Several High Schools have ski areas in their towns. Communities like Fort Kent and Central Aroostook are able to ski on their home hill for practice and workouts. At one school students don't have to leave the school property to get on the alpine skis. Caribou has a small hill that was built to give the alpine ski team a chance to practice and not have to travel 45 minutes to a hill. This was all built with community support from many people along with a local construction business.
(Dave Wakana):" It was done by Soderberg Construction Company. They took an old practice soccer field and dropped it down about 2 feet. They took all that earth from soccer field and they built the ski hill. There was a little bit of a grade there, but there is a big hill now. We bought a used lift out of New Hampshire and the skiers use that now."
The skiers have the opportunity to change in the ski building and then go outside and ski to the hill without leaving the City and the school property.
(Neal Sleeper):" It's the different between us spending an hour and a half on a bus ride every night. The practice opportunity I get with these guys is irreplaceable. It gives me a much better opportunity to be able to interact with them. Stop them in their tracks I can coach them when they are going back up the lift. It is an hour and a half we get to spend with these kids on skis. It is quality time it is time they are actually skiing. It is irreplaceable for the team.
(Austin Laplante):" We come here right after school and start laps up and down the hill. It gives us a lot of practice time on the hill that we wouldn't get if we had to travel an hour and a half every night
The Vikings have already been on the hill several times. They practice on the hill three times a week and since ski practice began almost two weeks ago the Vikings have not missed a workout on the hill. Many of the skiers also help out with a gate program for the younger skiers in the community and that is paying dividends also
(Edie Shea):" We have a few already who have gone through the gate racing program. I think they have improved a lot from that and learned alot.
(Nathan Pitre):" I have been a part of helping to get these younger people interested in gate racing and I can't wait to see what that will bring."
The Vikings have a large squad this year with over 20 alpine skiers on the roster. Sleeper feels having the hill in the back yard is one of the reasons for the increase in numbers
Sleeper:" A lot of the kids have done nordic or continue to do nordic and they do alpine and they see these kids training out here. To be honest alpine is fun. It is competitive and we hold these kids to high standards with results. These kids see this opportunity they drive by it on their way to school. It is an incredible opportunity that right in our back yard for these kids to be able to come out and ski on a hill in their backyard.