The first weekend was full of canceled races due to the bitter cold, and it left a few of us a little bitter ourselves. Never the less, Monday rolled around, and with temperatures warmer (but just barely) Eth and I tried to put in a good speed session. With cold, slow, squeaky snow – it turned into a brutal workout. As we were driving away, we caught a glimpse of someone throwing explosives from a helicopter to set off avalanches. So that was pretty sweet. Wednesday, we all (CGRP, MWSC, USBA X/B/D team) piled into cars and drove into Banff National Park to ski at Moraine Lake. Our car thermometer said it was -24 C when we started. I was under dressed.
It’s not much more than a groomed access road, but makes for some fantastic classic skiing. Yes, biathletes still like to classic ski. At the end of the grooming, there was a sign warning us about avalanche danger ahead. We decided it wasn’t worth testing out.
This is Lake Louise. It’s just up the road from the trail, has a gorgeous hotel where we changed, and -most importantly- sells coffee and hot chocolate. Somewhere inside, sitting on a radiator, drinking a cup of coffee, I started to thaw.
Which brings us to the weekend.
Temperatures warmed up to just around freezing, and the races went off without a hitch. Saturday, Eth and I did a 10k sprint. Neither of us felt great, but I had a fun time pushing against Casey (pictured above). He is skiing well, and I struggled to keep in contact with him.
Sunday was warm and sunny. This is a picture of people zeroing their rifles before the race. Ok, it’s mostly a picture of cool mountains.
The picture up at the beginning, and the race pictures were taken by Jacob Ellingson. Check out some more photos here. If you want.
Sunday was a 15k Mass Start, which was interesting because there is a new format for starting this year. As the photo at the top depicts, there are three lanes of skiers, and we can start skiing immediately. Gone are the days of the double pole start.
And here I am, leaving the range and catching up to MWSC athlete Brian.
Eth and I both wish we were higher up the results, but also agree that this was a really fun race. The whole field was pretty close, and he and I skied together and fought it out on the last two laps.
Both of us owe a huge thanks to these guys. Seth (Maine Winter Sports Center) kind of adopted us for the two weeks. He helped us get two and from the venue, zero rifles, and in general was our foster coach. I tried, but couldn’t keep Travis (National Guard Biathlon) from helping us with our skis. Thanks guys.
We just got to Grand Rapids, MN, met up with Liz and Miro, settled in, and did some much needed laundry. Next up, IBU Cup trials!