Fans of the FIS Alpine World Cup can set their timer: in just 100 days the 23/24 Alpine World Cup season will kick off with a women’s Giant Slalom on October 28, 2023, followed by the men’s Giant Slalom race on October 29, 2023, in Sölden, Austria.
Last year, the women’s Giant Slalom event and season opener in Sölden had to be called off due to poor visibility and precipitation, making conditions unsafe for racing. Team USA race skier Mikaela Shiffrin is the defending champion from the 21/22 season on the race course.
- Related: [VIDEO] Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Gold in Giant Slalom to Make History With 70th World Cup Victory
Last year’s men’s race went ahead after the weather improved, and victory went to Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt, who also won the 22/23 season’s Giant Slalom as well as Overall Alpine Crystal Globe.
The race at the Rettenbach Glacier is a staple on the FIS calendar and the race course features the steepest downhill stretch in the entire Sölden ski area. It is a highlight for spectators and racers alike and almost the entire race course can be observed from the stands in the finish area.
Race Course Stats:
- Altitude at start: 3,040 m (9,974 ft)
- Altitude at finish line: 2,670 m (8,760 ft)
- Difference in altitude: 370 m (1,214 ft)
- Minimal incline: 15.5 %
- Maximal incline: 65 %
- Average incline: 33.1 %
- Slalom sticks: 41 – 56 Slalom sticks, depending on the course setting
- Speed of the alpine skiers: between 65 – 80 km/h
- Required material: 5,000 m (16,404 ft) security fence; 4,000 m (13,123 ft) safety net; 11,500 m (37,730 ft) cable, 210 m (689 ft) air-fence, 260m (853 ft) fence