, he had "a bad feeling" all season on his slalom skis. "I had not [done] slalom for two weeks. So I said ‘yeah, you come here, you don’t know how you ski,’ this is better than skiing with a bad feeling. And for Peter, yeah, I’m so happy for him. We’re in the room together and he’s great people. It is just unbelievable".
Innerhofer and Fill stood on their podium steps coordinating arm motions to incite a wave in the crowd. Fill said winning the bronze medal – the second of his career after his silver in the 2009 super G – was especially dear after having a less-than-ideal season with no podiums on the World Cup and with his father very ill in the hospital. "My father is now in the hospital two months, it was a hard time for me, now I hope it’s going better for him. It was not an easy season. Now I think it’s in the right place –the podium", said Fill, adding that he would leave Tuesday to visit his father and share his good news in person. "I hope it’s going better now and I hope to share this happiness with him".


From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Timeline Episode 1: Checking Lines

Discover that big double cliff seen in The Storming with an helmet cam angle. Xavier de le Rue, along with Tero Repo and Guido Perrini look back at some of last seasons best lines, as well as looking at new possibilities and angles for this season. In this first episode you get to discover the service gondola they used to shoot many of the couloirs which ended up in Standard Films movie.

Xavier de le Rue's Timeline Project: "Twice a month TimeLine will get you behind the scenes access to exclusive footage of my season. You’ll discover what it takes to film a big mountain video part, to compete on the Freeride World Tour and what is happening during trips to Canada, Japan, Norway or Alaska. It will show you team efforts of passionate friends to seek the best lines and best snow and use the best mountains as our playground, Guido Perrini as filmer, Tero Repo as photographer and myself along with my friends", Xavier de le Rue.

Checking Lines - TimeLine S01E01 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 7: Golden Goergl Took Gold at the Downhill

Today Elisabeth Goergl won her second gold medal in the Women’s Downhill. Following last Tuesday’s Super- G victory, which was the first gold medal of her long, successful ski racing career, and with the official 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships song featuring her singing ("You’re the hero; Between Heaven and Hell") again blaring on the loud speakers, the 29-year-old Austrian was the 16th racer down the softened Kandahar course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She built speed from top to bottom and when she crossed the finish line nearly a second ahead of then-leader Lara Gut, she stared for several seconds at the scoreboard, with her hands out in disbelief. "I couldn’t believe it because I had a very attacking line and in some parts I was really low and almost didn’t make it to the next gate. But I kept the speed, which was good … and obviously this was the fastest line. I just didn’t have a mistake today. It’s amazing", Goergl said.
Lindsey Vonn managed to fight through her ailments – a concussion sustained in a training crash about 10 days ago – and pulled through for the silver medal, finishing 0.44 seconds behind Goergl. "I’m extremely happy with the silver medal today", Vonn said. "It’s been a hard road, I’ve been trying to fight through this injury. It’s hasn’t been easy, but I think I skied more like myself today. It still isn’t perfect, but it was good enough for a silver. I’ve been doing everything I can to get ready for today. I was able to focus pretty clearly for most of the way. I know my skiing is there. I really have to say that Lizzie Goergl skied incredibly well today, also in the super-combined downhill and super G. she has just had an amazing world championships and I’m really happy for her. Second place feels like gold to me".
Maria Riesch, also not at her best after coming down with a flu that kept her from doing the Downhill training runs last week and in bed for two days, also battled against the circumstances and brought the volume from her local crowd in Garmisch to a roar when she landed her second bronze medal of the week, finishing 0.60 seconds off of the winning time. "Of course a flu is not going away from one day to the other", said Riesch, coughing, but still smiling big. "But when you start at a world championships and win a medal, you shouldn’t talk to much about how bad you’re feeling. All the pressure is gone after the development of the last days. I didn’t really calculate this medal in the Downhill. I [will] try to get healthy quickly and focus and concentrate on the tech events".



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 6: Canada's Erik Guay becomes Downhill Champion

Canada's Erik Guay becomes Downhill Champion at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Canadian who landed his first ever victory on the World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2007 and secured the Super-G globe here last year, winning at World Cup finals, blazed down the long, bumpy Kandahar course to victory again on Saturday, earning the first medal of his career. "Winning the crystal globe – and winning it here in Garmisch, then to be downhill world champion … it doesn’t really get any better", Guay said, adding that he sometimes gets a sixth sense premonition before his most successful races, but on Saturday it was pure formula that made it happen. "I had a great start number – number 10 – and I just skied the run of my life. Usually in the morning or before my start I can tell I’m going to have a great day. Today I didn’t really feel that but I had a game plan: Stay calm and execute where I needed to and I think I did that. So I’m just taking it all in".
Spring-like weather continued in Garmisch as Guay charged down the Kandahar in 1 minute, 58.41 seconds, gaining speed the whole way down and Didier Cuche, who had been calculating his energy in training all week to unleash in the race on Saturday, landed the silver – the fourth world champs medal of his long career – 0.32 seconds back. "It wasn’t easy to start in those conditions, starting from the back, it was really soft. I knew that even before the start that it could be I go home without any medal in the speed events", he said. "That’s why I’m really happy being second here. I think I [won] the second place, I didn’t lose the victory".
Christof Innerhofer, whose Super-G gold on Wednesday seems to have gifted him the extra hundredths of speed it takes for consistent podium finishes, landed his second medal in four days with the bronze, 0.76 seconds out. "It’s unbelievable days – three days and two medals – Wow. I cannot dream [of] this", the Italian said. "After the Super-G, I said, ‘Christof, you cannot any more win. Because the other guys – the favorites – they must do well. They want medals.’ For me, all what is coming more … it’s great and I cannot believe it. Garmisch is a dream for me".



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

Yabuli to host first World Cup in China

Just a few days after Yongpyong the season’s third newcomer to celebrate its premiere as LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Tour venue, it’s up to Yabuli to leave a mark on the international competition series in just a few days. China’s biggest ski area is, although being a brand new World Cup host, no stranger in respect of organising events. This winter’s second Halfpipe contest held on February 13th, 2011, will mark the first ever Chinese World Cup stop.
The events will be held at Sun Mountain Yabuli, China’s premier and most well known destination ski resort. The resort, built on Yabuli Sun Mountain, part of the Changbai Mountain Range, which is located about 175 kilometres southeast of Harbin in the northern province of Heilongjiang, not only hosted the 1996 Asia Winter Games but also the 2008 National Winter Games and some of the 2009 Winter Universiade competitions. The resort is operated by Mountain China Resorts Ltd (MCR). The company initial focus is the rapid transformation of five existing ski areas in northern China into unique, year-round, world-class resorts offering the very best in snow sports throughout the winter. MCR offers a range of accommodations, including five-star full-service hotels, condominium-hotels and luxury resort homes.
Sun Mountain Yabuli is Club Med's first resort in China.

Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 5: Anna Fenninger Took Gold on the Super Combined

Surprisingly the 21 year old Austrian from Salzburg Anna Fenninger triumphed in the Super Combined at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. After reaching 4th place in the Downhill race she ensured her gold medal with a brilliant Slalom race. The three-time world junior champion has reached a new level this season on the World Cup, landing her first ever podium in Downhill in Zauchensee and following up with the second of her Cup career in Super-G in Cortina. She had never won a race on the big stage, however, until Friday, making it bigger than she’d ever imagined. She won with a combined time of 2 minutes, 43.23 seconds. "No, I did not think that my first win [as] an adult could be this", said Fenninger, who collapsed in glee when she crossed the finish line of the slalom with the lead time. "It was unbelievable today. I was just cool in the morning in the downhill, and also tired because the downhill trainings were very strong for us. I was in the [slalom] start and I thought, ‘OK. Just do what you do in training. Be cool and go easy.’ And yeah, I did that. It was a perfect day for me … the best day of my life".
Tina Maze, who has leapt several obstacles this season, changing her service man and going home to Slovenia to get an injection to relieve the pain in her hamstring muscle after last weekend’s World Cup slalom in Zwiesel, persevered through the long Kandahar Downhill and then the slushy Slalom at Gudiberg to land another silver medal – her first ever podium in super-combined – finishing just 0.09 seconds away from the gold. "I had a few tough moments this season", Maze said. "I had some problems with my health, I went home from Zwiesel to get some medical support. We resolved some things. I don’t ski with pain now. I had to change my [service man] in the middle of the season. It’s not easy to do that, especially if you do four disciplines and have no time for training, but we did it good and now I’m really happy about it. The new guy has a heart for it. It’s nice to be at the start and be nervous and to see him nervous. It is good energy. [This medal] is really important because it is my first podium in super-combined".
Anja Paerson, who has spent the whole season priming herself for these world championships, earned the 11th world championship medal of her decorated career, skiing to bronze, 0.27 seconds off the winning time.



From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Freeride World Tour Moves Across the Atlantic

Difficult Conditions Challenge Riders at The North Face Masters of Crystal Mountain by Swatch and Primaloft, USA. Rookie US snowboarder Tim Carlson overcame challenging snow conditions and a strong field of Freeride World Tour competitors as well as top local US riders to bring home the winning line at Crystal Mountain. The result of the day was interesting: American challengers beat some of the world’s best riders in these difficult conditions.
Three-time Freeride World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA), ended up in sixth place after a fall at the end of the run. "Conditions were some of the most difficult I’ve seen. Imagine it’s been raining for a week and then you get 20 cm of powder and between inspection day and contest day the wind was blowing. So today it was ice at the top of the run and a bit of accumulation at the bottom. I had a good run but I over-rotated a 360 (full rotation) at the bottom and ended up crashing".
Tim Carlson (USA), in his first The North Face Masters competition, took first place by executing the most creative line of the day with good style, technical riding, and a straight line out of a difficult rock section at the bottom. Canadian Jonathan Penfield was second and last year’s Crystal Mountain winner, Forrest Burki (USA), took a 19-second straight-line for third.
The North Face Masters at Crystal Mountain 2011 by Swatch and Primaloft was the first collaboration between the Freeride World Tour and The North Face Masters with a view to exploring a wider collaboration from 2012.
The results from today’s event will once again culminate in changes in the men’s overall Freeride World Tour snowboard rankings. Flo Orley (AUT) was fifth at today’s event scoring the highest place among the Freeride World Tour riders. Second-place on the overall ranking Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) was sixth, and overall points leader Matt Annetts (USA) landed in 14th place today, pushing de Le Rue to the top spot of the overall ranking.
The next stage of the Freeride World Tour is for men and women skiers at Kirkwood, USA: The North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada, the 25th of February.