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Continuing with our popular Top 5 blogs, this week is an exciting one!
We came up with the idea to do a top 5 ‘Glacier Resorts for Freeride and Summer Skiing’. There is no better person to do this than Ewa, our Commercial Executive and freeride enthusiast.
'These are my top 5 places to go for Summer/early and late season skiing. My favourite is Hintertaux - not only are there incredible places for freetouring but also you've got a chance to practise some gnarly tricks in the snowy Betterpark!'
Here is what she came up with:
The best thing about Hintertux is the lack of queues due to its super-fast lift-system! The real secret there is off piste! Amazing area for free-touring, practising slaloms for professionals from all over the world and there is plenty of activities that you can take part in after shredding the area on skis! Snowboarders and free-skiers certainly appreciate the year round freestyle opportunities at the Betterpark Hintertux at 3200m at the foot of the majestic Olperer Mountain and is a favourite meeting point for local riders as well as the international scene. For beginners I would advise friendly Hintertux Familypark. There are no two ways about it that Hinter is one of the highest freestyle-spots in Austria and is considered by many to be the best Snowpark in the Alps- Skieresort.de 2011 awarded it as a ‘Best Glacier Ski Resort WORLDWIDE’.
The Stubai Glacier reaches an altitude of 3300m and it goes without saying that it has fabulous views too! Long runs, very wide tracks and not crowded – best suited for beginners and intermediate skiers. Steep skiing can be very limited, therefore go to Freeride Stubai Centre and get some more info. It is worthy to consider hiring an experienced IFMGA guide, so you won’t miss getting to ‘Hinterer Daunkopf’ col! In fact, Stubai is incredible for both off-piste skiers and snowboarders. Besides, the location is very convenient by being close to Innsbruck Airport with several low-cost airlines flying there.
Not so many runs, however it is very decent particularly for the training purposes. It can be very crowded with the first three Bahns during October and November (full of professional skiers), then it gets more chilled and during the rest of season there are basically no crowds. Don’t miss Panorama run (very steep and icy- amazing for giant and downhill!). If you’re looking for gnarly places for freeride, spectacular views, friendly Tyrolian people, great value of money and no queues- Pitztal has it all! Only on the evenings there is not much going on, so if you’re after après ski, go to nearby Ischgl or Solden where skiing is amazing too – hey! It’s Austria!
4. Les 2 Alpes
It is the largest ski resort in the Dauphine region and is the second oldest ski resort in France, after Chamonix. If you’re looking for a good mix of great skiing, partying and extra activities in the afternoon, it is an excellent resort for groups of friends! The lower slopes down to the resort are steeper and more challenging than the higher ski areas, including the wide and forgiving glacier runs. In summer, Les Deux Alpes becomes a popular venue for downhill and freeride mountain biking. Hence, summer skiing in Les 2 Alpes takes place between 2800m and 3600m. Just during this time you will be queuing at 6am, and then due to plenty of runs, you won’t feel overcrowded at all. Also, the park is pretty sick with a setup that had something for every level!
The least crowded glaciers from all! Kaunertal has best setup in the Alpes for snowboarders and free skiers in autumn and spring. Apart from extra activities after skiing, there is not much to do in the way of après. However I love it! It is so chilled to get a proper slalom training there and also enjoy the Kaunertal Snowpark where snow is guaranteed from October until June.
Wow, after that we certainly wish we were out skiing right now! Stay tuned for next week's Top 5!
Last night I was lucky enough to be at the London premiere of Flow State, Warren Miller's 63rd film — and my favourite to date.
As always with the Warren Miller tour, the whole evening was great fun. There was a drinks reception sponsored by Asahi beer — which went down well — goody bags, that included ski locks, wax and stress balls, and the always popular prizes — featuring a Warren Miller suitcase and a pair of Rossignol world cup skis.
But, you don't want to hear about that, you want to hear about the film.
Flow State is my favourite Warren Miller film to date, the overall feel of the film seems to have changed and the abundance of powder keep the 400 strong crowd wowing and whooping the whole way through. As this is my favourite installation of the film to date, I'm not going to ruin it telling you about the best lines, funniest comments and sickest tricks, as you really need to watch it for yourself.
Warren Miller might not be doing anything ground breaking with Flow State, but the skiing, the snow and the atmosphere of the film are all great — you even get to see narrator Jonny Moseley doing some '80s skiing. There are steeps in Alaska throughout the film, a trip to Stavanger, some Japaneasy powder-filled tree-lined skiing and a fantastic section on Murren.
Watching ski films often make you awe at the impossible, but Flow State has firmly put Murren at the top of my To Ski list, and is a damn site more achievable that heli-skiing in the Tordrillo's!
So, stop reading reviews of the film and go and watch it, if you are lucky there may be a few tickets left to this year's tour!
Female skiing sensation and model, Lindsey Vonn, has written to the FIS requesting permission to compete in the men's downhill in Lake Louise next month. Could this be another Red Bull first?
Lindsey Vonn has dominated Women's downhill skiing for years, both on the mountain and in the press. At 27 she already has 33 World Cup victories to her name, 26 of which are in downhill skiing. If being one of the greatest women skiers on the planet wasn't enough, Vonn's looks have also led her to being a poster girl for both the sports and the US Winter Olympic team.
Photo: © U.S. Ski Team
Vonn certainly has the skiing ability and public appeal to take on the boys at their own game, and as she already trains with them, you can bet she's pretty confident in beating them too. But is this all down to Vonn, or does having an ambitious sponsor like Red Bull help.
When it comes to action sports and high adrenaline, Red Bull are the masters of PR. This week the Red Bull Stratos took place — where Austrian sky diver jumped out of a balloon at 120,000ft breaking both the sound barrier and the record for the world's most ridiculous, sorry, highest sky dive. So, is it any surprise they are supporting another one of their prized assets taking on a world first?
The decision to take on the Men's Downhill apparently comes from Lindsey Vonn's team, as opposed to the US ski team, which this statement from the US team seems to back up: "We clearly have great respect for Lindsey, her accomplishments in the sport and her desire to seek this new challenge. But we have not had any formal discussion yet between Lindsey and FIS. As with any issue or opportunity, decisions we make are management decisions but include all appropriate parties."
So, could and should Vonn be allowed to take on the men? There is no reason why she shouldn't, unless the likes of Bode Miller are worried that she could pip them to the podium positions. British women's skier Chemmy Alcott seems to think not, according to a post on Facebook this week:
"Most people will expect me to be averse to Lindsey Vonn's request to ski against the boys. They will probably expect me to be jealous, as a peer who will never have the opportunity she is seeking.
Or they might think that I will deem it unfair that Lindsey will, if she continues to compete on the women's World Cup tour, "break" FIS rules by skiing on a piste the week before an event. This would give her a big advantage in the women's race because the gate setting in Lake Louise next month is the same.
However, this is far from true. I am sympathetic to Lindsey's plight. She is not just any female requesting the opportunity to compete against men in her sport - she is the best, and by far. Numerous times she has destroyed the competition in speed events by seconds (a lifetime in our sport)."
I say let her compete against the boys to see how they cope with her taking the limelight on and off the slopes...
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