Blackwell, Sarchett share in SVSEF Athlete of the Week

Story by Julia Seyferth

For the second time in a row, there are two SVSEF Athletes of the Week; this speaks to the high level at which these athletes are performing, and the drive and dynamism they are bringing to their respective sports.

Hanna Blackwell is a 15-year-old sophomore at Wood River High School. A member of the Freeskiing A Team, she capitalized this past week at Freestyle and Freeskiing Junior Nationals here in Ketchum, leaving it all at the line in her three events, slopestyle, halfpipe and big air. Hanna skied with grit and confidence and moved into the finals in all three disciplines. She finished seventh overall in the women’s slopestyle event and was the third F17 finisher. In the halfpipe she was fourth overall and the first F17, and in the big air competition she was fifth overall and the third F17. Landing three podiums and pushing the envelope in style and precision, Hanna ended the week of Junior National events on the podium, again; this time in third place for freeskiing combined, which is based on the total points earned overall across slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air events.

Hanna Blackwell

Hanna Blackwell

Freeskiing Travel A/B Team Head Coach Reed Snyderman was impressed with Hanna’s performance at Junior Nationals, saying she “demonstrated some of the best skiing I have ever seen out of her. Hanna is a competitor and I appreciate her hard work and dedication. Hanna ended up getting third in freeskiing combined, which is strong work given the high caliber of the athletes at the event and the fact that she is quite young. We will see how far her passion for skiing takes her!”
RyderThe other Athlete of the Week is IMD Alpine Team skier Ryder Sarchett. Ryder is a seventh grader at the Sage School. At the U14 Western Region Championships this past week, he bagged eighth place in the super-G, second in the slalom and second in the giant slalom. At the end of the week, he had the least number of race points of any male after the three events, making him the overall IMD champion for U14’s.
IMD Head Coach James Tautkus summed up the charisma and energy that Ryder brings to the sport: “The best part about Ryder accepting this award is that he was the only athlete who got up on the podium on the third day still in his ski boots. After photos were taken, he hopped off the podium and kept skiing. This kid has a bright future in this sport with a genuine desire to be on his skis. We are very proud of him and his effort this season, but Ryder is a unique individual who has a deep motivation and sincerely enjoys the process of getting better. It's awesome and refreshing to coach him.”
Congratulations to both athletes on stellar performances at these end-of-season competitions; we’re looking forward to seeing what else is in store.


Ryder Sarchett

SVSEF Competitors Tackle Junior Nationals, NorAm Finals, IMD Championships, Western Regionals


Cross Country Racers tackle Junior Nationals 

Fourteen SVSEF nordic skiers qualified to represent the Intermountain division at Junior Nationals this year in Telemark, Wisconsin. The group headed east, where they were met with incredibly warm temperatures and a lack of ideal snow coverage; races were cancelled, training on snow was limited and moved to nearby trails and courses were altered to make the best of the conditions. Despite the adversity associated with the weather, SVSEF athletes rolled with the punches, securing impressive finishes when there was the opportunity to race.
The week started off with a 10/5km classic race with individual starts. U18 Peter Wolter skied to fourth place, and Henry Raff was 16th in the same event.U16 Johnny Hagenbuch landed in ninth place. Luk Platil was 23rd in the U20 age class. On the women’s side, Lily Brunelle placed 17th in the U16 race, while Anna Gibson was 19th in the U18 field. Katie Feldman,  an SVSEF alumnus who now skis for Middlebury College, placed sixth in the U20 race, representing New England.
Races were cancelled on March 9, but resumed on March 10 with a distance freestyle race; U20 men skied 15km, U20/U18 women and U18 men skied 10km, and U16 men and women skied 5km; all on a 3.7km course. Ella Wolter was 22nd for U16 women; Johnny Hagenbuch was eighth for U16 men. Anna Gibson finished ninth in the U18 women’s race. Peter Wolter was 10th, Leo Lukens 18th, and Carter Ros 21st in the U18 men’s field. In the U20 race, Luk Platil was 19th.
March 11 featured freestyle sprint races on a 1.3km course. Lily Brunelle, Ella Wolter and Sophia Mazzoni all moved on from the qualifying round to quarterfinals for the U16 women; Brunelle finished in 19th, Wolter in 21st, and Mazzoni in 28th. Johnny Hagenbuch qualified for quarterfinals on the men’s side and landed in 25th place overall. Anna Gibson and Annika Landis both broke the top 30 for the U18 women; Gibson finished 27th and Landis 30th. Peter Wolter continued his string of top-ten finishes, qualifying for and finishing second in the B final and eighth overall. Ben Brunelle made it to quarterfinals and finished 17th.
The March 11 team relays changed format from a 3x3.3km relay to an uphill climb relay to comply with conditions. Ella Wolter skied on an Intermountain U16 women’s team that skied to ninth place; Sophia Mazzoni and Lily Brunelle were both on the 11th-placing team. Johnny Hagenbuch’s U16 men’s team landed in seventh. The top Intermountain U18 men’s team featured all SVSEF skiers; Peter Wolter, Leo Lukens and Ben Brunelle worked together to finish fifth.
Full results:

Cutler runner-up at Nor-Am Finals 

Haley Cutler, Tanner Farrow and Kipling Weisel are currently in Aspen, Colorado, for the NorAm Alpine Finals, where athletes are competing in downhill, super-G, giant slalom, team and slalom events. Haley Cutler podiumed in the women’s super-G for the Junior age group, skiing to second place; this was Cutler’s first NorAm podium. She finished fourth overall. In the downhill events, Cutler took eighth and 13th overall.
Kipling Weisel and Tanner Farrow have been posting consistent results: Weisel took 13th in the first downhill, 10th in the second and 17th in the super-G. Farrow finished 26th in the first downhill event, 27th in the second downhill and 16th in the super-G.
The athletes will finish out the week with another super-G, a team event and men’s giant slalom and slalom races.
Full results:

IMD Championships, Brundage, ID

The Alpine North team headed to the IMD Championships at Brundage in McCall, Idaho, March 11-13, where athletes competed in giant slalom, dual giant slalom and slalom. SVSEF’s Jessica Blackburn showed consistency with a win in both the U12 giant slalom and the U12 dual giant slalom. Saba Grossman took the win in the U12 slalom. Tatum Minor earned third in the U12 dual giant slalom and fourth in the U12 giant slalom; Paige DeHart followed suite with a fourth place finish in the U12 slalom. Maya Lightner skied to sixth in the ladies U12 giant slalom, with DeHart right behind in seventh. The U10 ladies also stepped it up; Lowie Watkins sped to sixth in the giant slalom, and Natalie Gowe to eighth in the same event.
The SVSEF men kept up the momentum; undery snowy skies, Carter Sammis skied to 12th in the U12 slalom, while Cole Curci led the SVSEF crew in the U12 giant slalom in 17th. Sammis battled it out in the dual giant slalom to come home with the win in the U12 event.
The weekend marked the pinnacle event of the IMD season, and SVSEF athletes approached it with composure and fortitude.
Giant slalom, men, U12
17- Cole Curci
20T- Carter Sammis
31- Colin Hanna
32- Tommy Normand
45- Colin MacGuffie
46- John Tumolo
50- Zephyr Carruth
54- Taylor Rixon
58- Jesse Keefe
Giant slalom, ladies, U10
6- Lowie Watkins
8- Natalie Gowe
Giant slalom, ladies, U12
1- Jessica Blackburn
4- Tatum Minor
6- Maya Lightner
7- Paige DeHart
10- Hannah Ferris
27- Agnes Kind
28- Elgyn Monge
29- Maile Dorland
31- Goldie Kirk
37- Laura Daves
40- Mattigan Monschke
48- Chloe Vogel
52T- Lena Nelson
55- Isabella Hattrup
63- Niki Cohen
Slalom, men, U12
12- Carter Sammis
23- Russell Stumph
26- Cole Curci
38- John Tumolo
46- Tommy Normand
50- Taylor Rixon
51- Colin MacGuffie
53- Jesse Keefe
55- Zephyr Carruth
Slalom, ladies, U10
10- Lowie Watkins
12- Natalie Gowe
Slalom, ladies, U12
1- Saba Grossman
4- Paige DeHart
9- Hannah Ferris
12- Tatum Minor
14- Jessica Blackburn
21- Chloe Vogel
24- Mattigan Monschke
27- Maya Lightner
28- Anabel Viesturs
43- Maile Dorland
45- Laura Daves
58- Isabella Hattrup
Dual GS, men, U12
1- Carter Sammis
See link for rest of results
Dual GS, ladies, U12

  • Jessica Blackburn
  • Tatum Minor

See link for rest of results
Full results:

U14 regionals, Jackson, WY

Several SVSEF IMD alpine racers qualified for the Western Region U14 Championships, held this past weekend at Jackson Hole Resort. In a field of 60 for each gender, the Intermountain region sent 18 girls and 17 boys; four girls of whom were SVSEF skiers, and five boys of whom are from SVSEF.
Overall, the Intermountain division dominated the competition, with its athletes claiming more top-15 results than any other; SVSEF athletes amply contributed to these stats. An overall win for Ryder Sarchett was a highlight of the weekend; he had the least number of race points of any male after the three events.
Coach James Tautkus was pleased with how the weekend played out. “It was really exciting to have our kids perform as well as they did – all of them consistently finishing in the top half of the races. But the biggest reward was traveling as a division and bringing together the different teams we spend our season competing against; kids from the different teams in Intermountain coming together and supporting one another and taking pride in their division.”
On the effects this camaraderie had on the races, Tautkus observed, “I think the vibe was so positive and supportive that it encouraged the amazing results we accumulated as a division. I am so proud of our SVSEF athletes and their rewards for the hard work they put into this season. Their futures are bright.”
Super G, ladies:
7- Falon Hanna
17- Sage Curtis
Super G, men:
8- Ryder Sarchett
10- Buey Grossman
16- Charlie Snyder
Giant slalom, ladies:
10- Marit Kaiser
Giant slalom, men:
2- Ryder Sarchett
11- Charlie Snyder
16- Shaw Dean
(Ridley Lindstrom stood in third place after the first run; however, he busted his boot during the second run.)
Slalom, ladies:
16- Marit Kaiser
19- Sage Curtis
Slalom, men:
2- Ryder Sarchett
3- Buey Grossman
6- Charlie Snyder
17- Shaw Dean
Full results:

Upcoming Events 

Championship events are well underway. Freestyle Nationals begin with training on March 16 and continue through March 20. Alpine U14 Tri Divisional Championships are March 17-20 at Snowbird, Utah, and U16 Regional Championships run March 17-20 at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Springboard for Success: SVSEF Athletes Dive Into End-of-Year Competitions

SVSEF reporting by Julia Seyferth


SVSEF hosts Junior Freestyle/Freeskiing Championships at Sun Valley
The Junior Freestyle and Freeskiing Championships are currently underway on Baldy – the event runs through March 13th. Crews have been working hard to prepare for a week of moguls and dual moguls, as well as big air, aerial, halfpipe and slopestyle competitions. SVSEF athletes who have qualified to compete at home are listed below.
Moguls and dual mogul athletes:
Alex LaFleur
Wilson Dunn
Luke Rizzo
Hunter Diehl
Henry Cherp (3rd alternate)
Addie Rafford
Katie Markthaler
Eliza Marks
Devon Brown
Sam Smith
Halfpipe, Slopestyle, Big Air, Aerials:
Ridge Dirksmeier
Alvaro Jiraldo
Harper Mallett
Jed Waters
Will Griffith
George Murray
Trey Potter
Lachlan McFarland
Luke Higgins
Braden Buchanan
Charlie Price
Sam Ware
Hanna Blackwell
Amanda Brown
Liesl Beyer
Barrett Beyer
Sarah Kope
Joey Markthaler
Dylan Mills

Alpine FIS team stands out at U19 National Junior Championships

The FIS Team competed at the U19 National Junior Championships, February 28-March 4.
Haley Cutler powered through the week with standout performances; the SVSEF athlete won the ladies’ super G, finished seventh in the slalom, 15th in the first downhill and tied for ninth in the second downhill. Teammate Erin Smith raced with tenacity, earning a fifth place finish in the first ladies’ downhill and 15th in the super G. Skylar Cooley finished 25th in the ladies’ slalom.
On the men’s side, Yuri McClure secured 10th in the men’s super G while Jay Fitzgerald took home 29th in the men’s slalom.
Full results:

Nordic Comp Team off to a strong start at Junior Nationals

SVSEF Comp Team skiers who qualified for Junior Nationals completed their first day of racing in Cable, Wisconsin, on Monday, March 7th. The event was a 10km classic interval start for men and a 5km classic interval start for women.
SVSEF saw standout performances for the Intermountain team by Peter Wolter, who finished seventh in the U18/U20 men’s category, Lily Brunelle, who was 17th in the U16 women’s race, and Johnny Hagenbuch, who landed in ninth in the U16 men’s race.
Wednesday will be the next day of racing with a classic sprint, followed by a 15km/10km/5km freestyle mass start on Friday and a freestyle relay on Saturday.
Full results:[1,2,9,8]


Payton Bacca is on a roll – following a stint at the USSA Revolution Tour last month, the 14-year old competed in the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail, Colorado, on March 1. In the past, the event has hosted the likes of Ayumu Hirano, Pat Moore and Hannah Teter, to name a few of the successful snowboarders who can count the Junior Jam as one of their early forays into upper-level competition. The event featured 10 boys and five girls under the age of 14 who were invited to throw down on a 22-foot halfpipe. Bacca stood on the podium at the end of the competition in third in the ladies’ event, behind Tessa Maud in first and Isabella Gomez in second.
(Information sourced from / author Mary Walsh)
Chase Josey is also making waves in the snowboarding world. After bringing home bronze in the men’s snowboard superpipe event at the Oslo X Games, he moved on to the U.S. Open in Vail, Colorado, to compete in the longest running halfpipe event. Shaun White won the men’s event, followed by Ben Ferguson and Taku Hiraoka. Josey earned 18th place in the semifinals, preventing him from qualifying for finals, as only the top 10 moved on.
Full results:
The SVSEF Snowboard Team held their ground at the USASA King of the Wasatch, a weekend of park and pipe events in Park City, Utah. The weather was beautiful, although rain hit on Sunday; a big thanks to the park crew who salted the course and kept the components in good shape for the events throughout the weekend.
Highlights include a third place finish for Elk Spenser in both slopestyle and halfpipe, a win for Aidan Green and Payton Bacca in the halfpipe, and a strong second place finish for Zoe Bacca in two halfpipe events.
Full results:


The SVSEF Freeskiing Travel Team also spent the weekend in Park City for the King of the Wasatch event, March 3-6. The athletes skied well and took home the hardware to show for it.
Slopestyle 1:
Boys (13-15): 4- Jedson Waters
Girls (13-15): 1- Hanna Blackwell
Halfpipe 1:
Men Open Class: 2- Alvaro Jiraldo
Boys (13-15): 1- Jedson Waters
Boys (10-12): 3- Dylan Mills; 4- Sam Ware; 5- Lachlan McFarland
Girls (13-15): 1- Hanna Blackwell
Slopestyle 2:
Men (16-18): 3- Trey Potter
Boys (13-15): 6- Jedson Waters
Girls (13-15): 1- Hanna Blackwell
Halfpipe 2:
Men: Open Class: 1- Alvaro Jiraldo
Men (16-18): 1- Trey Potter
Boys (13-15): 1- Jedson Waters; 2- Will Griffith
Boys (10-12): 2- Sam Ware
Girls (13-15): 1- Hanna Blackwell
Full results:


Following a focused season of competition, eight SVSEF athletes have qualified for the 2016 USSA Freestyle National Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, March 15-21. Wilson Dunn, Addie Rafford, Luke Rizzo, Hunter Diehl, Henry Cherp, Eliza Marks, Devon Brown and Alex LaFleur have all received the nod. They will compete in both moguls and dual moguls.


Members of the SVSEF Gold and Comp Nordic Teams trekked over to the familiar stomping grounds of West Yellowstone for the Rendezvous races. “Everyone had good races and the conditions stayed fast for the races in the AM. Perfect West Yellowstone corduroy,” commented Gold Team coach Colin Rodgers.
Isabella Bourret was third in the 5km skate female 14-15 year old category. Joe Hall was sixth in the 25km skate male 13-17 category. In the longer distances, PG and Gold Team athletes all had strong races – in the 25km classic race, Mary Rose (Gold Team) was the top female finisher. Ben Lustgarten (Gold Team) was the second overall male, and Mark Pollock (PG guest from Australia) was third. In the 25km skate race, Comp team coach David Vanderpool was the second overall male. In the 50km skate, Matt Gelso (Gold Team) claimed the top spot, Rogan Brown (Gold Team) was just two seconds behind him in second, and Henry Gorman (PG) was third.
Full results:
Another contingent of the SVSEF Nordic Team is training and racing in Canmore, Alberta, and is ending the trip by watching World Cup races. Skiers competed in the Lake Louise Loppet on Sunday, March 6. The annual event featured a 10km and a 20km classic race that began on the picturesque Lake Louise and then wound its way through narrow, wooded trails. Cash Dart and Anja Jensen both won their 10km 11-14 age groups. SVSEF swept the top three spots in the 20km men’s 15-19 category; Keene Morowitz won, followed by Danny Graves in second and Max Polito in third. Jacob Truxal was seventh and Tim Regan was eighth. Coach Mikey Sinnott also raced, and was fourth in the men’s 30-39 category. On the women’s side, Loni Unser was fifth in the 20km 15-19 category, Katherine Estep was sixth, and Ellie Polk was eighth.
Full results:


FIS – Western Region Junior Championships
The FIS Team has been putting on the miles for a number of series and races; most recently, they traveled to Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho for the Western Region Junior Championships. Spencer Wright, Kristian DeWolfe and John Blackburn came out strong with fourth, eighth and ninth place finishes, respectively, in the men’s slalom event on March 5. Noah Leininger took 11th in the men’s giant slalom on Sunday, and Sage Rheinschild took 13th in the ladies’ super G on the same day.
Giant slalom and super G events still remain.
Full results:

IMD Team at Western Region U14 Championships

The IMD Team is headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, March 10-13, for the Western Region U14 Championships, the premier event for the team this season. SVSVEF has four girls and four boys competing, which is as many as any other team in the division. Buey Grossman​, Ryder Sarchett, Ridley Lindstrom, Charlie Snyder, Marit Kaiser, Falon Hanna, Sage Curtis and Sage Holter will represent SVSEF at the championships.
The athletes are coming off a tough long weekend in Utah at Snowbasin, which featured three super G events. Sage Holter had a notable performance, as she fought hard to qualify for the Western Region U14 Championships. Buey Grossman won overall for the weekend.
Race 1:
Boys: Buey Grossman- 1; Ryder Sarchett- 4; Shaw Dean- 10; Ridley Lindstrom- 13; Charlie Snyder- 15; Falon Hanna- 3
Girls: Marit Kaiser- 8; Sage Holter- 12; Emma MacGuffie- 15
Race 2:
Boys: Buey Grossman- 2; Ryder Sarchett- 11; Shaw Dean- 12; Charlie Snyder- 15
Girls: Marit Kaiser- 11; Sage Holter- 13
Race 3:
Boys: Buey Grossman- 3; Ryder Sarchett- 4; Ridley Lindstrom- 5; Shaw Dean- 9 (tie); Charlie Snyder- 9 (tie)
Girls: Marit Kaiser- 5; Anhwei Kirk- 9; Emma MacGuffie- 11
Full results:

North Series

A number of SVSEF athletes have qualified for the IMD Championships, which take place at Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho, March 10-13. The event is for athletes U12 and younger.
Qualified Athletes:
Colin Hanna
Leo Molter
Carter Sammis
Cole Curci
Tommy Normand
Russell Stumph
Taylor Rixon
Colin MacGuffie
John Tumolo
Jessica Blackburn
Tatum Minor
Hannah Ferris
Paige DeHart
Saba Grossman
Logan Lindstrom
Goldie Kirk
Agnes Kind
Laura Daves
Elgyn Monge
Isabella Hattrup
Mattigan Monschke
Maile Dorland
Niki Cohen
Anabel Viesturs

Mini World Cup Team

The Mini World Cup Team had the chance to put their skills to the test at Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley. The March 5th event saw a strong field of young athletes who competed with verve and enthusiasm in the super G.

  1. Max Meucci
  2. Jesse Keefe
  3. Eric Parris
  4. Zephyr Carruth
  5. Sacha Stern-Pre
  6. Luca Broussard
  7. Paxton Sammis
  8. Thomas DeKlotz
  9. Holden Archie
  10. Owen Walker
  11. Bodin Lee
  12. Abel Marx
  13. TJ Campbell
  14. Calder Baty
  15. Alec Wiedemann
  16. Rylan Mann


  1. Lena Nelson
  2. Maya Lightner
  3. Lowie Watkins
  4. Chloe Vogel
  5. Natalie Gowe
  6. Caroline Dean
  7. Charlotte Davis-Jeffers
  8. Ripley Scales
  9. Kendall Felker
  10. Maeve Bailey
  11. Taylor Hovey
  12. Ava Agnew
  13. Scarlet Rixon

Cutler, Josey on podiums and pages as SVSEF's Co-Athletes of the Week

Being able to capitalize is key.
Casting aside any hint of doubt, focusing on the present challenge, staying calm and collected and knowing your strengths can make all the difference, especially when you’ve got just a chance or two to show your stuff.
Two athletes practiced this to a T in their respective competitions over the weekend, making them the SVSEF Co-Athletes of the Week.
Haley Cutler, a member of the FIS team, has had a standout racing season, capturing a number of wins and podiums and showing consistency throughout. The skier traveled to Copper Mountain, Colorado, for the U19 National Junior Championships – a series that runs through Saturday, March 5. Competing against top skiers from across the country, Cutler was one of 17 women who qualified to represent the Western Region at the series. After a seventh place finish in the slalom on Sunday, which was a big accomplishment in its own right, Cutler came out charging in the super G and took home the win in a field of 49 competitors. This title secured Cutler’s place at the U. S. National Alpine Championships here in Sun Valley, March 22-27, which will draw the likes of U.S. National Ski Team members and collegiate racers.
“We’ve been training and building towards this series, NorAm finals and U.S. Nationals. To win this super G is big; it shows she’s been working hard and doing a good job, and shows her training and racing leading up to this point has prepared her to do that,” said FIS Head Coach Nate Schwing.
There is one more championship event left in the series; the downhill takes place on Friday, March 4. Although Cutler is well rounded across the board, super G and downhill are her strengths – with the momentum she’s built, we’re looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
The X Games features some of the best winter sports athletes from around the world, and SVSEF Gold Team snowboarder Chase Josey was invited to participate in the event in Oslo, Norway, this past week. In the men’s snowboard superpipe final, Josey stomped his runs, impressing the judges and the crowd alike with his smoothness and technical strength. In his final run, Josey perfectly executed a double Michalchuk into a front side 1080 double cork and a switch double crippler – a trick that hardly any other riders are throwing down – which translated into a bronze medal for the 20-year old. A large feat, given this is only his second X Games appearance and he is competing against the likes of Iouri Podladtchikov and Ayumu Hirano, the 2014 Olympic halfpipe gold and silver medalists.
“This is definitely kind of vindication for what happened in Aspen at the X Games. The event got cut short because of snow; Chase didn’t have a clean first run, and unfortunately it was the only run he got. He was looking like a contender for that event,” said SVSEF coach Andy Gilbert. “For him to go to Norway and be the top American rider, putting himself on the podium and contending with an Olympic gold medalist (Iouri Podladtchikov), it says a lot about where his riding is at right now.”
Josey is currently at the U.S. Open in Vail, Colorado. It is the longest running halfpipe event, and among riders it is considered the most prestigious.

All The World's A Stage and SVSEF Athletes Have Starring Roles

Haley Cutler earns win at U19 Nationals
The SVSEF FIS team is currently at U19 Nationals at Copper Mountain in Colorado, where athletes are putting it all on the line. Events include slalom, giant slalom, super G and downhill.
Haley Cutler had a breakout performance in the super G on March 1st, winning the race and securing a spot at the U.S. National Alpine Championships here in Sun Valley, March 22-27.
Cutler skied a technically sound slalom race on February 28 to place seventh overall. Erin Smith dug in for 15th in the giant slalom on February 29.

Haley Cutler racing at Schweitzer, Montana, earlier in the season. Photo by Brett Jacobson.

Results, Slalom
U19 Men: Jay Fitzgerald 29-S, DNF-GS; Will Snyder 42-S, DNF-GS; Yuri McClure 47-S, 40-GS; Duncan Fuller DNF-S, 45-GS
U19 Women: Haley Cutler 7-S, DNF-GS; Skylar Cooley 25-S, 19-GS; Erin Smith DNF-S, 13-GS; Ruby Marden 44-S, 36-GS; Katelyn Rathfon 46-S, 20-GS
Men’s slalom:
Women’s slalom:
Men’s GS:
Women’s GS:


Peter Wolter rises to the occasion at U18 Nations’ Cup
SVSEF nordic skier Peter Wolter traveled to Otepaa, Estonia to race in the U18 Nations’ Cup after qualifying with top performances at the U.S. Cross Country Nationals. Wolter was one of twelve Americans who competed against athletes from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia.
The Nations’ Cup began with a 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprint on Friday – Wolter qualified for the quarterfinals in 26th place out of 44. He did not move on past quarterfinals and ended up finihsing 24th overall.

Left, Peter Wolter in team relay

On Saturday, the men battled it out in a 10-kilometer classic event. This was Wolter’s stand-out performance of the weekend – the Hailey native skied a smart race to finish 15th overall in a field of 41 competitors with a time of 26:14.7; he was the fourth American for the day. Norway swept the podium, with Joergen Lippert completing the course in 24:04.1 for the win.
Wolter started things off for his relay team as the first leg of three on Sunday, skiing five kilometers of classic before passing off to the subsequent five-kilometer skate legs. Wolter’s team, which included U.S. athletes Karl Schulz and Noel Keeffe, was ranked ninth going into the race; the team drove it home to finish eighth.
For full results:
Skate sprint:
Classic 10km:
Prep and Devo teams take home the hardware at Intermountain Youth Champs
SVSEF hosted the Intermountain Youth Championships February 27-28 at Lake Creek; the event was a chance for young competitors, whether new to the sport or veterans in their own right, to come together and participate in a variety of races – 270 athletes attended, with ages ranging from six to 15 years old. Athletes traveled from Boise, Bozeman, Glacier, Jackson Hole, Park City, West Yellowstone, McCall, Salt Lake City, Missoula, and Logan, Montana, for the event.
“The stoke was high and as the Norwegians would say, ‘the shape was good,’” observed SVSEF Nordic Program Director Rick Kapala. who served as chief of course for the event.
Saturday was a full day, with a mass start skate race (ranging from .75 to five kilometers in distance) followed by a downhill event (in which competitors ripped down Torin’s Tuck’er) and an obstacle course.
Icy conditions on Sunday made for a fast yet dodgy course for the classic race, which saw a number of falls on one sharp corner or another. The course was the same as the it was for the skate race on Saturday (again ranging from .75 to five kilometers in distance).
Highlights of the weekend were a sweep by Logan Smith in all four U14 girl’s events, wins for U14 Cash Dart in both the 3-kilometer skate event and the “Flying Downhill,” and a podium sweep by the U14 girls in the skate race, the downhill, and the obstacle course.
Two final awards were given out at the end of the weekend; one for sportsmanship, and the other for the overall team champion, based on points. Bozeman took home the Sportsmanship Award, while SVSEF won the Overall Team Award.
Concluded Kelley Sinnott, SVSEF assistant nordic program director, head prep team coach, and this weekend’s chief of competition, “[It was a] great event! We are really excited to see so many competitors from Intermountain out on the race courses; the future for Intermountain is bright! I am so proud of the SVSEF team racing hard on their home turf and winning the Team Overall [award]. Thank you so much to all of our volunteers – there is no way we could have put on this event without them.”
IYCs_John Gorham

The gang's all here! Photo by John Gorham.

Results, IMD Youth Championships 
IYC Skate Results
IYC Classic Results
Flying Downhill Results
IYC Obstacle Course Results
Gold Team
Nordic Gold Team member Miles Havlick has qualified for the OPA Cup (Central European World Cup B) competitions in Arber, Germany, (March 5-6) and Toblach, Italy, (March 11-13) – he is currently across the pond getting acclimated and geared up to represent SVSEF and the U.S. Ski Team at these races.


Monroe Cup
This weekend marked the 19th year of the Monroe Cup in Sun Valley at Bald Mountain, held in honor of former SVSEF executive director and coach Lane Monroe. Racers flocked from Jackson Hole, McCall, Bogus Basin, and Teton Village for a giant slalom event on Saturday and slalom on Sunday, which ran down Hemingway and Greyhawk. SVSEF had 67 athletes participate in the event, the largest number from any one team.

Lane Monroe and overall champs, SVSEF's Colin Hanna and Victoria Clancy of Jackson Hole

SVSEF racers tore down the mountain, earning top spots across the age classes. In the giant slalom on Saturday, Bogus Basin’s Meredith Bromley took the win in the girl’s U8 race in 1:33.56; right behind her were SVSEF’s Lowie Watkins and Natalie Gowe in second and third. In the boy’s U8 event, Jay Blackburn of SVSEF topped the podium with a time of 1:47.43, followed by McCall’s Cooper Harvey and Marcus Brouse. In the girl’s U10 race, McCall’s Lakota Hovey won in a time of 2:05.49, with SVSEF’s Taylor Hovey and Ava Agnew coming in right behind her in second and third. The top U10 boy’s finisher was SVSEF’s Max Meucci in 1:30.70, followed by Teton Village’s Gustin Clausen and SUNNY’s Trace Schroeder. In the U12 girl’s race, Annika Howard of Jackson Hole skied to a win in 1:29.42, with SVSEF’s Hannah Ferris and Tatum Minor rounding out the podium. Jackson Hole had a strong group of U12 boys, with Sam Clausen, Christien Gabriel Woiwode and Charles Hoelscher claiming the top spots. Colin Hanna was SVSEF’s first U12 finisher in fifth, and Cartier Sammis came in eighth. SVSEF swept the girl’s U14 category, with Taylor Dorland winning the race in 1:33.02, and Gillian Simcoe and Bel Clayton finishing in second and third. Bryce Foster was the top U14 boy with a time of 1:28.39, Bo Swenke was second, and Owen Robb was third; all of SVSEF.

Hannah Ferries digs in. Photos by Chase Millemann

In the slalom event on Sunday, SVSEF’s Lowie Watkins was the champion for the U10 girl’s race with a time of 1:17.45. Jackson Hole took the next two places, with Tegan Ritter in second and Savannah Kenney in third. Lucas Broussard was SVSEF’s top U10 boy in fourth, and behind him were Sacha Stern-Pre in sixth and Tucker Smith in seventh.
Thirty-eight overall champions have been named at the Monroe Cup between 1997 and 2015, and 21 of those have been SVSEF racers. This year’s overall champions were Colin Hanna of SVSEF and Victoria Clancy of Jackson Hole.
U12 Championships this year will be held March 11-13 at Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho.
For full results:
Soldier Mountain USSA races
After two days of private access to Soldier Mountain in Fairfield, Idaho, during which time athletes worked with high-caliber coaches to build upon speed and terrain skills, U16 and U19 athletes competed in two USSA scored downhill races on Wednesday, February 24.
SVSEF and U.S. Ski Team athlete Tanner Farrow won the men’s first downhill in 1:30.69. SVSEF’s John Blackburn, Griffin Curtis and Yuri McClure came in first, second and third for the men’s U19 category. Matt O’Connor was fifth overall and the first U16 finisher; Ian Hanna was second, and Jake Blackburn was third; all are SVSEF skiers.
On the women’s side, Haley Cutler won the U19 race in 1:38.70. Erin Smith was second and Sage Rheinschild third to round out the SVSEF podium. SVSEF’s Lily Fitzgerald won the U16 cateogry, followed by Allison Rathfon (SVSEF) and Kaia Jensen (SVSEF) in second and third.
In the second downhill event of the day, Farrow again took the win, this time in 1:34.04. John Blackburn, Griffin Curtis, and Yuri McClure were again first, second and third for U19 men. Matt O’Connor had his second win of the day in the U16 category, followed by Bennett Snyder and Ian Hanna (all of SVSEF).
The women’s second U19 podium was a repeat of the first event, with Haley Cutler in first, Erin Smith in second, and Sage Rheinschild in third. Allison Rathfon won the U16 girl’s race, with Kaia Jensen and Lily Fitzgerald in second and third.
#1 men's downhill
#2 men's downhill
#1 ladies downhill
#2 ladies downhill
Trudi Bolinder Memorial Races
Following a successful training camp, the USSA team moved on to Bogus Basin for the Trudi Bolinder Memorial IMC/U16 qualifiers. Rain on Saturday kept athletes from racing; the women ended up squeezing in two races on Sunday for a total of three super G events, while the men were only able to complete two races.
Despite the challenges associated with the weather conditions, SVSEF athletes stayed focused and showed strong performances across the board.
On Friday, the U16 girls raced the super G on Paradise. Lily Fitzgerald tied for fourth with a time of 1:25.14. Allison Rathfon finished in sixth, Ella Viesturs in seventh, and Kaia Jensen in eighth. Molly Milgard was 11th and Libby Kaiser was 14th.
Sunday was a full day of racing. The women’s second super G of the weekend was a strong one for SVSEF: Allison Rathfon won the race in 1:22.53, and Lily Fitzgerald came in second. Molly Milgard was sixth, Kaia Jensen and Libby Kaiser tied for 10th, and Ella Viesturs was 13th.
The second women’s super G of the day saw solid performances again by SVSEF athletes. Lily Fitzgerald won with a time of 1:22.09, and Allison Rathfon made the podium in second place. Libby Kaiswer was fifth, Ella Viesturs sixth and Kaia Jensen 10th.
In the men’s first super G on Sunday, Max Noddings was the top SVSEF finisher in seventh place. Carter Jendrezak finished 19th, and Wyatt Minor was 20th.
In the second men’s super G, Max Noddings finished sixth, Bennett Snyder eighth, and Jake Blackburn 13th.
For full results:
IMD Team at Snowbasin
The IMD team traveled to Snowbasin, Utah, for another round of U14 qualifiers.
In the super G on Friday, Falon Hanna of SVSEF raced her way to third, while teammate Marit Kaiser finished eighth. Sage Holter skied to 12th place.
On Saturday, SVSEF’s Buey Grossman won the first boy’s super G event of the day. Ryder Sarchett was fourth, Shaw Dean 10th, and Ridley Lindstrom 13th.
On the girl’s side, Marit Kaiser finished 11th, Sage Holter 13th, and Sage Curtis 21st.
For the boy’s second event of the day, Buey Grossman again made his way to the top, this time in second place. Ryder Sarchett was 11th, Shaw Dean 12th, and Charlie Snyder 15th.
Buey Grossman rounded out his podium placements for the weekend with a third place finish in the super G on Sunday. Ryder Sarchett raced into fourth, and Ridley Lindstrom fifth.
In the girl’s event, Marit Kaiser finished fifth, Anhwei Kirk ninth, and Emma MacGuffie 11th.
Last week here at home, SVSEF racers joined in on a fun local race, the Super Duper Combined: the day consisted of two super G runs and two slalom runs, with times combined.

  1. Marit Kaiser
  2. Anhwei Kirk
  3. Emma MacGuffie
  4. Lola Street
  5. Julia Ott
  6. Taylor Dorland


  1. Ryder Sarchett
  2. Shaw Dean
  3. Will Penrose
  4. Nathan Gowe
  5. Nick Maumus
  6. Jett Carruth
  7. Ethan Marx
  8. Axel Hattrup
  9. Shaw McCoubrey



The SVSEF Freestyle Travel Team had the opportunity to compete on the World Cup course, Champion, at Deer Valley, Utah. It was a great weekend for all SVSEF athletes, who are getting ready to bring the energy back to Sun Valley for Junior Nationals on their home course.
Pulling away from the crowds were Addison Rafford, who made it onto the podium in third in the moguls event on Saturday, and Alex LaFleur, who placed fourth in the boys' category. On Sunday, Henry Cherp and Hunter Diehl stepped it up, coming in second and fourth place, respectively in the moguls. Luke Rizzo was in the mix, finishing seventh overall. In the duals, Addison Rafford again reached the podium, landing in third. Alex LaFleur won the boys' duals, just ahead of Henry Cherp in second.
Saturday Moguls:
Sunday Moguls:
Sunday Duals:


Smooth sailing at Jackson Hole Slopestyle
The freeskiing team brought style and finesse down to Jackson Hole, where they competed in rail jam, slopestyle, and halfpipe events.
Highlights of the weekend were Sara Kope’s first place finish in the rail jam open women’s category and the slopestyle open women’s category, Hanna Blackwell’s win in both the U15 slopestyle and halfpipe events, and Lachlan MacFarlan’s fifth place finish in the U12 rail jam and second place finish in the U12 boy’s halfpipe. Other standouts were Sam Ware, who finished fifth in the U12 boy’s halfpipe, and Joey Markthaler, who won the U12 boys' halfpipe.
USASA Halfpipe
USASA Rail Jam
USASA Slopestyle

SVSEF skiers take in the view at the USASA Big Mountain Series at Jackson Hole. Photo by Reed Snyderman



Big Mountain West Series, Jacksonphebe
The snowboard travel team ventured down to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the USASA Big Mountain West Series. Saturday morning’s slopestyle event brought with it a bout of snow, which cleared up for the rail jam and halfpipe events. Elk Spencer finished 2nd in the rail jam, 6th in slopestyle, and 4th in the halfpipe. Phebe Ericksen won the rail jam, slopestyle, and halfpipe. Aidan Green placed 7th in rail jam, 8th in slopestyle, and 1st in the halfpipe, with a best trick of highest air. (Please see results listed above).

Phebe Ericksen stepped up with a big first-place finish in Rail Jam.

Gold Team
as_snb_chase_2048Chase Josey wins bronze in second appearance at X Games
Chase Josey and Jacob Beebe, both SVSEF Gold and U.S. team members, were invited to participate in the first-ever X Games in Oslo, Norway, February 24-28. In the men’s snowboard superpipe event on Friday, February 26, Josey threw down three solid runs to earn a bronze medal behind Ayumu Hirano of Japan and Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland. Beebe held his own in the ski superpipe competition, earning 12th in the elimination round. This was Beebe’s first invitation to the X Games.
Chase Josey’s bronze medal run:

Chase Josey in Oslo


SVSEF Gold Team racer Deedra Irwin Wins Birkie Title; Athletes Qualify for Championships



FIS Team
A total of twelve SVSEF U19 athletes have qualified for the U19 Championships, which will take place this year at Copper Mountain, Colorado, February 27- March 4. Athletes made the cut based on results at FIS races designated as U19 national qualifiers.
SVSEF athletes who have qualified for U19 Championships:
Hayden Terjeson
Austin Savaria
Will Snyder
Duncan Fuller
Jay Fitzgerald
Spencer Wright
Yuri McClure
Haley Cutler
Skylar Cooley
Erin Smith
Ruby Marden
Katelyn Rathfon
Alpine Team hones speed at Soldier Mountain
The alpine team (FIS, USSA, IMDB) will focus on building skills in the speed department while attending the Soldier Mountain Downhill Training Camp and Sammis Camas Cup in Fairfield, Idaho, which runs February 22-24. The mountain is closed to the public for the duration of the camp.
“The ski area is just going to be our playground and our classroom. We’ve got an A-list coaching staff with Erik Fisher out of Boise, Jonna Mendes here locally, Will Brandenburg, Phil McNichol, Adele Savaria, Skip Merrick – just an incredible cohort of speed coaches,” explained SVSEF Alpine Program Director Scotty McGrew.
Monday is a fundamentals day, while training on Tuesday focuses on sectioning and full-length skills, culminating with the Sammis Camas Cup Town Downhill. The Sammis Camas Cup is a non-scored race honoring Ketchum’s Brett Sammis, who passed away following a ski accident in 1997. Wednesday will consist of two USSA scored downhill races and is open to athletes U16 and older.
Monroe Cup
Younger SVSEF alpine skiers will have a chance to race on their home turf this weekend at the Monroe Cup races, February 27-28. The two-day event will feature a giant slalom and a slalom event. The event is held in honor of former SVSEF executive director Lane Monroe.


Colorado’s Aspen Snowmass hosted the Freeskiing Open February 18-20, which featured slopestyle and superpipe. The SVSEF Alpha Freeskiing Team ventured south for the events – men’s slopestyle qualifiers were on Thursday, February 18, and men’s and women’s slopestyle finals were on Friday. More than 100 men showed their skills on the slopestyle course; it was excellent exposure for the SVSEF athletes, as it marked their first time competing in an AFP gold level event (competitors hailed from New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland, among other countries).
According to Freeskiing Travel A/B Team Head Coach Reed Snyderman, the “highlight of [the] trip to Aspen was slopestyle on Thursday with all three athletes landing their personal best slopestyle runs.” Oddly enough, Will Griffith, Trey Potter and Jedson Waters all ended up in 20th in their heats of 35 competitors.
Remarked Snyderman, “Griffith skied well – the highlight of his slopestyle run was a double cork 720. Jedson stomped an impressive new trick, a double cork 1260, which was one of the highest degree of difficulty tricks that anybody was performing on this course.”
In the superpipe event on Saturday, athletes skied a beautiful X Games 22-foot superpipe. Hanna Blackwell ended up in 16th place in the women’s superpipe.
For full results:


SVSEF freestyle and freeskiing athletes qualify for Junior Nationals
SVSEF athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their skill, speed and creativity at the Junior Freestyle and Freeskiing Championships, which will take place here in Sun Valley, March 10-13. Junior Nationals include moguls, dual moguls, aerials, halfpipe, slopestyle and big air.
Qualified athletes:
Alex LaFleur
Wilson Dunn
Luke Rizzo
Addie Rafford
Sam Smith
Katie Markthaler
Dual Moguls:
Luke Rizzo
Hunter Diehl
Wilson Dunn
Alex LaFleur
Addie Rafford
Katie Markthaler
Sam Smith
Ridge Dirksmeier
Alvaro Jiraldo
Harper Mallett
Jed Waters
Will Griffith
George Murray
Trey Potter
Lachlan McFarland
Luke Higgins
Braden Buchanan
Charlie Price
Sam Ware
Hanna Blackwell
Amanda Brown
Liesl Beyer
Sarah Kope
Hanna Blackwell
Big Air:
Hanna Blackwell
Will Griffith
Jed Waters
George Murray
Ridge Dirksmeier
Trey Potter
Jed Waters
Joey Markthaler
Ridge Dirksmeier
Sam Ware
Will Griffith
Dylan Mills
The SVSEF Freestyle Comp Travel Alpha and Beta teams head to Deer Valley in Park City Utah, to compete February 27-28 at USSA Intermountain Freestyle Division Championships. Athletes will tackle moguls on Saturday and dual moguls on Sunday.


SVSEF Gold Team stands out at American Birkebeiner
The American Birkebeiner is North America’s largest cross-country ski race, drawing over 10,000 participants to the event in recent years. This year the race was designated as a FIS Worldloppet Cup Race (the premiere international long distance racing series), as races in Estonia and France had to be cancelled earlier this season. The 43rd Slumberland American Birkebeiner course winds its way from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin. Elite sprints took place on Thursday afternoon in the streets of Hayward, and the main event took place on Saturday. Competitors had the option of either skate or classic for technique; the skate race was a total of 51 kilometers and the classic was 54 kilometers. U.S. team member Caitlin Gregg won the women’s skate race with a time of 2:22:44.5. With her fourth Birkie victory, Gregg stands alone with the most wins ever – man or woman – in the event. In second place was France’s Aurelie Dabudyk (the current FIS Worldloppet Cup leader), and SMS T2 skier Erika Flowers rounded out the podium in third. In the men’s skate event, David Norris of Alaska Pacific University was the overall champion, finishing the race in 2:05:35.4 over second and third place finishers Ivan Perrillat Boiteux of France, and Benoit Chauvet, also of France.
SVSEF Gold Team athletes stood out in the sea of competitors. Wisconsin native Deedra Irwin skated to the top of the podium in the women’s elite sprints on Thursday, out-skiing Elisa Brocard (France) and Annie Hart (SMS T2). It was Irwin's fourth Birkie championship. Miles Havlick also had a strong showing in the sprints that wound throughout the town streets, ending up in second place in the men’s race behind Welly Ramsey and in front of Loic Guigonnet (France).
In the 51-kilometer skate race on Saturday, Havlick stayed in the elite front pack and finished in a remarkable 14th place. Not far behind him were teammates Rogan Brown and Ben Lustgarten, who tied for 23rd. Matt Gelso was off to a solid start until a broken ski stalled his race and pushed him back in the rankings. Paige Schember opted for the skate race for her first American Birkebeiner, and skied into 24th place overall in the women’s field. Deedra Irwin chose to race in the 54-kilometer classic event for her first American Birkie, and earned her second victory of the weekend, finishing in 3:11:58.8 over Isabel Caldwell of Peru, Vermont, and Josie Nelson of Medicine Lake, Minnesota. (Photo by James Netz).
For full results from the American Birkebeiner:
Sprint results:
Peter Wolter reaches the international stage at U18 Nations’ Cup
SVSEF’s Peter Wolter, a nordic skier who has been in the program for 10 years, travels to Otepaa, Estonia, this week to race in the U18 Nations’ Cup. Wolter’s impressive performances at the US Cross Country National Championships in Houghton, Michigan this season earned him a spot on the international stage. The athlete finished third in the 15-kilomenter classic, sixth in the skate sprint and seventh in the 10-kilometer mass start skate. Wolter will get to see how he stacks up against racers from dominant countries like Norway and Sweden at the Nations’ Cup, which runs from February 21-29; an exciting opportunity when the majority of his career has been focused on racing the same athletes from Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.
For coverage of the U18 Nations’ Cup races:


Payton Bacca tears through competition at REV Tour boardercross event
Payton Bacca, a snowboarder on the SVSEF Alpha Travel Team, was one of two 14-year old competitors amongst a field of established racers at the USSA REV Tour boardercross event at Ski Cooper, Colorado, on February 21. Bacca earned the role of fore-runner for the Nor-AM boardercross races in the days leading up to the event, as athletes have to be 15 years old to compete in FIS-level SBX competitions.
For the REV Tour race, Bacca was qualified in the top 16, and advanced past her first four-man heat to the round of eight. In the round of eight, it was a photo finish for second place – she ended up third and moved on to the small final, finishing sixth overall in the event.
Bacca has been invited to the prestigious 2016 Burton U.S. Open Junior Jam, happening February 29 through March 1 in Vail, Colorado. She has a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs of the trip; to make a contribution, please go to
Jackson Hole is hosting the next round of the USASA Big Mountain West Series, February 26-28. The rail jam will take place at Snow King Resort, followed by slopestyle and halfpipe at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.


SVSEF alumni made the trek from their various schools to spend the weekend racing at NCAA Regionals at Red Lodge, Montana. The giant slalom event on February 19 was followed by the slalom on February 20. In the men’s giant slalom, Harlan Collins, racing for Rocky Mountain College, finished in 10th, while the University of Denver’s Cole Caulkins landed in 20th.  In the women’s event, Sofia Leroux, skiing for the University of British Columbia, made it onto the podium in second place. Linnea Baysinger (RMC) was 16th, Madison Milgard (University of Washington) was 29th, and Josie Allison (DU) was 44th.
In Sunday’s slalom, Harlan Collins again placed 10th. Marc Leroux came in 21st for University of Colorado-Boulder, and Ben Kanellitsas finished 34th for DU. In the women’s slalom, Jordan Fitzgerald skied into sixth place in the slalom for UBC. Jordan Fitzgerald was sixth, Linnea Baysinger was 13th and Madison Milgard was 15th.

svsef alumni
SVSEF alum Josie Allison, Madi Milgard, Harlan Collins, Jordan Fitzgerald, Ben Kanellitsas, Linnea Baysinger, Marc Leroux, Sofi Leroux and Cole Caulkins.


SVSEF Alpine Skier Hayden Terjeson wins Berlack/Astle Award

SVSEF’s Hayden Terjeson was recently honored with the Berlack/Astle Memorial Fast Skier Award for his accomplishments during the 2015-16 alpine season.
The Berlack/Astle memorial scholarship is given by World Cup Supply to deserving U16 alpine athletes in honor of Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle, two members of the U.S. Ski Team who died in an avalanche in Austria on January 5, 2015. The Fast Skier Award has been given for seven years, but this is the first year in honor of the young men.
“The avalanche not only claimed the lives of two extremely talented and promising young ski racers, but cut short the lives of two young men who possessed the best of all the qualities necessary to be successful while living life to the fullest,” according to the World Cup Supply website.
“However, their success was ultimately a product of who they were and not just what they could do on skis. Both of these young men truly represent all we had in mind when we created the award seven years ago. Therefore it is only fitting that we acknowledge and remember Ronnie and Bryce by dedicating the award to their legacy. We can’t think of two better role models for future applicants to aspire to.”
“It was a huge honor to win this award,” Hayden said. “I felt very humbled.”

Hayden Terjeson takes a gate in the Laura Flood Memorial in Sun Valley. Photo by Oliver Guy.

Hayden, a member of the SVSEF FIS Alpine Team and junior at Community School, worked very hard on his application which featured a personal cover letter, letter of reference, report on academic standing and community involvement, race results and a video.
The award is intended to provide assistance to athletes who exhibit the personal characteristics required for success both on and off the hill. The awards help recognize the critical role academics, community involvement, leadership, and family play in an athlete's ultimate success in sport and life.
“It is a tremendous honor for Hayden – just amazing,” said his mother, Jenny Terjeson.

Area Organizations Come Together to Promote Avalanche Safety for SVSEF Athletes

From the Idaho Mountain Express, December 25, 2015
Even though ski racing rarely occurs on avalanche-prone slopes, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation wants its athletes to be knowledgeable on the subject when they embark on powder-skiing adventures.
A grim reminder of that need came last January when two U.S. Alpine D Team racers were killed in an avalanche after training in Solden, Austria.
Early this month, the Sun Valley Ski Patrol and Sawtooth Avalanche Center staff partnered to present an avalanche education program to the foundation’s USSA and FIS team athletes and coaches.
This marks the second year that Sun Valley Co.’s Mountain Community Campaign has used the talents of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center and the ski patrol to promote safety and awareness to the upper-level SVSEF athletes. The Mountain Community Campaign promotes cooperation and safety among all mountain users.
Scott McGrew, head alpine director for the SVSEF, said he firmly believes in instilling snow and avalanche awareness in his staff and athletes.
“As coaches and mentors for our Ski Education athletes, our role goes far beyond teaching them to ski and compete,” he said. “We give them skills to be world-class skiers, but the education that comes through our partnership with the Avalanche Center and the Sun Valley Ski Patrol is what creates the whole picture.  We take this seriously and want our athletes to bring solid judgement and awareness to their experience on skis. This is a critical aspect of what we do.”
On Saturday, Dec. 5, outdoors on top of Bald Mountain, McGrew introduced the racers to Skooter Gardiner, the ski patrol’s snow safety director, who discussed ski area signs and their importance. Gardiner and ski patrolmen Joel Mallet and Matt Curci explained the differences between in-area closures and ski area boundaries.
Veteran patrolman Whiz McNeal discussed snow immersion suffocation, known as SIS, a phenomenon that claims several lives in the U.S. each year. McNeal described past SIS accidents that occurred on Baldy and what the athletes can do to prevent suffocation and survive tree-well and deep-snow incidents both in and out of bounds.
Among those are not wearing ski pole straps while skiing powder, especially around trees. McNeal told the racers that if they’re stuck face-down in the snow, they can pull their goggles down over their nose and mouth to create a small air pocket. They should then dig a larger pocket around their face. Crossed ski poles in the snow can provide a platform to push up from, he said.
Sawtooth Avalanche Center Lead Forecaster Ethan Davis and Avalanche Specialist Matt Wieland recalled personal avalanche experiences and stressed the importance of getting the equipment, knowledge  and training to make good decisions and deal with accidents before heading out of bounds or into the backcountry. They said sound decision-making is a key factor, with the common-sense caveat, “If it doesn’t feel right, then back off—don’t do it.”
The patrol and Avalanche Center staff encouraged questions from the athletes. One racer asked, “How long does it take the ski patrol to respond to an out-of-bounds burial on Bald Mountain?” Gardiner replied that the patrol’s first responsibility is to ensure the safety of guests skiing within bounds. Once skiers or riders duck under the boundary rope, they’re on their own, and rescue falls under the jurisdiction of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.
If the patrol does not have to tend to other accidents within the area and has the resources to respond, a patroller must first call the Sheriff’s Office, describe the incident and wait for permission to perform an out-of-bounds rescue. The process results in a lapse of 30 to 40 minutes before a patrol rescue unit can reach an avalanche burial site. Gardiner said that after 10 minutes, a buried person’s odds of survival drop drastically.
Next, the 80 athletes and coaches convened at the SVSEF Training Center to meet with Avalanche Center Director Scott Savage, who showed a recently released video called “Know Before You Go.” It featured stunning footage by Sherpa Cinemas and an impressive cast of skiers, boarders, snowmobilers and snow-safety gurus. The video stresses five basic ideas that can save one’s life in the mountains:

  • Get the gear.
  • Get the training.
  • Get the forecast.
  • Get the picture.
  • Get out of harm’s way.

The film can be viewed at
Following the video, Savage presented a sobering analysis of the Solden, Austria, avalanche tragedy, which occurred on Jan. 5, two weeks after last year’s first SVSEF avalanche session on Baldy. Savage explained the storm cycle, snow conditions, avalanche warnings and forecasts in the days prior to the accident. He said there had been other avalanche burials that week.
Ben Kanellitsas, a personal friend of the two racers, grew up racing with the SVSEF and spent a post-graduate year skiing with them. He is now a student at the University of Denver but serves as an SVSEF assistant alpine coach during winter break. His words to the group were heartfelt and powerful.
“Avalanche danger, for the most part, has been historically overlooked by so many ski clubs across the U.S.—mainly because we don’t associate the dangers of avalanches with ski racing,” he said. “My viewpoint is, unfortunately, quite unique. Ronnie and especially Bryce were very good friends of mine. What I personally learned from that whole ordeal is that avalanches don’t choose when or who they affect. They do not discriminate. Bryce was one of the strongest skiers I have ever met, and to see something like that happen is an unbelievably humbling and saddening experience.
“Fortunately, the SVSEF sees it as their obligation to not only create the next generation of fast ski racers, but also to make sure their athletes learn the risks and can help mitigate future events.”
McGrew said this type of training puts the SVSEF in the forefront of avalanche education for winter sports athletes.
To read or sign up for daily avalanche advisories and mountain weather reports, learn about upcoming avalanche education events or just view general snow, weather and avalanche information, visit

SVSEF, Sawtooth Mountain Guides Offer Avalanche 1 Certification

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is offering the first installment of its Mountain Adventure Curriculum in conjunction with Sawtooth Mountain Guides. The two organizations are teaming up to provide an Avalanche 1 Certification for youth athletes.
The educational opportunity consists of a backcountry skiing up to Williams Peak Yurt in the Sawtooth Mountains and spending three days learning backcountry safety and survival skills. Participants will leave early on December 19, head up to the yurt and spend the remainder of that day through Dec. 21, going through all the aspects of how to safely navigate avalanche terrain. The trip returns to the Engl Training Center around dinnertime on the 21.
Learning Outcomes

  • Understand key decision making concepts and how these affect our risk
  • Develop a trip plan and choose appropriate terrain before heading into the backcountry
  • Learn to make and record appropriate field observations
  • Work as a team to make good decisions and terrain choices
  • Practice safe travel techniques in avalanche terrain
  • Demonstrate effective companion rescue during realistic scenarios

This course is open to all SVSEF athletes ages 15 and up, and participants will be required to have alpine touring skis, and a medium sized backpack for each day. Food while at the yurt is included and avalanche rescue gear is available to use while on the trip. Estimated cost of the trip is $650. To register, go to "My Account" on SVSEF homepage and click on "Projects."
Additional details and a full equipment list will be provided closer to the trip.
Attached is Sawtooth Mountains Guide’s description of their typical AIARE Level 1 Hut Trip.

Photos courtesy of Sawtooth Mountain Guides


SVSEF, Athletes Ready To Take Their Turns At Annual Thanksgiving Camp

Thanks to the support and assistance of Sun Valley Company, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Thanksgiving Camp promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Now in its fifth year, the preseason camp has unprecedented access to terrain as Sun Valley Company will open Upper College, Lower College, 42nd Street and Lower River Run to alpine racers skiers from clubs across the region. There will be more than 150 visiting athletes from across the Western United States representing college and club teams from Park City and Ogden, Utah, Billings, Montana, Hood River, Oregon, Reno, Nevada, Boise and McCall. In addition to visiting athletes, 125 local athletes will also be training to prepare for the coming winter season.
“This provides our club with an excellent opportunity for world-class skill development and training in the early part of the season,” said Scott McGrew, SVSEF’s Alpine director.  “We travel all over the world looking for opportunities to find training and conditions like this. We are thrilled to be able to have it right here in our backyard.”
The camp, open to alpine and freestyle skiers, will run from Saturday, November 21 to Wednesday, November 25. Training sessions will be broken down by age group and team.  The training is ongoing from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
In addition to the training taking place on the slopes, there will be off-snow activities and opportunities for the athletes. On Monday, November 23 there is a (sold out) showing of Warren Miller Entertainment and Red Bull Media House’s film Streif: One Hell of a Ride. This documentary vividly captures the famed Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria, as well as the intense athletic preparation required for athletes.  “We are beyond excited to have such a captive audience and energy going into the season, there is no better way for us to get our community together and celebrate the sport we love. The show will take place at the iconic Opera House in the Sun Valley resort and will supercharge the camp.”
Sun Valley Idaho | AlpineSVSEF has also partnered with Oregon Health and Sciences University’s Knight Cardiovascular Institute to facilitate an ongoing research study on young athletes and cardiovascular health.  The research team will be utilizing Electrocardiogram (EKG) technology to profile athletes’ hearts and conduct a long term study to help identify abnormalities and identify preventative measures.
“The research team is excited to come to Sun Valley and work with our local and visiting athletes,” McGrew said. “The opportunity to capture this demographic is a great way to advance ongoing research on health and wellness.  We are thrilled to be a part of the study, and look forward to more opportunities to work with OHSU researchers.”  The team will set up at River Run Lodge throughout the duration of the camp screening athletes.
For additional information or details, please contact SVSEF Alpine Program Director Scott McGrew, (208) 720-3829.