Thu, Dec 26, 2013 05:37 PM
Powdr Corporation, the parent company of Killington Pico Ski
Resort Partners, has donated $50,000 to the Killington Mountain
School (KMS) for a project that creates a vastly improved and
expanded competitions venue on the Highline Trail at the
Killington Mountain School is an independent school serving some
75 students in grades 6-12 as well as post-graduate
student-athletes. KMS offers training programs in alpine racing,
mogul skiing, snowboarding, free skiing, and cycling at Killington
Resort along with an academic program at its campus on Killington
Killington President and General Manager Mike Solimano presented
the gift to KMS on behalf of Powdr CEO John Cumming just before the
Head of School Tao Smith said the gift was a reflection of
Cumming's commitment to youth training programs of KMS and the
Killington Ski Club (KSC) as well as an investment in the sport's
future. "I spoke with him this summer about the project, and he was
interested in helping with local opportunities as well as with
opportunities that will have a broad impact on the sport. He sits
on the board of trustees for US Ski Association and projects like
this are important to him for their many impacts," Smith said.
"This generous donation showcases his commitment to our local youth
1,200 regional athletes train and compete on the new Highline
Trail each year, Smith said. "KMS and KSC kids will use it as well
plus competitors in the 15 events hosted here annually. Plus there
are other competitions like the Ski Bum Series, so allowing for
repeat users, we estimate about 1,200 different individuals will
benefit," he said.
The Highline project has three phases. Phase one involved a major
trail widening and installation of trail fencing, which was done in
September. Contractor Craig Mosher widened and leveled the bottom
half of Highline, providing expanded width for Alpine training and
for a new mogul lane. KMS will add air bag jump practice as well as
snowboarding and moguls training on Highline this season.
Phase two improvements will start next spring. Smith noted they
include building ramps for the air bag jumps, which will allow them
to be used year round. In addition, the knoll at the top pitch will
be blasted and graded and new snowmaking will be installed. Towers
for lights and timing apparatus will also be added and buildings
for judging and timing will be constructed.
Phase three will involve adding a surface lift - a Pomalift or
T-bar - so that more training runs can be taken, Smith said, noting
additional fundraising will be needed for future projects.
"KMS needed an updated training venue. Due to changes in
equipment and technology, rules now require more athlete protection
measures in a training venue plus the widening will allow us to get
more kids on hill." Smith said, when asked how the project came
Additionally, Smith said it takes two weeks to build a course for
freestyle and moguls and that the school often used different
trails to do this. "There was a need for a permanent mogul venue
and widening Highline allows us to have a bump venue there all
season long," he noted.
The improved Highline will host slalom and giant slalom training
and competitions as well as providing a mogul venue. "Plus at
bottom we'll build some snowboarding and free-skiing features so
all four disciplines will be accommodated at this hill," Smith
The course will be open to the public when training and racing are
not underway and will host other resort races like the locals' Ski
Smith also hopes that Highline will be able to host some upper
level competitions such as Nor Ams. Putting lights on Highline
would allow for some cool events such as the hosting of a men's Nor
Am slalom at night on a New Year's Eve, he said, noting such
exciting events could draw new spectators to the sports.
The phase one and two will cost well over $600,000, Smith said.
Last summer $390,000 was raised. "Our goal this winter is to raise
$250,000, and Powdr's contribution will go a long way toward that
with the match," Smith noted.
"All this was made possible by the generosity of an
anonymous donor who wants to improve the quality of the training
opportunities offered at Killington and modernize the
protection/safety features for athletes. The donor made a large
donation and a challenge grant, offering to match dollar for dollar
up to $275,000 in donations to make this happen," Smith
In making the presentation of the $50,000 Powdr donation, Solimano
commented, "We are lucky to have KMS teaching young athletes on our
mountain, and we support their long-term goals of growing
educational programs while improving athlete safety."