Thousands arriving in Adelboden amid snowstorm
While racers tweeted photos of their cars buried beneath snow race organizers at Adelboden looked to a forecast for a bright and sunny race day and brought in the Army to slip about 15cm (six inches) of fresh snow off the famed Chuenisbargli race hill.
FIS race official Hans Pieren said because of earlier predictions for the snowfall about 65 men - 25 Army and 30 civil guards - were called in Thursday night. Friday night, with more snow falling, personnel was called off the hill and the decision to use snowcats to remove snow was made.
The track beneath the snow is said to be in excellent condition with preparations starting in early December. The Swiss could use the good news. With dozens of VIP's on hand at Adelboden the team has been swirling with no podiums for the men's squad.
Swiss team officials have met with Swiss journalists with resulting headlines including “Crisis of the Lords.” An indicator of the severity of the situation are the start lists. Three “C” team Swiss men will make their World Cup debut at Adelboden including the son of Pirmin Zurbriggen, Elia. Bernhard Niederberger and Vincent Gaspoz will also get first starts.
The World Cup elite spent the time signing posters and anything else presented for race fans that have swelled the population of Adelboden. A crowd of 40,000 is expected to view the races.
Austrian Ski Team photo