The 2020 SIGB SnowTest, due to be held in Pila, suffered a near-total pull-out of participating brands as the Covid-19 outbreak took hold in Northern Italy.
Brand head offices started to impose no-travel instructions on their staff in the days leading up to the Test and by the Saturday before the scheduled Monday start, all brands and most testing organisations (retailers and media) had opted not to travel to the Aosta Valley.
So, instead of an assembly of 250 UK snowsport individuals in Pila for a week of serious testing, it was a very small group that carried on with skiing and snowboarding in some of the best conditions of the season.
Meanwhile, a large number of the brands and test groups switched from Pila to Glenshee in Scotland, where they congregated at incredibly short notice to enjoy a combination of fantastic snow cover and overhead conditions.
Subsequently, the total shutdown of all resorts in Italy, followed by a large number of resorts in Austria, has highlighted the seriousness of the pandemic and its huge impact on the snowsport business – to say nothing of the global impact on health and economies.
The SIGB will refund registration fees to all organisations who were to attend the test. It remains committed to delivering an annual SnowTest and will now start planning for the 2021 event.