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Winter 13/14 has been a truly epic season, we are still buzzing from the amazing snow and fun we have had over the past 6 months, both in the UK and abroad. Here are our Top 5 highlights from this ski season
By 16th November 2013 Tignes had already been blessed with a 2m snow base up top and the Pyrenees had just received 40cm of fresh snow. Thanks to the fantastic snowfall and icy temperatures, resorts in Europe started opening their slopes early in a domino fashion. Alpe d’Huez opened 3 weeks early and continued to open every weekend until the resort’s official opening on 6th December. Kitzbühel and Obergugl began opening their slopes to the public in Austria, as did Verbier in Switzerland while Courchevel had a special free taster opening on Saturday 23rd November. With huge storms in Switzerland and France in late November, keen skiers and snowboarders were able to get their snow fixes earlier than ever thought as more and more resorts opened early – was this the best start to the season ever?
Beautiful conditions in Tignes on 8th Nov 2013
To get us more and more excited as winter approaches, the UK presented a range of exciting ski events to attend as the months became colder. Londoners were lucky enough to take advantage of O’Neil’s Shoreditch Showdown, Ski and Snowboard Film Premieres and Iglu Ski favourite, Freeze Festival. Manchester and London played host to the Ski and Snowboard Shows which are the perfect way to find everything you need for the season. While the Snow Dome’s up and down the country gave us that snow fix before getting out to the Alps. To give our ski holiday’s added fun, an increasing amount of events are popping up across the mountains. Christmas markets and firework displays give the festive weeks an added joyous feeling while music and sports events give unique experiences to your holiday. Ibiza Rocks headed to the mountains for the first time with a series of 3 weeks of parties in Meribel bringing the hottest breakthrough live acts and daily après ski events for ‘Ibiza Rocks the Snow.’
O'Neil Shoreditch Showdown, London
With the early snow dumps then warm conditions there was an increase in avalanches in the Alps and terrible news of accidents dominated the snow news. This has increased our awareness of off piste safety, using safety equipment and taking guided tours for off piste adventures. With the media domination of safety in snowsports, the rise in wearing helmets on the slopes is positive and Snow and Rock have seen a huge increase in helmet sales over the last 5 years. If you’re still not convinced, you must watch Kevin Pearce’s inspiring story ‘The Crash Reel’ and take a look at the Love Your Brain campaign. It is extremely important to stay safe on the mountains and minimise our risk of danger means we can carry on doing what we love for years to come.
For more information on Safety in the Mountains.
Even when resorts are starting to close for the season it is still dumping like its January! The heaviest snowfall has been reported in Switzerland with up to 50cm of knee deep freshies in Andermatt and Zermatt while the 3 Valleys in France and Cervina in Italy also enjoyed the best of the new snowfall. Our friends across the pond are on powder alert as they expect over 50cm this weekend in Lake Louise. Winter 2013-14 has been the season that keep on giving with some epic skiing this spring - We love spring skiing!
Sochi showcased huge exposure for the British ski industry and the world recognised the elite status of Team GB’s athletes. For a country lacking in mountains, Team GB proved we are a country to take seriously when it comes to winter sports. With an Olympic Bronze medal, five top 10 finishes, a further five top 20 and 3 in the top 30, it was the most successful Winter Games to date for British skiers and snowboarders. Both Jamie Nicholls and Billy Morgan made history by representing Great Britain in the first ever Snowboard Slopestyle Olympic Final. After stomping a huge 90.75 in the semi-finals, Billy couldn’t repeat that incredible run and placed 10th in the final while Jamie scored an amazing 85.50 finishing in 6th. Jenny Jones blew the nation away with her Bronze Medal winning run in the Ladies Snowboard Slopestyle Final and confirmed her place as the Queen of British snowboarding. Jenny won Great Britain’s first ever Olympic Snowboard Medal and became the first ever British female to win an Olympic medal on snow. Aimee Fuller was a crowd favourite after throwing a double backflip and landing 9th place in the semi-finals, and then took 17th overall. The Top 10 places continued in the Freestyle Skiing where Katie Summerhayes finished in 7th in the Ladies Ski Slopestyle Final with a solid 70.60 score. Despite James Wood’s injuries, Woodsy qualified in 3rd place with an outstanding first run scoring 87.50 which made him the first ever British athlete to go through to a Men’s Ski Slopestyle Olympic Final. In the face of the hard conditions, the skiers threw down tough competition; Woodsy scored an incredible 86.60 that gave him 5th position in the finals. The list doesn’t stop there; Team GB had a fantastic team of skiers and snowboarders participating in many specialities from Snowboard Cross to Cross Country to the Ski Halfpipe. We cannot forget the other disciplines, particularly the Team GB Curling team and Gold medal winner Elizabeth Yarnold in the Skeleton. Team GB surpassed the 3 medal target and created an unforgettable 2 weeks of winter sports and global recognition of Great Britain’s place on the Olympic mountain. Huge congratulations to all the Team GB athletes, you were all amazing and made us so proud! #backthebrits By Krystelle
You’ve had a pretty eventful year, what have been your highlights so far? The highlight for me has been the X-Games, I think that’s the pinnacle that everyone wants to get to. Only eight girls in the world get invited. Just to get an invite is an achievement in itself and I was happy just to be there. I got a fourth. When I look back over my season that’s definitely the thing I was happiest with. Congratulations Thank you Where is your favourite place to ski? My favourite place to ski is Breckenridge in America, it has the best park in the world and also everyone from skiing & snowboarding is there so you can catch up with people you haven’t seen for a couple of months. When you’re not on the slopes what can we find you doing? I spend a lot of time in the gym and at the physiotherapist. Normally half my time when I’m not on the slope goes toward making me better on the slopes, a lot of trampolining. Apart from that I hang out with my friends a lot. Who’s your hero? Sarah Burke. She unfortunately passed away last year due to an injury in the half pipe but she’s the reason why girls get to compete in the X-games, and she’s one of the main reasons why we’re in the Olympics. She really pushed forward for that. When we’re all skiing at the Olympics everyone will be skiing for her. Winter is just around the corner, what are your plans for the season? My plans are to be back in Breckenridge at the start of the season for a couple of months and then really just follow the competition circuit where ever that takes us. Not too sure yet, it will probably be a different country every week but it’s cool. If you could ski somewhere in the world where you haven’t been before, where would it be and why? I think New Zealand, I haven’t managed to be there for their winter but that’s somewhere that everyone goes and I think it looks like a pretty cool place, so it sounds good. It’s a very exciting time for British snow sports with the Olympics coming up, what are your hopes for the games? Obviously I’d love to win a medal. I’m going to try and put the best run down that I can. I’ll try my hardest and hopefully I can. If I finish top ten or top five I’ll be happy. I just want to have fun and experience it and try and get the best result I can. What do you think chances are for the British ski and board team to get medals? I think we have a huge chance. There are loads of different athletes that are up with a chance of winning medals. Not just ski and snowboard but we’ve got loads of good skeleton people. I think this will be one of the best games that team GB have ever had. And that fact that slopestyle is in it for the first time and halfpipe skiing is going to be pretty cool. So I’m just looking forward to it. Thank you very much. Thank you.
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