The Long Distance Ski Championship

Huge investments in Seefeld

Seefeld has built an enormous artificial lake to ensure snow production for their cross-country trails. They now have the capacity to arrange Kaiser Maximilian Lauf fully on man-made snow, if needed. 

Text: Erik Wickström. Photo: Olympiaregion Seefeld

In 2019, Seefeld will host the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships. To make sure sufficient trails are covered with snow, they have increased their capacity to make man-made snow by five times!

Since mid-April, the region has worked with constructing an artificial lake, to have enough water to supply 29 snow cannons. Around 11 000 lorry journeys were necessary to prepare the foundations and in the coming six weeks, the lake will be filled by 110 000 cubic metres of water.

The new investments allow a snow production of 60 litres per second, compared to the previous number of 12 litres per second.

Heavy snowfall last year

Kari Krauss, who works at the tourist office in Seefeld, is of course happy with the project.

– Last two winters there were barely any snow in Seefeld around Christmas. Usually we have lots of snow in January and February, but you can never rely on the white gold from above.

Ironically, the heaviest snow fall last year was right at the time of the Visma Ski Classics event Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in the middle of January last year. If you watched the race on TV you could see several decimetres of snow coming down.

Over 250 km of trails

Seefeld is a well-known cross-country ski resort in Austria. It is the largest in the country, followed by Ramsau, depending on how you count and who you ask. Kari is proud when she mentions that the area has over 250 km of groomed trails wintertime, both for classic skiing and skating.

– Most people in middle Europe prefer skating, not like in the Nordic countries where the classic style is dominating. Therefore, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf has both classic and skating events. This year, we also have a 30 km race in addition to the 60 km race.

Kaiser Maximilian Lauf, which was established in 2016, is the first long distance ski event in the town of Seefeld. 

– The event helps us to attract tourists to the region, especially recreational skiers from Norway and Sweden that combine the race with vacation. People from the Nordic countries usually don’t think about the Alps as resorts for cross-country skiing. They mostly connect the Alps with alpine skiing.

Not only recreational skiers enjoy the great trails in the Olympiaregion Seefeld, at about 1200 metres above sea level. There are also some Visma Ski Classics Pro Teams, such as Team United Bakeries, that spend a lot of time in the area.

14 km artificial snow

So what happens if we will get a green winter in the alps? What about Kaiser Maximilian Lauf? According to the information about the new snow production project, it is possible to produce enough snow for a 14 km long and 12 m wide trail to be covered in 1 m of artificial snow!

So unless we don’t get at least two days of temperatures below freezing, it feels safe to have a Visma Ski Classics event in Seefeld.

Race program Kaiser Maximilian Lauf 2018

Saturday 01.2018               60 km classic (Visma Ski Classics)
Saturday 01.2018               30 km classic                    
Sunday 01.2018                  60 km skating                   
Sunday 01.2018                  30 km skating