Zelenica Ski Raid – from Slovenian ski mountaineering championship to the Alpen Cup
Author: Manca Čujež
On 3 and 4 March 2018 a 2-day ski mountaineering event was held around the mountains of Zelenica, near the city of Tržič. Winners and double Slovenian champions are Nejc Kuhar in man’s category and Špela Zupan in woman’s category. Alongside the national championship the hobby class ascent and tour were intended for promotion of ski mountaineering. Zelenica Ski Raid is also the candidate for the race of 2019 Alpen Cup.
Ski mountaineering is becoming more and more popular in Slovenia, the interest grows also in the competitive sport, which is expected to be premiered at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. In Slovenia, the roots of ski mountaineering date back to the year 1927, when the first competititon ‘Triglavski smuk’ was organized on the highest Slovenian mountain Triglav for the first time. Since 2004 ski mountaineers have competed in the Slovenian Cup and participate in international competitions at the highest level, where Nejc Kuhar achieved the greatest successes.
At the national championship 2018 first day afternoon was time for Vertical race, 500 vertical meters in 2 km was pretty fast one and the winning time was under 18 minutes. There was a big battle between Nejc Kuhar and Luka Kovačič, both of them also very strong at the last European championship on Etna. Nejc was few seconds faster this time and was able to get vertical title back after second place last year. In woman’s category, Špela Zupan was the fastest among the girls.
Sunday was really a sunnny day with perfect weather and snow conditions for individual race. Due to the avalanche risk on the top of the mountains the organizeres had to make B track, but it was very attractive as well. Man’s had to face with 1350 vertical maters on 4 uphills and downhills, with 2 walking parts. Woman’s did 850 vertical meters with 2 uphills and downhills and 1 walking part. In man’s category Nejc Kuhar was again winner, just 30 sec behind finished Luka Kovačič, third was Luka Mihelič. Woman’s race won Špela Zupan again.
In the hobby category, intended for the promotion of competitive ski mountaineering, also the recreational skiers were able to test themselves on the race track and awake a competition passion in themselves.
The organizers of Zelenica Ski Raid were really satisfied with the competition, comparable to the World Cup events, and are thrilled to be candidate race of 2019 Alpen Cup, Kuhar said.
Prvi marčevski konec tedna je bil v gorah v okolici Zelenice nad Tržičem dvodnevni turnosmučarski praznik. Zmagovalca in dvakratna slovenska državna prvaka sta Nejc Kuhar v moški in Špela Zupan v žensku konkurenci. Poleg državnega prvenstva je bila za promocijo turnega smučanja na trasi tekme tudi hobby preizkušnja brez merjenja časa za rekreativne turne smučarje. Zelenica Ski Raid je tudi kandidat za organizacijo tekme znotraj Alpskega pokala 2019.
Zelenica Ski Raid 2018 (photo by Marjan Rekar)