The Outsider: Tigers rugby at state and Frisco skimo |

The Outsider: Tigers rugby at state and Frisco skimo

SDN sports editor Phil Lindeman.

I’m sitting at the base of Peak 8 on a bluebird opening day, where — after a relatively slow start — things are already bumping. The patio at One Ski Hill place is packed, the T-Bar is cranking out Bloody Marys like an assembly line and at least 2,000 people are soaking up the Breck atmosphere. There’s even a Red Bull truck parked on the snow cranking tunes.

It’s good to be in Summit right now. Sure, the lines are long and tedious — by 10 a.m. it took at least 15 minutes to get on Colorado SuperChair — but I’m not complaining. Soon enough more runs will open with another (hopefully) big storm, and besides, there’s already a three-pack at the top of Park Lane. It’s almost funny to think that just three weeks ago we were worried about another barren start to the season.

Thing is, you can’t quite predict the sports scene in this place, and often it has nothing to do with snow. About a week ago we wrapped up a series on ski club all-stars, including 15-year-old mogul skier Jason Tilley (a Tigers football player in the off-season) and 10-year-old future superstar Axl Bonnenberger, who might just earn an invite to the Revolution Tour in his first eligible season. Just yesterday I interviewed McKenna Ramsay, a senior at Summit High who committed to the Montana State University track and cross-country team. It’s pretty standard to hear about young locals who go on to compete at Dew Tour, X Games and the Olympics, hopefuls like Jason and Axl.

But there’s more than skiing and snowboarding in the mountains. When McKenna heads to Bozeman next season for her first year of collegiate running, she’ll leave Summit to follow a dream she’s had since making the varsity team as a freshman, just like hundreds of others who come to her hometown in search of something similar on the snow. To each her own.

By now, when I’ve finished answering emails and re-tweeting all things opening day, even T-Bar is slammed. It’s only 11:30 a.m. and folks are switching from Bloodys to Budweiser before a few more laps. It’s good to be back.

Tigers rugby at State

It’s been another stellar season for the Summit High girl’s rugby team. They have yet to lose a match this season — they finished at home on senior day with a 101-0 rout of the Northside Lady Dragons — and are now riding the momentum of young, hungry underclassmen (nearly 35 total) and several veteran seniors, including All-American Becca Jane Rosko and captain Meg Rose. Those two were on the team last season when Summit claimed its seventh consecutive State Championship.

This weekend, the Tigers head to Denver to defend their title against Chaparral at Infinity Park in Denver. While everyone else is driving to the hills, they’ll be driving away. Again, to each her own. It could be an unprecedented eighth championship win, all under longtime head coach Karl Barth. The team has already beaten Chaparral once this season, a commanding 66-12 victory for the home opener. Here’s hoping for more of the same on the pitch tomorrow. The game begins at 2 p.m.

Frisco skimo series and free intro session

Soon enough there will be plenty of snow on the ground for backcountry skinning. So very, very soon. Until then, Frisco and the Summit Skimo Club are launching an early-season instructional series for skimo newbies and veterans.

If you’re absolutely incredibly new, skimo is short for ski mountaineering, which in this case means uphill/downhill ski racing. It takes the cardio burn of Nordic, removes the manicured track and adds fatter skis for the occasional powder downhill. It’s the best of both worlds.

Sound too weird to be a thing? Frisco has you covered. Swing by the Frisco Adventure Park on Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. for a free introduction to the skimo world. Organizers with the town and club will go over the basics, including clothing, technique, race formats and rules. This first session is indoors — no need to bring equipment — and comes with light refreshments.

You can also sign up for the series (two training sessions and one race), which kicks off Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Cost for each event is $15 or $40 for three. The series wraps up on Jan. 27 with the race.

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