Determined to break the monopoly which Dartmouth and Middlebury have held on Eastern skiing for the past 20 years, Harvard's ski team invades Hanover this weekend to compete in the 59th annual Dartmouth Winter Carnival.
All three teams will be hard-pressed to match the anticipated point total of perennial national champion Denver which will be making its first Eastern appearance since capturing the Dartmouth carnival cup in 1951.
As in years past, Harvard's strong suit lies in the Alpine events. Never, however, has the Crimson squad enjoyed such a wealth of top competitors. Captain Peter Carter, his younger brother Larry, Willie Draper and sophomores Alan Watson and Jay O'Rear provide a solid nucleus of racing talent. Rated by coach Dick Friedrichs as "the best in the East," Harvard's Alpine team might even topple Denver.
Seeded first in the East in the giant slalom, Watson carries the longest list of credentials into the Dartmouth carnival; however Carter and Draper both placed in the top ten in their events at the NCAA championships last March.
Harvard's sophomore-studded Nordic team, featuring Christian Ferner, Jim Platz and Rowley Hazzard, should produce enough points to keep the Crimson forces in contention for the team trophy. Ferner won the Norway Nordic championship last year, but has done little skiing since coming to the U.S.
Dartmouth's traditional power lies in its five-man jumping squad which habitually sweeps its specialty to provide the Indians with the necessary margin of victory. But Denver boasts three European jumpers of World Championship caliber and probably ranks as the best collegiate jumping team in the world.
Denver, Dartmouth, Middlebury and Williams all have outstanding cross-country teams and the Crimson runners will have to struggle to match their pace.