COPPER MOUNTAIN, COLO. — It’s still dark on the hill as a small group of junior ski racers waits for the first lift to the training lanes. They are ahead of the national teams and a full three hours before Copper Mountain’s public opening. This is Tichy Racing’s early season training camp, U15 and
U17 Canadian and American skiers, many aspiring to make Olympic teams.
“We actually like to be this early — we get the best snow that way,” 15-year-old Arizah Karim tells me on Nov. 8 as we head up for timed runs on a rolling giant slalom course. Out at Copper for my grandpa’s birthday, I’ve talked my way into skiing several days with the camp as a 30-something masters racer, gaining the opportunity to train with driven young athletes and a glimpse of the world through the goggles of a junior racer.
Martin Tichy, a former World Cup racer and member of Tichy Racing’s family line of coaches, runs this particular camp, which he explains is in collaboration with Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club and by invitation only.