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Waterville Valley Academy Pinnacle Camp: Hintertux Rocks


#Pinnacle program

The first of two Pinnacle Program Camps in Hintertux, Austria, from October 1 – October 13, was a tremendous success. This European glacier camp was an important experience for the student-athletes as they continued their training-conditioning and got highly coveted on-snow training with coaches Tom Barbeau, the newly hired Adam Chadbourne and Head Women’s coach Stephanie Darling. Peter Stokloza, CEO, even made an appearance with two of BBTS’ finest Alpine Masters racers.

The athletes skied hard for five straight days before taking a day off. After the GS block the student-athletes were prepared to train slalom for several days.  They were stymied, however, by heavy snowfall and poor visibility during the last two days of the training block. Overall, the group was fortunate to get in 8 of the 9 scheduled days on snow. The Pinnacle men and ladies even enjoyed a fabulous day of powder skiing after a huge snowfall two days before our departure.  The group experienced the full spectrum of fall glacial conditions: hard glacial ice to deep powder; they skied it all.

Shelbie Osak, a Sophomore in the Pinnacle Program, explained how the Burdenko Training has been huge in building strength and coordination. 

According to Shelbie, “Hintertux was really fun! One day, when the fog was really thick, I lost my outside ski after hitting a rut and was able to move off the course, over to Tom, on just my inside ski.  My first words to him were, ‘Did that just really happen?’  Before I started Pinnacle I barely knew what a 1-legged squat was; now I can do a bunch!  That’s why I was able to ski just on one ski that day.”

Shelbie went on to say, “In our free time, some of us were hitting the trampolines.  I learned how to do front and back flips!”

Our kids were also training beside some of the very best skiers in the world. Among those our Pinnacle athletes saw and trained near were: Tina Maze, Ivica Kostelic, and Maria Reich. There were many others, of course, but those were the big international Alpine stars!  They also trained alongside the huge terrain park at Hintertux and saw some amazing tricks being thrown by international Freestyle and Snowboard athletes. These Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard high-level athletes were a huge validation that our group was at the right place at the right time. Elite international athletes can train on any glacier in Europe, but they too chose Hintertux, and were ready for the challenge of extremely demanding conditions on steep lanes. Our group, used to a more moderate pitch for early GS training, re-calibrated their expectations, attacked the tough terrain and made strong improvements that will serve them well as we move into our winter season.