Monday, November 30, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins His Second Race In A Row in Aspen


The World’s best technical ski racers from 19 different nations had a chance to compete on the technical and steep slope of the Aspen Mountain for the second day in succession. That day begun like on Saturday with perfect weather and snow conditions and Mikaela Shiffrin dominating her rivals in the first run.
Aiming for a career slalom win No. 16 and going into the second run with a 1.69 second advantage over her closest rival, the Olympic and World champion had a little bobble in top section of the course but finished strong to clock a combined time of 1:40.18, to lead Sweden's Hansdotter by 2.65 seconds. Czech Republic's Sarka Strachova sat in third, 2.90 seconds out.
"I just tried to do a replay of yesterday", said Shiffrin at the press conference. "I was like forget that yesterday happened and just do the exact same. I just did the same thing and it worked, so that is good".
"Sometimes I am surprised at the times but I think that's how I am skiing", she added after being asked if she was amazed by her performances. "Probably there were some things that were tricky for the other girls these past few days. So I think their level is probably higher than what they showed. That is kind of a typical training run for me. So I was really excited about how the last two days went because I managed to put my dream skiing in the races. I was really attacking".
Third after the first run, Frida Hansdotter put in a strong second run to make up some time and finally take the runner-up spot for the 13th time of her career.
"To have two podiums here is for sure a really good start to the slalom season", commented the Swede. "I really like it here, it is a very challenging hill, with the terrain and also the snow. The snow conditions change from top to bottom. It is drier in the lower section".
Sarka Strachova confirmed she was comfortable on that slope after her two career World Cup slalom victories happened in the Colorado resort in 2008 and 2009.
"This podium is really important for me because it's at the beginning of the season and it gives me confidence for the next races", said Strachova. "I am usually quite nervous before the season's start and now I can build on this result".
Mikaela Shiffrin made it two-for-two yesterday, winning her second slalom this winter and fifth in a row stretching back to last season. Her winning margin of 2.65 seconds over Swede Frida Hansdotter in second and the Czech Republic’s Sarka Strachova in third proved that yesterday’s record-breaking 3.07 second victory was no fluke.
This streak makes Shiffrin the first racer since Marlies Schild to win five slaloms in a row, an accomplishment the Austrian achieved during the 2011-2012 season. However, Shiffrin will have to win the next seven slaloms in order to eclipse Swiss legend Vreni Schneider’s all-time record of 12 sequential slalom wins stretching from 1988-1990.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Svindal Also Wins First SG of the Season in Lake Louise


The hero of the first speed races of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2015/16 is indubitably Aksel Lund Svindal. After winning Saturday’s downhill, the attacking Viking also sets the pace of the Sunday’s super-g and shows that he should definitively be on the short list for the speed standings this season. "It feels perfect. I was hoping I would be fast, maybe good enough to win races, but winning both that’s different, so I’m super super happy about that. To ski fast builds confidence. It’s been a really good week-end in Lake Louise and if I can keep going like this, which doesn’t necessarily mean winning but fighting for the wins, that’s all you can ask for".
In second place, the Matthias Mayer could step up his game and claim a 3rd consecutive Super-G podium in Lake Louise. "It’s not easy at the beginning of the season, you have to push really hard and give everything. Aksel was the fastest this year, he already was two years ago, last year it was Kjetil, so it’s the third time a Norwegian beats me in Lake Louise. I hope it’s going to be better next year and that I’ll be able to win this race", said the Austrian athlete.
After a 2nd place in yesterday’s downhill, Peter Fill claimed a 3rd place today. The Italian racer is very happy about this boost of confidence and hopes to be able to keep up through the whole season. "It’s a perfect start into the season. To ear two podiums in two days is very special for me. I’m satisfied that the hard work during the summer preparation has paid off already in the first races of the season. I hope I can keep up during the season. I really like the hill in Beaver Creek, the course really suits me well. I hope I can claim similar results there".
The Super-G concludes the men’s week in Lake Louise (CAN). Outstanding weather and exceptional number of spectators provided a perfect background for the ski racing action. More than 4500 people were present on Saturday, 3500 on Sunday and over 600 at the ceremony on Saturday.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin Claims Historic Win in Aspen SL


Mikaela Shiffrin bounced back from the disappointment of sliding out in Friday's GS by dominating both runs in the first slalom race of the season on Saturday. She finished in a combined time of 1:39.81, with the biggest margin recorded in the World Cup history in a ladies' slalom. Slovakia's Veronika Velez Zuzulova, who was second after the first run, held onto her position but finished 3.07 seconds off the winning pace. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter rounded out the podium, 3.26 seconds out.
Shiffrin went into the second run with an advantage of 1.38 seconds over the Slovakian skier, to clinch her 15th career World Cup victory in slalom, for the first time in the USA.
"I really charged and I fought hard in the second run", commented Shiffrin. "It was a big disappointment so I had some anger and I kind of took that into today I think. The second run today was a little dark with some rough spots and couple of holes here and there. I just put my skis down the hill and stressed I was going in the right direction. I kind of just closed my eyes and went down the mountain and it ended up OK", she added smiling.
With this fantastic performance she broke the former biggest margin of 3 seconds in a World Cup slalom that was set in March 1968 by French skier Florence Steurer. "It's probably one of those things that won't happen again, but I am glad it happened today".


Veronika Velez Zuzulová confirmed her fine form of last season. She finished on the podium of the last three Slalom World Cup races.
"For sure I am really happy about today's result", said Velez Zuzulova. "It's my best start to the season ever. The first run was pretty good. In the second run, the light wasn't the best so that was more of a fight than in the first run. It's never easy to race here, because it's quite high and it's tough".
"Training with the French team is definitely good for me, because the young girls always try to push and be better than me. I cannot sleep in training and I have to push more and more and that has made me faster and faster", concluded Zuzulova.
Among the top favourites, Frida Hansdotter struggled a little bit to find speed, especially in the lower section in the second run but was satisfied with the top-3 finish.
"It’s really great to start the slalom season with a podium, but Mikaela's superiority with the margin of 3 seconds takes a little bit off from it. But I’ll have a new chance tomorrow", confessed Hansdotter.

Svindal Wins First Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise


The downhill track at Lake Louise was yet again the creator of a comeback fairytale as Aksel Lund Svindal claimed victory by the narrowest possible margin, just 0.01 seconds, in his first World Cup speed race since an Achilles injury kept him off tour all of last season.
Aksel Lund Svindal performances during the trainings (1st, 5th, 2nd) gave a hint about his excellent shape, but on the top section of the course his line was far from perfect. "I was definitively pushing it harder than in the training runs so it wasn’t that clean but that’s what happens when you are racing, you have to see where the limits are. I made a couple of mistakes that I thought would cost me more, luckily I was carrying good speed too and then I was a little bit surprised when I crossed the finish line, but it doesn’t matter as long as it is green". In the end, Svindal and second-places Peter Fill are split by a mere 0.01 seconds.
Italy’s Peter Fill was very happy about his performance. "I like this hill, today was a good result for me, I was on the podium here twice before, and now again. For sure it’s the best way to start the season". His last and only World Cup win was in Lake Louise’s downhill in 2008, and since then, he was struggling to hold on to top positions. "The last years were not so easy, I had a lot of injuries but now I’m ok, in a good shape, I’m fast, and I hope I can continue that way".
The podium was rounded up by USA’s Travis Ganong, who earned his 3rd World Cup Podium. "I’m always far behind here in Lake Louise, it’s a flatter hill and I struggle with it because I’m a little smaller, so I’m really happy to figure out how to be fast here and the snow is perfect this year so I was able to push hard. I had an injury about 10 days ago, I had a big crash and I didn’t even know if I’d be here, so I’m just happy to be feeling ok, to be racing again and hopefully building from here through the whole season". The 27-years old racer is looking forward to the upcoming races in front of his home crowd in Colorado. "Beaver Creek is more my hill, I love it there, I know the hill very well now and I have a lot of confidence there, so that’s a goal for sure".

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lara Gut Wins World Cup GS in Aspen


Third after the 1st run, Switzerland's Lara Gut didn't mind the low visibility on the second run and blazed through the course in a combined time of 2:02.51 to claim the win, after a breathtaking end of the race that saw leader of the 1st run Mikaela Shiffrin crash three gates before the finish line.
Lara Gut won her first World Cup giant slalom race in Sölden in 2013 and went though a difficult time last season when she never finished better than 9th in the discipline.
"I have to say that when I crossed the finish line in the lead, I was happy to know that I was going to finish on the podium, I mean a second race with the new skis and already on the podium is simply awesome", said Gut. "I saw that Mikaela was skiing so good but she make a mistake that I used to make two years ago. It's cool to win again (...) Two years ago I was skiing well, I was on the podium in every GS race I finished except Lenzerheide. Last year I don't know why, but I had no idea about how to ski GS any more. After Sölden last month, I just had to get used to the idea that I was able to ski GS again and of course I am happy to be in front again here in Aspen on an awesome course".
Gut edged Austria's Eva-Maria Brem, who put in a strong run to make up some of the time she lost in the first one. Brem, who is now the leader of the Austrian team after Anna Fenninger was ruled out for the entire season to injury, won her first World Cup race last season in Aspen, but has been struggling to find the momentum she built last season.
"Things were easy last year, I had a really good season", Brem said. "It's been different this year. I had a good feelings throughout the whole the summer preparation but before Sölden I got a bit sick and it hasn't been easy to find that shape back since. Even in the first 10 gates in the second run today I didn't have a good feeling, but then I told myself this is not me skiing and then I just let my skis go and I think that in the second half of the course I could ski the way I did last year. I am happy and hope it's not a fight to keep that level and that it's here now".
Winner of the GS opener in Sölden, Italy's Federica Brignone was second after the first run, just 0.11 seconds behind Shiffrin, but made some small mistakes on her way down in the second run. However, she still managed to round out the podium, 0.34 seconds off the pace.

Sculpted in Time: The Wise Man

‘The Wise Man’ is the emotive story of Eddie Hunter’s personal connection with Banff National Park and Mt. Norquay, a mountain he has called home his entire life. Born in 1926, the same year Mt. Norquay was established, Eddie has been skiing Banff’s first ski resort for over 80 years. Eddie escorts the viewer through Norquay’s past and present, sharing the impact the mountains have had in his life and which he proudly passes onto his children.



Sculpted in Time, a series of four shorts by Sherpas Cinema.
Shot on location during 30 rigorous days of filming across Banff National Park's (Alberta) three ski areas including a deep dive into its backcountry terrain, this series presents spectacular perspectives on Mt. Norquay (‘The Wise Man’),Lake Louise Ski Resort (‘The Character’), Sunshine Village (The Artist’), and Banff National Park backcountry (‘The Innovator’).

Sculpted in Time: The Artist

In The Artist, filmed on location at Sunshine Village, we get a glimpse of the incredible energy of the Canadian Rockies and how the colour, light, and texture of the mountains around Sunshine Village inspire skiers and artists alike.
The viewer meets local visual artist Dan Hudson as he ruminates on the very mountains that define his lifestyle, and inspires his artistic expression.
The film tracks the artist as he shoots skiers and snowboarders on the mountain and then into his studio as nature becomes muse and inspiration flows both ways, translating to canvas.



Sculpted in Time, a series of four shorts by Sherpas Cinema.
Shot on location during 30 rigorous days of filming across Banff National Park's (Alberta) three ski areas including a deep dive into its backcountry terrain, this series presents spectacular perspectives on Mt. Norquay (‘The Wise Man’),Lake Louise Ski Resort (‘The Character’), Sunshine Village (The Artist’), and Banff National Park backcountry (‘The Innovator’).

Sculpted in Time: The Innovator

The Innovator escorts the viewer through the backcountry of Banff National Park to experience stepping into the unknown—told from the point of view of local wheelchair athlete, innovator and backcountry enthusiast Christian Bagg, but also Chris Rubens and Eric ‘Hoji’ Hjorleifson in parallel.
We join Christian on his journey to overcome his challenges and achieve his dream of Nordic skiing in the backcountry, joined by his mates Chris and Hoji. The Innovator shows how adventure can push our limits, test our resolve and plot our own ‘unknown’.



Sculpted in Time, a series of four shorts by Sherpas Cinema.
Shot on location during 30 rigorous days of filming across Banff National Park's (Alberta) three ski areas including a deep dive into its backcountry terrain, this series presents spectacular perspectives on Mt. Norquay (‘The Wise Man’),Lake Louise Ski Resort (‘The Character’), Sunshine Village (The Artist’), and Banff National Park backcountry (‘The Innovator’).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sculpted in Time: The Character

Filmed by award winning Sherpas Cinema, The Character enables the viewer to examine how your surroundings can shape character. Talented local skier Eric ‘Hoji’ Hjorleifson guides us through the dramatic landscapes of Lake Louise, and recounts how scenery and environment shape your life and character.
Throughout The Character, the Lake Louise Ski Resort is depicted through a splendid mix of vintage footage and amazing high-definition action.



Sculpted in Time, a series of four shorts by Sherpas Cinema.
Shot on location during 30 rigorous days of filming across Banff National Park's (Alberta) three ski areas including a deep dive into its backcountry terrain, this series presents spectacular perspectives on Mt. Norquay (‘The Wise Man’),Lake Louise Ski Resort (‘The Character’), Sunshine Village (The Artist’), and Banff National Park backcountry (‘The Innovator’).

Sculpted in Time: Official Trailer by Sherpas Cinema

Acclaimed cinema production house Sherpas Cinema, recognized for award-winning ski reels Into the Mind and All.I.Can, has created four dramatic short films capturing the deep spirit of skiing straight from the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
The series, entitled Sculpted in Time reveals a new dimension to the significance of ski culture in Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada – depicted in spectacular high-definition footage.
Shot on location during 30 rigorous days of filming across Banff National Park's (Alberta) three ski areas including a deep dive into its backcountry terrain, this series presents spectacular perspectives on Mt. Norquay (‘The Wise Man’),Lake Louise Ski Resort (‘The Character’), Sunshine Village (The Artist’), and Banff National Park backcountry (‘The Innovator’).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Alpine Ski World Cup Speed Season Kicks off in Lake Louise


One month after the Opening Giant Slalom in Sölden, it’s time for the speed racers to start their World Cup season. As every year since 1994, the first speed events will be staged in beautiful Lake Louise, in the Canadian Rockies.
The men will be the first to race, with a Downhill scheduled on Saturday 28th November and a Super-G on Sunday 29th November.
After the men’s week, the ladies’ will take over the hill on the following week. Two Downhills and a Super-G will be staged in Lake Louise on 4-6 December.

The entered athletes will have three chances to test the course before the race days, as three official trainings will be held from Wednesday to Friday. 
Norway will definitively be the "nation-to-watch" with last year's speed king Kjetil Jansrud, in addition to Aksel Lund Svindal, coming back from injury. Together, these two have earned three Downhill and five Super-G globes, and we know they feel comfortable in Lake Louise since they both won here in both disciplines (Jansrud 2x and Svindal 6x).
But eyes will also be on Austria’s Hannes Reichelt and Matthias Mayer, who ended in the Top 5 of both speed standings last year. Not to forget the local team Canada, who has potential winners within its athletes: Manuel Osbourne Paradis (second in Lake Louise’s Downhill) will be eager to claim top spots on this year’s podiums and who knows what Downhill World Champion 2011 Erik Guay, who just came back from injury, is capable of in front of his home crowd.
Furthermore, Guillermo Fayed from France (third in last season’s Downhill ranking and second in last year’s Lake Louise Downhill) and Dominique Paris from Italy (second in last season’s Super-G ranking and Lake Louise’s Downhill winner 2013) are definitively to be considered for top spots on the podium.

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 28th Downhill / Men (11.30 local time, 19.30 CET)
November 29th Super G / Men (11.00 local time, 19.00 CET)

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 4th Downhill / Ladies (12.45 local time, 20.45 CET)
December 5th Downhill / Ladies (12.45 local time, 20.45 CET)
December 6th Super G / Ladies (11.00 local time, 19.00 CET)

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 2015 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.


I Love His Craziness: Powder Surfing

Pro skier, Martin "McFly" Winkler, wanted to try something a little different and decides to shred some fresh powder on his surfboard in his home country of Austria.
Shot 100% on the HERO4 camera from http://GoPro.com.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Avanet: The Ultimate App for Backcountry Skiers

On November 20th, Avatech launched the Avanet web and mobile platform, the first crowd-sourced platform for sharing mountain safety information. Avanet allows anyone in our mountain community, from backcountry skiers, to snowmobilers to mountaineers to snow professionals to share their observations, plan their routes, and enjoy the mountains more safely.

Avanet has a number of features:
  • Crowdsourced mountain safety information - Learn from real-time observations of your community and share your own observations to help others
  • Route planning & mobile tracking - Plan and track routes and share with friends and colleagues to improve group communication and learning
  • Terrain visualization - Use terrain visualization to help you think about what terrain is appropriate for the day.

Packaged to serve the most appropriate mountain user, the Avanet mobile and web app is available in three versions: Avanet, Avanet Tour and Avanet Pro. Avanet is a complimentary version for recreational backcountry travelers and includes such features as basic topographical and aerial maps, tour tracking and public access to data. Avanet Tour ($5 per month) includes additional features like terrain visualization and route planning. Avanet Pro ($10 per month) is the most feature-rich platform designed for professionals like ski patrol, guides, and forecasters, and includes such tools as professional route planning, professional-grade observation sharing, pro data access and sharing and more.

Marie-France Roy: Quality of Life

Nothing about Marie-France Roy’s life is ordinary. She has made sure of that. It isn’t different in the sense of extravagance, but rather in how she is living on her terms. Quality of Life is a glimpse into the philosophy of someone that refuses to settle for the societal norms of happiness or success.For Marie, life is about experiencing each moment, whether that be snowboarding, protecting the environment, skating, surfing, sustainable building, or simply being in the natural world.



While most of the kids around her neighborhood in Quebec, Canada were skiers or hockey players, a young Marie-France Roy opted to go snowboarding alongside her brothers. Today, MFR (or ‘Mofo,’ as she likes to be called) is one of the most stylish and versatile women’s snowboarders the sport has ever seen. She can ride urban features, park and the backcountry with equal pedigree, and has the accolades to prove it, between Rider of the Year awards, movie parts and podium appearances.
Her talent on her snowboard is matched by a humble and giving nature, and an acute awareness for the world around her. While traveling the globe for new lines and deeper powder, she’s also passionate about putting her degree in Ecology to use and spreading the word of sustainable living and environmental awareness. She’s been working on two-year project, "The Little Things", that combines her love for snowboarding and the environment.
The Little Things is a snowboard movie project based on environmentally conscious riders who are inspirational through their riding, as well as their sustainable ways of living and thinking. The film is an initiative taken on by professional snowboarder Marie-France Roy and directed by Filmmaker Darcy Turenne in which all the riders are bringing to life the importance of protecting and living in balance with our environment.
100% of proceeds from the film will be donated to Protect Our Winters (POW) and The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF).
The goal is to bring snowboarding one step ahead while inspiring positive change that will secure the same lifestyle and quality of life that we have for future generations.

 

2015 World Ski Awards


Kitzbühel has been recognised as the World’s Best Ski Resort by voters at the World Ski Awards.
Host Kitzbühel took the coveted title of World’s Leading Ski Resort, while The Vale Niseko was recognised as the World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel and Sunweb took the title of World’s Best Ski Tourism Operator.
World Ski Awards has recognised the achievements of the Kitzbühel Wonder Team during a glittering Gala Ceremony in Austria. The six friends - all members of the Kitzbühel Ski Club - grew up to dominate international ski competition, taking an unprecedented 27 Olympic and World Championship medals in a golden decade between 1950 and 1960.
Also honoured were Chalet Sirocco in Verbier, which took the title of World’s Best New Ski Chalet, and Nira Montana, which was acclaimed by voters as the World’s Best New Ski Hotel.
In a special presentation, the World Ski Awards Academy bestowed a unique trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism on Alpine ski racer Stein Eriksen.
A gold medallist at the 1952 Olympics Games in Oslo, Norway, and subsequent triple World Champion, Eriksen has since served as Director of Skiing at the Deer Valley Resort in the United States.
In a further success, the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley claimed the title of World’s Best Ski Hotel during the Gala Ceremony.
World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson said: "Congratulations to all of our winners tonight - each is an established leader in our industry and it has been a privilege to recognise their achievements here at A-ROSA Kitzbühel".
World Ski Awards, the only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in ski hospitality, returned to Kitzbühel for a third year in 2015, welcoming leading international figureheads and decision makers to the Alpine resort.
A record number of ballots were cast by leading ski tourism professionals ahead of the Gala Ceremony 2015, alongside the votes of hundreds of thousands of ski consumers from around the world.
World Ski Awards' Sion Rapson added: "Over the course of the last 12 months we have been inundated with reports from many of our winners detailing how their World Ski Awards triumph has directly contributed to greater consumer confidence, has raised ski arrival numbers, increased hotel and chalet occupancy and bolstered revenues. While equally pleasing and humbling, these reports have given vindication to our mission. There can be no doubt that the World Ski Awards winners are truly deserving of their achievements.
Honours cannot be influenced and we are stringently transparent - each winner is quite simply the finalist with the most global votes and the sheer quantity of votes does more than ratify the worthiness".
The full three day World Ski Awards programme included exclusive networking events, sight-seeing tours and a host of other networking activities.

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WB+ Whistler Blackcomb New Online Interactive Platform

Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing WB+ this winter season, a new online interactive platform connected to the ski resort’s RFID technology introduced last year, giving guests the option to create a personal profile in order to collect stats and data about their days on the mountains. By scanning lift passes at the RFID chairlift access gates located around Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, guests will be able keep track of personal stats including their number of days on the slopes and total vertical ridden. Customized privacy settings will allow users to make their WB+ profiles accessible to friends, family members and work colleagues, allowing groups to create goals and fun challenges throughout the winter.
In November 2014 Whistler Blackcomb implemented RFID technology, issuing lift passes containing a small chip and installing chip-reading gates at each chairlift and gondola.
The RFID pass allows hands-free access through this automated gate system prior to boarding the chairlifts and gondolas, but the exciting part is it allows you to track your ski day with the new platform called WB+.


You can access everything that WB+ has to offer from our mobile app, plus use the additional features like GPS tracking and real-time mountain info.
Guests can use the app and taake some photos at Whistler Blackcomb’s most breathtaking spots and share them thanks to free Wi-Fi powered by TELUS.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Whistler Blackcomb To Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Whistler Blackcomb is looking forward to the 2015.2016 winter season for many reasons, not the least of which is an upcoming 50th anniversary.
"Whistler Blackcomb has always been about pushing the envelope", says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. "We like to be first, to go big, and to surpass guest expectations over and over again. This season we want to showcase what we’ve achieved over the past 50 years while looking forward at what is yet to come".

For the last 50 years, progression and innovation have been the driving forces behind Whistler Blackcomb. What started as an Olympic dream has evolved into the #1 ski resort in North America. From opening 8,171 acres of incredible terrain, to the Guinness World Record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, to an ever-evolving pedestrian friendly village with award-winning restaurants to suit every flavor, Whistler Blackcomb has a history of going beyond.
From the resort's adventure-seeking founders to its freestyle heydays snowsport industry legends recount the contributions that Whistler Blackcomb has made to skiing and snowboarding and the significance of its golden anniversary.

Salomon Freeski TV: Eclipse

WINNER 'Best Snow Sports Film' at the 2015 Banff Mountain Film Festival
It was a ridiculous idea from the start. Travel to the edge of the earth to see one of the planet’s rarest events- a total solar eclipse in the Arctic. Faced with the likely reality of bad weather obscuring the sun and having to battle frigid, arctic temperatures and winds, the odds did not favor success. Despite this the Salomon Freeski TV team and set out on an expedition to realize photographer, Reuben Krabbe’s grand vision to capture a single unique image- one of skiing during a solar eclipse. Persistence, preparation and a positive attitude was a guarantee of nothing as March 20th, 2015, dawned. The fate of the expedition’s goal would rest entirely in the hands of the weather gods.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Aspen, Beaver Creek and Lake Louise Races Confirmed


The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in North America at Aspen, Beaver Creek and Lake Louise next week.
Thanks to favorable weather, all three North America venues have now received green light for their races.
Following today's official snow control, the men’s races scheduled in Beaver Creek are now confirmed. After highly successful Audi FIS World Ski Championships in February 2015, the Birds of Prey is now ready to host the regular Alpine World Cup Tour as every year at the very beginning of December.
The Birds of Prey was the Men's racecourse for the 2015 World Championships. It is regarded as one of the most difficult downhill courses in the world and features a vertical drop of 757 meters. With lower starting gates, it is also used for Super-G, Giant Slalom and Slalom races.
The Birds of Prey is host to the only men's Alpine Skiing World Cup in the United States.
Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey racecourse was built during the summer of 1997 in preparation for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. Designed by Olympic Downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, Birds of Prey starts west of the top of Chair 8 and finishes at the bottom of Red Tail at the confluence of Chairs 10 and 11. The course features a vertical drop of 710 meters and contains an average gradient of 27 percent, increasing to 45 percent in the middle of the course and again in the final third of the course.

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 28th Downhill / Men
November 29th Super G / Men

Aspen (USA)
November 27th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 28th rescheduled Slalom / Ladies
November 29th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 4th Downhill / Ladies
December 5th Downhill / Ladies
December 6th Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 4th Downhill / Men
December 5th Super G / Men
December 6th Giant Slalom / Men

Thursday, November 19, 2015

World Ski Awards Lands in Kitzbühel ahead of Gala Ceremony 2015

World Ski Awards has touched down in the Austrian Alps ahead of the Gala Ceremony 2015, this year to be hosted at A-ROSA Kitzbühel on November 21st.
World Ski Awards, the only global initiative to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in ski hospitality, returns for a third year to welcome leading international figureheads and decision makers to the Alpine resort.
A record number of ballots were cast by leading ski tourism professionals ahead of the event, alongside the votes of hundreds of thousands of ski consumers from around the world.
As final preparations are put in place, World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson said: "It is an honour to be back here at A-ROSA Kitzbühel for our Gala Ceremony 2015. This world-class Alpine resort is the perfect location for us to welcome the leaders of the ski hospitality industry".
He added: "Over the course of the last 12 months we have been inundated with reports from many of our winners detailing how their World Ski Awards triumph has directly contributed to greater consumer confidence, has raised ski arrival numbers, increased hotel and chalet occupancy and bolstered revenues. While equally pleasing and humbling, these reports have given vindication to our mission". 
The full three day programme, taking place from November 20th-22nd, consists of luxury chauffeur driven airport transfers to and from the five-star A-ROSA Kitzbühel, exclusive networking events, private skiing on the slopes of the world famous Hahnenkamm, sight-seeing tours and a host of other networking activities.
The highlight of the weekend will of course be the glittering red carpet World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony itself on the evening of Saturday, November 21st, when the winners will be officially announced.
Sion Rapson added: "There can be no doubt that the World Ski Awards winners are truly deserving of their achievements. Honours cannot be influenced and we are stringently transparent - each winner is quite simply the finalist with the most global votes and the sheer quantity of votes does more than ratify the worthiness".
At the World Ski Awards, the best ski resorts, hotels, boutique hotels, and ski chalets in the world’s top 24 winter sports nations will be chosen.
The 2015 World Ski Awards will be a three day programme of unrivalled networking events, dinners, and exclusive ski experience activities. The highlight event will be the red carpet World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony itself on the evening of November 21st. Ski tourism figureheads and market leaders from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia will be in attendance as the 2015 World Ski Awards winners are unveiled.

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.

Salomon Freeski TV: DreamTrip

After 8 seasons of Salomon Freeski TV, and thousands of comments from their fans begging for a chance to star in an episode, they’ve listened! For 3 weeks in December, Salomon Freeski TV viewers were given the chance to win their ultimate #freeskidreamtrip. The contest was simple – tell Salomon TV where would you go and who would you would want to go with?
On December 29th, 2014 10 winners were selected from a list of thousands, then one lucky fan received a phone call giving him the opportunity to live out his ultimate skiing fantasy in Japan with Mike Douglas, Cody Townsend, & Kaj Zackrisson.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Salomon Freeski TV: Southwest Pioneers

Once an abandoned mine dump in the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains, Taos Ski Valley is home to some of the most abundant and aggressive inbounds ski terrain in North America.
"You would say, Taos, New Mexico and people thought we were coming from Mexico..." - Dadou Mayer.

IOC Launching Social Media Campaign for Lillehammer 2016


Few days ago, the International Olympic Committee announced its latest social media campaign asking athletes to share their love of sport and get active with the #iLoveYOG hashtag as they gear up to the second Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, this February.
Kicking off this campaign is one of the biggest and most inspirational names in winter sport, South Korean Olympic figure skating champion, Yuna Kim. Also known as "Queen Yuna", the skating legend and YOG Ambassador got behind the campaign by opening her official Instagram account using the hashtag, which has already gained over 80,000 followers.
Following the success of #YOGselfie last summer in Nanjing at the second Summer edition of the Games, which saw 58 million people posting their “sporty selfies” on social media, the IOC aims to engage young athletes and fans in this latest campaign and ultimately get people active and involved in the YOG.
During Games time, between 12 and 21 February 2016, printing stations will be available around Lillehammer for people to print their pictures posted on social media. Collectively, these thousands of images will create a giant mosaic - a piece of artwork that will then be donated to Lillehammer as part of the legacy of the Games.
In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the Youth Olympic Games aim to engage with fans and young people around the world to encourage them to get active and enjoy the benefits of sport. The IOC sees social media as key to the success of this mission, and as outlined by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world’s largest marketing communications group, the IOC is striving "to use these Games as an incubator, as an accelerator and as a way of understanding what young people want".
Supporting these social media efforts to engage and inspire fans, the IOC has also teamed up with other winter sports stars: US Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, Norwegian Alpine skier Kjetil Jansrud, Norwegian slopestyler Silje Norendal and Norwegian ice hockey player Mats Zucarello. Collectively, these YOG Ambassadors reach millions of young fans through their social media accounts and support the IOC and Lillehammer 2016 in their campaigns to raise the profile of the forthcoming YOG.

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).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Salomon Freeski TV: Season 9 Teaser

Salomon Freeski TV 9th season. After more than 100 episodes, Salomon Freeski TV is back for its ninth season!
This year Salomon Freeski TV reached further and dug deeper to bring you the films that you've come to expect, as well as an all-new immersive multimedia experience that will bring you closer than ever to the action. Don't believe it? The trailer for Season 9 should change your mind.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2015-2016 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 28th Downhill / Men
November 29th Super G / Men

Aspen (USA)
November 27th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 28th rescheduled Slalom  / Ladies
November 29th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 4th Downhill / Ladies
December 5th Downhill / Ladies
December 6th Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 4th Downhill / Men
December 5th Super G / Men
December 6th 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 2015 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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Léo Taillefer's Winning Line of the GoPro Line of the Winter Contest

Léo winning line was filmed in Val d'Isere. After over 800 entries, Léo separated himself from the pack due to his creativity and the technical difficulty of skiing this narrow canyon flawlessly – all while making us smile along the way.
Léo Taillefer wins GoPro's first Line of the Winter contest and takes home $20,000!
Shot 100% on the HERO4 camera from http://GoPro.com.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Nicolas Falquet's Nail Biting Swiss Ridge

Nicolas Falquet gives us a taste of what it must be like to have nerves of steel, as he edges his way out to a super steep line in Switzerland last year.

 

Vail to Host Women’s-Specific Ski Fest in January


Inspired by the Norse goddess of winter, Vail Mountain will host Skadi Fest, an inaugural women’s ski event. From January 20-22, 2016, female skiers will be treated to customized on-mountain guided experiences with female instructors, evening VIP events, and female-specific ski equipment demos. United by a passion for skiing and the outdoors, Skadi Fest is an event designed by women for women and is offered for any level of skier. 
"Skadi, pronounced ‘Scotty,’ means the Norse goddess of winter, and in essence, this will be a gathering of skiing goddesses, near and far,” said Vice President of Corporate Communications Kelly Ladyga. “This event in January is reflective of the overall expanded female-specific offerings we are providing this year company-wide, and we hope that the welcoming environment of this event helps ignite, renew or enrich the participant’s passion for snowsports".
From film premiers to a culinary presentations and wine tasting education, SKADI Fest is about the full experience, both on- and off-mountain. Participants will also receive a 20 percent discount on any treatments at RockResorts Spas at The Lodge at Vail and The Arrabelle at Vail Square.
"Skiing is about more than just making turns; the friendships and camaraderie built while skiing enhance the experience, and we hope that’s what Skadi Fest participants ski away with – improved skills and new or deepened connections with others", said Ladyga.


From spending a relaxing vacation being pampered in the Rocky Mountains to exploring new areas of the mountain and pushing personal boundaries, and ripping perfect turns down the far reaches of the resort’s legendary Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, Vail is the perfect place for women to indulge and define their own style of adventure. This winter, Vail will provide exciting new offerings, including the return of the popular Women’s Ultimate 4 experience at the Vail Ski & Snowboard School; a new Women and Wine FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) offering that includes a half-day afternoon lesson ending with a glass of wine at après; plus, women’s-focused equipment demos, clinics and more.

This season, Vail is also introducing new women’s-specific monthly workshops, which provide women with the exclusive opportunity to fine-tune their skills with a ski and snowboard school pro while making new female friends. Vail Resorts Retail will also provide females with the most current gear while on their guided tour. The full-day and half-day workshops will be offered on Dec. 19, Jan. 9, Feb. 20 and March 5.
The Vail’s Women Demo Daze, presented by Vail Resorts Retail and Outdoor Divas, will also offer women the chance to demo some of the top gear in the industry on the following Saturdays: Dec. 12, Jan. 16, Feb. 13 and March 19.

As an extension of the Women’s Max 3 product, the Women and Wine FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) is a half-day afternoon lesson from 12:45-3:15 p.m. that concludes with a glass of wine. This premium group ski lesson offers a great learning environment for up to four women and is led by a female instructor from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School. In these lessons women can learn, or brush up, on their ski skills in a small group setting, from the foundation-building basics of a first-timer class, to navigating the easiest greens, to sharing tactics and camaraderie on the resort’s beginner and intermediate trails, the FAC will gather every Friday from Dec. 15 through March 31.

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).

2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour. 100% of the Qualified Riders Confirmed

 

The talented athletes that make up the world’s premier competitive freeride tour are dusting off their equipment to gear up for the Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 (FWT).  The defending champions of the FWT will face fierce competition from the top riders in each discipline and region from last winter’s Freeride World Qualifier 2015 (FWQ). The top riders of the FWQ16 will earn one of the few coveted spots on next winter’s FWT and compete alongside FWT champions on legendary venues across the world.

Men Ski

The youth has risen with young American George Rodney of Colorado, USA, defending his FWT throne as overall winner after an incredible debut 2015 season including a miraculous recovery and victory in the snowy spines of Haines, Alaska. Rodney is a fine example of how talent developed on the FWQ can match the skills and experience of veteran riders. Young gun Leo Slemett (FRA) will also be back in the game to show visiting riders how to ski in his hometown of Chamonix, France. Slemett will challenge experienced riders like Reine Barkered (SWE) who is always a force to be reckoned with countless podiums and a reputation for sending the most technical lines with lightning speed. Barkered is not the only veteran worth watching; two-time FWT champion Drew Tabke (USA), the “Flying Hawaiian,” is still discovering needle-in-haystack lines on classic venues with his patented creativity. However, sometimes pedal-to-the-medal riding is what it takes to win, as demonstrated by Sam Smoothy’s (NZL) line in Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra last year, which many consider to be one of the the finest runs ever thrown down in the history of the sport.
Never before have we seen such a huge pool of talent on the FWQ ready to send it hard to earn their spot on the FWT. Repeat crusher Ivan Malakhov, one of the strongest riders to ever come out of Russia, is back and hungry to compete on the FWT. Coming in this season as a wildcard is the young Canadian ripper Logan Pehota, son of ski legend Eric Pehota, who is gaining his own reputation for being one of Canada’s strongest backcountry riders. This new wave of backcountry and freestyle riders also includes freestyler Bene Mayr (GER) who will not disappoint with his solid repertoire of huge flips and innovative style. Markus Eder (ITA) will also be innovating with his massive quiver of freestyle tricks that he perfected for the Sochi Olympics slopestyle combined with his incredibly solid big mountain skills featured in headline ski movie segments and his 2013 FWT Courmayeur victory.

Women Ski

The ladies have definitely been stepping it up harder than ever and 2016 will be no exception. Last year’s overall FWT champion and veteran shredder Eva Walkner (AUT) will be one to watch as she cleans up the big lines better than the boys. Walkner will have to keep it coming with tight competition from 2014 FWQ winner Hazel “The Haze” Birnbaum who wants to bring home domination for the USA. But Italy wants victory badly too, with Silvia Moser sending a huge line last year in Haines, Alaska and hungry to win again in 2016.
After a stunning FWQ in 2015, including two victories placing her on top of the podium in Norway and Austria, Italian skier Arianna Tricomi is representing the Italy’s rising role in producing top-level riders on the FWT. 22-year-old Canadian Lauren Cameron has been upping the ante in the Americas region, but will it be enough to compete against the top- level European riders?
Coming in as wildcard for the 2016 season, Swede and athlete Matilda Rapaport will demonstrate her big mountain prowess that she's developed over half-dozen podiums including a victory at the Xtreme Verbier 2013. With a solid chance of dominating any given FWT event, Rapaport could easily grab the title with her experienced skill-set.

Men Snowboard

2015 FWT champion Jonathan “Douds” Charlet (FRA) is one of the most decorated snowboarders on the tour who is also a professional mountain guide and father in Chamonix, France. After a long and successful career on the FWT, will anyone have the skills and experience to dethrone Charlet? At almost 40, family man and snowboard legend Flo Orley (AUT) shows no signs of slowing down. Orley will ride alongside American Sam Luebke who witnessed the FWT title slip away after a devastating knee injury in 2013. After regaining momentum with a victory in Chamonix in 2014, Luebke has the skills to the take the top spot on the podium this year if he can keep his riding consistent. Maybe it will be Sasha Hamm (UK) who is like any average Brit except that he commutes from his London real estate job to the towering peaks of Chamonix to maintain his reputation of one of Britain’s top riders. With such an eclectic group of riders going head-to-head, 2016 will be a showcase of talents from all walks of life including former FWT13 champion Ralph Backstrom (USA) whose forte is riding lines that just look incredibly fun. FWT14 Swiss champion Emilien Badoux is going to get another chance to show everyone why he’s been present on so many podiums over the years after receiving a coveted wildcard for the 2016 season.
Emerging from the FWQ, American young gun Harrison Fitch at only 20 years of age will compete against compatriot Jonathan Penfield (USA) (1st place overall FWQ15). With so much snowboard talent concentrated in Region 1 (Europe, Asia, Oceana), can Region 2 (The Americas) get it together to produce some qualifying athletes for the FWT?

Women Snowboard

Nothing demonstrates the ability of the FWQ to produce champions like FWT15 overall winner Estelle Balet’s (SUI) story. In just four short years, she went from junior teenage phenom to FWT15 champion. Time will tell if Balet can keep the bar raised and compete with established talents such as former world champion and Franco-Swiss rider Anne- Flore Marxer (FWT11), who has proven time and again that she can ride like a top-level pro.
Finnish rider Mikaela Hollsten makes another appearance this year, having represented her home country of Finland for over five years on the FWQ. Hollsten finally gets a chance to compete on the FWT this season and is sitting strong after her top finish in the FWQ15. With such a strong European showing, Canadian Michelle Locke is the only female snowboarder to quality for the FWT16 from the Americas after her top-placing finishes in the FWQ15 season.
One of the most inspiring stories for the 2016 season is that of German Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Thost who receives a deserved wildcard to compete on the FWT after her stunning victory at the Xtreme Verbier last year. Thost proves that despite being a world champion in freestyle half-pipe, an athlete of her caliber can take her skills to the big mountains and win.

The Swatch Freeride World Tour will kick off at Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra on January 23rd, 2016.