Winter Carnival 2015: New faces lead next era
Exciting changes on tap for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
This winter offers a fine reminder. Steamboat Springs may be celebrating 100 years of skiing on its legendary downtown slope, Howelsen Hill, but nothing seems to remain static for long except that hill.
As it celebrates its 100th year, changes have defined life for its most regular skiers, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
The changes started at the top one winter ago, when Jim Boyne came in as the new executive director for the Winter Sports Club.
This year, the changes have filtered down into the ranks with several major changes to club staff.
Three of the club’s major programs have had changes in leadership in the last two years. Tori Koski took over the snowboard program heading into the 2013-14 winter season.
This winter, there also were new faces guiding both the club’s Alpine skiing program, its largest, and the freestyle skiing program, one of its most successful.
Those now at the top have had plenty of success.
Leading the Alpine ski program is one of the most accomplished skiers Steamboat has helped produce, Caroline Lalive Carmichael.
She comes onboard with the Winter Sports Club as the Alpine director after coaching intermittently for the club for several years. She wrapped up a 13-year career on the U.S. Ski Team, was four times a member of a World Championship team and three times a skier in the Olympics.
She retired from that life in 2009 and began to spend time coaching in Steamboat.
“It’s been a really successful, growing, stable program, and I’m really lucky,” she said after accepting the position. “I don’t have to step in and re-create anything, but just continue the improvement.
“I love ski racing, and it’s been my life and passion for so long,” Lalive Carmichael said. “This seems like the culmination of everything I’ve done and loved.”
Bobby Aldighieri, meanwhile, brings plenty of credentials of his own to the top of the freestyle skiing story. He skied moguls in the 1992 Winter Olympics and spent the years between competing and taking over in Steamboat coaching moguls. Many of those years were in Canada, but five came as the head moguls coach in Steamboat.
He was eager to return.
“I’m super excited,” he said in the summer. “My wife and I are super psyched to get back into our house. We are certainly looking forward to getting home and working with the club again.”
Finally, the venues where many of those athletes train will be receiving a major new upgrade soon.
The Winter Sports Club and Steamboat Ski Area last summer announced a $2.35 million plan for a new Alpine ski training venue on the lower slopes of Mount Werner.
The project will include a new trail, cut alongside and including much of the already existing See Ya trail.
It will be lit, so skiers can work into the dark after school, and include snowmaking equipment. It also will feature heavier snow than what is used for the rest of the resort, more ideal for going fast.
The training venue is expected to be ready by the 2015-16 season.
“It will continue to attract more and more people who are going to move their families somewhere for a strong program, like my family did,” Lalive Carmichael said. “We want to make sure we are in that top echelon of programs and are able to provide with this opportunity.”
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It was a love story that brought Jason Erwin to Steamboat Springs from Nashville, Tennessee.