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What a weekend!
Sunday March 16, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

Last weekend the Momentum Ski Festival took place in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana. The candle was well and truly burnt at both ends.

The event includes racing by day and partying by night; for some people last weekend sleep seemed to be an optional extra they preferred to decline.

The event began life 15-year ago as the City Ski Championships in the Italian resort of Courmayeur. In 2012 it transferred across to Crans-Montana and gained a new lease of life.

The recipe is simple; ski racing between financial firms during the day, après ski at the end of the afternoon and then dinners, dancing and other entertainment at night. It often went on until 2.00AM and beyond.

As you might expect the racing is fierce and highly competitive.

With 250 people at the event, the vast majority give the gates a go.

It starts with a run through a speed gun - the top speed was 98.54km/h.

Going for speedGoing for speed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the real stuff commences as teams of four racers take part in a dual slalom - there are prizes in a variety of categories.

Battling it out in the dual slalomBattling it out in the dual slalom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The really serious event though is the individual giant slalom that took place on Saturday - people come back year after year to do battle on the slopes and so there are many old scores to settle.

Getting an edgeGetting an edge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The après ski is taken seriously too - on the opening afternoon there was the band 29 Fingers performing outdoors at Zerodix.

Lets get the party startedLets get the party started

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it is about far more than just skiing and partying.

Well a little bit more anyway.

There are some serious business meetings taking place and networking opportunities too.

On Friday evening the Financial Times sponsors a Forum chaired by the deputy editor the FT Weekend Magazine, Ravi Mattu.

Not all playNot all play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the panel was the author Robyn Scott, the academic Marc de Rond, and the business executive Bruno Grande plus Britain's Olympic gold medalist from Vancouver, Amy Williams.

Amy WilliamsAmy Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The subject of debate was The New World Of Work (A Brave New World?).  The debate looked specifically at team work; how people work together and how to get the most out of members of a team.

Over 70 delegates packed the conference room for the session.

Soon after it was back to the partying with a dinner, live bands and the hard-core headed back to Monk'is nightclub.  

We are pleased to say PlanetSKI went to bed - there was some skiing to be done the next day.

Our early to bed and early to rise also allowed us to witness a fabulous sunrise over the Alps on race day.

Morning gloryMorning glory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crans-Montana sits on a sunny south facing plateau at 1,500m and has some of the best views of the Alps across the Rhone Valley. The skiing itself goes up to almost 3,000m where the views are some of the best in the Alps.

The Matterhorn and Mont Blanc are clearly visible along with many other 4,000m peaks.

Crans-MontanaCrans-Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crans-MontanaCrans-Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The resort has a long association with the British. Henry Lunn visited and in 1911 the resort held the first genuine downhill ski race.

Henry's son, Arnold Lunn, organised The Earl Robert of Kandahar Challenge Cup. The pioneers hiked to the top and then skied down; downhill ski racing had been invented.

The racers at the City Ski Championships did not have to hike up and their clothing and equipment is certainly very different, but there is still a hint of that pioneering British spirit of adventure at the event.

To see some video from the resort and the Momentum Ski Festival then our latest PlanetSKI weather report, that was filmed over the weekend can be seen here.

Meanwhile to get a flavour of what the apres ski is like at The Momentum Ski Festival then check out the pictures below.

Party time!Party time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the band played onAnd the band played on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.... and on..... and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer basistKiller basist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJ NicoDJ Nico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next year the Momentum Ski Festival takes place form March 12th - 15th and promises to be even bigger and better; for further information about the event then see its web site here. 

We plan to be back.

FACT BOX

For more information on Switzerland visit www.MySwitzerland.com or call the Switzerland Travel Centre on the International freephone 00800 100 200 30.

Swiss International Air Lines  - visit - www.swiss.com

The Swiss Travel System provides a dedicated range of travel passes and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. Prices start at £96. Visit www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk.

For the spirit of the mountains

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