Monday, October 21, 2013

Frozen Thunder

After two great weeks of training in Park City most of the training group from Utah made the trip north to Canmore, AB, Canada for a bit more time at altitude and some on snow time.  For the last three years the Canadians have undertaken a project they call Frozen Thunder.  In the spring the plow up the snow from the trails in to a natural hole and cover it with about a foot of sawdust.  In mid-October they uncover the white stuff and truck it around the ski trails for guaranteed skiing.  Uncovering the snow and laying out the track involves 1 excavator, 2 piston bullys, 3 dump trucks and approximately $13,000.  It is really cool and I am not sure how it all pans out because a trail pass is just $10/day or $75/month.

The ribbon of snow is quite the contrast on a 65 degree day.  At least it cools off at night.
Caitlin and I enjoying the first day of skiing
I raced my first World Cup in Canmore and this place has always been special.  I personally haven't had my best races here but my good friend and training partner Garrott Kuzzy finished 9th in both of our first Sprint races.  Additionally during the pre-Olympic World Cups, Caitlin finished 14th.  It is great to share in the success of your friends and training partners especially because you can appreciate how hard they have worked.

Sam, Me, and Caitlin.  Today was the first day all of us MOD Teammates have been together since June.
Intervals today with Sam Tarling (Maine Winter Sports Center)
The entire month of October Caitlin and I have been ski racing full time.  We have had limited additional obligations to training and that has been wonderful and unique.  We have been training very hard and making sure we are eating well and recovering well at this important time of the year. I am very grateful to our sponsors and supporters for this opportunity.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 4th Snow Skiing

Caitlin and I have hit the road for the season.  Packing our bags at home in Minneapolis was kind of wild as the thermometer registered over 80F.  We have become pretty efficient in packing our bags and to be honest I end up packing pretty much the same things for a two week camp as a three month trip.  I find it easiest to keep things simple and pack as light as possible.
Enjoying the view on top of Lapham Peak outside of Milwaukee with Birketoberfest Participants.
We traveled to Milwaukee to give a clinic and a presentation at Birketoberfest a fundraiser for the American Birkebeiner.  The Birkie is raising funds to purchase land to secure the start of the "Greatest show on Snow."  The race has had a major impact on our lives and it was fun to share how the race has brought us together, made our skiing dreams possible, led to our first home purchase and encouraged our families and friends to lead a year round healthy lifestyle.

We then flew to Park City, UT to kick off our second altitude camp of the year and to join with the US Ski Team and other Clubs.
Surprise, Surprise.  4 inches of snow greeted us our second morning in Park City, UT.  
The golf course looked too good to pass up.  We set our own tracks and it wasn't great but it was still fun to kick and glide on the real thing.  On October 17th we will go to Canmore, AB, Canada to ski at Frozen Thunder.  Frozen Thunder is the name of a Canadian project where they store snow at the end of last winter under sawdust and bring it out in mid October for guaranteed skiing.  Depending on the summer it will be about 2.5-5 km long. This is the third or fourth year that the Canadians have done this and the first time we will experience it.
Enjoying a nice 3.5 hour run/hike with our friend Casey Fagerquist.  We are taking the first few days at altitude pretty easy but with plenty of volume as we adjust to the lack of oxygen.

Excited to see the hard work of the summer show itself on the snow.

A little sample of a day at Run Club.  Today was an easier day which meant that the first 15 kids to run three laps get an apple.  The kids receive a Popsicle stick on each lap to help keep track of how many laps everyone has done.