For the past week and into the New Year, Burke Mountain and Burke Mountain Academy will be the stage for a series of early season camps by some of the Eastern region’s leading ski teams.
In addition to Burke Mountain Academy athletes, close to 100 athletes are expected to carve fast tracks on one of the nation’s leading training venues which was officially designated a US Ski Team High Performance Training Center in December 2016.
Dartmouth College, the University of Montreal, the University of Vermont and Williams College will make Burke Mountain their training home at the end of December and into the New Year, taking full advantage of more than $1.8M in recent major improvements to the ski hill including a new, high speed Lietner-Poma T-Bar, overhauled snowmaking capacity and new terrain features to the training hill.
Here’s what the coaches from these top teams have to say about training at Burke.
John Dwyer, Women’s Alpine Coach
“Skiing and training at Burke is the perfect place for us, the quality of snow is always first rate and the challenge of the pitch is exactly what we need to get ready for NorAms and the Carnivals. Also, having a surface lift makes allows us to get more runs on the course when compared to other areas. We plan to train at Burke at least once a week. There’s no place like the training hill. I’ll have 12 girls training at Burke, two of which are Burkies, Audrey O’Brien ‘14 and Moriah Wilson ‘14. Our plan is to get high volume and get a good feeling back before we head into the classroom on January 3rd.”
UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL SKI TEAM
Michel Huot, Head Coach
“This will be our first year training at Burke four our annual Christmas camp. We will be coming with 30 athletes and our goals will be to focus on high training volume and developing GS development skills in courses and in freeskiing. We were enticed to choose to train here because we heard great comments from fellow BMA coach JP Daigneault. We hope to make this camp at Burke a new future tradition for our team.”
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
Bill Reichelt, Director of Skiing/Head Alpine Coach
“We love to come here for many reasons. We can always get tons of volume because of the surface lift; the snow is ALWAYS superb for training; the Hill is great for working on technique with moderate pitch without too much terrain; the lift is right next to the trail so you can video and talk to the athletes from the same spot and it’s great to talk face to face with the athletes as they go by. Just a small group. Our camp consists of three guys, all focused on GS training. GS is hard to get early in the year so we were very fortunate to be able to come to Burke and get a bunch of GS volume! WE LOVE TRAINING HERE!”
Kelsey Levine, Alpine Head Coach (BMA ‘06, Williams ‘10)
“Burke is the best training facility in the east when the snow is good! The athletes stay focused on the training as the ride the surface lift next to the course. Their leg muscles stay engaged as they ride up the t-bar and the terrain is consistent, good for solidifying muscle memory. I hope to use our time at Burke to get a very strong GS base heading into the season. ”
OTHER REGULAR VISITORS TO THE TRAINING HILL
In addition to these early season camps, Burke will also be the stage for regular training by the Ford Sayre, St. Johnsbury Academy, and Lyndon Institute ski teams weekly.
“I am very excited that our Ford Sayre U16 and U19 programs are going to utilize the training at Burke this winter after a one-year hiatus,” said coach Bruce Lingelbach, BMA alumni from the class of ‘81. “The training here is second to none. The terrain and rapid lifts are perfect for training. On a personal level the as an alum, being at Burke floods me with great memories and pride for the academy. I love telling my current racers all the stories from yesteryear! They get a big kick out of it!”