Cole Schneider – Biography

Hometown: Whitefish, MT
Birthplace: Omaha, NE
Birthdate: 1 – 25 – 83
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 165
Education: BS from University of Wisconsin Madison (If you’re curious, I studied physics and medieval literature in equal measure)

USTSA Team Sponsors: Flylow, Scarpa, Global Rescue, CW-X Conditioning Wear, Saucer Wax

My Skiing History:
If you grow up in Nebraska, simply finding a place to ski presents a bit of a challenge.  The largest, in fact, the only ski area within three hours of home was a very small hill in Iowa that offered three runs and a hundred and fifty vertical feet of manmade snow.  That’s where I learned how to ski. Luckily for me, my family made frequent trips to Colorado, where, at twelve I got my first exposure to ski racing.

A few years later I traded my race skis for a pair of leather telemark boots.  Yes, of course there were plastic telemark boots available in 1997, but I had some romantic, unrealistic idea that true telemark skiers wore leather boots, duct-taped gloves, and bushy beards.   At 14, I might not have been able to grow a beard, but I sure was going to have the leather boots and the duct-taped gloves.

After college, I moved to Montana where I became acquainted with the sport of telemark racing, and I couldn’t help but love it. I trained with local Whitefish racers, gradually improving to the point I was able to attend World Cups in Colorado in 2010.  I also got a pair of plastic boots somewhere along the way.

My Goals and Motivation:
Some people have good days and bad days. I have good turns and bad turns.  The very act of making a good turn is gratifying enough to make me to seek out more of the same.  I hope someday to ski a race where I feel I’ve made more good turns than bad turns. None of this to say that I’m not competitive.  I am. I’d like to finish in the top five in at least one event at Nationals, and finish in the top twenty in a World Cup event.

What I love about Telemark Racing:
I could go on at length about all the things I love in Tele racing, but I’ll leave it at two:

I love the feeling of the telemark turn. At the lead change, as the uphill foot snaps forward and throws the hips and upper body down the hill, the magnitude of mechanical energy being transferred through the body feels viscerally powerful and dynamic. The telemark transition is so much snappier than any alpine turn.  Well, when it’s done right, that is.  I don’t always do it right, but when I do it’s an incredible feeling.   It keeps me chasing those perfect turns.

I love the competitive, but friendly nature of the telemark racing community.  Yes, we’re athletes, and we’re competing against each other, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cheer our fellow competitor on as he kicks out of the start gate or crosses the finish line at the end of a grueling classic. In telemark racing, this kind of behavior isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged.

Interesting Facts About Myself:
My wife, Maggie, is also on the team– in fact, we met because of telemark racing.

When there’s no snow to be found, I use my free time to climb mountains, brew beer, blacksmith (yes, blacksmith), and play classical guitar.

Competition Results:

8th overall Nationals 2012
7th Nationals Classic 2

13th overall Nationals 2011
3rd Don “K” Subaru Sprint Classic, Whitefish 2011

3rd Selkirk Classic 2010

Quite a few top 30 World Cup Finishes