Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ötztaler Radmarathon

Today August 31 at 6:30 am the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon will take place in the Ötztal Valley (Tirol) with start and finish in Sölden. The event marks the highlight of the cycling season for hobby cyclists from all over the world. Some 4000 participants will take part in the race.
The Race covers a total distance of 238 kilometres. The cyclists, coming from 15 different countries, have to conquer no less than 5,500 meters of altitude gain. The unique route takes them from the high Alpine Ötztal glacier world to Tirol's lower mountain ranges and further on to the scenic South Tyrolean vineyards. 4 steep Alpine passes are a part of the challenging race: from Oetz (800m) to Kühtai (2,020m), from Innsbruck (670m) to Brenner pass (1,370m), from Vipiteno (1,000m) to the quite moderate Passo Giovo (2,090m) and - as a last highlight of the race - the 31km long track from San Leonardo in Passiria (760m) to Passo del Rombo (2509m).

Friday, August 29, 2008

GAST looks back on 20 years of car-free hospitality

In 1998, car-free resorts in Switzerland which care about a 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 (Bettmeralp, Braunwald, Riederalp, Rigi, Saas-Fee, Stoos, Wengen-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.
The Gemeinschaft Autofreier Schweizer Tourismusorte has made car-free vacations their credo. In their cities’ images, there was no more room for petrol engines. "This way, guests can indulge in better air quality, silence and high mobility", states Katharina Schnorr from Saas-Fee/Saastal Tourismus.
In the GAST general assembly celebrated in Wengen/Mürren, Ursula Mühlemann was elected the organisation’s new president. Starting today, a GAST congress (29th-30th August) will be held in Zermatt to celebrates its 20th anniversary and to address further concerns of the member cities.

Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run

Tomorrow August 30th at 11:00 AM the starting signal for the Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run will be fired off for the fourth consecutive time. The event consists in a stage race across the Alps for teams of two participants. The different team categories are: Men, Women, Master Men (when a team is male and combined over 80 years old, Aug 28, 2008 is the cut off date) and Mixed. The novelty for the 2008 edition is a new course profile. Starting in the Bavarian town of Ruhpolding, Germany, the whole Transalpine circus is travelling though Austria to Südtirol, ending for the first time ever in the Dolomites in the beautiful village of Sexten. Despite the extreme challenge of the new routing (a total distance of 298.54 kilometres and a vertical gain of 14,289 metres), it wasn’t the goal to find a more demanding way across the Alpes but “it the long legs became necessary due to the distances between the stage towns in order to guarantee that all participants can run on beautiful and unique trails” states Race Director Wolfgang Pohls. To achieve this goal, Pohl and his teams invested four weeks of more or less sweat-inducing work not including the planning time in the office and the stage towns.

Aug 30, Stage 1. Ruhpolding to St. Ulrich im Pillerseetal
Aug 31, Stage 2. St. Ulrich im Pillerseetal to Mittersill
Sep 1, Stage 3. Mittersill to Neukirchen am Großvenediger
Sep 2, Stage 4. Neukirchen am Großvenediger to Prettau/Ahrntal
Sep 3, Stage 5. Prettau/Ahrntal to Sand in Taufers
Sep 4, Stage 6. Sand in Taufers to Antholz
Sep 5, Stage 7. Antholz to Niederdorf im Hochpustertal
Sep 6, Stage 8. Niederdorf im Hochpustertal to Sexten im Hochpustertal

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

On Friday 29th August 2008, at 18:30 hours the 6th Edition of the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc will start in the centre of Chamonix. The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc is one of the greatest European Mountain Trail Races. The international race (44 nations represented in 2007), limited to 2,300 participants, takes place in one of the most incredible landscapes on the world. A breathtaking scenery of seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits like the Mont Blanc, the Dent du Géant and the rock face of the Grandes Jorasses. The athletes cover a distance of 166 km and 9,400 of positive altitude change along the famous GR TMB, within 46 hours, at an altitude ranging between 1012 m and 2537 m., crossing six passes over 2000 metres high. They will pass through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. This year the race offers a variation between La Fouly and Champex and at the end of the race, after Vallorcine, they will have to climb up towards the Flégère (1,877m) before the Finish in Chamonix.
Alternatively, the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix will give the 2,000 participants 24 hours to cover a distance of 98 km with 5,600 m ascent from the Italian heart of the Aosta valley, through Switzerland, before finishing in Chamonix.
Today August 27th is the bithday of a new event. The "Petite Trotte à Léon" a non-competitive raid for teams of 3 people to complete a great circuit of Mont-Blanc of about 220 km for about 17,000 metres of positive altitude change (limit time: 100 h). This course, marked on a map handed out to each team, but not signposted, will follow the legendary passes (col des Fours, Fenêtre d’Arpette) with an extension towards the Great St Bernard and the Emosson barrage.
Created in 2003 by a united party of friends lovers of cross-country racing and of the country of Mont-Blanc, les Trailers du Mont-Blanc, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is a real challenge for the organization: 1200 volunteers maintaining 30 control and safety points for a duration of 60 hours to ensure the wellbeing of all who participate. Also, the entire length of the trail is checked and marked with about 5000 flags or signs, all of which have to be removed the days following the race. In the route there will be a total of 16 refreshment posts, some in villages and others at high mountain refuges, together with 4 reception bases at Les Chapieux, Courmayeur, Champex and Chamonix. For hours the volunteers will ensure a continual supply of hot and cold drinks, and trays of all kinds of foods (some places delight in offering their speciality – fresh cheese from the alp, homemade tart, etc.).
Along with the racing, around sixty exhibitors are coming together in the context of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Open to all brands, the aim is to create an annual rendezvous. All the great figures in foot-racing will be there to present their novelties. But also trade names aware of the tourist impact of such a race. In fact a race of this size is a real tourist asset for a region (15,000 visitors expected).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

14th Mountain Film Festival in St. Anton

From August 26th to August 30th St. Anton am Arlberg will host the 14th Edition of the Mountain Film Festival. For 5 days, writer-directors, mountaineerers, climbers and mountain film friends from around the world are coming to watch the spectacular documentaries and thrilling feature-length films about the sport they all love on the giant screen arranged in the, a modern event center for Wellness and Communications located in the heart of the village.
Since 1995 the St. Anton Film Fest has become an internationally renowned festival focusing on "Mountains, People, Adventures". Upcoming filmers can win the St. Anton Special Award presented by the local Tourist Board and the Arlberger Bergbahnen AG mountain lift company.
A special retrospective will be dedicated to Sir Edmund Hillary the first man to climb with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,850 metres). Sir Edmund Hillary died on 11 January 2008, after a heart attack in Auckland City Hospital, aged 88.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Internationaler Matterhonlauf

Today Sunday 24th Zermatt will host the 26th edition of the Internationaler Matterhonlauf. The race course starts in Zermatt at the train station place "Bahnhofplatz" (1,620 metres) and ends at Schwarzsee (2,583 metres), covering a distance of 12.49 kilometres and an altitude difference of 1,001 metres. The route of "Matterhornlauf" goes through the most beautiful and natural
landscapes of Switzerland at the foot of the Matterhorn, surrounded by an incredible scenery of mountains and glaciers. The main sponsor of the race is Zermatt Bergbahnen, the largest aerial cableway company in Switzerland. The competition is open for everybody within three categories: runners, popular race and Nordic Walking (the runners race will start at 09:30 am). Additional to the individual Matterhorn race, there is also a Team Race. The teams consisting of 4 runners maximum and 3 runners minimum can be put together out of every category, however, team members must be of the same nationality. The fastest 3 runners of the team will be admited to the rating.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

St. Anton Mountain Bike Marathon

Today the Mountain Bike Marathon will take place in the Tirolean holiday resort of St. Anton am Arlberg known worldwide in winter as a ski destination. Situated at 1,304 m above sea level St. Anton lies on the Rosanna River and belongs to the district of Landeck. St. Anton is a truly unique recreation paradise for the whole family. The cozy little town with 2,500 inhabitants has still maintained its genuine ambiance and charming atmosphere.The Arlberger Mountain Bike Marathon is the third and final stage of the alpine triathlon "Arlberg Eagle". The overall winner must work on their physical fitness throughout the year to be ahead of the field in the ski race (Der Weisse Rausch celebrated in April 19th), in the half marathon (July 26th) and in the mountain-bike marathon (August 23rd). After the Bike race the heroes of the triathlon are celebrated duly on August 23rd and the 2008 winner receives the Eagle trophy for being the best in all three disciplines.
The Arlberger Mountain Bike Marathon is the highlight and at the same time the end of the St. Antoner "bike week". A pre marathon party and live music on Friday evening put the guests and participant in the mood for the demanding race.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Inferno Triathlon

Tomorrow August 23rd the Inferno Triathlon will take place in Mürren. The race is one of the most beautiful and spectacular events in the Swiss mountains. With its ascent of 5,500 metres, is one of the toughest in the world and already ranks as a classic. The unforgettable encounter with nature in the incomparable Alpine world of the Bernese Oberland and the easy-going atmosphere make the Inferno a most impressive challenge.
A triathlon is an endurance sports event consisting of swimming, cycling and running. First athletes must face the Swim leg (Thun - Oberhofen, 3.1 kilometres). Then the cycling stage, divided in two legs: Road Bike (97 kilometres) and Mountain Bike (30 kilometres). Finally the running stage (25 kilometres) ending in the Schilthorn at 2,970 metres above sea level.
Mürren, located at 1,650 metres above sea level, is a marvellous car free mountain village, perched on a high, sunny terrace facing the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. It nestles at the foot of the Schilthorn with its revolving Piz Gloria Restaurant, made world-famous by a James Bond film.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nissan Outdoor Games. Interlaken 2008

On July 4th & 5th, a selected group of athletes were in Interlaken (Switzerland) for the 4th edition of a completely unique event combining sporting competition and a video and photo festival. A multi-sports event, the Nissan Outdoor Games feature the world’s best athletes in 5 outdoor sports disciplines: mountain-biking, kayaking, rock climbing, paragliding and BASE jumping. The athletes arrived in Interlaken (in the heart of the Swiss alps, between the Lakes of Thun and Brienz and at the foot the famous trio of peaks, the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau) five days before the event starts invited by the organizers. The athletes are grouped into 5 teams. Each athlete performs his own sports. In order to guarantee a high quality production, each team is joined by a pro photographer, a pro cameraman and a film editor of their choosing. Their challenge: produce a 5 minutes movie and 20 still photos.
Encouraged by the liveliness of the crowd, the cream of extreme sports made their way to the square at Unterseen on Friday and Saturday. After five days of intense filming, specialists from each of the disciplines, as well as the public, were wowed by the performances being shown on two giant screens on Saturday night. Struck by a terrible tragic accident on Tuesday the 1st of July, the whole event was forced to re-assess the format of this 4th edition. The organizers decided to follow the wishes of the teams involved, who unanimously decided to continue with their work, albeit in a non-competitive spirit.
Six thousand people made their way to Interlaken on Saturday and Sunday to take part in the activities specially laid on for the public, with the additional opportunity of being able to see these pro athletes in person. People of all ages were welcome to come and try out the sports of kayaking, mountain biking and climbing under the watchful eyes of professionals.

Monday, August 18, 2008

When snow melts river runs (III)

Today I want to talk about rafting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, probably one of the most amazing adventures of a lifetime. It was in the 1960s when Rafting became established. It was then when routes like the Grand Canyon were navigated and Whitewater Rafting companies were formed. The Colorado River ('Aha Kwahwat in Mojave) is located in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately 2,330 km long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the river in the state of Arizona, and parts of Nevada. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park one of the United States' oldest national parks.
The 300 kilometres rafting trip last 6 or 7 days. Starting in the Marble Canyon the proposal route by Western River Expeditions ends after the Lava Falls, the Colorado River's most notorious rapid. The Company, a certified member of Trusted Adventures, helped pioneer the concept of rafting vacations since 1961 (over 75% of new guests come each year as a result of the recommendations of past guests).
The Grand Canyon is a magical place, ever-changing, with massive walls that step back to expose eons of natural history, at one place dark and narrow, and at another lush with waterfalls thundering hundreds of feet in luminous free fall. The astounding scenery through Grand Canyon National Park is enhanced by the thrill of over 60 rapids where Western’s unique J-Rig rafts will give you maximum Grand Canyon white water rafting excitement.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kokanee Crankworx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival

Today August 17th the closing event of Kokanee Crankworx 2008, the Canadian Open DH -one of the world's premier downhill mountain biking events-, will take place in Whistler.
Five years ago Kokanee Crankworx was created to showcase mountain biking's incredible progression to a worldwide audience. The TELUS Dual Slalom kicked off Opening Day at Kokanee Crankworx 2008. The Monster Energy Garbanzo DH, one of the longest, most grueling downhill course in mountain biking, was the highlight of Day Two. Womenzworx, presented by Sombrio, was the highlight of Day Four at Kokanee Crankworx 2008. The Jim Beam Air Downhill was the main event of Day Five. The VW Trick Showdown, a winner-take-all, rider-judged event based on two 45 minute sessions on two features within the Boneyard Slopestyle course, was the highlight of Day Six. The Giant Slalom was the highlight of Day Seven. The Giant Slalom weaved its way through the Boneyard Slopestyle course in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park with two riders going head-to-head over jumps and through berms into the finish line in Whistler. The Monster Energy Slopestyle @ Kokanee Crankworx dominated the Boneyard Slopestyle course in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park yesterday. Every year this event draws the biggest crowd of the festival, watching the best athletes in the world of mountain biking compete for $30,000 in prize money.
Yesterday also the 1st Annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival took place. The event is one of the world's most eccentric, hilarious races with cheese lovers chasing and rolling down a hill after a cheese wheel.
Whistler has the world's most diverse offering of mountain biking terrain, attracting all disciplines of mountain biking. This year the Whistler Mountain Bike Park celebrates its 10th Anniversary.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eiger Bike Challenge

The 11th edition of the Eiger Bike Challenge will take place tomorrow August 17th in Grindelwald. Organizers propose two different demanding routes: 88 kilometres and 3,900 metres difference in height; 55 kilometres and 2,500 m difference in height. Also beginners can test themselves with a 25 kilometres and 1,050 m difference in height route.
Grindelwald is located in the district of Interlaken in the canton of Bern and it is famous for the ridge-crest that extends from the Eiger (3,970 metres) and across the Mönch (4,107 metres) to the Jungfrau (4,158 metres). Grindelwald is part of the breathtaking Jungfrau region a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most glaciated part of the Alps.

Friday, August 15, 2008

XShot. A useful Gadget for Lonely Riders

I saw this video in CNN Business Traveller and thought it was interesting to share it with you. Richard Quest tested in the Mount Stanzarhorn (Switzerland) the XShot, a telescopic stainless-steel rod that allows you to take a photo or shoot a video including yourself in the shot. Simply connect any digital compact camera to the XShot adapter using the built-in thumb screw and adjust to the desired angle. Engage the self-timer, extend the XShot, aim and shoot. The XShot provides over one metre of reach.
One such effect is achieved with the XShot when the camera is placed in video mode and the user spins in place 360 degrees. When played back, the video appears three-dimensional and the subject seems to be standing still while the background revolves.
In the future you don't need to ask a stranger to take a picture of you on the slopes. Beyond the independent traveler, the XShot is also the perfect gadget for those who use the many social networking sites online.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ski to Live Video

I wrote a post about it in February and now I added the video to complete the information. Ski to Live is about a Ski Clinic at three Utah ski resorts (Snowbird, Alta and Park City) that uses Zen to teach students how to master fear and boost performance. Instruction consists on a four-day retreat of yoga sessions, on-hill ski coaching with Kristen Ulmer, a mogul specialist on the US Ski Team and an American pioneer of the Extreme Sports Revolution, and evening interactions with Zen master Genpo Roshi to let go of negative experiences and thoughts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

When snow melts river runs (II)

I want to share with you one of my favourite spots in Spain. Llavorsi, a little village in the Pallars Sobirá region, is the birthplace for whitewater activities in the Pyrenees. The Noguera Pallaresa river and the LLavorsi Rafting Company are the perfect combination to introduce yourself to rafting and hydrospeed.
Rafting is a challenging recreational activity utilizing a raft (an inflatable boat) to navigate a river with high current and turbulent waters. Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 9 persons (including the guide). Rafting is continuously becoming popular among outdoor sport enthusiasts and nowadays, more and more people are discovering the fun and adventure that this activity offers. Equipment includes a helmet, a life jacket and a suit and boots made of neoprene.
Hydrospeed is a boardsport in which the participant is prone on the plastic board (Companies also offers a foam version of the plastic board to reduce weight and avoid injuries) with fins on his/her feet for propulsion and steering. The equipment includes helmet, life jacket and a neoprene suit specially designed for the activity (with elbow and knee pads). This sport is also known as whitewater sledging in New Zealand.
To complete a unique experience I recommend you the Hotel Riberies, a modern and cozy accommodation with 34 rooms (in different styles: suites, confort and rustic rooms), restaurant, outdoor heated pool and a spacious spa area with hydromassage, sauna and Hamam.
Enjoy your trip and don't forget to ask your guide for the "washing machine".

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Trek Bike Attack

This Weekend Lenzerheide (Graubünden, Switzerland) will host the Trek Bike Attack an 18 kilometres avalanche style race from the Rothorn at 2,840 metres above sea level to Churwalden at 1,240 metres with 2,000 metres of descent.
On Saturday 9th the Qualifying race will take place at 2:00 PM. On Sunday 10th the Trek Bike Attack will start at 12:00 PM.
The winner's award ceremony following the race will take place in the Churwaldenparty tent.
Lenzerheide in the the canton of Grisons is located at 1,500 metres in a wonderful high valley around the Heidsee lake. In winter the region offers a Ski Paradise of 40 modern ski lifts and 155 kilometres of perfect pistes from 1,230 to 2,865 metres.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Final Report Confirms 2007-2008 Winter Season is Best on Record in the U.S.

The final Kottke End of Season Survey released Monday 4th by the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) indicates that the U.S. ski industry recorded 60.50 million visits in 2007/08, up 0.7 percent from the preliminary estimate of 60.07 million, and up 2.7 percent from previous record of 58.9 million visits set in 2005/06. Improved winter weather conditions and abundant snowfall in all regions except the Southeast helped U.S. ski areas rebound from the 2006/07 season. Strong increases in snowfall were experienced by the Pacific West, up 61 percent, the Rocky Mountains, up 45 percent, the Midwest was up 34 percent, and Northeast experienced a 28 percent increase. Only the Southeast reported a decrease in snowfall, down 6 percent.
Contributing to the record 2007/08 season was an increase in international visits, which this year represented 6.3 percent of visits, up from 5.4 percent of visits last season. In absolute terms, international visits are estimated to have jumped by 28 percent this season. A skier/snowboarder visit is defined as one person visiting a ski area for all or part of a day or night, and includes full- and half-day, night, complimentary, adult, child, season and other types of tickets.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Berchtesgaden Alps

The Berchtesgaden Alps in Bavaria (Germany) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Located 150 kilometres south-east of Munich at the border to Austria (30 km south of Salzburg) Berchtesgaden was certificated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. It is the only alpine biosphere in Germany often associated with the Mount Watzmann, at 2713 m the third-highest mountain in the country. The biosphere reserve encompasses submontane, montane and subalpine forests and alpine meadows. One of the main tourist attractions is the famous lake Königssee. Surrounded by towering rock cliffs, the lake - emerald green and silent - is set in one of the most impressive landscapes in the Alps. Another notable attraction is the Kehlstein mountain (1,835 m) with its Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest), which offers spectacular views to its visitors.
Local economy depends mostly on tourism and visitors of a health resort with mineral springs. The spa resort of Bad Reichenhall has become the first german town to fulfil the criteria required of an Alpine Wellness location. Its philosophy strictly targets quality and not quantity. Bad Reichenhalls secret is salt: the health-giving brine, that each can enjoy. Drawn directly from nature´s source, this pure and proven force of life is a fountain of health.
Small-scale agriculture gives the landscape its characteristical features.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Messner Mountain Museum in the Dolomites

The Messner Mountain Museum is spread over five different sites in the Dolomites in Südtirol, each having its own specific focus. Four of the museums are open and the fifth is due to be ready in 2010.
Firmian. Open in June 11th, 2006, the most recent of the museums is located in Castle Firmiano/Sigmundskron (The Magic Mountain) just south of Bolzano.
The museum seeks to explore the relationship between men and mountains, with displays covering mountains in art, religion and literature and a history of mountaineering. An exhibition in its white tower is dedicated to the history of Südtirol.
Juval (Thema Mythos Berg: Die religiöse Dimension). The picturesque Juval Castle dates from 1278. The theme of this museum is the link between spirituality and mountains.
Dolomites (Thema Dolomiten/Fels: Die vertikale Welt). In the heart of the Dolomites, between Pieve di Cadore and Cortina d’Ampezzo, the "Museum in the clouds" rises at the Monte Rite (2,181 metres) affording fabulous panoramic views of the Dolomite peaks and the Marmolada Glacier.
Ortles (Thema Eis/Ortler: Gletscherwelten). In Sulden, at the Ortler mountain at 1,900 metres, the museum is a cleverly constructed underground space given over to the theme of ice. There are pictures of glaciers from all over the world, including a collection by the Victorian artist ET Crompton. The exhibition talks about the "fears people may have from the ice, and about the darkness", about "snow people" and "snow lions", about the "White Out" and the "third pole". Skiing, ice-climbing and pole runs are taken up as a theme. In a cabinet there is a memento of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909 signed by Ernest Shackleton.
Bruneck (Thema Bergvölker: Profane Welt der Berge). The fifth and final part of the project, located in castle Bruneck in the Pustertal, is due to open in 2010. The museum will focus on the subject of mountain communities.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games detailed schedules released

Vancouver Organizing Committee release the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games detailed competition schedules — hourly accounts of the sport activities taking place over the 17 days of Olympic competition and 10 days of Paralympic competition in 2010. With both schedules now approved and available at, and just about two months remaining until tickets to the Olympic Winter Games go on sale, on October 3, the picture just got much clearer for those planning to attend the Games in 2010.

Notable schedule highlights include:

  • Opening Ceremony: Day 1, Friday, February 12, 2010, 18:00–21:00 (BC Place and Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza)
  • Closing Ceremony: Day 17, Sunday, February 28, 2010, 17:30–20:00 (BC Place and Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza)
  • First event — ski jumping men’s normal hill individual qualification: Day 1, Friday, February 12, 2010, 10:00–11:00 (Whistler Olympic Park)
  • Final event — ice hockey, men’s gold medal game: Day 17, Sunday, February 28, 2010, 12:15–14:45, (General Motors Place)

This is a major milestone we can share with our sport and broadcast partners who worked closely with us to develop a balanced Games schedule that satisfies the respective International Sport Federations (IFs), television audiences around the world and spectators who will attend the Games”, said Cathy Priestner Allinger, VANOC’s executive vice president, Sport and Games Operations.
With nine competition venues, 12 stadiums, seven sports, 15 disciplines, 86 medal events for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 64 medal events for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, producing the hourly competition schedules has been a highly complex endeavour. The hourly competition schedules released today were built on the schedules announced by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in December 2007, which underwent eight subsequent revisions. Seven IFs were consulted, overseeing 15 Olympic disciplines and 86 Olympic medal events. Two Paralympic IFs were consulted, overseeing five sports and 64 Paralympic medal events. Contingency plans for adverse weather conditions, event sequencing (to allow recovery time for athletes in more than one event), venue operational considerations and complex broadcast logistics (including balancing live global coverage of simultaneous events at different venues) all had to be built into the schedules.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

First IDE Snowmaker tested

Zermatt Bergbahnen was the first ski resort to order a new kind of artificial snow system: the IDE’s All Weather Snowmaker. Months later Pitztal Gletscherbahnen was the second Company to order, following Zermatt’s footsteps, the snowmaker. Both projects, covered heavily by the local media, are already under construction, and due to be operational during October 2008.
Now IDE Technologies announced that the first All Weather Snowmaker had been assembled and tested in Israel during July 2008 and will be shipped soon to the installation site. The Snowmaker is capable to produce 950 cubic meters of snow per day. Snowmaking took place east of Netanya (Israel) under summer conditions (ambient temperature above 30º C) during the second week of July. Israeli skiers enjoyed skiing on the ski slope at the test site.
IDE's All Weather Snowmaker is based on IDE’s proven Vacuum Ice Technology (VIM), which has been in operation worldwide for over 15 years. The All Weather Snowmaker is a unique, environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient solution that produces large quantities of high quality snow using vacuum conditions to generate it. Unlike the conventional snow gun, the All Weather Snowmaker is capable of operating at all ambient temperatures, thus ensuring full operation during warm spells as well as supplementing natural snowfall accumulation.
"This 1.5 million Euro investment will complement existing snow making systems by covering slopes that so far had to rely exclusively on natural snowfall", says Hans Rubatscher, Pitztal Glacier Resort Chairman. "This will enable us to offer European ski teams, who start their training season already in autumn, a wide racing area. Furthermore, regular skiers will enjoy a proper ski season right from the very beginning".
Daniel Luggen, Zermatt Tourism Director, says: "We definitely saw a decrease in bookings for the usually very popular ski tests that take place between October and December. We have to offer our guests an enjoyable ski experience and this innovative technology could not have come at a better time”.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ischgl Ironbike

Tomorrow August 2nd at 8:30 am, the Ironbike event will start in Ischgl (Tirol, Austria). Europe's most highly endowed mountain bike marathon, in the 2007 edition around 800 participants competed for the prize money of Euros 20,000, gathering fans from all over the world. Similar to the Mountain Bike World Championships, the Ischgl Ironbike is a UCI class 1 race. The absolutely perfect trails lead through the high alpine landscape - over rough and smooth. Rider and bike are at the limit practically all of the time and have to put all of their ability to the test.
The Ischgl Ironbike offers the perfect challenge for everyone, from beginners through to professional marathon racers at the peak of their form. Bikers can opt for one of three routes during the race.
Stage 1 (Short track 27,5 km): From Ischgl to Galtür via Lareinalmand back to Ischgl.
Stage 2 (Intermediate track 48 km): After the short track, the route heads steeply upwards to Idalpe and on to Vellillscharte. From there, riders speed down along the super trail designed by Hans Rey through the Vellil Valley and back to Ischgl.
Stage 3 (Long track 79 km, 3.820 m vertical climb): The route splits on the second track above Idalpe. A steep ascent heads up to the Greitspitze via Idjoch. From there riders must take Greitspitz and Salaaser trail and head down to Laret and Samnaun. From there, head back to Ischgl via Zeblasjoch, Palinkopf and Höllboden.
A detailed road book and GPS data for the Ischgl Ironbike are available from for a small fee.
Ischgl is a mountain bike paradise with a total of over 1,000 kilometres of tracks and six cable cars for transportation. The Silvretta Bike Arena is considered to be one of the best mountain bike regions in the Alps. Ischgl does not only offer an impressive network of well marked mountain bike circuits for every level of fitness; you also can practice the correct riding techniques in the special riding-technique-park, "Ischgl Trailground".