World Cup course worth its salt

Mar 15, 2017

The downhill course is set Wednesday.
Credit Courtesy of www.instagram.com/fisalpine

As temperatures rise into the sixties this week, World Cup officials are concerned about degrading course conditions. But so far, firm snow is holding, thanks in part to a variation of table salt.

“So we throw it on the snow and it turns into a briny mixture, so basically salt water," said Pat Callahan, the event's chief of course. "But the snow from underneath is still below freezing, and so over time, like 15-20 minutes, the coldness from underneath will refreeze that water."

And the wet snow becomes ice. For Wednesday’s downhill, crews salted the course between the men’s and women’s events.

Afternoon work involves filling in snow on the course and side slipping to smooth it out for the next morning.