Scott Week 2016
One of the undoubted highlights of the snowsports industry calendar, Scott Week 2016, was looking very much in the balance come early January with the host resort of Zürs struggling from a severe lack of snowfall. This all changed in the two weeks running up to the event however, with near constant snowfall dropping around 1.5m of snow on the resort – perfect for testing out Scott’s 2016/2017 range of freeride and freetouring equipment. And as Ski Club staff member Chris Madoc-Jones found out, combining loads of new snow with the very best skis, world-class mountain guides and pro skiers, resulted in an incredible few days in the Austrian Vorarlberg.
Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for a series of kit reviews on the Ski Club website covering the full spectrum of Scott’s wintersports range. We’ll be looking at boots and skis, but also at some unique poles and a brand new avalanche backpack system.
Scott Mountain Guide Simon scoping fresh lines off the Trittkopf in Zurs during Scott Week 2016
Zürs was a new destination for Scott, following a move from the famous Hospitz Hotel in the nearby resort of St. Christoph. It proved to be an excellent choice, with the ski area providing the perfect playground within which to test their very latest gear.
After a very snowy journey up from Innsbruck with Scott’s Brand & Marketing Manager, I checked into the Robinson Club Hotel – Scott Week’s new home. Situated a stone’s throw away from the Trittkopfbahn cable car and new Übungshangbahn, the location was perfect. By 8am the next morning everyone was down in the ski room getting fitted up with the latest gear. I chose a pair of G1 130 boots, some Scrapper 124 skis (a slightly improved model for 2016/2017), a pair of Riot+ poles and finally Scott’s latest Alpride avalanche backpack – so I was fully kitted up and ready to go.
We split off into three groups which thanks to the high standard of the skiers on the trip ensured that even the second group that I chose were skiing some steep and long off piste routes. We spent the whole day skiing powder, which in places was seriously deep and on most occasions untracked – thanks particularly to our excellent mountain guide, Simon. We skied light and dry powder at Hexenboden, before moving to Seekopf and then on to the famous Trittkopf mountain – ending up at the Flexenpass bus stop for the short hop back down to Zürs.
The sun came out for the first time in seven days as we skied down to the Flexenpass
By 4pm everyone was shattered and I snuck off for some much needed R&R and to begin writing up the day’s kit review. Dinner and a presentation by the Scott team on next year’s kit followed, before Swiss pro skier Jérémie Heitz introduced his latest project “La Liste”
He’s attempting to ski fifteen 4,000m peaks around his home in the Valais region of Switzerland – which put our achievements from the day slightly into context! An early night followed and was certainly appreciated by all.
My set up for day 2 – using the Scott Scrapper 115 skis, Riot + poles and Alpride backpack. The boots are the new Superguide Carbon model, but I continued to use the G1
The following morning the snow was dumping down outside so we decided to ski the trees of neighbouring St Anton. This time I was on a pair of 2016/2017 Scrapper 115 skis, slightly narrower than the pair I had used the day before. The first three runs were skied as a group of 20, with Jérémie leading the way. It was really a game of trying to keep up with him – the speed and fluidity of his skiing was seriously impressive, even through the tight bushes and bumps that St Anton had to offer. There was at least 30cm of fresh overnight snow and with temperatures dipping below -10C it was a freezing cold day on the mountain but the snow was as light and fluffy as I had ever skied. The slightly narrower skis held up fantastically well off piste and performed better than their fatter counterparts on it, resulting in a seriously fun morning of skiing.
Deep powder and more fresh lines followed on day 2 in St Anton
By lunchtime everyone’s legs were suffering and after some lunch we sadly had to go our separate ways – in my case to Ischgl to visit my brother, where the powder was just as good…
I hope this gives you a flavour of Scott Week and do look out for the series of kit reviews that will appear on the Ski Club’s website in the coming weeks.