Spring is just about sprung in the Alps, which means it’s time for eight silly, sensational and funny ski videos. They were made in Iran, Slovenia, British Columbia, Austria, Wyoming, and in the French Alps. You don’t have to be over 18 and give a credit card number to watch them. But be warned – in five of these snow movies from around the world the main participants are naked…
Shemshak? It’s the name of Consensio’s five-star £80,000 a week luxury chalet in Courchevel 1850. But it also belongs to a ski resort in Iran where this…er…ostrich learned to ski. If you’re flipplin’ the bird at skiing or, rather, you’re the bird and trying not to flip, this seems as good a place as any take first turns. If it’s all too much, snow makes a soft alternative to sand for burying your head.
…and another one
A flight to Europe for a couple of lessons with New Generation and look what a difference it makes! The birds have a stance problem that even a hand-made ski boot specialist like James Choularton of Daleboot found hard to solve – their knees are in reverse! But in skiing, no mountain’s too high.
It been said – unkindly – that to succeed at World Cup level downhill, intelligence along with imagination is a distinct disadvantage. But no problem, if you only have artificial intelligence. This week Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo robot beat South Korea’s Lee Se-dol, the world champion of the Chinese board game Go. It’s seen as an historic landmark in the
development of AI. But judging by the performance on snow of this Slovenian robot, it’s going to be a long time before she eclipses Lindsey Vonn. (She? Can you see any evidence to suggest that this robot is a boy?)
Here’s a look at the coolest bunch of ski bums in the whole of North America. The little Whitewater ski area and the neighbouring town of Nelson in British Columbia have a cherished reputation as home to a post hippy generation not shy to express its views on freedom of expression. Back in the 60s, a substantial number of their parents crossed the US frontier as refugees from LBJ’s Vietnam draft and never went any further.
These 20 skiers stripped off and bared all, both on the piste and in the powder. Look closely, as you will, and you’ll see that they’re not all completely naked – wearing an ABS or at least a transceiver has got to make sense!
Pull The Otter One
If you happen to be standing at the top of a snow-covered slope in Yellowstone National Park and you feature as dish of the day on the menu of every bad-assed bald eagle circling above you, it makes sense not to hang about. Otters are natural skiers and they don’t need any assistance from Rossignol or Salomon. Parallel slalom is a particular speciality…and it’s all good clean snow fun with a dip at the bottom.
Transformers, the child’s toy invented in Japan over 30 years ago, turns tanks and trucks into alien robots. There’s even been a cartoon and a movie, but never before will you have seen one of them life-sized – and on snow. To mark the opening of a new gondola in La Plagne, Jean-Yves Blonde demo-ed the Transformer look, with mini skis on every limb, as well as chest, elbows and knees. It should come with a warning: don’t try this yourself at home…or even in La Plagne.
The trouble with webcams across the Alps is that while they are informative they are usually incredibly boring, not least when it’s a slow-moving panoramic view of a 3000m top station in a complete white-out. Obergurgl in Austria’s Otztal decided to liven up their three cams with a little light relief that ranges from fisticuffs on piste to a downhill slide on a sofa.
One of Those Days
Candide Thovex is the unparalleled master of the alternative ski movie. Part circus, part artform, you are on the edge of your seat from the moment he leaves his home in La Clusaz and heads for the hills. What’s more, it’s all almost as dangerous as it appears to be.
Ok, so it was shot over a month and in different locations – not in a single run. Yes, the helicopter was waiting, the ski-joerer was in on the plot, but the stunts are all real. It will rightly leave you thinking that Thovex is the best freestyle skier in the world.