This year the competitors will be joined by big names from the world of freeskiing. The competitions held in Saas-Fee are again the opening events for the halfpipe World Cup and European Cup season.
Since last year, the Allalin 360 has incorporated all FIS events that are held in Saas-Fee and revolve around freestyle: the FIS Snowboard European Cup, the FIS Snowboard World Cup, and - new this year - the FIS Freestyle Ski European Cup. All the events are in the halfpipe discipline.
The organising committee's decision to add freeskiing to the competitions held in Saas-Fee reflects a current trend - from 2014 halfpipe freeskiing will be an Olympic discipline.
"The IOC's decision back in April 2011 is a milestone for the young sport and presents a great opportunity for the athletes to compete at this prestigious level. Now the numerous freeskiers who will be fighting it out for victory on the halfpipe above Saas-Fee can look forward to the Olympics just as much as their snowboarding counterparts." said a resort statement.
For years now, Saas-Fee has hosted the first halfpipe tournaments of the season in Europe. In 2011, the season will once again open with thrilling competitions in the Allalin Freestyle Park, at 3300m.
An estimated 200 sportsmen and women are expected for the two European Cups, and at least 100 for the World Cup. The exact figures will only be known shortly before the tournaments, as registrations are still coming in.