Nature Park Medvednica hosts the Audi FIS Ski World Cup “Snow Queen Trophy” 2019

January 5th to 6th 2019, Sljeme - The Audi FSI “Snow Queen Trophy”, a popular event within the Ski World Cup Race agenda, summoned hundreds of athletes and thousands of visitors in Nature Park Medvednica, one of CEETO project pilot protected areas.

Audi FIS Ski World Cup races have been taking place since 2005. That year the Croatian Ski Association (HSS) organised the first ladies’ World Cup slalom race, turning Zagreb into an unavoidable stop of the World Cup calendar. In 2008, a men’s slalom race was introduced and since then the Snow Queen Trophy races have been among the most watched World Cup races. 

Snow Queen Trophy races are special in many respects: only at the Sljeme races are the winners of the men’s and ladies’ races crowned Snow King and Queen; and the atmosphere surrounding the races is praised by not only the world’s best slalom skiers but also all the visitors. For the thirteenth time the women’s race and for the tenth time the men’ race was held at Zagreb’s Sljeme, Nature Park Medvednica. These two Audi FIS World Cup “Snow Queen Trophy” races took place on 5 and 6 January 2019.

Snow Queen Trophy

Snow Queen Trophy - Photo by Nature Park Medvednica

As in previous years, the Sljeme races gathered 150 of the world’s male and female skiers and over 400 crew members from around 25 countries and four different continents. Both events are scheduled so to ensure that as many ski enthusiasts and fans as possible come to Sljeme. The races were again  attended by thousands of fans who joined forces to create the well known atmosphere on both race days.

The top-notch organisation of the “Snow Queen Trophy” races and the fantastic spirit atop Sljeme have placed Zagreb in the company of the world’s most prominent ski resorts, including Val Gardena, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Kitzbühel, Wengen, and Val d’Isere. Moreover, the Sljeme races have also been included in the Club 5+ Ski Classics, a union of the leading traditional World Cup race organisers. Finally, the International Ski Federation has shown their great confidence in the Croatian Ski Association by putting the Sljeme races in the calendar until 2021.

Crown of the Snow Queen Trophy

Crown of the Snow Queen Trophy - Photo by Nature Park Medvednica

Within CEETO project, the Ski resort Sljeme at Nature Park Medvednica represents the Pilot Area in which tools for managing the area sustainably and reducing visitor pressure on the peak zone/ski access zone will be created. With a competition as large as FIS Ski World Cup it is a big chalange. Throughout CEETO project, the Nature Park Medvednica managing authority will be able to adress existing challenges considering visitor infrastructure including developing of a monitoring scheme for ski resort and solutions for traffic jams on access roads. Three segments are considered: 1.enviroment, 2. nature and 3. visitor flow management.

Determinating enviroment indicators will include monitoring of hydrological, soil, edaphic and climatological indicators. Determinating nature indicators will include monitoring stream and wells, fauna, meadows and lichenes' biodiversity and invertebrates indicators. Visitor flow management is monitored by conducting visitor surveys (winter months, ski area), thorugh the installation of car counters on two major roads and cameras on parking areas (live stream), as well as through the development of a system of communications from cameras to traffic order officer and communication about availability of parking spaces in parking zones.

For more information on Nature Park Medvednica and its Pilot Action, click here.