Burkies Chase Snow in Chile

First camp of the school year sets stage for solid athlete progression

From September 25 to October 10, Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) students are in Corralco, Chile for the school year’s first ski camp.

The camp’s focus is clear: put the athletes through lots of high volume skiing at low altitude. With lifts opening at 7:30 am, coaches are emphasizing double training sessions during the weekdays and unrestricted free skiing on the weekends.

Corralco is no stranger to some of the world’s best skiers with the US men’s World Cup speed team currently training there and the French women’s speed team having recently left. Needless to say, the venue is in spectacular shape for our athletes to strap on the long boards and “send it” down the hill.


Bradley Wall, Athletics Director

“What an impressive mountain Corralco is,” says Bradley Wall, Athletic Director at BMA. “Our first couple of days on snow were blessed with great weather and solid snow. Burkies covered the mountain and explored its possibilities. The mountain offers a tremendous variety of terrain to cover all disciplines and progressions. So far, we’re focusing our skiing on one short poma lift with athletes through 2 of the tasks in phase 5 of the USSA SkillsQuest including hop turns and GS turns in a wave track. Some athletes had close to 20 runs in the track!”

Kraig Sourbeer, Women’s FIS Coach



“Today was another action-packed day but first we all were treated to the nearly full setting moon when we arrived on the hill at 6:30 am. I’ve attached a weak iPhone picture but hopefully you can imagine the beautiful scenery. It’s even cooler when you realize these celestial bodies are seemingly moving in directions completely opposite from normal. What feels like the east now is actually the west. It’s a little wild when you start to put it a together but we really are upside down from all of you now.

Today we had a great deal of action on the hill. SG training, Gs training, freeskiing and to top it off a FIS GS race! It was just about all we could handle for activity but watching our athletes come down a sweet GS course after 7 runs of SG  was great. Meanwhile, the U16 boys were hammering out the GS, getting a reported 200 turns in for the day. All of us spent a lot of time on snow today. No, it may not be all of the hardness we desire but it makes for a lot of great challenges.”



While in Corralco, Burkies crossed paths with alumni Tommy Biesemeyer (PG-2008). “It’s great to see Burke here,” he says. “It brings back a lot of memories of the time I spent at Burke. Looking back at myself then, if I was to see the US men’s world cup speed team I’d be in awe. And now looking at Burke coming in I hope that some of these kids can be inspired and driven to someday have that opportunity,” he added.



Sanne ‘19 (Anchorage, AK)
“Today was exciting! It was a bummer we couldn’t train super-g this morning, due to the wind, but we got some productive free skiing in. It was nice to get back onto the long skis My favorite part of the day was when we got on slalom skis. We skied paneled slalom and by the second run, the course was more of a challenge than a race course, as Kyle said. This just provided us with more balance training! The gates were nearly flat on the ground, because of the wind, which just made it that much more exciting. After 6 runs, we pulled the course, and the sun finally came out since this morning, and the wind died down. “

Patrick ‘19 (East Burke, VT)
“Today we had our first chance to ski in gates and toughed through the wind and low visibility. But throughout the day everybody kept a positive attitude and a willingness to stay on the hill and it ended up being the best day of the camp so far. The hotel did a stellar job of bringing our lunch up to the mountain so that we could stay on the hill all day. It saved us a lot of time.”

Dan ‘20 (Guilford, CT)
“The first two days of this trip have been great. The skiing is amazing, the hotel is nice and the weather is good. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the camp holds. “

Claire ‘21 (Seattle, WA)
“Our traveling days went smoothly, but we were all very tired by the time we arrived at the hotel. The hotel is beautiful and the food is delicious. Our first day on snow was great. The weather held up and we got a good mix of firm snow in the morning and soft snow in the afternoon.”

Oliver ‘20 (Etna, NH)
“Though we were unable to ski today, there were plenty of activities (including homework) to amuse us for the day. Darrel lead us in a great strength circuit, which everyone recovered from by running around in the snow, and jumping into the pool seconds later. Also, many people became experts at the card game Presidents during our wait in the lodge today. It seems to me that everyone is prepared to make the most of the next couple of days of skiing after today.”

Lili ‘19 (Kirby, VT)
“I am sitting in the lobby filling out my goal setting sheet. This one is more difficult for me to fill out than the ones I have filled out in in the past. It asks me to self-evaluate myself further and think about where I am vs where I want to be in the future, result, and racing wise. I usually don’t like setting specific race standards for myself, but it is helping me to have a broader perspective.”

Steph ’17 (Calgary, AB)
” Today was awesome to say the least! We started off the morning with some Super-G training, and then the coaches unexpectedly informed us that we would be participating in Corralco’s first ever FIS race. The girls field consisted of only which BMA athletes, but it was a fun and productive experience! I’m stoked the weather has cleared up because the views have been quite rewarding and now we can finish off the camp strong with some solid training.”

Chauncey ’18 (Etna, NH)

“Today everybody got to the hill early for another long day of training. The FIS boys loaded the lift at 7 am to start an early session of SG. The course set was very turny so it challenged everyone to bed the ski as early as possible. in addition to a challenging course set, the snow started to deteriorate very quickly so we had to adapt to the changing course condition every run. After 5 runs battling the SG course we were informed that there was a race a few trails over and we were on the start order. The whole group was excited to kick out of the start. It was especially exciting for the 2001 birth year boys because it was their first opportunity to score FIS points. Every FIS skier has a story about how brutal their first FIS starts were. Starting the year with 990 points puts you at the back of the pack in races with up to 140 people. Today, the Burke 2001’s started their first FIS races with bibs under 30. On top of that, 90% of the racers were their own teammates. So today was basically a scored training day.”

Riley ’21 (Haddam, CT)
“Today was AMAZING!  That’s literally all I have to say!  it was soooooooooo good!”

Raph ’20 (Granby, Quebec)
“Today we were doing GS. For the first time in a while, the weather was nice, and it was good to be able to see the sky. The snow was soft and the course was rutty. The progression with how comfortable we were in the tough course was remarkable, and we all improved a lot. You have to learn how to use the rut to your advantage. In the morning I was skiing a different line than the rut and then I learned to adapt to the course conditions. The people here are nice. All the lift attendants are in such a good mood all the time. They always play music at the bottom and it’s fun to jam out with them.”

While the majority of Burkies have been on snow, a small group of athletes has been enjoying the peace and quiet of campus to continue to make great fitness strides in preparation for the coming season. On campus activities have included extended dryland sessions, group reading, and collaborative cooking.

Catch the latest BMA Chile camp footage on YouTube.
Ski drills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ct-5LJSd0w&feature=youtu.be
Dryland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClTXhk9kXBs
Team meetings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm_xo_J0Cbs
A day in Corralco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUTzPGeuWnc&feature=youtu.be
Bluebird training day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u0vSPRm3pg
Karaoke night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m2V0n44HYc

Fall snow chasing is only beginning for Burkies! Upon their return to BMA, students will enjoy a block of dryland for 6 weeks before hitting the slopes again for camps in Loveland, Colorado and Panorama, British Columbia.