Across The Globe
Ski Salt Lake’s Super Pass Offers Flexibility, Convenience and Value
Salt Lake City—the world’s largest ski town—is experiencing and enjoying a true renaissance featuring the recent opening of a $2 billion redevelopment project, City Creek, and two groundbreaking museums along with scores of new restaurants and bars. Combine that with Salt Lake’s four world-class resorts, including 500-plus inches of “The Greatest Snow On Earth,” and skiers and snowboarders have the making of the ultimate vacation. But, let’s face it; your heart is already here.
And this year, booking that unforgettable vacation has never been easier or had more value. Salt Lake invites you to “Ski. Stay. Save.” when you book your Ski Salt Lake vacation package before January 15, 2013 for early season savings. Packages include the famous Super Pass, and the longer you stay, the more you save – up to 25% off!
Skiers and snowboarders from around the globe dream of making the pilgrimage to Salt Lake to ski the famed Wasatch Mountains towering over Salt Lake, and its Cottonwood Canyon resorts—Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude. And why not? Salt Lake is the most accessible destination in North America, with each resort just 40 minutes from SLC International Airport and downtown Salt Lake; four of the nation’s top resorts; a combined 7,500-plus acres of jaw-dropping terrain; the above-mentioned snow, and lots of it; and the most convenient, flexible and value-laden lift ticket in the country, the Ski Salt Lake Super Pass.
Each Super Passes can be loaded with one to six days of powder-packed skiing or riding, is good over a seven-day period, and includes FREE round-trip transportation to/from each resort from/to downtown and suburban Salt Lake as well as a 20 percent discount at participating resort rental shops. There are NO blackout dates for the Ski Salt Lake Super Pass, and it’s valid throughout the entire 2012-13 season. It really is hard to beat.
Multi-day Super Passes (purchased a la carte) range in price from $69-$73 per day for adults (13 and up) and $34-$38 per day for juniors (7-12). Available for purchase online at Ski-SaltLake.com, or through travel agencies, tour operators and participating Salt Lake hotels, the Super Pass gives visitors the opportunity to experience all of Salt Lake’s famed resorts from a convenient base camp: Salt Lake City.
In addition to offering the Super Pass, a Salt Lake “Ski. Stay. Save.” vacation package provides a variety of lodging options to fit every interest and budget. From a luxury Five-Diamond hotel and spa, to a variety of remarkably well priced budget hotels, Salt Lake offers a downtown ‘base camp’ that is high on value and low on stress. Off the slopes, visitors can take advantage of all the other activities an urban setting has to offer, including a variety of cultural arts, a happening restaurant and nightlife scene, and endless shopping.
And yes, Utah’s liquor laws have been “normalized” and the drinking misconceptions should no longer be used as a reason for not taking advantage of all that Salt Lake has to offer. Plus, Salt Lake's brewpubs and brewmasters keep on bringing home the medals from various beer competitions, something that most people find difficult to believe...until they're sipping on a pint of Full Suspension Pale Ale or Polygamy Porter.
Though many destinations make similar claims, nowhere else in North America can skiers and snowboarders combine four world-class resorts with the amenities of a metropolitan setting, including exceptional dining, cultural arts, shopping and an eclectic nightlife. Salt Lake, simply stated, is the biggest ski town in North America and has redefined aprés ski, perfect for die-hard skiers and families alike.
So make this the year you experience skiing as it was meant to be and make that "rite-of-passage" trip to the famed Wasatch Mountains. With Salt Lake’s four resorts each getting huge amounts of the lightest, fluffiest snow in the world, you’re almost guaranteed to finally get to see, and ski, what the rest of the ski world already knows: Utah really is home to “The Greatest Snow On Earth.”
To book your vacation today and for more information, go to visitsaltlake.com/skistaysave.
Warren Miller's film crews capture some ridiculous footage of pro speed skaters rollerblading through the streets of Europe.
Click HERE for hundreds of clips from the Warren Miller Vault on our YouTube channel.
Chris Davenport discusses his Ski with the Superstars camp in Chile: what inspired him, who signs up, and what keeps bringing him back to Portillo.
Chris Davenport, one of Warren Miller Entertainment’s veteran athletes, is gearing up for his ninth annual Ski with the Superstars camp. The week-long camp is held at the iconic South American ski resort of Portillo, Chile, which is also a favorite destination for WME camera crews. We caught up with him just after his overnight hike from Aspen to Crested Butte, CO, with 11-year old son Stian, to find out about the camp, who signs up, and why he keeps going back to Portillo.
The camp evolved out of a project that Davenport was working on with Skiing Magazine. Part of the motivation of the camp was a desire to keep working with the resort. “I had been hosting a photo contest for Skiing Magazine, but that kind of thing gets tired after a few years. So I came up with the idea for an all mountain ski camp,” says Davenport.
It wasn’t hard for Davenport to figure out a coaching staff for the camp; he merely called up a few friends, who happened to be former Olympians, world champions and freeskiing icons. The original staff was Mike Douglas, Shane McConkey, Wendy Fisher, and Chris Anthony. The staff is all the same, says Davenport, excepting the loss of Shane and the addition of freeski star Ingrid Backstrom.
Tapping into the burgeoning popularity of big mountain skiing in the public eye, the camp has been going strong for almost a decade, with a diverse clientele and a lot of repeat guests.
A big part of big mountain skiing is fitness for hiking and strength to go all day, and Davenport emphasizes that guests arrive in good cardiovascular shape. “The camp is open to all expert skiers looking to take their skiing to the next level. It’s a really fun vibe. We do some drills and work on skills, but mostly we just go out and ski hard in a variety of terrain, and we do a lot of hiking,” he explains. The camp is composed of skiers ranging in age from their teens to their 60’s, about 30% women, and skiers come from all over the globe.
The camp remains at Chile’s isolated and legendary Portillo year after year, and there are a few reasons, according to Davenport. “I fell in love with Portillo. The ambiance, the authenticity, the nostalgia there. It is all about skiing in Portillo: no shopping, no real estate, nothing! It is the perfect environment for improving skiing.”
According to Davenport, there are still some spots left open for 2012’s session, you can find out more at his website, chrisdavenport.com, and you can get more information on Portillo at skiportillo.com.
Ski racers Ted Ligety and Marcus Caston find a hairy introduction to heli-skiing in Alaska.
In a segment for this year’s flick, Flow State, Warren Miller Entertainment camera crews followed Ted Ligety and his friend Marcus Caston up to Alaska to shred some rowdy powder lines. It was a unique opportunity for both skiers to gain experience in Alaskan-style skiing, as well as Marcus’s first experience filming with Warren Miller.
Ted invited his friend and ski buddy from Salt Lake as the ideal ski partner to have along, for a couple of reasons. “Marcus is a Shred and Slytech athlete, friend and an amazing skier that needed an opportunity to show the world what he could do,” said Ligety.
Both Ligety and Caston come from a racing background, but while Ted is still on the US Ski Team and at the top of the global GS scene, Marcus has branched out to become a big mountain skier based at Alta and Snowbird, Utah, a racer on the Rahlves Banzai Tour, and an action photographer. The two friends headed to Chugach Powder Guides and Alyeska to check out the world of heli-accessed powder slaying.
Neither skier had spent much time on big Alaskan spines, so it was a new experience for both of them. Big mountain veteran and fellow WME athlete Phil Meier gave them an immediate taste of what can happen in big, uncontrolled terrain. Meier cut loose a huge slide on the first run of the first day, and while he pulled his airbag and managed to safely ride it out, it was a hairy introduction for his two protégées.
“Before I got to Alaska, I thought I would have no problem simply stepping out of the heli, and start crushing; it quickly became apparent that there is a learning curve not to be missed out on,” said Caston. “The mountains were much bigger, steeper, and longer than I ever would have thought. Everything in Alaska is on a different level of huge.”
Ligety, who has been heli-skiing in Alaska only once before, was in the same boat as his friend – they mostly followed Phil’s example and advice. “I didn't have any advice for Marcus, he rips powder far more then I do. He found his rhythm right away up there. Phil was really both of our mentors. The guides and Phil were great for helping show newbies like Marcus and I what was possible and getting us safely into gnarly lines,” said Ligety.
Marcus agreed. “Both Ted and I were total beginners skiing the big Alaska mountains. It’s sickly comforting to see the world’s greatest GS skier just as scared as you are, but it somehow leads to a mutual understanding and trust of one another. Phil was the veteran, and the greatest asset in showing us how it’s done.”
Despite the unsettling beginning, Marcus stepped up to the plate and showed that he could handle the terrain like a pro. “After a couple runs to get our feet under us, he was sending. It was really fun to watch, said Ligety.
“I definitely walked away from this experience with a whole new respect for skiers that play in mountains like those,” said Caston.
“I feel super honored that Ted and WME would give me an opportunity like this to go to Alaska and show the world how I can ski. This was my first filming experience of my freeski career, and I’m truly honored it could be with WME.”
“It's hard not to get hooked after see what is possible in AK,” said Ted. And it looks like it isn’t the last we will hear of Marcus either, thanks to Ligety. Said Marcus, “I am totally hooked on Alaska, and looking forward to making this an annual stop.”
Doug Stoup, ski adventurer and one of the world’s foremost polar ski guides, has been an integral part in making some of Warren Miller Entertainment’s more exotic ski footage from destinations like the icy mountains of Greenland and Antarctica.
Ski adventurer, acclaimed polar explorer, and Warren Miller Entertainment guide Doug Stoup is a busy man these days. He spends much of each year guiding ski and snowboard film crews, helping with scientific research projects in far flung mountain ranges, and cementing his status as the world’s foremost polar ski guide -for the North and South pole.
In addition to his other work, Stoup has been an integral part and an indispensable asset in making some of Warren Miller Entertainment’s more exotic ski footage from destinations like the icy mountains of Greenland and Antarctica.
When he began guiding in the polar regions in 1990, he was already at the top of his game. Stoup’s first Antarctic guide mission was a successful attempt to ski Mt. Vinson – the highest point on the continent – with none other than Doug Coombs, Marc Newcomb, Stephen Koch, and photographer Wade McKoy.
“It was a dream for all of us, and I fell in love as soon as we touched down on the ice runway,” said Stoup. “I saw the potential of Antarctica as a ski destination. It took years to make it happen, though. Since then I have done 10 South Pole expeditions, 27 trips, and now 13 to the North Pole – the first one [north] being in 2004.”
Stoup now runs Ice Axe Expeditions, where the world’s most adventurous skiers, pro or not, can get their fix. Some of WME’s past adventures with him have spanned the ends of the earth as well. Ski filming took place on South Georgia Island in 2002 for the movie Storm. In 2010, filmmakers and athletes headed to both poles–Antarctica and to the Arctic Circle – for the movie Wintervention. This year, Warren Miller Entertainment sent a crew along on the latest Ice Axe endeavor, exploring the unexplored on Norway’s Svalbard Island - from a 62-foot, steel-hulled yacht in the ice-riddled Arctic Ocean.
Skiers Jackie Paaso and Aurelien Ducroz and a crew of cameramen headed out in May to join Stoup in this largely untrammeled skier’s wilderness. Svalbard is a few hours by air north from continental Norway and just 600 miles south of the actual North Pole.
The yacht allows the skiers to access lines that would be difficult to access from land. After scoping lines from the water, the skiers and cameramen are dropped ashore to climb lines that come straight back down to the ocean, making for a spectacular ski. “There were some challenging lines – I doubt some of the lines Jackie and Aurelien skied will ever be skied again,” says Stoup.
“The athletes were awesome, they were so helpful in picking lines, and finding what they wanted to ski. We’d hold meetings, look around, get off and ski,” said Doug. “We had some clients with us who were not part of the film – but it is so easy with a small crew, people can all take their guides and do what they want – the world is their oyster on a trip like this.”
Davenport and friends climbed and skied 15 volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest in 14 days, for a total of 78,641’ feet of climbing, and traveled nearly 142 miles on their skis.
The Ring of Fire ski tour wrapped up in a smashing success a few weeks ago, and showed the world what it is like to go on a ski road-trip with Chris Davenport. Davenport and friends climbed and skied 15 volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest in 14 days, for a total of 78,641’ feet of climbing, and traveled nearly 142 miles on their skis. Along the way, Davenport got local skiers and friends fired up, and involved the larger ski community with great posts and video. He also took along fellow WME skiers Jess McMillan for the whole tour, and Daron Rahlves for a week.
Although the original plan allowed the whole month of May to complete their objective, thanks to an unexpected stretch of good weather, the skiers were able to bang out the task in half the time. Rest days were originally slotted in as expected bad weather days - but since there wasn’t any weather, the team took advantage of the sunshine and got after it while the going was good. That part was great for the tour, but tough on the legs.
When perpetually fit Davenport asked McMillan to be a part of the trip about 3 weeks beforehand, it prompted McMillan to embark on a serious, accelerated training program. “If anything, my training program mentally prepared me for the trip. It was great to think; okay today we are going to skin/hike 11,000 vertical feet. In my mind I could quantify that by thinking, I am going to skin/hike Jackson Hole Mountain Resort almost three times. While training I skinned JHMR at least 15 times, so I knew I could do it. It was just one more trip up JHMR. The trip was more mentally challenging than physically challenging for me. We only had two rest days. I learned to push myself past my comfort zone."
The trip involved smaller and easier summits, but also offered some extremely challenging moments. The Sisters Traverse, in which the team bagged three summits in one day, included an 18-mile traverse, and 10,000 feet of vertical.
The moral support from the ski community was strong, and those in the area often came to climb one or more days with the Ring of Fire crew. In the morning, McMillan and Davenport would be excited to wake up and see who else was camped outside in the parking lot, ready to hit the trail. An all-time high of friends joining the trip was Mt. Hood, with about 15 skiers joining in the effort.
The team all seems to agree that Mt. Jefferson was one of the standout moments on the tour – and a perfect day. The volcano, above a beautiful forest, with an exciting, steep two-pitch climb to the summit, and some mountain goat companions, rewarded the skiers with a nearly 8,000 foot descent of perfect spring corn. “In my mind, Jefferson was the whole package, a perfect day,” said McMillan, and Davenport agrees.
All told, the trip was an impressive feat of athleticism and endurance, and shone more light on ski mountaineering as part of freesking culture. But, most importantly to those who suffered through just one, or all of the climbs, it was about having fun on skis. Jess sums it up: “It wasn’t about pros going out and skiing the raddest lines. It was about celebrating skiing and friendships.”
Link to Dav’s Ring of fire Blog:
Link to Jess’s Blog:
Warren Miller Entertainment camera crews headed over to Switzerland to film Kastle athletes Hugo Harrisson from Canada, and Swiss skier Sascha Schmid, on his home turf.
This past winter was the season to be in Europe, with epic, continuous snowfall across the Alps. To catch some powder and culture, Warren Miller Entertainment camera crews headed over to Switzerland to film Kastle athletes Hugo Harrisson from Canada, and Swiss skier Sascha Schmid, on his home turf.
WME arrived in Lauterbrunnen to massive snowstorms, which sounds perfect for ski movies, but there was a hitch. Tons of snow, plus very cold and prolonged temperatures had raised the avalanche danger in the off-piste alpine, but some rare European tree-skiing was discovered, until the skiers could access the alpine.
The crew, including cameraman Colin Witherill, settled in for a quintessential Swiss experience in a small town above Lauterbrunnen called Murren, which is only accessed by gondola. Their hotel, perched a top a 1000-meter cliff, was also located directly across from the north face of the Eiger, which Sascha Schmid refers to as his favorite spot.
In Switzerland to film for the first time, Witherill was really moved by the location. “The region we were in is a place that photographs really do no justice to. The snow capped Alps, iconic chalets, and frequent taste of Swiss chocolate really made for a fairy-tale experience.”
The motley international crew got along great, but left the famed Euro après ski scene alone. “Most of our nights were spent with a large beer and a plate full of cheese and sausage … and that led to heading to bed pretty quickly,” Colin admits. “We never really had any down days while we were there, but when the weather was not great for shooting up on the mountain we took little side trips with Sascha's family and filmed in some other villages. There was also an outdoor hockey rink in Murren that Hugo, (being French-Canadian of course) was really psyched on.”
With two weeks to get the job done, you must keep an eye on the ball, so when the light was good the team was at work – perfect weather or not. For the camera crew, that made for some uncomfortable moments. “We had a few days of shooting and moving around with a heli, which is great, but it was extremely cold and windy at times. When we first lifted off for some aerial scenic shots the thermometer was reading -29 C or about -10 F. It’s hard to dress for that when you are hanging out the side door of a heli. Once we got up to altitude and were flying around the Eiger, we got knocked around quite a bit by the wind. The Swiss pilots took it in stride, but I definitely had my heart in my throat a few times.”
When the work was done, everyone got to play - a nice thing about filming ski movies. “My most memorable skiing of the trip was just a long powder run at end of the day when the light had ceased to be good for filming. With the camera pack your legs are usually screaming on long runs like that, but deep powder tends to make you ignore most everything else,” said Witherill.
Ted Ligety gives his perspective as he is filming with our crew at heliskiing and heliboarding company, Chugach Powder Guides in Girdwood Alaska.
For more updates from Ted Ligety visit TedLigety.com.
I’ve always fancied myself as a good freeskier and would watch ski movies totally respecting what those guys were doing but thinking that it wouldn’t be a hard transition and I would be comfortable doing comparable lines. It turns out there is a lot more then meets the eye. First off every race I do I get to slide down the course and memorize where I’m going. Obviously you cannot do that on these lines, so you look at them from the bottom, disguise the line, take some pictures and then look at the line from the heli and take some more pics. Yet when you stand at the top of the line you can’t see anything, or the ridges are way bigger then you thought or the “small” cliff is actually huge or you can see anything until you 60 meters down the line. Outside just finding the line you thought was good, you have to deal with you sluff (mini avalanche that’s normal on these steep lines) and often times you have to ski though or land off features that have already sluffed off which look fine but it turns out those patches of not so awesome looking powder have 3 foot deep ruts and are hard-ish snow. Once you’ve made it most of the way down your line you then have to deal with the bergschrund (mini crevasse) that can be a gaping hole or a moderate sized drop off depending on the line.
Luckily Phil Meier is here, who’s a veteran Swiss big mountain skier, as well as Marcus Caston; a Shred athlete awesome skier and winner of Rahlves Banzai races but very green in this realm too. Phil knows what he’s doing and has dispersed a plethora of advice and knowledge to both of us along the way. Our guides Lel and Rich with Chugach Powder Guides have been extremely helpful as well. I cannot give enough credit to them for helping gauge the lines, finding the good snow and talk us out of doing stupid lines and into good lines.
The first day here was a real eye opener. First filming run Phil lined up a big spine, 4 turns in a slab broke off starting an avalanche that swept him off his feet and into the chute. He deployed his ABS pack and was right on the surface and fine when he came back into site at the bottom. I was standing 10 meters from the crown at the top and was sufficiently scared. Needless to say that ended our first day.
After watching a seasoned vet like Phil take a real ride, we took it back a few notches and have been easing our way back into some of the bigger lines. I’ve taken a few tumbles each of which has taught me a lesson, so that I’m not totally naive to this scene, yet I’ll still admit I’m very green.
Phil Meier one turn before the slab broke off
Spine Cell where Phil took his ride
View from the top of the face above
Long leg burner
Ask any pro skier, filmmaker, or photographer where to go to get guaranteed, incredible deep powder, and they will mention Japan’s snowy, volcanic north island of Hokkaido, which is celebrating its centennial this winter. By Brigid Mander | Photography by Tyler Ceccanti
Ask any pro skier, filmmaker, or photographer where to go to get guaranteed, incredible deep powder, and they will say Japan. Yet while it may have just recently arrived on the radar to the West, skiing on Japan’s snowy, volcanic north island of Hokkaido is celebrating its centennial this winter.
Overhead powder shots, soulful tree skiing, pillows galore and 100 years of history cannot be passed up. With that, a crew from Warren Miller Entertainment headed over to check out the history of faceshots – and actual faceshots - in Japan this winter.
In 1912, Austrian Major General Theodor von Lerch introduced alpine skiing to Hokkaido. Lerch had been sent to Japan as part of a delegation from the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army – and ended up teaching alpine skiing to the Japanese Imperial Army.
Apparently, the local civilians were just as interested, and Japan’s first ski club was formed that winter. Fifty years later, the first chairlifts were built in Niseko, allowing the sport to grow in what ski photographer Grant Gunderson calls “the deepest place on earth, absolutely bottomless blower pow.”
The people of the region have not forgotten the Major’s impact, with a monument and a place in Sapporo Winter Sports Museum for Lerch. To celebrate this season, people can take a “Lerch Quiz” to win a ski trip to Austria, and a ‘Major Lerch’s Moustache’ contest is giving away free lift passes for photos of the best imitations - if sporting 1912-era facial hair is your thing.
On the snow, it has been yet another very deep season for Japan, and Warren Miller Entertainment athlete Tyler Ceccanti was along for the ride for a couple weeks this season. Traveling to Niseko, the main resort area on Hokkaido was his first trip outside of North America, and Ceccanti expected a big culture shock. “I was little worried…but everyone in Japan is so polite and helpful, everything went super smoothly,” he said.
“I’ve dreamed about going to Japan and skiing that powder ever since I first saw footage of it,” said Ceccanti. Shredding the pow with him was fellow Warren Miller Entertainment skiers Tatsuya Tagayaki and Roman Rohrmser. all fittingly celebrating 50 years of Niseko lifts on 50 years of K2 skis technology.
“The skiing was everything it was supposed to be. The first three days were bluebird, then when it started to snow, it snowed the hardest I have ever seen it snow in my life,” said Ceccanti. “It just comes in off the ocean, and does what it does. And there’s natural hot springs everywhere. We did onsen [hot spring soaking] every single night. It was awesome.”
There may, however, be one downside to skiing in Japan. “I can’t eat sushi back here in the States anymore,” said Ceccanti. “In Japan it was so fresh, right off the boat – it was untouchable. Perfect.”
Lynsey Dyer dishes on machine guns, deep powder, and the disputed India/Pakistan border.
I have been to India twice before. I skied in the Himalya, and earlier last fall I was there for a volunteering trip, working with kids rescued from the slave trade. We brought them bicycles and taught them them how to maintain them. That trip helped inspire this trip.
Kasmiri’s are very harsh-looking, and Americans are taught to be afraid of them. But they all begged us to take a photo with them. Everyone asks “One photo, one photo!”
I was surprised at how welcomed we were—even more welcomed than my last Warren Miller shoot at Crested Butte. In Colorado, many of the locals were annoyed because we had to shut down their terrain. The Kashmiri’s were very sweet and excited to have us.
These guys drove by in an armed vehicle, with guns on top. Just ahead of us they stopped and started climbing out of the roof with guns in their hands, all ten of them. I put my camera away, thinking, “oh no, are we in trouble?” but they just wanted a picture.
It was epic terrain. There’s so much that’s untapped there. Also, this was the first year of the heli operation in Gulmarg, so everything was a first descent, and the conditions and snow stability were perfect. We found steep rocky airs, chutes, couloirs, and everything in between. The mountain range was so unique: like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and the possibilities were endless.
On the down days, I took a lot of photos, was drawing a lot, I played with the kids, and hiked around in the snow. We were really waiting for the opportunity for a good day to ski, so we didn’t go far from the village.
We skied this first descent at over 5,000 meters. The only way we knew how high we were was when the pilot very casually put on an oxygen mask. We were like, “Where’s ours?”
At the top of one of our lines, we were skiing across the disputed border of Pakistan and India. It was really cool to be that high in the mountains, and that we were given such freedom.