By Ciera Glenn
Photos by Kevin Krill Photography
“Racer ready, 10 seconds…beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeeep.”
Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s largest alpine ski race of the season occurred this past weekend. Kids from all across Colorado came out for this Junior Olympic qualifying event called the Dan Prater Memorial Cup.
Growing up as a ski racer, I can tell you it is guaranteed to (almost) always snow during a ski race. Snow on race day makes for interesting conditions, shortened courses and race delays. But I can tell you, from a spectator (and former racer’s) point of view, fresh snow does not phase the racers; these kids were taking advantage of the new snow fall. Many were taking bump runs to get to the start of the race, which was about half way down International. It’s always a sight to see racers skiing down bumps carrying their race skis on their shoulders.
The Prater Cup has a unique twist I have never seen before; each racer is assigned to a country. A country may have racers from Telluride Ski Club, Aspen Valley Ski Club and Crested Butte Mountain Resort Mountain Sports Team. These rivals become teammates for a weekend and try to rack up the most points. These points are not earned by race results; instead they are earned by showing sportsmanship, doing good deeds, and helping others throughout the weekend. All around the race venue you will see kids holding up flags from countries around the world, country flags painted into the snow, and the very dedicated attach a flag made out of duct tape to the back of their jackets!
Photo by Ciera Glenn
High-five to Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the CBMR Mountain Sports Team for hosting an event that looked so fun it made me wish I was a youngster just starting my racing career!