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Pow day in St. Anton, race training cancelled

There was some powder skiing to be had in St. Anton today, not exactly what you’d hope for when you’re trying to hold downhill training. Thirty-five centimeters of fresh snow in the top section of the course forced the jury and the organizers to call off today’s second downhill training run.

Twelve snowcats are currently sweeping the slope. Six of them use a specifically designed cable winch system in the steepest parts of the course to avoid sliding out and altering the clean base of the course. The slip crews are also working hard to push the snow out in the “Eisfall” section, which is too steep for the machines.

The weather is supposed to improve as the day goes on. The new snow and all the hard work will hopefully allow the ladies to race on a course that is less bumpy and icy than yesterday’s training.

Race favorite Lindsey Vonn won the only two ladies’ World Cup held in St. Anton so far this century — a downhill and a super combined in December, 2007. Saturday will determine if she has fully recharged her batteries during her recent three-week break. Although she skied cautiously in her first training run on Thursday, Vonn said she’s feeling “happy and strong” heading into the week of racing.

Tomorrow’s downhill is scheduled at 5:45 a.m. EST.

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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