Pinnacle students traveled to Hintertux, Austria to a glacier camp on October 1. This European camp was an important experience for the student-athletes as they continued their training and conditioning and got highly coveted on-snow training with coaches Tom Barbeau, the newly hired Director of Athletic Performance, Adam Chadbourne, and Head Women’s coach Stephanie Darling. Peter Stokloza, CEO, even made an appearance with two of BBTS’s finest Alpine Masters racers.
The athletes skied hard for five straight days before taking a day off. After the GS block, the student-athletes were prepared to train slalom for several days. They were stymied, however, by heavy snowfall and poor visibility during the last two days of the training block. Overall, the group was fortunate to get in eight of the nine scheduled days on snow. The Pinnacle men and ladies even enjoyed a fabulous day of powder skiing after a huge snowfall two days before their departure. The group experienced the full spectrum of fall glacial conditions: hard glacial ice to deep powder; and they skied it all.
Shelbie Osak, a sophomore in the Pinnacle Program, explained how BBTS’s Burdenko Training (an off-snow conditioning and rehabilitation program developed by Russian sports scientist Dr. Igor Burdenko) has been huge in building strength and coordination. According to Shelbie, “Hintertux was really fun! One day, when the fog was really thick, I lost my outside ski after hitting a rut and was able to move off the course, over to Tom, on just my inside ski. My first words to him were, ‘Did that just really happen?’ Before I started Pinnacle I barely knew what a 1-legged squat was; now I can do a bunch! That’s why I was able to ski just on one ski that day.”
Shelbie went on to say, “In our free time, some of us were hitting the trampolines. I learned how to do front and back flips!”
BBTS athletes trained alongside some of the very best skiers in the world. They were able to see or train near Tina Maze, Ivica Kostelic, and Maria Reich. There were many others, of course, but those were the big international Alpine stars!
They also trained next to the huge terrain park at Hintertux and saw some amazing tricks being thrown by international Freestyle and Snowboard athletes. These high-level Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard athletes were a huge validation that the BBTS group was at the right place at the right time. Elite international athletes can train on any glacier in Europe, but they, too, chose Hintertux, and were ready for the challenge of extremely demanding conditions on steep lanes. The BBTS group, used to a more moderate pitch for early GS training, re-calibrated their expectations, attacked the tough terrain and made strong improvements that will serve them well as they move into the winter season.