Written by Kat

Greetings from West Yellowstone, where we’ve been since last Thursday! When we rolled into town the roads were deep, deep slush and temperatures were not conducive to creating quality ski conditions. Luckily things froze up right away and we’ve had four good ski days in addition to one off day for most of the team.

After the long drive from Sun Valley the girls were itching for some movement but with the ski trails and roads too wet staying inside was the best option, so they did some Zumba, which was hilarious. David Kent, we need some dance lessons when we get home!

We are staying in three condos within walking distance of the trails and one even has a garage so we can store and care for our skis inside (not that it’s gotten cold like in the past two years…..yet). On our way from Sun Valley we stopped and did another huge grocery shop and the kids continue to take care of the dinner planning and preparations. We have four meals planned where we will all eat together (each cabin will cook one meal and then we’re share Thanksgiving). Cooking for 19 is a big task so we’re not doing every night as a group.

On Friday we got going early with the first of our daily morning jog/stretch sessions here in WY. The roads, which froze solid overnight, were very icy and woke us up in a hurry! Our AM training session was a skate workout, starting with some capture the flag before heading out to explore the trails. Midday we were joined by Nathan Smoller, a guest for this camp but hopefully a future teammate at GMVS! In the afternoon we broke out the classic skis and did some double pole-only ski specific strength work. Friday evening was highlighted by the first of our all-team dinners, a delicious meal of fresh Alaskan salmon, salad, and potatoes. Pete worked for a salmon fishery last summer and got us a deal on flash-frozen fresh fish, delivered right to our door here in WY. It was amazing!

Morning stretching at the western edge of West Yellowstone.

Friday was also Rena’s 18th birthday so we got to do some singing and share some delicious cake that Emily and Ursula baked up.

Saturday morning we focused on classic speed work, stopping in three places along the 5k race course to get some sprints in. The first were drop-in speeds, starting at the top of a small downhill and trying to carry speed into an uphill. The second and third stations were both uphill, one striding solo in tracks and one racing head-to-head without tracks. We finished with sprint starts/finishes in the stadium, which by that point had filled with other teams. There are a LOT of skiers here for the West Yellowstone Ski Festival!

Another morning stretching session in a parking lot on the other side of town.

On Sunday most of the crew tested out the race course, skiing either a 5 or 7.5k classic time trial. We (the coaches) were pleased with the efforts made on the whole and are excited to everyone repeat on Saturday, this time with race bibs and competition!

Emily pushing hard toward the last few climbs on the 5k course.

Erik striding through a sunny spot during the 7.5k TT.

Tanner rocking the USST onesie during a solid effort.

Carl pushing hard during his 5k TT.

Peter must have lost a bet because the boys got him to do the 7.5k time trial while wearing TK’s retro Atomic onesie.

Most of the team took Monday off from training but a few of us went out. Conditions were great with the chilly temperatures setting the trails up for fast but firm conditions. We left late morning for a day trip to Bozeman. After lunch Colin took a small group to Montana State University (MSU) for a campus tour, while Kat took the rest of the team to Main Street to wander around. Before getting dinner at Mackenzie River Pizza (if you’re ever in Bozeman, it’s a great spot for dinner) we did another big grocery shop, stocking up for the rest of our stay in West Yellowstone, including Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday’s trail conditions: perfect!

Guess the turkey’s weight: Olivia came the closest without going over, guessing 27 lbs when the label said 28.1. We will share our Thanksgiving dinner with the skiers from Ford Sayre who are out here, so we went big!

This morning (Tuesday) we had great conditions to start our technique session but temperatures warmed quickly and it was tough to maintain good kick without completely rewaxing.

Rena with Nathan, her former teammate at U32. All smiles with the beautiful trail conditions (before it got super sticky and slippery) and sunshine this morning.

Greg, flashing the pearly whites and Leki poles!

After we finished our technique work there was a quick novice biathlon practice session for those wanting to compete without any experience. Here’s Grace taking aim.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning part of the team will compete in the Novice Biathlon events while the rest of the crew gets in some skate intensity. In the afternoon we’ll get another strength workout in and hopefully be on the verge of having all of our schoolwork finally complete in time to celebrate Thanksgiving without study hall!

Friday will be an easier day with a pre-race workout in the morning and a jog in the afternoon before everyone puts on their first race bibs of the year on Saturday!

Stay tuned to our Instagram or Facebook pages for daily updates/photos.

Thanks for reading!

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!

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!

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!


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


Another afternoon hike up Mad River….


Happy skiers


Group roll on a HOT afternoon


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! 

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!



Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts we’re still skiing in March!


GMVS visits Montreal for some World Cup spectating 

At the very start of the month a portion of the team took a day trip to Montreal to watch the second stage of the cross country World Cup’s Ski Tour Canada. We had chilly weather but lots of excitement to help us stay warm. The races were held right in the city at Parc du Mont-Royal where organizers created a temporary ski venue, complete with giant video screens, banked corners and tons of fencing to manage the masses of fans who came out to cheer with us. The races were classic mass start format and we got to watch the ladies ski three laps while the men did five.

IMG_9580Craftsbury GRP/USST member Ida Sargent coming down from the high point where we watched the women’s race. 

IMG_9403Team Gregg/USST member and Mad River Valley local, Caitlin Gregg, coming by our cheering squad. Caitlin and her husband Brian will visit GMVS next week on their way to Craftsbury after finishing the Ski Tour Canada. We’re excited to share the Greggs with the Mad River Valley Bill Koch League on Tuesday afternoon here on campus! 

IMG_9484We donned patriotic colors as best we could and topped it off with some sparkly stickers and face paint! Go USA!

IMG_9487A great discovery between races while we were struggling to stay warm: a marsh mellow roasting station! YUM!

IMG_9485Patriotic ladies! 

You can watch the Eurosport footage from the races we watched online. The women’s race is here and the men’s race is here. Enjoy!

March Training 

A few random shots from our day-to-day activities so far this month:

P1010129Lizzy and Margo trailside at the EISA Championships at Rikert. The ladies headed over with Kat to check out the action and cheer on our alums (Devlin skiing for Harvard, Maddy at UNH, Nick at Williams, and MK and Ian representing UVM). 

23DFFAC8-D2FC-4CB9-8F6F-7300F56147D5Gumby alums competing at EISA Championships, clockwise from top L: Devlin, Nick, MK (bib #2), Maddy, and Ian. 

IMG_9493A gorgeous morning at Trapps…sunny, clear skies and perfect corduroy. What more could you want? 

IMG_9491Fresh trail waiting for us at Trapps in their sugarbush. So amazing! 

IMG_9474Rule #1 of team photos: someone must always blink. 

73DD18D1-A3CD-446F-AD2A-C68C5CBC4FB2When Kat gives Tanner and TK the camera to take a group shot and they take endless selfies first….

Bill Koch League Festival

 March is Championship season and we’re almost halfway through with the BKL (Bill Koch League) Festival complete and the U16 Championships taking place this weekend in Bethel, Maine. Carl, Tanner, TK and Charlie took part in the BKL Festival which was hosted by Great Glen Trails in Gorham, NH. Luckily a small snowfall just days prior to the races left the courses in great shape, allowing for a 1k classic sprint course and a two-lap 2k course for the 4k skate event. The boys all did great, taking six top 10 finishes over the course of the weekend. 

IMG_9571The scene at the BKL Festival this year: sun, snow and lots of skiing kids! Dan Houde photo. 

Great Glen pulled off an amazing event with the last minute help of Mother Nature. Not only did they have races for kids in grades 8 and under, but they also offered obstacle courses, tubing, a radar run, and an adventure ski in addition to face painting, a parade and many other kid-oriented activities. There was no shortage of fun or smiles!

IMG_9581TK and Tanner taking some quiet time in the Great Glen Trails lodge (which is amazing) to get some homework done before hitting the trails to race. 

IMG_9577Carl pushing to the finish in the classic sprint. Carl, TK and Tanner opted to double-pole the sprint on skate skis and, with the help of the technique and strength work they’ve put in this season, all came out in the top six! Dan Houde photo. 

IMG_9570TK going hard out of the start. Tanner was in this heat too…not sure where he’s hiding. Dan Houde photo. More photos from Dan and the festival can be found here. Enjoy!

IMG_9538Saturday’s sprint podium: Carl in 3rd (top R), Tanner in 4th (bottom L), TK in 6th (3rd from L, bottom row). Charlie, in his first sprint race ever, finished a solid 40th out of 64 seventh and eighth grade boys! 

IMG_9555Sunday’s 4k skate top-twenty: Tanner in 2nd (top L with his hand up), Carl and TK right in front of him in 4th and 5th. Charlie found his groove on Sunday and moved up to finish 36th! 

IMG_9540TK receiving his BKL diploma from Bill Koch during the 8th grade graduation ceremony on Sunday. 

IMG_9514Looking down on the venue from the Great Glen Trails lodge on the opposite side of the road. What a spot! 

Junior Nationals in Cable, Wisconsin

Elliot, Walker and Forrest are out in Cable, Wisconsin representing GMVS and New England at the Junior National Championships where the weather has forced organizers to shuffle the schedule, changing distances and techniques to accommodate melting courses. Monday’s individual classic races went off as planned despite warm temperatures and softening trails. Walker and Elliot fought hard for 7th and 14th places respectively. Forrest had some tough waxing and double-poled the difficult course to finish 28th. The remainder of the races were shuffled to best deal with melting snow. Thursday featured individual freestyle races with our U18 men doing a 10k. Elliot, Walker and Forrest finished 7th, 9th and 35th respectively. If the revised schedule holds true Friday should feature a sprint and Saturday some relays. Stay tuned for photos and results.

IMG_9556Walker, Forrest and Elliot were all smiles the day before they headed out to Wisconsin! 

IMG_9567A quick shout out to GMVS alum Nick Gardner (center), now skiing for Williams College, who captured the U20 Junior National title in Monday’s classic events! Congratulations Nick!


U16s, EHSCs, Supertour Finals and Chic Choc adventures

If snow holds out, the Gumbies will represent at U16s in Maine, EHSCs at Rikert, possibly at Supertour Finals in Craftsbury. At the end of the month Margo, Elliot and Kat will head up to the Chic Chocs for some backcountry adventuring with some other GMVS athletes and Sam Jackson, GMVS teacher and Dean of Boys. Stay tuned for results, photos and stories!

An overdue update on our adventures of the last month!

The GMVS Nordic crew has been busy since our last update on the Waterville Eastern Cup! We closed out the 2015-16 Eastern Cup circuit in top form in Lake Placid, NY and Craftsbury, VT (the Stowe Eastern Cup was moved due to lack of snow) before taking a five day trip to Northern Maine to watch the Biathlon World Cup in Presque Isle. Since our return we’ve had an easy weekend at home and then we spent another race day in Craftsbury for the Vermont Eastern High School and U16 qualifiers.


The scene in Presque Isle for the Biathlon World Cup!

In more detail (and with photos), here are our last four weeks:

Lake Placid, NY: Eastern Cup #3
Back in November we spent a week training in the High Peaks so returning to Lake Placid for the Eastern Cup sent a bit of deja vu through our group. Unfortunately snow conditions meant that we didn’t get to ski on the Ladie’s 5k course that we previewed at Mount Van Hoevenburg in the fall, but the organizers did a fantastic job getting the 2.5k at the ski jumping in top form for the weekend. Saturday brought skate sprints on a tough course that lead straight uphill to the high point followed by a speedy decent back to the finish. Our crew was lead by Forrest, who just snuck into the men’s open heats (a strong group because the weekend was also a Super Tour). Forrest skied a strong quarterfinal but didn’t advance. The rest of the crew was hungry for Sunday’s 5 and 10k individual classic events.

The crew previewing the Lake Placid 2.5k in Friday's fresh powder.

The crew previewing the Lake Placid 2.5k in some fresh powder on Friday.


Forrest pushing hard up flagpole hill….if your tongue’s not out, you’re not pushing hard enough!


Carl getting tall(er) in his V2 up flagpole hill.


Lizzy working hard and showing good progress in her skate technique!

Sunday brought sunny, warm weather (tricky kick wax conditions!) so we were psyched to have Justin’s waxing skills on board. Forrest, Elliot and Walker all put down strong efforts, crowding the top of the men’s U18 results. Tanner, TK and Carl (racing up as a U16) skied smart races, finishing close to one another on the results sheet….they obviously spend a lot of time training together! Lizzy had a strong start and pushed hard right to the finish line despite not feeling well.


Elliot pushing to the line and finishing with a lunge, just like we’ve been practicing!


Walker showing good forward body position on his way out for a rip!


TK reaffirming the fact that alpiners know how to use gravity productively.


Tanner looking focused in the gate…game on!

After Lake Placid we had a week of training and school before the final Eastern Cup. On Tuesday, during all-school assembly, Kat presented on biathlon in preparation for our upcoming trip to watch the World Cup in Maine. She enlisted the help of fellow staff member “Sven” (Sohier) as a guest biathlete and did a great job sharing the excitement and unpredictability that can occur in biathlon races.


“Sven” and Kat after the presentation.


A little extra snowfall allowed us to explore “off track”, venturing away from Rikert Nordic Center on the VAST snowmobile system for a morning. We did some fun speed work with our bungees, applying a little resistance at the hips to help us get our hips forward when the resistance is removed. Here’s Tanner hitching a ride from Walker and Forrest!

Carl, though quite tall, wanted his Leki skate poles cut down a bit so Kat boiled the handles to get them off. In the process a bit of education happened in the school kitchen as she explained to the cooking staff why the poles were so tall…


Melissa, head cook at GMVS, was pretty baffled by the length of Carl’s Leki poles!


Lizzy and Margo are all smiles at the end of a workout at Rikert.


A little body awareness exercise during our post-workout stretching and foam rolling session. Carl, though used to having his head pretty far from the ground, found this position a little different! Elliot and alpine coach Katie look on as Garrott hopes Carl doesn’t wiggle too much with his laughing! Never a dull moment with this crowd!

Two days later, with a little help from Mother Nature, we got the U14 Alpine group to join us at Rikert for our training session. Most of them haven’t done much nordic skiing but they did awesome. Nordic skiing is really good for alpiners because our double poling work can lead to faster starts for alpine racers and our softer boots allow for better ankle flexion, something most developing alpine skiers can improve upon! Garrott and Kat did some drills with them before taking them onto the race the trails!


Working on strong double poling starts! High hands, big smiles!

Craftsbury, VT Eastern Cup #4

Mother Nature moved our final Eastern Cup from Trapps to Craftsbury, melting out the courses in Stowe right before the big weekend. Craftsbury, with saved snow from previous snowmaking, was able to cover enough terrain for a rolling 2.5k loop. The weekend was a combined Eastern Cup/UVM Carnival/US Super Tour so the fields were strong and quite deep. Saturday brought skate 5k races for everyone (a bit unusual as the men’s field will usually do a 10 or 15k distance) and Sunday featured 5 and 10k classic races.


Perfect flakes falling on klister conditions….tricky waxing but there are no worries in the GMVS trailer when Justin’s on hand! Thanks for some great skis at the Eastern Cups JB!


TK’s getting more comfortable with classic even though he still claims to like skating better!

Forrest, Walker and Elliot all put down good results to secure their spots of the New England Junior National team. TK, Tanner and Carl again showed that they train together all the time, finishing within three seconds of one another in the skate race. Lizzy focused on pacing and technique to push through some building fatigue. Her races weren’t what she’d hoped for but she’s been doing a great job of soaking in every learning experience that comes her way this year.

Northward: Biathlon World Cup trip, Aroostook County Maine

After the conclusion of the Eastern Cup circuit we had one day to regroup before piling into the van for a (long) drive up to Aroostook County Maine. We did a mini camp that featured training sessions at some new venues and two days spectating the Biathlon World Cup. Aroostook County sits far enough north that they’ve had a very different snow year from the rest of New England. We were greeted by extra blue classic conditions and deep snow!


First day skiing in Maine…a little chilly but who can complain when the trail looks like this?


Smile in abundance in Madawaska Maine at Four Seasons Trails.


Lizzy and Margo out exploring new terrain and enjoying the abundance of snow!


Gentlemen sharing the trail with one another.


Evenings were a quieter affair in Maine. We didn’t have internet so we resorted to some “screen-less” entertainment during our downtime. Here Tanner, Margo and Forrest are learning to crochet hats from Kat! TK learned too!


Competitive puzzling with Lizzy, Margo, Elliot, TK and Charlie (not shown here).


Our second new venue was Fort Kent Outdoor Center (Lizzy and Elliot had been here already for summer camps and U16s). In the morning we classic skied, exploring snowshoe trails, snowmobile trails, the (little) alpine hill and some of the race trails. After lunch the crew donned skate equipment for some biathlon fun, learning the basics from Kat before challenging each other for relays in teams of three. Everyone shot well at rest but as soon as we added a little ski speed to the mix things got interesting! It was a great experience before the following day, our first of two spectating in Presque Isle.


The scene at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle (1.5 hours south of Fort Kent, where we stayed)


Sharing the stands with the NHC lion!

We watched much of the first race (Men’s pursuit) from the stands where we had a great view of the whole stadium and got to witness the unraveling that can come with the pressure of shooting in the final stage of big biathlon races. Martin Fourcade, the French superstar, stole the win from Norwegian Johannes Boe by outshooting him in the final stage. Boe led the entire race until he incurred two penalties in the final standing stage. Fourcade entered the range after Boe was already done shooting but shot clean (no misses) to take the lead while Boe was completing his penalty laps. An exciting finish to watch!


Carl donned his US Biathlon hat in support of the home crowd!


Carl shoveling our patch of ice….a great way to warm up after a chilly day of spectating.

After our first day of spectating we drove partway back to Fort Kent before stopping at Madawaska Lake for some ice skating and dinner at the Collins family cabin.


TK and Carl taking a break in the snow pile!

On our final full day in Maine we drove down to Presque Isle a little earlier, getting a specific strength workout in on some of the trails not being used by the World Cup before dashing up to the venue to “forerun” the penalty lap to ensure that the snow surface was the same there as the rest of the course where the World Cup athletes had already been warming up.


It was chilly…Forrest wore his mask to protect his lungs from the cold air. Photo credit: Pete Freeman, Capture27photography.com

After some house cleaning, packing and another long van ride we found ourselves back in a much-less-snowy Vermont. The crew had Monday off from classes (February break) and then life returned to normal on Tuesday.

Craftsbury, VT: Eastern High School and U16 Qualifier races (February 21)

Yesterday we had the final set of qualifier races for the winter, taking on the Vermont High School field at Craftsbury to nominate the Vermont teams that will compete at the Eastern High School Championships (March 18 – 20) at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton VT and the U16 Championships (March 11 – 13) at Black Mountain in Rumford Maine. The day consisted of morning classic races (twice around a 2.1k course) and afternoon skate races (the same course as the morning. The teams were they named by combining the two race times to create the ranking list.

The Gumbies certainly turned some heads with Forrest winning the classic race by 33 seconds, Elliot finishing 5th and Walker 7th. Tanner and TK (competing for spots of the U16 team) put down solid races in the U16 field to finish 10th and 11th for U16s. In the U14 race Carl was 2nd and Charlie (in his first classic race) was 9th. Margo, in her very first race ever, finished a solid 54th out of 82 girls!

In the afternoon Elliot took the win in the skate, besting Forrest in second place by 1.7 seconds! Walker held strong to take 5th place. Tanner and TK skied to 11th and 16th in the U16 boys race and Carl and Charlie took 2nd and 12th in the U14 event. Margo, in only her second race ever (and second in one day!), skied consistently to a 56th place!


Margo out of the gate on nordic skis for the second time in one day!

When the times were added and ranking lists completed Forrest (1st), Elliot (2nd) and Walker (6th) were named to the Vermont EHSC team and Tanner (10th) and TK (13th) were named to the Vermont U16 Team!

A special thanks from Kat to everyone who helped make the EHSC and U16 qualifiers go smoothly! To Nick, Ed, Jim, and Terry for making sure our Gumbies had speedy boards, to Mike for taking the early shift with the team in the van, and to our faithful cheering squads out of the trail! Together we help these kids go fast and enjoy it!

What’s next? 

This week the crew will stay on home soil, putting in an intensity week in preparation for the BKL Festival and Junior Nationals. Come ski with us on Saturday at Rikert as we cheer on our alums on the EISA college circuit in their final regular season races!

Thanks for reading!