India looks to host FIS Alpine World Cup events

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 17, 2009 11:09 am

As the state of Rhode Island proved, you really can ski anywhere. And India, home of massive mountains, is jumping on the train. Recently, FIS Homologation Inspector Walter Trilling traveled to India with FIS Aid and Promotion Consultant, Josef Zenhäusern to evaluate the Alpine ski race courses that were constructed in Manali and Gulmarg.

Along with their Alpine course, Manali has also been building a new gondola, which is set to be finished next month. Their race course, unfortunately, wasn’t yet up to spec’s upon examination. According to the FIS experts, the hill is in need of more contouring. The snow, however, was more than satisfactory.

Gulmarg fared a little bit better on inspection, and it was the second visit there for the FIS experts in the past five years. A new connecting chairlift is in the works, and is also expected to be completed, soon. “To ensure the consistency of the process, the receipt of the homologation certificate may at times take a few years, as we must ensure that the same rules apply to all courses,” Trilling explained. “In Auli (another Indian resort), lifts and courses are nearly ready and the homologation could be delivered in the next weeks.”

The Winter Sports Federation of India plans to kick off the country’s ski ‘homologation’ with Alpine FIS races and later, the Asian Winter Games before venturing into World Cup territory. Apparently, India has quite a contingent of skiers along with visitors who cart their gear. The third annual Gulmarg Derby-a popular free-ski competition-saw more than 110 participants from 26 nations in 2009. The event is set to take place again January 28th through 30th.