Alaska summer training with the USST camp

13.Jul.2016 by Caitlin Patterson

Since last Tuesday, July 5th, I’ve been in Anchorage, Alaska. This city is where I attended high school, and where I returned during the summers between my college years. So it’s familiar, though different without my parents here anymore (they’ve relocated to Montana), and it’s great to visit the places and people I know up here. But really, I’m in Alaska primarily to join the US Ski Team training camp – we’ve had a week of dry-land training in town, and tomorrow morning we’re flying up to the Eagle glacier for a week of on-snow training. During this week we’ve fit in quite a few running workouts, classic rollerski speeds, L3 skate rollerski intervals, L4 bounding intervals and strength workouts. And a week of Alaska summer wouldn’t be complete without a few extracurricular evening activities making use of the long hours of daylight. Below is a summary of the week’s activities, in photos:

Catching the guys' interval sessions, after I've finished my own. Skate L3 intervals with speeds/sprints at the end. Enjoyed the opportunity to frame the guys with flowers.

Catching the guys’ interval sessions, after I’ve finished my own. Skate L3 intervals with speeds/sprints at the end. Enjoyed the opportunity to frame the guys with flowers at Kincaid Park.

When you've been away it's easier to notice the details of a place, like the mini AK tundra, as highlighted when blueberry picking

When you’ve been away it’s easier to notice the details of a place, like the mini AK tundra, as highlighted when blueberry picking

Low bush blueberries, not easy to pick but tasty!

Low bush blueberries, not easy to pick but tasty especially by the handful!

Bounding session, great to follow these 3 speedy women - Rosie, Liz, Virginia, me (in pink). Screenshot from USST video clip

Bounding session, great to follow these 3 speedy women – Rosie, Liz, Virginia, me (in pink). Screenshot from USST video clip

Classic rollerski speed session. Screenshot from USST video clip

Classic rollerski speed session. After getting used to the quiet Vermont roads, it was kind of eye-opening to return to the city-scape of Anchorage, where there are so many more cars, intersections, obstacles, terrain. All fun but a little overwhelming! Screenshot from USST video clip

Finishing off a skate interval with the strong women's group. Screenshot from USST video clip

Finishing off a skate interval with the strong women’s group. I’m in the neon tank with the circle-cedar leaf on the back. Screenshot from USST video clip

Powering through the flats in skate intervals. Screenshot from USST video clip

Powering through the flats in skate intervals, myself followed by Virginia (Italian World Cup skier guest of this camp). Screenshot from USST video clip

Becca focuses on the rocky problem during an evening climbing session with Scott and I on the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage

Becca Rorabaugh focuses on the rocky problem during an evening climbing session with Scott and I on the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage. Thanks Becca for hosting me during the dryland section, great company, food, and training!

Scaling the rock

Scaling the rock. I don’t have much experience rock climbing but every time I’m able to dabble in it, I’m freshly hooked to want to climb more!

Scott on belay, and giving us advice about how to figure out a way up the wall

My brother Scott on belay, and giving Becca and I advice about how to figure out a way up the wall

On the top of Wolverine peak near Anchorage

On the top of Wolverine peak near Anchorage. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Women's camp crew near the start of our ridge run above Symphony Lake

Women’s camp crew near the start of our ridge run above Symphony Lake. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Rosie Frankowski cruising the ridge

Rosie Frankowski of APU, cruising the ridge on our running OD past Symphony Lake

My brother and I, (not) nailing the jump. Scott decided to pull a best-girl-imitation jump, and I just didn't make it very far off the ground or something.

My brother and I, (not) nailing the jump. Scott decided to pull a best-girl-imitation jump, and I just didn’t make it very far off the ground, or something…

Bounding down the springy tundra towards Symphony Lake

Bounding down the springy tundra towards Symphony Lake

Must cool off! With about an hour still to run, most of us resorted to the head dunk rather than a full swim in Symphony Lake. We swam in a creek once we made it to the parking lot.

Must cool off! With about an hour still to run, most of us resorted to the head dunk rather than a full swim in Symphony Lake. We swam in a creek once we made it to the parking lot.

That’s the week in a nutshell, and now it’s glacier time, can’t wait!