The Mount Washington Valley Alpine Education Foundation was founded in 1982, and is a registered 501(c)(3) . In the late 80’s ski racing in the Mt. Washington Valley was thriving at the local ski areas. As the ski racing in the east continued to evolve, it became apparent that the needs of J1 and J2 athletes were becoming increasingly difficult to be served by each of the local ski teams.
A group of forward thinking coaches, parents and ski area Managers conceived a plan to consolidate the Valley’s J1 & J2 Athletes into one consolidated group. A board of directors was formed, and the Mount Washington Valley Alpine Educational Foundation evolved. The board was intended to have representation from all of the surrounding youth programs.
The concept provided an opportunity to form a true regional team, while leveraging the unique resources of the Mount Washington Valley with its numerous ski areas located in close proximity. Current Program Director Dave Gregory joined the coaching staff as Program Director/Head Coach in the summer of 1986.
To this day, the MWVST remains one of the only opportunities in the US for an athlete to have the ability to train at multiple venues.
During the 80s the team flourished with the support of the community and ski areas and continued to grow. The 90’s brought significant growth to the Valley leading to considerable expansion and upgrades at many of the areas, including the Attitash expansion to Bear Peak and the cutting of the Illusion trail. The MWVST continues to host many notable races here with Illusion being one of the premiere race venues in the East.
In 1989, the MWVST formed a unique partnership with Kennett High School in North Conway, and also with Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg Maine, providing the opportunity for local athletes to train daily while also keeping up with their education. The Kennett program has been very successful in providing local athletes a cost effective alternative to the elite academy programs offered in New England. The Fryeburg partnership was rekindled in 2013 and continues to grow and provide opportunities to both day students as well as boarding students from around the world.
In 2011-2012 the FIS made another round of age adjustments raising the first year FIS age from 15 to 16. It also replaced the long time J age group designation, and replaced it with the U system. USSA was forced to comply. Like most teams, this age change brought along challenges of how to serve younger athletes. In 2011 the MWVST formed a partnership with Cranmore to provide structured U16 program, training space, and to provide a more structured transition to athletes graduating from the youth programs to the more demanding and competitive higher levels of USSA and FIS racing.
In 2012 the MWVST was the proud recipient of the USSA Alpine Club of Year award, presented by MWV native and USSA BOD Chairman Dexter Paine at a reception in Park City. Dexter is an alumnus of the MWVST and his father Bill was one if its founders in 1982.
Throughout the years, hundreds of young athletes have participated in the program. Many of these young athletes have gone on to ski at the collegiate level in all Divisions.
Notable alumni include 2 time Olympian, and current US Ski team member Leanne Smith, several members of the US Ski team, NCAA All Americans, to name just a few of the athletes accomplishments.
While we are certainly very proud of the accomplishments of these noted athletes noted, it is important to recognize that the main mission of the MWVST is not to create Olympians although that is part of our goal, but also to provide the opportunity for young athletes to perform to their personal best ability, develop a lifelong passion for the sport of Alpine Skiing, and develop longstanding friendships.