Steffey Spotlight: Season Kickoff in Europe

George Steffey ski racing at the Hintertux Glacier
A long needed break in the weather at the Hintertux Glacier

The Steffey Spotlight is a season-long Stratton Blog feature, following the travels of US Ski Team member and Stratton Mountain School graduate, George Steffey. Follow along for George’s season endeavors with the US Ski Team. Stay fast, George! Follow the adventure at @georgesteffey

Hintertux Galcier, Tyrol, Austria.

The 2020/21 season is officially underway! After a good summer of domestic training, I made it over to Austria in October for the final phase of prep before the race season. I started my trip at the Hintertux Glacier with terrible weather. We had about a week of blustering winds and fog so thick that finding your way down the mountain and staying on piste was a significant challenge.

The weather finally cleared to reveal stunning views but poor snow for training. We picked up and moved to the Sölden valley, where we were able to get some great training. We also traveled to a nearby resort called Schnalstal. This was home to some exceptional training for the team. As is the case with many European resorts in different valleys, while they are only a short distance apart as the crow flies, it can take hours to drive between them!

George Steffey skateboarding pump track
Skating a pump track in Austria

I am always excited to learn new sports. With the downtime from the bad weather on my last trip, I picked up skateboarding. As it turns out, there is no shortage of flowing pump tracks here in the European alps. Skateboarding provides awesome balance training, and riding laps around the pump track is great interval training as well. Additionally, the fluidity of pumping rollers and berms in a pump track has a lot of similarities to pumping terrain and moving smoothly through turns on skis. Not to mention, skateboarding is incredibly fun!

George Steffey sunrise at Sölden
Sunrise on race day in Sölden 

FIS Ski World Cup Race, Sölden  Austria.

At the end of October, the FIS successfully pulled off the season opener World Cup GS race in Sölden. With beautiful weather and an excellent surface, it was a great race. Unfortunately, I did not take advantage of the conditions and fell on my hip towards the top of the run, ending my race early. While it did not go the way I wanted, it was still a great experience with many positive takeaways.

George Steffey US Ski Team
Breaking over at the top of the race

US Ski Team training, Copper Mountain, Colorado.

After a relaxing break at home, I headed out to Copper Mountain for some early season training and racing. A few weeks of training at Copper lead to a race in the US Alpine GS Championships and the US FIS GS Championships where I placed second in the latter. Following that series, I flew to Europe where I am preparing for the next round of World Cup and Europa Cup GS races with on-snow training, skateboarding, and eating schnitzel!

George Steffey US Ski Team at Copper Mountain
Catching some air on Oh No Bowl at a Copper. Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team training at Copper Mountain, CO Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard @usskiteam

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