Ski camps are an integral aspect of today’s GMVS experience, providing athletes an invaluable opportunity to accumulate time on snow in a highly focused environment. But a look back through history shows that through the ‘80s virtually all training was done at Sugarbush North. Travel for skiing wasn’t especially worldly or glamorous. However, as the school grew through the ‘90s, training was bolstered by improved facilities and an international reach. In 1997, the school bought a house in Kössen, Austria to serve as a base camp to provide students with exposure to European racing and training. Training camps in South America and Europe became a common part of the GMVS student experience.

The house in Kössen has since been sold, but early season international training remains fundamental to the GMVS experience. In fact, over 100 GMVS Alpine athletes and coaches are currently in Valle Nevado, Chile, and the Nordic team is in Mals South Tyrol, Italy.

Valle Nevado, Chile, located just 90 minutes east of Santiago at an elevation of 10,000 feet, expands along the spine of a beautiful mountain ridge, where athletes are treated to wide-open terrain, world-class snow quality, and spectacular Andean views. Coaches are focused on working closely with athletes on building fundamental skis in and out of the course. Much of the terrain provides a completely safe, wide-open canvas for long runs – some runs extend up to 2.1 miles PER RUN. The camp is a critical aspect of our speed training progression and sets up GMVS athletes for success in speed events throughout the season.

Across the Atlantic in Northern Italy, the Nordic team is experiencing altitude training at its finest. The town of Mals sits at 3,500 feet and is the team’s launchpad for all training. Out the door from their accommodations at the new Hostel Finka lies the impressive Vinschgau Valley which offers limitless single-track terrain for hiking and mountain biking. Paved bike paths for rollerskiing wind through what seems like never-ending orchards of fruit trees. Two world-class rollerski tracks are available for use at any time and a mere 45 minutes away lies the Stelvio Glacier for skiing at 11,000 feet. Only one hour and fifteen minutes away is the Val Senales Glacier and Cross Country ski track. For good reason, this is where national teams come to train from all around the world nearly every fall.

This year’s Nordic athletes find notes from previous GMVS camps in a journal on one of the peaks they explored in Italy.
Both Alpine and Nordic athletes fill their time off the hill with focused regenerative sessions, facilitated study sessions to stay on top of class assignments, and working closely with coaches to hone their tuning skills. Soaking in the local culture, trying new foods, practicing an unfamiliar language, and gaining comfort in a new environment are all part of the experience. In Italy, student-athletes even have an opportunity to learn about the rich history of German-speaking South Tyrol through various mini-lessons that GMVS teacher Jere Brophy conducts when training takes them to numerous places of historical interest.

Since the early 90s when international travel became synonymous with the GMVS experience, athletes have since traveled to a worldly list of destinations including, but not limited to Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Switzerland, and Italy. The list is long and will continue to grow as we continue to offer GMVS athletes opportunities to train throughout the year and accumulate more time on snow in the pursuit of being the best ski racers in the world.