Road To The Olympic Games

Lake Louise alpine skiing races cancelled due to lack of snow

A lack of snow has forced the cancellation of the first men's alpine World Cup speed races of the season at Lake Louise, Alta.

Nov. 26-27 men's events called off

There will be no men's World Cup races at Lake Louise this year due to a lack of snow. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Warm temperatures in Alberta have forced the cancellation of the men's World Cup downhill races at Lake Louise, Alta.

It's the first time in 29 years the International Ski Federation has called off a World Cup at Lake Louise, according to Alpine Canada.

"We're crushed by having to make the decision, we worked very hard with the resort staff and our volunteers to get the racetrack prepared, said race chairman Brian Lynam. "But weather worked against us. It was just too warm to make the amount of snow that we needed on the lower part of the mountain. But we've got plans, obviously to push forward because we have ladies races to hold coming up.

"Basically half of the race course is covered with excellent coverage of snow that will be race-ready, it's just the lower half of the racetrack that we're having some problems getting good coverage. Mother nature is someone to be respected."

The season-opening downhill was scheduled for Nov. 26 followed by a super-G on Nov. 27. Training runs for the downhill were to start Nov. 23. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won both races last year.

Recent temperatures "remained above freezing too often, eliminating the chance to make the required snow" for the bottom section of the mountain, Alpine Canada said in a statement Wednesday.

"While we have good snow conditions on the upper mountain, we didn't have enough cold to get to the finish line for the men. We will continue our efforts for successful races for the ladies and look forward to the men returning next year," said Lynam.

Each World Cup race undergoes a snow control to determine whether or not the competition can take place or not. The International Ski Federation (FIS) said "a possible replacement will be communicated in due course."

The women's World Cup downhills and super-G scheduled for Dec. 2-4 have not been cancelled.

Last year, Lindsey Vonn won all three races at Lake Louise for the third time in her career. The American was not going to compete at Lake Louise this year as she's still recovering from a broken arm suffered in a crash.

With files from CBC Sports

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