Soelden in Austria is the traditional setting for the FIS World Cup alpine skiing season-opener.
The men's and women's giant slalom races take place on the Rettenbach glacier, high above the village in the Otz valley.
US star Mikaela Shiffrin pushes out of the starting gate at Soelden in 2017.
But there is more to Soelden than just timing gates and skin-tight lycra. With 144 kilometers of runs and plentiful off-piste, it is a perfect setting for an alpine getaway, just 80 kilometers from Innsbruck.
The Ice Q restaurant, used in the James Bond movie "Spectre," lies on the summit of the Gaislachkogl mountain and is one of about 30 huts and eateries dotted around the ski area.
Skiers and snowboarders with strong legs and lungs can walk an extra 20 minutes above the Schwarze Schneid II gondola above Rettenbach to access the Schwarze Schneid viewing platform at 3,340 meters. The reward is spectacular 360-degree vistas across the Alps and the Dolomites.
Above the Tiefenbach glacier a 15-meter pyramid stands sentinel over a steel and glass footbridge which extends 20 meters over a gaping abyss with the glacier far below and offers up-close views of the Wildspitze.