Summit Country, Colorado, is the land of much-publicized super-pipes, parks with massive hits, and Dew Tour stops; a place that creates phenoms like slopestyler Bobby Brown. The latest crop of homegrown athletes, however, is out to change that stereotype.
This season, the big mountain Junior Freeskiing World Tour—the precursor to the FWT for the under 18 crowd—has been dominated by a crew of Summit County boys.
Three Summit-based junior skiers: Drew Peterson, Ian Borgeson, and George Rodney, consistently stood on the podium this season, and a fourth, Wiley Kaupas, was often in the top ten.
The two-year-old Team Summit big mountain program, coached by former big mountain competitors and pro skiers Jason Anthony and Ryan Van Nuys, is making a strong showing, to say the least. It doesn’t hurt, of course, to have a crew of protégés that are talented, fiercely devoted to their sport and training grounds at small but steep Arapahoe Basin, and who know exactly what they want from skiing. At the tour final in Snowbird, four of the five Team Summit athletes on the tour placed in the top ten.
The ski industry is starting to take notice. There has been a fair amount of publicity surrounding young skiers from better-known big mountain areas, like Utah’s Dubsatch Collective. Until now, the guys have been getting it done quietly, but they’re not going to be under the radar for long.
“Those three kids specifically are making a big mark on the JFT,” says Jim Jack, head judge and guru of the adult and junior FWT. “They go faster and bigger off the same features that the other competitors in their age bracket, and they have the strength and skill necessary to nail it.”