FILE UNDER -- Freestyle

Snow drought threatens aerials season opener at Mount Buller

Snow drought threatens aerials season opener at Mount Buller{mosimage}MOUNT BULLER, Australia — A decision will be made Monday, Aug. 7, whether the freestyle World Cup season will begin as scheduled Sept. 2-3 with two aerials contests as Mount Buller, like much of Australia’s ski country, is mired in a snow drought, officials said.

Stuart Aldred, events manager for the World Cup organizing committee, said Thursday higher-than-normal temperatures and below-average snowfall are creating “challenging conditions” for Australian resorts.

A storm Sunday night dropped 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow and although the official snow-control date is Aug. 21, organizers have deferred until Monday before a final decision on whether to continue preparations for the traditional season-opening events. Mount Buller first hosted World Cup competition to open the 1998 season and has been the opening site for the World Cup season with aerials events since September 1999.


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