Good numbers of competitors and record audience figures for the 2016 ISMF World Cups and the European Championship. Next June Albufeira, Portugal, will host the federal plenary assembly

It started out last January during one of the most bizarre winter. Now the Skimo season has come to an end, in the heart of a still very snowy spring. Nine ISMF World Cup venues hosted more than fifteen events: these are the numbers of a great season. Not to forget the European Championship in Salvan – Les Marécottes, Switzerland, the North American Championship, five European Series and the Asian Series event, held in march in South Korea, with athletes coming from China, Japan, Korea, Iran and Russia.

The ISMF Ski mountaineering season has “travelled” throughout Europe and more, displaying almost thirty events. Individual, Sprint and Vertical races were the stage for men, women, espoir and junior. The Long distance performances were the ingredients of a wonderful year menu, which has been even more amazing for a bunch of deserving athletes.

The Overall World Cup ranking has crowned Michele Boscacci, of Italy, over another Italian, Robert Antonioli. Third was Anton Palzer from Germany. Boscacci also won the Long Distance World Cup in front of two French skiers, Xavier Gachet and William Bon Mardion, second ex aequo.

On the Ladies side, Laetitia Roux, from France, left every one behind, with Claudia Galicia Cotrina, of Spain in second place, and Swiss Jennifer Fiechter, third.

Roux and Boscacci have proved to deserve it all, by winning also the Continental title early in January in the Swiss Alps. A perfect year for them: Laetitia Roux completed her precious victory collection by winning also the Individual, the Sprint and the Long Distance World Cup, grabbing the second place in the Vertical races, behind Victoria Kreuzer, from Switzerland.

Michele Boscacci has fought all year long with one of his more direct competitor, Kilian Jornet Burgada from Spain, who succeeded in the Individual and Vertical World Cup, leading most of the competition he attended.

Andorra, France, Italy, and Switzerland faced a very long and weird season: on the one hand, little snow at the beginning of the winter often forced the brave organizers and local Committees to double work and adapt their efforts to ever changing situations and terrain conditions.

On the other hand, unpredictable weather, high temperatures and last minute snowfall were responsible for the cancellation of the second part of one of the most longed – for LDT event: the legendary Patrouille des Glaciers, with some two thousand athletes ready to set off in Zermatt and almost as many already safe, sound and happy, across the finish line of Verbier.

«We are very proud of the results: – says Armando Mariotta, ISMF president – The World Cup events were attended by a range of 400-600 competitors like in Font Blanca, Valtellina Orobie, Pierra Menta, and Tour du Rutor, while the other venues had an average of 300 athletes at the start». Audience and spectators also seemed to like races more and more: European Champs as well as Mondolé Ski Alp World Cup races had the biggest “share” with one thousand people all in all each event. The other races had a range of 200 – 300 spectators each race.

As for figures, also prize many rose up to 15 thousand Euro to be distributed among the top 23 athletes (Top 15 men and top 8 women). Every single World Cup event had an extra prize, awarded by the local Committee, of 6200 Euro for every discipline (Sprint, Vertical, Individual or Team) to be assigned to the top three athletes including espoir (men and women).

Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia are among the new entries Skimo countries, confirming their commitment also this season, as they did in the past. «With a range of 14-20 countries represented in every event, – adds Marco Mosso, ISMF vice president Marketing –  We are determined to increase, year by year, the international appeal of the World Cup».

As for the near future, China, Spain and Turkey have already expressed their interest in joining the set. Their nominations could enlarge the group of venues, together with the “traditional” locations in France, Andorra, Spain and Italy. In the long run also Austria, Germany and Scandinavia might be involved in the process.

The future is, actually, right behind the corner, as the athletes are already on the glaciers or “in the gym”, testing new equipment and training, after some short holiday breaks. They are all looking for the next season which will see the World Championship, scheduled in February 2017, in Alpago, Italy, as one of the main event in the agenda.

As for the International Federation, the time to rest is little, too. Some important meetings are ahead. Next June the ISMF plenary assembly, taking place in Albufeira, Portugal, will determine some very crucial institutional topics, as for advertising, communication and technical area. During the summer, furthermore, the IOC – International Olympic Committee, might be ready to award ISMF with the full Olympic recognition, which would be a further step forward the big Skimo dream of entering “the Games”.

For full results and categories:

ISMF – International Ski Mountaineering federation

Federal press office

Lucia Galli

In the women race Laetitia Roux completed her comeback over Jennifer Fiechter. After several seasons the Valtellina Orobie is back among the great worldwide ski mountaineering events as second appointment of the 2016 ISMF World Cup. The 30th edition featured an unusual start and finish to be crossed on foot. The athletes of the individual event have had to prove their worth on a track with 1750 m of positive altitude difference, 5 uphill stretches, 5 slopes, 11 set-up changes, open ridges and spectacular downhill chase-downs. The little snow that fell so far this winter had made these parts all the more athletically challenging. On his home mountains Michele Boscacci has attempted since the very start to win the race; he lived the dream and gave hope to his fans for three quarters of the race, before Kilian Jornet caught up and got the better of him. After a spectacular head-to-head, the two came together at the finish line in Campelli, a few kilometres from Albosaggia. The winner was declared by photo finish and then using the chip. Jornet finished the race in 1h, 35’28”609, Boscacci in 1h 35’28”690. Anton Palzer, the first among the Espoir, came third in 1h 35’56”, followed by a steadily and progressively growing Robert Antonioli. The top ten also included Xavier Gachet (FRA), Valentin Favre (FRA), Mathéo Jacquemoud (FRA), Martin Anthamatten (SUI), Matteo Eydallin and Alexis Sevennec (FRA). The women – and junior men – race comprised 4 uphill and as many downhill stretches (1315 D+ 1315D-). As for the women the French Laetitia Roux got her first success. The queen of ski mountaineering was restored to her throne ending the race first in 1h 42’30” before her Swiss rival Jennifer Fiechter - 1h 44’59” – and the Swede Emelie Forsberg – 1h 46’51”. Worth reporting is that Forsberg lost the second place after a time penalty: incorrect position of her skis in the bag. The Spaniard Claudia Galicia finished fourth before the azzurra Katia Tomatis; then, Valentine (France), Martina Valmassoi (Italy), Mireia Mirò and Marta Garcia (Spain) and the young – and first among the Espoir – Alba De Silvestro (Italy). In the Junior race Italy conquered the first two spots with Davide Magnini e Giulia Compagnoni; after 3 uphill and 3 downhill stretches (990 D+ 990 D-), the podium was completed by Lena Bonnel (France) and the local favourite Giulia Murada. As regards the men podium, the French Samuel Equy finished second and Nicolò Canclini won the bronze medal. Tomorrow the World Cup circus will be back on track at the Centro Sportivo Caspoggio with the Sprint event. Photo Gallery HD Online on ISMF website : All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on