Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ride the Alps in Switzerland this Summer

On April, Switzerland Tourism has launched its new summer tourism campaign that this year revolves around the bicycle. The reason: one of five guests ride bicycles in Switzerland during his summer vacation. On the saddle of a touring bike, e-bike, mountain bike or racing bike, guests immerse themselves in the Swiss nature this summer. For them, Switzerland Tourism introduces a number of product innovations, including the new racing bike event series "Ride the Alps".
Swiss roads lead through breathtaking mountain landscapes and over mythical Alpine passes. The event series "Ride the Alps" offers a first class cycling experience: on selected dates -10 events this year-, pass roads are reserved exclusively for cyclists. These include the Granfondo San Gottardo in July, the Ride the Alps Vaudoises on the Col des Mosses - Col du Pillon - Col de la Croix in August or the FreiPass am Klausen Pass in September. The event series will be continued and expanded over the next few years.
Best conditions that meet with great demand. Bicycling is popular. In summer, around 1.5 million or 19.4 percent of the guests ride their bicycles during their holidays in Switzerland. In the summer it is even 19.4% of all guests. Here, cycling benefits above all alpine tourism: more than two-thirds of the bicycle rides take place in the Alpine region. Another important fact about cycling: Between the younger people under 34, the sex ratio of the tour and mountain bikers is almost balanced.
A big future trend is E-biking. In 2017 the bicycle sales in Switzerland have increased massively compared to the previous year - by a whopping 38 percent for e-MTBs. E-biking allows longer driving distances, more altitude and more cycling in general, as even older or less athletic guests can dive so actively into the Swiss nature.

There are more than 12,000km of standardized, signposted cycling routes throughout Switzerland. Signposts for cycling routes are red and feature a white bike pictogram. The red signposts are supplemented by a standard system of route information panels (stickers) with route names and route numbers. Single-digit numbers indicate national routes, double-digit numbers regional routes and triple-digit numbers local routes.
The many attractive paths along river banks and lake shores, with only minor uphill sections, are a special highlight. Cycling routes use roads and paths that are particularly suitable for bikes: they normally have a hard surface and see little traffic. On roads with a lot of traffic, the routes usually follow cycle paths or cycling lanes with safe road crossings and turn-offs. Cycling routes don’t make any special requirements of users.
"In order to respond to the different needs of touring cyclists, mountain bikers and female cyclists, we have created a dedicated landing page on for every type of bike", explains Samuel Zuberbühler, Marketing Manager. "There you will find thematic best-of routes, multimedia reportages, bookable offers, bike-friendly hotels, and events, as well as useful tips such as safety tips". It does not matter whether cycling is the main or secondary activity of the holiday and whether a booked tour or even planned Holidays are in demand. Campaign-specific content is also played via various internal channels such as social media and newsletters, as well as through market representations in 26 countries. In total, ST is investing CHF 45.5 million (including staff costs and partner contributions) worldwide for this precision all-round marketing.
Here you can choose between all the National, Regional and Local SwitzerlandMobility cycling routes.
If you are cycling, you will appreciate accommodation where the bike is also welcome. Here, too, Switzerland Tourism has been offering a solution since 2016: 85 Swiss Bike Hotels form a hotel category of Switzerland Tourism and Hotelleriesuisse and are characterized by their high degree of bike-friendliness and additional service. Often the hosts themselves are enthusiastic cyclists.

Switzerland Tourism, together with the tour operator Eurotrek, has created three easy-to-book offers for mountain bikers, touring and racing cyclists. There are four days on selected routes on the road - the offer includes route description, hotel accommodation, and luggage transport.

Discover Switzerland by bicycle and you will experience the country from another perspective. Pure, intensive and unique.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Ikon Pass

On January 25, Alterra Mountain Company announced its 2018-2019 pass product, the Ikon Pass. North America’s top mountain destinations have joined together to offer skiers and riders the Ikon Pass uniting 12 destinations from Alterra Mountain Company and 14 premier destination partners.
The Ikon Pass gives skiers and riders the opportunity to access nearly 50,000 skiable acres of unique terrain across the continent, with pass privileges that range from full unlimited access to a set number of days that vary by destination. From a week-long vacation to unlimited days, the Ikon Pass was built with the guest in mind, to provide the best experience possible. With 26 destinations, in nine states and four Canadian provinces, the Ikon Pass is the gateway to a like-minded community, enduring memories, and the most iconic destinations in North America.
The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of seven industry leaders - Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Alta Ski Area, Boyne Resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, POWDR, and Snowbird. Each demonstrates integrity, character, and independence that is reflected in their mountains and guests.
Alterra Mountain Company’s destinations are Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures.
Ikon Pass partner destinations are Aspen Snowmass, Copper Mountain Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Big Sky Resort, Killington Resort, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, SkiBig3 (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Mt. Norquay) in Alberta, Canada, Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Canada and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont.
"The Ikon Pass is a collaboration of like-minded mountain destinations across North America where incredible terrain, unique character, and local traditions are celebrated,", said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer for Alterra Mountain Company. "We’ve curated a community of iconic destinations. We believe this new pass offers tremendous opportunity and appeal to mountain enthusiasts who have a passion for outdoor adventure".
The Premium Ikon Pass includes unlimited full-season access to 12 resorts plus 7-days each at the partner destinations. These all come with zero blackout dates, for an early season starting price of $899. Discounted Child Passes (12 and under) are available since April 9, 2018, for $199 with the purchase of an Adult Ikon Pass.

Alterra Mountain Company, the joint venture of affiliates of KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Company, is a community of 12 iconic year-round destinations, including the world’s largest heli-ski operation. The company owns and operates a range of recreation, hospitality, real-estate development, food and beverage and retail businesses. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado with destinations across the continent, we are rooted in the spirit of the mountains and united by a passion for outdoor adventure. Alterra Mountain Company’s family of diverse playgrounds spans five U.S. states and three Canadian provinces: Steamboat and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Deer Valley in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Mountain Collective Pass

In the summer of 2012, four of the premier independent mountain destinations in the West (Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows) created an alliance to form the Mountain Collective, offering a groundbreaking pass for the 2012-13 season: the Mountain Collective Pass. After the acquisition of Whistler by Vail Resorts in 2016, the Canadian ski resort joined the Epic Pass for the 2017-2018 winter season.
This is a completely new concept for a ski pass and gives winter enthusiasts the freedom to access some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world", said then Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company. "There’s been an incredible spirit of collaboration amongst the partners to bring this historic alliance and innovative new product to life".
In 2013 Mammoth Mountain, Snowbird and Whistler Blackcomb joined the Mountain Collective Pass.
The Mountain Collective is an unprecedented collaboration between the best independent ski destinations: Alta Ski Area, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine, Big Sky Resort, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Lake Louise, Mammoth Mountain, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush Resort, Sun Valley, Taos Ski Valley, and Thredbo Alpine Village.
"The Mountain Collective successfully captured the imagination of mountain travel enthusiasts looking for variety, flexibility and affordable access to the best independent resorts in the world," said Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company during the presentation of the Pass in 2013.
The pass is available online through an exclusive technology, distribution, and marketing partnership with Liftopia at the website. The Mountain Collective Pass cost $ 409. Typically if you visit one destination for six days or more the pass will pay for itself.
The Mountain Collective Pass is available for children (ages 12 and under), under the same terms for just $1. The kids' Pass must be purchased with an adult Mountain Collective Pass.
The Mountain Collective returns for the 2018/19 season with the alliance of the world’s best resorts. This unprecedented collaboration represents a powerful opportunity to experience the ultimate winter.
For the 2018-2019 winter season, skiers and riders who join the Mountain Collective receive two free days of skiing or riding (32 days total) at each destination, unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets thereafter, and exclusive lodging deals. There are no blackout dates with the Mountain Collective Pass or the 50% off lift tickets.
With the Mountain Collective, it’s now possible for passionate skiers and riders to claim thousands of vertical feet and chase ideal winter conditions across Alberta, Australia, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, New Zealand, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.
The 2018-201919 Mountain Collective Pass is valid during the 2018 ski season at Thredbo, and Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
The Mountain Collective Pass also grants limited access to 3 affiliates destinations: Chamonix in France, Niseko United (Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Hanazono, and Annupuri) in Japan and Valle Nevado in Chile. You can use your 2018-2019 Mountain Collective Pass at Valle Nevado within one calendar year of the purchase of your Mountain Collective Pass.
In Chamonix Mountain Collective Passholders receive is two free, one day, "Le Pass" lift tickets. The Chamonix Le Pass ski pass gives you access to all Chamonix's ski areas (with the exception of the top of the Grands Montets).
In Japan affiliate, Mountain Collective Pass Holders receive a 2-day All Mountain Pass for any day of the Niseko United season.
The Mountain Collective Pass gives access to 16 (3 affiliate destinations) mountain resorts in 5 continents and 7 countries for skiers and snowboarders.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Vail Resorts Epic Pass Returns For The 2018-2019 Season

Ten years ago, on March 18, 2008, Vail Resorts, the leading global mountain resort operator, changed the landscape of the snow sports industry with the introduction of the Epic Pass. This pass cut the price of skiing by more than half of other lift access and provided unlimited, unrestricted skiing and snowboarding to five resorts – leading many in the industry to call Vail Resorts “crazy”.

Vail Resorts came up with the idea of a single pass that would be good at all its ski resorts, so people could have a season pass at home and then enjoy free skiing on a once or more annual vacation to another ski area. That was the basic idea, but in the past decade, the pass and its benefits have been expanded repeatedly including partner resorts and various scaled-down cheaper versions of the pass (Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day Pass, and Epic 4-Day Pass).
Last year Vail Resorts sold a record number of its passes, close to 700,000.
The Epic Pass remains the only product of its kind that is good beyond North America. The United States. Canada. Australia. Japan. France. Switzerland. Italy. Austria. No other season pass gives skiers and snowboarders access to so many celebrated resorts around the world than the Epic Pass, including unlimited, unrestricted access to 15 mountain resorts and limited access to 46 more. Priced at $899 for the 2018-19 winter season, the Epic Pass remains unmatched in the mountain resort industry for the variety and value it offers skiers and snowboarders.
Ski or snowboard unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $899. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; and Perisher in Australia for the 2019 season. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at Telluride in Colorado and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec), and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy.
On March 14, Vail Resorts announced that Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire will join the industry-leading Epic Pass in a long-term alliance beginning in the 2018-19 winter season, bringing the total to 64 mountain resorts in 11 states and provinces and eight countries for skiers and snowboarders.
Purchasing a 2018-19 season pass by Sunday, April 15 ensures that skiers and snowboarders will lock in the lowest price, combined with the best benefits, such as 12 total benefit tickets for friends and family to use: Six “Buddy” tickets at a flat discounted rate for friends and family to use and six “Ski With A Friend” discounted tickets are offered with eligible season passes.
"Crested Butte is a perfect complement to the unique family of resorts offered on the 2018-19 Epic Pass with its legendary terrain and historic mountain town. Okemo is known as a great family-friendly resort and together with neighboring Mount Sunapee and Stowe Mountain Resort, provides three great options for skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast. We strive to offer guests the greatest value and variety in their ski and snowboard vacations and are thrilled to now be able to offer access to 64 of the most celebrated resorts around the world", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
"We are proud to join the Epic Pass in a long-term season pass alliance with Okemo, Mount Sunapee, and Crested Butte. Our focus on guest service, reinvestment in our resorts and outstanding ski experiences both in New England and the Rocky Mountains aligns well with the Epic Pass and Vail’s remarkable line-up of resorts. We expect this partnership will be a significant benefit to our guests and skiers and riders around the world for years to come", said Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks, LLC, owner of Crested Butte, Okemo and Mount Sunapee mountain resorts.

Priced at $899 for the 2018-19 winter season, the Epic Pass is the only worldwide unlimited, unrestricted season pass that allows skiers and snowboarders to purchase a season pass next winter at the lowest guaranteed rate with just $49 down now. Purchasing the Epic Pass before Sunday, April 15 also provides skiers and snowboarders with 12 discounted tickets (“Buddy Tickets” and “Ski With a Friend”) to share with friends and family.

Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Four New Resorts Joins The Powder Alliance For the 2018-2019 Winter Season

The Powder Alliance has added Sugar Bowl Resort, California, Loveland Ski Area, Colorado, Castle Mountain Resort, Alberta, Canada, and Ski Marmot Basin, Alberta, to its list of participating resorts for the 2018-2019 winter season.
Now spanning 4 countries and 2 hemispheres, the Powder Alliance is one of the world’s most powerful reciprocal season pass programs offering top-tier pass holders three days at 19 premier winter destinations.
Powder Alliance Resorts include Angel Fire, New Mexico, Arizona Snowbowl, Arizona, Bogus Basin, Idaho, Bridger Bowl, Montana, Castle Mountain Resort, Alberta, Canada, China Peak, California, Kiroro, Japan, La Parva, Chile, Loveland Ski Area, Colorado, Ski Marmot Basin, Alberta, Canada, Mountain High, California, Mt Hood Ski Bowl, Oregon, Schweitzer, Idaho, Sierra At Tahoe, California, Silver Star, British Columbia, Canada, Stevens Pass, Washington, Sugar Bowl Resort, California, Timberline, Oregon, and Whitewater, British Columbia, Canada.
Anytime season pass holders at each Powder Alliance resort receive 3 days at all the rest, non-holiday. Guests simply show an anytime 2018/19 season pass from a participating Powder Alliance area and receive skiing benefits at all the rest.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, a former member of the Powder Alliance, has entered into a new, multi-year season pass partnership with Vail Resorts beginning with the 2018-19 winter season.
"We just made your winter road trip even more amazing by adding Ski Marmot Basin, Castle Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl Resort, and Loveland Ski Area, four resorts that offer the highest standard of skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are covering the West Coast or hopping abroad to Japan and Chile, these are four mountains you definitely want to check out, if they aren’t already your hometown favorite", said John McColly, CMO of Mountain High, Calif., and Stevens Pass, Wash.
In 2014 the Powder Alliance was proudly named Best Season Pass Program by Ski Area Management magazine. In response to the development of other multi-area pass deals, a dozen Western resorts spread across nine states created the Powder Alliance to offer free lift access to "anytime" passholders from member resorts.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Strategic Alliances in the Ski Business: Season Passes in North America

"A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision… A strategy is all about gaining a position of advantage over adversaries".

The North American market is heavily fragmented; however, restructuring has taken place during recent years, with a shift taking place towards fewer, increasingly larger companies. From the 80s until the 2000-01 winter season we have seen a significant decline in the number of stations and ski resorts in the US, down from 735 in 1982 to 546 in 1991 and 489 in 2000. From that year onwards up to the present, we see a stabilization in the number of ski resorts in the US. The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) reports 481ski areas were in operation during the 2016/17 season, according to the Kottke National End ofSeason Survey.

Strategic alliances and partnerships are essential in the development of the modern tourism industry.
Ski resorts often use Strategic Alliances to improve their positioning and reputation or to benefit from better distribution or marketing channels.
As competition grows, small and midsize ski resorts need to be increasingly creative about how and with whom they align themselves to go to the market. Marketing efforts must be coordinated to maximize the overall sales of the partners.

"Over the past three years, the ski industry has had a paradigm shift in the way it sells lift tickets, especially season tickets, and has moved to a multi-mountain formula that allows skiers and snowboarders a lot more flexibility at prices far lower than they used to be (...) season passes used to be for people who could drive to a particular ski resort and thus get in a lot of days. This also locked skiers financially into almost exclusively favoring one resort at home and paying full retail when traveling elsewhere. In sharp contrast, today’s passes often make sense even for far-flung travelers who can’t drive to any resortLarry Olmsted, Forbes (March 2014).

Ski Area Management Magazine (SAM) took a look at five of the multi-resort season passes on the market for the 2018-2019 winter season:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Winning Run Mickael Bimboes. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) was the man to beat today with two massive airs and fast big mountain riding, which earned him his first win on the Bec des Rosses and a 3rd place overall finish for the 2018 season.

Winning Run Arianna Tricomi. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) took to the air in a decisive big mountain performance to claim the highly contested world title race and the Xtreme Verbier win, both being career firsts for her.

Winning Run Sammy Luebke. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place) claimed an unprecedented third consecutive FWT title and Xtreme Verbier win that he cemented with one of the most committed lines of the season, charging into the central couloir with speed and fluidly stomping multiple huge drops.

Winning Run Marion Haerty. Freeride World Tour 2018. Xtreme Verbier

Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) earned her first career Xtreme Verbier win and a 2nd place FWT overall finish with confident riding, including a final stomp to close-out yet another solid season.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Freeride World Tour Champions Crowned at the Xtreme Verbier

The highly anticipated final of the international freeride ski and snowboard tour crowned four new world champions today at the Xtreme Verbier 2018.
Three world champion titles open for the taking and epic conditions on the legendary Swiss freeride venue, Bec des Rosses set-up a dramatic FWT grand finale in Verbier today where four new riders were crowned world champion. The day also featured an excellent Freeride Junior Tour by Head (FJT) competition, which ran simultaneously.

Ski Men

With Kristofer Turdell (SWE-DNS) having already claimed the FWT title with his result in Austria, the male skiers were charging hard to fill the remaining top two overall podium spots and the Xtreme Verbier win. Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) was the man to beat today with two massive airs and fast big mountain riding, which earned him his first win on the Bec des Rosses and a 3rd place overall finish for the 2018 season. Rookie, Craig Murray (NZL-2nd Place) wowed judges and spectators with a very creative and critical line that featured two huge styly 360s, landing him in the 2nd podium position. Markus Eder (ITA-3rd Place) took home his first Xtreme Verbier and FWT overall podiums today, finishing in 2nd place for the season thanks to his trademark committed, fluid and creative style.

Ski Women

Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) took to the air in a decisive big mountain performance to claim the highly contested world title race and the Xtreme Verbier win, both being career firsts for her. Veteran, Lorraine Huber (AUT-2nd Place) charged into a steep and technical line, stomping two big airs to earn a 2nd place podium finish for the day and a 3rd place finish overall. Eva Walkner (AUT-3rd Place) came up just shy from taking the win from her rival after some trouble cleanly sticking her top air but finished the season with a podium and strong 2nd place overall ranking after stomping the biggest double drop of the day for her category.

Snowboard Men

Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place) claimed an unprecedented third consecutive FWT title and Xtreme Verbier win that he cemented with one of the most committed lines of the season, charging into the central couloir with speed and fluidly stomping multiple huge drops. Elias Elhardt (GER-2nd Place) earned his first Xtreme Verbier podium with a solid and playful run on the big mountain venue, which included a perfectly executed backside 360 in the steep dogleg couloir. Davey Baird (USA-3rd Place) took the third podium position for the event and the 2018 season thanks to a very steep and technical line through the central couloir that he executed with confidence.

Snowboard Women

Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) earned her first career Xtreme Verbier win and a 2nd place FWT overall finish with confident riding, including a final stomp to close-out yet another solid season. Anna Orlova (RUS-2nd Place) put the finishing touches on a great rookie season with the biggest air and stomp of the day for the category, resulting in an Xtreme Verbier podium and a 3rd place overall finish. Manuela Mandl (AUT-3rd Place) claimed her first career FWT title today with a strong result earned with fluid big mountain riding and multiple airs in steep terrain.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Alps and Literature. Ski Paradise Commemorates 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's classic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus - first printed in London on 1 January 1818.
Shelley started writing the story in 1816 when she was 18 and completed her writing in April/May 1817 (Robinson, 1996).
The first edition of the novel was published anonymously with a preface written for Mary by Percy Bysshe Shelley and with a dedication to philosopher William Godwin, her father. It was published in an edition of just 500 copies in three volumes, the standard "triple-decker" format for 19th-century first editions.
On 31 October 1831, the first "popular" edition in one-volume appeared, published by Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. This edition was heavily revised by Mary Shelley, partially to make the story less radical. It included a lengthy new preface by the author, presenting a somewhat embellished version of the genesis of the story. This edition is the one that I used to write this publication.
Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque but sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Much of the story takes place in the region of Geneva, Switzerland. The novel is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement.
Frankenstein is written in the form of a frame story that starts with Captain Robert Walton writing letters to his sister. It takes place at an unspecified time in the 18th century.
In addition to climbers’ and explorers’ tales, an important factor that contributed to the expansion of tourism in the Alps in the 19th century was the success of literary works and pictorial representations of the mountains.
In the 19th century, Britons rushed to the mountains, led by a new breed of Romantic painters, poets, and writers (Fleming, 2000).
Lovers of mountains have often tried to give literary form to their feelings. Lord Conway’s first impression on seeing a great snow peak, the Blüemlisalphorn (3,661 m) in the Bernese Alps, gave proof of this: “I felt it as no part of this earth”, he said, “or in any way belonging to the world of experience. Here, at last, was the other world visible, inaccessible, no doubt, but authentically there; actual yet incredible, veritably solid with an aspect of eternal endurance, yet also ethereal; overwhelmingly magnificent but attractive too” (Engel, 1950: 255).
Mary Shelley's' Frankenstein has the glaciers and high mountains of the Alps in their background.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797–1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.
In 1814, Mary began a romance with one of her father's political followers, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was already married.
On 28 July 1814, the couple eloped and secretly left for France, taking Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, with them. The trio traveled to Paris, and then, by donkey, mule, carriage, and foot, through a France recently ravaged by war, to Switzerland. "It was acting in a novel, being an incarnate romance", Mary Shelley recalled in 1826 (Sunstein, 1989).
In May 1816, Mary, Percy Shelley, and their son traveled to Geneva with Claire Clairmont. They planned to spend the summer with the poet Lord Byron, whose recent affair with Claire had left her pregnant. The party arrived at Geneva on 14 May 1816, where Mary called herself "Mrs. Shelley". Byron joined them on 25 May, with his young physician, John William Polidori, and rented the Villa Diodati, close to Lake Geneva at the village of Cologny; Percy Shelley rented a smaller building called Maison Chapuis on the waterfront nearby. They spent their time writing, boating on the lake, and talking late into the night.
The Alps left lasting impressions in Mary Shelley. She found an infatuation with the mountains and the glaciers that would later produce the story of Frankenstein. The views were what had inspired Haller, Rousseau, Goethe, Wordsworth, Turner and all earlier Romantics who had come to the Alps (Fleming, 2000).
"It proved a wet, ungenial summer", Mary Shelley remembered in 1831, "and incessant rain often confined us for days to the house" (Frankenstein, 1831 edition). The violent storms were, it is now known, a repercussion of the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia the year before (1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer). Sitting around a log fire at Byron's villa, the company amused themselves with German ghost stories from the book Fantasmagoriana, a French anthology of German ghost stories, which prompted Byron to propose that they "each write a ghost story". Mary Shelley produced what would become Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, and Polidori was inspired by a fragmentary story of Byron's, Fragment of a Novel, to produce The Vampyre, the progenitor of the romantic vampire genre (Sunstein, 1989).
Unable to think of a story, young Mary became anxious: "Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative" (Frankenstein, 1831 edition). During one mid-June evening, the discussions turned to the nature of the principle of life. "Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated", Mary noted, "galvanism had given token of such things" (Frankenstein, 1831 edition). It was after midnight before they retired, and unable to sleep, she became possessed by her imagination as she beheld the grim terrors of her "waking dream", her ghost story (Frankenstein, 1831 edition).
I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world” (Frankenstein, 1831 edition).
She began writing what she assumed would be a short story. With Percy Shelley's encouragement, she expanded this tale into her first novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818 (Bennett, 1998; Sunstein, 1989). She later described that summer in Switzerland as the moment "when I first stepped out from childhood into life" (Sunstein, 1989: 117).
Upon her return to England in September of 1816, Mary quickly began to develop the novel she had started in the summer. Its progress was twice interrupted by family catastrophe, first the suicide of her half-sister Fanny in October (Daisy, 2010), then the discovery in December of the body of Harriet Shelley, who, being with child, had herself committed suicide the month before. Two weeks after they were notified of Harriet's suicide, on 30 December 1816, Mary Godwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley were married at St Mildred's Church, Bread Street, London (Seymour, 2000).
The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died, —Clara, in September 1818 in Venice, and William, in June 1819 in Rome-, before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley on 12 November 1819.
In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumor that was to kill her at the age of 53.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Last World Cup Slalom

Mikaela Shiffrin won a career-best seventh slalom of the season on Saturday in impressive fashion, leading the field by over 1.5 seconds, at the Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Åre, Sweden. It was the American's fourth slalom victory –the most among women – at the Swedish resort that will host the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. She also finished the day by collecting her fifth slalom crystal globe that was mathematically secured in Ofterschwang last week.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland attacked the second run to move from fifth after the first run into the runner-up position for the race and also the discipline standings. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden finished third on the day and also moved onto the standings podium in third place, much to the delight of local fans.

Marcel Hirscher Wins Last World Cup Giant Slalom

The races at the World Cup Finals in Are went into the last round and both the cup and the race win went to Austria's Marcel Hirscher.
As for most of the season, the battle at the top of the giant slalom rankings is between Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen. Despite a mistake in the first run, the Austrian could take the lead in the first run and hold on going into a shortened second run. With this he claimed his 13th win of the season, equalling a record set by Ingemar Stenmark and Hermann Maier. He also won 11 of the last 12 races in that discipline, what allowed him to earn his 5th crystal globe in giant slalom.
The fastest man in the second run was Henrik Kristoffersen! The Norwegian, who has celebrated 11-second places this season, was able to beat Marcel Hirscher in the second run, but still ended in second place, +0.23 off the winning pace. Kristoffersen consolidated his second place in the giant slalom season ranking, proving that he made a big step in that discipline this season.
In third place, Victor Muffat-Jeandet grabs his first giant slalom podium of the season. The French athlete had his breakthrough two seasons ago but struggled to score podiums last season and at the beginning of 2017/18. In Wengen, with his first World Cup win in alpine combined, things changed and he could carry on winning an Olympic bronze medal in that discipline and now enjoy the third place in giant slalom, his 7th in career.
Another Frenchman finished in the third place of the season ranking in giant slalom. It’s the only man that was able to win a race in Marcel Hirscher’s long winning streak; Alexis Pinturault. With his win in Val d’Isère and solid results throughout the season, including three third spots, he was able to climb on the cup podium for the sixth consecutive year.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sweden Wins Nations Team Event in Åre.

The winner of the alpine team event at Åre World Cup Finals came down to the very last run as Andre Myhrer of Sweden bested Julien Lizeroux of France for the overall victory. Sweden matched its success in the event at last year's Finals when it beat out Germany. This year, Germany had to settle for third.
Sweden became the third country to win this event at consecutive World Cup Finals after Austria won back-to-back in 2006-2007 and Switzerland won three in a row from 2014 to 2016. Sweden also joined Austria (2012 Schladming) and Switzerland (2016 St. Moritz, 2014 Lenzerheide) in winning this event on home snow at the World Cup Finals.
After finishing fourth in the event at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, France was out for revenge and succeeded in advancing to the big final on a strong team performance. The Swedes proved just a bit stronger, bolstered by the support of the crowd. Germany bested Austria in the small final to claim the last podium position in third.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Vincent Kriechmayr Wins Last Super-G of the Season in Åre. Kjetil Jansrud Takes the Super-G Globe

Today's super-g at the World Cup Finals in Åre saw Vincent Kriechmayr win again, just one day after he took the downhill. The season's standings were already decided after the super-g race in Kvitfjell, where Kjetil Jansrud clinched the globe in front of his home crowd.
Due to the wind, the start of the super-g had to be lowered to the giant slalom start, but the race could be held in fair conditions. Vincent Kriechmayr had his breakthrough this season and could confirm his excellent shape in the two final races that he won, to bring his statistic to xx world cup wind, while he started the season with 0.
Christoph Innerhofer finished his season on a positive note with a second place in the super-g. Lots of very fast sections, lots of very fast training runs, but the Italian wasn't able to bring it down and claim that podium placement.
Two athletes were tied in third place: Aksel Lund Svindal and Thomas Dressen. The Norwegian took an impressive 77th career podium and the young German celebrates his first podium in the super-g.
While the first place of the season standings was fixed since Kjetil Jansrud’s win in the super-g in Kvitfjell, the other positions on the podium were still up to grab, with lots of potential contenders. With today’s win, Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr was able to earn enough points to take the second spot on the podium. Aksel Lund Svindal rounds out the podium, he takes a season medal for the 21st in his career.

Sofia Goggia Wins World Cup Supe-G in Åre. Tina Weirather Claims her Second Consecutive Super-G Globe

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein successfully defended her super-G crystal globe on Thursday at World Cup Finals in Åre, Sweden. With the decision coming down to the last race of the season, Weirather finished sixth in the race as her globe rival Lara Gut of Switzerland failed to complete the course. Gut ultimately finished second in the discipline standings and Anna Veith of Austria was third.
In the day's race, Sofia Goggia of Italy won her first super-G of the season with an attacking run, 0.32 seconds ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany. Lindsey Vonn rounded out the podium in third just over a half second behind Goggia.
Wind on the top of the slope forced organizers to use the reserve start for the race. However, the excitement was still high for the discipline standings as well as the competition, and the race podium was filled with skiers from bib 16-19. Olympic gold medallist Ester Ledecka started last, but she skied off course after a fast top section.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr Wins Last Downhill of the Season in Åre. Beat Feuz Claims her Career First Crystal Globe

In Austria, a downhill win has a particular value in the World Cup and so far the Austrian athletes were not able to clinch that victory in the fastest discipline. But today, they even scored a double, with Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmary ex-aequo in the first place. With his thrid place of the day, Beat Feuz secured the first World Cup globe of his career.
There have been some Austrian successes in the speed disciplines this season. Together, Matthias Mayer, Hannes Reichelt, Vincent Kriechmayr and Max Franz scored not less than 12 podiums, including Kriechmayr’s win in the super-g in Beaver Creek. In addition to that, the Olympic title of super-g went to Matthias Mayer. However, the Austrians can’t explain themselves happy without a downhill win. And this win came in the very last race of the season, with not only one athlete at the top of the podium, but two, tied for the win. Vincent Kriechmayr celebrates his first success in downhill, while Matthias Mayr claims his 5th World Cup win, the 3rd in downhill.
In third place today at the downhill in Are, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz was relieved. Not only because it’s another podium for him this season, the 7th in downhill, but because this consistence allowed him to clinch the first crystal globe in his career. Being the 2018 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Downhill winner means a lot to Beat Feuz, especially after he missed three globes, including the Overall, for only 25 points back in 2012.
Throughout the season, the main contender of Beat Feuz was the attacking Viking Aksel Lund Svindal. The Norwegian won the Olympic downhill, but also in Beaver Creek and in Val Gardena. With six podiums this season, he trailed Beat Feuz all the way to the very end of the season but had to give up the dream of holding his 12th globe after his performance in today’s race.
The last spot on the podium standings goes to younggun Thomas Dressen. The German, who had the honour to win both the Kitzbuehel and the Kvitfjell downhills, had his breakthrough this season and proved to be very constant. His best season ranking at this point was his 25th place in downhill last season.

Lindsey Vonn Wins World Cup Downhill in Åre. Sofia Goggia Claims her Career First Crystal Globe

Lindsey Vonn won her fourth consecutive World Cup downhill race on Wednesday during the World Cup Finals in Åre, Sweden, but her efforts proved just three points shy of overtaking Sofia Goggia in the downhill discipline standings. The 33-year-old did still claim her 82nd World Cup title, moving four wins shy of Stenmark's record of 86 career World Cup wins.
Sofia Goggia claimed her career-first crystal globe with the downhill discipline title after finishing second in the standings the previous season.
The athletes competed on a shortened track due to weather allowing for only a single training run from a lowered start. Organizers attempted to hold a second training run on the morning of the race from higher up on the slope, but wind and snowfall early in the day made this impossible.
Goggia took the early lead in a race that maintained its intensity all the way to the final finisher. Once Vonn came down in the lead by a tight 0.06 seconds, any skier who finished between the American and the Italian had the chance to alter the globe standings. Both Vonn and Goggia watched in anticipation. In the end, Vonn's teammate Alice McKennis with bib 23 nearly bumped Goggia but crossed the finish line in third to have no effect on the standings.
Sofia Goggia, the Olympic gold medallist in downhill, referred to the globe as a dream come true.

Monday, March 12, 2018

36th Allalin-Races in Saas-Fee

On March 16 and 17 2018, the 36th edition of the Allalin Races takes place in Saas-Fee. The Allalin Races are the highest glacier races in the world and thus, a one-of-a-kind experience.
The nine kilometers long run overcomes 1800m of altitude and participants reach around 140km/h.
The Allalin Races in Saas-Fee belong to the 3 most popular amateur downhill races in Switzerland. The “Super Vier” amateur downhill series consists of the four races Belalp-Hexe, the Inferno Mürren, and the Allalin Races Saas-Fee. Every year the overall masters of the whole series will be announced. The award ceremony and the presentation of the much-coveted cup always take place at the Allalin Races in Saas-Fee as it is the last one of the series.

For over 30 years the Allalin Races and the famous afterparties attract ambitious amateur racers as well as winter sports fans who join the competition just for fun. Surrounded by the highest mountains in Switzerland the race starts at an altitude of 3600 meters above sea level and aims the village on only 1800 meters.
The challenging downhill race was mastered for the first time in 1946. Back than the participants had to hike up to the mountain hut on Längfluh, only to get up the next morning and hike further to the top of the Allalinhorn on 4027 meters. The following race down didn’t happen on perfectly prepared slopes like nowadays. No, they had to pass the dangerous crevasses while getting through powder snow.
Participants can enter four different categories: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the Him and Her Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. Men and women in the individual races usually intent to aim the best time. The participants in the Fun Team Race descend just for fun at a leisurely pace. A pit-stop at a mountain restaurant along the way is almost mandatory and dressing up is actively encouraged. Apparently, in the past, a team has even plonked themselves down in the snow for a quick cheese fondue. It’s no wonder, then, that teams in this category have been known to take over five hours to “race” down to the finish line. By contrast, an ambitious, highly trained athlete can complete the course in less than five minutes!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Kjetil Jansrud Takes Victory in Kvitfjell and the Super-G Globe

The last regular speed weekend came to an end today at Kvitfjell (NOR), with the Super-G on the Olympiabakken course.
Kjetil Jansrud’s domination in this year’s Super-G events continues and claimed the top step on the podium today in Kvitfjell. He crossed the finish line 0.22 seconds ahead of Beat Feuz and 0.33 ahead of Brice Roger.
The local hero Kjetil Jansrud kept his nerves under control and scored a 21st World Cup win, the 7th in front of his home crowd. With this win, he also secured the crystal globe in this discipline. Norwegian teammate Aksel Lund Svindal, failed to finish his run, enabling Jansrud to build a 134-point lead with only the season-ending race in Sweden remaining.
As yesterday in the downhill, Beat Feuz took second place, and a surprise guest ended in third place; Brice Roger grabbed his second career podium coming down with bib 49 in today's Super-G in Kvitfjell.

Winning Run Mickael Bimboes. Freeride World Tour 2018. Fieberbrunn, Austria

Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) claimed his first career FWT win and podium thanks to hard-charging big mountain confidence, perfectly stomped airs and a huge must-stick gap jump over the lower couloir, which has never been seen before in a competition on the “Wildseeloder” venue.

Winning Run Lorraine Huber. Freeride World Tour 2018. Fieberbrunn, Austria

Defending FWT Fieberbrunn winner, Lorraine Huber (AUT-1st Place) took to the air early with a beautifully executed double followed by a huge drop, which she stomped perfectly to take the win.

Winning Run Gigi Rüf. Freeride World Tour 2018. Fieberbrunn, Austria

Austrian snowboard legend, Gigi Rüf (AUT-1st Place) earned his first FWT win thanks to a textbook run, which began with him smoothly slashing his way through the big mountain spine features at the top of the venue followed by a stylish 360, true to form for the backcountry freestyle specialist.

Winning Run Marion Haerty. Freeride World Tour 2018. Fieberbrunn, Austria

Defending champion, Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) took the top podium spot with solid riding from top to bottom, sticking her entire technical line with confidence.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Slalom in Ofterschwang and takes His 5th Slalom Crystal Globe

American Mikaela Shiffrin won the Ofterschwang slalom on Saturday and claimed her career-fifth globe in the discipline in spring-like conditions at the German resort. After leading the first run, Shiffrin faced stiff competition from Wendy Holdener of Switzerland who ultimately finished in second just 0.09 seconds from the win. Olympic gold medallist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden rounded out the podium in third.

Thomas Dressen Wins Downhill in Kvitfjell

After two training days with difficult conditions in Norway’s Kvitfjell, the skies cleared for today’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill and the track was in a good shape to host the last event in this discipline before the World Cup Finals. The battle for the win was won by Germany’s Thomas Dressen, while the two contenders for the discipline cup rounded out the podium.
The sensational winner of the Kitzbueheler downhill, young Thomas Dressen from Germany, managed to claim another win in his absolute best World Cup season so far. Starting in the 25th position of the standings after last season, the 24 years old made his way up starting with the 3rd place in Beaver Creek and never skiing out of the top 15 this season. With now two World Cup victories on his winning list, Dressen is now in third in the discipline standings.
Only +0.08 behind him, the Swiss “Kugelblitz” Beat Feuz grabs his 31st podium in career, the 6th on the Olympiabakken in Kvitfjell. With this good performance, he is able to extend his lead in the discipline standings and will go into the last race of the season with 60 points over his rival Aksel Lund Svindal. The downhill World Champion has a chance to take a World Cup globe for the first time in his career, after he was second in the Overall, in the downhill, in the combined and third in the super-g in 2011/2012.
The Norwegian champion was particularly happy to be back racing on home snow after he missed the three last edition of the World Cup in Kvitfjell due to injuries. The big support of the crowd and a strong run brought him a third place today, +0.17 off the winning pace. Even though 20 precious points were lost over Beat Feuz for the downhill standings, the current Olympic champion was satisfied to be able to ski at his best level until the end of the season and is looking forward to the last downhill in Are next week.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Ragnhild Mowinckel Wins Giant Slalom in Ofterschwang. Shiffrin Takes 2ndCareer World Cup Overall Crystal Globe

Norwegian double Olympic silver medallist Ragnhild Mowinckel claimed her maiden World Cup victory at the Ofterschwang giant slalom on Friday. Leading after the first run, the Attacking Viking skied her second run with all green lights to secure her career-first win in her third World Cup podium appearance. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany kept the home fans happy with her second-place finish, and Mikaela Shiffrin moved up from fourth after the first run to finish on the podium in third.
With Shiffrin's podium finish, the American mathematically clinched her second career World Cup Overall crystal globe holding a 603-point lead over Wendy Holdener with only five scoring races left on the calendar. Rebensburg inched closer to her third giant slalom title and leads Tessa Worley by 92 points heading into the final race of the season in Sweden.
Warm temperatures were of concern for athletes in the morning, but they raved about the effective slope preparation which provided a fair surface despite spring-like conditions. Ricarda Haaser of Austria scored a career-best result in fourth place with bib 23. The top-25 ranked giant slalom skiers, along with World Junior Champion Julia Scheib of Austria, are now eligible to compete in the final giant slalom of the season next week.

4th Stop of the Freeride World Tour 2018 Took Place Today in Fieberbrunn, Austria

The stakes could not get any higher: a world title race, qualification for the FWT finals at the Xtreme Verbier and the 2019 season all on the line today in the Austrian Tyrol, and the world’s top freeriders did not disappoint. With only two days of rest following a stellar competition in Andorra, riders in every category were on fire for “Crunch Time” in Fieberbrunn.

Ski Men

It was a day of firsts for the rookie, Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) who claimed his first career FWT win and podium thanks to hard-charging big mountain confidence, perfectly stomped airs and a huge must-stick gap jump over the lower couloir, which has never been seen before in a competition on the “Wildseeloder” venue.
"What a surprising day! Having a very late start with my bib number and still getting some good snow and…even winning!", said Bimboes.
Kristofer Turdell (SWE-2nd Place)stood on the podium for the second time this week and clinched the 2018 FWT Ski Men championship after stomping a nearly perfect technical run with tons of air time. The former champion, George Rodney (USA-3rd) was back in form perfectly stomping one of the biggest airs of the day, which landed him back in the winner’s circle.

Ski Women

The Austrians came ready to represent on their home turf in an extremely high-level competition for the category. Defending FWT Fieberbrunn winner, Lorraine Huber (AUT-1st Place) took to the air early with a beautifully executed double followed by a huge drop, which she stomped perfectly to take the win.
"I am so happy that I will compete at The Bec des Rosses in Verbier. I had been not sure if it would work out. This victory means so much to me, especially after my slow start into the season", said Huber
Eva Walkner (AUT-2nd Place) came out of the gate flying and linked up multiple big airs with confidence, fluidity, and control to earn her a spot on the podium next to her compatriot. Rachel Croft (USA-3rd Place) stood proudly on the FWT podium for the first time in her career after stomping a high-confidence big mountain run.

Snowboard Men

Austrian snowboard legend, Gigi Rüf (AUT-1st Place) earned his first FWT win thanks to a textbook run, which began with him smoothly slashing his way through the big mountain spine features at the top of the venue followed by a stylish 360, true to form for the backcountry freestyle specialist. ç
"We found great snow conditions here in Fieberbrunn though it’s already March. I’m over the moon to be first on the podium. I’m just super happy!", said Rüf.
Joining him on the podium was wildcard, Elias Elhardt (GER-2nd Place) whose trademark playful and flowy style was on full display and fellow Austrian, Thomas Feurstein (AUT-3rd Place) who earned himself a second podium this week after stomping a solid technical run with multiple 360s.

Snowboard Women

Defending champion, Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) took the top podium spot with solid riding from top to bottom, sticking her entire technical line with confidence.
"I’m so happy to be back on the top of the podium, I feel good and full of energy. I’m gonna try to keep on going like that and just enjoy!", said Haerty.
Manuela Mandl(AUT-2nd Place) earned another 2018 podium with strong fluid riding, putting her in the number one position in the overall rankings. Anna Orlova (RUS-3rd Place) linked up multiple airs with smooth and confident riding for a solid result and overall ranking going into the upcoming finals in Verbier.

Freeride World Tour 2018. Fourth Stop: Fieberbrunn, Austria

The Freeride World Tour (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 show 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.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Winning Run Kristofer Turdell. Freeride World Tour 2018 Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra

Kristofer Turdell (SWE-1st Place) was the man to beat thanks to a critically stomped straight line to air in the central couloir, followed by a huge and perfectly landed backflip and a stylish 360 to put his stamp on the winning run.
"I feel unbelievably good, just sitting here all the comp, watching all the other guys sending it so much! I can’t believe I end up on the top of the podium", said Turdell.

Winning Run Arianna Tricomi. Freeride World Tour 2018 Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra

Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) made FWT history for her category today with a beautifully floated 360 and perfect landing to cap-off a stellar run, which put her on the top of the podium and maintained her number one overall ranking.
"I’m stoked that I end up on the podium!", said Tricomi

Winning Run Sammy Luebke. Freeride World Tour 2018 Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra

Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place), defending FWT World Champion was the rider to beat today with his trademark playful style on offer from start to finish, including a beautifully executed front side 360 to cement his win.
"I feel super hyped to put down that run. My knee is feeling good, I feel healthy, I’m super stoked!". said Luebke.

Winning Run Manuela Mandl. Freeride World Tour 2018 Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra

Manuela Mandl (AUT-1st Place) was the obvious winner launching out of the gate with speed and confidence, linking up two cleanly landed big airs for a solid performance.
"I’m really happy that I won here because now I can continue playing this year just snowboarding! Andorra is beautiful, the mountains here are great, we had so much luck with the face and the snow, I’m super happy!", said Mandl

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Marketing Trophy for Saas-Fee Winter Card Campaign

MARKETINGTAG Known as the "Oscar" of the Swiss marketing scene, the Marketing Trophy honors the most creative ideas and most successful marketing projects of the past year. Nominated for the trophy this time were eight projects, from which the jury has now chosen the winners.
The "Oscar" of the Swiss marketing world was awarded on March 6, 2018, as part of Marketing Day 18 at KKL Lucerne. The Swiss Marketing Association traditionally awards the prize to Switzerland's most innovative and successful marketing ideas. The jury headed by Prof. dr. Sven Reinecke from the Institute of Marketing of the University of St.Gallen has declared Saas-Fee Marketing Campaign winner of the prize for small and medium-sized businesses.

WinterCARD 16/17 - "A Knock-Out Deal!"
In Swiss winter tourism, supply clearly exceeds demand. But hardship makes you inventive.
In October 2016, Saas-Fee revolutionized the ski industry in Switzerland.
With an innovative marketing campaign, the cable cars launched a low-cost season passes deal and sold more than 90,000 season passes between October and December, generating revenues in excess of CHF 20 million. Thanks to the successful campaign, the Saas valley generated a plus of 15 %, the largest increase in overnight stays in all of Switzerland.
The basic idea of the campaign was based on the crowdfunding principle: over 90,000 skiers and snowboarders have a season pass for 222 francs, the «Hammerdeal» became reality. And the European record in crowdfunding set up. The season tickets were sold via the specially developed online platform The corresponding campaign took place on all channels (TV, print, editorial contributions, online). Cooperation partnerships, as well as a broad PR offensive, ensured a complementary broad communication and distribution.
Instead of remaining like the other destinations in Euro shock rigidity or to make the hollow hand beg from the policy subsidies, deficit guarantees and special tax regulations rattled Saas-Fee the Swiss tourism industry thoroughly on. The WinterCARD took advantage of the price elasticity and combined it with the safety factor of a minimum volume.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Freeride World Tour 2018 Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra

It was an epic day in Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra with crucial points on the line in the FWT title race, riders threw down huge on the "Basser Negre" venue in a stellar competition at Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra the first of three European stops of the 2018 tour.
With only two stops left, “Crunch Time” in Fieberbrunn, Austria is next for the last chance to qualify for the finals at the Xtreme Verbier.

Ski Men

It was a day of massive performances and big scores for the Ski Men Category. Kristofer Turdell (SWE-1st Place) was the man to beat thanks to a critically stomped straight line to air in the central couloir, followed by a huge and perfectly landed backflip and a stylish 360 to put his stamp on the winning run. 
"I feel unbelievably good, just sitting here all the comp, watching all the other guys sending it so much! I can’t believe I end up on the top of the podium", said Turdell.
Rookie, Craig Murray (NZL-2nd Place) stood on the FWT podium for his first time in his career after executing a textbook run with style written all over it, including a rarely seen and cleanly stomped flatspin. Two times FWT Champion, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA-3rd Place) had yet another solid performance in Andorra with big floaty airs and a very fluid run earning him a well-deserved spot on the podium.

Ski Women

Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) made FWT history for her category today with a beautifully floated 360 and perfect landing to cap-off a stellar run, which put her on the top of the podium and maintained her number one overall ranking. 
"I’m stoked that I end up on the podium!", said Tricomi
Two times FWT Champion, Eva Walkner (AUT-2nd Place) stuck a big mandatory air in the central couloir with ease, which she followed-up with more air time in a hard-charging run to earn her the number two spot. Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-3rd Place) landed multiple big airs on her fast and fluid run culminating with her standing proudly on the podium.

Snowboard Men

Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place), defending FWT World Champion was the rider to beat today with his trademark playful style on offer from start to finish, including a beautifully executed front side 360 to cement his win. 
"I feel super hyped to put down that run. My knee is feeling good, I feel healthy, I’m super stoked!". said Luebke
Thomas Feurstein (AUT-2nd Place) had a well-deserved result thanks to a perfectly ridden top section followed by a big stomp off the “Malakhov Cliff”. Backcountry freestyle legend and 2018 Wildcard, Gigi Rüf (AUT-3rd Place) earned his first FWT podium spot with a stylish run, which included a perfectly stomped backside 360.

Snowboard Women

Manuela Mandl (AUT-1st Place) was the obvious winner launching out of the gate with speed and confidence, linking up two cleanly landed big airs for a solid performance. 
"I’m really happy that I won here because now I can continue playing this year just snowboarding! Andorra is beautiful, the mountains here are great, we had so much luck with the face and the snow, I’m super happy!", said Mandl
Audrey Hebert (CAN-2nd Place) took the number two spot on the podium thanks to a fluid run and clean airs. Marion Haerty (FRA-3rd Place) put together a solid technical run, opening up a new line for the category that she followed with plenty of air time to close out a solid day for the snowboarders.

Monday, March 5, 2018

15th Glacier Bike Downhill Race in Saas-Fee

Next Saturday, March 10th, 2018 the 15th annual Glacier Downhill Bike Race will be held in Saas-Fee. This is no usual ride over hill and dale. Rather this race goes over ice and snow down to the glacier village. The riders will start en mass at 3’500m. During the first half of the race, enthralling fights are guaranteed to ensure the lead position. It’s a race without spikes and of high velocity, with riders reaching speeds of 144 km/h.
The mass start is on the Mittelallalin station at an altitude of 3’500m and goes down over the snowy and icy slopes to the glacier village at 1’800m. They will start in different blocks. The starting block allocation is made based on the ranking point of the previous years.
The riders have to manage 1’700 meters of altitude difference and 7 km of distance. First, they ride on a narrow trail along the Fee glacier, which leads them to the panorama hill. For less experienced racers this is a real challenge. The hill is steep and has to be crossed at high speed. On this part of the trail, riders have been measured, per GPS, traveling at speeds of about 144 km/h.
Further down, the ride leads past the restaurant Morenia before entering the Valley run. This is going to be a very exciting part of the race with extremely steep passages, flat transits and narrow curves, and it is a real assessment of the rider and his material. The last part of the ride, a very flat passage, needs strength to be managed. The outcome of the race is often decided during this section of the course.
The helmet and protective gear, as well as the wheel disk, are obligatory for all participants.

The Glacier Downhill Bike Race will be held in three categories:
  • Women born in 2000 and before
  • Men main class born in 2000 and before 
  • Men senior born in 1983 and before 
Shortly before the finish, the route becomes a little steeper. After reaching the desired end of the race, the award ceremony will take place and in the evening the riders party will take place.