Der Dachstein 3.0

9.Oct.2016 by Kaitlynn Miller

After a productive speed camp in Slovenia, we headed to Austria for a distance block. This was our third year in a row skiing on the Dachstein glacier and I think it’s safe to say the third time was a charm. We had an incredible streak of weather with eight straight days of sun, making t-shirts a necessity even on the glacier. After skiing around in a dark concrete tunnel for a week, we had to be sure to layer on the sunscreen… While the snow did get dirtier as the week progressed, we were able to ski every day on race skis as long as we avoided some of the sketchier corners. With our primary focus being distance, we logged 2-3 hours each morning on the glacier followed by a strength session or another distance workout in the afternoon. We went on some scenic run/hikes in the mountains and utilized the hilly rollerski track, which also had a biathlon range. For strength, we got super creative in our rental house backyard… We had been doing max strength in Slovenia, but in Austria we switched to endurance strength so luckily we didn’t need massive weights.

Walking down to the glacier (photo: Caitlin)

Walking down to the ski trail from the tramhouse (photo: Caitlin Patterson)

Ants or skiers?! Also, note the helicopter above the mountain (photo: Caitlin)

Ants or skiers? Also, can you spot the helicopter? (photo: Caitlin)

Nick did an incredible job keeping our skis well waxed and cared for (photo: Caitlin)

Nick did an incredible job keeping our skis well waxed and cared for (photo: Caitlin)

Some technique coaching, some waxing, and Charlotte Kalla skating along in the background (photo: Caitlin)

Some technique coaching, some waxing, and Charlotte Kalla skating along in the background (photo: Caitlin)

Skating along in a vast expanse of snowy whiteness (photo: Caitlin)

Skiing in a vast expanse of snowy whiteness (photo: Caitlin)


Nick and Ethan skating up one of the climbs (photo: Caitlin)


Women’s train going left, men’s train going right (photo: Caitlin)


We’re almost in sync! (photo: Caitlin)


Cornering (photo: Caitlin)


Heather enjoying some crust cruising (photo: Caitlin)


Mike striding it out (photo: Caitlin)


Looking down onto the section of glacier we skied on last year (photo: Kait Miller)


Selfie from the tram roof on our way down! Don’t worry, there was a railing so we weren’t at risk of falling overboard… Note the tramhouse perched on top of the mountain in the upper right.

One of our favorite camp traditions is double poling up the “Pichl Road” which is a 1,500ft climb over 4.5 miles from Pichl to Ramsau. It’s a bit of a grind, but super good for specific strength and a satisfying workout to complete. This year we all double poled it once and then some brave souls did it a second time while the rest of us skated.


Skating up the Pichl Road with some nice cows in the background (photo: Pepa Miloucheva)


Looking up towards the Dachstein from the Pichl Road (photo: Pepa)

Another workout that’s quickly becoming a camp favorite is our 2x6x1 minute bounding intervals. With so many distance sessions, these intervals ensure we maintain some of our top end speed and remind us what lactic acid feels like. This year we were fortunate enough to be living on a downhill ski trail so we had a lovely, steep, grassy slope for our intervals right out the back door!


Getting a little weird in “flood city” between our two sets of 6x1min lactic-acid inducing bounding intervals (photo: Pepa)

Home sweet home in Austria (photo: Caitlin)

Home sweet home on the ski slope (photo: Caitlin)


This house, like many others in the area, was dripping with flowers (photo: Kait)

For one of our over distance workouts this year we took the tram up to the glacier, skied for about an hour and a half, and then ran back down to the valley. Like every other day of the camp, the weather was amazing! The trail below the glacier passes through the glacier foreland and it looked like the moon!


Running down behind the glacier (photo: Kait)


A chairlift over the moonscape (photo: Kait)


Team photo in our snazzy new Craft tights! Also, thanks to Skida for the awesome custom headbands! (photo: Caitlin)

After one final run/hike through the mountains we headed back to Craftsbury just in time for peak foliage! We’ll be home for a few weeks before the biathletes and skiers head separate ways for camps in Lake Placid and Park City respectively. For now I’ll leave you with a video recap of the training camp curtesy of master videographer, Pepa. And last, but not least, thanks to Nick, Sam, and Pepa for all the coaching, waxing, and support during the camp (and always)!