The annual Vasaloppet USA ski races in Mora originally scheduled for Feb. 13-14 has been postponed to Feb. 20-21.
Temperatures for this weekend could be as low as -20ºF, too cold for skiers to safely race the Vasaloppet.
The Vasaloppet has held races in temperatures this low in previous years, but had taken extra steps to provide safe places for skiers to warm themselves as needed, usually in the form of a running bus stationed at soup stops or designated buildings downtown. However, due to this year’s coronavirus pandemic, race organizers said they could not safely offer a heated indoor space to skiers in trouble.
“For safety, we have to move it, but skiing on a warmer day also makes it more fun,” said Wade Weber, one of the people organizing the change.
According to the AccuWeather Global Weather Center, the harshest cold of the winter is due, in part, to a shift in the polar vortex, creating dangerously low temperatures have across the northern tier of the U.S.
For skiers who have chosen to ski the Vasaloppet races virtually, the virtual race deadline has been extended to March 7.
The Miniloppet will remain on Feb. 20; the Moraloppet breast cancer fundraiser race has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.
For more detail on Vasaloppet races and related events visit vasaloppet.us.