Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Salomon Freeski TV: War Story

When the Salomon crew arrives at the lodge high in the Italian Dolomites, they discover the mountain they are skiing on was the front line in World War I.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Shiffrin Wins Last Slalom of 2014 in Kühtai

In the lead after the first run, USA's Mikaela Shiffrin put a very strong second run together and posted the fastest time as well. She finished in a combined time of 1:43.39 seconds to edge out her rivals Czech Republic's Sarka Strachova and Switzerland's Wendy Holdener, both respectively 0.80 and 0.92 seconds off the pace.
Mikaela Shiffrin had yet to finish on the podium in a World Cup Slalom race this season as she finished 11th in Levi, fifth in Aspen and fourth in Åre, going into Monday's slalom race. She admitted after her third place in the giant slalom on Sunday that she had made changes in her skis and boots set-up and also in her attitude over the past weeks in order to get podiums in slalom again, which finally paid off.
"That second run was really fun, it was really one of my best runs I've had", she told reporters at the press conference. "I didn't feel pressure going into the second run. My coaches told me the surface was great. My skis and boots are working great and I was ready for it".
"Overall it's a great weekend with two podiums. I feel like I am getting my slalom back, so I'm really excited. However it's not necessary the best projector of what the next races will be. So I have to keep working", she added.
Third after the first run, Sarka Strachova raced to her 10th career World Cup win. The last podium she earned was when she won a slalom race in Aspen in 2009.
"It's definitely a big day for me", the 29-year-old confessed. "It has been a really long wait. It means a lot for me. It proves I made the right decision to continue after the medical issues I encountered two years ago".
The 2007 slalom World Champion, had to recover form a benign brain tumour that was removed from her brain in 2012.
21-year-old Wendy Holdener claimed her second career World Cup podium after a second place in Ofterschwang slalom in March 2013.
"Today's results take some pressure off my shoulders", she commented. "It is such a good feeling when you try hard and it works out like it did today. I know I can still get more podiums now".

Freeride Junior Tour by Dakine 2015 Teaser

The 2015 Freeride Junior Tour by Dakine will be kicking off on the 24th January in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. It’s the 5th season of the FJT and this year there are some significant changes which are only adding to the hype!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Travis Ganong Wins Last Downhill of 2014

After finishing only 26th in the only training run Travis Ganong stepped up his game on race day and after crossing the finish line with bib 16 became the one to beat. The young American, who has been very consistent in downhill since last January crossed the finish line in 1:32:42, a mere 0.09 seconds ahead of Matthias Mayer who earned his 2nd podium of the season. Not far behind in third, Dominik Paris finished a very successful 2014 with his fourth podium of the season.
"That was a perfect run I think, it was awesome", Ganong said after realizing no one would beat his time. "I love a new challenge and this slope is nice, I love the slope. It’s a really cool valley and the mountains are huge here and fun to ski".
Ganong skied an extremely fast lower section and took some risks with his line.
"I went really, really straight in a couple areas and was able to carry down the speed. The last big carousel turn I did it perfectly, I don’t’ think I could do it like that again even if I tried", he said.
Mayer entered the season recovering from a knee injury but seems to have recovered in record time.
"I feel good and my knee feels good. I had a bit of time these past few weeks for training and both my shape and skiing are improving", he said when asked about his health.
Mayer also didn’t seem to mind the lowered start, it made for a smoother race according to him.
"Today was difficult, you never know how much conditions could have changed in half an hour so I think it was a good decision to lower the start as we could race without any problems. The snow here is amazing – aggressive, fast and bumpy so it’s everything we need and I like it a lot", he said.
Dominik Paris has earned himself a podium at each speed venue but Beaver Creek and was able to continue this trend in front of the home crowd in Santa Caterina despite not being a huge fan of the course.
"Even after today I still don’t really like this course so it was even more difficult to put down a podium run but I gave it my best shot and didn’t make many mistakes so I am happy. I knew that even if we started at the top you would be making a difference in the lower section. On the shortened course everyone had to push all the way and this possibly brings more mistakes", Paris said.

Sara Hector Wins Giant Slalom in Kühtai

Second after the opening run, Sweden's Sara Hector gave it all out in the second run to finally secure her first ever World Cup victory. She finished in a combined time of 2:17.61 to beat one of the local favourites Anna Fenninger by a mere 0.09 seconds. In the lead after the first run, USA's Mikaela Shiffrin wasn't as comfortable in the second run but managed to take third place in the end, 0.18 seconds off the winning pace.
22-year-old Sara Hector skied with the extra confidence gained in Are where she raced to her first career World Cup podium, with a second place in the Giant Slalom race.
"It's not easy to put words on such emotions right now", she first said at the press conference. "It's like a dream come true. To be on top of the podium is so special. The second place in Are was already amazing. It's just crazy, I am just so happy".
28 December has been a synonym of success for Anna Fenninger who won the last two Giant Slalom races held on that specific day in the previous years (Semmering + Lienz). She was just 0.09 seconds away from another success today.
"It was a very good day even though I didn't win", she said. "It was a tough race. Visibility wasn't ideal. We are quite high here and there are no trees around to help you see. I was surprised by the rolls and the terrain in the first run".
Mikaela Shiffrin who shared the victory with Anna Fenninger in the first World Cup race of the season in Sölden has been on a slight downward trend in giant slalom since then, finishing sixth in Aspen and 10th in Åre. She admitted that she had tried to change her attitude going into this week's races.
"I am really trying to have fun and not to think about winning", she confessed. "The second run was set pretty straight and normally I ski so wide on those courses and loose a bit of time. I think I attacked it, just enough to get a podium. It was tough conditions for everybody. Overall it was a good race for me".

Monday, December 22, 2014

Felix Neureuther Wins in Madonna di Campiglio

In Monday’s first night slalom of the year, German Felix Neureuther earned his first victory of the season after successfully defending his lead from the first run. With an outstanding second run, Neureuther not only held tight to the advantage made in the first run but increased it to win on the Canalone Miramonti with a 0.82 seconds advantage on teammate Fritz Dopfer and 0.86 seconds on Sweden’s Jens Byggmark.
"Today was just amazing, I finished second here last time and than recently in Are I was leading the first run but didn’t manage to hold on to it so now I just wanted to do it perfectly. I had a really good feeling; I just wanted to ski smoothly. That was my plan and it worked pretty well", Neureuther explained his game plan after the first run.
And he certainly did it perfectly, as while many skiers struggled with the ruts he skied a perfectly clean second run.
"It was rough in some gates but the light was really good so you could see al the bumps. With this warm weather the guys here did an unbelievable job, the slope was in a good shape, it was so warm all day but conditions generally held up", he explained.
Neureuther and Dopfer in first and second place is a picture seen already last year in Kranjska Gora and while Dopfer started the season with a great second place in the giant slalom in Soelden he has been eager for a big result in slalom as well.
"It was an amazing day, to once again repeat what we did last year in Kranjska Gora is something special. Tonight is also my second podium of the season for so I am really happy. I had some not so good races recently but after today I’m feeling really comfortable again. It’s nice to know I am in good shape in slalom too", Dopfer said.
Jens Byggmark showed he was well recovered from his last season’s knee injury by putting down two strong runs and achieving his first podium after 2012.
"It feels fantastic to be back, it’s tough recovering from an injury and you spend a lot of time thinking but you still never know how things will turn out. I still had some pain in my knee this year so today’s result is simply great and it shows that the decisions I have made over the past year have paid off", Byggmark stated after the race.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Marcel Hirscher Wins Giant Slalom in Alt Badia

Men’s World Cup competition continued in the Dolomites Sunday with the third day of racing dominated by Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian overall champ was again superb, commanding a third victory in four Giant Slaloms this season.
On the Gran Rise piste of Alta Badia, Hirscher finished with a combined time of 2 minutes, 30.17 seconds, amounting to 1.45 seconds quicker than his American rival Ted Ligety, who skied to second. Frenchman Thomas Fanara, who had been knocking on the podium door all season, was third, just three-hundredths behind Ligety.
In both runs, the track became rutted and bumpy, resulting in a significant advantage for the earlier skiers. Wearing bib No. 1, Hirscher was first to start in the first run and last to start the second, showcasing his ability to charge the more cut-up conditions. He was simply quicker and cleaner from edge to edge than his competition, seeming to fly over ruts and bumps like they weren’t even there. Finishing the runs first and third, respectively, was more than enough to secure the win.
"For me, my feelings skiing the second run does not fit with my time", said Hirscher. "When I crossed the finish line, I thought, ‘Oh my god, that must be a mistake’ because my feeling in the run was really bad. It was so bumpy and so rough, a really tough race".
Of Ligety, Hirscher said these just haven’t been his races, his conditions, but the American is always dangerous and Hirscher wouldn’t be surprised to see him back competing for the top spot as soon as the next race.
"Right now, I haven’t had as much training as I would like to", said Ligety. "It’s tough to have full confidence when you have to get on World Cup trails because they’re never easy. You have to push your limits and go hard, and I just haven’t been in the right place to go to that gear. I’m happy to salvage second place".
For Ligety, it was a tale of two runs. He was seventh in the morning, clearly unable to find his groove. In the second run, he looked more like his normal self, more dynamic and active.
"It’s tough in all of Europe. You see green pasture on one side of the valley and a lot of snow on the race hill", said Ligety. "The snow … is not ideal. Normally they do an amazing job prepping the hill here. I think, being so warm, it’s just hard to get it to that usual surface. It was really bumpy, even running fourth. There was big holes and big bumps. Maybe I wasn’t quite in the right mindset to go so hard when I was getting bounced around".

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kjetil Jansrud Wins His Fourth Race in Val Gardena

Four victories and two second places in the past six speed evens: Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) continues to dominate the fast disciplines in the World Cup. Same in today’s super fast Super-G on the Saslong where the Norwegian didn’t let anyone even come close to him.
"It is an amazing feeling to come down, turn around and see the green light on the scoreboard yet again. You always want to win, fight every day, always attack. And somehow this year I seem to succeed in being at the top in every race. It’s almost unreal and surrealistic (...) I’ve made a few smaller mistakes today, but they didn’t develop into larger ones. I found the right balance between letting the skis run and attacking. But others do the same. Somehow it just all seems to come together. It’s an amazing feeling", Jansrud said.
Jansrud dominated the extremely fast Super-G top to bottom finding the best line from the wall above the Ciaslat meadow all the way to the entry of the Finish schuss. At the end of the race, he was 0.46 seconds ahead of Dominik Paris. A lead of 0.46 seconds might not seem much, but it proves that Jansrud put down a supreme run considering that a mere 0.37 seconds separate 2nd placed Paris from 8th placed Romed Bauman.
Dominik Paris is adding to yesterday’s podium and is clearly moving from a pure Downhill specialist to adding Super-G results placing in the top five in all six speed races this season. Silver is Dominik’s best result in Super-G so far. The fast track appealed to the South Tyrolean-native and it looks like it’s just a matter of time before we’ll see Paris at the top in a Super-G. As a reminder, he already won three World Cup Downhills. 
"It was not easy to find the right line because it was hard to understand where you can risk it and where not. But I managed to ski fast. A heartfelt thank you to the Organizers as it was a huge challenge to organize a ski race on a green meadow. Normally, the Saslong is more like highway with a few jumps. But not this year. The races on the Saslong were harder than ever and you really had to give it your all through the end", Paris said.
The Austrian team placed 4 skiers in the top 10. Best Austrian was Hannes Reichelt in 3rd place. Vincent Kriechmeyer (AUT) surprised the team with a 4th place and was one of the few skiers with a higher bib number to push to the top group.
"Jansrud clearly does what he want. He just leaves the rest of us in the dust. At least there’s some thrill in what’s happening behind him. We have shown all season that we’re strong in the Super-G. It’s the Downhill where we’re still struggling. Compliments to Kriechmeyer: he put down a great run taking time off Jansrud in the Ciaslat. That owes my full respect", Reichelt said.

Lindsey Vonn Wins Downhill in Val d'Isere

USA's Lindsey Vonn did not miss her comeback to Val d’Isère one year after her forced injury break, winning her fourth World Cup downhill on the OK piste and the 61st victory of her career.
It was the third podium in succession for the American four-time World Cup winner, whose return in Lake Louise stunned the circuit when she won the downhill on only her second race back before finishing second in the super-G.
But while Lake Louise has always been seen as Vonn’s backyard, the former Olympic champion had mixed fortunes in the French resort.
This time, her run was almost flawless if not as aggressive as in the past and amply good enough for her to dominate the rest of the field.
"It feels amazing. I was a bit nervous today as I made some mistakes in training. It’s tough when you only have one training run and I could have used much more training. I skied aggressively today. It was definitely tough as we had a lot more speed. Even though I made that mistake at the bottom I hold on and kept fighting and it paid off", she said.
In a time of 1:44.47, Vonn beat two versatile speed specialists by 0.19 seconds – 2011 downhill world champion Elisabeth Görgl of Austria and 2010 giant slalom Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg.
Her 61st victory now puts the American within immediate reach of the record of 62 World Cup victories held by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Pröll and she could even think of equalling it in Sundays’ super-G on the same piste. "61 is a difficult number and I’m looking forward to another chance tomorrow", she said.
For Görgl, it was a promising return to form after two up-and-down seasons while Rebensburg, despite a huge downhill potential, had never before made it on the podium in the discipline.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Steven Nyman Wins Downhill in Val Gardena

The 2014 installment of the Saslong will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the more brutal and demanding chapters in the 47-year history of racing in Val Gardena, Italy. It will also be remembered as the third time American Steven Nyman got the best of the hill and the field, skiing to the most resounding World Cup win of his career.
With a Birds of Prey podium fresh in memory, Nyman put on a clinical performance running an early bib No. 7 and finishing with a time of 1 minute, 55.89 seconds. The American was flawless over the Camel Hump and strong through the Ciaslat, pinching the line and making it look easy through the finish.
"I’ve always felt comfortable here from the first day I arrived (...) In 2005, I said I like this hill. I could see what I needed to do and I was ready to do it. And I crashed! And the next year, I won. And then the next year, I crashed! It treats me well and sometimes it slaps me", said Nyman.
"It was different this year because the snow is so thin, you’re basically feeling the fields underneath the snow", added Nyman. "It’s rattly the whole way down the hill. And you have to keep driving over that and show it who’s boss, or it will show you who’s boss".
By the end of the day, Kjetil Jansrud was the only other racer in the conversation with Nyman. Running 21st, the Birds of Prey champ was close, roughly four-tenths back early in the run. Through the meat of the course, Jansrud gradually gained time on Nyman, coming as close as two-tenths at the final split. But a small mistake, catching an edge over the last roll may have been the difference, solidifying Nyman’s third Val Gardena victory.
Jansrud hung on to finish .31 seconds back in second place.
"I seem to be kind of stable grabbing podiums", said Jansrud, "but hats off to Steven today. I always want to win though. When you’re in the start, you try to win. But today is one of those days when you have to admit someone is faster. I have to say that I am really impressed with Steven today because he did a perfect run".
Jansrud was followed not-so-closely by Italy’s own Dominik Paris, who executed a controlled flight over the Camel Hump; but after a series of small mistakes through the Ciaslat, a third-place result, a whole 1.15 seconds back, is all that could be salvaged.

Vail Resorts Introduces the 2014-15 Epic Pro Team

With the winter competition season underway, Vail Resorts announced the 2014-15 roster of Epic Pro Team members. Including Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn, Nick Goepper and David Wise, and such household names as Bobby Brown, Chas Guldemond and Eric Willett, the Epic Team is a new paradigm in athlete-resort relationships, partnering the World’s greatest competitors with the World’s best resort portfolio. With the recent acquisition of Park City Mountain Resort, Vail Resorts also welcomes the 18 athletes representing the Park City All-Stars, including Olympic gold medalists Sage Kotsenberg and Joss Christensen.
"It’s an honor to be able to call such a storied place home, and Vail Mountain really is my home base", said Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion Lindsey Vonn.
With Vonn and nine other Olympians, including three Olympic medalists among them, the Epic Team represents the premier athletes in disciplines ranging from downhill to moguls, slopestyle to big mountain freeskiing.
"I'm excited to represent Vail Resorts and the Epic Team", said Nick Goepper, Olympic and Dew Tour bronze medalist in ski slopestyle. "Across the board, Vail Resorts sets the bar when it comes to both training grounds and as host venues for competitions. It was such a pleasure to be able to compete here at Breckenridge this past weekend, after training just down the road at Keystone".
Many Epic Team athletes have enjoyed long-standing relationships with Vail Resorts. At 19-years old, Sarah Hendrickson has spent her youth training at Canyons resort in her hometown of Park City, Utah. Hendrickson, the 2013 World Champion, was among the first group of women to compete in Olympic ski jumping earlier this year. A native of Reno, Nev., David Wise has long trained in the half pipe of Northstar California resort. That training paid off when Wise took home the inaugural Olympic Ski Half Pipe gold medal from Sochi. Bobby Brown, a Winter Dew Tour gold medalist and member of the inaugural US Olympic ski slopestyle team, has called Breckenridge, Colo. home for the entirety of his professional career. He’s a regular presence in the resort’s award-winning terrain parks, often skiing and family, and is annually a favorite to take home top prize at the Breckenridge-hosted Winter Dew Tour.
"I ski Breckenridge because it's my favorite mountain anywhere", said Bobby Brown. "The park, conditions, and people there are as good as it gets in my experience. I'm stoked to represent Breck and be part of Vail Resorts' Epic Team".
While veteran members of the team will begin a four year journey to defend their Olympic medals, also included on the Epic Team roster are some of the best young talents in action sports. Toby Miller and Red Gerard, both 14, are two of the hottest riders on both the competition and filming circuits, and each have been recognized as future stars of the sport. Both youngsters call Colorado’s Keystone Resort home. Canyons home mountain athletes Andy Partridge, 18, and Colby Stevenson, 17, are both members of the U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team and have been making heads turn while claiming industry awards and competition podiums before earning their high school diplomas. Aspen Spora, 14, will hone his skills and style in the parks at Breckenridge Ski Resort once again this season, as he continues to climb the freeskiing ranks.
Epic Team members benefit from competing on their home snow throughout the season, including this past weekend’s Winter Dew Tour and the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. The newest crop of Vail Resorts athletes, the Park City All Stars, will also help host the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Feb. 23 through March 1, 2015.
Guests from around the World will be able to cheer on their favorite Epic Team athletes throughout the season at Vail Resorts. Whether fine tuning their skills training at the best on-snow facilities, competing at their home resorts or simply enjoying the company’s mountain retreats, these athletes will truly be living the Vail Resorts mission of “Experience of a Lifetime” while enjoying an epic season at all 11 mountain resorts properties.


Vail Resorts
Lindsey Vonn
Nick Goepper

Breckenridge Ski Resort
Bobby Brown
Keri Herman
Brett Esser
Zack Black
Cody Cirillo
Adam Delorme
Pat Goodnough
Asher Humphreys
Nate Kern
Silvia Mittermueller
Mark Nowakiwshy
Rebecca “Possum” Torr
Eric Willett
Emilia Wint
James Woods
Aspen Spora

Vail/Beaver Creek
Heidi Kloser

Northstar California Resort
David Wise
Chas Guldemond
Danny Toumarkine

Josh Daiek
Casey Lucas
Hazel Birnbaum

Keystone Resort
Red Gerard
Toby Miller
Erika Vikander
Brendan Gerard

Heavenly Mountain Resort
Joanna Dzierzawski
Sho Kashima
Natalie Vitale
Brent Whipple

Canyons Resort
Faye Gulini
Sarah Hendrickson
Any Partridge
Colby Stevenson
Alex Diebold
Chandler Hunt
Whitney Gardner

Park City All Stars
Sage Kotsenberg
Joss Christensen
Ashley Battersby
Ben Bilodeau
Dylan Thompson
Aaron Biittner
Bode Merrill
Scotty Arnold
Tom Wallish
Alex Schlopy
McRae Williams
Jen Hudak
Ozzy Henning
Sam Taxwood
Dale Talkington
Tim McChesney
Nicky Keefer
Griffen Siebert
Alex Sherman

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thirty years since “Last Christmas” by Wham

The 2014/15 winter season is full of anniversary celebrations in Saas-Fee. For starters, it marks 165 years since Father Imseng became Switzerland’s first skier, and 150 years since the country’s first official winter sports season.
In 1849, roughly 15 years before the dawn of winter sports in Switzerland, Father Johann Josef Imseng received an urgent plea to visit a dying parish member. To overcome the snowy descent from Saas-Fee to Saas-Grund he strapped two planks of wood to his shoes and thus went down in history as Switzerland’s first-ever skier. But his story doesn’t end there: he was also the courageous pioneer who first brought tourism to the Saas Valley. He organised the construction of the Saas Valley’s first-ever hotel in 1850, and in 1856 he was the first person to climb the Allalinhorn, along with Sir Edward Ames Lewis.

What’s more, it was 30 years ago that Wham! filmed the video for their much-loved hit "Last Christmas". The hit by pop duo Wham! is one of the most popular Christmas pop records of all time. The video, released in December 1984, was filmed in Saas-Fee and broke all viewing figures. Many locals still talk excitedly today about the visit of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, who appear in the video celebrating Christmas in one of the Saas-Fee chalets.
"Last Christmas" was written and produced by George Michael, and has been covered by many artists since its original release. The video shows George and partner Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends in Saas-Fee, Switzerland with the old Felskinn cableway playing a starring role in it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New James Bond Movie To Be Filmed in Sölden

From December 2014 until February 2015 Sölden will be one of the locations where filming for the new James Bond Movie will take place. A total of 22 filming days is planned in the Tirol, and at its peak the film crew will consist of 500 people, including 150 local filmmakers covering various positions.
James Bond, also known by his code number 007, the most famous secret agent in the world, will start filming the 24th Bond film, Spectre, in the Austrian Tirol. Daniel Craig, will play Bond for the 4th time, embarking on his alpine adventures along with the other stars in the ski resort of Sölden, in the Otztal and the cross-country skiing paradise of Obertilliach, in the East Tirol region. This is the largest film production ever to be ‚made in Tirol' and will bring with it not only immediate economic benefits, but also long term media impact, creating future film-tourism opportunities.
The British production company "B24" will begin filming over the next few weeks As well as lead actor, Daniel Craig, Other stars of the 24th Bond film include Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux, with Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty," "Revolutionary Road" and "James Bond - Skyfall").
It is because of the excellent cooperation between Location Austria (FISA Film Location Austria), local communities, tourist boards and mountain railway companies in the Tirolean villages as well as support from the Tirol region and Cine Tirol that James Bond will make his high alpine adventures in the region for the first time. Since January 2014 suitable filming locations were pursued around the world, including in Norway and Italy. Eventually the combined efforts, as well as the logistical and finanical support, convinced the director and production team to choose the locations of Oetztal and East Tirol.
The economic benefit of this large-scale film project to the Tirolean region will be huge: taking into account production costs, with accommodation and meals, as well as transportation, accommodation and salaries of the local Tirolean filmmakers it is estimated that 6 million euros will be spent in Tirol. The impact alone on tourism is incredible: about 26,000 overnight stays will be generated by the film crew in Tirol. Furthermore, the filming of this movie will generate major media attention at an international level and also create future film-tourism opportunities for the Ötztal and lesser-known East Tirol region.
"Two strong brands in their own field combine in the stunning mountains of our region: James Bond and Tirol", says Josef Margreiter, Managing Director of Tirol Werbung and founder of Cine Tirol. "I am very excited that the joint efforts, help and support will result in the most famous secret agent in the world on loaction in Ötztal and East Tirol. I am particularly grateful to Location Austria and FISA as well as those responsible in Sölden and Obertilliach for the successful cooperation. The last Bond film, Skyfall, was watched by over 130 million in cinemas around the world. This fills us with great confidence that the action-packed scenes for the new Bond film will be seen by an audience of millions when the film is released in Autumn 2015 and that will make people want to visit the locations for themsleves in the Heart of the Alps".
And Cine Tirol Director, Johannes Köck, reiterates: "James Bond in Tirol is the ultimate accolade for Cine Tirol, as the driving force for the region of Tirol as a filming location: this movie will draw the attention of the entire film industry to our region and help facilitate the acquisition of further international follow-up projects. In addition, 150 Tirolean filmmakers will get the chance to gain valuable experience in the context of such a large and prominent film production (...) Even though this will be the first time that agent 007 will be filmed in Tirol, there is an enduring connection between the most famous secret agent of all time and our region. Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond novels, lived in Kitzbühel in the 1920s and studied at a private school".
The 24th Bond outing will also see a brand new Aston Martin designed specially for this film called the DB10.

James Bond 007 is a fictional British agent created in 1952 by Ian Fleming. Some of the most iconic scenes in Bond history have taken place on the mountain slopes. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore escapes an ambush by Soviet agents, killing one of them in a downhill ski chase that concludes when he skis off a cliff and falls only to open a Union Flag parachute, while Timothy Dalton careered down a mountain in a cello case for The Living Daylights.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service 007 triumphed with its breathtaking battles on the Alpine slopes. The team of ski experts, including Stefan Zürcher Alpine Films producer, executed the challenging downhill scenes on the ski slopes of Mürren, on the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland. The filmmakers used the Schilthorn revolving restaurant to locate Blofeld’s Piz Gloria headquarters.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Wonder" Marcel Hirscher Wins (also) Slalom in Åre

Second after the opening run, Austria's Marcel Hirscher put everything on the line to take the lead in the second and watched Germany's Felix Neureuther fail to match his time. Hirscher clinched his second win of the week at Åre in a combined time of 1:40.37, just a mere 0.10 seconds faster than the German. In third place, Russia's Alexander Khoroshilov raced to his first career World Cup podium.
As part of a strong showing by the Swedish team that placed six racers in the second run, Mattias Hargin, Axel Baeck and Calle Lindh finished respectively fourth, fifth and sixth.
Earning his 26th World Cup victory and the 100 points that come with it, Marcel Hirscher leads now the overall standings with 440 points, 28 points more than Kjetil Jansrud.
"I am super happy", said Hirscher. "Today I have been for sure a bit of a lucky guy, because I am only one tenth ahead of Felix and Alexander isn't too far either. Overall it's been a super weekend".
Winner of the first Slalom race of the season in Levi, Henrik Kristoffersen skied off the course early in the first run today, which allows Marcel Hirscher to take the slalom red bib back home.
"It doesn't really matter to have the red bib at this stage of the season", said Hirscher. "It is for sure more interesting to have it at the end, but it is nice to have it now".
Felix Neureuther, who battled a back injury for the better part of the offseason and finished third in the opening Slalom World Cup race in Levi, showed with today's performance that he was close to his best level.
"It was a very good race for me", he admitted. "I am very close to Marcel. I just need some more training to get in a better shape. This will be my focus now until Madonna and new year. I should be at my best in January I think".
Alexander Khoroshilov, who equalled his personal best in Levi with a 8th place, became the first Russian skier on Sunday to make a World Cup podium since 1981.
"I was really happy about my results in Levi, but today this is unbelievable", said the 30-year-old. "I was really surprised to see the gap between me and Matthias Hargin, once I crossed the finish line".

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Maria Pietilä-Holmner Wins Slalom in Åre

Maria Pietilä-Holmner whose last Slalom victory dates back to Aspen 2010 put together two strong runs and claimed the first win of a Swede in a ladies' Slalom in Sweden. The 28-year-old tech specialist finished her race with the total time of 1:46:65 and beat Friday’s Giant Slalom winner Tina Maze by a mere 0.06 seconds. To make things even sweeter for the host nation, Frida Hansdotter rounded up the podium by holding on to her third position from the first run and finishing 0.32 seconds behind her teammate.
"It’s amazing and this means so much to me", Pietilä-Holmner said while struggling to hold back tears of happiness. "I have proven to myself I could be the best again. I felt confident up at the start and I promised myself to try and take a chance. I was trying to enjoy myself today and it’s certainly a good sign for me to know what I’m doing and what I’m working on are the right things", Pietilä-Holmner continued.
There is hardly a better picture to come out from the first races held in Are after the announcement of their hosting of the 2019 World Ski Championships than that of two Swedish skiers sharing the podium.
"We have a strong team in both SL and GS so watch out for Sweden in Are 2019", Pietilä-Holmner said when asked if today was a first step towards dominating the next big event at home.
Maze had been complaining about jet-leg struggles but the biorhythm troubles didn’t seem to affect the Slovenian’s skiing much as she will be leaving Are with a victory and a second place.
"It has been a great weekend, I’m really tired but we have done a great job. I did wish for some quicker legs in today’s second run so I could push a bit harder, like I did in the giant slalom but it didn’t really work out that way. I think I did a good, the Swedish girls were at home here and they went all in. The course was very nice, it flowed well and had a good rhythm and you could really enjoy skiing it", Maze said.
Frida Hansdotter has finished second in each of the last three Slalom World Cup races, dating back to last season's race in Lenzerheide. She entered today’s slalom wearing the red bib given to the leader in the discipline and she managed to keep her lead in the rankings and is now sitting 11 points ahead of Maze.
"For sure I would like to keep it for as long as I can, possibly until the Finals in Meribel but there are a lot of good girls trying to take it away from me (...) It’s nice to be at home, to ski in front of a Swedish crowd and to cross the finish line hearing them shout in excitement", Hansdotter said.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Wonder" Marcel Hirscher Wins Giant Slalom in Åre

For the first time in World Cup history, the men got to race a night Giant Slalom and Austria's Marcel Hirscher was unstoppable under the floodlights in favoured’s Giant Slalom. The three-time defending overall World Cup champion didn't let anyone keep up with him by posting the fastest time in both of the runs, for a combined winning time of 2:30.18. Third after the first run, Ted Ligety took advantage of the course set by one of his coaches to make up some time and finished second, 1.22 seconds off the pace. Germany's Stefan Luitz rounded out the podium, 1.50 seconds behind.
First in Sölden and third in Beaver Creek, Marcel Hirscher has become the benchmark in Giant Slalom so far this season. The 25-year-old celebrated his 25th career World Cup victory in style winning by such a margin tonight.
"It was a really good day", said Hirscher. "I feel really comfortable on icy courses like here and I know there is a lot of potential in my skiing and my technique as well as in my material. It gives me confidence for any kind of course sets".
After suffering an injury to his left wrist while training on November 22 and getting surgery, Ted Ligety celebrated his comeback by winning the Giant Slalom race in Beaver Creek last weekend and confessed he was happy with a second place in Åre.
"It's easy to think of places of where it would have been easy to make up time", he explained. "Just in the top section I lost 1.6 seconds or something to Marcel. I mean the rest of the way was very competitive. I simply struggled to get the rhythm on that early steep section, but I am pretty happy to be second place (..) My hand is getting better, but is not perfect. I definitely avoid hitting gates with it and putting it on the snow. But otherwise I don't really think about it when I am skiing".
22-year-old Stefan Luitz raced to his third career podium. All happened in giant slalom, his strongest discipline, and at that very specific time of the year.
"I can't explain why I always ski that well in the second weekend of December, but I know how happy I am after today's result", said Luitz. "In the first two races of the season I made silly mistakes. Today I am happy that I could ski like in training".

Tina Maze Wins Giant Slalom in Åre

Åre was selected to welcome both the men and the ladies after the races, originally scheduled in Val d'Isère and Courchevel, got cancelled, due to the lack of snow and warm temperatures in central Europe.
A very experienced organising committee in conjunction with a volunteer base full of motivation was key in getting everything ready on such short notice to host four races in three days. Åre has been organising World Cups since 1969, mostly ladies' races, and hosted World Championships in 1954 and 2007. The Scandinavian ski resort will also be the stage of the 2019 World Championships.
The ladies got the ball rolling with the third Giant Slalom race of the season which was dominated by Slovenia's Tina Maze. Giant Slalom Olympic champion, who was seventh after the first run, clocked the fastest time in the second run despite a mistake halfway down the course to win her third victory this season. Maze finished in a combined time of 2:23.84, with Sweden's Sara Hector ending up in second place, 0.20 seconds behind. Austria's Eva-Maria Brem led after the first run but settled for third, 0.28 seconds back.
Tina Maze has already won a Slalom (Levi) and a Downhill (Lake Louise) World Cup race this season. The victory on Friday was her career fourteenth in Giant Slalom.
"I am really surprised that I could put such a run together today, coming back from Canada only a few days ago", confessed Maze right after the race. "Today I was walking around fast asleep", she even joked. "When you're jet-lagged, you make some mistakes and you have to take them. I was trying to ski down fast and I made it. Overall I am skiing great so I am really happy with today's race".
The other outstanding performance of the day came from the 22-year-old Sara Hector who raced to her first World Cup podium. Her former personal best was a fifth place in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee super combined last season. The Swede managed to finish second in the first run with bib 25 and carried her pace into the second run.
"The conditions here are amazing so it is the same for everybody", said Hector. "It's been a great race. It's nice to have my teammates around me. We have such a really great team and it is amazing to be part of it".
In addition to her third place in Sölden and the victory in Aspen, Eva-Maria Brem has now landed three podiums out of three giant slalom races.
"It's always great to be on the podium", said Brem. "I tried to fully attack and I made some little mistakes but in the end I am very happy".
Brem increased her lead in the giant slalom standings. She has now 220 points, 54 points more than Mikaela Shiffrin, who finished 10th today and 58 points more than Anna Fenninger, who took sixth.
"This is what you wish for, when you are training so hard, Everything woks out well for me and I hope that it will continue like that this season".

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teams for Swatch Skiers Cup 2015 Announced!

After an intense selection process, the team captains for Europe and the Americas have unveiled the eight elite skiers they will bring to Zermatt, Switzerland for the unique intercontinental team battle in anticipation of the 5th edition of the Swatch Skiers Cup which will be held from February 21-27, 2015.
The pressure is on this year as both teams are ready to break the 2-2 tie, with Team Americas defending their 2014 title. The line up is as strong and versatile as ever with returning "All Star"athletes teaming up with the latest newcomers. The key to winning the Swatch Skiers Cup is not necessarily the sum of a team’s individual talents; but rather the right combination of freeride and freestyle skills, team spirit, and consistency.
Veteran Captain Julien Regnier (FRA) will be excited to welcome back Richard Permin (FRA) to Team Europe following his stand out part in Matchstick Productions 2014 release "Days Of My Youth"and subsequent explosion on the international scene. Markus Eder (ITA) was also featured in this movie and returns to the Team after concentrating on his Olympic escapades last winter. Team Europe can also count on the experience of the iconic freerider and co-founder of the Skiers Cup, former team captain Sverre Liliequist (SWE). New talent has been added to the team with rookie,Sven Kueenle (GER). The creative and multi-talented Fabien Maierhofer (FRA) is back along with Chamonix native Sam Favret (FRA) who complete the French Connection. That leaves just two more riders to round off one of the strongest Team Europe line ups we have seen, austrian Fabio Studerand Zermatt local, and last years Head Mountain Guide, Samuel Anthamatten (SUI).
Team Americas, led by all round hero Seth Morrison (USA) will see the return of some big names such as: 3-time winner of Powder Magazine’s “Best Male Performance” award Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA), "Silent Shredder" Callum Pettit (CAN), the master of playfulness and IF3 award winning,Cody Townsend (USA) and super athlete Rory Bushfield (CAN). And although newcomers to the Swatch Skiers Cup, the remaining athletes on Team Americas are already household names through video parts with major production companies: Dana Flahr (CAN), Andy Mahre (USA) and Logan Pehota (CAN), and last but not least, Tanner Rainville (USA). All together a promising, balanced mix of Skiers Cup experience and new inspiration.
The two Swedish skiers, Sverre Liliequist and Kaj Zackrisson established the Swatch Skiers Cup to bring the best riders in the world together once a year and to exchange their passion across the Atlantic in a friendly yet groundbreaking competition between continents. Since its first edition in 2011 in Valle Nevado (Chile), the event has continued to grow in popularity and it has become a melting pot of creative freeskiing and one of the most recognized international showcase opportunities among world class skiers of different backgrounds. As Zackrisson says: "The Skiers Cup works because this environment keeps attracting the best riders, regardless of their background".

Monday, December 8, 2014

Vail Resorts To Invest $50 million in Park City Mountain Resort

Vail Resorts today announced details of the company’s planned upgrades to Park City Mountain Resort for the 2015-2016 ski season. The plan, which totals over $50 million, is one of the most ambitious and impactful capital programs in U.S. ski industry history and will transform the guest experience at Park City Mountain Resort. The plan would establish the connection between Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, creating the largest single ski area in the country with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, and complete a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure of both resorts. The plan will be subject to approval by both Summit County and the City of Park City. Components of the $50-million capital plan include:
  • The Interconnect Gondola. An eight-passenger, high-speed two-way gondola from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The gondola will also have an unload at the top of Pine Cone Ridge to allow skiers and riders the opportunity to ski into Thaynes Canyons at Park City via gated ski access or to the Iron Mountain area at Canyons through new trails that will be created from Pine Cone Ridge. This will mark the first gondola at Park City Mountain Resort since "The Gondola" was dismantled in 1983.
  • Upgrade of King Con and Motherlode Lifts at Park City. The King Con Lift will be upgraded from a four-person to a six-person, high-speed detachable chairlift and will increase lift capacity to this very popular ski pod. The Motherlode Lift will be upgraded from a fixed-grip triple to a four-person, high-speed detachable chairlift, also increasing lift capacity. Both upgrades will reduce crowding, lift lines and improve the guest experience.
  • New Snow Hut Restaurant, Upgrades to Summit House Restaurant at Park City and Expansion of Red Pine Lodge Restaurant at Canyons. The plan calls for building a completely new Snow Hut restaurant at the base of the Silverlode Lift and next to the Park City terminal for the Interconnect Gondola, with 500 indoor seats and a top-of-the-line kitchen and culinary experience. The plan also includes an upgrade to the "scramble" area inside the Summit House restaurant to improve the flow of diners and increase seats. At Canyons, the Red Pine Restaurant will be renovated to accommodate an additional 250 indoor seats. This upgrade follows the recent renovation and increase of 150 seats to the Cloud Dine restaurant at Canyons.
  • Snowmaking and Other Improvements. The plan features additional snowmaking on two trails in the Iron Mountain area of Canyons which will become increasingly central ski terrain given its proximity to the Interconnect Gondola. The plan also includes almost $5 million of "catch up" maintenance and upgrades at Park City, given the lack of spending at the resort over the past few years. This “catch up” maintenance spending is in addition to the normal annual maintenance capital for the two resorts of $5 million, which will be undertaken this year as well.
"This comprehensive capital plan for Park City and Canyons is one of the most ambitious and impactful plans undertaken at any resort in industry history, transforming the experience at both resorts and creating the largest single ski resort in the U.S. with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain", said Blaise Carrig, president of the mountain division for Vail Resorts. He added, "The improvements offer skiers and riders more terrain and upgraded lifts to enhance the guest experience and reduce crowding and lift lines, new and upgraded restaurants, more snowmaking and an overall ‘touching up’ of all aspects of the resorts. The plan was based on feedback from guests and the local community as well as discussions with the senior operating teams at the two resorts. We look forward to continuing to work with the county and the city and are hopeful we can bring this plan to life for the 2015-2016 ski season".

For the 2015-2016 ski season, the company intends to operate the two resorts as one unified branded experience under the name "Park City Mountain Resort". The Canyons base area will be renamed "Canyons at Park City". The company will continue to maintain the unique history and atmosphere of the two base areas with differentiated marketing for the diverse hotel and hospitality experiences.

Ted Ligety Wins His 5th Beaver Creek Giant Slalom

Only 2 weeks after undergoing hand surgery Ted Ligety wins his fifth Birds of Prey Giant Slalom, his fourth in a row. It is his 23rd victory in Giant Slalom, tying Swiss great Michael Von Gruenigen for second all-time, trailing only Swedish star Ingemar Stenmark with his 46 wins.
"Stenmark is so far away. He’s such a legend in the sport. I think what he’s done is pretty unattainable. To be able to pass or equal Von Gruenigen at this point is awesome. He was one of my childhood heroes", acknowledged Ligety. "I loved watching him compete in the World Cups in Park City when I was a kid, so to be able to have the same amount of World Cup wins as him is pretty surreal. I never would have guessed that I’d be anywhere close to him as a kid. To be up there with one of the legends of our sport is really cool".
After skiing slightly conservatively in the first run Ligety was sitting in fourth place, but he spared nothing during his second and finished the race 0.18 ahead of second ranked Alexis Pinturault and 0.60 ahead of Marcel Hirscher.
"The first race of the season didn’t go as well as I wanted it to and I was a little bit frustrated but that’s how it goes in skiracing so it’s nice to be able to put it down today. Beaver Creek is always awesome and there is no race where the surface is as consistent as they make it here. It’s a lot of fun to ski here, there were good conditions top to bottom", Ligety said.
"I was skiing for a week without a pole because I couldn’t move my wrist much but now my hand feels fine, in a way that was good practice for my balance. I skied a lot without poles in the last years as a balance drill so it wasn’t such an issue, it might have helped my skiing a bit too. I don’t think about my hand while skiing, I just try to not drag my hand on the snow or hit gates with it, otherwise it’s not something I’m not so conscious about it", Ligety explained the hand situation.
After finishing third in Saturday’s super-G and hurting his arm in the process by hooking it into a gate, Pinturault was able to ski past the pain and climb one step up on the podium.
"It turned out to be a good day but it was not easy at the beginning because I had to think about my arm as it was really painful this morning but I was able to stay focused on my skiing and ski as fast as possible and finishing second is really great for me", Pinturault talked about his struggles on race day.
Marcel Hirscher was sitting in third after the first run and finished in the same place at the end of the race. The current leader of the GS standings is not as in tune as Ligety with the grippy American snow but is ready to do the take the challenge and improve his skiing on it.
"It was not easy today, it is super cool to be on the podium especially as both runs were pretty fast today which is not something I can usually ski really well and fast. I am more the kind of skier who likes if it’s icy and today was very ‘grippy’ very usual for American snow. I am now looking forward to being back for World Championships so I’m taking today as I great training for February", Hirscher said.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Swiss Time: Lara Gut Wins SG in Lake Louise

Switzerland's Lara Gut won her career 7th Super-G race in a time of 1:18.46. Lindsey Vonn crossed the finished line 0.37 seconds behind. Joining them on the podium was Slovenia's Tina Maze, 0.81 seconds back of the winner.
Gut won last year's Super G in Lake Louise as well as the last two super-G races of last season, making it three in a row with today's victory. The last woman to win three successive super-G races is Lindsey Vonn in 2011.
"It is the first time I am able to win at the same place twice",, said Lara Gut. "It is funny that it happened in Lake Louise (...) The course set was kind of straight. You had to risk it all. Once in the finish area, when I saw the good lead I had, I thought this was cool".
After an outstanding performance in Saturday's Downhill Lindsey Vonn confessed she didn't know what to expect for the super-G race, considering the lack of training. Her second place in the super- G concluded a very impressive comeback week onto the World Cup tour.
"I felt I was skiing aggressively and felt I was pretty clean on the top", explained Vonn. "Obviously my timing wasn't quite right. I was a little bit late on some turns, late with my pressure and got wide (...) I think I carried a pretty good speed onto the flats, but again on the flats my timing was a little bit off in a couple gates”, she confessed. “For all the mistakes, I am exceptionally happy with the second place. It was a solid day and overall it's been a phenomenal weekend".
Winner of the super-G globe in the season 2013/14, Tina Maze landed her 13th podium of her career on Sunday. The two podium finishes of the week were her first two in Lake Louise.
"I am really happy about my week", she said. "My skiing is great, although I didn't give it all today. I took a lot of risk in the downhill race yesterday and was a little bit calmer today (...) I was sure my performance, coming down the course, was not going to be enough to win. I had a the feeling that there was much more to do on the hill, but I didn't manage to do that. I should have attacked a lot more, it was actually easier that I thought it would be".
After an intense and long week of speed, Tina Maze now leads the World Cup overall standings with 380 points, followed by Austria's Anna Fenninger (263) and Kathrin Zettel (250). Lindsey Vonn sits in fourth with 212 points.

The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face 2015 Teaser

Event calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Swatch Freeride World Tour By The North Face (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially. 
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Lindsey Vonn Wins Downhill in Lake Louise with a Full House Podium for the US Team

An historic day for the U.S. Ski Team. Lindsey Vonn topped a crowded American podium in the second of two Downhill races in Lake Louise, joining Stacey Cook, second, and Julia Mancuso, third, marking the first time Americans have swept the top three in an Alpine World Cup event.
Lindsey Vonn clocked a time of 1:50.48 to top the podium, with teammate Stacey Cook in second place, 0.49 seconds off the pace and Julia Mancuso in third, 0.57 seconds out.
The victory in Lake Louise, the 15th of Vonn’s career, and her 12th World Cup Downhill victory, clearly signals that the four-time overall champion and Olympic gold medalist is back in business after a nearly two-year recovery process from two knee surgeries.
"Yesterday I knew I skied solid but that I had a lot left to give in the race today", said Vonn. "I was hopping for a better result. I risked a lot more and I think I skied a lot better. I am extremely happy to be on top of the podium again and also with my two teammates. It couldn't be a better day (...) I just analysed videos and saw that I was just a little bit high in my tuck yesterday and wasn't pushing myself as hard as I know I can. That comes I think from not having trained that much. So I made the adjustment today. I tried to sit lower in my tuck and to be more aggressive in some turns. It paid off, I was just faster all the way down".
The overall team performance brings the Americans back to their level of the season 2013/14 in speed events.
"We all have a great team dynamic. Everyone is excited for the season. Having the World Championships in Vail, I think has made everyone excited to try to get some medals on home snow", concluded Vonn.
After some promising training runs, Stacey Cook showed again how comfortable she is on that slope. Her only two other career podiums came two years ago in Lake Louise, where she finished second in both of the downhill races.
"I think I am as much excited for the whole experience of the three of us being on the podium as I am for myself", commented Stacey Cook. "I always kind of thought it was something that was possible with our team, because we have come on strong in the last few years. I really wanted to be a part of it when it happens".
Julia Mancuso landed her fourth World Cup podium in Lake Louise, but that was the first in Downhill.
"It's the first downhill podium for a while, so that's exciting", said Mancuso. "Yesterday I was really focus on skiing and today I was focusing a little more on charging. I think that made a different".
It snowed overnight and the conditions were a little bit different to what they were for the first downhill on Friday.
"It was definitely a little warmer and there is a little more snow on the course. It was just a little softer but more forgiving, that's why I think the times are faster", concluded Mancuso.

Hannes Reichelt Wins Second SG of the Season in Beaver Creek

Challenging day at the Audi Birds of Prey Super G. The fast yet technical course set by Italian Gianluca Rulfi made it a real challenge for most skiers to cross the finish line without a mistake. And if the course proved simply too demanding to finish for 19 of the 69 racers who skied it, Hannes Reichelt, Kjetil Jansrud and Alexis Pinturault stood up to the challenge and clocked the fastest time of the day.
It’s no secret that Hannes Reichelt has a special bond with Beaver Creek, it was on the Birds of Prey that he earned his first career’s victory in 2005 and it’s were before today he collected a total of five podiums. Now he added to his impressive Beaver Creek resume with his third super G win on the course, but his first since 2007.
"I have good relationship with this course, especially in super G", a very happy Reichelt said. "I am always really happy to come back to Beaver Creek as I have lived some great moments here in the past and today I am just adding another great memory to the list", he added.
Reichelt took advantage of a good start number, 14, to get helpful course reports and the visual of a successful line provided by Dominik Paris, to ski an aggressive, attacking run.
"We saw something on the television and just a report after the compression that so many guys had mistakes. But I saw Paris Dominik and he did it really well, so I said, ‘OK, that line should be the nicest line and the best line,’ and I was trying it. That was really one step to my victory", said Reichelt of his line.
When asked about what made this slope so well suited to his skiing Reichelt explained: "I’m not sure but maybe it’s because it’s a really tough course, there are so many bumps and often you don’t see the next gate so you always have to ski with your brain and risk at the right spots".
Last January only days after winning the downhill in Kitzbuehel Reichelt had to undergo urgent back surgery and was forced to miss the Sochi Olympics, so coming back to the podium in Beaver Creek was a great opportunity to prepare for the next big event on the calendar.
"I am excited for the World Championships, today was a great step on my way to the February races as in out team it’s really hard to earn a spot in the team. Now I have more confidence I’ll be back in a few months".
Kjetil Jansrud’s winning streak ended today most likely due to a mistake he made coming over the Abyss, where he got thrown up in the air and off the line. And if it might have seemed as if he was disappointed by his second place, Jansrud was quick to explain the reason for his frustration slight frustration.
"When I crossed the finish line I saw I was in second place and I knew that without that mistake I could have had a winning run. I was only disappointed about my mistake after coming through the finish as I knew I messed up a little bit but I am happy with the result. Some days you win some days you don’t, that’s skiracing. The day you get disappointed about a second place is the day you turn into an arrogant guy and that’s not going to happen", Jansrud said.
Alexis Pinturault is known for his outstanding results in the technical disciplines but the young Frenchman makes no secret of his goals to further improve in the speed events and despite not having the preparation he wished for over summer, today he finished in third, just over half a second off the best time.
"We trained in Chile this summer for five days but they were not good days so I think today is the result of the work done last year and the years before. With the new material I had plans to train a lot more super G and downhill but conditions didn’t work in our favor", Pinturault said.
With 24 World Cup podiums under his name in all disciplines but downhill, it comes natural to wonder about what will be Pinturault’s focus in the future.
"I definitely don’t want to lose my Slalom", he explains. "I will try to stay focused on Slalom, Giant Slalom, super combined and Super G but I don’t have big plans for downhill just yet. Skiing downhill makes it a heavy schedule as you have to do both the trainings and race".

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Salomon Freeski TV: The Controller

An excerpt from the feature-length documentary film, SNOWMAN.
As an avalanche controller, Kevin Fogolin gets to work and ski in some of the most spectacular mountains on earth. We follow him on his job as he brings down some of the most impressive avalanches ever caught on film.

Tina Maze Wins First Ladies Downhill of the Season in Lake Louise

Slovenia's Tina Maze, who was fastest in the second training run and skipped the third and final training, carried her pace into the first downhill race of the week. Maze posted a winning time of 1:50.98 to edge out Anna Fenninger at the top of the timesheets. The Austrian was 0.45 seconds off the pace, while Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather rounded out the podium, 0.51 seconds out.
Conditions were not as clear and sunny as for the training days. The 58 racers skied in very light snowfalls which wasn't a disturbing factor.
Downhill Olympic champion Tina Maze picked up her 4th career downhill World Cup victory. It is her best result in Lake Louise.
"I think the course is great", commented Maze. "I figured out how to ski already in the first two days, that's why I didn't take part in the final training run. I was pretty much nervous today about how it would go, but it went ok so it's perfect (...) The approach is the most important thing when you come from slalom to downhill. It is really hard to find this patience that you need in downhill, so that was the hardest part (...) I feel great, great, great. I am very excited about my skiing now and will try to enjoy the season".
Today's result was also the personal best for Anna Fenninger in downhill at Lake Louise.
"I am pretty happy, because I didn't really know what I could be able to achieve this year, because of the straighter course set", said the 25-year-old. "It was difficult for me to get speed in the first two trainings runs, but it worked today (...) I have confidence now and I will try to make a step further to the top tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have another good day".
Tina Weirather landed her 4th podium here in Lake Louise and seems to be back at her best level after the injury she picked up in Sochi.
"I am of course happy and excited about this third place", she said to reporters. "Every year it is a little different here. It is a quite flat hill, so you really have to be clean, avoid to make mistakes, be perfectly on the line and push hard but not too much. So it is a tough one. It a lot of about watching videos and improving from day to day".

Kjetil Jansrud Wins His Third Race In A Row At Beaver Creek

Kjetil Jansrud’s domination in this year’s speed events continues as after winning back to back the Lake Louise races, the Norwegian found the perfect line on the Birds of Prey and claimed the top step on the podium for the third time in a row. He crossed the finish line 0.054 seconds ahead of Beat Feuz and 0.56 ahead of Steven Nyman.
"There is not much more to tell than that Norway won four out of the five races held so far but it’s hard for me to analyze this. All I know is that for me winning three in a row is a fantastic feeling but it feels weird at the same time too",  Jansrud tried to explain his and his teammate’s success.
"It’s weird because I know there are really strong guys around me, there is lots of talent in the start gate so winning today with half a second is a bit unreal. Downhill can be quite stressful when you are out of shape, but for me these days it feels like I am so in control of what. It almost feels as if I’m slow as I am ahead of things. This downhill is really fun, there are big jumps and lots of speed and today instead of being worried about approaching the Golden Eagle I was looking forward to it and it’s a great feeling", Jansrud said.
Beat Feuz is slowly making his comeback from a nearly career ending knee injury and infection and after almost breaking back into the top 5 in Lake Louise last week he stepped up his game today and earned a podium finish, his first since a 2nd place in the Schladming downhill in 2012.
"Skiing well in Lake Louise was important for me and I came here with a lot of confidence. I did not push too much in the training runs and finished over 1.5 seconds behind but today I held nothing back and I am really happy it paid off (...) The Birds of Prey is a great downhill for me, I was 2nd here already behind Bode Miller three years ago and I am excited I’ll be back here in two months for the World Championships", he continued.
Beaver Creek has been good to Steven Nyman in both 2006 and 2007 he experienced the thrill of a podium in his home country. But in recent years the American has struggled to find the right setup on the Birds of Prey and often finished outside the top 20.
"Its huge to be back on the podium today, it’s a huge confidence builder. Already last year I knew I was fit and strong but somehow I didn’t feel as if I was fully aligned. So, after last season I worked on my setup and finding what works best from my boots to my bindings and up, and now I finally feel really confortable on skis again. I feel like I can finally move forward and believe in myself more. This morning I was not really confident, I was very nervous but I knew I had a nice clean course with n.6 and I had to use this to my advantage", Nyman said.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Continues in Beaver Creek and Lake Louise

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

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

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

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

Located in Colorado, USA, Beaver Creek is owned and operated by Vail Resorts Management Company, one of the leading resort operators in North America. With abundant natural snow (average snowfall 790 cm), backed up by a modern snowmaking system (36 % of the marked runs), Beaver Creek guarantees skiing from early November to mid April. 148 trails (19% Beginner, 43% Intermediate, 38% Advanced) and a vertical drop of 1,233 metres. Reminiscent of a secluded European alpine village, Beaver Creek combines the luxury and refinement of a five-star resort with a relaxed, family atmosphere.
Since it debuted in December 1997, the "Birds of Prey" men's downhill course here has been acclaimed as one of the most technically demanding tracks in the world.
Designed by Olympic Downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, Birds of Prey starts west of the top of Chair #8 and finishes at the bottom of Red Tail at the confluence of Chairs #10 and #11. The course features a vertical drop of 710 meters and contains an average gradient of 27 percent, increasing to 45 percent in the middle of the course and again in the final third of the course.


The 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are scheduled from February 2-15. The event is expected to showcase athletes from over 70 nations, along with an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,500 members. An international television audience approaching 750 million people will watch the two weeks of racing and festivities.
Ladies' and Men's Downhill Events will take place on February 6th and 7th, 2015 in Beaver Creek.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Snowman. Official Trailer

Directed by Mike Douglas
Editor: Mike Douglas & Anthony Bonello
VFX & Motion Design Supervisor: Blair Richmond
Release date: December 7, 2014. Whistler Film Festival

From childhood, Kevin Fogolin dreamed of living and working in the mountains. After breaking the shackles of small-town expectations, the dream comes crashing down in a helicopter avalanche bombing mission gone horribly wrong. In the aftermath, Kevin and his childhood friend and freeskiing icon, Mike Douglas, are forced to confront the risks and rewards of following their passion for the mountains. Set in British Columbia's rugged Coast Range mountains, SNOWMAN is a familiar tale of dreaming big and a lifestyle where the greatest risk is not daring to dream at all.

Kevin Fogolin has been an avalanche consultant in British Columbia, Canada for over 15 years. Every season, he drops up to 100 charges (or bombs) out of helicopters to set off avalanches in zones that need clearing to reduce the hazard.On 25 March 2009, Kevin was working for a construction company that was building a hydro-electric facility in the Toba Inlet, a fjord 130 miles north of Whistler, British Columbia.
He was set to drop his 200th bomb when disaster struck…

Streif - One Hell of a Ride

Directed by Gerald Salmina
Script: Gerald Salmina, Tom Dauer
Filming: Günther Göberl & Gerald Salmina
Produced by Planet Watch Film & Video Productions GmbH
Release date: December 25, 2014

For 75 years, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and unspeakable tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends. Nowhere else is skiing celebrated so intensely. The city, the nation, and the entire winter sports world go crazy for the battles that play out on the slopes, and the race down the Streif is the most anticipated event of all - the Superbowl of skiing.This thrilling feature documentary follows four athletes on their 12-month journey leading up to the most important ride of their carreer. Facing an adrenaline high and total loss of control. It gives rare insights into the minds of the athletes and their struggle between risk and reward.

The Hahnenkamm-Race is one of the highlights of the annual ski-racing calendar. Over 40 TV stations cover the race and it is a priceless event that captivates even those who do not usually follow ski racing. Only the best win on the hardest Downhill in the world. The names of past winners read like a who’s who of ski racing, from Killy, Sailer, Schranz and Collombin, to Klammer, Read, Zurbriggen, Heinzer, Aamodt, Strobl, Maier, Eberharter, Walchhofer, Rahlves and Cuche.

From the breathtaking start at 1665 metres (5465 feet) above sea level, racers plunge down the slope’s vertical drop of 860 m (2822 ft) at speeds up to 150 km/h (93mph), covering the 3312 metres (10,866 feet) of the course in less than two minutes before dramatically crossing the finish line in the spectator-packed finish area. Yet the Hahnenkamm-Races are more than simple statistics, and behind these numbers lies the greatest ski spectacle in the world. The Downhill on Kitzbühel’s almost impossibly difficult slope, the Streif, leaves one continually searching for superlatives that could adequately portray it. The simplest way to describe this drop down the most fearsome slope on the World Cup tour is simply: "The Race". What Wimbledon is for Tennis and Monaco is for Formula 1, "Kitz" is for ski racing.

In one of the most exciting races we have witnessed last season, Austrian Hannes Reichelt took home his first victory on the Streif. The hosting nation has been waiting since 2006 to see a local on top of the podium as, the last Austrian to win this race was Michael Walchhofer eight years ago.
"It was a great race, it’s special for an Austrian to win Kitzbühel", a very happy Reichelt said. "It’s one of the dreams you have as a young skiracer. But the pressure on me was not too high, I had a great season so far but no victory and I was focused on my skiing. Finding the perfect line and doing what I have done in the past races, avoiding any mistakes especially before the flat section was my plan today. I think I had a perfect run in the end and it paid off", he continued.

Nicole Hosp Tops Slalom Podium in Aspen

Austria's Nicole Hosp clocked the best time of the second run to finally top the podium, seven years after her last World Cup victory. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter finished 2nd, 0.19 seconds off the pace, while Kathrin Zettel took 3rd to complete an incredibly successful weekend for the Austrian team.
Nicole Hosp showcased all her talent and experience to tame that tricky second run.
"The second run was really difficult. I had to fight so much and I feel so tired", she admitted right after crossing the finish line.
The 31-year-old has already won a slalom race here in Aspen, but that was in 2007. She won the overall World Cup tittle that year. 2008 saw her last World Cup victory in Maribor.
"I have been through some hard times with injuries", she said. "It started getting better again when I decided to stop racing GS three years ago (...) This year I felt really good over the summer. I've been healthy. The material plays along as well. We have gone one step forward with it, I am really glad it is working so well".
"I know that when I manage to ski like in trainings and push a bit more in a race I can set myself the target of a top 5 or maybe a top 3, but a victory wasn't something I thought was possible today. I am just really happy right now", she concluded.
With back-to-back 2nd place in slalom, Frida Hansdotter claimed her 12th career World Cup podium and can bring home the slalom red bib.
"It's a tough hill but it's a lot of fun as well", said the Swede. "I really enjoy these conditions and of course I am really happy about the second place today (...). To let the skis go especially in the lower and flat section of the course was key, because the snow is really aggressive".
Earning 3 podiums and a fourth place in the season opener in Sölden, Katherine Zettel has had an amazing start to the season.
"I wasn't happy with the way last year went and about the health issues I had to deal with", she admitted. "This year I am so motivated. I want to prove myself that I can do it again".
"It was so tough today that I didn't have any good feeling from the top to the finish", she added. "I didn't think it was enough for a podium, reason why I am so pleased".