Clubhouse Chronicles: Wrapping up a successful summer season at AVSC
AVSC Executive Director
There’s nothing quite like the start of the school year that causes one to pause and reflect on summer’s end.
When I think back on the past couple of months, this summer was a bit of everything. Active but sedentary. Challenging but fun. Exhausting but restful. Innovative but simple. Everything we’d planned, and nothing like we’d planned it.
At Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, we went into the summer with an open mind and a hopeful spirit. We formed an internal COVID-19 committee to keep our organization up to speed and help implement safe programming within local and state guidelines. Eventually, we kicked off programs in early June. We understood that things could change at any moment, but we did our best to focus on working hard and having fun while keeping each other safe in the meantime!
Looking back, we couldn’t have asked for much more. We started strength and conditioning over Zoom, and eventually moved to in-person workouts at the clubhouse once we had proper protocols in place.
Some of our first days back together in person were on skis, and the energy was incredible. Athletes racked up 39 days of skiing and snowboarding between camps at Buttermilk Glacier, Copper Mountain and Mount Hood. Our athletes ran slalom and giant slalom courses, hit jumps, slid rails and simply got to enjoy the pleasure of sliding on snow. First here in our backyard thanks to Aspen Skiing Co. and, eventually, on the road once we were able to safely design a camp that included a higher level of logistics.
Once we were able to safely open the trampolines, perhaps our most complicated form of shared equipment, our freestyle coaches conducted 190 20-minute trampoline sessions. Normally, a coach would have a small group of athletes taking turns on the trampoline as they work on their skills. This summer we shifted to focused one-on-one sessions in order to ensure athlete safety, allow for sanitization and minimize contact.
We had a record number of freestyle athletes travel to Utah for a water ramp camp at the Utah Olympic Park where they continued their progression from the trampoline, launching themselves off the ramps and into a pool, practicing tricks that they’ll eventually bring to snow. This year, athletes traveled with their families, many of whom might not get to see this special stage in the progression otherwise.
Finally, we did a whole lot of exploring on our local roads and trails! You likely saw our groups out trail running, roller skiing, biking and more. Our mountain bikers enjoyed everything from the Snowmass Bike Park to Crown Mountain Park to Prince Creek. We were excited to see that 48 of our mountain bikers were new to AVSC programs; we hope to continue to welcome many new faces this winter!
We are incredibly grateful to everyone — our staff, athletes and families, community partners, local leaders and more — who worked together to create safe and fun opportunities for our athletes this summer. The fact that we were able to accomplish all that we did this summer while keeping things safe and fun is something we should all be proud of!
Onward to winter! Registration is open for all TEAM (competitive) programs at Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club: check out http://www.teamavsc.org to learn more. Early pricing ends on Aug. 31, so reach out soon if you have an athlete who might be interested!
Registration for Aspen Supports Kids, our recreational program, will open later in the fall.
Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Outdoors and Sports sections.
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This past season brought with it Hailey Swirbul’s greatest individual result as a professional cross-country ski racer. But any real satisfaction she received always came when racing alongside her teammates, notably during world champs.