# 98 – Fourth Annual Smith Optics Junior Freeski at WhiteWater

# 98 – Fourth Annual Smith Optics Junior Freeski at WhiteWater

Want to Get Your Heart Racing While Standing Still?

Attend the fourth annual Smith Optics Junior Freeski Open at Whitewater Ski Resort on March 28 and 29th this year. Many junior freeride and freeski events take place on out-of-the way, hard to access double-black-diamond runs, but the kinda cool quirk in the Whitewater event is that the finals take place on a run called “Blast” which can conveniently be viewed from Summit Chair or the deck of the lodge.

So you could, conceivably, beer  and burger in hand, view these kids and their dare devil spirits as they dance down the hill, stomping as many features as they can as they literally perform a kind of poetry while skiing.

If you walk the few feet to the bottom of the Summit Chair, you’ll be able to see the event from front row seats, listen to the music and feel your heart beating harder than you thought possible.

It’s Part of What Makes Whitewater and Nelson Kootenay Lake Special

Take the two-and-a-half minutes to watch the video below. No, you may not ski like these kids do (or maybe you do) but that energy, that vibe is so present at Whitewater, that you’ll feel it pumping through your veins even if you stay on Little Mucker the entire day.

It’s not just the huge air the kids take, or the 360s, or the grabs. It’s the hugs they give each other when they finish their runs, the dog piles they get and give, the cheers they give each other for a good run. Yes, they all want to be up on that podium at the end of the day. But perhaps even more stellar is gaining the coveted “Soul Bird” award that is traditionally given out to a skier who most embodies the soul of the sport.

Freeride/Freeski isn’t a Whitewater specific sport. There are many other freeride events this season, and they’re all awesome. But if you’ve ever wanted to catch a glimpse of what this sport is all about, this March 28th at Whitewater is a great time to do just that. Being able to see the kids in action from the solid ground of the deck of the lodge here is a perfect chance to feel your heart pounding and know what it means to be alive.


Whitewater Athletes

Whitewater Freeride Team has quite a few nationally ranked kids on the team, including Savannah Leishman, number one ranked 12 – 14 year old female and Haley Cooke, ranked 5th in the 15 – 18 year old category, and who will be travelling to Andorra to compete in the World Championships on February 7th this year.

Whitewater Racing Creating Lifelong Skiers

The fantastic Whitewater Ski Team is where things begin for many skiers in our area. Head coach Dylan Henderson lives and breathes skiing, and his passion for the sport creates legions of life long skiers. The combination of a pursuit of excellence with a love of fun creates a kind of ski race program that’s pretty rare these days: kids train, hard. But often you’ll see them playing games, laughing as they race down the hill.

Many of the kids who train on the freeride team with Dano Slater, Pete Velisek and Pete Then also train with the race team, and the combination of ski programs at Whitewater is part of what creates such an incredible vibe at our hill.

Come Ski with Us This Winter

Whether or not you can make it for the Smith Optics Junior Freeski Open, come ski with us! We’ve got the perfect place for you to stay in nearby Nelson, and you can take the Whitewater Ski Shuttle to the hill each morning, so there’s no hectic driving to and from the ski hill. We’ll make sure you’ve got an apres the meets your needs as well, whether that be a hot cup of tea, hot soak in nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, or a glass of wine overlooking Kootenay Lake. Cheers!


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