NZ Dishes up Perfect Conditions for US Ski Team
New Zealand offered up the US Alpine Ski Team some of the best conditions to kick off their 2016 on-snow prep period, with the perfect mix of off-snow activities that only this adventure capital could offer, Boxscore’s Megan Harrod writes.
Ask any US Alpine Ski Team athlete or staff member, and they’ll tell you that training in New Zealand is unique. Sure, the skiing is world-class and there is top-notch support provided from the three partner ski areas, Ohau, Coronet Peak and Roundhill, but both athletes and staff seem to agree that the New Zealand camp was particularly productive this year.
Call it El Niño, the conditions in the Southern Hemisphere this year have been supreme. The snow gods paid a visit to New Zealand for both the men and the women, giving them the chance for some powder days and heli-skiing adventures at Mount Cook for the ladies and Mount Aspiring for the men, respectively. The winter snow provided for some good technical training across all groups as well – from the development group to the World Cup level.
The first on-snow training camp of the season is all about dialling in the equipment and making big technical improvements. New Zealand is perfect for this kind of training. The winter snow, demanding hills, varying terrain and different venues require strong technical skills.
Each of the New Zealand venues offers generally low-altitude, and therefore high-volume training, which is the optimal at this point in the prep period. “The operations staff at Ohau, Coronet Peak and Roundhill were all extremely accommodating during our stay in New Zealand,” head tech coach Brandon Dyksterhouse said. “We had everything from flat to steep, watered to perfect corduroy. Minus a couple of weather days, I don’t think that we could’ve asked for anything more.”
Original article by Megan Harrod, Boxscore, September 18, 2015.