Don’t blink!

And just like that it’s March! Where did the season go?

Tomorrow our team splits in two directions to start our final month of racing. Eight Gumbies will head to Junior Nationals with Team New England and Colin (who’s helping NE as a wax tech), while six stay at school with Kat and Pete to tune up for Eastern High School Championships, SuperTour Finals or test themselves in a marathon or two. That’s over half our crew qualified for JNs and we couldn’t be prouder. Not everyone is headed to Utah but everyone has helped push this team to the results that we’ve achieved as a group. Each individual has made vast improvements this year and we’re excited to watch what happens this month as we close down on the finish line. There are five weeks of school left until April break and the days will be busy, stressful, and tiring, but hopefully they will entail some fast and thrilling racing to finish out the season of 2017-18!

We’ve had one of those winters…..here’s a day when the woods were wonderful. Luckily our central location and daily campus schedule gives us the freedom we need to go wherever the skiing is good. Trapps, Jericho, and Rikert are all within 45 minutes of school and Craftsbury is also within reach at just over an hour.

Girls happy to be skiing on natural snow!

These 9 will put on Team Vermont suits for Eastern High School Championships (1st row, L to R: Josh, Brian, Carl, 2nd row: Olivia, Grace, Matt, 3rd row: Greg, Emily, Rena)

These eight will head to Junior Nationals this weekend: Greg, Carl, Ursula, Nick, Brian, Rena, Erik, Josh

Smiling faces after a sprint qualifier at a SuperTour in January.

How we will all look in five weeks! Nick finishing his sprint heat at the Craftsbury SuperTour.

Elliot Ketchel (GMVS ’17) will be racing at NCAAs in Steamboat in just his first year on the college circuit. Elliot is a freshman at Bowdoin College and it’s been really exciting to watch him use the skills he developed at GMVS, both academically and athletically, to succeed right away at Bowdion.

It takes a lot of effort from many folks to have a team succeed like ours has. Many thanks to Leki Poles for their continued support this year!

A heartfelt thanks also to all of the parents who came out for the Eastern Cups and Eastern High School/U16 Qualifier, bringing food, smiles, and encouragement. Having such a large Gumby showing really makes it feel like we have a huge team at these events, not just a group of 14 racers! #gogumbies

Into the Race Season

It’s been a while since our last blog post so here’s a peek into what we’ve been up to since early December along with a look at what’s coming our way in next few weeks! As always, LOTS of pictures…enjoy!

Mother Nature was pretty kind to Vermont in December, gracing us with decent temperatures and snowfall. After returning from Montana we had a couple weeks of training before our first Eastern Cup of the 2017-18 season, way up in Fort Kent, ME. Rikert (home venue for the Middlebury College Team, in Ripton, VT), our closest training venue with snowmaking capacity, hit it hard over Thanksgiving so we had a man-made loop to train on right when we got back to Vermont.

Classic skiing in blowing snow at Rikert….WINTER!

Our new uniforms from Bjorn Daehlie came!

Some dryland at school before campus turned white.

We added a couple extra days to our normal Eastern Cup routine for Fort Kent, heading up on Wednesday to allow two days of training on unfamiliar courses before racing on Saturday and Sunday. Temps were consistently chilly, but not so cold as to make for unpleasant racing or delayed starts….It is a winter sport! The events went really smoothly, with awesome snow cover and really well-run races. Our crew had mixed results but everyone came home with something they’d done well and other things they hoped to work on. Upon our return to campus we had just two days of training before the start of winter break, so December seemed to fly by!

Matt striding it out during the chilly classic race.

Erik moving well in the skate sprint qualifier.

Snowy courses!

Greg and Nick doing some pack skiing during the classic mass start.

Women’s start.Rena is second from left (second skier in the left track).

Emily climbing during the sprint qualifier.

Grace on her way to qualifying for the top 30 overall…first time ever for her!

Reunited with Walker Bean (’17) who’s still wearing Gumby green, just at Dartmouth!

Grace getting some trailside motivation from some course markings.

Smiles and neckies at the end of a course tour before the weekend.

Carl, pumped on winning the men’s U16 skate sprint heats!

Holiday break meant everyone got some time at home but we did have a small contingent (Greg, Matt, Josh, Ursula and Rena) who headed to Anchorage, Alaska with Colin and Peter, missing our first week back at school to race in the Senior National Championships. Funny enough, while they were gone we had colder weather here in Vermont than they had in Alaska! Careful dressing and delayed training kept us out of the danger zone with the cold weather and we actually managed to have a pretty productive week, complete with a skate time trial and a classic sprint workout on the warmest two days.

Rena, skating at US Nationals

Greg, sprinting with the dim Alaska sky in the background. Is it a sunrise or a sunset?

Elliot (GMVS ’17) went with the crew and was just one spot shy of a spot on the US World Juniors Team after some VERY strong results!

Greg (second from right) and Elliot (4th from right) on the start line in the junior heats.

Back in Vermont, Emily climbing through the stadium area during our 10k skate time trial.

TK taking charge in the closing meters of a sprint heat…

Brian and Carl taking a water break on a frosty day beside the Robert Frost cabin in Ripton.

Really chilly weather means skiing in packs (to watch for frostbitten cheeks) and wearing your puffy coat the whole time.

3 hour OD at Rikert with fresh pow meant exploring some unknowns.

Snowy woods. So pretty.

Making our own tracks.

A little time spent on the Catamount Trail

Shortly after the Nationals contingent returned we had Eastern Cup #2 right on our “home” courses at Rikert. Unfortunately Mother Nature had a change of heart right before the event, melting almost everything and forcing courses to be altered for the weekend. Saturday’s classic sprints went pretty well with much of the team qualifying for heats and a few skiing into the finals. Carl won the U16 men’s final in commanding fashion with Brian also making the A final. Nick, Josh and Olivia also skied their way through the heats, all finishing in the B final. Erik also had a strong day, making the heats and finishing 14th overall. Sunday was a skate individual start, 5k for U16s and 10k for everyone else. Highlights were Brian winning the U16 men’s race by 11.2 seconds, Rena taking first for junior women in the 10k (4th overall), and Ursula and Nick finishing in the top 10 overall in their respective races.

Ursula on her way to a top 10 finish!

Rena pushing hard through the last climbs of the 10k skate. 1st place junior, 4th overall!

Brian crushing the climbing on his way to the top of the U16 podium!

Nick pushing hard in Sunday’s race on his way to one of his strongest skate results ever.

TK riding the pain train during the final 1k of the men’s 10k on Sunday.

Josh on his way to an 8th place qualifying time in Saturday’s classic sprint.

Olivia striding through the climb during Saturday’s sprints.

Boys U16 sprint final: Carl (173), on his way to the W, with Brian (177) chasing hard.

With two weekends off from Eastern Cup racing we are working toward some alternative events. Kat will take a crew to Lake Placid this coming weekend to compete in the NYSEF JNQ on Sunday, a freestyle mass start. The following weekend we will head to Craftsbury for a SuperTour weekend that will feature both classic sprinting and a skate distance event. Eastern Cup #3 is at Trapp Family lodge the first weekend in February so we’re looking forward to some training there in the coming weeks. We went up yesterday and conditions were great considering the melt down last week!

On Snow in Sun Valley!

Written by Kat (with some assistance from Carl)

Greetings from Sun Valley, where we’ve gotten lucky this year with snow from day 1 of our three week camp.

The first bit (in italics) of this update comes from sophomore Carl Kellogg:

Wednesday – Friday: The team arrived in Ketchum late Wednesday night. We then unpacked ski bags, duffels, and dozens of groceries that we acquired at the WinCo in Boise. The next morning we woke up, made a lavish breakfast, and geared up for a strength sesh at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Training Center. In the afternoon, the team got on snow for the first time. We did a skate distance ski on the Galena trail system. That evening Greg, Nick, Erik, Kai, and Tk made a delicious Pesto Pasta.

The next morning the team embarked on another skate distance ski on the Harriman trail. The fresh snow from the previous night and the beautiful weather made for a lovely time. In the afternoon, we went for a run behind the cabin, up the side of the valley and around the top of the mountains. We closed the day off with hearty tacos thanks to Rena, Brian, Josh, Ursula, and Grace.

On both of our flights we dominated the back rows of the plane. Our first flight from Burlington we had a really hilarious flight attendant who had fun with our crew….On the ground in Boise, waiting for coaches to pick up rental vehicles so we could start the drive to Sun Valley. That’s a lot of gear!In Boise we did a big shop for our first week in Sun Valley….we had six carts at checkout but it turns out we should have had seven. We had to do a little shop in Ketchum for the items that we think were left behind somewhere in the store. The WinCo employees must have been wondering why there was a filled cart left in the produce section! We arrived in Sun Valley in the dark so we stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Hailey for dinner. These clowns took over the kids table!

We kept the crew in suspense on Thursday morning, pushing our first ski to the afternoon in order to take advantage of available time in Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s gym. We started with a trail run to warmup, finishing at “the hut” for our strength session.

Some of the boys doing medicine ball toss work outside “the hut”.

Goal setting before we got too deep into camp. It’s important to always have something you’re working toward so we spent some time logging goals for the next three weeks and then sharing a few with the group.

Heading out for our first ski on Thursday afternoon. The trails were well-covered and had been rolled with a snowmobile. Conditions have done nothing but improve since we got here.

Happy skiers after our first on-snow session!

Emily’s excited to be on snow and using her new Leki poles!

Part of the crew on their way back to the vans after our first ski…..happy to be on snow!

Nick, all smiles after our first ski!

Olivia making herself breakfast before a morning workout. Because we stay in houses together the crew has to prepare all of our food. Breakfasts and lunches are done on an individual basis.

Dinners here are being prepped according to a rotation where groups of five cook meals for the entire team. The kids planned their meals back in Vermont, wrote ingredient lists for our shopping adventure, and are cooking and cleaning on their assigned nights here in Sun Valley. Each team will cook twice before we make the transition to West Yellowstone on Thursday, November 16th.

Some bruschetta that was part of a ravioli meal. So far we’ve had tacos, ravioli, stir fry, pesto pasta, and pad Thai. Tonight the coaches are cooking so the kids get a night off: marinated grilled chicken, roasted potatoes/carrots/onions, and a big salad!

We’ve been having study hall every day in hopes of everyone being done their school work before our first race week of the season.

More studious kids….

And there’s been social time! Here’s part of the crew playing a card game while waiting for dinner to be ready.

And some more photos of the fabulous skiing that we’ve had, since skiing is why we’re out here!

Here’s Brian, all smiles partway into our 3 hour OD ski on Sunday morning. Classic for ~1.5 hrs before a snack and a quick change to skate gear.

Colin took us on a tour of the Galena trails and we discovered that there was more terrain groomed (with classic tracks) than we realized! Here’s Matt being silly with Ursula, Grace and Olivia in tow.

Pete striding with Tanner and Brian during our first classic ski on snow.

The caboose view as I follow the team during our OD.

So far our trip has been fantastic. We’ve lucked out with the ski conditions and have had six very productive training days (and one fun off day). Tomorrow is our last full day here in Sun valley before we make the migration to West Yellowstone on Wednesday.

For those reading this, I will try write a post every couple of days going forward, but you can also look for daily photos and small updates on our Facebook (GMVS Nordic Ski team) and Instagram (@gmvsxc) pages. Thanks for reading!

Snowing in Vermont!

After three weeks on the road we returned home to Vermont on November 30th. Just under a week later it’s snowing here in the Green Mountains and we’re making plans to break out our rock skis tomorrow. Here’s a quick summary of our last few days in West Yellowstone with a few photos tossed in to keep the reading exciting!

Saturday, Nov 26: Classic distance races

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On Saturday Rena and Nick both raced in the distance classic events, doing a 5k and a 10k respectively. Both had solid showings for their first races of the 2016 season!

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Nick double poling toward the beginning of his second 5k lap.

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Rena climbing across the sunniest patch of the 5k course.

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While Rena and Nick raced the rest of the crew did an easy classic ski, enjoying much improved snow coverage that made for nice tracks, and cold temps that made kicking easy.

Sunday, Nov 27: Over distance classic exploration and THANKSGIVING!

With the races complete we headed off the groomed trails and up onto the plateau to explore for 3-4 hours. Much of the group stuck to the main road and explored the trails that host the West Yellowstone Ski Festival in low-snow years. Margo and Kat ventured in the other direction, finding the edge of the plateau, views toward town, and lots of fluffy powder!

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Looking north toward town (the larger white patch just left of center) from the edge of the plateau.


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Margo following someone else’s tracks from the day before.

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In the woods. So peaceful and quiet!

After our ski the crew ate lunch and had some down time before cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone paired up to prepare a dish to share with everyone.

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TK cutting the first bird….

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Tanner took the second.

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Almost time to eat!

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Dinner is served!

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Yum!

Monday, Nov 28th: Skate speed, Fantastical Beasts and a Night Ski! 

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With the festival over we had the trails pretty much to ourselves except for some college and elite teams that were sticking around the for the SuperTour events.

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More fresh snow overnight left some trails that weren’t freshly groomed a little soft but it was still great skiing.

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Tanner edging Greg at the line in one of our finish line sprints.

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One last group picture before we head out of West Yellowstone!

Tuesday, Nov 29: Homeward Bound

We left West Yellowstone on Tuesday, making the long drive to Boise, ID before flying home to Vermont on Wednesday. 

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We took a few minutes at our hotel in Boise to review our individual goals after all the training hours were complete.

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Landing in Chicago enroute to Vermont. Foggy, gray and wet.

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Elliot, Greg and Tanner (and Lola) exploring Mad River Glen this past weekend!

Luckily in Vermont we have white stuff on the ground now and are hoping to ski tomorrow! Stay tuned for an update as we head toward our first NENSA Eastern Cup of the season at Craftsbury on December 17! and 18th!

Keep the snow dance going…it’s working!

We Brought the Snow!

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! 

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016: Less than 24 hours after we rolled into West Yellowstone it started to snow so we’ve decided that we brought the white stuff with us! Our plan was to go for an easy skate rollerski into Yellowstone National Park  on the park road (West Yellowstone sits at the edge of the park and has a park entrance on the east side of town) but we woke up snow-covered roads and more falling quickly. Instead we put on our running shoes and headed to some trails (not the ski trails) that sit between town and the Madison River, east of town. You can see where we’re staying (tiny round marker by the ‘Y’ in West Yellowstone on the map. The trails are in the open green space between town and the river. The park road, which we’ll hopefully get to ski on instead at some point, is route 191 where it heads southeast.

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This is how much snow we had at the start of our run, around 9am. Not enough to ski but enough that rollerskiing certainly wasn’t possible.

Heading through town we got lots of friendly waves from the locals. The West Yellowstone Ski Festival is a big business week for the area. The ski shop owners told us that Thanksgiving week represents a 5th of their annual business and can determine the success or failure of a fiscal year based on the turnout, which is turn is determined by the weather (snow) so they’ve obviously been holding their breath and are psyched that it’s snowing!

Heading to the river…

The Madison River!

We saw some Canadian Geese and Trumpeter Swans but no other wildlife, which is pretty much the norm with this crew as we make quite a bit of noise running through the woods (especially with snowball fights and white washes).

The trail went right along the bank for a while.

Happy skiers, even though we were running!

The trail had a really long, straight section heading to and from the river where it was lined with pine trees that were gorgeous covered in the fresh snow.

Looking ahead of the group at the single set of foot prints left by someone who beat us to the punch….

After training the crew had lunch, showers, study hall and an easy afternoon off while the snow continued to fall outside. Around 4pm we made the drive across town in a whiteout to hit up the coffee shop, which also doubles as a ski/bike shop. Greg and TK decided there was enough snow to wear their new snow suits (thrift store finds in Sun Valley).

By dinnertime the snow measurement (as taken by Carl) was about 9.5inches but there was still a light dusting coming down after dark so we’ll see what’s out there this morning! Dinner featured steaks with potatoes and carrots, all prepared by Carl, Tanner, TK and Rena.

Today our plan is to SKI on the Rendezvous trails right in town. The groomer was out yesterday evening with at least a roller and possibly went back out with the cat if there was enough snow. Stay tuned for highlights on Facebook and Instagram during the day and today’s update tomorrow morning around 7am MST/9am EST.

Time to play in the snow!

Onward to Montana!

Yesterday we made the big drive northeast to West Yellowstone, MT. On our way we made a few stops, first at The Gold Mine (the same thrift shop from Monday evening) where Carl scored some brand new spiked Salomon running shoes, Colin found a set of his high school race tights, and Margo grabbed a deal on some classic rock skis, among other sweet finds within the team. After The Gold Mine we hit up the grocery store for another big shop that will hopefully hold us through until the 20th, when we’re planning a day off with an afternoon trip to Bozeman. A short hour into the drive east we stopped to explore and go for a short run at Craters of the Moon, a National Monument that features miles and miles of hardened lava flows.

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The crew (minus Kat) standing on the end of one of the open lava tunnels that are marked for exploring.

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Carl standing on the edge of an opened tunnel.

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Walker found a spot in the light while standing in the bottom of a huge tunnel.

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Margo taking in the landscape from one of the paved paths that were put in to made the park more accessible.

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Colin reading an educational sign. Everything in the immediate view from the path is lava and sagebrush.

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Walker exploring in the caves….it doesn’t look like he has anywhere to go but we went through a tiny hole above his head and popped out in daylight!

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Rena doing some strength training….

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Olivia and Margo in one of the first caves we came upon.

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Keep your head down!

After exploring Craters of the Moon we continued east and then turned north to West Yellowstone. The drive is straighter and flatter than any in New England but offered some great views none the less. Carl manned Kat’s camera from the passenger seat and captured the following shots.

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The sky seems bigger out here….

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Clouds and seemingly endless prairie.

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Following Colin and Walker in their cargo van.

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Coming into Idaho Falls we were lucky enough to see the Tetons. They’re usually surrounded by clouds but not yesterday!

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One more shot with the Tetons in the distance.

As I write this the kids are all still asleep (hence the internet being strong enough to load these photos!) but a quick glance out my window tells me that (luckily) we have to alter our morning plans to rollerski into the Yellowstone National Park. There’s SNOW on the ground and more falling from the sky! Not enough to ski yet, but we’re heading in the right direction!

Keep up the snow dancing…it’s working!

~Kat

Final Day in Sun Valley

Another packed day here in Sun Valley with a lot of photos capturing the fun so I’m going to keep the writing to a minimum and get straight to the good stuff….

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Last night’s dinner by Rena, Carl, Brian and Greg. Enchiladas and they were AWESOME!

Today we did a double pole around Sun Valley/Ketchum in the morning, ending on Warm Springs Rd where the kids hopped in the van for finish the last 6.5 miles up to the hot springs.

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Heading east near Sun Valley Resort.

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Margo gets more comfortable on her rollerskis everyday. Hard to believe that she’s only been at it for a year (she joined us when we came back from this camp last fall)!

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Greg putting some power into some soft poles (he broke a ferrule so he borrowed some team poles). 

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The boys like poling in sync….

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In sync with some snowless alpine trails in the background.

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Margo, Olivia and Colin working on some technique near the start of the ski.

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Rena heading out past Sun Valley Resort.

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TK working on staying relaxed

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Most of the boys near the beginning of the ski.

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Now heading west toward the hot springs and the end of the paved section of Warm Springs Rd.

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Brian leading Carl. 

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TK doing some interesting looking double poling…..At least he makes it look good!

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Brian trying to catch the front train heading into the Sawtooth National Forest.

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Charlie….happier today with warm hands!

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Skiing through the neighborhoods.

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A little downhill….Carl’s face makes it look scarier than it was!

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Pack skiing.

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At the end of the pavement we did some sprint starts to finish out the ski. Here’s Rena, Carl, Charlie and Margo.

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Tanner, Olivia, Brian and TK.

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Greg (far side), Walker (red tights) Elliot (white) and Nick.

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Margo…always smiling!

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And Charlie…learning to ham it up for the camera. 

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Olivia leading Carl and Margo (who’s dancing in the background?)! 

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Hot springs!

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As we had yesterday, the crew made good use of the cold river water for recovery. TK won the grand prize for longest stay in the cold section. He was shaking with blue lips when he finally gave in and returned to the hot spring to warm up.

This afternoon we joined the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) group for a warmup and some intervals, though we got to our intervals before they did as we had warmed up before they were ready to go.

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Part of the crew heading out onto the single track that we followed for our L3 uphill running intervals.

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The other half of the crew getting going. 

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Brian leading TK, Tanner and a couple of SVSEF girls.

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Olivia and Margo climbing.

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Nick leading Rena, Elliot, Walker and Greg.

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Charlie working hard between making faces at the camera.

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Carl climbing.

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Walker and Greg.

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Nick leading Rena.

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Part of the crew heading back toward the van…lots of smiles and laughing!

Before heading home we made a quick stop in town for some snacks and a trip to the Gold Mine, arguably one of the best thrift stores on earth.

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Greg and Carl modeling some sweet shades. 

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Tanner, TK and Elliot all came home with some sweet new alpine apparel….

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Greg, TK and Elliot modeling on the deck. Too funny!

Tanner, Elliot, Nick and Olivia are making us pizza right now then it’s on to packing and cleaning before we head out for West Yellowstone tomorrow. The weather forecast has been improving by the day and we’re feeling more confident that we’ll be on snow within the week. Fingers crossed!

Get your snow dancing going….we want to ski!

Stay tuned for pictures and stories from our big move to Montana tomorrow!

Day 3: Goat Lake!

After some decadent pancake and crepe breakfasts this morning we ventured north to hike to Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains. The drive, which offers views of multiple mountain ranges in all directions, took us over Galena Pass and down to Stanley, ID. Stanley is a popular fishing and camping destination in the summer but this time of year, with the summer tourists gone home, it’s pretty quiet. We stopped in town after hiking for some lunch.

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Our driving route this morning.

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The red  marker is Goat Lake. There is a big waterfall right near the lake that can be seen from Stanley.

Remember, any of the photos can be viewed larger by simply clicking on them. 

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Charlie gaining altitude.

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TK taking in the views to the northeast.

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Margo pausing to contemplate the final stretch of climbing.

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Crossing the boulder field just before the lake came into view.

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Climbing rocks!

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Goat Lake!

The lake sits at 8,220 feet above sea level and is about a 1600 foot elevation gain from the trailhead where we parked. Contrary to the photos included here, most of the hike was on gradual, smooth terrain, though we did encounter a fair bit of packed snow and ice.

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Rena with some of the boys in the background.

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Olivia and Margo with Goat Lake in the background.

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Margo, Olivia between them, and Carl!

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Margo and her sweet tights…she needs a top to match so she can race in them!

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The whole gang (minus Kat, who’s behind the camera).

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Looking at birds? They LOVE this pose.

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Once more.

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A view on the way down.

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Charlie, TK and Margo hiking down.

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After our hike we went into Stanley for lunch. Here’s a photo for alpine coach Megan, of Colin making friends with a seemingly stray dog!

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After lunch we ventured down to the riverside to pay a quick visit to a hot spring. This photo is looking back toward the mountains we were hiking in. Pretty spectacular!

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The boys in the hot spring. The water wasn’t too hot but warm enough to be comfortable.

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With the hot spring right next to Valley Creek there was much cold water dunking which was coupled with lots of screaming, and laughing. A good time both for those in the water and those watching!

We’re having a great time here in Sun Valley. Tomorrow is our final full day before we make the drive to West Yellowstone, MT on Tuesday. The weather turned significantly cloudier this afternoon….we’re hoping that means there’s snow on the way! Fingers crossed!

Stay tuned for one more update from Sun Valley!

Day 2: Sun Valley

Day two is almost a wrap. The crew had another great day, rollerskiing in Sun Valley this morning and using the SVSEF gym this afternoon for a strength workout. We had overcast skies this morning which meant temps stayed cooler for our first session. This afternoon the clouds thinned a bit but the sun didn’t shine quite as strong as yesterday afternoon. As I write this Olivia, Walker, Greg and Tk are cooking us a curry chicken dinner.

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A shot from the serving of our first dinner here in Sun Valley.

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Here’s the crew enjoying last night’s chicken parmesan dinner together.

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Hot tubbing after dinner.

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This morning we rollerskied in Sun Valley, double poling up Elkhorn Springs Rd the first time (there’s a bike path that parallels the road), and skating up the second time.

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Margo and Olivia enjoyed each other’s company.

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Charlie rocking his double poling technique.

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Carl leading Brian, who’s been psyched to finally have two poles in hand these last two weeks.

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Some of the boys practicing skiing sync.

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All together now….

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After our ski we stopped at the grocery store to stock up on a few items that we underestimated consumption rates on (this crew has been plowing through the eggs at breakfast). TK wanted to show off his new affinity for healthy eating….really he’s just posing with an employee’s restocking cart, but it looks like he’s actually into his greens!

After a lunch that heavily featured in quesadillas (Charlie learned how to make a quesadilla and is now a pro!) the crew had time for a quick nap before a study hall session. Everyone has been very diligent with school work so far!

img_7688This afternoon we made use of the SVSEF gym just down the road from our rental house for a strength workout. We did a short warmup jog on the race trails across the river before doing a long circuit workout. Some fun new exercises that the crew enjoyed included sledgehammer chops on old truck tires and the battling ropes, which resulted in lots of laughing for a few who hadn’t used them before.

Tomorrow we are going to drive north for a hike, grab lunch on the road and then visit our host at his mountain cabin, also north of here. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update!

Italy: Day 2

You might notice that these posts are a day behind. Our only access to internet is at the guest house where we eat lunch and dinner, which also plays host to many of the boarding students for our sister school. In the evenings, when we’d like to post daily updates, the students swarm the internet (ours included) and it’s pretty useless. Last night I made a valiant attempt at a post but it took me an hour just to upload five photos to Google Drive from my phone. It’s working much better now (post-lunch time and the local kids are in classes!).

So, here we are with our Day 2 post halfway through Day 3! Yesterday we went for an easy classic rollerski right from our dormitory in Mals. We followed the bike path, which is right out the back door, all the way up to the Reschen See (Russian See). It was another perfect day with crystal clear weather and beautiful views in all directions.

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Carl and Nick heading through some narrow streets early in the ski. The bike path runs the entire length of the valley from Merano to the Reschen See (Russian Lake) and goes right through some gorgeous little towns.

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Olivia and Colin skiing together.

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Alex taking a break from her first classic rollerski ever to enjoy some castle ruins.

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TK, Walker, and Tanner enjoying the sun and views during a water break.

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The Haidersee which sits just below the Reschen See. The bike path followed the shoreline for a while and it was gorgeous!

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When we finished some of the crew jumped in the Reschen See to cool off. Word is that the water was extremely refreshing and not as cold as the color would lead you to expect.

In the afternoon we set out on foot for some easy distance. We split into two groups, one doing a 1.5hr run/hike and the other sticking to flatter terrain for a 50 minute run along the valley floor. We began together with Lisa, one of our Italian friends, and headed across the valley through the walled city of Glurns. Both groups finished with some core and stretching back at the dorm.

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Heading into Glurns. The gate is only wide enough for one vehicle (or pack of runners) at a time!

Our afternoon workout finished early enough that most of the crew had time to venture up into the old part of Mals in search of grocery stores and some seeing. Mals is pretty picturesque (as is just about everything over here) and several in the group have been enjoying working on their photography projects already.

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And one more shot from Day 1’s hike above Mals because it was too good not to post. Do you think Nick and Elliot are happy to be here, or what?

Check back tomorrow (Day 4) for a post on Day 3!

I’ll leave you with this teaser from this morning’s rollerski…

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