SKIING YOTE NOTES - EDITION 3
COMING UP: at NWCSC Qualifier #1 (Make-Up), Alpental (Summit at Snoqualmie Pass), Saturday-Sunday.
LAST WEEK: at NWCSC Qualifier #2 Brundage Mountain (Postponed due to lack of snow)
DESPITE SNOW, RACE AT BRUNDAGE CANCELLED: It was a great week in the snow department for the mountains of Idaho – but it was too late for the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference, as the second qualifier of the season – set for Brundage Mountain, was cancelled. According to head coach, Ron Bonneau, the decision, despite the nearly four feet of new snow, was a wise one – as travel concerns for the teams west of the Cascades was an issue, along with the terrain not featuring packed powder – conducive to ski racing.
YOTES GET TO TRAIN: With the Yotes home hill at Bogus Basin closed until late last week (with their training area still unavailable, due to snow conditions), The C of I took advantage of a free weekend to get some time on the snow – albeit in Sun Valley. The Coyotes spent three hours working on their technique for the first time this season – their lone chance to prepare for the upcoming NWCSC season opener.
OFF TO THE CASCADES – PLENTY OF SNOW: The NWCSC will finally kick off the season this weekend – utilizing the abundance of snow at Snoqualmie Summit’s Alpental area for slalom qualifiers. Currently, Alpental has a base of 94 inches, with 122 inches of snow at the summit. The Yotes are cautiously optimistic that the final NWCSC qualifiers at Bogus Basin, Feb. 11-12, will be held.
SNOW REPORT LOCALLY: Things looked up for skiing in Idaho last week – thanks to a trio of moisture-rich storms that hit the Gem State. Bogus Basin currently has a base of 48 inches, with 56 inches at the top, while Brundage Mountain has a base of 67 inches, with 78 inches at the top.
RANKED NO. 9: The Lady Yotes, coming off a tenth-place finish at the USCSA Championships last season, are ranked No. 9 in the U.S. Skiing and Snowboard College Top-10 preseason poll. Rocky Mountain (Mont.) leads the poll, followed by Sierra Nevada (Nev.), St. Olaf (Minn.), Massachusetts, and Whitman (Wash.).
ABOUT THE COACH: Ron Bonneau is in his 22nd season as head coach for The College of Idaho alpine ski programs. During his tenure at The C of I, the native of New Hampshire has seen the Coyote men's team qualify for the USCSA championships on 12 occasions, with the women's team making appearances 17 times. His 2004 women's squad finished second in the nation in the slalom and fourth in the alpine combined. The Coyotes have seen much success in the 21st Century, as both the men's and women's programs, under Bonneau's direction, won Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference championships each year from 2004-09, with the Lady Yotes taking home Western Regional championships in 1999, 2003 and 2006. His women's teams have advanced to 13-consecutive USCSA championships, finishing in the Top-9 in nine of the 13 appearances. Last season, the Lady Yotes claimed the NWCSC title. Bonneau, a graduate of Plymouth State College, replaced Tom Olson as the alpine ski coach in 1991 - and worked with Chris Melgaard on the nordic side to claim the women's nordic championships in 1994 and 1995. During his tenure, he has coached seven national champions, 56 All-Americans, and 76 All-America Scholar-Athletes. Prior to his time in the Gem State, Bonneau worked at ski resorts in Wachusett, Mass. and Haystack, Vt. Along with his duties with the ski program, he is the director of C of I's outdoor program. Bonneau and wife Michele live in Caldwell.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more on The C of I alpine ski program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, www.collegeofidaho.edu/skiing.