Whether you’re new to the Canadian Rockies, or a seasoned winter sport veteran, the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup is a great way to kick off the ski season. The World Cup—an official FIS (International Ski Federation) event—takes place annually at Lake Louise Resort and attracts the fastest alpine skiers in the world to compete in downhill and Super G racecourses. These speed demons tear down the race course at speeds of upward of 100 kilometres per hour!
If you’re not a world-class alpine racer (or even if you are!) here are some tips to take advantage of the Wintersport World Cup:
- Bundle up! It can be chilly in Lake Louise!
- The training runs are fun to watch too—athletes go just as fast on the training runs as they do during the race and take my word for it: the speed will get your heart racing!
- Cheer on your favourite athlete. Don’t have one? The event attracts athletes from around the world, pledge allegiance to athletes from your favourite country!
- Indulge in some competition and challenge your friends and family to a ski race of your own—don’t forget your helmet!
- Claim your title as King (or Queen!) of Winter Wonderland with a friendly snowball fight!
- Sneak away from all the adrenaline for a few moments, treat yourself to a hot chocolate and admire the ice sculptures at the base of the hill.
Fun fact: This year, Lindsey Vonn, Gold Medal Winner for the Women’s Downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, petitioned for a chance to participate in the men’s races during the 2012 Winterstart World Cup. While the petition was denied by the International Ski Federation, Vonn is such a speedy racer that she has beat many of her male counterparts in training runs!
Official Race Schedule (all times Mountain):
Wednesday, Nov. 21 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 22 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Friday, Nov. 23 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 24 – Men’s downhill (11:30 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 25 – Men’s super-G (11 a.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 27 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 28 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 29 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Friday, Nov. 30 – Ladies’ downhill (12:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 1 – Ladies’ downhill (12:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 2 – Ladies’ super-G (11 a.m.)
*Images courtesy of Lake Louise Ski Resort