Snow day! Cypress Mountain gets a boost; not so good at Whistler, which is lost in fog

By Will Graves, AP
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Olympic weather: snow at Cypress, fog at Whistler

WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A good day for Cypress Mountain, with plenty of snow. Whistler was another matter — fog ruled.

Cypress was hit with a surprise snow storm, giving the home of the Olympic freestyle and snowboarding venues a big boost a few days before competition begins.

The snow began in early afternoon Wednesday and was falling steadily in the middle of the afternoon as the Canadian moguls team arrived for practice.

Olympic officials expected between 2 and 4 inches of snow and said that should give them some cushion. The first freestyle competition is Saturday — women’s moguls.

An uncommonly warm winter has forced officials to truck in snow from other parts of the mountain to help build the courses. The biggest problem at Cypress has been forming the halfpipe, where two days of practice have been scrapped.

At Whistler, fog forced the first men’s downhill training run to be canceled Wednesday after only 42 of the 87 racers completed the Olympic course.

Race jury officials met after abandoning training because of poor visibility during the mid-afternoon. That was 4½ hours after the session had begun earlier than scheduled because bad weather was expected.

“We delayed so long to see what the possibilities were,” International Ski Federation official Mike Kertesz told The Associated Press. “Mother Nature is playing games with us.”

Two more training sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, with the race Saturday. But more unfavorable weather is forecast.

Whistler, with fronts coming off the nearby Pacific Ocean, has a long relationship with uncooperative weather. World Cup race weekends were canceled in three straight seasons from 1996-98 before the venue was removed from the schedule.

Whistler successfully returned to the circuit in 2008 in separate weekends of racing for men and women as test events for the Winter Olympics.

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