Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eagle Glacier Final Training Camp

I just recently came down from my final training camp of the summer up at Eagle Glacier. This camp was a bit different than all the rest... weather wise mostly!

Me on the new beautiful PistenBully

We were fortunate to have the Sun Valley Olympic Development Team come for the week and join us. As always, it was fun to have new blood and new people to ski with on the glacier.

Girls Team on the way down to the trails

This camp was unique in that I skied two of the six days on powder snow! Powder snow in August... how crazy??!! The weather jumped between being warm and foggy to being full blown blizzard, cold, and snowing. I guess its true what they say "august can be anything". We sure got anything! With the powder snow on top of the glacier snow, waxing got a bit tricky. There was one day the snow was so funky that Casey drove the PistenBully around, while all 16 of the skiers were following closely behind on the fresh tracks without powder in them. It was like a mother duck with all her ducklings following close behind... a site to see!! One of those days that makes you tougher though :)

Snow in the morning!

Erik B hammering out some intervals

APU boys during intervals

The final day everything cleared up, so we had an amazing sun set on the mountains the night before, giving us a little preview of the following days weather. It was super pretty and maybe topped one of the prettiest sites I have seen up on Eagle.

Beautiful sunset over Eagle Glacier

APU classes started this week, so between training I was busy doing lots of homework and attending class on my little cell phone connection to the computer. Writing research papers gets a bit challenging up there when you are without internet. I tried to print a bunch of stuff out before going up.... but there always seems to be something missing! I have to say it's a bit less challenging then getting up at 3:30 in the morning to attend class when I am in Europe... so I have to hold myself back from complaining!

Not sunny.... but pretty!

August always brings a change in the Glacier. With lots of warm weather this winter, and a low snow year, there were some new crevasses that opened up a few camps ago. To keep us safe, they started having us ride down to the trails on the PistenBully, instead of skiing the trail down. This made it fun, mostly because I felt like a school kid in the morning trying to catch the bus. Fortunately it made me get going quicker in the mornings and afternoons before training, instead of going out at my own time. It also made it so that all the girls would start at the same time, so I got to do a lot more skiing with the group this camp... which was awesome!

Walking down to the bus in the morning

On my way back into town, I saw my boyfriend and his buddies doing some rock climbing along the ocean- so I quickly ran home and grabbed my harness and shoes... just to top off the week of training and fun. I have never done any rock climbing here in AK, but it was sure awesome. Every time I go climbing with really good climbers, I have this new excitement to get better, because it is so awesome to watch them move up the rock quickly and effortlessly. I love how it is sort of a different challenge than skiing!!

Jo Climbing

For now I am back in full school and a rest week. Following this week I have another good block of training before heading to Park City in October for my final training camp. I looked over my training from the year, and it seems I have trained close to 100 hours on snow this summer!! That is more skiing than I normally did in a winter several years ago. Thanks to APU for making that possible. We are lucky we have this opportunity... I believe there is only one other place in the world where you can live right on the glacier and train!

I am still in the process of planning my fall of racing- but whatever it be, I think it will be new and exciting!! With the weather already starting to change here in AK... the racing excitement and feelings are starting to wake from hibernation!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thomas Training Center Video

Mark Lester of Alaska Daily News put together a great Video from the Glacier with some explanations by Erik Flora. Check it out along with the article:

Eagle Glacier Training Camp from Marc Lester on Vimeo.

Friday, August 5, 2011

NAWTA Glacier Camp

I apologize for my late post for the glacier. Immediately following the last week of the NAWTA (North American Woman Training Alliance) training week, I took off on a plane for my five day summer vacation at home. Since getting here I have been packing in as much activities and sunshine as possible, so I haven't yet taken the time to get on my computer.

Kikkan showing what a lot of muscles looks like last week

The last week of the training camp was amazing. We got so lucky with our weather, 1.5 weeks of sunshine in town and a solid week of weather on the glacier. This is the "Alaska" I knew and wished was coming!! Between the six days on the glacier we hammered out some great intervals, speed relays, distance training, core and strength, and lots of technique work as we followed around the best skiers in North America.

Skiing many k's with Olympic Gold Medalist- Chandra Crawford

Taking our first laps ever on the glacier in our sports bras

Kikkan Chandra and I working on skiing fast :)

By the end of the week we were all dragging our tails around as we struggled to finish every workout. 2.5 weeks of super solid training leaves you a bit tired by the end. It didn't help that between training sessions we did what girls love to do.... dance, sing, play guitar, read cosmo, watch lots of chick flicks, bake cookies, run around outside in the sunshine, and lots of girl talk. Between all the energy spent on the trails and all the energy I spent being a girl with 15 other skiers.... I think that was my hardest block of training ever!

Pure Exhaustion!

Lots of skiers!


Post Interval Celebration


It was awesome to have a bunch of new faces training up in AK and then on the Glacier. After my fifth glacier camp ever, I was beginning to forget to appreciate the small things. I like having new people up there, because their excitement reminds me just how lucky I am. With a male coaching group, we managed to balance things out and everything was super successful. I am super pumped to see where this excitement and motivation is going to bring the North American woman. Not only the group that was at this training camp, but all the other girls out there in the US and Canada getting it done. We just recently finished our Video Challenge that the US Ski Team ladies put out, and I was amazed at how much enthusiasm woman training groups have, and just how many of them there are. It's an exciting time.

Kikkan making some dinner in the rain

I am posting the APU ladies video, because I am not sure I have posted it yet. Check it out- lots of fun at APU!

Pain Face!- this is what it's about.

More updates from my week in Winthrop, but for now... here is to the sunshine and some family time!! Yehaaa

Thanks to Matt Whitcomb for many of these great photos!

Thanks Grover, Matt and Erik for an awesome Training Camp. Also thanks Mikey and Casey for all the hard work. SWEEEEET grooming with the new PB!!!