September 02, 2011 (Alaska) – I just recently came down from my final training camp of the summer up at Eagle Glacier. This camp was a bit different than all the rest… weather wise mostly!
We were fortunate to have the Sun Valley Olympic Development Team come for the week and join us. As always, it was fun to have new blood and new people to ski with on the glacier.
This camp was unique in that I skied two of the six days on powder snow! Powder snow in August… how crazy??!! The weather jumped between being warm and foggy to being full blown blizzard, cold, and snowing. I guess its true what they say “august can be anything”. We sure got anything! With the powder snow on top of the glacier snow, waxing got a bit tricky. There was one day the snow was so funky that Casey drove the PistenBully around, while all 16 of the skiers were following closely behind on the fresh tracks without powder in them. It was like a mother duck with all her ducklings following close behind… a site to see!! One of those days that makes you tougher though
The final day everything cleared up, so we had an amazing sun set on the mountains the night before, giving us a little preview of the following days weather. It was super pretty and maybe topped one of the prettiest sites I have seen up on Eagle.
APU classes started this week, so between training I was busy doing lots of homework and attending class on my little cell phone connection to the computer. Writing research papers gets a bit challenging up there when you are without internet. I tried to print a bunch of stuff out before going up…. but there always seems to be something missing! I have to say it’s a bit less challenging then getting up at 3:30 in the morning to attend class when I am in Europe… so I have to hold myself back from complaining!
August always brings a change in the Glacier. With lots of warm weather this winter, and a low snow year, there were some new crevasses that opened up a few camps ago. To keep us safe, they started having us ride down to the trails on the PistenBully, instead of skiing the trail down. This made it fun, mostly because I felt like a school kid in the morning trying to catch the bus. Fortunately it made me get going quicker in the mornings and afternoons before training, instead of going out at my own time. It also made it so that all the girls would start at the same time, so I got to do a lot more skiing with the group this camp… which was awesome!
On my way back into town, I saw my boyfriend and his buddies doing some rock climbing along the ocean- so I quickly ran home and grabbed my harness and shoes… just to top off the week of training and fun. I have never done any rock climbing here in AK, but it was sure awesome. Every time I go climbing with really good climbers, I have this new excitement to get better, because it is so awesome to watch them move up the rock quickly and effortlessly. I love how it is sort of a different challenge than skiing!!
For now I am back in full school and a rest week. Following this week I have another good block of training before heading to Park City in October for my final training camp. I looked over my training from the year, and it seems I have trained close to 100 hours on snow this summer!! That is more skiing than I normally did in a winter several years ago. Thanks to APU for making that possible. We are lucky we have this opportunity… I believe there is only one other place in the world where you can live right on the glacier and train!
I am still in the process of planning my fall of racing- but whatever it be, I think it will be new and exciting!! With the weather already starting to change here in AK… the racing excitement and feelings are starting to wake from hibernation!!!