Cross Country World Cup set to kick off Saturday, despite warm winter

Making the Cross Country World Cup possible

Making the Cross Country World Cup possible

The Cross Country World Cup will get underway this weekend, after months of hard work to make it happen.

This is a big moment for the Loppet Foundation, which is hosting the skiing race in Minneapolis for the first time ever.

This year’s warm winter is not making for ideal conditions for the race at Theodore Wirth Park, but the show will go on.

“This has been an enormous challenge for us,” Claire Wilson, executive director of the Loppet Foundation. “We knew there was a likelihood of this being a low snow year, but we didn’t know it would be the lowest snow year in the history of record keeping.”

Against the odds, the event is set to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday. It has taken a team effort from hundreds of volunteers and staff to make it happen.

“There were snow-making efforts overnight in the few nights that we had the cold to make it happen, that’s how we got the course. We had folks haul in snow, we had almost 160 tons of snow hauled in,” Wilson said.

Remarkably, they’ve gotten the trail to last, even with some of the warmest February days on record.

“It’s a couple of feet deep so as it’s melted, we’ve kept the base. We kept it clean, so that helped keep the snow, and then we asked people to stay off of it,” Wilson said.

Organizers working to prep Cross Country World Cup

Snow lovers in the Twin Cities area received some Valentine’s Day love from Mother Nature on Wednesday as more than half a foot fell in parts of the metro area.