Sunday, August 28, 2011

Films "What happened on Pam Island" and "Soultrip Argentina" winners of the 17th Mountain Film Festival in St. Anton

From August 23 to August 27 St. Anton am Arlberg hosted the 17th Edition of the Mountain Film Festival. The winners of the 2011 edition are the films What Happened on Pam Island (St. Anton Special Award presented by the local Tourist Board and the Arlberger Bergbahnen AG) and Soultrip Argentina (Public Prize).
For 5 days, writer-directors, mountaineerers, climbers and mountain film friends from around the world gather to watch the spectacular documentaries and thrilling feature-length films about the sport they all love on the giant screen arranged in the Arlberg-well.com, a modern event center for Wellness and Communications located in the heart of the village.

What Happened on Pam Island
Director: Eliza Kubarska
Story Line: Climbing expedition is a pretext to tell a love story... Couple of Polish alpinists take a lonely journey to the fjords of southern Greenland to reach the world's highest sea cliff. The wall is reachable only by Kayak across an eerie, storm-ridden sea (the water around is freezing dips to 0 °C - capsizing in this area mean hypothermia and death within minutes) and then they are alone on 1,500 meters of huge granite cliff-face - and all for a kiss. Trust, passion and strange, original love in some of the most beautiful landscape you have ever seen.

World's Best Close 2011 Winter Games NZ

The final day of competition at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games brought with it some memorable highlights with riders going out huge with tricks of true World Cup standard. Riders were again treated to another spectacular blue bird day where Finland’s Janne Korpi and China’s Xuetong Cai took out the Men and Women’s titles in the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Halfpipe finals.
A field of twelve men and six women including world number one Nathan Johnstone of Australia competed in a two run semi-final with men and women alternating runs. The bar was set high from the start with internationals Taylor Gold (USA) and Ursina Haller (SUI) riding hard to place in the finals. Gold demonstrated great technical ability and variety with a solid second run earning him 92.5 points and a place in the final. Haller recovered quickly from a poor first run to gain 86.3 in run two, reminding spectators why she is ranked 4th in the world.
Yesterday’s qualifiers saw a further six men and two women going straight to final giving a total of twelve men and six women to battle it out in the finals.
Janne Korpi of Finland stole the limelight in the end making easy work of the 22ft Olympic pipe with a blistering 93.0 point performance which included a backside rodeo alley-oop 540 nose grab followed by a backside 900 mute grab into a frontside 1080 tail grab cab 1080 nose grab finishing with a stalefish. "The competition went really well for me today. I decided which run I was going to do yesterday, stuck to it and it paid off. I didn’t do anything new today but changed the order of tricks and it paid off. It’s my first Winter Games and I’m really happy to have won and be a part of the competition", said Korpi.
Yiwei Zhang of China took out second place with a score of 90.8 with Dimi de Jong placing third with 88.0 points.
There were no surprises in the Women’s field with the world number Xuetong Cai of China leading from the start with an impressive score of 92.8 made up of a frontside indie, back 540 mute, frontside 7, cab 3 mute grab and frontside 540 melon grab. World number two Holly Crawford of Australia took out second place with 88.5 points with Ursina Haller of Switzerland taking third place with 77.3 points. "It was a great competition today, the pipe is in great condition and the weather is perfect for competition. The Chinese always put up a strong fight raising the level of competition. It’s great to see the girls pushing the boundaries. I didn’t pull any new tricks out the bag today as it’s early in the season and there is no point going out too hard and injuring yourself. I’m really happy to have placed on the podium today as I was injured last Winter Games", said Crawford.
Judge Ste’en Webster was really impressed with the level of competition. "Today was excellent with the riders really stepping things up a gear going into the final. Janne Korpi’s winning run was just outstanding and a pleasure to watch. There were no new tricks today but we did see a lot of doubles which is great. Although it’s fast becoming a stock trick, it’s still not necessarily a competition winner and if riders chose to perform this trick it needs to be executed with real precision. It’s been a really fantastic 16 days of competition and we’ve been blessed with great weather. It’s a competition we’re really happy to be a part of", said Webster.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Super G Adaptive Race

Today’s 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Adaptive Super G at Mt Hutt thrilled spectators with the high level of competition. Both winners of the men’s events were more than two seconds faster than their nearest competition.
Australian adaptive athlete Cameron Rahles–Rahbula took out the Men’s Super G Standing Race at Mt Hutt with an exceptional time of 1.04.09. In the Men’s Super G Sitting Race, the USA’s Heath Calhoun blew his competition away in 1.04.30. Unfortunately New Zealand paralympian Adam Hall failed to finish but fellow Kiwi Quinton Smith came sixth in the Men’s Super G Sitting Race with a time of 1.19.48. Out of 15 competitors who entered the race, three failed to finish and one didn’t start.
In the Women’s Super G Visually Impaired Race, Australia’s Melissa Perrine narrowly beat Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher to win with 1.15.15. Gallagher’s time was 1.15.51. Korea’s Jae Rim Yang came third with 1.29.65.
Perrine says "the Super G was a good course which had been cleaned up pretty well. I’m relatively happy with how I went".
Gallagher says being able to compete on the same race against able-bodied athletes had been a huge attraction for her. "We are really excited to be here at Mt Hutt. It’s a nice way to end the Winter Games competition".
Calhoun says the race was well set out and he was very happy with snow conditions. "It made a nice run, it wasn’t horribly difficult".

Swedish and New Zealand skiers dominate Super G

Swedish and New Zealand skiers dominated the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Super G race at Mt Hutt today.
Sweden’s Daniel Ericsson narrowly beat compatriots Calle Lindh and Doglas Hedin in the Men’s Super G by a margin of less than two tenths of a second with a time of 58.3 seconds. Lindh came second clocking 58.48 seconds and Hedin third in 58.52 seconds. New Zealand’s Tim Café was first home for the Kiwis securing fifth place with 59.08 seconds, closely following Japan’s Ryo Sugai who managed 58.65 seconds. The men’s race saw competitors from Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, the USA, Switzerland and Korea taking on the single run in perfect wind-less conditions at Mt Hutt.
In the Women’s Super G, New Zealand’s Taylor Rapley set the pace first-up with an impressive 1.02.77 followed by team-mate Lucie Tait-Jamieson clocking 1.02.95. While Norway’s Rikke Gasmann-Brott came close with 1.03.08, the remaining 16 competitors were unable to match these times. The race attracted 19 competitors, including 11 New Zealanders. Other competitors came from Ireland, Norway, Australia, Great Britain, the USA and Korea.
Winter Games Alpine ski manager Wayne Cafe says it was particularly pleasing to see New Zealanders take the podium with Rapley’s gold medal and Tait Jamieson’s silver. "It was also good to see our Kiwi men finish high up".
Queenstown-born Rapley, a New Zealand team member, says she was excited to win after poor performances earlier in the season.
Ericsson says he skied "OK". "It was not bad. I was feeling from my skiing that I could have gone better". But he had nothing but praise for Mt Hutt and the Super G organisation. "It is marvellous here. With the sun and good snow, it is near perfect conditions".
Team-mate Lindh says while he was disappointed to come second, it was still good to be placed next to Ericsson. "I didn’t know what to expect from the race but I’m very happy. There was just one tenth of a second between Daniel and I, but it is fun to be on the podium".

Friday, August 26, 2011

Scott Kneller and Fanny Smith Win Gold in Ski Cross at Cardrona

In a close finish, Australia’s Scott Kneller was the winner in today’s 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Men’s Skier Cross at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Switzerland’s Fanny Smith showed why she’s ranked third in the world taking the top spot on the Women’s podium.
Spectators were treated to one of the most exciting snow sports events of the Winter Games with skiers flying down the course in groups of three and four in a race often compared to motorcross. The first two to cross the line moved on to the next stage of the competition.
Seven nations were represented in the men’s field with 34 riders competing. Today it was Scott Kneller taking the gold with teammate Anton Grimus in a very close second. Swizterland’s Kevin Amacker rounded out the podium in third place.
Kneller, who forgot his ski pants today and raced in his track pants, was very happy with his win, "It was close and Anton was right on my heels", he said. "He’s won the last few races so it was good to come out in the lead today. Having him right behind me made me push harder. At one point he washed out a turn and I thought I’d lost him but he managed to stay right in behind me". Kneller commented on the value of having an international event of this level in New Zealand. "It’s great to be here and racing at an international level. It’s an awesome way to start the season and good to have the momentum going in a positive direction. The course was fantastic and the organization top notch".
Angus Rose was the top-placing kiwi in the Men’s field taking fourth place. Usually you’ll find Angus coaching some of New Zealand’s top athletes but today, according to one of his protégés, Mitchey Greig, he decided he wanted in on the action and showed that he’s certainly capable. This was Rose’s second ever skier cross competition having been a top ski racer in his day.
While the women’s field was small, it featured some heavy hitters including number three-ranked Fanny Smith, along with Mitchey Greig (ranked 32) and Katya Crema (ranked 35).
In the end it was Fanny Smith taking the gold, followed by Australia’s Katya Crema and New Zealand’s own Mitchey Greig in second and third, respectively.
"It’s great to be here in New Zealand with the crew I usually compete with on the circuit", said Smith. "The competition was tough and I’m happy to start my season this way. This is my second time in New Zealand; I was here last year for the Junior World Championships and hope to be back again next year. It’s great to get the training underway early and to be able to compete at an international level".
New Zealand’s Mitchey Greig who made a short comeback at the Winter X Games in Aspen after injuring her shoulder last year ended up leaving Aspen with another injury and hasn’t competed since. "I’m stoked with my result today", said Greig. "It’s great to be on course with Fanny and Katya and to get back on my skis with a good result".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where To Ski This Week: Summer Skiing Season Winds Down in Europe

Skiinfo reports summer ski season in Europe is now winding down for a quiet first few weeks of September before the countdown to 2011-12 really kicks off in the middle of the month as the ‘Ski Opening’ festivities began at glacier ski areas in Austria and Switzerland. In the southern hemisphere they’re still enjoying last week’s huge snowfalls in New Zealand and conditions are largely good in other countries too.
It’s been a warm week in the Alps leading to declining snow cover on the nine glacier areas still open, with some bare patches emerging at most of them and snow depths below 30cm in some cases and no fresh snow reported in the past week.
This weekend will be the last of the summer ski season for Cervinia in Italy and Les 2 Alpes in France but it remains possible to ski in to September on the Molltal and Tux glaciers in Austria, the Saas-Fee (picture attached) and Zermatt glaciers in Switzerland, Val Senales and Passo Stelvio in Italy and Tignes in France. Passo Stelvio still reports the same 4 metre base it has been reporting all Spring and summer, which if correct is the deepest in the world at present, although fresh snow in New Zealand is now coming close to taking the title.
Across the Atlantic conditions are reported to be still good at the only North American ski area currently open – Timberline in Oregon (USA), which is still benefitting from the huge snowfalls in the region of last winter and spring.
In the southern hemisphere resorts in most countries are continuing to report fresh snow and largely good conditions.
New Zealand continues to have the best snow with a snow depth tantalisingly close to three metres at Turoa (298cm) and once travel chaos cleared following 50-80cm snowfalls across the country last week – the biggest snow fall in three years - large numbers of skiers and boarders have been heading to the slopes. Fortunately sunshine is forecast for the coming weekend so it’s looking ‘Epic.
Conditions are mixed but still generally good at most Australian ski areas. Perisher, the largest, reports a 147cm base and 9cm of new snow in the past week.
In South America there’s been more snow in both Argentina and Chile, where marketing staff are keen to say the season is now going well, "In spite of our slow start this season, we're having a banner season with lots of snowfall, and absolutely spectacular conditions, fresh powder every week and lots of sunshine!", said Kristina Schreck of Valle Nevado.
Finally , in southern Africa, Afri-ski in Lesotho, which is now in its last two weeks of its 2011 season, says conditions are good for the time of year. It still has a kilometre long, 50cm deep slope and although temperatures are now creeping above freezing, describes conditions as ‘pristine.’

Adam Hall Wins IPC Adaptive Slalom Gold for New Zealand

New Zealand paralympian Adam Hall thrilled the home crowd with a stand out gold medal winning performance at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games IPC adaptive slalom at Coronet Peak today.
Hall, who skied the Rocky Gully Arena slope yesterday forerunning the ANC Continental Cup men’s slalom, was upbeat about the well prepared course and the conditions after a decisive win in the first run of 44.90 secs. "I had a slight hiccough in the second run but managed to maintain my composure. It’s been a good day all round and great to win at home". Hall says the Winter Games provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the sport in New Zealand. "It’s always good to be able to show New Zealand what we do on the road. The Winter Games means we can get the best athletes in the world to come down here and compete".
Australian paralympian Cameron Rahles-Rahbula was silver medallist in the men’s slalom standing category and had earlier flagged that Hall would be the man to beat. He clocked the fastest second run of 45.88, after making a mistake in the first, but Hall’s combined time of 1.31.59 was enough to take the title. Rahles-Rahbula finished in 1.34.29 while third place went to popular US Paralympics team member Ralph Green, the first African-American man to make the team, who recorded 1.35.87.
The Men’s slalom sitting category was won by Jong Seok Park of Korea who claimed the giant slalom title on Tuesday. He completed the course in 1.50.25 but was pressured by war amputee US paralympian Heath Calhoun, who had the fastest first run in 55.53, but crashed at the top of the course in the second finishing in 2.00.09. "I fell in both runs. I was skiing okay but you can’t win if you fall". The bronze medal was won by British Disabled Ski team member Peter Dunning, who lost both his legs in a roadside bombing attack in Afghanistan three years ago, with a combined time of 2.09.10.
Australian paralympian Melissa Perrine and her guide Andrew Bor added to their Giant Slalom gold medal, winning the Women’s Slalom visually impaired category by a clear margin. She finished in 1.58.63 with Jae Rim Yang and her guide Ko Woon Chung taking out silver in 2.48.62.
British skier Kelly Gallagher who won silver in the Winter Games giant slalom did not compete in the Slalom due to an injury sustained on a slalom course earlier in the season.
President of the International Paralympic Alpine Ski Federation Sylvana Mestre of Spain, representing the IPC at the Winter Games NZ, praised the organisers for the high standard of the adaptive skiing series. "The Winter Games is a great event and we have to try and bring more teams and athletes in the future. We had some good athletes here this year which was shown on the slope and in the results. But we want to build up programmes and training camps in the future so it will be good for the teams to come here".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snowboard Big Air sees Parrot and Mittermueller on the Podium

Day 12 of the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw many of the world’s best snowboarders hit the Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Canada’s Maxence Parrot and Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller taking the gold.
In his first season of competing at an international level, Parrot is making his mark. Today’s backside double cork 1080 and 1260 mute grab were executed well and the difficulty was at the highest level. "Max showed a lot of style today. If he keeps training hard he will go far", said head judge, Iztok Sumatic. This is Parrot’s second Winter Games podium having taken bronze in the slopestyle on Sunday.
Parrot who is in New Zealand for his first time was grinning ear to ear. "It’s fantastic to be here", he said. "New Zealand is a super country and not at all like the area I come from in Canada where the tallest things are the buildings, not the mountains. I’ll definitely be back next year".
Second place went to Canada’s Antoine Truchon with a frontside 1080 tailgrab and a switch backside double cork 1080 mute grab. "While he touched on his landing, the trick was technical enough to earn him a spot on the podium", said Sumatic.
Rounding out the men’s podium was New Zealand’s own Milu Multhaup-Appleton another relative newcomer to the international competitions who in his first year of competition at this level placed second in Slopestyle at a World Cup in Barcelona. "Milu’s cab 900 melon and frontside 900 tailgrab were really well executed", said judge Ste’en Webster. "He showed nice amplitude and stomped his landings. It’s great to see a Milu doing well at this level of competition, he is showing good promise".
After a challenging season with a dislocated elbow followed by a rolled ankle, Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller and X Games silver medallist was happy to turn a page today taking the top spot amongst the women. Mittermueller attributed her success today in part to a desire to avoid hitting the knuckle and further injuring her ankle. "I knew I had to go big today to avoid injury", she said. "After a series of injuries and some bad luck I am really happy with today’s results and hope I’ve shown the German national team selectors that I’m capable". Silvia also has her sites set on competing in the new Olympic discipline of slopestyle in 2014.
"Silvia was a surprise", said Sumatic. "During the practice she was only doing straight airs but when it came to the competition she boosted out with a lovely switch backside 180 mute grab followed by a frontside 360 tailgrab which was also performed very well, with big amplitude". New Zealand’s Abby Lockhart and Shelly Gotlieb placed second and third respectively.

Slovakia and USA win Gold in Alpine Slalom

Slalom World number three Veronika Zuzulova continued her winning form at the 100% Pure Winter Games at Coronet Peak today claiming the Australia New Zealand Continental Cup Slalom title while American Will Brandenburg put on a blistering second run performance to stamp his name on the men’s trophy.
The race on the Rocky Gully Race Arena was a testing World Cup class course, affected at times by strong, gusty winds. Chief of Race Richard Murphy says the race was particularly difficult for the women with only 16 of the 34 starters going through to the second run. "The race was a true test of mental strength in skiing", he says. "But the course was in great condition and held up well. We had very firm injected snow, definitely of World Cup standard, and the preparation of the piste was excellent. The Men’s field was serious quality, probably one of the best seen in New Zealand for many years". He says the exposure for the Winter Games NZ and Coronet Peak, particularly in North America and Europe, due to the calibre of the alpine races, has been outstanding.
Zuzulova was in a class of her own on the 52 gate course attracting a large crowd of spectators to watch her and the other top seeds in action. She was fastest in the first run by almost three seconds in 46.64 but was pipped in the second by silver medallist Kristine Gjeitsen Haugen, who celebrated her 19th birthday by taking the run in 43.76, just a few splits ahead of Zuzulova who recorded 43.94. Zuzulova clocked a combined time of 1.30.58 to take the title adding it to her giant slalom title won at Coronet Peak yesterday. "The World Cup course was good for me today but it was difficult for some of the others who don’t ski at this level. I am very happy to win today and really enjoy racing at Coronet Peak". Haugen finished in 1.33.21 ahead of Switzerland’s Priska Nufer in 1.33.85. Both athletes ski on the Europa Cup circuit. Current New Zealand slalom titleholder Sarah Jarvis placed ninth in 1.41.90. "I really loved the course. The snow was awesome just like Europa Cup and World Cup conditions. It was a great opportunity to challenge myself".
The Men’s race was a who’s who of world top 100 Slalom racers and the first run was a major battle amongst the first ten placegetters, with one of the sport’s distinctive personalities Olympic medallist Rainer Schoenfelder of Austria, clocking the fastest time in 44.61. However the lesser ranked Brandenburg who was fifth after the first run put down the hammer to take the fastest second run time in 46.86. Brandenburg’s combined time of 1.32.47 was enough to edge Schoenfelder who scored 1.32.94 out of the top slot. "I am stoked. I had a blast. It’s been a hard season so this is big for me, really big. Schoenfelder is an amazing skier and has been skiing for a long time and I just had to trust myself and ski the way I wanted to ski". The bronze medal went to World Cup skier Lars Elton Mhyre of Norway in 1.33.45 while top seed legendary Canadian Michael Janyk finished fourth in 1.33.57 ahead of Germany’s Fritz Dopper in 1.33.78.
Queenstown’s Andrew Wylie was first New Zealander in 27th place in 1.42.31 after starting in bib 94 in the 108 strong field. Adam Barwood also of Queenstown clocked 1.42.46 to take 29th place after improving from a start position of 89.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leitner builds the first 10-person gondola in Switzerland

With the successful market launch of the 10-person gondolas at the Kronplatz ski resort (Italy) and Kitzbühel (Austria), Leitner has underscored its outstanding competence in this type of installation. "Savognin Bergbahnen" will premiere its new facilities in Switzerland for the start of the 2012-13 winter season.
The time when mountains were only popular with hikers and skiers is long gone. Winter now attracts increasing numbers of tobogganers, children and owners of fun sports equipment in addition to the skiers and snowboarders, all of whom make full use of the cable cars. In summer it’s the mountain bikers, families with pushchairs and fun sports enthusiasts that need transporting. Bearing this in mind, it was important to have an appropriately efficient and versatile solution for a new lift. And so the decision was made to order the 10-person Leitner gondola. "The contract was awarded to Leitner ropeways simply because it fully covered all requirements and because it promised to be the first 10-person gondola in Switzerland", says Vendelin Coray from Savognin Bergbahn AG.
The new installation "Tigignas-Somtgant" will replace a 3-person chair lift (built in 1984) as well as a surface lift (built in 1962), and will perform a double function as a shuttle ropeway and skiers transportation system. In the first stage of construction, 2000 passengers per hour will be transported with 38 cabins; a flow rate of 2600 passengers per hour is planned at the final stage. The valley station for the 10-person gondola lies at 1600m; the mountain station at 2100 m. The limited space at the valley station and noise likely to be caused by the planned construction of a mountain restaurant on the roof of the mountain station garage also meant certain other requirements needed to be taken into account. The new 10-person gondola is able to meet all these specifications perfectly.

Veronika Zuzulova took gold at NZ Winter Games Giant Slalom

Slovakian World Cup exponent Veronika Zuzulova lived up to her reputation as a tough competitor today winning the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games ANC Continental Cup Women’s Giant Slalom at Coronet Peak after an extremely tight tussle amongst the top seeds.
There was just a second separating the first nine finishers in the class international field and world rankings for the top competitors, as well as emerging younger skiers, will drop as a result of the excellent points race.
Forty seven competitors representing Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland started in the 36 gate race which was held on the Hurdle and finished in Eighth Basin.
Zuzulova, who is ranked 49th in the World in Giant Slalom was second seed in the start line up First seed Margret Altacher of Austria did not complete the first run, which was won by Norwegian Chloe Margrethe Fausa in 49.92 secs, the only competitor to go sub-50 seconds.
Zuzulova clocked 50 secs on the first run putting her in second position. Her final run of 51.25 was enough to give her the title in a combined time of 1.41.25 ahead of Switzerland’s 18-year-old Annie Winquist in 1.41.35. Winquist who is currently ranked 215 in the world put in a fast second run, after placing fifth in the first.
She just out skied Swiss World Cup skier Celina Hangl, who came home in 1.41.36 after clocking the fastest second run time of 50.59 to win the bronze medal.
Bernadette Schild of Germany was fourth in 1.41.42, Wendy Holdener of Switzerland fifth in 1.41.45 and Stefanie Moser of Austria sixth in 1.41.72.
Zuzulova who is ranked World number three in Slalom, and will start as a favourite to win the Winter Games slalom tomorrow, says she worked hard in the second run to pull off the win. "The last run was was more difficult but I really love this hill. In Europe you are struggling to find a slope as good as this".
The first New Zealander was Harriet Miller-Brown of Queenstown who claimed first start position in the second run after finishing 30th in the first. She placed 26th overall in in 1.45.17 significantly reducing her world ranking.

Australians dominate action in adaptive Giant Slalom

Australian adaptive skiers flew the flag for their country today winning two gold medals and a bronze in the 100% Pure Winter Games International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Giant Slalom on the internationally rated course on the Hurdle at Coronet Peak today.
The Giant Slalom was the first event in the Winter Games NZ adaptive series and Technical Delegate Simon Wi Rutene says while it was a small field of 19 skiers the standard was high. The opportunity was also created for less experienced skiers to compete.
"The course on the Hurdle, finishing on the Eighth Basin, was quite challenging particularly over the rolls and there was some spectacular spills as well as some spectacular recoveries. These athletes are quite inspirational when you see what they are up against and the power they have. It’s quite incredible and it is great to have the adaptive events included in the Winter Games".
Current Australian Paralympian of the Year Cameron Rahles-Rahbula won the Men’s standing category starting as the top seed. He finished in a combined time of 1.31.58 ahead of Ralph Green of the USA who won the silver in 1.39.51 and bronze medallist Patrick Parnell, also of USA who completed the course in 1.48.51.
Rahles-Rahbula's team mate, 2010 Paralympian Melissa Perrine, clocked the fastest time in the women’s visually impaired category, with her guide Andrew Bor, winning in 1.51.29. "It was my first race at Coronet Peak and the hill is great and the course set was awesome. I loved it".
Perrine pipped defending Winter Games title holder, Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher, and her guide Charlotte Evans who had to be content with the silver medal after crossing the finish in 1.53.56.
Third place and bronze medal went to Jae Rim Yang with her guide Ko Woon Ching in 2.10.32.
New Zealander Mary Fisher, better known as a paralympic swimmer, made her debut in the visually impaired race with her guide Ross James from the Remarkables Ski Area.
She competed after just five days on snow participating in a talent identification camp at Queenstown which is part of the Winter Games NZ legacy in conjunction with SPARC and Snow Sports NZ.
The Men’s sitting category created some exciting action with the gold medal going to Jong Seouk Park of Korea who competed at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver. He clocked 1.42.51 almost two seconds ahead of US Paralympic development team member Stephen Lawler who finished in 1.44.76. Third place was taken out by Australian Mark Soyer, who races on the IPC NorAm circuit in the USA, in 1.46.08.

17th Mountain Film Festival in St. Anton: Freeride in Tirol

From August 23 to August 27 St. Anton am Arlberg will host the 17th Edition of the Mountain Film Festival. For 5 days, writer-directors, mountaineerers, climbers and mountain film friends from around the world are coming to watch the spectacular documentaries and thrilling feature-length films about the sport they all love on the giant screen arranged in the Arlberg-well.com, a modern event center for Wellness and Communications located in the heart of the village.
Since 1995 the St. Anton Film Fest has become an internationally renowned festival focusing on "Mountains, People, Adventures".

17th Mountain Film Festival in St. Anton

From August 23 to August 27 St. Anton am Arlberg will host the 17th Edition of the Mountain Film Festival. For 5 days, writer-directors, mountaineerers, climbers and mountain film friends from around the world are coming to watch the spectacular documentaries and thrilling feature-length films about the sport they all love on the giant screen arranged in the Arlberg-well.com, a modern event center for Wellness and Communications located in the heart of the village.
Since 1995 the St. Anton Film Fest has become an internationally renowned festival focusing on "Mountains, People, Adventures". The fascination of the mountain world, breathtaking landscapes and daring expeditions can be marvelled and discussed with high-profile guests. The Film Festival St. Anton presents a wide variety of this film genre: International documentaries, films about breath-taking outdoor sports, such as extreme climbing, skiing and snowboarding, paragliding, expeditions to the highest and most difficult mountains on the earth. In addition, spectacular films about living in the mountains – the Alps, Andes, and Himalayas – are presented.
It is not by chance that this famous town at the Arlberg initiated a film festival: Winter sport is legendary here and already in the 1920s mountain and skiing films were made. For example, Arnold Fanck, the pioneer of the German mountain film genre, used the unique winter scenery at the Arlberg for his spectacular films, such as "Der weiße Rausch" (White Frenzy) shot in 1931. Hannes Schneider from Stuben am Arlberg, skiing pioneer and founder of the Arlberg skiing technique, and Leni Riefenstahl featured in this film. Luis Trenker, who later became famous as a director and actor, started his acting career at the Arlberg in 1924.
The Film Festival is also famous for its unique atmosphere: Look out for numerous celebrities – filmmakers and extreme athletes – who are among the audience; the Film Festival is a meeting place for all mountain and mountain film enthusiasts. The films are skillfully presented at the film stage, and directors and protagonists answer questions and talk about their film work and their adventures. Among the special guests of the last Film Festivals were Dean Potter, Hans Kammerlander, Alexander Huber, Catherine Destivelle, Peter Habeler, Beat Kammerlander, Hubert von Goisern, Dana Vavrova, Alain Robert, Stephan Siegrist, Kurt Albert, Bernd Arnold, Ines Papert, Stefan Glowacz, Heinrich Harrer, Paul Flora, Joseph Vilsmaier.
Upcoming filmers can win the St. Anton Special Award presented by the local Tourist Board and the Arlberger Bergbahnen AG mountain lift company.

Powder Girl (2011)
Director: Phil Trail
Filming Locations: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and St. Anton am Arlberg
Story Line:
Pretty tomboy Kim Matthews, 19, used to be a champion skateboarder - but now she's stuck in a dead end job trying to support her Dad. Opportunity comes knocking in the form of a catering job in the one of the most exclusive chalets in the Alps. At first, Kim's baffled by this bizarre new world of posh people, champagne and skiing - but then she discovers snowboarding, and the chance to win some much-needed prize money at the big end-of-season competition. But before she can become a champion again, Kim's going to have to dig deep to overcome her fears. Hard enough, without the complicating factor of Jonny, her handsome - though spoken for - boss...



Sunday, August 21, 2011

The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

On Friday 26 August 2011, at 18:30 hours the 9th Edition of the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc will start in the Place du Triangle de l’Amitiét in he centre of Chamonix. The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc is one of the greatest European Mountain Trail Races. The international race with more or less 2,300 participants takes place in one of the most incredible landscapes on the world. A breathtaking scenery of seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits like the Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the rock face of the Grandes Jorasses. The athletes cover a distance of 166 km and 9,500 of positive altitude change along the famous GR TMB, within 46 hours, at an altitude ranging between 1012 m and 2537 m., crossing six passes over 2000 metres high. They will pass through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The sporting and human achievement is remarkable: 166 km is the distance between Paris and Auxerre by the motorway; it is also the distance of four marathons back to back. The positive height gain is equivalent to twice the ascension of Everest from base camp.
Alternatively, the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (CCC) will give the participants 26 hours to cover a distance of 98 km with 5,600 m ascent from the Italian heart of the Aosta valley, through Switzerland, before finishing in Chamonix.
The "Petite Trotte à Léon", a event born 3 years ago, a non-competitive raid for teams of 3 people to complete a great circuit of Mont-Blanc of about 300 km for about 22,000 metres of positive altitude change (limit time: 138 h). This course, marked on a map handed out to each team, but not signposted, will follow the legendary passes (col des Fours, Fenêtre d’Arpette) with an extension towards the Great St Bernard and the Emosson barrage.For its 3rd year, the PTL is ‘complete’ with a record 75 teams registered.
This year the third edition of the event "Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie" will take place, approximately 109 km and 7100 m of positive vertical change for a limited time of 31 hours. In the line with the other races The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, this race is bathed in wilderness and takes place on the Great Ride mountain trails of the Mont-Blanc region and the Beaufortain region. The event in its 2009 format, did not fulfil one of the objectives for its creation, namely to satisfy the largest number of runners possible by balancing the registrations between the various races. The message from the competitors could not be ignored. After numerous discussions with the communes concerned and the wish to offer runners a race which pleases them, it was decided to invert the direction of the event. This way the runners can benefit from a magnificent departure from Courmayeur like that of the CCC, and the opportunity to cross the finishing line in Chamonix like all the other finishers.
Created in 2003 by a united party of friends lovers of cross-country racing and of the country of Mont-Blanc, les Trailers du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is a real challenge for the organization: 1700 volunteers maintaining 48 control and safety points for a duration of 60 hours to ensure the wellbeing of all who participate. Also, the entire length of the trail is checked and marked with about 8000 route markers, all of which have to be removed the days following the race. In the route there will be a total of 33 refreshment posts, some in villages and others at high mountain refuges, together with 4 reception bases at Les Chapieux, Courmayeur, Champex and Chamonix. For hours the volunteers will ensure a continual supply of hot and cold drinks, and trays of all kinds of foods (some places delight in offering their speciality – fresh cheese from the alp, homemade tart, etc.). Along with the racing, around 70 exhibitors are coming together in the context of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Open to all brands, the aim is to create an annual rendezvous. All the great figures in foot-racing will be there to present their novelties. But also trade names aware of the tourist impact of such a race. In fact a race of this size is a real tourist asset for a region (50,000 visitors expected).
With 6,500 participants and 62 nations represented the 4 events are surpassing the craze of previous years. Within the 4 events, the predominance is always sharply European with France in lead with 59.62% registrations, followed by Spain 7.65%, Italy 7.29%, United Kingdom 4.88%, Japan 2.99%, Belgium 2.91%, Switzerland 2.85%, Germany 2.83%, USA 1.15% and Greece 0.95%.


The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® par UltraTrailMontBlanc

All-star Field Dominates at Air New Zealand Snowboard Slopestyle

The ninth day of competition at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw the World’s top ranked Freestyle Snowboarders battle it out under picture perfect blue skies at Snow Park for the second of four snowboarding events where Norway’s Torgeir Bergrem and Jamie Anderson (USA) landed the Men and Women’s titles at the Air New Zealand Snowboard Slopestyle.
A heavy weighted men’s field of 60 riders including world number one Roope Tonteri (FIN) competed in two qualifying heats for the top 16 spots. With two runs per round, competitors faced a set of three rails followed by a choice of canon rail or tractor tyre, 40/50 jump, 60/70 jump and the Butter Box at the bottom of the course.
The first heat saw Torgeir Bergrem (NOR), Morten Kleivdal (NOR) and Roope Tonteri (FIN) take the top three spots. Showing strength in heat two was local rider Milu Multhaup-Appleton demonstrating real technical ability on the rails followed by a cab 9 to front 9. In the Women’s heats, Wanaka’s Abby Lockhart recovered well going into the women’s final after a difficult first run but failed to place on the podium placing fourth overall.
Torgeir Bergrem (NOR) came out tops in the end with a huge second run gaining 91.2 points which saw him steal the lead off Antoine Truchon of Canada who took out second place with 87 points. Maxence Parrot of Canada placed third overall with 86.60 points. "I felt really good on course today even though we had a pretty early start at 6am. It’s an amazing course and the weather was just perfect today. I fell on my first run of the final so I was nervous dropping into my second run. Everyone was killing it out there today. It’s my first Winter Games and I’m stoked to be here", said Bergrem.
Bergrem’s winning run was made up of a Switch Backside 270, Cab 1260 Mute, Backside Double Cork 1080 Mute Grab, Frontside 180 and finishing with a Cab 540 Mute.
The Women’s final showed world class performances with four of the world’s top ten taking on the course. World number Jamie Anderson lived up to expectations taking out first place with a huge score of 94.60. "The weather and conditions were amazing today. The girls were throwing them down inspiring me to pull out my best technical skills on the rails. This is my second Winter Games and I was second last time so I’m so stocked to win today and be a part of the event. I’m really happy with my performance", said Anderson.
Jamie took first with a Backside Lipslide, Frontside 270, Cab 360 Mute Grab, Switch Backside 540 and a Backside 180.
In second place with a score of 85.60 was Charlotte Gils Van (NED) and Rebecca Torr of New Zealand took our third with a total of 57.40.
"The competition was outstanding today with a great level of riding. What I liked the most about today’s competition is it’s the first dual sanctioned event between TTR and FIS since the sports inclusion in the Winter Olympics, a huge step for the sport and something I’m very happy to be a part of. It’s like two families coming together", said head judge Iztok Sumatic.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Freeski Big Air Goes To The Americans With Joss Christensen and Devin Logan Taking Gold

The eighth day of 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw the Freeski athletes flying high in the Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Americans Joss Christensen and Devin Logan taking the top spots.
Competition amongst the World’s Top Freeskiers was heated with double cork 10’s and 12’s being the call of the day. The first heat saw Gus Kenworthy throwing a double 14 to once again take the lead in his quest to win his third event of the week. The standout in heat two was Joss Christensen’s switch double cork 1080 tail to shift, which scored him 95 points.
The Men’s finals read like a who’s who from Freeskiing with a field heavily dominated by Americans including Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, David Wise, Nicholas Goepper, and Christopher Laker. New Zealand’s Jossi Wells landed his spot in the finals and the final two were Norway’s Pc Fosse and Switzerland’s Kai Mahler, the youngest in the field at only 15.
The Men went head to head in a knockout format with three runs per round and a final score based on the best two different jumps.
Joss Christensen was the man of the day pulling off the first ever double misty 12 in competition and consistently landing his tricks. At the finish line Christensen said he was surprised to have even made it through to the finals, "My adrenaline’s pumping. I’m stoked. I was feeling a bit beat up after the slopestyle so today’s win is a total surprise. I’m happy to have landed all my tricks. If I hadn’t Kai would have definitely been on top of the podium today".
Ending the day in second was 15-year-old Kai Mahler who was the leader going into the final round with the best trick of the day, a switch double misty 14. He failed to land his jumps in the final round of competition costing him the gold.
Hometown boy, Jossi Wells, will once again grace the podium after taking silver in both slopestyle and halfpipe, his fluidity and control earned him the third place finish.
In the Women’s field AFP Overall World Champion Devin Logan scored a trifecta becoming the winner of all three freeski events, halfpipe, slopestyle and big air. "Logan took the women’s field by 20 points", said head judge Rafael Regazzoni. "She’s been super consistent throughout the week, landing all her tricks and mixing it up with different tricks. Her best tricks today were her rodeo 5 and 7 tailgrab".
America’s Jen Hudak who crashed pretty hard on her second and third run came back in her fourth run to take second.
Up and coming New Zealander Rose Battersby (Taupo) saw her first podium at an international event placing third today. "It’s great to see a kiwi girl coming through and showing huge potential for a spot in Sochi", said judge Victoria Beattie.

Friday, August 19, 2011

St. Anton Mountain Bike Marathon

Tomorrow a new edition of the Mountain Bike Marathon will take place in the Tirolean holiday resort of St. Anton am Arlberg known worldwide in winter as a ski destination. Situated at 1,304 m above sea level St. Anton lies on the Rosanna River and belongs to the district of Landeck. St. Anton is a truly unique recreation paradise for the whole family. The cozy little town with 2,500 inhabitants has still maintained its genuine ambiance and charming atmosphere.
The Arlberger Mountain Bike Marathon is the third and final stage of the alpine triathlon "Arlberg Eagle". The overall winner must work on their physical fitness throughout the year to be ahead of the field in the ski race (Der Weisse Rausch celebrated in April 23rd), in the half marathon (July 23rd) and in the mountain-bike marathon (August 2oth). After the bike marathon, the heroes of the triathlon are duly celebrated on 22nd August and the coveted Adler trophy is awarded to those finishing at the front in all three disciplines in 2011.
The Arlberger Mountain Bike Marathon is the highlight and at the same time the end of the St. Antoner "Bike week". A pre marathon party and live music on Friday evening put the guests and participant in the mood for the demanding race.



Route: Starting from the pedestrian precinct the athletes move towards St. Jakob Untergand. From there they make the 1st ascent along the Putzenweg towards Putzenalpe. From the Alp, situated at 1726 m above sea level, the route leads west in the opposite direction to Schöngraben. The 2nd ascent towards Gampen begins at the Rodelhüttenweg turnoff. From Gampen along the Forstweg the route now descends towards St. Anton - Mooserkreuz. From Mooserkreuz the route leads downwards towards Verwall to the Maroiweg turnoff. From there it continues to the Verwall Lake. After cicuiting the Verwall Lake the route runs towards Sattelwaldweg. The Sattelwaldweg ends in Moostal, which is reached after a steep climb. The last descent now runs along the Moostal towards the finishing line in the pedestrian precinct, 41 km long, 1400 m difference in altitude.

Adventure Film Festival Chamonix 2011: Film of the Day

Azadi Freedom (2010)
Director: Anthony Bonello
Story Line: This film takes a look at Kashmir in the wake of the violent militant insurgence of the 90's, and the current rise in tourism thanks to skiing. The film crew explores the future presented to young Kashmiris as they venture into the mountains on backcountry skis. The world's highest skiable gondola sits amid one of the most militarized regions in the world, yet the freedom of adventure is drawing foreigners back to this former Shangri-La.


Australian’s Dominate in Snowboard Cross

It was Australia’s day today at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Snowboard Cross with reigning Snowboard Cross world champion and X Games competitor, Alex Pullin taking out the Men’s competition and Belle Brockhof taking gold in the Women’s competition.
Mother nature cooperated providing blue skies and light winds; the athletes provided the entertainment in this fast paced competition that, for spectators, is similar to watching a motocross event.
"It was great to be out here today competing against some of the world’s best", said Pullin. "The Winter Games is fantastic in that it provides another major competition during the Southern Hemisphere season. It’s critical to our training and to being in top form for the Northern Hemisphere season. I’ll definitely be back".
Pullin went on to comment on his teammates Cameron Bolton and Andy Fischer who placed second and fourth respectively. "We’ve been working hard to bring these two developing athletes up and it was fantastic to see them step it up for this competition. All around it was an amazing day, the weather was great, the course was great and we’re all happy to be here".
In third was America’s Chris Mahaney the second highest ranked competitor in today’s field.
Six nations were represented in the Men’s field with 31 riders competing. New Zealand’s top ranked Snowboard Cross rider Philip Dominick was the top placing kiwi today finishing in sixth place with Cody Logan coming in just behind him in eighth.
The Women’s results today proved that in Snowboard Cross being at the top doesn’t guarantee the win; one small mistake can see a title slipping away. In the semifinals, top ranked rider, 2010 Olympian and X Games silver medalist Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (USA) slid out while overtaking Amanda Taylor (AUS) who launched over Chythlook. This small error cost Cythlook her shot in the finals and in the end the win went to Brockhof with teammate Alexandra Lockie taking second and Japan’s Karen Iwadare rounding out the podium.
Brockhof was pleased with her result, "This is my third race back after a two year break". Brokhof took the break after a year of too many close calls and for a time changed her focus to Slalom and Parallel Giant Slalom. "When I stopped competing I was ranked 32nd in the world; it feels good to be making a comeback. I knew with Callan in the field I needed to go flat out. I was hungry for the win today".
There are two stages to each Snowboard Cross competition. The first stage sees riders taking on the course against the clock to decide in which order they race. Then riders race in heats of four where they fly down the same course at the same time as three other competitors. The first two to cross the line move to the next stage of the competition.

Adventure Film Festival Chamonix 2011

Starting today, Chamonix will host the third edition of the Adventure Film Festival. This years' festival takes place from 16th-24th August at the Centre de Congrès: Le Majestic, Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Dedicated to independent short films featuring adventure and an environmental conscientiousness, the theme is "Make Your Own Legends". Embracing the unknown, taking risks, making sacrifices, appreciating nature and the power of the human spirit, the Adventure Film Festival has found an ideal home in Chamonix – the birthplace of Alpinism, a winter sports mecca, and the international playground for extreme sport.
For this year organizers announced a new partnership with the Festival de Film De Sport de Nature. Together with the Les Houches tourist office and the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail Assocation, the final event of the Chamonix Adventure Film Festival will be at Lac des Chavants in Les Houches on 24th August, with a free outdoor film screening.
Also, organizers planned for this edition an Adventure Photography Course run by renowned photographers Corey Rich and Scott Willson.
With the European premiere of 'Cold' presented by Simone Moro (see below), top athletes Nico Favresse, Jon Bracey & Matt Helliker, Kilian Jornet, Krissy Moehl and others presenting their films, you can't afford to miss any of the action-packed programme.
From big wave surfing in bitter Scottish oceans to skateboarding in Kabul, Chamonix’s third annual Adventure Film Festival will showcase exceptional films borne out of the quest for adventure, inspiration and authenticityin the great outdoors.
This year’s movies pack a powerful punch of adrenalin and emotion; from the poetic beauty of Ashtray Films’ surf film by Mickey Smith, The Dark Side of the Lens, through to the Collective’s award winning mountain bike film Life Cycles. As ever the fragility of nature is also a central theme, this year highlighted in Century Films’ The Climate of Change.

Cold (2011)
European Premiere with special guest Simone Moro
Director: Anson Fogel
Cinematography: Cory Richards
Producers: Julie Kennedy & Forge Motion Pictures
Story Line: Over the past 26 years 16 expeditions have tried and failed to climb one of Pakistan's 8,000 metre peaks in winter. On February 2nd, 2011, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, and Cory Richards, became the first to succeed. Cory is now the only American to summit any 8,000 metre peak in winter. The journey nearly killed them. Cory carried a small camera and filmed the ordeal constantly. This is their story, as seen from the raw, honest perspective of Cory's lense.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All American victory and WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup

With the sport on the brink of being included in the Paralympics, 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games today its first WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup at Cardrona Alpine Resort, featuring a strong international field from both sides of the world.
It was an all-American victory with world number one, Amy Purdy, taking out the Women’s in a combined best of 202.69 and Evan Strong, also world number one, taking out the Men’s in 148.25.
"I’m surprised at how fast I went in my first run as I was taking it easy and just wanted to stay upright. My second run I somehow lost time in the middle section but it was my final run that was the quickest. It’s great to see an improvement overall and that’s what feels good, to know that you can improve and do better all the time. You’re always racing against yourself".
Amy said the athletes were just waiting to see if snowboard cross would be included in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. "It’s not a Paralympic sport at the moment but we’re due to find out any day. I think to bring a sport that a lot of our generation relates to will definitely benefit the Paralympics and it will really blur the line between able bodied and adaptive sport. We all raced really well here today and showed the sport has the ability to be included at Paralympic level".
The Men’s race was incredibly close between X Games gold medallist, Evan Strong and Carl Murphy (NZL), world number two, who took silver. "That was one of the most fun World Cups this season", said Strong. “It was nerve wracking in the morning with low visibility and the practice was rough as we couldn’t see very well. But the sun came out, softened up the course and made it way faster. It was fun racing with Carl, he’s an amazing snowboarder. On the first run he had 4/10 of a second on me so I had some pressure to push through. The second run put me in the lead by 2/10 of second but I know Carl is a fast racer and that he could easily take that up so I had to make sure I made my last run count and pushed through to take the win".
Both athletes agreed Cardrona’s World Cup course was the best they’d ridden for an adaptive competition.
The course was built beautifully, probably the best the world cup snowboard cross course we’ve ridden", said Purdy. "It was perfect for all abilities – having prosthetics on both legs I don’t compress very well but once you get on long berms it’s fun to ride. It was a perfect mix and open enough for us all to ride well, no matter what your strength".
As well as the competitive World Cup competition, today’s race also included the demonstration sport of sit ski on the gravity cross course. Corie Peters (NZL) clocked the fastest time in 190.97 after just three weeks in a sit ski. In the women’s Gemma Fletcher taook first in 222.40.
The snowboard cross competition continues tomorrow with the FIS Continental Cup snowboard cross at Cardrona Alpine Resort from 9.00am.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan Top the Halfpipe Podium at the New Zealand Winter Games

After several days of unprecedented snowfall across New Zealand, the first Ski Freestyle event of the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games was able to go ahead today at Cardrona Alpine Resort where USA’s Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan took out the top spots in Ski Halfpipe.
Kenworthy’s run which included a left cork nine with a tail grab to right side cork seven with a tail grab, two switch left seven mutes, alley oop flat spin 540 Japan finishing with a left cork ten eight tail grab earned him 85 points. Just behind Kenworthy was New Zealand’s Jossi Wells who scored 78.25 points on his run with a left side cork nine tail to right side cork nine safety to a left flair tail grab to a right side seven tail grab finishing with a switch seven mute shifty. Rounding out the top three was, USA’s David Wise whose run which included a left flair safety, to a right side cork nine tail grab, to a left cork nine nose to a an alley oop flat three sixty mute to a switch left seven dub Japan grab and then an alley oop flat 540 mute scored 75.25 points.
All of the athletes struggled with the weather today. "The pipe was in great condition it was the visibility that was an issue", said head judge Rafael Regazzoni.
"The biggest competition today was the weather", said Kenworthy. "I saw that the competition was big with Jossi Wells and David Wise pulling some big amplitude and tricks during practice so knew I had to give it my all and I did".
Taylor Seaton who was first through the qualifiers didn’t manage to stick his best run in finals and ended in fourth place.
In the end it was a clean sweep for the women from the USA with Devin Logan clinching first place, with a straight air to left five forty tail grab to right side flair to straight air to straight air to left side seven tail grab. Jen Hudak placed second with a run that included a left side 540 mute to alley oop mute to straight air to another straight air to a left side seven finishing with a switch alley oop 360. Maddie Bowman, a relative new comer to the sport rounding out the podium in third with a left side 540 safety grab to a right side 540 to another left side 540 to a straight air to a left side 720 at bottom.
Logan was pleased with the outcome, "This was my first competition in a while and it was nice to get a good one under the belt. The weather was a bit rough so rather than putting it all out there I stuck to a safe run. It’s great to have the opportunity to come down to New Zealand to get some extra training in and I’m stoked with today’s result".
All of the top finishers, both men and women, have shared the podium at the X Games in recent years.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where To Ski This Week: Fresh Snow In Austria

There remain only 10 areas open for snow sports in the northern hemisphere but the past week has seen an autumnal chill in the area at ski resorts in northerly latitudes and there’s been up to 21cm of fresh snow on Alpine glaciers reports Skiinfo.
However, the trend over the next few days is warmer weather, with possible double figures on the glaciers again – not good for snow cover.
You can currently choose between ski slopes in Austria (2), France (2), Italy (3), Switzerland (2) and the US (1) for your downhill snowsports.
In Austria the most snowfall in the past week has been reported by not-currently-open Sölden with 21cm, but the Molltal glacier in Carinthia has reported 10cm of fresh snow. The Dachstein glacier has had a centimetre of snow but is only open for cross country skiing, the other currently open downhill choice is the Hintertux (85cm) glacier.
It’s the last few weeks of summer skiing in France with Les 2 Alpes boasting the deepest snow depth at 125cm, Tignes has less with only 30cm but currently plans to stay open later in to September. It will re-open at the end of that month and then be the only French area open for several months to mid-November so will hopefully receive a top up soon.
In Switzerland the two choices remain Saas Fee (69cm, picture took today attached) or neighbouring Zermatt (92cm), with Europe’s highest slopes and a 365 day ski season.
Italy’s Cervinia (125cm) will offer summer skiing linked to Zermatt’s for a few more weeks. Passo Stelvio (400cm) continues to claim the deepest snow base in the world at 4 metres and Val Senales is also open but with thin cover (30cm).
Across the Atlantic only Timberline in Oregon, USA is open with more than a metre of snow lying and one of the best snow bases for many years after the epic winter 2011-12 there.
In the southern hemisphere the ‘feast or famine’ theme of the New Zealand 2011 ski season continues in ‘feast’ mode with more heavy snow – the downside being traffic chaos with blocked roads and accumulations of up to 60cm at resorts like Turoa on Monday.
In Australia conditions continue to fluctuate above and below freezing and there’s a mixed bag of weather however the good snow earlier in the season and the substantial top up at the start of August mean most resorts are still fully open with bases of 1 – 1.5 metres typical.
In South America conditions have continued to improve too with Portillo in Chile and Cerro Catedral, in Argentina reporting the best upper snow depths of 1,5 and 2 metres respectively, although most areas are now open as normal with at least 50-100cm bases.
Finally, in southern Africa, temperatures are well below freezing in Lesotho where the good winter 2011-12 continues. Afriski has received 10cm of fresh snow topping up base depths on 50cm and the main kilometre long run is wide open, along with the terrain park and nursery slope.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Term Weather Forecasts Predict Tons of Powder Next Year

Skiinfo reports ski resorts in Western Canada and the USA are already predicting that the coming winter of 2011-12 will be another record breaker.


"Statistically, winters during which the ‘la Niña' phenomenon is in effect, provide 52% more snow than non-la Niña years at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, that's a lot of snow", said a statement from the famous Wyoming resort.
Although only one ski area is currently open in North America (Timberline in Oregon) a number of resorts are pointing out they have so much snow lying from last winter 2010-11, large amounts will not melt before next winter, meaning they'll have a guaranteed base for their planned autumn opening dates.
Squaw Valley (Tom Day's picture attached), in California, one of dozens of resorts that reported their most ever snowfall in a season last winter, is one of those still running their lifts to ‘experience the snow' and escape the California heat, even though they are not open for skiing and boarding.
Squaw Valley is located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada (California). Squaw Valley is one of the largest ski areas in the United States, and was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is the second-largest ski area at Lake Tahoe after Heavenly. Squaw receives heavy maritime snowfall. The Average Annual Snowfall is 450 inches (11.5 m).
Long range meteorologists forecast a return of the famed La Niña Pacific weather phenomenon for the winter of 2011-2012.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Zealand Winter Games 2011. A Taste of Things To Come Episode 4

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 - A taste of things to come ep4 from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.


This video features professional free skiiers Matt Soundy, Matt Johnson, Hamish Mcdougall, Boen Ferguson & Charlie Timmins.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011), 38 events, 22 snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
The 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining Alpine Skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of Speed Skating in the ice programme. In addition, the Ice Hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the Curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the Adaptive and Able-bodied Cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Big Air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.

New Zealand Winter Games Opens

The second 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games opened today as over 1,000 spectators to watch the opening Parklife Rail Jam and see the Games officially opened by the Hon David Carter, Minister of Economic Development. Mr Carter said the Games are now one of the largest winter sports events outside the Winter Olympics, reflecting New Zealand’s growing reputation as a major events host.

"Winter Games New Zealand is a home-grown event which is proving a huge drawcard for the world’s elite snow and ice sport athletes. Competitor numbers are up by 200 on the inaugural event in 2009", said Mr Carter.
"The tourism spin-offs are significant, particularly in terms of international media exposure. The Winter Games showcase our spectacular winter landscape and put New Zealand on the map of world-class events".
Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap, said the Games had developed into more than just an elite sporting event. "Our concentration at the inaugural Games in 2009 was to put on an outstanding sporting event and there’s no question the athletes are the most important component of this event. But in 2011 we’ve stepped it up - we’ve improved the product for the athletes, we’ve brought Canterbury into the programme as Mt Hutt has the best Super G course in the country. We wanted to have more community contact so we’ve introduced downtown awards ceremonies, an adventure expo, concerts, film festivals to involve the community and athletes even more".
The on snow competition starts tomorrow, 13 August 2011, with the Cross Country Classic at Snow Farm, Lake Wanaka, featuring Olympic gold medallist Justyna Kowacyk (POL), Alexander Panzhinskiy (RUS) Olympic silver medallist and Nikita Kriukov (RUS), Olympic gold medallist.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ski Utah Searches for New Park Rat Blogger

Starting today Ski Utah will launch the search for the newest addition to the Ski Utah Blog team: the Park Rat. As part of the blog team, the Park Rat will be awarded a Ski Utah Silver Pass, a $2,500 value, which enables them to jib, jump and ride 30 days at all 14 Utah ski and snowboard resorts. In exchange for the coveted Silver Pass, the Park Rat will be required to contribute one blog post per week October 15, 2011 - April 15, 2012. Entrants are required to fill out a short application and submit a 60 second video on why they should be selected as the Ultimate Park Rat.
"Being an Ultimate Powderhound is the best thing that has ever happened to me second to moving to Utah", said Powderhound Matt Baydala, one of two winners of last year’s Ultimate Powderhound search. "Being part of the Ski Utah blog team is an incredible way to be a part of the Utah ski and snowboard industry".
Ski Utah is looking for a Utah ski or snowboard enthusiast with a passion for The Greatest Snow on Earth and the state’s incredible park and pipe terrain. Entrants should prove their ability to communicate their resort experiences through writing, video production and ability to engage a social media audience. The deadline to enter is September 5, 2011 at midnight MDT.
The Ski Utah Blog team is currently comprised of the state’s most knowledgeable and enthusiastic snowsports bloggers. The Park Rat will join Ultimate Powderhounds Matt and Cat, Thomas Cooke, Jodi Saeland and the Ski Utah Yeti as they dish readers the inside scoop on skiing and riding Utah.

Winter Games NZ opens today

The Winter Games NZ opens today, Friday 12 August from 5.30pm in Earnslaw Park in Queenstown. The Opening Ceremony starts with tons of the action in the Parklife Invitational Rail Jam before Hon David Carter, Minister for Economic Development, officially opens the Games at 6.00pm followed by a spectacular aerial display from a 32-strong team of freeskiers and snowboarders. Live music and a crowd of thosuands will all add to the exciting atmosphere as the greatest snow on show gets underway!
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011), 38 events, 22 snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
The 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining Alpine Skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of Speed Skating in the ice programme. In addition, the Ice Hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the Curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the Adaptive and Able-bodied Cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Big Air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.

100% Pure Winter Games NZ 2011 from WinterVolume on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Zealand Winter Games 2011. A Taste of Things To Come Episode 3

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 - A taste of things to come ep3 from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.


This video features professional snowboarders Nick Hyne and Seamus O'Conner at Snowpark NZ along with professional cross-country Skier Andy Pohl at Snowfarm.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011), 38 events, 22 snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
The 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining Alpine Skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of Speed Skating in the ice programme. In addition, the Ice Hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the Curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the Adaptive and Able-bodied Cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Big Air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Zealand Winter Games 2011. A Taste of Things To Come Episode 2

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 - A taste of things to come Ep2 from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.


This video features professional alpine skiers Tim Cafe, Jamie Prebble & Ben Griffin training at Coronet peak along with professional disabled ski racer Adam Hall free skiing at Cardrona.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011), 38 events, 22 snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
The 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining Alpine Skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of Speed Skating in the ice programme. In addition, the Ice Hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the Curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the Adaptive and Able-bodied Cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Big Air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Zealand Winter Games 2011. A Taste of Things To Come Episode 1

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 - A taste of things to come ep1 from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.


This video features top freeskier Jossi Wells, along with snowboarders Stef Zeetstraten, Will Jackways and Shelley Gotlieb.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011), 38 events, 22 snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
The 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining Alpine Skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of Speed Skating in the ice programme. In addition, the Ice Hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the Curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the Adaptive and Able-bodied Cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Big Air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.

Kiwi Athletes Ready To Take on World's Best

Over 140 of New Zealand’s top snow and ice sport athletes are preparing to take on the best in the world at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games which starts in just over two weeks.
For many, it will be their first taste of international competition while for others, the event provides an opportunity to compete in an elite international competition on their home turf while earning valuable points towards their world rankings.
Included in the New Zealand team are a number of Olympians such as snowboarders Rebecca Sinclair, Mitchell Brown and Kendall Brown who will all compete in the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Halfpipe against a field that includes world number one, Nathan Johnstone (AUS) and world number two, Holly Crawford (AUS).
Tim Cafe and Benjamin Griffith both represented New Zealand at the 2010 Olympics in Alpine Skiing and they will take on a strong international field, include Norwegian gold and silver Olympic medallists Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjeitel Jansrud on the Slalom and Giant Slalom courses at Coronet Peak and the Super G course at Mt Hutt. Griffin and Cafe are joined by teammate Sarah Jarvis, Australasia’s highest ranked female alpine ski racer.
Winter Games NZ is unique in that it is the world’s only elite snow sports competition that features both able bodied and adaptive athletes competing over the same course. New Zealand’s gold medal Paralympian, Adam Hall, will race in all the Alpine Skiing disciplines at Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt.
The cross country events at Snow Farm, near Wanaka, are expected to be dominated by the Canadian and Russian teams, along with Olympic gold medallist Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) but Kiwi Olympian Benjamin Koons and Olympic biathlete Sarah Murphy will both enjoy home training ground advantage.
In the ice sports, Blake Skjellerup carries New Zealand’s best hopes of a medal after he made it through to the quarter finals in Vancouver 2010.
Other New Zealand athletes of note include former World Superpipe Champion and world number one ranked freeskier, Jossi Wells, who will compete in the first FIS Freeski Slopestyle since the announcement it will be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He will be joined in the freeski halfpipe event by teammate Janina Kuzma off the back of a very successful Northern Hemisphere season that saw her finish with a top three freeride world ranking. Her competition in the Winter Games NZ Halfpipe will include no less than four X Games gold and silver medallists, as well as current world number one Devin Logan (USA).
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days (13-28 August 2011) of snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the most spectacular setting possible, New Zealand's Southern Alps. The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.