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Back in the Mad River Valley

We’re in our third week back in the Mad River Valley since our last blog post from Italy. Days at GMVS are incredibly busy but that means the time flies by as we count down toward winter. In just four weeks we’ll be packing our bags to hit the road again, this time heading west to Sun Valley, ID and West Yellowstone, MT for our early-snow camp that includes our first races of the 2017-18 racing season.

Here are few photos in summary of the last three weeks on campus:

We’ve gotten in a lot of roller skiing, cruising scenic roads that are both paved and not. Here’s part of the team classic skiing on dirt toward the end of a point-to-point distance ski.

Nick leading the team during a uphill skate ski that wound through the Mad River Valley, hitting the bigger climbs one after the next.

We’ve been getting into the gym for two strength workouts a week but also targeting ski muscles through specific strength w0rkouts on rollerskis. Here’s Emily pushing through a double-pole speed while Greg says hi on his way back down the hill.

Most of the team got to jump into a classic rollerski race on the loop in Jericho, competing against skiers from other clubs and several college programs. Here’s Matt climbing one of the bigger hills on the 10k course.

Rena, Grace, Emily, and Matt are running xc this fall and have done two races since we returned from Italy. Here’s Rena widening her lead on the flat course at People’s Academy. All four of our Gumbies finished in the top ten at People’s. They also ran a larger race hosted by Montpelier and will run there again later this month.

As we get closer to snow flying we start in to increase the speed and intensity work. This month we’ve done intervals and speeds both on foot and on rollerskis. Here’s part of the team doing some L3 running intervals around a snowmaking pond in Warren.

Aside from training our nordic athletes are all full-steam ahead in academics, but also working hard on college applications, theater rehearsals, PSAT/SAT studying/test taking, visiting college campuses, and playing soccer with the GMVS soccer teams. It’s always amazing how much we manage to fit in during a single day on campus!

Stay tuned to our Facebook (GMVS Nordic Ski Team) and Instagram (GMVSxc) posts for daily (or almost daily) updates and photos. There’s a lot more excitement still to come before we head west for our first snow camp!

Thanks for reading!

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Italy: Grand Finale

Hello GMVSxc Families and Friends,

Today we had a spectacular last day here in Italy, skiing under bluebird skies on the Schnalstal Glacier. Here is a pile of photo highlights (30 of 144 that I saved) to give you a glimpse into our perfect day. Enjoy and we’ll see you stateside tomorrow night!

I will update LOTS of photos to our google drive folder sometime this week…stay tuned!

-Kat

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Italy: An overnight adventure

Hello GMVSxc families and friends,

This blog entry will cover two days as we were away from internet last night….read on to find out why!

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning we had an easy morning off from training and took a tour of a WWII bunker with two local tour guides.

One of our guides laying out some background history that helped us understand why the bunkers were built but also the impact that both WWI and WWII had on this area.

Looking down on Mals (in the foreground) from atop the bunker.

Our guide pointing out some other defensive structures that still exist in and across the valley from Mals.

The side of the bunker where the entrance/exit is.

Heading inside!

Just inside the entrance. Here our guide is explaining (through Jere’s translations) some details before we head further town the tunnel.

Down on the bottom floor of the bunker. The photos on the wall show how it would have been set up during WWII.

Emily and Ursula sitting in a storage space in the bottom floor. Without headlamps, phones and camera flashes it’s completely dark in the interior parts of the bunker.

In the afternoon we drove up to the Reschen See where Colin and the athletes put on rollerski gear to ski up the Langtaufers Valley. It didn’t take much elevation gain before the low clouds started to drop snow on our skiers.

Olivia smiling despite the chilly precipitation.

Emily striding toward the finish point.

Matt looking relaxed while climbing.

Nick leads Greg, Tanner and Colin early in the ski.

The crew skied to the top of the valley where the road ends before retreating down to the parking lot of the Maseben Hütte. From there we stashed the rollerski gear in the vans and picked up packs with dry clothes and supplies for an overnight at the hut and began to hike. The walk up followed a forest road and took about 45 minutes. The hut sits just above tree line and is beautiful inside.

The Maseben Hütte

We had a bit of free time to relax by the wood stove in the dining room before dinner….

Card games

Board games

Dinner was an amazing ordeal from start to finish. This dish (above) is actually dessert: a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a berry sauce. It was delicious.

The main course: ribs and potato wedges.

The vegetarian option: cooked vegetables topped with gourmet cheese and made to look like a complete work of art! Emily said it was delicious! Our hosts did a great job catering to the various dietary needs of our athletes and everyone went to bed with a full stomach.

The first dish: a pasta dish served right in small frying pans.

Tanner and Brian trying to stretch out their stomachs before dessert!

After dinner the crew went back to playing games. It was great to see them interacting without the use of devices for such a long period of time!

This morning we had breakfast at Maseben before gearing up for a hike further into the mountains behind the hut. The ground was snow covered with temperatures below freezing so everyone had extra layers, hats and gloves along. We headed for a Planoil Scharte Pass, which was just under 3000m. Nine of our crew made it to the pass while the rest of us turned around a bit earlier due to cold toes.

Leaving the hut this morning.

Heading north before we turned uphill.

The trails are marked with red and white paint that looks like an Austrian flag. Some of the markings were easy to spot, especially early in the hike when there wasn’t much snow. When we started to gain elevation and the snow got deeper it got more difficult to follow the trail in places.

Our line of hikers.

Emily and Kat happy to be heading down.

Grace taking a break to get her feet out of the snow.

Jere on the descent.

We made it back to the hut to gather overnight items we’d left behind and have some food before heading back to the vans at the valley floor. This afternoon, after a short rest back in Mals we went out for an easy classic rollerski on the bike paths. Most of the team skied for about an hour before getting cleaned up for dinner.

Tomorrow we have our last day here in Italy and will head east to the Schnalstal Glacier again, this time to classic ski. Stay tuned for a short update on that adventure before we make the trek home on Friday.

Thanks for reading,

– Kat

 

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Italy: Schnalstal Skiing!

Hello GMVSxc family and friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Carl, happy to be in a new place!

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

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

Colin leading TK across a switchback.

Rena taking a downhill switchback.

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

Erik getting in some good ski time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for following our adventures!

-Kat

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Italy: Day 5 (and 4 summary)

Hello family and friends of GMVSxc,

Today (day 5…Friday) we had another perfect day on the Stelvio Glacier but before I share a pile of photos, a quick summary of yesterday. The morning was focused on academics with a long study hall period that doubled as a testing block for our chemistry students. After lunch we joined the local xc team from Sport Oberschule for a run on the side of the Glurnserkopf just across the valley from Mals. The route was mixed between forest road (dirt) and narrow walking trails that run along the irrigation canals that were built in the 1300s. After our run we had some extra time to relax before dinner in the school dining hall and then another study hall (because we didn’t have time for schoolwork today) before bed.

The whole gang (GMVS and Sport Oberschule) before heading into the woods.

Today we took advantage of clear skies to make the trek back to the glacier again. This time both vans headed up through Switzerland and found very icy roads at the top of the pass. Jere’s van got stuck behind a less experienced/prepared driver and tried to help him get started when he got stuck on the last straightaway but to no avail. We ran the final distance to the parking lot while Jere railed around the stuck van as soon as there was space on the switchback!

When we arrived at the nordic loop on the glacier we found perfect, fresh corduroy groomed out just for us. Most of the crew skied between 1.5 and 2 hours, working on technique for much of the duration. There was also a little playing that happened on the descents back to our starting point on the loop…..

Tanner getting some air off the berms between switchbacks on the nordic loop

Olivia working on technique

TK rocking the vest, retro headband, and improving his technique!

Brian’s “Kat, I’m so tired” stance at the end of the ski. This guy is putting in some serious volume for his first time in Italy….being tired is a-okay!

Even when he’s tired Brian still smiles for the camera…

Josh, before the layers came off….

Greg getting off the ground….surprisingly this wasn’t how he broke his pole!

Grace can’t stop smiling….I think she’s having some fun on snow!

Erik putting in some one-pole time before calling it quits on the day.

Josh, working on technique and his tan

Rena using V1 technique to climb through a corner between switchbacks

Emily and Ursula showing off their best technique for the camera

Tanner enjoying the perfect conditions and views

Matt trying to catch some of the boys and eat a snack at once

Nick working his V1 technique through a corner

Tanner leading Greg, who’s doing some one-pole technique work after breaking his other pole

Brian practicing his tele technique on the crust that surrounded the nordic loop today

Carl working on his V1 technique while skiing with one pole

Nick leading Greg and Matt during the one-pole work

Brian leading TK and Tanner through a corner

Ursula and Emily working together to get lots of distance in

Grace, always smiling and always looking for pointers on her technique

Rena doing one-pole work

Carl and Olivia doing some technique work with Colin following

Tomorrow we have a skate ski in the morning followed by two different intensity options in the afternoon. Part of the crew will do classic rollerski intervals while the rest of the crew jumps into a local street race in the walled city of Glurns. Should be exciting….stay tuned for another update and more photos!

-Kat

 

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Italy: Day 3

Written by Kat Howe

Today we woke to the weather we’ve been waiting for: a clear sky! After breakfast at the Grauer Bear we piled into the van for the drive up to the Stelvio Pass.


The drive up to Stelvio can be done two ways: via Switzerland or by staying in Italy. This morning our vans got separating in traffic and we ended up going different directions. Jere’s van took the Italian route while Colin went through Switzerland. Both drives are quite scenic, with several tiny towns hanging on the hillsides. The Swiss side is a little more gradual and maybe a bit shorter. The Italian side seems shorter distance-wise because you can see the Venosta Valley from the parking area at the pass, but the drive includes an amazing set of switchbacks that increase the drive time.

Looking down on some of the switchbacks on our way back down this afternoon. There are 48 of them!

Looking up the road just before we reached the snow line this morning.

When we arrived in the parking lot near the base of the gondola we found the ground snow covered and were greeted with a stiff and chilly  (in the 20s) breeze. Two get to the glacier we have to take two gondolas before putting our skis on for two Pomalift rides up the alpine hills before we finally arrive at the nordic loop. The nordic loop sits on a more level section of the glacier that’s between two alpine runs.

Looking up the hill as we ride the first Pomalift.

Between the two Pomas we had to descend next to an alpine race course. Starting with a big downhill isn’t the easiest reintroduction to skinny skis, but we made it without breaking any gear and only had one rather dramatic wipeout.

When we finally reached the nordic loop we found this. Worth it! It was still quite chilly when we arrived but the mountain in this photo protected us from the wind and made conditions very comfortable for our training session. We waxed with hardwax (yup….hardwax in September!) and headed out for a 2-2.5 hour classic ski.

Grace skiing up one of the top switchbacks on the nordic loop. The mountain behind her is the back of the peak we rode up on the first Pomalift. If you click the photo and enlarge it you can see the top of another Pomalift on the left side of the photo.

Ursula leading Emily through perfect tracks. Unlike years past we had the whole track to ourselves.

Erik hitting a downhill switchback with some speed.

Grace….all smiles, as always. Happy to be on snow and classic skiing.

Rena and Olivia striding together during the first part of the ski.

Carl leading Josh and Matt.

Rena taking an uphill switchback during some of the one-pole laps that we did.

Tanner leading Brian during one-pole work.

Emily and Ursula taking a break (and smiling!).

Josh leading Matt across some flat terrain.

Matt striding.

The view to the north and north-west with our skiers in the foreground for some perspective. Gorgeous views the whole time we were up there!

Olivia descending to the bottom of the loop.

Greg leading a line of the boys…fun to see the different ages and abilities working on technique together.

After we finished the workout a few of the kids ventured to the top of the ridge to take in the view of Switzerland and have Kat take some small group photos. Here are Erik, Josh and Matt showing just how excited they were to be on the Stelvio for the day.

Rena, Ursula and Emily with the view off the back of the glacier into Switzerland in the background.

After skiing we descended back down the alpine hills and took the top gondola to the Ortler Restaurant that sits between gondolas. Our hosts at the Sport Oberschule arranged lunch for us so that we wouldn’t have to wait too long before eating. After lunch we finished the descent via the second gondola, took in some of the souvenir shops at the top of the Stelvio Pass before piling into the vans for the trip back down 48 switchbacks.

We got back to our hotel late in the afternoon and had some downtime before dinner for rest, homework, and hanging out together. This evening the crew is split with some preparing for a Chemistry test tomorrow, while others do homework or watch movies together.

Tomorrow will be an easier day athletically with the morning devoted to school work. In the afternoon we’ll head out for a 1.25-1.5 hour run/ski walk with athletes from the Sport Oberschule ski teams.

Hope you enjoyed the photos….thanks for following our adventures!

Parents – I took a LOT more photos today but can’t put them all in a blog post. I will upload hundreds of photos to our shared Google Drive folder when we get back to school (and I have fast internet) so be sure to check that our later this month.

-Kat

 

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Italy: Day 2

Written by coach Kat Howe

This morning we woke up to sunnier skies and warmer temperatures. After a coaches meeting with our hosts at the Sport Oberschule Mals we headed to Glurns to start our skate distance rollerski. The same bike path that we skied yesterday passes just outside the city walls of Glurns, so that’s where we jumped on it today. This time we headed east/down valley to start before spinning around and heading back through Glurns and right up through Mals to our hotel. Probably the two biggest highlights of our morning were the sun (it was warm enough for tank tops) and the cow herd that forced us to take a break on the side of the path as they passed through.

Emily smiling as the cow herd passes on by. Some of the cows were quite vocal about having company on the path and didn’t seem at all psyched that we were in their way!

Emily, TK and Matt skiing along the edge of a cornfield as we head back into Mals toward the end of our ski. The sun had everyone in high spirits throughout the workout!

This afternoon we ventured east to the Reschen Pass (Russian Pass) for a hike combined with a history lesson and some exploration of WWI ruins. We passed this church tower on our drive to the trailhead. It’s pretty famous and is probably the most prominent landmark in this region. The rest of the church and surrounding buildings were flooded when a dam was built to ensure water to the farmlands down valley from the Reschen See.

From the Reschen Pass we hiked up a dirt road to a high alpine meadow that was fortified by Mussolini during WWI. The meadow sits right on the Austrian-Italian border and you can also see the closest corner of Switzerland nearby. We found and explored several bunkers and a row of spikes intended to keep tanks from crossing into the Venosta Valley.

Grace looking into one of the bunkers through the gun hole.

Some of the crew walking part of a concrete wall that led from the tank spikes up to some bunkers on the hillside above.

TK striking a pose on the line of tank spikes.

Jere examining the spikes up close….these things may have been built for WWI but they’re still very strong and sharp!

Jere sharing some history of the area before we set out exploring.

There’s a lot of history in this area so it was pretty neat to sit next to such a tangible relic (that’s the first bunker we explored behind the group) and learn about what happened right in this pass and the implications of the entire war on the South Tyrol region.

 

Some of the crew inside the first bunker….this one had a campfire outside it so the inside is filled with names and dates of visitors from all over the world, our group included.

The whole gang atop the first bunker.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast looks good so we’re going to head up to the Stelvio Glacier for our first day on snow, a skate ski at 11,000 feet! The gang is all packed up and we’ll head out early in hopes of being on snow around 9:30 or 10. To get to the glacier we drive for an hour, either taking a steep ascent on the Italian side (look up ‘Stelvio Pass’ on google to see photos) or going through Switzerland for a route with fewer switchbacks. From the top of the pass we take two gondolas and then a pomalift to get to snow. The nordic trail sits between alpine runs so we have to traverse the alpine hill a bit before we start our distance ski. Most of the crew will aim for 2-2.5 hours of very easy skiing with a technique focus before we head down for lunch. In the afternoon we plan to hit up the gym for a strength workout.

Stay tuned for photos and keep your fingers crossed that we get some nice weather up there!

-Kat

 

 

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Let’s Go to Idaho!

Day 1: Sun Valley, ID Written by Kat

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

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

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

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

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The house! It’s amazing!

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

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Getting some sun and views from the trails.

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The running together.

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A sunny place to pause. (Photo by Tanner)

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Enjoying the views north toward the Boulder Mountains.

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Time for stretching, layer removal, and hydration.

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Nick found a high spot.

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


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Some of the crew finishing up.

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

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

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Italy: Day 5, 6 and 7

After several days on the road during prime photo-uploading hours, here is a three day update!

Thursday (Day 5): With some cloudier weather settling into the valley we decided to stay closer to home, doing a morning track workout with the local cross country skiers followed by an afternoon strength workout in the gym. It was nice to have a bit more down time between workouts, as we didn’t have to drive to or from our training venues. The track, which circles the local soccer field, is right across the street from our dorm. The gym is part of the Sport Oberschule and is a short 10 minute walk up the hill.

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The boys doing a little jogging with a couple of our Italian friends.

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Carl and TK pushing through some 200m intervals.

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Greg and Elliot working together.

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Nick taking on the local contingent.

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Alex running with some Italian ladies.

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Warmup technique and activation exercises led by one of the Italian coaches. That’s a BIG group of skiers!

Friday (Day 6): Today we ventured over (and under) the mountains to Livigno for some rest day exploration. To get there you drive into Switzerland via Val Müstair and take a tunnel under a mountain. To encourage visitors to make the drive up to the remote valley Livigno don’t charge taxes so the shopping is all duty free. The tiny town, surrounded by alpine ski slopes and also home to fantastic nordic skiing, is full of shops and restaurants and was nice to wander around. I don’t have many pictures as it was another dreary day.

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An entire wall of cuckoo clocks in a shop definitely geared toward tourists.

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Carl found enough Nutella for the whole team for the rest of the trip. No, he didn’t buy it.

On our way home we took a different route, climbing out of Livigno toward Bormio, where we spent another hour+ exploring narrow hillside cobblestone streets. Unfortunately much of Europe shuts down from 12:30 – 3:30 each day so many of the shops in Bormio were closed while we were there. We did find a grocery store to restock our snacking supplies and a few of the boys made a quick trip to the Ski Trab factory for t-shirts and a drink belt.

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Rena, Olivia, Lisa (our Italian exchange student from last fall) and Carl taking in a cobblestone square in Bormio.

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Rena and Carl in Bormio.

Saturday (Day 7): Today we hiked the Uinaschlucht with our Italian hosts in a group of about 30 people. Some of the local coaches were kind enough to shuttle all of the vans so we all (coaches included) got to complete the point to point hike. Unfortunately we had cloudy/dark weather again so views were very limited through our hike, resulting in few photos taken. Here’s the link to last year’s bike/hike for a better idea of where we went.

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Olivia taking in the foggy view from the most extraordinary part of the trail.

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A hut on the way off the mountain heading toward Schlenig.

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Sam heading through the last meadows before finishing up the hike.

After hiking much of the group made a quick turnaround and headed back out with the Italians for some mini golf down valley. Elliot is apparently the best mini golfer in the whole group, finishing with the highest score overall. Tanner and TK hung closer to home with Kat and Sam, watching part of a local soccer match, getting gelato, and a quick run to the grocery store to stock up on chocolate. We closed out the day with a great pasta dinner followed by study hall.

Tomorrow we are participating in a testing event with the local ski program at the track and soccer field complex that includes some strength testing, several running tests and a rollerski agility test on matched skate rollerskis without poles. It will be interesting to see where we stack up!

Good night from Italy!

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Italy: Day 4 on the Stelvio Glacier

Yesterday we had a perfect day for a trip to the Stelvio Glacier. The sky was cloudless, there was absolutely no wind, and temperatures were cold enough over night to freeze the track, but warmed up enough during our ski to take away the concrete corduroy that greeted us first thing. The drive up to the Stelvio Pass takes about an hour and is nothing short of remarkable. A short way out of Val Venosta (the valley that Mals lies in) the road starts to climb quickly, heading through no less than 48 switchbacks before cresting the top.

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A sunny view over the stone guardrail on the way through some switchbacks.

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Looking down from the parking lot toward the final switchbacks.

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From the pass it takes two gondolas and ride on a poma lift to reach the skiing.

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Sun streaming down on us as we climb further still….You can see the alpine training courses to the left.

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From the top of the pommel we had to ski down part of the alpine hill (which is a little sketchy when the snow is frozen solid and the grade is steep) to reach the nordic loop (the squiggly line on the distant slope).

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Walker, all smiles!

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Carl and Olivia (and Rena, behind Olivia), working together to keep the pace easy and make the most of the time on snow.

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Greg skiing with GMVS alum Peter Kling.

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Elliot and Nick taking the switchbacks on the downhill at full speed.

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Rena working on some technique pointers while enjoying the freedom that only snow can offer.

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Sam joined us on skis and certainly got in a great workout skiing as long as most of the kids! 

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Nick and Elliot climbing through a turn.

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Elliot getting tall with his V2 alternate.

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Nick – Suns out, guns out, tongue out.

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TK and Tanner, inseparable as always.

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Alex seems to have fallen in love with skating…she was all smiles!

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Olivia was pretty excited to be on snow in September and didn’t seem too upset with our choice of venue!

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Tanner leading TK in some double poling.

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And we were lucky enough to see Petter Northug again!

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Peter, Nick, Elliot, and Greg spent a few switchbacks chasing Petter. 

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Alex looking like a true Norwegian with her skinny skis on….

From a ridge just above the nordic loop you can see over the back of the mountain that the Stelvio Glacier sits on. After we were done skiing we had to take in the view…

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And there were jumping shots!

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Even Sam felt the vibe (with some encouragement from Kat)!

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Obligatory team photo, because we look so good in our matching jackets, tights and smiles! 

After our ski we ventured off the glacier (skied down the side of the alpine hill via a partially groomed ski cross trail and back down both gondolas) and headed to lunch.

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This is the view of the actual pass on the road. At the peak it is lined with little roadside shops selling all manner of touristy gifts. Tanner and TK bought some slippers that I’m sure will make an appearance on campus soon. 

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This is Tibet, the restaurant perched on a cliff above the pass where we had lunch. Such an amazing spot to take in nourishment after a few hours above 10,000 feet!

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Even Gumby made the trip!

This morning the crew did some track intervals with the local cross country athletes followed by a strength workout in the afternoon. In preparation for a rest day trip to Livigno tomorrow we’re doing two homework sessions today.

That’s all for now!