Grandvalira gives a major boost to freeride
Grandvalira continues to promote freeride with new offers and initiatives. This style has seen its popularity grow dramatically in recent years and the Andorran resort is seeking to promote it at grassroots level in a orderly way, ensuring maximum safety.
In this context, this season the biggest resort in southern Europe has opened the new freeride section as the Skiing and Snowboarding School, specifically focusing on this specialty, with the support of the Freeride World Tour. The international circuit has given its prestigious FWT Club seal to the Grandvalira , the only one in the Pyrenees and the whole of the Iberian Peninsula to be granted this distinction.
The FWT Club centers are notable for their specialist freeride teaching methods and their specifically trained teachers. All these schools offer the same syllabus and guidelines to facilitate quality learning for young people and adults looking to take up freeride or improve their technique.
As Berti Denervaud, head of the Freeride World Tour services says, 'schools in our club have an unbeatable platform to share experiences and points of view on freeride teaching methods. Grandvalira has shown itself to be highly motivated in providing the right tools for skiers and snowboarders to learn freeride in the safest possible way, which is why we are extremely happy to have it join our family'.
It should also be stressed that in order to guarantee maximum safety, Grandvalira is also using the Alpify mobile app, which in the event of an emergency sends the users exact position to the rescue teams, who are connected at all times.
Grandvalira's investment in freeride doesn't end here, as the Andorran resort also wants to bring the world's greatest specialists to our mountains. And with this goal in mind, this season sees the first GrandRide Grandvalira, a Freeride World Qualifier event.
This competition will be held on the Pic Alt de Cubil mountain, in the Encamp sector, on 15 and 16 February 2014. As a little taste of the spectacle awaiting us just a few weeks from now, two top riders, the Frenchman Bruno Compagnet and the Italian Guiliano Bordoni have been here in Grandvalira. The freeriders, sponsored by GORE-TEX, a brand that also sponsors the Skiing and Snowboarding School Freeride Center, gave a demonstration in the same area where the GrandRide is to be held. Compagnet and Bordoni, accompanied by the Argentinean Joaquín Vena, a local Grandvalira rider, arrived at the summit of the Pic Alt de Cubil by helicopter, from where the undertook a dizzying decent of 800 m starting at a height of 2,900 m.
After the exhibition, the two riders praised the conditions at Grandvalira for off-piste skiing. 'I was surprised by the quality of the snow. It's perfect for freeride and what's more the landscape is beautiful', said Bruno, one of the most experienced specialists on the international stage. For his part, Bordoni, freerider and mountain guide, was also highly satisfied with his first visit to Grandvalira: 'I had a fantastic time descending the GrandRide route. It's the ideal location for this type of competition, it's a guaranteed spectacle'.