We just finished a whirl-wind week with the Ski and Snowboardcross World Cup making a stop here in Telluride. Not only am I lucky enough to work for Ski Butlers but I also work for the Telluride Ski Resort with the Competition Services Department or “Race Department”. With the Race dept. we would do all the course preparation and maintenance needed in order to put on this event.
It is the 4th year that Telluride has hosted the World Cup and my 2nd year working for the Race dept, so we have a well organized plan to tackle such a big event. Our week consisted of early morning chairlift rides to work, skiing and working with headlamps for the first hour or so. Waking up before the sun is never fun but being able to watch a Telluride sunrise makes it all worth it.
For the event, we put up miles of protective netting, built scaffolding for TV camera stands, installed starting gates and timing wires; but my main job for the event is on the dye crew. We paint the blue lines on the perimeter of the course, on the take-off and landings of jumps, and contour lines in the big turns. These lines help athletes and TV audiences see the course. With a backpack sprayers on our back and skis on our feet, we would paint all the lines in the morning and then do touch-ups 2,3 or 4 times throughout the day. By the end of it all, my skis, boots, pants, gloves, hands and face all had a nice hue of blue. On December 22nd the World Cup will be on NBC and I would love feedback on the straightness of my blue lines.
When we are not painting lines we would spend our time at the start area, trying to get the wax guys to give my skis a quick wax or schmoozing with World Cup Athletes. My couple years of college French really seemed to impress the French Women’s Snowboard Team.After about 80 hours in my ski boots this week, the event is all over. The snow-cats were out on the course as soon as it was clear to flatten the jumps and turns and besides a few pockets of dyed-blue snow one would never know that a World Cup Ski and Snowboardcross was ever here. But it ends just as the orders are rolling in for the our crazy Christmas delivery rush here for Ski Butlers. The world class athletes may have left town for their next race but the world class ski rental delivery team at Ski Butlers is ready to get our season started.