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March 19, 2015

Skiing prodigy nails every trail

Skiing prodigy nails every trail

White holds a customized sign gifted to him for skiing all of Killington’s 155 trails.

By Stephen Seitz

KILLINGTON – Move over, Bode Miller.

Audacy (Audie) Whyte, age 5, recently completed skiing all 155 trails at the Killington Mountain Resort. His achievement was honored by resort management on March 13, when he was presented a trail sign with his name and accomplishment on it.

Audie Whyte’s father, Andrew, is the dean of students at Killington Mountain School. He explained that a change in circumstances was partially responsible for developing Audie’s prowess on the slopes.

“At first, the state said it would cover pre-school expenses,” he said. “Then they decided they wouldn’t, and pre-school is expensive. Audie fell through the cracks.”

So Whyte decided to take advantage of the year and play in the snow with his son.

“For me, it means spending more time with him,” Whyte said. “It’s given me the excuse to make some runs that ordinarily I’d stay miles away from.”

Audie said he greatly enjoys skiing and would like to be a professional someday. He’s spent 57 days on the slopes so far, he said. The father and son team hit the trails for about two hours several days a week.

“I do have to go to work,” Whyte explained.

Asked about a possible Olympic run when he’s old enough, Audie said, “I don’t know what that is.”

“We don’t watch a lot of TV,” his father explained.

Audie has been on skis since he was two years old, and he’s not alone. He has a sister in second grade who also started skiing at an early age. She is on track to finish all 130 of Killington’s easier open trails.

“The other 20 or so trails go through woods,” Whyte said, and that’s not what she likes to do.

Audie said his favorite runs are the Devil’s Den and the Outer Limits, which the New York Times calls the longest and steepest mogul run in the East.

Despite not going to preschool this year, Whyte said he and Audie have been using the resources around them to get a head start on learning.

“We’ve made great progress sounding out words using the signs,” he said.

Audie does sometimes ski with his peers. Whyte said the mountain has a program for local elementary school students called “Thursday Trailblazers.”

The Whyte family is never very far from skiing. They even have a ski jump at their home.

“It started out as a hill,” Whyte said. “Then I added a jump at the bottom, and kept adding to it, and now it’s a six-foot jump. I’d say the kids go about eight feet.”

Now that it’s spring, the Whyte family is considering options to continue winter sports. Whyte said he and his family hold three citizenships: he is Canadian by birth, his wife is from Australia, and now they’re Americans. This year, he said, the plan is to spend summer in Australia, where it’ll be winter during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer.

“So the plan now is skiing in Australia!” he said.

Steve Seitz is a freelance reporter for The Mountain Times, saseitz@comcast.net.

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