3/10/21 Latest Racing Updates from Bruce and Colin

Greetings Catamount Race Families,

Despite the slow start of cold weather, the ever-present Covid-19 concerns, and unprecedented lift lines, this has been a truly amazing and memorable season for the Catamount Ski Team. The season that we feared might not happen turned out to be nothing short of spectacular and a welcome respite from turbulent times shaking the world. The limited race schedule has enabled our athletes to focus on skill development, and the results have been remarkable.  We’ve been blessed by consistently cold temperatures for the last six or eight weeks, and Mountain Ops have done a great job of pumping out and grooming the snow. We are grateful that management and ownership have allowed us to extend the season beyond when we normally wrap things up. As of right now, we don’t have a definitive last date, as we will continue to make training opportunities available  for  as long as we have sufficient snow, interest from the kids, and coaches able to staff training.

We want to share with you some of the plans that Catamount is working on for the 2021-2022 season.  For starters, as soon as the snow melts Mountain Ops will begin work on installing a new triple chair to replace the former Glade Chair. The new lift, and hopefully the elimination of Covid-19 social distance mandates, should go a long way toward eliminating the long lift lines that we experienced this year. Our owner,  Jim Schaefer and GM,  Mark Smith,   are also busy designing a  new dedicated  Race Arena. Preliminary plans are to cut a new 300-400 foot wide trail that will run from below Sidewinder toward the lower snow making ponds and the bottom of the Zipline. The Race Arena will be serviced by a dedicated lift which will be either a T-Bar or a chairlift. The mountain also plans to have a new snow tubing park operational by next season. We also expect continued expansion of snow making operations to ensure more consistent and better snow. We will update you over the off-season as plans develop and are implemented.

 We are anticipating another terrific weekend, with fast skiing and happy kids.  

As we head into these final few weeks we’d like to pass along a few reminders:

  1. Training typically starts with chairlift loads for the Interclub and Tri-State kids and coaches at 7:30 a.m. We do this to minimize the impact of the crowds and to maximize the benefits of training on the snow. We ask that you make every effort to get your athletes out on the lift at the early load time so that they can free ski and inspect the training courses. Inspection is vital to enhancing training benefits and for the safety of the athletes.  Courses typically are set and ready for inspection by 8:30 a.m.  It is disruptive to the kids who show up on time when others arrive late and we have to halt training so that they can inspect. Please make sure that your athletes are on time and fully prepared to roll.
  2. All athletes are asked to refrain from skiing fast in bunched up packs. All athletes are reminded to ski in control and to maintain a safe distance from others in their groups and the general public.
  3. Athletes are not permitted to cut the lift-lines. We have received numerous complaints from the public and reports from management about athletes who are cutting lift lines and disrespecting the public. We know that the lift lines can seem unbearable at times, but we have to make every effort to be patient as we share the lifts with the skiing public.
  4. Please keep in mind at all times that very member of the Catamount Race Team represents the mountain, as well as the sport that we all love. It is our responsibility as athletes, race parents, and coaches to show respect to the public and our peers, and to be good role models to each of our fellow Catamount Ski Team members.
  5. Team Work Makes the Dream Work!  All athletes are required to assist the coaches after practice in pulling and slipping the courses, and neatly storing the equipment. After a proper slip, all the ruts should be eliminated from the training venue. It is also imperative that all athletes follow the instructions of the coaches to either skirt or pull Bnet after training. In the past few weeks we’ve had an increasing number of athletes who leave before the work is done, and some who have flat out refused to pitch in when directed to do so by the coaches. No athlete should leave training until all of these housekeeping chores are completed and he/she has been excused by the coach. We ask that all of our race parents discuss this obligation with your children, and that you speak directly with the coaches if you want your child to leave before these tasks are completed.
  6. As always this year, athletes and coaches should continue to maintain proper social distancing and wear masks at all times.
  7. At the conclusion of training this Sunday afternoon, we will be pulling Bnet from Alley Cat, inspecting it, rolling it and storing it for the off-season.  All Tri-State athletes and coaches are required to assist the Race Crew in this effort. We are also asking all parents of Tri-State athletes to join the effort. We will notify you of the exact time later, but we are anticipating it will be around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.

Thanks to all of the kids, parents, coaches, race crew, and staff who have worked so hard to make this a season for the ages.

 We are super stoked for the upcoming weekend and some wonderful spring skiing days in the coming weeks.

                      Bruce & Colin

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