Ski World Cup: Lauberhorn race cancelled because of too much snow

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Workers spent the night in freezing temperatures trying to clear the course

A famous downhill race in the Skiing World Cup has been cancelled - because there has been too much snow.

Saturday's race at the Lauberhorn course in Wengen, Switzerland, was dropped after more than 40cm (16in) of snow fell overnight.

Crews worked through the night but were unable to prepare the piste in time.

After a dry start to the ski season in December, resorts are now dealing with heavy flurries as a cold snap grips Europe.

The Lauberhorn course is the longest downhill run in the world, and racers can reach speeds of 160km per hour (100 miles per hour).

The heavy snow was accompanied by powerful winds, complicating preparations, and eventually forcing organisers to admit the race could not be held safely.

Image source, Facebook / Lauberhornrennen
Image caption,
Organisers said crews had been working through the night - in temperatures well below freezing

More snow is forecast to fall during the weekend, but in much lighter flurries, and slalom events on Sunday are still expected to take place.

Tickets for Saturday were being refunded on-site until 17:00 local time.

The Europe-wide cold snap has caused significant problems across Europe, including power cuts to nearly 350,000 homes in France and many traffic accidents.

It is thought the current cold weather has killed about 65 people across the continent so far.