26 Aug

From the World Cup to the 2027 World Championships, the FIS is attentive at their inspection in Crans-Montana

The traditional annual inspection by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) took place in Crans-Montana on Saturday August 26. With three women's World Cup events programmed for this winter and the 2027 World Championships on the horizon, the visit takes on additional importance this year. It was an opportunity to examine the Nationale and Mont Lachaux pistes, which have to meet exacting standards, and also check the infrastructure for the finish area and the organisation team for the World Championships.

Peter Gerdol, director of the FIS Women's Alpine Ski World Cup, led the inspection. Representatives from the local organising committee were present, notably the president Marius Robyr, the Swiss-French television station RTS, the host broadcaster for the events, the CMA ski lift company and Swiss-Ski. Particular attention on the day was focused on a variety of additional safety measures that have been introduced in recent months on the Mont Lachaux piste, as well as positions for television cameras, the execution of various jumps on the piste, organisation of the start and finish sites, and hospitality and accommodation for the teams, which will increase significantly due to the additional presence of the slalom racers and their escorts.

There was a good cooperative spirit for the event, the aim being to once again organise high-quality races in Crans-Montana. Peter Gerdol, the FIS Women's Race Director, was satisfied: "The local organising committee, led by Marius Robyr, is once again on the right track with the preparations." He also welcomed the participation of Didier Défago, managing director of the World Championships, who, along with his deputy Daniel Bollinger, is actively working to ensure the many preparations for the World Championships continue to advance in all areas.

But before 2027, it's worth remembering that the 2023-2024 programme of races in Crans-Montana is packed. It will begin with two women's European Cup downhills on 10 and 11 February 2024. A week later, the traditional caravan for the Women's World Cup will be stopping off on the Haut-Plateau (16-18 February 2024), with not only a downhill and a super-G, but also a team combined event, a new event which has been added to the FIS calendar for the coming winter.

For the Crans-Montana organising committee and their president, Marius Robyr, it is a great honour to host the first women's World Cup event in this new discipline, which will be on the programme in future World Championships and Olympic Games. As a result, Valais will be welcoming not only the world's top speed specialists, but also the world's top female slalom racers. A few weeks beforehand, the first men’s competition of this type will take place at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel.

The way the event works is that two competitors from the same nation form a team. Each skier takes part in one of the two races, downhill or slalom, and their times are added together to form the rankings. The number of teams a nation can enter depends on its national quota of participants in the downhill. Around thirty teams are expected to be taking part in the competition in Crans-Montana. - Photos: DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana/Louis Coubés - Video: SkiActu


Photo caption of participants at the FIS 2023 inspection in Crans-Montana

From left, standing: Julien Baszanger (TV RTS), Aurélien Vallotton (RTS), Alice Dumas (RTS), Charlie Hofmann (RTS), Peter Gerdol (FIS), Stéphane Robyr (O.C. Crans-Montana), Marius Robyr (O.C.), Patrice Morisod (O.C.), Alberto Senigagliesi (FIS), Bertrand Cassignol (CMA), Hans Flatscher (Swiss-Ski), Didier Défago (O.C. WC Crans-Montana 2027) and Hugo Steinegger (O.C.). From left, kneeling: Osi Inglin (Swiss-Ski), Franz Hofer (Swiss-Ski), Jean-Philippe Vulliet (O.C.) and Hannes Hofer (Swiss-Ski).

















4 Jul

Michelle Gisin is looking forward to the new combined event in Crans-Montana

As announced at the end of last week, there will be not two but three World Cup races in Crans-Montana next winter, including the first ever women's  team combinedin history - a new event that the athletes are already looking forward to.

Our ambassador Michelle Gisin, who was in Crans-Montana playing golf a few days ago, is already looking forward to taking part in this new competition. She will go down in history as the last women's Olympic champion in the traditional combined event, and has yet to decide whether she will take part in the downhill or the slalom.

"I love the downhill piste as much as I love the slalom one in Crans-Montana. It's going to be difficult to choose," says the skier from Obwalden, who will be taking part in all the events on the Mont Lachaux piste between 16 and 18 February 2024 in the Valais resort.

Photo: Swiss-Ski/Video (in French only): SkiActu


30 Jun

Crans Montana is to host the first women's team combined event in history

The event will bring together a female downhill skier and a slalom skier, and will make its World Cup debut on 16 February on the legendary Mont Lachaux piste.

It's been in the pipeline for a few weeks, and has now been confirmed. The first women's World Cup team combined event will take place in Crans-Montana just a few weeks after the first men's event in Kitzbühel. This means that next winter, the Haut-Plateau resort will be hosting not just the world's best downhill and super-giant slalom skiers, but also the top women's slalom racers.

“We're very proud”, says Marius Robyr, chairman of the Organising Committee. “We're honoured that the FIS has chosen Crans-Montana as the venue for this premiere, showing its confidence in us. For our part, we spontaneously accepted the proposal, although we know that there will be costs and additional work required. We'll be ready though.” The race will take place on Friday 16 February.

In practical terms, two athletes from each nation will team up, each competitor will take part in one of the heats. Their times will be added together to establish a ranking. In order to determine the number of teams taking part, the FIS has decided to use the national quotas for the downhill. This means that in the best-case scenario, Switzerland could field 9 teams in 2024, comprising of 9 downhill skiers and the same number of slalom competitors. Around forty teams are expected to take part.

The idea came from the athletes

To make the event more attractive, World Cup points will be awarded to participants, to be shared between them. A win will therefore see 50 points awarded to each athlete on the winning team. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was not happy with the image presented at the last Olympic Alpine Combined in Beijing," explains Peter Gerdol, director of the Women's World Cup. “They asked us to do something new and different. The idea predominantly came from the competitors. They were the ones who suggested this new format.”

The format has already been successfully tested at the last Junior World Championships in St. Anton. "I think it could be a very interesting and even a very tactical format, and I'm looking forward to it," says our versatile ambassador Michelle Gisin, who has yet to decide whether she will compete in the downhill or the slalom.

The OIC for its part has already confirmed that the team combined event will be on the programme for the next Olympic Games in 2026. It will also be on the programme during the World Championships in Saalbach in 2025 and, we hope, in Crans-Montana in 2027," confirms Peter Gerdol. “We’ve yet to see the initial feedback, but for the time being, it's positive.” The expert was in Valais this week to sort out final details with an FIS delegation. It was confirmed that all of the spectacular downhill and slalom pistes in the resort would be used.

The rest of the programme in Crans-Montana has also been confirmed. There will be a downhill on Saturday 17 February, and a super-G on Sunday 18. Downhill training on the Mont Lachaux piste is scheduled for Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 February. The European Cup will be stopping off on the Haut-Plateau between 8 and 11 February 2024.

Photo/Video: SkiActu




19 Jun

Swiss ski aces swap their skis for golf clubs

Most of Switzerland's top skiers met up at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club on Friday 16 June to take part in the Swiss-Ski Golf Trophy. It was a great opportunity for our ambassador Michelle Gisin and Marco Odermatt and friends to raise funds for the next generation of skiers. And it was worth it, the amount raised was impressive...around CHF 100,000 !

The athletes present were teamed up with sponsors’ representatives. It was a great opportunity to meet people and to see the standard of everyone’s game of golf. It was also a chance for the skiers to catch up after a few weeks' holiday for most of them. Of course the Valais sun was out, and a great time was had by all.

Lots of skiers play golf during the summer season. They take advantage of certain aspects of the sport to not only perfect their technique on the tees, fairways and greens, but also to draw inspiration from it on the slopes in winter.

Video: SkiActu

26 Apr

The stadium planned for the World Championships will guarantee World Cup events in the long term

The finish stadium in Crans Montana must meet the requirements of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup and the 2027 FIS World Championships, as well as the new hotel planned near the Violettes Express gondola departure station and Crans-Montana and its inhabitants - sustainability and multifunctionality are at the heart of the project. 

The stadium project was approved in September 2022 by delegates from the Association des Communes ACCM. It is an integral part of an overall sports project for the Barzettes area, which includes construction of a hotel, housing and shops. Unfortunately, the implementation of the entire project has been delayed. 

Decisions must therefore be made so that planning can progress, as this kind of construction entails a variety of authorisation procedures which take a long time. 

The decisive factor in the construction of fixed infrastructure is a sustainable, ecological and economical solution, which will ensure that the annual World Cup races on the Haut Plateau are guaranteed in the long term. At the same, it has to provide a base for successful World Championship races in 2027. 

The World Championships Organising Committee is currently in constructive discussion with the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS), the municipalities, the canton, the tourism authorities and the annual World Cup Organising Committee, in order to examine sensible variants on the basis of this new situation, in order to make the best possible decision. Fixed infrastructure in the finish area is necessary, but its dimensions must be reviewed due to the delay in the extension of the Barzettes area. 

The unique infrastructure needs specific to the World Championships will be met by the existing buildings alongside additional temporary buildings. 

One of the main priorities is the underground extension below the finish area as part of the stadium project. This car park will go ahead as planned. This kind of construction is of great value to local residents, event organisers (access for TV lorries) and the municipalities. 

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana



26 Mar


The Nationale piste in Crans-Montana has recently successfully passed its FIS inspection. Hannes Trinkl, the International Ski Federation race director for speed events, and his assistant Raimund Plancker have given the green light to the legendary Crans-Montana piste to host the World Championship men's competitions. Stéphane Robyr, technical head of the Crans-Montana World Cup ski races, piste manager Patrice Morisod, Bertrand Cassignol, CEO of the CMA ski lifts, and also Daniel Bollinger, director of the Swiss-Ski World Championships, were also present for the piste inspection.

However, artificial snow still needs to be installed on the upper section of the course, various fibre optic cables need to be laid and minimal corrections to the piste need to be made in order to meet all the safety criteria required to host World Championship events.

The Nationale is legendary. Its rich history is proof of this. In 1940, the Swiss downhill championships were due to be held here, with a start at Cry d'Er and a finish just above the Clinique Lucernoise, however this had to be cancelled due to the mobilisation of the Swiss army at the start of the Second World War.

Between 1942 and 1966, the Nationale was the setting for the annual Mont Lachaux Trophy. The men started from Bellalui. Local skier Georges (Collo) Felli, who was also a ski jumper and ice hockey player, held the course record for a long time. In the last edition of the competition, which was won by the German Franz Vogler, a certain Bernhard Russi, aged 18, finished in 20th place after starting with race number 80. Famous names appear on the roll of honour for race winners: Madeleine Berthod, Erika Netzer, Brigitte Lafforgue and Annerösli Zryd in the women's category, Edy Rominger, Stein Eriksen, Chiharu Igaya, Edy Reinalter, Christian Pravda, Egon Zimmermann and Karl Schranz in the men's. The Mont Lachaux Trophy disappeared when the municipality of Crans-Montana withdrew the 30,000 francs that they contributed towards it each year (!).

In 1977, the Women's Alpine Skiing World Cup made its first stop in Crans-Montana. Austria’s Brigitte Totschnig won the downhill on the Nationale, in front of Evi Mittermaier, Anne-Marie Pröll and Marie-Therese Nadig. France’s Perrine Pelen triumphed in the slalom ahead of Lise-Marie Morerod and Fabienne Serrat. The Nationale Ski Area hosted the White Circus five more times (three times for the men, twice for the women) up until the unforgettable 1987 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on the Haut-Plateau. The Lauberhorn downhill and slalom, which had to be cancelled due to lack of snow, were held in Crans-Montana.

The new era of World Cup races, relaunched by Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger, began with women's competitions in 2008 and 2010 on the Nationale, followed by three men's races in 2012. From 2014 onwards, the Crans-Montana stage has become a classic on the women's World Cup calendar on the attractive Mont Lachaux piste – the site for the women's races in the '87 WC. The piste has been renovated and modernised in several stages, thanks to major investment. It now meets the requirements for the 2027 World Championships, as does the Nationale. Both pistes were approved once again by the FIS in 2022.

The Nationale slope has also undergone several major facelifts, notably in 1971, to create the course for the 1987 World Championships, and in 2007, in order to be able to host the Alpine Skiing World Cup again on the Haut-Plateau from 2008. In the autumn of 2021, extensive work was carried out on the upper part of the course between the start at Bellalui and Cry d'Er.

Hannes Trinkl praised the work carried out during the course inspection. “The Nationale is perfectly suited to the technical requirements of modern ski racing. It is also truly spectacular, both for the spectators on site and watching on television” said the former Austrian downhill world champion (2001) and bronze medallist at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano/Japan. The Nationale is a real challenge for competitors, because of its 3,670 metre length. The start is at an altitude of 2'520 metres and the finish at 1'545 metres, a difference in altitude of 981 metres. The estimated race time is between 2'10 and 2'15.



1 Mar

An impressive tribute to the army's commitment to the World Cup races

Whether on the website, Facebook or Instagram, the Organising Committee of the Crans-Montana World Cup Ski Races has been very positive about the extensive all-round service provided by soldiers from the Swiss Army on the pistes and in setting up infrastructure. It is a fact that the World Cup races here could hardly be organised without this help.

The services delivered by the Army for this year's World Cup races were acknowledged in a dignified closing ceremony, with the return of the standard. The officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers from the entire Exploration Battalion 1 - whose 1/1 company was engaged for three weeks in Crans-Montana - as well as those of the PDG command company - gathered at the Place de l'Etang Long, listening attentively to the words of praise from their commander, Lieutenant-Colonel EMG Patrick Kübler. A heartfelt thank you from the World Cup Organising Committee was also shared. As usual, it was Brigadier Marius Robyr who shared some compelling words on behalf of the committee.

The military ceremony took place in front of a large number of civilian and military guests, headed by Brigadier Serge Pignat, Commander of the Mechanised Brigade 1, of which the Expl. 1 bat. is a part. Naturally, a Swiss military music band was present too.

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana












28 Feb

An incredible celebration of skiing in Crans-Montana

The celebrations for the women's World Cup races in Crans-Montana this weekend were amazing, even though it was only possible to hold the downhill race. Tens of thousands of fans gathered at the foot of the Mont Lachaux piste on Saturday and Sunday, while on both Friday and Saturday evening, large crowds of fans were also present for the race number draws at the Ycoor ice rink.

The Organising Committee would like to thank the competitors for the show, the great audiences for the atmosphere, RTS for the wonderful images, and also the volunteers, the Association of communes ACCM, the CMA ski lifts, the canton of Valais, the army and the civil protection, as well as our faithful partners and sponsors who all contributed to make this a wonderful weekend of skiing.


Friday 24 February
Ycoor ice rink > Draw for race numbers and entertainment: 3'000

Saturday 25 February
Downhill (postponed): 12'000
Ycoor ice rink > Draw for race numbers and entertainment: 2'500

Sunday 26 February
Downhill (instead of super G): 9'500

Total: 27'000 

Over the weekend (25/26 February), the bus company SMC transported a total of 42'059 people!

We look forward to seeing you on 17 and 18 February 2024 for the next women’s World Cup races, a downhill and a super G.

Video: SkiActu


26 Feb

Marius Robyr, a "happy and proud" president

Despite the vagaries of the past week, Marius Robyr was smiling once again at the end of the World Cup weekend in Crans-Montana. The president of the Organising Committee was especially pleased with the huge public celebrations over the weekend and the great race on Sunday.

"I'm not going to lie to you, at 11am on Sunday morning I was tense. I was afraid that we were going to have a repeat of Saturday." Marius Robyr's weekend was not a relaxing one. It has to be said that the weather this week wasn’t really on the side of the organisers in Valais. After over ten days of very high temperatures, fog played a nasty trick in Crans-Montana on Saturday, forcing a chain of postponements before an inevitable cancellation. The scenario was almost repeated on Sunday. Although it was much colder, with temperatures well below zero, the sky was not that clear.

In the end, it was possible to start the downhill in Crans-Montana, half an hour late. "I was embarrassed to announce further postponements," says Marius Robyr, all too aware of the difficulties of putting on such an event. "But at the end of the day, you have a happy and proud president in front of you now." Because the event on Sunday was indeed a regular one for all the competitors, and it showed the world a spectacular Mont Lachaux piste, true to its reputation. "The conditions were good, we wouldn't have been reckless sending the forerunners and skiers out. "

The icing on the cake was that the best downhill skier in the world, Sofia Goggia, won ahead of her compatriot Federica Brignone, who loves Crans-Montana. "It was an absolutely magnificent race," continued the boss of the event. "It's a great reward for the 520 people who have worked day and night to put on these competitions. It’s also splendid to be able to thank the 30,000 or so spectators who were present over the weekend."