The ski season has begun with plenty of snow and our favourite athletes are in full training flow to bring us plenty more jaw-dropping videos throughout the season.
From big mountain to giant slalom and pond skimming slipped in there, these are some of the most exciting events to watch out for.
British Schoolgirls and Schoolboys Races: 27th-29th January 2020
A new partner for the Ski Club this season, we’re looking forward to watching the rising talent at the British Schoolgirls’ and Schoolboys’ races in January. The girls will be hosted in Flaine, while the boys will be in Wengen. Both the boys and the girls will have two days of training and getting used to the slopes, before two days of competition – finishing with the ever-competitive slalom races.
The world’s oldest and longest downhill ski race takes place every year in Murren. Organised by “ski-crazy Brits” in 1928, it’s now the largest amateur ski race in the world with 1,850 competitors. In fact, so well-known that James Bond decides to have a punt at it while escaping the villain in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Starting at Kleines Schilthorn and continuing round S bends, through woodland, along a forest trail and into Lauterbrunnen, competent skiers are likely to ski it in around half an hour, the winner taking around 15mins. Thanks to an update in ski technology, the 14.9km winning time has been shaved from 1 hour and 12 minutes to just over 13 minutes.
Verbier High Five: 11th April 2020
Consider yourself a master of the big four? At Verbier High Five the giant slalom, flying kilometre, ski cross and waterslide are the four big disciplines that part amateurs from masters. Ski alongside Olympic champions and local stars as you battle for gold. Have you got the speed to overtake an Olympic ski cross champion or the balance to surf the water without getting wet? Even if you don’t, all the winners and losers will get a high five and a Carlsberg at a larger than life après session at Pub Mont Fort.
AJ Bell Alpine Challenge: 30th January – 2nd February 2020
The AJ Bell Alpine Challenge is held every January in Morzine by the snowsports youth charity, SnowCamp. The two-day challenge sees teams of four ski across the 150km Portes du Soleil ski area, making as many checkpoints as possible. A GPS system tracks the team’s progress and photos of the complete team must be taken at each checkpoint. This encourages teamwork between participants and means others can’t take a break while one member whizzes around. In addition to making the most checkpoints, there are also prizes for teams that ski the most km and teams that fundraise the most.
World Pond Skimming Championship: 19th April 2020
There is no better end of season celebration than Vail’s Pond Skimming Championship. Don your best fancy dress and slide your way across the icy water without face planting. A panel of critiques will rate each performance on distance covered, style, creativity and water resistance!
Completed it? What about skimming the pond back to the UK?
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2020 – throughout the season
Launching back in 1967, the annual World Cup is the top of the pops for alpine skiing. It was founded by a group of ski racing friends that included French journalist, Serge Lang. The aim is to get the fastest time in slalom, giant slalom, super G and downhill.
Claimed by many to be more important than the Olympics, the World Cup is a prestigious competition. Austrian skiers have been known to dominate the podium, with Hermann Maier winning four golds, and more recently Marcel Hirscher winning eight consecutive World Cup titles. Over in the women’s, American skier Mikaela Shiffrin has won three consecutive years and is at the top of her game. We look forward to watching Marcel and Mikaela try to defend their position this season.
Founded 25 years ago, the Winter X Games had a soar in popularity when it was televised in 2002. It has been growing from strength to strength ever since with the addition of ski slopestyle and ski superpipe and snowboarding. Held in the US in January, the Winter X Games has been held in Aspen for 18 consecutive years.
Over the years, plenty of impressive new tricks have been landed – most notably Gus Kenworthy landing switch triple rodeo in ski slopestyle and Torstein Horgmo's triple cork in a snowboarding. Britain’s Billy Morgan made noise in 2011 landing the first snowboarding triple rodeo (three backflips in a 180 rotation) and Katie Ormerod was the first woman to stomp a double cork 1080.
But the main talking point has to be Shuan White, who was unbeatable in the snowboarding SuperPipe for three years running and holds the highest ever score of 97.75 back in 2018. Now I’d like to see someone try and beat that this year!
Freeride World Tour – selected dates in the season
Bringing together the world’s best freeskiers and freeride snowboarders, this competition sees some of the most daring routes in snowsports. Tackling ungroomed powder snow on vertiginous peaks, this epic, if not heart-stopping, competition began back in 2008. Prior to the Freeride World Tour, the Verbier Extreme had been a snowboarding contest since 1996, with skiers joining in 2004.
Held across the best big mountain and off-piste resorts, the most popular are Chamonix, Kicking Horse, Haines in Alaska and of course, Verbier. The Freeride World Qualifying events are held worldwide for up and coming athletes – 40 of which are in Europe. Competitors are scored and hope to qualify a spot on the Freeride World Tour. This is where some of the most impressive shots come from as the best riders compete against each other on the steepest alpine faces around the world.