Canmore: Week 1
Ethan and I have been in Canmore, Alberta for just over a week now. The skiing has been quite nice, though the biathlon trails were starting to get a little rocky. Our training here has been really beneficial. Maine Winter Sports Center is here and has been helping us out tremendously. We got to jump into some fun relays, and also hammer out some race pace intervals with Casey Smith and Patrick Johnson. All 20 of the Americans up here (CGRP, MWSC, Johnson, National Guard, and a contingent from Minnesota) gathered for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. Eth and I contributed just over 10 lbs of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes. There were no leftovers, or pictures taken, apparently.
Since here, my HR monitor watch will no longer turn on, and both Eth and I have broken the firing pins to our rifles. What’s a firing pin? A firing pin is a STUPID piece of metal inside the bolt of a rifle, without it, the rifle will not shoot. Ask Bob Lee Swagger, he swaps all his firing pins before he leaves his house.
Most people know Canmore for the amazing mountains, and they would be correct. Distractingly gorgeous. Apple was probably thinking about Canmore when they introduced the pano setting on your iPhone. Here is the view from our hotel room just after sunset.
This is looking down onto the biathlon range and stadium.
This is the opposite direction as the picture above: in the biathlon stadium, looking up. The billowing clouds are from Canmore’s extensive snow-making operation.
What people don’t realize is that it isn’t always like that. Training on Friday was a little raw. -2 F and 30 mph winds. Photo by Skip Smith
Our race Saturday was canceled because of this:
So we decided to get a late start, bundle up like Randy in A Christmas Story, and go classic skiing.
All smiles. Cold, swaddled in all the merino wool clothing I own, and not racing, but smiling. Thanks, Kat Howe, for the picture.
Sunday rolled around, and we were optimistic for a race start. I’ll admit, the forecast I saw probably didn’t warrant optimism. The high was -3 and it quickly dropped again after that.
Our truck’s thermometer on the drive to the race venue (in C not F). On a scale of Casey to Kat, my facial expression was probably closer to Kat. Photo: Kelsey Dickinson.
The race was delayed an hour, but we kept ourselves busy. Heads Up! is an iPhone game modeled after Charades. It’s frustrating to feel good and be excited to start the racing season, only to be held back by the weather. I was headed down a morose path, but pulled back by a solid hour of this game.
(Video from Betsy Smith)
The race was eventually cancelled. I again found myself dawning every article of clothing I packed, clipping into my bindings, and hoping I wouldn’t get irreparable frostbite.
It is a few days after Thanksgiving, but I still have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for the support of the GRP, Craftsbury, Concept 2, and my family. I am thankful firing pins can be replaced. I am thankful for the frostbite fighting powers of Dermatone.
This next week is supposed to get warmer, and we have two more races scheduled this weekend. Wish us luck (that the races will be held)!