Healthy Kasper ready for more
Hoping to improve on a season that included his first World Cup podium, Nolan Kasper wants back in the starting gate this month following summer hip surgery.
The 22-year-old US Ski Team member and Dartmouth freshman started feeling pain in his hip in August, went for an MRI, and discovered he had a torn labrum and gluteus medius.
After surgery, he spent about seven weeks on crutches, going to rehab twice a day followed by strength and fitness training in Park City, Utah, as he improved. The Burke Mountain Academy graduate returned to snow in late October in Colorado, began forerunning races, and is hoping to compete in the World Cup slalom in Val d’Isere, France, Dec. 11.
“This is part of the sport,’’ he said from Aspen, Colo. “There are some athletes that go through their careers without getting hurt.
“This is something that a lot of people go through. I’m just trying to get back on pace and see what we can do this season.’’
Kasper, who resides in Warren, Vt., jumped from high school senior to the US Ski Team’s development squad in 2007. He advanced to the “C’’ team following a season that included a third place World Junior Championship slalom finish and found himself training with idols Ted Ligety, Bode Miller, and Jimmy Cochran.
“These were guys I’ve looked up to and now I was training with them,’’ he said. “That helped my skiing a lot.’’
So much that he competed in the 2010 Olympics, finishing 24th in the slalom.
Now, he’s just eager to return.
“This has been kind of a funny experience,’’ he said. “You never want to get hurt but it teaches you to be patient. This is the only time in my life where I sat around and didn’t do anything. Being on crutches for seven weeks is a bummer.’’
When Mt. Abram in Greenwood, Maine, opens for the season, skiers and snowboarders will find a temporary steel and vinyl canvas base lodge heated with a wood pellet boiler system.
The short-term lodge at the 44-trail, 5-lift ski area with 1,150 feet of vertical drop about 5 miles outside Bethel replaces the wooden base lodge destroyed by a pair of lightning strikes on July 6.
“I know that sounds crazy but the fire marshal’s report said two lightning strikes,’’ general manager Kevin Rosenberg said. “The building was a total loss.’’
The interim structure contains a cafe, restrooms, kitchen, lockers, general seating, and Loose Boots Lounge.
“There are windows, insulation, and doors,’’ said Rosenberg. “This is a kind of building that bridges the gap from military type of installations and is a new solution in our industry.’’
As for a new permanent base lodge, Rosenberg said they’re taking their time.
“We want to make sure that we have all our guest services and building needs met before building a lodge to serve our purpose for years to come,’’ he said.
Better with age
The age-defying Didier Cuche of Switzerland turned in the fastest time in a downhill training run on a demanding Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek, Colo. Cuche, 37, finished his run yesterday in a time of 1 minute and 45.54 seconds, 0.10 seconds ahead of Christof Innerhofer of Italy. Bode Miller was fourth.
This was the first training run in advance of the downhill race tomorrow.
Think terrain parks are one big boys’ club? Not at northern Vermont’s Bolton Valley, where Allison Kozar oversees three parks. The 26-year-old Vermont native is the terrain park manager and does everything from designing the flow to fixing ruts.
She says she fits right in.
“Women need to show that they are willing to get some sweat on their brows, get dirty, handle the stress associated with the job,’’ she said in a press release. “Working hard and trying to overachieve every day is the only way to gain respect from the guys. My advice to other girls is don’t be afraid to try. Get out there and learn some skills.’’
Snow or not, powder will fill the screen at the Snow Barn during Mount Snow’s second annual Film Festival Saturday evening. Locals rule the debut of “Carinthia: The Movie,’’ shot at the southern Vermont area featuring Winter X gamer Devin Logan, 17, recently named to the inaugural US slopestyle national team, ski movie regular Ian Compton of Brattleboro, Vt., and Shaun Murphy of Westfield, a Carinthia park ranger and pro team rider . . . Sunday’s Blessing of the Skis and Boards at Sugarloaf blends piousness and frivolity at the bottom of the Comp Hill.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.