Top Five Ski Tournaments and Events

Some people love the mountain for skiing and snowboarding and others for events organized in the resort. And who could blame them? There are very few places on this planet that mix so perfectly alpine scenery and major cultural events. And there is no question here of just going dancing after a day of skiing (although no other place offers an atmosphere as hedonistic and jovial as a lively ski resort, especially in Austria).

In some ski areas around the world, skiers are lucky enough to be able to combine downhill and carnivals, film festivals, exhibitions, outdoor evenings and concerts. We present you the top 10 ski resorts for culture during your winter sports stay.

  1. Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Austria

It is considered to be the biggest festival in this field and for good reasons. Imagine the biggest groups on the planet playing in igloos and on top of the glaciers in Mayrhofen, one of the first European cities to party at the foot of the slopes. Snowbombing is the snow-covered alter ego of Glastonbury. In the past, we’ve seen the best electro bands, like Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Fat Boy Slim. Guest groups will play every day from April 3 to 8, 2017, including Arctic Disco, an igloo with two dance tracks and three bars where everything (including furniture) is sculpted in snow and ice. There is also the largest outdoor party in Europe and street parties where the whole city dances.

  1. The St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup and the White Turf in St. Moritz, Switzerland

These are two of the most prestigious sporting and cultural events in the world: the St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup and the White Turf horse race. The tarmac at Saint-Moritz Private Airport will have more private jets at these two events in January and February than any other airport on the planet. More than 15,000 spectators, including members of European royal families and the biggest stars of Hollywood, come every year to attend the most famous winter polo tournament played on a frozen lake bordering the city. The championship itself represents only a minor role in the magnitude of the event, as it is just as essential to parade in the Veuve Clicquot tent as to taste the six-handed creations of Europe’s most celebrated chefs, totaling 12 toques Gault and Millau. As for the White Turf, it is the only horse encounter to take place on the snow. The St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup will take place from 27 to 29 January 2017 – The White Turf will be held on 12, 19 and 26 February 2017.

  1. Food Festivals in Alta Badia, Italy

What better place to enjoy Italian cuisine than the most famous ski and gourmet region in the world? If winter sports are an important part of the Dolomites, eating there will always remain the main activity. Every winter, the region celebrates its culture and cuisine at a series of festivals and gastronomic tours. It all starts in December with Gourmet Skisafari, during which the greatest chefs go to Alta Badia to prepare their best dishes. You can ski alongside the greatest chefs and enjoy their specialties in the city’s starred restaurants. Then discover the Sommeliers on The Slopes festival, offering skiers the best Italian wines from February to March. In March there is also the Roda does Saus, dedicated to ladine culture and gastronomy: the mountain refuges are transformed into tasting rooms, with views of the snowy peaks.

  1. Innsbruck Carnival, Austria

There’s no place more exciting than Innsbruck during her carnival. With Venice, it is one of the oldest festivals in Europe, symbolizing the struggle of spring to defeat winter. From 19 January to 28 February 2017, the town of Innsbruck and the surrounding villages organize festivals and parades. All the inhabitants wear elaborate costumes and masks, symbolizing the struggle of spring and summer against the Witches of winter. There are also special dances and dinners every night. With nine ski resorts, all connected by free shuttles, Innsbruck is the perfect place for skiers who love cultural holidays. Most of the ski slopes are suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers, such as Igls and Mutter, but others (such as the Stubai glacier and Patscherkofel) will delight experts.

  1. Art, music and culture all year round in Chamonix, France

Chamonix is not a resort, but a city in its own right, and that is why culture lovers can enjoy it without even having to wear skis (if they wish). Chamonix has one of the most dynamic regional cultural scenes in France. Throughout the winter, you can enjoy art and photo exhibitions, free art workshops and music festivals. One – off events such as the Chamonix Adventure Festival (a 4-day Film festival at the end of March featuring the best adventure films), The Nordic Monster Test, the famous Christmas market, The Golden Piolets (the Oscars of the Alpine world) and the Chamonix Unlimited cultural festival (beginning of April) attract skiers and curious people from all over the world. You can attend the concerts of the best French musicians in Historic Houses inspired by Belle Epoque or in more contemporary rooms like the Maison de Jeunes. And if you prolong your itinerary a little, you can visit Annecy, one of the most picturesque villages in France, also called the ‘Venice of the Alps’.

In the women race Laetitia Roux completed her comeback over Jennifer Fiechter. After several seasons the Valtellina Orobie is back among the great worldwide ski mountaineering events as second appointment of the 2016 ISMF World Cup. The 30th edition featured an unusual start and finish to be crossed on foot. The athletes of the individual event have had to prove their worth on a track with 1750 m of positive altitude difference, 5 uphill stretches, 5 slopes, 11 set-up changes, open ridges and spectacular downhill chase-downs. The little snow that fell so far this winter had made these parts all the more athletically challenging. On his home mountains Michele Boscacci has attempted since the very start to win the race; he lived the dream and gave hope to his fans for three quarters of the race, before Kilian Jornet caught up and got the better of him. After a spectacular head-to-head, the two came together at the finish line in Campelli, a few kilometres from Albosaggia. The winner was declared by photo finish and then using the chip. Jornet finished the race in 1h, 35’28”609, Boscacci in 1h 35’28”690. Anton Palzer, the first among the Espoir, came third in 1h 35’56”, followed by a steadily and progressively growing Robert Antonioli. The top ten also included Xavier Gachet (FRA), Valentin Favre (FRA), Mathéo Jacquemoud (FRA), Martin Anthamatten (SUI), Matteo Eydallin and Alexis Sevennec (FRA). The women – and junior men – race comprised 4 uphill and as many downhill stretches (1315 D+ 1315D-). As for the women the French Laetitia Roux got her first success. The queen of ski mountaineering was restored to her throne ending the race first in 1h 42’30” before her Swiss rival Jennifer Fiechter - 1h 44’59” – and the Swede Emelie Forsberg – 1h 46’51”. Worth reporting is that Forsberg lost the second place after a time penalty: incorrect position of her skis in the bag. The Spaniard Claudia Galicia finished fourth before the azzurra Katia Tomatis; then, Valentine (France), Martina Valmassoi (Italy), Mireia Mirò and Marta Garcia (Spain) and the young – and first among the Espoir – Alba De Silvestro (Italy). In the Junior race Italy conquered the first two spots with Davide Magnini e Giulia Compagnoni; after 3 uphill and 3 downhill stretches (990 D+ 990 D-), the podium was completed by Lena Bonnel (France) and the local favourite Giulia Murada. As regards the men podium, the French Samuel Equy finished second and Nicolò Canclini won the bronze medal. Tomorrow the World Cup circus will be back on track at the Centro Sportivo Caspoggio with the Sprint event. Photo Gallery HD Online on ISMF website : All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on