Nico Monforte, a 2013 North Tahoe High grad and longtime Far West Skiing standout, is holding a fundraiser this week to help support his first World Cup season in ski cross.
Rally the Valley will be an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet and raffle held at Fireside Pizza in the Village at Squaw Valley on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 5-9 p.m. Cost is $10.
An avid alpine racer since the age of 4, Monforte developed into one of the fastest skiers in the Far West ranks with the Squaw Valley Ski Team. He earned a silver medal in the slalom and overall at the 2009 Junior Olympics, and placed first in the giant slalom and third in slalom at the 2011 Western Region Junior Championships.
Monforte also helped lead his North Tahoe alpine squad to back-to-back Tahoe Basin League state titles in 2011 and 2012, while winning the individual combined title in 2012.
He soon strayed from alpine racing, however. Near the end of the 2011 season, he attended a ski cross training camp at Mammoth Mountain with his cousin, John Teller — the No. 1-ranked ski cross racer in the United States. He was hooked.
“I just thought I’d give it a try, and I instantly just fell in love with it,” Monforte said of the relatively new discipline, which made its Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010. “I was getting a little burnt out on the alpine side.”
Monforte dove into ski-cross racing the 2012 season, relying on his alpine background to make a seamless transition. Success quickly followed as he capped his rookie year with a 24th-place finish at the World Junior Championships.
Monforte carried over the experience from his first year into an even more successful 2013. Competing on the NorAm Cup circuit, he finished this season ranked sixth overall nationally, and first in the world in his age group. He recorded seven top-five NorAm finishes, including two third places and a first, and finished fourth overall in the North American Cup.
He placed 23rd at the World Junior Championships and was 15th in the Swiss National Championship against top World Cup racers.
Monforte is currently member of the Far West Development Team.
For more info about the Rally the Valley fundraiser, go to www.facebook.com/monforte.nicolo.