Ski Team ventures to Vermont for a weekend on the slopes

Naomi Yaeger, Staff Writer

Clad in trash bags to stay dry during the rain, the ski team went on their annual ski trip to Killington this past weekend, Harper Rosenberg (10) said. “It was raining [on the second day], so the conditions weren’t ideal, and some of us wore trash bags to keep dry,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The trip gave the coaches a greater sense of the team’s ability before their races in January, Ski Coach John Eckels said. Unlike with other sports, preseason for ski centers around conditioning, not playing the sport itself, he said. Players run, do agility ladder drills, hold planks, and do jumping jacks, among many other activities, he said. “You can’t really tell how good a skier someone is,” he said.

Skiing together over the weekend helped make up for this needed practice time, Lynn Egan (10) said. As there is no snow at the school, the trip gave the team a chance to practice more than just their dry land skills, she said.

Even though they were not training for races, the trip allowed the team to change from a group of individual skiers into a cohesive team, Ski Coach Rawlins Troop said. “We don’t really start practicing on the hill we race on until we get back from vacation,” he said. “The idea was to go up there, have fun, and be safe.”

The ski team left for Killington on Thursday after school, taking a five hour long bus ride, Rosenberg said. When they got to Vermont they didn’t have time for much except to eat dinner and head to their hotel rooms, she said.

On Friday, the team headed over to the ski resort early, arriving right when it opened, Eckels said. “The first few runs we were all together, as much as possible,” he said. After lunch, everyone went skiing on their own, occasionally crossing paths on the mountain, he said.

During their free time after lunch, Rosenberg and some teammates went skiing in the woods, she said. “A trail is normally around 100 feet wide, but you can go into the woods into these small foot-long crevices,” she said. “There’s obstacles, like rocks and stuff, but we managed to make our way around them.” After the team left the resort, they had dinner and a gift exchange, she said. 

For this mini “Secret Santa Gift Exchange,” members of the team brought in a gift for another teammate and received a gift themselves from someone else, Egan said. The exchange took place across grades, giving people the chance to get to know their teammates better, she said. 

These gifts were generally small items that were fun to receive, Rosenberg said. She received a candle from her “santa,” and gave a bag of chocolates, she said.

On Saturday, the team skied for most of the day, and then drove back to school after lunch, Eckels said. “It was rainy the second day, so we were unsure if we would get very much skiing done, but everyone got out and had an awesome time,” he said.

Most importantly, the trip allowed the team to bond, Troop said. Leading up to the trip, the range of grades on the team and the team’s inability to ski last year caused many of the younger members of the team to lack a strong connection with their teammates, he said. “It was just nice to get everybody out, forget about Covid for a while, and go out and have a good time,” he said.

Eckels’ favorite moment from the trip happened while he wasn’t skiing himself, he said. While sitting on the chairlift, he spotted a group of skiers on the team of mixed ability levels. “People were zipping down the hill, but then they kept getting to the next face and stopping and waiting for their teammates to show up. It was clear that it wasn’t just about themselves, that they were really focused on staying together as a team,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Even small moments allowed the team to make fun memories, Ariella Frommer (10) said. After practice at school, Frommer and some teammates usually go to the ice bath in the fitness center, she said. “Obviously we didn’t have an ice bath [at the hotel], but we were still really tired after training, so we filled up the hotel bathtub with ice and water, and made an ice bath,” she said.

Looking ahead, Troop is excited to see the team race and keep up their good spirits, he said. “We usually do pretty well on the races. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there,” he said.