The conditions keep getting better, and from what we can tell talking to friends, we have the best snow through the Rockies, of course, we sure wish everyone was skiing powder, but sure makes me appreciate where I get to live.
I had the opportunity to spin some laps with a local skier who has worked her way up the ranks to a world class ski racer. Keely Kelleher is currently on U.S. Ski Team and competing for a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team, naturally it is extremely competitive at these top levels, but with a strong season and good results she’ll be heading to Vancouver in February.
Her specialty is in the speed events, Downhill and Super G, and with 4 spots for each discipline, she’s focused having already skied through the summer south of the equator and has been dry-land training in Park City getting ready for the season, luckily she had a brief break in her schedule to ski around her home mountain and get some of the best conditions around for Thanksgiving.
From meeting Keely, you can tell she’s tight with her family, as we were joined by Brenna and Connor, her sister and brother, so after brief introductions we loaded up on Swifty where I was able to hear stories of her competition on the World Cup circuit with the U.S. Ski Team. We spun a nice screamer first with Calamity Jane and I just tried to keep up.
On the next ride up, Keely surprised me with how much she loves just free-skiing and getting around Big Sky Resort, the place she learned to ski. Some athletes I’ve met focus on the gates and inspections and don’t take the time to relax and have fun in the mountains, but Keely confirmed that’s not her, she spends much of her time in Europe and loves to get out every chance she can get.
We went and found soft snow on Rice Bowl which has a great pitch at the top and protects the snow with its north facing slope. From there it was Crazy Horse out to the base area. The snow was good enough that we decided that we’d stick with the high-speed quad and get a second dose of the snow in Rice Bowl.
Big Sky Resort wants to wish Keely the best of luck as she travels around the globe working toward that Olympic spot, luckily we’ll have her back in Montana for the Christmas break and we’ll offer a ski day with Keely open to Big Sky skiers and will have her submit her own “The Way I Ski It” from her perspective.
We’ll see you out there,