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Italy: Day 4 on the Stelvio Glacier

Yesterday we had a perfect day for a trip to the Stelvio Glacier. The sky was cloudless, there was absolutely no wind, and temperatures were cold enough over night to freeze the track, but warmed up enough during our ski to take away the concrete corduroy that greeted us first thing. The drive up to the Stelvio Pass takes about an hour and is nothing short of remarkable. A short way out of Val Venosta (the valley that Mals lies in) the road starts to climb quickly, heading through no less than 48 switchbacks before cresting the top.

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A sunny view over the stone guardrail on the way through some switchbacks.

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Looking down from the parking lot toward the final switchbacks.

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From the pass it takes two gondolas and ride on a poma lift to reach the skiing.

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Sun streaming down on us as we climb further still….You can see the alpine training courses to the left.

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From the top of the pommel we had to ski down part of the alpine hill (which is a little sketchy when the snow is frozen solid and the grade is steep) to reach the nordic loop (the squiggly line on the distant slope).

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Walker, all smiles!

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Carl and Olivia (and Rena, behind Olivia), working together to keep the pace easy and make the most of the time on snow.

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Greg skiing with GMVS alum Peter Kling.

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Elliot and Nick taking the switchbacks on the downhill at full speed.

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Rena working on some technique pointers while enjoying the freedom that only snow can offer.

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Sam joined us on skis and certainly got in a great workout skiing as long as most of the kids! 

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Nick and Elliot climbing through a turn.

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Elliot getting tall with his V2 alternate.

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Nick – Suns out, guns out, tongue out.

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TK and Tanner, inseparable as always.

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Alex seems to have fallen in love with skating…she was all smiles!

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Olivia was pretty excited to be on snow in September and didn’t seem too upset with our choice of venue!

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Tanner leading TK in some double poling.

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And we were lucky enough to see Petter Northug again!

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Peter, Nick, Elliot, and Greg spent a few switchbacks chasing Petter. 

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Alex looking like a true Norwegian with her skinny skis on….

From a ridge just above the nordic loop you can see over the back of the mountain that the Stelvio Glacier sits on. After we were done skiing we had to take in the view…

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And there were jumping shots!

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Even Sam felt the vibe (with some encouragement from Kat)!

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Obligatory team photo, because we look so good in our matching jackets, tights and smiles! 

After our ski we ventured off the glacier (skied down the side of the alpine hill via a partially groomed ski cross trail and back down both gondolas) and headed to lunch.

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This is the view of the actual pass on the road. At the peak it is lined with little roadside shops selling all manner of touristy gifts. Tanner and TK bought some slippers that I’m sure will make an appearance on campus soon. 

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This is Tibet, the restaurant perched on a cliff above the pass where we had lunch. Such an amazing spot to take in nourishment after a few hours above 10,000 feet!

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Even Gumby made the trip!

This morning the crew did some track intervals with the local cross country athletes followed by a strength workout in the afternoon. In preparation for a rest day trip to Livigno tomorrow we’re doing two homework sessions today.

That’s all for now!

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