Scandinavian Teams struggle to find good glacier skiing

FasterSkierAugust 25, 2003

This summer’s warm weather in Europe has created poor skiing conditions on the usually well-covered claciers in the European Alps. The Swedish National Team had originally planned on skiing on the Dachstein Glacier near Ramsau, Austria, but may have to change plans. Due to the poor conditions in Ramsau, they are now considering doing their training camp at the Voukatti ski tunnel in Finland, or as a dryland camp home in Bruksvallarna in Sweden.

The two Norwegian National Teams are however going south to find snow, and seem to have found some decent options. The Men’s All-around Team is heading to Stelvio, Italy, where to snow is usually consistent regardless of weather.

“I have talked to Albarillo, the Italian coach, who informs us that they are grooming a 4-km loop. The snow is good for 2-3 hours in the morning, but then becomes soft later in the day. We’re heading down unless the conditions change considerably,” says Bjœrnar HÃ¥kensmoen, the Norwegian Team’s Sport Director.

The Norwegian Sprint Team, with coach Ulf Morten Aune, is leaving for Les Diablerets, which at 2800 m (9200 feet) is the lowest elevation in Europe with snow at the moment.

“The French and Canadian teams are there right now. The conditions are good with a 5-km long loop. Cold nights make for good conditions between 8 and 10 in the morning”.

The sprinters plan on skiing every day during the camp.

“We will ski once per day. The guys are looking forward to skiing. They have not skied since June. It will be good to get a break from the normal training, which is pretty hard on the body,” says Aune.

Very recently the US Team reported great conditions in New Zealand, with hard wax and super conditions. If the current summer is the European weather trend, perhaps New Zealand will also become the site for Norwegian and Swedish teams in the future. Blue Extra conditions in August do not sound so bad.


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