World-class downhilling in our own backyard |

World-class downhilling in our own backyard

Dear Editor:

A hearty thank you to Aspen and Buttermilk Mountain managers Peter King and Kevin Hagerty, the Aspen Skiing Co., and Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club (AVSC) coaches and volunteers for hosting the Wilder Dwight and Nor Am Speed Series!

In mid-January, Buttermilk and AVSC hosted over 250 athletes, coaches and parents for five days of speed training and competitions. During these five days, 1,000 race and training runs were conducted on Buttermilk Tiehack’s challenging Racer’s Edge venue. Racer’s Edge is perhaps the single best speed venue in the United States for junior athlete speed-skiing development featuring numerous terrain changes and all the components of speed – gliding along the top ridge, big air over Water Fall, blind transitions and fall-aways at Wire Bump and Coaches’ Knoll and high speeds down Brown Streak.

Success on this race hill requires a full complement of skiing skills and the nerve to go all out! Opportunities to compete and train on such quality venues are critical to the experience and development of alpine ski racers.

In mid-February, the Aspen Skiing Co. and AVSC hosted nine days of Nor Am and US National Championship racing on America’s Downhill course on Aspen Mountain, including the award of the historic Roch Cup Trophy. The America’s Downhill venue is without question, one of the two or three finest and most challenging North American downhill venues. The opportunity for the best United States and Canadian athletes to be tested on such a demanding course is critical to developing athletes that can compete on the world stage.

From March 6-12 the Aspen Skiing Co. and AVSC coaches and volunteers will host over 300 athletes, coaches and parents for the J3 (13- and 14-year-olds) Junior Olympic competitions.

Hosting such events requires the substantial support of the Aspen Skiing Co. and many thousands of hours of effort by AVSC coaches and volunteers. There are few places in the country were Mother Nature’s mountains, ski-company support and ski club/volunteer effort can make events of this scope happen.

Thank you for all of your extraordinary efforts and support of the continuing tradition of high-quality ski racing in Aspen.

Mike Maple