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Alpine Meadows’ freeheelin’ youth dominating

0 Comments 14 March 2011

Kami Abi-Nader and Bennett Drummond tackling The Buttress at the Mountain Hardwear Big Mountain Telemark Series at Alpine Meadows.

Watch an experienced freeheeler make a perfect tele-turn, and it’s like art. And thanks to Jason Layh, coach of the Tahoe Freeheel Youth Program at Alpine Meadows, it’s not a dying art.

Last month, team members Bennett Drummond and Kami Abi-Nader won the Junior Divisions for the Mountain Hardwear Big Mountain Telemark Festival, skiing Keyhole on day one and The Buttress on day two.

They dominated at the Grand Targhee tour stop too.

“We’re headed to Crested Butte in two weeks, and if they do it again they’ll have swept the entire national series,” Layh said.

The competition runs March 17-19 at Crested Butte.

The program started 5 years ago, an offspring of the Freeride Program, Layh said, growing to 15 members this year.

“It’s just different, something new to try,” Abi-Nader said. “It hurts more,” she added with a smile.

Telemark skiing allows the team to really move around the mountain into different terrain, so a big part of the program has been teaching the team mountain awareness, Layh said, and many athletes have there Avalanche 1 certification.

“They need the head skills to match the foot skills,” Layh said.

Abi-Nader said she thinks Alpine Meadows is a good fit for the team, with diverse terrain accessible by traversing or hiking a little away from the lifts.

“We’re broadening the things we can do rather than just staying in the same runs,” Abi-Nader said.

Competing at Alpine Meadows, Drummond said he liked the Keyhole on the first day of competition, where the juniors were able to tackle the same terrain as the pros.

To learn more, go to the Tahoe Freeheel webpage here.

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Greyson

Greyson - who has written 24 posts on Ski Alpine Meadows.
As the Interactive Marketing Coordinator for Alpine Meadows, a good day means hours on the hill shooting photos, then hours back at my desk fixing them up and posting them to the blog for all of you.

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