Thanks to the World Cup course crews |

Thanks to the World Cup course crews

It seemed Mother Nature was doing everything she could to thwart the World Cup races in Aspen over Thanksgiving weekend.

When we needed snowy, cold weather, beginning in mid-November, she gave us warm and sunny weather over the two weeks leading up to the race. But, under the guidance of Chief of Race Jim Hancock, an Aspen Skiing Co. veteran with multiple years of experience prepping the mountain for World Cup Races, the crews were able to build a course almost exclusively from man-made snow. With long hours and hard work, they kept the races from being canceled due to a lack of snow.

Then, just as the racing began ” exactly when we didn’t need more snow ” the skies opened up and dumped between 18 and 24 inches. The first run of Friday’s giant slalom was a blustery affair, with visibility near nil. Things cleared up for the second run, but then the snows set in Friday night and didn’t really quit until sometime Sunday.

Instead of piling every inch of snow onto the course, as they had for weeks leading up to the races, course crews scrambled over the weekend to pack, rake and slip the course to keep it from being compromised by all that white fluff. With long hours and hard work, the crews kept the races from being canceled due to too much snow.

Think about a couple of things: First, the public relations disaster that would have occurred if the races had been nixed for lack of snow. And second, the pride that comes from pulling off an event like World Cup, whatever the conditions.

So hats off to the Skico employees and local volunteers who devoted countless hours for several weeks to make sure the races went off without a hitch. They are a big reason Aspen’s world-class reputation remains intact ” no matter how warm and sunny, no matter how cold and snowy.


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