Post Brundage Update

Happy Holidays! 

I’m sure you all are busy with parties, presents, family, friends…oh, and sneaking in those ski sessions. 

There continues to be great energy and a lot going on with the USSMA, so here’s an update…

Brundage – US World Championships Team Qualifying Races

Big thanks to Nick, Chad, Jim (race director), and the many volunteers for executing the Vertical and Individual races!  Racers battled it out in subzero temps and enjoyed the courses.  Congrats to those that qualified for the US World Championships Team!

Vertical Qualifiers:

Women – Janelle Smiley, Jessie Young, Kristi Knecht, Jaime Brede

Men – John Gaston, Mike Foote, Tom Goth, Eric Carter

Espoir Men (21-23yrs) – Cam Smith

Individual Qualifiers:

Women – Janelle Smiley, Jessie Young, Nikki LaRochelle

Men – John Gaston, Eric Carter, Mike Foote

Espoir Men (21-23yrs) – Cam Smith

Youth Qualifiers:

Cadet Women (15-17yrs) – Morgan Fortin

Cadet Men (15-17yrs) – Henry Boyd, Henry Hanes

Hope to see you all at Sunlight for the Sprint and Team qualifying races on Jan 14/15!

USSMA 2016-17 Planning – Areas of Focus

We had a great transition and planning meeting over the weekend, coming out with some great direction and next steps.  As a result we have confirmed our areas of focus with priorities and have assigned leaders and teams to drive them forward. 

Areas of Focus:  Organizational Structure, Budget, Fundraising, USOC, Marketing and Communication, Project 2022 & Youth Development, US Coaching Development, Race, Worlds, National Team, Athlete Advisory, and Membership.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead but are confident a team approach will net us quick progress on meeting high level goals.  As we work toward each of these, we keep in mind the following…

The US Ski Mountaineering Association is recognized by the ISMF (International Ski Mountaineering Federation) as the governing body of the sport of ski mountaineering in the United States

Vision - Expand the sport of Ski Mountaineering throughout the United States.

Mission - The United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA) sanctions and governs competitive ski mountaineering racing in the US and promotes and fosters recreational ski mountaineering through access, resources, education and community.

Goals – Develop and Grow the sport ~ Compete nationally and internationally ~ Coordinate events: races, development camps, National Team camps, referee camps

Current High Level Primary Focus – Develop the association into a fully functional national sports organization, raise the capital required to support our mission of developing the sport in the USA, and preparing a team for the Olympics.

Communication of Progress

Going forward, updates will be provided to me from team leads on a monthly basis.  I will also be holding monthly officer board meetings.  Consolidated updates and information will be communicated out to keep everyone informed.

My intent is to be transparent and keep communication frequent and open as we work together as a team to accomplish our goals.

Thanks to everyone for your efforts and passion for the sport!


Brundage / USSMA Planning

In the last few weeks there's been a lot going on behind the scenes of the USSMA.  There is a team of passionate people volunteering many hours working towards the development and growth of ski mountaineering racing.   As we develop new strategy and plans to take the association to the next level we'll be communicating with the race community frequently to keep everyone engaged.  As the new president, I'm excited to take on the leadership of the association and look forward to the working with this great team.

The Vision of the USSMA is to expand the sport of Ski Mountaineering throughout the United States, with a current primary focus on developing the association into a fully functional national sports organization.  My goals will be to establish formal structure and process within the association and to become financially viable and appropriately resourced.  With the recognition of the IOC and looking toward inclusion in future Olympics, I will strive for an enhanced focus on fundraising and developing athletes.

Who’s racing at Brundage this weekend?!?

As most of you know, this weekend is the USSMA Northwest Passage Ski Mountaineering Race in Idaho.  There will be Vertical and Individual races which are the qualifying races for the US World Championships Team.

American racers DON'T need to meet the new ISMF gear rules (helmets, suits, beacon new rules) until next year.  But, anyone racing in Europe will need to have euro legal gear.

Mandatory Racer Meeting for all athletes seeking to qualify for the US World Championships Team.  The meeting will discuss selection and logistical information and answer all racer questions.  Time/Date: 11:30am, Saturday 17 DEC  /  Location: Brundage Mountain Base Lodge (Same place as pre-race meeting)  /  Meeting Leader - Chad B.

Also happening at Brundage will be a USSMA transition and planning meeting to get myself and Matt Hickey (VP) up to speed and discuss strategy and plans to move forward.  As a result of the meeting there will be many different teams/groups of people (mostly board members) that will be focused on next steps to drive things forward.  And, as a result, we will be communicating more…so stay tuned!


December USSMA news: Big changes at the USSMA and upcoming events

First off, I hope the snow has started in your neck of the woods and you have a day or two out on skis!  
The purpose of this email is to formally make acquaintances with all the excellent people who are a part of the USSMA and begin the conversation about the coming year in the sport, and to introduce everyone to Ram Mikulas and Matt Hickey.  


Ram is based out of Summit County (CO), and has been pivotal in the development and operation of the Summit Skimo club.  He has also been a fixture of the skimo races in CO for a number of years, easily recognizable by his ever present smile and incredible enthusiasm for the sport.
Matt is also based out of CO, and currently carries the great title of Captain in the U.S. Army.  He is the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces World Class Athlete Program, which serves to train and oversee many of the incredible athletes currently serving in the USAF.  Matt has a long history in sport development, and though he is a relative new-comer to the sport, he clearly loves to suffer just as much as we do!
The big change at the USSMA is that I am stepping down as president, a role which will be filled by the very driven and capable Ram.  Matt is stepping up as VP, and as we develop the association in the coming years, his incredibly deep experience in sport development will be critical.  Though I have loved the role of president and the opportunity to helm this great organization, I could not have chosen two greater people to take the reigns.  I have tremendous faith in both of these two, and will remain a part of the USSMA as treasurer/secretary as well as advisor to Ram and Matt during the transition.  
The USSMA board is listed below:
Ram Mikulas: President
Matt Hickey: Vice President
Pete Swenson: Development Director
Joe Howdyshell: Training Director/Head Coach
Chad Brackelsberg: ISMF Delegate
Nick Francis: Treasurer/Secretary
Rhett Griggs: Medical Director
Stevie Kremer: Member at Large
Teague Holmes: Athlete Representative 
Janelle Smiley: Athlete Representative 
Layne Caldwell: UT Coordinator
Joe Risi: CO/NM/MT Coordinator and COSMIC Director
Jonathan Sheffetz: NE Regional Coordinator
Jeff Rivest: Skimo East Coordinator
This list encompasses the USSMA organization and operating board.  Thank you all for the hard work you have put in, and thank you for the hard work we still have ahead of us.  Each one of you brings so much to this organization, and you are all tremendously appreciated.  Importantly, we have built a very strong and diversified organization that can now support the next step of development, which will take the expertise and hard work of all of us.  
The current direction of the USSMA, and our primary focus, is to develop the association into a fully functional national sports organization.  To this end, we have been busy working towards a meeting with the USOC to formalize our role as the governing body of the sport, and gain access to the assets afforded to Olympic level sports, which is something that we see in the near future.  Our other major goal is to raise the capital required to support our mission of developing the sport in the USA.  It is our goal to be able to effectively support sport growth and development in this country in the coming two years, and in that time see the sport flourish as we all know it can.  The last two years have been building the infrastructure to support this goal, and now I am handing the next phase of the development to Ram and Matt.  With their creativity, drive, and expertise, and the very capable group of people behind them, I very much look forward to what the coming years bring!

The first annual Northwest Passage Ski Mountaineering race is coming up fast!  I just spoke with the Race Director, and the EVENT IS ON!  They have around 3 feet on the ground right now, with more forecast for the coming week.  Folks have been skinning at the resort, and snow conditions are sufficient to run the event.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO RACE BOTH THE VERT AND THE INDIVIDUAL TO QUALIFY FOR WORLDS.  While we would love to see you at both races, we understand the drive is long and a Friday night vert race won't work for everyone.  However, if you want to qualify for the vert, you of course have to race the vert!

IF (this is a very, very low probability if) the race is cancelled, the alternate qualifying event will be Wolf Creek, to be held January 7th.


Just a reminder to those hoping to qualify for worlds- the qualifying information (and important gear information for racing in Europe) can be found here.  Please read through this carefully!  

Juniors (under 23) hoping to qualify must race one of the two qualifying events.  Anyone under the age of 18 must also be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.  If you are an interested junior, please email for further information!!!


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