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Monday October 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Big, big ramp for Big Air, WTF!, PlanetSKI's Vietnam adventures continue + what the Queen of snowboard halfpipe has just done.. NEW & UPDATED


See here for a flavour of what it is all about from September's ramble.



It's less than two weeks until the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cup gets under way in the northern hemisphere and it looks like it could be a spectacular opener.

They're finishing building the enormous Big Air ramp in Modena.

It's the biggest in Italy and the largest ever constructed for World Cup competition.

The man-made steel structure will be 46 metres tall and 130 metres long when it's finished and will host the world's best snowboarders on Saturday 3rd November and skiers on Sunday 4th.

Have a look at this behind the scenes footage of the venue under construction....

The first freestyle World Cup of the new season took place in Cardrona, New but Modena will be the northern hemisphere opener.

It's part of the city's winter sport and tourism festival.





PlanetSKI is continuing its journey back from the ski fields of Australia & New Zealand as we head to the Alps for approaching ski season.

So, it seems silly not to experience the other end of the travel spectrum on our way home - Vietnam.

Now we've already used our skiing skills to cross the road in Ho Chi Minh City (mental ones anyway) - see the post below from Monday 8th as we attempted to cross the road in Ho Chi Minh City.

Next we set off to the Mekong Delta.

We've been snowed in at ski chalets and mountain huts on many occasions........ so a hotel in the largest city in the delta should not have been a problem....

And the waters rose and rose in the surrounding streets and soon covered the road back to the hotel and all the others in our part of the city.

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Most seemed to carry on with their business even as darkness fell.

No point in missing dinner after all.

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Wading through the waters was the only option and once wet it seems silly not to go for a paddle around to see more of the city.

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Can Tho, Mekong Delta, VietnamCan Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

It turns out a combination of high tides and huge rainfall further up the Mekong in Cambodia have caused the flooding.

It is the highest level the river has ever seen and broke the record of set back in 2011.

Now we are used to seeing frozen water (snow) as we arrive in ski resorts, but not the warmer and wetter type as we arrive at our travel destination.

I wonder what's next on our Vietnamese adventures?



If anyone dares to doubt that Chloe Kim is currently the world's best female halfpipe snowboarder, then she's surely just laid those doubts to rest.

The American is still only 18 and her trophy cabinet is stacked with silverware.

She won gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and is a 5-time World Cup winner and 4-time X Games champion.

Chloe KimChloe Kim, Olympic superpipe champion

Now she's gone and cracked a new trick.

She's the first woman to land a frontside double cork 1080 in the pipe. 

She did it in training at Saas Fee in Switzerland earlier this week. 

Have a look and listen to the reaction on this Instagram post....

View this post on Instagram

good dayyyy 🌸

A post shared by Chloe Kim (@chloekim) on Oct 14, 2018 at 7:26am PDT

Kim, who won her first X Games title when she was 14 - clocking up what was then a record for the youngest X Games champion - has been ticking off "firsts" for years, including a back-to-back 1080 combo in her run to taking the Olympic gold in February.

"With the addition of this new trick it seems safe to say that her status as the queen of the halfpipe world is a lock for the foreseeable future," the world governing body, the International Ski Federation says on its website. 



If you've got some time on your hands this winter and fancy yourself as a budding sports journalist, here's an opportunity for you.

The Telemark bit of the International Ski Federation Telemark is looking for a volunteer to help report on the Telemark World Cup.

The part-time role is to assist with media and communications and will involve interviewing team members.

Telemark racingWorld Cup Telemark racing















As there's no money changing hands, it could suit a journalism student with an interest in winter sports.

For more information, contact Jack Harvard Taylor:



We're looking forward to apres ski and snuggling down in front of a crackling fire with a piping hot vin chaud.... enjoying a relaxing evening, something like the couple in the video below.



So, how do you carry your skis?

Which one are you?Which one are you?




Keen readers of PlanetSKI will know we have been skiing in Australia and New Zealand for the past couple of months.

We're now on our way back to the Alps and having a 10-day stop over in Vietnam.

It would be rude not to.

Little did we know our skiing skills would be put to the test crossing the road for lunch in Ho Chi Minh City - patience, determination, a go for it mentality and a little bit of luck.

And remember our co-founder, director and social media supremo, Kisia Cove, had only made it half way.

She eventually made it across the whole road.

And in the evening it was time to go out for dinner to a little Vietnamese restaurant across the street from our hotel that we had been recommended.

Lucky lunch was filling as it took a bit of time to get there.


Good luck mate!Good luck mate!












The shape of things to come?The shape of things to come?






















The French crooner passed away this week at the ripe old age of 94.

We know him for his songs, but he was also a passionate skier.

Or so we are told.

In the 1950s Charles Aznavour and Brigitte Bardot were often at the at Club de Jazz Les Cinq Rues, in Megève.

He skied regularly with his family and is said to have found the sport exhilarating.

In the winter of 1971 he skied in Crans in Switzerland with his daughter, Katia, and third wife the Swede, Ulla Thorsell.

In 1972 he had a serious ski accident that left him incapacitated for several months.

He took the opportunity to write with his brother-in-law, the composer Georges Garvarentz, the operetta "Douchka".

And how do we know all this?

Another Frenchman who skis, Xavier Schouller, has told us.

Xavier is a co-founder of the company Peak Retreats.

So, we now know that the singer, Charles Aznavour, was a skier.

We wonder if the skier, Xavier Schouller, is a singer.

We will know doubt ski with Xavier next winter on the slopes and will encourage a song from him.

Perhaps this one:




It looks as if Britain's top ski racer Dave 'The Rocket' Ryding is being stalked by a superfan.

The 31-year-old slalom specialist found himself sitting next to a man in a Dave Ryding Fan Club t-shirt today while on a rare trip to London.

Dave Ryding & fanDave Ryding & fan
















He was on the Emirates Airline from Greenwich Peninsula - aka the gondola over the Thames - as part of a promotion for the Austrian resort for which he's an ambassador, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

Emirates gondolaEmirates gondola
















But who was the mystery man?

None other than British ex ski racer Konrad Bartelski, the man with whom Ryding shares a record.

Dave Ryding & Konrad BartelskiDave Ryding & Konrad Bartelski














The two are the only male GB ski racers to win a World Cup medal.

Bartelski won silver in the downhill in Val Gardena in 1981. Ryding matched his result with second place in the slalom in Kitzbühel in January 2017.

Bartelski and a select bunch of ski journalists - PlanetSKI among them - were invited to a champagne flight on the gondola followed by lunch with Dave Ryding to celebrate his partnership with the resort and hear what's new there this season.

Champagne gondola rideChampagne on the gondola
















Bartelski was keen to point out that he bought the fan club t-shirt with his own money.

"It's just about the only t-shirt I have that I've paid for," he told us.

See what we mean? Superfan.

Our Chief Reporter Jane Peel is also a bit of fan.   Watch her video interview with Dave Ryding in which he gives a candid assessment of his skiing last season and looks ahead to this winter and his first World Cup race in just 7 weeks' time.

Dave Ryding & Jane Peel Dave Ryding & PlanetSKI's Jane Peel


















For those who need to have the wind blowing through their hair as they travel up the mountain to the Grande Motte, step up to the new viewing platform on the Tignes Cable Car.

Its two cabins with a roof terrace will offer passengers a 360 ​​degree view of one of the most beautiful panoramas of the French Alps taking in views of Mont Blanc, the Cime de Bellecôte plus l’Aiguille de la Grande Sassière.

The 'Altitude Experience,' reportedly cost €17 million.

Owing to inclement winter weather, the new open top platform will open to the public from May 2019 taking passengers from the Tignes funicular station at 2,100m to the Grande Motte glacier at 3,032m.

We're looking forward to taking the ride.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















This must be a 'first' - crossing the Alps in a Tuk Tuk.

The elaborately decorated pink Tuk Tuk (also known as Sumo) is travelling from London to Turkey through 21 countries, taking in some challenging mountainous ascents through the Alps and beyond.

It left London on 8th September and 6,000km and six weeks later the intention is to arrive on Turkish soil, on or around 18th October.

So what has this to do with skiing?

Well not much, apart from the fact the Tuk Tuk is travelling through the scenic Austrian Tirol, stopping off in Innsbruck and at the ski resort of St Anton.

Moreover the story was brought to our attention by a keen PlanetSKI reader.

So what is it all about?

A group of 4 is travelling in the tiny, draughty somewhat slow vehicle to raise awareness for SUDEP, a little understood condition known as Sudden Death in Epilepsy.

The journey for the Sumaria family is in memory of Emily Sumaria who died of SUDEP at the age of 19.

En route to Innsbruck the Tuk Tuk came across the professional BMC Men’s Road Racing Cycling Team in training for the Innsbruck Tirol 2018 team time trial.

Of course the Tuk Tuk took on the challenge, and tried to outrace some of the Austrian riders.

However, even at the best of times the Tuk Tuk is no mean-racing-machine with acceleration of 0-40mph taking over a minute.

Rachel Sumaria, the driver at the time, saw an opening, plucking up the courage she revved up the Tuk Tuk and 'roared' on past the Austrian team - that was probably a first too.

Austrian team member Stefan Küng, decided to use the Tuk Tuk as part of his training programme as he chased after it, and can be seen riding in the Tuk Tuk's slip stream in the video below 😎.

Tuk Tuk racing in Austria!Tuk Tuk racing in Austria!




















Austrian cyclists tucking behind the Tuk Tuk's slip stream:

Here's the TukTuk speeding up the mountain to St Anton - (we think the film might have been sped up a llittle 😎)

The Sumaria family is  driving a TukTuk from London to Turkey to raise £120k for SUDEP - More information here.

London to Turkey route in a Tuk Tuk London to Turkey route in a Tuk Tuk


















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountain

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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