By Robin Alberti
KMS student-athlete Alex Lewis, a 10th grade freestyler from Carlisle, Mass., cut the ribbon at the newly opened Snowdon Triple mid-station. Since KMS student-athletes are the ones benefitting most from the Highline Trail improvements, KMS Head of School Tao Smith felt it was fitting to have a student do the honors. Pictured are: (l-r) Tom Sell, Cort Jones, Mike Solimano, Alex Lewis, Jeff Temple, Mike Hone, Tao Smith, Mike Castellini, Mel Boynton, Jim Bianchi, and Sherry Albert.
KILLINGTON—It’s official: the mid-station on the Snowdon Triple is open, the Killington Mountain School announced in a Jan. 28 press release. The project has been a long time coming, and the folks at Killington Resort worked overtime to make it happen. An official opening ceremony to celebrate this exciting venue was held Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7:45 a.m.
Head of School Tao Smith took the first chair up over the weekend, conducting an impromptu interview with a young athlete on the chair next to him. It took just over five minutes to get up to the mid-station.
The ongoing improvements to the Highline trail and the addition of the mid-station to the Snowdon Triple will have a significant impact on athlete performance. With the current turnaround time, athletes typically get five to six runs in a three-hour session; the mid-station will drastically improve that number. With athletes now able to increase their daily volume, the overall intensity of their training will increase as well. These two factors–volume and intensity– are critical to improving performance at all age levels. This change also means that athletes will be ready to compete at their best much earlier in the year.
“The mid-station allowed for a faster lap time,” said senior Alpine athlete Tommaso Auerbach, after a recent training day. “We got a lot of runs in, and having a shorter lift ride allowed for a higher level of focus. In addition, less time spent sitting on the lift allows muscle memory to build up more quickly because you spend more uninterrupted time doing something. We got in seven runs today, and there’s the potential to get up to ten on a day when the lift is running full speed. It improved training, without a doubt.”
Bobby Ryan agreed. “It doubled our training today and made it more beneficial to be on the hill for sure.”
PG Freestyle athlete Myles Frendel added, “Today we were able to build our mogul course in one day, something that usually takes two days without the mid-station, due to time spent sitting on the lift. It really helped us tremendously.”
Despite a strong initial fundraising push last winter, KMS has borrowed money to complete this project. More remains to be accomplished in this final phase: additional funds must be raised to finish paying for the mid-station and also to bury the power pole on Highline, which is slated to take place this spring.