Men’s downhill training canceled due to snowstorm |

Men’s downhill training canceled due to snowstorm

Daily file photoAvalanche control on the racecourse at Beaver Creek is preventing crews from grooming and therefore teams from practicing.

BEAVER CREEK ” Men’s downhill World Cup training was canceled Tuesday because of a heavy snowstorm.

Organizers called off the session after about 2 feet of snow covered the Birds of Prey course overnight. Workers have been unable to clear the snow because of the threat of an avalanche.

“We have avalanche control happening on the course so we can’t even have crews on there,” International Ski Federation official Mike Kertesz said. “Crews were halfway up the lift when they were told they couldn’t get on the course.”

Another training run is scheduled for Wednesday.

FIS safety rules require that racers have at least one training run before a downhill to allow them to get familiar with the terrain.

Two World Cup events have already been canceled due to warm weather, and FIS officials have called the situation “critical.”

The season-opening races on the glacier in Soelden, Austria, in October were wiped out because of heavy rain, while the women’s events set for St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 9-10 were canceled due to lack of snow and warm temperatures.

The men’s races in Val d’Isere, France, on the same weekend are also in danger.

The women also have races in Val d’Isere, but in the second week of December.

Those, too, could be in jeopardy unless ski conditions improve.

Because of good snowfalls in North America, FIS officials are working with organizers in Aspen and Beaver Creek to stage some of the scrapped events in Colorado.

A decision whether to relocate the races is expected Wednesday, after FIS decides whether or not to go ahead with the men’s race in Val d’Isere.

Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO

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