There were other notable successes with GB’s two other male slalom skiers, Billy Major and Laurie Taylor, doing well.

In Gurgl, in the Austrian Tirol, Billy set a personal best with a 16th place finish.

In Kitzbuhel all three racers were in the Top 20.

Dave and Laurie both took top-10 finishes at the Aspen Slalom World Cup, putting two Brits inside an Alpine World Cup top-10 for the first time since 1968, and a first ever time in slalom.

The result confirmed Britain would finish sixth in the overall Men’s Slalom standings, ahead of some of the world’s most renowned Alpine nations.

The future looks bright for the alpine team with a new generation of racers coming through.

16-year old Zak Carrick-Anderson won three medals at the Youth Olympic Games, including two golds.

Zak Carrick-Smith. Photo Credit: Sam Mellish / Team GB

Zak Carrick-Smith. Photo Credit: Sam Mellish / Team GB

His twin brother Freddy, and elder brother Luca, are also significant hopes for the future, alongside Molly Butler.

Here at PlanetSKI we have been following the journey of the Carrick-Smith boys for a while.

Our chief reporter, Jane Peel, spent some time with them back in 2018 as their potential was clear to see:

Carrick-Smith boys in 2018. Image © PlanetSKI

Carrick-Smith boys in 2018. Image © PlanetSKI

With the World Championships next year, and the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics the following winter in 2026 the stage is set for GB’s alpine racers to shine.

PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove, was priviledged to be the only ski journalist invited to the private event as the success was marked.

“Whatever happens, this truly is a golden moment for the GB Alpine ski team, and we should all cherish the moment and look forward to the future,” said James.

“Just to be able to be at some of the slalom races in the Alps as I am fortunate to do, or watching it all on the TV knowing we could be on the podium is as good as it gets in my book.

“It’s an absolute honour to be celebrating tonight with the athletes.”

These were the athletes present:

Current World Cup athletes
  • Dave Ryding
  • Billy Major
Europa Cup athletes
  • Zak Carrick-Smith
  • Freddy Carrick-Smith
  • Luca Carrick-Smith
  • Molly Butler
Recently retired athletes 
  •  Charlie Guest
  • Charlie Raposo

The event was hosted by the law firm, Brown Rudnick, at its office in Mayfair as Brown Rudnick is acting on a pro-bono basis for GB Snowsports.

(Just in case you are wondering pro-bono means ‘for the public good’ and refers to professional services provided at no, or very low cost.)

The Guest of Honour was HRH Prince Edward – the Royal Patron of GB Snowsport.

He chatted to the current slalom skiers, Dave Ryding and Billy Major, passing on his congratulations and thanks.

The Prince showed a real knowledge and understanding of their achievements.

Celebrating GB alpine athletes. Image © PlanetSKI

Celebrating GB alpine athletes. Image © PlanetSKI



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Trail Running Legend Killian Jornet Skis the Steeps

“Steep skiing is a very, very unique discipline. Basically, it’s skiing faces you would normally climb. It’s places where you aren’t supposed to be there with skis.”

If that sentence doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, you aren’t human. Luckily, the man saying those words in the opening seconds of this week’s film barely qualifies as such.

“Superhuman” is a word tossed around a lot with respect to Killian Jornet — a mountain-running legend with so many FKTs and ultra-race wins to his name that it almost defies belief. This journalist will never forget the sense of hopelessness he felt when he was thinking about attempting an FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail only to give up immediately after discovering Jornet held the title at the time.

In any case, in this video, the multi-disciplined Jornet lets gravity take the wheel by hurling himself down slopes probably best descended with ropes. And heart-pounding doesn’t even begin to describe it.

a pov looking down a steep slope

Jornet’s skis are visible in the bottom corner of the frame. Yikes. Photo: Screenshot

For Jornet, extreme skiing came later

In between stunning POV shots of Jornet descending steepies that — again, this can’t be emphasized enough — a mountain goat might prudently decide against, viewers discover a little more about this unrecognized side of the champ. Jornet grew up skiing both alpine and cross-country, two pursuits he eventually merged into competitive ski-mountaineering.

a photo of a young man in ski-mo gear with mountains in the background

Photo: Screenshot

Already well into a successful mountain-running career, Jornet picked up his new adrenaline-inducing pastime of steep skiing after moving to the Alps in 2012.

“For the last ten years, it’s been one of my biggest passions,” the legend shares with the casual tones of a middle-aged man describing a sedate hobby like woodworking.

“One of the fun things about steep skiing is that you are really in the zone. Nothing else exists outside your bubble, because you need to be concentrated,” he continues. “Because you need to be thinking about what’s going on in the next second. You are not thinking about what’s going on in the next minute, or what’s been happening in the last ten minutes. You are just thinking about the next second.”

a man climbs up a mountain with skis on his back

Photo: Screenshot

Careful preparation

Jornet is known for his fluid, graceful style as he bounds over rocks and obstacles in his mountain races. He’s no different on skis as gravity propels him through chutes and down exposed faces. But like any good mountain traveler, Jornet puts in the work on the front end, meticulously planning each ascent and descent to minimize risk (in as much as that’s possible!).

a group of people look at a map

Photo: Screenshot

Surviving such endeavors requires a synthesis of conditions, both external and internal. This is where Jornet’s long experience as a fast-and-light mountain traveler comes in handy.

“Some days, the mountain was in good condition, but maybe that day we weren’t feeling ready,” he shares. “Other days, we were feeling super-excited and good for going, but then there was something in the mountains that was not good. When you do a project like this…you have to analyze what can be all the possible outcomes.”

a man climbs a vertical face with skis on his back

Photo: Screenshot

“What makes you feel alive? For me, to do these projects in the mountains, that’s what makes me feel alive. Even if I’m taking some risks. Sometimes, I can feel stupid to be there. I’m on the edge of my comfort zone, and I know that a mistake here could mean I would die. But I believe we need to get out, we need to do these things, we need to expose ourselves [to danger] to feel alive. And that’s how I believe life is,” Jornet concludes.

a pov looking down a steep slope with skis visible in the bottom of the frame

Woof. Photo: Screenshot


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Marcel Hirscher: A Remarkable Alpine Skiing Comeback with the Netherlands

Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian maestro of Alpine skiing who left the sport at the pinnacle of his career in 2019, is poised to make a stunning return to competition next season under the Dutch flag. At 35 years old, Hirscher’s decision to return to the slopes stems from his enduring passion for the sport and his desire to once again test his limits on the world stage.

Announcing his comeback through a press release from the Dutch ski federation, Hirscher expressed his genuine enjoyment for skiing and his eagerness to compete once more. Patrick Riml, the ski racing director at Red Bull, Hirscher’s sponsor, revealed that Hirscher had been contemplating a return for several years before finally committing to the decision.

Eligible to represent the Netherlands due to his Dutch heritage through his mother, Hirscher’s request to switch nationalities was approved by the Austrian ski federation. The International Ski Federation (FIS) must also ratify his switch, paving the way for his anticipated return to competitive skiing.

Hirscher’s comeback journey will begin with lower-level FIS races in New Zealand in August, where he aims to accumulate the necessary points to rejoin the World Cup circuit. His ultimate goal is to compete at the world championships in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, in the upcoming season, demonstrating his unwavering ambition and determination.

Despite his retirement in 2019, Hirscher has remained dedicated to the sport, continuing to train rigorously and test his equipment throughout the winter seasons. With plans to compete in both slalom and giant slalom events, Hirscher’s return has reignited speculation about his ability to compete at the highest level.

Acknowledging Hirscher’s unparalleled talent and previous achievements, Riml emphasized that “Marcel is Marcel,” underscoring the Austrian skier’s enduring legacy in the sport. With two Olympic gold medals, five individual world titles, and 67 World Cup race victories to his name, Hirscher’s return adds a new chapter to his illustrious career.

As he prepares to embark on this new chapter, Hirscher’s comeback represents a beacon of hope and inspiration for fans worldwide. While his focus remains on the upcoming season, the possibility of his participation in future Olympics remains uncertain. Riml emphasized the importance of taking each step of the journey as it comes, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of competitive sports.

With Marcel Hirscher’s return to Alpine skiing, the Netherlands eagerly anticipates the resurgence of its presence on the slopes, as one of the sport’s most celebrated champions prepares to make his mark once again on the world stage.


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