Friday, June 28, 2019

The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Is Over

The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 ended yesterday June 27 at 12:00 noon.

The final podium is:

1. Christian Maurer (Switzerland)
2. Maxime Pinot (France)
3. Benoit Outters (France)
3. Paul Guschlbauer (Austria)

Racing for the third position Guschlbauer and Outters spent the last day hiking and flying together. In the end, they teamed up and crossed the line together, securing joint third on the podium. It was a remarkable demonstration of sportsmanship and friendship that this race is so famous for.

Six more athletes were able to complete the route before the clock has stopped:

5. Manuel Nübel (Germany)
6. Simon Oberrauner (Austria)
7. Gaspard Petiot (France)
8. Patrick von Känel (Switzerland)
9. Aaron Durogati (Italy)
10. Tom de Dorlodot (Belgium)

If there was a theme to the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 it was performance – performance on the ground and in the air. From the 9000m of vertical ascent athletes completed in Switzerland to the long-distance flights across the main spine of the Alps-, the level this edition took a leap up. As race veteran Tom de Dorlodot said when he crossed the line at the end, "The level is so high now. It was not like that before".

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Christian Maurer Wins The Red Bull X-Alps 2019 And Makes It Six In A Row

Christian "Chrigel" Maurer (Switzerland, picture attached) has won the Red Bull X-Alps 2019, the world’s toughest adventure race, for the sixth consecutive time.
He reached the Turnpoint 13 in Peille yesterday early afternoon looking tired but elated having hiked the last 50km through some of the hottest weather the race has ever seen.
Surrounded by family, friends, and supporters, an emotional Maurer said: "My body worked well, my team worked well so I could race fast. And I’m very happy to be here. It’s a great feeling".
"It was was an easier start with the flying conditions, but in between, there were some rainy days and it was hard to walk. The last two days were very nice weather but stable [not flyable]. It was a hard end of this adventure race", Maurer added.
Maurer arrived in the confirmed time of nine days, three hours, six minutes and 11 seconds.
Today he has made the symbolic flight to a landing float in the Mediterranean sea in Monaco.

Race director Christoph Weber said: "It’s an extraordinary achievement once again from a supremely talented athlete. Chrigel is not only a great pilot but he’s also super fit and prepares with incredible detail. But what was also surprising is the good connections he has to the angels.
Unlike almost every other competitor, Maurer was able to top-land on Titlis, the highest Turnpoint of the race, saving his legs the 2,000m ascent on foot. Then he was able to take off, just before the weather closed in. “It was the magical move that established his 100km lead".
Ulrich Grill, who co-founded the race in 2003 with the late Air Race pilot and extreme sports legend Hannes Arch, said: "Once again Chrigel Maurer has demonstrated his superiority in the air and on the ground to win the 9th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, one of the toughest editions we’ve ever had. It is one of the longest routes with more Turnpoints than any edition, forcing athletes to cross the main chain of the Alps multiple times. The weather has not made it an easy race, forcing athletes to hike hundreds of kilometers and sometimes climb the equivalent of Mount Everest every two days. Athletes have hiked through snowstorms, rain and now through unbearable heat".

Maxime Pinot (France) arrived at the final Turnpoint in Peille today just after 09:30 local time morning – and officially claimed his second place in the Red Bull X-Alps 2019.
He is the second athlete to arrive at Peille, where the time for the race stops. Pinot’s official time is 9 days, 21 hours, 52 minutes, 34 seconds.

The race officially ends at midday on Thursday 27th June.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Milan-Cortina Awarded 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Milan-Cortina, Italy, will host the Olympic Winter Games 2026. The decision was taken today during the 134th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Milan-Cortina was chosen to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 after receiving 47 out of a total of 82 votes, and Stockholm-Åre receiving 34 votes, with one abstention.

"This is a very, very important result. Not for me, but for the whole country. In particular, I am really proud of this fantastic team that we created all together", said Giovanni Malagò, IOC Member and President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). "Initially it was quite complicated… What we have done this afternoon represents perfectly the images of my country. Thanks to all of you".
 IOC President Thomas Bach said: "Congratulations to Milan-Cortina. We can look forward to outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country. The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world. The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment".
He added: "The new Candidature Process has demonstrated the success of Olympic Agenda 2020. We have lowered the cost and complexity of developing Games projects, which now serve the long-term development goals of the host communities and have sustainability and legacy at their hearts. This has led to a significantly reduced organization budget and the use of 93 percent existing or temporary competition venues. I also want to thank Stockholm-Åre for presenting an excellent candidature and being part of the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026".

Italy is a sport-loving nation, and winter sports are part of the tradition, culture, and identity of Northern Italy. The region has world-class winter sports venues, ranging from the ice arenas of Milan to the well-established and iconic World Cup and World Championship destinations of Cortina, Bormio, Antholz and Val di Fiemme.
The plan is fully in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which call for making maximum use of existing and temporary venues if there is no post-Games demand for new permanent facilities.
With regard to competition venues, Milan-Cortina 2026 prioritizes sustainability and legacy, as 13 out of a total of 14 facilities (93 percent) will be existing or temporary.
The project has the unified backing of the Italian sports movement, the private sector and national, regional and city governments – providing a solid foundation for its delivery.
It features a clear vision to use the Games as a catalyst to boost economic development across Northern Italy, including supporting the regions to achieve their specific tourism goals and to stimulate economic activities between the metropolitan and mountain areas.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer Skiing Gets Underway in Tignes with a Worldwide Exclusive

This Saturday it will already be time to put your skis back on in Tignes. And this summer, skiers who come to Tignes can enjoy the new cable car to access the glacier.
After more than three years of work, in September 2018, Tignes inaugurated its new aerial tramway, the largest and highest tramway in the world.
Located at an altitude of 3,032 meters on the Grande Motte Glacier at the gateway to the Vanoise National Park, the new Tignes aerial tramway belongs to a new generation of equipment. Its two open-top cabins will offer passengers a unique 360-degree view of one of the most beautiful panoramas of the French Alps with views of Mont Blanc, the Cime de Bellecôte and the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière (3,747 m).
This exceptional new aerial tramway was designed to withstand the weather at an altitude of over 3,000 m, blending in perfectly with its surroundings and offering passengers a unique view of the incredible natural setting. It was designed in Switzerland by Garaventa AG and is equipped with state-of-the-art comfort and safety technologies. It will first open to skiers this winter once the ski area itself is opened. Due to extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall in winter at over 3,000 m, both open-top cabins will be open to the public in May.
Financed by the Société des téléphériques de Grande Motte (STGM)—the company operating the Tignes ski area—this new aerial tramway is part of a global investment project called ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES, reaching a EUR 17 million budget. Created as part of a partnership between STGM and the Vanoise National Park, ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES is a "Unique, Fun & Educational" route that will start at the Tignes funicular station at 2,100 m and will reach the Grande Motte Glacier at 3,032 m altitude. ALTITUDE EXPERIENCES will open to the public in May 2019. It will be accessible to the general public, including people with disabilities. Between an elevation 3,032 and 3,456 meters, visitors will be able to enjoy the spectacular views from various altitudes as they feel like they are flying through mid-air. In addition, educational materials in various shapes and forms will provide information on this exceptional environment and ecosystem.
"Tignes is extremely proud to be able to offer to its clients this unique experience at more than 3000m. This enterprise proves once again that Tignes is innovative by tradition. It underlines the unique attractiveness of the resort, even in summer, thanks to its glacier and suburb natural lake. Tignes has everything (for budding athletes or established champions) when it comes to the practice of sport and outdoor recreations", explains Frédéric Porte, the new director of Tignes Développement.

Tignes is located in the valley of Tarentaise, in the department of Savoy, in the Rhône-Alpes region, in the southeast of France.
The Tignes ski resort comprises 5 locations; Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses, and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are very close to each other and are located at 2100 meters. Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are located in the lower part of the valley, above and below respectively the large dam built in 1952 and which buried under its waters the old town of Tignes.
The glacier area will be open until August 4 to practice skiing with 20 km of ski slopes located between 3456 and 3000 meters.
On summer Tignes proposes a wide array of activities including trail running, mountain biking, golf, summer skiing and a range of water sports at 2,100 meters altitude. On 26th July, Tignes will welcome an important stage of the famous Tour de France.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Zermatt To Use Recycled Plastic Waste to resurface Road Junctions

Zermatt, the village at the foot of the Matterhorn, probably the world's most famous mountain and the most photographed mountain in the world, is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
Zermatt is a car-free resort and mountain village surrounded by an incredible landscape of mountains and glaciers. Almost one-third of the 4,000-metre mountains in the Alps are grouped around this world-famous destination.
And now Zermatt is taking a new environmentally friendly approach to the resurfacing of one of the road junctions used by its electric-powered e-buses. It is using technology from Scottish firm MacRebur which allows waste plastic – that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill – to be used in the asphalt.
Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur, said: "We hope this road will be the first step towards opening our first factory in Switzerland and it is an excellent opportunity to show the performance of our roads".
"Temperatures in Zermatt range from below minus 15 in the winter to up to around 30 degrees in summer… As our roads contain plastic, they are more flexible. This means they can cope better with the contraction and expansion caused by changes in the weather, reducing cracks and potholes".
The project in Switzerland is being led by Kirk Tinham, of Tinham & Co GmbH. The asphalt will be produced by Ulrich Imboden AG and be laid by Pierre Pistorius, Zermatt Gemeinde.
"I first heard about MacRebur from a friend I had surfed with whilst living in Bali several years ago. Plastic pollution is a big topic among the surfing community so we agreed that MacRebur was a great idea", Tinham said.
"I recognized that this could be a great product for the Swiss market and took the initiative to call the MacRebur office to enquire about distribution and several weeks later my wife and I were on a plane headed for Scotland to meet the team", Tinham added.
Although Switzerland has a fantastic recycling collection system in place, more than 80% of the collected waste plastics are incinerated rather than repurposed. "With the Swiss being proud of their fresh alpine air, this practice is particularly unpopular but with MacRebur, we have the potential to make use of the efficient collection system and reuse the waste plastic to create a greener outlook for the future".
"Our roads have no difference in appearance to regular asphalt but by using our technology, Zermatt is able to offset some of its plastic waste generation. We are working across the world to set up factories in Europe, America and beyond to allow plastic waste to become part of sustainable local circular economies (...) We are very proud to be working in Switzerland, a country known for its cleanliness, and the fact that our product will be used in sight of the famous Matterhorn shows that we are a sustainable and high-quality choice for better roads everywhere”, said McCartney.

By extending part of the bitumen in the mix MacRebur products reduce fossil fuel usage, leading to a reduction in carbon footprint and helping to foster a circular economy.
With each km of road laid using MacRebur products, we use up the equivalent weight of 684,000 bottles or 1.8 million one time use plastic bags. 1 tonne of MacRebur mix contains the equivalent of 80,000 plastic bottles.

The absence of cars in Zermatt contributes considerably to the relaxed holiday atmosphere and romantic character of the village where there is no stress from traffic. Guests benefit from the peace and quiet, the good quality of the air and the freedom of movement in the streets.
In 1998, car-free resorts in Switzerland which care about high quality of service and the environment joined forces to form the Society of Car-free Swiss Resorts. The Gemeinschaft Autofreier Schweizer Tourismusorte (GAST in short) is a network of nine car-free Swiss touristy communities (BettmeralpBraunwaldRiederalpRigiSaas-FeeStoosWengen-Mürren and Zermatt) that promotes car-free recreation and holiday experiences in alpine resorts. The resorts commit themselves to nine decided quality criteria, which are checked regularly.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Route

The new route for the 2019 Red Bull X-Alps, which will be the most challenging in the event’s 16-year history. Racing a straight-line distance of 1,138km from Salzburg to Monaco, 32 world class athletes from 20 countries including 2 women and 30 men will hike and fly via record-breaking 13 Turnpoints in 6 different countries - including Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, and last but not least Monaco.
As if that wasn’t enough, the new Turnpoints in western Italy and the south of France will lead the participants to race along Europe’s largest mountain range and traverse it five times between the northern and southern as well as western and eastern fringes.

A new Edition of the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow a new edition of the Red Bull X-Alps will start in the historic Mozartplatz of Salzburg, Austria.
Racing a straight-line distance of 1,138km from Salzburg to Monaco, 32 world class athletes from 20 countries including 2 women and 30 men will hike and fly via record-breaking 13 Turnpoints in 6 different countries - including Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and last but not least Monaco.

Red Bull X-Alps is hailed as the world’s toughest adventure race. When the race officially kicks off on June 16, 2019, 32 athletes from 20 countries will once again push their endurance hiking, trail running, mountaineering and paragliding skills to the limit.
The concept for Red Bull X-Alps was inspired by Toni Bender’s first crossing of the Alps in 1999. His hiking and paragliding adventure became the subject of a documentary that caught the eye of renowned Austrian pilot Hannes Arch. This is what inspired Arch and his long-time friend Ulrich Grill to ask themselves if such incredible feats could be made into a competition for the most determined individuals on the planet.
"I thought it would be cool to base a paragliding competition on this format and build a basic concept for it – that’s how the idea was born!" Arch explains. "Together with Red Bull, we developed the idea until it became what it is today; an unparalleled test of human endurance in the form of an adventure race", adds Grill.
The first edition of Red Bull X-Alps took place in 2003. Since then, every two years we have attended a new edition until we reach this ninth that will start tomorrow in Salzburg.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Red Bull X-Alps 2019 Kicks Off With One-day Prologue

The Austrian mountain resort of Wagrain-Kleinarl today played host to the first stage of the epic trans-alpine adventure race, the Red Bull X-Alps.
The one-day prologue is a teaser to the main Salzburg to Monaco race, the world’s toughest adventure race, which starts Sunday, June 16.
Due to strong wind conditions, the race course was shortened from a 23km hike and fly race around three Turnpoints to a run to the summit of the Grießsenkareck, an altitude gain of 1,153m.
Amid hundreds of cheering spectators and fans, 32 athletes set off up the mountain in temperatures of 18ºC, while fans around the world followed the action via this year’s all-new Live Tracking, which offers a first-person view and VR.
Three athletes arrived at the summit together in a time of 55m 31s: Benoit Outters (FRA1), Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Maxime Pinot (FRA4).
All three podium finishers each win a strategically important bonus Night Pass. This will allow them to hike through the night for a second time during the race to gain an advantage over other competitors. It also gives them a head start over other competitors on Day 2.
For now, athletes can enjoy two days rest before the main race begins on Sunday in Salzburg.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Red Bull X-Alps 2019

Next Sunday the historic Mozartplatz in Salzburg, Austria will mark the Start of a new edition of the Red Bull X-Alps.
The ninth edition of Red Bull X-Alps is only 6 days away and seems to be the toughest one yet. The rough weather conditions along the new route due to the still giant quantity of snow in the Alps are going to make this edition of Red Bull X-Alps a true challenge for body and mind.
The new route for the 2019 Red Bull X-Alps, which will be the most challenging in the event’s 16-year history. Racing a straight-line distance of 1,138km from Salzburg to Monaco, 32 world class athletes from 20 countries including 2 women and 30 men will hike and fly via record-breaking 13 Turnpoints in 6 different countries - including Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and last but not least Monaco.
As if that wasn’t enough, the new Turnpoints in western Italy and the south of France will lead the participants to race along Europe’s largest mountain range and traverse it five times between the northern and southern as well as western and eastern fringes. Also Race director Christoph Weber says it’s going to be tough. "The race is earlier than the years before – that could mean a lot more snow in the high alpine, which could definitely slow the athletes down. If the weather isn’t good for flying, it could be a very long and exhausting race to Monaco!".

New locations like Italy’s Kronplatz, Davos and Mount Titlis in Switzerland and the western region of the French Alps will take the athletes off the beaten path and challenge their navigation skills past the 13 Turnpoints of this year’s route:
Salzburg – Gaisberg – Wagrain-Kleinarl - Aschau-Chiemsee – Kronplatz – Lermoos -Tiroler Zugspitz Arena – Davos – Titlis – Eiger – Mont Blanc – Saint Hilaire – Monte Viso – Cheval Blanc – Peille – Monaco.
On June 13, 2019, the athletes’ navigation, endurance, and flying skills will be taken to the test for the first time this year in the Prologue race in Wagrain – Kleinarl. This one-day race will also have a direct impact on the main race as the first three athletes will each win an additional Night Pass – a strategically important tool which grants them one night to hike through the mandatory rest period. In addition, the backlogs on the Prologue winner’s time will be taken into the main race and will have to be sat out in the morning of day 2 from 5am on.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

2018-2019 Ski Season Noted as Best Year for Colorado

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced at its 56th Annual Meeting in Denver skier visits at its now 23-member ski resorts increased 13 percent over last year’s total, which is nearly 12 percent above the five-year average. Using publicly available information, CSCUSA is projecting a new statewide record for skier visits of 13.8 million. Today’s announcement reflects a percentage increase that includes the current makeup of the association and is adjusted for the departure of Crested Butte from the membership in 2018-19.
Vail Resorts skier visits also are not included in the percentage increase.
All regions of Colorado received significant snowfall throughout the season with the northern, central and southern mountains all blanketed in white. The early season was marked by significant resort investment with six new chairlifts whisking skiers and riders up the mountain, five new restaurants across the state, the new Limelight Hotel in Snowmass and other new activities and offerings. January and February saw additional snowfall and increased industry-wide advocacy on climate change with the formation of the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership and a joint statement from eight state ski trade associations in support of increased climate action. Late February and March featured record or near record snow totals and set up a strong end to the season with five CSCUSA member ski areas announcing season extensions with Aspen Mountain and Arapahoe Basin still spinning lifts on weekends.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort. These numbers are preliminary and subject to final adjustment.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is a not-for-profit trade association which represents 23 ski and snowboard resorts in Colorado. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy, and public relations.
Founded in 1965, Colorado Ski Country USA has been instrumental in the marketing, public relations and legislative efforts that have propelled the Colorado ski industry to success. Today, Colorado hosts between 20 and 25 percent of all skier visits in the U.S. annually. The winter sports industry generates nearly $5 billion of economic activity annually in Colorado.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) takes place every 5th of June and is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth".
Since its beginning in 1974, World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits as well as in national and international environmental policy.
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019, “Beat Air Pollution,” is a call to action call to combat this global crisis. Chosen by this year’s host, China, this year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health.

The theme of World Environment Day 2019, #BeatAirPollution, is calling on governments, industry, communities and individuals to take action to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve the air quality in cities and regions across the world. This complex, existential challenge demands immediate attention and action. More than 6 billion people, one-third of them children, regularly breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and well-being at risk. That’s more than 90 per cent of the world’s population. In many developing countries, people face the double burden of indoor and outdoor pollution. Air pollution also goes to the heart of social justice and global inequality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 97 per cent of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet air quality guidelines. That percentage falls to 49 in high-income countries.
The good news is that air pollution is preventable. The solutions -- laws, standards, policies, programmes, investments and technologies -- are widely known and can be implemented. Clean air is a human right. It is everyone’s right and everyone’s responsibility. Each one of us has a role to play in ensuring that the air we breathe does not end up killing us.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Calendar For the 2019-2020 Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Released

The FIS Calendar Conference took place from 28th May to 1st June 2019 in the resort town of Cavtat-Dubrovnik (Croatia). 
After a debrief and a look back at the past season, which culminated with the successful finals in Soldeu (Andorra), the Alpine Committee proposed the following changes:

  • Start Field Reduction. To keep building on the start field reduction process that was initiated last year for the Men’s Alpine World Cup events, stricter criteria have been set for athletes to be able to be in the start field. It will not be sufficient anymore to have a maximum of 80 FIS points.
    Each National Ski Association will be able to enter one competitor for FIS World Cup races as long as he is ranked within the first 150 athletes of the valid FIS point list of the event concerned or within the first 30 of the World Cup Starting List (WCSL).
    To be able to start in the parallel events, athletes will need to have no more than 140 FIS points in one of the five alpine events (SL, GS, SG, DH, AC). These changes, if approved, will result in an average reduction of 10 athletes per race. These changes will only be applied to the men’s competitions.
  • Parallel Format. The new Parallel (PAR)- formerly known as City Event or Team Event- has been revised in an effort to produce a format that is fair for athletes and interesting for fans at the same time. The format will feature a single qualification run for the best 30 competitors according to the actual Parallel World Seeding List (PWSL). The first 16 ranked athletes from the qualification run will qualify to the round of sixteen. All heats will have a “run and re-run” format to ensure fairness and integrity.
  • Calendar Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2019-2020. Additionally, the calendars for the 2019-2020 season – featuring three Alpine Combined for the men’s tour and four for the ladies – were presented, as well as the drafts for the next three seasons.
    The Alpine Combined is coming back with a stronger program into the upcoming calendars, the FIS council in February 2019 decided to maintain and promote this discipline to make it more attractive. More races have been added to both calendar due the implementation of the Alpine Combined: 43 races on the Ladies Side with 4 AC and 46 races on the Men’s side with 3 AC.
    The World Championship in Cortina maintain the Alpine Combined on the program along with the introduction of the individual parallel event.
    The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is going to China for the men’s tour for the first time ever. Yanquing (CHN) ‘s project is impressive and incredible constructive work are going on to host Men’s Super-G and Downhill as a test event for the next Olympic Games in Beijing.