Bormio (IT)

Bormio a typical Italian village & ski field located in the Lombordai.
Home of Braulio "the future" and a place for great ski slopes, good food,
wine, grappa and more...

After checking in to a nice little hotel in the middle of the village
I took the lift system up to the top of the mountain 3012m. Where
I stopped by at the restaurant.

....looks like Alpine Legends has been here before ;-)

View down the mountain toward Bormio, while having a selection of
different food from a typical Italian menu!

One more stunning view over "Sunny Valley" at St. Catharina.

Some impressions around "Old town" Bormio.

Bormio also known as home of Braulio "the future". If you haven't tried
one, you haven't been to Bormio...

One way the Italians get around the village is by bike.....

....ore by using the legendary Vespa!

Visite one of many local vine bars along via Roma and order a beer
or a glace of vine and you get a variety of food equal a whole meal with it.
At the same time you get a change to mingle up with some local people.

doing a business phone call....

I realy enjoyed the Italian life style and had once more a great week.

Grazie Hasse & fino a quando a prossima volta

Winter is back in Engelberg ;-)

Time to take of t-shirt and flipflops again and gear up for skiing!

We were up on the mountain in Engelberg and skied some nice lines at
Steinberg, Sulz and Steintäli. Able to add some new tracks on the mountain
pretty much everywhere we went.

Moni cutting along the edge

What a Saturday! Not many people were expecting such a nice day on
the mountain. You could tell on the few people on and off the slopes.

Thomas writing his name on the mountain!

Beat having fun on Steinberg ;-)

looking out for some more untouched terrain....

Sven on his way down at "Steintäli" after lunch. The snow has turned
a little bit heavier but it's still fun to be out there.

Damian still fighting with the balance after a night out at Yuci....

Some happy faces after some epic runs ;-)

Thank you and have a nice day!
/Chris & Friends

Spring has come to Engelberg

After coming back from some skiing in the Alps, spring has arrived in
Engelberg. What could be better than sitting in the sun with a friend, 
having a beer or two and talk about the last ski trips & some upcoming
spring skiing.

Enjoy it out there!
Chris & Mike

Skiing in Japan is fun!

Mountains are mountains and snow is snow. What’s different here is that
it is colorful, well organized, full of smartly dressed Japanese people and
very different after ski. Everyone is extremely nice and service minded.

Colorful snowboarder and Sandy.

A nice hat for your snowboard not to scratch the gondola window.

I went to see Sandy in Nagoya where she is studying for a year and we
decided to explore Hakuba Goryu + Hakuba 47 and Happo One. Three
of 1998 Olympics Nagano 7 main areas.

Luckily the Olympics and all the Australians coming here give us some
information in English.

Colorful rental.

Spicy rental. 

Good skiing on well groomed slopes. Everything was thought of from the
start with ski rentals also selling equipment, shops for food and presents,
restaurants, Fun parks, picnic rooms with tables, garbage stations, toilets 
with hairdryer, lockers and venue machines for cold and warm drinks and
a spa area. Free buses between the resorts are sponsored by beer suppliers.

Buy a ticket in the machine for today´s curry, pasta, noodles or pizza.

Crowded beginners slope.

We stayed in a cozy, nice backpackers place called K’s Backpackers Hostel
Hakuba. 10 min walk from the train station and 5 min from the cable car
in Hakuba Goryu. 2 bed rooms or dormitories. Kitchen, dining room and
a big terrace. Toshi and his wife runs the plays and take care of you as
if you where kings and queens.

Art and food is handmade and really nice.

Hakuba Goryu is a nice little area with easy slopes in the sun and some
really good steep runs as well as some good moguls. Mostly beginners
on skis and they love to take ski lessons. It’s connected to Hakuba 47
where the snow park is attracting all the good snowboarders. Also some
really nice intermediate, long runs. One slope open for night skiing.
Nightlife includes a few nice restaurants and one bar with live music now
and then plus the local onsen (hot springs), of course.

With an international menu.

Happo One, the bigger sister of Hakuba Goryu+47 is the biggest
resort in the area. You get up over 2500 m and there are more slopes.
Some nice steep ones. Also here they have a good park. Experienced
skiers and snowboarders. Good skiing and a nice view from top. This
resort, a small town, has it all, including nightlife with bars, restaurants
and more fancy Hotels.

Onsen is the thing for after-ski. Less than 4 Euros, shampoo and soap
included as well as the warm water coming up from mother earth. Bring
a couple of beers and you can “talk away” some hours in there.

Guides and ski instructors ski on Japanese skis.

Normally this area gets more than 10 m of snow in winter season starting
in December ending in May. Off pist skiing is strictly forbidden to protect
the skiers and there are signs everywhere. The resort for off pist skiing
in the area is said to be Hakuba Cortina.

Well organized.

From Tokyo you easily get here in 4-5 hours by train. One day ski pass
is about 40 Euros a day and ski + boot rental 35 Euros a day.

To prove I've been there. On the metro to get back to reality again.
Bye, bye Japan!

Keep skiing!          



On Tuesday a week ago I went to Kitzbühel to look at a new hotel that
we are going to work with and also to get to know the village and the
ski area a bit. Johan, Lian, Peffe, Pelle and Karin were also there to
prepare for a group.

I flew to Münic and took the train to Kitzbühel. I hooked up with an Australian
man, Leo, already on the train from the airport and soon found out that he
used to run the Londoner, the most famous bar in Kitzbühel  for 6 years,
25 years ago. Now he was on his way to visit his daughter who was working
in the neighbor village Kirchberg.

I got of the train by the Hahnen cablecar and lost my way a bit on the way
to the hotel. So got a short sightseeing tour before I bumped into Johan
who came to meet me just outside the Londoner!  We walked to the hotel
and bumped into Katrin who is the Swedish speaking sales director of
Hotel Kitzhof where we were staying.  This is a newly built hotel with modern
Austrian charm and “Stimmung”. Nice rooms, a fantastic spa, a breakfast
buffet that has too much choice…, good food and Austrian hospitality at its best.
It also works well for conferences.

On Wednesday morning we had a short meeting and then we went up the

I was positively surprised by the size of this system. The conditions
were great so we got a good day up here and with Peffes knowledge we fast
got a hang of how the resorts were built together.

Here is Karin in 3S, a lift that goes 400 m above the ground, nothing for
people that are afraid of heights…

Here´s me in the lift above Pengelstein, a nice area for off-pist.

We had lunch at Bärenbadalm which directly translated means the swimming
bear hut. A beautiful place with very good food and fast service.
Pelle enjoyed a gulasch.

I took the opportunity to try the local spinach knödel.

Johan and Bagarn tried some syncronized skiing

We skied the Hahnenkamrennen down to the village and were amazed
how anyone would dare to go full speed  in the steep parts with those
sharp turns.

In the afternoon we got a show round of the hotel and the 130 m 2 suite…

On thursday morning we explored the village and enjoyed the spring that
just arrived, sun and +14 C. It is a very pretty village and everyone seems
happy and helpful. 

We had a chat with the cute horse driver.

The resort calls itself Kitzbühel the Legend and thye also have something that
looks almost like a Dahu. It matches quite well and I am sure we will be back.


Swedish design awards

I can´t resist to follow up on Henriks blog with this picture of a guest
from last week in Åre, Johan Göthberg. With his permission I am posting
this picture of him and his fantastic hat. This would have suited perfectly
 with the jacket that Henrik found in Italy.

Long live the destination badges : )


Scottish Pow Pow

With one on the best winters on record still pounding our mountains and cities, I took to the hills with some fellow self employed friends to catch the blue sky's fresh weekday pow pow- scottish style. The motley crew assembled for this assault were to be Dave Robertson, my kitesurfing amigo and the Ginger Ninja, James Parkinson



Our fist stop was to be the infamous Glencoe with one of the steepest inbound runs the Scottish hills have to offer with The Fly Paper coming in at 40 + degrees. As we got dressed in the car park the sun was already beating down on us and not an ounce of wind or clouds in sight. I had to pinch myself to remember that I was in my homeland of Scotland.




After picking out the last of the fresh snow that the weekend warriors had left us, we took a short walk to a line which has been on my mind since I was a wee boy.


Taking a walk and looking for the entrance
Damn! How do I get in to this
like this i guess
Here comes the soft stuff - oh yeah



Mission complete


After ski was to be at the King's House Hotel with some inquisitive local Dahus eating all the bar snacks

Day 2 the mighty Nevice range

Nevis Range ( ) is home to one of the  world's toughest down hill MTB course on the world cup circuits. It also has some of Scotland's top skiing with views to Scotland's highest mountain Ben Nevis. Its a magic place to be. We were   joined by good friend Dave Comrey who managed to negotiate a day off for what turned out to be collectively one of our best day's skiing in Scotland.

The mighty ben nevice

View over the back to the winter wonderland


After a warm up run from top to bottom the temptation to look further afield was just too strong and the next thing we knew we were looking over in to the back corries of Aonach Mhor. I will let the photos do the talking.........



Yes - thats Scottish pow pow people


Dave ripping up the fresh pow


The ginger master at work


In the last 6 months I have been very privileged to travel to China and bike through the Himalayas into Tibet and Nepal and also to ski in the war torn country of Kashmir.  Days like this in your own backyard are so special and hit deep down into my soul. This is what it's all about -  good friends, good powder and the the country where you were born. I'm praying for the ice age to come back to Scotland and dust the hills with more of this white gold.


Sometimes what we are looking for is just around the corner and not half way around the globe.


Till next time........




P.S Photos Taken from Dave's Video camera Thanks Dave

Kyrgyzstan - 94% mountains!

Squeezed inbetween Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan and China lies
the politically fragile nomad country Kyrgyzstan covered by mountains.
High mountains with many peaks in the 5.000-7.000 m range. 30% of
the country is said never to melt. To us, Johan, Jax, Kjersti and me that
sounded like a great place to go skiing!

Both my luggage and Johan didn´t make the connection from Istanbul
to Bishkek...and the next flight would be 24 hours I got to
borrow equipment while we skied for a day with the locals in Toguz Bulak
about an hour from the capital Bishkek. My stuff is red and Kjerstis ski
is black. I got cooler poles though.

The afterski for sure made it up for the laid back slope-skiing this day.
It was lethal! With poker on the hood of a car and betting on Ulak-Tartysh, 
a rough game played by two horse-mounted teams and involving a goat
carcass we felt like we do not know how to have fun in the west.

We were told that broken noses and dislocated shoulders are common
details of this game.

While waiting for Johan and my luggage we were offered Slava´s, our
guide and driver´s, own brew of fire water. Needless to say waiting for
a 04.00 arrival was not so bad after all.

Johan arrives at 4 in the morning and gets to hit the firewater immeadiately.
We have a long drive ahead on mountain roads to Karakol in the Tien -Shan,
The Celestial Mountains on the border to China. Finally we are all here and
ready to ride!

We meet up with local Kyrgyz freeriders Lida and Slava and take the
snowmobiles to their playground beyond where the ski-lifts end in Karakol
Ski base. Ladies first so Kjersti and I get to go. No heli this week due to
high risk of avalanches.

Johan scouts if we should go right or left.

Slava goes right...

...and we decide on the left side. Crowds? Nope.

Kjersti gets down first into the pine-forest zone that actually reaches
above 2.800 meters.

Another day we take the 4WD Mitsubishi-bus to the Chon-Ashuu pass in
order to drive up, skin a little and then have nice decents of 900m. Now,
we don´t really make it to the pass at 3.822 since the road is closed
due to avalanche risk and not cleaned. However, after a short discussion
(involving money) with the local policemen blocking the road to the pass,
and a positive mindframe, we make the little bus atleast make it to 3.200
before the radiator liquid pours out and the engine decides to burn. So,
while we boot with lightly clad Slava and Lida, our masterguides Vasilij and
Dadja Slava get to work on the car.

And Voila! By the time we come down there´s a new vehicle awaiting
us. In the middle of gook! Amazing!

Fot the last section of our trip, we move to the Suusamyr Tourist Base
in the Suusamyr Valley in the Kyrgyz Ala Too Range. An area that we reach
from the dramatic 3.586 m Tor Ashuu pass. We are later told that early
local free riders used to drive up to the pass and ski down under the
electrical poles for orientation. One of the days we try a similar approach
but use the newly built ski lift in the Too Ashuu and then shuttle with car
back to the top.

The base runs as a paragliding base in the summer and freeride base
in winter. We introduced the famous "rundpingis" and skid along quite
well in our magic slippers given to us as a welcome present by Alina at
Top Asia. Riders from Russia, USA, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Norway and
Sweden could then brighten the evenings and get out of breath at 2.300 m
playing this world famous ping-pong game.

As we were taken up by catski and booted the rest, a lot of time could
be spent playing. Here I am enjoying mountain FR3 (Free Ride 3)

Dennis waiting for us with the catski and a magic view over FR1 and the

Farytail landscapes but some days we had little visibility and navigated
by this giant plant the locals referred to as Markovnik. Not to be found
under that name in a flora book...

Johan with a Markovnik in view. Powder to last a lifetime.

Dog? Wolf? Wolfdog? In January, we were told, it´s wise to bring a rifle
with you since the wolfs gather in big flocks to mate. Lucky we were there
in February...

The nearest town is called Paris. No joke. Johan is shopping for more
beer for the rund-pingis tournament.

All set for a good evening. Baltika at 7% makes for a short but good game.

Final day at Suusamyr and we have sunshine. Kjersti does her thing.

Jax making his mark on this beautiful place. FR1 in the back while Jax
is on FR3.
Maybe I can sum it up to endless mountains, vast wilderness, some of 
the most welcoming people I have met and a good vibe that goes straight
to the heart. And stays there.

I will be back to this magic place on the planet!


Mitt i vintern möte i Champery

I början på mars lyckades vi får till ett litet delägarmöte mitt emellan
Champoluc, Engelberg, Annecy och Stockholm. Det strategiska valet föll
på Champery, en lugn mysig by en kabinbana från Port du Soleil med
lagom transferavstånd från Genève.

Jag och Johan körde från Engelberg tillsammans med Jossan och Jens och
plockade upp Erik i Vevey. Där tog vi ett Mc Donalds stopp och satt ute i
vårvädret och lekte med deras kampanj där det gällde att samla märken
och fylla i ett monopol..., kul spel! Tur vi inte hade mer tid för då hade
vi nog suttit där än och ätit burgare bara för att se vilket märke vi skulle få.

Vi checkade in på Hotel Suisse och var för första gången sen i december
tillsammans alla fem, kul! Vi hann mötas ett par timmar innan det var
dags för kvällens middag. Peffe hade hittat en stjärnkrog som drevs av
en matkemist! C21 hette stället som låg tvärs över gatan från Hotell Suisse.

Vi provade de mest underliga rätter. Mest annorlunda var nog Henkes och
Johans gåslever i form av müsli som smattrade när man åt den...

eller Peffes soppa som stelnade när dom hällde upp den. Kanske mer
spännande än gott...

Vi försökte även checka nattlivet, men det fanns inte så mycket att checka
i Champery en måndag kväll så det blev en kvällspromenad och en tidig kväll.

Vi lever som vi lär så trots att vi denna gång levde upp till 6 timmars konferens
om dagen ; ) så hann vi även med att ta några svängar tillsammans.

Vi svängde igenom Avoriaz och åt lunch i Les Lindarets innan vi tog oss tillbaks
till Schweiz och vårt boende för natten.

Här lämnades vi helt ensamma att elda i spisen och laga kvällens middag


Umgås, prata framtid och vara seriösa...

På morgonen vaknade vi innan liftarna öppnat och fick ett magiskt piståk
ner till byn utan några andra människor, utan liftljud, på mjuk manchester,
bara vi fem...

Avslutningsvis var vi tvugna att leka lite, får väl se om bildbevis kommer,
men vi kunde lätt konstatera att vår unge VD kommer från generationen efter
kortsvängens storhetstid.

Tack kollegor för ett par givande dagar i Champery!


Alpine design awards

Through all years of travelling the Alps it has been hard to avoid some
particularly designed ski wear. I definitely enjoy some guys that might
not "geared up" since -88, keeps me entertained on a cold day on the piste.

Classical fluffy body suit from O´Neill, definitely makes me feel like surfing...

Why didn´t we see more of this favourite; FIRE & ICE!!

This 30 cm wide "back plate" on a nice violet Nevica jacket caught my attention
in a cable car last month. Sure I am blessed in my hunting, living in the italian
Alps... Must be one hell of a technical jacket....

But the outstanding superior winner of "back plates" goes to this artistic
guy, what a vagabond by the way, who just slipped out the door at La Grange
Restaurant yesterday, I desperately but gently asked him to take a photo
of the masterpiece, since I was so impressed...

Maybe not ski resorts only, but a mighty job with the needle by his mum!
He proudly presented that his favourite trip actually was to Sweden. He
actually even admitted that some of the marks he got from his brother...

Never stop exploring new resorts!


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