Mammoth Mountain High Altitude Training Center a reality at last


‘Slopeside Center’ revamped; hundreds of athletes here

Sometimes, dreams really do come true.

Dave McCoy’s vision of a high-altitude training center at Mammoth Mountain—a dream that has passed through generations of racers and coaches—will come to fruition Thursday afternoon (Dec. 27).

The center, situated in the Slopeside building adjacent to Main Lodge, becomes official with an open house at 4 p.m. Habitués of the old building, the erstwhile headquarters of the ski area’s race department, are likely to get an eye-popping experience.

Not only is there indoor training equipment, there also is a sophisticated video room in which coaches like Pete Korfiatis (who returned to Mammoth from the coaching ranks of the U.S. Ski Team), can dissect a racer’s runs.

Funded by the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, donors and the participants of the Mammoth Invitational, the center is a state-of-the-art hangout for the Mammoth Mountain Ski and Snowboard teams, which this season feature about 800 up-and-coming racers.

Some of the athletes are local; the foundation has given vigorous attention to alliances within the Mammoth School District.

Others come from as far away as New Hampshire, to train and race on Mammoth Mountain and other venues, while matriculating in the Mammoth schools.

Still others come from the time-tested pipeline connecting Mammoth and Southern California, receiving race instruction and training on weekends and vacations.

“This summer, MMCF invested in a complete remodel of the Slopeside Center as the first step of realizing our vision for a world-class training facility,” said Stacy Corless, executive director of the foundation.

“Our athletes are already putting the building to good use for training, and now it’s time to make it official with a grand opening celebration.”

The grand opening also will feature Mammoth Mountain Ski Team veteran Stacey Cook, who ranks second in the world in women’s downhill and will return to Mammoth tomorrow (Friday) from a training stint in France.

During her holiday break, she said she intended to help coach the ski team’s Mighty Mites.

Cook is off to her best start in her 10-year odyssey on the World Cup circuit, taking two second-place finishes in Lake Louise, her first two podium finishes ever.

During the races, members of the ski team followed her live via Internet hookup inside the training center.

The ribbon cutting is to be handled by the Chamber of Commerce and longtime ski area executive Jack Copeland, the chamber’s new president.