The Mountain Times

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Annual Columbus Day hike for KMS and KSC

This past Sunday, Oct. 13, Killington Ski Club in conjunction with Killington Mountain School held their annual hike up to Killington Peak. For the first time ever, KMS opened up the school after the hike, for refreshments and activities.

KSC/KMS programs include  alpine, freestyle, free-skiing, and snowboarding. All weekend program participants were expected to attend the Columbus Day Hike. The invitation also extended to all parents, siblings and coaches, as well as prospective program participants.

KSC attracts athletes from all over the northeast.  "KSC has been a part of my life since I can remember; my parents were members before I was born," said Allie Hulsebosch, who travels up from Mattapoisett, Mass. each weekend over the winter season for the two-day program. John Bianchi, an alpine skier who will be starting the five-month winter term this year added that he's looking forward to a good powder season. And snowboarder, Ryan Sihler, would like to see more of his friends from Rutland High School join KSC.

The hike finished around 12-noon, after which KMS hosted a BBQ lunch. Dryland activities for each program followed, with the opportunity to make use of the KMS trampoline facility, gym and campus. Tours of the school were given for those interested.
During the 2007/2008 season, KSC and KMS merged their competition programs, sharing 90 coaches between them. The Alpine Training Center on K1 ensures that athletes from both KSC and KMS have a 'home' on the mountain whilst providing an accessible base from which families, athletes, and program staff can boot up.

KSC acts as a social club where members can store their gear, whilst providing a positive environment to meet up with friends before heading out. According to the website, KSC includes some 400 adult and student/family memberships (about 1,000 individuals).

Chuck Hughes, competition program director,  received almost 50 RSVPs, but attendance exceeded expectation. In total, over 100 people took part in the day's hike and activities.

"Originally the hike was created to give kids an activity over the busy Ski Swap weekend, but over the years the emphasis has shifted, and now we are trying to bridge the gap between the KMS kids and the weekend program kids. By incorporating the hike with dryland training, and opening KMS, we wanted to show them where all their hard work will lead to," said Hughes.