Abundant snow tests Mammoth race crew | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Abundant snow tests Mammoth race crew

By Jeremy Evans

Tribune staff writer

MAMMOTH LAKES – When 6 feet of snow fell at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the 12 days leading up the 2005 Oroweat U.S. Alpine Nationals, its race crew knew it would be tough to get the course in shape.

“We had the stuff set up already, then one of our fences got buried in an avalanche,” said Collin Wilkinson, who works on the race crew. “We have a fence buried right now in Cornice Bowl that we won’t get until spring.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, throw in an 18-inch dump that started Sunday evening and lasted until Monday morning and it was just about enough to make Wilkinson go crazy. He showed up around 6:30 a.m. and helped get the giant slalom course ready by 1 p.m. The women’s giant slalom was scheduled for 9 a.m.

“We were like “Oh, (shoot) here we go again,” Wilkinson said of Sunday’s storm. “None of us thought we were going to have a GS today, that’s for sure. But most of the girls had plane flights out so we had to get it done.”

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The work by the Mammoth race crew didn’t go unnoticed by the athletes and coaches.

“With all of the snow it was not easy to get everything ready,” said U.S. women’s ski coach Patrick Riml. “It was unbelievable the way the snow turned out. It’s a great hill and has a lot of elements in there. It has steeps and flats and jumps.”

Looking ahead to today’s men’s giant slalom

Truckee’s Daron Rahlves returns to Mammoth today for the men’s giant slalom race that’s scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Rahlves is coming off a gold-medal performance in Saturdayís super-G. He drove back to Tahoe after the race.

Bode Miller, who has only one podium at nationals, is also

scheduled to compete.

OLN to televise championships

Viewers can watch South Shore’s Jonna Mendes and North Shore’s Julia Mancuso win their respective downhill and giant slalom titles next week. Outdoor Life Network will broadcast coverage from 2005 U.S. Alpine Championships on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

Kildow has quiet nationals

After tearing up the World Cup circuit earlier this winter, Lindsey Kildow of Vail, Colo., was shut out at nationals. Kildow placed fourth in both

downhill and giant slalom and finished ninth in super-G. She grabbed six World Cup podiums, incuding her first first victory, this season and was sixth in the final overall standings.

Tahoe girls finish up

Katharine Hitchcock of Truckee finished 27th in Monday’s giant slalom and Incline Village’s Amy Harris had a “DNS” during her second GS run.