MWC2024 Team USA Information and Updates


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SCROLL DOWN BELOW THE LINK MENU FOR THE NEWEST USA UPDATES --  Anticipate daily updates posted here the entire MWC2024 trip until the evening of the last race day.


Official Race Organizer Website: (race schedule, race maps, registration)

Mini-Tour of Southern Finland Ski Spots FAQ Page

Vuokatti Tourism Information

Vuokatti Sport (all about the sport campus where MWC2024 is based.)

Vuokatti Ski Service for MWC2024 (Ski service providers right on Vuokatti Sport campus)

Weather Forecasts:    Finnish Meteorological     Accuweather



Updates posted by AXCS National Director J.D. Downing


Saturday Mini-Tour Update

-> We have a What’s App group set up for the tour now. Search AXCS Finland Skiers or click link below.

-> We can watch the World Cup in our hotel bar/restaurant. The sprint qualifying will start in the 530-6 range and then rounds will be around 8-8:30. So two viewing windows. 

-> As of 3:30 still no original bus with ski bags yet.

Friday, February 16-- 3:00pm Vuokatti Time updates 

Mini-Tour Itinerary, Packing Notes, Update on Mini-Tour Page


-> Meal Plan Wristband Fobs Do Need To Be Turned In

Anyone on a meal plan, please turn in your wristband Friday to Vuokatti Sport Reception. Remember that dinner on Friday is the MWC Banquet unless you have made other plans.


-> Reminders on shuttle times for today and tomorrow


16.2.2024       Shuttle to a flight from Kajaani at 12:10. Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 10.00                                  

16.2.2024       Shuttle to a flight from Kajaani at 18:05.  Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 16.00.


17.2.2024        Shuttle to a TRAIN from Kajaani at 9:23. Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 8.00.

17.2.2024        Shuttle to a flight from Kajaani at 8:50. Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 6.45.

17.2.2024        Shuttle to a flight from Kajaani at 11:40. Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 9.30.                     


18.2.2024        Shuttle to a flight from Kajaani at 18:05. Departure from Vuokatti, from the front of the Vuokatti Sport main building at 16.00.



-> This is important so I'll mention up front -- once you are done with your last race, a reminder that EVERYONE needs to turn in your race chip on Friday. There will be baskets at the finish line. But if you are heading out of town and miss the baskets, give the chip to JD or give it to others to give to JD. It's a 100 EUR penalty to AXCS if a chip doesn't get turned in. I have to bill you that amount once home which is awkward and a pain -- turn in your chip!

-> And ..... Friday Awards will be at 3:30pm in the "Iso Polly" lecture room that is on the left side (lake end) of the long building that runs the entire alpine mountain side of the soccer field (near railroad tracks). Think another 200-300m walk past the Vuokatti Sport Reception if you are trying to figure out walking time.

-> And ..... for those planning on attending, the "main" part of the Banquet/Closing Ceremony starts at 6:30pm Friday with a "pre-party" starting at 6pm (probably no host since it's FIN :-). All this in the Ceremony/Warming side of the Arena. I think everyone passed around spare wristbands, but if anyone still needs one -- I have one spare now.


-> Distance Skate Notes

-> Distance Skate races on Friday start at 9am and will follow the original event schedule. Check the start list on, be sure of your exact wave start, and show up on time!

-> Time limit to be started on your final lap (regardless of category wave) is 12:30pm tomorrow. They will cut you off if you miss that deadline. But it shouldn't be a problem.

-> The stadium and start process will be identical to Thursday races. Remember you lap to left at the beginning of the final steep hill -- you finish to the right.

-> Friday races are back to the original 5km green and original 10km blue courses. Be sure to know where the three (3) split points are and follow signage. 

-> On long straight downhills, there will be classic tracks on both outsides if you want them.

-> There will be a race feed in the stadium lap for all races. Blueberry juice drink -- warm, but not hot.

-> If you have someone give you feeds, be careful about location, no running by the feeder alongside the skiers, clean up all "stuff".

-> If you decide you've had enough fun and decide to stop early, please turn your bib inside out (or pull up to your neck) and go find a race official so they can make a note that you've stopped. Also if you drop out early, DO NOT go thru the finish line area. That will totally screw up results!

-> Effective 8:55am, consider all race courses totally off limits. If you need to get to a specific spot to feed or cheer, hike on foot or skis on the extreme edge of the course. Also feel free to heckle anyone you see on the courses that clearly isn't racing.


Detailed Race Plan For Remaining Individual Races 

-> The OC is providing the full Team Captain's Meeting pdf to all skiers the night prior to each race via the MWC2024 website and via What's App. Our USA notes below are generalized for all remaining individual races.

-> The race course will be open for ski testing, warm-up, and skiing until 5 minutes before the first category start. Anyone skiing in that span on the course must ski in the direction of the race only (you could re-trace a section by going to the extreme outside of the track). Once races start, the entire race course is completely closed to non-racers until the end of all races. There is zero tolerance for skating on the course at any time on classic race days (until every racer is done).

-> There are tons of trails on the alpine hill side of the railway tracks (access from soccer field) you can enjoy any race day.

-> If you want to cheer or feed athletes, you can carefully tour on the edge of a short section of race course to get to a spot. Or (perhaps better) walk carefully on the edge or off trail to a spot near one of the many paths or roads 

-> The Arena entrance near the tunnel to the stadium offers a warm spot for just before or just after races. There is also a community waxing area in there if you want to touch up kick wax. 

-> Your best warm-up plan is to head over to the Arena and tunnel entrances area, then hop on the warm-up trail that runs next to the main road over to the soccer field (2016 stadium). You have a couple gradual hill options out of the soccer field to test kick and enough room to get the motor running -- all within a couple minutes ski of the stadium entrance and entirely off the race course.

-> If there are any incidents on the course and you need to file a protest, find JD as soon as feasible so we can get things going. We have a very limited amount of time (technically 30mins after your category finishes, but there's leeway). A full protest is usually only worth it if it'll impact medals or other very high placings. Otherwise I can also follow-up bad behavior with National Directors in less of a rush. The key in all cases is GET ME A BIB NUMBER. 


Wednesday, February 14-- 9:45am Vuokatti Time updates 

-> Relay Race Day Info

-> Please make sure to wear your regular chip ankle bracelet. That gives you a split time and tracks the team.

-> REMINDER: Pick up USA relay bibs in the Arena -- Opening Ceremony/Awards gym side between 11-11:30am. Really helps if everyone comes by in that time window as it will free up JD and our two bib volunteers. 

-> The course will be the same modified green loop from Tuesday races. EVERYONE (all ages) will do 1 lap of the same 5km.

-> You'll see a What's App post + they have the start times on the website but here's the short version on exact first leg start times:

Women: 12pm start -- F01, 02, 03 groups....12:04 -- F04, F05 groups

Men: 1:30pm start -- M01, 02, 03, 04.....1:35pm -- M05, 06.....1:40pm -- M07.....1:45pm -- M08-10

-> There is some wind chill out there although the ambient temp is only -14 or so. If you wear the same race kit as Tuesday your body should be fine. Just make sure to protect your face. If you don't have tape, rubbing Chapstick on exposed skin is a decent hack. Spectating is likely to be a cold enterprise today. So wear everything you got if you come out to cheer. This includes relay racers post-race!!!!

-> They are only using the right side 5 start lanes for starts. The left side space is where tags will happen. ALL FOUR LEGS will access your start or tag waiting area the exact same way as Tuesday. Once legs 2-3-4 get to the wait area, you need to get stripped down and on your skis guessing when your tagger is going to head up the final hill. Try and look at ski times from Tuesday to approximate how fast your tagger will ski -- and pay attention to when they get tagged.

-> They will try and help calling out numbers coming up the final hill before tag. JD will also be on the final hill and stadium constantly. But ultimately this is on our skiers to be ready when the tagger hits the top of the hill. 

-> Make sure that the tag is hand to body -- NO PUSHING by the tagger, just a touch, they are emphasizing that there should be NO SKIING on the course. Feel free to bark at anyone out on the course without a bib on during the race. 

-> After you tag, you need to exit the exchange carefully -- but quickly. It's going to be contested at times!

-> The relay bibs are reused every year by WMA (unlike individual bibs which are your's to keep). So expect volunteers to gently "disrobe" you of your bib after your leg. If you manage to escape with a bib on, PLEASE return it to the volunteers ASAPl

-> Coaching Note: We will have several USA teams in the mix for medals. REMEMBER that Finland is running two stacked teams in many categories. They can only medal the "A" team. So we could be fourth at the finish and still get bronze. Focus on your race, have fun, and don't over think it :-).


Tuesday, February 13 -- 11:30pm Vuokatti Time updates 

-> Relay Teams, first 2 legs CL, second 2 legs FS

F02 (cats F3-4): Jesse, Stacey, Lindsey, Alison A.

F03 (cats F5-6): Sharon, Jeanie, Alison S, Dorlee

F04 (cats F7-8): Muffy, Joney, Katie, Kelly

F05 (cats F9+): Suzanne, Nini, Kathy, Carolyn

M03: Christian, David R, Adam, Tim VO

M05: Blase, Bowman, Bert, Boduch

M06: Tommy, Mike, Travis, John Boudry

M07: Rob R, Milan, Doug B, Kent

M08: Randy, Brent, John M, Bad Bob

M10: Owen, Bob H, Ken P, Tiger


-> Sat/Sun Departure Shuttles for those with firm bookings (folks that paid via AXCS before the trip based on known pricing, shuttle availability, etc.)


Everyone at Break Sokos, you will need to ramble your baggage over to the Voukatti Sport lobby (entrance to lunch/dinner cafeteria). One suggestion for later shuttles is to take a couple bags on your way to breakfast (leave stuff in a group pile), then bring the remainder of bags in time for the shuttle. It also may be possible to get Hotel staff to help move bags over to Vuokatti Sport for a few folks using a Hotel van. Be sure to ask at the front desk to see if that's possible.

Friday, February 16 -- "SHUTTLE" to 12:10pm KAJ airport flight: Departure from Vuokattisport main building at  10:00am.  Note: This is now confirmed.

Friday, February 16 -- "SHUTTLE" to 18:05pm KAJ airport flight: Departure from Vuokattisport main building at  16.00 (4:00pm).  Note: This is now confirmed.


Saturday, February 17 -- "SHUTTLE" to 8:50am KAJ airport flight:  Departure from Vuokattisport main building at 6.45am.

Saturday, February 17 -- "SHUTTLE" to 9:23am Kajaani train station: Departure from Vuokattisport main building at  8.00am.

Saturday, February 17 -- "SHUTTLE" to 11:40am KAJ airport flight: Departure from Vuokattisport main building at 9.30am.

Sunday, February 18 -- "SHUTTLE" to 18:05pm KAJ airport flight: Departure from Vuokattisport main building at  16.00 (4:00pm).


Monday, February 12 -- 5:30pm Vuokatti Time updates 

-> A few notes on various topics (repeated)

a. Paying Meal Plans: Pay your plan today or Tuesday if you can. Vuokatti Sport should now be ready with correct info. Also make sure that you are NOT charged for dinner on Friday, 16th -- MWC Banquet happens that night.

b. Why Not The Ski Tunnel? We found out at Sundayt's Team Captain's Meeting that half the tunnel's snow is currently not skiable due to the summer closure (saving $ to pave additional roller ski trails). So the tunnel will unfortunately not be on the menu this MWC.


Sunday, February 11 -- 5:40pm Vuokatti Time updates 

--> Team USA Wax Sharing Log

The waxing log remains in play for all upcoming races. Please share your notes directly onto the Google Sheet -- or email jd at xcskiworld dot com -- with short notes and I'll post them when time allows.


--> Skiing Saturday + Note About Collecting Wax Input

-> Anyone (competitor or not) can ski today and tomorrow on all the race courses without a ticket or pass. "Warmest" time to ski (warm being relative) will be in the early afternoon. All the courses are very well marked with arrow signs at every essential intersection. Note that there are sections of the course (particularly on the Hotel/Apartment side of the main road) that the course is "two-way". Those sections will be divided by fencing during races so less confusing than when you are training.

-> As usual at MWC events in Europe, Team USA depends on sharing information on whatever folks are finding out about kick wax or glide wax. We need to emulate the success of our younger elite senior and junior ranks (USA women went 2nd and 4th yesterday in the U23 World Champs!) -- and work together for mutual success!!! On that note -- I found late Thursday afternoon that even with the coldest Rode kick wax (special green) it was slow going in the tracks. Kick was also marginal. The tracks are very hard and that seems to compromise what the super cold kick waxes will give you. Today I would be inclined to try going shorter with the wax pocket (I went quite long yesterday) -- go with just a "normal" amount of layers in any brand's super cold flavor (I had about 6-7 thin layers yesterday) -- and perhaps have a cushion under of either a thin-ish warmer binder or just a layer or two of not-super-cold wax.

Anyone else trying kick or glide solutions (particularly you Alaskan folks that really have experience in this temp range) please see note above about our new USA Wax Long Sheet where you can post whatever notes you have to share.


Thursday, February 8 -- 11:00pm Vuokatti Time updates

--> Various Late Thursday Items

-> I am aware of a handful of USA folks that did not get skis to Kajaani on aircraft. If the problem was the last leg (Helsinki to Kajaani), it is likely that your skis will be delivered Friday morning. Probably the skis will be dropped at Vuokatti Sport Reception (same lunch/dinner entrance). It would be worth going over there after breakfast and see if stuff has been delivered or if a message can be send to Break Sokos when stuff is delivered. 

If your skis went missing before Helsinki, then your best play is to contact the airline and get a trace going. Then immediately start working on alternative gear either borrowing within Team USA or arranging rentals. Do not wait as you don't want to miss ski time and any rental cost can be recovered from the airline.


--> Saturday In-Person Team USA Meeting

-> We are physically close enough as a contingent that it should be reasonable this year to do a few in-person Team USA information meetings. First one will tentatively be Saturday at some point prior to the Opening Ceremony. Exact time and location TBD. I'll post word once I can figure out a logical fit.

Note there is also a USA posting board now in the Break Sokos lobby (across from reception desk). I'll put a few items each day on that board in addition to posts on this page.


Thursday, February 8 -- 6:00pm Vuokatti Time updates

--> Welcome to Finland Team USA!

The majority of our contingent is now in Vuokatti or hopefully will be soon. I'll post a few notable notes tonight in two small batches and then more tomorrow (Friday). 

With regards to temperatures, upcoming races, and any potential tweaks to the schedule (or not) -- the full race jury will not arrive until later tonight. But after a quick chat this afternoon with our Technical Delegate duo plus essential Organizing Committee members,  I can share a few tidbits on what officials already in town are thinking about. 

--> Per international FIS rules, -20C (-4F) is the hard limit for an allowed racing low temperature at championship level events (which the MWC is). Forecasts look to be no worries the 2nd half of the MWC period, but the 1st half could see temps for part of the day testing that minimum (if current forecast models hold).

--> The biggest issue for Sunday & Monday is that the MWC2024 schedule is built to have two "double days" with classic races in the morning and skate in the afternoon. Yet the morning temperatures thru Monday might be at or below that -20C limit. By comparison, the heart of the afternoon temps on Sunday/Monday look to hit several degrees warmer -- so OK temps. So basically having one race in a race "legal" temperature window is very likely to be feasible, but having two races on the same day could be a distinct challenge

--> The forecast has modified over the past 72 hours so it easily could shift again in the coming 72 hours to better temperature trends. Thus the jury and OC will need to wait as long as feasible to finalize any decision. 

--> Separating at least one double day across two consecutive afternoons and then using the current "rest day" next Tuesday as a race day are worst case options under potential consideration. Toying with shifting when the relay happens is also potentially in play. For Team USA purposes, these various scenarios could work since our entire race contingent is basically here for the next week. But for the large Finnish team (many of which will be driving in just for a day or two at a time) as well as local volunteers/organizers -- there are challenges to any change in the schedule.


Tuesday, February 6 -- 7:18am Pacific Time updates

--> At Helsinki (or other Euro) Airport Arrival Passport Control, you might (or might not) need to show one of the following while at passport control.

MWC2024 race entry list     -- or --    AXCS Team USA Trip Chart

It is pretty easy to pull up one or the other list on your device and just store the webpage or take a screenshot. Then, if asked, you can be pretty quick providing what they want.

Basically they are asking for some type of documentation of why we are in Finland (or the Euro zone in general). This per some of our earliest USA arrivals today (Tuesday, 6th).


Sunday, February 4 -- 10:30pm Pacific Time updates

--> Several folks have asked how to identify shuttles once you arrive at a regional airport or train station? 

Answer: JD has been told by the Organizers that the driver will have a "masters sign". So look for the MWC2024 logo or "masters" in some form. Note that both KAJ and KUO airports are pretty small. So there will not be a ton of taxi/shuttles. For sure the Kajaani train station won't have a ton waiting either.


--> Useful notes for those taking local buses from Kaajaani Train Station to Vuokatti on arrival.....many thanks to AXCS Members Benny & Becky Yih for providing this info! 

-> The local bus from Kaajanai to Vuokatti will only cost about 10-12 EUR per person. There will be probably be several stops along the way, but it's certainly quite affordable.

-> The bus will come to the parking lot right outside the station. It's a very small station and surrounding area so it should be pretty obvious where a bus will pick-up. 

-> Try and confirm with a bus driver at the pick-up time that the bus is going to Vuokatti Sport. Be aware that in the afternoon there will be a lot of kids commuting on the same bus. So there might be a "younger dimension". But also note that some of the kids will speak very good English and thus can be an information asset!

-> If you have enough time to locate a ticket machine inside the KAJ train station, try and buy your ticket(s) before the appointed bus pick-up time. But otherwise plan to pay the driver. Card or EUR cash. 

-> You should be able to put your skis under the bus (or the driver will instruct you where).


--> To Pay For Meal Plans, Go To Vuokatti Sport "Reception"

The Break Sokos Hotel is a 5 minute walk from the Vuokatti Sport Main Entrance. For dinner on your arrival day (assuming you arrive before 9:30pm - 21.30 hours when dinner closes), you will go to the Vuokatti Sport Reception and pay your halfboard/fullboard reserved meal plan bill. You'll get a card that will work the remainder of your visit. 

Also -- Chalet Apartment folks should check in for your apartment keys at the same Reception area. 

Note: AXCS also has been told that there is a wax room at the apartments (probably quite small, but there is one). AXCS already knew there is a permanent wax room at Break Sokos Hotel. Not huge, but it will work for a couple skiers at a time.


Thursday, February 1 -- 6:00pm Pacific Time updates

--> The "edit window" is over for MWC2024. 

With the exception of one skier asking for a change, the assumption is that everyone is happy with the information on the preview sheet below. At this point, there's a next-to-zero chance of making further changes.


--> Race day note to be aware of.

JD got word today from the OC and WMA technical folks that there will be 10 lanes at the start for at least the first 1-2 race days. The OC tried different configurations to get more width (thus more lanes on the front line), but there were negative trade-offs.

We've had a couple recent MWC events with fewer than 10 start lanes and those events went quite well. So I ask everyone to have an open mind and let's see how this goes.

It is also notable that this is likely the smallest MWC field in many decades, so the biggest categories will not actually be nearly as large as many past years.


Saturday, January 27 -- 8:00pm Pacific Time updates

--> Plan for getting everyone's ski bag flying on FinnAir to Kajaani to Vuokatti 

The MWC2024 OC and FinnAir had meetings this past week to create a plan to deal with the number of ski bags on the flights into Kajaani from Feb 6-9. Basically they have been amazingly proactive to try and avoid a bunch of us having to file lost baggage claims.

FinnAir is anticipating that they will not have enough room for all ski bags on several inbound flights. So they will be routing some bags on flights to Oulu -- and then transporting the bags via shuttle to Vuokatti. There are hourly flights from Helsinki to Oulu on most days so a lot of options for FinnAir to use.

For USA skiers on the late afternoon arrival flights, the hope is that your bags will complete the journey to Vuokatti later that same evening you fly in -- or worst case overnight. That way you'll have all your gear the next morning when we want to ski.

But there are 17 USA folks on the 11:20am arrival on Feb 8. JD has pointed out to the OC that many of us want to ski the afternoon of the 8th. To hopefully expedite the Oulu work around, FinnAir is urging as many folks as possible on the Feb 8 11:20am arrival to both pay the extra luggage fee for your ski bag ASAP, but also check your bags in as early as possible the morning of the 8th. JD has mentioned that most of us on that flight are staying at Helsinki Airport hotels the night of the 7th. So we should be able to go to the terminal several hours before the flight departure to check bags. Doing so will either get your bags actually on the direct Kajaani flight or get the bags up via Oulu earlier hoping to get them to Vuokatti faster.

The situation for departure flights will be described once we are all in Vuokatti. Let's focus on arrival for now.

--> Paying for your FinnAir bag fees

A few USA skiers are flying FinnAir from the USA. In your cases you probably do not have an added bag fee for the Helsinki -> Kajaani flight.

For those of us only booking a FinnAir flight Helsinki -> Kajaani (and also the guys flying into Kuopio), we need to pay a roughly $25-27 fee for our ski bags. You should already have gotten an email about this. The process starts by pulling up your ticket(s) and then selecting baggage options. It's a pretty easy interface and there does not appear to be any issues accepting USA credit cards.

You are urged to pay this fee ASAP as it will help FinnAir anticipate the exact number of bags for each flight. In turn, that should help improve delivery.

--> Address for lost or waylaid baggage

A very useful address to have written out or on your handheld device is the following for any bag issues:

Vuokatti Sport, Opistontie 4, 88610 Vuokatti, phone: +358861911


Monday, January 22 -- 11:00pm Pacific Time updates

--> Suggestions for a non-fluoro wax plan at MWC2024 (notes from JD Downing, AXCS National Director)

-> I have used several Toko, Solda and Swix non-fluoro products for high school and JNQ skiers for perhaps 5-6 years now and found them to be perfectly good waxes. HS and junior racing has been trending towards non-F waxing earlier than the FIS ban for cost and health. 

-> I’ve used mostly blocks in the non-fluoro products and they are totally identical to any other glide waxes I’ve used for decades in terms of how I apply, select the temperature range, etc.. 

-> It is notable that several older common cold waxes many folks still have at home (like basic Start Green and several cold additives across the brands) don’t always contain fluoros. So skiers could use those older “non-F” options without any issues.

-> In my experience and what I’ve read from folks in the industry, non-F wax for colder and drier conditions seem to perform nearly as well (or just as well) as fluoro waxes. This gives me a glimmer of hope for Vuokatti because if we have “normal” conditions for Central Finland in early/mid February, going non-fluoro may not have any impact on performance. Structure and skis would be a far bigger part of the equation.

-> Really the one area that fluoros still make a big difference are top coats designed for high humidity, warmer snow, and dirt. The conditions in Seefeld last March would be a perfect example. But we all hope none of that appears in Vuokatti this year!

-> My best advice for coming days is that skiers look at your personal stock of wax right now and figure out what waxes you have now aren’t fluoros. Most skiers have wax for base layers that is non-F. Many folks have stuff for cold that is non-F. So that reduces how much “new stuff” is needed.

-> If you buy anything here in the USA pre-trip, I would buy the high end non-F block or powder offered in the brand of your choice to cover at least 2-3 broad temperature ranges.

-> I just put in an XC Oregon order exactly following this advice with Toko. But I would not hesitate right now to buy any brand. I am getting blocks and powders that can cover cold - middle - warm temps. But per my other notes about cold conditions, I’m pretty sure on a very cold day with lower humidity, I already have plenty of older cold non-F wax that will work great.

-> I’m finding newer non-F pricing is in line with high F blocks of past years adjusted for inflation. 

-> With non-fluoro block wax and powders there should be zero problem with airlines or security controls. Liquids have always been a grey area for airline travel. Some liquids/sprays clearly are fine to fly with (not flammable), but others might be a problem. It can be hard to tell from packaging. Asking retailers directly sometimes is your only way to be certain. Because of this confusion I tend to avoid air travel with liquids as much as possible (but I would have said the same things well before the FIS fluoro ban).


Friday, December 22 -- 11:30am Pacific Time updates

--> FIS Fluoride Ban & What It Will Really Mean To MWC2024 Skiers

-> Although many within the WMA family were hoping that we could avoid this issue for another year, early notices from Worldloppet races over the past month addressing the issue gave WMA and the MWC2024 Organizing Committee little choice but to publicly acknowledge that the FIS fluoride ban does technically apply at the MWC2024.

Earlier this year the message from WMA has been that since we had no testing capacity, we would not have the ability to enforce the fluoro-wax ban. That has, in fact, not changed. Neither WMA nor the OC have the technical expertise nor the equipment to test for banned waxes.

The honest and realistic situation is that FIS is almost certain not to send testing staff and equipment to police skis at the MWC2024. But -- as is always the case with doping controls -- it is technically possible that FIS controllers could "magically appear".

Regardless, WMA and the MWC2024 OC urge all skiers racing in Vuokatti to adhere to an “honor system” whereby all racers respect the intent of the FIS fluoride ban and avoid using fluorinated waxes.

Since I'm anticipating USA skiers will ask, even at the elite level the focus with the fluoro ban has been testing glide zones and not a huge focus on kick waxes. So the "honor system" here means just not using fluorinated top coats and focusing on using newer "fluoro free" under layer waxes. Since testing is so unlikely, you should not need to extensively clean all your skis, bags, tools, workshop, etc.. 

If anyone has any questions or issues, email JD in the coming weeks.


Sunday, December 16 -- 9:00pm Pacific Time updates

--> Everything you need to know about lunch/dinner or just dinner meal plans

-> For everyone in the AXCS Lodging Package, your basic Lodging Package for MWC2024 is bed and breakfast inclusive. The breakfast for folks at Break Sokos Hotel is served at the hotel itself. For the folks in the Chalet Apartments, breakfast is served at the Vuokatti Sport restaurant a few minutes walk away from your lodging.

-> The MWC2024 OC has arranged a choice of two supplemental meal plans — dinner only (called “half board”) and lunch/dinner (called “full board”). All lunches and/or dinners in the plan are served at the Vuokatti Sport restaurant no matter where you are lodging. For Break Sokos folks, JD estimate the walk time to the restaurant to be 5-7 minutes over easy terrain.

-> You will pay for your meal plan with your own credit card when you arrive to Vuokatti. Full board meal plan is 32 EUR per person/per day. Half board meal plan is 20.80 EUR per person/per day. 

-> No matter your lodging, it is fully possible each day to purchase lunches and dinners ala carte at normal menu pricing at Break Sokos, the Vuokatti Sport restaurant, and other food options in Vuokatti (but note that other dining options are a 1.6-2.5 walk/ski or bus/taxi away from the sport campus). Folks in the apartments can also easily make your own meals with a grocery 1.6km away.

-> The Vuokatti Sport restaurant is identical to a nice university campus or US Olympic Training Center dining hall. Buffet presentation with a wide range of options and since this is a purpose-built sport campus, the food is ideal for athletes. Food quality is of a very good standard. It is possible to purchase alcohol with meals. But please note this is not table service fine dining. 

-> The deadline for booking meal plans is January 7. AXCS must gather all Team USA meal booking requests (this includes Independent Lodging skiers) and submit a full USA list of your desires. This is why you are seeing the column about meals on the Team USA chart.

-> NOTE: For all registered competitors staying the night of February 16, you automatically get the MWC2024 banquet included so you would not need dinner than final night. Non-racers can easily purchase a banquet ticket in Vuokatti or get a ticket from a USA skier leaving prior to that evening.


Tuesday, October 17 -- 2:30pm Pacific Time updates

--> Helsinki-to-Vuokatti Transportation Updates

-> As of early this week, it is clear that flight options out of Kajaani on Saturday, February 17 are either sold out or very close. Flights out of Oulu and Kuopio on Saturday, 17th are also quickly filling. The Vuokatti OC is asking FinnAir to consider adding an outbound flight for the 17th, but there is zero guarantee this is possible. This situation has relevance for USA skiers that have not booked your MWC2024 flights yet and are not doing the USA mini-tour after the MWC2024. 

-> Options for flying into Kajaani on Thursday, February 8 remain fairly open (there are two FinnAir flights), but all USA skiers (including those doing the mini-tour) are strongly urged to make that inbound flight booking very soon to make sure you have it secured.

-> Alternative options for Helsinki-to-Vuokatti transportation remain as AXCS has described for several months now. Here goes on a quick summary....

a. You can search for FinnAir flights into or out of Oulu or Kuopio airports. Both of these regional airports have more flights than Kajaani and you are likely to still find open seats both inbound (Feb 8) and outbound (Feb 17). But you should act quickly!!!

b. Since it is very difficult to fly out of Helsinki to USA gateways in the afternoon/evening anyways, you can consider flying from Kajaani/Oulu/Kuopio down to Helsinki on Friday, February 16. You would spend the night at a Helsinki Airport hotel the night of the 16th. Then fly home on Saturday early morning. Seats on flights from all three regional airports are more open right now Friday. Note that if you are skiing the long distance skate races, you can only book an evening flight down to Helsinki (Kajaani is best as it's only 30mins shuttle). Also note that you will skip the MWC2024 banquet with this plan.

c. You can research if the timelines for train travel between Helsinki and Kajaani (passenger rail service doesn't go into Vuokatti) will work for your needs. Finnish Railways (VR) is found here. The rail journey will take 6-7 hours from the main Helsinki station. Skiers from 2016 have told AXCS this is a fun option. Between the Helsinki Airport and main Helsinki station you will need to get a separate ticket for the "HSL area" which you almost certainly do not need to get in advance (this would be the equivalent of a city train or subway which you buy in the airport or main station on arrival).

d. Email JD for help << jd at xcskiworld dot com >> if you cannot figure out your individual situation. 


Wednesday, September 27 -- 11:30am Pacific Time updates

--> Updates for Post-MWC2024 Mini-Tour 

Most important update is that we have around a couple dozen USA folks confirmed as strongly interested or committed to the Post-MWC2024 Mini-Tour of Southern Finland Ski Spots (Feb 17-18-19) -- and thus we are "GO" with this part of the Vuokatti adventure.

A few items are still subject to change, but our planned itinerary has been holding up logistically and this all looks to be a very fun add-on to the MWC2024 experience.

If you have NOT committed via email to JD that you want to be part of the Mini-Tour, please email jd at xcskiworld dot com as soon as possible and let JD know that you want to be put into the planning mix.

Here's the breakdown of the Mini-Tour Itinerary

--> The last MWC race day is Friday, February 16, so the “mini-tour” is designed to start the next morning.

--> Day One: Beginning the morning of Saturday, February 17 (we will tentatively use 8am as time of departure) we will board a charter bus(es) in Vuokatti and travel roughly 2.5 hours south to Kuopio. We will ski local trails (as long as you wish), potentially add some local attractions as a group, and stay overnight. We will use Scandic Atlas as our "official" AXCS hotel which is in the city center allowing for easy walking for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. 

--> Day Two: The morning of Sunday, February 18 we will load the bus(es) again using a tentative departure time of 8am, and travel roughly 2 hours to Jyväskylä which is a very famous race venue similar to Vuokatti. We'll ski local trails there (as much as you wish). After skiing and eating lunch, we’ll continue another 2 hours further to the southwest to Tampere which is consistently being mentioned by AXCS contacts as a “must see” tourism spot. Tampere is famous for mostly off trail afternoon/evening adventures (although there are smaller ski trail systems available, so you probably can ski more there if you really want to). Our recommended hotel is Torni Sokos (same brand as our USA hotel in Vuokatti).

--> Day Three: Finally, on Monday, February 19 we will drive 2 hours to Lahti (famous World Cup venue & location of the Finlandia Worldloppet). We will ski local Lahti trails (as much as you wish) and then drive a final hour down to the Helsinki Airport area and the “mini-tour” official end point. We should be able to get to the Helsinki airport by mid-to-late afternoon (roughly 3-4pm) on the 19th so everyone will have several options at your disposal. You can immediately hop on evening flights back home or elsewhere in Europe. Or you can check-in to an airport hotel (AXCS recommends two options dialed right at the airport). If you want, you can take a train into Helsinki for evening sight-seeing.

Pricing for the mini-tour at this point really depends on the number of participant confirmations we get. The one universal cost is transportation and JD's guesstimate right now for bus transport is around 200-250 EUR per person. Final cost depends on the final number if paid participants. Final cost will be quoted and billed when we do the Lodging Balance payments in November.

AXCS has secured discounted group rates for both "official" hotels along the mini-tour route (Sat, 17th and Sun, 18th). All skiers will be responsible for making your own hotel bookings for the mini-tour.

Lunch/dinners and any fees for skiing will be additional costs determined each day and for which you will pay on your own. 

Next steps....

If you have not already let JD know that you are seriously-interested in the mini-tour, please send J.D. a "yes, seriously interested in the mini-tour" message via email << jd at xcskiworld dot com >> or phone (5413170217) as soon as possible. Although we have enough people to make the mini-tour "GO" -- we need to know if you are joining us because a lot more skiers would change some logistics and costs with buses and hotels.

The best guess is that we will need to "lock things in" for the mini-tour by late November with the transportation and any admin costs being non-refundable up to a certain level (although you could "sell" your spot).

Overall the mini-tour is shaping up to be a once-in-a- lifetime chance to experience multiple famous locations in Southern Finland with easy and flexible logistics. Our aim is for everyone to be able to customize your time on the trails each of the 3 days based on how you feel each day, the weather, etc.. We'll combine great skiing with plenty of new sights to see and places to explore in Southern Finland off the snow.


Monday, September 11 -- 10:30pm Pacific Time updates

--> Helsinki Airport General Notes

The Helsinki airport is exceptionally modern and recently updated in many sections.

There are limited direct flights from USA gateways. These are very worth considering given the extra time required (both directions) to transit via more “normal” European gateways such as Amsterdam, Munich, Paris, London, etc. as well as the necessity of at least one more significant travel leg beyond Helsinki to/from Vuokatti. Even if the price is a bit higher, a direct Helsinki flight from a USA gateway can keep your total number of flights down to three which is much easier on you physically, requires less time, and reduces the risk of complications from missed connections, bags going awry, etc..

Smart tip: HEL ticketing and security tends to move super fast especially in the early hours so planning terminal arrival 2 hours before your flight time is plenty of elbow room even for international departures.

--> Hotels at the Helsinki Airport 

AXCS has previewed (in Fall 2022) and can strongly recommended two great hotel options immediately outside the HEL arrival hall to break up your travel to/from USA and Vuokatti. Both of these hotels can easily be booked on-line yourself. Note: If we have enough folks doing the post-MWC mini-tour of Southern Finland Ski Spots, AXCS can ask about getting a group rate for the night of Monday, February 19.

Scandic Helsinki Airport and Hilton Helsinki Airport are very large and modern hotels within a whopping 4-6 minute walk (yes, that is easy walking time) of the arrival hall doors. Pricing on both hotels is similar (<$200 USD single). Scandic is a bit higher in price as breakfast is usually included. Both offer a (very) early breakfast option (starting 3am) and the Scandic option even in the wee hours is a complete feast. Both hotels have on-site restaurants for PM meals, but if you retrace your short 4-6 minute walk back to the arrivals hall (outside of security) you can find an entire food court of lower priced food/drink options plus a small 24-hour grocery market with amazingly competitive prices on all sorts of things you don’t normally find at an airport mini-mart.

Note on the walking route to the Scandic and Hilton hotels, once you pass the final customs declaration doors and reach the arrival hall (you’ll see folks waiting to welcome arrivals), proceed past the food courts and shops, turn right into essentially a paved outdoor parking lot and courtyard where there are bus boarding stations. Scandic is immediately across that area and Hilton is the next building over. There are signs that guide you to both entrances. In rain/snow there are also covered walkways for the majority of the short walk plus short-hop elevators to avoid a couple sets of stairs.

Other hotel options at or near the Helsinki Airport....

There are many other nearby hotels reached by shuttles and one other option in the airport campus (GLO Hotel -- AXCS did not try this option) that may or may not offer lower pricing. JD (AXCS) has stayed off-airport for MWC2016 and found both Scandic/Hilton totally worth the extra cost given not only the proximity to the terminal plus ease of finding a variety of food options at reasonable prices (shockingly difficult at the off-airport hotels). Bottomline: If you are a tight budget, there are many hotels a shuttle away from the terminal that will price generally $60-80 USD lower for a one night stay. But skiers won’t go wrong with the Scandic Airport and Hilton Airport options.


Thursday, July 20 -- 2:30pm Pacific Time updates

--> Arrival and/or Departure Regional Airport Connections to Vuokatti

Several USA folks have asked when/how you need to set up airport shuttles from regional airports (Kajaani, Oulu, Kuopio a per the June 12 updates),

The MWC2024 OC plans to have a system to set up airport shuttles. We do not know the cost yet and JD does not anticipate a system being in place until late fall. But we know that is the organizer plan. 

AXCS will have more detailed info on the airport shuttle process by the late fall. 



Monday, June 12 --  4:30pm Pacific Time updates 

--> Detailed Info On Arrival & Departure Travel Planning

The MWC2024 has a wide range of options on how USA skiers can plan your individual travel to and from Vuokatti. It is assumed that most folks will transit in and out of Helsinki -- but the options come in with how and when you get too/from Helsinki and Vuokatti.

This winter you do have a lot of viable options with the MWC2024 trip on date of arrival and departure in terms of both lodging and ground transfers from airports. That's not always the case with MWC events. Our USA lodging options can be modified for any date of arrival or departure. The Organizing Committee will be setting up ground bus/van transfers (at cost) and you should be able to get an airport transfer for any flight in/out of the three airports listed below. 

One additional flux issue for MWC2024 will be the development of the proposed AXCS "mini-tour of Southern Finland" targeting the 3 days following MWC2024 (February 17-19). An update on the mini-tour is posted below.

Domestic Finnish Travel Decisions You'll Need To Make

Inbound: AXCS has used a couple different methods to get to Vuokatti and the first thing you will need to figure out is which overall inbound plan suits your needs the best. 

Option "A" involves flying from your USA starting spot into Helsinki (HEL) -- overnight at a Helsinki Airport hotel (AXCS has a couple solid recommendations right at the airport itself) -- then complete the journey into Vuokatti the next day. Pros: Splits up what otherwise is a very long inbound travel process. Gets you started with time adjustment. Potential Con: May or may not add a travel day with lodging/food cost.

Option "B" involves a long travel string from your USA starting spot thru the domestic Finland travel steps. Pro: Gets all travel out of the way. Potential Cons: Depending on how long it takes you to get to Helsinki, can be a very long/taxing travel process. If it takes 3+ flights/20 hours to get you to Helsinki -- this isn't a wise option. But some home-to-Helsinki sequences are fast enough that adding the two steps (short flight + ground shuttle) to complete the trip into Vuokatti might not be a huge deal.

Outbound: You again have the options above (in reverse), but you also should consider whether or not you want to consider the "mini-tour of Southern Finland ski spots" AXCS is working on (see below for the current mini-tour thoughts). If you did opt for the mini-tour, your outbound plan from Vuokatti is pre-planned for you. But if you skip the mini-tour, figuring out whether to overnight in Helsinki again needs to be considered mainly because it can be tricky lining up the flight to Helsinki to match your trans-Atlantic flight(s).

Options for Helsinki -Vuokatti travel

--> Fly: The fastest option is to fly, but the trick is deciding which Central Finland airport you use and when. Domestic plane tickets are around 200-250 EUR per person roundtrip.

The closest airport is Kajaani (KAJ) with a roughly 30 minute shuttle to Vuokatti. The downside with Kajaani is that there are only two inbound options (only via FinnAir) on Thurs, Feb 8 and only one outbound option on Sat, Feb 17. Notable: There's also 2 flights on Friday.

There are multiple daily direct flight options on FinnAir between Helsinki (HEL) and both Oulu and Kuopio airports with roughly one hour flight times. The downside with both these airport options is that you will have a longer shuttle ride (2.5 hours Kuopio, 3 hours Oulu).

--> Rail: It is possible to take rail from the Helsinki airport to Kajanni (one transfer, roughly 6 hours total) and then a 30 minute ground shuttle into Vuokatti. Several USA skiers used this option in 2016 and liked going this route even with the extra time involved. 

When to start booking travel components

Over the spring months, flight pricing has been relatively stable for Winter 2024. But if you know that you are 100% planning to travel on certain inbound and outbound dates now, you can jump on good flight sequences (at least for trans-Atlantic flights) when you wish. It will be useful to keep an eye on FinnAir seat capacity if you really want/need to be on certain planes (particularly in/out of Kajaani to/from Helsinki). On the other hand, if you want to see the final plan for the AXCS "mini-tour" optional extension, it might be a good idea to wait into July to see more details. 


Update on the "mini-tour of Southern Finland ski spots" post-MWC2024

Below are the current thoughts on this potential add-on. Everything you see is subject to change -- but AXCS has gotten some excellent input from super knowledgable folks and a plan is for sure developing. AXCS is still trying to nail down a tour partner. But we also may just see if we can set up logistics ourselves and if so -- the hope is by mid-July pinning down how many USA skiers are really keen about the mini-tour.

Very rough draft plan as of June 12 

Day One: Beginning the morning of Saturday, February 17 we would board a charter bus(es) at Vuokatti Sport and travel roughly 2.5 hours south to Kuopio. We will ski local trails (as much as you wish), potentially add some local attractions, and stay overnight. 

Day Two: On Sunday, February 18 we will travel roughly 2 hours to Jyväskylä and ski local trails there (as much as you wish). AXCS is then working on a choice of options. We might overnight in Jyväskylä (the caveat is that it's much like Vuokatti and mostly the claim to fame is as a National Sport Center). The other thought is (after skiing and eating) continue another couple hours further to the southeast to Tampere which is consistently being mentioned by AXCS contacts as a "must see" tourism spot for mostly off trail afternoon/evening adventures (although there are smaller ski trail systems available). We'll continue working on this part.

Day Three: Finally, on Monday, February 19 the thought is to head to Lahti (famous World Cup venue & location of the Finlandia Worldloppet). The drive would be roughly 2 hours regardless of whether we start from Jyväskylä or Tampere. We will ski local Lahti trails (as much as you wish) and then drive a final hour down to the Helsinki Airport area and the "mini-tour" official end point. We should be able to get to the airport by mid-afternoon so from that point everyone will have several options at your disposal. You can immediately hop on evening flights back home or elsewhere in Europe. Or you can check-in to an airport hotel (AXCS has a couple great options dialed right at the airport) and take a train into Helsinki for sight-seeing.

If anyone has specific thoughts or suggestions with this draft plan, please feel free to send word to JD at your earliest convenience -- jd at xcskiworld dot com


Thursday, June 8 --  12:30pm Pacific Time updates 

--> USA Reservation Deposits Required as of June 10

Effective Saturday, June 10 -- to place and hold a reservation with the Team USA Lodging Package for MWC2024, you will need to pay a $750 per person deposit and also have at least one person in the hotel room or apartment with current AXCS membership.

All the information you need about the MWC2024 deposit including terms/conditions can is found via this page.

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Saturday, February 10 --  3:30pm Vuokatti Time updates 


-> As expected, tomorrow's races will be limited to just the middle distance CLASSIC technique events. (see below for "why for"). First start will take place at 12pm "high noon". 

-> If you are registered for the middle distance SKATE technique races, that start is now scheduled to happen on Wednesday afternoon. 

-> The Sunday race order will be same as previously published. But the new start times for each category start is being adjusted right now by the Race Office. Expect a complete new schedule to be posted on and via the What's App messages in the next couple hours.

-> The race course will open for CLASSIC-only ski testing, warm-up, and skiing from 10am - 11:55am. Anyone skiing in that span must ski in the direction of the race only (you could re-trace a section by going to the extreme outside of the track). The entire race course is completely closed to non-racers as of 11:55am until the end of all races (roughly 3pm).

 -> The working adjusted MWC2024 schedule is now......

Sunday, 11th -- Middle Distance Classic Races (12pm first category start)

Monday, 12th -- Short Distance Skate Races (12pm first category start)

Tuesday, 13th -- Relays (12pm first relay start)

Wednesday, 14th -- 9am: Short Distance Classic Races; 1pm Middle Distance Skate Races

Thursday, 15th -- Long Distance Classic Races (original schedule)

Friday, 16th -- Long Distance Skate Races (original schedule)


REALLY IMPORTANT ITEM: Skiers that are registered to race both the short distance classic and the medium distance skate (now both being held Wednesday) are being given an exclusive option to switch one of those Wednesday events to the short distance skate race (now being held on Monday). There isn't enough time to allow anyone to switch to the middle distance classic race (sorry). Please inform JD via email or in-person ASAP if you qualify for a switch and what race you want to drop.


-> Rationale for the race changes and the way the Sun-Weds schedule tweaks? 

The continued cold weather is only forecasted to allow one race per day within reliably "legal" racing temperatures thru Tuesday. So the Race Jury, WMA, and Organizing Committee had no choice but to make adjustments. The earliest a double day can happen in weather forecasts is Wednesday, so that also was a no-brainer if we were going to get all planned races in this week.

The adjusted schedule allows 50% of the original planned races for both Sunday and Monday to happen on the original planned days. This is super important for domestic (Finnish) skiers that are driving here specifically for 1-2 days (high % of the total field). Further, the field for the short skate race is the largest single race selection for the MWC2024. 

By using the rest day and moving the relay (the shortest competition day), the re-worked schedule keeps all racing in the warmest periods of the first 4 race days. Forecasts are showing great race weather for both long distance days so no changes necessary.

Sunday, 11th Detailed Race Plan

Coming soon.......



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AXCS Travel Package Deposit Payment Process (all the info you need on the various ways to pay your Deposit for AXCS Travel Package reservations)

AXCS Travel Package Pricing & Details

Break Sokos Hotel (AXCS has a large block of single & double rooms reserved for Team USA)

Vuokatti Sport Chalets (AXCS has a cluster of chalet apartments reserved for Team USA) Added note on apartment chalets -- there is a small supermarket 1.6km away walking on plowed multi-user paths over pretty gentle terrain. It's also possible to get a few things in the “sport campus” area as well. 

AXCS International Ski Travel Tips & FAQ

Team USA Ground Transfer Chart & Payment Process

Current MWC2024 AXCS Lodging & USA Trip Chart (last update January 27 -- 8:00pm PST)

USA Race Entry Helpful Tips

List of All Current MWC2024 Registrations

Local Web Cams & Ski Conditions:  Local road cams so you can see snow amounts