Univers Fusalp

MEETING | Claudia Riegler – Alpine ski champion and Fusalp ambassador



Who are you Claudia Riegler ?

I am half Austrian-half Kiwi, was born in Salzburg, and grew up in a little village not far from the mountains. I believe I knew how to snow plough before I could even walk.

Since then, I have raced down many slopes, have won 4 World Cup slaloms, landed on the podium 3 times and finished 4th at the Sierra Nevada World Ski Championships in 1996.
I am also very proud to have represented New Zealand in 3 Olympic Games : Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City back in 2002.


You have long resided in New Zealand. Now that you live in France, more precisely in Haute-Savoie, do you have the opportunity to come back to this continent ?

Yes, and I make sure I get to go back to New Zealand and Australia as often as possible to see my family and friends.


What are your favorite places ?

On my trips to Down Under I mostly keep to the same ritual : Auckland first, for a week or so before I head down South, direction Queenstown. If I have enough time left, I try to plan a quick stop over in Australia, on my way back to Annecy.

Auckland is a city full of surprises. I love going for a walk along the beaches between Mission Bay and St Heliers. The Mission Bay Café is one of my favorite spots for a sea side brunch before heading into the city in search of new shopping hot spots, art galleries and restaurants. I highly recommend the Café Hanoi or the Clooney Restaurant for exquisite and delicious food and a cocktail menu to die for !

Down South, my base camp is Queenstown, a very dynamic town that offers a wide range of activities, good shopping and dining. My home ski area is Coronet Peak, just 20 minutes drive away from town. This is where I meet up with my friends and ski buddies for a nice day on the slopes.
My favorite spot : Heidi’s Hut for a fireside scrumptious lunch, either in or outside on the deck with incredible views overlooking the Wakatipu Basin.

Back in Queenstown, I can recommend dinner at the Botswana Butchery or out at Lake Hayes at the Amisfield Winery, two of my absolute favorite restaurants !
I also recommend heading out to the Millbrook Golf Course which is a very nice place to relax after a long day of skiing. My ritual : a relaxing break at the spa followed by an aperitif with friends at the Hole In One bar.

For another great location and different atmosphere head to Dorothy Browns Cinema in Arrowtown. A delightful boutique cinema, bar and bookshop. The cinema is furnished with highly comfortable seats and armrests for cheeseboards and wine glasses !



When in Australia, I usually try to plan a stop over in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to visit family and friends. There are so many places I love : Manly, Noosa, Byron Bay and so on. At Bondi Beach for example, I always stop at the Speedos Café for a light and balanced lunch.

When it comes to skiing in Australia, I have often trained on the Thredbo slopes that I can recommend : good elevation, long slopes, great snow and lots of gumtrees that we do not see in New Zealand.

Back in France, on the shores of Annecy’s Lake : you are an ambassador of the Fusalp brand, what seduced you in this adventure ?

Fusalp is an iconic French brand. Since the 1960s the brand’s history is closely linked to the history of alpine skiing and its great French champions.

To name just a few : the Goitschel sisters at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics, Jean-Claude Killy at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, Annie Famose, Guy Périllat and Léo Lacroix at the Portillo World Ski Championships in 1966.

To me, Fusalp is all about French elegance, performance and excellence. Since the take over 5 years ago, the brand has made a very interesting turn from a stylistic point of view. Mathilde Lacoste – Artistic Director – designs very contemporary collections and versatile garments with undeniable technicality and a very elegant style.
Hybrid clothing, designed to be worn on the slopes as well as in the city. What more can we ask for ?!


What is your ideal wardrobe for a long weekend skiing?

It’s really cruel to have to choose… I really like this collection a lot. If I have to make a choice however, I would wear the Badia overalls together with the Levanne jacket, the Glacier Women gloves with the Alisier underwear and the Alliance II leggings : comfort, warmth and elegance guaranteed. Safety first : the Pace Head helmet developed in partnership with HMR, specialist in high security helmet.

Change of scenery and change to a more urban après-ski mode. Without hesitation, I put on the Belalp underfoot trousers, the Ubac sweater and the Kate jacket. I complete my outfit with the Softy II beanie and the Riva mountain boots made of Shearling lined leather.


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