Monday, January 9, 2012

Champagne Powder

Over the weekend, the team reunited in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for their first road trip of the year - the first college races of the season (if you don't count the annual Alaska Cup between UAA and UAF).  The team will spend almost a week acclimatizing to the altitude (6,730 feet / 2050 meters), and getting their eyes used to blinding sunshine again. Steamboat Springs is known for its "Champagne Powder" - light, dry, deep, cold, high-altitude powder snow that falls so deep in the mountains that you need a snorkel for powder days in the backcountry.  I've spent a day or two "stuck" in Steamboat, skiing in powder so deep and light I didn't see much of anything on account of all the snow blowing over my head.  But alas, it's not like that there now.  The normal trails at Howelson Hill don't have enough snow for skiing, and the races next weekend are expected to be on a 2.5 km loop scraped together near the stadium start/finish area.

If it's champagne powder you're looking for, you need look no further than right here in Anchorage. The weather pattern just keeps repeating:  snowstorm - cold weather - snowstorm - cold weather - snowstorm.  We got another eight inches yesterday.

Here are a few pictures from my driveway:

And finally, there was a speed skating / ski duathlon yesterday at Cuddy Park.  I got crushed by Liam Ortega (as expected) in the speed skating portion, but I managed to avoid getting lapped twice, allowing me to make a comeback in the skiing portion.  A photo gallery of the event is here:

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