Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Skier Visits Hit 59 Million in 2018-2019 Winter Season

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced today that skier visits to U.S. areas totaled over 59 million for the 2018/19 season. The preliminary number represents a nearly 11 percent increase over the 2017/18 season total of 53.3 million. Abundant snowfall – up 31 percent nationwide over the previous season – and continued improvements to the guest experience contributed to increases in visitation in every region across the country. The 2018/19 season ranks as the fourth best since NSAA began recording visitation in 1978/79. 
"Snow is our greatest asset and this year was one to remember", said Kelly Pawlak, NSAA president and CEO. "Skiers and riders were greeted with an awesome on-snow experience. Continued investment in infrastructure, like chairlifts and snowmaking, make those days on the slopes even better". 
Visitation grew the most in the Pacific Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, by 22.9 percent and 15.6 percent respectively over the previous season. While extreme winter storms provided some challenges in both regions, ultimately the snowy days proved a draw for powder-seeking skiers and snowboarders. Total visitation numbers were highest in the Rocky Mountain region at over 24 million (a record year for the region), followed by the Northeast with approximately 12.7 million. 
"The strong snow year has driven increases in visitation, and many of our ski areas have reported record years in that regard", said Adrienne Saia Isaac, NSAA director of marketing and communications. "It will be important to continue this trend by engaging new participants in skiing and snowboarding, continuing to improve the guest experience, and mitigating the effects of climate change to ensure the health of our industry". 
The 2018/19 skier visit number was released at the first general session of the NSAA National Convention and Tradeshow in San Diego, Calif. NSAA conducts annual surveys of its member resorts to analyze the position of the ski industry. Additional NSAA research will be released in the Kottke End-of-Season report at the conclusion of the ski and ride season.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 313 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 414 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Glance Back to the Freeride World Tour 2019: Ordino Arcalís, Andorra

The worlds best performed under pressure in Ordino Arcalís to claim their spots for the FWT19 Finals.
In Andorra, Marion Haerty (FRA) claimed the Snowboard Women FWT19 Title.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Glance Back to the Freeride World Tour 2019: Fieberbrunn, Austria

Fieberbrunn (Austria) is one of the most technical and challenging venues on the calendar. With the legendary “Wildseeloder” venue blanketed under blue skies and cold fresh snow, the intrepid roster of athletes wasted no time in choosing big lines and creative features hoping to finish the day standing in the winners circle.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Glance Back to the Freeride World Tour 2019: Kicking Horse Golden, British Columbia, Canada

The world’s premier line-up of freeriders arrived in Golden B.C. just in time for more fresh snow and chilly temperatures, which set-up today’s top shelf contest full of huge performances at the second stop of FWT19. Famous for its powder and steep big mountain terrain, Kicking Horse’s “Ozone” freeride venue provided the perfect theater for the 2019 world title race to complete its second chapter.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Wrap of the 2018-2019 Alpine World Cup Season: Mikaela Shiffrin & Marcel Hirscher Grabs the Overall Globe



After 76 World Cup Races in 32 venues and 17 different countries, the World Cup season came to an end at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Soldeu El Tarter (Andorra).

Ladies 

1st Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 2204
2nd Petra Vlhova (SVK) 1355
3rd Wendy Holdener (SUI) 1079

Men

1st Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 1546 
2nd Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 1145
3rd Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 1047

For the third time in her career, Mikaela Shiffrin claimed the Overall World Cup title. Thanks to improved skills in the speed events, the 24 year old slalom queen were able to score important points in Super-G. This season she claimed her sixth slalom globe and her first globe in Giant Slalom and Super-G.
As one of the few remaining multiple-discipline skiers on the circuit, Shiffrin became the first athlete to win in all six currently contested FIS disciplines after her career-first Super-G victory in Lake Louise, Canada in December of 2018 which sealed the full collection.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished the most successful World Cup season in Grandvalira Soldeu - El Tarter (AND) by claiming her 60th career victory in the ladies' Giant slalom.
Shiffrin has won 17 World Cup races this season, beaten the all-time record for most in a season set by Vreni Schneider in 1988-1989.
Mikaela Shiffrin has won a ladies' record 40 Slalom events in the World Cup. On the men's side, only Ingemar Stenmark (40) has won as many World Cup Slalom events.
Shiffrin won eight World Cup slalom events this season equaling the all-time record set by Janica Kostelic in 2000-2001.
Shiffrin is the third alpine skier from the United States to win the ladies' giant slalom crystal globe, after Tamara McKinney (1981, 1983) and Marilyn Cochran (1969).
Shiffrin became the fourth woman to win three consecutive Overall Crystal Globes, after Vonn (2008-2010), Kronberger (1990-1992) and Moser-Pröll (5, 1971-1975). Shiffrin is the fifth woman to win the Slalom and Giant Slalom Crystal Globes in one season, after Tanja Poutiainen (2005), Anja Pärson (2004), Schneider (1989, 1995) and Lise-Marie Morerod (1977).
Shiffrin has won 60 World Cup races in total, fifth-most among men and women. Annemarie Moser-Pröll is in fourth place on 62 victories.
Shiffrin is the first woman to win four World Cup Giant Slalom events in a season since Anna Veith (4) in 2014-2015.
Mikaela Shiffrin made history during the 2018-19 season for many reasons, but perhaps none is more telling than becoming the first-ever skier, male or female, to top the one-million mark in prize money.Shiffrin earned 886,386 Swiss Francs (CHF) for her incredible World Cup season, which saw her grab the most victories in a single season that numbered 17. Added to that amount is Shffirin’s haul at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships last February in Are (SWE), that included gold in super-G and slalom, and bronze in giant slalom, which gave her an additional 114,000 CHF in prize money, allowing her to crack the one-million Swiss Franc mark with 1,000,386 CHF for the season.
Mikaela Shiffin was Born in Vail, Colorado, on March 13, 1995.

Statistics

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 9
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums 7
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Victories: 5

Schladming 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom: 1st (Shiffrin became the third youngest woman to ever win a slalom World Championship and youngest American to win any title since 17-year-old Diann Roffe won gold in the giant slalom in 1985. She’s also the first American to win a Championship or Olympic slalom since Barbara Cochran won at the 1972 Olympics and World Championships in Sapporo, Japan).
Vail / Beaver Creek 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom: 1st
St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom: 1st
Are 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom: 1st
Are 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Super-G: 1st

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 5
Olympic Winter Games Medals 3
Olympic Winter Games Victories 2 (1st in Slalom in Sochi 2014; 1st in Giant Slalom in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 157
FIS World Cup Podiums: 83
FIS World Cup Victories: 60 (40 Slalom, 10 GS, 3 Super-G, 2 Parallel Slalom, 1 Downhill, 1 alpine Combined, 3 City Event)



Marcel Hirscher wrote alpine skiing history by winning the Overall globe for the eighth time in a row. No one ever achieved this feat. Incredibly solid and constant in the tech disciplines, and in great shape throughout the whole season, the Austrian impressed and became the greatest World Cup skier ever.
Marcel Hirscher collected his sixth career slalom and GS globes. It capped off a career-best season for the Austrian technical ace with one World Championship title, two discipline globes, and his eighth consecutive Overall title.
In Kransjka Gora the Austrian superstar secured his eight straight Overall World Cup win something no one ever achieved before.
Marcel Hirscher equaled Lindsey Vonn on a record 20 World Cup classification wins by winning the Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Overall Crystal Globe this season.
Hirscher won the Giant Slalom crystal globe for the sixth time, surpassing Ted Ligety (5) and Vreni Schneider (5) for second most all-time (men and women). Ingemar Stenmark holds the record of eight in this event.
Marcel Hirscher has won 9 World Cup races in all events this season, second-most for him in a single season after 13 wins in 2017/18. He also won 9 races in 2011-2012.
He has won three Giant Slalom races at the World Cup Finals, in Schladming (2012), Aspen (2017) and Åre (2018). Hirscher could become the first man to win four in this event at the World Cup Finals.

Born in Annaberg-Lungötz, Salzburg, on March 2, 1989. Hirscher made his World Cup debut in March 2007.

Statistics

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 16
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums: 9
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Victories: 5

Schladming 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st
Schladming 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 2nd
Vail / Beaver Creek 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 2nd
Vail / Beaver Creek 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Alpine combined 1st
St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Alpine combined 2nd
St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 1st
St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st
Are 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 7
Olympic Winter Games Medals: 3 (2nd in Slalom in Sochi 2014)
Olympic Winter Games Victories: 2 (1st in Giant Slalom and Alpine Combined in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 245
FIS World Cup Podiums: 138
FIS World Cup Victories: 67 (32 Slalom, 31 GS, 2 City Events, 1 Parallel Slalom, 1 Super-G)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Top 5 Crashes on the Freeride World Tour 2019



Watch the top 5 Crashes of the Freeride World Tour 2019 starring by Maude Besse, Grifen Moller, Aymar Navarro, Carl Regner, and Craig Murray.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Hannibal (Sölden, April 12th)



"We wanted to perform it only once – but now the glacier spectacle has become the Alpine Everyman", Ernst Lorenzi (Initiator)

Today April 12th, the historical spectacle of HANNIBAL will be performed again on the giant open-air stage at Sölden's Rettenbach Glacier. The performance of "HANNIBAL – The Crossing of the Alps" is all about the historical facts of the Second Punic War and its protagonist Hannibal, who is described in a biographical way with all modern theater settings on a really incomparable Nature Arena.
The artistic network directed by Lawine torrèn in collaboration with Sölden and Red Bull, has put on stage Hannibal's historic crossing of the Alps. 500 actors will take part in the new production of Carthage's epic attack on Rome by crossing the Alps. Snowcats as elephants. Instead of elephants, the spectators will see snow-grooming machines. Skiers, climbers, parachutist act as modern-day warriors. Giant horsemen cross the endless glacier fields on their skidoos while flying acrobats try to hinder the attack. The ultimate showdown features plenty of music, light effects, video films, and pyrotechnic shows.
In 2001 Hubert Lepka and Ernst Lorenzi, together with Dietrich Mateschitz, had the idea to connect skiing and aviation with classic mythology in contemporary fashion.
The art group Lawine Torrèn stages Hannibal’s life story in the form of a breath-taking glacier spectacle and as a modern parable about leadership, intrigues, world politics, and the striving for power.




The Story

218 BC Hannibal of Carthage crossed the Alps in only 10 days with 60,000 men and 37 elephants. He overcame steep mountainsides, quickly changing weather and avalanches to then defeat the Roman army in today’s Italy. Although Hannibal’s army was superior, they did not conquer the city of Rome.
This hesitation had historic consequences: the Roman Empire struck back and defeated Hannibal in the battle of Zama under the leadership of Scipio. Rome became the leading power in the Mediterranean while Carthage, which was located near today’s Tunis, lost all of its statuses.
The initiator of the HANNIBAL project Ernst Lorenzi describes the atmosphere up on 3000 m altitude as follows: "The battle of Zama roars at the tongue of the glacier. Directly in front of the spectators, Hannibal is defeated by his Roman counterpart Scipio. While humans and machines head towards culmination in frantic chaos, Hannibal flees the scenery quietly, dangling from a helicopter upside down".
Harald Krassnitzer narrates the story accompanied by an intoxicating soundtrack. From dusk until total darkness cutting edge light design and special effects reinforce the enormous size of the stage. The TV channel Carthage TV reports breaking news from the studio next to the snow pyramid, which alternately represents Carthage and Rome.


"Ten thousands of visitors act as multiplicators of a spectacular show which is designed as a direct experience for all senses and is staged in a landscape which we want to show as untouched as possible. During the day thousands of skiers on the slopes hardly look further than the tips of their skis. During the evening of the show, however, when the mountains’ endless silence streams down from the slopes and floods the place, their excited eyes will look up to the bizarre forms of ice and snow. In today’s media-centered world this natural spectacle is forward-thinking and acts against the loss of nature. A well thought-through adventure, which is staged analogously and in real time", says
director Hubert Lepka.




The Stage


At the rear end of the panoramic Glacier Road you will find the natural stage of Rettenbach Glacier, encircled by mighty Alpine summits. A highly intensive and almost movie-like experience when it comes to this very special LIVE theater production. All Cinemascope screens and IMAX formats are outshone by the natural Glacier Stage. Hannibal's scene spreads towards 185 degrees, taking place in the third dimension. The Rettenbach Glacier and its bizarre ice formations make a really incomparable Nature Arena, embedded in breathtaking 3000m-high mountain peaks.
Right in front of the spectators' area, you find an antique site made of snow and ice. On the right, you see Dido's Palace similar to a Maya Pyramid - the Castillo from Chichen Itza was its model.
At a few meters from the audience, there is the Campus, an elevated platform with embankments. It serves as the playground for the snow-grooming machines, as a stage for the dancers and as terrain for motocross bikes. The Karthago.TV broadcasting studio is situated next to the Pyramid. Cameras, spotlights and a seating corner are positioned in front of a luminous, 42m² video wall.
In the background, close to the giant blue sky brochure, a mountain chain with three summits. One of them is the Venus Hill where the Goddess herself resides - if she does not take action against Carthage by helicopter.
On the right side, behind Carthage, you see the rock formations of Gibraltar, more exactly Karleskogel peak which is connected to Carthage by a chair lift. This area hosts the Spanish Colony famous for its gold and silver treasures - which are blown up like avalanches.
And in the center of Rettenbach Glacier, you can find the floodlit glacier fields displayed as tent city or elephant skin - depending on the position of the numerous Bengal fires and Xenon spotlights.
The audience is standing in the car park next to the mountain restaurant at no less than 2700 meters above sea level. Exactly from here, the open-air stage rises another 1300 meters, reaching the ideal height for parachutists and a diameter of 3 km.
This truly outstanding scene is light-flooded by the sun and the moon and the stars, in cooperation with countless floodlights and spotlights boasting some 200,000 watts. A state-of-the-art sound system adds to a memorable theater experience at high altitude: The images of the play are in perfect harmony with imaginative scenes - both in excellent stereo sound!

The Hannibal Team

Staging: Lawine Torrèn
Text: Joey Wimplinger
Speaker: Harald Krassnitzer
Music composition: Peter Valentin
Choreography: Donna Jewell
Light design: Frank Lischka
Karthago TV: Stefan Aglassinger
Production Director: Klaudia Gründl de Keijzer
Idea and director: Hubert Lepka
Construction: Mountain Railways Sölden
Initiator: Ernst Lorenzi

Top 5 Cliffs on the Freeride World Tour 2019



Watch the top 5 Cliffs of the Freeride World Tour 2019 starring by Jaclyn Paaso, Gigi Rüf, Yan Rausis, Mickael Bimboes, and Kristofer Turdell.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Top 5 Backflips on the Freeride World Tour 2019



Watch the top 5 Backflips of the Freeride World Tour 2019 starring by Mickael Bimboes, Davey Baird, Hedvig Wessel, Markus Eder, and Wadeck Gorak.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

37th Allalin-Races in Saas-Fee



On April 5 - 6, the 37th edition of the Allalin Races will take place in Saas-Fee. The Allalin Races are the highest glacier races in the world and thus, a one-of-a-kind experience.
The nine kilometers long run overcomes 1800m of altitude and participants reach around 140km/h.
The Allalin Races in Saas-Fee belong to the 3 most popular amateur downhill races in Switzerland. The “Super Drei” amateur downhill series consists of the three races Belalp-Hexe, the Inferno Mürren, and the Allalin Races Saas-Fee. Every year the overall masters of the whole series will be announced. The award ceremony and the presentation of the much-coveted cup always take place at the Allalin Races in Saas-Fee as it is the last one of the series.


For over 30 years the Allalin Races and the famous afterparties attract ambitious amateur racers as well as winter sports fans who join the competition just for fun. Surrounded by the highest mountains in Switzerland the race starts at an altitude of 3600 meters above sea level and aims the village on only 1800 meters.
The challenging downhill race was mastered for the first time in 1946. Back then the participants had to hike up to the mountain hut on Längfluh, only to get up the next morning and hike further to the top of the Allalinhorn on 4027 meters. The following race down didn’t happen on perfectly prepared slopes like nowadays. No, they had to pass the dangerous crevasses while getting through powder snow.
Participants can enter four different categories: the Team Race, the Fun Team Race, the Him, and Her Race, and the individual men’s or women’s races. Men and women in individual races usually intent to aim the best time. The participants in the Fun Team Race descend just for fun at a leisurely pace. A pit-stop at a mountain restaurant along the way is almost mandatory and dressing up is actively encouraged. Apparently, in the past, a team has even plonked themselves down in the snow for quick cheese fondue. It’s no wonder, then, that teams in this category have been known to take over five hours to “race” down to the finish line. By contrast, an ambitious, highly trained athlete can complete the course in less than five minutes!