The is something more than a cross-country skiing marathon at night. The eighth competition with skis snapped on in the moonlight will take place on 16th January 2014. Equipped with head lamps, more than three hundred cross-country skiers will rise to the challenge of the two new 15 and 30 kilometre circuits.
Is it too early to be talking about cross-country skiing? Perhaps, but there are some people who, as soon as they get back from their summer holiday, start thinking about their winter diary.
For eight years, one of the most original dates in the winter sports calendar has been the Alto Adig e Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi, the cross-country skiing race at night, which the Alpe di Siusi Tourism Association organizes when there is a full moon.
The next edition is scheduled for Thursday 16th January 2014 at 8.00 p.m.: there will be a full moon (the calendar says), the technique will be classic (the tracks say), the evening will be fun (the experience of past editions says) and the race will be real (the hall of fame of the event says). These characteristics make the Moonlight Classic one of those “things” that sooner or later you have to do. And better sooner than later! The fact that it is ten days before the Marcialonga, only whets your appetite to take part: perfect evening participation, why not?
Updated routes for 2014
As in the past, there will be two circuits for the Moonlight Classic 2014, but with the distances reviewed to simplify the event. The long route is reduced to 30 kilometres: after the departure from Compaccio, competitors will reach, after about a dozen kilometres, the fork of Ritsch, where they will climb up towards the Giogo (where the Mountain Award is assigned) and from here they will descend towards Spitzbühl to join the circuit that from Ritsch goes to the finishing line at Compaccio line. Similarly, the short route has also been reduced to 15 kilometres: when the skiers reach Ritsch they will loop to WOLFSBÜHL and then they will return to the route that will take them to Compaccio.
The Magic of the Night
Skiing by moonlight (and your head lamp) is a thrilling experience and reveals an unusual dimension of cross-country skiing which, if at first may frighten or worry you, after the first few strides, you realize that it is something absolutely unique. The darkness of the night creates a sort of group intimacy, an amalgam of small “cross-country miners” who, as the light from their head lamps is projected on to the snow, create effects of the light in black and white.
The meeting-place is at Compaccio on the Alpe di Siusi, at over 1800 metres above sea level, and the Toko waxing service starts for all the entrants at 4.00 p.m.. The gates for the skiers open at 7.30 p.m. so that the athletes can line up in the departure area and at 8.00 p.m. on the dot, boom…the eighth Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi gets off to a start. After a little more than half an hour, the first skiers to finish the short circuit will arrive, whilst to see the winner of the 30 kilometre circuit spectators will have to wait until about 9.20 p.m.. At 10.00 p.m. the winners will be awarded their prizes (they will share a total of prize money of 12,000 euro!) in the marquee, which in the meantime will have filled with music and entertainment.