The ski season got off to a great start last weekend in Austria, with bluebird skies and fabulous snow, and the good news is there's more to come. Here's our list of the top ski action not to be missed between now and March.
1. 10th Tour de Ski: January 1–10
The highlight of the cross-country ski season will be the 10th anniversary of the Tour de Ski. This year, the title of the Tour champion will be the most coveted honour to clinch and it will not come easy since the 2016 edition covers eight starts.
After three stages in the Swiss resort of Lenzerheide, the racers head off to Oberstdorf, Germany before they battle it out in Italy. As has become tradition, Toblach and Val di Fiemme will host the last three days of racing. The Tour de Ski is all about drama and the ten days of suspense will again culminate atop the 2.5 mile (4km) final climb on Alpe Cermis on January 10.
For the facts and figures, visit www.tour-de-ski.com.
2. Ski Flying World Championships, Kulm, Austria: January 14–17
Because 2016 is an even-numbered year, the ski eagles will be fighting for the title of the world champion in ski flying – this time in Styria, Austria. There are only five of these massive hills in the world and the forces of the 200m plus ski flights are such that only a few jumps a season are enough, even for the best jumpers. The new world record in ski flying stands at 251.5m, set last February by Norwegian Anders Fannemel on his home hill in Vikersund.
For all the details, visit www.skifliegen.at/en/.
3. Hahnenkamm Races, Kitzbühel: January 22–24
The infamous Streif downhill race remains a myth and a challenge. It is truly a race of man against the mountain, more so than any other downhill in the world. The 76th edition of Hahnenkamm Races also features the biggest prize money purse in history, as a whopping €645,000 will be distributed among the best of the best! If you only watch or visit a single alpine race this year, it should be the Hahnenkamm!
For more information, visit www.hahnenkamm.com.
4. X Games, Aspen, USA: 28–31 January
One of the absolute highlights of snow action this season will be X Games. The 2016 Games in Aspen will mark 20 years of winter action in the posh Colorado resort – not to mention a musical act line-up second to none!
This year, the Aspen edition will bring back the best ski crossers to the event for the first time since 2012, along with mono skier X, ski big air, slopestyle and superpipe. What's more, X Games will also feature a European counterpart in Oslo, Norway – February 24–28 – where two ski and two snowboard events will join a skateboarding contest to rock the Norwegian capital on and off the snow.
Check out http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/ for the full scoop.
5. Biathlon World Champs, Oslo, Norway: March 3–13
Oslo is the mecca of Nordic skiing and the Norwegians are crazy about it. The woods on Holmenkollen will be full of fans and many of them will never leave – seeing the Norwegians in their winter camps is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Combine that with the unpredictability of biathlon's mix of shooting and cross-country skiing and you're in for a treat to finish the season off on the perfect note.
For more information, point your browser to https://www.oslo2016.no/en/.