Alpine Ski Team Takes a Transition Year


BHS junior and alpine ski team captain Marley Tipper heads down the slope during a race at Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond last season. | Photo: Courtesy

Niels Arentezn

The BHS alpine team is in a transition period. The team is focused on welcoming both experienced and novice skiers. With the loss of a few key racers, the alpine program has shifted its goals from to being a top team in states, to a developmental team preparing for seasons to come.

“Anyone can be on the team. You don’t need any experience at all. Think I’m kidding? We have a kid who skied for the first time at practice. He is working really hard and improving at a fast rate. We don’t care how good you are, we just wanna ski,” said Spencer MacDonald, junior co-captain.

MacDonald believes the ski team is an awesome place to learn a skill and to gain a new passion to carry throughout a whole lifetime.

The team has practice every day with an exception of Wednesdays. They have a usual intense dry land training on Mondays and Fridays and mountain training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond.

“Dryland days are exhausting, but the fitness is crucial to becoming a better skier,” MacDonald said. “Practices on the slope are a blast. We work really hard and have a ton of fun at the same time. It is sweet to be able to call shredding the mountain for free practice.”

Ski racing may not seem like a team sport but it really is. Even though each skier is timed individually, everyone on the team is equally important.  

“We race individually but our whole team’s score is determined off of everyone’s times. So getting a faster time not only benefits you but your team’s score as well,” said Marley Tipper, another alpine captain.

“At races, the whole team is together cheering each other on, shredding all the different resorts Vermont has to offer,” she said. “It is a really cool feeling to know that the whole team has your back when you are in the middle of a race.”

It may not look like it but in alpine skiing having a high-level chemistry team is crucial.

In the past three races, the team has earned top ten two times. This places the team in the middle of the heap. The key, according to Tipper, is to “go all out and just ski as fast as possible without injuring yourself.”

The racers climb out of their comfort zone to get their times down by that crucial amount.

“The goals for the team is to teach the newcomers how to alpine ski race, and to tone and better the more advanced skiers,” Tipper said.

After losing some key racers from last year the team has changed its focus. Last year’s goal was to place well at the state championships, but this year is all about developing so that the team can go and set new goals and reach higher in the next upcoming season.

Skiing is a unique sport which everyone is welcome to join.

It’s an excuse to get out and do something I love, more people should give it a shot because I know they can love it just as much as I do,” Tipper said.