Sunday, March 30, 2014

FWT14 XTREME VERBIER. Ski Sports Highlights


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

FWT14 XTREME VERBIER. Snowboard Sports Highlights


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Freeride World Tour Champions Crowned at the Xtreme Verbier


With a new coat of 50-60 cm of fresh snow, the mythical Bec des Rosses at Verbier, Switzerland, promised for an epic final competition of the Swatch Freeride World Tour 2014 by The North Face. The athletes were well prepared to take on freeriding’s most prestigious and challenging competition and charged down the intimidating 500 metre north face with power and style, as well as mental and physical strength.
After a long waiting period for the best possible weather and snow, the stars finally aligned, making for an even better show, witnessed by six thousands of cheering spectators and four thousands of viewers on the live webcast. At the end of the day winners of both the 19th edition of the legendary “Xtreme” and the 2014 Freeride World Tour Champions were crowned, a very international group of athletes.
Nerves were on high tension as several competitors in each discipline had the chance to grab the world champion title. Many minds wereset for a win and to ride the long and difficult face at their highest
level. With visual inspection only it is a huge challenge to take on such a mission on the very steep face with a gradient of 45 degrees to up to 60 degrees at the top! Despite a lot of new fresh snow it was at times affected by the wind, making the conditions variable and tricky.
First out to tackle the Bec des Rosses were the women snowboarders followed by women skiers, starting from the lookers’ right shoulder of the mountain, the “Petit Bec” (small Bec). The battle for the snowboard World Champion title was on for veteran Shannan Yates of USA and local rookie Estelle Balet (SUI). After the two favourites both took a tumble, 2013 Champion Elodie Mouthon secured the win of the day at the Xtreme Verbier with a powerful run and good air. Nonetheless, Yates had enough points to take the overall title 2014.
Austrian skier and defending Freeride World Champion Nadine Wallner, managed to hold on to the title 2014 with a second place at the “Bec” and a very consistent season. The only woman who beat her at the Xtreme Verbier was Norwegian Pia Nic Gundersen, who did it loudly. She lay down a stand out run skiing solidly in huge speed and taking a massive jump of at least 12 metres, resulting in her first victory on the tour.
The men tackled the Bec des Rosses from the very top, starting with the snowboarders. Defending World Champion Ralph Backstrom, rode the mighty face in true “Backstrom style” with big jumps and fluid charging, and scored a second consecutive win at the Xtreme. When the final results unfolded a new Freeride World Champion was crowned, local Swiss rider Emilien Badoux, who had a strong season with three podiums at five events, including a win at Chamonix, France. Badoux was very emotional and proud to be the first ever Swiss Snowboard Freeride World Champion.
The 15 men skiers wrapped up the grande finale of 2014 with an incredible show. One of the favourites on the Bec des Rosses, the solid Swede Reine Barkered, did it again and repeated his win from 2012. The former World Champion (2012) skied the intimidating face so confident and composed, he made it look easy! His signature style with fast technical riding and perfectly landing huge airs, paid off and made it hard for the other skiers to beat his high score of 93.25 points.
All eyes were on rookie Loïc Collomb-Patton of La Clusaz, France, having the biggest chance to grab the World Champion title coming in to Verbier. Collomb-Patton lead the rankings since the first competition in Courmayeur, Italy and on his first ever run on the Bec des Rosses he proved why he is worthy the 2014 title, finishing off big mountain charging with a an impressive 360 (full rotation) off a big cliff, putting him in third place of the day and a very good position to win the overall Freeride World Tour title his first year on the tour.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT General Manager Europe concludes the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2014: "Finishing off the Freeride World Tour with the awesome finals in Verbier was a perfect ending to a roller coaster season with a lot of changes of competition faces and even an event cancellation. But in freeriding it all comes down to adapting and playing with the elements of nature. Despite the difficult winter the FWT had five successful events, showcasing progression of the sport. The riders have been pushing the boundaries and the level is higher than ever. The ever-growing fans, the huge popularity of the qualifier (FWQ) and junior (JFT) events, the impressive performances of the athletes, and the vast media interest proves that freeriding is more attractive than ever and that the FWT pyramidal system is working well and looking even more promising for coming seasons".

Freeride World Tour Champions 2014:

Ski Men: Loïc Collomb-Patton FRA
Snowboard Men: Emilien Badoux SUI
Ski Women: Nadine Wallner AUT
Snowboard Women: Shannan Yates USA

Friday, March 28, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 36. Snow Conditions at the Bec des Rosses

Here is the last FWT14 Journal before the big Finale tomorrow on the Bec.
The sixth and final stage of the 2014 season,will be 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 will go 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 Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Salomon Freeski TV: Spring Break


Salomon Freeski TV 7th season. "Sometimes things do not go as planned and you end up on Spring Break in the mountains with Josh Dueck, Cody Townsend, Josh Daiek and Leah Evans!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 35. Best Memory on the Bec

The Bec des Rosses is a mythical place for freeriders, whether they have ridden the face or not, it still remains an impressive mountain. Hersha asked Aurélien Ducroz, Drew Tabke, Kevin Guri and others riders for their best memories.
The sixth and final stage of the 2014 season,will be 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 theFreeride World Tour the elite of Freeride will go 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 Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Jean-Claude Killy Resigns as IOC Member

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Jean-Claude Killy has announced that he is stepping down as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after two decades of service to the Olympic Movement.
The 70-year-old Alpine ski legend joined the IOC in 1995. He was a member of a number of IOC commissions, most recently chairing the Coordination Commission for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014 (2007-2014).
IOC President Thomas Bach, who was informed of Killy’s decision some months ago, said Killy had had a profoundly positive impact on the Olympic Movement, both as an athlete and as an administrator.
"On behalf of the entire Olympic Movement I would like to express our sincere thanks and great appreciation for Jean-Claude’s outstanding achievements throughout his Olympic career", President Bach said. "Having already been a sporting legend as an athlete, he later dedicated himself to the IOC, its values and ideals – also with great success. In this respect, I could mention many of his accomplishments, but I know that he himself would consider his unique contribution to the fantastic success of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games as his greatest achievement. Jean-Claude was a great ambassador of the Olympic ideals and I thank him for his many years of excellent service to the Olympic Movement".
Killy is best known for winning three gold medals at the Grenoble 1968 Olympic Winter Games. He also won the World Skiing Championships three times between 1966 and 1968, was crowned Professional World Champion in 1973 and twice won the World Cup (1967 and 1968).
He was a member of the following IOC Commissions: Coordination for the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998 (1992-1998), Sport and Environment (1996), Finance (1998-2014), “IOC 2000” (Executive Committee, 1999), and IOC 2000 Reform Follow-up (2002). Killy was also the Vice-Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 (1996-2002), and Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006 (2000-2006).
President Bach will propose that Killy be made an honorary IOC member at the next IOC Session in Monaco in December.

Epic TV: A La Française Ep. 5. Guillaume Harleaux and Friends Have One Sick Backcountry Session

French Skiing. French Riders. No Baguettes. This is a journey into the entire French ski scene brought to you by some of the best French riders on the planet. Ride with ze crew as they travel throughout the Alps and the Pyrenees, dropping, jibbing, freeriding and sessioning some of the best spots in France. Vive le freeski, vive les montagnes - this is A French Winter.



In this episode, A La Française followed Alban Martin, Thomas Lambert, Hugo Paneboeuf, and Guillaume Harleaux into the backcountry of the Maurienne Valley. This area's reputation as a world class freeriding spot is well deserved, the snow quality and accessibility make it is simply amazing. Not that the crew was just going to well-known areas, though. Check them out as they search out a few secret spots that hold the best powder in the valley. The level went up and up all day culminating with a couple of really nice jumps at the end, including a double backflip at 4:00.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 34. Estelle Balet

After celebrating the Rookie of the Year title with Estelle Balet, Hersha has a chat with the newcomer about her feeling on her first tour experience and possibly winning the tour.


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 33. Juniors

Interview of the Pro riders about the Juniors with Hersha Patel.


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Glance Back at Lenzerheide World Cup Finals


The Swiss ski resort of Lenzerheide once again hosted the World Cup Finals and the last races of the season proved as exciting as they could possibly be, with only three out of the 10 season titles having been already secured before the last races.



Lenzerheide is a mountain resort in the canton of Graubünden. The village lies at the foot of the Parpaner Rothorn in a broadened section of the valley between the cantonal capital Chur to the north and Tiefencastel, beyond which are the Julier Pass and St Moritz.
Lenzerheide is popular as skiing resort. The skiing area, managed by the Lenzerheide Bergbahnen AG, includes two sides of a valley with 34 modern ski lifts and 155 km (74 Blue, 62 Red and 19 Black pistes) of prepared slopes at a snow-reliable 1230 m to 2865 m above sea level .

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Epic TV: So Freaking Extreme, Ep. 10. Chamonix Locals Score an All-Time Day on the Pleasure Dome

I don't know, let's see what happens,' that's what Nathan Wallace has been saying all winter and occasionally it has payed off in spades. Here he is riding the powder swells of the Mont Blanc Massif with Babs Charlet, Lionel Binet, Luca Pandolfi, Oli Herren, and 61-year-old legend Wild Bill. Anything is possible.

Friday, March 21, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 32. Remember Your First Time

In todays Journal Hersha heads up the mountain for the face inspection and asks the riders how they felt when they first saw the Bec.
The sixth and final stage of the 2014 season,will be 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 will go 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 Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 31. Meeting With Sam Smoothy

Two years ago Sam Smoothy was set to win the world title, but was beaten by the Bec. This year, once again the dream of being world champ is within his reach. Hersha caught up with him in todays journal to find out how he was feeling about facing the most iconic and feared mountain on the FWT.



The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Winter Paralympic Games Help To Create "Barrier-free Minds"


The 2014 edition of the Games provided the Paralympic movement with a number of landmark moments, and also represented a watershed in Russia’s efforts to improve the lives of those living with a disability.
Beyond the record-breaking performances, breath-taking displays of athletic ability and human endeavour, and the constant pushing of physical and mental boundaries, those involved have also helped to lay down foundations for the future, to create a lasting legacy, and to become in the words of IOC Member and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President, Sir Philip Craven, "Games-changers".
The IPC President hailed the achievements of Sochi in becoming Russia's first truly accessible city, and he claimed the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games would leave a lasting legacy in terms of improving facilities and changing attitudes towards the disabled.
"The plan and the commitment of the Russian government is for this to be spread out over time in legacy format to each of the 80 regions in Russia and that's a fantastic dream of ours to be able to influence and transform the biggest nation in the world", he said.
In his speech at the Opening Ceremony, Craven referenced the progress that had been made since Russia had refused to host the Paralympics in 1980 when the Olympics came to Moscow, but he stressed the biggest change was yet to come.
"In the same way that the city of Sochi has built a barrier-free environment for athletes and officials to enjoy, I call upon all those who experience these Games to have barrier-free minds too", he said. While the volunteers at London 2012 were known as "Games makers", Sochi's volunteer force would, according to Craven, come to be seen as "change makers".

The Sochi 2014 edition of the Paralympic Winter Games enjoyed unprecedented ticket sales and media interest, building strongly on the momentum created by London 2012. Over nine days of competition, 547 Paralympic athletes from 45 countries took part, competing for 72 sets of medals in five sports. Over 300,000 competition tickets were sold ensuring a virtual sell-out.
Meanwhile, over 2,400 media representatives provided global coverage across print, radio, TV and digital platforms, with host nation Russia alone dedicating a total of 180 hours of coverage via national TV channels. A number of countries, including the USA and Brazil, provided live coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games for the first time.
During the Games, the official website sochi2014.com was visited by more than three million people who, in total, viewed approximately 15 million pages. More than 8,000 volunteers helped in organising the competitions and worked a total of 80,000 shifts during the Games.
The positive impact of the Paralympic Winter Games is already being seen in the host region and throughout the whole of Russia. Thanks to the preparations for Sochi 2014, for the first time, the country is witnessing the development of a truly nationwide volunteer movement, which is helping to bring positive change in society’s attitude towards people with impairment.
On the eve of Russia’s first ever Paralympic Games, more than 1,000 infrastructural sites in Sochi were recognised as accessible. Over the period 2006-2011, the number of Sochi residents with a disability who have become involved in sports has tripled.
Today, the positive impacts of the Games have already being felt not only in the region, but all around the country. To date, approximately 200 Russian cities have already adopted Sochi’s leading example of creating a barrier-free environment, which will help to fully integrate people with disabilities into society.
An invaluable contribution to this feeling is the innovative Accessibility Map project, implemented by the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and the One Country Support Fund for People with impairment. The Accessibility Map allows people with an impairment to find a place nearby where they can take part in Paralympic sports and obtain information on the nearest barrier-free environment locations. The Accessibility Map currently contains over 14,700 different facilities.
As part of the International Paralympic Committee’s Observer Programme, over 50 events were organised for the Organising Committees of future Games. Their employees spoke about the specifics of preparing for and hosting a Paralympic Games – making a further tangible contribution to the Sochi 2014 legacy.
All of the Paralympic Winter Games venues in and around Sochi were made fully accessible for people with disabilities – including parking, building entrances and exits, and spectator seating.
Meanwhile, transport plans for the Games showed accessible routes between the city and the venues and within the venues and the Olympic Park. During the Games, 327 of the 800 or so buses in use during the Games were accessible to people in wheelchairs.
As part of the infrastructural preparations for the Games, the main transport hubs – railway stations and international airports (Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and Adler) – were all in full compliance with the requirements of a barrier-free environment.
Back in Sochi, all of the accommodation for Paralympic athletes was equipped with ramps, elevators with accompanying sound, wide hallways and accessible bathrooms and showers. In addition, signs with braille or raised letters were specially installed for visually impaired athletes, while all of the venues benefited from tactile rails and warnings or visually contrasting paths.
There was also a strong educational component to the preparations for the Games, which it is hoped, will serve as a template that can be rolled out nationwide.
Organising Committee’s staff held approximately 40 training sessions on the “Introduction to the Paralympic Movement and skills required to support people with an impairment” for 5,080 volunteers, drivers, security officers, airport workers, and electric train operators.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 30. Hello Bec



The sixth and final stage of the 2014 season,will be 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 will go 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 Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Epic TV: 100% Skiing, Ep. 1. Phil Meier Sets Off a Huge Avalanche and Skis Out Like a Boss



Swiss shredder Phil Meier takes you deep into the Alps and around the world on his incredible skiing adventures.
In the first episode of 100% Skiing, the filmmakers sit down with Swiss super shredder Phil Meier and take us through the last five years of his skiing travels. Follow Phil deep into the mountains of Austria, Canada, Tulsequah, Georgia, Russia, and his home of Verbier. He rides some incredibly steep lines, sets off more than a few avalanches, and has the time of his freaking life while making sure to always get home to his family.

Epic TV: By Fair Means, Ep. 3. Think You've Ridden Awesome Powder? Wait Till You See What These Guys Scored


By Fair Means is what you get when you bring together some of the worlds best freeriders, cut out the use of snowmobiles and helicopters, and let them have as much fun as possible. This episode of By Fair Means takes us back to January 2012 when a series of huge snowstorms hit Western Austria wreaking havoc and packing the mountains with high quality powder. When the crew's local mountain set the year's record for snow accumulation, they headed out into the eye of the storm with nothing but their boards and their skins and they scored BIG style. It's all GoPro because it was snowing too hard for regular cams, but you won't be disappointed. See if you can count the number of face shots in this film. Fair warning: you'll need fingers and toes!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Uvex Peak to Creek conquers the Ötztal Valley


On May 2, the starting gun will sound in Austria’s Ötztal for the ultimate relay race uvex Peak to Creek 2014, which features both an exciting race course and a list of renowned participants.The disciplines are ski mountaineering, ski, mountain bike, mountain running, climbing, road cycling, kayak and rafting. The 2014 uvex Peak to Creek is already the fifth edition of the spectacular race that takes athletes from the summit of the Rettenbach glacier known as the ’Schwarze Schneide’ to the wild waters of the Ötztaler Arche river and into Area 47 on a challenging route of approximately 90km.
Among the athletes are internationally renowned skiers who will be delivering a thrilling race both uphill and downhill on the demanding slopes of the "Schwarze Schneide".
Kitzbühel-winner Dominik Paris (ITA) is one of the athletes participating in the skiing leg of the race. In a race against time he will try to gain some valuable seconds for his team. Otheralpine skiers are free-skier Tine Huber (AUT) and German-Austrian World Cup skier Fritz Dopfer (AUT), who recently proved his skills during the Alpine Skiing World Cup men's slalom ski race in Slovenia. "The biggest challenge for me is that the course is a lot longer than it normally is. In addition, parts are in open terrain which is unusual for me", explain Dominik Paris. "I’ll definitely give everything to give my team a head start in all following disciplines".
Prior to the downhill stage, the uvex Peak to Creek ski mountaineers will have to face the challenging ascent towards the summit. Alexander Fasser (AUT), one Austria’s most accomplished ski mountaineers and Austrian and overall Tyrolean ski mountaineering champion, as well as Ivo Zuliani (ITA) are two of the competitors.
Further athletes are pro mountain biker Bart Brentjens (NDL), local mountain running star and two times Austrian Champion Markus Kröll (AUT) as well as the highly successful climber Hansjörg Auer (AUT). For the road cycling leg former professional cyclist Jan Ullrich (GER) has already confirmed his participation. "It’s my third time at uvex Peak to Creek. Just like in previous year, the cycling course will be really demanding and the competition will be tough again", explains Jan Ullrich. "I’m going to give everything in my discipline, reach my personal limit and support my team as well as possible. This is what the event is all about after all".
All the way from New Zealand comes Sam Sutton (NZL) who has so far scored three extreme kayak world champion titles.
During the event weekend from May 2 to May 3, visitors at Area 47 will not only be treated to an action-packed sporting event, but can also enjoy an exciting celebrity KTM motocross race as well as a movie night powered by redbull.com/adventure. All in all, it is an outdoor adventure that shouldn’t be missed!
As the longest side-valley of the river Inn, the Ötztal serves as a fantastic backdrop for this unique multisport event. As a sports and leisure paradise, the Ötztal is not just famous for its perfect freesports opportunities but also for its beautiful landmarks including the 3,774m high "Wildspitze peak" and the "Ötztaler Ache" river.


Uvex Peak to Creek is a multisports relay in which athletes compete in the disciplines of ski mountaineering, skiing, mountain bike, mountain running, climbing, road cycling, kayak and rafting. The event takes place from May 2 to May 3, 2014 in Ötztal, Tyrol and takes athletes on a 90km route. From the top of the Rettenbach glacier down to the river Ötztaler Arche, athletes will cover more than 7.067 meters of altitude.

Epic TV: Storm Cycles, Ep. 1. These Guys Crossed America to Ski a Storm, They Weren't Disappointed


This season six skiers are leaving their natural habitat on the eastern seaboard and embarking on a journey to the West. Though they are following in the footsteps of many a migratory drifter before them they're searching not for a new land to call their own, but for the deepest, purest powder and all the incredible skiing that goes along with it. Hop on the train and buckle up, we're heading into the Storm Cycles.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ski the Best of Europe, Asia & the US, with the Epic Season Pass


Vail Resorts today announced a renewed partnership with the largest ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallées, France, as well as the illustrious Verbier, Switzerland; providing up to five free consecutive days in both respective areas, when staying at in-resort accommodations. The news follows the recently announced new partnership with one of the snowiest and most celebrated powder skiing resorts in the world—Niseko, Japan. Epic Season Pass holders have the opportunity to experience the best of Europe, Asia and the USA, with access to Les 3 Vallées, France; Verbier, Switzerland; and now Niseko, Japan; in addition to unlimited and unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek,Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly,Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, for the 2014-2015 winter season. In just over five days of skiing and riding, the Epic Pass pays for itself and continues to offer the best value in the snow sports industry, with access to 21 mountains across 3 continents, including 28,830 skiable acres and 27,136 vertical feet at the best ski and snowboard resorts in the U.S.
"We are excited to announce a renewed partnership between Vail Resorts and Les 3 Vallées, France, as well as Verbier, Switzerland, providing ongoing access to truly legendary and world-class resorts in Europe. Epic Pass holders that have taken advantage of these partnerships have been nothing short of blown away by the experience that these resorts provide and we couldn’t be more pleased to be able to extend the opportunity for more of our most loyal skiers and riders to ski the world", said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "Each and every year, we look to further increase the already incredible value of the Epic Pass, and the 2014-2015 season will be no exception, with continued access to the best of Europe, in addition to five free days in Niseko, Japan".
"We are very happy to continue our partnership with Vail Resorts. Les 3 Vallées is the largest ski area in the world and the premier destination in ski terrain choice, service and gastronomy in Europe", said Vincent Lalanne-Clouté, director of Les 3 Vallées. "It’s no mistake that we are aligned with the preeminent mountain resorts in the world. We look forward to once again having Epic Pass holders experience the special place that is Les 3 Vallées, during the 2014-2015 season".
Les 3 Vallées and Verbier are typically open from early December through April, while Nisekois typically open from November through May. Les 3 Vallées is home to the legendary mountain resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle, France.
The five free consecutive days of skiing and riding at Les 3 Vallées, Verbier and Niseko will be reciprocated for the mountains’ respective season pass holders, allowing more international guests to experience Vail Resorts’ world-class mountain resorts.

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

FWT: Bec des Rosses - Featuring Jérémie Heitz by Audi

The "Bec des Rosses", venue for the finals of the FWT14 in Verbier, is not the kind of mountain the best skiers and snowboarders ride with a last minute face check!
It takes time to apprehend this huge and somehow gnarly face! It requires a lot of preparation and inspection. Here is a great video made by our partner Audi, featuring Swiss skier Jérémie Heitz, about what is means for a rider to prepare for the "Bec", mentally and physically.

The sixth and final stage of the 2014 season,will be 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 will go 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 Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Epic TV: Storm Cycles, Teaser. The Ultimate Railroad Ski Journey Into the Wild West


This season six skiers are leaving their natural habitat on the eastern seaboard and embarking on a journey to the West. Though they are following in the footsteps of many a migratory drifter before them they're searching not for a new land to call their own, but for the deepest, purest powder and all the incredible skiing that goes along with it. Hop on the train and buckle up, we're heading into the Storm Cycles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Epic TV: Japanese Dream, Ep. 2.



Jérôme Chanal and Guillaume Harleaux are in the Hakuba Valley on the main island of Japan looking for untouched powder. After heavy weather last episode the clouds finally clear and they head out of the forests and up into the lofty peaks of the Japan Alps. They aren't alone though. Local shredder Ryuya Yoshida is bringing his wry wit and a penchant for huge backflips, (check 2:55) and guiding them is Canadian, Dave Enright, an expat who has spent the last 20 years in Hakuba skiing and growing his hair out. After a lengthy hike the crew is rewarded with all the powder they can handle and not another soul in sight. Jérôme Chanal and Guillaume Harleaux Score Incredible Virgin Powder in Japan.

Anna Fenninger Wins Giant Slalom Race and Title


The 2013-2014 Audi FIS World Cup tour came to a close today in Lenzerheide (SUI) with the last race of the season going to Anna Fenninger, who won not only the ladies’ giant slalom race 0.25 seconds ahead of teammate Eva-Maria Brem, but she also earned the Small Globe in addition to formally being handed the Big Globe as the season’s best overall skier.
"It was an unbelievable day for me", said Fenninger. "There are a lot of emotions for me today. It was a great battle for the giant slalom globe with Jessica and I am and just really happy with today and the entire week in Lenzerheide".
There has been no clear favorite for the ladies in the giant slalom as the leader of the season heading into today’s race, Sweden’s Jessica Lindell-Vikarby won just one race during the season. But today’ Fenninger was too strong for the Swede to hold on to her slim 14-point lead. Lindell-Vikarby finished the day in third place and was second overall in the giant slalom standings this season.
"I’m really satisfied, I never thought at the start of the season that I would be on the podium five of eight races, so I’m quite pleased with how things went", said Lindell-Vikarby after the race. "Anna is an amazing skier, and she deserves the globe today".
Fenninger finished in the top-three of every discipline this season with the exception of slalom. It is the Austrian’s first-ever Small Globe in her career. Today was her Rounding out the giant slalom top three was another Swede, Maria Pietiulae-Holmner.
It was an excellent day for the Austrians. Marcel Hirscher mirrored Fenninger's success today as he also earned the Small Globe in slalom, while also being awarded the Big Globe as the overall season winner. Both Hirscher and Fenninger earned one Small Globe each this season in addition to being crowned the 2013-14 season champions.

Marcel Hirscher Wins Slalom Race and Title


It was a banner day for Austrian Marcel Hirscher. Coming down the mountain as the last racer in the Season Final slalom race in Lenzerheide (SUI), Hirscher topped German Felix Neureuther by 0.76 seconds and earned the slalom season title. The Small Globe was awarded just before Hirsher was formally awarded the Big Globe for the overall season title, which he secured after yesterday’s giant slalom.
"It was really important to me to win the slalom title, but I never expected I would be that fast today", Hirscher said after the race. "The last few races I was always behind, so today was a big surprise for me because the others have been skiing so fast. I knew I had to give more than 100% after Felix finished his run".
It has been a fantastic week of racing at this year’s races in Lenzerheide, hardly any clouds in the sky and nearly ideal snow conditions for all the races provided a perfect backdrop to end the 2014 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. But on Sunday, the weather took a turn for the worse and decided to once again test everyone’s patience and give athletes one last challenging race before they could officially wrap up the season.
With the Overall secured by Hirscher after the giant slalom all the attention turned to who would be taking home the slalom title.
Going into today’s race, Neureuther was leading Hirscher by five points, making it a tight battle for the discipline title and after the first run it was hardly any clearer who might be the one to take home the slalom title. On an extremely long and turny course, set by the Hirscher’s coach Michael Pircher, the Austrian clocked the fastest run but Neureuther didn’t let him go too far ahead and finished only 0.06 behind. The rest of the field struggled to find the right pace and the next fastest time went to Olympic champion Mario Matt who was already 1.03 seconds behind the fastest time.
"I don't think I lost the small globe today, it was probably a few races ago when I had a chance to build my lead a little more", said Neureuther. "But I am still very satisfied with the season".
That trio held their same positions after the final run, with only Neureuther losing significant time on the second run after Hirsher had a blistering speed on his winning run. The three stood on the last podium of the 2013-14 season.
After today’s race, the top three on the slalom season were Hirscher, finishing 15 points ahead of Neureuther and a very happy Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen taking third place on the season.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Epic TV: Japanese Dream, Ep. 1.


After six months of planning and 24 hours of traveling French freeskiers (try saying that five times fast) Jérôme Chanal and Guillaume Harleaux have arrived in Hakuba for the first stop of their big Japanese ski trip. Hakuba is located in the Nagano prefecture of Honshu, the main island of Japan and hosted some of the 1998 Winter Olympics. They are greeted by Liberty Skis team riders, Ryuya Yoshida and Momoyo Magosaki who take them deep into powder-filled forests in order to take shelter from the elements. Filthy tree runs and pillow lines abound and everyone gets the requisite face shots. Don't miss the bonus footage of the crew taking a few runs dressed in traditional Japanese 'yukata'.

Ted Ligety Wins Giant Slalom Race and Title; Marcel Hirscher Clinches Overall Globe


The men’s giant slalom season title came down to the last possible moment as Ted Ligety (USA) overcame a 50-point deficit entering the day to take claim the Small Globe ahead of Marcel Hirscher (AUT). The pair finished with the same number of points on the season, but Ligety earned the title thanks to his five season victories.
But all was not lost for Hirscher. His fourth-place finish today was more than enough for him to secure the overall season title ahead of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who did not finish the first run.
"I need some time to process everything that happened today, it was a crazy race", Hirscher said. "I'm really happy about the Overall and am not really thinking about the GS cup at this point. The Overall was my big goal this season and I couldn't be happier that I was able to defend it. I have to thank my team, I might have not been the easiest to deal with sometimes during the season but they have supported me all along", he continued.
Ligety won today’s race by 0.03 over Alexis Pinturault (FRA). Sitting in first place, Ligety needed Hirscher to finish lower than third place, which Felix Neureuther (GER) took care of when he came down as the last racer and claimed the final podium spot by the slimmest of margins, 0.01 seconds, bumping Hirscher to fourth place on the day and out of the running for the giant slalom globe.
"I’m super thrilled, it’s always a big goal of mine every season to win the giant slalom globe, but that was by the skin of my teeth today", said Ligety. "I owe Felix a few drinks for edging Marcel. It’s really a testament to Marcel that he was able to get on the podium at nearly every race this year and make it a fight to win the globe. I’m just really happy that it worked out in my favor by the hundredths".
Svindal skied out on the upper part of the course in the first run, giving him his second race of the weekend with zero points and virtually handing the season title to Hirscher. Svindal will not compete in tomorrow’s slalom, guaranteeing Hirscher the Big Globe.
"I am not as good now as I was earlier this winter and it’s something to look at and make sure it doesn’t happen next year. With the two speed titles I had a good season that could have been a great season", said Svindal after his first run.
But today, the battle for the giant slalom globe took center stage in an entertaining race that saw the lead continually changing hands. The crowd was clearly behind Ligety and his efforts continue his reign as ‘Mr. Giant Slalom’. He received a standing ovation after the win and a hearty bear hug from all his closest competitors.
"I had done a bit of math before the race and I knew today that if I finished in the lead that Marcel had to finish in fourth", Ligety explained. "But he had a really good run, so I wasn’t sure if everything would work out the way it did".
It was the first day without the crystal blue skies in Lenzerheide (SUI), but it didn’t keep the fans away as a packed house was treated to excellent action from the athletes. After the first run Felix Neureuther led the field with a 0.13 advantage over Ligety. Fritz Dopfer sat in third after the first run.
Tomorrow the last globe of the season will be handed out when Neureuther hopes to hold on to his incredibly slim five-point lead over Hirscher in the slalom standings. Also in the hunt for the slalom globe is teen sensation Henrik Kirstoffersen (NOR), who trails by 40 points.
"Tomorrow will be a big challenge, beating Felix who is skiing so incredibly well will be difficult tomorrow so don't blame if if things don't go my way", Hirscher shared his thoughts about the slalom race.

Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Slalom Victory and Title in Lenzerheide


Mikaela Shiffrin celebrated her 19th birthday week in style at the Finals this week in Lenzerheide (SUI), winning the Season Title in slalom after also taking the victory in today’s race by a hefty 1.44 second margin. It was her fifth slalom win of the season on the World Cup tour.
Shiffrin had a commanding lead in the overall standings entering the race and left nothing to chance with two solid runs that left little question that the slalom globe was hers for the 2013-14 season. It was Shiffrin’s second slalom globe in her young career making her the youngest female to earn the globe twice and the only non-European to do so.
The teen sensation took today in stride, "I didn’t feel much pressure today. It just felt like a kind of a training day and I was just really trying to let my skis gun. When I was younger I used to ski really turny courses. My coach always tried to challenge with those".
After the first run Shiffrin held a 1.50 second lead over Swedes Frida Hansdotter and Maria Pietalae-Holmner. Shiffrin continued her smooth skiing in the second run, losing just 0.06 of her lead. Hansdotter kept the second position in the final standings, while Austria’s Marlies Schild bumped herself up into podium position with a strong second run.
Ironically, today’s podium is an exact copy of the overall season slalom standings with Hansdotter and Schild also taking second and third place respectively on the season.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Epic TV: Japanese Dream, Teaser. Do French Skiers Dream of Japanese Powder?



This is a web series about Frenchmen with sleeping disorders getting treatment in Japan. Just kidding, they're French skiers on a trip around the Japanese islands to find the best freeride and touring lines in the mountainous country. Ride along with Jérôme Chanal and Guillaume Harleaux as they explore the Far East and give themselves powder face shots with Gallic aplomb.

Switzerland Wins Team Event


Today in Lenzerheide, there was no talk of globes and titles as the athletes took a break from securing World Cup discipline points to take part in the Nation’s Team Event.
In the final, it was the second-seeded Swiss team of Denise Feierabend, Wendy Holdener, Luca Aerni and Reto Schmidiger edging the surprise fifth-seeded American team of Julia Mancuso, Mikeala Schiffrin, David Chodounsky and Tim Jitloff for the title much to the delight of the Swiss crowd who was once again soaking up the sun under clear blue skies.
Schmidiger came down the hill with the fastest time of the heat in the last head-to-head and secured the bragging rights for the Swiss. Austria took the bronze in the small final against the Italians.
"It is definitely a challenge to win this event", Schmidiger said. "It’s something new, you’re not alone. You’re with a team, you all have to push together to make it to the next round which is something unique".
The top-seven nations took part in this year’s NTE, meaning the action headed straight into the quarterfinals. With an odd number of teams, it meant that one team got a bye into the semi-finals. As the highest-ranked team, Austria got to sit out the quarterfinals and watch the U.S. take on France, the Italians face Sweden and Sweden compete against Germany.
In the quarterfinals, The Americans came out on top of France, setting them up for semi-final meeting against Austria. Meanwhile, the Italians knocked Sweden out of contention, while the Swiss topped their neighbour Germany, making the second semi-final match-up Italy vs. Switzerland.
"I really like this event, it’s a fun combination between giant slalom and slalom and it was great with today’s weather", said Schiffrin after the race. "You definitely have to be ready to go and get out of the gate fast. That seems to be the key".
In the much-anticipated semi-final between the Americans and Austrians, it was the U.S. technical skiers proving to be too much for Austria as the North Americans took the upset win and made their way into the final. Much to the delight of the Lenzerheide crowd, Switzerland also won its semi-final meeting against Italy.
Each team had a maximum of six racers and needed at least two athletes from each gender starting each heat. With it being Finals week, the number of athletes in Lenzerheide is a bit more limited than usual.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Epic TV: By Fair Means, Ep. 2. Dodging Avalanches to Score Insane Powder Runs in Austria



It's a beautiful day in Arlberg, Austria and the By Fair Means crew is looking for fresh tracks. They may not have perfect Alaskan champagne powder conditions but they do have a lifetime of local knowledge and some seriously big lines to shred. It aint all bluebird skies and high fives though. The snow is loose and these powder hounds will have to rely on their experience and skill to get the rides of their lives without putting too much on the line. Filmed over the course of a single day with small avalanches cracking off all over the mountain this turned into an unforgettable mission of crazy runs and even crazier close calls.

Epic TV: By Fair Means, Ep. 1. World-Class Freeriders Get Down With Their Bad Selves in Austria



Like attracts like, ergo fearsome freeriders attract other fearsome freeriders. By Fair Means brings together some of the best powder heads in the game to capture video footage based on skill, grit, and sheer passion. Watch as Bas Elhorst, Christian Schnabel, Irian van Helfteren, Nadine Wallner, Juan Bergada, and Christoph Obernosterer show off in their own backyard. This week's episode introduces the crew as they set out into the Arlberg range of the Tyrolean Alps. Don't miss the tweaked-out 360's of the Austro-Argentine Bergada or the knife's edge lines of Freeride World Tour competitor Schnabel. By the way, all the action is set to Argentine rap, so prepare to get funky.

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 29. Judges Discuss The New Path To Verbier

The fifth stop cancellation has caused a slight adjustment to the Verbier qualification structure. For women, the top two of three event results will determine qualification. For men, the best three of four results will be used to determine qualification.

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The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Lara Gut Wins The SG Race, Fenninger Takes Overall Title


It was a double victory for Lara Gut today at the super-G final in Lenzerheide (SUI). The Swiss racer thrilled the home crowd under beautiful sunny skies after winning not only the race by a 0.61 margin, but also taking home the globe as the best overall super-G ladies’ skier for the 2013-14 season.
Gut entered the race as the woman to beat for the super-G globe, holding a 69-point lead over her biggest threat, Anna Fenninger (AUT). Fenninger laid down a solid run and took the lead, just one bib ahead of Gut, putting Gut on the hot seat to perform. Gut answered with a technically perfect run, slowly building the lead at each interval and throwing her hands up in the air when she saw her finish time had topped Fenninger.
Directly after Gut’s first-place run, Slovenia’s Tina Maze came down the hill and rounded out the podium finishing just under one second off the pace to take third place.
It is Gut’s seventh victory this season and her first-ever globe that she has won in her career. Gut also won yesterday’s downhill race, making her the only athlete so far at this year’s finals to appear on both podiums.
"I was a bit nervous this morning when I got up, thinking about me being in the lead and that I could also loose everything today", said Gut. "Later in the morinnig I realised I just had to think about skiing and ski like yesterday. In start gate I was only thinking about the way I had to ski and it felt easy".
Fenninger finished second in the overall super-G standings, while injured Tina Weirather (LIE) could only watch from the finish area as she took third place in the season standings.
Despite Fenninger coming up short in today’s super-G globe race, the Austrian can celebrate winning the overall season title. Today’s second-place finish gives Fenninger 1271 points in the standings. Her biggest threat, Maria Hoefl-Riesch suffered an injury in yesterday’s downhill race and will not be able to challenge Fenninger for the overall title.
"It's amazing for me. I am really full of emotions right now", said Fenninger about winning the overall season title. "I am shocked. It is the biggest things I can win in my career, it's unbelievable".

Alexis Pinturault Wins SG Final Event in Lenzerheide


Alexis Pinturault come down as the 26th and final skier to claim the day’s victory by a margin of 0.56 seconds over teammate Thomas Mermillod Blondin. American Bode Miller rounded out the podium just 0.01 seconds behind Mermillod Blondin. Austrian Matthias Mayer had a chance to make it two straight podiums in Lenzerheide, but Pinturault's last-minute heroics knocked Mayer into fourth place.
Pinturualt was an unlikely winner in today’s elite field at the season final for super-G. The young Frenchman, who is better known for his technical events, only had two previous podiums in the super-G, the last once coming as a second-place finish in 2012 in Schladming. The win also moved Pinturualt into third place in the overall World cup standings.
"When I saw my time at the finish line it was just amazing", said Pinturault. "I am really hopeful for the next season. I will work harder and hopefully continue in this direction. The goal in the future is to win the overall title, not to finish second or third".
Mermillod Blondin was also a big surprise to make the podium in Lenzerheide. It was his first-ever podium finish in super-G at the World Cup level and his highest-ever finish on the tour. Previously, he earned three third-place finishes in the super combination.
Miller followed up on his Olympic super-G bronze medal by finishing in the same position at today’s last race of the season. It was a solid ending for the speed events for the American, who is expected to race the full five races this week in Lenzerheide.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lara Gut Wins Lenzerheide Downhill


Lara Gut (SUI) gave the home fans reason to cheer as she won the race by a slim 0.05 margin over Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl.
"To win the first and the last downhills of the season is just amazing, especially here in Swziterland", said Gut. "Last year I only won one race and this year six. That is a good step forward and I'm really happy about it".
It was a dramatic finish under perfect blue skies in Lenzerheide as Hoefl-Riesch was the last racer down the course, setting up the unexpected finish. Hoefl-Riesch’s DNF makes the fight for the Overall Title particularly interesting now assuming she is healthy after today’s race. It is a dog fight between the German and Austria’s Anna Fenninger for the Big Globe. Fenninger reclaimed the lead in the overall standings thanks to her sixth-place finish today. She now leads Hoefl-Reish by a very tight 11 points.
"Not winning the downhill globe today isn't bad", said Fenninger. "I had to win the race to have a chance, but my run wasn't perfect anyway. I am happy about the second place but above all I really hope Maria is ok and wish her she can race with us tomorrow".
Switzerland’s Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, who announced her retirement earlier in the season, was the charming Cinderella story of the day. After coming down the course as Bib 2, she stayed in the leader’s box until Gut took the lead 16 racers later. She ended her career on the podium in third place, giving the 33 year-old a good send off for her career.
It wasn’t the season ending downhill race that Maria Hoefl-Resich hoped for today in Lenzerheide (SUI) as she crashed on the final downhill outing of the season, but there was a silver lining for the German as she still claimed the downhill season title and discipline globe.She was airlifted and taken to hospital after crashing during the race. The examinations revealed a slight adductor injury as well as a bruised left elbow and shoulder. The German champion is hence unfortunately ruled out for last races of the season.

Matthias Mayer Wins The Race, Svindal Takes Downhill Title


Under sunny skies in Lenzerheide (SUI), Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal was handed the Big Globe for winning the season downhill title on Wednesday morning. Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer (AUT) won the race 0.11 ahead of both Christof Innerhofer (ITA) and Ted Ligety (USA) who tied for second place.
Svindal finished in fifth place in today’s race, keeping the race tight between him and Austria’s Marcel Hirscher for the overall season globe. Svindal’s fifth-place finish gives him 1091 points, a slim 41 points ahead of Hirscher. Svindal will look to expand on that lead in tomorrow’s super-G, before Hirscher takes center stage with the technical events later in the week.
"For a downhill skier this globe is one of the big globes. Getting it here in front of a nice crowd like this feels really, really good", said Svindal. "In terms of the overall title, it’s almost too exciting right now. We’re both at the same place right now and I have to say it’s definitely 50-50".
Conditions were perfect for today’s race, with cool temperatures overnight keeping the course hard and sunny skies providing the ultimate atmosphere. But despite the perfect backdrop, the elite downhillers struggled with challenging course with six of the 26 starters not finishing and several silencing the capacity crowd with tough crashes.
"It really means a lot of me to win today. I’ve had some good races in the last few weeks and its nice to get another downhill victory today", Mayer said of his win. "It was difficult, we only had one training yesterday and everyone made some mistakes there so it was wide open for today’s race. Today I had good skiing in the bottom section which I think made the difference".
Svindal already had the downhill title wrapped up before today’s race. In the end, he finished an impressive 210 points ahead of Hannes Reichelt (AUT). Canadian Erik Guay finished third in the overall downhill standings just three points behind Reichelt.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

FWT14 Journal. Season 02, Ep. 28. Revelstoke Cancelled

Due to high avalanche danger on the Mac Daddy backcountry venue, organizers of the Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) have decided to cancel the competition scheduled to take place outside of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Forecasts do not suggest weather patterns will create suitable competition conditions within the designated weather window, March 10-15.

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The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Monday, March 10, 2014

FWT Journal. Season 02, Ep. 27. Welcome to Revelstoke

Host Amie Engerbretson welcomes the FWT14 to Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

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The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Epic TV: A La Française Ep. 4. This Secret Resort Holds Powder Perfection in the Alps

French Skiing. French Riders. No Baguettes. This is a journey into the entire French ski scene brought to you by some of the best French riders on the planet. Ride with ze crew as they travel throughout the Alps and the Pyrenees, dropping, jibbing, freeriding and sessioning some of the best spots in France. Vive le freeski, vive les montagnes - this is A French Winter.


When the Alps finally got a snow dump, Aymeric Cloerec, Bertrand Clair, and Guillaume Harleaux knew exactly where to go: the under-the-radar resort of Sainte Foy. It might be close to the big resorts, but Sainte Foy offers a little corner of relative solitude among the crowds. And with solitude comes...powder! Don't take our word for it, watch the boys tear up the forests, pillow lines, and cliff jumps that abound in this semi-secret area. See anyone else? Nope. Neither do we. Shhhhhhh...

Felix Neureuther Wins World Cup Slalom in Kranjska Gora


Felix Neureuther clenched his third slalom victory of the season by finishing an impressive 0.59 seconds ahead of teammate Fritz Dopfer who was 5th after the first run and 0.79 seconds ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen who grasped his second third place of the weekend.
Neureuther has had a fair share of struggles in the past weeks but today things seem to have fallen back into place for the German.
"This victory is so cool", a very happy Neureuther said. "The last weeks have been very hard for me… Between the car accident and the Olympics winning today is very special. Kranjska Gora is the venue where I first started my World Cup career and this day is just amazing. Also sharing the podium with Fritz is awesome, I am not sure two Germans have done so in slalom already", he continued.
Dopfer has been very close to the podium this season but never managed to grasp one so today’s result is a great boost of confidence for the last races of the season.
"I’m really happy and satisfied with how things turned out today", Dopfer said. "I have been 4th twice in the last races and this second place is very welcome. It was a tough race, I tried to push it to the limit and it paid off. Now I have shared the podium with Felix in both slalom and giant slalom and that’s very cool", he continued.
Kristoffersen had a dream weekend, after achieving his first giant slalom podium on Saturday, he earned himself a third place in the slalom as well.
"It’s a great weekend, two third places make me super happy. I was not sure if my second run would be enough for the podium – I knew both Felix could do a great run as he is skiing really well but I’m glad it still earned me a podium", Kristoffersen said after receiving the Organizer’s award for the best skier of this weekend.

FWT Judging Video 2014

The Wonder Reels, S2: Episode 7 - The Hand Off - A GoPro Story

A crew in Whistler Blackcomb's Highest Level Nintendo Terrain Park come across a lost GoPro. They agree it needs to go to Lost & Found, but there's a perfect park session begging to be shot with it first.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

FWT14 Revelstoke Teaser: The Final Cut

The 2014 Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face heads to Revelstoke March 10 for the fifth stop and final cut before the championships in Verbier.


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Ted Ligety Claims World Cup GS in Kranjska Gora


2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and now 2014 are the years when Ted Ligety walked away from the Kranjska Gora finish area with the best time of the day. After a nearly perfect first run, the Olympic gold medalist from Sochi held on to his lead and became the become the first man in World Cup history to win six races in any one discipline at any venue.
"This is definitely a really cool hill. It has so much personality and it’s really a fun hill to ski. It has the steep parts. It has some rolls. It has a little bit of a gliding section. So it’s a true GS skier’s hill", Ligety explained why Kranjska Gora suited him so well. "I just try to stay ahead of the rut as always. I’m not the kind of person that tires to cut off line, so I just tried to ski smart and be clean as much as I could", Ligety explained his plan for dealing with the softening course in the second run.
Seeing Ligety’s name on top of the result list is no surprise, but two unexpected names made their way in 2nd and 3rd position – Benjamin Raich and Henrik Kristoffersen finished 0.18 and 0.25 seconds behind the winner respectively.
Raich hasn’t stood on the podium in giant slalom since his 2nd place in Adelboden 2012 and was far from one of the podium favorites after the first run as he was sitting in 17th place. But this hill has suited him in the past and he has won four giant slalom races on it during his career so with a spectacular second run he was able to move up 15 places.
"I’m very happy, it was a goal for me to get a podium finish, I believed I could ski well enough", Raich said. "My first run was not all that good but I knew that in these conditions anything could be possible. Maybe I didn’t really think I could make it all the way on the podium and that is quite a surprise", he added.
Henrik Kristoffersen has been on a roll in the past few weeks earning a bronze Olympic medal in slalom, two Junior World Championships gold ones in slalom and giant slalom and earning his first World Cup giant slalom podium today in Kranjska Gora.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins World Cup Slalom in Are


The 18-year-old American managed to protect her lead from her solid first run to win today's slalom in a combined time of 1:50.66. The young Olympic champion beat local heroes Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Anna Swenn-Larsson and Frida Hansdotter. The Swedes finished respectively 0.60, 1.50 and 1.90 seconds off the winning pace.
Shiffrin won her fourth season World Cup slalom today and equals her own American record, set last season. "I really tried to attack in both runs", she commented. "The second run was difficult but I was lucky to start when the sun came out and to have a better visibility. Anna and Maria had an amazing second run too, so that inspired me to go fast".
The American also sets record for most World Cup slalom wins before turning 19. Today's race was the last World Cup slalom race as an 18-year-old for Olympic slalom champion, who turns 19 on 13 March. With today's win, she becomes the first woman to win eight before turning 19.
In the slalom standings Shiffrin has now points 130 points more than Frida Hansdotter and hence claims her second straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom title.

Friday, March 7, 2014

FWT14 Best Of Snowbird



The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

Anna Fenninger Takes Third Consecutive World Cup GS Victory in Are


Austrian Anna Fenninger stormed to her second giant slalom victory in two days in the famed Scandinavian ski resort. After winning the opening run, she didn't let anyone the chance to overtake her in the second run. Fenninger finished in a combined time of 2:00.15, with Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg ending up in second place, 0.61 seconds behind. Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby rounded out the podium, 0.68 seconds off the pace in front of hundreds of cheering fans.
With such an achievement, Anna Fenninger now takes the lead in the overall standings. Maria Höfl-Riesch is 7 points behind, after finishing 10th tonight.
"I just feel comfortable on my skis and try to go fast as I can and not to think about anything else but skiing", a smiling Fenninger said at the press conference. "I don't know why I'm so fast to be honest. It feels really good to be in such a good shape and that it is working out that way (...) I was a bit nervous to be the first one to face the course in the first run. It's never easy to know how to attack the course. I won the race in the bottom section yesterday, so did I today. It's just amazing".
Viktoria Rebensuberg is getting back to her best level. It started with her bronze Medal in Sochi giant slalom. "I've had a tough season, with ups and downs. I was sick for almost two months. I couldn't train in November and December. The podium tonight makes me very happy", the German confessed. "I tried to be more aggressive than yesterday and to make the right adjustments. I actually wasn't that happy about my second run, I didn't feel I was fast. To see the green line after crossing the line was great".

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Anna Fenninger Takes Second Consecutive World Cup GS Victory in Are


Austrian racer Anna Fenninger clinched her second consecutive World Cup GS victory, with a two-run time of 2:26.39. 21 hundredth of a second behind was French Anemone Marmottan in second place while Austria's Eva-Maria Brem and Switzerland's Lara Gut tied for third place, 0.39 seconds off the winning pace.
Fenninger won the last World Cup giant slalom race, held over two months ago in Lienz on 28 December. With the win today she reduces the gap to 54 points between her and the giant slalom leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby who finished 6th today, with two giant slalom races remaining.
"I didn't show my best skiing in the first run", commented Fenninger at the press conference. "I am just happy that my performance in the second run was good enough for the victory (...). Considering the warm weather conditions we're having here, the track was good. In the second run, the course was very fast and not easy. I prefer that kind of course set".
In 8th position after the first run, Anemone Marmottan landed her first ever World Cup podium. “I can't believe it", she said. "I just got my first podium and still can't realise what's going on. I am not going to celebrate because another GS awaits us tomorrow and I give it all to win that one".
For the first time on the podium as well, Eva-Maria Brem skied close to the limit to clock the best time of the second run. "It's my best day as a ski racer so far", said the 25-year-old. "My first run was solid but I knew I could do more. In the second run I was on the limit from top to bottom. That's the way to ski fast and I will try to duplicate that tomorrow. When I got to the finish I thought it could be the day and when I saw Nadia and Tina finishing behind me I just could hold my tears of joy".
Lara Gut made her 8th season podium and was really happy to share the third spot. "It's better than being fourth", she said laughing. "It's a bit strange to race in these conditions here. When we come here it's usually winter with a lot of snow. Today was like spring. It's overall a really good performance for me".

FWT14 in Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Final Results

After an unfortunate delay of the competition at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort on Sunday, the new venue, Silver Fox, glistened under a bluebird sky primed for competition with a fresh layer of creamy snow. More than 60 of the world’s best freeriders from around the world gathered here to compete at the Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT). Silver Fox has played host to many freeride competitions in the past. Its consistent pitch allows riders to open up the throttle and punctuate runs with a variety of features located on the face. An enthusiastic and eager crowd gathered to enjoy the spectacle and cheer for their favorite ski and snowboard athletes.
The competition began with women’s snowboarding. The 2013 FWT Champion Elodie Mouthon of France managed to win her category with a super fast run down the fall line through the steepest section of the venue known as North Chute. The judges awarded her with a score of 75.75.
In second place, Estelle Balet of Switzerland executed two airs into and out of the North Chute. She finished her run with a nice double feature at the bottom earning a score of 72.75. Local Snowbird, Utah, USA rider Kaitlin Elliot chose a creative line with an exceptionally smooth straight-line at the bottom. Elliot came in third place with a score of 67.00.
The women’s ski category had exceptionally strong performances across the board. The judges and crowd were amazed by the speed and large airs managed by many in this category. Lorraine Huber of Austria has had an excellent season with third place finishes in both Chamonix and Fieberbrunn. Today, she topped off her season with first place at Snowbird and a score of 85.00. Huber’s fluid run featured a massive air in the middle of the venue.
"I have had two solid results so far on the tour this season, so my strategy was to really step it up with a bigger feature and it worked out perfectly", exclaimed Huber. "I studied the venue for hours and days really. This is my first win on the Tour! We saw an amazing show today for the girls!".
Following Huber, 2013 FWT Women’s Ski Champion Nadine Wallner of Austria landed the second podium position. There was no hesitation in Wallner’s run as she charged straight to the finish after stomping a good-sized air. Wallner’s score was 80.25. Rounding out the women’s podium in third place, Pia Nic Gundersen of Norway had a very speedy run down the fall line with a large air exiting the North Chute.
Next, was the men’s snowboard category. Having already accomplished a second place finish in Chamonix, Jamie Rizzuto of Canada won the top spot for the first time as an FWT rider. Rizzuto started his run with a 360 rotation and cleanly linked two consecutive airs. He arched technical turns through the popular North Chute and effortlessly flew over the cliffs at the bottom of the area. The judges gave him a score of 86.50.
"I actually was not going to hit one of the cliffs, but I changed my mind after Lorraine Huber did", commented Rizzuto. "The air looked really awesome so I decided to hit it. I tried to stick to the fall line, and wanted it to flow and have fun. I remembered to have some soul".
In second place, Swiss rider Emilien Badoux ventured into the exposure-ridden Hanging Bowl area of the venue with a huge air. He exited the terrain by singling a cliff many riders would take in two hits. His run earned a score of 83.50. Aurelien Routens of France came in third place with a unique and fast run earning a score of 78.25.
Last but not least, was the men’s ski competition. With the stakes increasing at this point in the season many of the skiers were out to progress the sport and their scores on Silver Fox. Lars Chickering-Ayers, originally of Mad River Glen, VT, USA but often found skiing at Snowbird, won the contest amongst many friends and fans in the crowd. Chickering-Ayers sleighed the fall line with minimal turns and a gigantic air. He earned the top score of the day, 90.25.
"I chose a line that looked a little more challenging with less snow, which makes the features bigger. I’ve never skied this line in a comp", said Lars Chickering-Ayers. "I’ve been competing for a long time, so I sometimes find myself being too calm. I try to pump myself up and take it a little more seriously, but it’s always fun. It is great to have my brother [Silas Chickering-Ayers] competing alongside me as well".
Swiss skier Jeremie Heitz came in second place with a score of 88.75. Heitz had an effortless-seeming run with several large airs. In third place representing the Southern Hemisphere, Sam Smoothy of New Zealand hit a large cliff at the top know as the “Frenchie” rock and controlled his speed linking several consecutive airs. Smoothy was awarded a score of 86.50.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FWT Journal. Season 02, Ep. 26. Judges Debrief about Snowbird

Berti Denervaud and Amie Engerbretson discuss the competition at the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face at Snowbird.


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).

FWT Journal. Season 02, Ep. 25. Chickering-Ayers Brothers

As the crew prepared for the competition at Snowbird in Silver Fox, the FWT Journal caught a few laps with the Chickering-Ayers brothers.


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2014 tour consists of six stops on two continents, with four events being held in Europe (Courmayeur, ITA, Chamonix-Mount-Blanc, FRA, Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, AUT and Verbier, SUI) and two in North America (Snowbird instead of Kirkwood, USA and Revelstoke, CAN).