Team Summit holds spring race camp at Copper Mtn. |

Team Summit holds spring race camp at Copper Mtn.

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

COPPER MOUNTAIN ” Believe it or not, there is still lift-served skiing to be had in Summit County.

To get a lift ride, however, you have to be a participant in one of the spring race camps now being hosted by Copper Mountain Resort.

Team Summit, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail and the U.S. Ski Team’s National Development System (NDS) are all conducting spring camps this week at Copper.

Copperopolis and Ptarmigan, both serviced by the Excelerator lift, are being used by racers.

Summit High School racer Drew Hauser, who has been taking advantage of Copper’s camps for several years, has found the speedy chairlift to be conducive to training.

“You can take so many laps on (the Excelerator),” Hauser said. “I would say anywhere from five to eight per hour. That includes stopping at the top and talking to the coaches so they can tell you what the next drill is.”

Team Summit’s training philosophy for the week ahead is simple: return to fundamentals.

“Spring and summer are the times to work on basics,” Team Summit alpine director Sean Ramsden said. “It’s like doing drills for any other sport. And you get to do it without having to worry about a race coming up.”

Ramsden is presiding over the nine-day camp, which began on Friday. He said there were approximately 45 racers signed up, many of whom were in the younger ranks.

“The older kids get to ski side by side with the younger kids much more than usual,” Ramsden said. “It gives them a chance to be a mentor.”

“It’s good for the little kids,” Team Summit veteran Fletcher McDonald said. “If they’re doing a drill and they see a more skilled athlete doing the same thing, they try harder.”

Quantum Sports Club alum Chelsea Lynch is one of nearly 50 racers who was invited to train with the NDS. Lynch, who plans to ski for the University of Vermont next winter, is a big proponent of spring and summer training.

“What you do between the end of the season and the fall determines your next season,” Lynch said. “Once you get into the (winter), there’s so much going on, you can’t perfect anything. You just work with what you have and what you have is what you got from summer training.”

Jordan Poyfair was Team Summit’s lone freestyle representative at Copper on Sunday. It was her first day back on skis after she spent several weeks recovering from a herniated disk.

Poyfair’s presence at Team Summit’s alpine camp was something of an anomaly.

“It will be interesting,” freestyle coach John Dowling said. “Jordan is the first (freestyler) we’ve had do just alpine training. We’re going to see if we can get some crossover.”

Poyfair came to Copper in need of some precious time on snow after missing the recent freestyle team camp at A-Basin.

The quick-healing Denver resident seems to like what little snow is left.

“The conditions are easier to use because they’re less variable,” Poyfair said. “It’s nice being able to practice on slushy conditions before you move back to harder snow.”

Team Summit campers spend their mornings on the hill before adjourning to video sessions and lunch. Race-camp afternoons involve various types of dryland workouts including hiking, circuit training and some swimming, according to Ramsden.

Team Summit has two more summer camps planned ” one will be at Oregon’s Mt. Hood in July and the other will take place in Chile during August.

Summer racing camps may not be for everyone, but as Hauser pointed out, most people who attend them are there for the same reason.

“It’s a really concentrated group of good skiers,” Hauser said. “If kids are coming to summer camp, it means they’re good and they want to get better.”

Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at

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