Season 2020 is underway! Between Mammoth Mountain, the Horstman Glacier above Whistler, iconic Stelvio and Matterhorn glaciers, Canada’s Alpine Ski Team are back on the snow, in the gates and beginning their program for the 2019-20 ski season.
Today in Zermatt, as we emerged from the Klein Matterhorn tunnel at 3,900 metres, it was clear, cold, with 2-3 cm, of fresh snow on top of a firm base. Not a cloud in the sky as Trevor Philp and Erik Read, both athletes from the Banff Alpine Racers, opened their first session on the famous Plateau Rosa.
They joined the Croatian Ski Team and Team American which feature a group of University of Denver Pioneers:, Croatian Ski Team (Andrea Komsic), Team America (Alex Leever) with other athletes from Westminster College, University of Utah, Dartmouth College and Montana State represented as well.
Day one focused on technical drills and technique. It will be into the gates to work on equipment and technical drills in the coming days.
The Matterhorn Glacier is quiet this week, with only the Croatian, Canadian and Team America with multiple World Cup athletes – and hundreds of aspiring young ski racers from Italy, the USA and Switzerland. It’s refreshing to have small lift lines and space.
Update on other Canadian Alpine Ski Team athletes: the women’s World Cup squad is in Italy at Stelvio, having arrived three days ago. The Men’s World Cup/Europa Cup Team were divided between a session for west coast athletes under the watchful eye of Nick Cooper who volunteers his time to work with his former charges; while Calgary based athletes traveled to Mammoth Mountain for a session with Team Coach Chris Powers. The men’s World Cup tech team are in Zermatt for the next two weeks and Simon Fournier heads to New Zealand next month.
This Zermatt trip has been made possible through the generous support of many groups and individuals who have supported our athletes. Our thanks to the following who have made this trip possible:
Croatian Ski Team and Croatian Ski Federation
Mike Irwin and Mission Wealth Advisors
Mike Wiegele Heli-skiing
Peter Crompton Foundation
Roxane and Don Bell
And our appreciation to several anonymous donors have stepped up to help out, as well as the personal sponsors of each athlete, their families and their equipment suppliers.
“Thank you” – for helping us get our athletes on the snow and doing what they love: “Compete for Canada, and aim for the podium”.