It’s official, the World Heli Challenge will be shaking things up for the 2014 competition in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. This year, the competition will host a new “Call Up” format, in addition to a big pool of cash and prizes.
As always, the NZ ski and snowboard challenge will provide the best heli-accesible zones of Southern New Zealand for elite skiers and cool-boarders. However, this year, skiers and snowboarders alike are able to team up (in any combination with a total of two skiers/snowbarders, one filmer) to enter an online video entry competition—”The Call Up,” in an effort to earn their spot in the 2014 competition. All video entries must be two to three minutes in length and submissions will be accepted June-August. Two winning teams will be voted upon and assigned a professional action sports photographer before competing head to head in a World Heli Challenge from September 7-15.
The four-man winning team (two athletes, a filmer, and a photographer) will split NZ$10,000 cash and a ton of prizes. Don’t miss out on your chance to win big; find your dream-team and enter the comp. For more info on the event, see the press release provided by the World Heli Challenge, below, or sign up, here.
Photo by Tony Harrington / World Heli Challenge
Press Release, World Heli Challenge:
The World Heli Challenge is shaking things up this winter with the launch of a new format, featuring a worldwide “Call Up” to all freeriders and filmers who would like a piece of the action. Those who make the cut will share in the rewards with the addition this year of a generous pool of cash and prizes valued at NZ$32,000.
Skiers and snowboarders can pair up with a mate and win their way into the legendary heli-accessed freeriding event through a video entry competition – The Call Up. Teams of two athletes – any combination of skiers/snowboarders – are invited to submit their 2-3 minute edit to earn their place in the 2014 World Heli Challenge.
Just two teams will make it through to the World Heli Challenge, which will be staged from 7-15 September in a new setting in Mackenzie Country around Aoraki Mt Cook and Ohau.
The teams will go head to head in a World Heli Challenge over 9 days including up to two heli-accessed event days in terrain surrounding New Zealand’s highest peak. The winning athletes and their filmer will be assigned an experienced action photographer who will complete their 4-person teams for the Challenge.
One of the notable changes to the event this year is the lucrative cash purse and prize pool now on offer for the competitors. This is the first time a cash prize has been on offer for the athletes. The ultimate winning team will share in NZ$10,000 cash ($2,500 each), and the Runner Up team will split NZ$4,000 ($1,000 each). The photographers and filmers are also in the running for additional prizes from iON Cameras and Canon to reward the best edit and portfolio from the competition.
Event founder and director Tony “Harro” Harrington talks about the changes, “We are really excited about this new model, especially because we’ve put a big reward on the table with serious cash and prizes up for grabs, not to mention the outstanding experience of heli-accessed riding in the backcountry of New Zealand.”
“There is just so much untapped talent out there and we are fired up to see the entries come in and blow us away with their freeriding and their edits. We are confident that both athletes and filmers will be excited by the Call Up theme of “Big Adventure/Big Rewards”. We know there are plenty of Heli Challenge alumni who will be pumped to tackle this new format and defend their titles and we’re also excited about the raw talent we’ll unearth through the Call Up.”
The World Heli Challenge has always been about creating jaw-dropping content and stories and this commitment to profiling athletes, the stunning New Zealand alpine environment and the adventure lifestyle remains central to the new format with the Canon Shootout still a key feature.
The iON Showcase Awards Night to announce the winners and ‘showcase’ the event in a film festival style will be held in Queenstown on the night of the 18 September.
The World Heli Challenge is made possible thanks to the support of iON Cameras, Carlton Dry, Canon, Volkl, Marker, Wilderness Heli, Southern Alps Guiding, Points North Heli Adventures, Exide and Lake Ohau Lodge and Snow Field.
June 11th, 2014
Ski Portillo is kicking off the 2014 southern hemisphere ski season with five-plus feet of brand new snow. The Chilean resort, known as being the “the finest ski experience in the southern hemisphere,” has announced that it will open for the season on June 21. Also, with this year named an El Niño season, skiers can expect for there to be a lot more snow in the forecast. Located a mere two hours from Santiago, Ski Portillo may be the place to be in South America this summer (winter). For more information on the resort, visit the website, or see the information provided by Ski Portillo, below.
Ski Portillo, Chile:
With excellent early season storms delivering nearly five feet of snow, Ski Portillo, Chile announces that the season will kick off on June 21, 2014. With an El Niño season forecast for the southern hemisphere, the season is expected to be colder and wetter than average, great news for skiers and snowboarders who want optimal snow conditions.
Renowned as the finest ski experience in the southern hemisphere, Ski Portillo offers an authentic experience is rich in culture, family-owned hospitality and awe-inspiring beauty. Ski Portillo offers only 7-day ski weeks, with prices starting at US$2,100 at the grand Hotel Portillo and US$1,390 at the Octagon Lodge (prices are per person based on double occupancy at Hotel Portillo and quad-occupancy at the Octagon Lodge and include 7-nights accommodations, four meals daily, and eight-day lift ticket as well as all the amenities of the resort. For information or reservations, visit www.skiportillo.com, call 1.800.829.5325 (US toll-free), or email email@example.com.
Located approximately two hours from Santiago and accessible via non-stop flights from numerous North American cities, Ski Portillo is the dream South American ski destination. Its incomparable setting – on the shores of the Lake of the Incas and surrounded by 19,000-foot Andean peaks – delivers an unsurpassed experience with world-class skiing and snowboarding and excellent service thanks to a one-to-one guest-to-employee ratio. Families, singles, couples, groups of friends—as well as many national ski teams—all love Portillo for its beauty, wide-open slopes and ample snowfall. The resort accommodates a maximum of 450 guests a week, eliminating crowds and lift lines, and affording guests the sensation of skiing at their own, private Andean resort.
Hotel Portillo Renovation
During 65 years in operation, Ski Portillo has continued to innovate and improve in order to elevate the ski week experience for guests, while maintaining legendary traditional hospitality. Currently, the grand Hotel Portillo is in the midst of a multi-year renovation which includes a redesign of the standard lakeview guestrooms. Close to 50 percent of the lakeview guestrooms will be renovated in time for the 2014 season with a sleeker, more contemporary room design that includes unique Chilean touches such as sustainably grown Lenga wood walls and ceilings and Chilean sheep wool throws.
Ski Portillo Skiing & Ski School
Ski Portillo’s 14 lifts, including the famed Va et Vient lifts found only at Ski Portillo, access terrain catering to skiers of all abilities. Ski Portillo’s ski and snowboard school features the world’s most qualified instructors; nearly 100 percent instruct year-round, teaching at the finest resorts in the Northern Hemisphere when they are not in Portillo. While less-experienced guests will find wide-open and uncrowded slopes, Portillo is famed for its steeps, and the area is surrounded by easily accessed backcountry terrain. Ski Portillo’s instructors also provide expert off-piste guiding for experienced skiers.
2014 Ski Portillo Heli-Skiing
From July to September Ski Portillo guests can experience the services of heli-skiing through Suma Air (www.sumair.com), which allows guests to access the endless acres of untracked powder snow in the mountains that surround Portillo. Suma Air flies a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter (with low noise level, GPS navigation and a luggage compartment), with a capacity of four passengers, a guide and the pilot. Ski Portillo provides the professional, who is in charge of guiding skiers during heli-ski trips. For information, contact Ski Portillo. Heli-skiing bookings are subject to availability, snow and weather conditions.
2014 Special Weeks – Wine Weeks, Friends Week and More
Family Weeks – Free night at Ritz Carlton Santiago for U.S. guests.
During Family Weeks (July 5-12, July 12-19, July 19-26, and July 26-Aug. 2), Portillo offers enhanced activities for children and families. As an added incentive to U.S. families, Ski Portillo is offering any guests of Hotel Portillo staying from July 5 – Aug. 2 a complimentary night at Ritz Carlton. This offer is subject to availability, has additional restrictions and has no cash value.
Chilean Wine Week (Aug. 2-9) and Chilean Wine Fest (Aug. 23-30) feature Chile’s top vineyards, with winemakers offering complimentary daily wine tastings and other special events for wine aficionados.
Friends Week (Aug. 16-23) is a favorite for old- and new-Portillo friends with additional special events on and off the mountain.
Kids Free Ski Weeks – During June, late August and September, Portillo offers “One Child Skis/stays/dines Free,” and “Two Children Ski/stay/dine Free” weeks, which represent a savings up to US $4,400. One child ski free promotion is available June 21-28, Aug. 30-Sept. 6, Sept. 6-Sept.13, Sept. 20-Sept. 27. Two children ski free promotion is available Sept. 27-Oct. 4.
2014 Ski Clinics
In addition to offering one of the finest ski schools in the world for guests looking for instruction or professional guiding, Ski Portillo is honored to welcome many of the world’s finest ski guides and pros to our slopes. Following are currently scheduled clinics for the 2014 season:
Ski with the Superstars with Chris Davenport, Ingrid Backstrom, Mike Douglas, Chris Anthony and Wendy Fischer – Aug. 9-16
NASTC (North American Ski Training Center) – Aug. 9-16
Ski with Kim with Kim Reichhelm – Aug. 9-30
Clendenin Ski Method with John Clendenin – Sept. 9-14
July in Portillo – World Cup
The 2014 World Cup will take place throughout neighboring Brazil from June 12 – July 13, 2014. In celebration of the World Cup, Ski Portillo will have large screens throughout the resort for fans of both skiing and football/soccer to be able to follow their favorite teams and matches while on vacation in Portillo.
Early Booking Offer for 2015 Season
For guests wanting to plan in advance for the 2015 season, Ski Portillo is announcing in advance its 2015 early booking offer, valid until Dec. 31, 2014. Guests confirming a 2015 ski week by that date are guaranteed 2014 prices. This special offer is for North American reservations only, subject to availability, and a 50 percent deposit is required at the time of booking. It must be purchased by Dec. 31, 2014, and is valid only for Saturday – Saturday Ski Weeks for the 2014 season; other restrictions may apply. More information about Ski Portillo is available at www.SkiPortillo.com.
Ski Portillo Sister Hotels
Ski Portillo also owns and operates two award-winning sister hotels – Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, and Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa located on the banks of Lake Sarmiento in Torres del Paine National Park. Tierra Atacama is open year-round and Tierra Patagonia is open from Sept. 1 – April 30, so a trip to Ski Portillo may be combined with visits to these iconic hotels.
About Ski Portillo
For 65 years, Ski Portillo has seamlessly united the spectacular beauty of the Chilean Andes, the pure joy of skiing and snowboarding, the camaraderie of friends and family, and the resort’s unique brand of hospitality and service, delivering unforgettable vacation experiences where guests create the memories of a lifetime. Ski Portillo was awarded the best ski resort and the best ski resort hotel in Chile by the 2013 World Ski Awards. For reservations, call 1.800.829.5325 (U.S.) or email Reservas@SkiPortillo.com. For more information, visit www.SkiPortillo.com.
June 11th, 2014
Yep, It’s nearly that time of year again. The infamous iF3 (International Freeski Film Festival) Movie Awards are officially on the horizon (September 2014), and registration for the festival is open for all film companies. Producers are able register for the following categories: Professional, Amateur, and Web/New Media. Don’t miss your chance to sign up for the event, as you must sign up before July 22, 2014. Click this link to register now, or, for more info, check out the iF3 website. Best of luck, y’all.
June 10th, 2014
Industry news this morning: longtime Nordica staffer Willy Booker has joined Fischer as President and CEO. Reports suggest Matt Berkowitz, Fischer’s TM and Director of Alpine Marketing & Product, will hide upwards of 12 Smirnoff Ice bottles somewhere in Booker’s office as a welcoming gesture. Watch out, now!
On a serious note, Congrats to Booker and to Fischer on this big step. More provided via the official press release below.
Press Release, Auburn, NH — June 9, 2014
Fischer Sports, a family-owned, global leader and supplier of snow sports products, announces today that Willy Booker has been selected as the new President and CEO of Fischer Skis US, LLC., effective July 7, 2014.
Franz Föttinnger, Fischer International CEO, stated, “We are very excited about the addition of Willy Booker as new CEO and President of Fischer Skis US.”
“Willy’s vast experience and knowledge of the ski industry in the United States is just one step in a greater plan to further establish our brand as a leader in the US alpine market.”
Booker joins Fischer after serving as President of Nordica USA for the past four years. Prior to his role as President, Booker worked in the company’s sales, product management and marketing departments from 2002-2010.
Exposed to the ski industry from an early age, Booker grew up skiing at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado where his mother managed the area ski shop. Moving to the East Coast, Willy pursued his racing career at Burke Mountain Academy, which led him to the alpine team at the University of Vermont where he was an All-American.
“I’m very excited and humbled at the opportunity to join such an iconic and high quality family-owned brand,” said Booker. “I’m eager to get to work with the Fischer teams both here in the US as well as in Austria and help them position the brand for further growth and success in the future.”
June 9th, 2014
Yep, you read that correctly. Starting today, June 9 (6/9) and continuing for the next three months, Saga Outerwear is hosting daily challenges and giving away prizes as a part of its #FastFoodGiveaway campaign in celebration of the release of its brand new Saga Outerwear Fast Food mobile app. Prizes include Saga gift cards, featured Instagram posts, and more Saga schwag. For more info, read the contest details provided by Saga Outerwear, below. The rules are simple, so don’t miss out on the prizes. Give Saga a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to begin participating daily.
Saga Outerwear #FastFoodGiveAway Contests
#1 “Show Us Your Kits.” Yes, “kits,” not “tits”
- Contest will be announced on Sunday.
- Previous weeks winner will be announced on Monday.
- User posts a photo of their dream “kit” to Instagram using the brand spankin’ new Saga App.
- Must tag: @SagaOuterwear, #SagaOuterwear, #FastFoodGiveaway, #ShowUsYourKits, #SagaSummer.
Prize: Gift card and winning photo will be posted on Saga homepage.
#2 “Copy My Kit”
- Contest announced and winner selected each Tuesday.
- One winner per week.
- Saga Outerwear will post a photo of a product.
- User must download or screenshot the product photo posted by Saga Outerwear.
- Import the photo into the Saga Fast Food App.
- Decorate and upload photo to personal Instagram account.
- Must tag: @SagaOuterwear, #SagaOuterwear, #FastFoodGiveaway, #CopyMyKit, #SagaSummer.
Prize: User wins product shown in original post by Saga Outerwear.
#3 #SagaSummer Sweepstakes
- Contest announced and winner selected each Wednesday.
- One winner per week.
- User can post any photograph.
Must tag: @SagaOuterwear, #SagaOuterwear, #FastFoodGiveaway, #SagaSummer.
Prize: Winner has their photo featured on the Saga Outerwear Instagram account.
#4 Make Me Famous
- Contest announced and winner selected each Thursday.
- One winner per week.
- Using the Saga Outerwear app, stylize any photo to look like an advertisement.
- Upload the photo to personal Instagram account.
Must tag: @SagaOuterwear, #SagaOuterwear, #FastFoodGiveaway, #MakeMeFamous #SagaSummer.
Prize: Gift card and prize: Winner has photo featured on Saga Outerwear Instagram account.
#5 Fastfood App Scavenger Hunt
- Contest announced and winner selected each Friday.
- One winner per week.
- Saga Outerwear will list four tasks.
- Screenshot or take a photo of required images.
- Using a split-screen photo collage, upload the four photos to personal Instagram account.
Must tag: @SagaOuterwear, #SagaOuterwear, #FastFoodGiveaway, #AppScavengerHunt #SagaSummer.
Prize: Randomly chosen summer item from Saga Outerwear.
June 9th, 2014
Brody Leven is an adventurer by day and an adventurer by night. He has ridden his bicycle across America (including the coast of Hawaii) as well as traveled, skied, and climbed in multiple countries. This summer, Leven is starting another badass new trek on his bike, touring western America. However, this time, in addition to his standard cycling, overnight, and personal gear, he will be pulling a trailer with a full mountaineering kit behind him, with plans to climb and ski the massive volcanoes within the state of Washington.
Beginning Monday, June 9, Brody will be pedaling, climbing, and shredding between Portland, OR to Seattle, WA, with the goals of conquering Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Rainier. Leven is no stranger to the bike seat, climbing big peaks, or ripping turns; however, this trip will certainly be an incredible feat. Brody plans to update his followers on Instagram, as well as his website as internet is available. To learn more about the trip and follow Brody’s journey—search #PedalToPeaks, follow his Instagram account, or check out his website. Rock on, Brody.
June 6th, 2014
This Scottish bloke goes on a skiing holiday to Canada.
After a hard day on the slopes he retires to a bar at the bottom of the mountain.
After about five or six whiskeys, he looks up and notices a stuffed animal with antlers on the wall.
He asks the barman, “What the hell is that?”
The barman says, “It’s a Moose.”
The Scottish chap says, “Jesus! How big are the cats?”
June 6th, 2014
My man Shane Dowaliby has been busy logging hours, upon hours, upon hours of footage, all captured during the 2014 Road Trip Challenge. Those who followed along are well aware that Team Nordica battled Team K2 over the course of a week, shredding RVs around New England on a quest for points via completing challenges. I should say, those who did their best to follow along, as each team was pretty secretive in regards to progress, whereabouts, etc.
Reliving some of the highlights has been an absolute blast. So much funny shit. So much great skiing. Decker and Williams crushed it behind the camera, while the skiers absolutely ruled on the other side of the lens. I’m looking forward to when the footage will be unveiled in the form of a webisode series, late this summer. We’ll have some release dates comin’ at you before too long.
For now, we’ve posted two short clips, one for each team. Compton’s clip must be watched in 1080p—mean muggin’ galore. Team K2: those guys are really good at partying.
Who will win? Time will tell.
Team Nordica tease: Compton at Sugarbush. Must watch in 1080p.
Team K2 invites strangers onto the RV. Party ensues.
June 6th, 2014
Three dudes go to a ski lodge. There aren’t enough rooms for ‘em all, so they have to share a bed.
In the middle of the night, the guy on the right wakes up and says, “I had this wild, vivid dream of getting a hand job!”
The guy on the left wakes up, and unbelievably, he’s had the same dream, too.
Then the guy in the middle wakes up and says, “That’s funny, I dreamed I was skiing!”
June 5th, 2014
Yep, you read it correctly — Ski.com is hosting a “selfie” contest from now until June 16. Participate, and you could win a ski/snowboard trip to Valle Nevado, Chile. The rules are simple, all you’ve got to do is take your best selfie while wearing your ski goggles, post the photo to either Instagram or Twitter, and add “#GoggleSelfie” to the caption. Then, complete this contact form and you’re entered to win. Contest winners will be determined on July 1, 2014. The top five photos will receive a pair of POC Retina Big goggles and the winning photo will win an eight-day, seven-night trip to South America, which includes 50% off flights to boot. This is a frickin’ sweet deal, so don’t miss out — post a #GoggleSelfie. For more information, visit Ski.com or click here.