Top telemark skiers compete in Whitefish

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 2:00 am | Updated: 8:20 pm, Wed Mar 17, 2010.

The Daily Inter Lake

The U.S. Telemark National Championships will be contested today through Sunday at Whitefish Mountain Resort, attracting about 40 racers and families from out of town and featuring many local skiers as well.

Due to the recent warm weather, the race course has been moved to the top of the mountain and will run from the top of Chair 5, through Ptarmigan Bowl and end just above Bench Run.

“We are thrilled that Whitefish Mountain Resort has worked with us to move the race to this venue higher on the mountain,” race organizer Linda Hobbs said.

“It will provide a challenging slope for the racers, a spectacular jump and a fun area to skate through the trees. The viewing for the public from the chairlift or from around Ptarmigan Bowl will be fantastic.”

The event will involve a variety of competitive levels.

Experience and speed suits are not necessary to register in the Masters category (ages 40 and older), two junior categories (ages 14 to 17 and ages 13 and younger) or the Citizens category, ages 18 to 39.

Those interested in testing their skills against the U.S. National Team members can enter in the Elite category, which requires a competitive license.

Whitefish has been home to many members of the U.S. National Team over the years.

Current team members Kelsey Schmid-Sommer, Peter McMahon and David Hobbs are Whitefish residents. Eric Lamb, currently a Boulder, Colo., resident, was raised and raced in Whitefish for many years.

Whitefish resident Cole Schneider recently was selected for the newly formed U.S. Regional Team.

Schmid-Sommer is a four-time Women’s National Champion and will be defending her title this week.

Hobbs recently finished a series of World Cup races in Colorado where he had a 10th place finish.

In addition to the current team members, several former team members will race again on their home mountain.

Reid Sabin, Cody McCarthy, Chris Carpenter and Neil Persons all plan to enter the competition.

Sabin is a former telemark world champion and has been training at Whitefish Mountain Resort this winter.

U.S. Telemark National Championships Schedule

Today: 10:15 a.m., Don K Chevrolet Giant Slalom – A two-run event with a combined time. The giant slalom includes a Nordic style jump.

Friday: 11 a.m., Karbon Classic – A one-run event that includes giant slalom gates, a jump, a 360-degree banked turn and Nordic skating.

Saturday: 10:30 a.m., Big Sky Brewing Sprint Classic and Banquet – A shorter version of the Classic, with two runs for combined time.

Sunday: 10 a.m., Don K Subaru Pro Dual Slalom – A two-run format with combined time. There will be two side-by-side courses with a racer on each course. The pro-style slalom will have the gates set a little farther apart than the traditional alpine slalom.

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