Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 1
October - November 2004
WIN tickets to the Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard Show 2004 - page 4
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 2
2 THE piste September 2004
Published by Countrywide Publications
(A division of Micropress Printers Ltd)
27 Norwich Road, Halesworth, Suffolk,
IP19 8BX SCHOLARS SELECTED 5
Tel: 01986 834216 / Fax: 01986 834270
ISDN: 01986 874752 Interski picks top 10 youngsters
Published on behalf of
Snowsport England MESSAGE TO THE MINISTER 7
Tel: 0121 501 2314 / Fax: 0121 585 6448 Teenager lobbies Richard Caborn
Web : www.snowsportengland.org.uk
All editorial and advertisement copy should TOP TRAINING TIPS
be sent to Countrywide Publications at the 8-9
above address. Coach gets athletes fit for competition
Publishing Director: Barry Spouge
Tel: 01986 834216/ Mob: 07802 824120
‘MAXIMUS IS MY MENTOR’ 11-15
Printed by Micropress Printers Ltd Chemmy Alcott talks to The Piste
Tel: 01986 834200
Opinions expressed by contributors in The
Piste are not necessarily those held by the STEPPING OUT WITH SKIERS 19
publisher or Snowsport Englnad. No part of
this magazine may be reproduced without Nordic group go on tour in Norway
the specific written permission of the
publisher. While every care is taken to
ensure the accuracy of information contained OH SOLL FOR MIO!
in The Piste, we do not accept responsibility
for any errors or matters relating.
The Piste travels to Austria
Cover picture: Skiing in Saas Fee (courtesy NEW PRODUCTS REVIEW 22-23
From skiers, to specs, to GPS
now in sto
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 3
September 2004 THE piste 3
at Snowsport GB
Snowsport GB, the governing body working with large corporates and involved in Snowsport GB represents
for competitive skiing, snow- small entrepreneurial businesses. He a very exciting opportunity.”
boarding and freestyle, has made is also a dedicated competitor on the Jason Cockburn takes up the newly
two key appointments. Cresta Run, and is an active member created post of Chief Executive
Oliver Jones joins the board as of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club. Officer. He has spent the last 10 years
Chairman, taking over from Ronald Mr Jones said: “The progress working in the media, holding a
Duncan. achieved by the GB team in alpine variety of senior commercial posts,
Mr Jones, a director with Carillion skiing, snowboarding and freestyle the last five years with BskyB.
Business Services, and joint owner of has been very impressive throughout He said: “I look forward to
management consulting firm Babel the last decade. As we approach the progressing the good work in recent
Language Consulting, has a record of 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, being years both on and off the slopes.”
Positive feedback from ‘wanna-be’ coaches
Wish you were here! The 10 wanna-be coaches at Hintertux.
Ten aspirant coaches embarked on the journey towards s “Fantastic warm ups.”
achieving coaches’ certification on the most recent s “Reviews could not have been better.”
Snowsport England Development Coach course, at s “Video work was well-balanced.”
Hintertux in June. s “Hotel accommodation could not have been better.”
Feedback from the skiers was very positive – some of s “Measured against other courses, this represented
the comments made about the course included: excellent value for money.”
s “I speak for all the attendees when I say that this has s “The best course I have ever been on – I was
been one of the most professional sessions I’ve inspired.”
s “We went out in all weathers.” Continued on page 18
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 4
4 THE piste September 2004
Technology moves ahead
By Stewart Smith extensive and disparate customer Nationals and Grand Prix events
Director, Snowsport England base located throughout the United organised by, or on behalf of,
Kingdom.” Snowsport England.
Andrew Jolly’s comment after only It is only a discussion document at
After the introduction of the new two weeks of use was: “The benefits this stage. Input will be required from
website for Snowsport England, of this are already noticeable – faster organising clubs as well. Having been
there have been further moves to email access, much better reliability a race secretary (once), I know what it
ensure the organisation is better of the network and computers and is like to keep receiving all these bits
placed to handle the future, the ability to undertake more than of paper.
specifically with the use of better one task at a time; yes the old But, hopefully, this is something
information technology. machines were really that slow.” that could be in place for next year’s
With the assistance of Martin Carr, As an organisation, Snowsport summer races.
Freestyle Key Committee Leader, a England has to be able to move The key interest at this moment in
broadband connection has been forward quickly to ensure that best time is the ability to provide
installed at the offices in Halesowen. use of technology is provided membership renewals – online,
In addition to this, the office especially when future funding is including payment! I have been asked
network has been reorganised and likely to be reduced. why as an organisation we do not
four new computers purchased, Having spoken to a number of provide this – most members have
provided at an extremely good price Snowsport England members, areas booked something online – flights,
by Servo Computer Services PLC. have been highlighted where holidays even the weekly groceries.
David Watts, Account Manager for technology could be used to improve There are a number of complexities
Servo, said: “Servo are pleased to be the communications to our members. to the system. For example is the
able to offer indirect support to A discussion document has been member a performer, an instructor/
Snowsport England as we already put to the Alpine Race Committee coach, an official or both or all three?
provide a wide range of services, (ARC) for the provision of an on-line These questions are being
hardware and software, to an race entry system for both Club reviewed currently.
WIN tickets to The Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard Show 2004
Europe’s largest winter sports
exhibition The Daily Mail Ski
& Snowboard Show in
association with ifyouski.com
kicks off the season this year at
London Olympia from
13 – 17 October
Now in its 32nd year, attracting over 50,000 visitors annually, the The Piste has teamed up with the all Name………………………………….…….
radical change to the format means that this show has something for new Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard
each and every snow sport enthusiast. Show, in association with ifyouski.com Address………………………………...……
to offer FIVE lucky readers the chance
The Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard Show presents an amazing array to win a pair of tickets to the show. ………………………………………...……
of exhibitors, including the UK’s leading snowsports retailers and Closing date is 10 October 2004.
tour operators and the national tourist offices from France and Just answer correctly the following
Andorra. The event offers something new in every area of the question ...
show - from the interactive performances in the brand new all-seater
How many years has the PostCode …………… Tel …………………..
live action arena, to the exclusive champagne VIP terrace. This
year’s all new format sees a brand new area of the show for after- show been running?
hours après ski, with progressive music from Euro DJs and live acts. Post your entry to:
There are also promotions on drinks and a late-night licence. Write your answer in the space below The Piste, Countrywide Publications,
together with your name, address and 27 Norwich Road, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8BX.
PLUS a unique rail slide slope caters for skiers, skateboarders, inline telephone number (on the right). Closing date for receipt of entries will be 12 noon
skaters and snowboarders. ANSWER: on 10 October 2004.
...................................................... Winners will be notified within 24 hours.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 5
September 2004 THE piste 5
take time out
for the photo
Interski scholars selected for training
During the winter 2003-04 season, Interski instructors Xscape in Milton Keynes, where they received a full
acted as talent scouts and, according to strict criteria, day’s tuition and assessment from five elite BASI
nominated 21 candidates who demonstrated the trainers, together with an array of gifts courtesy of
aptitude and ability to be fast-tracked via the Interski and AMG/Rossignol.
scholarship scheme. Ten students have now been selected for the
In July, 21 shortlisted candidates were invited to scholarship. They are :
SCHOLAR SCHOOL SCHOLAR SCHOOL
Gareth Davey Corpus Christi High School Phillip Thompson St Joseph Williamson Sschool
James Webb Ferndown Upper School Paul Bundy King Edward VI School
Sean Rushton Gillingham School/St Mary’s James Richardson Corpus Christi High School
Kate Sinton Thorncliffe School Heather Holmstrom Oundle School
Allan Ferguson Greenwood Academy Robert Hill Brockhill Park School
Originally launched to celebrate Interski's 20th birthday), the scheme is now in its second year and is
birthday (season 2003-04 when eight students likely to form part of Interski's programme for years to
successfully completed the scheme and will become come.
qualified BASI instructors on reaching their 18th s For more information check out www.interski.co.uk
Masters expand training
A growing interest among older get-together for the British Masters 2005 and the Masters World
skiers in Masters racing (for over- Group. Criterium at Sun Valley, USA, 5-9 April
30s) has led the British Masters Participants will be able to find out 2005.
Group of Snowsport GB to widen its about Masters racing in the UK and in Many older skiers will have taken
programme of activities. the FIS Masters Cup Alpine races inspiration from the late James
It is planned to hold at least three abroad. Woolgar who was racing the full
training days this autumn at Xscape A “FUNSTAR” race will conclude the Masters Circuit up to the age of 83
Snozone centres in Milton Keynes days so that racers can see how they and was three times World Champion
and Castleford, and at Hillend for fare compared to existing racers on in his age group, although he did not
Scottish participants. Other days may the circuit. There is no requirement to get involved in racing until he joined
be arranged at other artificial slopes be registered to attend these training the British Masters Group.
in England if enough volunteer days. s More information will be on the
organisers can be found. The British Masters Group is also website www.mastersski.com or can
The courses are intended to hoping to organise groups to attend be obtained by sending a SAE to Alan
provide an introduction to racing for the Kandahar Masters FIS-MC race at Jones, 3 Green Mount, Upton, Wirral,
experienced older skiers as well as a Courmayeur, Italy, 29-30 January Merseyside, CH49 6NR.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 6
6 THE piste September 2004
ESSKiA’s 10 years in Norway
Training Camps – Geilo – and arrived at the foot of the slopes sufficient. But to maintain the
Norway - 1994 – 2004 at 08.30, temperature –23 with equipment we have to service/repair
by Mike E, Squad Manager beautiful blue skies. All had a great and this isn’t cheap.
day and a young 10-year-old girl told We have no timing equipment and
The first training camp in Geilo was me she would ski in the Olympics one we would like to get some for 2005
in 1994. The then committee agreed day. Congratulations Chemmey Alcott for the training camps and
to a training camp being run outside (see pages 11-15). preparation for the ISF champion-
the “normal” all-inclusive school ski The format for training was set and, ships. I have the committee’s
party format with bus transportation apart from 1995, we have returned to blessing to raise the funds to acquire
into Europe. After a brief discussion Geilo every year, increasing the portable equipment with digital
Geilo was chosen and the squads from one to two with 20 readout that can be attached to poles
organisation began. trainees per squad. We have tried and easy to set-up/operate.
We travelled to Bergen by sea on many permutations with travel, but The equipment is £2500 and I hope
the North Sea Ferry (27-hour have always stayed in the Geilo to raise the monies by running a raffle
crossing), hired a bus to transport the apartments. We are already planning at the qualifying races and the final
squad plus equipment to the main 2005 with the ISF championships in when the draw will be made. I am
railway station and train to Geilo. The mind. currently finalising the prizes but any
bus failed to turn up but we made it. Like all camps, we have good days, cash/prize donations would be
It worked with a few scares on the bad days and memories that will gratefully received.
way and that was the beginning of remain with us for many years. Having organised and managed all
Geilo as a base for the winter training When we first began to train we the Geilo camps, I’m proud of the
of the main squad. had no equipment of our own and all ESSKiA achievements in 10 years –
A bonus in 1994 was a trip to the were begged borrowed – or even and with the support of schools,
Winter Olympics at Lillyhammer for bought! Over the years we have parents and trainees I hope we can
the Women’s Super G at Kvitfjell. We acquired our own poles, drill, flags, continue to improve and show the
were collected by bus at 02.30 hrs radios which make us almost self - benefits that so many have enjoyed.
Route to success at
special FIS seminar
Interested in finding out more about organising races on
snow? Helping to organise races, or thinking about it?
Need to get updated on the new rules for FIS and British
races? Moving on from racing to organising? Want to find
out more to help your athletes succeed?
The annual update seminar organised by FIS and the
British TD forum will take place in Cambridge on
Saturday, 13 November 2004.
Aimed at TDs, race organisers and race secretaries,
race officials, coaches, racers, ex-racers and interested
parents, this one day seminar is required training for all
TDs, and is the next stage on from Snowsport England
INSTRUCTORS NEEDED level 1 and 2 training.
Ski-ing Europe will require BASI / CSIA / PSIA qualified Led by an FIS TD commissioner, subjects normally
ski instructors and snowboard instructors for the 2004/5 include rules and rule changes, security and safety
winter season. You will work alongside our current team of issues, organising races and often include technical
instructors and local ski schools for one/two/three week experts from the ski industry.
periods teaching our school, youth and some adult groups in Sessions are usually interactive with lots of
various alpine resorts during the peak school holiday times of opportunity to become involved and make your points or
New Year, Half Term (mid-February) and Easter, plus some other to find out why. Lunch and coffee breaks give more
weeks. Also required are competent, sociable, experienced opportunity to get involved.
skiers to act as representatives and /or ski friends. The seminar is free with a small charge for lunch and
A good fully inclusive package will be offered and you should coffee.
contact Brian Snook sending a CV to:
Ski-ing Europe, c/o 40 Meadow View, Potterspury, Towcester, s Contact Derek Metters email@example.com who is
Northants NN12 7PH / E –Mail firstname.lastname@example.org co-ordinating Snowsport England attendances for more
Tel (mobile) 07976 707041 / 01908 542469 (evenings) information.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 7
September 2004 THE piste 7
Teenager Jake Richardson took the the opportunity to
challenge the Government’s Sports Minister on a
recent trip to the House of Commons.
Jake, aged 14, a member of the British Children’s Ski
Squad, received an invitation from his local Norwich
MP and keen skier Dr Ian Gibson to visit the House of
Commons and sit in on Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Jake said: “I was interested in making an issue about
the poor funding our sport receives – especially at my
level. Dr Gibson agreed with my comments and
arranged for me to meet Richard Caborn, the Sports
Before the visit, Jake made contact with GB team-
mates, offering to pass on any questions to the
Minister. “I received about a dozen questions and Jale’s plea: Jake joins Dr Ian Gibson (left) and
typed up a letter,” said Jake. “I wanted the Minister to Sports Minister Richard Caborn.
respond in writing to me.”
“Most of the questions related to funding and my really quite surprised when I told him how much my
personal issue is, when I’m representing my country, mum and dad have to pay when I’m asked to go and
the least they could do was cover my expenses. After race for my country. He promised to look into it.
all, if my dad goes away for his company they pay his “I have received a letter back from the Minister, but
hotel and travelling costs.” unfortunately I wasn’t able to change any opinions and
On the day Jake was given a tour of the Palace of there isn’t any immediate government funding for
Westminster and sat in on PM’s Question Time after athletes my age.
which he had tea with Richard Caborn on the House of “Which is a bit of a shame because if you invested in
Commons Terrace. the current GB Children’s Team now, we would
“Mr Caborn was well up on his knowledge of skiing,” progress and go on to win World Cup and Olympic
said Jake. “He knew all our senior athletes, but was medals. So it’s still up to mum and dad …”
Two vans deliver SKIshows2004
s 8 – 10 October
British Ski & Snowboard Show –
Snoasis proposal NEC Birmingham
s 10 October
Big Air (AIM Invitational only) –
Glasgow City Centre.
The giant Snoasis project proposed for more than a thousand jobs. s 13 – 17 October
Great Blakenham, near Ipswich in East The centre would also be a base for Daily Mail Ski & Snowboard
Anglia is being considered by Suffolk training for international competition and Show – Olympia, London.
District councillors, who took delivery of would hope to follow Snow World in the s 23 – 24 October
120,000 pages of documentation Netherlands in hosting FIS recognised Artificial British Slope Style
delivered in two Transit vans. international snow sports competitions. Championships plus
The £320 million project, at the old Blue The Council's planning team estimated Boarder/Skier X, Halfpipe Jam
Circle cement works, would include the it would take them about a week to work Session – Sheffield.
largest indoor ski slope in the world. through the 120,000 pages of s 23 – 24 October
Other facilities would include an outside documentation supporting the Northern Ski & Snowboard
toboggan run, an ice skating rink which application, the culmination of four years’ Show – G-Mex Centre,
would include the UK's only speed skating work by the company behind the project, Manchester
track, a conference centre, an hotel and a Onslow Suffolk Ltd. s 13 – 14 November
cinema. A new £5 million rail station Because of the regional significance of
Scottish Snow Show – The
would be built to serve the facility. If it the project, it will also go to the East of
gets the go-ahead, it is expected to create England Regional Assembly.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 8
8 THE piste September 2004
Building up bodies for
future full-time teams
August saw the England Alpine squad summer training in Saas Fee, Switzerland,
so Barry Spouge popped in for a quick chat with Coach Tim Fawke.
BS How many have you out here this time? glacier they practise runs through the poles and analyse
TF We have got 13 out this time, (four girls and nine guys) each run afterwards with the coach.
all enjoying it, they have been out in France prior to Snow conditions dictate how long we remain up here.
coming to Saas Fee, some have been out quite a long Today it will be about 11.30am when we go down. Then
time as with them being on school holiday we have to we have lunch, chill out for a bit then we start on the
use the time as effectively as we can. fitness, mixing in some harder fitness with some ball
games, volleyball, football and generally trying to
BS How many camps do you have? educate them into why they need the fitness which is
TF We have around four weeks in summer, two weeks in hugely important to them.
October, a month at Christmas, some weekends between
Christmas and February and then some time over Easter. BS What’s it like being a full time coach now?
TF It’s a lot better than last year when I had to spend a lot
BS What’s the Summer Camp plan on a day like of unpaid time to organise a lot of the camps. Now I have
today ? the chance to get the best out of the athletes.
TF It’s not an easy life for squad members; they have to
get up early each morning to catch the lift at around BS Do you mix with the GB team while you are
6.45am (and the best snow conditions). Once up on the out here?
TF Yes we talk to the athletes and the coaches, find out
what they are working on, how things are going with
them, most of the guys and girls know each other now
NATIVES.CO.UK anyway. Its great for the squad to see other World Cup
athletes in action we have the top people out here like
The UK’s No 1 ski job website – Pallender so they can see what they do.
apply for chef, chalet, rep,
managerial jobs & many more. BS How do athletes come into the national squad –
from a dry skiing background?
web: www.natives.co.uk TF Yes, we have some that have started on dry slopes
then gone on to snow, some that have lived abroad, then
tel: 08700 463377 you get some that are say half Swiss . Most of today’s
email: email@example.com squad have come from the Children’s teams, some from
clubs that produce a lot of racers, a lot have started on
dry slopes from a young age putting in a lot of time and
effort then going out on snow where its shown good
results in the English and British Championships.
BS Do you work closely with the Children’s
TF In the past I’ve done some coaching and been on the
race trips with them. They come out here as well and I get
to see which kids are coming up next, there isn’t that
many kids that you don’t know who’s coming up next.
PLASTIC SLOPE WAXES
s The luxury chalet company ‘Ski Out of the Blue’ has continued to
q ULTRA HARD POLAR X loan minibuses to the Alpine Team during their Summer and
October camps. This has been a huge help to the Team, as at
q SUPER SLIP CREAM present the Team does not have a vehicle sponsor. The cost of
q SOFT ‘N’ SLIPPY WAX POLISH hiring a minibus is a large expense and we would like to say a big
thank you to them. ‘Ski Out of the Blue’ is based in Meribel and
q SLALOM POLES - SNOW & PLASTIC have Chalets close to the centre of town. For full details go to
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 9
September 2004 THE piste 9
Photo call: The England Alpine squad in summer training (back row) Craig Robinson, Carlton Rowlands,
Christine Findlay, Adam Gellatly, Joanna Ryding, Mike Colyer, Michelle Sole, Georgie Hunt, Peter Whelan,
Gemma Harris, Peter Bruton, Dominic Black; (front row) Mike Barker, Dave Ryding, Tim Fawke.
BS Have you any good prospects for the future?
TF There’s a few youngsters, Ed Drake, who has just
made it into the GB squad; there’s Dave Ryding, he Youngsters pick
started a bit later but has made huge improvements.
They come to me at about 14-15 years old, people
develop at different speeds so, if they don’t come on
up resort work
until they are 15, they have still got the time to develop.
via website search
BS With regard to skis, do any companies
actually sponsor them? www.natives.co.uk, the website for finding ski or
TF With various importers into the UK we have good snowboard jobs, is encouraging students to enjoy a great
deals and they are getting better in this sort of help but winter.
most of the kids have to pay, some of them have Iain Martin, Natives' managing director, believes there
individual deals with their local shops and importers. are many more snowsport mad 18-year-olds planning
It’s tough on families if they have a child who wants to their year out who simply aren't aware of the
make the grade. opportunities available to them.
“We are definitely getting more and more inquiries from
BS What are your aims for this year? younger people who are desperate to work a season
TF It’s my job to produce athletes that will get to a level before they start university or college.
where they can go on to the British team. There’s a few “As well as job listings, the website gives advice on
who will not go straight into it; Ed did, he made it what to take with you, what to expect and how to make
straight through. There is a home nations full-time the most of your season,” said Mr Martin.
team, and there’s a group of them who will spend a full- Ben Hicks, who graduated this summer with a degree in
time season with them next year. I want to build them Management from Hull University, found his gap year ski
up so that they are ready to be able to cope with the resort job through Natives just as he and his two friends
team full-time. began to lose hope of tracking down work before the start
of the ski season.
BS Is there a different pressure when you get to Ben, aged 21, of Beverley, Yorkshire, said: “We found
the full-time team? the Natives website via a web search and spotted a job
TF Well their fitness needs to be a lot better and they listing for a hotel in Switzerland that wanted kitchen staff,
will want to get a lot out of that year so it’s a case of logged our details. Within a day or so the owner had
building them up for it, hopefully they will then make it telephoned us!"
to the British team.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 10
10 THE piste September 2004
SPONSORS New skis,
We acknowledge our
grateful thanks to the
which provide us with
sponsorship. new season
On a flying visit to Saas Fee, Barry Spouge
bumped into Britain’s best-known skier Alain Baxter
Thomson is trading name of TUI UK Ltd BS How’s the training going for you?
AB I’m really happy. I decided to change skis at the end of
the season to Atomic. I did a lot of testing at the end of the
season and so far so good ... boots, bindings and skis.
Esso Uk Ltd
BS What decided you to change?
AB Well when you run a test you get a piste set up and
they come from the company and you test against your
own skis. It’s on times roughly, you keep going until
conditions get better so you can test them. It’s whoever
comes out on top, it’s tough because you can’t test on ice
Manby International Sportswear
or man-made snow, you have to kind of make your
decision and stick with it.
BS What expectations have you set yourself for
this season then?
AB I haven’t really set any. I can ski as well as anyone, I
know that and I’ve proved it in training time and time again
and in the odd race I do as well. Though last year was not
Waymark Swadlincote Ski &
Holidays Snowboard Centre
as well as I had hoped for, two top 15s an 11th and a 14th
then like 18th, 19th etc. I had four top 20s it’s not bad, one
of my best seasons in the World Cup but I expected a lot
more and when you see some of my run times coming
down and maybe having a good start number, I’m getting
maybe a 3rd / 4th best time. If I can do that it’s not a
BS Obviously conditions play a big part in what
happens on the day, if the conditions are not great
Carrs of Sheffield
its difficult isn’t it?
AB Yes and you can get skis that don’t react well in certain
conditions, which makes the whole thing a whole lot
tougher and it’s a different ball game. If you can even that
out, I mean everyone’s in the same boat.
BS Start numbers affect where you are as well?
AB Yes the guy who leads the first run is normally starting
in the top seven then he has to go later in the second run
or if he’s leading he will go 30th and then he’s got to ski in
the rough stuff. So it works both ways.
BS Who do think are the main competitors to
yourself, apart from your brother that is?
AB Obviously there are the guys in the top 7 they are the
For Sponsorship Opportunities best in the world at the moment like Kalle Pallander, Benny
Raich, Pranger, all these guys and I know I can beat them.
contact Snowsport England on I’ve never been on a podium in the World Cup before and
0121 501 2314 I’d like a few podiums this year.
Continued on page 16
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:34 pm Page 11
September 2004 THE piste 11
Who said skiing was a glamorous life? Ask the training courses – the skiers catch the lift at
Chemmy Alcott, England’s and Britain’s leading around 6.45am. They ski until around 11.30am,
female skier. She loves every minute of it and still depending on weather conditions, then they come
admits to not being able to sleep the night before down for a break to relax. Then it all starts again at
skiing – competition or recreational – as she told around 2pm with fitness training – which can
Barry Spouge, who paid a visit to the GB Team involve anything from running, cycling, volleyball
Summer Camp in Saas Fee in August. Here he was or working in the gym and goes on until around
able to spend time with both Chemmy and Alain 5pm when they finish for the day.
Baxter, who were training, testing and preparing Imagine this 5-6 days a week! Even when they’re
for the forthcoming FIS/Audi World Cup season. back in the UK, the day is then taken up with
The ‘glamour’ starts at around 5.30am – the general fitness training. So it’s not all about
coaches catch the first lift up at 6.30am to prepare ‘glamour’ , it’s about commitment.
A ‘glamorous’ sport ...
that starts at 5.30am
Chemmy shot into the public gaze
after finishing 11th in Lake Louise
and 9th in Cortina last year.
A lot is expected of her this season,
not least by herself and she is fully
committed. Chemmy is intent on
making her presence felt this season.
Surrounded by the beautiful Swiss
scenery we talked about her dreams
BS You started skiing at eighteen
months. When did you realise
you were really enjoying skiing?
CA When I was young, before I was
10, there were always a lot of races
like Burns races up in Scotland and it
was really competitive and there
wasn’t segregation between girls and
guys. We used to race the boys and
when I started beating the boys at 9
and 10, it was like, hang on I could do
And then I was on the British
Children’s team and the first World
Championship I went to in Garnish I
won a gold there and that was at the
point where I decided. I used to be a
tennis player as well and I said
suppress the tennis and focus on the
skiing. At that age, it was quite
tough. At 13 you have to start
thinking about fitness and nutrition,
that wasn’t really what I wanted to
think about, but it has all paid off and
it was fun.
Continued on pages 12-15 High hopes: Alain Baxter and Chemmy Alcott in training at Saas Fee.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:43 pm Page 12
12 THE piste September 2004 September 2004 THE piste 13
BS You’ve come on to make a career you always look to the person ahead of BS How do you actually prepare for a beeps start going, you can’t start thinking
out of it. How did that follow through
from liking it, enjoying it and the
you. I think there are still loads of people
for me to look up to and I keep getting Mum cried race? What programme do you
are my boots done up, what haven’t I
done, am I ready?
children’s team? pushed by the girls behind so it’s a really
CA Yes, you see the kids out here and
down the CA You just want to feel confident. If you
need one day on snow to feel confident or
BS What’s race day like?
there is so much respect for each one on BS What do you think is the biggest five days before a race, whatever, you just CA My best race was Cortina. I got up that
the team, but at the same time there is
rivalry and I think that is really healthy. In
single improvement that you have
made in the last year?
phone ... do what you feel is right. Because I do
four disciplines, I have quite a heavy
morning having slept in. I’d gone to bed
too late. I put my water bottle in my bag
the Austrian team at that age they’ve got programme so I’ll be racing on a GS World with my cat suit – and my water leaked all
the rivalry, but there is no respect, they
will do anything to win. But having said
CA Everything happens at the same time.
Last year I spent four months in Salzburg
‘Don’t Cup on a Sunday and I’ll have to do a
Super G on the next Wednesday so I can
over it. I got the suit out 15 minutes
before the race and it was frozen cold. In
that I think my parents might have
preferred it if I had gone into tennis. At
the Olympics, I remember phoning my
physical training, no social life, nothing.
I went in there and all I did was train,
eat and sleep. I also changed to
do any go on that Tuesday do 2 runs of Super G
feel good and go right I’m ready. So, no, I
don’t really have a fixed programme I
the start gate, they called the start down
because of big winds, and then all these
winds were just absorbing all the warmth
mum after the downhill, and hearing her
crying down the phone: “Don’t do any
more downhills – please.”
Fischers. The company is really
helpful. I am one of their top ranked
speed skiers, and they know that, so
more think you can get too focused on that.
What if something changes, the weather
is bad and you can’t ski – you can’t be
and I’m just thinking I’m really cold oh I’d
better go now – and there you go!
Preparation? Well, I did notice that every
In the skiing environment, the travel, the
people, it’s just such a really friendly
they give me their best skis. I did a
lot of work mentally, I got a new downhills superstitious like that. time something went wrong for me it took
my focus off the whole event.
sport. sports psychologist and we just BS Which of the disciplines do you
BS Can you try too hard, obviously
clicked. I think it was an
accumulation of everything at the
– please’ like most? BS Why do you think you did so well
standing in the start gate, gearing right time. I grew up a lot as well. CA I like them all, seriously it’s the
yourself up? difference and the variety. I couldn’t be a CA I think the weather played a part, plus
BS Is funding better than it one-discipline skier. I couldn’t go up 300 the fact I was relaxed and because I was
CA Yes, that is actually one of my biggest was five years ago? days a year and train and race one really angry because the day before I had
problems because I’ve got very quick discipline. I’m too impatient for that. skied really well, but I’d put the wrong
reactions. When I do downhill and things CA Yes. I’m really lucky. After the wax on and finished 32nd, my worst
I’ve got to do a lot psychologically on this. Olympics Witan came on board and BS Most people don’t know the downhill event that season. I knew I could
I see everything in ‘Chemmy time’ and it is Marks & Spencer and Audi recently difference between a Super G and a do Cortina so I was really angry and the
really slow. I can watch a girl come down and Fischers . It is great to be Downhill. From a skier’s point of view hill owed me something, but I was really
after me, who I have beaten, but I think recognised and be British. what is the difference? relaxed and I wanted Witan, my sponsors
that she is really fast, so I get really to see me at my best.
impatient and agitated when I am going BS How do you view your chances CA For me I think Super G is the hardest
down and try and make speed. in the coming World Cup season? event ... when you’re going 70-80mph and BS Do you think anything on the way
you’re going into the course blind. You get down or does it all go so quickly?
BS Yes, they say it’s about relaxation CA If you look at my splits last Lucky girl: Chemmy Alcott, to inspect it, but you don’t get to run it,
and you can be too tense. year my average split on the whose season highlight whereas in downhill you get at least one CA Usually you can’t think of anything.
steep was top five in the was being kissed by training run before the event. In Super G, You get to the bottom and people meet
CA Finding your Zen bubble and all that. I world. It was just the flat Alberto Tomba on the you’re in the start gate and you just have you and say what were you thinking. I
I’ve had Graham Bell phoning me up after that was holding me back and I podium at Lake Louise. to race, and it takes a lot of guts. don’t remember the course at all. And, in
every flat downhill I have ever done have done a lot of work on it this summer Cortina, strangely the last bit is very flat
saying ‘Just relax, find your Zen.’ and I will continue to do so. I’m one of podium with a winner’s medal. You in the race came up to me and shook my BS What do you think of when you’re and I came around the last bend and I
those skiers who if I have a good run I can always remember your Top Tens, and hand and said good job. standing in the start gate and the heard the crowd going mad and the
BS Has any particular skier or person be up there but I am also of the nature being kissed by Alberto Tomba on the time is ticking down? What is going commentator, who you never hear, so I
been a particular influence on you so where I do make a lot of mistakes. I know podium was the highlight of my last BS And the next day you appeared in through your mind at that point? actually pulled my bullies (in English, I
far as your skiing is concerned? I will ski fast if I am happy. season. the British papers which, until then, went lower in my tuck) sensing I was
had been unheard of. CA You’ll laugh at this one: a variety of having a good run. When I actually
CA When I was younger it was all about BS Your greatest achievement was BS So it’s good to finish in the Top things, but mostly ‘Maximus’ from finished there was a great roar and the
the Tomba era and Panella Wiberg. I think really the 9th place at Cortina. Ten then as far as you are concerned. CA It was great. But it goes up and down. Gladiator the movie. A few years ago I did number 9 and my name was flashing and
when I was about 12 someone said I Next season I will be starting number 1 a lot of work with visualising and for me everyone was screaming.
looked like her and so that was all I CA That was great, I think the highlight of CA Yes, and it was a day when everyone and 2 in Super G and Downhill, which is ‘Maximus’ epitomises everything I wanted
needed. I said I am going to be like her my season was when I got the 11th at noticed because I came from the back the toughest position to start, so I just to do in skiing: he was strong, nothing
then and she happened to be winning Lake Louise in Super G because I didn’t and did it – and it was really bad weather hope I can keep control of that, because if fazed him and he was really competitive. I
everything. So it was a good motivation to realise I could do that. I set myself targets and I got a lot of respect. The best thing I can get through the first two months of just get into the start gate thinking of him
go out there. But even in a British team and that was a dream, standing on the about that day was that every single girl the season I just know I can do anything. and I’m fired up, ready to go. When those Continued on page 14
‘Gladiator epitomises all I want in skiing’
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 14
14 THE piste September 2004
‘I just sat on that lift, cold - but I wouldn’t swap it’
Continued from page 13 BS How do you stay focused and BS They say skiing is all about
motivated with all the training aggression, attacking a course. Is
BS Are you confident about the that goes on? it the same for you?
next Winter Olympics?
CA I love it, every bit of it. The fitness, CA Yes I am a very fiery person
CA Yes. We went to an Olympic the skiing – like this morning was a because I’ve been brought up in a
conference the other day and they tough day. I was up there, I didn’t very competitive environment. I have
said right, you’ve got 600 days to the take my jacket, it was rather wet. I three older brothers, lots of
next Olympics and you’ve got to thought this is rather interesting. I testosterone around, and I’ve always
make a goal for every single day. just sat on that lift really cold and been a fighter. I’m competitive in
We have not even qualified for them thought what’s happening to my everything, probably overly so, but it
yet so I just take each day as it body now and how am I going to use does help in skiing. But you do have a
comes. For us the World Cup is this on another day. But I wouldn’t lot of girls here who do err on the
much more competitive than the swap it for anything. technical side of being smooth and
Olympics. I say, if I can get a top 10 in really feel the snow but I’m much
the World Cup I can get a Top 7 in an more aggressive that’s why certain
Olympics. pistes suit me and certain events.
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Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 15
September 2004 THE piste 15
BS More than ever young skiers good and I can be part of it. I know really healthy it’s great that TV skiing
look to Chemmy Alcott and Alain that skiing won’t be around forever rights are competitively fought over,
Baxter as role models. What does and there are things that you can particularly when you think of the
it take to be a world class pursue at the same time, like in the millions that are paid for football. It’s
performer? media and modelling, although I amazing getting to the bottom and
couldn’t be a conventional model. have a camera thrust in your face,
CA I am amazed they think I’m cool. really amazing. I have the French,
You need to persevere. In any sport BS Is it difficult balancing skiing who want to claim me because I went
you have highlights, but there are low with modelling? to school there, the Austrians want
times as well. You have to be stronger me because my parents were
in those times than you have to be CA No, but I’m a ski racer first and Austrian, then the Swedish because
when at the top and I think that’s foremost. I do modelling because I I’m blonde and the Swiss because I
where people forget to dig deep and can then justify the money I spend on speak French, so when you get to the
think it’s too tough. I watched myself knowing that I have actually bottom everyone wants a bit of you!
‘Touching the Void’ a couple of weeks worked for this. When I get money Millions of stories have been written
ago and it’s amazing the physical from skiing it’s like it isn’t really work, on how “Look at all these Brits
endurance those guys must have it’s fun. When I got my first prize coming through”.
had. I sometimes complain
about doing 50 press-ups, these BS With the Olympics
guys went for 10 days without
food. Also a good coach.
Coaches can take you really far
My advice? coming up, is there a
chance that a Brit can
deliver a medal?
but I think the British system is
so good now you can really trust
it. It’s so structured, in fact we
Just keep CA I certainly would love Alain
to win a medal after last time, I
have taken about three coaches think he deserves one more
from other really top class teams.
enjoying than anyone I know, that
would be great. Obviously I
BS What advice would you would like one too but I have
give to a young skier who
wants to be the next Chemmy
your skiing got more time on my hands.
BS So when is your first
race this season?
CA Keep enjoying things. Don’t
take it all too seriously. Lots of CA October 23 is the World
youngsters fall into the trap that Cup opener in Solden, that’s
racing is everything. You’ve got highlighted, ringed and circled
to keep the enjoyment factor. I on my calendars.
mean if you don’t smile at the
end of a day’s skiing then you BS What is the programme
have to assess whether it’s for between now and then?
you or not.
CA Well, this is our first ski
BS Do you have much time for camp we do two weeks on and
a social life? then a week and a half off at
home and then two weeks on
CA I have as much social life as I and so on.
need right now. All my friends are
skiers, basically about 80 per BS Do you always come
cent, lots of the girls I went to back to Saas Fee?
Amazed: A cool Chemmy Alcott.
school with I still get on really
well with, but they don’t really CA I do Saas Fee, Zermatt, I do
understand where I’m coming from. money that meant nothing to me – Zermatt for Downhill, it depends on
standing on the podium with all these the snow its very flexible. I just get in
BS Do you still do any of the other great names meant more. that plane and go knowing that I’m
modelling you have done in the going skiing. Can you imagine that I
past? BS What do you see yourself still can’t sleep the night before I’m
doing after skiing? going skiing, you’d think after 20
CA I do quite a lot in the summer years of doing it I wouldn’t still be like
when I’m not skiing. It’s really fun. CA I’d like to be a TV presenter. an excited little child going to
Marks & Spencer are the best Disneyworld, but I am. I lie in bed at
company to work for. They always BS What on Ski Sunday? night and think I’m not going to be
invite me to champagne and CA That would be interesting. I think able to sleep tonight I’m going skiing
strawberry teas! The range is really the Channel 4 – Ski Sunday rivalry is tomorrow. Yippee!
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 16
16 THE piste September 2004
‘I want to get on the podium’
Continued from page 10 BS Are Atomic giving you a lot of
Olympics hopeful: technical assistance?
BS Are you looking forward to the Alain Baxter. AB Yes. You get the advancements in
Olympics, after all the problems of technology, Kalle skis on them too, so
the last one? you get to know what’s happening. They
AB Yes, very much. My eyes are set on have a lot more than just the Austrians
this season so far. You can’t look too far skiing on them now.
ahead in skiing because you’ve got to be
in there and we have got the World BS Do you think more money should
Championships this year in Bormio, Italy. be put into skiing?
I feel that’s a good piste for me, although AB There always have been good British
I didn’t do too well last time I was there. Cup, it’s been hard for me to compete. skiers, but I think we have now got more
Something with GS didn’t work for me at a higher level and more across the
BS When’s your first race? last season. board: men, women, slalom, downhill.
AB It depends whether I’m going to do The thing about funding in Great Britain
the GS in Solden in October. BS On the day how do you decide was that it aimed more at the top end
what skis you are going to use and than the junior development. Now we’ve
BS Is that something you are trying what set up you are going to have or got a system, people at a younger age
to decide on the basis of what you do you rely on your technicians? with the talent will come through if they
want to do, or think you are better AB Conditions can be so diverse, so you stick it out. That’s what its all about.
off doing? have one set for ice and another for soft
AB Slalom for me is my event, it always snow. You get to take two pairs up and BS How do you stay motivated,
has been, there’s a great difference in my you ski it the day before, but then again having been in skiing for so long?
world ranking, last year I had my GS they may decide to water it the night AB I want to get on the podium, so that
down to 100th in the world, which is the before so when you turn up in the keeps me going. And I have a fresh head
best I have ever been. But, on the World morning it’s sheet ice! on this year with changing equipment.
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Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 17
September 2004 THE piste 17
Hermann Maier, last
season’s overall winner of
the FIS/Audi World Cup is
training hard to defend his
After a short break, he
resumed training in the
gym and on the slopes.
Barry Spouge phoned
Hermann to find out how
he felt about last season
and his plans for the
forthcoming World Cup
Essential reading: Hermann Maier checks out the Piste.
‘Winning the World Cup
was a dream come true’
BS How did it feel to win the HM I already started training. In the BS Rumour has it that you will be
overall title last season? beginning it was mostly cardio based – changing ski suppliers from
HM This was just unbelievable! I running or ergometer biking. This is Atomic, is this true?
considered this season as a comeback followed by co-ordination work and HM No, this is not true. I already
and just wanted to do better than last strength training. In July we started signed a three-year-contract till 2007
season – I wanted to win some races. skiing again on the glacier (Zermatt, with Atomic!
But winning the overall World Cup was Switzerland). In August we went to
like a dream coming true for me. Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, where BS Do you feel that your leg has
we had three weeks of solid training recovered to its former strength
BS What have you been doing on snow (downhill, Super-G, GS). following last season?
during the summer break? HM Unfortunately not – my leg is still
HM I didn’t have too much time to BS Having made last year your lacking feeling because too many
relax. I had lots of PR appointments ‘comeback’ season what are you nerves have been damaged. I’m
and I was skiing to test new material. I looking to achieve this winter? realistic enough having realized that it
went to Italy for a few days, and I had HM I’m looking forward to the World will never be the same than before the
some nice tours with my motor bike. Championships in Bormio, Italy. On a accident.
After receiving the “Laureus award” as downhill and Super-G course I really
“World Comeback Athlete of the Year” like – one of my favourites. After BS What was the best thing last
in Lisbon, I stayed on in Portugal. winning downhill and Super-G races season, outside of winning the
last season, everything should be overall title?
BS When do you start training for possible! HM Winning downhill races again. The
the coming season? victories in Beaver Creek and St. Anton
HM I started in the middle of May – BS Who do you think are your really meant a lot to me!
right after returning from Portugal. To greatest rivals for the coming
get ready for the season you have to season?
build a solid basement. HM It’s hard to say in the summer. I’m
expecting having the same rivals as We will be keeping up to date with
BS What is the plan between now last year, and if Lasse Kjus and Kjetil- Hermann’s title defence by telephone
and the start of the season in Andre Amodt from Norway are fit again during the course of the forthcoming
October? it is going to be real tough! season.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 18
18 THE piste September 2004
Goal setting so vital to
Continued from page 3 feedback to each other. required of the Snowsport England
Snowsport safety is paramount at Development Coach.
All ten skiers left the course with all times and the first week this is The entire process is designed to
clear action plans and in full investigated with the use of risk be enjoyable and to build on the
knowledge of their strengths and assessments and appraisals of current competence of aspirant
areas for development for their dangers and hazards. coaches.
forthcoming training sessions. Goal The effective coach manages their It demands a great deal from
setting and action plans are crucial to equipment and the environment so participants and encourages them to
achieving aspirations and currently that these resources serve them well take responsibility for their own
each of the ten aspirant coaches are in their work and during the course. learning and development. Naturally
training, with guidance from their Evidence of this is generated during during courses of this duration and
mentor coaches, at their home slopes the first week of the course so that intensity team building occurs and
in England. any necessary changes can be made participants find one another a
So what does the course during the second week. source of information and inspiration.
actually involve? Additionally, in the second week The design of the course delivery
A great deal of training, fun and the focus shifts to the coaching enhances this process and requires
hard work, including 60 hours of on- process. Participants further practice participants to have dialogue with
ski training spread over the 12 days analysing performance, setting action each other and be a support in each
and two hours each evening of points and learn tools to assist in others professional development.
discussion and reviews. scoring performance against given This aspect is continuing at their
The first week’s focus is primarily model performances. home slopes with some of the
skiing performance: practicing Core Exploration of a range of coaching aspirant coaches coming together for
Form skiing, the Technical Pathways, and learning methods gives way to ongoing training with their mentor
the Fundamentals, All Mountain – All participants delivering brief sessions coaches.
Terrain skiing and Skill Drills. themselves. The Development Coach
During this time skiing Here the evaluation process is certification is aimed at all current
performance is developed and the given as much credence as the ASSIs who have experience of
knowledge and understanding of planning and delivery of sessions. instructing skiers on artificial slopes
effective and functional skiing. The course culminates in personal (including snow-domes) and who
The team is built from day one and performance scoring sessions which have experience of skiing on snow.
participants are encouraged to clearly establish where each Potential aspirant coaches are
practice their analysis skills through participant is in relation to the motivated to gain knowledge and
partner skiing and providing technical and coaching levels understanding of coaching and to
improve their skiing performance
over the entire mountain, taking in
not only groomed slopes but also
bumps, variable terrain and changing
Ultimately, the Snowsport England
Development Coach will be someone
who inspires and assists other skiers
to attain skiing performances beyond
their own levels; one of the signs of a
s For details of the course contact
John Arnold via www. johnarnold.biz;
for booking details, contact the
Course Organiser, World Class Skiing
on 08452 301520 and www.world
classskiing.net which organises the
travel and accommodation on behalf
of Snowsport England; for general
enquiries contact the Snowsport
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 19
September 2004 THE piste 19
Norway may not offer the same
dramatic Alpine scenery found in
many European resorts, but it does
offer a unique wilderness
Kvitavatn is a small resort with a
dozen or so lifts and pistes which
offer a suprising range of skiing. No
queuing, no pushing, no barging or
bad manners! The hustle and bustle
of most downhill skiing venues is left
The pistes, a couple of minutes’
walk from the accommodation, are
well maintained with good lift
facilities. The accommodation is
simple, clean, comfortable and very Rest break: Ski tourers in action round Kvitavatn.
The resort offers little in the way of
apres-ski other than what you make
yourself with your friends and other
course participants. The best thing
however, apart from the food at the
Fjellstoge, is its location: the
proximity to superb half-day and full-
day ski tours, accessed by skiing
downhill, from the ski store, onto a
step out on tour
frozen lake. A first-time experience of the first time, the terrain in this area the area, it would be unusual to meet
crossing a frozen lake is memorable! is ideal. Instruction is recommended any other skiers on your tour.
Ski touring in this area is and can be provided by Snowsport Having crossed half a kilometre of
wonderful. For Alpine and Nordic England coaches. frozen lake, skins are fitted, clothing
skiers who can basic parallel and Apart from the summit of Gausta, is adjusted and a choice of local
want to improve or to try touring for the highest and most popular peak in gullies offer you varied approaches to
summits and cols where beautiful
arctic scenery is revealed in all its
Take advantage of Nordic course splendour. To ski back, making fresh
tracks down the bowls and gullies
Each year Snowsport England offers slight modifications to posture. It is round here, is an unforgettable
a unique Nordic course based in these modifications that will provide experience.
Norway. Participants can opt for the skier with the potential and A high standard of personal
programmes of: opportunities to gain experience and performance is expected from all the
s Cross-country, track skiing mileage on-piste and off-piste (snow coaches and this is epitomised by our
activities conditions permitting). Course Director Patrick Winterton, an
s Downhill Telemark on-piste For most Alpine skiers who start ex-British Telemark champion, and
s Ski touring experiences the week with ability to basic parallel our guest coach Mike Dixon, six times
s Personal performance on-piste, linked Telemark turns on- Olympic representative in Biathlon
qualifications and coaching awards. piste, by the end of the week, are a events.
Although embraced by the Nordic realistic target.
banner the downhill Telemark course The ability to switch from Alpine to
is promoted as “Improve your Telemark technique is a tremendous
Skiing” appropriate to Alpine or asset for any skier searching to
Nordic skiers. The course is led by improve their versatility and
coaches with qualifications in both adaptability (as well as looking s If you are interested in skiing
disciplines. good!). Norway with us in 2005, contact
Many people miss the point, that Ski steep “hard pack” in alpine Helen Bell at email@example.com
to be a really competent Nordic and then as the angle eases drop If you require information regarding
Telemark skier, you need to be a into graceful aesthetic Telemark Telemark courses abroad or on the
really competent Alpine skier. turns on-piste! Parallel a fast narrow dry slope, please contact Andy
A good Alpine skier, therefore, has track, or Telemark a soft-snow mogul Stewart for a chat or more
a real advantage, they will fast track field. Put skins on and tour up to information/details on 01772 531224
the telemark technique far quicker your favourite summit. Ski down, or mobile 07766 785352. Andy
than most people imagine. Sound continuously linking arcs off-piste, Stewart is a Senior Nordic and Alpine
alpine techniques are the basis for tactically changing from “Tele” to Tutor for Snowsport England and a
sound Nordic techniques with some “Parallel”. Fantastic! BASI Telemark Instructor.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 20
20 THE piste September 2004
Set in the Wilder Kaiser mountains,
Soll has been popular with British
skiers for many years. In the early
80s it gained some notoriety as a
lager lout resort. Some loud bars
Soll for mio – the
remain, but as a whole the place has
quietened down considerably.
Soll, a typical Austrian village,
small with a beautiful church in its
skiing’s so good!
centre (well worth a visit), has the Barry Spouge returns to a popular resort with Brits –
usual shops, bars and cafés and is
part of the Ski Welt, Austria’s largest which has sobered up somewhat since the heady 1980s,
linked ski and snowboard area. but can still provide a warm welcome and great skiing
This covers the resorts of Scheffau,
Ellmau, Hopfgarten and Brixen. It is of the staff make this a very friendly
ideal for beginners and FACTfile hotel for families and groups.
Steve also skis with his guests
intermediates, with a few black runs
for the experts among you. SKI WELT AREA three days a week, normally on
Soll’s slopes are the highest in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This
region (1800m – 6,000 ft) and face s Resort level 700m is an excellent way to see the area
north, so the snow tends to stay a bit s Km of piste 250 and get your bearings; then on the
longer. Another village is Westendorf, s Snowmaking 160km Tuesday and Thursday you are free to
a separate resort, but covered by the covered go and please yourself. If the snow is
same area pass. s Longest run 8km right, you can also ski right back to
I visited Soll in February 2004, s Difficulty 38% beginner, the hotel.
staying at the Gansleit Hotel. I have 53% I arrived to probably the most snow
stayed here before and can say it is intermediate, I have ever seen in the region and it
one of the best in the village. Steve, 9% advanced snowed on and off during the week.
who is English, and Rosie his Austrian s Off-piste Good The skiing was great, though not
wife, certainly know how to make s Cross-country 165km necessarily demanding – but there’s
their guests welcome. From the s Glaciers None more than enough to keep most
welcome drink (Schnapps – downed s Restaurants 73 skiers and boarders occupied.
very quickly) through to board games s Lift capacity 130,000/hr The Ski Welt has massively
(all sorts available) and the constant s No of lifts 93 invested in snowmaking with over
fun generated by Steve, Rosie and all half of the Ski Welt’s 250km of pistes
Holidays in To the Alps Hand luggage
top resorts – by train limits raised
Skiing Europe, the school, youth and Eurostar's direct ski service to the easyJet claims to have introduced
adult group ski tour operator, now French Alps is available for booking. Europe's most generous hand
arranges skiing holidays in 12 top Direct Eurostar services from baggage allowance, removing the
resorts in four Alpine countries and Waterloo or Ashford go to the French weight restriction (within reasonable
Canada. towns of Moutiers, Aime la Plagne limits) on hand luggage for all
All instructors, both ski and and Bourg St Maurice. passengers.
snowboard, are experienced and A shuttle bus journey takes skiers In order to comply with safety
qualified, typically holding BASI or to the famous Alpine resorts which regulations laid-down by the UK Civil
CSIA Instructors certificates, as are include Courchevel, Meribel, Tignes, Aviation Authority and to reflect the
the majority of their ski friends ot La Plagne and Les Arcs. limited space in the overhead
guides. The night service offers the benefit storage bins, there will be volume
s Qualified and experienced of an additional two days on the limit of 55 x 40 x 20cm for the
Instructors who are seeking part- piste while, through the on-the-day principal piece of hand baggage - the
time work during school holiday service, passengers can enjoy same as BA’s Club Class.
periods should send a CV to spectacular scenic views en route to Passengers will also be entitled to
firstname.lastname@example.org or to Brian the Alps. take a small piece of personal
Snook, Skiing Europe, 40 Meadow s Eurostar ski trains and luggage onboard – such as a
View, Potterspury, Towcester, accommodation can be booked handbag, camera bag, laptop etc.
Northants. NN12 7PH. through www.eurostar.com s Visit www.easyjet.com
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 21
September 2004 THE piste 21
up for the days skiing. A ski hire shop
is situated at the Gondola station so
you can hire all you need and leave it
overnight at the end of each day.
Lifts in the region are pretty good. A
gondola up from Soll takes you to the
halfway point on the Hohe Salve;
from here you can access many other
lifts to different parts of the Ski Welt.
A number of new Gondolas and
chairs have been installed recently
with these replacing most of the old T
Bars. Scheffau is a very popular ski
area, not to far away, with a snow
bowl that seems to have good snow
when other parts don’t.
If, like us, you like to take a mid-
morning break the area has some
wonderful mountain restaurants. One
to recommend is at Brandstadl. It
offers a great range of Tyrolean fayre
and you can sit in (on a cold day) or
outside on the terrace – but, be
warned, this and most others, get
Panoramic: The Austrian village of Soll. very busy at peak times so if you are
stopping, do it a bit earlier than
now covered. A recent addition has from the same point. It’s not the normal.
been the introduction of night skiing. Cresta run, but at night it’s a great If you are looking for a fun holiday
This takes place on the resort runs by laugh. with plenty of skiing then Soll is the
taking the Gondola from the base The general scenery is very place for you. Holidays to Soll (and
then skiing back down under attractive, especially the panoramic the Gansleit) can be found in the
floodlights, that’s if you feel you have views from up on the Hohe Salve. A Thomson – Ski & Board brochure
not had enough skiing during the day Free ski bus serves the area, but to be from your local travel agent of direct
– it’s quite atmospheric. You can also honest the walk to the lifts (unless from Thomson on 0870 606 1470 or
take out a toboggan and do the run you are in ski boots) is a good warm www.thomson-ski.co.uk
Ski holiday market continues to grow
The ski market is healthier than ever McLeod is not worried by the growth of risen beyond the market’s “willingness
with more than one million skiers no-frills, claiming traditional operators to pay”. The stability of the ski market
going abroad last season, the Ski & will always win the lion’s share of the can also be attributed to the excellent
Snowboard Industry Report 2004 from ski market as they provide transfers to snow of last season, leading to
Crystal Holidays reveals. the resort. confidence in the market.
With a 3 per cent rise on the The 2003-04 season also saw an The season saw more people
preceding winter and a massive 45 per increase in the number of passengers booking directly with tour operators,
cent rise since 1980, the report shows carried by tour operators. Tour via the internet and call centres.
that predictions of the decline of skiing operators carried 1.4 per cent more Tour operators have also responded
were greatly exaggerated. passengers, a total of 602,000. to the changing market requirements
It finds the most significant growth The most popular countries by providing dynamic packaging and
was in skiers booking flights and remained more or less unchanged flexible durations.
accommodation separately – the since 2001: France received 36.5 per Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
independent sector – which is up 7 per cent; Austria 19.8 per cent; Italy 16 fall on a Saturday changing the
cent on last year, although the rate of per cent and Andorra 13.8 per cent. departure day to a Thursday in Austria
growth is slowing. Switzerland declined in the tour and to a Monday in France during
There are now more flights to the operator market, although some of its December. This results in nine-day
Alps than ever before – the number of capacity may have been absorbed in holidays in January in Austria and five-
passengers flown to European ski the growth of the independent sector. day holidays in France.
destinations has increased by 9 per Andorra has seen its share reduce North American sales are forecast to
cent season-on-season fuelled by the for the first time in many seasons by grow significantly, supported by the
growth of the low-cost carriers. 0.3 per cent to 13.8 per cent in 2003- dollar exchange rate moving beyond
Crystal managing director Stuart 04, as accommodation prices have £1 to $1.80.
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 22
22 THE piste September 2004
department to respond to the
demands of the three phases of
the turn: 1 Power Steering tips 2
s New from Salomon are Streetracer s A new innovation from Atomic aims Super powerful middle 3 Acceleration
skis (above) – a radical new to revolutionise safety in skiing. The Tail.
generation dedicated to on-piste Electronic Binding Management
carving. Models in the range include helps prevent skiing accidents by s Lange has presented its "Closure
Streetracer 8 for those who prefer the running a diagnostic safety check as Engineering" concept. The 2004-05
groomed slopes. Featuring Autocarve you step into your bindings. collection includes the new lever-
for intuitive steering using a unique The EBM provides the user with based closure and fixing systems. In
blend of Spaceframe technology information about whether or not the accordance with various foot shapes
(Salomon’s3D material to allow binding is properly closed, if the and the skier’s technical skills, Lange
specific torsional tuning along the forward pressure is adjusted properly offers in fact three new specific
entire length of the ski) with over or if binding maintenance is closure systems: 4X4, 4X3 and 4X2.
shaped side cuts for a combination of necessary. It is also possible to check
edge grip control and power. how many hours the binding has s K2 T-Nine skis, a women’s specific
A model is also available for ladies been used, the condition of the range, has been launched. The shape
(Streetracer 8 women’s), made lighter battery and the adjusted binding of the ski and the specially tailored
with the flex softened and the binding settings at any time. core is unique to the range. The T-
position moved forward for easy turn The manufacturer is also Nines start at beginner and go up to
initiation and control. introducing a range of Multi expert. Also, a percentage of every
For Salomon products, contact your Condition Equipment skis called sale goes to Breast Cancer Research.
local stockist. Metron that make it possible for Check them out at your local K2
skiers of all abilities to carve in stockist.
s Oakley has launched a new powder snow or race on or off piste
goggle, the Wisdom (from £79.99). on the same ski. s A wrist top computer and personal
The large lens portal is claimed to The Metron skis feature an ultra- navigation instrument, the feature
offer unrestricted vision in any wide shovel and tail and the rich Suunto X9 GPS (below), includes
direction. For a bit of fun, Oakley has innovation has been made possible Altimeter, Barometer, Compass,
also come up with the Monster by the addition of exclusive Chronograph watch and its also a full
Doggle Sunglasses (£85). These technologies such as Beta-5 and Beta GPS unit. With an adjustable satellite
huge, deep black-framed glasses Puls, critical factors in helping to fix rate you can navigate the outdoors
hold a gold iridium lens that keeps control the twisting of the skis. for up to a week between battery
eyes safe in the brightest days. charges.
s Head has launched a new boot for
this season, the S8 ski boot. It offers
two different lasts by varying an
internal frame that is independent
from the shell. So even the most
difficult feet can be accommodated.
Available in men’s and women’s fit.
s Celebrating its 40th anniversary
this year, Dynastar has created
Autodrive Technology, which
originally stemmed from the research
and the results of the competition
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 23
September 2004 THE piste 23
The fun starts here!
s Give your hands and feet a healthy glow with the
Therm-ic Bootwarmer. Simply pop them into your
boots or gloves in your room (or even your car) and
by the time you’re ready to put them on, they’ll be
toasty warm, claims the maker.
After a day on the mountain, your throat may be
dry but there’s a good chance that your boots will be
wet. Avoid the misery of putting on damp boots with
the Therm-ic Air. It not only dries all kinds of boots
overnight and warms them up, but the UV light
reduces bacteria and gets rid of unpleasant smells.
The BootWarmer sells at £22 with the Therm-ic Air
product selling at £40.
To find your local stockist telephone 01539
725817 or go to www.sidas.com
• 86 resorts in 12 countries
across Europe, USA
• Great Value holidays,
starting from just £199pp
• FREE kids places on all
• Fantastic Group Offers
– up to 1 FREE place in 5
Reservations 0870 405 5038
Brochure line 01235 824 400 quoting
Request a brochure, check availability
or book online at
Piste Sept 04 16/9/04 4:35 pm Page 24
For unforgettable winter holidays in Switzerland, or to order our new winter
brochure, contact us on Freephone 00800 100 200 30 or email@example.com