The World Cup ski season kicked off last weekend in Soelden, and although the men’s giant slalom had to be called due to fog, it won’t be long before the season really hits high gear.
Soon the competitors will head to Levi, Finland for the first slalom event of the year on Nov. 14, before jetting off to the only two North American stops on the circuit.
It’s no secret the Audi FIS World Cup is a mostly Europe-based series. With the exception of the Nov. 27-28 stop at Lake Louise in Canada, there are only two other events held in North America, The Aspen Winternational for the ladies, and the infamous Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek.
Given the magnitude of hosting the only U.S. World Cup event for the men, contest organizers always look to ensure the course is immaculate, even if that means prepping the slope when they otherwise might be thinking about Halloween.
Yes – it’s already turning out to be quite the winter wonderland at the site of The Birds of Prey race course, as snow guns have been layering the run in preparation of the Dec. 3 downhill opener.
Photo: The Birds of Prey World Cup course is getting hit hard with snow guns in preparation for Dec. 3 downhill event. (Vail Valley Foundation)
Beaver Creek has taken full advantage of the cold weather, with guns blowing day and night on the epic run. The three day race series will begin with the downhill and concludes with the men’s giant slalom on Sunday, Dec. 5.
The 2011 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be announced Saturday, Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. MT at Vail Resorts, CO, host of the 2015 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.