The Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi is on!
The snow is here and it is official:
The snow has arrived and with it the go-ahead for the 12th edition of the Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi on Wednesday, January 31 2018. The 400 competitors will have a choice of a 15 and a 30-kilometre course for classic technique cross-country event. Over 100 skiers have already entered and, even more significantly, they span 12 different nationalities, demonstrating the Moonlight Classic’s status as one of the most original events on the winter skiing scene and Alpe di Siusi’s as a favourite with cross-country skiers.
With the Alps clothed in a white after recent snowfalls, excitement is building about the big competitive events of the winter and the Alpe di Siusi operators are working hard to ready the cross-country pistes on the plateau for a busy time ahead. One such competition is, of course, the 2018 Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi.
The 12th edition of the classic technique cross-country event begins at 20.00 on Wednesday, January 31 2018, the night of the full moon. As per tradition, the competition takes place at night with only the moon, stars and gentle flickering of torches lighting the skiers’ way along the route to the finish line.
Also per tradition, competitors can choose between an easier circular 15-kilometre route suited to skiers of all levels, and a more challenging 30-kilometre one. Both, however, wind their way through the stunningly unspoilt heart of the Alto Adige. The start-line is at Compaccio, 1,800 metres above sea level, in the district of Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s largest plateau. After 17 kilometres, competitors taking the long route will reach the Goldknopf climb taking them up to 2,030 metres before heading down towards Spitzbühl and the finish line.
Skiers that choose the shorter 15-kilometre circuit will head first to Ritsch, then Wolfsbühl and, last but not least, the finish line. Both routes have barely changed since previous years. There has been just one tweak, in fact: the route has been shortened at Ritsch and lengthened at Compaccio where, before crossing the finish line, competitors will pass the Nordic Center as part of a 1.5-kilometre ring. This small change will allow spectators a better and closer view of the skiers and their reaction is sure to prove a real heart-warmer for all concerned.
Participant numbers have been capped once again this year: just 400 bibs will be available in all and, at the time of publication, 110 have already been snapped up. Most of the entrants so far are male (normally female skiers account for around 15% of the field) and hail from 12 nations – Germany, Lithuania, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Estonia, Holland, Russia, Poland, the US and Switzerland as well as Italy, of course. This international field confirms once again the Moonlight Classic’s standing as one of the most eagerly awaited events on the winter cross-country skiing calendar – the fact that it takes place under cover of darkness adds a truly unique dimension to its emotional impact.
Alpe di Siusi is also a favourite with athletes that like doing their high-altitude training in the very heart of the natural world: many international cross-country skiers who represent their own countries flock to Europe’s largest plateau in Alto Adige to train each year.
The arrival of the first snows has made Alpe di Siusi even more magical than ever and the Moonlight Classic is certain to prove an unforgettable experience for all present on an evening of fairy-tale beauty and emotion.