We have arrived in Panorama after some great training on man made snow in Colorado and wrapping up the Copper Mountain race series. It finally snowed the day before the first race so the first super g of the season had some soft snow to contend with along with some still falling. The two super g days were good, more of a training tool for me but team mate Willis did well, picking up 3rd. I was happy with my skiing in the gs, just needed to cut out a couple mistakes from day one, then in the second race I got caught in some soft snow and didn’t make it unfortunately. We had cold mornings around -15° C (5° F) but warming for second run. Just one day of training at Vail, however conditions were too lean so took a day off and tried out the Oxygen Bar at the hotel we were staying in before heading north to Panorama, Canada.
Sunset at Dillon
Testing new skis, Copper
Heading to the Oxy Bar
Oxygen bar, Vail
We are currently in Panorama having arrived a few days ago and have had some good training days. Super cold after Colorado though, we were greeted with -20º C at Calgary airport when we arrived late evening.
On the road to Panorama
Training at Panorama has also been particularly cold, around -20º C which takes a few more layers to get used to and the feet start to suffer. Still not the best snow cover here in Panorama either so it is a bit of a mission some training days to get many runs in with the turn-around time being close to half an hour – catching lifts and traversing back around to the training course. Only managed three slalom runs before the course was pulled yesterday. We have today off so it’s time to do a grocery shop which is approx half hour drive down the road to Invermere, so it’s good idea not to forget anything! The whole team has been a bit crook with a bad cough which coach picked up a month ago and generously gave out, so hopefully it’s not so bad when races start again in a couple of days. The NorAm series starts on the 11th Dec with super g followed by a couple of GS and slalom.
Training is now well under way in Colorado and we have had some excellent conditions in spite of the lack of snow and training space. We arrived 4th November into Dillon, CO and did out best getting into the new time zone and altitude by starting on snow the following day. With so many teams going for the limited spots, we have had many early morning starts with the 6.00am – 9.00am time slot being a regular. The snow conditions have been first class and the weather perfect – no good for fresh snow and a little warm, but great for training. Luckily it has been cold enough for snow making.
Picked up some new skis for the season so have been getting used to the stiffer model and so far pretty happy with their performance.
It is quite different seeing the mountain on the chairlift ride up than the usual winter scenery but on the upper slopes conditions are producing plenty of good runs for working on improving technique.
Thanks Blowie and Just Dig It for your support – awesome!
The end of my Summer approaches rapidly with a final week of strength and conditioning while at home, before flying to Colorado to start on-snow training early November.
Many thanks to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support as I head away to the northern hemisphere for the next five months, jam-packed with travel and races. After our first block of training in Colorado we will head to Panorama, Canada for racing.
It has been a little while since my last post, however it has taken some time for the snow to be sufficient for some training to begin. Much of my time has been spent on strength and conditioning as well as a short back to snow camp at Mt Hutt in June. We have had a couple of S & C Camps with Ben Griffin in Queenstown and Methven with some testing to see our progress from last year, as well as where we are on a National level. Pleased to say progress on last year has been good with some personal bests achieved.
Coronet Peak View
The last couple of months have been much warmer than usual and much less snowfall. The training at Mt Hutt went well although the snow cover was a bit lean in places. Back in Queenstown our on-snow start was delayed due to lack of snow but we have since managed some free skiing drills on the main runs at Coronet Peak which was a bit of a challenge with the school holidays in full swing. The last few days we have been doing more drills and started on stubbie training at the Remarkables ski field. Little bit further to travel but conditions have been OK – snow is a little soft and dry but it is good to be back on skis.
We had about a foot of snow last night so hopefully it will be enough to get Rocky Gully up and running for some serious training!
Before climbing the peak on the left. So hot! 30 degrees C and humid.
The beach was quite a different location than usual for some dryland training and the temperature change from -20 to +30 a minor shock to the system! Two weeks of heat, rest and re-energizing has been the perfect way to finish 2015 and start the new year. Also time to reflect on the racing in Canada over the past month.
We arrived into Canada with the snow so the first series of NorAm races at Lake Louise (downhill for Willis) were disrupted along with the Super G being cancelled. We headed on down to Panorama to continue the NorAms starting with Super G, GS then slalom. This series was one of those learning curves for me with expectations, pressure and goals focus instead of taking it each run at a time. While I had some good runs (3rd fastest time in the second run GS) and the second slalom run, I did not perform as well as I would have liked.
After the NorAm races we had a Tech series, also at Panorama. Unfortunately in the first GS run I was DNF (fastest time at the first interval so skiing better) but day two I put together two good runs to take out top podium spot. First day of the slalom I made a few errors both runs but managed to come in at second place. They were all long days with a large field of athletes (140 each day) and quite a few delays. We missed day two of the slalom as had a flight to catch in Calgary. I was happy to get points results for both slalom and giant slalom over the past two months with a 15 point result in each. I start the new year in Europe with 16.45 for giant slalom and 18.36 in slalom.
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.