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Kinder Kup Race #1 Sunday

The 14th Annual Kinder Kup Race Series kicks-off on Sunday, January 26, from 8am to 2pm. Open to all skiers age six and under and snowboarders age eight and under, the Kinder Kup series is designed to introduce young athletes to competition in a friendly environment. No previous race experience necessary and all abilities are welcome; parents can run the course with their child, harnesses are welcome. Entry is $20 in advance, $25 on race day, and includes a World Cup only competitor lift ticket if needed. Parents can purchase a World Cup only lift ticket to accompany their athlete for $20 at registration.

“The Kinder Kup is such a fun race event,” said Jim Plake, HSSF board president. “Everyone’s a winner with a goodie bag and a medal, we usually have over 60 kids participate.”

The Kinder Kup is a three event series with races January 26, February 23 and March 9, 2014. All races take place at Heavenly Mountain Resort on the World Cup chair lift located at the California base across from the Heavenly Tram. The Kinder Kup events are made possible by Vail Resorts’ ECHO community giving program. Registration is $20 per event in advance, $25 on race day, and registration forms can be found online at Advance registration is recommended.

On-site registration is available the morning of the event at the Heavenly Foundation building from 8am to 9am. Practice begins at 9 am, each competitor is allowed two practice runs; the race starts at 10 am. Every competitor is awarded a participation medal and a swag bag filled with goodies. There are two divisions: ski and snowboard. Overall champions will be awarded trophies at the final event.

The Foundation will serve coffee and bake sale items throughout the morning. The BBQ begins at 11:30am and combos include a cheeseburger or hot dog, chips and a drink for an $8 donation to the Foundation. 


Norton and Barnwell Rock Far West Opener


In a sport where a competitor faces the clock alone it is pure joy to see racers many of which have competed against one another since they were four and five years old help each other succeed. There is a reason I believe the US Ski team chose eight of their newest members for only a select spot of twelve openings from the Far West League. The Far West Northern Series ski racing league is arguably some of the most competitive ski racing in the world. With our US ski team members now among the most competitive ski racers in world cup where ski racers in Europe have seven figure salaries approaching those of NBA and NFL stars here in the states. Many of the young skiers in the Northern series attend private ski academy’s where schooling is a night time activity leaving the day free to increase those ever important miles chasing red and blue to achieve gold.

Diamond Peak’s Peyton Norton and Heavenly Ski & Education Foundation’s Gunnar Barnwell  are just your average Whittell middle schoolers though; trying to stretch out that joyful Christmas break and log in as many miles on the hill as possible. Those miles paid off this past weekend with Peyton Norton rocking the U-14 Slalom opener at Sugar bowl with two blistering times of 43.73 and 44.45 for a combined time of 1:28:18 landing him on top of the podium Saturday. First year u-14 Gunnar Barnwell turned in two respectable 49’s for a combined time of 1:38:09 earning him an impressive ninth place finish skiing against the tough eight graders. Heavenly & Whittell Ski coach Christine “Corky” Woodcock said “Gunnar has been working hard in dry land training with our high school team in an effort to compete with the older boys, if he skis a bit more aggressive he could find himself on the podium”. Heavenly Ski team second year skier Sean Dunklemen found himself in good company on Saturday while finishing 40th out of a field of 85 boys may not seem like much of an accomplishment finishing this particular race at all for most was a miracle! Over half of the field did not even finish the race on Saturday and Sean managed to have the presence of mind as he lost his ski on the last gate of his second run to pick himself and his ski up and go through the finish after having to hike on his first run. Heavely Ski teams lady racer Cypress Sell had an impressive first outing as well with a top twenty finish Saturday  turning in a combined first race time of two minutes and a couple tenths of a second. Kirkwood Ski & Education Foundation’s James Gonzales just edged out Sean Dunkleman with a time of 2:11:32 compared to Sean’s time of 2:13:34. Kirkwood Ski team member Tyler Loll was disqualified on his first run but was able to finish in the top third on his second run.

After a full day of wind on Saturday and the extremely tough course set that day many of the racers came back to the hill prepared for east coast ice and world cup conditions. The smart coaches sharpened everything including their finger nails knowing once they stepped out of their skis to video tape and coach there was little to prevent them from taking a fast boot ski to the bottom. Heavenly and Diamond peak U-14 boys were excited to learn former Heavenly coach now coaching diamond peak U-14’s Mark Norton was the course setter Sunday. Loving Mark’s rhythmic round straight forward courses the Heavenly boys and Diamond Peak’s Peyton Norton being favored to win skiing a course designed by his dad. However Slalom racing is a fickle date and posting the fastest time of the day is only good when you finish on the right side of the last gate which Peyton forgot to do on his first pass giving the home town favorite Dashiell Judd from Sugar Bowl reason to celebrate taking the win with an impressive combined time of 1:26:78. Gunnar Barnwell just missed a second top ten finish with eleventh place and a combined time of 1:35:80.  Despite Peyton’s misfortune he cheered his teammates Nick Fisher & Noah Cleary on to 7th & 8th place finishes. Kirkwood had Daniel Drapeau & Bennett Norman both place in the top fifteen while Tyler Loll finished twenty eighth. Heavenly Ski and education foundation’s Sean Dunkleman missed the 12th gate on his first run disqualifying him from the race but posted a very respectable 46.82 on his second run putting him in the top 15 fastest finishes. Cypress Sell unfortunately missed the third to last gate Sunday knocking her out of a top twenty finish.

Next weekend Heavenly Valley hosts a re-scheduled Tahoe League race on world cup which will also be a slalom event. While the top competitors in Far West are not allowed to compete in this race many of them will get to fore-run the course and it will be an excellent opportunity for local to come out and see some great ski racing. For information on participating in this great local ski race please visit  or call 530-314-9285 for more information.

2nd Annual South Tahoe Santa Run

In cooperation with the Himmel Haus, Blue Angel Café, and Rainbow Mountain, the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation, will host the second annual South Tahoe Santa Run to benefit   the HSSF Scholarship Fund on Sunday, December 1st, regardless of weather. 

“Running in Santa costumes for charity is a fun, win-win situation to me!” said Zakariah Latzka, Himmel Haus owner. “We are excited to be involved in helping the community that has so graciously embraced us and our business.”

Catch Santa on the slopes at Heavenly that day and then join him for the Santa Run that evening. Pre-registration is available here or in-person at the Himmel Haus, 3819 Saddle Rd. or Blue Angel Cafe. Cost is $20 plus an unwrapped new toy to be donated to Christmas Cheer and includes snacks and one Himmel Haus post-party door-prize raffle tickets. Participation is limited, advanced registration is recommended. Registration will take place the day of the race from 2-4pm in the Blue Angel Café and is $30 plus an unwrapped new toy. All participants must be in Santa dress (or some form of holiday garb). Prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers and best costume. Costume judging will take place at the Blue Angel Café at 4:00pm with awards presented at the Himmel Haus post-party.

All Santas will need to be at the Blue Angel Café and checked-in at registration by 4:00pm to participate. The race bells will jingle at 4:30pm, Santas will run 1.3 miles up Ski Run Blvd. and turn left onto Saddle Rd. leading them to the finish at the Himmel Haus. A decorated holiday Rainbow Mountain bus playing music and filled with toys will follow the Santas, just in case we need to pick a few up.

The festivities will kick-off at the Blue Angel Café with $3 glasses of warm glühwein and will continue at the Himmel Haus that evening beginning at 5pm with $5 pints of Ninkasi Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt, holiday tree lighting, door-prize raffle, coloring contest for kids, and fun activities for all, children are welcome. Everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Christmas Cheer. A “Giving Tree” for the Heavenly Ski & Snowboard Foundation will be displayed at the Himmel Haus throughout the holidays, please donate to our local athletes by purchasing an ornament.

The evening’s highlight will be the raffle drawing for the 2014 Polaris RMK-Pro 600 snowmobile. Raffle tickets are still available for a $25 donation and can be purchased at Sierra Mountain Sports, Rainbow Mountain, Himmel Haus, Blue Angel Café and at the South Tahoe Santa Run post-party. The drawing will be held at 7:00pm, where one lucky winner will win the snowmobile or a grip of cash! Need not be present to win. For complete rules and information, or to purchase raffle tickets online please visit

2012-13 Season Around the Corner!

I hope you all are enjoying the final days of summer! Since school is just around the corner that also means that skiing and riding are going to be here before we know it. Heavenly has less than 90 days until the lifts start turning. I’m sure most of you are still camping, hiking and biking, but some of you are already thinking about this winter. Here are some updates and information that I think you all will find useful. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or phone me at 530.314.9285.
– Heavenly is offering the Foundation families the opportunity to work at the Heavenly Tent Sale during the Labor Day weekend to earn money for their HSSF tuition. If you are interested I will be signing people up to work over the next week so please contact me
– We will begin dryland training for those athletes of age at the beginning of October; we’re currently trying to work-out a pre-season conditioning program with Cross Fit – when I’ve solidified our program I will distribute information
– On-snow training will begin the first weekend in December
– Program information and registration packets will be available within the next two weeks
– Payment plans begin in September and go through December; you WILL NOT be able to purchase a Heavenly Foundation pass until you are PAID IN FULL
– If you have an outstanding balance please contact me immediately as your athlete is currently not eligible to participate this season
– Heavenly Foundation pass pricing will be distributed with the scholarship information at the beginning of September – PLEASE DO NOT go the the pass office prior to paying your tuition in full as your athlete will not be listed on the HSSF pass list and will not be eligible to purchase our special pass
– Scholarship packets and information will be available at the beginning of September and are due by September 30th – they must be 100% complete in order for the scholarship committee to consider your athlete for a scholarship; if you have any questions please ask (preferrably a few weeks before they’re due…not the day they’re due!)
– Sunday Fundays will run through October – a schedule will be distributed in September
– If you didn’t order your athlete a uniform and wish to do so please contact me a.s.a.p.!
That’s all I can think of right now but expect to begin receiving regular information from me as the winter approaches!
Aimi X.

Kinder Kup – NEW DATE!!

Thank you for everyone’s patience as we worked to schedule a new date for our postponed January Kinder Kup event. We have rescheduled the event to March 4th, 2012. Our series dates are now February 26th, March 4th and March 25th. Please remember that if your athlete is competing for the overall title they must compete in all three events! If you have questions please phone the Foundation at 530.541.7354. You can find registration information on our website under the Events tab.

HSSF 23rd Annual Ski & Snowboard Swap at Mont Bleu

The Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation will host the 23rd Annual Ski and Snowboard Swap at Mont Bleu Casino and Resort November 18th and 19th, 2011. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides skiing and snowboarding programs and events for regional youth and local middle school and high school students.

The Swap opens with Moonlight Madness on Friday, November 18th from 6 to 11 p.m. in the Mont Bleu Convention Center; admission for adults is $5, children 12 and under are free. This is the best time to get first pick of the best deals. The deals continue on Saturday, November 19th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is free.

“This is one of our largest fundraising events of the season,” said event organizer Mary Pat Jones. “There is always tons of great gear for all ages, new and used. We expect to see around 7,000 items for sale at this year’s Swap.”

Sell your own equipment, get some cash and support your local Foundation. Public merchandise registration will take place at the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation building, located in the Heavenly California Lodge parking lot at the base of World Cup lift across from the Heavenly Tram, on Sunday, November 13th from 12 to 3 p.m. and Wednesday, November 16th from 3 to 6 p.m. Please no equipment over five years old. For additional information please call the Foundation at 530.541.7354.

New Freeride program announced!

The Foundation will offer two Freeride program options, the One-Day Program and the Full-Time Competitive Program. These programs are open to intermediate to advanced level skiers aged ten to 18 who have a passion for slopestyle, skiercross and halfpipe training.

“The Foundation recognized the need to create the Freeride program as we continue to stand by our commitment to provide training for regional Olympic hopefuls,” said HSSF president Jim Plake. “With the addition of skiing halfpipe and slopestyle to the 2014 Sochi Olympics we felt it necessary to provide coaching for those athletes who strive to compete in these events.”

The One-Day Freeride program offers skiers aged ten to 18 up to 18 training days, primarily Sundays, December through March. A Heavenly restricted pass, equipment and gear are required. Freeride registrants can choose to participate in the U.S.A.S.A. South Shore Series or USSA events for an additional fee.

The Full-Time Freeride program requires additional commitments from both parents and athletes. With a longer season, December through as late as mid-May, this program offers a lot more time on the mountain with professional coaches and more participation in competitions. Dryland and gymnastics training, Sunday Fundays, night training, video analysis, pro clinics and more advanced competition training are some of the bonuses of this program, depending upon what is right for your young athlete. As with all programs, the emphasis is placed on skiing preparation and equipment care, as well as focusing on physical and mental competition techniques, physical fitness through healthy activity and good eating habits while promoting the values of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

The HSSF prides itself on selecting the best coaching staff available to nurture young athletes. The dedication seen from the coaching staff makes the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation one of the best in Tahoe. The Foundation’s Freeride Team is pleased to announce Brad Scott as head coach. He was a member of the Heavenly Freestyle Team for many years and was a multi-discipline competitor in skiercross, slopestyle, halfpipe and big air. Scott is a former professional skier and an alumni member of the British Ski Team for slopestyle and big air. His training ethic is built on strength, balance and endurance; he is also a personal trainer and nutrition expert. Acting as assistant coach is local Yamato Kashima. He trained with the Heavenly Foundation freestyle team for over ten years and competed in USSA events for many of those. He is passionate about spending his days on the mountain and excited to enhance the lives of younger skiers.

For more information about the Heavenly Foundation or any of its programs please visit or call the administrative office at 530.541.7354.