Despite the excitement building ahead of the start of the 2018/2019 Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup season, there was some unfortunate news on Monday from Val Thorens (FRA), the host resort of the first stop of the 2018 Audi FIS Cross Alps Tour, as the season’s opening competition has been cancelled due to lack of snow.
The conditions in the northern Alps have been very challenging in the last couple of weeks to say the least, with no significant snow fall as well as relatively high temperatures forcing many resorts to postpone the opening of the winter season.
Despite having the highest base elevation in the Alps, this too was the case in Val Thorens, which faces some especially shallow early-season conditions at this time. Despite all the efforts from the organising committee, it became clear that conditions would not be sufficient to produce enough snow to prepare the course for the season’s opening competition on December 7-8.
“In spite of improving snow situation in Val Thorens, unfortunately now we’re sure that we will not be able to produce the amount of snow necessary for the cross course, given the weather report we have for this week,” said the FIS Cross Race Director Jean-Pierre Baralo, “We would have needed five more days of snow production, and with the humidity we have now and the temperature rising on Thursday, it would have left us with only one or two days of snow production.”
With low reserves of water and unfavourable weather forecast for the upcoming days, the decision has been made to cancel the event in Val Thorens.
FIS is now looking to reschedule at least one of the cancelled competitions before the holiday break, however as the situation remains uncertain more details will be announced in the following days.
The Cross Alps Tour will now kick off in Arosa on Dec 11 and the preparation in the Swiss resort are in full swing. More than 60% of required snow has been already produced and everything looks to be ready on time.
After the Arosa nighttime sprint event, the Audi FIS Cross Alps Tour will move to Montafon (AUT) for a competition on December 15, before finishing things off with two more competitions in San Candidio/Innichen (ITA) on Dec 21-22 - plus, hopefully, a reschedule competition that is yet-to-be-confirmed.