Arrived in to Dillon, Colorado 2nd November to fairly mild temperatures and not a lot of snow. Dillon is a small town approx 110km from Denver and pretty centrally located between Loveland and Copper Mountain, about 20kms/20 minutes drive to each so a good place to be based for training.
Training at Copper Mountain. Race gear by One Studio
We have had some solid training since arriving with slalom, giant slalom and also super g. With the colder temperatures and high altitude (12,313 ft / 3,753 m), Copper Mountain have been going full speed with snow making. This has also been topped up with a few falls of fresh snow and colder temperatures since arriving. Due to the large number of athletes all needing to get training in and limited lane space, we have staggered starts with the earliest being 6.30am on snow. Other time slots are 10.00am and 1.00pm. We usually get a couple of hours, around 7 – 8 runs of quality training. Andres Zampa from Slovakia has joined us for the start of the season and it’s great to have him on board, along with team mate Willis Feasey and Coach, Nils Coberger.
Thank you to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support in the latest round of grant applications. The Skeggs Foundation do a fantastic job helping to support the athletes throughout Otago working towards their goals – check out their website! Many thanks also to the Wanaka Ski Club for their continued support.
Awesome gear by One Studio – Taking care of our race suit. Stuffing your race suit into your ski bag when you’re travelling the winter world doesn’t do it any favours and shortens its life. One Studio have come up with a plan to help your suit and your planet. They up-cycling all the off-cuts and print/fabric seconds and turn them into handy protection for the clothes that make you fast on the hill.
Every race suit leaving the One Studio workroom now has it’s own custom suit bag.
Always working to keep your race gear safe and fast – check them out for the best race suits on the hill!
Many thanks Blowie! Just Dig It – Awesome Team, thanks for your support. Final moments packing bags and trying to get everything I need into as small as possible excess luggage but still looking at 90kgs! On my way to Denver to arrive 2nd Nov ready to hit the slopes for the northern hemisphere season. I’ve just finished off a couple of weeks of intensive dryland training building on my fitness and happy with progress.
Had a bit of fun with the Lululemon team tackling the MuleNZ course out at Moke Lake with team mate Willis and physio Robbie Moore – rather exhausting morning but a lot of fun diving through mud, running up rivers and over mountainous obstacles to complete the course.
Thanks also to continued support from Avoca with more awesome mid layer merino tops, beanies and socks. Looking forward to getting some mileage out of them in the States.
For the first four weeks I’ll be based in Dillon just outside Denver, with the first races in Vail, 20th November so I’ll have a little time to get used to the altitude.
We have just had the last few days of on snow training before a heavy dryland programme begins. The spring skiing at Coronet Peak has been, for the most part, particularly good for this time of year with great snow cover. Super G training from the top of the GS race start down through Robin’s Run was a lot of fun and the snow conditions on Race Arena have made for some excellent training.
Perisher Slalom Course
August was a pretty packed month of racing with mixed results but I was fairly happy with the way my health has progressed over the season. Races began at Cardrona in early August and these were quickly followed by the National Championships at Coronet Peak. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to hold on to my title this year with team mate Willis Feasey on top form, but beating me by just 0.11 second! After the Nationals we flew over to Australia to start the ANC cup series with the first races in Perisher. Perisher is huge, we had to take four different lifts just to get to the top of the race, and had to take a train (the ski tube) under the Australian alps to get up to the ski area. After pouring rain all night we actually ended up having a pretty nice day! The slalom races were a bit of a lucky dip with the top guys finishing way off the pace with the crumbling snow deteriorating quickly. I was pretty happy to have made a result in the first GS with 17 points in spite of the challenging conditions. Lots of bad weather and poor snow conditions saw the second GS postponed a couple of times and moved on to follow the ANC races being held at Coronet Peak at the end of August. .
ANC/Winter Games Slalom, Coronet Peak
On arriving back home, it was straight into another five days of racing the Winter Games/ANC Cup series, a day off and then races for the season finished with a slalom and giant slalom at Treble Cone (4th, 5th September) along with plenty of fresh snow to make it a little more challenging. Managed to pick up 3rd place in the slalom amongst some stiff competition so it was a good way to finish off the race season.
Coronet Peak GS Race
Pre Race Warmup Photo Cred: Philip Green
View from Rocky Gully over Lake Wakatipu
We are now into a heavy dryland programme for the next few weeks before a final block of on snow training at Cardrona. Spring is definitely here with warmer temperatures and hayfever season about to kick off.
(National Champs Slalom podium. ANC Cup series Yellow bib presented by Ken Read)
Start of season training at Coronet Peak has been going well with good snow cover and mostly great weather. Crisp clear nights followed by bluebird days so far this week for some slalom training, although the snow has been a bit soft with ruts developing a little sooner than desired.
The previous week saw some more stormy weather but we got in some good GS training in spite of the really flat lighting. Training was cancelled on Sunday due to the mountain’s new 5cm rule – if more than 5cm of fresh snow falls overnight, no training allowed the following day! The team had our physical testing completed (thanks Ginny Rutledge at Wanaka Physio) and I’m fairly happy with my continued improvement and getting back to where I need to be. Working with Ben Griffin for dryland training and monitor health has been invaluable for keeping an eye on when I need to take a break and not become over tired.
Training at Methven started with a blast of winter weather and some of the coldest temperatures around the area with the likes of -21°C. Lots of snow fell and icy temperatures stayed. After about a month of training back in the gym, we had a bit of a physical camp and testing in Queenstown a few weeks ago and it was good to see my levels increasing. Not quite to the same level as this time last year but I am on track.
The team started with a week of intensive physical training in Methven mid June, led by Ben Griffin where we all made some good gains. Makes such a difference having someone so competent pushing us where needed – thanks Ben! After a week of dryland training and a day off, it was time to check out the snow at Mt Hutt. Conditions were perfect aside from a few rocks – good snow cover and blue bird days. First day up the mountain was a little on the cool side though at -13° C.
Mt Hutt – Nick, Jamie, me, Eliza & Willis
On snow training started with our coach, Nils Coberger taking us for a bit of free skiing and progressing into some stubbie training. The weather and mountain were awesome – many thanks to Mt Hutt for your support, couldn’t have asked for better conditions so early in the season.
Now back in Queenstown for a short block of dryland training again while the school holidays are on and then it will be back to training at Coronet Peak.
The time of the year to once again to be hitting the gym – strengthening, building, gaining – physical and mental training for the start of the New Zealand season just around the corner. Bit of a shock to the system to realise how much fitness is lost so quickly when one has been crook and the amount of work required to build back up again. Many thanks to Alpine Health and Fitness for once again helping out with a gym pass.
Many thanks to our patron Darren Shand and to Nick Simmers from Adidas NZ, for teeing up a partnership with Adidas. I’m now fully decked out with physical training kit, including lifting shoes, indoor and outdoor dryland training gear from the best in the business. Thanks guys, awesome gear! Really enjoying making good use of it all.
SKEGGS FOUNDATION – many thanks once again to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support in assisting with funding towards my ski racing dreams.
It’s been a bit of a tough finish to my season, unfortunately. Have just arrived home after spending five days in hospital in Zell am See, Austria. Snow conditions haven’t been the best this season with a lot of races canceled, warmer and less snow – looking positively spring-like when we left
Race day, Mutters
March started with some slalom in Mutters with some pretty slushy weather and a couple of DNF’s. We then went to a few giant slalom races in Flumserberg in Switzerland, Petzen in southern Austria and Hochficht, northern Austria. In Flumserberg, the snow was a little on the soft side and very flat hill – I needed to be a couple tenths faster to make a result but managed to move from 30 to 16th both days.
Piesendorf, slalom race
My last series of races were some super g and super combined at Innerkrems. I had trouble with the super g, feeling crook and little energy, and was unable to start the slalom leg of the super-combined and progressively got worse. On visiting the doctor, I was put into hospital on a penicillin drip for acute tonsillitis, but further tests confirmed I also have glandular fever (mono). Not ideal! The nurse had a bit of trouble getting the IV lines in, went through the vein but eventually managed to get one in! Breakfast wasn’t too bad apart from the gumboot coffee to start, but reduced to 3 slices white bread and enough jam for one, and the following day a bowl of warm milk with a couple slices white bread.
It’s great to be back home but it’s going to be a long process renewing strength and conditioning, not to mention replacing the lost 6kgs. Thanks to my coach Nils Coberger for everything, and to teammates Willis and Nick. Thanks again to all my sponsors, supporters and family for your ongoing support and encouragement, every little bit helps and I really appreciate your belief in me. Also a big shout out to Dave Stewart, One Studio for our awesome gear! Time now to heal, in readiness for the coming New Zealand season.