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Slopeside: Cochran's - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Slopeside: Cochran's

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RICHMOND, Vt. -

"Whoa! Oh my goodness, you are great! Wow!" Barbara Ann Cochran said.

Over the years, Barbara Ann Cochran has taught hundreds of people to ski.

"It's my favorite program by far. I love the ski tots program," she said.

Cochran's Ski Area instructors, including 1972 Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, teach parents how to teach their kids how to ski. Parents like Gabriel McGann of Winooski give the program two thumbs up.

"They really focused on saying stop and go. So you're stopping and going all the way down the slope," McGann said.

McGann's 3-year-old, Gideon, is now hooked.

"I go whoosh, whoosh, whoosh down the cones and through the corners," Gideon said.

On this day, father and son are doing their thing on firm snow surfaces. It's the kind of snow where you need a fresh tune on the skis.

"Really great," Gabriel McGann said. "It was warm yesterday. And it's not as warm today, so it's faster than it was yesterday."

"They're a lot harder than yesterday's, but it's colder today because it's snowing," said Kyra Frederick of Pennsylvania. "So it's probably the best I've ever skied."

Frederick is a member of the Liberty Mountain Race Team from Pennsylvania. She's taking part in Cochran's holiday camp, a three-day program which gives racers an opportunity to be on snow even if it's not in their home turf.

"This kind of training we don't get in until at least February," Frederick said.

From racers like Kyra Frederick to tots like Gideon McGann, skiers are reaping the benefits of increased snowmaking at Cochran's this season. Eight new tower guns all started from an idea that Barbara Ann's nephew, Jimmy Cochran, came up with.

"Let's see if we can find eight families to sponsor a gun for $3,500-- that's what the guns cost. And he did it," Barbara Ann Cochran said.

While the man-made snow is great for a base, Mother Nature's snow is even better. And that's on the way. We had a little mood snow falling Wednesday morning. But by Thursday, a more impressive coastal storm will develop. That will bring a lot of ski areas 6 inches of snow or more. And snow surfaces will start to soften right up.

That means the McGanns will be skiing in powder before too long.

"Oh, it'll be so good, so good," dad Gabriel said.

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