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Archive for May, 2014

BEND!!

31.May.2014 by Ida Sargent

Phew…. I’m tired!  It’s Friday night and I have my feet up with a cup of tea, enjoying a relaxing evening after a relaxing day where morning yoga was the main event of the day.  We just finished our first training camp of the new season and the heaviness of my tired legs has settled in inspiring new motivations and excitement through fatigue and sore muscles.  It’s funny how that irony plays out in the body and mind of an endurance athlete.  As in years past, the first training camp for myself and my teammates on the US Ski Team took place in Bend, Oregon.  The variety of workouts in such a cool location make this camp one of my favorites.  We took advantage of the late season snow on Mt. Bachelor with long skiing sessions in the morning and then enjoyed the warm weather in town in the afternoon for running, mountain biking, rollerskiing, and strength training.  Mother Nature spoiled us with incredible ski conditions and sunny summery weather.  And after a break for the spring, it was great to get the band back together. We hit the ground running, fired up and training hard for another season.

A typical day at Bend camp starts early as we race the warming temperatures for fast firm conditions on the mountain before the snow turns to slush.  All of the ladies shared a house and the alarms started ringing around 6:30am.  The first ones up started the coffee and a big pot of oatmeal.  Then a flurry of scraping skis, applying klister, drinking coffee, checking the webcam to see how to dress as the conditions on Mt Bachelor can vary significantly from our houses in town, eating breakfast, and more coffee drinking ensued before we loaded the cars and headed up the mountain.  About 30 minutes later we met in the ski lodge to discuss the workout for the day as well as look at video footage from World Cup races, cuing in on technique visions for the session.  Every morning we skied for two or three hours and thanks to Mt. Bachelor for awesome grooming and trail preparation for us.  After the ski we headed back to town for lunch and had a few hours off to put our feet up before the afternoon session which was usually also a couple hours long.  Then we took turns cooking dinners and each year the bar seems to be raised and from homemade pizza to gourmet burgers to delicious pesto chicken everyone did a great job cooking.  After dinner we had team meetings to discuss goals and the winter schedule among other things and then its off to bed and ready for another day.  Usually we have an off day during camp but this year we powered through ten full days of training in a row, maximizing our time on snow.  So I’m rightfully tired and while my body is ready for some well deserved recovery time my mind is excited about technique changes I made, goals we made as a team, and fun times exploring the trails around Bend.  Here are some pictures from the week

I traveled to Bend a few days before the camp started to visit with my aunt Laurie and uncle Bruce who live in town.  They were incredible hosts who spoiled me with a fun weekend filled with hiking, biking, kayaking, yoga, dancing, and great food.

Exploring the headwaters of the McKenzie River on a lava rock filled bike ride.
The biathlon team was in town and Hannah and I went for a ride with Bruce.  The mountain biking is phenomenal in Bend with fast and smooth flowing trails and a nice change from eastern roots and mud.
The Oregon edition of Hosmer Lake
There was a lot more snow than last year and the conditions were great for the entire camp.  We even got a few inches of fresh snow on the second to last day of camp.
The focus of this camp was technique and quality time spent on snow.  We switched up the normal routine with lots of drills like skipping on snow and one leg slalom.  We put an added emphasis on downhills, corners and transitions as these are areas to easily gain seconds with smooth skiing.  I definitely crashed more often than I normally do as I challenged myself to glide longer and fully commit onto a ski but when it’s warm and sunny, taking a face full of snow isn’t the worst thing.
But what goes down must go up and here I am working on my V1 technique
Big smiles after training one day
Frozen yogurt after a team meeting one night.  This is one happy family!
And I got to see my actual family too!  Elsa and Linden drove down from Seattle for Memorial Day weekemd and stayed with Laurie and Bruce.  They spent their days mountain biking and alpine skiing but we met up in the evenings.

This was my fourth trip to Bend and every year I hear stories of incredible crust skiing.  But every year the the conditions or our training schedule has not coordinated and I haven’t ventured off the groomed Nordic trails.  It was looking like this year would be more of the same but then on our last day of camp we woke to cooler temperatures.  We excitedly watched as the car thermometer dropped as we drove up to the mountain, calling out each time the numbers dipped.  It was 30 degrees and sunny as we pulled into the parking lot so we hurriedly grabbed our skis and checked out the snow.  YES!  There was a little snow on a thick crust!  It wasn’t the fastest cruising conditions but there was a crust so we set off from the Nordic Center, past Todd Lake and up to the bowl of Broken Top.  It was hard work and slow going at times but we found some endless meadows of crust and a panorama of phenomenal view, putting the cherry on top of a great camp.

The crew heading out with Bachelor behind us
Heading up

Sparks Lake in the distance
Todd Lake

Taking some turns on the way down

 

Birkie banner fame

19.May.2014 by Gordon Vermeer

Big news, everyone. My teammates and I are featured in the BRAND NEW BIRKIE WEBSITE’S BANNER PHOTO. CHECK IT OUT

 
birkie banner

 

 

The photo is from 2013 — that’s me in bib 156, second bright green suit from the left. The other greenies are my former teammates Pat, Bryan, Nils, and Dylan.

Other recent banner fame for the GRP includes this picture of my hand and half of my face on FasterSkier (photo from Spring Series 2014, 50k)

 

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and this sweet Summit Timing photo of my teammate Alex out-lunging his sprint heat (West Yellowstone 2013, FR sprint):

 

west yellowstone summit timing photo

 

This last photo is produced with a “FinishLynx” camera. Instead of capturing a two-dimensional image at a single point in time, it captures an (essentially) one-dimensional ribbon of pixels each fraction of a second. The resulting image looks crazy because its x-axis is time, not horizontal space.

What’s a Skier to Do?

13.May.2014 by Liz Guiney

April is the only month of the year that Nordic skiers get to do pretty much what we feel like, every day, with no regrets! If that involves sitting in my pj’s until someone shows up at the house at 4 pm, well, so be it. But I also like to take advantage of my off season by doing some fun stuff that doesn’t necessarily fit into a normal training routine. After Spring Series in Anchorage the GRP dispersed, many to the East and some to Alaska, while I headed back home to Utah. I was determined to fit in as much powder skiing, camping, biking, and hiking as I could in my short time there.

Luckily, the weather cooperated and I had some awesome blower days at Deer Valley and Snowbird before heading down to the desert in Moab for sunshine and a little mountain biking. Southern Utah is one of my favorite places on earth, call me crazy but I’d take the dry desert and incredible red sandstone formations over a beach any day. I’ll let the pictures show the rest! It was the perfect month for recharging mentally and physically and getting psyched up for a new training season. At today’s practice we had most of the team back in Craftsbury and the rest will trickle in during the next few weeks. It’s great to catch up with everybody and we’re all looking forward to the start of a new training season.

Love this picture of Corona Arch in Moab, photo from Hannah

Love this picture of Corona Arch in Moab, photo from Hannah. Also the site of this crazy video, which you should check out if you haven’t seen it yet

 

Arches National Park in Moab, Fiery Furnace in the front with the La Sal Mountains in the back

Arches National Park in Moab, Fiery Furnace in the front with the La Sal Mountains in the back

 

An endless playground of slickrock. It was my first time riding the smooth sandstone and it was really fun learning to trust the rock to grip your tires, even on steep sidehills

An endless playground of slickrock. It was my first time riding the smooth sandstone and it was really fun learning to trust the rock to grip your tires, even on steep sidehills

 

The crew in front of Delicate Arch

The crew in front of Delicate Arch (aka the Utah license plate)

 

After the Moab trip I headed down to Southern Utah one more time with my Dad to Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument. It’s way off the beaten track compared to Moab, and really cool because there are Anasazi ruins tucked into some of the canyon walls. We checked out this slot canyon called Little Death Hollow, a fitting name considering that 3 years ago a few cows wandered up the canyon and got stuck, and their bones are still in the bottom. Also not a place you want to be in a flash flood. The slot canyons and washes in this area are seemingly endless, you could pick one to hike every day for years and never run out.

 

Slot canyon stretching for miles. Skinny people only!

Slot canyon stretching for miles. Skinny people only!

 

Adventuring with my pup

Adventuring with my pup

In between adventures, I volunteered with an organization called Girls on the Run twice a week in Park City. The girls were in elementary school, between 3rd and 5th grade. We would meet, teach the girls short lessons about being healthy and confident in themselves, and then we would run! I was so proud the day all of the girls finished their practice 5k, battling tired legs and sore feet.

I had some amazing role models when I was their age in growing Park City, and I hope that I can share some inspiration and motivation with them. They’re running their final 5k on May 30th, and while I can’t be there in person I’ll definitely be thinking about them.

Girls on the Run is so much fun! My girls were the goofiest, most energetic bunch around

Girls on the Run is so much fun! My girls were the goofiest, most energetic bunch around

 

Mountain biking in Park City will never get old when it looks like this!

I did train a little bit too…mountain biking in Park City never gets old when it looks like this!

 

I even got in a few skis after the lifts closed. That's Jupiter Peak, the top of Park City Mountain Resort behind my head. Definitely a sketchy descent on classic fish scales

I even got in a few skinny skis after the lifts closed. That’s Jupiter Peak, the top of Park City Mountain Resort behind my head. It was a hairy descent on fish scales!

I always think that it’s really important to take some time in the spring to focus on something besides skiing, and to appreciate getting outside without a heart rate monitor or an exact plan for how things will turn out. Most skiers I know are adventurous at heart, but that sometimes gets lost beneath a strict training plan, so it’s good to switch it up now and again. Now that May is here, it’s time to bust out the strength workouts and rollerskis, and I know I’m ready for a change of pace and to settle into a training routine, but I’m sure we’ll get in some adventures too.

Thanks for reading, check in later for updates from the team about spring training, sure to feature lots of sore muscles!

Turkeys!

9.May.2014 by Alex Howe
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The turkeys arrived yesterday from Hoffman Hatchery!

 

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For the first few weeks they live above the garage in the sign storage room.

 

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For the first couple days they are very susceptible to the cold so we keep two work lights on to keep them warm!

 

They love to peck anything shiny like Emily’s hair tie and fingernail polish!