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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Eastern Cup #2: Waterville Maine

Last night the team returned from a weekend trip to Waterville Maine for NENSA Eastern Cup #2. Overall the weekend was a great success and the energy was high in the van during our return drive. As with any group we had some good results and some not so good, but lessons were learned and the crew is hungry for more! 
The whole weekend of racing was originally scheduled to be held at Chisholm Ski Club (Black Mountain) in Rumford Maine. Mother Nature threw a kink in that plan but the team at Quarry Road stepped up to host instead. Given the last minute move, they did an excellent job putting together a busy weekend of competitions.  
Quarry Road, the hosting venue, sits close to Colby College, just on the other side of I-95. It’s not often we race so close to highways here in New England so we couldn’t resist a group shot where the access road passes right under the interstate. All smiles after a big weekend of racing! 
Day 1: Skate Individual Start 5k/10k Races

Justin, our wax tech and former GMVS coach, has been teaming up with Nick Mahood of Woodstock Nordic to get some really fast skis coming out of our trailer. Here’s the view early Saturday morning before the skate events got underway.
Saturday’s Men’s and Women’s 10k and 5k events were combined with the second day of the EISA Bates Carnival. This combination has been happening for a few years now and is really exciting because it allows younger athletes a chance to test themselves against the college fields that most aspire to compete in down the road. 
Saturday’s course was a 1.5 kilometer loop of manmade snow. The U16 boys and women completed three laps for a 4.5k race and the men’s field did six laps for a 9k. While counting these laps can be tedious, it allows for some great pack skiing and the spectating can be really exciting with so many athletes on such a short loop at once. Mother Nature added her own special touch, dropping  fluffy snowflakes on us all day. The early fields (U16s and the first half of the women’s field) had firm tracks but as the snow accumulated the course became a bit less firm. 
Forrest (#394) skiing in a small train that included racers from Dartmouth, Stratton Mountain School and Colby. Forrest had a strong performance on Saturday, finishing 39th overall (including the college field) and 2nd in the U18 age group. 
Carl raced up in the U16 age group this weekend and skied to a solid 17th place.
Elliot skiing solo on his way up the big hill. Elliot did a great job working with and through several groups of racers during his six laps around the course. Elliot finished 92nd over (college field included) and 14th for U18s. 
Tanner pushing hard up the big hill. The U16 field was smaller so the boys had to ski on their own quite a bit. Tanner finished less than a second behind Carl in 20th place. 
TK in just his second weekend of Eastern Cup racing action. He skied a strong race, finishing 25th in the U16 boys field. 
Lizzy climbing through snowflakes. She had a tough weekend, battling some breathing issues but learned some valuable lessons that should help her feel better during intensity going forward. She finished 128th in a deep women’s field (college field included) and 34th for U20s. 
Walker looking strong and focused. He skied a smart race, logging negative splits and working efficiently with the skiers around him when he could. Walker finished 53rd overall (college field included) and 5th for U18s. 
Day 2: Classic Mass Start Distance 5k/10k Races

Day two greeted us with clear sunny skies. It was beautiful! Quarry road opened additional terrain to lengthen the course to 3.3 kilometers of perfect classic tracks. 
Garrott and Justin getting ready to head out for some early morning ski testing in their matching Gumby jackets, patriotic Toko gloves, and Leki poles….there’s no better way to start a race day for a couple of coaches!
The U16 boys kicked off the mass start races. They did one 3.3k loop and one lap around Saturday’s 1.5k loop for a 4.8k race. 
Tanner and Carl skied much of the race together, pushing one another while chasing down their opponents. 
TK with great technique in just his second classic event ever. 
Garrott cheering Carl and Tanner into the finish….they had a four way sprint for 17th place which Carl won by throwing out a great lunge across the line, just like we’ve been working on in training. Tanner took 20th, crossing the line just two seconds behind Carl. 
Garrott cheering TK through the final meters of his race. TK managed pass the skier to his left (in red and black) and threw a perfect lunge at the line to tie finish times with the skier in front of him here (in blue). 
Lizzy had a classic race that she’d probably rather forget, but that’s part of racing and the experience will help her learn valuable lessons for the future. She did a great job pushing through her race, being persistent right to the finish line, and then talking through the race with Kat to make the most of it. Her race also brought out the loyalty that runs deep on this squad. Tanner, TK and Carl were right there when Lizzy was struggling and made sure to check in with her and her parents after she finished. Her little Gumby brothers are pretty attached after just a few months! 
The men’s 10k mass start getting underway. They skied three laps of the 3.3k course for a 9.9k.
Forrest skied a smart race, staying very relaxed and working with his competitors to find a smart pace on each of the three laps. He finished 12th overall (no college field on Sunday) and 4th for U18s. 
Walker working with one of the SMS boys through the stadium area. Walker and Elliot both found themselves in a bit of traffic at different points of the race. Both skied smart, working on aspects of classic technique that we’ve been focusing on in training, and finishing well in their age group. Walker was 20th overall and 7th for U18s. 
Elliot striding big out of the stadium. He finished 25th despite a big fall on his first lap (11th for U18s). 
Full results from the weekend can be found here
We have two weeks in the Mad River Valley before our next Eastern Cup weekend in Lake Placid at the end of January. This coming weekend Charlie (and maybe Kat) will put on a bib at Ole’s for the Valley Cup classic race on Sunday. Come ski with us then! 
Thanks for reading! 

Welcome 2016!

Welcome to 2016! 
The GMVS nordic team reconvened on campus last week after two weeks at home with family for the holidays. With some light sickness and fatigue after a big volume week the group was a little spread out to start but going into our second week we’re dialed in and ready to go.

This New Years the GMVS nordic team has lots to celebrate, even if we haven’t had much snow. Right now we’re feeling incredibly thankful for our hosts at Rikert Nordic Center who have put in countless hours to keep the trails open when Mother Nature has done her worst. We have also gained the support of Leki Poles and the team couldn’t be happier! Watch for them in our photos and if you’re interested in learning more about some of the best poles on the market, you can check Leki out here. They come highly recommended from this crew!

Sporting our flashy new poles back in West Yellowstone for the first time! 

Back in December our ski conditions were pretty bleak. One particular day (shown above) we put ourselves to work helping the Rikert crew cover some patches before our ski….since then we’ve been spoiled by the efforts their crew has put forth, both grooming what little snow Mother Nature has provided and pumping out the man-made terrain. 
We were greeted by blue skies at Rikert on Tuesday! 
 We kicked our intensity week off hard with specific strength intervals, exploring different terrain for each of our four interval sets. 
Tanner pushing hard in one of his last intervals. 
Elliot (L) and Walker (C) pushing each other through the last set with Tanner (R) chasing them down.
Smiles (almost) all around after a group cool down! Group photos can be challenging with this crew….hats over eyes, serious faces, squinting in the bright sunlight. We tried.
Tuesday afternoon the crew got after it in the gym between classes. One of our team goals this winter is to do a good job carrying our strength program through the racing season….so far everyone has been nailing it!  
Tuesday evenings the local BKL (Bill Koch League) program meets at Ole’s Cross Country Center and Kat’s been trying to join them when she can. This last week was their first session on snow and the kids did awesome and had a great time.  
Hard not to have fun when you’re greeted by this! Great conditions thanks to careful trail maintenance by the Ole’s crew with the small amount of snow we had. Had. Yup…they’re closed today but hopefully Mother Nature follows through with the snow that’s in the forecast so skiing can resume. With the hard base created when the snow and ice refroze last night it shouldn’t take too much fresh pow to create awesome skiing again! 
Icing on the cake: a beautiful sunset to close out the BKL evening! 
Wednesday was a recovery day on the scenic (and sunny) trails at Ole’s. 
There’s not much that beats sunshine and perfect kick!
Garrott, Margo and Meg (one of our teachers at school) on our way out. 
Margo leading Kat and Charlie on the way back up to the airport field. 
The morning finished out with an intense game of speedball! 
The crew taking in some sunshine together….one of these days we’ll have to get some good photos with Tanner’s smiling face when he’s not expecting it! 
Thursday we took a ride on the pain train: 4 x 4 min at L4 on uphill terrain at Ole’s. We were joined by GMVS alum Maddie Leopold, who now skis for Middlebury College. There are no photos from the interval session so here are some stills captured from video taken during the last trip up the hill. 
Left to right: Walker, Elliot and Garrott working together, Forrest going solo, and Tanner and Maddie pushing each other to the top. 
Margo, Lizzy and Maddie skied a cool down together…all smiles! 
Friday we kept the intensity high with 5 and 10k classic time trials with the Stratton Mountain School junior team at Rikert. The Rikert crew outdid themselves again, opening new man-made terrain and laying down NCAA-grade classic tracks on the 2.5k loop just for our time trial! We are spoiled! 
Mass start: both distances, boys and girls together. The more the merrier, right? Right. 
TK working hard in his first classic race effort. We still have some work to do on the difference between skating and herringboning but we’ll get there. When scolded for gliding his response was simply, “Look away, Kat. Just look away.” Hopefully he never tries the same tactic on a race official….I’m guessing they’ll be less understanding! 
Maddie jumping into our workout again with dual suit representation! 
Walker and Elliot working together on their first of four laps. 
Carl surrounded by an SMS crew…. 
This next weekend we’re heading to Maine for the second NENSA Eastern Cup. The races have just been moved from Rumford to Waterville so there’s some logical scrambling happening as we reorganize plans and timelines. The team is ready to go ow it’s time to turn on the engines and spin some laps around the race course!