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Italy: Schnalstal Skiing!

Hello GMVSxc family and friends,

Today we got lucky with the weather and had clear skies until we finished our glacial ski, this time on the Schnalstal Glacier at the top of Val Senales. The drive from Mals to the tram station for the Schnalstal Glacier is slightly longer than the drive to the Stelvio, but the glacier itself is at a lower elevation (about 200m lower) and it only takes one tram ride to get up there (versus two trams and two Pomalifts at the Stelvio). Several World Cup national teams come to Val Senales for much of October to train on snow, including the Norwegians.

This is the view from the bottom of the tram looking up. It only had one tower and was very steep. You can’t see the top until you pass the  tower!

The view from the top of the tram….quite the view before the clouds came in!

From the top of the tram we had to do a little “norpining” (nordic skiing down alpine trails) to get to the nordic loop, which was about 4K long. Most of the crew skied about 2.5 hours, with some taking a break mid-ski for another norpine run or two.

When we started skiing there were patches of blue sky and when the sun came through it was quite warm. Here are Emily and Ursula skiing together early on.

Carl, happy to be in a new place!

TK skating beside Pete Kling, a GMVS alum who’s joining us for a few days of our camp.

Olivia and Matt climbing the longest of the V1 hills on the loop.

Colin leading TK across a switchback.

Rena taking a downhill switchback.

A view looking S/SE into the sun where the groomers are getting ready to open some more alpine terrain. The Glacier just opened so we are likely some of the first xc skiers on the loop this fall!

Erik getting in some good ski time!

Two skiers with some of the mountains in the distance. Being up on the glacier really makes you feel quite small and removed from the rest of the world.

The end of our ski got a lot cloudier with the beginnings of precipitation and lots of low clouds that created very flat light. After skiing we took a chairlift back to the tram station and had lunch in the dining hall there.

Jere grabbed a newspaper to read while we waited for lunch and spotted this article! Our runners from Saturday’s Stadtlauf (city run) made the news! That’s Carl on the right in the photo!

Heading back down to the parking lot we discovered just how much the clouds had moved in. Here are Carl and Brian standing outside the tram before our ride down.

And the same view looking down from the tram station….the view was completely gone!

This afternoon we went for a recovery jog, ranging in time from 20 minutes to an hour, before dinner and study hall.

Tomorrow morning we’re taking a guided tour of a bunker that’s just up the hill from our hotel. After lunch we will drive up to the Reschen See to classic rollerski north up a valley. Near the top of the valley we’ll switch out our skis for hiking gear and head up to the Maseben Hutte. We will spend Tuesday night at the hut and then do a day hike on Wednesday before returning to Mals. Our fingers are crossed for good weather!

Check back Wednesday evening for a blog post on both Tuesday and Wednesday’s adventures!

Thanks for following our adventures!

-Kat

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March Madness

It’s March 13th and we’re expecting 12-18 inches of snow tomorrow! Madness…..but we’ll take every inch of it.

Kat returned yesterday from US Junior Nationals in Lake Placid with Olivia, Rena, Greg, Nick, Walker and Elliot while Colin made the trek back from Maine where Tanner, TK, Brian and Carl skied for team Vermont in the New England U16 Festival. Here’s a quick synopsis of each event, our results, and some photos.

Lake Placid was awarded the 2017 JN’s when FIS awarded Soldier Hollow, Utah this year’s World Junior and U23 Championships. SoHo had been on tap for JN’s but three big events (Senior Nats were moved to SoHo as well) in one year is just too much for any organizing committee so Lake Placid stepped up to the plate. With half the time an OC usually has to put together an event of this size the ORDA (Olympic Region Development Authority) put together a spectacular week. It helps of course to have a backdrop steeped in Olympic history from both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, but just about everything went off without a hitch.

The hitch, the big one, was Mother Nature. Less than a week before the first races kicked off the entire northeast was dealt a meltdown that left Van Hoevenberg, the Lake Placid nordic ski and sliding sports venue, without enough snow to host JN’s. Luckily their ski jumping and biathlon (summer training) venue has snowmaking and ready to go as backup. Within three days everything was moved (including a giant waxing trailer for each team – so 11 of them) to the new venue and teams arrived on site. The New England team had a very convenient setup, staying just 2 minutes away at the US Olympic Training Center where we had access to not just sleep quarters, but a full dining hall available to our athletes 7am-9pm daily, conference rooms for team meetings and study halls, and their world-class training facilities. The gym (think basketball courts and yoga mats, not weight room) came in very handy during the second half of the race week when weather turned warm/wet and then frigid.

Nick took the Athlete’s Pledge for Team New England at the opening ceremonies.

The schedule featured a skate individual distance event on Monday, classic sprints in balmy temperatures on Wednesday, classic individual distance (changed from mass start due to limited width on the revised race course) on Friday, and closed with skate 3 x 3k relays on Saturday in frigid temperatures with howling wind. The new venue offered a significant climb from the base of the ski jumps up onto the new rollerski loops that have been built as summer training terrain for the US Biathlon team. The longest, a 2.5k loop, was used for the distance courses while a 1.5k version (pretty much just big climbs) was raced for the sprints and relays.

Walker (318) skiing with future Dartmouth teammate Adam Glueck during the skate 10k on Monday.

Rena climbing toward the top of the 2.5k course in Monday’s skate race.

Olivia all smiles at the start of her first Junior Nationals race! 

Olivia striding side-by-side in the sprint heats with NE teammate Laura Appleby who skis for Cambridge Sports Union.

Rena smiling after capturing silver in the classic sprints!

Nick pushing through a snow flurry during the classic 10k.

Greg working hard at the top of the 2.5k course during the classic 10k.

Elliot striding with a pack on his last loop of the classic 10k.

The second lap of the U18 women’s relay on Saturday

Our Gumbies did well, coming home with five All-American (top 10) finishes along with two relay medals (awarded to the top 5 teams in each age group). New England won the Alaskan Cup again (which they are finally considering renaming), beating out Intermountain (athletes from CO, UT, ID, MT) by about 300 points. Full results can be found here.  Lots more photos from Team New England can be found here….enjoy!

Team New England receiving the Alaska Cup at the final awards banquet!

Farmington, Maine played host to this year’s U16 Festival (for kids ages 14 and 15 only), which pits the top 22 boys and 22 girls from each New England state plus New York and a team from the Midwest against one another. Usually it’s four races in three days but this year the sprint event was canceled due to the cold temperature and winds that plagued the east coast on Saturday, March 11. Our Gumbies did well, with one top ten finish in both the 5k skate on Friday and Saturday’s delayed (pushed back to noon due to frigid temps and dangerous windchill) 5k classic. Sunday the racing closed out with a 4 x 3k mixed relay and Carl was lucky enough to be on Vermont’s top relay team which captured first place. Full results from U16s are here.

U16s are the first big team trip that New England juniors can go on where they are expected to travel and race with athletes and coaches that aren’t necessarily from their home clubs. It offers great learning and growth opportunities as a stepping stone to the Junior National or Eastern High School Championships, while also giving the kids a chance to meet racers from further afield.

Carl leading a NY skier in the skate race on Friday.

At U16s starts are traditionally done in waves, with one similarly ranked skier from each team. Here’s TK taking the lead for his wave out of the start in the skate.

Brian pushing hard on his way to a 5th place finish.

Tanner leading his heat before hitting the woods.

March isn’t over yet and we still have more races coming our way. This coming weekend six Gumbies will compete at Mountain Top Resort in Chittenden, VT in the Eastern High School Championships. The final weekend in Vermont plays host to the US Biathlon Championships and the Craftsbury Sprint Fling events. We are hoping to have a few athletes who still have the energy to compete in those events. Stay tuned!

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The Finale: Championship Month

March is almost upon us and that means championship season. There’s not a weekend in March without racing somewhere so this last week of February is about peaking and prepping.

Vermont U16 Team Named: Brian, Carl, Tanner and TK will represent GMVS and Team VT at the U16 Festival in Farmington, ME. Looking forward to some strong results from that crew as they take on the top U16s from VT, NH, ME, MA and the midwest! 

Here’s what the month looks like:

March 3-5 : Bill Koch Festival in Bethel, ME

March 4 – 12 : through Weekend 2 – US Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, NY

March 10-12 : U16 Festival in Farmington, ME

March 17-19 : Eastern High School Championships, Mountain Top Resort, Rutland, VT

March 24-26 : US Biathlon Nationals, Jericho VT AND Craftsbury Club Championships/Spring Fling, Craftsbury, VT

Keep the snow dances coming! We could use some more white stuff to get us through this busy month! 

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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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2017! It’s a little late, but Happy New Year! Just a few weeks in and 2017 has already been quite busy for the GMVSxc Team with a trip to Senior Nationals and another Eastern Cup weekend already complete. Here’s the rundown and a bunch of photos! Enjoy!

US Senior Nationals: Colin took the U18s (Walker, Greg, Elliot, Rena and Nick) to Utah to complete in the Junior World and U18 Scandinavian Cup qualification races that are always a part of US (Senior) Cross Country Nationals. This year the events were hosted by Soldier Hollow, host of nordic skiing events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. SoHo will host this winter’s FIS Junior and U23 World Championships at the end of the month so this was a great test event for the organizing committee. The weather for the race week included everything from chilly temps and firm trails to warm weather and pouring rain, making ski preparation and racing a challenge at times. Luckily our crew had the help of Justin Beckwith and Colin so skis were dialed and fast every day.

Doing some course preview and race prep as a group. They were joined by Ford Sayre athlete Adam Glueck (center).

Walker skating with a gorgeous and snowy Utah view in the background.

Elliot is all smiles under the Utah sun!

Walker tucking into the stadium area. During one of the two classic races.

Rena heading out of the stadium area during the colder weather. You can see the snow guns blowing in the background.

Greg climbing the biggest hill on the course.

Utah scenery.

Nick out of the start in the classic sprint qualifier. 

Elliot striding with the competition under cloudy skies.

Eastern Cup #2: The rest of the gang stayed back in Vermont for the start of school and training with Kat in preparation for Eastern Cup #2, which was hosted this last weekend by Quarry Road Trails in Waterville Maine. The crew from Nationals made the trip home in time to have one rest day before piling into the vans with the rest of us and heading east. With the recent thaw-freeze cycle the trails in Maine were firm and icy in places but luckily Quarry Road is on top of their snow making so everything was well-covered.

Saturday featured a skate sprint. Here’s Greg on his way to qualifying in the overall top 30 as a U18!

Walker skied in the U18/U20 Men’s heats, making the A final.

Nick skiing strong but boxed in during the U18/U20 Men’s final. 

The scene in Waterville.

Carl skied strong in his first races back from some holiday sickness, finishing in the A final for U16 Boys!

Results:

U16 Girls: Olivia 18th in the open heats (3rd U16)

U16 Boys: Carl 6th, Tanner 11th, TK, 12th, Brian 14th

U18 Boys: Greg 14th in open heats, Elliot 18th in the open heats, Nick 2nd U18/20 heats, Walker 5th U18/20 heats

Full results can be found here.

Sunday’s races were mass start classic. 5k for U16s, 10k for women, and 15k for men. Here’s the U16 ladies start….Olivia is bib 404, front right.

Olivia skied a strong and smart race, finishing 2nd.

Carl leading Brian during the first half of the U16 boy’s race.

Tanner, Brian and TK skiing one of the bigger downhills together.

TK showing off his downhill prowess with Tanner and Brian in tow.

The ladies mass start chaos….Rena is on the left with the ponytail flying! Unfortunately Rena was still a bit under the weather from traveling and didn’t end up finishing the race.

Elliot leading a William’s college skier at the beginning of the 3rd and final lap in the men’s 15k. Elliot paced himself very well and finished 2nd for U18s.

Nick leading a train through some technical downhill terrain. Nick was fourth for U18s!

Results:

U16 Girls: Olivia 2nd

U16 Boys: TK 10th, Tanner 12th, Carl 13th, Brian 15th

U18 Boys: Elliot 13th overall/2nd U18, Nick 22nd overall/4th U18

Full results can be found here.

Brian, Carl, and a Woodstock Nordic friend spectating during the men’s 15k race in our new Leki pop-up chairs!

This weekend was filled with friendly faces of many GMVS alums….it was exciting to see our current Gumbies skiing side-by-side with past team members!

There are no qualifier races this coming weekend so the majority of the crew is getting some much needed recovery. Here’s a shot from yesterday’s easy session in Jericho. Brian, Olivia, Carl and TK are learning how to shoot biathlon rifles so we had an easy session with Algis Shalna, a former US National Team coach and Olympic and World Champion from Lithuania. He’s a great shooting coach and the group is making rapid improvements!

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram accounts for (almost) daily updates as we work toward Eastern Cup #3, which will be hosted on familiar trails at Rikert Nordic Center, one of our regular training venues.

 

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Skiing! 

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…..you 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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Let’s Go to Idaho!

Day 1: Sun Valley, ID Written by Kat

The GMVSxc crew is on the road again, this time for three weeks in Idaho and Montana. Right now we’ve got sunny, warm weather but hopefully the skies will drop some snow for us soon. We’re going to be in the Sun Valley, Idaho area for five nights before heading to West Yellowstone, MT for two weeks.

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Yesterday we had a smooth travel day that started dark and early with a 3:45 am departure from campus. We flew from Burlington, connecting in Chicago for a short layover before arriving in Boise midday.

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After picking up our rental vans we hit up a grocery store to load up for the week before heading for Sun Valley. The team has a cooking schedule for the whole camp where everyone cooks six times with different teammates each time. They planned all of their meals so our grocery shop was easy, with the ingredients and amounts all written out in advance. We came away with about four carts of food for our first week here.

We’re staying in Ketchum on a road called Chocolate Gulch. One of Colin’s friends from his time with Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) is letting us stay in his gorgeous log home nestled right up against the hillside. The house is amazing: the boys have already made use of the fire-heated hot tub and as I write this Margo, Carl, Brian, Elliot are making us our second dinner in the well-outfitted kitchen. Last night we had tacos courtesy of Charlie, Tanner, Rena, and Nick. Tomorrow Tanner wants to make use of an ice cream maker he found today!

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The house! It’s amazing!

This morning we took a slower morning to recover from travel, getting going with training around 9am. Before heading out for a trail run we each recorded some personal goals for the camp block. The trails we ran can be accessed right across the street from our house and are single track mountain bike trails.

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Getting some sun and views from the trails.

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The running together.

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A sunny place to pause. (Photo by Tanner)

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Enjoying the views north toward the Boulder Mountains.

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Time for stretching, layer removal, and hydration.

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Nick found a high spot.

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This afternoon we went for an easy skate rollerski on the bike path heading south toward Hailey. The path has been repaved in the last year so we were greeted by smooth surfaces for the duration.


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Some of the crew finishing up.

Tomorrow we’re going to rollerski in the morning again, joining up with the SVSEF crew a bit. They’re going to do a time trial so we’ll watch but ski the same terrain. In the afternoon we’re going to hit up their gym which is just down the road from where we’re staying.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s sunny update from Sun Valley!

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Italy 2016: Travel and Day 1

Gruße aus Italy! (Greetings!)

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After a long travel day we’re finally in Italy and had a great first day exploring. We flew from Montreal, connecting in Nice, France, before landing in Zurich, Switzerland, where our hosts picked us up. Nice looks amazing and I think a few of us wouldn’t have minded a long enough layover to leave the airport and explore the shores of the Mediterranean for a few hours.

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Flying over the Mediterranean coast on our way into Nice.

When we arrived in Zurich we discovered pretty quickly that there was a miscommunication during some point in trip planning, as our hosts weren’t there to pick us up! For some reason they thought we were arriving at midnight, not noon. That left us with a few hours to burn exploring the airport which, lucky for us, has a shopping mall in it!

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The ladies found traditional Süd Tyrolean attire in the mall!

When the vans from Mals arrived we piled in and began the trek toward Italy. The weather was gorgeous when we arrived but quickly deteriorated during the drive. We stopped briefly for a late dinner on the road before venturing into the mountains after dark amid thunderstorms. We finally rolled into Mals around 10pm and found our accommodations. We are staying at a dormitory near the soccer field/track and will be eating breakfasts in our building while we have a short walk up the hill for lunch and dinner each day.

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Our building has a bridge over the road to a small parking lot where the vans we’re using  are kept. This is a morning view from the bridge. Not too shabby!

Today we woke up early for a 7:30 breakfast before driving up the Martell Valley to watch Lisa, a local Italian athlete who stayed with us for a month last fall, compete in the Italian Biathlon Rollerski Championships. It was fun to see her in action and exciting to also watch some of the Italian National Team members race around.

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Walker brought Lisa some Vermont Maple Syrup….she was pretty psyched about it!

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A view from the biathlon race course. There aren’t too many places around here where you can’t see big mountains in at least one direction!

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The crew on the spectator bridge cheering for Lisa.

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Dorothea Weirer, the top female biathlete from Italy. She’s consistently one of the top finishers on the World Cup so she gave us a solid demonstration of strong skiing and incredibly fast and accurate shooting.

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Weinerschnitzel for lunch!

After lunch back in Mals we made a quick turnaround and went for a hike just above town. The goal was an easy hike with poles to get our bodies moving after a long travel day. The mountainsides are steep here so we got some pretty amazing views throughout. There was some bushwhacking both on the way up and down, and a few of us got quite wet when a rainstorm passed through.

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A view on our way off the mountain. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you might be able to find Walker on the nearest ridge (look for his red shirt).

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Sam, Walker and Colin on our way off the mountain with a fantastic backdrop. This was shortly before the rain!

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One of the many cows we met today. Süd Tyrolean cows have it pretty good!

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A herdsman’s cabin that we came across on our way up the mountain.

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More mountainside friends, except these two were a little more friendly (and curious) than any of the cows!

After another great meal for dinner we’ve begun the task of staying up until nine to help our bodies adjust to the time change. There will be some homework, a quick meeting on tomorrow’s plans, and then a solid night of sleeping!

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Waffles for dessert….the kitchen has yet to disappoint! 

That’s all for now folks! Tomorrow we’re going to classic rollerski up Reschen Pass on the amazing bike paths and then go for a short hike in the afternoon.

Stay tuned!

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A little taste of fall….

Tomorrow we head across the pond for two weeks in Mals, Italy but before you see some amazing photos in the coming days, here’s a snapshot of our first two weeks of school!

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We kicked the school year off hard with a testing week. The shots above and below are of the group cooling down together after the 3k running test at Harwood High School track.

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You’ll always run faster when you’re racing against someone! So psyched to see these kids pushing each other without any prompting from coaches!

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Alex, a new team member and our newest nordie (she was an alpine skier last winter) trying out classic rollerskis. The Norwegian blood in her veins has her moving in good directions already!

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Carl looking way too happy for the end of an uphill double-poling test…maybe this shot was taken during the warmup.

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Walker working hard.

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Charlie psyched to be done with his first Plunkton double-pole test ever!

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A little recovery hike in search of views…we found them!

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Another afternoon hike up Mad River….

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Happy skiers

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Group roll on a HOT afternoon

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Balance and proprioception session with the alpine ladies. This balance work turned into dance…Greg and Elliot were awesome for sticking with the ladies right through the dance-off! 
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This view…probably one of the best along any of our regular rollerski routes. Never fails to impress.

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Rena taking the W in her first xc race of the season and her first in Gumby green! Go Rena!

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Brian, also in his first race of the season and first in (slightly brighter) Gumby Green and he ALSO took the W! Congrats Brian!

Tomorrow afternoon the majority of the crew begins the trek across the pond to Italy. Stay tuned for regular posts (pending good/regular internet access) over the next two weeks as we explore the trails, paths and roads around Mals, Italy! It’s sure to be an amazing experience!