The Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colorado opened for a special VIP preview on October 31st. Costumes were encouraged. Long live the gaper.
FIS is considering banning poles from ski racing to “get those park kids interested in the sport again.” Okay. We totally just made that up.
The start ramp to the down hill course. Dropping 2,300 feet, it’s currently the biggest open course in the world. Think of it as your hill’s white strip of death on steroids.
There is also a run dedicated to technical race training as well. The Speed Center offers world class training to all US Ski Team and club members.
You know those jerks who spend all their time on the lift on their phones? From now on assume they are ski journalists reporting breaking news on Facebook. Follow Skiing Magazine’s Facebook HERE.
Julia Ford is excited to get an entire month of training on a fast course before her first race. “We actually get to jump and be in the air a little bit. We’re on it for an unlimited amount of time. Copper closes it for us. In the past we would have to be up before the sun comes up and off before the public came.”
Because the Speed Center is closed to the public, it’s possible to control how hard the snow is. It was warm and sunny, but racers get to train on the icy snow they will be on during the season.
Even some of the racers dressed up. It’s hard not to have fun when you have nearly top-to-bottom runs before November.
One of the steeper sections of the course.
The width of trail for a downhill course is enormous. It also makes for some great skiing when the gates aren’t up. The US Ski Team has this to themselves until their season starts.
Ever wonder how to gate start? Follow the next few slides.
Use those poles to propel you forward.
This is where time spent in the gym comes in handy.
Keep skating until you get to the tucking and turning part. Don’t blame your next mid-pack finish at beer league on us.
Erik Fisher blew his ACL at the last race of the year last season. Thanks to a month of early season training, he hopes to be back on track this year. He says that though the course is mellower than the actual World Cup courses, it’s ideal for getting up to speed.
Did we mention it was Halloween? For skiers, it isn’t a costume, it’s a lifestyle.
Did we mention that despite warm temps, the snow was firm. Finding edges was a chore for a few of the VIPs who were getting their first turns of the season.
Here’s a properly executed tele-turn from US Ski Team Chief Press Officer Doug Haney. He’s having just as much fun as it looks.
That’s it for the Speed Center for now. Let’s see what kind of magic it produces at the first speed event at Lake Louise on November 21st. For more details click HERE.
For more info on Copper Mountain click HERE. They Open Friday, November 2nd.
For more info on the US Ski Team click HERE.