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Beginner racing camp in Colorado?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a racing camp in Colorado for beginner adult racers.  I want to improve my skiing and have some fun.  Any leads would be appreciated. 
post #2 of 8

Lots of opportunities to do that.  Michel Pratte, I think, just had one at Copper.  There's another way to do it, which I recommend as a better alternative to a one-time camp, which is to get into a Master's Race Program, at least part time.  If you're a Lovelander and your locations are Denver and Dillon, my guess is that you are already a pass holder at Loveland.  The Loveland Masters program is SwissAm, you can find out about them and other programs in the area from the Training page on the Rocky Mountain Masters website:

 

www.rmmskiracing.org

 

There's a bunch of good programs, I have trained with SwissAm and others, but my main training base is at Eldora, and I can give you more details about that if you want to send me a Private Message.  One thing you're going to get if you get into racing at all is some initial sticker shock.  To give you an example, I just spent about $2400 on skis, boots, and bindings for this year, and that's just the beginning...I haven't paid for my Eldo season pass or training yet (I too have a pass at Loveland, and have about 10 days free skiing there already), and let's not even get into race fees, lift tickets at other resorts, travel expenses, and so forth. 

 

That doesn't mean you necessarily have to start ponying up a bunch of $$$ beyond your initial pass/training fees, but, at a minimum, if you actually run gates, you're going to need a helmet.  If you actually decide to start running SL, you'll need a face bar for that helmet, plus shin guards, pole guards, a slalom top with armor, padded gloves...SL is full contact ski racing.  And, of course, you'll discover you need/want/have to have a pair of honest-to-God race stock SL skis...maybe new boots...a pair of GS skis...a GS suit...you get the picture. 

 

I think picking a race clinic or program to improve your basic skills is a great idea, and I highly recommend it.  The thing is, a lot of race programs, including but not limited to Loveland, have been actively training and working on free skiing and drills at Loveland since early October, and a bunch of them are now about to move into more and more actual gate training.  That's not to say that there won't be continued free skiing and work on technical fundamentals...it's just that there will be more focus on moving said technique into actual courses and working on race tactics.  However...and this is a shameless plug if I ever heard one...we're about to start skiing at Eldo opening day on Friday, Nov. 20, and our head coach has already told us that, unsurprisingly, since the area is just getting open, as usual we're not likely to have much hill space for courses early on so guess what?  We're going to be doing a lot of free skiing and working on im;proving our fundamentals, probably for at least the next couple of weeks.  So send me a PM if you want more info...



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelander View Post

I am looking for a racing camp in Colorado for beginner adult racers.  I want to improve my skiing and have some fun.  Any leads would be appreciated. 
post #3 of 8
Copper also runs a 1 day NASTAR racing clinic. This might also be a reasonable start to racing and is much less of a commitment than Masters racing. Winter Park, Copper, and Loveland also allow you to do single drop in days for Masters training for ~$50. You can race NASTAR with good recreational skis so you don't need to make a big investment in race gear. There are also a number of Beer leagues at Eldora, Copper, Copper, and Beaver Creek. These courses are 1/3 to 1/2 as long as Masters courses but are set similiarly to a Masters GS course as far as gate spacing and terrain goes. You could also use good recreational skis on these courses but race skis would be better. You can get good deals on race skis (either recreational race or race stock) on Ebay. You don't need to make a big investment. A good helment and a pair of GS skis would get you started in NASTAR or Beer leagues. Go shorter on ski length for NASTAR courses.
post #4 of 8
1.  Numerous racing camps at Copper Mountain the week of Thanksgiving, including the Tichys, who are a kick, www.tichyracing.com (a little stress on counter, which is a teensy old school, and a primarily slalom focus, but lots of grown ups, not just 15 year olds....)

2.  As SkiRacer55 points out (hey, Richard M., hope things are well with you) there are numerous Colorado drop in training opportunities at various masters programs, including Copper, where they are running now, and are running continuously starting the week after Thanksgiving.

3.  There's (at least in years past) a nice half-day NASTAR-oriented race clinic at the NASTAR hill at Vail, once they start running it in December.  They assume a lower level of basic racing skills than typical masters programs.  (But in masters programs, you'll find that ski racers are the most generous people in the world, when they know more than you do...)

4.  If you want to come out West (and why would you--there's actual snow in Colorado) there's a midweek GS masters training program at Mammoth the week of November 30 through December 4, but (A) no good air connection, it's Mammoth and not yet mid-season; (B) not exactly Summit County; and (C) it's really, as I understand it, aimed at preparing masters racers for the first GS of the season in the FarWest division on December 5-6, so the other guys might be a little intimidating for a beginning racer.  But there would be a GS focus.

SfDean

(Currently fantasy planning for at least two days at Mammoth.  Not that good, especially coming back from two years of snapping, crackling sounds--just not that easily intimidated.) 
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the good information. You guys are so helpful and there is alot more to consider than I was thinking. Yes, Loveland is my home hill.  I also have the Vail resorts pass so I could try out the beer league or Nastar.  Free ski training is a great idea but maybe a little late this year.  Could a middle aged person without racing experience even expect to become competitive enough to race?  I ski alot and work on my technique alot with an instructor friend but racing is so different. 
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelander View Post

Could a middle aged person without racing experience even expect to become competitive enough to race?  I ski alot and work on my technique alot with an instructor friend but racing is so different. 

Yes, for sure a middle aged rookie can become competitive enough to race.  And you're doing the right thing in working on your skills outside of the gates.  

Racing is only different in that the location of the turns you make is mandated for you.  You have to learn how place your turns precisely, where to start them, when to finish them, etc.  But if the quality of those turns you're trying to place is crap, it won't matter how good your line is, you'll be slow.  Hone the quality of your turns, refine your balance and edging skills outside of the sticks first, then racing will be a fun endeavor that will elevate the level of your skiing even higher.  
post #7 of 8
Taos Ski Valley is running a race week starting Jan 10 for 6 days. Cost is $200 plus the cost or a 6 day lift pass. go to Skitaos.org click on ski school then click ski weeks for more info. Skiers range from NASTAR Nat winners or people wanting to get into racing. It is a good deal and we have a high return rate. If it snows we all go powder skiing with the coaches as guides. big fun and one of the best deals in race training.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Ringeisen View Post

Taos Ski Valley is running a race week starting Jan 10 for 6 days. Cost is $200 plus the cost or a 6 day lift pass. go to Skitaos.org click on ski school then click ski weeks for more info. Skiers range from NASTAR Nat winners or people wanting to get into racing. It is a good deal and we have a high return rate. If it snows we all go powder skiing with the coaches as guides. big fun and one of the best deals in race training.
Thanks for the information! I am interested in getting into ski racing and would like to attend this race week at Taos.  Would you happen to have any information on what the format of race week is like?  SL and/or GS?  I do have a helmet but would you recommend getting shin guards, pole guards and a chin guard?  
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