The Copper Mountain camp: an opportunity for the ski team


The transition into winter sports can be tough for any athlete. To combat this, a few of the students on the FHC ski team took a trip to Copper Mountain, Colorado to ease into the race season.

Getting on a race course before the season can be very beneficial for high school racers and the Copper Mountain camp was the perfect opportunity to do so. Over Thanksgiving break, the ski racing program known as WinAlpine, held a race camp with one mission statement in mind: “To create the highest level of personal training in a productive environment for athletes via staff, prime training arenas, less crowding, hands-on dryland, awesome lodging, and constant mentoring and coaching.”

This opportunity jumped out to a few of the members of the FHC ski team, including Christian Bethea, Thomas Carano, Maya Sneider, Kiera Kemppainen, Lucy Mclean, and Ally Werkema. All six of these racers had their own reasons for going and goals for the trip. Senior captain Thomas Carano said, “I went because I really wanted time before the Michigan ski season started to get used to my skis in an environment that’s steeper and more involved than the terrain back home”.

Although there was much excitement for all of the students, they still had work to do in order to get something out of the camp. Early morning training and long days full of racing challenged the racers, but in the end, they were able to benefit from the practice. Looking back on the trip, senior captain Lucy Mclean recalled what she gained from the experience. “I learned how to be a better skier overall through drills, coaching, watching two Olympians practice, and practicing on a much steeper course than Cannonsburg’s. I think I’ve learned everything that I’m doing wrong so that now at Cannonsburg practices I know specifically what to work on.”

The trip was primarily for getting prepared for the season, but that didn’t stop any of the racers from having fun both on and off of the hill. Senior captain Christian Bethea enjoyed the freedom that the trip permitted. “My favorite part about camp was being able to mess around with friends and explore Copper Mountain,” said Christian. Others, such as Lucy, enjoyed the skiing opportunities that the camp offered. “I actually ended up loving the morning practices because all of the racers were let up the hill at 6 a.m., and we got to watch the sunrise. Nobody else was allowed on the hill until 9 a.m., so it felt like our own personal mountain,” said Lucy.

The Copper Mountain camp has really paid off for the six FHC skiers who went because of the lack of snow that we currently have across the state of Michigan. Hopefully, all of the money, time, and effort that went into the camp pays off for the racers, but for now, we just have to anxiously wait and see.