The internet at our accommodations here in West Yellowstone isn’t terribly fast, especially when the whole team is awake and using phones, ipads, computers, etc, so I’ve resorted to posting our daily updates the following day before everyone wakes up. I’m sorry to those of you reading on the East Coast…you can get highlights on our Facebook or Instagram pages during the day! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016: Today we got to ski on snow for the first time since hitting the loop on the Stelvio Glacier in September (or for those who didn’t come to Italy, the first time since March)! The Rendezvous trails, the system right in town, were packed last night. There’s not enough snow yet for a classic track so we had a really wide skate lane and just about everything was groomed. For those who haven’t been to West Yellowstone before, the town is pretty tiny and is set up in a grid system. Our cabins are about 3 blocks from the trailhead so we can ski or walk right from our door, which is really convenient as it allows us to ski for different amounts of time without hovering in a lodge or cold van waiting for others to finish. This morning the road crews hadn’t cleaned much of the snow off the roads yet so we all skied over to the trailhead. They also aren’t as careful to keep the roads from getting icy here… can kind of see the ice in the picture below. It’s thick and prevalent!

Margo’s first time skiing down a road! There’s a lot more snow in our forecast for next week so it probably won’t be the last time she does this during our stay here in Montana.

A gradual uphill with the sun trying to shine through the cloud cover.

Fresh corduroy just for us! We only saw 2-3 other skiers on the trails so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Starting Friday and Saturday other teams will start to arrive for the Ski Festival and the trails will get really busy so it was fun to have two peaceful workouts without lots of company.

Some of the crew hitting an uphill. Because the snow is still pretty thin the groomers had to be careful not to pack the trail too aggressively so it was quite soft. We’re hoping that as it gets groomed more it will set up a bit harder.

The snow in the trees was really gorgeous!

 Brian following some of the crew….

Margo climbing toward part of the 5k race course.

Skiing backward on the sprint course.

Fresh corduroy all to ourselves!

Margo enjoying the many kilometers of trail available today. Having just started nordic skiing last November the bulk of her experience has been limited to short man-made loops in Vermont so being able to ski for and hour and half without looping back onto the same trail till the last five minutes was pretty exciting! Hopefully we have good snow this winter so she can explore new trails back home too!

So much fun!

Today is also Rena’s 17th Birthday! Happy Birthday Rena! We decided that Mother Nature must have planned this snowstorm just for her….a first ski makes a great birthday present! She was all smiles!

Some of the crew at the end of our ski!

In the afternoon we headed back out for some easy classic skiing. Here are Carl and Brian heading onto the Rendezvous loop. Brian had planned to drop his puffy jacket at the trailhead but forgot so he had a really warm ski!

Walker testing out his retro New England JNs suit that he picked up at the Gold Mine in Sun Valley….

On our way out four of us noticed that we all had different brand skis but the same boots. It made for a fun and artsy photo!

The produce department snowman at the grocery store! The clerk saw me take this picture was told me how a raven (they’re HUGE here) came and knocked one of the clementines out and was playing with it in the parking lot!

Dinner tonight was a stir fry prepared by Greg, Margo, Nick, and Charlie. We had ice cream with some gluten free “brownie”, chocolate, and caramel sauce to celebrate Rena’s birthday. Tanner attempted a gluten free cake but something about the recipe and our altitude didn’t go correctly so despite baking for an hour and forty minutes it was still mush, but it tasted delicious and served it’s purpose. We had to put Rena’s birthday candles in a box of ice cream instead!

Friday we are going to test out some intensity on snow with L3 intervals in the morning and then a strength workout at the local gym in the afternoon. Stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram for little updates during the day! Our blog post for Friday will be posted early (7am MST/9am EST) on Saturday morning.

Keep the snow dances coming…we could use some more white stuff so they grooming crew can set tracks!

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