Green Racing Project Blog Header Image
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center Logo
  • Concept2 SkiErg Logo
  • caldwell.png
  • Craft FS black larger
  • jlracing.png
  • Bliz KeepFocused white

Archive for April, 2014

Pigs 2014!

20.Apr.2014 by Alex Howe

Mike and I picked up the Center’s 15 pigs from the LeBlanc Family Farm this past Thursday. We built them a temporary pen to train them to the electric fences. The will live in this pen for another week or so until we move them to a larger pen with double strand electric fencing.

 

IMAG1317

Mike releasing the pigs into their state of the art fence training facility.

IMAG1318

Temporary plywood walls to teach the pigs about electric fences.

IMAG1319

Getting used to their summer house!

Wrapping up, and just getting started

16.Apr.2014 by Jamie Chapman

Bam! Just like that, our six weeks in sunny and warm South Carolina are nearly over. On a calm morning, rowing here offers the best of both worlds: a fully buoyed race course for pieces and seemingly endless water in four directions for adventure rows. That’s been the trend: calm-ish mornings and breezy afternoons, good for a little of everything. The winds don’t always cooperate, as we’ve had our fair share of whitecaps and direct crosswinds. Less fun, for sure, but valuable nonetheless.

This weekend we’ll be part of the workforce for the Clemson Invite, one of the few regattas that with which we’ve helped in exchange for the phenomenal hospitality from the Clemson rowing team and weight room staff. This doesn’t seem like enough to thank everyone, so we’ve supplemented with some Green Mountain Coffee, VT Maple Syrup, a little dinner party (burger night!), and GRP gear. Then Monday it’s back north to Princeton to set up shop for NSR I.

I’ve been taking some small-plane flying lessons here, which has been a cool diversion and parallels small-boat rowing in lots of ways. Complete focus, attention to detail, acting with conviction, mutual loathing of crosswinds, and a good mix of adrenaline and fun. Today I went up and flew a vintage 1942 Stearman biplane, one of the Navy’s first trainer planes for WWII. It’s an open-cockpit that can be flown from either seat, so I took my camera up and snapped some pictures while my instructor took the controls.

From bottom left, the boathouse and the second 1000.  From middle left, half of the football stadium and lots of South Carolina.

From bottom left, the boathouse and the second 1000. From middle left, half of the football stadium and lots of South Carolina.

Through the wing, the long straight stretch of water is the buoyed course in its entirety.  Stake boats on left, finish line in front of the boathouse on the right. Looking west.
Through the wing, the long straight stretch of water is the buoyed course in its entirety. Stake boats on left, finish line in front of the boathouse on the right. Looking west.

Another unobstructed view of campus looking to the north.  Racecourse on the right, campus in the middle, mountains in the background.  After the second bridge (middle right of picture), the Seneca River splits.  To the left is the S-curve section, a favorite place for long out-and-backs when it's calm, and to the right is another long winding stretch, usually a calm when it's windy elsewhere.  I call this the City Course or Waterski area, so named for the city-maintained 3-lane course and the waterski jump past a few more bridges.

Another unobstructed view of campus looking to the north. On the bottom left, there’s a super fun looking putting green on the golf course surrounded by bunkers in a tiger-paw formation.  Racecourse on the right, campus in the middle, mountains in the background. After the second bridge (middle right of picture), the Seneca River splits. To the left is the S-curve section, a favorite place for long out-and-backs when it’s calm, and to the right is another long winding stretch, usually a calm when it’s windy elsewhere. I call this the City Course or Waterski area, so named for the city-maintained 3-lane course and the waterski jump past a few more bridges.

 

Mammoth Biathlon

13.Apr.2014 by Mike Gibson

The 7th annual Mammoth Winter Biathlon was great- if you like skiing, guns, and sunshine.

 

The Mammoth Winter Biathlon is the biggest biathlon race in North America (by volume, not necessarily competitiveness), and it is easily the most fun.  I was flown out by the man who puts this race on to help with shooting clinics, act as a range safety officer, and then compete in an exhibition race, hilariously entitled the ‘Uber Elite.’ California – in general – has had a sub par snow year, so instead of hosting the races at the Nordic venue, the race organizers built a range on top of the mountain. It is a little hard to see in this photo shamelessly taken from a Google search, but the range was at Outpost 14 (the white box on the right side of the image).

The dedication and manpower available from the volunteers and organizers was staggering.  Hosting a biathlon race requires a lot of equipment – targets, ropes, shooting mats, timing equipment, sound systems, etc.  Not only did the organizers acquire all of this, they moved it up a mountain – 9500 ft high- and also surveyed and excavated a 20 point shooting range.  I was truly blown away with the passion and excitement for my sport.

Photo Mar 22, 12 11 40 PM

 

Having the races on top of the mountain made for a breathtaking venue, but racing at 9500 ft is challenging.

Photo Mar 22, 1 29 47 PM

Most days I decided to ski up the downhill trails to the venue, but on race day I hitched a ride on the Sherpa.

My race was not my most glorious.  I don’t have much experience racing at that kind of altitude.  Not only is it taxing aerobically, but the lack of oxygen – exacerbated by the the strain of racing – actually begins to impair your vision.  It was a fantastic way to learn how to handle the extremes.

Photo Mar 24, 4 11 05 PM

I have an old friend now living in Mammoth Lakes, so I extended my stay by a few days to see him.  His dad was visiting that weekend, and I was so happy to have both of them cheering for me in my race.

Photo Mar 24, 4 34 54 PM

The three of us went for a relaxing hike/walk up around Convict Lake.  In classic western style, the derivation of the name ‘Convict Lake’  comes from a bloody shootout in 1871 between convicts, escaped from a Carson City jail, and the Sheriff tracking them down.  I’m not kidding.  Apparently there is a movie loosely based on the story.

I spent the next few days running and soaking up some Vitamin D before eventually venturing up to the local XC center.

Photo Mar 27, 2 20 43 PM

 

The trail system isn’t immense, but it was immaculately maintained.  All the trails meander around beautiful lakes, high in the mountain pass.

Photo Mar 27, 1 48 37 PM

 

On this ski, I realized Mammoth is a little mind-numbingly gorgeous.  Monotonously stunning.

Thank you, Mammoth Biathlon, for hosting a tremendous event.  I hope you invite me again in the future.