Governing body makes Aspen Mountain ski races official |

Governing body makes Aspen Mountain ski races official

ASPEN – Aspen Winternational passed an important test Thursday when the International Ski Federation (FIS) made an official ruling that there is enough snow to stage the women’s World Cup ski races Nov. 28-29.

“They confirmed the race,” said Jim Hancock, the longtime Winternational chief of race.

The confirmation is an official step the FIS must take seven days before racers are scheduled to arrive for training. Hancock said he has been in steady contact with FIS officials in Europe. He assured them there is ample snow. FIS officials didn’t actually have to visit the course.

“They just take my word for it, basically,” he said. “I just told them to get on the plane.”

The lower slopes of Aspen Mountain were brown up to about a week ago, but that quickly changed. Natural snow fell, and cold temperatures have allowed several nights of snowmaking.

“We had a really great run the last six or seven days as far as snowmaking,” Hancock said. “We knew for the last few days we were in good shape.”

He said he is pleased with the amount of snow on the course. Now it’s just a matter of moving it around. And, of course, history shows it’s almost guaranteed that copious amounts of snow will fall the night before the races start, forcing Hancock’s course crew to scramble.

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