Mammoth men's camp blessed with good weather
At the mid-point rest day (May 9) of a US Ski Team men's camp at Mammoth Mountain, California coach Forest Carey supplied a status up-date.
“So far the weather has been great, freezing nights and blue bird days,” said Carey. “Mammoth has always taken good care of us. We basically have the run of the mountain until 8:30. The surfaces have been great and there is plenty of snow on the runs we're using. Mind you, it may be ten feet less than they had here last year, but that's plenty.
Before the lifts open to any form of public the ski team group with Ted Ligety, Tim Jitloff, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Thomas Biesemeyer, Will Brandenburg, David Chodounsky and with Travis Ganong and Steven Nyman, are using a wide variety of terrain for a number of varied purposes.
“We're using a few different set-ups,” said Carey. (Coach) Dane (Spencer) is heading the GS with Ted, Jitloff, Ryan and Biesemeyer and they've just run four straight days of GS playing with course sets and seeing the limitation of the new skis. Brandenburg, Ted and those guys when they are done with GS having been running super slalom, 14 meter gates with double panels.”
The coach said the slalom work is designed for Brandenburg. Injury has prevented him from skiing a lot of slalom and the “super” format, “...helps him go to the outside at the top of the turn in a more safely and consistent manner.”
He said Ligety, among the most outspoken critics of the new ski dimensions, has been talking to the rest of the group about seeing the change in skis as an opportunity to make big strides. “The synopsis, I'd say, is if you have to pull the radius it's a challenge,” said the coach of the new GS skis. “Physically to recover you have to move. If you are back or inside they are not as forgiving. The guys are saying it's a lot more work.”
He suggested racers will be more susceptible to the fatigue factor than in past seasons.
Asked if he thinks we'll see a change in course setting because of the change in skis Carey said “I think it will change a little bit. But at Val d'Isere and places like it there will still have to be the same number of gates on the hill, and there isn't much wiggle room.”
He said all his charges were looking good. “We're fundamentally based right now. They are all looking good in different areas of fundamental issues in their individual skiing.”
Mammoth marks the first of the major on-snow camps of the off-season. It was a small group of athletes due to injury and collegiate responsibilities. The next camp is slated for Mount Hood in June, the New Zealand in early August and Chile in September.
Mammoth training course photo by USSA-Mike Day.