With almost 500 inches of snow (and counting) this season, official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training site Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, Ore., set the moguls team up for success at a 15-day camp that wrapped June 22. Conditions were prime and the team packed in 11 training days on the Palmer glacier.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza had two goals for this first Mt. Hood camp: reinforcing fundamentals and bringing new tricks to snow, both of which he felt the team achieved. Jaeline Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) and Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) trained grab jumps, new for both women. Common in freeskiing, grabs are not often seen in moguls competition, but both Kauf and Johnson want to up their degree of difficulty (DD) and the overall excitement of their runs. Alex Lewis (Carlisle, Mass.) and Jesse Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) worked on polishing their higher DD jumps such as double-fulls and cork-10s. "This summer I want to work on progressing my cork 10’s to make them more consistent," said Lewis. "I also want to improve my strength. Overall it’s been a good start to the prep season.”
“I’ve been playing around with a couple of grabs and new jumps myself,” said Kauf. “I think it’s super important to continue building your air package and ‘bag of tricks.’ It just gives you more options and helps with both air awareness and your confidence on other jumps.”
“Mt. Hood is one of my favorite training venues for perfecting my tricks,” said Hannah Soar (Somers, Conn.). “Our coaches, in conjunction with the Timberline staff, create great jump sites for our team to use in the summer when we are working on new jumps and tweaking our old ones. This camp I focused on getting back to on-snow jumping by working on my back lay and back full which I competed last season, and then when we return to Mt. Hood in a few weeks I will bring my cork 7 and cork 7 tail grab to snow again and focus on those tricks.”
The team returns to the Utah Olympic Park (UOP) for jump training on the water ramp before their second on-snow camp at Timberline next month. “Athletes know what they need to work on in their jumps to take them to the next level when we return to the UOP,” said Gnoza. “The next Timberline camp is another chance to go from water to snow. This is important so that they can practice landing and skiing so they can work to develop seamless exits from jumps as they reenter the moguls - something that cannot be duplicated on the water.”
“Timberline is always the perfect place to try something new,” said Johnson. “Every time I’ve been there I’ve brought a new trick to snow, and this time was heli-mute! The vibes are great there, it’s hands down my favorite summer training venue and I’m stoked to go back.”
For a team that crisscrosses the globe training and competing, it’s always nice to feel at home. Timberline has been playing host to the moguls team for the past three summers (and much longer prior to that) and it’s clear the Oregon resort has become a home away from home for these athletes.
“Timberline is always an incredible training camp for us,” said Andringa. “We get to go straight from water ramping and bring our new, more difficult tricks directly to snow which is huge. On top of that, Hood and Government Camp are one of the most fun places in the world.”