One year ahead of the 2010 Games, mild weather and the resulting soft snow led to the cancellation of the final two snowboard Olympic test events at Cypress Mountain on Sunday.
Officials say the mountain will be better prepared at this time next year and are treating the cancellation of the World Cup parallel giant slalom snowboard men’s and women’s finals as a learning experience.
“The snow didn’t get as hard as you need for a PGS World Cup event,” said Oliver Kraus, International Ski Federation snowboard media co-ordinator. “The soft snow gets a little bit dangerous, you cannot control the board.”
Kraus said this is only the second cancellation this season and the first due to soft snow.
Tim Gayda, VANOC’s vice-president of sports, said that during an Olympic year, workers build a base of about one to 1.5 metres of hard, dense snow. If the top layer becomes soft, it gets scraped down to the hard snow below.
“We went with the flow of what the resort typically does for grooming,” Gayda said. “We kind of learned that lesson with the Alpine World Cup in March. We should’ve applied that here.”
Gayda also pointed out that several events were held over three days this weekend, but those same contests will be spread out over 17 days during the Olympics. The extra time should allow workers to groom the runs ahead of events.