Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kjetil Jansrud Also Wins First SG of the Season in Lake Louise


Kjetil Jansrud who’s best results at the Canadian races were a ninth place in DH and 11th in SG was on fire this week and won every run skied on the hill, including the only DH training held on Wednesday.
"I don’t think I have a secret for how I skied this weekend and I never expected a double win as it’s something you very rarely see in skiing so I am kind of surprised", Jansrud said after earning his second red bib in two days. "You always wake up in the morning and go for the win but so far Lake Louise has always been Aksel’s hill and not mine but hopefully it’s turning into mine as well".
Matthias Mayer has already shown that he could ski fast in Lake Louise as he finished 2nd in last year’s SG. Finishing only 15th in Saturday’s DH seems to have served as a good motivation for the Olympic champion to find a better setup for the SG.
"Today it felt as if I found the right setup for this snow and the conditions on the course and it paid off. I’m very happy with this 2nd place, there are plenty of guys right behind me so I can’t complain about finishing right behind Kjetil. Yesterday was not a great day for the Austrian team so today we all tried to push a bit harder and get back on the podium", he said after his run.
Dominik Paris is no stranger to the Lake Louise podium either, having won last year’s DH but his only SG result before today at the venue was a 25th place in 2013.
"In the last years I have been struggling with the SG so it’s a great day for me, starting the season with these results means I am ready to be strong. I was already happy yesterday with my fourth place and I wasn’t thinking I could make it an even better weekend by finishing third today, I was thinking I would have been happy with finishing in the top 10 so I am thrilled with this third place", Paris explained.

Salomon Freeski TV: Late

Salomon Freeski TV 8th season. Every new ski season starts with the optimism that this will be the best season ever. When the snow doesn't show up, skiers will go to ridiculous lengths to make it happen.

Kjetil Jansrud Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise


Kjetil Jansrud was in fine form again this Saturday and crossed the finish line 0.14 seconds ahead of the Canadian who tied in 2nd with French Guillermo Fayed.
This is the second Downhill victory for Jansrud who celebrated his first last February at his home race in Kvitfjell. The Norwegian was very happy to start the season with a great run especially as his best DH result in Lake Louise so far was 9th place in 2012.
"I have been skiing pretty good for a while now and a big goal of mine this year was to be ready already in Lake Louise. Normally this time of the year I have been struggling to be fast and I used to pick up my pace later but I’m glad this year things worked out a bit differently", Jansrud explained.
Between the training run and race Lake Louise was struck by a big snowstorm but the snowfall finally stopped on Friday in time for the course to be cleared of the soft snow and allow the cold overnight temperatures to compact the base.
"It’s beautiful out here, it’s the best I have seen Lake Louise look in the past years. Having very low temperatures overnight made the snow very aggressive. All the way down I was feeling as if I’m unable to attack and ski solid but obviously I managed. It’s a silly feeling thinking you are going slow but you are actually fast", Jansrud said jokingly.
After a whirlwind of bad weather in the past days, one could not have asked for a more perfect race day and if the weather wasn’t enough to make Canadian fans happy, seeing Osborne-Paradis land his first DH podium since 2010 certainly made it a special day.
"It’s nice to start the season with 80 points, it has been a while since my last podium and to get back to it here at home in Lake Louise is amazing. Not just because it’s a home race but also because it’s the first race of the season so this is huge. This course suits me well; it allows more patience on the skis. There are still turns but it’s more feel and even though it was a bit faster it was by no means more dangerous", Osborne-Paradis said after his run.
If seeing Jansrud and Osborne-Paradis ski the fastest times today might have not come as much of a surprise, Fayed’s run certainly was.
The French skied a solid training run but having never placed better than 6th in a World Cup race he didn’t come into the race as one of the favorites.
But there is a first time for everything and today it was Fayed’s time to get a taste of the podium, a delayed birthday present as he turned 29 just this Friday.
"I was very surprised when I saw my time. I had a very good feeling but you never know how fast you are. It was a bit hard having only one training run as it doesn’t give you a clear idea of how you have done over the summer. I was 8th in training but today the snow was harder than in training and I like that, plus the two days off made me feel good physically and ready to race. It’s my first podium and I couldn’t be happier", Fayed said.

Eva-Maria Brem Wins Giant Slalom in Aspen


The Austria Ski Team put on a clinic at the Aspen Winternational with Eva - Maria Brem claiming her career-first FIS Alpine World Cup Tour victory.After taking a year off, the ladies' Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour came back to Aspen for two days of technical racing events.
The first run saw Austria's Eva-Maria Brem showcase all her talent to take the lead, leaving the rest of the pack more than one second off the pace. Italy's Federica Brignone and Austria's Kathrin Zettel were both respectively 1.14 and 1.33 seconds behind in second and third place.
Eva-Maria Brem confessed she would give it all out in the second run as if she had finished 10th after the first run and things went according to the plan in the second run. The 26-year-old perfectly dealt with the pressure of being the last to go and raced to her first World Cup victory, clocking a combined time of 2:05.97. In second and third place, Kathrin Zettel and Federica Brignone swapped their first run positions, respectively 0.59 and 1.36 seconds slower than the winner of the day.
Eva-Maria Brem has built up momentum and confidence since her first World Cup podium in Are in March 2014. She finished second in the final Giant Slalom race in Lenzerheide and took third place in Giant Slalom opener in Sölden in October.
"I tried to push in the second run because I thought that I would never get over it if I didn't win that race", said Brem after the race. 
"So many things came straight to my mind when I saw the green light after crossing the finish line. I first didn't realise that it was me who won that race (...) I wasn't very nervous before the start of the second run. It felt like a normal race. But it was kind of strange standing at the start with no more racers around. Once out of the gate I felt that my legs weren't that fast. I just tried to attack though and in the end it was enough".
After finishing third in the slalom race in Levi, Kathrin Zettel landed today the second podium of the season out of three races to take the lead in the overall standings. Zettel won her first World Cup race in Aspen in 2006 and has been successful on that slope since.
"I am really happy about the second place today, because I was really nervous before the race", said Zettel. "I thought about two years ago when I had a great weekend here, finishing second in the giant slalom and winning the slalom. This is why I had big expectations for this weekend. It is wonderful when it works so well like that".
Aspen also means good memories for Federica Brignone who earned her first World Cup podium in there in 2009.
"I am really happy today because after two years without any podiums it is good to be back", she admitted at the press conference. "That was my goal of the season. Now that I have achieved it, maybe next time I will try to still be better".
Today the ladies are back on Lower Ruthie’s Run for Slalom.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Salomon Freeski TV: Rusutsu SuperNatural

Salomon Freeski TV 8th season. Last Summer, Rusutsu ski area in Japan built a Travis Rice-inspired supernatural terrain park in the forest. The Salomon crew were given first crack at it in all-time powder conditions.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Salomon Freeski TV: CMH Dreamland

Salomon Freeski TV 8th season. CMH, the longest running heliski operation in the world, claims to have the best tree skiing in the world. Mike, Cody and Alexi spend a week there trying to determine if the claim is true.

Lake Louise and Aspen To Host Alpine Ski World Cup


This weekend Lake Louise and Aspen will host the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 29th Downhill / Men
November 30th Super G / Men

Aspen (USA)
November 29th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 30th Slalom / Ladies

The Ladies FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America at Aspen, Colorado. The historical ski village hosts the Giant Slalom and Slalom Races. The Aspen Winternational is a town-wide celebration of the best women's racers in the world. "Aspen is one of America's premier venues for alpine ski racing, providing an outstanding spectacle for both fans on the slope and watching from home", said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Vice President Events Calum Clark. "Live European coverage in key times for our alpine World Cups is a critical element to the ongoing success of the events here in the U.S. and the World Cup tour as a whole". More than 60 years ago Aspen has emerged into international fame as a glitzy playground of the wealthy and famous. Aspen Mountain abundant precipitations of snow (average snowfall 762 cm) guarantees skiing from early November to mid April. The historical Colorado Ski Resort offers 76 trails (48% Beginner, 26% Intermediate, 26% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 996 metres surrounded by some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the country. Aspen-Snowmass four great mountains (Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk) is one of the largest ski areas in North America and one of the world's premier alpine destinations. Ski Resorts offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well (over 100 bars and restaurants). Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area.
Lake Louise hosts one of the most exciting events of the year, the 2014 Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup. The Race Events begins November 29th with the World’s Best Men competing in the World Cup Downhill, followed by the Men’s World Cup Super-G on November 30th. Located in Alberta, Canada, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 454 cm), backed up by Canada's largest snowmaking system (40% of the marked runs), Louise guarantees skiing from early November to mid May. 139 runs (25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 30% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 991 metres, Lake Louise offer a wide opportunities for skiers from perfectly groomed beginner runs to double black diamonds rated "the best super steeps in the country" (Ski Canada Magazine). The Canadian Ski resort is one of the best options to enjoy magnificent scenery and stunning panoramas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Epic TV: Piece of Mind, Ep. 2.

PIECE OF MIND provides world-class athletes with an open platform to discuss one aspect of skiing that is pivotal and inspirational to their career. PIECE OF MIND will showcase top-level backcountry, park, and urban skiing from the 4bi9 crew, while allowing the viewer to relate to the professional athletes on a more personal level. Brady Perron will reveal his favorite place to ski, while Dale Talkington describes the feeling of winning $100K. Audiences will empathize with the struggles of Lyman Currier, and passionately celebrate the successes of Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen. This is PIECE OF MIND.

Olympic halfpipe rider and freeskier Lyman Currier's story epitomizes courage and determination. It starts where most end: breaking his tailbone and separating a few ribs in training. But Lyman pushed on, driving his body and mind to new extremes in order to try to qualify for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Follow him through this incredible journey and watch a crazy season of events unfold around this immense skier. You will never look at injury and perseverance in the same way again.

James Blunt To Open 2014-2015 Winter Season in Ischgl


Megastar James Blunt is to open the winter season in Ischgl on Saturday. He will present his latest album Moon Landing at the world-famous Top of the Mountain Concert – entry to which is free with a valid ski pass!

Heading to the moon and back - James Blunt is set to ensure an out-of-this-world opening of the 2014/15 winter season in Ischgl on 29 November 2014 in the legend-ary Top of the Mountain Concert. The crowd are in for a fantastic experience as sounds from Blunt’s new Moon Landing album are heard in front of the gigantic mountain backdrop of the Silvretta Arena ski resort. From 18:00, the folk rock singer is to kick the musical highlights off on the ukulele and the piano in the centre of the resort of Ischgl as the spectacular sounds of his new hits like Postcards and Bonfire Heart herald a mega music event. Whether he will perform the world-famous ballads of You’re Beautiful and Carry me Home along with songs from his latest album is a matter keeping fans in suspense. Whatever the outcome, there is a unique experience in store – first enjoying skiing on the 238 or so kilometres of groomed ski pistes with the live concert following in the evening. A valid ski pass gives you free entry. A daily pass on the day of the concert costs 60 Euro, with a two-day ski pass available for 88 Euro per person. Those who truly can’t wait to make their mark on the snow this winter can carve their way down the pistes as early as Thursday 27 November 2014 as the new ski season opens.
The legendary Ischgl season opener is to provide spectators with world-class entertainment surrounded by ideal winter sport facilities. Skiers are to be transported this year by the new Pardatschgrat tricable gondola lift directly from the centre of the resort to the ski area in next to no time. Freeriders can meanwhile go on the hunt for new lines under the Piz Val Gronda cable car. The area was only opened in winter 2013/2014. The evening will be a time to put the skis down and celebrate the start of the season with a world-famous star.
James Blunt 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, Nickelback and Robbie Williams.

James Blunt


After leaving the British army, James Blunt concentrated on his musical career. In 2005 he sang his way into his fans’ hearts with his number one hit You’re Beautiful and became the first British artist in nine years to top the US charts after Elton John with Candle in the Wind (1997). From the end of November 2014 he will have another thing in common, as Elton John took the world-famous Top of the Mountain stage by storm in both 1995 and 2008. James Blunt writes his own songs and touches those who hear them with his distinctive and powerful voice. For his new songs, Blunt has opted to incorporate the ukulele to emphasise feelings of freedom and joy. Feel-good songs and heart-rending lovesick ballads meet one another for the first time and take listeners on an emotional journey. Moon Landing is the British star’s fourth studio album and one of his most personal. He deals with the death of Whitney Houston among other topics. In Germany, the album has claimed second place in the album charts.

Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 238 km of prepared pistes, 43 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras, such as heated seats in the Fimbabahn cable car built for the 2007/08 season. A variety of slopes and ski routes offer a opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometres from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 metres) to Ischgl village (1,400 metres).
From Ischgl you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2014-2015 Moves To North America


The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America at AspenBeaver Creek and Lake Louise next week.

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 29th Downhill / Men
November 30th Super G / Men

Aspen (USA)
November 29th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 30th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 5th Downhill / Ladies
December 6th Downhill / Ladies
December 7th Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 5th Downhill / Men
December 6th Super G / Men
December 7th Giant Slalom / Men

Lake Louise, amongst the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park is the only ski resort in the World Cup outside of Europe to join the ranks of the famous Club 5 Ski Classics.
The Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup is one of the select few that hold both the men’s and ladies speed events on the World Cup circuit and will play host to the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill and super-G races of the season. This is the only event of its kind in Canada and is broadcast to a global audience in excess of 184 million.
The Lake Louise Ski Area will host the 2014 Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup. Located in Alberta, Canada, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 454 cm), backed up by Canada's largest snowmaking system (40% of the marked runs), Louise guarantees skiing from early November to mid May. 139 runs (25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 30% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 991 metres, Lake Louise offer a wide opportunities for skiers from perfectly groomed beginner runs to double black diamonds rated "the best super steeps in the country" (Ski Canada Magazine). The Canadian Ski resort is one of the best options to enjoy magnificent scenery and stunning panoramas.
Lake Louise is situated in one of the most picturesque spots of the entire calendar, deep in the Canadian Rockies submerged in a nature reserve on the edge of a pristine Lake that is surrounded by the local glaciers. Views are spectacular both in winter, when the Lake freezes over and in summer, when the local nature blossoms.
With 4200 rideable acres, Lake Louise is one of the largest winter sport areas in North America.
The unique layout allows families and groups of varying abilities to ride together; there are beginner, intermediate and expert runs down from every chair.
Beginners and intermediate skiers have access to an abundance of gentle slopes and long cruising runs. Experts can explore endless chutes, glades, gullies and remote bowls in some of the Rockies' most challenging terrain.

 The historical ski village of Aspen, Colorado hosts the Giant Slalom and Slalom Races. The Aspen Winternational is a town-wide celebration of the best women's racers in the world. "Aspen is one of America's premier venues for alpine ski racing, providing an outstanding spectacle for both fans on the slope and watching from home", said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Vice President Events Calum Clark. "Live European coverage in key times for our alpine World Cups is a critical element to the ongoing success of the events here in the U.S. and the World Cup tour as a whole". Three years ago Aspen Mountain celebrated 60 years of skiing. Aspen has emerged into international fame as a glitzy playground of the wealthy and famous. Aspen Mountain abundant precipitations of snow (average snowfall 762 cm) guarantees skiing from early November to mid April. The historical Colorado Ski Resort offers 76 trails (48% Beginner, 26% Intermediate, 26% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 996 metres surrounded by some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the country. Aspen-Snowmass four great mountains (Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk) is one of the largest ski areas in North America and one of the world's premier alpine destinations. Ski Resorts offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well (over 100 bars and restaurants). Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area.

Located in Colorado, USA, Beaver Creek is owned and operated by Vail Resorts Management Company, one of the leading resort operators in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 790 cm), backed up by a modern snowmaking system (36 % of the marked runs), Beaver Creek guarantees skiing from early November to mid April. 148 trails (19% Beginner, 43% Intermediate, 38% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 1,233 metres. Reminiscent of a secluded European alpine village, Beaver Creek combines the luxury and refinement of a five-star resort with a relaxed, family atmosphere.
The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are scheduled from February 2-15. The event is expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, along with an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,500 members. An international television audience approaching 750 million people will watch the two weeks of racing and festivities.
Ladies' and Men's Downhill Events will take place on February 6th and 7th, 2015 in Beaver Creek.

First 'Epic Mountain Gear Store' Opens in Frisco


Vail Resorts opens its first retail store aligned specifically with its iconic Epic brand -- Epic Mountain Gear – today in Frisco, Colorado. The new flagship store brings the Epic brand to life with its re-imagined mountain retail experience. The 10,000 sq. ft. store redefines mountain retail by creating a gateway to mountain recreation with high-end gear, customized rental services and high-end clothing.
Specialized and luxury brands such as Stockli, Kjus and Mountain Force are partners in another unique aspect of this fresh retail concept. Each month, a different vendor will showcase their newest products, technology innovations and emerging styles and designs in the rotating Vendor’s Lab. Burton launches the revolving vendor concept beginning opening day by featuring their AK Collection with front-of-store positioning through Dec. 21.
Information junkies will gravitate to the soon-to-be installed and strategically positioned electronic information screens with up-to-the-hour weather conditions, snow conditions, trail openings, special events, and traffic updates that are easily visible throughout the store. The dynamic and constantly updated information will assist shoppers in anticipating and preparing for their time on the slopes.
Even the equipment rental service gets the Epic treatment in this shop. Plush chairs rather than the typical narrow benches seen in most rental facilities will allow skiers and riders to relax comfortably until their rental gear is brought directly to them for fitting and adjustments.
"We’re confident that devoted skiers and riders are going to love all the different elements we’ve added to this bold re-invention of what a ski and snowboard shop could and should be", says Scott Leigh, Summit County regional manager for Vail Resorts Retail. "We created Epic Mountain Gear to be the single best place to get everything you need for a great time on the slopes", Leigh adds.

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; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; 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).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 World Ski Awards


French ski destination Val Thorens has been recognised as the World’s Best Ski Resort by voters at the World Ski Awards for the second successive year.
In a night of high drama at A-ROSA Kitzbühel, Austria, the title of World’s Best Ski Hotel went to Stein Eriksen Lodge of the United States, while host Bergbahn Kitzbühel was recognised as the World’s Best Ski Resort Company.
The 2014 Gala Ceremony welcomed over 200 leading representatives from the ski hospitality sector, with partners Audi, Leitner, Prinoth, Demac Lenko, and iSki all contributing to a spectacular occasion.
They joined Bergbahnen Kitzbühel, Kitzbühel Tourismus and A-ROSA Kitzbühel in supporting the event, as World Ski Awards returned to the Alpine resort for the second year.
The 2014 Gala Ceremony was hosted by UK television star Ms Ela Clark and welcomed a host of Austria’s finest entertainers as guests enjoyed a sumptuous banquet.

The World Ski Awards Academy presented three prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism Awards during the evening:

In Europe, Reto Gurtner, President of the Management Board, LAAX, was celebrated for his contribution to ski tourism in Switzerland, while the President of Lake Louise Ski Resort, Charlie Locke, was recognised in North America.
In Asia, Akio Shinya, Chief of the Niseko Avalanche Research Institute, was honoured for a lifetime dedicated to improving safety in the mountains of Japan.

Speaking at the close of the 2014 Gala Ceremony World Ski Awards Managing Director, Sion Rapson, said: "It has been an honour to return here to A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the 2014 World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony".
He added: "This has been a truly special evening for us all at World Ski Awards and it has been a privilege to recognise the outstanding contributors to our ever expanding industry".
Elsewhere the title of World’s Best Ski Tour Operator went to Crystal Ski Holidays, World’s Best Ski Travel Agent was awarded to Leo Trippi and InterContinental Davos took the title of World’s Best New Ski Hotel. Voters also recognised Chalet Quezac as the World’s Best New Ski Chalet, Big Horn, Revelstoke, was voted the World’s Best Ski Chalet and World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel went to The Vale Niseko.

A full list of the 2014 World Ski Awards winners can be seen here.

Launched in 2013, World Ski Awards aim is to drive up standards within the ski industry by rewarding the organisations that are leaders in their field.
Ski tourism constitutes a vital segment in the global travel and tourism marketplace. An estimated 400 million skier visits took place in 2013 to the 2,000 ski resorts which are home to over 6 million hotel beds.
World Ski Awards was developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the ski industry for a programme that was fair and transparent; a programme with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and to help to foster a new era of growth in ski tourism.
The reaction to 2013’s inaugural World Ski Awards was vindication of this vision. Hundreds of thousands of travel professionals and skiers across the globe voted for their favourite resorts, chalets and hotels, whilst the audience who gathered for the unveiling of the inaugural winners served as a "who’s who" in ski hospitality.
The World Ski Awards programme has categories for the Best Ski Resort, Best Ski Hotel, Best Ski Boutique Hotel, Best Ski Chalet and - new for 2014 - Best Ski Area Management Company, for each of the world’s top 21 ski tourism nations. The individual country level winner with the most overall votes will not only win the national award but also the world level award in the respective category.
A number of categories exist on a world level only; World’s Best New Ski Hotel, World’s Best New Ski Boutique Hotel, New Best Ski Chalet and the special World Ski Awards Academy Award for Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism.
The voting methodology is simple; votes are cast by professionals working within the ski industry — senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media — and by the public (ski tourism consumers). Votes are submitted online at World Ski Awards website. The voting works on a first-past-the-post system to ensure impartiality and independence.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Epic TV: Piece of Mind, Ep. 1. A Secret Slice Of Freeskiing Heaven With Brady Perron

PIECE OF MIND provides world-class athletes with an open platform to discuss one aspect of skiing that is pivotal and inspirational to their career. PIECE OF MIND will showcase top-level backcountry, park, and urban skiing from the 4bi9 crew, while allowing the viewer to relate to the professional athletes on a more personal level. Brady Perron will reveal his favorite place to ski, while Dale Talkington describes the feeling of winning $100K. Audiences will empathize with the struggles of Lyman Currier, and passionately celebrate the successes of Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen. This is PIECE OF MIND.


In episode 1 of Piece of Mind, Armada, Dalbello and Spy shredder Brady Perron is taking us into the backcountry of Wasatch, Utah to a little freeskiing outpost he has set up with his friends. No running water, but plenty of lights, propane, and internet make this the perfect winter retreat for anyone looking for untouched powder lines and some very gnarly kickers. It's a long skin or a short sled ride in, but once you're out there, it's nothing but friends and freeriding all day long. Most skiers can only dream about a spot like this, but Brady and friends like Nicky Kiefer and Chris Laker go out whenever they can and hang with the homies from 4bi9 Media.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi

 

Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway won the World Cup men's slalom opener, beating the world champion Marcel Hirscher by 0.12 seconds in foggy conditions on Sunday.
Last year Henrik Kristoffersen claimed in Levi his first ever top 10 by finishing third.
The 20-year-old Kristoffersen had a combined time of 1 minute, 50.39 seconds, after the Austrian led after the first run on the Finnish Arctic slope in Levi.
Germany's Felix Neureuther — eighth after the first run — finished third, 1.31 seconds behind Kristoffersen. Sebastian-Foss Solevaag of Norway came fourth.
Olympic champion Mario Matt of Austria failed to finish after his boot hit the snow, causing him to slide off the course in the first run.
Kristoffersen, who was just six-hundredths-of-a-second behind Hirscher after the first run, surged ahead with the day's fastest time 54.31 as the northern darkness set in.
"I'm probably never going to do a perfect run", he said. "It's always possible to ski faster, and there's always things you can do better".
Marcel Hischer described the Levi race as "an unbelievable fight" between him and Kristoffersen for the top podium spot, but said he was "0.1 percent" disappointed that he was beaten. "But I need to be more focussed and concentrated tobeing faster", he said.
Marcel Hirscher made his 60th career World Cup podium and increased his overall standings lead to 60 points over German Fritz Dopfer.Hirscher leads the overall World Cup standings with 180 points followed by Germany's Fritz Dopfer with 120. Kristoffersen is third with 100 points.
The Men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill and super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada on November 26,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tina Maze Wins First Slalom of the Season in Levi


After leading the first run of the first slalom of the season, Tina Maze wins the first slalom of the season and earns her fourth slalom career victory ahead of Frida Hansdotter and Kathrin Zettel. The Slovenian who came to Levi last Friday already to take advantage of the good training conditions, was very pleased with her skiing today and attributed it partly to the decision to head North earlier than most: "It’s the best feeling in the world when you can have fun between the gates. It really helped to come to Levi a bit earlier as the conditions for training were great. The training slope preparation, the winter temperatures and gym facilities here were ideal so I felt I was really able to prepare for the race".
This is the fourth victory for Maze who has gone through lots of ups and downs in the discipline.
"My legs know how to ski, my body knows how to move but sometimes not thinking is the hardest. I am very happy I was able to do so today and it paid off", she explained.
Hansdotter had two strong runs today, she was able to keep her 2nd place from the first run and celebrate her 10th career second place in slalom. After finishing second in the slalom standings last season, Hansotter has her aim set high.
"It feels great to have a great start of the season. I feel good and feel my skiing is quite consistent. I am also aware I have more to give so it will be fun to see what I can do this season. I hope I can aim at the slalom title, it’s certainly one of my goals to go home at the end of the season with the crystal globe", she said after the race.
For Zettel, who earlier this year underwent hip surgery this was only her 12th day on slalom skis and she was more than happy with today’s podium, her third in Levi.
"I am really, really happy, I have been dreaming of a result like this but I have not been training so much in the past two weeks as my hip bothered me after Soelden and I was not able to train so much. It was not easy the last two weeks but I knew I had to push really hard today especially in the steep part and it worked", Zettel said.
This morning all eyes were on Mikaela Shiffrin, the young American who started this season with her first GS victory in Soleden, was unbeatable on the Levi Black last year as she won with an impressive 1.06 second over recently retired Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Tina Maze. Things didn’t go as planned for her today as after a disappointing first run where she finished 14th, she skied the ninth fastest time of the second run and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place, 2.07 seconds off Maze’s pace.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Levi To Host Slalom World Cup Opening This Weekend


The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2014-2015 season continues with the Slalom opening at Levi (FIN) this coming weekend. Levi is ready to stage its 15th and 16th World Cup races since the first (Ladies') race was held on 28th February 2004.
The World Cup Levi Slalom Opening will take place at 16th and 17th November with the following program:

Ladies' slalom - Saturday, 15.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET 
Men's slalom - Sunday, 16.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET

One of the biggest milestones was reached in 2006, when the event adopted its current form as an annual opening races in both the Ladies and Men’s slalom seasons.
In the Year of 2012 The Regional Council of Lapland awarded World Cup Levi event for its’ annual nomination for Regional Developer. The award was a great honour for the event and the recognition of creating the attractive World Cup Levi brand and promoting significantly the international visibility of Lapland.
Levi, located about 170 km north of the Polar Circle (Levi World Cup is the northmost Alpine World Cup), is one of the largest ski resorts in Finnish Lapland. Levi Fell village is actually a small holiday town, which offers a wide range of first-rate services to its guests.
The Levi fell is 531 meters above sea level. There are some 50 ski slopes in Levi and the skiing and snowboarding season is particularly long, typically lasting from mid-October to the beginning of June. Levi has been chosen the best domestic skiing resort in Finland several times.
Levi is the market leader and pioneer in Finland in Ski Resorts. In the area there are 24 000 beds, which makes possible 2,5 million overnights/year with 650 000 visitors/year.
Beside the 43 slopes and 28 ski lifts there are 230 km's cross-country tracks and 880 km's snowmobiling routes.
More than 20,000 spectators are expected at the two races on the weekend, when the Ladies compete on Saturday November 15th and the Men on Sunday November 16th and the organizers have put great emphasis on involving local schools and youngsters to bring them to the events.
The Levi Black competition course vertical drop is 180 meters and the steepest part of the race course has the steepness of 52 %.

Epic TV: The List. These Guys Opened Their Season By Stomping Some Huge Heliskiing Cliff Drops

Matthias Haunholder and Matthias Mayr are two professional freeskiers who travel the world competing and skiing new lines. Despite having decorated careers, there are a few accomplishments that continue to elude them. So they made a very special list containing all the things they still want to accomplish. This is the behind-the-scene story of that list and how they eventually ticked every box on it.



What more do you need than three friends, a helicopter, and some super soft snow? For the next 90 seconds, drop into winter and see what it feels likes to to ride the heli into virgin pow territory and carve through some huge, super smooth lines in Engadin, Switzerland. Matthias Mayr, Lucas Swieykowski, and Matthias Haunholder mounted up some Go Pros and Drift cameras to bring you this action. It might not be as good as actually doing it yourself, but until you get your own pilot, it's as close as you're going to get.

Epic TV: The List, Teaser. Two Austrian Freeskiers Made a List. Things Are About to Get Crazy

Matthias Haunholder and Matthias Mayr are two professional freeskiers who travel the world competing and skiing new lines. Despite having decorated careers, there are a few accomplishments that continue to elude them. So they made a very special list containing all the things they still want to accomplish. This is the behind-the-scene story of that list and how they eventually ticked every box on it.

 

Alaska Stop For The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face 2015 Announced


The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face  (FWT) announces that Haines - Alaska has been selected as its fourth stop of the coming season. Since the launch of FWT in 2008, it has been a goal to organize an event in the epicenter of big mountain freeriding. Haines – Alaska is the realization of this dream and will be a highlight of the FWT season.
On March 14, the FWT will make its historic first visit to Haines, Alaska, bringing with it a select group of both male and female athletes; the top 60% of the total field secure their spot (16 Ski Men, 8 Snowboard Men, 7 Ski Women and 5 Snowboard Women after the first three events).
"Alaska has long been recognized as one of the best locations in the world for skiing and snowboarding", says General Manager of the FWT, Nicolas Hale-Woods (SUI). "And Haines is known as one of the premier locations in Alaska. We are very excited to be able to name this location as our 4th stop this year. It is fantastic working with the community there and we expect this event to be one of the highlights of the season".
For freeriders around the world, Haines, Alaska is seen as the Mecca of the sport. For an event organizer such as the FWT, this spectacularly remote area provides exciting challenges. Wild and unpredictable weather, massive storms and the raw nature of Alaska means that flexibility and creativity are needed to execute an elite FWT event. In this regard, the FWT is announcing a extended "weather window" for Alaska - Haines, allowing the contest day to be moved to ensure the best possible conditions.
There is no doubt this event will stand as a landmark in the history of the sport for both the athletes and the fans. The athletes agree that this is an event not to miss out on. As 2013 FWT Champion, Drew Tabke (USA) says: "Exploration and discovery is a huge part of the freeride experience, so going to new locations is really exciting".
"For freeride of skiers and snowboarders around the globe Alaska has always represented a dream destination,” adds FWT Americas Manager, Tom Winter (USA). “Haines represents the best the state of Alaska has to offer and I’m extremely excited that the FWT’s elite athletes will be able to experience this legendary location".
The season ends with a special anniversary: the 20th edition of the Xtreme Verbier. Only the top riders in each category will have a chance to ride in this prestigous FWT final event. The total prize money for the season is a record high just above 400,000 USD.

Event calendar

1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix-Mont-Blanc By The North Face
Date: Jan. 24, 2015; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard


2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen By The North Face
Date: Jan. 31, 2015; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard


3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Vallnord Arcalis / Andorra By The North Face
Date: Feb 14, 2015; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, AND

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Haines Alaska By The North Face
Date: March 14, 2015; Location: Haines, Alaska
Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

5. Swatch Xtreme Verbier By The North Face
Date: March 28, 2015; Location: Verbier, SUI
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

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. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially. 
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SEDNA Official Trailer (2014)




Directed by Laurent Jamet
Riders: Anne-Flore Marxer, Richard Amacker, Nicolas Boidevézi, Thibaud Duchosal, Phil Meier
Photography: Stéphane Godin
Filming: Andy Collet & Laurent Jamet
Soundtrack: Alpine Universe
Produced by Eye Of The Storm
Release date: November 28, 2014

Plot: Long time ago, a young woman of extraordinary beauty was forced by her father to marry a bad shaman who took her on an island, far from her home. Unhappy and never ceasing to cry, she eventually succeeds to soften her father who came to remove her in secret. But when they fled by boat, the shaman realized it and unleashed a terrible storm. The father threw his daughter overboard and she disappeared in the depths of the oceans...
And so begins the story of Sedna, goddess of Greenlandic waters, where is sailing the boat "La Louise" with a crew of skiers from France and Switzerland. But gradually, as the days pass, they will realize the legend of Sedna is probably more real than it seems…

The location of the movie is Greenland, and no – SEDNA is not a volcano – she is the goddess of the sea. There are different myths related to Sedna and maybe we will get some answers...? In any case the scenery is breath taking and simply inspiring with the clear contrasts of a polar atmosphere with sea, icebergs and mountains.
"We have long searched to go off the beaten tracks - which do exist even back country. We liked the idea of getting around on the Fjords by boat . It's the best way to get far out in the wild, arctic environment. We don't regret one single moment, just look at the movie and see what we discovered. It's clearly one of the most beautiful spots we have been to, says Thibaud Duchosal", co producer of SEDNA.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Glance Back at Levi 2013 FIS Ski World Cup

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2014-2015 season continues with the Slalom opening at Levi (FIN) this coming weekend. Levi is ready to stage its 15th and 16th World Cup races since the first (Ladies') race was held on 28th February 2004.
The World Cup Levi Slalom Opening will take place at 16th and 17th November with the following program:

Ladies' slalom - Saturday, 15.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET 
Men's slalom - Sunday, 16.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET



Last year Mikaela Shiffrin put down two outstanding runs and showed once again that she is in a league of her own in Slalom. Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who was in third place after the first run climbed up one place to finish in second place, 1.06 seconds behind Shiffrin. Tina Maze finished third, crossing the finish line with a combined time 1.61 seconds slower than Shiffrin’s.


After making it on the podium in all nine World Cup slalom races in the 2012-2013 season, Marcel Hirscher added a tenth one to the list. After two flawless runs, he claimed his first victory of the season. Austrian veteran Mario Matt, who was sitting in third place after the first run put down a great second run and moved one step up, finishing second, 0.62 seconds behind Hirscher. 
"It’s such a good feeling, it’s not easy to be in the role of the favorite… it makes the job far from easy but on the other side this makes it definitely not boring. Now I just want to take a day off, sleep a lot, regain some energy and than I will start thinking about the next races", Hirscher said.
The big surprise of the day came from Henrik Kristoffersen who claimed his first ever top 10 today by finishing third. The 19 years old was thrilled by the result.

Vail Resorts Announces Deadline to Purchase the Epic Pass


November 23, 2014 is the last chance for skiers and riders to purchase an Epic Pass, the world’s most flexible, popular season pass, for the 2014-15 ski and snowboard season. With Keystone Resort in Colorado already open, and recent snow storms combined with snowmaking systems in full operation across Vail Resorts’ iconic mountains in Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe, the clock is ticking down on the industry’s best-selling and most valuable season pass.
With the recent acquisition of Park City in Utah, Vail Resort’s Epic Pass now offers unprecedented access to 22 legendary mountain resorts and more than 32,000 acres of the best skiing and riding in the world. At just $769 for adults and $399 for children (ages 5-12), it also offers the industry’s best value, saving 30 percent versus buying lift tickets and paying for itself in just over six days.
"The recent snowfall at all our resorts and the opening of Keystone signal the official start of the ski and snowboard season", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts, "but also the end of Epic Pass sales. With the Epic Pass, we continue to provide the greatest value and variety in skiing and riding but you have to buy it before the season gets into full swing".
The 2014-15 Epic Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City and Canyons in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Furthermore, Epic Pass holders have the opportunity to extend their skiing and riding adventures globally with up to five consecutive free days each (when booking in-resort lodging) at the renowned mountain resorts of Les 3 Vallées, France (Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle) and Verbier, Switzerland, and five consecutive free days at Niseko United, Japan.
In addition to adding Park City to the Epic Pass line-up, Vail Resorts has poured $85 million into elevating the guest experience for 2014-15, bringing its five-year resort investment total to $492 million.

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; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; 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).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Levi Ready To Host Slalom World Cup Opening


The official snow control for the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Slalom Opening at Levi (FIN) took place last Thursday. FIS Chief Race Director World Cup Men Markus Waldner was pleased with the snow conditions on the race course and the the competitions were confirmed as scheduled on 15th-16th November.
"We are very happy that winter has arrived in time for the Organizing Committee in Levi to finalize the preparation of the race slope in time for the snow inspection. We are pleased to be able to confirm without hesitation, the two slalom races on the Levi Black on the 15th and 16th of November. The conditions are great, it’s nice and cold and we are looking forward to an exciting opening of the slalom season" announced Waldner.
Thanks to the course crew's good work and efficient snow-making system the snow has been produced to the race course in record time.
"We have enough snow in the course. Snowmaking and other operations has been made in record time and some even ahead of time. Cold time after the mid October allowed good conditions for snowmaking. Staff has done a great work. In addition the last investments in our snowmaking system is shown", commented Petri Tuomikoski the Chief of Race.
Due to the good snow situation, some teams have already arrived at Levi. At the moment besides the Finnish team, teams Norway, Germany and Croatia have started their trainings. The Swedish team will start on Thursday.
"The teams have advanced their arrivals so our goal is to open the training area at the Frontslope as soon as possible, latest on the weekend", continues Tuomikoski.
Norwegian Henrik Kristoferssen was pleased with the condition of the race course. "We had our first trainings today. The race is in a good condition; there sure is enough snow. It's still a bit icy so it's aggressive but over all it's in a really good condition (...) Last year I took my first podium place here at Levi so this race is a big deal for me. I'm looking forward the competition. I'm feeling pretty ok. Off course I still have some work to do and need couple days to get the rhythm but it's looking good".

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2014-2015 season continues with the Slalom opening at Levi (FIN) this coming weekend. Levi is ready to stage its 15th and 16th World Cup races since the first (Ladies') race was held on 28th February 2004.

The World Cup Levi Slalom Opening will take place at 16th and 17th November with the following program:

Ladies' slalom - Saturday, 15.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET
Men's slalom - Sunday, 16.11.2014, starting times 11:00/14:00 LOC - 10:00/13:00 CET

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Zermatt Named Best Ski Resort in the Alps


Zermatt in the canton of Valais was voted the best overall ski resort in the Alps, according to the results of a survey of skiers announced in Zurich on Thursday.
"Best Ski Resort" is the biggest independent visitor satisfaction survey for Alpine resorts; it is conducted every two years. Between December 2013 and April 2014, 48,000 snow sports fans in 55 selected, leading ski resorts took part in the survey. The main points covered by the survey were 21 criteria of satisfaction, ranging from the size of the skiing area, via the quality of the ski pistes, to the ambience of the locality. In 8 of the 21 criteria of satisfaction, the Zermatt ski resort gained top marks.
"The enthusiasm for our ski resort shown by visitors is the nicest compliment and a vindication of our daily efforts", said Sandra Stockinger, Zermatt’s Marketing and Sales Manager, at the Awards ceremony in Zurich.
Zermatt beat out Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Austria and Arosa in the Swiss canton of Graubunden in the 2014 Best Ski Resort Awards.
Five out of the top 10 resorts are in Switzerland in the survey published by Liechtenstein-based Mountain Management Consulting in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck.
The other resorts in the top 10 included Solda (Italy), ranked fourth, followed by Alta Badia (Italy); Adelboden-Lenk (in the Swiss canton of Bern); Val Gardena (Italy); Saas Fee, in the Swiss canton of Valais; Kronplatz (Italy) and Laax in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
Matterhorn ski paradise won the Best Ski Resort award for the first time. At the awards ceremony, director of Zermatt Tourism Daniel Luggen responded enthusiastically: "As representatives of the ski area and the Zermatt-Matterhorn resort, it is an honour and a privilege for us to receive this award. The honour represents confirmation from the visitors how much they appreciate our ongoing programme of investments in quality of service and the constant expansion of the tourist services".
Zermatt was highly rated for its snow conditions as well as its extensive pistes.
The car-free town was last month ranked among the world’s top ten towns and cities to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet, the travel guide.
In 2015, Zermatt celebrates the the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn.

Julien Regnier and Seth Morrison Ready To Cast their Teams for the Swatch Skiers Cup 2015


The next edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup will take place from 21 to 27 February 2015 in Zermatt. Team Europe and Team Americas face off against each other in this Freeski duel between the continents.
In the duel of the continents, Julien Regnier is captain of Team Europe and Seth Morrison captain of Team Americas. The two captains select the seven best riders from each region. These compete in man-against-man duels during the two days of competition.The fifth edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup will be marked by the loss of one of skiings most remarkable and truly inspirational human beings, JP Auclair (CAN), former captain of Team Americas who won the competition last winter. JP was a pioneer for putting the “free” back into freestyle and freeskiing. He passed away in an avalanche accident late September together with fellow freeskier Andreas Fransson, in Patagonia. In honor of his person and role in creating a whole new era of skiing at the entrance to this millennium, this edition of the Skiers Cup will be dedicated in memoriam of JP Auclair.
In this unique freeskiing event, seven of the best riders from each region are selected by a team captain. In a face off in match play format during two days of competition, the teams will compete in both Big Mountain (freeride) and Backcountry Slopestyle (freestyle). Once again, Zermatt will be hosting the event, guaranteeing outstanding terrain in a spectacular setting in front of the almighty Matterhorn. The Backcountry Slopestyle competition and special entertainment in the village are all accessible to the public which adds to the very special atmosphere of this event.

Julien Regnier will return to his role as captain for Team Europe. With an international career that started in 1998 when he qualified for the French Olympic Team in mogul skiing at the age of 18, Julien has ever since continued to evolve in the skiing world. He is considered a visionary rebel, a trendsetter and a strong asset in the evolution of freeskiing and ski equipment.
Julien is dedicating this competition to his friend JP by reminding us what he stood for and what skiing is all about: "We will make this edition unforgettable. I want to see smiles and epic skiing - that's what the Skier's Cup is about. It will be my way to ride one last time with JP".

Beginning his ski career about a decade earlier than his European counter part, captain of Team Americas 2015, Seth Morrison is the evergreen of skiing. Starring in so many movies that it could make any Hollywood star jealous, he has been generously sharing his ski passion with the world for 25 years. As to his motivation for being the new team captain, Seth also keeps JP Auclair in mind and heart: "I accepted this title in regret, only hoping to make JP proud".

It will be exciting what teams the two captains can manage to bring together to settle the current even score of 2-2 after the first four editions. The full teams for the fifth edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup will be announced in the beginning of December.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Epic TV: A La Française Ep. 6. Guillaume Harleaux and Friends Shred Through Avalanches 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.



At the confluence of resorts like Flaine, Samoens, Les Carroz, Sixt, Morillon is an area called 'le Grand Massif' which, unlike most of the Alps this winter, got huge amounts of snow. In the new episode of A La Française, the crew visits Guillaume Harleaux at his home in Les Carroz d'Arache and gets some great helicopter footage of him and his friends attacking the Grand Massif. Every morning when the shelling stops the boys are on it. Aymeric Cloerec and Bertrand Clair join Guillaume for a couple of insane powder days in 60 cm deep snow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

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.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Swatch Skiers Cup Returns To Zermatt in 2015


The next edition of  the Swatch Skiers Cup will take place from 21 to 27 February 2015 in Zermatt. Team Europe and Team Americas face off against each other in this Freeski duel between the continents.
In the duel of the continents, Julien Regnier is captain of Team Europe and Seth Morrison captain of Team Americas. The two captains select the seven best riders from each region. These compete in man-against-man duels during the two days of competition.
For the fifth time, the Swatch Skiers Cup will take place in Zermatt. The action on the backcountry slopestyle and the entertainment in the village is open to the general public, which gives the event a special atmosphere. The exact location in Zermatt will be announced shortly before the competition, depending on the snow conditions.
The tragic death of JP Auclair casts a shadow over the Swatch Skiers Cup 2015. This charismatic and inspiring skier led Team Americas as the captain to victory in the Swatch Skiers Cup 2014. JP Auclair was accidentally killed in an avalanche in Patagonia at the end of September. The organiser of the Skiers Cup 2015 will hold the event in memory of JP Auclair.
There is great excitement about which riders the two captains Regnier and Morrison will nominate. They will announce their complete teams for the Swatch Skiers Cup 2015 at the beginning of December.

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where To Ski and Snowboard In The Alps In November ?



Austria is the leading country for November skiing with the Hintertux, Pitztal, Sölden, Kaprun's Kitzsteinhorn, Molltal, Stubai and the Kaunertal glaciers already open.
Megastar James Blunt is to open the winter season in Ischgl on 29 November 2014. He will present his latest album Moon Landing at the world-famous Top of the Mountain Concert

Les 2 Alpes has been open for the past week, joining Tignes which has been open since the first weekend in October. Until Val Thorens opens in November 22nd, Tignes will be the only French resort open.

In Italy, glacier ski areas Val Senales and Passo Stelvio are open. Cervinia will be open from 1st November to 3rd May 2015.

In Switzerland, Saas-Fee (picture attached), Zermatt (always open), Engelberg and Glacier 3000 above Les Diablerets have their glaciers open for snow sports.
The Diavolezza Glacier near St. Moritz has opened on October 2014. Corvatsch and Corviglia will follow on 22 November and open their slopes as well for your winter fun.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lonely Planet Ranked in the Top Ten Cities To Be Visited in 2015


Lonely Planet, the web portal for experienced travellers, selected 10 cities around the world that one must have visited in 2015. Zermatt is ranked fourth. 
Zermatt celebrates "150 years of the first ascent of the Matterhorn" throughout the year. The opening of the newly renovated Hörnli Hut at the foot of the Matterhorn, activities, celebrations and the world’s longest culinary spread will honour the mountain of mountains. And the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn can be experienced up close and personal at the Zermatt open-air theatre production of "The Matterhorn Story".
The Matterhorn (4,478 metres) was long considered too difficult to climb. On 14 July 1865, the British climber Edward Whymper reached the top together with three mountain guides and three English.
Edward Whymper was the first to reach the top. He was followed by the mountain guide Michel Croz (from Chamonix), the Reverend Charles Hudson, Lord Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow (all from England) as well as the Zermatt mountain guides Peter Taugwalder (father) and Peter Taugwalder (son). During the descent of the first climbers, the front four-member rope team (Croz, Hadow, Hudson and Douglas) fell to their deaths over the north wall while still above the shoulder. Three of the bodies were recovered a few days later on the Matterhorn glacier. The corpse of Lord Francis Douglas has not been found yet.
The tourist development of Zermatt had its beginnings here.
150 years later, the Matterhorn still stamps its imprint on the village at its base. In 2015, Zermatt will celebrate the mountain and the alpine tradition with events, experiences, festivities and special offers.
Lonely Planet ranked Zermatt fourth in the category of the "Top 10 Cities".


The 10 best Lonely Planet cities, which one must have visited in 2015:

  1. Washington D.C., USA The best museums, among others, the Smithsonian
  2. El Chaltén, Argentina Glaciers and mountains
  3. Milano, Italy Expo 2015, "incredibly stylish" city
  4. Zermatt, Switzerland Open-air theatre on the first ascent "The Matterhorn Story" (9 Jul-29 Aug 2015); reopening of the Hörnli Hut (13 Jul 2015), epoch week 1865 (10-19 July 2015).
  5. Valetta, Malta 450 years since the "siege of Malta"
  6. Plovdiv, Bulgaria One of the oldest cities in Europe
  7. Salisbury, England 800 aniversary of the Magna Charta in the cathedral
  8. Vienna, Austria Festivities marking the construction of the Ringstrasse (Burgring) in 1865
  9. Chennai, India The gateway to southern India, temples, museums, "Kollywood"
  10. Toronto, Canada 2015 Pan American Games host city