For the first time in the three year history of Suzuki Nine Knights the event has to be cancelled. Ten days before the event should have started the organizers decided to cancel the event due to lack of snow.
Quite simply, in the mountains nature calls the shots, and this season conditions throughout the Alps have not been as accomodating as we would have liked. The feature itself required over 35,000 cubic metres of snow. This is a vast amount of snow and while we had snow depots available as catchment areas to collect snow over the course of the season, the lack of regular snowfall this year, combined with warm weather conditions, has left us with too little to be able to successfully build the feature obstacle that forms the centerpiece of the Nine Knights event.
Photo: Christoph Schoech
To give an example of the difficulties nature delivered to us, two weeks before the event, the Nebelhorn had over 70 cms of fresh snow, in addition to the substanstial base of 1.60 meters. This gave us the hope that we had the snow required to host the event. However the consistently warm and sunny conditions that began ten days following this snowfall saw the promising amount melt away. So while we had a perfect pisted ski area available for public use on the Nebelhorn, our snow depots, and indeed the ski area in general, was unable to retain enough of the snow, fighting against the unseasonably warm daytime conditions.
Photo: Klaus Polzer
"It is a great shame that we have had to cancel what was certain to be a fantastic event and we would like to apologise to all our friends, fans, and participants for an unexpected and premature end to the Nine Knights in 2011," says event host Nico Zacek.
Nine Knights host Nico Zacek
The cancellation of this year’s event forces us to focus on the future and we shall look to next season as another fantastic opportunity to promote freeskiing and it’s athletes. Rest assured the stumbling block we encountered this year has only strengthened our resolve to come back with a bigger and better Nine Knights in season 2011-12.