Thursday, March 31, 2011

Timeline Episode 7. Up’s and Down’s and Happy Endings

Gnarly crash and bad luck turned these past weeks into a rough period for Xavier. Competitions and filming sessions didn’t go as expected. Nevertheless, Xavier sent it during the Xtreme Verbier, and finished with a nice line and a victory run at the mother of all freeride contests. Next mission will be in Jackson Hole with Jeremy Jones to film for "Further" before heading to Alaska if snow gods wake up and deliver the precious goods.

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.

Up’s and Down’s and Happy Endings with Xavier de le Rue - TimeLine S01E07 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

12th Verbier High Five By Carlsberg

Once again, Verbier will be "The place to be"; "The place to party". Some of the best skiers of the pro-circuit will be present in Verbier, on the 2nd April 2011, for what will be the 12th Verbier High Five By Carlsberg. Alberto Tomba, Erik Guay, Justin Murisier, Fränzi Aufdenblatten, Federica Brignone, Edgar Grospiron and Didier Cuche confirm their presence at Verbier on 2 April. They will join some of "Carlsberg’s Friends" of which three have already confirmed their attendance: the famous French skier, Luc Alphand (his 10th participation) will take part in ther acing, whilst another legendary Swiss downhiller Didier Défago (his 7th participation) and Britain’s lovely Chemmy Alcott (her 5th participation), both of whom have injuries this season, will join the Verbier High Five as ambassadors by taking part in the entertainment and partying. Another first for the 2011 Verbier High Five by Carlsberg, is the presence of Alberto Tomba. This living legend from Bologna, Italy, whose medal count includes three Olympic golds and two World Championship golds, will be one of Carlsberg’s Friends. He will contribute his characteristic humour to the day’s activities. Alberto will be joined by Edgar Grospiron, the "Albertville Gold" moguls skier from France and who skied at the very first High Five, back in 2000. The programme of the Verbier High Five commences in Verbier’s Place Centrale at 18:00hrs on Friday 1st April, with an Opening Party and the presentation of the Pros. At 10:00hrs on Saturday 2nd, five races are planned (Giant Slalom, "Speedtrap" Downhill, Skier-cross, the Carlsberg Triathlon and the concluding Parallel Slalom). Throughout, the public will have the chance to be near the stars whilst the best of the amateur racers will make up pro-am teams for the Parallel Slalom. Following the racing and prize-giving, comes the "After–ski" party to be held at Pub Montfort, where the Pros enjoy to party with their fans. And, to conclude the Verbier High Five by Carlsberg, the Pros will join Verbier’s annual Charity Dinner, for the benefit of "Right To Play".

Rising Temps But More Snow in the Alps, Huge Falls Continue in California

It’s the usual Springtime mix off rising temperatures combined with occasional heavy snowfalls across the Northern Hemisphere at present. In Europe it is becoming increasingly warm, leading to a widespread thaw at lower elevations, but cold spells have still brought snow showers, some of them heavy, throughout the week, as we enter April. In North America most resorts will be closing in the next two weeks but it’s still snowing, with up to yet another amazing three metres of new snow in the past week in California, far more than anywhere else. In Germany only Zugspitze (19cm) and Dammkar (10cm) reported snowfalls in the last week. About 20 ski resorts are still open in Germany. Resort like Zugspitze and Oberstorf have enough snow and good slopes but Temperatures are getting higher and snow bases lower. Hopefully snow stays until the Easter weekend. It’s a similar story in Scotland where temperatures have been well above freezing at most areas leading to an on-going thaw. Cairngorm is still managing top-to-bottom skiing thanks to some skilful groomer work, but the Lecht has very limited skiing remaining. In the last seven days, a few resorts in Austria got snowfall up to 12cm, including the glaciers at Mölltal (10cm), Pitztal (8cm) and Sölden (9cm). About 70-80 percent of the ski resorts are still open including Ischgl, St Anton, Schladming Dachstein, Kitzbühel and Serfauss Fiss Ladis – most of which plan to remain open to May 1st. Many smaller and lower resorts will be closing in the next two weeks however and it is expected to get warmer and warmer in Austria over the next few days. The snow is still falling in France, particularly on Risoul, which increased its snow depth the most in the past week with a 30cm accumulation. Many other resorts reported 10-15cm of new snow, including La Plagne, Valmorel and Alpe d’Huez. Isola 2000 has the country’s deepest snowbase at 241cm (eight feet), Cauterets in the Pyrenees is second with 2.3m, and Chamonix in the north which still has six weeks of the season left, is third with a two metre base. It has reported another 20cm of new snow this morning (Wednesday 30 March). Little new snow in Italy this week although Courmayeur and Cervinia in the west of the country each reported 20cm of new snow earlier this week and Cortina announced due to its great snow base it will be open until May 1st – having opened in the first half of November it will clock up nearly six months of operation this winter. Italian resorts also have the deepest snow bases in Europe, good news in the case of the Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale which reports a six metre base as it’s usually open until June. In Switzerland eight resorts reported snowfalls in the last seven days. Lötschental got the most with 11 cm, Zermatt and Verbier follow with 3-5 cm each. The end of the season is coming closer but most ski resorts are still open including popular destinations like Laax, Davos, Saas Fee and Gstaad. Temperatures are expected to hit 22 degrees in the valleys in the next few days but new snow is expected above 1600m in the south of the country on Thursday. The best snow depth continues to be at Engelberg with 350cm. It’s getting warmer in the Pyrenees like the Alps and there’s been little fresh snowfall for a couple of weeks, but accumulated bases are still good at most resorts in Spain. Grandvalira in Andorra has up to 1.6m snow depth. There have been regular snow falls in Scandinavia, today Meråker reported 20cm of new snow. The summerski area of Folgefonn in Norway, not yet open for 2011, has reported the deepest snow base of 4.5m, which bodes well for the months to come. Conditions remain good at most ski resorts in Canada. In Banff, Alberta, Sunshine Village’s Wild West free ride zone opened this week and, while not everyone will want to venture into this challenging riding terrain, the fact that it is open shows that conditions are excellent throughout the mountain. In fact, the settled snow pack sits at 210 cm (seven feet) of Rocky Mountain white gold. In addition to Sunshine’s famous Delirium Dive, this opening adds to the list of expert terrain open for all skiers and riders including the Back Bowls at The Lake Louise Ski Area and the North American at Mt. Norquay. The Wild West features three major rock-walled couloirs, steep crevices, and a series of cliffs – some reaching more than 30 metres. Entry is only permitted for those with a shovel, transceiver and buddy. Western North America continues to have the world’s best snow conditions. After breaking the highest season snowfall total on record with an accumulation of 691 inches (17.3m) so far this season, Squaw Valley USA has extended their ski season to May 30, 2011. Squaw Valley is widely known as North America’s spring skiing capital, however, conditions this year will be better than ever as a result of this season’s phenomenal snowfall. The storms of the last two weeks brought more than 150 inches (3.75m) of fresh powder to the resort. With records dating back to 1970, Squaw Valley has surpassed the highest season snowfall total on record of 662 inches (16.55) set in the 1994-1995 winter season. Nearing the 700 inch milestone, the resort has already exceeded the average total of 450 inches. More snow is sure to come with two more months until the season end.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29th Allalin-Race in Saas-Fee

This year, the legendary Allalin Race will take place in Saas-Fee on 1 and 2 April. Once again, around a thousand participants will speed down the mountain from an altitude of 3,600 m to the finish line at 1,800 m− a thrilling 9 km descent that will test participants to the limit. The event is one of the four races in Switzerland’s top amateur downhill series, the "Super Vier". Alongside the Allalin Race in Saas-Fee there are the Belalp Hexe, the Inferno Mürren and the Parsenn Derby. Every year, the organisers of the "Super Vier" calculate the overall standings of the around 140 racers who take part in all four races to crown the two winners, male and female, of the "Super Vier" as a whole. The award ceremony and presentation of the much-coveted cup always takes place at the Allalin Races, the last of the four races. The course for the Allalin Races is a steep 1,800 m descent covering a distance of 9 km. Starting at a panoramic height of 3,600 m and surrounded by the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, the race course passes through an awe-inspiring glacial landscape, over impressive escarpments and through hair-raisingly narrow passages, such as the infamous Kanonenrohr (barrel of a gun). The finish line is located at 1,800 m on the Kalbermatten sports ground, where racers are greeted by crowds of cheering spectators and have the chance to gather their strength after the challenges of the descent. Participants can enter four different events: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the His and Hers Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. While the individual events are aimed at racers who want to clock up a new personal best by hurtling down the course at breakneck speeds, the Fun Team Race is better suited to those wanting to descend the mountain at a more leisurely pace and who are just here for the fun of it. In this category, stopping at the various mountain restaurants along the way is almost mandatory and dressing up is actively encouraged. Apparently, in the past some teams have 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! However, the most incredible feat of the 2010 races was the time posted by its oldest participant, Ernst Berger. Born in 1919, the proud 91-year-old completed the exhilarating descent in an impressive 7½ minutes (7:31.32)! Clearly, age is no excuse for avoiding a challenge. After the races on Friday and Saturday, participants and spectators will gather at the finish area to celebrate the day’s events and dance the night away. Food and drink, musical entertainment and a party atmosphere will keep them going through to the early hours.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch: Mythical Bec des Rosses

The Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch , the sixth and final stage of the 2011 season, was held on Verbier’s legendary Bec des Rosses. Since its inception in 1996 the Xtreme has been considered the most prestigious event in the Freeride world. For the grande finale of the Freeride World Tour the elite of Freeride went to the mythical North Face of the Bec des Rosses, a dauntingly steep and frighteningly jagged 500m rock-face. In places, the Bec des Rosses presents 55 degrees of slope. In an upright position one can almost lean on the face with ones elbow. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it demands technical skill, great physical conditioning and a connection with the mountain that only experience can bring.



The Bec des Rosses is really an intimidating face and most riders are not so comfortable riding it. This whole episode is about that little stress at the top of this mythical mountain.

Excellent Spring Skiing On Both Sides of the Atlantic

Most ski areas around the northern hemisphere are in good shape as we enter spring, in the case of the Alps conditions at many resorts are now the best they’ve been for around three months following healthy snowfalls. In the case of Western North America the incredible season continues, particularly for California where resorts in North Lake Tahoe including Northstar are reporting the most precipitation recorded for more than 50 years. The latest storms brought metres more snow there in the past week, and it’s continuing to fall now and is projected to continue in to next week.
Austria has had some good snowfall in the last week. Many resorts received snowfall from 20cm to 50cm. Some big resorts and the glaciers got even more. The most snowfall was reported on the Zugspitzplatt with 80cm, Stubaital glacier 60cm and Solden 59cm. The weather is sunny at the moment so skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the good conditions. Many ski resorts registered new snowfalls at the weekend at Saturday and Sunday. Warmer temperatures are expected for the next days. But more new snow is possible for the upcoming weekend in parts of Austria even under 1000 meters.
Conditions are some of the best they’ve been for months in France at last with many resorts receiving healthy snowfalls across the country. Cauterets in the Pyrenees reported the most with 50cm, in the Alps though many top resorts got at least 30cm in the past week, Val Thorens the most with 40cm.
Conditions remain good across most of Italy. Arabba in the Dolomites reports the most snow in the past week with 70cm. Madonna di Campiglio has also done well with 40cm of new snow.
There’s been no snow in the past few days but many resorts in Switzerland got fresh snow during the last week and skiers are reporting excellent powder conditions. The main new snowfalls were last Saturday when most resorts got snow. Saas Fee got 60cm during the last week, Arosa, Davos and Engelberg measured 25-30 cm. Engelberg continues to have one of the deepest snowbases in the Alps with 340 cm and Saas Fee now also has a snow base over 3 meters (303 cm). Temperatures are mild in Switzerland until the end of the week but snow is expected to fall on slopes over 1600m at the weekend.
Conditions are generally good in Spain and Andorra with up to 50 cm of new snow reported in the past week.
It’s been snowing today across Scandinavian ski areas. Are in Sweden reported the biggest fall in Europe in the past 24 hours with 12 cm, Hovden in Norway also got fresh snow. Folgefonn (picture attached) is preparing the slopes to open the summer resort on May 14th.
The snow is still good in Canada which is good news for resorts like Banff and Whistler where the season still has two months to run.
There’s been still more incredible snowfall in the US specially in the western side of the country. Four resorts in California and Washington state now report snow depths of over 7 metres (23 feet) and snowfalls, which are continuing, have added up to 2.4 m (eight feet) to bases around Lake Tahoe in the past week. Squaw Valley has now received over 50 feet of snow since the season began, a tally it has only reached in three other seasons in the past 40 years, and it still has six weeks of the season, at least, left. The snow is still falling on the East Coast too with Sunday River in Maine reporting another 20 cm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

8th Glacier Bike Downhill Race in Saas-Fee

The 8th annual Glacier Downhill Bike Race will be held on March 26th, 2011 in Saas-Fee. This is no usual ride over hill and dale this race goes rather over ice and snow down to the glacier village. It’s a race without spikes and with high velocity of 144 km/h. This year there is prize money in the value of 5’000 Swiss Francs.
The mass start is on the Mittelallalin station at an altitude of 3500m, surrounded by a fantastic panorama and 13 fourthousand-metre-high peaks, and goes down over the snowy and icy slopes to the glacier village at 1800m. The riders have to manage 1700metres of altitude difference and 8 km of distance. First they ride on a narrow trail along the Fee glacier, which leads them to the panorama hill. For less experienced racers this is a real challenge. The hill is steep and has to be crossed at high speed. High velocities of about 144 h/km have been measured per GPS on that part of the trail.
Further down, the ride leads past the restaurant Morenia before entering the Valley run. This is going to be a very exciting part of the race with extremely steep passages, flat transits, narrow curves, and is a real assessment for the rider and his material. The last part of the ride, a very flat passage, needs strength to be managed. The decision who is going to be the winner is often taken during this part of the race. Shortly before the finish area at 1800 mthe route becomes a little steeper.
After reaching the desired end of the race, the award ceremony will take place, and in the evening the riders party will be at the Living Room.

Best of the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

The world’s best riders put on a great show on Sunday as they tested their skills against freeriding’s most legendary face, the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. Today’s event determined who would ride away with the title of 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion. In front of 7000 cheering spectators, men and women skiers and snowboarders attacked the steep, 600-meter face in a technical battle that challenged the complete skills of every rider. Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), Mitch Toelderer (AUT), Janette Hargin (SWE) and Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA) take home the 2011 Freeride World Champion titles after the final competition of the six-event 2010 Freeride World Tour.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anne-Flore Marxer Winning Line at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

The world’s best riders put on a great show on Sunday as they tested their skills against freeriding’s most legendary face, the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. Today’s event determined who would ride away with the title of 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion. In front of 7000 cheering spectators, men and women skiers and snowboarders attacked the steep, 600-meter face in a technical battle that challenged the complete skills of every rider.
In the women’s snowboard category Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA), better known for her freestyle skills, won Sunday’s event as well as the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. And she did all this as a wildcard in her first season on the tour!. "The Bec des Rosses is by far the most beautiful face and the conditions today were without a doubt the best of the season. It’s important for me to point out that while this face is beautiful it’s far from being easy. I was thinking that I would take a steep line to take speed and jump a lot of cliffs but in the end I decided to be safe partly due to the sluff and hidden rocks. This title makes all my efforts this season worth it. The Freeride World Tour has been a great experience. I can’t wait to come back next year!", said Marxer.

Janette Hargin Winning Line at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

The world’s best riders put on a great show on Sunday as they tested their skills against freeriding’s most legendary face, the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. Today’s event determined who would ride away with the title of 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion. In front of 7000 cheering spectators, men and women skiers and snowboarders attacked the steep, 600-meter face in a technical battle that challenged the complete skills of every rider.
The women skiers stepped up and put on a remarkable show on Sunday with the highest level of riding ever seen on the Freeride World Tour. Former Olympic Swedish ski racer Janette Hargin stunned the crowd with a fluid line that included several cleanly landed cliff drops. Her incredible performance earned her today’s win and the 2011 Freeride World Champion crown. "I’m just so happy I can’t describe it. I was pretty nervous this morning and I just tried to keep it together. I had a good plan but I was not really sure if I would find my way down. But I made it, I found my cliffs, stomped my landings and skied with a pretty good flow. This venue fits perfectly for the girls and this is the way to continue, to find a venue that is a little bit easier than the men’s and that way everyone is charging and you get better skiing", said Hargin.

Xavier de Le Rue Winning Line at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

The world’s best riders put on a great show on Sunday as they tested their skills against freeriding’s most legendary face, the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. Today’s event determined who would ride away with the title of 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion. In front of 7000 cheering spectators, men and women skiers and snowboarders attacked the steep, 600-meter face in a technical battle that challenged the complete skills of every rider.
In the Men’s snowboard division it was the Austrians who dominated the 2011 season. Mitch Toelderer (AUT) charged the mountain today, riding well enough to score him the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. Fellow countrymen Flo Orley takes the second spot on the podium after a year of solid performances. Defending three-time Freeride World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) won the prestigious "Xtreme" for an impressive fourth time and placed third overall for the season.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Aurélien Ducroz winning Line at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

The world’s best riders put on a great show on Sunday as they tested their skills against freeriding’s most legendary face, the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. Today’s event determined who would ride away with the title of 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion. In front of 7000 cheering spectators, men and women skiers and snowboarders attacked the steep, 600-meter face in a technical battle that challenged the complete skills of every rider.
Out of the five men skiers who were still in contention for the men’s overall ski title, it was Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) who skied the best line of the day with an outstanding run including two massive cliff drops and fast, confident riding on this challenging face. His performance was good enough to win him not only the top spot on the “Xtreme” podium but also the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. "Everything went perfect for me today. I was really surprised nobody went on my line and thought to myself, ‘You guys gave me a big present!’ I jumped two big cliffs; the second was even bigger than last year. I love the Bec des Rosses because it requires very technical skiing and I’m so happy to win here. I’ve been waiting for this title. Now I can go with a light heart into my sailing season", said Aurélien.

Freeride World Champions Crowned in Verbier

On a gorgeous day with a fresh blanket of cold snow and bluebird skies, riders competing on the Bec des Rosses skied their best lines in an effort to join the elite few who have been able to call themselves Freeride World Tour Champion. Prior to the event, organizers closed the top looker’s right of the face due to security reasons. However, several riders used creative line choices to find their way through the labyrinth of rocks, some to access the main cliff that was the key to winning in Verbier.
Out of the five men skiers who were still in contention for the men’s overall ski title, it was Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) who skied the best line of the day with an outstanding run including two massive cliff drops and fast, confident riding on this challenging face. His performance was good enough to win him not only the top spot on the "Xtreme" podium but also the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. Samuel Anthamatten (SUI) is runner-up World Champion and Jérémy Prévost (FRA) takes third place overall, both in their first season on the Freeride World Tour. "Everything went perfect for me today. I was really surprised nobody went on my line and thought to myself, ‘You guys gave me a big present!’ I jumped two big cliffs; the second was even bigger than last year. I love the Bec des Rosses because it requires very technical skiing and I’m so happy to win here. I’ve been waiting for this title. Now I can go with a light heart into my sailing season", said Aurélien Ducroz.
In the Men’s snowboard division it was the Austrians who dominated the 2011 season. Mitch Toelderer (AUT) charged the mountain today, riding well enough to score him the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. Fellow countrymen Flo Orley takes the second spot on the podium after a year of solid performances. Defending three-time Freeride World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) won the prestigious "Xtreme" for an impressive fourth time and placed third overall for the season. "Ten years ago I started my freeride career here in Verbier. I won the Xtreme and got stuck in the scene and now I am super happy to win the Freeride World Champion title ten years later. I’m stoked to finish the tour and end the season well with this great result", said Mitch Toelderer.
The women skiers stepped up and put on a remarkable show today with the highest level of riding ever seen on the Freeride World Tour. Former Olympic Swedish ski racer Janette Hargin stunned the crowd with a fluid line that included several cleanly landed cliff drops. Her incredible performance earned her today’s win and the 2011 Freeride World Champion crown. Angel Collinson (USA), in her rookie year on the tour, took second overall and Janina Kuzma (NZL) is third. "I’m just so happy I can’t describe it. I was pretty nervous this morning and I just tried to keep it together. I had a good plan but I was not really sure if I would find my way down. But I made it, I found my cliffs, stomped my landings and skied with a pretty good flow. This venue fits perfectly for the girls and this is the way to continue, to find a venue that is a little bit easier than the men’s and that way everyone is charging and you get better skiing", said Janette Hargin.
In the Women’s snowboard category Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA), better known for her freestyle skills, won today’s event as well as the 2011 Freeride World Champion title. And she did all this as a wildcard in her first season on the tour! The overall season rankings were rounded out with Liz Kristoferitsch (AUT) in second and Ursula Wohlschlager (AUT) third. "The Bec des Rosses is by far the most beautiful face and the conditions today were without a doubt the best of the season. It’s important for me to point out that while this face is beautiful it’s far from being easy. I was thinking that I would take a steep line to take speed and jump a lot of cliffs but in the end I decided to be safe partly due to the sluff and hidden rocks. This title makes all my efforts this season worth it. The Freeride World Tour has been a great experience. I can’t wait to come back next year!", said Marxer.
In addition to a total cash purse of $60,000 for today’s event, each of the 2011 Freeride World Champions wins a Nissan Juke.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winter X Games Europe Tignes. Day 3

Jamie Anderson wins Winter X Games Slopestyle. Anderson's winning run include a super solid line through the jib section and what is now becoming her trademark trick: the switch backside 540. In the end, it's her style and consistency through the slope course that puts her at the top of the podium again and again. She just looks comfortable. It's a pleasure to watch. "The riding today was so great. The girls were all riding so good", said Anderson. "I was so stoked it really inspired me. I wanted to do some bigger runs but unfortunately I couldn't get my back 5 down, but I landed my mellower run first and it ended up scoring well, so I think maybe just having clean style all the way through is what worked for me today. I'm tired, I'm excited to go rest from contests for a little bit".



Chas Guldemond was the winner of the Snowboard Slopestyle. Guldemond's best run ended up earning him the highest score any slope rider in any X event has ever earned: a 99.33 for a backside 270 on the down rail to double back rodeo to cab 270 to back lip fakie to a cab double cork 12 and back double 10 over the last two kickers.



Canadian Sarah Burke wins Winter X Games Women's SuperPipe. On her last run, she stuck a cork 900 and an alley-oop flatspin 540, the latter of which was landed for the first time in a women's ski pipe contest. The run earned her a score of 95.33, the highest women's skiing SuperPipe score at an X event, and the gold medal -- her fifth gold at an X SuperPipe event, including her win at WX15 in Aspen.



Louie Vito was the winner of the last event at the Winter X Games Europe in Tignes.22,000 fans saw Vito threw a double crippler to Michalchuk to frontside double cork 1080 to cab double cork 1080 to frontside 1080, moving him into first place with a 93.00 score. Vito has included three doubles in his runs for a while now, but Friday night he boosted them just a little bit higher. "I've always had the technical tricks, but haven't had the amplitude", he said, "so I've been working on that. Last year I didn't go as big, and it showed in my score".

Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch: Mythical Bec des Rosses

The Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch , the sixth and final stage of the 2011 season, will be held on Verbier’s legendary Bec des Rosses. This year’s event will be a true battle royale with more than five men skiers who, with a win in Verbier, can still be crowned Freeride World Champion.
Since its inception in 1996 the Xtreme has been considered the most prestigious event in the Freeride world. For the grande finale of the Freeride World Tour the elite of Freeride will tackle the mythical North Face of the Bec des Rosses, a dauntingly steep and frighteningly jagged 500m rock-face. In places, the Bec des Rosses presents 55 degrees of slope. In an upright position one can almost lean on the face with ones elbow. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it demands technical skill, great physical conditioning and a connection with the mountain that only experience can bring. Around 5000 spectators will join the riders at one of the most beautiful natural arenas of the Alps, the Col des Gentianes in Verbier.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winter X Games Europe Tignes. Day 2

Today Kelly Clark won the Snowboard SuperPipe Gold medal at the Winter X Games Europe 2011 in Tignes. Clark, who has been dominating pipe all season long, won with a frontside 720, Cab 720, frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 540. The nine-time Winter X SuperPipe medalist has won 10 out of the 12 pipe contests that she entered this year.won with a frontside 720, Cab 720, frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 540. The nine-time Winter X SuperPipe medalist has won 10 out of the 12 pipe contests that she entered this year. Hannah Teter and Queralt Castellet finished second and third, respectively.



JF Houle took gold at Men's Ski Slopestyle at 2011 Winter X Europe Finals, followed by Norway's Andreas Hatveit and England's James Woods. Houle, the top scorer from the Slope qualifiers and who at 25 was the oldest competitor in the Men's Slopestyle field, scored a whopping 94.33 on his first run, which included a leftside double cork 1080 Japan grab.

Winter X Games Europe Tignes. Day 1

Kaya Turski (Canada) continues her Women's Ski Slopestyle dominance and won her fourth Winter X Gold Medal: two Winter X golds and now two Winter X Europe golds. Kaya took Gold Medal at the Winter X Games Europe 2011. Keri Herman took silver, and Kim Lamarre bronze. Turski took the lead on her second run, which included a tight rail section and a switch 720 mute grab off the last jump, earning a score of 89.66. Nobody earned a higher score than that, so Turski's third run was a victory lap, one that earned an even higher score, a 92.00. "I was really glad my second run came together after that first run", Turski said.



Kevin Rolland won the Gold Medal at Wednesday night's Men's Ski SuperPipe Finals. The french was a natural crowd favorite, he is from nearby La Plagne, as he won SuperPipe last year at Winter X Europe, as well as at the 2010 and 2011 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. Rolland's first run, which included a double cork 12 and an alley-oop flatspin 360 into two switch tricks, scored a whopping 93.00, a full three points ahead of second place's Justin Dorey, from Canada. 15 y.o. Torin Yater-Wallace from Aspen took third with an 88.00.

World’s Top Riders at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

After a Freeride World Tour season filled with outstanding riding by the World’s best Freeride athletes, all the excitement comes to a head this weekend at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch where the 2011 Freeride World Champions will be crowned. The event, the sixth and final stage of the 2011 season, will be held on Verbier’s legendary Bec des Rosses on Saturday, 19 March (weather permitting). This year’s event will be a true battle royale with more than five men skiers who, with a win in Verbier, can still be crowned Freeride World Champion.
From its earliest incarnation the Verbier Xtreme, the world’s longest-running, most prestigious freeriding event is now entering its 16th consecutive season of competition on Verbier’s notorious Bec des Rosses.
Only the top 13 men skiers, seven men snowboarders, and five women skiers and snowboarders have qualified to compete on the Bec des Rosses this weekend. Following this event, the riders’ best four results will be used to determine the 2011 Freeride World Champion in each category: ski men, ski women, snowboard men and snowboard women.
In addition to the event’s cash prize of $60,000USD, each 2011 Freeride World Champion will also drive away from the event in a brand new Nissan Juke.
This year the Men’s ski event will be extraordinarily thrilling because more than five skiers are still fighting it out for the Freeride World Champion title! Overall FWT tour leader Stefan Hausl (AUT) as well as Samuel Anthamatten (SUI), Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), Reine Barkered (SWE) and Henrik Windstedt (SWE) all know they have one chance to ski their best for their final shot at the Freeride World Champion title. With so many riders with so much at stake this will be a truly remarkable event.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winter X Games Europe Tignes.

Tignes host the Winter X Games Europe 2011 for a second consecutive year (March 16-18). Winter X Games Europe welcome 150 world-class athletes competing in Snowboard and Skiing events. The event marks only the second time a Winter X Games event will be held outside the United States.



Snow Still Falling As Spring Approaches

With the start of spring less than a week away, most of the world’s leading ski areas have been reporting more snow.
In Europe the southern Alps and Pyrenees have done particularly well, with many resorts reporting up to 30cm of new snow in the past few days. More heavy snow has been reported in the Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees this morning (Wednesday).
However the biggest falls of the week are once again over in North America with Whistler reporting 1.4m (over four feet) of new snow as it approaches its Spring season which will stay it remain open longer than any other Canadian resort. However Mount Washington on Vancouver Island has accumulated still more and is back in the position it held a year ago as having the deepest snow base in the world, overtaking the unlikely front runner of the past month, Europe’s most southerly resort of Sierra Nevada, which has claimed to have been sitting on a six metre base for over a month. It did report another 30cm, at the weekend though.
Although temperatures at the southern end of the UK hit +17C yesterday, in northern Scotland there has been five days of snow showers, most heavy over the weekend, with the country’s ski centres adding up to 50cm to their base depths.
Not much new snow has been reported in Austria with the biggest accumulation 20cm in the last seven days at Obergurgl-Hochgurgl while Solden got 15cm and Katschberg and Nassfeld Hermagor 10cm. The biggest snow fall of the week was on Monday with three resorts over 10cm and further snow falls are expected in the next ten days or so as ski resorts hope to get fresh falls soon. On the higher slopes snow falls are possible over 1200 metres at the weekend and six resorts still have snow depths of more than two metres.
Winter is back in parts of France with weekend snowfall although most of it only in the Southern Alps and the Pyrenees. On Saturday there was up to 35 cm in the Pyrenees (at Gavarnie / Gèdre) and then on Sunday it was the turn of the Southern Alps to enjoy the snow with 35cm at the top of Serre-Chevalier ski area and even 45cm in Auron. More snow fell on Monday and Tuesday and today (Wednesday) the snow is still falling over the Pyrenees and the Alps but to a lesser intensity. The weather should still remained changable tomorrow and then gradually improve as we approach the weekend. The school holiday period is now over in France and some smaller resorts have already closed their ski areas (Orange, Passy, Hautacam ...) but 85% of the ski resorts will remain open for several weeks. Currently the Southern Alps have the country’s best snow depths (up to 234cm in Isola 2000, 210cm in Abriès, 205cm in Auron) followed by the Pyrenees (200cm in Cauterets, 175cm in Gavarnie) and the Northern Alps (210cm in Flaine, 195cm in Alpe d'Huez).
There has been heavy snowfall across northern Italy in recent days. On the western side Limone reported 60cm (two feet) of new snow on Sunday morning and Arabba in the Dolomites and resorts over on the Slovenia border in the east reported similar falls too.
Switzerland had a few snow falls on Sunday, the biggest reported by Saas Fee with 15cm while other resorts like St. Moritz and Andermatt had 3 cm – 10 cm during the last week. It is getting quite warm in the southern Swiss Alps based on the foehn coming up the next days. Because of the cold nights, most slopes in higher reaches are still in a good shape however. Engelberg still has the country’s greatest snow depth with 340cm (11.3 feet), followed by Saas Fee with 241cm (eight feet).
Most resorts in Spain and Andorra reported 20-30cm of snow over Sunday and Monday. Cerler reported 30cm as did Europe’s most southerly resort, Sierra Nevada, which claims the deepest snowbase in Europe at six metres (20 feet). After a nice carnival with a lot of sunny days, Formigal Resort also received new clients and fresh snow at the weekend. The snowfall started on Saturday night and by Sunday morning they had already received 40cm of snow.
Conditions remain good in Norway with Voss and Jolster among those issuing powder alarms for falls of up to 30cm in recent days. The last big snowfall across the country was on Monday when most resorts received between 5 and 20cm of snow.
Western Canada has seen the world’s heaviest snowfall over the past week with Whisstler and Mount Washington reporting around 1.5m of new snow in the past seven days. In addition the world-famous Delirium Dive opened at Sunshine ski area near Banff yesterday. Named one of the 'Top 10 Off-Piste Runs in the World' by the Sydney Morning Herald, the Dive attracts expert skiers and snowboarders from across the world. The extreme freeride area offers 600 acres of terrain and 2,000 feet of vertical for those with the ability, and guts, to take it on. The three resorts have had record-breaking snowfall this season and skiers and snowboarders are being treated to excellent conditions. Mt. Norquay has extended their season and The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village will continue well into May.
Conditions remain good across the US with heavy snowfall once again, particularly in the West of the country. Resorts around Lake Tahoe issued powder alarms at the weekend for falls of up to 35cm (14 inches) . Mt Baker in Washington state, famed as averaging the deepest snow in the world, has increased its base to 6.6m (22 feet), second only to Mt Washington on Vancouver island a little to the north.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winter X Games Europe Tignes

Winter X Games Europe 2011 will be held for a second consecutive year at Tignes Ski & Snowboard resort in France March 16-18, 2011. Winter X Games Europe will welcome 150 world-class athletes competing in Snowboard and Skiing events. The event marks only the second time a Winter X Games event will be held outside the United States.

Best of the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan

As the fifth and last event of the Freeride World Tour prior to the big season finale in Verbier, Switzerland next weekend, every rider who dropped into the 600-meter Wildseeloder face at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn by Nissan had something on the line. Some needed to score enough points to get an invitation to Verbier while those at the top of the ranking were going for the win in order to break into the lead for the overall title. Four Austrians dominated the podium with Stefan Hausl (AUT) and Mitch Toelderer (AUT) taking the top step with solid, exciting runs down the challenging face.
Faced with a long, demanding venue with less than perfect snow, Fieberbrunn’s event was notable due to the riders who played it safe by focusing on fluid lines to preserve their position in the rankings. Others, on the other hand charged the course with everything they had in order to score the critical points that would boost them towards the top of the rankings.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winter X Games Europe Tignes

Winter X Games Europe 2011 will be held for a second consecutive year at Tignes Ski & Snowboard resort in France March 16-18, 2011. Winter X Games Europe will welcome 150 world-class athletes competing in Snowboard and Skiing events. The event marks only the second time a Winter X Games event will be held outside the United States.

Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch

After an incredible season of strong riding across Europe, North America and Russia, the Men Skiers and Snowboarders will finally compete for the chance to win the overall ranking and be crowned 2011 Freeride World Champion. Now in its 16th edition, the season finale Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch is scheduled to take place on 19 March on the legendary Bec des Rosses face.
Since its inception in 1996 the Xtreme has been considered the most prestigious event in the Freeride world. For the grande finale of the Freeride World Tour the elite of Freeride will tackle the mythical North Face of the Bec des Rosses, a dauntingly steep and frighteningly jagged 500m rock-face. In places, the Bec des Rosses presents 55 degrees of slope. In an upright position one can almost lean on the face with ones elbow. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it demands technical skill, great physical conditioning and a connection with the mountain that only experience can bring. Around 5000 spectators will join the riders at one of the most beautiful natural arenas of the Alps, the Col des Gentianes in Verbier.
This is an event you do not want to miss so if you can’t be in Verbier to see it live then check the live stream on FreerideWorldTour.com

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Winter X Games Europe 2011

Winter X Games Europe 2011 will be held for a second consecutive year at Tignes Ski & Snowboard resort in France March 16-18, 2011. Winter X Games Europe will welcome 150 world-class athletes competing in Snowboard and Skiing events. The event marks only the second time a Winter X Games event will be held outside the United States.
Following last month's Winter X Games 15 record-breaking attendance in Aspen, Colorado, spectators in Tignes can look forward to eight different competitions over three days, including Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle for men and women as well as Snowmobile demonstrations. Produced by Canal + Events and ESPN, Winter X Games Europe Tignes was broadcast live in eight countries, including France (Canal+ network), and distributed to 166 countries and territories, including Latin America, Middle East, Pacific Rim, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, Israel, Caribbean, North America and Europe. Last year, more than 66,000 fans attended the inaugural Winter X Games Europe over three days.
"After being in Aspen for many years, it is great to have the same caliber event at my home mountain of Tignes", said multiple Winter X Games medal winner and skier Xavier Bertoni. "Tignes is a great host to the event and I'm looking forward to the second edition this year".
Winter X Games medalist and US Olympian snowboarder Louie Vito, said, "X Games is the biggest contest of the year. Going to X Games, you can always expect a perfect set up and the best riders, and now that we have two - one in Aspen and now in Tignes - I couldn't be more stoked be able to compete in both!" .

Mitch Toelderer Winning Line at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan

Austrians dominated the fifth and last event of the Freeride World Tour prior to the big season finale in Verbier, Switzerland next weekend. The snowboard Men were no less exciting with the Austrian locals pushing hard for the win at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan. As the second snowboarder out of the gate, Mitch Toelderer (AUT) rode the course like a man possessed, with a run that started immediately out of the gate with a few smaller drops to landing a huge double jump clean and then taking a six-meter cliff drop with a slightly sketched landing. Coming in second place was another Austrian Max Zipser followed by the sole Englishman on the tour, James Stentiford, with his best finish of the season. "For an Austrian to win at Fieberbrunn for such an amazing audience, it was really special for me. Max [Zipser], Stefan [Hausl] and Hauni [Matthias Haunholder] and I all rode almost the same line and it was a really good decision, but in the beginning I was not sure. But I’m super happy that everything went as planned and that we decided to go on this spectacular line", said Toelderer.

Stefan Hausl Winning Line at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan

Austrians dominated the fifth and last event of the Freeride World Tour prior to the big season finale in Verbier, Switzerland next weekend. Austrian rider Stefan Hausl was the winner in the demanding 600-meter Wildseeloder face at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan, charging hard, and took the lead early with a crowd-pleasing line that started with a cleanly landed 15-meter air, and followed with a fast and fluid line from top to bottom ending with a big, old-school "Spread Eagle" trick at the bottom. "It was a perfect day. The conditions were very difficult, like spring conditions but we gambled a little bit and in the end most of the Austrians made the right decisions for this venue. This is my first FWT victory and after I placed third in Sochi I’m completely stoked. This face is perfectly tailored for my riding style: at the beginning it’s very steep and difficult with big rocks, then there’s a section where I could show some speed, then, in the last section, I tried to two or three fun things", said Hausl.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Austrians dominated Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan

As the fifth and last event of the Freeride World Tour prior to the big season finale in Verbier, Switzerland next weekend, every rider who dropped into the 600-meter Wildseeloder face at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn by Nissan had something on the line. Some needed to score enough points to get an invitation to Verbier while those at the top of the ranking were going for the win in order to break into the lead for the overall title. Today four Austrians dominated the podium with Stefan Hausl (AUT) and Mitch Toelderer (AUT) taking the top step with solid, exciting runs down the challenging face.
Faced with a long, demanding venue with less than perfect snow, today’s event was notable due to the riders who played it safe by focusing on fluid lines to preserve their position in the rankings. Others, on the other hand charged the course with everything they had in order to score the critical points that would boost them towards the top of the rankings.
Austrian rider Stefan Hausl was clearly one of the latter, charging hard, and took the lead early with a crowd-pleasing line that started with a cleanly landed 15-meter air, and followed with a fast and fluid line from top to bottom ending with a big, old-school "Spread Eagle" trick at the bottom. Reine Barkered (SWE) came in second followed by Fieberbrunn’s native son Matthias Haunholder (AUT). "It was a perfect day. The conditions were very difficult, like spring conditions but we gambled a little bit and in the end most of the Austrians made the right decisions for this venue. This is my first FWT victory and after I placed third in Sochi I’m completely stoked. This face is perfectly tailored for my riding style: at the beginning it’s very steep and difficult with big rocks, then there’s a section where I could show some speed, then, in the last section, I tried to two or three fun things", said Hausl.
The snowboard men were no less exciting with the Austrian locals pushing hard for the win. As the second snowboarder out of the gate, Mitch Toelderer (AUT) rode the course like a man possessed, with a run that started immediately out of the gate with a few smaller drops to landing a huge double jump clean and then taking a six-meter cliff drop with a slightly sketched landing. Coming in second place was another Austrian Max Zipser followed by the sole Englishman on the tour, James Stentiford, with his best finish of the season. "For an Austrian to win at Fieberbrunn for such an amazing audience, it was really special for me. Max [Zipser], Stefan [Hausl] and Hauni [Matthias Haunholder] and I all rode almost the same line and it was a really good decision, but in the beginning I was not sure. But I’m super happy that everything went as planned and that we decided to go on this spectacular line", said Toelderer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snowfall Slows Everywhere Except Eastern North America

The heavy snow of the last week of February has eased in the first week of March with a few resorts seeing more than a few centimetres of snow in the past week.
The big exception is Eastern North America where resorts in Quebec and in New England have received up to 1.35m of snow in the past week (4.5 feet). At one point Le Massif had received more snow than anywhere else in the world. The snowfall is also continuing in Western North America with resorts adding several more feet to their totals, although this is actually a decline on the amazing falls of previous weeks.
In Europe falls have been more modest, the largest reported in Italy (up to 80cm/nearly three feet over the past week) with the maximum accumulations at most places in the Alps 40-50cm, although in most cases resorts have seen far less. There have been a few more good fall in Scandinavia and the Pyrenees and after three weeks with little new snow it is snowing again today in Scotland with most areas receiving 15cm (six inches) so far and more expected. Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand (picture attached) has reported its first snow covering for 2011.
There was not much snow fall in Austria this week. With 14cm in total, the glacier ski resort of Solden has had the most. Other big resorts had snow fall of around 10 cm during recent days. There was nearly no snow at the weekend but sunshine all over the country. Slopes are still in a good shape and skiers can enjoy the good weather, especially in the upper slopes. Three glaciers have the deepest snow depths in the country, which are Molltal Glacier at 290cm, Pitztaler Glacier at 261cm and Hintertuxer Glacier at 255cm.
After the heavy snowfall in the Alps and Pyrenees last week it has been a quiet week for snowfall across France. The biggest fall recorded was at Bonneval with 50cm, few other areas got more than a few centimetres in the past seven days.
Italy has continued to be one of the snowiest nations in Europe this year with Arabba once again reporting several feet (70cm) of new snow and the Presena glacier still boasting the deepest snow base in central Europe at 4.3m. There were also good snowfalls at the weekend in the Aosta Valley and at Milky way resorts like Sestriere.
Switzerland received new snow in Saas Fee, Brig and Zermatt. Saas fee did the best with 40cm of new snow in the last week which is much more than all the other resorts. Brig reports 15 cm and Zermatt 8 cm. The resorts now can profit from their good snow depth based on the last months. Engelberg has still the deepest snow depth with 340 cm, but 25 cm less than one week ago. Saas Fee, Gstaad, Andermatt and St. Moritz are sure to have good slopes till the end of the season end of April. Skiers and snowboarders should not forget their sunglasses; it will be sunny until Friday with temperatures up to 15 degrees.
The last of the big snowfalls in the Pyrenees were a week ago when ski centres in Andorra and Spain got a foot of snow on March 2nd. Skiers and boarders have been enjoying the snow ever since.
There are still regular powder alarms from Norway, this morning Hovden has had 20cm of freesh snow.
Quebec moved ahead of Canada’s still-very-snowy West Coast in the past week with resorts reporting the most snow in the world during the past week. Le Massif got the most with 135cm.
The storm that every skiers and snowboarders were wishing for in the Quebec City area covered the region including Mont-Sainte-Anne, where 71cm has fallen on the mountain over the past 7 days, including 40cm over the last 48 hours. At Stoneham Mountain Resort, this past week’s total is up to 81cm. Mont Sutton to the south reported 36cm in 24 hours. The snow fell a week after more huge snowfalls in the west with Fernie in British Columbia reporting 81cm in three days to March 3rd.
The epic winter continues on both coasts of the US with resorts in Idaho, California and New York State topping the table for ‘most snowfall in the world for the past week at different points over the past seven days. The tally totalled 135-155cm. On the east Coast Whiteface Mountain received 50cm of snow in 24 hour on its way to topping the greatest-snowfall-in-the-world-in-past-week table today, "We've had an amazing winter and every skier and rider is thankful to Mother Nature for getting us 'stuck' in this awesome weather pattern of snow, snow and more snow! Over 220" this year and counting!", said a statement from the resort. Over on the Western side of the continent, with nearly 30 feet of snow this winter, Steamboat in Colorado has reached another snow milestone, recording a four-wire winter, when the snow stacks up past the fourth row of fence wires. Yampa Valley ranchers have traditionally measured the severity of a Routt County winter by how high the snow stacks up against their four fence wires. "Steamboat is enjoying some of the best snow in the Rocky Mountains and is the only major destination resort in Colorado with a summit base over 100 inches", said Chris Diamond, president & chief operating officer for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn by Nissan

The fifth stage of the six-event 2011 Freeride World Tour will be the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan on 12 March. As the final stage before the season finale on the legendary Bec des Rosses in Verbier Switzerland, and with so many athletes still in contention for the overall World Champion title, riders will undoubtedly be putting everything on the line in order to earn a coveted invitation to the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch (SUI).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flo Orley Winning line at the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011

Due to the abundance of great snow the Freeride World Tour athletes enjoyed a great powder days on the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011, at Rosa Khutor ski station, the future alpine site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The good conditions inspired the world’s top freeriders to display creative riding and fast lines with big airs and spectacular tricks.
Flo Orley battled his way to the top of the snowboard category, closely followed by his fellow countryman Mitch Toelderer (AUT) in second. "I had so much fun these last few days with a lot of good riding and I loved the first contest day. But after all that riding I was so tired this morning, both physically and mentally, and could not find my normal riding flow. I am really happy that I still managed to do so well! It is crazy being first in the overall ranking. This winter I had some of the most fun snowboarding ever and if I keep having fun the good results will continue. Hopefully all the way to the end!", Orley said. Austrian Snowboarder is now leading the overall ranking, with two more contests to go before the 2011 Freeride World Champions will be determined in Verbier, Switzerland, 19 March.

Samuel Anthamatten Winning line at the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011

Due to the abundance of great snow the Freeride World Tour athletes enjoyed a great powder days on the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011, at Rosa Khutor ski station, the future alpine site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The good conditions inspired the world’s top freeriders to display creative riding and fast lines with big airs and spectacular tricks.
Season wild card Samuel Anthamatten (SUI) takes a first win at the Freeride World Tour with a perfectly stomped line including fast technical skiing and clean landings after all the numerous cliff jumps down the 400 meter face. "It’s just great. This was one of the nicest days I have done in competition. We were up there on top at sunrise and then we skied a face with perfect snow conditions. I had a good run, jumping a lot of features and skiing hard in between. I am happy! Today a lot of the best guys took some huge jumps, you had to stomp it clean to get a good score….And for the ranking I just can’t believe it! It’s crazy. I learnt a lot from these guys in the last competitions and it feels really unbelievable to be on top!", said Anthamatten. Swiss skier is now leading the overall ranking, with two more contests to go before the 2011 Freeride World Champions will be determined in Verbier, Switzerland, 19 March.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Samuel Anthamatten and Flo Orley Took Victory at Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011

With two contest days of bluebird skies and perfect Caucasian powder, the Freeride World Tour athletes enjoyed great conditions at the fourth stage of the Freeride World Tour. At the Rosa Khutor ski station, the future alpine site of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, Swiss skier Samuel Anthamatten and Austrian snowboarder Flo Orley took home the gold. Both are now leading the overall ranking, with two more contests to go before the 2011 Freeride World Champions will be determined in Verbier, Switzerland, 19 March.
Riders started early this morning to take advantage of a brief weather window for the second day of the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011. The great conditions in the Caucasian mountains enabled the athletes to put on a great show with playful riding including fluid, fast lines, numerous tricks, impressive backflips and 360s thrown off some massive cliffs.
After Day 1 featured skiers riding oversized rental boots and clothing borrowed from fellow competitors, the men charged ahead on Day 2 after receiving their lost luggage. Because of the missing equipment, riders and organizers had decided that, to be fair, Day 1 results would be eliminated. Only the Day 2 results determined the final score for the skiers. Season wild card Samuel Anthamatten (SUI) takes a first win at the Freeride World Tour with a perfectly stomped line including fast technical skiing and clean landings after all the numerous cliff jumps down the 400 meter face. "It’s just great. This was one of the nicest days I have done in competition. We were up there on top at sunrise and then we skied a face with perfect snow conditions. I had a good run, jumping a lot of features and skiing hard in between. I am happy! Today a lot of the best guys took some huge jumps, you had to stomp it clean to get a good score….And for the ranking I just can’t believe it! It’s crazy. I learnt a lot from these guys in the last competitions and it feels really unbelievable to be on top!", said Anthamatten.
The 2009 FWT champion Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) placed an impressive second despite a very painful torn quadriceps muscle. Stefan Hausl (AUT) finally took a well-earned podium place as third rider of the day.
Somehow the snowboarders were able to escape the lost baggage conundrum and as a result rode the two outstanding days of competition featuring plenty of tricks and stylish lines. The results from two days of powder riding were averaged to achieve a total score for the event. With strong consistent runs on both days, Flo Orley (AUT) battled his way to the top of the snowboard category, closely followed by his fellow countryman Mitch Toelderer (AUT) in second. "I had so much fun these last few days with a lot of good riding and I loved the first contest day. But after all that riding I was so tired this morning, both physically and mentally, and could not find my normal riding flow. I am really happy that I still managed to do so well! It is crazy being first in the overall ranking. This winter I had some of the most fun snowboarding ever and if I keep having fun the good results will continue. Hopefully all the way to the end!", Orley said.
Jonathan “Douds” Charlet (FRA) won Day 1 with a stylish run including several tricks, however on Day 2 he took a fall after one of his jumps and in the end placed third overall. 2010 World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) placed second on Day 1 but broke a binding after a massive cliff jump in the middle of his run on Day 2 and could not finish his run.

Timeline Episode 6. The Italian Job with Xavier de le Rue

Have you ever dreamed of a place where a chairlift would bring you to the top of untracked couloirs? Xavier de le Rue heads to this magical spot with a fresh 40cm dump of snow. Together with local rider Giulia Monego, he discovers the potential of one of the most beautiful mountain of the alps: Le Dolomiti, in North Italy. The crew managed to come back from this 2 day mission with some of the best images of the winter so far. Winter is back in Europe, stay tuned!

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.

The Italian Job with Xavier de le Rue - TimeLine S01E06 from TimeLine on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Freeride World Tour: Sochi Day 1

Due to the abundance of great snow the Freeride World Tour athletes enjoyed a great powder day on Day 1 of the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011, at Rosa Khutor ski station, the future alpine site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The good conditions inspired the world’s top freeriders to display creative riding and fast lines with big airs and spectacular tricks. Norwegian wild card Aasmund Thorsen impressed by winning his first Freeride World Tour competition on rental boots. Douds Charlet dominated the snowboarders with the most stylish run of the day.
Day 1 of the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011 took place on a 300 vertical meter face on top of the newly opened lift station Rosa Khutor in the Caucasian resort of Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi. The competition face was shorter and less committed than what the Freeride World Tour riders are used to but featured a playful terrain allowing the athletes to pull off a great show in perfect snow conditions. With big smiles on their faces the riders enjoyed a good start to their Russian adventure.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fresh Snow All Over The World (Well, The Northern Half!)

Nearly all of the world’s leading ski nations on both sides of the Atlantic have reported healthy snowfall in the past week. Resorts on the East and West coasts of Canada and the USA have issued powder alarms for falls of 20cm or more in 24 hours, as have ski areas across the Alps, Dolomites, Pyrenees and at several locations in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
The greatest snowfalls of the past week have again been recorded around California’s Lake Tahoe although the scale is a little less epic than it was a week ago, with seven day accumulations down from five to two metres. In second place the Pyrenees have seen up to 1.5m fall.
All five Scottish ski areas remain over though cover is not as complete as it was earlier this winter. Cairngorm appears to have the most lifts and runs operational at present. Fine weather in the Highlands with little wind has led to some superb ski days.
In Austria the most snowfall in the past week was reported above Sölden with 84cm (nearly three feet) followed by Obergurgl-Hochgurgl 45cm and Pitztal 30cm. Several ski resorts received a few centimetres of fresh snow on Monday or Sunday including Obergurgl 15cm, Galtür 10cm and St. Anton 5cm. Skiers can expect to enjoy the sunny weather at the moment with little new snow forecast in the coming days.
Conditions are now looking great almost everywhere in France after a rather challenging Februaary for those in search of fresh snow. Over the past 48 hours, the Pyrenees, the northern Alps and the far east of the Southern Alps (Queyras Valley) have recorded significant accumulations of up to a metre of new snow. The snow depth records at the top of the slopes have also increased greatly since last week, with 250cm at the top of Cauterets in the Pyrenees (190cm at the base level), 230cm at the top of Flaine, and 220cm in Isola 2000 and La Clusaz. Skiing conditions are excellent in this period of school holidays in France, but caution is now required since the avalanche risk is now high (level 3 or 4 / 5) in most mountain areas.
There have been some healthy snowfalls on both the East and West sides of northern Italy in the past 72 hours with first Arabba reporting a 60cm accumulation on Monday, then the 2006 Olympic Region in the West of Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx and neighbouring centres reporting a similar fall yesterday (March 1st). Snow depths remain among the best in Europe with areas reporting up to 4.3m (over 14 feet) accumulations.
It’s been a good week for new snow across Switzerland with fresh snow reported all over the country. There were more than 30 Powderalarms with more than 20cm of new snow reported on Monday and another 30 Alarms on Sunday. Several big resorts got lots of snow with Gstaad reporting 40cm, Engelberg 30cm and Laax 30cm. For the last seven days 70cm of total snow fall was measured in Zermatt and Gstaad, Laax reported 56cm. The biggest snow depth can be found in Engelberg with 365cm (12 feet) off snow followed by Gstaad with 265cm.
It has been another good week in the Pyrenees with multiple powder alarms through the past seven days on both the French and Spanish (and Andorra) sides of the mountains. Baqueira Beret (picture attached) in Spain reported a metre of snow in 48 hours and on the French side St Lary reported the second greatest snowfall in the world with 1.5m of snow in seven days.
There’s been more snow in Norway where resorts have some of the deepest snow bases in Europe thanks to consistent falls in many areas through the season. Voss has some of the deepest snow in the region with a near three metre base. The last widespread falls were last Sunday 27th February when Hemsedal was among the resorts adding 12cm to its base.
Resorts on both East and West Coasts of Canada have been reporting good snowfall over the past week. In British Columbia a major snowstorm has been hammering Fernie Alpine Resort over the past few days delivering over 35cm of snow on Monday. More is expected throughout the week. Mike Falcon, host of The Adventure Show in Vancouver, was at Fernie Alpine Resort on Sunday and described the snow conditions as "EPIC!".
There’s been lots more fresh snow on both the East and West sides of the US with resorts in New England issuing multiple powder alarms. The West Coast has again received more snow than anywhere else in the world over the past seven days but the falls have been more widely spread with resorts in Idaho and Utah as well as the usual California topping the world snowfall league over the past week. To take advantage of the great snow and all the new developments, Canyons has just announced its staying open an extra week – until the 17th April.

Samuel Anthamatten Line at Kirkwood, California

The Top Freeride World Tour 2011 athletes were in the Lake Tahoe for the third event of the Tour. The North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada took place on two days at Kirkwood ski station located just south of California’s Lake Tahoe (USA). The Freeride World Tour was back for a third year in California’s Sierra Nevada, a real hub for big mountain skiing in the USA.
Samuel Anthamatten (SUI), a rider on his rookie year on the FWT, absolutely "crushed" the event face on Day 2 with a line that was not only one of the fastest but also the highest-scoring single-run of the day, finishing 10th overall.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jérémy Prévost Line at Kirkwood, California

The Top Freeride World Tour 2011 athletes were in the Lake Tahoe for the third event of the Tour. The North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada took place on two days at Kirkwood ski station located just south of California’s Lake Tahoe (USA). The Freeride World Tour was back for a third year in California’s Sierra Nevada, a real hub for big mountain skiing in the USA. One of the tour’s young rookies, Jérémy Prévost from France (22 years old), qualified from the Freeride World Qualifier ranking last season, just missed out on the podium by placing fourth. With his impressive performance he now claims the top spot of the Freeride World Tour 2011 ranking. " I was really happy with my run. Going into today's event I knew I was leading the FWT riders so I didn't want to take too many risks. I spotted a big cliff but when I saw the landing was full of sharks I decided to hit a lot of little jumps with speed instead. It's the North American Freeskiing Championships so I still wanted to ski a good line", said Jérémy Prévost.

North Americans Win the 3rd Freeride World Tour Stop in Kirkwood

The Freeride World Tour teamed up with the North American Freeskiing Championships in Kirkwood for the 3rd FWT stage 2011 (Men and Women skiers), with the opportunity for more athletes to compete against the world’s top riders.
With a 2-day competition format that cut the field in half after the first day, many of the athletes chose to step things up by launching big airs, which resulted in exciting skiing including a highly unusual number of crashes. Kirkwood young gun Josh Daiek (USA) recorded his first-ever win on his home mountain. US athlete Angel Collinson earned the top women’s spot. Several of the world’s top riders did not advance to the second day of the contest, producing some unexpected results and changes in the overall Freeride World Tour ranking, with young French talent Jérémy Prévost taking the lead. Janette Hargin (SWE) still remains at the top of the women’s ranking but her overall lead is shrinking.
With an incredibly talented group of skiers converging on Kirkwood for this event it was the North Americans who dominated on home ground. The big winner was Kirkwood's hometown hero Josh Daiek (USA), followed by Kevin O’Meara (USA) from neighboring Squaw Valley and Guerlain Chicherit (FRA), who showed convincingly that he has still got what it takes to claim a spot on the podium despite taking a break from competition. The top Freeride World Tour skiers threw down some of the best runs of the weekend however their big lines unfortunately resulted in big crashes and the top six Freeride World Tour skiers all missed the cut going into the second day of competition. One of the tour’s young rookies, Jérémy Prévost from France (22 years old), qualified from the Freeride World Qualifier ranking last season, just missed out on the podium by placing fourth. With his impressive performance he now claims the top spot of the Freeride World Tour 2011 ranking. " I was really happy with my run. Going into today's event I knew I was leading the FWT riders so I didn't want to take too many risks. I spotted a big cliff but when I saw the landing was full of sharks I decided to hit a lot of little jumps with speed instead. It's the North American Freeskiing Championships so I still wanted to ski a good line", said Jérémy Prévost. Samuel Anthamatten (SUI), also on his rookie year on the FWT, absolutely "crushed" the event face on Day 2 with a line that was not only one of the fastest but also the highest-scoring single-run of the day, finishing 10th overall.
On both days, the ladies started first and took full advantage of the untracked snow to produce clean, fluid runs including impressive cliff jumps. With a top Women's field the battle promised to be exciting. Janina Kuzma (NZL) won the event in 2010 but this year, despite an impressive run, she was unable to repeat and placed second. Angel Collinson (USA) managed to take first place with a smooth run that included several clean airs. The podium was completed by Rebecca Selig (USA)." I had a little bit of a lead coming in from yesterday so I didn’t want to take too many chances. I wanted to take a run with a few small airs and just skied fast and fluid", said Angel Collinson.