5 Resorts To Visit In Northern Italy- A Freeriders Dream

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5 Resorts To Visit In Northern Italy- A Freeriders Dream

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“You may have the universe if I may have Italy”. Giuseppe Verdi What a perfect quote to summarize the unique and inspiring feelings one gets when you visit Italy. From Rome to Florence, from Naples to Turin and Milan, from sea to mountains Italy is something else. For a lot of the British public in particular, when you think of a classic ski holiday, we automatically think of France or Austria but there are those among us Brits that are, in the know, so to speak. I spend my life in the mountains and most of my year in Italy and and although all these resorts are virtually on my doorstep, I still consider myself immensely lucky to visit these resorts. Not only because I have the benefit of gazing up at the ore inspiring scenery but also because I can discover the most secrets lines!

 

Courmayeur

courma cred aosta valley

Situated on the French/Italian border, at the mouth on the Monte Bianco tunnel, Courmayeur is blessed with tree lined runs, restaurants and bars to rival any major Italian city and scenery for days! Let’s break it down by what’s important as we only want a small summary: you can pick up a pizza and a beer and lunch for about 15€in total, the lift passes are moderately priced but the freeride potential, man, that’s where courmayeur stands out. Taking the James Bond style cable car up to Cresta Youla and beyond to the tippy top and Cresta Arp, you are greeted with the feeling of being top of the world, staring down into the wild, deserted, unpopulated backcountry area. For more info on where to stay, head to the tourism website or check out Air b&b. Be sure to be up first lift and enjoy a full days ski to take in everything this amazing resort has to offer.

courmayeur

Gressoney

gressoney cred aosta valley

A real secret spot, a hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the Aosta Valley, Gressoney is slowly receiving the notoriety it deserves on the freeride scene. However, selfishly, many of us who know and love the resort, would rather this resort stay in the shadows. Home to a freeride zone full of countless lines. By taking a few lifts away from the main body of the resort, you have unprecedented access to breathtaking views and really exciting terrain. The freeride zone is home of amazing open faces above the tree line, jumps and cliffs plus many a touring adventures! So, Pizza and beer wise? A little cheaper, you’re looking about 12€, ideal to save some pennies as there is no apres ski either. Although, after a day shredding the freeride zone, no doubt you will be heading for a chilled beer in front on the fire, back at your accommodation. For more info, click here to head to the tourism website.

Gressoney

Pila

pila cred ski info

Pila, oh Pila, a resort that is very close to my heart. As you climb the mountain and the valley drops away behind, it reveals the most imposing mountain range. With impeccable tree lined runs, perfect corduroy runs, steep, dotted with mouth watering bars and restaurants plus some amazing backcountry lines, you have a recipe for the Italian Dolce Vita! As freeriders we pay little attention to the piste but pila is worth having a little shred, the runs are a little steeper than the rest of the valley and with the literally PERFECTLY groomed piste, you can really let your hair down and accelerate. It’s rather funny, whenever i visit, with my freeride friends in tow, we cause a lot of stress of the piste police, ripping around at full speed, to take advantage on the conditions. Heading up to the Couis 2 chair lift, you have 360 views of The Matterhorn, Monte Bianco, Gran San Bernard and Monte Rosa, the most impressive panorama! Watch out for the secret freeride spots around Couis 1 and Couis 2, grab your touring equipment and head on up! Grab a pizza and a beer for around 10€ here and stay cheap too! Click here to visit the tourism website!

Chamois

chamois

Chamois lives in the shadow of Cervinia but we like is that way, included on the Cervinia pass but just 20 minutes down the road, Chamois is a locals secret! Chamois has long since been the spot that local freeriders head too, a day or 2 after a large fall to enjoy the undisturbed peace and tranquility above the clouds. Noone skies Chamois after a big snowfall which is the biggest shame/gift! The pass is cheaper and you can snap up the pizza and a lunch time beer for about 10€. We have driven down to enjoy the touring/snowshoeing opportunities and we have not been disappointed with the conditions. You still have the incredibly iconic views of the Matterhorn which is a true sight for sore eyes!  Click here for more info.

Italy Edits May 1st (1 of 7)

La Thuile

la thuile

Bordering with the sensational resort of La Rosiere, La Thuile is a really eclectic mix of the Italian and the French! La Thuile offers challenging piste skiing and the difficulty level is nicely reflected in the backcountry. I am always stoked to see when pro riders film in La Thuile which the Petit brother did back in 2015, they found some amazing spots, great pillow lines and other exciting features just waiting to be discovered. Your pizza and beer lunch will be about €15 here, prices on the mountain are a little more expensive due to the growing tourist industry in the resort but that also means after a longs days shredding, there will be plenty of life in the pubs for some Italian style apres ski! Stay in the planibel complex to keep the cost down or treat yourself to a cozy chalet, either way, more info can be found on the tourism website!

la thuile. net

Okay, so basically this list is narrowed down to just the Aosta Valley but after 7 seasons in the area, you get to know a thing or 2; that is what freeriding is all about, sharing the knowledge, the secrets and the low. After all, the Aosta Valley is a gem in the southern alps.

 

Be sure to hit me up with a message if you want to know more, I am here to answer any questions you may have about the area. Be sure to send me your images if you have been before! I would LOVE TO SEE!

Until next time. . .

 

Big love to the Aosta Valley tourist board for the images! For further details on the creds, message me!

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Staying Healthy In The Alps With StrippdVegan Protein. My Top 3 Tips.

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Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. So training for Verbier Freeride Week in well underway and this year I want to keep the focus on over all health and well-being. Don’t get me wrong, being vegan in the Alps is tough but it can be done with a little dedication and some inside secrets.

I have one secret weapon that has really helped me start the day off in the best way possible. Strippd Vegan Protein is absolutely delicious and I am so stoked to be working with them to spread the word about the wonders of the products. In a balanced plant-based lifestyle, you get everything you need from natural products and I certainly, stick by the concept that we should ingest the most simple and nutritionally dense meals. That’s why, when I spotted these guys on Insta I was instantly drawn in. This is what they had to say. . . .

STRIPPD is a new range of premium Whey and Vegan protein powders and supplements that are designed especially for women. Created to support a healthy, balanced lifestyle STRIPPD products can help women of all ages improve their overall wellbeing, boost their energy and vitality, strengthen their muscles and bones and nourish their skin, hair and nails!”

Their philosophy about body image and health is absolutely spot on. . . .”The key to maintaining wellness is ensuring everything you put into your body serves you well. The STRIPPD range utilises nutritional super ingredients like yerba mate – a South American plant extract, natural caffeine and immune booster that can also take the edge off hunger and help keep you trim. The all-natural powders contain just five ingredients meaning you know exactly what you’re putting into your body to ensure you get the most out of it.”

Vegan Protein Vanilla Snow.jpgI stick by a few simple tips that I wanted to share them with you.

  1.  Smoothies are the best way to start the day. I am not talking a skinny girl smoothie, I am talking a no holes bared, nutritious and deliciously packed smoothie. I go for a few different combos but my top 2 are: 1, Stippd Protein (my fave is chocolate) with one or two bananas depending how hungry I am, cacao powder, almond milk and Chia seeds. It’s thick and keeps you going until lunch (plus chia seeds are naturally gelatinous, that help flush toxins from the body). Bare in mind this is my pre workout smoothie, it gives you energy so make the most of it, ski, snowboard or head for some activity! 2, Green smoothie with one large granny smith apple, 1 kiwi, a 3inch cut of cucumber, wheatgrass powder, macha powder and coconut milk. You can feel this smoothie doing you the world of good and it’s awesome!
  2. Stock up on root vegetables. It worth it for me to drive an hour down the mountain to head to Aosta as there are some incredible supermarkets where the variety of fruits and veggies is almost like at home. I like to batch make soup on a windy and cold afternoon, a little bit of culinary therapy is really relaxing for me. I loved my latest concoction of beetroot and potato soup; Its warming and really good for you. Try something like parsnip and sweet potato or carrot too!
  3.  Mountain snacks!- I learnt a killer recipe from my pals of raw vegan flapjacks that keep really well and make the best mountain treats. In a bowl, I place the Strippd lean protein, ground coconut, cacao powder, peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and add nuts or raisins if you like. Once you have thick paste you can squash it all into greased tubawear and cut into slices. Just imagine-mid cable car, everyone is starving for an energy boost and you bust out this absolutely mouth-watering treat and help get your friends once step closer to the reality that vegan eating is just amaze balls!

If anyone EVER has any questions about a plant-based lifestyle while working out regularly, please DON’T hesitate to message me on the socials! I would love to chat, swap stories and keep each other motivated.

 

Conscious Caucasus – Europe’s Last Wilderness | VAUDE

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Another absolutely incredible demonstration of Vaude’s deep and meaningful connection with the environment. This video features some really amazing females outdoor enthusiasts and all round athletes, but also helps us remember to be respectful of wherever we choose to ride and indeed whatever discipline that be in- whether it is Skiing/Snowboarding or MTB and hiking. This respect encompasses our literal environment foot print but also our impact on local wild life and and eco-system of the area.

I very often head to their YouTube page to watch their array of edits and promos as they all have a clear message. I am really loving how strongly they feature empowered females on the channel and this video is a top example.

Whats more you will learn a thing or two about Armenia, I think I speak for all of us when I say we could stand to gather a few more valuable factoids about this clearly beautiful and naturally ore inspiring country.

This is what Vaude had to say:

The Caucasus is perhaps Europe’s last wilderness. The mountain range between Europe and Asia is home to the Caucasus leopard, Europe’s last big cat, and many other endangered species. For over twenty years, the WWF has been helping to protect as much as possible of the Caucasus’ natural regions under threat from people and has been helping to make these areas available to the public for sustainable tourism. A great opportunity for bikers Sylvia Leimgruber and Susanne Huth. Together they set off to see learn about the WWF project and to personally experience the unique hospitality & culture of Armenia.

Production: Third Pole
Riders: Susanne Huth, Sylvia Leimgruber

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Sex Sells- Apparently. . . .

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I would like to start off by saying a massive big old thank you to Still Stoked and the article they recently posted on their webpage. It was so great to hear that other athletes and riders feel the same.This blog entry are my ideas on the matter. Original article Link at the bottom.

Also a shout out to Jessica Oundjian who alerted me to the article in the first place, also an athlete in every way, a girl I admire too! I met Jess on the Freeride World Qualifier circuit in winter 2014/15- My first season competing. We are both British girls in the freeride scene so we naturally started following each other online; Since though, I have avidly stalked Jess on all her adventures as she is a total babe and certainly an excellent role model for what “Wild” still means, what is stands for and what an actual FREERIDER is, they ride FREE. Also, I have not yet seen her tits and or ass, knowing Jess even as little as I do, I still feel qualified to make the assessment in saying, I doubt we ever will. . . . . But that is how it should be.

Do you all remember in Zoolander, when they are at the awards ceremony and Fabio is getting his award for the “slashy”; He is a ACTOR/MODEL “And not the other way around”. That is what springs to mind when I think about the idea of SEX SELLS in the context of females in sport. From what I know of all the female pros I ride with, we are not Skiers or Snowboarders/ models, therefore when heading to their Instagram, I expect to see pictures that embody them as people, as athletes and as a marketable product. Don’t get be wrong, in this day and age of social media and having the best and most grabbing images at your finger tips, when a company offers a sponsorship, or wishes to use my material, they want it to grab, they want it to fit their profile and it has to have the potential of increasing sales/notoriety. But does this mean posting pictures of my cleavage and my back side online to increase likes and followers, as that’s what it’s all about afterall?

Okay, this is all totally hypothetical, but I hope after the last few years and having a few “Sponsors” come and go, I think I understand what they want. The article touched on the very important point of marketing. That is what you are essentially, you are a product and the aim of the game is that by sending you their products, you will in turn, post online and show your dedicated following why it works and how it works; a technical backpack, an app or an accessory. In an ideal world, you would have a following of just other skiers and snowboarders who think you are totes amaze balls and want to be just like you, or admire your opinion and will be influenced by your choices; after all you are not just sponsored because you like the free stuff!- right but because you believe in the company and hold a level of integrity? Your sponsor wants someone who has the same mountain philosophy and beliefs; if a company is all about the bright colors, loud prints, big smiles and even bigger sends, you should mirror that is how you post because that is why they carefully scouted you. Sponsors have thousands of people to choose from so when they do say, “Hey, we would love to send you something”- you know your earned it.

If I thought my sponsors had selected me on the premise I have big boobs and a marketable face; first off I would say, are you joking and I think you are mistaken but also I think I would be sad. I realise I am blessed, so you won’t find a pitty party here about how self conscious I am but I also realise I am nothing like Alana Blanchard or indeed (Sorry to say) Silje Norendal- as much as I think this gal is rad, she is an ideal example. Silje has more selfies and pictures of her faultless bod that she does of her riding. She poses for magazines all over the world and has big names sponsors that transcend the snowsports industry. Does she reflect what the snow sports industry is about? I am not sure she does any more. I wish her the most success in the world but I don’t think I would be comfortable if it were me. I have been wracking my brain the last few weeks about what the hell am I to post about this summer. I am winter, winter is my life so I want to keep that as the underlying feature of my social media. I looked at Silje online and I checked out my absolute idols Aimee Fuller and Kjersti Buaas, their pages were all very different. Aimee and Kjersti are how I imagine a true athlete, posting about working out to stay season fit. Other girls go with bikini shots cuddled up to other girls in a suggestive manner and shots of their beautiful faces or worse, a double chocolate ice cream covered in sprinkles. However, I have tried that in the past, but my most popular pictures are of me riding and I won’t lie, I don’t eat those big ol ice cream cones as I just can’t if I want be able to ACTUALLY compete in ACTUAL competitions. I have nearly 3000 followers on insta for example but the majority of likes and comments come from within the snow sports industry. I often check the profiles of my likers and I am so overwhelmed with happiness to find so many girls. Typically I see girls with a few hundred followers and images of them and their mates but in the descriptions it will read something like ” Name 17yrs old, love snowboarding, pizza and my friends, from Hertfordshire UK”. When I see that I feel I have done my job as an athlete. I obviously have a few aging men who have no connection to me what so ever but that is so be expected sadly as I have a vagina and that is the reality of social media.

So NOPE. I am not interested. I will not be posting pictures of me in just a bikini, chilling. If you do, for whatever reason, see me in that amount of clothing it will be to show-me working out or being active. You will not see me in tropical locations holding a fruity alcoholic drink (as what is becoming more and more apparent is I cant drink alcohol when I am working out, workout wins 5 times a week, sorry vodka). You wont see me fooling you either that I am on a non stop holiday. I am at home at the moment-working 3 jobs, I have to, I don’t have massive endorsement deals that fund my lifestyle. You will see pictures from the winter reflecting what I am about, you will see me train and sweat my butt off. Thanks to the original article and MTB rider Anneke Beerten, I will not shy away from showing you how; red, hot and sweaty I get because I am trying, and try f**** hard I do, so that I am not ashamed or feel like a total impostor when I stand next to these amazing riders at the start gate. I want my sponsors to think: she has a massive smile and is always happy, she has enthusiasm by the bucket load and is genuinely grateful for the sponsorship. So to Vaude, Gilson, Fatmap, Caxton FX, Snooks, Mojo Clothing, SunGod and Panda Optics, thank you guys for seeing me for me and not as a mannequin. I hope that my followers see your incredible products and realise I love you guys because of the love and care that goes into your company.

Check out the original article here:

http://www.stillstoked.com/feature/sex-sells-you-short-social-media-pressure-female-athletes/