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One of the side events to the world’s longest giant slalom which takes place in Val Gardena on April 1, is the junior version of the latter which makes a welcome return once again. The Gardenissima Kids takes place on Sunday, April 2, over a shortened version of the adult course and is designed for younger skiers born between 2003 and 2010.

The latest edition of the Südtirol Gardenissima is almost upon us. The event which has been closing the Val Gardena skiing season in style since 1996 is a unique giant slalom open to all snowsport lovers of 14 years old and over. It starts from the top of Monte Seceda (2,518 m) then delivers a rollercoaster run of around 6 kilometres right to the finish-line at Col Raiser. In between the two spots is an elevation change of 1,033 metres and more than 110 gates which participants tackle in a four-minute adrenaline rush that will make them feel like they’re in the middle of a World Cup race.

ESPECIALLY FOR TALENTED YOUNGSTERS

The following day, April 2, it’s the turn of the under 14s to have fun in the snow in the special version of the event reserved for the champions of the future, the Südtirol Gardenissima Kids.

Now on its fourth outing, the Junior version of the giant slalom takes place over a shortened version of the same run: the start gate is still at the top of the Seceda and then the kids ski down to the Fermeda chair lift station, a run of 2 kilometres and an elevation change of 463 metres. More than enough to prove they have the stuff of champions! The main thing, however, is that this is a huge opportunity to enjoy the snow and introduce kids to the delights of skiing, downhill racing and the Dolomites!

Since it was first held in 1996, the Südtirol Gardenissima has grown in popularity from year to year. We would like the Südtirol Gardenissima Kids to do the same,” said Günther Pitscheider, director of Val Gardena-Gröden Marketing. And it looks like his wish will come true as participant numbers in this junior version are going from strength to strength each year.

Entries are open until March 29. Entrants must have been born between January 1 2003 and December 31 2010. They will be split in the following age-related categories: Superbaby, Baby, Cubs and Teens. The race format is the same as the adult version with competitors starting in pairs (in the same category). The first part is a parallel giant slalom run and then the final section is a single giant slalom run.

END-OF-WINTER CELEBRATION

On the day of the race, participants may conduct a reconnaissance of the course between 8.15 and 8.45, but must remain outside the gates. Then the first skiers start at 9.00, marking the beginning of a day of huge celebration. The Südtirol Gardenissima Kids is a side event with a huge promotional impact and the two events mean snow lovers can spend the entire weekend bidding farewell to the winter season. With that in mind, children entered will enjoy a 50% discount on one, two and three-day Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi passes (Friday, March 31, Saturday, April 1, Sunday, April 2 2017). A weekend of sport and nature in the fantastic surrounds of the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site.

For further information: www.gardenissima.eu

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