Vail Daily column: A new season for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Extended periods of cold and natural snowfall arrived a bit later than normal to Vail this season, but by no means dampened the spirits of competitive snowsports athletes of all ages from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail as well as those arriving from around the world to train at Golden Peak.
With the unseasonably warm fall weather, Vail Mountain snow makers, groomers and SSCV operations worked through the night in early November to capture those precious moments when temperatures and humidity cooperated to enable the production of man-made snow. Mother Nature stepped in with an arctic cold blast and extended periods of heavy snowfall, instantly changing the lingering summer to full winter conditions.
Following three days of nonstop grooming efforts of Vail Resorts, an all-hands-on-deck effort of 40 SSCV alpine coaches at dawn setting up the b-net created the “perfect race arena” overnight at Golden Peak for local youth, visiting collegiate athletes and World Cup athletes alike. National teams from more than 15 nations, as well as college and university teams from both the East Coast and Western colleges and junior teams from around the country descended on Vail to take advantage of what many visiting teams called “the best training in the world.”
MORE RESOURCES AT Minturn Fitness Center
Adding to the training opportunities of our visiting teams this season were the facilities for strength training and conditioning at the Minturn Fitness Center, the newly opened human-performance center adjacent to Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy in Minturn.
Opened in late summer, the Minturn Fitness Center was the result of a partnership between the town of Minturn and SSCV. Open to the public, as well as for the training of athletes, the MFC provides individual and family memberships and is currently offering a New Year’s special on annual memberships, with December included free!
What’s to come
Nothing can quite compare to the excitement of these first few weeks at Golden Peak as SSCV and visiting youth and collegiate athletes realize the fruits of their offseason labors at summer training camps and fall conditioning sessions, and as our elite-level international guests ready themselves for their early season World Cup starts in North America.
The excitement is multiplied this year as so many of these visiting world-class athletes, including SSCV alumni, aspire to be back in the Vail Valley for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February, an event second only to the Olympics in terms of prestige.
This past weekend, SSCV also began a new community-focused program at Golden Peak sponsored by Alpine Bank — the Get in the Gates Recreational Race Program. This program is available to all ages and abilities. Whether just wanting to improve skiing skills through running gates, getting a head start on town series, supplementing high school training, preparing for Vail Cup or adding to Buddy Werner Program training, Get in the Gates is for you!
Held every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon through March 15 (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve), racers and aspiring racers can get time in the gates at Golden Peak under the leadership of former U.S. Ski Team coach and SSCV Executive Director Erik Steinberg.
A total of 60 sessions and 120 hours of training are offered at an introductory price of $895. Any junior skier may apply for an SSCV “Simple” Scholarship of up to $500 providing the season-long program for under $400. The Alpine Bank Get in the Gates program provides accessibility to ski race training for everyone in the Vail Valley.
Focus on financial accessibility and youth
If you live in Eagle County, an SSCV postcard mailer has arrived at your home outlining the importance of SSCV snowsports programs as a vehicle for developing the youth of our valley into confident and productive young men and women, and the critical role which SSCV scholarships play in achieving these goals.
I ask you to please take a moment to read through this piece to gain a better understanding of what SSCV seeks to accomplish for local youngsters and to then consider supporting SSCV’s scholarship goals. Whether SSCV leads these children to becoming World Cup racers taking their early season turns at Golden Peak or to becoming confident, focused and resilient young adults through the vehicle of competitive snowsports, they all have the opportunity to develop character, courage and commitment, learning valuable life lessons while developing a love for the outdoors, healthy lifestyles and a passion for life.