Learning how to ski in the 1970s in Vernon Township, N.J., where the Hidden Valley mountain ops team would regularly roll flat any bumps that took shape, one might wonder how Donna Weinbrecht’s mogul skiing career got off the ground. She started the ski team at West Milford High School and focused on racing gates instead.
The 1992 Olympic gold medalist described herself as a starving mogul skier back then, but she also was quick to credit the race carving technique she learned as the foundation for her freestyle skiing success. It is a key tip she shares each year with participants in her annually sold-out moguls camps at Killington, which men and women from across New England often use in preparation for the resort’s legendary amateur spring event — the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge.
“If you want to ski better in the bumps, start in the flats,” Weinbrecht said. “Whatever is lacking there is going to blow up in the bumps, whether it is poor pole planting or making too-late (foot-to-tail) turns. We fix a lot of bad habits in the flats and practice a lot of quick turns.”
Weinbrecht, of course, moved on from her Jersey racing days to win the first Olympic gold medal for mogul skiing in 1992 in Albertville, France. A three-time Olympian (she also competed in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994 and Nagano, Japan, in 1998), Weinbrecht earned 46 individual World Cup mogul event victories and five FIS World Cup titles.