Alpine Ski Team Heads North
Monument’s alpine race team takes a trip to Vermont in search of fresh snow with some slips and spills along the way
January 10, 2017
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Each year the ski team takes a big mountain trip north. This year the seniors chose to go to Mount Snow, in Somerset, Vermont. Brian Seminara took the initiative to leave the school at 6:00 am on Thursday over the winter break. “Going to a big mountain was a tradition the Monument team has done for many years that, unfortunately, due to conditions was unable to happen last year. I am glad we were able to reinstate the tradition this year. To have a snow storm the whole day was just icing on the cake,” the new coach explained.
Immediately the team took their tickets from Coach Brian and headed up from the Sundance Lodge towards the bubble chair for first runs. As we split into groups and spread across the mountain, I found myself surrounded by my teammates Matthew Walsh along with Tyler Harrington and Finn Gerow, both newcomers to the team.
My group ventured towards the far peak, Carinthia. Carinthia is home to the largest terrain park on the east coast. It includes a superpipe, a natural park, a mega park, and more when it is in full swing. Carinthia has also been home to the X-Games, one of the largest action sports contests in the world. On this day, however, Mount Snow was still in the process of setting up for the season. Nevertheless, the mountain had over 405 acres of skiable terrain open.
As we skied throughout the morning, or in my case rode, we talked inexperienced Harrington into hitting some of the jumps. Right before lunch we spotted our coach and headed towards the main lodge with him.
“Before this trip we all assumed that he was exactly like our previous coach Keller Dinan, who was a typical ski racer, but then we discovered Brian was different,” said senior racer Matthew Walsh.
Our group then ventured out once more, but this time accompanied by Brian. Once again we attempted to peer pressure each other into hitting jumps, but we never could get Brain to agree to “send one for the boys”.
With snow continuing to fall, we decided to head to the back face of the mountain in search of powder. On our way we met up with a group of fellow teammates, Ben Higa, Reeve Schroeder, Anna Drucker, and Sydney Ruggiero. On our way to the new peak we managed to get first tracks on some newly opened runs.
Once we arrived on the North Face we found the land of promise, untouched glades (trails through the trees). “I felt the same way looking at the untouched fresh snow as I did when I saw Brian for the first time, excited and hopeful for what was about come,” senior skier Tyler Harrington explained. As the groups split up we lost track of each other, Walsh and Sydney going off on their own, one following in the other’s new tracks. As Ben Higa and I came out of the glades we met up with everyone at the bottom, waiting with Coach Brian.
Soon Ben got a call from Sydney who was at the top. Harrington, or “Darington” as his friends call him, had fallen and was lost with Walsh in the woods. Apparently, he had fallen and broken his arm. Quickly, Brian, Ben, and I lept into action taking the next chair up. At this point it was 3:15 and we were at the top. The lifts to get back to the mountain closed at 3:30. Time was not on our side. As we raced down in search of the fallen Darington and Walsh notified us that they were in the woods, but that his phone was dying. Still not knowing where the injured Darington was, we had lost all communication with Walsh.
Soon we arrived to them on the side of the trail, Tyler already had his arm in a sling by using one of Walsh’s flannels. Brian rushed into action, taking Tyler on his back while the rest of us grabbed his skis and poles. “This guy’s an idiot I thought to myself, but I’m happy to be close enough to him where we both felt comfortable with him carrying me down to safety,” Darington explained. “If it wasn’t for Brian’s quick actions I think we would’ve missed the lift and possibly been stuck,” Darington continued.
As everyone waited at the top, ski patrol splinted Tyler up, scrapping Walsh’s makeshift flannel sling. “I’m happy I was able to help and that he’s going to be okay,” Walsh explained.
Escorted by a 15 year old, 105 pound ski patroler, Tyler was pulled down in the sled, his day at Mount Snow coming to an end. As the coach bus left pushing through the eight inches of new snow on the roads, from the back of the bus Tyler closed his eyes and said, “It was worth it.”