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THE EAGLE TAKES IT TO THE LIMIT - James Rampton, Mayrhofen
Friday December 16, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

So as the Altitude Festival comes to a close, this is an opportune moment to look back on its many highlights.

The Altitude Comedy Festival ended on Saturday in Mayrhofen with a "Party Night in the Arena", featuring DJs Crissy Criss, Erb n Dub, Jessica Van Der Weert, DJ Stocky and Meonmeown - DJs with whom the impossibly hip and youthful PlanetSKI is of course totally familiar.

So as the Festival comes to a close, what were its highlights?

One of the standout performances for PlanetSKI was Abandoman.

If you say to someone you are going to see an Irish hip-hopper who makes up the lyrics on the spot about trivia the audience has just told him, that someone would be entitled to think, "How is that comedy?"

 Abandoman persuades to abandon our inhibitions and laugh ourselves stupid. Abandoman persuades us to abandon our inhibitions and laugh ourselves stupid




















Well, over the past three decades, PlanetSKI has watched more comedy than you can shake a jester's stick at.

But we would unhesitatingly say that Abandoman is one of the most viscerally exciting comedy acts we have seen in years.

I predict Very Big Things for Abandoman (Rob Broderick), an artist who can create a hilarious off-the-cuff hip-hop song about an audience member's moan that his local Lidl has run out of Merlot.

We just don't know how he does it. Andrew Maxwell, Altitude's co-founder and the MC at Abandoman's show on Monday night, was absolutely right to describe the act as "voodoo".

For us, the other outstanding presence at Altitude this week has been Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards.

The plasterer from Gloucester became an international celebrity when he came last in the ski jumping competition at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

A brand new Kung Fu move: The Crouching EagleA brand new Kung Fu move: The Crouching Eagle















He was here, there, and everywhere this week at the festival, which is organised by the tireless, unsung hero Brett Vincent.

PlanetSKI had the privilege of flying down the slopes with The Eagle on Monday (see our previous report) - well he flew, we flapped in his wake.

This is one Eagle who really knows how to take it to the limit.

Edwards also gave a very well-received talk entitled, "The Eagle That Dared" in the Pilzbar at the top of the main Penken lift in Mayrhofen on Tuesday.

The Eagle That DaredThe Eagle That Dared




















We also were treated to a very entertaining steak dinner with The Eagle one night.

Edwards, whose iconic status was underscored last year by Eddie the Eagle, a popular film about his life, emphasised his abiding love of skiing.

He is a man after our own heart.

Edwards, who was a good enough downhill racer to miss out on the 1984 British Olympic team only by a whisker, asserted that, "I love skiing. I'm just as excited to ski now as I was when I first skied at the age of 13.

It's always been a big part of my life.

It doesn't matter if I'm skiing at the local dry slope in Gloucester or on an Olympic downhill course.

"I don't even mind skiing across mud or grass.

If you can ski it, I'll ski it.

I'm still really passionate about the sport.

I still want to be skiing on my hundredth birthday - in about 70 years' time!"

Edwards has had a ball at Altitude - as has the brilliant improv comedian Andy Smart, the only performer apart from Maxwell to have appeared at every single Festival.

The comic reflects that, "It's a very special atmosphere at Altitude.

The Eagle swoops in to embrace your correspondentThe Eagle swoops in to embrace your correspondent


















"One year a couple met here, and the next year they got married here.

"So Altitude can bring romance your life - not just comedy.

"Also, it doesn't matter if you're good at skiing or not - being in the mountains is just stunning.

"You turn a corner and the view will take your breath away."

Smart adds that, "Even if I wasn't appearing at the festival, I'd still come to it.

"I'd work in the local ski shop to pay my way!"

Unsurprisingly, Maxwell agrees.

He declares that, "There's not much to the Altitude Comedy Festival.

"It's just, fun, merriment and skiing.

But what could be better than that?" Quite.

So this year Altitude has really lived up to its billing as, "The Funniest Show on Snow."

Now PlanetSKI cannot wait for next year, when the Altitude Comedy Festival will once again send in the clowns.

Andrew Maxwell dresses down for the FestivalAndrew Maxwell dresses down for the Festival















See here for the first blog post from James in Mayrhofen: THE HILLS ARE ALIVE TO THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER

See here for the second blog from James in Mayrhofen: THE EAGLE HAS LANDED

See here for the third blog from James in Mayrhofen: YODELLING AT ALTITUDE

See here for the fourth blog from James in Mayrhofen: ENCHANTMENT AT ALTITUDE

The Fact Box.

Tickets for the Altitude Comedy Festival can be found here.

Crystal Ski Holidays (; 020 8939 0726) offers a week's half board at the Sport & Spa Hotel Strass from £662 per person including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and transfers departing during January 2017. Departures from all major UK airports available (at a supplement starting from £25).

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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