Warm Temperatures in Europe Affecting More FIS World Cup Events

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Ski Cross
Ski Cross racers on course, picture: Audi Ski Cross Instagram Page

After the cancellation of the FIS Alpine World Cup in Zermatt, a series of other FIS events had to be canceled or postponed. The first-ever cross-border FIS event had to be scrapped earlier this month due to a lack of snow on the lower 984ft (300m) of the downhill race course ‘Gran Becca’.

The Boarder Cross and Ski Cross season openers, scheduled for October 28-30 and November 4-5, 2022, respectively, had to be called off due to a lack of snow. Host venue Les Deux Alpes, France, made the call last week to postpone the Boarder Cross event to December 2-3, 2022, while the Ski Cross event had to be scrapped entirely. 

Moving the Boarder Cross Event to early December gives the resort five additional weeks and allows the Local Organizing Committee ‘LOC’ to produce sufficient snow to get the race course ready for international snowboard athletes in Les Deux Alpes, France. France has been experiencing a late fall heatwave with temperatures in Marseille, only four hours south of Les Deux Alpes, forecast to reach 79°F (26°C) this weekend, rendering snow making impossible.

The Ski Cross season opener in Les Deux Alpes unfortunately had to be canceled, and therefore Val Thorens on December 7-9 will be the season-opening race for Ski Cross. The French Ski Federation and the Les Deux Alpes LOC are planning to return to the FIS Ski Cross World Cup calendar for the 23/24 season.

Ski Cross Race start
Racers pushing out off the gates at a Ski Cross race, picture: Audi Ski Cross Instagram Page

Megève earlier this month canceled the Ski Cross race scheduled for January 28-29, 2023, citing weather conditions. It seems an odd statement three months prior to the event, but there appear to be water issues in Megève which could potentially affect snow-making capabilities. A skier-cross course requires considerable amounts of snow to create the berms and rollers and wutangs (a wutang is a jump in a cross-course that has a flat edge, similar to a quarter pipe, and often will feature at the beginning of the course). The decision to cancel may also have been affected by current energy prices in Europe.

Elevated energy costs also caused the Ski Cross event from December 28-29 in Alleghe, Italy, to be canceled. The Alleghe LOC had to take the step due to the unexpected increase in costs for the specific production of snow for the event, deciding to reserve all the resources available to produce snow for the preparation of slopes for the many tourists expected during the season.


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