And Now For Something Completely Different: Nighttime High-Altitude Ski Race That Bans Doublepoling Outright

The Südtirol Moonlight Classic race in Seiser Alm, Italy has a chance to enter the record books for two distinct reasons.

First, it is one of the most high-altitude ski races on the planet. The map shows that the highest point of the 30km track is at some 2,050 meters above sea level. The only other mass race with similar top point we could think of is La Sgambeda with its famed Grasso degli Agnelli climb ( sadly, often snowless in early December when the race is held and, therefore, skipped).

As a reminder, anything above 1,500 meters is scientifically considered to be high-altitude. At 2,100 m above sea level, the saturation of oxyhemoglobin begins to plummet. There is simply not enough oxygen to help to power human body to do maximum exertion. Skiers, of course, train at much higher altitudes than 2,100 – but never compete.

While momentarily reaching 2,050 would not, of course, do long term harm, even a short climb at that altitude would be a challenge, as anybody who tried to ski in the mountaints would tell you.

You want to hear the best part? The Moonlight Classic is actually a night race ( hence the name)! Which most likely gives it an official title of “ the world’s highest nighttimer” .

However, what caught our attention is the fact that the race is completely double-poling free! Yes, as in “double-poling is banned”. To make sure that those ill-meaning doublepolers would not try their nasty tricks, the organizers warn that “Marshals are placed along the route and will report and disqualify any participant breaking the rules.”

Says Martina Rier from the race organizing committee

– We accept only diagonal classic style because our idea, our aim is to promote the traditional cross country skiing. There’s no double poling allowed.

We can’t imagine how many marshals it would take to police the whole 30km circuit ( there is also an alternative 15 km one). We are also curious as to how the said marshals would be able to distinguish when using the both poles simultaneously is “justified” e.g. on descents – and where it is not.

However, the message is unmistakable and clear: doublepolers are not welcome, “tradionalists” are. Which makes the Moonlight Classic the first race-ever to cater to a specific sub-group of classic ski enthusiasts. Given how many skiers worldwide “ideologically reject” what they consider to be a new fad, the race in Seiser Alm has every chance of making bigger name for itself.

Now, how long you reckon it would take for somebody to come up with an alternative, “doublepoling only, diagonal banned” race? …

Top photo courtesy of Hotel Seelaus


Moonlight Classic Ski Race in South Tirol Bans Doublepoling Outright. Your Reaction?

  • No, doublepoling is what I prefer and don’t want to see it limited or banned (100%, 1 Votes)
  • Yes, doublepoling is killing classic skiing and should be restricted or banned (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Unsure, perhaps ban doublepoling in some parts of distance – but no the whole race (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 1

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