Alpine Skiing

Narrow trail is the path to glory at US Alpine Championships

To the casual skier, Sugarloaf's storied Narrow Gauge Trail doesn't seem so cramped or crazy. But that changes when it's prepared for competition and skiers are reaching highway speeds.

Suddenly those trees seem awfully close.

"The name says it all. That thing is stinkin' narrow. They don't build trails like that anymore," said Sam Morse, who attended nearby Carrabassett Valley Academy.

The Narrow Gauge Trail is the only East Coast ski course to host a World Cup downhill, and it's the focus of the U.S. Alpine Championships. The four-day competition starts Saturday.

Some of the biggest names were absent as skiers rest up after the grueling World Cup...