Photokina 2014 highlights

Mountain

Ecogroomer greatly increases the surface area covered by the average groomer

The Ecogroomer is a new grooming solution for ski slopes that aims to cut fuel consumption and costs. The system consists of augmentative grooming units that make standard groomers more efficient than ever before.  Read More

Designed by Norwegian architects Jensen & Skodvin, Juvet is a nature retreat that blends s...

Designed by Norwegian architects Jensen & Skodvin, Juvet is a nature retreat that blends seamlessly with its wild environment. It's a striking landscape hotel, featuring seven small wood cabins perched on a river bank and nestled amongst birch, aspen, pine and nature-sculpted boulders. Located outside the small town of Gudbrandsjuvet, Norway (approximately five hours drive north of Oslo), the hotel is positioned amid its main attraction - the pristine forest.  Read More

Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into the 450-meter (492-yard) system

The tiny Swiss town of Tenna has put itself on the eco-map by building an innovative solar-powered ski lift. The solar lift is one of the world's first of its kind, and utilizes a "cable car system" where the solar panels are integrated directly into the lift. Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into a 450-meter (492-yard) system that is suspended above the ski lift, which has the capacity to pull 800 skiers up the mountain per hour. To avoid running out of energy during bad weather and snow storms, the ski lift is also connected to the local power supply, so skiers will not be left hanging on in the dark!  Read More

MTN Approach's three locking segments provide a functional approach ski for climbing

Pretty much every ski manufacturer in the history of skiing has made skis for skiers. But not MTN Approach. The company, which launched a small beta batch of its unique skis this season, builds skis for snowboarders. The skis are designed to ascend (not descend) the mountain and fold up into a backpack-sized package for the ride down.  Read More

The Euphoria and Zelix are the first two boards to come out of Venture's Shape Shack

With a growing focus on powder and backcountry riding, some of the snowboard designs that have come out over the past few seasons look more like original designs from the 60s and 70s than modern day equipment. They have swallowtails, pointy noses and odd profiles. Some - like the Rome Hammerhead - just look downright strange and otherworldly. With the launch of its new experimental division known as Shape Shack, Colorado-based Venture Snowboards plans to take this trend a step further in designing all kinds of Franken-boards. It may just come up with odd yet functional board designs that big companies just aren't developing.  Read More

The Romantik Hotel has been awarded the PlusEnergieBau Solar Award 2011, the only prize in...

The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl located in Switzerland has recently been awarded the highly-coveted Swiss Solar Award 2011, Milestone 2011 Tourism Award and the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they consume. The 104-year old Berghotel underwent extensive renovations during 2010 to transform it into an environmental-friendly location, giving rise to the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps. The hotel's recent success demonstrates that luxury accommodation can be implemented within the framework of a plus-energy building concept even at 2,456 meters (8,058 ft) above sea level.  Read More

The Mountainskyver TRAIL is a folding downhill scooter that can be packed to the top of a ...

Zipping down the side of a mountain on a downhill mountain bike can be incredibly fun, but getting the bike up there ... well, you can pedal the 40 to 50-pound thing to the top yourself, pay to use a zero-exercise chair lift, or add to your bike's weight with an electric-assist motor. In an approach we've seen before in the form of the Mountain Monk, German gear company ORTOVOX is offering another way to get to the summit and back down again. It's called the Mountainskyver TRAIL, and it's a folding downhill scooter(?) that a hiker carries to the mountaintop in an included custom backpack, then quickly assembles and rides back down.  Read More

The homemade sled-and-rider-towing winch (Photo: Josh Smith)

Sledding can be a lot of fun, but pulling your toboggan, inner tube or sled back up the hill ... well, that isn’t part of the fun. Yes, it definitely is good exercise, but it’s not fun. While the rest of us just quietly resign ourselves to the long climb back up, however, Pennsylvania’s Josh Smith did something about it – he built his own powered sled-and-rider-towing winch.  Read More

The EGO-Kit is an electric motor that can be added to downhill mountain bikes for powering...

While electric commuting bikes are currently experiencing a surge in popularity, electric mountain bikes such as the Conway E-Rider and the KTM eGnition are also showing up on tradeshow floors with increasing frequency. Most of these are designed as cross-country and/or trail bikes, with the idea that the motor can extend their range above the reaches of pure human power – of course, they might also appeal to couch potatoes who want all the fun of mountain biking, with a minimum of the exercise. The EGO-Kit, however, is an electric motor that can be added onto an existing downhill mountain bike, with the specific purpose of replacing a chair lift for getting bike and rider to the top of the mountain.  Read More

The KTM eGnition on display at Eurobike 2010

The Austrian KTM eGnition was definitely one of the more interesting bicycles at last week's Eurobike show in Germany. It has the frame and components of a freeride mountain bike, but with a 1,000-watt Clean Mobile electric motor that delivers extra power when the rider is pedaling. The fact that the electric assist is only available when pedaling was a key factor in the design of the eGnition, as KTM wanted it to be clearly different than an electric motorbike. The folks who run Eurobike obviously approved, as it received their Design Award for this year’s event.  Read More

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