White Mountain School Brings Back Ski Racing

time>2/14/2011

The White Mountain School Ski Team is enjoying a return to form after a nine-year hiatus.
Reprinted from The Littleton Courier
By Kayti Burt

BETHLEHEM – While some area schools are struggling to find the numbers to maintain their ski programs, the White Mountain School Ski Team is enjoying a return to form after a nine-year hiatus.

“We are very excited to see ski racing back at the White Mountain School,” said Nate Snow, who serves as the assistant coach of the team — when he is not fulfilling his duties as Dean of Students or Athletic Director.

Snow has been looking to reform a team for a few years now. The ski racing team faded out of existence in 2002 after decades as an offering at the private boarding school in Bethlehem, but outdoor winter sports have remained at the school through the snowboarding and freestyle skiing teams.

“The school was moved here from Concord in the 30s to take advantage of what the mountains have to offer. We have a very strong historical ties to skiing,” said Snow, mentioning that even before skiing was offered as a winter sport statrting in the 70s, it was present at the school. When Snow began making inroads to start up the program, he found tremendous support from the alumni, both financially and emotionally, said Snow. “Skiing has been hugely important to the White Mountain School,” he said.

This year’s team has eight students hailing from as close as Littleton, Easton, and Woodstock, and as far away as Moscow, Russia. The eight have been doing well at the preparatory school level. The girls placed first in their first race, and the boys placed third out of the generally six or seven teams that attend a meet.

In addition to the preparatory school level, the team also has four students competing through the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding.

“We have a huge range of ability in these eight,” said Snow. Some have very little experience on the slopes while others decided to  attend the school this year specifically for the skiing program.

Regardless, the students are all under the leadership of Coach Mike Gallagher. Gallagher, a former U.S. national team coach and Olympic cross-country skiing coach, has spent his recent years as a ski coach at Loon Mountain, with whom the White Mountain School ski team has partnered. The student train four days a week at Loon.

Snow said his focus is on continuing to grow the program — he hopes to have 15 to 18 kids on the team — and, above all else, fostering a lifelong love of skiing.

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