Greetings SBSEF,

I am writing this email from a snowy Kitzbuhel, Austria on the morning of the 83rd running of the Hahnenkamm, the “Super Bowl” of ski races.  The “Streif” is a mind-boggling difficult and dangerous downhill track that is widely considered to be the ultimate test of skiing meddle.  Last week SBSEF Alumni Jared Goldberg finished 4th in a World Cup Downhill on the Streif.  This is a remarkable feat that few ski racers in history have accomplished, rare air indeed!

Meanwhile, Bella Wright finished 11th in the Women’s World Cup Downhill just around the bend in Cortina, Italy yesterday, and will compete again in the next leg of her already successful World Cup campaign this year.  SBSEF Alumni are at this point proving on a daily basis to be among the very fastest in. the world!

This week Owen Carlson will be competing in the Freeride World Junior Championships in Kappl, Austria for the 2nd year in a row.   It is with anticipation that I will make the trip over the hill to see that event, scheduled for January 24th, as Owen competes with the best 15-18 big mountain athletes in the world yet again.

  • Watch the competition live on YouTube on Jan 24 starting at 2AM MST: CLICK HERE

Our Snowboard and Adaptive Teams are competing at multiple international venues including Europe and Canada right now as well and continue to produce impressive results in BoarderX events.  It is safe to say that SBSEF is spanning the globe!

On the home front, it has been an amazing start to the ski season in terms of snow, with over 400″ already it is safe to say that the skiing has been good.  Of course the gratuitous snowfall does create significant challenges in terms of logistics and conditions for training at times, particularly on the Alpine side.  Still, I think we can all agree that it is great to have the snow and the fantastic conditions.  It does appear that the weather pattern is going to shift a bit in the coming weeks.  The coaches have been doing a fantastic job of adapting to changing conditions and pivoting training plans for their groups.

SBSEF athletes have already competed at nearly every age group on the Alpine and Freeride sides, see below for more detailed group highlights.

This weekend also marked the first IFSA Regional competition of the season, and at Snowbird no less, in the legendary Silverfox venue.

The excitement is tangible, the results are incredible.

Dream Big.  Work Hard.
Bridger Call
SBSEF Executive Director

Alpine Jfast Update

JFAST competed in their first race of this season this past Week (Jan 17, 18) The race, two giant slaloms, held at Snowbird, was one for the books. With over 12 inches of new snow, a road closure, and soft conditions SBSEF athletes really did have a home field advantage. Congratulations to all Snowbird Athletes as they skied extremely well in very tough conditions.

Our podium finishers were:  U10 Girls – Violet Loeffler, 4th (Devo Transition team), U12 Girls – Liz Eden 1st, 1st,  U10 Boys – Chace Kunigenas 1st, 1st, U12 Boys –  Brody Eaton 1st, 1st, Vonn Kunigenas 2nd, 3rd, Cedric Sullivan 3rd, Arlo Hochman 5th, U14 Boys – Issac Cheung 2nd, 2nd, Leo Cai 3rd, and Benson Scoffield 3rd.

Getting this race off was truly a team effort. A big thank you goes out to parents for keeping athletes energized and on time all day long, our coaches and course crew who worked all day long to keep athletes racing.

~ Bo Maciejko

Jfast Athlete SpotLight:

Farah Kaukab has made huge strides in his GS skiing this season. She has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to improve not only her racing, but her freeskiing as well. She is eager for feedback and always has thoughtful questions about technique and tactics that help her whole group improve. All of Farah’s hard work paid off as he had some exceptional results at this last South Series GS finishing 8th overall in the second race. Great Skiing Farah!







SBSEF Snowboard Update

The Snowboard team has been super busy this month with a lot of international travel.

In early January the Para Team headed to Pyha Finland for some Boardercross World Cup and Europacup races as well as a Camp for about 2 weeks. The course was very good and temps were warmer than we are used to for Finland in January. Not much daylight makes it a challenge to switch time zones – they are currently only about 3 hours between sunrise and sunset (although rarely do you see the sun as it mostly sits behind the horizon). Here are some photos of the one day we actually saw some sunlight.

All our athletes saw some real improvement on that type of a course as well as some great results including a second place for Becca in her first Europacup.

Meanwhile, the Noram snowboard athletes participated in their first North American SBX Cup of the season (and first ever for 2 of them) in Sunshine Banff Jan 11th and 12th .  After a day off in between, they spend 6 days improving and building their riding skills and tactical knowledge on course, all making vast gains. The trip wasn’t complete without 2 days of riding at Kicking Horse and Revelstoke before the next NorAm at Big White.  ~ Lane Clegg

Alpine U14 Update

Snowbird’s U14 Team is off to an impressive start. While record snowfall has cut into our gate-training, the freeskiing has been all-time! Powder skiing this season has shown to improve balance, recoveries, and general hard-charging with our U14 athletes. After days of freeskiing, our athletes have returned to gates with noticeable higher skills. At our first qualifier in Jackson, WY the girls led the charge with impressive results! Samantha Eden was 5th in the GS, won the first SL and was 2nd the next day. Quinn Costello joined Samantha on the podium with a third place finish with Georgia Mikell and Riley Eaton putting in consistent top 15 finishes. Cortland Parker had consistent top 15 finishes, with Sebe Baudendistel finishing with a top performance in 7th place in the first SL. Several of our boys had really impressive runs in the series and are looking forward to building off fast skiing in our next SG qualifier.         ~ Ben Reeder

U14 Athlete Spotlight:

Samantha Eden is our Athlete Highlight for January– not only was she consistently fast in our qualifier- Sam was one of the top U14’s in December at the Sean Nurse Memorial race, also in Jackson. Working hard to improve her technically strong skiing, Sam is also a great teammate, and really respectful of her coaches. Strong work Sam!

Alpine U16 Update

Hello race fans, since the last update a lot has happened and we have gotten a lot of snow which has made things a bit more difficult for all of us. Nonetheless, we have had some great tech training and some great races.

The U16 team started the competition season at Snowking, WY with 2 GS and 1 SL races where nearly everyone of our skiers moved up from their start position. IMD tried a TRS start method for the second GS and our SBSEF skiers took full advantage of the hard snow to prove that starting from the back is not necessarily a bad thing by having 5 in the top 15 that day with Bea Matin just off the podium in 4th. The next day Maddox Comey proved he will be a force to reckon with in SL by landing on the podium in 2nd place.

After a ton of powder skiing and some soft snow training our U16’s took to their home hill for the first qualifier of the year with 2 SL’s and 1 GS. Once again nearly all of our skiers moved up considerably illustrating how dedication and hard work pays off. SBSEF had 7 in the top 15 across the three days. Talise Larsh skied into 2nd and 3rd in the SL’s with Bea Martin and Avery Costello close behind with a couple of 5th and 6th place finishes.

The U16 spotlight of Jan. shines on three skiers, Avery Costello, Talise Larsh and Bea Martin for their tremendous work ethic thus far. On any given day these three athletes are the first to arrive, are fully prepared and focused, and therefore are getting more full strip runs than anyone. These three skiers are pushing one another in terms of pace and their race results speak volumes for their efforts.

The Jan. cowbell goes to Blake Larsen and Evan Easley for being as fired up as possible and ringing the cowbell at the start harder than anyone. Also, a special cowbell ring goes to Sam Schelgel for being our assistant start coach at our home races while he was recovering from injury.

Keep up the awesome hard work, maximum effort gets maximum effort, more cowbell!!!

~ Fritz Wood

Freeride Team Update

Our first weekend of competition is in the books!  Snowbird hosted our first two Regional events of the season with 60 (!)  AltaBird Freeride athletes getting a start on Saturday and 50 starting on Sunday.  The stoke was high with athletes throwing down on Silver Fox in bluebird conditions on Saturday and light snow and cold on Sunday.  The team defended their home turf with podium sweeps in many categories on both days, highlighted by double podium weekends from Jack Reynolds in 15-18 Boys Ski (1st and 2nd), Sasha Bills in 15-18 Girls Ski (3rd and 1st), and Izzy Utgaard and Brooke Copinga in 12-14 Girls Ski (3rd and 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively).

Meanwhile, as mentioned in Bridger’s note above, Owen Carlson is throwing down on the Quellspitze at Kappl, Austria, in the Freeride Junior World Championships, tomorrow at approximately 2-5 AM MST on, representing AltaBird Freeride, SBSEF, the IFSA, and the USA!  LET’S GO OWEN!!!

We’ll have a really busy start to February with athletes competing at IFSA Nationals at Grand Targhee, Red Mountain (BC), Copper Mountain, and Palisades Tahoe with 2 IFSA Regionals at Snowbasin all within the first two weekends of the month!  Stay tuned!

~ Will Dujardin

Alpine Devo Update

Devos started the weekend of January 7th in a blizzard and we had an amazing powder day on Saturday.  Another big storm blew in the following Sunday and we had another great powder day!  Devos are working on stance and balance which we call “Cheetah Position”.  We have also been working on pressuring the front of our boots and carving nice parallel turns.  When we aren’t working doing drills to improve technique you can often find the Devos tearing up the Cirque or in Get Serious.  You probably can’t ski Black Forest without running into a group of Devos.  Devos are training GS this month on the race hill and coming up this weekend is our first race of the season, “The Cookie Cup”.

~ Jason Stone

Devo Spotlight for January is Violet Loeffler.  This is Violet’s second year on Devos and she is part of our Devo Transition Team.  Violet gives it 110% regardless if she is training or free skiing or hitting cliffs and jumps!  She knows how to put it in the fall line in the course and in her first race of the year at Snowbird she placed 4th for U10 girls!

FIS Update:

The FIS team off to the races this year. Our schedule is PACKED this season during the month of January and we have been shepherding groups of skiers around every other weekend. While we are all grateful for the abundance of snow this year, I think we are all looking forward for the snow totals to mellow out somewhat and for some more consistency in our training blocks come the end of February.

We started off January with a trip to Jackson for our First Devo Series. It was a great series for many reasons. One of them being that we were able to take most of the FIS group up. In addition to some great skiing and racing, the Jackson Ski Club was kind enough to allow us to get some GS training every day after the race was concluded. This allowed us to get some needed training volume that had been challenging to get due to the snow conditions at Snowbird.

Jackson is a Devo Qualifier for the Western Regions highest level FIS Racing series – the Elite series. Even though the quota shrank from 80 to 60 athletes from the previous season, we were excited to qualify 11 athletes to this event. Unfortunately, Sun Valley has also had a record year and racing conditions were soft upon arrival. However, they did an awesome job making the surface as good as possible, and the event turned out to be an excellent opportunity to race against the best in our region, and several of our athletes walked away with their best results ever in both SL and GS.

Half of our team departed for another Devo series race today at Sugar Bowl/Palisades Tahoe. And we have athletes competing in the Rocky/Central division, FIS University races, and Western Elite series races back to back through the middle of Feburary as we look to qualify as many athletes as possible to U18’s in Mittersill starting beginning of March.

~ Brennan Rubie

FIS Athlete Spotlight:

Brandon Mayhew: Brandon is an athlete who has always shown that he loves skiing. Whether in gates or off piste, it is clear that he enjoys pushing himself to go faster than his peers and get better. However, I believe that Brandon’s high expectations of himself have prevented him from accepting mistakes and making recoveries during races that led to a region leading DNF rate last season. He also has had a difficult time making changes to his skiing that might better allow his natural athleticism to be an advantage.

This year the coaches have noticed that Brandon has made a monumental shift in the attitude that he brings day to day. At training sessions, he has been among the most consistent in the group to take ownership of the changes he is trying to make; he’s really been participating in the process, asking for guidance when things are unclear, but otherwise pursuing improvement every turn every run with tenacity and focus.

The FIS Staff wants to recognize Brandon today for how far his efforts have already paid off. Both in how far his technical skiing has improved, how much of those changes he is bringing into his “race day skiing”, and also in his DNF rate. By the middle of January, he finished more Slalom races than he did the entire 21/22 season. So keep it up Brandon!

Upcoming Events:

  • Jan 26-27 – Westminster FISU
  • Jan 28 & 29 – The Devo Cookie Cup GS
  • Feb 6 & 9 – Bryce Astle Memorial WR FIS Elite Slaloms
  • Feb 25 & 26 – The Devo Hot Cocoa Cup SL
  • Mar 2-5 – IFSA Jr National Freeride Comp @ Snowbird
  • Mar 17-19 – IMD U12 Championships
  • Mar 25-26 – Devo Good Vibes Freeride Comp
  • April 8-11 – Snow Cup
  • April 15 – Team Duals and BBQ