At Copper Friday, on one of the first few "general public" chairs. No rocks, great snow, room to move, short enough lines for a dozen runs or so, top to bottom.
Much longer run than the Basin, unless they've opened to the top.
The racers, I was told by them, got to the lifts as early as 5:30 am. They had arrived from all over the country, and world, as early as Oct. 21. Many came Oct. 25th. Those were national development teams and D team members I happened to speak to riding up the lift. The D team member, a young lady, told me "D team" was for top U16 and U18 girls and boys. Only 2 girls and 6 boys had qualified so far, she said. She seemed very young. And skilled, once she got off the lift.
The national teams, I was told repeatedly, were skiing a "run over" from the race training run that goes under Excellerator lift. Tod Lidgety and Mikaela Shiffrin were training there, next to the developmental racers on that "one run over" not visible from Excellerator. The young national developmental team members were very excited about it.
At one point when I was skiing towards the bottom, about two or three runs in, there was Mikaela also finishing a run, then looking around for someone. In her racing gear.
Some young male Japanese racers who got on the lift with me, who didn't speak a word of English, kept taking pictures of her with their iphones. I could hear the word "Mikaela" mixed in with their Japanese. Very exciting.