Club Ski offers fun high-speed races to students

Club Ski just finished up their divisional races, with success on and off the slopes. The Club competes in the USCSA Reynolds division, with familiar names like Bowdoin, Bates, University of Maine, University Maine-Farmington, and Saint Josephs. The Club races Slalom and Giant Slalom (GS) and finished third divisionally this season, but the greatest success was individual. Senior Captain Katie Queally has been absolutely dominant for the past two seasons. She hasn’t lost a race in season the past two years and will be heading into regionals with all the momentum that perfection brings. 

Starting mid-JanPlan, Club Ski races all over Maine at the well known Sugarloaf and Sunday River Mountains, but also numerous local hotspots. One such, Black Mountain, brings the local flavor and community feel you can only get at a small mountain. It’s got everything you want and nothing you don’t. J.C. Magnotto `20 notes the technical aspects the set Black Mountain apart from the likes of similar mountains, Titcomb or Lost Valley.

“Despite the chairlift being pretty slow and the usually-cold weather, it’s almost always been sunny with great snow. The terrain over there is my favorite, and I’ve always enjoyed racing at Black Mountain. It’s rare that we get a slalom course that runs as long as Black Mountain does” Magnotto says.

Black Mountain may be blessed with sunlight and cursed with a slow lift, but there’s nothing to do about the cold but bundle up. Oddly enough, that isn’t what Colby Club Ski is known for. Of course every team wears their skin tight speed-suits that feel and look about the same as a Morphsuit. No matter how expensive or thick the suits may be, sometimes the only way to warm up is a cup of chili and pint of Guinness. Still no. 

“We’re known for our high spirits.”

Member Oliver Lawrence `22 nailed Club Ski’s reputation with the precision of a Queally cross-block. Every year Colby’s team treats a designated race like Halloween, but instead of candy it’s ski racing and sub-zero temperatures. You’ll be sure to see your share of onesies and tutu’s, but the more daring will be called both idiotic and marvelous for the extravagance of their attire. Plus, you’ve always got a Brady or Gronk jersey from the one who was reminded that day. Despite their lack of planning, they will meet no criticism wearing the sacred attire of New England’s unofficial state-sponsored religion, the Patriots. 

To get an idea of the grandeur and scale of this event, Ben Freeland `20 explained his thoughts on this tradition.

“Despite the quality of many of our racers and our impressive showings week after week, one of the unequivocal highlights of each season is the infamous alpine debauchery that goes by the name Reynolds Division Costume Race.’ 

I must admit my freshman year costume race was my favorite one. I arrived in the parking lot of mighty ‘Lost Valley’ ski hill near Lewiston fully expecting a fun race between competing schools. Two hours later, I found myself in a ballerina leotard at the top of the race trail watching a Bowdoin athlete push out of the start gate in what appeared to be a fully taxidermied polar bear carcass with a cut-out around his mouth and nose to breath. Rihanna blasted from the nearby mobile speaker, and I rejoiced in bliss with my teammate JC and our older club ski members.”

The rowdy affair cannot be understated or fully understood. It defies all logic of skiing, racing, and cold-weather common sense, but is pure spectacle. The Reynolds Division Costume Race exists for fun and fun alone, which is a truly fantastic reason. 

While no race experience is required to join, you should probably know how to ski at the very least, but I’m sure they would let you on for a good time anyway. The club is clearly about having fun and if racing is your thing you can compete as hard as you want. Many club members raced in high school, but the level of skill ranges greatly and all are welcome. Club Ski is a haven for life-long skiers and racers, having the pleasure of hosting ex-academy and former  International Ski Federation Circuit racers who wanted to take a step back after high school. The rag-tag, fun-loving group of washed-up pros and fun loving thrill-seekers exemplifies everything Colby should stand for.