TELLURIDE – Telluride hosts 100 of the world’s best up-and-coming mogul skiers when the North American Cup comes to the Telluride Ski Resort this weekend.
It’s Telluride’s second year hosting the Federation Internationale du Ski North American Cup event, starting Saturday and Sunday mornings at approximately 9:30 a.m., on the Hermit ski trail.
Seven Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club athletes, including Troy Tully (competing in his first NorAm event since suffering a broken femur at a NorAm event last winter), Keaton McCargo, Kealey Zaumseil, Kelsey Albert, Thomas Rowley, and French exchange student and mogulist Klement Kabril. TSSC-groomed talent Morgan Osbourne will compete in his first-ever NorAm this weekend, and Nicholas Jones has been named a second alternate for the start list.
They’ll compete against mogul skiers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and beyond.
According to former U.S. Ski Team member and current Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club Freestyle Director Caleb Martin, the skiers vie for top rankings in the NorAm tour, with a shot at earning a berth on the World Cup circuit, in this first mogul competition in the NorAm Cup’s four-event schedule.
They’ll ski the painstakingly sculpted Village Express area course, training Wednesday through Friday, and then competing in Saturday’s single moguls competition and Sunday’s dual moguls event.
It marks the first time Telluride has hosted a NorAm dual moguls competition.
“We’re very excited to be hosting another FIS competition,” Martin says of this weekend’s NorAm, bringing 100 competitors plus their coaches and staff to town for the event. “It’s great for our town and community, as a destination resort, to have this kind of event – but it’s especially important for the Ski Club and our strong NorAM group [of athletes] to get to compete on home turf.”
TSSC mogul team member Nicholas Keating, invited to compete in an event on the Olympics course in Sochi, Russia, this week, will miss the Telluride NorAm.
The invitation-only event includes a qualification round, a final round of 16 and a super final with the four top athletes battling it out for podium spots on singles day, while duals will follow a similar format but with two skiers racing head-to-head in the final rounds.
Putting on an event of the NorAm’s caliber is no small task, and preparations began months ago, with Telluride Ski Resort’s snowmaking and grooming departments working to transform Hermit into a top-notch mogul course. The competitive venues for mogul skiing have evolved alongside the sport in recent years, necessitating an increasingly structured design, with today’s mogul courses boasting man- and machine-formed lines, with moguls measured to a precise degree and sculpted jumps with chopped landing pads. TSSC’s Martin, Telluride Ski and Golf Co.’s Colorado Ski Country’s 2012 Groomer of the Year Steve Parkinson and a host of local volunteers have spent the last three weeks preparing the course for this event.
“We’re feeling very fortunate with the great timing of Mother Nature bringing fresh snow, and TSG has been super supportive helping us put this together,” Martin says.
After this weekend’s NorAm event, the tour goes to British Columbia’s Apex resort, then Val Saint Come in Quebec, ending in Stratton, Vt.
The competitions start at 9:30 a.m., on Hermit, accessed by lift 4, on Saturday and Sunday.