Ski Mountaineering World Cup begins in Italy

It has recently become the newest winter Olympic sport and will be in Milan-Cortina 2026. There is increasing interest in Skimo with more people heading uphill for recreation and the competitive sport developing at a pace. NEW

Pontedilegno-Tonale is the stage for the first stage of the ISMF ski mountaineering World Cup 2020-21.

It starts on Thursday 16th with the sprint race, followed by the vertical race on Friday 17th and the individual race on Sunday 19th.

With growing interest in Skimo the International Ski Mountaineering Federation has announced live streaming of all the world cups this season to allow anyone interested to watch, learn about the sport and follow their favourites.

Image c/o International Ski Mountaineering Federation

Image c/o International Ski Mountaineering Federation

What is skimo, we hear you cry?

Is it skinning to a hut and enjoying a vin chaud?

Well, in its original form maybe, but as an Olympic sport, it is a very different animal.

It’s included in the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics by recommendation from the host country.

Skimo is  not guaranteed to go to the next games in 2030, but likely will do so if it proves a success.

We wrote about its inclusion in this earlier PlanetSKI article with a look at what it is all about.

Ski touring

Going up – Image © PlanetSKI

Ultra light, high tech equipment, thoroughly and professionally trained athletes and a full season of world cup events, a European Championship and a long distance World Championship in 2021-22 will make for exciting races, high adrenaline competition and world ranking battles from now until April.

Will the young gun, Thibault Anselmet from France be able to finally topple the quiet, experienced Patrouille des Glaciers record holder, Robert Antonioli of Italy, from the top spot?

And with her competitors competing in fewer races, having babies and retiring, will this be Marianne Fatton of Switzerland’s year to reign supreme or will the Italians Mara Martini, Giulia Murada and Alba de Silvestro rise to the top?

With the evolution of the sport, we are seeing more specialists in the different disciplines.

The Swiss have extremely strong form in the fast and furious sprint race and a candidate from the unlikely Belgium, Maximilien Drion, was showing spectacular promise in the vertical race last season.

Undoubtedly, the Italians are the ones to beat in the longer, more mountainous individual race but this weekend sees entries from 18 countries, including a small but solid contingent from the United States.

It’s a Patrouille des Glacier year, which always raises interest in the sport.

So, if you fancy being inspired and motivated then you can watch the sprint and vertical action here all season.

It’s hosted by PlanetSKI’s very own Catie Friend.

Click here for the full World Cup calendar.

And check out the season teaser for a taste of what it’s all about: