Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Saalbach-Hinterglemm replaces the canceled GS in Sölden


Last Sunday, the Men’s GS in Sölden was canceled due to the weather conditions. A thick layer of snow covered the race course (approximately 50 centimeters at the top and 40 in the finish).
In addition to this, the weather forecast wasn’t announcing any decrease in the snowfall or the wind strength.
Despite the hard work did by snowcats and quads to remove the snow, it became clear that in those conditions, the safety of the race could not be ensured. This is why the jury, together with the local organizing committee and the national ski association, took the decision to cancel the race.
But, after last years’ cancellation, the rule has been adapted to make possible to replace the opening race in case of a cancellation.
On Monday, FIS' Announced the canceled men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup Giant Slalom from Sölden (AUT) will be rescheduled in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (AUT) on 20th December 2018, with the following programme:

Thursday, 20.12.2018 (10:00 / 13:00 CET)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tessa Worley Wins World Cup Opening GS in Sölden


Tessa Worley kicked off the 2018-2019 FIS Audi Alpine World Cup tour with a Giant Slalom victory
on the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden, Austria in front of 10,000 excited fans.
Today's victory is the 13h World Cup Win and 25th podium (all in GS) after 192 starts. Despite 11 prior starts at the venue, it was her career-first victory in Sölden.
Worley, third after the first run skied a superb second run to finish ahead of Italy's Federica Brignone by 0.35 seconds. Mikaela Shiffrin rounded out the podium 0.94 off the pace.
It was a stunning performance from the 29-year-old, who is a serving sergeant in the French Army, but also a two-time world champion in the Giant Slalom discipline. Tessa Worley mastered tricky conditions on a snowy and fog-hit Rettenbach Glacier. "The slope was very bumpy and very difficult, I just wanted to charge and have no regrets at the end", said Worley.
Federica Brignone of Italy missed 45 days of summer skiing when she sustained a strained knee ligament and bone bruise in a crash during super-G training in Zermatt. Despite her shortened preparation period, she skied the fastest first run in Sölden and followed up with an impressive performance on the second run as well in rugged conditions to claim second place.
The 2018 Overall World Cup winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. moved from the fourth position onto the podium with a crowd-pleasing second run that kept fans on the edge of their seats. When she crossed the finish line with a near one-second advantage over the previous leader, she was in solid contention for the podium but still had to await the skiing of three more challengers.

The Norwegian women had a magnificent performance this morning on the Sölden glacier, holding 4 of the top 10 positions. Ragnhild Mowinckel was their top finisher in a tie for 5th with Stephanie Brunner of Austria.

How to Ski: A Beginner’s Guide

Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) has collaborated with SNOW Operating (providers of the Terrain Based Learning program) to produce a new three-video series: "How to Ski: A Beginner’s Guide". The videos are the first installment in a series of new educational materials aimed at novice skiers and riders.
Each of the first three videos is no more than four minutes long. The video series is broken out into skiing and snowboarding, so guests can focus on their chosen sport. There are three videos for each discipline featuring content provided by a PSIA-AASI Team member; Eric Lipton for alpine, and Chris Rogers for snowboard. Lipton and Rogers cover skills such as how to put on socks and boots, carry skis and snowboards, turn and stop, get up after a fall, and ride a chairlift.
PSIA-AASI members are encouraged to share these videos in their outreach to their current and potential guests. PSIA-AASI CEO Nicholas Herrin said that "as a result, your guests will feel more confident and comfortable getting started, so they can focus on the most important part of skiing and riding when they hit the slopes -- having fun!".
"We’re excited to roll out these videos as a resource for ski schools, retail shops, and resorts", said Herrin. "These videos will meet your guests’ needs by providing them with simple getting started tips in a way that’s convenient to access from home and easy to understand. The video series is created for the beginner, to help get more people started, which will hopefully help grow overall participation in winter sports".
Herrin said that the videos are simple and easy to understand for any viewer with little to no skill or experience in winter sports. The course does not take the place of an on-snow lesson, but it does cover the basics so that guests are ready to work with an instructor to build their skills when they arrive at a resort.
"Clear and simple YouTube instructional videos is something we all felt like the industry desperately needed. If you look at how today’s market learns to do anything, from working on their cars to learning how to play guitar, YouTube is the place where they start", said Hugh Reynolds, SNOW Operating vice president of marketing and sales.
"Up to this point nearly all the online content related to learning to ski or snowboard has been focused on the intermediate to advanced participant, people who have already committed to the sports", said Reynolds. "There was nothing for the never-ever or would-be first-time participant and we wanted to fill that gap. Our partnership with PSIA-AASI is something that we’re very proud of and this is just one example of how we’re working together to grow our sports".

Beginner’s Guide to Skiing 

How to Learn to Ski
It’s fun and easy to learn how to ski. In this Beginner’s Guide to Skiing video series, get simple tips from ski instructor Eric Lipton as he explains what to expect before you, your children, or friends ski for the first time.

Video 1: Learn About Ski Gear



Video 2: Basic Movements on Snow



Video 3: Getting Around on Skis



PSIA-AASI has also newly released the Teaching Snowsports Manual, a multi-discipline resource for instructors and snowsports schools that focuses on the PSIA-AASI Learning Connection. The Learning Connection is a teaching model that separates an instructor’s skills into three components: people skills, teaching skills, and technical skills.
The manual is designed to develop communication and intrapersonal skills and explore teaching and learning styles. It is available in both print and digital and can be accessed on a computer or on a smartphone or tablet via the free Snow Pro Library app. Lead author Ellen Post Foster is a former PSIA Team member and a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee; co-lead author Rob Sogard is also a former PSIA Team member and coach (1996-2016).

Thursday, October 25, 2018

SkiStar Reports 2017-2018 as Best Year Ever


Fantastic Winter Season brings increased revenue and record results for SkiStar.
"I am proud that we can present yet another record year for SkiStar! We show growth in most of our branches of activity. Valle’s Winter Weeks in January, holiday periods, SkiStar Business conference activities and SkiStarshop all made a strong contribution to the improved results. Our offering is strong!", said CEO Mats Årjes.
SkiStar destinations had fantastic seasons, with cold weather and snow from mid- December until mid-April. This enabled the company to offer good skiing from start to finish, which is reflected in the number of guests at the ski areas. The number of skier days (one day’s ski­ing with a SkiPass) was 5.8 million, an increase of about 404,000 days from the previous year. The number of booked overnight stays (through SkiStar’s accommodation agency operations) was approximately 517,000, an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year.
Revenue for the full year was SEK 2,536 (2,306) million, an increase of SEK 230 (10 percent) compared with the previous year.
Profit after tax rose by SEK 99 million to SEK 486 million during the financial year, giving SkiStar increased scope to focus on and invest in SkiStar’s continuing development.
SkiStar development operations and sales of shares in Vacation Club this year have made an earnings contribution of SEK 146 million. 
SkiStar continues to concentrate sales on skistar.com. Bookings for the 2018/19 winter season are 5% higher than at the same time the previous year. Just over 50 percent of the total capacity expected to be sold in the full winter season is already booked. The highest level of growth in the foreign markets is coming from the UK and Denmark. It is also pleasing to see that SkiStar’s apps are used by about 80 percent of our guests and that engagement in SkiStar’s MySkiStar customer club continues to increase. The number of registered members is now over 780,000.
Construction of the Scandinavian Mountains Airport, located between Sälen and Trysil, is continuing according to plan. The airport is expected to have a major impact on business and industry in the region and is important to our investment in Hundfjället, where we are planning a new SkiStar Lodge and opening an eight-chair express lift this winter.

SkiStar is listed on the Nasdaq Mid Cap, Stockholm. The Group owns and operates alpine destinations in Sälen, Åre, Vemdalen and Hammarbybacken (Stockholm) in Sweden, Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway and St. Johann in Tirol in Austria. Market share is 50% in Sweden, 31% in Norway and 41% in Scandinavia. The Group’s core business is alpine skiing, with a focus on the guests’ overall skiing experience. Operations are divided into three segments; Ski Resorts – Operation, Infrastructure, and Exploitation. As the leading operator of European Alpine destinations, SkiStar’s business concept is to provide memorable winter experiences, offering value for guests, employees and other interested parties, which, in turn, creates value for our shareholders. The Group’s business model and fundamental strategy are based on offering the entire range of accommodation at all of SkiStar’s destinations through one distribution channel, thereby ensuring a high occupancy level and providing the conditions to maximize the sale of SkiPasses.
SkiStar is also official title sponsor to the 2019 Alpine World Championships in Åre.
From its foundation in 1975 until 2001 the company was called Sälenstjärnan AB. That year the Group adopts the name SkiStar AB.
SkiStar is one of the partners in the Scandinavian Mountains Airport. Located between Sälen and Trysil the first aircraft are expected to touch down in winter 2019-2020.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Long-term Agreement Reached for Grandvalira with the Incorporation of Ordino Arcalís to the Brand.


After months of uncertainty, Grandvalira has guaranteed its future with a historic agreement that also has added the incorporation of the Ordino Arcalís Ski Resort to the brand.
The intention to bring an end to the Grandvalira regulatory agreement and the mandate given to NEVASA for the marketing of the joint ski pass was announced in 2017. Aware of the economic advantages for the two companies, the two Parishes and the country as a whole, the heads of SAETDE and ENSISA, with personal mediation by the President of Andorra, Antoni Martí, have worked intensively over the last months to resume the collaborative effort.
This work has been reflected in a continuity agreement for Grandvalira that must be ratified by the governing bodies of SAETDE and ENSISA in the coming days. The agreement aims to lay the foundations for a beneficial future for all parties involved, and for the country as a whole.
It is indefinite, and after 10 years, allows for a two-year period during which either of the parties can declare they are no longer interested in continuing. This time limit assures the future stability of the sector for operators and companies.
It was also established that SECNOA is able to acquire up to 5% of NEVASA's shares, with the board of directors split equally between ENSISA and SAETDE/SECNOA. Despite the change in shareholders, the proposal and adoption of the General Meeting agreements need at least 60% of the NEVASA social capital.
In addition, the agreement adds the inclusion of the Ordino Arcalís resort to Grandvalira. The combination of the two resorts allows them to offer an even more pioneering snow experience, with a total of 240 km of slopes and a visitor influx translating to over 2 million days of skiing. This places the center among just 7 in the world to have surpassed this figure, according to the world ranking of over 2,000 resorts that Swiss consultant, Laurent Vanat, publish every year.
Grandvalira will gradually start incorporating products from the Ordino Arcalía resort into their portfolio. SECNOA will contribute to financing NEVASA, following the same criteria as SAETDE and ENSISA.
The prospect of a stable future, and with ambitious growth plans on the part of all NEVASA members, is the best possible outcome for such a key strategic sector in Andorran economy. In the 2017-2018 season, Grandvalira saw a record increase with a 2% rise in passes sold over the previous year, and skiers from abroad responded well to the commercial strategy pursued over the last three years. The upward trend in international markets saw a 15% rise in monthly income over the year before, and more than 40% over the last three seasons. The Grandvalira continuity agreement means it will be able to keep working with international tourist operators, with the aim of improving visitor diversity traveling to the Principality.
The agreed framework sets the stage for ambitious investments that resorts are planning in order to push the Grandvalira and Ordino Arcalís brand. They aim to increase skiable space, improve food, parking and service facilities, increase skier transport facilities and continue working on the digital transformation that was put into action last season.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Openings Launch 2018-19 Colorado Ski Season


The 2018-2019 ski season is underway in Colorado with a high energy crowd of skiers and snowboarders celebrating the opening of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. On October 19th, at 9 a.m., the Black Mountain Express lift began spinning, delivering skiers and riders to the intermediate High Noon trail with an 18-inch base of packed powder.
Colorado ski areas across the state have received significant early season snowfall this October, which allowed Wolf Creek Ski Area in southwest Colorado to open for weekend skiing and riding last weekend, while several other ski areas have taken advantage of the conditions to begin snowmaking. Loveland Ski Area, on the other side of the Continental Divide from A-Basin, opened for the season on Saturday, October 20th, with its new high-speed lift Chet’s Dream.
"The early season snowfall has created momentum and excitement for the opening of the ski season here in Colorado", said Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) President and CEO Melanie Mills. "A lot of hard work has gone into this day, and it’s an honor to celebrate with the snowmakers, groomers and operations crews who made it happen. After months of hard work and millions of dollars of investment in the guest experience, Colorado is ready to welcome skiers, snowboarders and guests to our ski areas, whether they’re long-time Colorado skiers or first-time visitors. Winter has arrived in the Colorado mountains and it's great to see winter sports enthusiasts out in force!".
The race to host Opening Day is a highlight of the early ski season, a title often held by either Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Ski Area. Both resorts are perched atop the Continental Divide, which provides higher elevations, earlier frosts, and colder temperatures, allowing them to stay open long into the spring, giving Colorado one of the longest ski seasons in the country.

Compagnie des Alpes Reports Consolidated Sales for Financial Year 2017-2018

Compagnie des Alpes announced consolidated sales for financial year 2017/2018 of €801.2 M, an increase of 6.0% on an adjusted basis and 3.1% on a comparable scope basis.
Ski Area sales for the 4th quarter rose a significant +11.7%, to €6.8 M, primarily due to a positive base effect, as the 4th quarter of the prior year was penalized by fewer days of operation. For financial year 2017/2018 as a whole, Ski Area sales rose by 3.0%, to €429.3 M, including the proceeds from a property sale that was completed in the course of the 3 rd quarter totaling €2.4 M. Lift ticket sales (which for this financial year represent 98% of business following the reclassification of real estate business under Holdings & Supports) increased by 2.1% to €420.9 M. This performance was achieved in spite of occasionally extreme weather conditions that disrupted resort operation and led to many days of total or partial closure of slopes and lifts, particularly in the month of January. It attests to the resilience of this business in an adverse environment. Growth in sales was primarily driven by the increase in revenue per Skier/Day which, after rising significantly during the previous financial year, has consolidated and rose by +1.3% this year. Growth was also boosted by another increase, for the 3 rd year in a row, in the number of Skier Days at the Group’s resorts, which this year reached +0.8%.
Increasing the number of guests who visit these resorts is one of the major pillars of the strategy deployed by Compagnie des Alpes. To achieve this goal, the Group has rolled out initiatives pertaining to overnight accommodations, sales, distribution, and digitalization. The acquisition this year of Travelfactory, the leading online distributor of ski vacations in France, is in perfect alignment with this strategy. It will enable the Group to complete its retail offering of ski trips and mountain lodging as well as gain access to younger and more international customers while also expanding both its expertise and its digital footprint.
Leisure Destination sales, which account for more than 40% of annual revenue, rose by 3.2% in the course of the 4th quarter of financial year 2017/2018, reaching €141.3 M, in line with the Group’s expectations.
For the 2017/2018 financial year as a whole, Leisure Destination sales rose by 4.3% on a comparable scope basis, reaching €339.9 M. The increase was primarily driven by the steady growth in spend per guest (+3.0%), sustained by a continuous rise in “In Park” spending, whose volume has increased by nearly 44% over the last five years. This increase is mainly attributable to growth in restaurant-related activities and, more globally, to an improved mix that better serves guest expectations.
The Holdings & Supports division now groups the consulting business carried by CDA Management and CDA Beijing, the historic online distribution and real estate businesses of CDA (previously accounted for under the Ski Areas BU), as well as the business of Travelfactory, a company that was acquired on January 1, 2018, and whose integration into the Group is going according to plan.

Since it was founded in 1989, Compagnie des Alpes has established itself as an uncontested leader in the leisure industry. At the helm of 11 of the world’s most prestigious ski resorts (Tignes, Val d’Isère, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Les Menuires, Les 2Alpes, Méribel, Serre-Chevalier, etc.) and13 renowned leisure destinations (Parc Astérix, Grévin, Walibi, Futuroscope, etc.), the company is steadily expanding in Europe (France, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc.) and, more recently, at the international level (Grévin Montréal in April 2013, Grévin Prague in May 2014, Grévin Seoul in July 2015 and engineering and management assistance contracts (Russia, Morocco, Japan)). CDA also owns stakes in 4 ski areas, including Chamonix. During the financial year ended September 30, 2017, CDA facilities welcomed nearly 23 million visitors and generated consolidated sales of €762.3 million. With nearly 5,000 employees, Compagnie des Alpes works with its partners to build projects that generate unique experiences, the opposite of a standardized concept. Exceptional leisure activities for everyone.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Alpine Ski World Cup Starts Next Weekend in Sölden


Next weekend Sölden (Tirol, Austria) again hosts the ultimate FIS Ski World Cup Races. As every year, the Women's Giant Slalom opens the new World Cup season. The traditional Ladies' and Men's Giant Slalom are confirmed on 27th – 28th October 2018 on the Rettenbach Glacier.
On Saturday the FIS World Cup opens with the Women’s Giant Slalom on the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden. The FIS Women's and Men's Alpine Ski World Cup is held for the 23rd time in the Tyrolean ski resort.
Since the 2000/2001 season, the yearly held men’s and women’s Alpine Ski World Opening has been taking place on Sölden’s Rettenbach Glacier.On Thursday morning, the official snow control took place in Sölden.
FIS Race Director Markus Mayr, LOC Course Director Isidor Grüner, and LOC Race Director Rainer Gstrein confirmed that the progress on the Rettenbach, while challenging due to present weather conditions, is on track to kick off the 2018/19 World Cup season at the end of next week.
"We can give the green light for the snow control", noted Mayr, who indicated that there is enough coverage on the slope to confirm the races at this time. However, the track must still be prepared to World Cup standards which will depend, to some extent, on the weather in the coming days "There is still a lot of work to do before the race day on Saturday, but Sölden has a strong team", Mayr added.
Rupert Steger of Austrian Ski Association Event Marketing applauded the organizers "Firstly, it has to be said that what the Bergbahnen Sölden and organising committee managers have done here is sensational. Considering the difficult circumstances, these are really good conditions. The basic preparation of the race track is complete, and now it's the fine tuning. Together with the experienced team, we will be able to fix this and look forward to an excellent race weekend".


Programme:

27.10.2018 Women's Giant Slalom
28.10.2018 Men's Giant Slalom

Starting times:

10:00 am: 1st run
13:00 pm: 2nd run

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lenny Kravitz To Close Winter Season in Ischgl


US Rock legend Lenny Kravitz ends this year’s winter season at the "Top of the Mountain Closing Concert" in Ischgl on April 30, 2019 – with a bang! For over a quarter of a century, the US artist has been rocking the international charts and the stages of this world. His eleven studio albums have been sold more than 38 million times and he’s made a name for himself as an actor as well.
As part of the ski closing on April 30, Lenny Kravitz touches down on the slopes of Ischgl for an unforgettable concert performance at the biggest open-air arena in Austria – the Idalp. Surrounded by snow, he’ll have his fans singing and dancing along to hits like “Fly Away”!.



Lenny Kravitz follows in the footsteps of a galaxy of superstars who have entertained skiers and boarders in the Austrian resort's traditional Top of the Mountain gig. Long time ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season-closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Elton John again, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Gossip, The Killers,Roxette, Mariah Carey, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Nickelback, Robbie Williams, James Blunt, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Beach Boys, PUR and Zucchero.
Last season German Superstars Andrea Berg and Helene Fischer, two of the most successful songstress in German chart history, were in charge of opening and closing the season in Ischgl.

Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 239 km of prepared pistes, 45 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras. Around 20 blue, 40 red and 25 black slopes and descents make the ski resort Silvretta Arena in Tyrol the perfect winter sports region. The variety of slopes and ski routes offer an opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometers from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 meters) to Ischgl village (1,400 meters). From Ischgl, you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).
One of the highlights at the Tyrolean Silvretta Arena and Samnaun is – without a doubt – the smuggler’s circuit. In the tracks of smugglers from the days of yore, skiers and snowboarders can explore the border region between Austria and Switzerland. You can probably imagine to what incredible lengths these smugglers went just to smuggle some coffee or a pair of tights. Depending on their level of skill, skiers and snowboarders may select between three different routes: the most challenging gold smuggler’s circuit, the silver smuggler’s circuit and the easiest (blue-slopes only) bronze smuggler’s circuit.

GOLD - 35,7 km slopes - 6.463 altitude
SILVER - 24,7 km slopes - 4.745 altitude
BRONZE - 19,8 km slopes - 3.311 altitude

Freeride World Tour 2019 Riders Confirmed


The complete list of finest athletes in the sport of Freeride on the world’s premier competitive freeride tour is now available.
48 of the world’s best (in four categories 10 Ski Women, 22 Ski Men, 7 Snowboard Women, and 9 Snowboard Men) will battle it out at five world-renowned venues spanning three continents for their chance to stand on the podium. With such an extraordinary pool of athletes, FWT19 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting and high-level competition.
With an incredible lineup of riders already confirmed - from hungry rookies, hard-charging veterans and legendary wildcards such as Tanner Hall (USA) and Victor De Le Rue (FRA) - the FWT19 is shaping up to be an epic show.


Ski Men

Kristoffer Turdell (SWE) will have his work cut out for him this season. Wildcards Drew Tabke (USA), two-time world champion in the freeriding discipline, Tanner Hall (USA), backcountry freestyle pioneer, and the always dangerous Aymar Navarro (ESP), are all looking to dethrone the FWT18 champion. With big results on the FWQ, Wadeck Gorak (FRA), Konstantin Ottner (GER), Hank Bilous (NZL), Andrew Pollard (USA), Tom Peiffer (CAN) and Liam Peiffer (CAN) will compete amongst the world’s best.

Kristofer Turdell (SWE) Defending Champion
Yan Rausis (SUI)
Leo Slemett (FRA)
Sam Lee (NZL)
Drew Tabke (USA)
Fabio Studer (AUT)
Tanner Hall (USA)
Liam Peiffer (CAN)
Hank Bilous (NZL)
Wadeck Gorak (FRA)
Tom Peiffer (CAN)

Ski Women

Arianna Tricomi (ITA) will be back for FWT19 looking to defend her title while continuing to push the boundaries for female freeriders. Hedvig Wessel (NOR) and Maude Besse (SUI) will join the tour as season wildcards keen to prove that they have what it takes to claim podium spots. Rookies to watch will be Juliette Willmann (FRA) and Jacqueline Pollard (USA) who both earned their spots on the FWT19 thanks to their strong performances on the FWQ.

Arianna Tricomi (ITA) Defending Champion
Maude Besse (SUI) 

Snowboard Men

The big question for this category is if someone will be able to stop Sammy Luebke (USA) from claiming his fourth consecutive FWT title. Big mountain specialist, Victor De Le Rue (FRA) the season wildcard and rookies, Chrisopher Galvin (USA) and Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA) will certainly be hoping to end Luebke’s historic run.

Sammy Luebke (USA) Defending Champion
Blake Hamm (USA)

Snowboard Women

Manuela Mandl (AUT) will be back on tour and hungry as ever to defend her world title. However, season wildcard, Wakana Hama (JPN) and rookies, Maria Kuzma (NZL) and Nicole Kelly (CAN) who earned their spots from the FWQ will make progression and strong riding a must for any rider hoping to win podiums in this category.

Manuela Mandl (AUT) Defending Champion
Marion Haerty (FRA)
Wakana Hama (JPN)
Nicole Kelly (CAN)
Maria Kuzma (NZL)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Jason Derulo To Kick Off the 2018-2019 Skiing Season in Ischgl


On November 24, 2018, the platinum-award winner Jason Derulo will kick off the skiing season in Ischgl at the legendary Top of the Mountain Opening Concert.
US superstar Jason Derulo will touch down on the Ischgl slopes for one of his legendary concerts. Since his 2013 single "Talk Dirty", Jason Derulo has been a regular in the charts. At his Ischgl concert, he is sure to get the crowd dancing with hits like "Colors" (the official Coca-Cola anthem of the 2018 Football World Cup), "In my Head", "Want To Want Me", "Whatcha Say", or "Trumpets".
More than nine million music video streams and a whopping five billion clicks on YouTube – Jason Derulo is definitely one of the greats US Rap and Popstars.

Jason Derulo follows in the footsteps of a galaxy of superstars who have entertained skiers and boarders in the Austrian resort's traditional Top of the Mountain gig. Long time ago, Ischgl decided to put its entire advertising and marketing budget into staging two massive concerts a year to open and close the winter season. Elton John was the first star to feature in the Tirolean resort's now famous season-closing concerts, back in 1995. Since then the resort has hosted Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Atomic Kitten, Peter Gabriel, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Pink, the Scissor Sisters, the Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Elton John again, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Gossip, The Killers,Roxette, Mariah Carey, The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Nickelback, Robbie Williams, James Blunt, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Beach Boys, PUR and Zucchero.
Last season German Superstars Andrea Berg and Helene Fischer, two of the most successful songstress in German chart history, were in charge of opening and closing the season in Ischgl.



Ischgl (1377m) is a truly Ski Paradise in Tirol (Austria) with 239 km of prepared pistes, 45 lifts and lots of interesting new features in the ski resort. The modern lifts managed by the Silvretta Seilbahn AG Company offer a high level of comfort and countless extras. Around 20 blue, 40 red and 25 black slopes and descents make the ski resort Silvretta Arena in Tyrol the perfect winter sports region. The variety of slopes and ski routes offer an opportunity for everyone, from beginners to experts looking for challenging pistes. Eleven is the name of the longest piste with approximately 11 kilometers from the top of the ski resort in Greitspitz (2,872 meters) to Ischgl village (1,400 meters). From Ischgl, you can access to the Silvretta Arena Ski Paradise, thanks to an alliance between two Companies (Silvretta Seilbahn AG and Bergbahnen Sammaun AG) and two ski resorts (Ischgl-Sammaun) from two different countries (Switzerland-Austria).
One of the highlights at the Tyrolean Silvretta Arena and Samnaun is – without a doubt – the smuggler’s circuit. In the tracks of smugglers from the days of yore, skiers and snowboarders can explore the border region between Austria and Switzerland. You can probably imagine to what incredible lengths these smugglers went just to smuggle some coffee or a pair of tights. 
Depending on their level of skill, skiers and snowboarders may select between three different routes: the most challenging gold smuggler’s circuit, the silver smuggler’s circuit and the easiest (blue-slopes only) bronze smuggler’s circuit.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be Unleashed



Millions of years of geological change create a unique type of wisdom. We invite you to imagine mountain life from the perspective of the mountain itself. This is the story of how nature’s unlimited potential attracted generations of adventurers to Whistler Blackcomb and unleashed a community in a mountain playground.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be Tough As Nails




For professional skier Stan Rey the risk of injury is a part of every day on the mountain. But when his sister Olivia was left paralyzed by a car accident he had no choice but to reconsider his actions. This is the story of Olivia Rey's fight to get back on the mountain and how she inspired everyone around her.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be Awakened




First Nations snowboarder Chelsie McCutcheon let her passion for the mountains guide most of her life. This is the story of how Chelsie’s dedication to her sport evolved and sparked a deeper connection to nature and new ways to share it, though shamanic yoga, mountain biking, and guidance in her mountain community.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be A Community



As a mother raising snowboard prodigy sons in a mountain town, Anastasia Chomlack faces a unique set of challenges and fears for her boys. But when Anastasia faced cancer, she encountered an entirely new type of fear. This is the story of a family that discovered the strength of a close-knit community.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be Unchangeable




Three best friends defined their lives in the years they spent skiing at Whistler Blackcomb together. This is the story of an unexpected reunion that brought them back to their old stomping grounds and reminded them of a time when they truly were living the dream.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals. FIS's Inspection Commission Visit Soldeu El Tarter


After the FIS Congress in Zurich (Switzerland), where the Organizing Committees of the upcoming World Championships in Åre and the World Cup Finals in Soldeu took the opportunity to present their latest improvements, a delegation of officials from the ladies’ and men’s tour headed to Soldeu El Tarter (Andorra) for a site visit and a technical inspection.
Together with representatives of the local organizing committee and the Infront Sports and Media operations team, the production company responsible for the worldwide television broadcast, the FIS Officials inspected both the on- and off-hill facilities.
The aim of the meeting has been to thoroughly address all matters relating to the organization of the 2019 World Cup Finals, ranging from the most operational, technical and purely sports aspect to the more social and promotional aspect.
The meeting has been attended by chief race director of the women's alpine ski World Cup, Atle Skaardal, and his counterpart of the men's trials, Markus Waldner. They have accompanied the technical operational managers, Mike Kertesz an, Andreas Krönner, as well as head of communications for the women's circuit, Christine J. Feehan, among other constituents of the FIS. In attendance, on behalf of the organising committee, were managing director of the World Cup Finals, Conrad Blanch, director of Grandvalira-Ensisa, David Hidalgo, race director, Jordi Pujol, as well as other members of the local organising team. President of the Andorran Ski Federation (FAE), Josep Pintat, and technical director, Carles Visa, were also present.
During the visit, the individuals in charge of the FIS have inspected and approved the ski routes that will be the stage of the competition in Grandvalira. On one hand, they have seen the Avet piste of the Soldeu sector and the works being carried out at the finish area confirming the exit points of the men's and women's Slalom and Giant Slalom. On the other hand, they have tested the tracks of the Alga piste in El Tarter sector which hosts the speed trials, Downhill, Super Giant Slalom and team trials, which the Andorran team will take part in.
Regarding the assessment of the preparations, Atle Skaardal confirms that "the inspection has been a complete success and all the requirements have been met". The technician has emphasised the fact that "the widening project of the Avet piste is now a reality and at the FIS we have been impressed." Markus Waldner has stressed that "the Finals is an event that goes beyond sport; it's a spectacle".
Managing Director of the 2019 World Cup Finals, Conrad Blanch, has underlined that "the organising committee team is doing a fine job and there has been a great collaboration and harmony among the members of the FIS (...) The goal is to ensure everything that comes with the World Cup Finals is a spectacle and that it involves the participation of the whole country".


Also during the visit, the commitment paper was signed between the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Andorran Ski Federation (FAE) in which the agreements between the various organisational aspects are set out, such as the programme, the technical details of the pistes and races, the resort's human resources and technicians required to deal with the event, the location of the press rooms, accommodation, team hospitality points and award hall, among many others.
One of the objectives, with which Soldeu El Tarter address the World Cup Finals, is for the competition to be a window into the world that transcends the sports field. The event will be presented as a social occasion with different programmes, shows and activities alongside the races. Accordingly, the organising committee will have a dynamic action plan, which is receiving its finishing touches with different agents throughout the country, with a view of integrating them into the promotional process of the World Cup Finals.

Our Choices Define Us. Choose To Be Bold



When professional photographer Dan Carr unexpectedly deferred a year from an engineering program, he chose to spend a fateful winter in the mountains. This is the story of how Dan’s choice to break away from a path that seemed predetermined led to an entirely new life in the mountains.

Presented by Whistler Blackcomb and TELUS "Our Choices Define Us" - is a six-part Documentary Series featuring people who have made life-altering choices that lead them to Whistler Blackcomb. Each story features powerful choices that we're sure will inspire your own.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Calendar Freeride World Tour 2019



Winter is most certainly on its way with the announcement of The Freeride World Tour 2019 calendar
As autumn begins to quickly spread through the high mountains, the moment to announce the FWT19 calendar has finally arrived. In 2019, FWT athletes will return to five of the most challenging and pristine freeride venues the globe has to offer.
50 of the world’s best Freeriders in four categories – ski men, ski women, snowboard men, and snowboard women – will face-off in big mountain arenas spanning across three continents for their chance to be Freeride World Champion. Following the fourth stop in Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra only riders holding enough points will have the opportunity to compete in the final stop in Verbier, Switzerland in March.
With an incredible lineup of riders already confirmed - from hungry rookies, hard-charging veterans and legendary wildcards such as Tanner Hall (USA) and Victor De Le Rue (FRA) - the FWT19 is shaping up to be an epic show.

1. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR HAKUBA
Date: January 19-26, 2019; Location: Hakuba, Japan
2. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR KICKING HORSE
Date: February 2-8, 2019; Location: Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada

3. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN
Date: February 22-28, 2019; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria
4. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR VALLNORD ARCALIS - ANDORRA
Date: March 2-8, 2019; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra

5. XTREME VERBIER
Date: March 23-31, 2019; Location: Verbier, Switzerland

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Annual Meetings of the FIS Technical Committees Took Place Last Week in Zurich


From September 25 to 29, 2018, the Technical Committees of the FIS met at the Hilton Hotel in Zurich to work on the final details for the 2018/2019 winter season.
The Organizing Committees of the upcoming World Championships in Åre and the World Cup Finals in Soldeu took the opportunity to present their latest improvements and raise the anticipation for those major events.
The meeting week kicked off with both the Ladies’ and Men’s Coaches Working Groups.
Besides the highlight of the season, World Championships in Åre Sweden, the start field reduction and parallel rules harmonization were the most anticipated subjects.
In the World Cup meeting held on Friday 28th September 2018, the discussions were more strategic and tried to offer the best possible framework for the World Cup to grow. Even though the TV figures presented are not alarming, it was agreed that steps need to be taken to improve the World Cup product.
One improvement relies on the discussion held in the World Cup meeting to define a strategy for the reduction of the start fields. Especially on the men’s side, the high number of participants in a World Cup race (average of 75 athletes in SL!) became a problem to offer an interesting and compact product for TV and to ensure an appropriate and high-quality course setting for second runs. At the last meetings in spring, the big nations made a step in that direction by accepting to cut into their quota to have a maximum of seven athletes per nation. Everyone needs to join the movement for the benefit of sport and further steps need to be made to ensure that the World Cup remains the highest league in alpine skiing. The aim is to better showcase the big stars of our sport on TV. An unofficial proposal was made by Chairman Niklas Carlsson, that would progressively reduce the quota to the Top 30 nations. No final decision has been made, but all the committee member have been invited to discuss this in winter and come up with a concrete proposal at the spring meetings in Dubrovnik.
On the World Cup level, the most important rule change is the harmonization of the individual parallel event rules. In the past, the PGS held in Alta Badia since 2015 and the PSL tested for the first time last year in Courchevel had a different qualification system and slightly different rules. In spring, the FIS Council accepted to include the individual parallel as a discipline at the World Championships from Cortina 2021 on. So it became urgent to harmonize the different formats and to establish the parallel as a discipline on the World Cup Tour.
The review of standards also seeks to facilitate public understanding and better promote that discipline. The rules were revised at the Alpine World Cup meeting on Friday, October 27 and a harmonization proposal was made that could be implemented on all FIS levels in the winter 2019/20.
With those meetings, the frame has been set for another great World Cup season. In less than 30 days, the best giant slalom athletes of the world will meet in Sölden to start the winter 2018/19, that will lead them to the World Championships in Åre (SWE) and all the way to the World Cup Finals in Soldeu (AND).