A Week at Wolf Creek
The U.S. Moguls Ski Team wrapped a successful week of training at Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski Area on November 11. Due to a lack of snow in Austria, the team had to change their original plans of training in Kaprun for a nine-day prep camp in November. Luckily mother nature cooperated in Colorado where early and consistent snow has fallen, allowing many resorts to open earlier than expected.
Wolf Creek opened to the public on October 13, the second earliest opening date in the resort’s history. The resort has received 58 inches of its characteristically dry, light snow so far this season, and the U.S. Moguls Ski Team was all too excited to get to work on it.
“The snow is fantastic in Wolf Creek,” said Caleb Martin, world cup moguls coach for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “The 28-inch base is skiing really well. The course is in a natural gully where additional snow has blown in. Wolf Creek is providing the best mogul training in the world at this time. It’s amazing to have this kind of high-quality training during the first week of November.”
Just because a ski area is open, that doesn’t mean it is ready to host moguls training. It took three days of hand shoveling before the course was ready for athletes. U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff Matt Gnoza, head moguls coach; Caleb Martin, moguls world cup coach; Vladimir Lebedev, moguls world cup coach; two Telluride Freestyle Team staff and four Wolf Creek employees all pitched in time and hard work to make this camp a reality.
The result was a 150-meter long course, featuring 14 top turns into a jump site with a 30-degree landing, followed by a 12 turn finish. The pitch averaged 28 degrees overall. The U.S. Moguls Team trained six days on the Wolf Creek course, averaging about 12 runs per day, per athlete.
“We target 60 days of on-snow training during our ‘prep period,’” explains Martin. “It is a goal to have at least six days on snow each month. Since our nine days of projected on snow training in Kaprun was canceled, we filled the void with six days in Wolf Creek, and added four more days to our pre-World Cup Ruka training."
Not only did athletes get in quality skiing time, they also spent quality time with their fans on Saturday (November 10) afternoon. Team members met spectators and aspiring professional skiers alike, signing water bottles, helmets, stickers and anything else that would hold a signature for over an hour and a half.
“Our training camp at Wolf Creek exceeded all of our expectations, The venue was awesome, the resort was amazingly supportive and the local skiers cheered us on while we trained. At a time when we didn’t have any other options for training, Wolf Creek stepped up and provided us with the perfect scenario leading up to our first World Cup in Finland next month.”
- A Team Member Tess Johnson
The moguls team will head next to Ruka, Finland, for 10 more days of on-snow training preceding their season-opening World Cup event on December 7.
Video: Christi Bode
Video: Samuel Bricker