The lifts weren’t spinning for the public at Loveland Ski Area on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Loveland Ski Club was doing on-snow training on both days, leading the way for Summit-area ski clubs.
Team Breckenridge and Team Summit are currently finishing off-season conditioning before heading onto the snow in the coming week. Loveland Ski Area opens to the public today.
“Everyone who’s been here training is thrilled,” Loveland Ski Club director and former U.S. Ski Team coach John Hale said. “It’s great to see; it always takes a massive amount of effort behind the scenes.”
Hale credited Loveland’s snowmaking efforts and the early season snow for making it possible for the team to start training so soon.
“I think it’s incredibly exciting. It’s such an early start date,” program manager Jennifer Ryan said.
In the four years that Hale has been in charge of the program he’s worked to expand snowmaking at Loveland, specifically for training purposes. His efforts have included buying snow machines specifically for their training area.
“When I first proposed October snowmaking (for training), the questions was ‘who wants to ski in October?’”
And now “more and more teams are coming to Loveland in October, because of our track record,” he said.
The club, in association with the ski area, also rents lane space to professional and amateur teams.
Hale said that with the cold weather and the new snow early in the week, “Training yesterday was phenomenal.”
Team Summit will not be far behind; team members will hit the snow for the first time this Saturday at Copper.
“It’s a great time of the year for the whole club,” Team Summit media relations manager Peter Alexander said. The team has been working on conditioning by doing everything from CrossFit training in Frisco to water ramp training in Steamboat Springs and Park City, Utah.
Much like Hale over at Loveland, Team Summit free-ski coach Chris Carson said the team will start the season with “the fundamentals,” in order to get back into the rhythm of on-snow training.
Team Breckenridge will wrap up off-season conditioning next week with its first on-snow day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on Thursday, Oct. 24. The club has been training four to five days a week at the Breckenridge Recreation Center in the weeks leading up to getting back on the snow. The team also has been working on conditioning assessments in association with the Rocky Mountain Division of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
“It’s a great time for our kids to come off of their conditioning,” Team Breck alpine director Chelsea Lynch said. “After the last couple years this is really awesome to have. We’re really excited with the snow.”