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Vasaloppet USA cancels 2024 races

The Vasaloppet USA board of directors made the decision to cancel its 2024 races on Thursday morning.

Board member Jon Larson said unseasonably warm winter weather has put a stop to the organization's efforts to make additional snow.

"Due to all the warmth that we've had this spring, and so much warmth all day and into the evening, above freezing, we've been forced to cancel our race this year," Larson said in an interview with KBEK.

According to a statement from Vasaloppet USA, weather conditions have deteriorated an existing seven-kilometer trail of manmade snow.

"The trail itself, currently we are able to move snow onto virtually all of it, if we can make and move snow," Larson explained. "This year, with the warm temperatures, the ground didn't freeze decently, and so the tractors and manure spreaders sink into the soil. And then they get mud on their tires, which then gets spread down the trial. It makes it very unpleasant to ski on."

Larson also said that the Vasaloppet has set a benchmark in terms of trail quality for the race.

"We really strive to make our trail beautifully white, and make sure that everything is stick and rock-free, so there's no chance of ski damage. And the skiers just love it," he said. "We have an A+ rating for trails, and we like to keep it that way. And that's just one of the reasons we just felt that we couldn't put on a race."

Vasaloppet USA is optimistic that a short loop of skiable snow at the Nordic Center will be available on Feb. 10. Open skiing is scheduled from 7 to 9:45 a.m., with the Miniloppet kids race from 10 to 11 a.m.

Open skiing will continue at noon.

The other Vasaloppet Race Week events will go on as planned. Those include Bingo at Kev's Depot on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m., A Taste of Vasaloppet from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Grand Event Center in Mora on Thursday, a community party at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, and the Vasa Radio Hour at the Paradise Theatre at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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