Beaver Creek NorAm opener moved to Park City on Nov. 24

Beaver Creek NorAm opener moved to Park City on Nov. 24{mosimage}The first NorAm of the season has been postponed due to lack of hard snow at Beaver Creek, Colorado, which was set to host the event on November 15. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) said the race would be moved to Park City, Utah, and held November 24, the day after the “America’s Opening” World Cup races.

In addition, USSA decided to postpone by one day two NorAm slalom races at Winter Park, Colorado. Those races are now scheduled for November 19 and 20.

“It was a snow decision,” said Kathy Morgan, USSA’s special events coordinator of the Beaver Creek cancellation. “There’s been warm temps and high humidity, and we’d only be able to run the first 40 racers before the course gave out.” Tommy Johnston, USSA’s technical advisor, and Walt Evans, national competition director, made the decision on Monday evening.

Snow fell at Beaver Creek all day on Monday, but mountain managers were still not able to run the snowmaking system on the lower part of the mountain, according to Beaver Creek communications director Christina Schleicher. That’s because on its race venues — but not elsewhere on the mountain — the Colorado resort usually blows extremely wet snow that results in the dense, hard surfaces that racers love.

The cancellation will allow the mountain’s operational staff to focus on preparing the Birds of Prey course for the World Cup downhill and super G on December 6 and 7, as well as work on the runs where national teams will be training in mid- to late November.

“We have a lot of teams on their way,” said Schleicher. “After Austria and the United States use the hill, we’re opening it up.” Among the teams Schleicher listed as having reserved hill space were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.

“We received 14 inches at the top of the mountain in the last 24 hours,” said Schleicher on Tuesday afternoon. “So we’ve received nearly three and a half feet at the top of the mountain since November 1. The historical top-of-the-mountain snowfall average for November is 65 inches, so we’re over half-way there.”

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