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Ski school

McIntyre Ski Area workshops aimed at instructing the ski instructors

MANCHESTER — Maple trees are turning hillsides into bouquets, and this weekend's rain was about the temperature of tap water.

But soon the air temperature will fall below freezing, and snowfall will get measured in feet. At least that's the hope of ski athletes and coaches, who gathered in Manchester this weekend for workshops and presentations put on by the Eastern region of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.

"I'm excited as always," said Crosby Coughlin, a ski instructor at Killington Mountain School. "I've been staying in shape. I look at the calendar and start thinking about skiing in mid-October."

Coughlin was among about 35 ski coaches who received Level 300 training on Monday at the McIntyre Ski Area. The Level 300 skiing encompasses the training received at academies, colleges and high-level competitions, said Ross Boisvert, general manager and vice president at McIntyre.

Sunday's session involved about 100 people, as athletes joined their coaches for a workshop that included legendary ski instructor Tom Reynolds, who built an Alpine ski program at Carabasset Valley in Maine and whose racers included Bode Miller, Boisvert said.

Reynolds spoke about the relationship between coaches and students, Boisvert said.

The McIntyre program followed workshops at the Radisson hotel, where the Ski and Snowboard Association spoke about standardizing racing programs at ski mountains, said Harley O'Brien, who coaches young teenagers at Ragged Mountain.

A workshop on Monday dealt with the three-dimensional aspects of ski racer movement.

"We deal with this all the time when we're on the hill with the kids," he said.

Boisvert said McIntyre plans to open a new trail this year, which will include some glades and a terrain park. He said the mountain will start making snow as soon as possible after Thanksgiving.