Vail Daily column: My favorite time of year |

Vail Daily column: My favorite time of year

Aldo Radamus

If I were to pick my favorite time of year at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, I would have to say it would be right now. It is the culmination of months and months of hard work since those last turns were taken on Golden Peak last April on the part of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes, coaches, staff and parents, all in preparation for the next snowsports season.

This preparation can take many forms. For athletes, it ranges anywhere from conditioning, physical testing, off-season camps, summer academic courses to lighten winter workloads to equipment selection and preparation, just to name a few. For year-round staff, it includes attracting and retaining the best people to develop and inspire our athletes in the upcoming season, running off-season camps and training, working with Vail Mountain on the training and competition venues, special events (including our 44th year of the Swap!), competition planning, developing and delivering comprehensive staff training offerings and implementing changes for the upcoming season based on thoughtful feedback from parents, athletes and staff. For parents, it comes down to determining the best programs academically and athletically to meet their children’s needs for the upcoming season while supporting and encouraging them every step of the way.

Early-season training off and running

Over 50 full-time Ski & Snowboard Club Vail staff were feeling more ready than ever when they began their on-snow season this past Saturday at Golden Peak thanks to a comprehensive two-week educational series spearheaded by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Human Performance Director John Cole. This two-week program included topics ranging from advanced coaching concepts, safety protocols, learning and coaching theory and CPR and AED, to customer experience strategies. Parents and athletes participated in symposiums on concussion education, managing athlete and parent expectations and parent and athlete club relationships delivered by professionals in their field. This could not have been possible without our partners in performance —U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assocation, United States Olympic Committee, Sports Legacy Institute, Vail Resorts Ski School and Risk Management and Starting Hearts who collaborated with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail to make this industry leading educational series possible.

The smiles could not have been broader as athletes took that first run down Golden Peak on a stellar, sunny first weekend of November with perfect early season training conditions thanks to the dauntless efforts of Vail Mountain. National Team members, Collegians as well as youth athletes from around the world will be joining us on Golden Peak throughout November to take advantage of the world-class conditions as well. We are blessed every day for the Golden Peak venue and the support of Vail Mountain and our generous donors in providing our athletes with the best early season training conditions possible right in our own backyard.

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Celebrating the start of the season

It is not just the athletes celebrating the start of the snow season. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is looking forward to its community-wide opening Celebration of Winter Cocktail Party and Silent Auction at Lodge at Vail this Saturday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Details and tickets are available at This Ski & Snowboard Club Vail tradition is enjoyed by Ski and Snowboard Club Vail parents and community members alike to kick off the season, catch up with old friends and welcome new families to the valley. I look forward to the Celebration of Winter each year, as it truly captures the essence of why my family and I moved to Vail so many years ago — to be a part of a like-minded community that we felt then, and continue to feel now, is truly the best place on earth!

I hope you will tune in each week to hear more about what is happening with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail and its athletes.

It will surely prove to be an exciting Olympic year as we watch our youngsters and our many Ski & Snowboard Club Vail current and alumni Olympic hopefuls fulfill their dreams!

Aldo Radamus is executive director of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1962 to provide training and competition programs for aspiring young ski racers and remains true to its roots today, instilling values of character, courage and commitment in more than 600 youngsters in its alpine, freeskiing, freestyle, Nordic and snowboarding programs. For more information, go to, email or call 970-790-5161.

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