“Having a World Cup event back in New Hampshire after the resort last hosted a World Cup race in 1991 is extremely exciting.”-Tim Smith, President and General Manager of Waterville Valley Resort.
Waterville Valley Resort in New Hampshire, which is known as The Birthplace of Freestyle Skiing, will be the site of major moguls events in the coming years. This week, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced that Waterville Valley will host moguls and dual moguls FIS World Cup events during the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
The competitions will take place on Lower Bobby’s Run. The eastern-facing, double-black diamond trail has a pitch of 28 degrees and a length of 246 meters/807 feet.
“As an east coast skier who grew up competing at Waterville Valley at 12 years old, I’m incredibly excited to have an east coast World Cup return to the circuit,” said Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls skier Hannah Soar. “I believe that this addition to the schedule will promote mogul skiing on the east coast and bring regional mogul skiers from the area to Waterville and enable them to see a World Cup competition in person. I think this will go a long way in promoting freestyle in the area and continue Waterville’s legacy of being the birthplace of freestyle skiing. I’m looking forward to having a World Cup close to home and hopefully a hometown advantage!”
Freestyle skiing at Waterville Valley Resort dates back to 1969. During that year, they hosted the United State’s first-ever freestyle instruction program, earning it the moniker of The Birthplace of Freestyle Skiing. In 1970, they hosted the first-ever National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing, which occurred on the Sunnyside trails. In 1971, Waterville hosted the first-ever Hot Dog Competition: National Championships of Exhibition Skiing. Wayne Wong, a legendary freestyle skier, competed at the event, winning the $200 prize. He went on to become BBTS’s head freestyle coach in 1973.
Over the years, Waterville has hosted 11 Alpine World Cup races, 4 U.S. Freestyle Championships, 1 U.S. Alpine Championships, and numerous freeski and snowboard U.S. Revolution Tours. In March, they hosted the U.S. Freestyle National Championships. As mentioned above, this is the first World Cup event they will host since 1991, so this is obviously a big deal for New Hampshire’s ski industry.
“I competed in my first sanctioned mogul event at Waterville Valley when I was 8 years old,” said retired two-time Olympic medalist Hannah Kearney. “Instantly, I was instantly hooked on the sport. I spent every weekend over the next eight years training with the exceptional WVBBTS Freestyle Team until I made the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team in 2002. When young athletes watch the best in the world compete in their backyard it provides a source of tangible inspiration to achieve their potential. I hope to return to my roots to cheer them on in person next January!”
The announcement comes in the midst of a major investment period for Waterville Valley. Back in 2017, they opened the Green Peak expansion, which added varying terrain to their trail network. During this past ski season, they opened the Tecumseh Express, a high-speed six-pack bubble chairlift that was supplied by MND Ropeways. They also plan to install a new t-bar and expand their night skiing network, although the timeline for these projects has yet to be announced. Long-term plans involve another terrain expansion that will connect the town of Waterville Valley to the ski resort via a gondola.
Tim Smith, who is the President and General Manager of Waterville Valley Resort, said the following about the World Cup:
“Waterville Valley Resort is honored to host the upcoming 2024 and 2025 World Cup and continue our partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Having a World Cup event back in New Hampshire after the resort last hosted a World Cup race in 1991 is extremely exciting. We are thrilled to host this world-class freestyle competition alongside Deer Valley, and we’ve already begun preparing to deliver an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. The Waterville team looks forward to welcoming the world’s top freestyle athletes as we bring together passionate fans and a community of people who share a love for the sport.”
The mogul and dual moguls events are scheduled to take place on January 27 & 28th, 2024. The dates of the 2025 events have yet to be announced.
Image Credits: Waterville Valley Resort, U.S. Ski & Snowboard