BOGUS BASIN-- A low snow year has made training difficult for the College of Idaho ski team. The Yotes do their skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, and have noticed the snow level go down as the storms have failed to come in. But that hasn’t kept the team from doing what it needs to do to win.
“We've actually managed pretty well,” sophomore skier Eleanor Tansley said. “We haven't had too many missed days of training. I'm not sure we've actually had any because of lack of snow.”
“It hasn't really affected us. We have enough snow pack to set up a course and race, which is what we aim to do,” sophomore skier Colton Grainger said.
The low snow pack in the Idaho mountains has forced the Yotes to use other forms of training and equipment. .
“We've been doing a lot of stubby training.”
The Yotes use a smaller gate to practice their turns. Nicknamed a stubby, the foot-long marker stands up in shallow snow, where a larger gate would fall down. The stubby allows the team to perfect their turns, even if the snow isn't deep.
“It allows us still to make turn shapes and gives the athlete an opportunity to focus and visualize what they need to do and what's coming up ahead,” head coach Ron Bonneau explained.
The team also used a retreat to McCall over Christmas break to get more practice in. According to the team, the extra effort is what it takes to be successful.
“While we don't have much snow, we do have some snow. A lot of teams have absolutely no snow. So, what training we have had has been beneficial to us,” Tansley said.
“The quality of the product that we are able to get out of what we have here at Bogus has been able to suffice and allowed us the opportunity to get some pretty decent training in,” Bonneau said.
Both the men and women finished second at competitions this past weekend. And as regional competition nears, they plan to do whatever it takes to get back to the championships.
“More practice makes for a better result. But, I think a lot of it is a testament to the quality of the athlete in terms of their dedication and drive. Now it's show time, and a little less snow isn't going to hold us back,” Bonneau said.
And of course more snow, as is forecasted, wouldn't hurt either.
“I would be doing a happy dance for sure. I would be thanking all of the snow gods,” Tansley said.