Olympics 2010: Slippery Slope

If you listen closely to the commentators at an alpine World Cup race, you'll likely hear talk about course injection, a process during which water is injected into the snow in order to make a harder surface. While the practice is often discussed, the injectors themselves are seldom seen. Here's an up-close look at what they are and how they work.
Course injector

Ice is fast. Ice is hard. And ice is...safe? Racers’ edges and snowcats clearing fresh snow cause ruts that can launch skiers off-course. So techs actually inject the course with water to make it as hard as possible, says Peter Bosinger, the IOC course manager for alpine skiing. Using a 16-foot “water bar” with nozzles at the bottom, techs inject water 10 inches into the snowpack in eight-inch increments down the hill. “It’s very labor-intensive,” Bosinger says. The first round occurs two weeks prior to race day, with touch-ups the day before. Weather is the biggest variable affecting course conditions. At one World Cup race early this season, “they added too much water,” causing many women on the U.S. team to slide off course.


Olympic Poll

Olympics 2010: Winners Poll and Voting

We know, you think Lindsey Vonn’s a good bet to win the women’s downhill at Whistler Blackcomb. And, of course, we agree. But what about the other alpine events? Take a stab at picking the winners, and log back in periodically until the Olympics to see if other readers agree.

Lindsey Vonn Racing

Olympics 2010: Is Vonn a Heavyweight?

Lindsey Vonn says an article that claimed she has a size advantage over smaller racers helped motivate her to win three consecutive races last weekend. “If all it took to be good at ski racing was weight then we all would be stuffing our faces," she said during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

Vancouver Bound

Olympics 2010: Ski Cross

The freeskiers who invented it don’t have to like it, but skiercross—make that ‘ski cross’—is now an official, FIS-controlled Olympic event, and former World Cup racers like Daron Rahlves are among the favorites. Burning questions remain, like how baggy should your clothes be, what exactly are the rules, and who’ll win the first gold medal.

Deer Valley Content Hub Off Hill Activities

At Play Off the Slopes

From old-fashioned horse-pulled sleigh rides to Ski-Doo–powered snowmobile trips over virgin powder, there’s more to do at Deer Valley than ski. If it happens on the snow, it happens here.