FIS confirms Soelden World Cup Opener

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 17, 2009 1:12 pm

A race cancellation didn’t seem highly likely this year, but yesterday the FIS officially confirmed that the Audi FIS World Cup Opener in Soelden, Austria is on. (So anyone aware of the Opener’s previous cancellation–in 2006—can release a sigh of relief.)

The GS race is set on the Rettenbach Glacier, and has been cancelled in the past due to lack of snow. This year, however, officials deemed the snow sufficient, in spite of recent rain. According to the FIS, the snow on the race “piste” is “very dry” and combined with hard, manmade snow.

In fact, in 2006, Soelden installed 24 snow guns to ensure that the show would always be able to go on. Karl Gabl from the Innsbruck office of the Central Agency for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) told the Austrian Times that temperatures between minus 15 and minus six (Celsius) at race site will provide optimal conditions for manmade snowmaking, and that the cold temps would linger for at least another four or five days.

Excitement for the season’s start is brewing and the course is getting primed. Icy conditions may not sound fun to the average skier, but slick, rock-hard snow actually make for a better race as it keeps the course consistent and evens the “playing field,” so to speak. In fact, when the snow isn’t firm enough, officials often inject the courses, to harden them. 

photo: FIS