Utah Olympic Park Introduces Park City Ski Mountaineering Program
Broadening its winter sport program offerings, Utah Olympic Park has created the Park City Ski Mountaineering Team. The inaugural Park City ski mountaineering program begins December 3 and registration is available online.
The Wasatch region hosted its first ski mountaineering races in 2003, and to date, is the only North American region that has hosted World Cup races sanctioned by the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF). Utah currently hosts more than 20 ski mountaineering races including venues in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Logan. Working closely with the IOC, leaders of the ISMF aim to have ski mountaineering included as an Olympic sport by 2022.
A timed racing event, ski mountaineering, or “SkiMo,” follows an established trail where the skier negotiates diverse alpine terrain while passing a series of check points. Ski mountaineering is a multi-sport discipline, combining the endurance of a Nordic skier, mountain biker or runner with the skill and strength of an alpine skier.
Founded by Nina Silitch, who has been competing at the World Cup level for more than eight years, the Park City Ski Mountaineering Team provides an opportunity for skiers to practice ski mountaineering skills and compete in the Wasatch region, while fostering a passion for the sport. The curriculum includes skill-specific development including uphill, downhill and technical travel on snow; sport-specific fitness development and sport education that focuses on nutrition, mental training for competition and year-long training plans. The team is open to participants ages 14 and up with an intermediate to advanced ski background. There will be a strong focus on the development and recruitment of junior athletes from ages 14 to 21.