Kate Whitcomb is a 2004 graduate of Middlebury College and in her second year in the Fischer—Swix sponsored FSX team. Whitcomb has had a successful season recently winning the shortened elite Birkie. Originally from Western Massachusetts, she lives and trains in Sun Valley with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation when not on the racing circuit. NOTE: This interview took place before the Birkie.
You are a born East Coast skier living in the West, talk about that transition and the ups and downs of either region.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer is the clichÃ© that fueled my move West. For years, altitude was my nemesis and I repeatedly had difficulty racing above 4,000 feet. My solution? Move there and learn to deal with it. Potentially a bit harsh, but with the Olympics 4 years out, I am willing to implement some trial and error experimenting. The challenge that I encounter most often with this new altitude is keeping an L1 ski at a true level 1. You can fudge it at sea level and not pay the price. It is not so at 6,000′. On easy days I have to ski easy, which ends up being, not only easy, but VERY slow. I am working on this everyday.