The winter of 2012-13 brings an unprecedented number of International Ski Federation World Cup events the United States. Make your plans now to be on hand to see the top international snow sports competitors in the world.
Look for 33 competitions in alpine, freeskiing, freestyle, and snowboarding. Many of the events kick off the qualifying period for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The events also set the stage for U.S. team selection in the following season.
The season opens with a succession of 17 alpine World Cup events in Colorado in late November and early December. Aspen will host the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational women’s giant slalom and slalom Nov. 24-25 (Thanksgiving Weekend), followed by the Audi Birds of Prey men’s downhill, super G, and giant slalom at Beaver Creek Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
The Visa Freeskiing Grand Prix is set at Copper Mt. with halfpipe and slopestyle Dec. 5-8. Telluride will host a snowboardcross and skicross World Cup Dec. 13. This will be the first U.S. skicross cup since 2010 and the first time skiing and snowboarding have been paired.
Lake Placid, N.Y. and Deer Valley, Utah host traditional freestyle World Cup events including moguls and aerials. The Lake Placid Freestyle Cup is Jan. 17-19, while the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley is Jan. 31-Feb. 3.
The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix is set at Copper Mt. Dec. 5-8 and at Park City Mountain Resort Jan. 10-13.
What It Means: You’ve seen them on TV, but if you haven’t experienced the fun and excitement of a World Cup event, this is your year. You have your pick of events and venues with a record 33 competitions on the U.S. ski calendar.
Photo: Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley, Utah