Axelle Gachet-Mollaret of France, right, has won a record 11 individual Ski Mountaineering World Cup races ©Getty Images

International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) President Regula Meier has predicted "the bar will be higher than ever" at the 2023 World Championships, set to begin at Boí Taüll in the Spanish Pyrenees.

A record 298 competitors from 27 countries are set to race over the five days of competition.

"I have to admit that it is so rewarding to see delegations from countries that do not have a long past in our sport like China and some others that have just arrived to ski mountaineering at its best," Meier said.

"We have been blessed this year with brilliant racing and superb organisation in all the events hosted so far, we know the bar will be even higher here in Boí Taüll."

Competition begins on Tuesday with the sprint, the shortest race on the programme and an Olympic discipline which will be contested at Milan Cortina 2026.

The event begins with individual qualification as skiers start at 20 second intervals, followed by elimination rounds of six skiers per race as the field is narrowed down before the final.

In the women’s races, all eyes are sure to be on the French contingent, especially after world number one ranked Emily Harrop led home an unprecedented clean sweep at the recent World Cup at Val Martello in Italy along with compatriots Léna Bonnel and Célia Perillat-Pessey.

World number two Giulia Murada of Italy is also in fine form after stepping up from the juniors.

She marked herself as one to watch when she won the under 23 vertical title in the 2021 World Championships at Comapedrosa in Andorra.

Meanwhile, Axelle Gachet-Mollaret of France has maintained the form which has seen her win four of the last five overall Women’s World Cups.

She has also won her last eleven races and is hoping to repeat her World Championships success in 2021 when she took gold in both vertical and individual races.

Switzerland's Remi Bonnet, right, has won four of his last five races this season ©Getty Images
Switzerland's Remi Bonnet, right, has won four of his last five races this season ©Getty Images

In the men’s competition, 2021 men’s World Cup winner Matteo Eydallin of Italy is also set to enter the World Championships on the back of a victory.

He won the individual race in Val Martello admitting he was "lucky and smart last time out".

Switzerland’s Remi Bonnet won the vertical race at the World Championships in Andorra two years ago and is also in a rich vein of form this season.

Out of five starts this season, he has four victories and one second place.

The competition programme is scheduled throughout the week with vertical Races on Wednesday.

Organisers insist the course does not become steep until the last 200 vertical metres.

On Thursday, the team event returns to the programme for the first time in four years. 

This is the longest and considered the most technically demanding event of the week.

A rest day is scheduled for Friday (March 3) followed by individual races on Saturday (March 4).

The mixed relay on Sunday (March 5) concludes the events.