By David Schissler – Ann, along with White Book contributor Joan Wallen and I, recently had an exceptional day at Waterville Valley. Blue skies, mild temps, uncrowded trails and corduroy late into the afternoon made it a day we hated to see end. We were there to preview the US Ski Team National Championships taking place at Waterville 3/23-3/26. The mountain is hosting the technical events for both men and women. These races are a large part of determining rankings for next season and can determine who gets funded, who goes to Europe
We decided to warm our legs with a quick run under the Valley Chair, a relatively tame trail that will basically allow you to perform a diagnostic test of your immediate capabilities. Anyone over 50 knows what I mean. Satisfied that the mountain would not get the better of us this day, we headed over to the Green Peak triple. This is Waterville’s newest terrain with a couple of blue square cruisers and several seriously steep, rock strewn trails. We headed to Governor’s Run, were we found very good snow with lots of corduroy. It was such fun we decided to ski it a few more times.
It was time to go to work. We headed over to the White Caps HSQ to examine the race course trails. At the top we saw some members of the US Ski Team’s advance crew already on site to ensure the slalom and giant slalom courses were properly prepared. We skied Old Tecumseh to access the bottom of the famous Tommy’s World Cup race course, the site of numerous and historic World Cup races in the past. Looking up the slalom hill we could see the courses looked superb. The trails had been closed to the public for over a week prior to allow the Waterville crew to work its magic and to keep the public off of the pristine tracks. The result? Very firm courses. Just the way the racers like it. We were also able to scope out where we wanted to locate ourselves to have the best vantage point to cover the event
Having accomplished our advance goals we turned it loose again, skiing all around the mountain. We also heard an interesting rumor going around the mountain that Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Ted Ligety could be on scene to support and cheer on the team. You can imagine the buzz this created.
I’ll be attending a couple of the events. Stay tuned for a report on the vibe.
Here’s a link to the schedule on the Ski Team site: https://usskiandsnowboard.org/…/waterville-valley-host-2019…
There’s also useful info on Waterville’s site at: http://www.waterville.com/alpinechampionships