We’ve been back from Italy for a week now, and we’re settling into a routine that will carry us all the way through to November’s trip to West Yellowstone. This is arguably our most focused block of the year academically and athletically: we have an opportunity to make big gains in both arenas.

It’s a good time to think about where we’re going: part of moving forward is reflecting on where we’ve been. What’s worked well and where do we need to be better?

Many of our skiers have made serious goals for the races at US Nationals. In order to prepare, we’re skiing a simulated Nationals week, with three time trial efforts: a 10km skate, a skate sprint day, and a classic distance race. For the first day of this week we drove up over the gap to go meet up with Cam MacKugler and his Frost Mountain Nordic team for a 10km skate TT. I had a vision of Cam bending a Swix Star at the Bolton Eastern High School Sprint when I was in 9th grade (2005). I won’t tell you how long it took me to dredge up this photo, but the display of raw power is worth it.

Cam had a group of four skiers who showed us the course. We skied it backwards (downhill) as a warmup, then threw on the bibs and got ready to go.
The group was all smiles before the start. It’s always fun to meet up with different people for training. Thanks to Frost Mountain for letting us join in!
Heidi starts up the course: her first 10k race!
Our skiers are committed to so many things: Kaitlin’s balancing college apps, play, the Valley Reporter, and still skiing fast right now.

Dev has made incredible gains this year (while playing soccer and having a lead role in play!). His game face is on 24/7.

Night is falling quicker and quicker these days.

Wood roller skis and a construction hard hat. Not a bad look for our Frost Mountain Friend.

It’s beginning to feel like Fall in New England out here. Italy was sweet, but the scenery in Vermont is pretty striking as well, even on a cold, cloudy day.
We had some awesome efforts yesterday: everyone skied hard on an unfamiliar and challenging course. Now it’s out for skate sprinting at Sugarbush!

The girls.

We awoke to below freezing temps and a thick layer of rime on the deck, van and any equipment the kids left out last night, which led to the inevitable course delay. It turns out several inches of snow had fallen at the top of Whiteface and the race needed to be moved down the hill to lower elevation. All of the boys gave it a go with focus on technique and pacing properly for a race that only a few of the fittest skiers in the country could actually tackle as a race. Kristin and Elena gave it a go as a workout and we coaches were very proud that they had the confidence to let the pack go at the beginning and actually just SKI up the hill. That alone was hard enough–Elena’s average heart rate was 186! Kaitlin, Heidi and Andrea were bummed not to take part, but made the right decision and walked the entire course–cheering on their teammates and watching some of the best skiers in the country labor their way up the grueling climb.
I’ll let one of the kids update with a more experienced point of view later. If you want to see results:

Otherwise enjoy some of these pictures. The scenery down in the valleys is nothing short of prime.
Andrew Newell and Garret Kuzzy.
Mr. Kuzio having a fine day.


Daniel Moore.
Louis followed by Danny.
Dylan with the eyes of the Tiger.
Sinner ripping it up.