Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Saas-Fee Summer Ski Opening Weekend 2019 "Burn the Glacier"

On July 13th and 14th, Saas-Fee opens its summer ski area featuring 20 km of expertly groomed slopes and one of the best summer Freestyle Parks in Europe.
Skiing in Saas-Fee in summer is an amazing experience and not just because of the pleasant temperatures and the glacier pistes.
Saas-Fee is the perfect training playground for professional skiers and snowboarders. Every year National Teams and pros come to Saas-Fee to enjoy the perfect conditions of the glacier. You easily find yourself sharing a T-Bar with one of the best skiers in the world.
Saas-Fee offers ideal summer skiing and snowboarding conditions. Up on the glacier there are 20 km of slopes to suit all levels. The Allalin Glacier is accessed via the underground funicular and is open from mid-July to late October. The glacier is particularly popular with freestylers and race teams. Swiss and international ski teams come here for their summer training sessions every year.
The snowpark has a half-pipe, kickers, rails, boxes, and transitions in all shapes and sizes to suit all skill levels.

Opening hours of the ski area Summer 2019
13th July - 1st September 2019

Alpin Express from 7.00
Metro Alpin from 7.15
Ski area until 12.00

Saas-Fee is a charming traditional mountain village in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. This car-free village lies on a high plateau 1800 meters above sea level, nestling amongst the icy dome of the Allalinhorn and the rocky group of the Mischabel chain. The ski resort is based at the foot of the Dom, which although not as internationally well known as the Matterhorn, is, in fact, Switzerland's highest mountain, and one of thirteen 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) plus peaks surrounding the village.
In 2012 the results of a questionnaire for "Best ski resort" with over 40‘000 guests were presented. Saas-Fee / Saastal was voted best Swiss Ski Resort. Internationally it was even voted to second rank out of 55 top ski destinations in Austria, Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland. In terms of snow reliability, slope preparation, and coziness, Saas-Fee/Saastal hit top status.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Looking For Inspiration: Nespresso Sustainable System

Launched in 1986, Nespresso is the worldwide pioneer and market leader in high-quality portioned coffee.
Nespresso has adopted a differentiation strategy through an image of exclusivity, based on high-quality products, extensive customer service, and premium pricing.
Brand loyalty is the goal dreamed by the big brands and marketers do everything possible to encourage loyal customers.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to try to establish an emotional bond and share values with their clients. Brands such as Apple or Nespresso cultivated vast tribes of loyal followers. Having a distinct personality gives customers a reason to remember a brand and a reason to buy it.
"The brand emphasizes that it offers a whole lifestyle with its products. Consumers believe that buying Nespresso products makes them members of an exclusive club of like-minded café connoisseurs" (Business Development Strategies).
The Nespresso system that hit the shelves in 1996 represented Swiss inventor Eric Favre decades-long journey to bring barista-grade coffee into people’s homes through the innovation of a capsule.
In pursuit of a quality coffee, Nespresso found itself wanting to answer another, industry-wide challenge. As our love for coffee grows, so does the commercial responsibility to keep its consumption sustainable.
Our daily cup of coffee comes at a price; the environmental impact of each stage of the supply chain, including farming, milling, roasting, processing/packaging, transporting, and consumption.

In 2003, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was created together with the Rainforest Alliance.
In 2017 Nespresso launched The Choices We Make Campaign. On September 12th Nespresso released this integrated brand campaign, sharing the personal stories of the farmers behind the Nespresso brand. They invite all coffee lovers to discover the heart-warming stories that have been made possible thanks to Nespresso’s uncompromising choices.
Alfonso Gonzalez, Nespresso Chief Marketing Officer explains "Sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do at Nespresso and we wanted to use this new campaign approach to help coffee drinkers learn what is behind the coffee they enjoy every day. All of the stories in this campaign showcase how our choice to find and cultivate the best quality coffee can have amazing consequences on the people who grow and nurture it. In the end, we believe that we are the choices we make" (adforum).
The Choices We Make Campaign was developed by J. Walter Thompson London.

Now, Nespresso partners with the National Geographic to share the most inspiring stories beyond the coffee beans.

How a quest for quality led to a sustainable system

Through five stories Nespresso invites us to follow National Geographic photographer, Rena Effendi, across the globe to Zimbabwe, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.

Coffee Craftsmanship

Rena Effendi's journey through Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia to uncover coffee culture and processes.

Our People, our Future

Rena Effendi, National Geographic photographer, traveled to Aguadas, Colombia, to witness how the cooperative and the Nespresso AAA program are enabling farmers to secure their families' futures, allowing the next generation to continue the region's remarkable coffee-growing history.

Rena Effendi invites us to discover the stories of people and places that are benefiting from the revival of coffee plantations. She traveled to Colombia and Zimbabwe to witness first-hand the communities being rebuilt and redeveloped in these regions.

Rena Effendi goes to Guatemala to watch first-hand how coffee-growing communities, and the ecosystem they rely on, are benefitting from Nespresso's agroforestry program.

Last, Nespresso invites us to learn more about the brand's quest for a more sustainable future, both for the planet and for coffee.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Is Over

The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 ended yesterday June 27 at 12:00 noon.

The final podium is:

1. Christian Maurer (Switzerland)
2. Maxime Pinot (France)
3. Benoit Outters (France)
3. Paul Guschlbauer (Austria)

Racing for the third position Guschlbauer and Outters spent the last day hiking and flying together. In the end, they teamed up and crossed the line together, securing joint third on the podium. It was a remarkable demonstration of sportsmanship and friendship that this race is so famous for.

Six more athletes were able to complete the route before the clock has stopped:

5. Manuel Nübel (Germany)
6. Simon Oberrauner (Austria)
7. Gaspard Petiot (France)
8. Patrick von Känel (Switzerland)
9. Aaron Durogati (Italy)
10. Tom de Dorlodot (Belgium)

If there was a theme to the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 it was performance – performance on the ground and in the air. From the 9000m of vertical ascent athletes completed in Switzerland to the long-distance flights across the main spine of the Alps-, the level this edition took a leap up. As race veteran Tom de Dorlodot said when he crossed the line at the end, "The level is so high now. It was not like that before".

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Christian Maurer Wins The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 And Makes It Six In A Row

Christian "Chrigel" Maurer (Switzerland, picture attached) has won the Red Bull X-Alps 2019, the world’s toughest adventure race, for the sixth consecutive time.
He reached the Turnpoint 13 in Peille yesterday early afternoon looking tired but elated having hiked the last 50km through some of the hottest weather the race has ever seen.
Surrounded by family, friends, and supporters, an emotional Maurer said: "My body worked well, my team worked well so I could race fast. And I’m very happy to be here. It’s a great feeling".
"It was was an easier start with the flying conditions, but in between, there were some rainy days and it was hard to walk. The last two days were very nice weather but stable [not flyable]. It was a hard end of this adventure race", Maurer added.
Maurer arrived in the confirmed time of nine days, three hours, six minutes and 11 seconds.
Today he has made the symbolic flight to a landing float in the Mediterranean sea in Monaco.

Race director Christoph Weber said: "It’s an extraordinary achievement once again from a supremely talented athlete. Chrigel is not only a great pilot but he’s also super fit and prepares with incredible detail. But what was also surprising is the good connections he has to the angels.
Unlike almost every other competitor, Maurer was able to top-land on Titlis, the highest Turnpoint of the race, saving his legs the 2,000m ascent on foot. Then he was able to take off, just before the weather closed in. “It was the magical move that established his 100km lead".
Ulrich Grill, who co-founded the race in 2003 with the late Air Race pilot and extreme sports legend Hannes Arch, said: "Once again Chrigel Maurer has demonstrated his superiority in the air and on the ground to win the 9th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, one of the toughest editions we’ve ever had. It is one of the longest routes with more Turnpoints than any edition, forcing athletes to cross the main chain of the Alps multiple times. The weather has not made it an easy race, forcing athletes to hike hundreds of kilometers and sometimes climb the equivalent of Mount Everest every two days. Athletes have hiked through snowstorms, rain and now through unbearable heat".

Maxime Pinot (France) arrived at the final Turnpoint in Peille today just after 09:30 local time morning – and officially claimed his second place in the Red Bull X-Alps 2019.
He is the second athlete to arrive at Peille, where the time for the race stops. Pinot’s official time is 9 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes, 34 seconds.

The race officially ends at midday on Thursday 27th June.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Milan-Cortina Awarded 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Milan-Cortina, Italy, will host the Olympic Winter Games 2026. The decision was taken today during the 134th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Milan-Cortina was chosen to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 after receiving 47 out of a total of 82 votes, and Stockholm-Åre receiving 34 votes, with one abstention.

"This is a very, very important result. Not for me, but for the whole country. In particular, I am really proud of this fantastic team that we created all together", said Giovanni Malagò, IOC Member and President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). "Initially it was quite complicated… What we have done this afternoon represents perfectly the images of my country. Thanks to all of you".
 IOC President Thomas Bach said: "Congratulations to Milan-Cortina. We can look forward to outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country. The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world. The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment".
He added: "The new Candidature Process has demonstrated the success of Olympic Agenda 2020. We have lowered the cost and complexity of developing Games projects, which now serve the long-term development goals of the host communities and have sustainability and legacy at their hearts. This has led to a significantly reduced organization budget and the use of 93 percent existing or temporary competition venues. I also want to thank Stockholm-Åre for presenting an excellent candidature and being part of the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026".

Italy is a sport-loving nation, and winter sports are part of the tradition, culture, and identity of Northern Italy. The region has world-class winter sports venues, ranging from the ice arenas of Milan to the well-established and iconic World Cup and World Championship destinations of Cortina, Bormio, Antholz and Val di Fiemme.
The plan is fully in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which call for making maximum use of existing and temporary venues if there is no post-Games demand for new permanent facilities.
With regard to competition venues, Milan-Cortina 2026 prioritizes sustainability and legacy, as 13 out of a total of 14 facilities (93 percent) will be existing or temporary.
The project has the unified backing of the Italian sports movement, the private sector and national, regional and city governments – providing a solid foundation for its delivery.
It features a clear vision to use the Games as a catalyst to boost economic development across Northern Italy, including supporting the regions to achieve their specific tourism goals and to stimulate economic activities between the metropolitan and mountain areas.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer Skiing Gets Underway in Tignes with a Worldwide Exclusive

This Saturday it will already be time to put your skis back on in Tignes. And this summer, skiers who come to Tignes can enjoy the new cable car to access the glacier.
After more than three years of work, in September 2018, Tignes inaugurated its new aerial tramway, the largest and highest tramway in the world.
Located at an altitude of 3,032 meters on the Grande Motte Glacier at the gateway to the Vanoise National Park, the new Tignes aerial tramway belongs to a new generation of equipment. Its two open-top cabins will offer passengers a unique 360-degree view of one of the most beautiful panoramas of the French Alps with views of Mont Blanc, the Cime de Bellecôte and the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière (3,747 m).
This exceptional new aerial tramway was designed to withstand the weather at an altitude of over 3,000 m, blending in perfectly with its surroundings and offering passengers a unique view of the incredible natural setting. It was designed in Switzerland by Garaventa AG and is equipped with state-of-the-art comfort and safety technologies. It will first open to skiers this winter once the ski area itself is opened. Due to extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall in winter at over 3,000 m, both open-top cabins will be open to the public in May.
Financed by the Société des téléphériques de Grande Motte (STGM)—the company operating the Tignes ski area—this new aerial tramway is part of a global investment project called ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES, reaching a EUR 17 million budget. Created as part of a partnership between STGM and the Vanoise National Park, ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES is a "Unique, Fun & Educational" route that will start at the Tignes funicular station at 2,100 m and will reach the Grande Motte Glacier at 3,032 m altitude. ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES will open to the public in May 2019. It will be accessible to the general public, including people with disabilities. Between an elevation 3,032 and 3,456 meters, visitors will be able to enjoy the spectacular views from various altitudes as they feel like they are flying through mid-air. In addition, educational materials in various shapes and forms will provide information on this exceptional environment and ecosystem.
"Tignes is extremely proud to be able to offer to its clients this unique experience at more than 3000m. This enterprise proves once again that Tignes is innovative by tradition. It underlines the unique attractiveness of the resort, even in summer, thanks to its glacier and suburb natural lake. Tignes has everything (for budding athletes or established champions) when it comes to the practice of sport and outdoor recreations", explains Frédéric Porte, the new director of Tignes Développement.

Tignes is located in the valley of Tarentaise, in the department of Savoy, in the Rhône-Alpes region, in the southeast of France.
The Tignes ski resort comprises 5 locations; Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses, and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are very close to each other and are located at 2100 meters. Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are located in the lower part of the valley, above and below respectively the large dam built in 1952 and which buried under its waters the old town of Tignes.
The glacier area will be open until August 4 to practice skiing with 20 km of ski slopes located between 3456 and 3000 meters.
On summer Tignes proposes a wide array of activities including trail running, mountain biking, golf, summer skiing and a range of water sports at 2,100 meters altitude. On 26th July, Tignes will welcome an important stage of the famous Tour de France.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Zermatt To Use Recycled Plastic Waste to resurface Road Junctions

Zermatt, the village at the foot of the Matterhorn, probably the world's most famous mountain and the most photographed mountain in the world, is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
Zermatt is a car-free resort and mountain village surrounded by an incredible landscape of mountains and glaciers. Almost one-third of the 4,000-metre mountains in the Alps are grouped around this world-famous destination.
And now Zermatt is taking a new environmentally friendly approach to the resurfacing of one of the road junctions used by its electric-powered e-buses. It is using technology from Scottish firm MacRebur which allows waste plastic – that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill – to be used in the asphalt.
Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur, said: "We hope this road will be the first step towards opening our first factory in Switzerland and it is an excellent opportunity to show the performance of our roads".
"Temperatures in Zermatt range from below minus 15 in the winter to up to around 30 degrees in summer… As our roads contain plastic, they are more flexible. This means they can cope better with the contraction and expansion caused by changes in the weather, reducing cracks and potholes".
The project in Switzerland is being led by Kirk Tinham, of Tinham & Co GmbH. The asphalt will be produced by Ulrich Imboden AG and be laid by Pierre Pistorius, Zermatt Gemeinde.
"I first heard about MacRebur from a friend I had surfed with whilst living in Bali several years ago. Plastic pollution is a big topic among the surfing community so we agreed that MacRebur was a great idea", Tinham said.
"I recognized that this could be a great product for the Swiss market and took the initiative to call the MacRebur office to enquire about distribution and several weeks later my wife and I were on a plane headed for Scotland to meet the team", Tinham added.
Although Switzerland has a fantastic recycling collection system in place, more than 80% of the collected waste plastics are incinerated rather than repurposed. "With the Swiss being proud of their fresh alpine air, this practice is particularly unpopular but with MacRebur, we have the potential to make use of the efficient collection system and reuse the waste plastic to create a greener outlook for the future".
"Our roads have no difference in appearance to regular asphalt but by using our technology, Zermatt is able to offset some of its plastic waste generation. We are working across the world to set up factories in Europe, America and beyond to allow plastic waste to become part of sustainable local circular economies (...) We are very proud to be working in Switzerland, a country known for its cleanliness, and the fact that our product will be used in sight of the famous Matterhorn shows that we are a sustainable and high-quality choice for better roads everywhere”, said McCartney.

By extending part of the bitumen in the mix MacRebur products reduce fossil fuel usage, leading to a reduction in carbon footprint and helping to foster a circular economy.
With each km of road laid using MacRebur products, we use up the equivalent weight of 684,000 bottles or 1.8 million one time use plastic bags. 1 tonne of MacRebur mix contains the equivalent of 80,000 plastic bottles.

The absence of cars in Zermatt contributes considerably to the relaxed holiday atmosphere and romantic character of the village where there is no stress from traffic. Guests benefit from the peace and quiet, the good quality of the air and the freedom of movement in the streets.
In 1998, car-free resorts in Switzerland which care about high quality of service and the environment joined forces to form the Society of Car-free Swiss Resorts. The Gemeinschaft Autofreier Schweizer Tourismusorte (GAST in short) is a network of nine car-free Swiss touristy communities (BettmeralpBraunwaldRiederalpRigiSaas-FeeStoosWengen-Mürren and Zermatt) that promotes car-free recreation and holiday experiences in alpine resorts. The resorts commit themselves to nine decided quality criteria, which are checked regularly.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Route

The new route for the 2019 Red Bull X-Alps, which will be the most challenging in the event’s 16-year history. Racing a straight-line distance of 1,138km from Salzburg to Monaco, 32 world class athletes from 20 countries including 2 women and 30 men will hike and fly via record-breaking 13 Turnpoints in 6 different countries - including Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, and last but not least Monaco.
As if that wasn’t enough, the new Turnpoints in western Italy and the south of France will lead the participants to race along Europe’s largest mountain range and traverse it five times between the northern and southern as well as western and eastern fringes.

A new Edition of the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow a new edition of the Red Bull X-Alps will start in the historic Mozartplatz of Salzburg, Austria.
Racing a straight-line distance of 1,138km from Salzburg to Monaco, 32 world class athletes from 20 countries including 2 women and 30 men will hike and fly via record-breaking 13 Turnpoints in 6 different countries - including Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and last but not least Monaco.

Red Bull X-Alps is hailed as the world’s toughest adventure race. When the race officially kicks off on June 16, 2019, 32 athletes from 20 countries will once again push their endurance hiking, trail running, mountaineering and paragliding skills to the limit.
The concept for Red Bull X-Alps was inspired by Toni Bender’s first crossing of the Alps in 1999. His hiking and paragliding adventure became the subject of a documentary that caught the eye of renowned Austrian pilot Hannes Arch. This is what inspired Arch and his long-time friend Ulrich Grill to ask themselves if such incredible feats could be made into a competition for the most determined individuals on the planet.
"I thought it would be cool to base a paragliding competition on this format and build a basic concept for it – that’s how the idea was born!" Arch explains. "Together with Red Bull, we developed the idea until it became what it is today; an unparalleled test of human endurance in the form of an adventure race", adds Grill.
The first edition of Red Bull X-Alps took place in 2003. Since then, every two years we have attended a new edition until we reach this ninth that will start tomorrow in Salzburg.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Kicks Off With One-day Prologue

The Austrian mountain resort of Wagrain-Kleinarl today played host to the first stage of the epic trans-alpine adventure race, the Red Bull X-Alps.
The one-day prologue is a teaser to the main Salzburg to Monaco race, the world’s toughest adventure race, which starts Sunday, June 16.
Due to strong wind conditions, the race course was shortened from a 23km hike and fly race around three Turnpoints to a run to the summit of the Grießsenkareck, an altitude gain of 1,153m.
Amid hundreds of cheering spectators and fans, 32 athletes set off up the mountain in temperatures of 18ºC, while fans around the world followed the action via this year’s all-new Live Tracking, which offers a first-person view and VR.
Three athletes arrived at the summit together in a time of 55m 31s: Benoit Outters (FRA1), Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Maxime Pinot (FRA4).
All three podium finishers each win a strategically important bonus Night Pass. This will allow them to hike through the night for a second time during the race to gain an advantage over other competitors. It also gives them a head start over other competitors on Day 2.
For now, athletes can enjoy two days rest before the main race begins on Sunday in Salzburg.