Snow is coming for Cross-Country Skiing in the Northern countries
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup season 2013/14 is only a month away and snow is forecast for the Northern countries. Finland’s Kuusamo will host the World Cup opener on 30th November and is sure to have snow. Also in other places, temperatures have fallen below zero and many venues have started snow production. Below is an overview of some of the Nordic venues:
Last winter, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup got underway in Gällivare and the Organising Committee is looking forward to the start of the winter. "Our goal is to be the first resort in the country to offer skiing possibilities," the Chief of the Organising Committee, Tommy Niva, said. The snow guns have been working 24/7 and the Hellner stadium and tracks at Dundrett were expected to be groomed and ready for skiing during the past weekend.
As of this week, the Swedish resort of Bruksvallarna is expected to be open for skiing. Cold temperatures, -9°C and low humidity made snow production possible in recent days. From 22nd -24th November “Bruksvallslopet” is taking place as the national Swedish opening with the national Cross-Country team.
The weather situation in Östersund is promising. “We have already 2cm of natural snow and -7°C,” Mathias Fredriksson from Östersund reported. Östersund is, however, not relying only on the natural snow and snow guns. “Soon, they will start pushing out 55.000 m3 of stored snow from the last winter,” Fredriksson added.
The Nordic Opening host, Kuusamo in Lapland (FIN) is also getting ready for the season start. "Three days ago we started the snow production in the Cross-Country stadium and on the Ski Jumping hill," the Chief of the Kuusamo Organising Committee, Seppo Linjakumpu, said. The weather forecast is less optimistic for this week and the snow production will restart as soon as the temperatures drop below zero. However, it is already possible to ski in Kuusamo, "On Saturday 19th October we opened a 2 km track which is groomed both for classical and free technique. All is good and we look confidently towards the next weeks," he summarised.
The Norwegian national Cross-Country opening is traditionally taking place in Beitostølen one weekend before the FIS Cross-Country World Cup gets underway. After the cancellation of the World Cup Opening in 2012, the Organising Committee of Beistølen stored snow during the summer to guarantee skiing conditions as early as possible. On 21st October the Organising Committee started to prepare the first parts of the competition courses. “By Friday we will have approximately 2 km course and additional 3 km will follow by 1st November”, the Chief of the OC, Erik Østli, revealed.
Skiing in Lillehammer on the World Cup trails and Birkebeinner stadium is not possible yet, but snowfalls and cold temperatures are expected during the week. Further north in Sjusjøn at Natrudstilen, which hosted the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Opening in 2011, skiers can already enjoy a 1.5 km long course. "We are hoping to extend the length to 3-5 km next weekend," the Chief of Competition in Lillehammer Torbjørn Broks Pettersen reported.