Like a Winter Fairytale
Preparations on the Streif and Ganslern are progressing as planned, accompanied by magical weather conditions.
"Isn't winter beautiful?" asks Mario Mittermayer-Weinhandl on Thursday morning, and it feels like everyone working along the Streif these days shares the Chief of Race’s sentiments. The sun is shining over the Hahnenkamm, the landscape is swathed in magical white, snow crystals glisten all around and temperatures are pleasingly cold. Herbert Hauser, slope manager on the Streif, is delighted with the glorious weather conditions and extremely satisfied with the course: "We’re still working on the surface at the base of the Mausefalle and Karussellkurve turn to make it a little smoother, while the Finish Jump is being sculpted at the finishing line."
A large part of the racecourse is now finished and, according to Herbert Hauser "It would be ideal" if the weather stays like this, "while the predicted five centimetres of fresh snow on Monday would be ideal for aesthetics."
Tom Voithofer and his safety team are well on schedule. Airfences were installed, among others, in the Lärchenschuss section on Thursday. Also known as air cushions, they provide additional athlete safety from the Mausefalle section down to the finish line. It takes five to ten minutes to fill them with air before they are transported to their final destination by skidoo. On impact, the airfence cushions the downhill skier and absorbs the kinetic energy, while gently dissipating their speed.
In the meantime, the slalom course on Ganslern slope is taking shape day by day. On Thursday, the start marquee was erected while the piste was prepped with a snow groomer and water. Working with water is particularly important these days, as the current low temperatures could dry out the course too much: "We'll probably be ready to race on Monday, then we'll have one more day before the Juniors Race starts on Wednesday", says the Deputy Slope Manager on the Ganslern slope Christian Schroll. The Juniors Race next Wednesday is the prologue for the World Cup slalom on Sunday.
Photo © K.S.C./alpinguin