FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Disabled alpine teams on-snow this month at Mt. Hood

Disabled alpine teams on-snow this month at Mt. Hood{mosimage}A cool spell earlier this month helped set-up nearly ideal training conditions for U.S. alpine mono-skiers at a 10-day, on-snow training camp at Timberline Ski Area.

“It’s great, and being here earlier than we normally are,” Head Coach Kevin Jardine said, “we’re getting a lot done. We can ski to the bottom of the lift and that saves a lot of time, a lot of lugging and hauling of equipment from vehicles, and so forth. And Timberline, as usual, has been great for us to work with; they’re very accommodating.”

All mono-skiers except Kevin Bramble (LW-12; Truckee, CA) are in camp, Jardine said. Bramble, the reigning mono-ski downhill world champion, is absent with permission as doctors consider surgery on a troublesome pressure point. Chris Devlin-Young (LW-12/1; Campton, NH), who won the slalom and giant slalom titles at the 2004 World Championships, is in camp, Jardine added, but may be facing shoulder surgery later in the summer so he’s in top condition for the 2006 Paralympics.

“The snow has been almost perfect. It was cool for about 10 days before we got here [late last week with athletes arriving through the weekend and Monday], so the snowmelt slowed and now we’ve got nearly perfect conditions. We started with a couple of days of free-skiing [i.e., no running gates] and then some simple drills, some GS technique work as we go through our progression. We’re going from technical to tactical.”

The camp is the second on-snow camp for the disabled squad, following a successful four-day series of “quick but intense” free-skiing at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. It’s also the start of a three-camp schedule at Timberline, according to Jardine, who is in his second year as head coach after several seasons as an assistant coach.

“We’ll be skiing every day until Sunday, then everyone flies home Monday…and we’ll have a standups camp out here July 8-22. Then we’ll take five days off and come back again for another five-day camp, only that one is optional,” he said.

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