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Posts Tagged ‘skiing’

Ski Camps at Foret Montmorency

14.Nov.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

The whole 2017 Foret team!
Front L-R: Kait, Mike, Ben, Ida, Hallie
Back L-R: Caitlin, Adam, Liz, Nick, Pepa

Most of the GRP skiers and biathletes spent Monday Oct 30 – Thursday Nov 2, and Monday Nov 6 – Thursday Nov 10 at Foret Montmorency. The Foret Montmorency is a skiing/research/vacation facility operated by the University of Laval, and it is located about 1 hour north of Quebec City in Eastern Canada.

Fortunately for us, based in Craftsbury in northeastern Vermont, it’s only about a 4-4.5 hour drive to the Foret. This made it possible to go up north two consecutive weeks, returning to VT for a few days of the weekend and the NENSA Elite Rollerski race at Trapps on Saturday Nov. 4th.

During both 4-day camps, we put a big emphasis on technique and making sure to ski with good body position. Pepa was out on the trailside for every session, capturing video with her iPad for us to review after the ski. This constant feedback loop of ski-video review-ski can be extremely useful for making changes, but it also requires you to stay mentally engaged the whole time for the most benefit.

Camp week 1 included several distance sessions, skate jump skate speeds, classic start practice, 3 minute classic/DP intervals, and a skate time trial.  Camp week 2 included more distance sessions of both classic and skate, 90 second classic intervals, and 3-4 minute hard skate intervals.

Enjoy the photos below. For more media – photos and videos from the camp – look at our Instagram or Facebook pages.

Ida leaves for Europe on Nov. 15th, the domestic biathletes leave for Canmore on Nov. 20th, and the domestic skiers leave for West Yellowstone on Nov. 21st. The winter of racing is right around the corner!

Thin snow, but it still glides! There were considerable numbers of woodchips, sawdust, a few rocks, but at least the majority of the surface appears white.

Ben and Hallie

Ben and Hallie heading out along the white ribbon. This was during camp week 1, and the narrow spot ahead of them is the part that melted out and was no longer skiable in week 2

Mike out for a classic cruise

Ida and Kait deciding, right or left?

It was great to have Ida up at the Foret camps with the rest of us domestic GRP racers, before she heads to Europe on Nov 15th. Photo: Pepa

Liz and Kait during a skate distance session

Adam Martin wins the men’s race at the NENSA Elite Rollerski Invitational. Photo: Gary Solow

Ida Sargent wins the NENSA Elite race for women. Photo: Dave Priganc

Back to the Foret: Adam Martin, the masquerading Swede

Liz and Kait pass the main lodge along the snow loop. Photo: Pepa

Pepa skis along with the iPad, reading to video and offer technique advice at any moment

Ida, Liz, Kait. Photo: Pepa

Dance for the Foret!

Photos by myself, Caitlin, unless otherwise noted. Thanks for reading!

Blogroll and beyond

27.Feb.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

We GRP skiers and biathletes may not have been active on this blog platform recently, but we’ve been extremely active on the trails and results sheets around the world!

Where to even start?!?

Susan was 2nd at BIATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!

HOCHFILZEN, AUSTRIA – FEBRUARY 19: Susan Dunklee of the United States reacts after winning the second place of women’s 12.5km mass start competition during the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2017 at the Biathlon Stadium Hochfilzen on February 19, 2017 in Hochfilzen, Austria. (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Ida was 3rd in the World Cup classic sprint in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next year’s Olympic venue!

Ida Sargent scoring her first career World Cup podium with a 3rd place in the classic sprint in Pyeongchang, South Korea in early February. Photo: FIScrosscountry

Ben won the US Nationals 30k classic at Soldier Hollow!

Ben Lustgarten skiing away from the field to earn his first National title in the 30k classic in January. Photo: Fasterskier

Kait, Caitlin, and Liz swept the Supertour podium for the 5k classic in Ishpeming!

GRP podium sweep in the Ishpeming Supertour 5k classic, led by Kait Miller, with Caitlin Patterson in 2nd and Liz Guiney in 3rd! Photo: Pepa Miloucheva

Clare skied to career best results at Biathlon World Championships with a 20th place in the sprint… Emily finished 26th and 27th at the IBU Cup in Slovakia in addition to many NorAm victories back in the US… Caitlin finished 4th in the skiathlon and the team sprint in the Pyeongchang World Cup… Liz finished 13th in the skiathlon at the Pyeongchang World Cup… Hallie won the NorAm sprint race in Lake Placid, NY… Alex was 2nd in two races at the Lake Placid NorAms… Mike was 3rd and 5th at Lake Placid… Heather was 6th in the Truckee classic sprint… Ethan was top 10 in many NorAms in the past month…. Mary was 2nd in an Eastern Cup, 15th in the Ishpeming Supertour 5k classic… and that’s just the tip of the results iceberg, I’ve forgotten many notable finishes.

Several of the skiers and biathletes have been great about keeping the Craftsbury Outdoor Center website news feed updated with results, so make sure you’re checking into this page http://www.craftsbury.com/general/about-the-center/news/ for weekly racing reports from the GRP as well as the younger Craftsbury skiers.

Also we have tended to turn towards personal blogs and websites to express ourselves and document races and trips more often. Why is this? Maybe it seems like less pressure, to represent ourselves as individuals, rather than as an individual writing to represent the team. Whatever the reason, you the readers may not know of all our team members’ blogs, so here’s a list of links, in order of most recently updated.

Caitlin Patterson: https://caitlinpatterson.wordpress.com/

Clare Egan: https://clareegan.wordpress.com/blog/

Hallie Grossman: https://halliegrossmanblog.wordpress.com/

Emily Dreissigacker (Kingdom Cakery blog): http://www.kingdomcakery.com/ 

Kaitlynn Miller: http://kaitlynnmiller.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Guiney: http://elizabethguiney.blogspot.com/

Heather Mooney: http://heatherjoymooney.com/

Ida Sargent: http://idasargent.blogspot.com/

Ben Lustgarten: http://www.benlustgarten.com/

Susan Dunklee: https://susandunklee.wordpress.com/

Enjoy reading a few of these blogs, check our Instagram (@greenracingproject) and Facebook pages for quick updates from the road.  And future blogs will be coming up soon on this page too!

Slovenia, below ground and above

21.Sep.2016 by Caitlin Patterson

What takes a skier to Slovenia in September, you might wonder? Surely there are other places closer to a home base in Vermont where it would be possible to dryland train on rollerskis or on foot. And Slovenia isn’t known for any of the skiing glaciers like can be found in Italy, Austria, and Alaska. What Slovenia does have, new this year, is an indoor, underground skiing tunnel.

Make sure to check out the previous post on this blog, which went up earlier today, on the GRP biathletes’ experience at Slovenian biathlon national championships. For this post, I’ll focus on the tunnel experience and a few other mountain adventures in Slovenia that the skiers were lucky enough to get to do.

When our coach Pepa found out early summer about Slovenia’s new tunnel, which is located at the Olympic Sports Complex in Planica, she started considering options that would tie the tunnel into our fall trip to Europe. The last two years the GRP skiers have trained for several weeks in Ramsau, Austria, making use of the Dachstein glacier for on-snow sessions. Last year the snow melted out quickly on the Dachstein, so while we did get some good quality sessions on our skis, we finished the camp feeling a little bit short-changed in the skiing department. The guaranteed snow of an indoor tunnel seemed enticing, to make sure we could log quality workouts on skis, especially since Planica is only about a 2.5 hour drive from Ramsau. Thus in 2016, here on September 21st, we’re midway through a camp that combines a speed-and-technique block in the tunnel in Planica with a distance-and-high-altitude block in Ramsau at the Dachstein glacier.

cp-hdrplan

The Olympic Sports Center in Planica, Slovenia. Our accommodations were simple hotel-style rooms in the building at lower left, and our playground was the mountains beyond, plus the ski tunnel a 3 minute walk from our rooms.

For most, if not all, of the team, this was our first experience with a ski tunnel. It’s a very… interesting… environment, at least this Planica tunnel, which doubles as a parking garage during certain times of the year. The walls are drab grey concrete, and there are concrete columns which the trail winds around… but there are also unusual features to examine, like traffic mirrors and signs in Slovenian, ice-flooded stairways, ice stalagmites growing up from the ground and rime crystals on piping. We skied a single loop in between 80 seconds and 2 minutes, depending on the intensity, which can get a bit repetitious… but it also means that we have many opportunities to work on certain terrain features or transitions, and many opportunities for Pepa, Sam, or Nick to video us for later technique review.  The air wasn’t the freshest, and there was no music playing… but the snow is consistent and predictable, always use-able and often pretty fast, and people could bring in their own headphones with podcasts or music. So the tunnel definitely had its pros and cons, but overall the experience was quite valuable and we put in a quality one-week long speed camp. Below are some photos from our below-ground Slovenian experience.

Tunnel stalagmites, from a low perspective that makes them look extra tall.

Tunnel stalagmites, from a low perspective that makes them look extra tall. We got a few ceiling drips on our heads too, but not all that many. It seemed to be drippier in the tunnel on the days when it was raining outside.

Alex and Heather cruise towards a corner

Alex and Heather cruise towards a corner

Emily on the one uphill of the loop

Emily starting the uphill

Heather in the transition zone, switching from boots back to running shoes for the walk to our lodging.

Heather in the transition zone, switching from boots back to running shoes for a post-ski jog and then the walk to our lodging.

Kait, Caitlin, Ben, Liz focus before a sprint start (Photo by Sam D)

Kait, Caitlin, Ben, Liz focus before a sprint start (Photo by Sam D)

Heather and Ben sprint while wax tech Nick looks on (Photo by Sam D)

Heather and Ben sprint while wax tech Nick looks on (Photo by Sam D)

Liz and Caitlin sprinting on a straightaway (Photo by Sam D)

Liz and Caitlin sprinting on a straightaway (Photo by Sam D)

And then there were the above-ground sessions! Apart from our tunnel skis, fortunately we were able to get out into the mountains for several hikes and runs. Planica is in the Julian Alps, and the mountains are impressive, with steep cliff faces but also trails that bring hikers around to climb-able sides of many of the peaks. Because the skiers and biathletes within our group were on slightly different plans, with the biathletes racing in Slovenian biathlon national rollerski races on Saturday and Sunday (see previous blog post), different groups of us went on a variety of adventures. The trails and peaks that we saw just whetted our appetite for more, and I know I certainly hope to return to Slovenia and this area in particular for future excursions and training! The following photos are from a few of our hikes. (Unless otherwise noted, I took the photos in this post.)

Hiking crew above the Vrsic pass, left to right Caitlin, Nick, Heather, Kait, Ben, Liz

Hiking crew above the Vrsic pass, left to right Caitlin, Nick, Heather, Kait, Ben, Liz

Climbing above the Vrsic pass into the peaks of the Julian Alps

Climbing above the Vrsic pass into the peaks of the Julian Alps

Another view of a deep valley

Another view of a deep valley, Nick and Heather ascending the trail

Fossils!

Fossils!

Peaking carefully over the edge to see the sheer cliff on the other side

Peaking carefully over the edge to see the sheer cliff on the other side

We took brief break from our training routine with a sight-seeing and shopping walk around Bled, Slovenia, which is known for this much-photographed lake and castle

We took brief break from our training routine with a sight-seeing and shopping walk around Bled, Slovenia, which is known for this much-photographed lake and castle

Looking down on the jump complex at Planica from Ciprnik peak

Looking down on the jump complex at Planica from Ciprnik peak

Crazy black salamander or newt from one of our hike/runs. On that particular run we saw dozens of these little guys on a certain section of trail.

Crazy black salamander or newt from one of our hike/runs. On that particular run we saw dozens of these little guys on a section of trail.

Ben celebrates bagging a peak (Slemenova spica, over 6000ft).

Ben celebrates bagging a peak on one of our first afternoon runs (Slemenova spica, over 6000ft – a good climb from Planica at 3000ft).

Coaches and skiers (missing biathletes), from left: Pepa, Heather, Ben, Kait, Caitlin, Liz, Nic

Coaches and skiers (missing biathletes), from left: Pepa, Heather, Ben, Kait, Caitlin, Liz, Nick. Thanks Craft Sportswear for the awesome new custom-designed suits.

This morning was our first skiing session on the Dachstein glacier above Ramsau, Austria, and we were greeted by sunny skies and fast snow. For now follow our Instagram account @greenracingproject, or Craftsbury Green Racing Project on Facebook, for (nearly) daily updates from the glacier – we’ll be sure to get a glacier summary post with photos up here on the blog too by the end of the camp!

Back to Alaska

27.Aug.2012 by Patrick O'Brien

Last summer I was able to join APU and Sun Valley skiing at the Thomas training center on Eagle glacier.  (http://greenracingproject.com/blog/?p=1910).  Getting quality on snow time during the summer months  is a huge asset to any nordic racer, and something still quite novel to life long Eastern skier.  This year I was again hoping get to Eagle glacier for some solid training. After a last minute spot opened up, I hopped on a plane and found myself back in Alaska. The weather last year was a pretty mixed bag. A few days of nice sun, some overcast skiing, and some days where you weren’t sure what direction the precipitation was coming from because you were in whiteout conditions and had no idea where on course you were. Fortunately this year the weather was much more cooperative.  Most days were cloud free t-shirt skiing and when the clouds rolled in hard, low overnight temperatures still made for much harder and faster tracks than the year before.  One thing I learned from my previous trip is to put the largest baskets you can find on your poles.  Racing poles are nice and light, but pretty useless when you are pulling them back out of the snow on every pole plant. Last year may have been slow and sloppy skiing, but this year the tracks were firm enough to delay morning training to allow the boiler plate ice to soften. Overall it was a great camp.  Lots of quality kilometers of training, technique tweaks, seeing how other ski programs operate, and getting to mix it up in intervals with a different group of guys than our normal summer group.  So without further ado, some pictures from my week on snow!

Alpine Air's A-Star helicoptor lifting off

Alpine Air's A-Star helicopter lifting off

And headed up towards the glacier

And headed up towards the glacier

View from the cockpit.  Despite being only a 40 minute drive drom Anchorage, and looking down on Girdwood the facility is still remote.  All food, skis, gear, and even the Pisten-Bullys have to be flown in by chopper

View from the cockpit. Despite being only a 40 minute drive from Anchorage, and looking down on the town of Girdwood the facility is still very remote. All food, skis, gear, and even the Pisten-Bullys have to be flown in by chopper

Passing Alyeska Resort on the way up

Passing Alyeska Resort on the way up

A typical scence looking out from the facility. The training ceter sits on the edge of a 1500 ft drop off. The yellow rope is there for a reason... Somewhere under the cloud cover is Girdwood and the Airport

A typical scene looking out from the facility. The training center sits on the edge of a 1500 ft drop off and the clouds often get hung up on the mountains below. The yellow rope is there for a reason... Somewhere under the cloud cover is the town of Girdwood and the Airport

Keith the main pilot "dropping off" the edge going back for another load of skier and gear. The A-Star kicks up some serious rotor wash. 5 minutes up 5000 ft. A few seconds later and he is back out of sight.  (photo: H Mooney)

Keith, Alpine Air's main pilot "dropping off" the edge going back for another load of skier and gear. The A-Star kicks up some serious rotor wash. (photo: H Mooney)

The view into town on a clear day. In the front of the picture are two of four shipping containers for storing all the maintenence gear during the summer and the grooming equipment during the off season. Everything is bedded on concrete and bolted down to withstand the high winds and heavy snowfall.

The view into town on a clear evening. In the front of the picture are two of four shipping containers for storing all the maintenance gear during the summer and the grooming equipment during the off season. Everything is bedded on concrete and bolted down to withstand the high winds and heavy snowfall.

Meltwater pond in the foreground, trails on the glacier way off in the background. All the water for the facility is pumped and filtered from the meltpond. Electricity comes from a diesel generator. The facility uses composting toilets. All trash is sorted into to two catagories. Burnable is disposed on site and the remainder is flown back into to be disposed of.

Meltwater pond in the foreground, trails on the glacier way off in the background. All the water for the facility is pumped and filtered from the meltpond. Electricity comes from a diesel generator. The facility uses composting toilets. All trash is sorted into to two categories. Burnable is disposed on site and the remainder is flown back into town be disposed of.

The loop starts with a fast 1k downhill from the facility

The loop starts with a fast 1k downhill from the facility. Thanks to a good snow year this winter, even the Bergschrund (the head wall) crevasse hadn't opened up like last year so we were able to ski down and back from the loop to training every day.

Bergschrund from last year

Bergschrund from last year

It was pretty nice some days at the end of the long ski to catch a ride back up the big hill on the back of the PB last year...

It was pretty nice some days at the end of the long ski to catch a ride back up the big hill on the back of the PB last year though...

Great tracks and great skiing

Great tracks and great skiing

Pete moments after some impressive klister grab had him doing a superman across the trail

Pete moments after some impressive klister grab had him doing a superman across the trail

Lots of skiing means big meals!

Lots of skiing means big meals!

A huge thanks to Erik Flora of APU and Craftsbury for making this trip happen! Only a few more months and we will be back on snow gearing up for the race season. Summer has really flown by!