Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's Time To Look For Inspiration!. Antimedia: Blink of an Eye. Aksel Lund Svindal

Downhill ski racing is one of the most demanding sports in the world, both physically and mentally. Blink of an eye is a short film documenting Aksel as one of the few athletes who combines an extraordinary level of focus with brutal physical strength to perform among the international elite. Aksel's remarkable comeback from his Beaver Creek crash in 2007 is a true testament to his superior mental strength. In fact, his focus is so strong that he does not blink once during a 2 minute run...
Regular TV-broadcasted downhill races do not reflect the actual speeds nor the unbelievable forces which alpine downhill athletes endure. More importantly, it is impossible for the TV viewer to grasp the fear and mental pressure these athletes expose themselves to. Blink of an eye is Antimedia.no attempt to show how raw downhill skiing really is.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Epic TV: STEEP, Ep. 3. If this Mountain Were any Steeper these Guys Would Be BASE Jumping

In this episode of STEEP the boys head to the rarely skied south face of Mont Blanc du Tacul. The first reason it's rarely skied is because its hard to see. The second reason is because it has sustained gradients of between 50 and 55 degrees. Luckily, Christophe, Lambert, and Pierre live for this type of Adventure. With just one rappel and a bit of trash talk they make it down in style, even after the clouds come in and they have to power through some scarily low visibility.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lillehammer 2016 Mascot Competition Started


Voting has opened today for YOG fans to choose which mascot will represent the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Moose, Weasel or Lynx? One of these animals will be the mascot for the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games.Entries from all over the world came flooding in and following what must have been a difficult decision, we are left with three YOGtastic finalists, and it is up to you to pick a winner.

The jury consisted of Simen Staalnacke, one of the founders of a Norwegian clothing line, Julie Strømsvåg, sports anchor of Norwegian Olympic Broadcaster TV2, Paralympic athlete Birgit Skarstein and design student, Marianne Ågotnes.
Vote Now in the Lillehammer 2016 Facebook page!!!

The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement, having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between February 26th and March 6th 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Epic TV: STEEP, Ep. 2. These Guys Hiked Up a Mountain for Five Hours to Ski an Incredible Line

The southern faces of 'Les Courtes' in the Mont Blanc region of the Alps are pretty mean. They are rocky, and filled with narrow chutes, some of which only become accessible in the spring when wet snow sticks to their nearly vertical inclines. Watch as a group of good skiing friends embark on a marathon hike up the mountain and then bang out the first descent of a horrendously steep line all in one day.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Epic TV: STEEP, Ep. 1. Here's How You Ski One of the Hardest Lines in the Alps Like a Boss

Pierre Hourticq and Lambert Galli are two young guys who love steep skiing. They recently did an incredibly hard line with inclines of between 50 and 55 degrees on the mythically fierce face of Pain de Sucre near the Aiguille du Midi and the Envers du Plan. Whereas the line usually requires a few rappels, these hardcore mountain men did it with only one. It's steep, it's narrow, and the conditions are amazing. Witness an incredible moment for skiing and an incredible moment between two really good friends.

Vail-Beaver Creek 2015 Races To Be Free for Spectators


When it comes to getting the best seat in the house for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships races in Vail and Beaver Creek, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg or a second mortgage on your home.
In fact, it won’t cost you a thing as organizers have made the decision to provide spectator access to the Championships’ men’s and women’s competitions free of charge. The Vail and Beaver Creek finish stadiums will be filled on a first come, first served basis, with standing areas also extending up alongside the race courses from the stadium.
"Providing free spectator access to the races has been a part of our overall plan since winning the Championships", explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and head of the 2015 Organizing Committee. "One of the original goals that we set for ourselves as an organizing committee was to make these Championships as easily accessible as possible to promote the sport of skiing as widely as possible".

The FIS Alpine Ski World Championships 2015 will be held from 2th-15th February. The Championships will get underway with the Opening Ceremony at the Golden Peak Stadium in Vail.
Since the inception of Vail and Beaver Creek’s World Cup tradition in 1967, the Vail Valley Foundation, in conjunction with Vail Resorts, has played an integral role in the organization and hosting of events that have come to be viewed as some of the best competitions held annually throughout the world.
The tradition of alpine ski racing has been interwoven throughout Vail and Beaver Creek’s history since Vail Mountain opened to the world in 1962. Founded by a ski racer, Vail hosted its first racing event, a U.S. Ski Team training camp, one week after opening.
Since 1983, the Vail Valley has played host to numerous annual World Cup races, including the 1994 and 1997 World Cup Finals. This number has been increased by the ability to hold competitions when other resorts have been forced to cancel their races as the Vail Valley has traditionally come to the aid of the FIS by picking up races from Aspen, Whistler, Park City and Val d’Isere, France.
The 1989 and 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships firmly established the Vail Valley as "the ski racing capital of North America", generating worldwide awareness for Vail and Beaver Creek. As a result of the 1989 Championships, Vail Associates’ international skier visits jumped from 3-4% to 12% for the winter of 1989-90, while the 1999 Championships generated the largest crowd in U.S. ski racing history and the coming out party for one of the world’s premier downhill courses, paving the way for Vail and Beaver Creek’s successful bid to host the 2015 World Championships.
Vail Resorts, the leading mountain resort operator in the United States, operate the mountain resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Epic TV: Japanese Dream, Ep. 4. This Slow Motion Video of Skiers in Japan Is Utterly Beautiful


For the final episode of Japanese Dream, the boys want to share the most beautiful moments of the trip they took through Japan, from the insanity of Tokyo to the mountains of Hokkaido, with a one week stay in the legendary ski town of Hakuba. Follow them as they visit some of the best ski areas in the Japanese Alps, cross the mega-city of Tokyo, check out traditional Buddhist temples, weather a storm at a fishing village, bathe (and back flip) in traditional hot springs and, of course, ski some incredible and beautiful powder. If we have learned anything from this series its that Japan is amazing and unique and everyone should visit it at least once in their lives.

Epic TV: A La Française Ep. 7. Big Kickers, Big Air, and Huge Falls for the Arthificiel Crew

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 you were young did you ever build yourself a ski or snowboard jump in the back yard then invite your friends over to hit it? well, that's what the A La Francaise boys do in this episode, except their backyard is Le Corbier, France, and their friends are the Arthificiel crew. It's not easy to build jumps this big but and it's even harder to hit them - the boys take some big falls in the difficult landings. But when they get things right...oooh mama, they stomp some super sick tricks.

Vail Resorts To Invest $85 Million in Resort Improvements for 2014-15

The 2013-14 winter ski and snowboard season is barely in the rearview mirror, but core enthusiasts and resort operators are already looking ahead to winter 2014-15. With seven days to go in the spring season pass selling period, Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN)is announcing many new resort improvements for its guests for next winter, including multiple express chairlifts and restaurants, room renovations and a one-of-a-kind snowmaking upgrade designed to automatically refresh snow surfaces throughout the season. Vail Resorts anticipates spending approximately $85 million to elevate the guest experience for 2014-15, which brings its five-year resort investment total to $492 million.
"At Vail Resorts, we place the highest importance on offering an unparalleled guest experience, and investing nearly $500 million over the last five years is evidence of that", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. "We’re very strategic about the projects we undertake and their overall impact on the guest experience at each of our 10 resorts. Each one of these projects is a game changer for the guests of that particular resort".
Projects underway and planned this summer for the 2014-15 winter season include:
  • Beaver Creek Chair 6 Combination Liftand Snowmaking Upgrades – The new combination gondola/six-passenger express lift replaces Centennial Express, Beaver Creek’s primary portal. With one gondola cabin for every five chairs, the new combination lift offers a guest-friendly loading option for beginners and Ski and Snowboard School, and all guests will benefit from the 35 percent increase in uphill capacity. In addition, 34 new, fully-automated, state-of-the-art snowmaking guns will line Gold Dust and Lower Larkspur trails to automatically refresh the snow surface conditions throughout the season. This one-of-a-kind system ensures, regardless of natural snowfall, the resorts’ guests will always be skiing or riding on the freshest snow available every day.
  • Breckenridge Colorado Super Chairand Peak 9 Restaurant Renovation – On the heels of launching Peak 6 last season, the ski industry’s most significant terrain expansion in the last decade, upgrading the Colorado Super Chair from a quad express to a six-passenger express will provide a 30 percent increase in capacity for Peak 8’s primary and most-used lift. It will help disperse skiers to the surrounding peaks and provides a faster route from Peaks 6 and 7 to Peak 9, where an entire interior remodel of the existing Peak 9 restaurant, along with a new kitchen will provide a warm, welcoming, high-quality guest experience at the resort’s most scenic dining location, sitting at 11,274 feet.
  • The Lodge at Vail Renovation – Vail’s most historic hotel, The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, will undergo significant renovations to 56 hotel rooms and the lobby for the 2014-15 winter season, including contemporary mountain interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting and the installation of air conditioning. The lobby’s refresh will include new furnishings, textiles, paint, artwork and lighting designed to maintain the boutique hotel’s authentic character and cozy ambiance. The property will remain open for business during the renovations, starting in August and completing in December.
  • Canyons Cloud Dineand Snowmaking Expansion – Heading into its second year of operating Canyons, Vail Resorts is replacing the temporary Cloud Dine structure with a permanent, 316-seat restaurant, a 41 percent increase in seating capacity. Cloud Dine is the only on-mountain restaurant serving the Dream Peak and Iron Mountain lift pods. Upgrading Canyons’ pump station will increase snowmaking efficiency by 25 percent and will enable top-to-bottom skiing and superior early-season snow surface conditions.
"These resort improvements really elevate the guest experience and separate our resorts from the competition in their regions, as well as across the country", said Kirsten Lynch,executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "We’re constantly reinvesting in our resorts, which is one of the reasons we sell Epic Passes in all 50 states in the U.S. as well as 80 countries. The experience and the value are unmatched".

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).

Zermatt-Matterhorn: Peaks

Breathtaking timelapse from Zermatt-Matterhorn by Christian Mülhauser.
Timelapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, then played back at 30 frames per second; the result is an apparent 30 × (24 [cinema] / 25 [PAL] / 30 [NTSC] frames per second) times speed increase.
The frame rate of timelapse movie photography can be varied to virtually any degree, from a rate approaching a normal frame rate (between 24 and 30 frames per second) to only one frame a day, a week, or more, depending on subject.

Lillehammer 2016 Update

After a two-day action-packed visit from IOC President Thomas Bach, the team working on the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) got down to business with the IOC Coordination Commission, headed by double Olympic ice hockey champion Angela Ruggiero, for two days of progress updates, guidance and idea-sharing with the Organising Committee (LYOGOC).
With just over 18 months to go until the 2nd Winter YOG, the team has made good progress since the previous IOC Coordination Commission visit last autumn. LYOGOC has grown from four permanent members of staff to 20. This figure will increase to a modest 90 people during the Games themselves, while drawing upon the strong local network of experts with a wealth of Olympic and international event experience who will act as mentors to the young future sporting leaders. In addition, 2,300 volunteers will be in operation during Games time.
The team has made great strides in raising awareness of the YOG. A first major marketing partner has been announced with Adecco, and young people are at the centre of all initiatives, with local college students and young designers creating the "Look of the Games", emblem and pictograms. The latter were unveiled by the IOC President earlier this week with the help of athletes aiming to compete at Lillehammer 2016, topped off with a “selfie” photo that was shared on social media.
LYOGOC are also drawing upon the success of Norway’s Sochi 2014 athletes to help raise the profile of the Games, and are aiming to build upon this in the coming months.
Coordination Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero commented, "The progress made so far this year is impressive. This small team has really embraced the YOG spirit, not just in their approach and engagement with young people, but also in the way they have put young people at the heart of the organisation while drawing on the rich Olympic knowledge existing in the area".
Finally, before leaving Lillehammer, the IOC President asked the organisers to give their valuable input to the Olympic Agenda 2020 project; to propose their ideas and innovations to keep the YOG unique and inspiring for young athletes.
LYOGOC CEO, Thomas Holmestad said, "We are truly grateful for the open dialogue we have with the IOC, and we really appreciate how much the IOC prioritises the YOG. We are encouraged by the trust they show us by constantly challenging us to come up with new ideas for how the YOG should be in the future".

The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement, having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between February 26th and March 6th 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Best Skiing Video Ever: Snowboarding & Freeski Playmobil Adventure

Karim Rejeb creates extreme sports stop-motion with playmobil characters, in this episode the playmobil riders explore the Snowboarding & Freeskiing world with the help of a playmobil helicopter!
Produced by Xtreme Video

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 3, Ep. 3. Iceland

In Iceland’s rough and remote Westfjords region, Chad Sayers, Forrest Coots, and Chad Manley step back in time to revisit a way of life that lasted 1000 years. With the guidance of local friends Siggi Jonsson and Runar Karlsson, they traverse the storied landscape via sailboat, kayak, and ski, exploring what it would have been like to survive there for so many generations. Each ski run begins and ends with seaweed underfoot, while waterfalls, lichen-clad couloirs, and stories of humans past make up the in-between.
Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 3, Ep.2. Dubai

In 40 degree heat, in the largest sand desert on the planet, Chad Sayers and Chad Manley go looking for the one of the world’s strangest of ski environments: Ski Dubai. In the midst of a city of dizzying ambition, this ‘local hill’ climbs 60 vertical meters out of a luxury shopping mall. Inside the frigid, air conditioned space, they find a dedicated ski community of desert-dwellers, growing in the unlikeliest of places.
Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 3, Ep.1. Japan

In this episode follow skiers Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots through Japan as they explore a world of contrasts. From Tokyo’s city lights to Hokkaido’s sacred hardwood forests, this episode explores spaces of simultaneous anonymity & intimacy, rigid tradition & an embrace for the future, finding epic powder each step along the way.
Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

IOC President Thomas Bach Visits Lillehammer 2016


After a brief update from the organisers on their progress, the IOC President was put to work to help launch the pictograms along with 15 young athletes aiming for the Youth Olympic Games, representing each discipline. In the true spirit of the YOG, the pictograms have been created by 24-year-old Norwegian designer Ida Ellinor Syverinsen, who described her work as "full of energy and youthfulness".
Impressed with the work of the young designer, the IOC President said: "The pictograms are pretty cool! They are symbolise the dynamism of sport and are appealing to the young athletes". Surrounded by the athletes, the IOC President called for a "selfie" photo to be taken to share the moment on social media with fans following the Youth Olympic Games.
Double Olympic ice hockey champion and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Angela Ruggiero, along with fellow IOC members Gerhard Heiberg and Yang Yang, then accompanied the IOC President on a venue tour of some of Lillehammer’s world-famous venues from the 1994 Olympic Winter Games that will be reused for the Games in 2016. At the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, the venue for cross country skiing and biathlon, the IOC President was met by the gold medallist from Sochi 2014, Maiken Casperen Falla, who, as well as being a strong supporter of Lillehammer 2016, was also mentoring some of the local skiers aiming for their home Games.
A short tour was also conducted of the Youth Olympic Village, a project in which the IOC is investing EUR 13.4m (108m NOK), and is the only venue to be constructed for the Games. This is a key part of the Lillehammer legacy and will become student housing both before and after the YOG.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between February 26th and March 6th 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 2, Ep. 3. Argentina

A Skier’s Journey Third episode is a road trip through some of Argentina’s lesser known ski locations, covering nearly 4000km down the windswept spine of the seemingly endless Andes mountain range. Chad Sayers, joined in part by local skier Maximilliano Artoni, explores desert and pampas, Cohiue and Auracaria, pumice and ash, cardboard and blower, sunshine and wind, granite spire and some bubbling agua termale.
Presented by Gore-tex, V.I.O. and Arcteryx.

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 2, Ep. 2. Baffin Island

High in the Canadian Arctic, 5 friends venture to the frozen fjords of North West Baffin Island during spring time. Ancient and colossal, these branching hallways of rock are the domain of seals and polar bears, and relied upon by local Inuit hunters. For visiting skiers, the fjords are nothing short of a dream. In every direction, giant couloirs ascend thousands of feet above the sea ice, weaving in between some of the tallest and cliffs on the planet. This second episode of the season is a step through these magical spaces.
Presented by Gore-tex, V.I.O. and Arcteryx.

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Season 2, Ep. 1. Friends of Shames

If your beloved ski hill ran out of money and had no choice but to close, what would you do? With time running out for majestic Shames Mountain in Northern BC, local skiers from Terrace, Prince Rupert, and Kitimat have decided to take matters into their own hands and buy the ski hill as a community co-operative. This first episode of the second season is a look into what’s at stake for the people who call Shames home, and sheds light onto a different way of owning & operating a ski hill. And of course, there are plenty of deep turns and stunning terrain along the way.
Presented by Gore-tex, V.I.O. and Arcteryx.

Monday, May 19, 2014

IOC President Thomas Bach Meets Harald V, King of Norway

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, today met His Majesty the King of Norway, Harald V, at the Royal Castle in Oslo, ahead of a visit to Lillehammer for meetings with the local organisers of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
President Bach spoke at length with the King about the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place in Lillehammer from 12 to 21 February 2016.
"We discussed the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games, which will use only pre-existing venues, and the legacy these Games will bring to the region and the country", said President Bach. "We also discussed the Culture and Education Programme, which is an integral part of the Games and helps to develop the Olympic values in all the participants".
Earlier in the day the IOC President visited 'Olympiatoppen', the NOC's high performance sport centre to meet with young athletes training for both the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. Joining the IOC President were IOC Members Gerhard Heiberg and Angela Ruggiero, who is also Chair of the Lillehammer 2016 IOC Coordination Commission.
On Tuesday, President Bach will meet representatives from the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee and go on a venue tour. Existing infrastructure from the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games will be used for the Lillehammer 2016 YOG, obviating the need for the construction of any new venues and creating a further legacy from those Games. They will also visit the site of the Youth Olympic Village (YOV), which is being built with a subsidy of EUR 13.5 million from the IOC, who will also cover the travel and accommodation costs of all attending athletes and officials in the YOV during their stay which will be approximately EUR 4 million.


The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement, having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between February 26th and March 6th 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).

Final Countdown to 2018/19 World Championship Organiser Election

Next Thursday 5th June, the FIS Council will elect the Organisers of the 2018/2019 FIS World Championships, the results of which will be announced at an evening reception - being streamed live on the internet.
Park City is the sole candidate bidding to host the 2019 FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships.The event will be held at three resorts, Deer Valley Resort, Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, and will involve partnerships with the Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Summit County and the Utah Sports Commission.
USA has traditionally been the cultural home of freestyle and snowboarding competitions, and Park City has a great legacy of hosting world class events. Park City is home to some of the most experienced events hosts in the world, having hosted FIS World Cups, Grand Prix events, World Championship events across multiple disciplines and several events of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

FIS is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding, founded in 1924 during the first Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. Recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIS manages the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, including setting the international competition rules. Through its 115 member nations, more than 6’500 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Ep. 3. Freshfield Icefield.

In the last in a series of 3 ski-travel episodes skier Jordan Manley finishes his journey and returns to Canada, visiting Banff National Park and the Freshfield Icefield in the iconic Canadian Rockies. Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Ep. 2. La Grave

In the second in a series of 3 ski-travel episodes skier Jordan Manley visits La Grave, France. He talks about his love for the French Alps and how this place changed his skiing forever. Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Arc'teryx: A Skier's Journey, Ep. 1. Kashmir

In the first in a series of 3 ski-travel episodes skiers Chad Sayers and Tobin Seagel travel halfway around the world to Kashmir to ski the high altitude Gulmarg gondola, only to find the snow pack is a ticking time bomb. Never the less, they find safe areas to ski and discover the beauty of Kashmir and the Himalaya - its people and its landscape. Presented by Gore-tex and Arcteryx.

Friday, May 16, 2014

IOC’s Launched the IOC Athlete MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) a Free Online Education Platform


Believing that education is an important foundation for success beyond the end of a sports career, the IOC has developed the IOC Athlete MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – to deliver free high-quality, engaging, educational content to a worldwide athlete audience. Content is both formal and informal, and includes courses providing athletes and their entourage with a general background on topics such as sport and education, sports science, coaching and management.
A Massive Open Online Course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education which began to emerge in 2012.
The IOC Athlete MOOC is an innovative new way for elite athletes to study while training and competing. Anyone can access the IOC Athlete MOOC, wherever they are. And all courses are free of charge.
Courses feature academic lecture videos created by leading academics and professionals from the world of sport. They also include practical insights from top athletes, coaches and inspirational leaders.
The IOC Athlete MOOC is a pilot programme which runs until the end of 2014. It aims to understand more about the interests of elite athletes in online education. Any decision to offer online courses through the IOC Athlete MOOC in 2015 and beyond will be made towards the end of this pilot programme.
Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward and former world number one tennis player Kim Clijsters were featured as guests during the first-ever live event on the IOC’s recently launched free online education platform, the IOC Athlete MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).
During a one-hour live video interview, the British coach and Belgian sportswoman shared thoughts, experiences and expert advice on nutrition, performance, education and transitioning into a life after sport. Both guests also addressed participants’ questions submitted via chat.
Live events will become a monthly fixture on the IOC Athlete MOOC platform, enabling registered users to learn invaluable lessons from top athletes, coaches and leaders from the sports world on a range of subjects directly related to athletes and life in sport, on and off the field of play.

It's Time To Look For Inspiration!. Arc'teryx: Strong

"We are all going to make mistakes. It's truly learning from them that makes life really sweet", says skier, climber and parent Roger Strong. On April 6th, 2011, the veteran backcountry skier was skinning up his favorite backcountry run when he triggered an avalanche that swept him and two friends hundreds of feet through steep trees. When the snow settled, he was badly injured, but alive along with his friends. In the months that followed, Strong, confined to a wheelchair, was left to sort through his decision-making. Had he failed as father and a husband? What would he take away from the experience? And if his body would allow, would he still want to ski?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's Time To Look For Inspiration!. Salomon Freeski TV: The Freedom Chair

On March 8, 2004 aspiring freeskier and coach, Josh Dueck, awoke from a ski crash to realize life would never be the same. Paralyzed from the waist down, josh made a decision to make the best of a horrible situation. The result is one of the most inspiring stories we've ever seen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Epic TV: Super Serious Skiing with Eric Balken and Friends, Ep. 3. One Incredible Montana Powder Hunt

In this episode the Super Serious boys follow the Mystery Ranch crew deep into the Montana backcountry on a quest for pillow lines and deep powder. Montana is big, really big, and when you're miles from civilization, the risks of getting injured, or having a really bad haircut are even bigger. The crew managed to find the goods and scored powder that was like something out of a dream, but they also realized how serious it can get.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

How They Shot the Incredible Footage from Nine Knights

During one week of utter madness, the world's best ski athletes ride a snow castle and try to push themselves to the very edges of their limits. But If you think the only hard part was stomping the tricks you're very wrong. Olympic medalists, top freeriders, and world-class action photographers all worked together to produce the best footage possible, which meant long days on the snow and long nights in the editing room for the men and women behind the lenses.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Snow Sports Market Finishes the Season with $3.6B in Sales

SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association,and Leisure Trends, an NPD Group Company have released SIA RetailTRAK™ numbers for August through March 2014. Total market projections are based on data collected from the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.
The snow sports retail market finished the 2013/2014 season with $3.6 billion in sales, up 4 percent in units sold and up 7 percent in dollars sold compared to the 2012/2013 season.
"This season was defined by extraordinary weather patterns that included severe drought in the Sierras, polar vortex events that brought arctic cold as far south as Texas and truly excellent snow conditions in the Rocky Mountains", said Kelly Davis, SIA director of research.
Overall, retail sales were healthy and the season ended with increases in dollars sold, units sold, sell-through, margins, and significantly cleaner inventories. This bodes well for sell-in to the 2014/2015 season and the overall health of retail establishments across the snow sports market.

Overall Snow Sports Market Sales through All Channels August 2013 through March 31, 2014
  • Equipment: $867 million - up 2% in dollars sold, up 1% in units sold
  • Apparel: $1.5 billion - up 4% in dollars sold, down 2% in units sold
  • Accessories $1.3 billion - up 14% in dollars sold, up 7% in units sold
Retail sales have a new benchmark this season at $3.6 billion driven by record sales of apparel and accessories. Equipment sales were the highest the market has seen since 2010/2011 when $913 million in snow sports hard goods were sold. Keep in mind that 2010/2011 was one of the best years for snow North America has experienced in the past decade.


  • Specialty shops finished the season up 7 percent in dollars compared to last season, and had the best sales season since the epic 2010/2011 season. Equipment sales were back up (to $619 million) after sliding for two seasons, but it was record sales of accessories that truly buoyed the specialty channel. In fact, accessories sales accounted for more than 3/4 of the increase in specialty shop sales this season. Snow sports specialty shops sold $736 million in accessories compared to $630 million last season. Goggles, backcountry accessories, gloves and baselayer sales hit record highs.
  • Chain store sales finished the season up 4 percent in dollars sold to $745 million driven by an increase of $18 million in apparel sales and a $13 million increase in accessories sales. Chain stores are selling less equipment every season and sales reflect the tactic; equipment sales in chain stores was down 4 percent to just $59 million, just 7 percent of total equipment sales in the snow sports market this season.
  • Online sales were up across the board with accessories gains leading the way with a 15 percent increase in dollars sold to $254 million. Online apparel sales increased 3 percent to $424 million, and equipment sales grew 8 percent in dollars sold to $189 million. The Internet market is more than just close out gear; average prices online were up 8 percent overall this season.
Notable Trends

Alpine Touring/Randonee equipment sales increased 8 percent in dollars sold and 8 percent in units sold. Lack of snow in the Sierras likely stalled backcountry equipment sales in California, which houses many of the popular areas for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.
Sales of Alpine/AT boots, defined as alpine DIN boots that can be converted to an AT/Touring sole for Backcountry use, may be one of hottest items in the alpine market. Sales of alpine/AT boots are up 27 percent in units sold to 93,000 units sold, and up 21 percent in dollars sold to $37 million. Alpine/AT boots make up nearly 16 percent of dollars sold and 12 percent of units sold in the alpine boot market so far this season.
Women are getting prepped to hit the trails. Sales of women’s specific cross country equipment increased 32 percent in units sold and 28 percent in dollars sold to over $6 million. Overall, Nordic equipment sales bounced back this season and finished up 15 percent in units sold and up 14 percent in dollars sold to $41 million.
More girls bought snowboard equipment this year; junior girls snowboarding equipment sales grew 37 percent in units sold and 36 percent in dollars sold. Overall, snowboard equipment sales are flat in dollars sold to $256 million.
Backcountry accessories sales including beacons, probes and shovels increased 12 percent in units and dollars sold.
Sales of protective gear including pads, wrist guards and general impact gear increased 16 percent in units sold and 24 percent in dollars sold. Higher demand means sales at higher prices and higher margins. In fact, margins on protective gear increased 28 percent from 42.6 percent in 2012/2013 to 54.5 percent in 2013/2014.
Action cameras continue to be the single most popular accessory in the snow sports market right now. Sales of action cameras were up 10 percent in units sold to 121,000 cameras and up 20 percent in dollars sold to $41 million. Over 30 percent of action camera sales in snow sports channels were made in specialty shops.
Alpine insulated tops sales were up 13 percent in dollars sold to $529 million and up 8 percent in units to more than 3 million units sold.
Apparel accessories including gloves, baselayer, headwear, neck gaiters, etc. increased 7 percent in units sold and 11 percent in dollars sold to $664 million.

Conclusion
Snow sports sales were healthy through the 2013/2014 winter, but drought conditions in California dragged on the market throughout the season. Record cold temperatures in the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and even the in the Deep South drove apparel accessories sales higher. Snow and cold temperatures explain about 3/4 of the variance in snow sports sales season to season. The job market, gas prices and other variables do little to explain overall trends in the snow sports market.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is a non-profit member-owned trade association with a long history of working to support the snow sports industry. SIA works year-round with North American snow sports suppliers, retailers, reports, reps and service providers to develop products and programs for their individual and collective business needs. With member support and industry participation, SIA annually hosts the industry's largest core winter sports trade show, the SIA Snow Show, along with the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest and the Sourcing Snow supplier show. SIA also helps retailers and resorts connect with snow sports participants around the country through Snowlink.com.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Epic TV: So Freaking Extreme, Ep. 11. The Pleasure Dome 3: Steep Skiing, Wingsuiting, and Dancing Girls

Sorry for partying,' said no one, ever. Spring in the Alps is a time of celebration. First, the long winter is over and the sun is coming out. Second it's steep skiing season and all those scary chutes where the snow wouldn't stick in the winter have just enough of the sticky stuff in them to make them rideable and skiiable. This spring Nathan Wallace got together with Seth Morrison and Tof Henry for some crazy hijinks. Mono skiing, powder runs, wing suit flying, high altitude electronic parties, dancing girls, steep icy mountains, back flips, and, of course, good times.

IOC awards Olympic Games Broadcast Rights To NBCUniversal Through To 2032


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today awarded NBCUniversal (NBCU) the broadcast rights in the USA for the Olympic Games through to 2032.
NBCU has acquired the broadcast rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile. The agreement from 2021 to 2032 is valued at USD 7.65 billion, plus an additional USD 100 million signing bonus to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020.
The agreement is a major contribution to the long-term financial stability of the entire Olympic Movement. The IOC distributes more than 90 per cent of the revenue it generates to support the International Sports Federations; the 204 National Olympic Committees and their Olympic teams; and the Organising Committees of each Olympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach, who led the negotiations, said: "This agreement is excellent news for the entire Olympic Movement as it helps to ensure its financial security in the long term, in particular future host cities of the Olympic Games, the athletes of the 204 National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations. The IOC has worked in close partnership with NBC for many decades, and we are thrilled we will continue to work with them through to 2032. NBC’s expertise in sports broadcasting, as well as their passion for the Olympic values, will mean we shall be able continue to offer first-class broadcast coverage of the Olympic Games to the widest possible American audience for many years to come".
Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation said: "The Olympics are the world’s greatest cultural and athletic event, and presenting them to the American audience is an honour and privilege for our entire company. Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television, as well as our confidence that our partners at the IOC will continue to deliver great Games and that the Olympics will remain the world’s premier sports event. All of us at Comcast NBCUniversal are extremely proud that we have been entrusted to be the U.S. home for nine more Olympics, and we look forward to using all of our resources to continue our tradition of ground-breaking Olympic coverage".
Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal, said: "This is one of the most important days in the history of NBCUniversal. The Olympics are part of the fabric of our company, and we couldn’t be more excited that today’s announcement guarantees that this massively popular and profitable programming will continue to air every two years on the broadcast, cable, digital and mobile platforms of NBCUniversal for the next two decades. No event brings families together like the Olympics, and no-one in media is more accomplished or better equipped to tell the athletes’ stories than NBC Sports. I want to thank the IOC for their faith in us, as well as Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, whose leadership was invaluable in bringing this deal to fruition".
NBCU, which in 2011 had acquired the right to broadcast the Olympic Games until 2020 (including the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016, the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (2018) in PyeongChang, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (2020) in Tokyo), will now broadcast every Olympic Games through to 2032, the host cities of which are yet to be elected. In addition, NBCU also has acquired the broadcast rights for every edition of the Youth Olympic Games through to 2032.
By 2032, NBCU will have covered a total of 23 editions of the Olympic Games, since its first Games broadcast in Tokyo in 1964.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sensational End To Ski Season in Ischgl With Robbie Williams


On 3 May at the Top of the Mountain Concert in Ischgl, Robbie Williams got the famous stage at 2,300-metres altitude on the Idalp swinging. Around 25,000 delighted winter sportspeople were entertained by the megastar and his big band in front of a spectacular mountain backdrop.
Musical great ensures great atmosphere: Robbie Williams brought the ski season in Ischgl to a close with a sensational open-air appearance at the legendary Top of the Mountain Concert. The charismatic English star got his fans swinging with songs from his new Swings Both Ways album and made a few hearts melt. Some 25,000 delighted winter sports enthusiasts were thrilled at 2,300 metres of altitude in front of a mountain backdrop by numbers like “Go Gentle”, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “I Wann’na Be Like You“ as well as Robbie’s good spirits and the sounds of the big band. The festivities from 13:00 with the song idol formed an unforgettable end to the snow season in Ischgl. In addition to his swing tracks Robbie surprises also with songs such as “Let Me Entertain You”, “Angels” and “Feel”.


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

Friday, May 2, 2014

NSAA Announces Top Ski Area Marketing Programs for 2013/14

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has recognized seven ski areas with top honors for their 2013/14 marketing programs. The National Marketing Awards were announced today during NSAA’s National Convention and Tradeshow, being held April 30 – May 3 in Savannah, Georgia. This year’s awards are sponsored by Ryan Solutions, a strategic marketing and database technology firm based in Ohio.
NSAA presents the awards to member resorts with successful marketing programs that ultimately help grow the sports of skiing and snowboarding. Here are the 2014 Marketing Award winners:
Judges for the awards were Andy Hawks, director of industry partnerships for Active Interest Media Mountain Group and publisher of Snow Show Daily; Mike Bisner, vice president of business development for MWRC Internet Sales and VP of sales and marketing for Body Glove Winter Products; and Matt Skinner, chief operating officer for the Colorado Flights Alliance.
An in-depth review of the winning marketing award programs will be included in the summer issue of the NSAA Journal.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Camelback Mountain Resort Wins Fourth Conversion Cup Award

Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, is the winner of the 2013/14 Conversion Cup Challenge, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) annual award that recognizes resorts across the country that have developed outstanding programs to convert skiers and snowboarders into lifelong enthusiasts. The Challenge is sponsored by HEAD Wintersports.
NSAA launched the initiative in 2010 as a way to pique competition among member ski areas and recognize those who make significant strides in boosting conversion rates. Camelback is among 12 ski areas that submitted an application outlining their specific trial and conversion efforts over the 2013/14 season based on key conversion metrics: beginner lesson volumes; quantifiable success of beginner lesson packages; season-to-date sales and repeat sales data collection; and marketing ingenuity and use of new media. The other two finalists were Killington Resort in Killington, Vermont, and Boreal Mountain Resort in Truckee, California.
Camelback’s win is largely due to a straightforward combination of simple messaging and great offers that have led to consistent growth in snowsports lessons at the area over the past four seasons. Camelback has witnessed an impressive increase in learn-to lessons, from 25,082 in 2010/11 to 37,536 as of the March 14 application deadline.
The main reason for the increase is the success of the Explorer Card, a package that offers three 90-minute lessons, three lift tickets, and three rentals for $129, according to Brian Czarnecki, vice president of sales and marketing. The program has grown from 650 cards sold in 2010/11 to 4,742 cards sold during the 2013/14 season.
"About 52.1 percent of the 7,485 Explorer Card purchasers from 2010/11 to 2012/13 have returned to purchase a lift ticket, rental, or lesson during the 2013/14 season", Czarnecki said. "An additional 7.5 percent have purchased a season pass or value card product".
Geared to first-timers and beginners ages 6 and older, the program not only is a great value but also incentivizes guests to take more lessons. Upon completion of the three-visit Explorer Card, the skier/rider is offered a fourth and fifth visit for $34 each—complete with lift tickets, lessons, and rentals. 
Sale of the card runs through January, but the resort promotes the offer throughout the year by cross-marketing to its four-season operations. Camelback sends ongoing follow-ups about the program to card holders and other guests who purchase learn-to products online. The bar-coded offers allow for effective quantitative measures for ROI and weekly tracking.
In addition, the resort highlights its terrain-based teaching program in collateral materials, emphasizing the ease of the first-time visit, rental process, and on-snow experience with slogans such as "Take the Fear Out of Sliding!" Camelback also touts its ranking as the Number One Place to Learn to Ski and Ride in the USA (Huffington Post, 2013), a sure way to resonate with newcomers.
Camelback has used extensive web, radio, newspaper, magazine, and digital advertising to promote the Explorer Card and its "Learn Here, Learn Right" trademarked branding—and the growth in lessons sold indicates those efforts are paying off.
But it’s not just about lessons sold, said Czarnecki. "Camelback’s focus is on converting the 37,536 skiers and riders taught this year to life-long enthusiasts".
The Conversion Cup Award, a large silver trophy based on a Stanley Cup prototype, is a traveling award. Camelback claims ownership of the Cup for one year, until the next winner is announced at the 2015 NSAA National Convention, scheduled for May 3 – 6, 2015, in San Francisco, California. 

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Ski Areas Honored with Annual Golden Eagle Environmental Awards

SKI Magazine has honored three ski areas—Steamboat, Colorado, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, and Proctor Academy, N.H.—with the 2014 Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence. Additionally, SKI named Maura Olivos of Alta Ski Area in Utah as the inaugural "Hero of Sustainability" honoree for 2014.
The Golden Eagle Awards, overseen in a partnership between SKI and the National Ski Areas Association, are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental programs and projects. "When SKI founded this program in 1993, we wanted to encourage sustainability and recognize resorts for their commitment and proven results to environmental programs", said Andy Bigford, SKI’s publisher and the general manager of Active Interest Media’s Mountain Group. "It’s gratifying to see how far the industry has come in 20 years, particularly with today’s collective focus on addressing climate change".
The resort awards are divided into three categories: small (fewer than 200,000 annual skier/boarder visits), medium (200,000 to 500,000 visits) and large (more than 500,000 visits).
For 2014, SKI also launched the Hero of Sustainability Award, designed to honor an individual making a difference:
  • Proctor Academy, a private school in New Hampshire, won the Golden Eagle Award in the small ski area category. Proctor has adopted a school-wide Environmental Mission Statement, which includes purchasing all of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The Academy aggressively applied its mission to the operation of its competition-oriented Proctor Ski Area, which includes alpine, Nordic jumping, and cross-country trails. Proctor invested $376,000 in upgrades, including a switch from diesel to electric powered compressors, the purchase and installation of 21 HKD SV10 Impulse Tower Guns and a Turbocristal Fan Gun, and the addition of six additional GE PF400 Power Flood Lights, bringing the total to 42. End result: a total reduction of 140 tons of CO2e, equivalent to the annual emissions from 26.5 passenger cars.
  • Arapahoe Basin in Colorado took the top environmental honors in the medium-sized ski area category for its significant waste reduction efforts. Arapahoe Basin is a founding member of the ski industry’s Climate Challenge, and has set a goal of reducing its overall GHG emissions by 3 percent below 2009/10 baseline levels by 2020. While Arapahoe Basin has implemented significant energy savings initiatives to help meet that goal, it has also demonstrated that its robust waste reduction program made a huge difference in reducing its carbon footprint. As a direct result of the ski area’s composting and recycling programs, A-Basin has kept 115,000 pounds of waste out of landfills, resulting in a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 57 MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions), or nearly a third of the ski area’s reduction target for the Climate Challenge.
  • Steamboat Ski and Resort in Colorado won the Golden Eagle Award in the large resort category for making sustainability a cornerstone of its most significant on-mountain improvement project in nearly a decade. In constructing its $5 million Four Points on-mountain restaurant, located at 9,716 feet with panormaic views, Steamboat incorporated LEED principles throughout, from low-flow fixtures to low-energy insulated windows, composting, automatic CO2 sensors in the HVAC system, and LED and fluorescent indoor light fixtures. For the addition of night skiing, the resort installed state-of-the-art Ultra-Tech Lighting, which limits light pollution and saves energy. In upgrading its snowmaking on the Heavenly Daze trail, Steamboat installed a new main line that in conjunction with HKD tower guns cut energy consumption by 30 percent and also reduced water useage. The resort’s new Prinroth Beast and Bison grooming machines decrease fuel consumption and increase efficiencies. Meanwhile, the resort continued its Healthy Forest focus by removing 23 acres of dead lodge pole pines, utlizing a helicpter to limit the ground footprint while also reducing soil erosion and sedimentation in streams.
  • Maura Olivos: The Alta Environmental Center in Utah was created in 2008 to build on the ski area’s 70-year heritage of conservation. Through Maura’s leadership, the Center has improved sustainability practices at the ski area, enabled research and collaboration with partners, and helped spread the word of sustainability to guests. Alta’s General Manager Onno Wieringa stated "through her persistent efforts, Maura has raised the bar on bringing environmental care into Alta’s operations and serving as a valuable model for all departments of the ski area". SKI’s Andy Bigford added, "We wanted to put a face on the amazing behind-the-scenes sustainability efforts that take place at ski areas, and Maura is the true embodiment. She’s the face of Alta’s Environmental Center, inspiring everyone to make changes toward sustainability big and small".
Established in 1993, the Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas. The awards are sponsored by SKI Magazine. Judges for this year’s awards include: Andy Bigford and Greg Ditrinco, SKI Magazine; Tiffany Beal, International Mountain Bicycling Association; Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group; Ryan Mayo, CLIF Bar & Company; Geraldine Link, NSAA; Don Dressler, USDA – Forest Service; and Kirk Mills, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry. 

PyeongChang Enters Winter Games Spotlight

Four years before the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games get underway, the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) continues to make steady progress in its preparations, as it enters the full glare of the Winter Games spotlight.
That was the message delivered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, which today concluded its third inspection visit to the 2018 host city (29 April – 1 May).
"We have had three excellent days of meetings and I’d like to congratulate President Kim of POCOG and his team for the quality of their work", said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg. "We were able to see that a large amount has been accomplished by POCOG and its partners since our last visit in June 2013. The participation of the International Federations, the Korean Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and the Korean national winter sports federations was also very beneficial and allowed POCOG to engage in in-depth discussions on all topics related to the venues and sport. The 2018 Games are on the right track but it is clear that much work remains. We are confident that POCOG and Korea will deliver great Games for the athletes in 2018".
The meetings in PyeongChang were attended by all levels of government including Vice- Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Jong Kim and the Governor of Gangwon Province, Moon-soon Choi. The high-level presence of the authorities was appreciated by the Commission and demonstrated the continued support of the Korean authorities for the PyeongChang 2018 Games.
On Wednesday, the Coordination Commission toured the Mountain and Coastal Clusters, visiting a number of the venues, including both Olympic Villages; the sliding centre; International Broadcast Centre; Main Press Centre; the venues for speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey, and curling; as well as two media villages.
The Commission identified a number of key areas that require POCOG’s focus over the next six months. These include marketing, venue construction, test events and Games services. In the area of marketing, the IOC noted with satisfaction that POCOG is in the process of finalising its first domestic partnership contract. The Commission was informed that construction companies were being appointed for venues and that some construction was underway. It underlined the need for timelines to be carefully defined and adhered to, so as to avoid any impacts on test events. Test event preparations beyond venues were also highlighted, as the hiring and training of staff and volunteers should also begin in the near future. Finally, with timelines tight for the completion of accommodation contracting, the development of the Mountain Olympic Village and the transport management plan, the Coordination Commission encouraged POCOG to ensure that the appropriate focus and resources were dedicated to these important areas.
POCOG President and CEO Jin-sun Kim commented, "The 3rd Coordination Commission meeting was the first one after Sochi, and it was especially meaningful because we had the high-level representatives of the international winter sports federations with us this time. We reconfirmed the fact that ‘Now is PyeongChang’ and that the eyes of the world are now on PyeongChang. We had very practical and detailed discussions. With what came out of these discussions, we will ensure seamless preparation of ‘Best Games’ in order to make the PyeongChang 2018 Games something special, something different and something unique. This year is a big turning point for us. We must establish a solid framework. As I always stress, we have no time to practise and no time for trial and error. We will streamline our Master Schedule and set our priorities straight so that everything runs smoothly according to the timeline".
The Commission also noted a number of areas where progress had been made since its last visit. The new highway and high-speed train connections from Seoul to the Olympic region are progressing well. These initiatives will leave a great legacy for Korea, its athletes and the citizens of Seoul and Gangwon Province.
The appointment of three Vice-Presidents by POCOG and an associated reorganisation were received positively, as this will better enable the organisation to handle the increasing demands of organising the Games over the next four years.
Finally, the awareness of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games has been strengthened by the success of PyeongChang House in Sochi, and the very innovative Closing Ceremony segment, which presented the 2018 Games to a worldwide audience of millions. The Commission encouraged the local organisers to continue to engage and promote their Games at this high level over the next four years both at home and abroad.
Other topics discussed during the Coordination Commission meetings included athlete services, sport, National Olympic Committee services, International Federation services, people management, finance, venues and infrastructure, accommodation, transport, test events, engagement, marketing, media services and the Paralympic Games.
The fourth Coordination Commission visit to PyeongChang will take place at the end of November 2014, while in June, PyeongChang will play host to the official IOC Debriefing of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games with the participation of all the principal Games stakeholders.

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Skier Visits Hit 56.2 Million in 2013-14 US Winter Season

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced today that U.S. ski areas tallied an estimated 56.2 million skier and snowboarder visits during the 2013-14 season—a figure just shy of the 10-year industry average of 57.3 million, and down only 1.3 percent from last season’s 56.9 million skier visits.
The results, released today at NSAA’s Convention and Tradeshow in Savannah, Ga., are encouraging given the weather challenges of 2013-14. "With the drought and a rough start to the season in the Far West, an abundance of cold and snow in the East and Midwest, and near-perfect conditions in many parts of the Rocky Mountains, it’s hard to imagine a more complicated weather pattern over the course of one season", said Michael Berry, NSAA president.
Most of the country had a positive season, with the four resort regions from the Rockies to the Atlantic posting gains relative to last season and 10-season averages. Good snowfall contributed to increased visits in the Southeast (15 percent), Rocky Mountains (6.4 percent), Midwest (4.1 percent), and Northeast (0.6 percent)—collectively a 5.3 percent increase over last season and their third-best season in 36 years of available estimates. By contrast the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest had very low snowfall well into the season, enough to drive a 27.7 percent decline in visits: a 27.5 percent drop for the Pacific Northwest and a 27.8 percent drop for the Pacific Southwest, reducing visitation to the second lowest level in 36 years.
It’s important to note that if the West Coast had experienced an average amount of skier visits, nationally the ski industry would have been close to another record season. In longer perspective, visits nationally were up 10.2 percent in 2013-14 from a recent low of 51 million visits in 2011-12, and down 7.2 percent from the record high of 60.5 million in 2010-11.
NSAA will release a final Kottke End of Season Survey this summer.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

NSAA Announces 2014 Safety Award Winners

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced the winners of its annual Safety Awards today during its National Convention and Tradeshow, being held April 30 – May 3 in Savannah, Georgia. The awards, sponsored by Wells Fargo/Safehold, recognize exceptional resort initiatives to educate guests and employees about skiing and snowboarding responsibly.

Here are the winners of the NSAA 2013/14 National Safety Awards:



The winning programs will be highlighted in the summer issue of the NSAA Journal.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

NSAA Announces 2014 Sustainable Slopes Grant Winners

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) today named four member ski areas as the recipients of its annual Sustainable Slopes Grant program. Grant recipients include Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Stevens Pass, Washington; Stratton, Vermont; and Tamarack Mountain Resort, Idaho. 
Tamarack Mountain Resort received a cash grant for an erosion reduction project to benefit nearby Lake Cascade. With funding from the grant program, Tamarack will revegetate three ski runs with native seed blends and plant a 1,000 square foot “FIREWISE” Garden to educate guests about the importance of defensible landscaping to prevent fires and resulting erosion. This cash grant was made possible by a generous donation from CLIF Bar based in California. "We are thrilled to support Tamarack’s efforts to improve water quality and educate the public through the unique “FIREWISE” Garden project" says CLIF Bar’s Ryan Mayo.
Two in-kind high-efficiency snowmaking system grants provided by Massachusetts-based HKD Snowmakers were awarded to Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area in Tennessee and Stratton, Vermont. Each ski area will receive 5 high-efficiency snowmaking guns from HKD Snowmakers, a total value of $40,000. "HKD views sustainability as a high priority for the ski industry and we look forward to working with Ober Gatlinburg and Stratton to achieve immediate energy savings through the application of our equipment", says HKD Snowmakers President, Charles Santry.
Stevens Pass received an in-kind grant for sustainability consulting services with emphasis on return on investment. Brendle Group, a Colorado--based sustainability engineering firm, will provide the services with a value of $5,000. "Stevens Pass has been a leader on sustainability for years, and Brendle Group looks forward to working with them to identify even more opportunities for efficiency and cost savings at the resort" says Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group principal and founder.
"These grants are a great vehicle for implementing sustainability projects at U.S. ski areas and in particular those projects that reduce ski area carbon emissions and address climate change", says NSAA President Michael Berry. Past winners of the Sustainable Slopes grants include Alta Ski Area, Utah; Arapahoe Basin, Colo.; Beaver Valley Ski Club, Ontario; Canyons, Utah; Burke Mountain, Vermont; Copper Mountain, Colo.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Giants Ridge, Minn.; Grand Targhee, Wyo.; Greek Peak, New York; Mt. Abram, Maine; Mt. Ashland, Oregon; Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon; Oak Mountain, New York; Spirit Mountain, Minnesota; Stevens Pass, Wash.; Stratton, Vermont; Sugarbush Resort, Vermont; and Telluride Ski & Golf, Colorado.
Each of the winning programs will be highlighted in the 2014 Sustainable Slopes Annual Report, to be published in September, 2014.

Sustainable Slopes Grant Program
Launched in 2009, the grant program provides cash and in-kind funding to support sustainability projects at NSAA member ski areas.
Since 2010, HKD Turbo, a snowmaking technology company and supplier to NSAA based in Massachusetts, has donated $120,000 worth of high-efficiency snow guns to deserving resorts as part of the program. HKD has committed an additional $40,000 this year, and through Brendle Group's donation, 2012 winners will receive an additional $5,000 per resort in sustainability services including a utility analysis and customized on-site energy audit.
Brendle Group's support will help extend cost savings from the new HKD Turbo snowmaking equipment to other identified energy efficiency and peak load management opportunities.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 332 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has more than 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.