Go to a glacier, "Boom! It’s winter’ | SummitDaily.com

Go to a glacier, "Boom! It’s winter’

Shauna Farnell

SAAS FEE, Switzerland – Wherever there’s still snow in the world, skiers from Quantum Sports Club are sure to find it. A group of 16 skiers from Quantum’s Masters, Ability and Age Class teams recently returned from glacier training in Switzerland.

“It was really good,” said Ron Emery, Quantum Masters coach who accompanied his team to Europe. ” The snow was considerably better, even, than Mount Hood. We trained right next to some of the junior national teams.”

The glacier at Saas Fee is a summertime hub for European ski and snowboard team training, and also for those traveling from as far as Japan.

“The snow cover is pretty dense up there, even though they didn’t have a spectacular winter,” Emery said. “They had a good snow year up on the glacier. The snow was a decent consistency, it felt like something between spring and winter. There were about 23 lanes open to ski, plus a big lane for the public. There were three lifts running and three trams. It was amazing. You’d step out of the train, and boom! It was winter.”

The group primarily focused on giant slalom and super-G training. They spent 12 days altogether in Saas Fee and also traveled to Zermatt.

As far as snow in America, most local ski clubs train at Mount Hood, Ore., at least once in the summer for a few days of gate running on the snowfield. The Quantum Elite Team trained at Mount Hood at the beginning of the summer and leave for a second trip Aug. 24 before returning to Summit County for conditioning, then departing for more on-snow training in the Italian Alps before the season kicks off.

“All the water and snow that we don’t have is still available at Mount Hood right now,” said John Leffler, Quantum Elite head coach. “They were on the good part of the jet all winter. Everybody’s hoping for snow around here this winter, though; even people who don’t ski.”

Quantum coaches commented on the lack of anything so much as a snow patch this winter on any of Summit County’s peaks. Local early-season on-snow training will be contingent on snowmaking, they said.

“It was dangerous training last year in the preseason,” Leffler said. “Everybody’s always fighting for the one lane that’s open at one or two of the resorts.”

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.

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