Grace Staberg podiums at pair of French ski mountaineering events
FRISCO — After the highs and lows of the Youth Olympics experience, Grace Staberg podiumed at a pair of French Championship series ski mountaineering events this past weekend.
In Courchevel, France on Friday, Staberg finished first in a vertical race in the youth 18-20 age-group division. The next day she finished in third place at the French Championships individual race.
Saturday’s race was the bigger one for Staberg, as it was the official French Championships individual race. The French Championship vertical had previously taken place in December.
In terms of competition, Staberg said the individual race was as challenging as the Youth Olympics. The course was longer and featured more off-piste portions, including a pair of couloir climbs, which Staberg appreciated for the challenge.
Despite still feeling tired from the Youth Olympics, Staberg was happy with the third-place finish at the event that featured the best of the best from France.
“I was hoping for a bit more, at least second,” Staberg said in a phone interview on Tuesday, “but I ended up having some issues with my bindings. I skied all of the descents with my heels out, which lost me a lot of time on the descents. So in the end I was happy with third and think it went well, but I’m excited to see how I stack up against similar competition at races in the future.”
Staberg will continue in the coming weeks on the European ski mountaineering circuit with Summit County senior-level athlete Sierra Anderson and French skimo legend Laetitia Roux. Her next stop will be to competitions this coming weekend in Andorra. She’ll then head off for events in Germany, China and Italy.
After that, Staberg plans to come back to Colorado to race in the Power of Four in Aspen, the Five Peaks in Breckenridge and possibly U.S. Nationals in Big Sky, Montana.
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