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The Pow Has Arrived

Another few weeks of winter have flown by since our last blog update. We have some big news to share and hopefully more big news on the way after this coming weekend, but first let’s look back on what’s happened with some photo highlights!

Charlie taking aim during biathlon practice in Jericho. Carl, Brian, TK, Olivia, Alex, Margo and Charlie got to spend a few days shooting with former US National Team coach Algis Shalna. We’re still learning basic procedure and shooting technique but are working toward possibly trying some “real” races at the end of the winter (shooting at the correct size targets).

In true New England form we’ve had a few snow meltdowns but have been really lucky for the most part. We’ve only missed one day of skiing this winter and that was because it snowed and the roads were too sketchy to leave campus. Here are Tanner and TK enjoying some really speedy crust cruising after a thaw-freeze cycle at Rikert.

Eastern Cup #3 was at Rikert so we got to race on our “home” courses and had a successful weekend. Rob from Leki showed up on Saturday and added his Leki tent to our trailside setup.

Margo and Gumby taking a break from cheering to enjoy the comfort of our Leki chairs!

Walker leading a small pack in the 15k skate on Sunday.

Elliot’s pain face often looks like a smile….working hard in Sunday’s race.

Greg and Walker approaching the start tent on Sunday.

Carl used his knowledge of the Rikert sprint course to ski into the U16 heats.

Walker and Elliot skiing together in the men’s open heats.

Olivia and Rena together in the women’s open heats.

The following week we had several small snowfalls which really improved our ski conditions. We made good use of our location and skied at Trapps, Ole’s, Jericho, and Rikert….all in one week!

After a Friday morning distance ski at Trapps we hung around to cheer on our alums competing in the UVM Carnival. Here’s Maddy Pfeifer (in white) skiing for UNH.

Fresh tracks up near the cabin at Trapps!

Sprint starts at Rikert on a particularly sunny and warm (40 degree) day.

Some bare spots grace the foreground while our crew heads around the far side of the field at Rikert. Those spots are no longer there after our recent 12”+ snowstorm. Ski conditions are really nice now!

Colin striding with Nick, Rena, and Walker between intervals at Rikert.

Eastern Cup #4 was held at Craftsbury on Saturday (in conjunction with the Dartmouth Carnival) and at Holderness School in NH on Sunday. It was the first time this year that our entire team raced together and the energy was high!

Walker striding up the final long hill on his way to a strong result.

Greg pushing hard to finish well among the college field.

Alex skiing in her first classic race ever!

Margo, still smiling at the finish despite what she thought was a really tough course.

Elliot finishing up the first long climb on Sunday’s skate course.

Tanner pushing hard through the flats at the early end of the Craftsbury 5k course.

Nick looking ahead and surely dreaming of the nearing finish line during Saturday’s classic race. Notice our new temporary tattoos…the kids wore them proudly and suffered the consequences when we discovered it takes more than soap and water to get them off!

Olivia had a great weekend of racing, just missing out on the top step of the U16 podium on Sunday by a mere 1.1 seconds!

Brian skied a strong classic race on Saturday…he knows the Craftsbury courses well and it showed!

TK finishing up the classic race with Colin giving encouragement.

Charlie striding out of the first big climb in Craftsbury.

And finally, a few more photos from the spectacular skiing we’ve had since the snowstorm last Sunday night.

Easy distance classic at Ole’s on Tuesday morning.

Elliot leading the train…first tracks on a perfect day for field skiing.

Kat had a spectacular evening on Tuesday skiing with the next generation of Mad River Valley XC stars at Ole’s.

Today, Feb 15th, we ventured up to Bolton Valley for a change of venue and scenery, venturing off track and into the woods. Here’s the crew as we reached Bryant Cabin.

TK waiting for everyone to gather up before heading further into the woods.

Charlie leading the charge.

Carl all smiles.

Olivia looking a little snowier after a spectacular wreck on a powdery downhill.

The gang heading into some very snowy territory.

Margo, still smiling despite some uncooperative skis/bindings that sent her face-first into the snow way too many times than we or she cared to count. She’s a trooper!

And now, because you made it all the way to the bottom of this long-winded summary of our last few weeks, you get the exciting news: SIX (yes 6) of our Gumbies have been nominated to the New England Junior National team to compete in Lake Placid in March! We’re very proud of them and can’t wait to watch them rip it up with the rest of the Nation’s top junior skiers! Way to go!

Stay tuned for another update next week after we compete in the Team Vermont trials for Eastern High School Championships and U16 Championships, also big events happening in March. Hopefully we’ll be sending a fleet for Gumbies to those events as well!

Enjoy the pow!

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Closing out 2016

With just two days of school left in 2016 this crew is heading for some hard-earned holiday time at home with family. This past weekend much of the team raced in Craftsbury, VT in the first NENSA Eastern Cup of the 2016-17 season. Leading up to the weekend we got to take advantage of decent early season skiing at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Ole’s Cross Country Center in Warren, the mid-mountain station at Sugarbush North, the Smuggler’s Notch Road in Stowe, and at Craftsbury Outdoor Center! We’ve already spent more time skiing on natural snow in Vermont than we had all of last winter!

Here are some photos from training sessions during the last two weeks:

Brian (front) and Tanner skiing the fields at Ole’s.

The crew checking out the course for a time trial at Craftsbury.

Brian, Carl and Olivia doing some double poling intensity at Rikert.

Manmade tracks in the Rikert Stadium.

Agility and speed work at Sugarbush North…skiing side-by-side with our alpine program!

TK has been rocking some hand-me-downs from his dad’s racing days!

Pre-intensity stretching at Rikert.

This weekend’s races at Craftsbury were held on a similar 2.5k course to the one skied in most of our races last winter but our hosts added a twist by switching the direction up a bit. Saturday featured a classic 5k (2 laps) for the U16 boys and all of the women with U18 and older men skiing 10k (4 laps), while Sunday pursuit race (start based on time back in Saturday’s classic results) was a 5k skate for all U16s with all U18 and older athletes skiing 10k.

The results from the weekend can be found here.

Brian getting ready to climb the steepest hill in Sunday’s skate race.

Elliot striding toward a strong finish on Saturday.

Charlie heading out into the snowfall that came down most of Saturday morning.

TK striding through the stadium area.

Walker chasing down a strong finish on Sunday.

Greg staying ahead of the traffic during the busy men’s 10k.

Carl skiing through the snowflakes on Saturday.

Olivia striding toward a solid result on Saturday.

Rena charging uphill on Sunday.

Nick in a tuck as he heads out of the stadium area.

Forrest, a 2016 GMVS graduate now skiing for Bates, was there this weekend as well! It’s fun to see Gumby alums on the race course but so hard to recognize them in new suits!

Another new suit! Here’s Lizzy, a 2015-16 PG with us who’s now skiing for UNH!

Stay tuned for another update after the New Year. Some of the crew will head to Utah for US Nationals while the rest will stay in Vermont to prepare for the next Eastern Cups!

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for shorter updates on a more regular basis. On Facebook you’ll find us at GMVS Nordic Ski Team and on Instagram we’re @gmvsxc!