DODGE Ski Boot racer Warner Nickerson

Right off the bat, I gotta say I think Dave & I are good luck for Warner. We attended the Beaver Creek World Cup in December and Warner scored his first-ever WC points.  In the three GSs since then, he’s been close to making the “flip” to the second run, but hasn’t made it.  Then, we arrive at Hinterstoder last weekend and guess what? Warner makes the flip and has his second points-scoring World Cup race in his career!  So, we’re good luck right?

A little background on why we were at Hinterstoder.  The HUGE international sporting goods winter show (ISPO) is held in Munich this time each year.  Dave & I attend to meet with suppliers and to also meet with potential licensees for the DODGE carbon fiber ski boot technology. This year, the World Cup scheduled a men’s GS at Hinterstoder (only a 2 hour drive from Munich) on the weekend of ISPO.  With Warner in the field, it was a simple decision to go over a couple of days early so we could see him race then go back to Munich.

Bonnie at the finish area before the craziness

As we got closer to making our flight arrangements, Bonnie fantasized how much fun it would be for her if she were able to go, too.  So, me being me, I said “If you can get the time off work, let’s do it!”  She arranged for a sub (she’s a teacher), took a few personal days, and we booked flights for her to fly with us on the trip over, then return right after the races at Hinterstoder while Dave & I worked ISPO.

Last minute hotel booking at Hinterstoder was a challenge, but with help from, and very special thanks to US Ski Team manager Anna Egger, we got a room at the same hotel where the team was staying. All systems were go!

After an easy flight from Burlington to Washington to Munich, we arrived Friday morning, got our rental car and, at a little after 8 AM, we hit the autobahn for Hinterstoder.  Google maps called for a 3 hour, 195 mile trip, making lunch in Hinterstoder a good target.  Winding out the “little engine that could” we checked into the hotel at 10 AM, took a shower and went into Hinterstoder to walk around and have an early lunch.

Nolan Kasper dryland training at hotel

We caught up with Warner when we returned to the hotel as he and some of the other guys (Nolan Kasper, David Chodounsky and Tim Jitloff) were doing some dryland training. These guys are in shape!  Kasper has the quickest feet of anyone I’ve ever seen and Jit can jump higher than a bullfrog.

We gave Warner some new cuffs for his DODGE ski boots, (if you read his blog you know next time he WILL use threadlock on the bolts), got a good night’s sleep, woke a a great fruehstueck and made our way to the World Cup circus in Hinterstoder for the Super G.  If you’ve never been to a World Cup in Europe, it’s an experience like no other.  Think NASCAR and Super Bowl-level partying.  We decided we’d ski, watch the race, then ski some more.

Hutterer Hoess, alt. 1858 meters

The ski area at Hinterstoder doesn’t look like much from the village, but a short ride on the Hoessbahn gondola brings you from 600 to 1400 meters where there is a high mountain village and a bunch of lifts, including a 6 person chair that takes you up to 1900 meters.

Halfway up Super G trail

For those wanting to go higher there a couple of T-bars, but we chose to ski off the chair and started ripping some runs on some wide, steep terrain.

We caught up with Warner and Daver, took a few runs, then made our way down to the Super G hill to soak up the atmosphere with the crazies.  Lots of fun.

But, the finish area is where it’s really nuts.  Thousands of rabid fans consuming even more thousands of cans of Goesser bier make for an electric experience.

Hinterstoder finish area

Great job by Bode to achieve 3rd and special kudos to Tommy Ford for his 11th place finish after starting 65th.  Tommy’s a really nice kid whose parents, Mark and Mary Ellen (Rathbone) Ford, we’ve known for years.

More skiing after the race, then back to the hotel.  Bonnie reported she had a great and VERY relaxing day, so all was good.  Some good weissbier, a great dinner, good conversation and a little schnapps completed our day.

Sunday was the big day, with the men’s GS scheduled for a 10 AM start.  We took Bonnie up the gondola so she could see the area, rode it back down, and made our way to the finish area. Needless to say, we were excited to see Warner make the flip, and we hustled like crazy to fix the bolts on his boots after his “mishap”. But we got him set, gave Pete “Baby Huey” Lavin some spare DODGE Ski Boots parts to keep at the start for Warner, and made it back to the finish for the 2nd run.

Bode crushed it, winning the run by 0.4 secs; Warner had a couple of hip-checks but secured a 26th place finish (only 0.05 secs behind Ted’s 2nd run time), Tommy posted a strong 7th fastest 2nd run to wind up 18th; and Ted slipped from 6th fastest in the first run to finish 13th.

A few goodbyes, a looooong wait in traffic exiting the parking lots and we made our way back to Munich in time to check in at our hotel and meet Jochen Bauder, president of Bond Laminates for our traditional ISPO dinner, this year at Spatenhaus an der Oper in Munich.

After a good night’s sleep and fruehstueck in the morning, we dropped Bonnie at the airport for her flight home and headed to ISPO.

But that’s another story.

Now it’s time to get to work.

Bill

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