Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow Conditions in West Yellowstone

A big question on many skiers minds is what are the snow conditions? Here in West Yellowstone, MT there is some snow, but not very much. What is wrong with this picture?


Most of the snow we were skiing on in town is gone. There are some sections of the Rendezvous trails that have snow but only 500 meter sections. We did a specific strength workout on them Thursday afternoon.

CXC Women Double Pole Specific Strength

The section we were going back and forth on was pretty good, but the rest of the trail was so thin that the team ran for the cool down. Driving up the mountain a few hundred feet makes a pretty big difference.

Cook and Kuzzy up on the Plateau, Wednesday Morning

There is plenty of snow up high to ski on, but it is ungroomed so we have to ski in our own tracks.

Cook in Yellowstone National Park

Roller skiing into the park is still an option with the roads nice and dry. We saw a few herds of elk and some trumpeter swans. It looks tiny in the above photo, but the elk behind Cook was HUGE.

Today, Friday was the first day on groomed snow. Doug was up on the plateau and groomed 3-4km. The tracks were soft for both skate and classic, but when it gets a chance to set up overnight it will be great. I am planning on training on my race skis tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Real Stuff

Driving into West Yellowstone, MT there isn't very much snow to be seen. Standing at the Rendezvous Trail head there is still more brown than white. When you get into the woods, everything changes. The trails were rolled back when there was more snow and that has done an excellent job preserving the track. We arrived to town at 4pm on Saturday, just in time for a quick evening ski. It is great to be back on real skis and skiing real snow. I am one very happy skier. The trails could certainly use some more coverage and the forecast doesn't look promising. Still, for now it is sunny and beautiful.
Cook and Kuzzy skiing out from the Biathlon Range

Brian, enjoying the view on Windy Ridge and the first classic ski of the season


It was a long drive out here, but the skiing is worth it. I am glad that I had my teammates and some Swedish Fish to keep me entertained

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Getting Ready for the Big Trip

The good news this week is that I am excited to hit the road and begin the race season, but the bad news is that Wednesday was my last day at the club for the next two months. I brought in my bags and had the kids guess what a ski racer takes on the road for a 2 month trip. It is fun to bring skis, boots and other gear to show and tell.

Over 40 kids gathered in the Art Room for Cross Country Skiing Show and Tell Check out those Salomon Skis
One Way Poles

A helmet is one of the most important training tools.
Josh checking out my ITA Blog so that we can stay in touch while I am on the road racing

Thanks In The Arena

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Castle OD

Sunday's are over distance training days. This means that they are typically the longest workouts of the week which is usually a good ingredient for an adventure. Today's roller ski was scheduled as a 4 hour classic ski.
There was fresh snow at our door, not enough to ski
but plenty to make roller skiing interesting.


We made several calls and tromped around a bit...

The big guy captured Heather

I went to the Castle to see if any of the Knights there would help rescue her so we could finish our workout. I was taking a while and Heather eventually got herself free and took a picture of me and the castle.

3 hours in to the ski I was starting to get tired,
but seeing different cool mailboxes kept me entertained

So we kept going. Hopefully next Sunday's workout will be on snow with real skis.

The Big Swiss Ball

Last week I brought in one of my favorite training toys to 'The Club." A giant swiss ball. The ball provides an unstable surface that we use to challenge our core strength and balance. A new toy is always exciting, but a ball that is nearly as big as you offers endless play opportunities.
Things were pretty crazy at first with everyone wanting a chance to play with the ball at the same time. We played a modified game of soccer where each team tried to score a point by hitting the wall at either end of the gym.
When the soccer game finished a few of us hung around and worked on balance. I showed them how cross country skiers stand on the ball and play catch to work on our balance. This is a pretty advanced move but both Josh and Brandon were able to stand up on the ball when it was stabilized in a corner.