BMA Gets a Head Start on 2018-2019 Ski Season


Burkies enjoy exclusive access to the training hill and look ahead to the 2018-2019 season.

Monday, April 9, 2018 – Burkies have been known to go the extra mile and the current crop of students and staff are no exception.

“This week, the community made a strategic choice to forego a week of spring break in favor of an additional, at home ski camp,” explained Willy Booker ‘96, Head of School. “With the amazing ski conditions still available at Burke Mountain and the favorable weather, we thought this would be a tremendous opportunity to begin preparation for next season.”

As part of the weeklong camp held from April 9 to 14 and dedicated exclusively to on-snow activities, Burkies will work on fundamental alpine skiing drills as well as equipment testing.

“In the height of the competition period, skill development generally slows down as the emphasis turns to racing tactics in an effort to maximize race day performance,” added Booker. “Now it’s time to put away the clock and renew our focus on fundamentals so that we can continue to build toward long-term success.”

For the first two days of camp, BMA will be joined by guest coach Felix McGrath. McGrath was a top World Cup skier, finishing 3rd in the WC SL standings in 1988. Since retiring, he’s cultivated an impressive coaching resume including leading the Alpine team at the University of Vermont, the women’s Norwegian National Team and currently heading one of the preeminent ski clubs in Norway. The club he currently directs, Baerums Ski Club, has been consistently producing some of Norway’s top talent over the past ten years.

“This camp will primarily be a SL fundamentals camp, but we will work through some GS progressions while Felix is available,” said Brad Wall ‘97, Athletic Program Director at BMA.  “We will start with athletes split into mixed groups, working with coaches they may not have worked with before, and skiing with athletes that they do not usually ski with day to day. It will be a great opportunity to pick each other’s brains and learn from new perspectives. Athletes will then move into gender-specific groups and build on new coaching relationships.”

For the final three days of camp, major ski manufacturers will be available for controlled testing. Timing and video will be used to collect as many data points as possible to help athletes make informed decisions about which equipment best suit their unique needs in preparation for summer camps.

Last fall, Burke Mountain and BMA collaborated on several major mountain enhancements including a new high speed Leitner t-bar, terrain changes to Warren’s Way, the installation of new snowmaking on both Upper Doug’s Drop and the McHarg’s trail, as well as important training rights on McHarg’s, nearly doubling the academy’s training venue acreage.

“This camp is in large part made possible thanks to our amazing collaboration with Burke Mountain and our highly dedicated staff,” told Booker. “We’re thrilled to be wrapping up an amazing season on such a high note and plant the seeds for another great season next year,” he concluded.

This week, the mountain opened the Leitner t-bar exclusively for BMA’s spring training camp. Public skiing will be available this weekend for the last two days of the season.