People, some congratulations are in order. Let us all give some - standing on her skis - props to Katie Leake. She is a native of Marblehead, MA and spends most of her days on the snow getting after it at Sugarbush, VT.
On Thursday 2/19/09 she reeled in a VERY respectable fourth place in the U.S. Junior Extreme Skiing Championships!
This is an annual event, and in the S.G.’s opinion one of the best each season. It is always held at Crested Butte in Colorado. The difference between this year and most is that the resort has seen world class snow. All the ropes dropped on the premier expert sections of the mountain. Spots like the infamous “Headwall” were open to competitors, so they could throw down their best lines.
pic of Katie Leake - courtesy of her
S.G. Note: This 14 year old (Katie) can ski circles around you, and probably me as well. Her coach is a friend of mine (Dan Egan) and I am certain both of them are in very high spirits after a placing like the one Katie had.
S.G. Side Note: Dan runs Ski Clinics every season. There are still several left on this year’s schedule. I went on one of these adventures. The venue was Moonlight Basin, MT. That was quite some time ago, but to this day it still remains as one of the best things I ever did for myself on the snow.
Back to the story at hand…
In case you are not aware, to even ski - never mind compete - in something like this there are a certain set of attributes which are absolutely necessary.
• Exceptional ability
• Years of hard work and training
• Technical knowledge
• A Sixth Sense on the mountian, which few skiers have
As far as the terrain this competition is held on at CB... Well, if you do not believe me check out this poll of the top ten most Extreme inbounds runs as surveyed by SkiNet.
Hit this link for more info on the US Extreme Skiing Championships. Rumor has it there is a live feed for the competition. You may need to dig around Google for it. That equates to you having a great way to kill time at work while trying to figure out how to get north in New England this weekend. Skiing here at home is back in vogue. Lots of new snow, with more on the way, only makes it all that much sweeter.
This is an excerpt from the official event press release.
The Junior Women Division was a hair raising spectacle as the top four competitors all skied “Angle Gully” and all four choosing different exits. The day went to Alex George from Jackson Hole who skied a flawless run on top and then accelerated off to her right and realizing she was a bit off line hung a sharp left turn and flew off a 20 foot cliff just barely skimming over the rocks and landing in complete control and then flashed turns to the finish.
Lizzie Seibert of Vail who was leading the pack yesterday skied a conservative line and finished second. Local favorite Francesca Pavillard-Cain threw down a highly technical line and aired off of the middle group of rocks at the exit of “Angle Gully” and nailed the landing which moved her from fifth to third overall. Rounding out the Junior Women’s division in forth was Katie Leake from Sugarbush Vermont who at the age of 14 and the youngest girl in the competition skied confidently down “Angle Gully” and picked up her speed and flare as she skied down the apron of the exit cliffs and fist pumped her way into the finish.
Do you like the sweets?
Below are some deals happening at Katie’s home mountain ~ Sugarbush, VT. Feel inspired to get up to the Bush and make some turns of your own yet?
Point Proven: The best skiers still come from the East Coast. Katie is one to keep an eye on. Before you know it she will be sponsored by the softgoods company your significant other is trying to purchase an overpriced jacket from!
Deals from Sugarbush
Stay•ca•tion n. ('stā-'ka-shən) A period of time spent away from home but within the local area, usually during a scheduled time in which an activity (work or school) is suspended.
Example: Thanks to some deep discounts during the school break, Betsy from NH brought her family to Clay Brook at Sugarbush for a staycation. They saved nearly 30% on a ski and stay package, improved immensely with free adult group lessons, and her children (ages 3 and 5) skied for free! Plus, there was so much to do in addition to skiing and riding.
February Staycation Steal
February 22nd through March 3rd
Save 20% on lodging at Clay Brook and Resort Condos, and up to 30% on a midweek ski and stay package. Click here to book online.
Other Package Deals
Women's Ski & Ride Discovery Camp Package (Mar. 9-11)
Ski & Stay Packages (throughout the winter)
March Madness Package
Full-Moon Fireside Dinner Cat-Skiing Package (Mar. 11)
To book your package by phone, call 800.53.SUGAR and speak to one of our reservations agents today.
How about that folks. Again many congratualtions to Katie Leake for giving everyone back here in New England something to smile about!
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.