Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year", Ralph Waldo Emerson

Una foto publicada por Saas-Fee Saastal Switzerland (@isaasfee) el

GoPro Awards: Aymar Navarro's Ski Line at Cerro Torrecillas

Aymar Navarro's line was awarded Video of the Day last December 20th.
Official GoPro Award Recipient Aymar Navarro makes a sketchy line down look smooth and easy.
Click here for to learn more about the GoPro Awards.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Frida Hansdotter Tops Slalom Podium in Lienz

The last World Cup Slalom race in 2015 saw Frida Hansdotter winning by a mere 0.07 seconds margin. In the lead after the first run, she finished in a combined time of 1:47.02 seconds to edge out her rivals.
Swiss Wendy Holdener finished in second place.
Slovakia's Petra Vlhova emerge again for the second time in the season and was the fastest in the second run finishing in third place 0.43 seconds out.
Frida Hansdotter was the only woman who finished on the podium in all three first slalom races but was still chasing her first win of the season, her career third.
"It was a very tight race and I knew it when getting into the start, I really had to go for it at every single gate", said Hansdotter. "It feels very good to be on top of the podium (...) I started well but struggled a little bit in the end in the steep part. It was an amazing feeling when I saw the green light after crossing the finish line".
Second after the first run, Wendy Holdener held her nerve and raced to her third career World Cup podium.
"It feels great like the first one", Holdener said. "It’s awesome to be back. I had some problems at the start of the season, but I have always some problems at the start. So yeah, it’s nice to be back. And now some slalom races are coming, so let’s go!".
"I gave my best", she added. "I was in the start and I knew Michaela was out, so yeah, I thought let’s go – full gas and you want to go on the top, and I was really happy that I did it".
After claiming her first World Cup victory in Are (SWE), 20-year-old Petra Vlhova confirmed her scintillating form and was the fastest of the second run to claim another top-three finish.
"It was amazing", confessed Vlhova. "My second podium, so I’m very happy because I think I was really fast in second run".

Adrien Theaux Wins World Cup Downhill at Santa Caterina

The Downhill in Santa Caterina proved as exciting as expected with Adrien Theaux skiing an excellent race clocking the fastest time.
In second place, Austrian Hannes Reichelt laid down possibly his best run of the season and crossed the finish line 1.04 seconds behind Theaux while French David Poisson rounded out the podium, finishing 1.15 seconds behind.
The 4th downhill of the season was a tough one. Many athletes struggled with the bumps of the Deborah Compagnoni slope of Santa Caterina and were exhausted as they crossed the finish line. The athlete setting the pace on this course was indubitably Adrien Théaux.
"I am very happy about my race today", said Théaux. "It's a fight everywhere on the race, when you cross the line, you don't know your time, it's impossible to know if you are fast or not. I am happy because I tried to push a lot on the top and, yeah, it was good. It was perfect".
Austria’s Hannes Reichelt claimed the second position in this downhill, after showing strong performances on the two training days. However, like in the past days, the feeling is not really good on this rutty slope.
"Today, the feeling was not so good. I had some parts where I'm really lucky that I'm standing here and didn't have a crash. It was really a tough race today", said Reichelt. "I'm happy about the second place because Adrien made a really good job today, so I couldn't reach first place today. That was the best skiing I had today".
In third, David Poisson surprised everyone. After a medal at the World Championships in Schladming, the Frenchman had a hard time to confirm on the World Cup Tour. Today was his first World Cup podium, with the closest previous result a fourth in the Kitzbuehel downhill in 2013.
"Since the beginning of the weekend the feeling is not really good because the slope is really, really difficult, really tough", a satisfied Poisson said in the finish. "I’m quite happy with the way I skied because I needed a big run since the beginning of the season. I take a lot of pleasure from the ski, but I always made some mistakes so it’s not so good for the confidence. Today I said, ‘OK, normally the conditions are good for you so just go, just try, forget your brain.’ I’m quite happy because the run went not so bad with the conditions. It’s really tough, you can’t really say you enjoy it, but I know when it’s like that I’ve got a chance".

Monday, December 28, 2015

Lara Gut Wins World Cup Giant Slalom in Lienz

Second after a very tight opening run, Swiss ace Lara Gut gave it all out in the second run to claim her 16th career World Cup win in perfect snow and weather conditions. She posted a combined time of 2:06.00 to edge Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein by 0.12 seconds, while Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany came third, 0.30 seconds off the pace.
With a fourth victory this campaign, Gut increased her lead at the top of the overall table as Lindsey Vonn skied out in the first run. Gut now has 658 points and Vonn stays in second, 158 points behind.
"It's too early to think about the overall yet", Gut said. "After Lake Louise I was far behind Lindsey. It can changed so quickly. Now I just want to stay focused on my skiing, to work every day hard to be fast and do what I can".
Tina Weirather started the season in style with a third place in Sölden and struggled to keep that fine form afterwards. She demonstrated she was on an upward trend again last week in Val d'Isère and Courchevel.
"I am really happy to be on the podium again", Weirather said. "But I also think that it is kind of a pity because I think it would have been possible to win. Lara is in a really good shape and hard to beat at the moment (...) Overall it's good for me to get confidence and feel I'm getting better".
Olympic Champion Viktoria Rebensburg also seemed to have found that extra gear recently. Fourth in Couchevel giant slalom last week, she raced to her first podium finish of the season in Lienz.
"It was tough conditions, especially in the second run with the flat light, so I am pretty happy to be back on the podium, considering I was also struggling with a sore back between the runs", Rebensburg commented.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lillehammer 2016 Aims To ‘Go Beyond and Create Tomorrow’

The fairy tale scenery of Norway’s Oppland region will provide the backdrop for fantastic feats on the snow and ice at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016.
The iconic competition venues that took centre stage at the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994, such as Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Lysgårdsbakken Ski Jumping Arena, Hafjell ski resort, the Viking ship-shaped Hamar Olympic Hall and Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall will all be put into service again, providing the stage for the usual array of winter sports as well as new, less familiar disciplines. Featured among the latter are the monobob (a single-seater bobsleigh event), the Nordic mixed team event (a combination of cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined) and the team ski-snowboard cross, a mixed-team event for both skiers and snowboarders.
The winter and summer editions of the Youth Olympic Games serve as a veritable testing ground for new events, some of which have in the past been promoted to the Olympic Games.
The Youth Olympic Games are a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education.
Young athletes will participate in high-level competitions and alongside the sports element of the event, will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Non-athletes (young ambassadors, young reporters etc.) will also participate with young athletes in CEP activities, as well as local youth.
It was during its Session in Guatemala City in July 2007 that the IOC decided to create a new sporting event to educate, engage and influence young athletes inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, founded on the idea of the President Jacques Rogge of the IOC.Steeped in sporting history, Lillehammer is no stranger to the Olympic Movement, having hosted, in 1994, an unforgettable Olympic Winter Games.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, to be held between from 12 to 21 February 2016, will bring together more than one thousand athletes between 14 and 18 years of age from approximately 80 National Olympic Committees to compete in Bobsleigh, Luge, Ski jumping, Alpine skiing, Nordic Combined, Cross Country, Biathlon, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice hockey, Speed Skating, Shorttrack skating, Snowboard, and Freestyle (Skicross / Halfpipe).

The inaugural Winter YOG took place in Innsbruck (AUT) in February 2012. The goals of the YOG, which provide a taste of the Olympic Games experience, include educating young athletes on the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect, and encouraging them to take pleasure in their sports, look up to role models and respect fair play. This is all part of a programme called "Learn & Share".

Friday, December 25, 2015

Statement from Dainese regarding Matthias Mayer's crash in Val Gardena

After Matthias Mayer’s fall occurred in Gröden during the Ski Downhill race on Saslong course, a group of experts met at ȌSV headquarters to deeply analyze the crash event.
The meeting was attended by medical staff - Dr. Christian Haid, Professor at the Innsbruck Orthopedics University Clinic, Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory and Dr. Michael Gabl, Medical Director of the Spine Centre of Sanatorium Kettenbruecke based in Innsbruck - ȌSV representatives and Dainese technicians.
Telemetry provided by Dainese was related to images and assessments of Dr. Christian Haid and Dr. Michael Gabl, the neurosurgeon that took care of and operated on Matthias Mayer. Both the dynamics of the fall and the system worn by Mayer were carefully analyzed together with Dainese’s technicians, examining the data collected by D-air® Ski’s accelerometers and gyroscopes, and the circumstances and consequences of the accident.
Experts firmly state that Mayer’s injuries are the outcome of the several forces’ combination (compression, rotation and bending), taking into consideration that the fall took place at extremely high speed. The back protector were fully intact.
Dr. Gabl confirmed that "the D-air® Ski has most probably prevented the athlete to report further thoracic injuries".
Dainese presented the data collected during the fall, pointing out that the collision with the ground took place at a speed of 109 km/h , generating accelerations up to 13G and consequent multiple hard impacts on the slope.
Günther Hujara, FIS Technical Expert who firstly assisted the athlete after the crash, stated: "A very serious investigation of the crash of Matthias Mayer was undertaken by the Austrian Ski Association and Dainese with the University of Innsbruck. The Medical Expertise and the Biomechanical Expertise have also shown that the D-air® Ski worked properly and that no parts of the D-air® Ski", specifically the back protector, could cause those injuries. Hujara also added that as in the past, FIS will continue to support the future development of the D-air® system to improve safety of the athletes".
After intensive discussion in between the experts, ȌSV concluded that today there is no reason to limit the use of the D-air® Ski for their athletes of speed disciplines and agreed with Dainese to further foster the technical development of this innovative protective system.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnnachten! Joyeux Noël! Buon Natale!

Una foto publicada por Ski Paradise Raúl Revuelta (@skiparadise) el

“Last Christmas” by Wham

More than 30 years ago Wham! filmed the video for their much-loved hit "Last Christmas" in Saas-Fee. 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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Statement from Infront Sports & Media regarding the drone accident in Madona di Campiglio

During the slalom race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Madonna di Campiglio (Italy) in the evening of 22 December 2015, an unmanned drone DFC-COPTER XR1 carrying a broadcast camera crashed into the snow during the second run of Austrian ski racer Marcel Hirscher.
"We narrowly avoided a catastrophe", said FIS Race Director Markus Waldner. "We agreed with (broadcasters) that drones could not fly over the racecourse but only in a corridor next to the slope, but it flew more and more into the slope".
The drone had been used to provide aerial shots of the slalom race, and was part of the host broadcast operation of Infront Sports & Media. The drone and the drone pilot have been provided by a third party service to Infront Sports & Media.
Though laws prohibit such an act in Austria, Switzerland, and many other countries, drones are authorized to fly over a crowd during events in Italy.
The initial technical report indicates a malfunction of the drone. According to the drone operating company, the most likely reason is a strong and unforeseen interference on the operating frequency, leading to limited operability. Detecting this, the pilot followed the official security procedure, purposely flying the drone as close as possible to the ground before releasing it. The aim was to destroy the drone, in order to prevent it from losing control.
We very much regret that this happened and especially that it was in close proximity to an athlete in this case, Marcel Hirscher. We are extremely relieved that no one was hurt and apologise once again to Marcel Hirscher, as well as to the FIS, the Austrian and Italian Ski Federations and the Local Organising Committee.
Infront has decided to mandate an external independent expert with a formal investigation of the matter.
For the time being, FIS and Infront have decided to refrain from using drones for broadcast purposes until a fully secured operation can be ensured.
Broadcast partner Infront Sports and Media added: "Infront apologizes to Marcel Hirscher and to FIS for the unfortunate incident with the drone. Detailed technical analyses will be conducted and more information will be given as soon as possible".

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins in Madonna di Campiglio

Madonna di Campiglio hosted the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup night slalom of the season tonight. Despite the lack of snow in Europe, the organisers have put together a hard and grippy race slope. Henrik Kristoffersen wins today in Madonna di Campiglio by an impressive 1.25 seconds over Marcel Hirscher. Rounding out the podium in third, 1.59 seconds back, was Austrian Marco Schwarz.
With Kristoffersen’s win today, the Attacking Vikings – including Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud as well – have combined to give Norway victories in eight of the 12 men’s World Cup races contested so far this season.
Warm temperatures in the Dolomites and all of Central Europe have prevented many of the slopes from being prepared to their normal sheet of ice surface. Both of today’s runs saw the course break down with the warmer temperatures providing rougher conditions for later runners.
"It was so bumpy. It was breaking through a little bit on the steep part", Kristoffersen explained. "I had a few close calls, just like in Val d’Isere, but that’s the way it is in alpine skiing, I’d rather be on the limit. Now, I’m skiing so good that I can stay on my skis being on the limit and it’s perfect".
Hirscher, who made an uncharacteristic first round exit in the parallel, admitted that Kristoffersen is in a league of his own in slalom at the moment, and may soon challenge him for dominance in GS.
"Yes, I’m impressed with his skiing, but I’m not surprised that he is dominating at the moment in slalom, we have seen that already in Val d’Isere", he said. "There is no way at the moment if he is making no mistakes to beat him. He is the man to beat at the moment, definitely in slalom, and maybe in two months as well in GS".
For Schwarz who started with bib 33, it has been a steep learning curve so far on the World Cup. His first top-30 results came in Val d’Isere only 10 days ago where he finished 18th in the slalom and 19th in the GS. Still a junior, Schwarz could be the next great Austrian slalom star.
"Unbelievable. My second run was really good, no mistakes and third place, cool thing", an excited Schwarz told reporters. "In Val d’Isere, I made my first World Cup points with 18th place, and now I am on the podium. It’s so cool, it was a great race".

Engrained: Verbier, Part 2

Verbier, a small classic ski town surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps, is recognized as the capitol of freeriding in Europe with endless peaks and off-piste skiing. Last winter the Giro ski team experienced all aspects of Verbier from the drama and focus of competing in the Freeride World Tour to the sheer fun of blasting through natural powder terrain.
Drew Tabke, George Rodney and Reine Barkered, three of the top five ranked competitors on the Freeride World Tour, share an inside look at what it takes to compete at the Verbier final stop. Experience the planning and focus our riders put into the weeklong event leading up to one final focused run on Bec de Rosses peak. Despite the preparation and the drama, it's worth it for these riders - this need for progressions and overcoming fear is engrained in them just like their love for skiing and winter adventure.
With the event in the rear view mirror, Callum Pettit and Ingrid Backstrom join the crew to answer the mountain's call to explore the vast terrain surrounding Verbier. They score blower powder in the trees, find natural road gaps, blast wide open turns, drop cliffs, and ski high-alpine lines. The crew is reminded that at its heart this trip ecompasses what freesking is all about - personal progression balanced by good times with friends in epic natural terrain.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Kjetil Jansrud Wins Parallel Giant Slalom On The Gran Risa

Today, the legendary Gran Risa slope was spectacularly illuminated for a new and further innovative Ski World Cup competition: the parallel giant slalom competition, which is now an official discipline of the FIS,
The 16 athletes from the WCSL of the giant slalom, the best 4 athletes of the WCSL-Overall and the best 12 athletes of the first run of Sunday 20th December were in a challenging race
The first of it’s kind on the World Cup, today’s PGS was full of surprises, with many pre-race favorites making early exits and a dark horse or two providing thrilling action in the new format.
Norwegians Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal had spent the last hour methodically picking off opponent after opponent on the modified Gran Risa slope. At the end, it was Jansrud who took his first victory of the season,
Third-place finisher Andre Myhrer of Sweden took the victory in the small final by a sizable margin over German surprise contender Dominik Schwaiger, whose best World Cup result before the night was 19th in the previous day’s GS. This result marks Myhrer’s first trip to the podium since his runner-up finish in the 2014 Adelboden slalom.
Surprisingly, many of the World Cup’s top GS skiers looked uncharacteristically sluggish on the relatively flat course, perhaps flustered by having a racer next to them or by two sizable mid-course jumps that quite literally threw almost every racer off line at one point in the night.
Marcel Hirscher, Ted Ligety, Felix Neureuther, and Henrik Kristoffersen were all knocked out in the first round. In fact, six of the top-seven finishers were seeded outside of the top-15, perhaps indicating that success in traditional GS is not indicative of success in the parallel format.
The entire event took under 90 minutes to complete, providing intense, spectator-friendly action in a reasonable amount of time compared to a traditional day-long ski race.
To make the Gran Risa slope suitable for the competition at night, works for 1.2 million euro in total have been done. The project has involved the establishment of 14 new light poles, each one 24 metres high, on the last 330 metres of the slope in order to meet the high standards of the FIS whilst minimizing the impact on the environment.
"We are particularly happy that this new race of international importance will be held this year. In 2015 we are also celebrating the 30th edition of the Ski World Cup in Alta Badia: this event has ensured enormous prestige to our entire valley, making it a household name and a popular ski resort in the world. This new competition is a further opportunity for us to show to the world the beauty and the diversity of our region", said Marcello Varallo, the President of the Ski World Cup Organizing Committee Alta Badia.
"Finally everything is arranged, thanks to the effort of everyone involved", said Sergio Tiezza, Manager and Director of the project. "In addition, we have completed an overall testing as well as a testing of the LED headlights, which have been positioned for emergencies in case of the absence of energy supply. All requirements for a perfect race are met".
For those curious as to how the FIS was able to make a fair race in a one run knockout format, Men’s World Cup Chief Race Director Markus Waldner provided details before the event.
"We measured everything with laser, especially the course setting and the basic course preparation", Waldner explained. "The slope has been prepared with a GPS-equipped snowcat, so that the snow and the shape of the terrain become very similar, and even equal. The course setting is also done by GPS and we manage to get really close. The difference between both courses is less than 1–2 centimeters".

Engrained: Verbier, Part 1

Verbier, a small classic ski town surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps, is recognized as the capitol of freeriding in Europe with endless peaks and off-piste skiing. Last winter the Giro ski team experienced all aspects of Verbier from the drama and focus of competing in the Freeride World Tour to the sheer fun of blasting through natural powder terrain.
Drew Tabke, George Rodney and Reine Barkered, three of the top five ranked competitors on the Freeride World Tour, share an inside look at what it takes to compete at the Verbier final stop. Experience the planning and focus our riders put into the weeklong event leading up to one final focused run on Bec de Rosses peak. Despite the preparation and the drama, it's worth it for these riders - this need for progressions and overcoming fear is engrained in them just like their love for skiing and winter adventure.
With the event in the rear view mirror, Callum Pettit and Ingrid Backstrom join the crew to answer the mountain's call to explore the vast terrain surrounding Verbier. They score blower powder in the trees, find natural road gaps, blast wide open turns, drop cliffs, and ski high-alpine lines. The crew is reminded that at its heart this trip ecompasses what freesking is all about - personal progression balanced by good times with friends in epic natural terrain.

Ski Resorts & Social Media: Whistler's Snapshot Series

Consumers demand authentic and relevant information that will not only entice but enhance their overall vacation experience. Snow and weather reports, webcams and resort maps with live information are basic tools to keep our customers informed but they are also show rooms to attract visitors to the destination.
But you, as a DMO, should go a little further and explore new ways to show the best of your destination. And snow conditions are the most appealing thing about a ski resort!
This season leading ski resorts are using YouTube to give skiers a closer look at what the latest conditions are like at the mountain.
Whistler Blackcomb is uploading new videos coming almost daily all winter long to give you a snap shot of the mountains, favourite runs, events, and must-do’s.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Eva-Maria Brem Wins Giant Slalom in Courchevel

Eva-Maria Brem gave it all out in the second run to finally secure her first World Cup victory of the season. She finished in a combined time of 2:01.72 to beat Nina Loeseth and Lara Gut. Loeseth made up time on the course and managed to tie Gut for the second place. The duo finished in 2:01:89.
After finishing in second place in the last two giant slalom World Cup races in Aspen and Åre, Brem took that momentum into today's race to clinch her second career World Cup victory.
"Every season I just need that one moment when everything gets together, that one run, like the second one in Aspen when I felt 'this is how I need to keep this working", explained Brem.
"I knew what I had to do, but waiting at the start was tough,” Brem further commented. “That second victory was beautiful too and that made me cry".
Nina Loeseth skied to her career-best result and admitted she was surprised that it happened in giant slalom as her only two other podiums came in slalom.
"I am very happy today", said Loeseth. "It's very inspiring for me and my team-mates to see the (Norway's) men's team perform so well and how they are skiing, pushing so hard every race. So I just try to do the same".
Fired-up by her two consecutive wins in Val d'Isère, Lara Gut concluded her weekend in style as she raced to her second podium in giant slalom this season.
"It's been a great weekend for me", Gut said. "I feel good in GS this year, even though it was a bit complicated in Åre. When I won in Aspen, my confidence was boosted. I knew I could be fast in GS again".
"Today I managed to forget about what I did yesterday and just focus on today's race", she continued. "It was the first time since a while that I could start in the top seven and I just had to give it all out. In the first run, I skied well on top and bottom but drifted a bit too much in the middle section. In the second, I tried to be clean all the way and then realised it is feasible to get 80 points even if you're tired".
Lara Gut now sits atop the overall rankings with 558 points, 58 ahead of USA's Lindsey Vonn who came in 13th position on the day, 1.63 seconds adrift.

Marcel Hirscher Wins His Third Giant Slalom of the Season at Alta Badia

It was a disputed finish in the men’s Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Giant Slalom race in Alta Badia (ITA), but in the end it was a familiar name topping the field as Austrian Marcel Hirscher took his third straight Giant Slalom victory.
Finishing in second place was Henrik Kristoffersen (+0.19). Rounding out the podium in third, 0.86 seconds back, was French Victor Muffat-Jeandet in his third podium of the season.According to Hirscher, things might have turned out differently if it weren’t for a last minute bit of information from his staff.
"That was a pretty lucky moment that my physio told me at the start before the second run that Henrik had an incredibly good run, so I exactly knew that now is the time to try your total 100 percent", Hirscher explained. "I think I’ve done it pretty good, so I’m super happy with the first place".
The snow in Alta Badia was uncharacteristically soft in comparison to the vertical ice rink of previous years, with the later starters in both runs having to contest with the course deterioration in the flat light of the shaded trail.
"The snow was softer than what we are used to skiing on at Alta Badia. The last couple of years that I have raced here it was always super, super slick and icy and today it was perfect grippy", Hirscher said. "That is for sure not easy for my kind of skiing and technique. In general, I felt OK, but that is not what I’m looking for in Alta Badia. But in the end, I won, so no questions anymore. It doesn’t matter. I am super happy".
For Kristoffersen, this result marks the first time in the 30 year history of World Cup racing at Alta Badia that a Norwegian has made it to the podium.
"I’m really proud. It was a close battle with Marcel. I’m getting closer and closer, but still he has a little edge on me", Kristoffersen said in the finish. "Today I am really satisfied. I skied really good, especially the middle part in the second run was really good skiing. I pushed really hard. I’ve done something that no other Norwegian has done before and there have been many amazing skiers from Norway skiing here, so I’m pretty proud of myself for that".
After hearing that Hirscher said the Norwegian forced him to ski at another level, Kristoffersen expressed deep admiration for one of the best technical talents the sport has ever seen.
"I hope I pushed him to his limit, for sure. That’s what I’m aiming for and one day, hopefully beat him. Hopefully this season, we’ll see", he said. "It’s so hard to beat him, he’s such an unbelievable athlete. For me, he’s the best skier I’ve ever skied against for sure, without a doubt both in GS and in slalom. He’s one of the biggest all time in the sport. It’s pretty amazing to compete with him and getting closer and closer is a pretty good feeling".
It was a day of firsts for Muffat-Jeandet who not only wore bib one for the first time in his World Cup career, but also held the lead after first run en route to his third straight podium appearance in GS.
"I’ve always been consistent in my career, so it’s good because it’s on a better level. I’m really happy with the first run, it was not so easy to start first, it was my first time in World Cup", the Frenchman explained. "It was also a new thing for me to start last in the second run to close the gate. It’s OK, I think you have to learn it. I was in a good mind, but maybe I was a little bit too aggressive. Today it was not so icy. It’s a little bit aggressive snow and sometimes I was doing some mistakes but I’m happy because I could lose much worse. Third place is OK. Marcel was really fast and Henrik too. I need still a little bit of work to go good in two runs and then it will be OK".

A Skier Knows: Åre Spring Shred

There is a feeling that is shared with skiers all over the world. It’s nothing you can teach, learn or explain. It’s something you feel. Something you know. It stops you from sleeping during a snowstorm - knowing that fresh powder awaits you. It gives you the urge to continue hiking up the mountain when everyone else is stopping at the top of the ski lift. It hits you when looking back at your line at the bottom of a run, wanting to go back up and do it again. It’s a different way of looking at the world and something only.
All good things come to an end. In the fifth and final episode of A Skier Knows, we're back in Åre where our brand was born. It's the last days of snow. A bunch of friends have gathered to make the best out of it. Watch them shred pow like there's no tomorrow, creating awesome skiing opportunities where no one else would.
"We had lots of fun and a great feeling while we were doing this movie. It wasn't the best weather, it was just a bunch of best friends getting back to the reason of why we actually ski.", Ski Team
"Some say that winter begins when the first snow falls. For me winter stars much earlier. As soon as I put away my skis for the season I start longing to put them on again", William Larsson.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

5th Victory of the Season for Aksel Lund Svindal

Aksel Lund Svindal wins the Val Gardena Downhill in his fifth victory this season with a winning time of 1:54.80 seconds marking a perfect record in the discipline through the first three races. Following Svindal in second and third, respectively, were Guillermo Fayed (+0.43) and Kjetil Jansrud (+0.46).
Svindal held a steady lead from interval to interval, never looking out of control or out of his comfort zone.
"Incredible start, of course", Svindal said. "Lake Louise was unbelievable and Beaver Creek, the super G was a funny race but the downhill was amazing. Now we move to Italy and it continues, it’s been unbelievable. You know you’re fast and you hope you’re also fast compared to everyone else, but there’s a difference between being fast and being able to win when it really matters".
If there’s one thing Svindal seems to have figured out this season, it’s winning when it really matters.
"I like Italy, this is a place that has always been good to me. I feel like I have good support, too. The crowd is very Norwegian-friendly, so it’s a good place to race", he added.
Frenchman Guillermo Fayed spoiled the Norwegian party on the top of the podium as he split the Attacking Vikings by slotting into second place from bib 22.
Commenting on the winner’s form, Fayed indicated that there’s something Svindal is doing that everyone else just can’t match.
"This year, it’s very difficult to try and beat him", Fayed explained. "Second here, it’s perfect for me. We don’t know, we try to see on the video and make the same, but it’s not the same. He has the talent and he is a great champion".
Jansrud may have been caught a little off guard with he increased speed from the training runs, but nevertheless was happy with yet another podium appearance alongside his teammate.
"The run was good. It was a busy run, it was very fast. It was fast here in the training", he explained. "Even though we saw it on the TV for the first guys, I think everybody was a little surprised that it was that much bigger jumps and that much higher speed. I did a few mistakes, same as a lot of other people, but I’m happy to be on the podium. Now, on the podium both days here this weekend is where I want to be. I think I can still take a few more steps, but I’m happy so far and hopefully we’ll see an even faster me coming towards the end".

15th World Cup Victory for Lara Gut

The 15th World Cup win for the 24-year-old all-rounder was her third in Val d’Isère after her Alpine Combined victory yesterday. Following Gut in second place was Fabienne Suter only 0.16 seconds behind. In third place was Canadian Larisa Yurkiw.
Fired up by her victory in Friday’s alpine combined, the Swiss ski star tackled Saturday’s downhill with high ambitions. While favourite Lindsey Vonn failed to complete the course, Gut skied at her very best, beating compatriot Fabienne Suter by 0.16 seconds.
"This is my third win in Val d’Isere and it’s not by chance. This race is a bit of fresh air for me. I feel good here", she said at the finish.
Gut won the Val d'Isère downhill in December 2012, her first downhill World Cup victory.
Thanks to her 15th World Cup victory, Gut (478) is now only two points behind Vonn (480) in the FIS World cup overall standings. "My double here is great but it’s not going to change my life. I must take each day as it comes and keep working. It’s still a long season", she insisted.
The last event in the 60th Criterium de la Premiere Neige was a good one for Swiss skiing. In second place, Suter confirmed her current downhill form after her runner-up spot two weeks ago in Lake Louise.
"I was extremely nervous at the start and I’m really happy about this result. Now I must stay consistent", Suter said.
Canada’s Larisa Yurkiw took third place for the second podium in her career.
"I made a few mistakes but it was good enough. I’m especially happy to make a podium in such a classic stage of the circuit. The ski conditions were exceptional", Yurkiw commented.

A Skier Knows: Entering A Skiers Mind

There is a feeling  that is shared with skiers all over the world. It’s nothing you can teach, learn or explain. It’s something you feel. Something you know. It stops you from sleeping during a snowstorm - knowing that fresh powder awaits you. It gives you the urge to continue hiking up the mountain when everyone else is stopping at the top of the ski lift. It hits you when looking back at your line at the bottom of a run, wanting to go back up and do it again. It’s a different way of looking at the world and something only A Skier Knows.
The ski series A Skier Knows portraits the life of professional riders. In this new edit, we enter the profound mind of Matilda Rapaport. She’s a powder junkie with a passion for big mountains and new challenges. Challenges that question your every choice. Is this the perfect line? What dangers lie ahead? The unpredictable nature of backcountry skiing can turn a great day into a mind-changing experience.
"Skiing in Alaska is very special to me. I’ve had my most memorable moments as a skier in those steep and wild mountains - both the most euphoric and horrifying ones. I wanted the edit to have a very honest and personal approach and share those special moments and what skiing there means to me", Matilda Rapaport.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Aksel Lund Svindal Tops a Norwegians Sweep Super G

Aksel Lund Svindal wins the Val Gardena super G for the fourth time in his career and fourth victory this season with a winning time of 1:28.12 seconds. Following Svindal in second and third, respectively, were two of his countrymen, Kjetil Jansrud and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, marking the third ever Norwegian World Cup podium sweep and first ever in super G.
Starting with bib four, Kilde was poised for a breakout result on a course set by Norwegian team coach Franz Gamper after turing heads with impressive attack-from-the-back performances in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek. With the Golden Earring’s 1973 hit “Radar Love” blaring over the finish line speakers as he kicked out of the starting gate, Kilde wasn’t going to let an opportunity like this slip through his fingers.
Crossing the finish with a healthy lead of just under one full second, Kilde held on as skier after skier failed to match his dominant performance, especially on the top interval of the course. That is until Svindal, wearing bib 21, pushed out of the start.
In typical Svindal style, this time with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” providing the soundtrack, he made the course look effortless, crossing the line 0.44 seconds ahead of Kilde.
Immediately following Svindal was Jansrud, who, with a mistake that may have cost him the victory as Steppenwolf’s rock anthem “Born to be Wild” filled the air, crossed the line 0.34 seconds back, giving the Norwegians their first-ever super G podium trifecta.
Although getting beat out by his teammate may be a slight disappointment, for Jansrud there was plenty to smile about as this result indicates that he is back to form following some inconsistent results to start the season.
"You can never be unhappy with a second place, for sure. I’m very happy", Jansrud told reporters in the finish. "It feels sort of impossible to beat Aksel these days, but that was the position I was in last year. You get the snowball rolling and it just keeps on rolling, hats off to him. I can’t be unhappy on a day like this. With my mistake, which means I would have been very close to Aksel, I’m in the position where I want to be. There are going to be more chances for me. And for Norway, it’s the best day we’ve ever had in super G and the speed disciplines".
Kilde’s career day was made all the more sweeter by being able to share the podium with not only his countrymen, but also his mentors.
"I’ve been working hard with both of the guys through the whole training period and I feel really proud to be on the podium with them today, my first podium, and sharing it with the two best skiers in the world is amazing", Kilde said in the finish. "It’s such a perfect day. It’s a day we are never going to forget, we just have to take it with us to the next races coming up and we’ll see how it goes".
All three Norwegians were asked what the secret to their success was today, with Jansrud summing it up in simple terms, providing a valuable lesson for young ski racers everywhere.
"I think the biggest secret in sports is working hard, and that’s why it’s a secret", he explained. "There is nothing special we do, we work hard, train a lot, and try to push each other in training and take small steps to get better every day. There’s always a bit of talent in it, too. Aleksander has shown himself to be a very eager boy, always in the background trying to gain some experience and to learn from Aksel. He’s a smart kid, then it’s just a matter of time before you’re on the podium. It’s as easy as that".

Lara Gut Wins Val d’Isere Alpine Combined

Second after the Downhill, 0.38 seconds behind Vonn, Lara Gut skied an excellent slalom leg in the afternoon, clocking the 5th fastest time to move in front.
"I skied as hard as I could in the downhill knowing Lindsey would be faster", Gut said. "And then I did my best in the slalom. I crossed the line with the sensation I had done my job. And it finally was enough".
The 14th World Cup win for the 24-year-old all-rounder was her second in Val d’Isère after her downhill victory in 2012. “I adore this race. I’m especially happy to win here,” she added.
Second a hundredth of a second adrift, Vonn narrowly missed her 72nd laurels on the circuit.
"It was a very long day for me even if I love the alpine combined", Vonn told reporters. "The top, you know, I definitely felt the aggressive snow. It took me a while to kind of get into the rhythm of everything", Vonn further commented on her run. "Then, I feel like once I hit the last flush coming into the flats I felt better, but then I kind of got hung up maybe three gates from the finish. I mean I could analyse myself all day long and I could find a hundredth on every single turn, but you know I gave it my best shot, and I think considering how much slalom I’ve trained, which is pretty much nothing, I think it was a really good performance. So, I’m happy with it. Maybe one hundredth faster would’ve been nice, but you know, you win and lose by hundredths all the time, so it’s just part of the sportLara skied very well and she deserved her win", she concluded.
Behind the two leading favourites, Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser took the last podium spot.
"I am pretty happy because it was a good downhill for me", the 31-year-old said. "To be three seconds behind Lindsey was ok. My slalom run wasn't as good as I was hoping for. For this reason it's fine for me to be on the podium. Maybe next time in a combined, it will be better".

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (7)

On October 2015, Vail Resorts announced EpicMix Time – an expansion of its industry-leading and award-winning ski and snowboard app, EpicMix – which will allow guests at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone to access real-time lift line wait times enabling them to better navigate the mountain and make the most out of their ski and ride experience. Leveraging recently developed technology, EpicMix Time will calculate and display up-to-the-minute chairlift and gondola line wait times across 55 core lifts and gondolas, as well as 13,600 acres of skiable terrain in Colorado.
"EpicMix Time provides transparency for lift line wait times, which helps our skiers and riders get the most out of their day on the mountain at our Colorado resorts", said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.
"Providing real-time lift line wait times is a first for the ski industry", said Robert Urwiler, Vail Resorts’ executive vice president and chief information officer. "We’re applying unique and sophisticated analytics to calculate reliable wait time information for our guests. As the season goes on, we’ll continue to ‘fine-tune’ the system to become more and more accurate".
"In addition, we’re pairing GPS-enabled trail maps with the lift line wait times", added Urwiler. "The ability to know precisely where you are on the map and see the wait times at the nearest lifts is going to be very powerful for helping guests navigate the mountain and find the best terrain options to maximize their day".
Guests need only update or download the EpicMix app from the iTunes Store or Google Play for the Android Market. Tapping the EpicMix Time icon on the app will then give guests real-time lift line wait time data at the company’s four Colorado resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone – right in the palm of their hands.
Vail Resorts launched EpicMix Time this winter at the company’s four Colorado resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. After piloting the program in Colorado, Vail Resorts plans to expand EpicMix Time to its other destinations in upcoming seasons, as well as expanding the program to give updates on on-mountain restaurant and rental shop wait times as well.

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (6)

On February 2015, Vail Resorts announced a new feature for its award-winning, multi-channel app, EpicMix. EpicMix Challenges will allow skiers and riders to throw down the gauntlet and compete with friends and family to complete on-mountain challenges at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge or Keystone in Colorado, Canyons in Park City, Utah, Heavenly, Northstar or Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps in Minnesota or Mt. Brighton in Michigan.
Using the RFID chip embedded in season passes and day tickets, EpicMix Challenges gathers stats and tracks guests as they enjoy the mountain, and lets guests compete for achievements and share them on social media. For example, the Mile High Challenge is earned by skiing 5,280 vertical feet in a day at a single resort. The participants can track their progress against one another even if they’re skiing different resorts.
"EpicMix Challenges will provide a new, fun, competitive way for guests to experience our resorts", said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "There is a challenge for every type of guest based on their real-life achievements to take at their preferred pace. While it’s part of a larger social media trend, there really is nothing like it in the ski industry".
Challenges aren’t only for expert skiers and riders. There is a challenge for guests of all ages and ability levels. Guests log into any one of the various EpicMix channels (app, mobile web, desktop) and select challenges based on difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert), type (vertical feet, lift rides, days on mountain) and length (day, multi-day, season). Guests can join public challenges or invite friends and family to join a challenge. Participants can track their own progress in real time throughout the challenge to see what they have left to complete, and can also see how they measure up against friends and family. Participants can post and share the results in Facebook.
Examples of challenges include the 5 Buck Challenge (beginner challenge earned by riding five lifts in a day at a single resort), the 10k Challenge (intermediate challenge earned by skiing 10,000 vertical feet in a day at a single resort), the King of the Hill Challenge (advanced challenge earned by skiing 300,000 vertical feet in a season) and the Vail Conqueror (expert challenge earned by riding all the chairlifts at Vail in a day). 
"Skiing and riding have always been about storytelling, and EpicMix Challenges provides another way for guests to try new adventures, accomplish new things and share those accomplishments with their friends and family", said Lynch.

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (5)

On 2014, Vail Resorts introduced EpicMix Guide the fifth generation of its multi-channel app, EpicMix. EpicMix Guide uses guest input to generate a customized, step-by-step navigational guide to experience company’s ski resorts like a long-time local.
"EpicMix Guide will enhance the way many of our destination guests experience our resorts", said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. "Skiers and riders can input what kind of skiing they like to do, what kind of terrain they want to explore and how much time they have available, and EpicMix Guide provides a custom itinerary to help them navigate the mountain in a care-free way, maximizing the fun they’ll have that day".
Guests log into any one of the various EpicMix channels (app, mobile web, desktop) and answer a variety of questions including: desired resort, starting location at the resort, terrain difficulty desired, and length of time available. EpicMix Guide then pours over 350 possible itineraries to automatically generate the optimal route for that guest on that day.
"EpicMix Guide is like handing you 20 years of experience at that resort on your first visit there", said Lynch. "We’re putting this power at the fingertips of every one of our guests".
The EpicMix development team sought the insider knowledge of each resort’s most experienced Ski and Ride School instructors to build itineraries which would let guests explore each mountain in a unique way that is appropriate for the corresponding skill level.
Once an itinerary is completed, skiers and riders can share their itinerary, along with photos and other stats about their day, on social media through Facebook and Twitter.

A Skier Knows: Perspective From The Wilderness

There is a feeling that is shared with skiers all over the world. It’s nothing you can teach, learn or explain. It’s something you feel. Something you know. It stops you from sleeping during a snowstorm - knowing that fresh powder awaits you. It gives you the urge to continue hiking up the mountain when everyone else is stopping at the top of the ski lift. It hits you when looking back at your line at the bottom of a run, wanting to go back up and do it again. It’s a different way of looking at the world and something only A Skier Knows.
In the third episode of A Skier Knows we follow Canadian son, Dave Treadway. If you've seen Dave's flicks before, you know his penchant for dancing down walls and shredding deep pow. We step into the mind of an extreme skier and learn about the tough calls he has to make...
"A skier knows" reflects a language between skiers that is world-wide, and crosses all language barriers. The way to learn it is to have experienced the addicting thrill of sliding down snow (...). Exploring big mountains is one of my favorite things to do in life. This film is doing just that in Bella Coola, then in some unexplored mountains on the BC/Alaska border", Dave Treadway.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (4)

On September 2013 Vail Resorts announced EpicMix Academy, the fourth generation of its ski and snowboard application. EpicMix Academy allows the Company’s ski and ride school instructors to certify the achievement of certain skills and levels in their classes. Children and adults in both group and private ski and ride lessons can earn permanent recognition and review their accomplishments online and share them over Facebook and Twitter. Parents can track the progress of their kids, and ski and ride schools will immediately know the ability level of every student before the start of each lesson.
"EpicMix Academy is a powerful way to track your progress and your kids’ progress in our ski and ride schools”, said Vail Resorts’ chief marketing officer, Kirsten Lynch. “EpicMix Academy is giving our guests new visibility into their ski school learning progression and accomplishments, and giving parents and students the ability to play a bigger role in their on-snow development. This is the Ski and Ride School of the future".
Ski and Ride School levels are universal in the U.S.  Levels 1-3 denote a beginning skier, levels 4-6 are intermediate and levels 7-9 are advanced.  Examples of beginning skills include: Gliding and stopping in a wedge, controlling speed and linking turns, knowledge of the Skier’s Responsibility Code. Examples of intermediate skills include: Proper pole position and usage, performing a "hockey stop", consistently skiing in a parallel stance throughout a turn. Examples of advanced skills include: Demonstrating dynamic turns on steep terrain, confidence in bumps and trees, and blending techniques and tactics to match more difficult terrain.
After completing a lesson, the instructor will upload lesson accomplishments into EpicMix Academy.  Later that evening, the guest will be able to see their lesson accomplishments under the "My Academy" tab in their EpicMix profiles. Children will continue to receive a paper report card in addition to the digital version available in EpicMix.

A Skier Knows: Reflections on a Decade of Progression

There is a feeling that is shared with skiers all over the world. It’s nothing you can teach, learn or explain. It’s something you feel. Something you know. It stops you from sleeping during a snowstorm - knowing that fresh powder awaits you. It gives you the urge to continue hiking up the mountain when everyone else is stopping at the top of the ski lift. It hits you when looking back at your line at the bottom of a run, wanting to go back up and do it again. It’s a different way of looking at the world and something only.
Second out in the A Skier Knows series is PK Hunder, where he looks back at the progression of big air competitions. This film embarks into the intimacy of a skiers mind, and shares PK's feelings after coming back from a serious neck injury.
"Making this movie was pretty special for me. It was different. Standing on top of the Jon Olsson Invitational jump, reflecting and watching myself on the wall of the kicker was awesome (...) A skier knows for me is so much more than just skiing:
The sense of weightlessness when you hit a big jump.
The illusion of flying thru the powder without a worry in the world.
The awkward feeling you´re too proud to call fear when you´re about to do something scary.
The bowl of joy that bursts and flows thru your body when you overcome your fears or pull it off
!", PK Hunder

A Skier Knows: Spirit Of Alaska

In the first episode of the film series, A Skier Knows, we follow Swedish skier Henrik Windstedt as he travels to Alaska. Skiing in Alaska, as Henrik describes is a " a mental game" where you " sit for days and just look at the mountains and when the weather clears, you know you have to perform." And he certainly performs for the cameras in this video.


There is a feeling that is shared with skiers all over the world. It’s nothing you can teach, learn or explain. It’s something you feel. Something you know. It stops you from sleeping during a snowstorm - knowing that fresh powder awaits you. It gives you the urge to continue hiking up the mountain when everyone else is stopping at the top of the ski lift. It hits you when looking back at your line at the bottom of a run, wanting to go back up and do it again. It’s a different way of looking at the world and something only
A Skier Knows. "Spirit of Alaska" is the first Episode in the film series A Skier Knows, where Henrik Windstedt and Matilda Rapaport takes on the mighty mountain faces of Alaska. It will take you on an enchanting journey deep into the mind of a freeskier.
"Alaska is a mental game with few comparable situations. You sit down for days and just look at the mountains and when the weather clears, you know you have to perform on your highest level and be super aware of your own but also the mountain limits. They seem to be a little more extreme up there", Henrik Windstedt.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

FIS Alpine Skiing: Mental Preparation

What goes through the athletes' minds when getting into the starting gate? How do they mentally prepare? Here is what racers revealed in the latest BehindTheScenes video from Åre (SWE).

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (3)

On 2012 Vail Resorts announced the third generation of its ski app, EpicMix. The goal of the EpicMix Racing was to Engage More Kids and Families in Ski Racing Through Social Media.
Vail Resorts Guests can visit an EpicMix Race Course and they’ll have the opportunity to race against themselves, friends, and even Four-Time Overall World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Lindsey Vonn.See How They Stack up Against the Most Successful U.S. Ski Racer of All Time and Share Their Results with Family and Friends.
With EpicMix Racing, skiers will automatically have their race times compared to ski racing great, Lindsey Vonn, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded based on achievement. Race times, digital medals, overall leaderboards and leaderboards with just family and friends will all be available on both the EpicMix website and mobile application. Race results and medals can then be easily shared on Facebook and Twitter. Finally, the Company has created the Lindsey Vonn Race Series, in which all skiers and riders will be ranked based on their best 10 races of the season. The top racers from across the six resorts will be invited to a grand finale event. The 4th Annual Lindsey Vonn Race Series Event will be hosted at Vail in March 2016. Racers who qualify will receive an email invitation to race at the event.
Lindsey Vonn also provides race tips throughout the season, which will be featured on the web and mobile applications.

How it works:
  • EpicMix Racing courses are located on intermediate trails at the resorts and designed to be fun, challenging but not intimidating for skiers of all ages.
  •  Guests can ski right up to the start gate and with either their season pass or daily lift ticket.
  • For each race, digital medals of gold, silver and bronze will be awarded through the EpicMix application, based upon the skier’s age, gender and discipline. Kids will also earn physical medals after each race.
  • EpicMix will adjust each racer’s time for age, gender and discipline and compare that to the time set by Lindsey Vonn and assign each racer a "seconds behind Lindsey" score for each race.
  •  EpicMix Racing will be integrated into the EpicMix dashboard and will feature a special EpicMix Racing section to track your overall race times, points and medals on Vail Resorts guests can also see how their results stack up against other skiers on their social networks.
  • Racers of all ages can participate in the Lindsey Vonn Race Series by completing 10 races in the winter season.

Cham Lines Season 2:. Mont-Blanc

For this very special issue of Cham' Lines, Aurélien Ducroz, Adrien Coirier, Jeremy Prevost, Bab's Charlet, Steph Viallet and Giulia Monego take you to the top of Europe for the descent of Mont-Blanc (4 810m).

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (2)

On 2011 Vail Resorts announced the second generation of its ski and snowboard application, EpicMix. The goal was to change the way how guests take and share photos at the Company’s mountain resorts.
In addition to professional images, guests are able to take their own photos and combine them in one place together with their vertical feet, digital pins and memories of other special moments of their visit through the EpicMix platform. They'll also be able to create a "Remix" collage, a singular snapshot (or jpeg) customized with their digital information that captures their entire mountain experience.
EpicMix Photo allows all of these images and information to easily be shared on Facebook and other social sites, or uploaded to popular photo storage sites.

Best of Cham Lines Season 1

Best Moments of the Cham' Lines Season 1 winter 2014. Aurelien Ducroz and his friends brought you the Chamonix's classic freeride lines.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ski Resorts & Social Media: The EpicMix Case of Study (1)

On September 2010 Vail Resorts Launched EpicMix.
EpicMix, is a first-of-its-kind online and mobile application for skiers and snowboarders. EpicMix allows Vail Resorts guests, at any of its mountain resorts to effortlessly utilize technology to digitally capture their ski and ride experience and share it with friends and family. They can access EpicMix online, at their computer or via a free mobile application that can be downloaded for the iPhone, Android or other smart phone.
"The rapid growth of social media has given people a whole new way to express themselves online and connect with friends and family (…) EpicMix takes the fun of playing and sharing online and marries it with the very real experience of skiing and riding ", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
When Vail Resorts launched EpicMix last year experts called it a "game changer" and "one of the most ridiculously cool ..." mobile strategies.
Six months after it debuted, it won a "Peoples Voice" Webby award in the Experimental and Innovation category for mobile devices.
  • During the 2010-2011 winter season nearly 100,000 Vail Resorts guests activated EpicMix accounts which roughly accounts for an almost 15-percent adoption rate by eligible guests.
  • Also, almost 40,000 guests downloaded the EpicMix application to their mobile phone.
  •  Additionally, 45 percent of EpicMix accounts are "public"; meaning that guests opted to share their ski day statistics with friends and family on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
  •  EpicMix also generated 275,000 social posts on Facebook and Twitter and over 35 million social impressions (based on Facebook’s estimate of 130 friends per user).
  •  Also, EpicMix drove 1.7 million web and mobile visits.
EpicMix is now available at 10 resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton.

Ski Resorts & Social Media (Intro)

Statistics demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to benefit destinations, but also a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results.
To some, social media has developed a reputation for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.
Destinations join social media, as a must, but in many cases it's only something they feel they should do, but without a strategy in how to manage it or use for.

But despite all objections:
  • Social media continues to influence how consumers interact with destinations and share content every day.
  • Social media plays an important role in how consumers discover, research, and share information about destinations.
  • In fact, a huge majority of consumers researching about destinations through multiple online sources learned about a specific destination through social networking sites.
Big players in the ski business like Vail Resorts really understand the potential to be an active player in the social media. "Social media is playing a major role in accelerating the decision cycle of consumers who patronize ski resorts. As a result, one of the country’s largest such companies - Vail Resorts - has abandoned its long-time advertising strategies and practices. In their place, the billion-dollar-a-year corporation, which operates five major resorts and twenty hotels, has built a new in-house marketing operation that uses social media and other digital venues to constantly engage skiing enthusiasts in real time".

Here’s a list of the ways social media marketing can be good for your ski resort:
  1. Increased Brand Recognition. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and keeps you in touch with your existing customers.
  2. Improved Destination loyalty. Destinations who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their guests.
  3. Higher Destination Authority. Interacting with your guests regularly is a show of good faith for other guests. The more people that are talking good things about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your destination will seem to new guests. Your guests want to share their experiences and you want those experiences to be positive.
  4. Increased Inbound Traffic. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate. Your website's ranking in the search results of various search engines can sometimes be affected by the size and influence of your social network. As your social following grows, your visibility in search engines may also increase.
  5. Richer Guest Experiences. Social media, at its core, is a communication channel and every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your guests. SM also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your guests are interested in and what is important for them. Being able to personalize deals and offers to a specific segment is a huge benefit of social media marketing. By understanding what your audience likes and dislikes, you can create offers that appeal to their lifestyle.
  6. Networking with influencers. Involving VIPs, destination advocates, and individual influencers can help you to improve your reach and reputation. On social media, your stakeholders (guests, partners, etc.) can easily share their opinions and experiences about your destination. They can create or forward content related to your ski resort.
And remember, even if you think social media is not suited to your destination, simply logging on to see what your competitors are doing in the social mediam or finding out what your customers are saying about you might be a valuable exercise.

Cham Lines Season 3 Teaser

Aurelien Ducroz and his friends will ski more mythical and radical lines in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. 6 episodes planned this coming winter, released every second week on Friday from January 15th 2016.

Whistler Blackcomb To Celebrate 50th Anniversary: Reaching For The Stars

Whistler Blackcomb is looking forward to the 2015.2016 winter season for many reasons, not the least of which is an upcoming 50th anniversary.
"Whistler Blackcomb has always been about pushing the envelope", says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. "We like to be first, to go big, and to surpass guest expectations over and over again. This season we want to showcase what we’ve achieved over the past 50 years while looking forward at what is yet to come".
For the last 50 years, progression and innovation have been the driving forces behind Whistler Blackcomb. What started as an Olympic dream has evolved into the #1 ski resort in North America.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Val d’Isere slalom

Henrik Kristoffersen wins today slalom in Val d’Isere by an impressive 1.09 seconds over Marcel Hirscher. Rounding out the podium in third, 1.46 seconds back, was German Felix Neureuther with his second podium of the weekend after his runner-up performance the previous day.
"I’m a little sore today from yesterday", explained Kristoffersen. "It maybe didn’t look that big on TV but I hurt my hip and leg a little bit but it’s OK. I’ve had some pain before and in the race you have so much adrenaline that it’s OK".
Crossing the finish line after running bib one in the first run, Kristoffersen, to the surprise of many, shook his head in disappointment despite making short work of the quick and challenging course set, which featured a unique hairpin-to-hairpin section just before the finish that could be skied three different ways.
"The feeling was so bad after first run", he explained. "The course was so tight and turny, but it was like that for everyone. The feeling, like I said, was really bad but apparently the skiing was pretty good so I’m happy".
For Marcel Hirscher, Kristoffersen’s first run dominance came as quite a shock to the Austrian. Eventually finding himself 1.66 seconds back in eighth place after the first run, Hirscher and his team went back to the drawing board to sort out a game plan for run two.
"After the first run, it was a disappointing moment. It was more like a shock because I felt OK", Hirscher admitted. "We decided to analyze it and change really a lot. It was a lot of risk to change so many different screws but at the end it was totally the right decision".
Hirscher’s second run harkened back to his breakthrough years on the World Cup, where his breakneck style of coming from behind with borderline reckless skiing was a common occurrence, delighting fans and producing a few grey hairs on the heads of his coaches and father, no doubt.
"I’m smiling. I’m super happy. I’m pumped. This was one of those runs that I usually skied when I was 18 years old", he added. "It was total fun to be sometimes a bit over the maximum and run completely on the edge".
Felix Neureuther walks away from Val d’Isere with two podiums – a third today to add to his second from yesterday’s GS. Even though he was shut out from the win two days in a row, the German has many positives to take into future races despite his struggles with back pain.
"I’m not disappointed. I’m very happy with a podium today, definitely", he said. "It was a tough race, tough conditions, course setting, and I can be really happy to go home with two podiums this year in Val d’Isere. You always try to be better and better and faster and faster, and I did some mistakes so that’s why I was third today but I will try better next time".
After yesterday’s race, Neureuther expressed some uncertainty about his slalom form as he was limited in his training over the summer and fall. Although he likely didn’t demonstrate top form this weekend, the German will look to be more aggressive moving deeper into the season now that his back has passed muster in slalom.
"Cool races next week so I feel really good, my back feels really good at the moment and I hope – knock on wood – it will be like that,", he added. "I need some more days of training and then I try to become faster and faster and then we will see what’s going to happen next week".

Petra Vlhova Tops the Podium at Are

The last World Cup competition to be held in Åre before the Finals in 2018 saw Slovakia's Petra Vlhova emerge victorious for the first time in her career. In the lead after the first run, the 20-year-old didn’t let the nerves play any tricks on her and put another stunning run together to clock a combined time of 1:44.26. Local hero Frida Hansdotter was the fastest in the second run and finished second, 0.59 seconds off the pace. Norway’s Nina Loeseth rounded out the podium, 0.65 seconds out.
Vlhova skied to her career-best result in a slalom in Aspen in November before today's result.
"It’s an amazing day for me", she said. "My first victory and podium. I don’t know what to say. I am really happy about this. There are a lot of emotions going on inside".
Frida Hansdotter continued her fine form as she finished third and second in the opening two Slalom races of this World Cup season (both in Aspen). She admitted Petra Vlhova was hard to beat today.
"Yeah, for sure Petra was skiing really fast", Frida said. "For sure, every time I stand in the start, I want to win. But I am really happy also to have one more podium. It’s been 3 slalom races, and I’ve been on the podium for all three. I’m actually really happy".
The Swede struggled a little bit in the first run as she came in fifth position and had to give everything in the second run.
"I had a good top and a good bottom, but in the middle part I was more just following the gates, not really skiing to attack, so there I lost a bit, but I’m also happy to have a good second run and climb up to the podium", said Hansdotter.
Second after the first run, Nina Loeseth earned her second career podium. She was third in Zagreb slalom in January 2015.
"I am very happy", she said. "You know it’s my first time being so good after the first run, so yeah, I felt the butterflies. They were live and I was a little bit nervous. And I couldn’t eat much and I was like "Hoo, okay.” But I felt I was able to let go. It was not a perfect run, but it’s a very good start for me".