World & European Cup FIS Alpine Skiing Comes Bansko In 2012: Heaven Or Hell?

Jul 25, 2011 7 Comments by

FIS World Cup SkiWorld Cup FIS skiing in Bansko 2012. Sounds great, and last season the World Cup Men’s event I reported on and enjoyed hugely. But how many people ski visitors realise that for three weekends there are three major ski events all in a row. All in the February holiday season.

The Ski Event Timetable

First off is the European Cup for Slalom on the 12th and 13th February 2012. Second is The World Cup Mens Slalom and Giant Slalom on the 18th and 19th February 2012. Thirdly we have the Womens World Cup Downhill and Giant Slalom on the 25th and 26th February 2012.

I would expect the Tomba piste to be shut for event preparation from around the 20th January and not to be reopened until the 1st March. But I’ll be announcing this as soon as I have reliable info on this.

Bansko is one of just one of five resorts to be selected to host two events this season. The other four are Val D’Isere (France), Lake Louise (Canada), Garmisch Partenkirschen (Germany) and Sochi (Russia and site of next winter Olympics). With around 200 million people watching each event, this extra exposure of Bansko as a resort of international standing is what Tseko Minev (head of Bulgarian Ski Federation, part shareholder of Bansko’s lift operating company, Yulen and First Investment Bank) calls a “great success for Bulgaria.” Bulgaria’s reputation, and Bansko in particular, has been tarnished in the past by some hopeless organisation, such as poor lift queue management as well as the inability to plan for a back up,  such as we witnessed as high winds brought to an end day two of the recent Elevation Music Festival. However, successful major sporting events such as the World Cup Skiing in Bansko helps redress the balance. Bansko has proven itself and for this reason has been chosen once again. Credit is due to all those who made it happen so well at past Women and Mens World Cup events.

World Cup Action: Heaven Or Hell?

Last season I was surprised how manageable it was for me to be able to both ski and watch the world cup. The Mens FIS World Cup was an exceptionally well organised event in 2011. However, I am now concerned that with three events in row, some skiers may decide that, with the Tomba closed, that they should go elsewhere. Whilst I think this would be a mistake I can certainly understand that a six day holiday without the Tomba run could be ski holiday hell for some! But, overall, I felt the exciting and positive vibe in Bansko, the party atmosphere up at Buderitsa and the thrill of seeing the world’s best slalom skiers compete compensated for any inconvenience of the tomba run being shut. In fact, as my video below shows, you can see that the entertainment was top.

Many visitors to Bansko are not interested in the black runs, of which Tomba is the main one, and therefore the focus should be on overcrowding. Last season I sensed that most people found it a positive experience to be in Bansko during World Cup season. Our full ski packages programme went ahead without hitch. As always, any cancellation to lessons from SkiMania prebooked (with early booking 20% discount) via Bansko Blog is covered by my 100% money back guarantee. The same deal applies for lessons prebooked this year. Please subscribe to receive ski packages offer launch details

Bansko VIP Accommodation

The Bell Tower Apartment offers VIP luxury. Click here for my review.

Summer Hiking

For a summer guide contact me for details. Recent clients were from Japan, all retired including a professor on flora and fauna. His most recent guided trip had been a Galapogos cruise and we were pleased that his delight at finding rare species in the Pirin and Rila was as much as he found on those islands famed by the great Darwin. Praise indeed.


About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.

7 Responses to “World & European Cup FIS Alpine Skiing Comes Bansko In 2012: Heaven Or Hell?”

  1. Alec says:


    Any news about upcoming international winter sport events in Bansko?

    I am planning my first trip there and I dont want to be there during any events or holidays.

    pls help

  2. fotis says:

    the other resorts that host this kind of events have multiple runs like tomba …while bansko only one and this will cause not only overcrowding in the red ones but also a dangerous mix of beginers and experts that will definately cause accidents…and this did happen last year during the tomba preparation period…i think i will be in borovets during february…

  3. Bansko tourist info says:

    Freeride world tour dates announced with the 2* event also planned for Bansko 2nd – 4th March 2012.

  4. Mila says:

    Hi ! You are wrong!The EC is in Pamporovo!!!

  5. steve says:

    Hi i was there last year skiing in bansko and had a great time it was well organise no queue at the lift all the runs were open except for the main one which was use for the men world cup so dont be put of with all of this and get your butt out to bansko and have some fun.

  6. Clwb Moron says:

    I have been to Bansko a number of times and found the lifts to be poor value with long queue's to get up the mountain. I was there in the summer and although a lovely and original town it is now completely over developed. This means that I feel unable to accept generous hospitality by my Bulgarian friends to visit during WC ski events. I and my extended friends and family will stay in Pamporovo instead and enjoy the great snow and empty slopes

    • LanceNelson says:

      There is no doubt that there are peak period queues. Queuing a long time is no fun. However, timing to reach the gondola is key and some people have said that they have found the Q cam on this site helpful. Bansko is far from perfection, but I believe it can offer us more than the sum of its parts — skiing, eating out and nightlife. Oh and I agree, Pamporovo is good too, some very nice off piste there and I would encourage people to try other ski resorts in Bulgaria. Variety is the spice of lift.

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