Sunday, October 28, 2012

Alternate News Source

It'll be a few more days before I'm able to post any more UAA Ski Team updates, because I'm not in Alaska this week.  I'm spending some time at the beach, and riding around in the Mojave Desert on my motorcycle.  In the meantime, you can check out the boys' training trip to Fairbanks this weekend on Viktor Brannmark's blog:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Break Dancing

Andrew and Calisa's daughter, Sylvie, recently turned one year old.  The addition of Sylvie to the Kastning household has naturally changed the family's lifestyle somewhat during the past year.  For example, Andrew doesn't spend all night at the dance clubs anymore - he's happy just to get a good night's sleep.  Nevertheless, he remembers with fondness those clubbin' nights, when he would trot out all his new moves on the dance floor that he'd been working on all week.  For now, though, his audience is the UAA women's nordic ski team.  Andrew's tales of "annihilating" the biggest clubs from LA to London were met with skepticism by some of the girls on the team, so Andrew broke out a few of his classic moves at practice last week.  Clearly, the girls were not impressed; especially Karina, who said "I've seen funkier dance moves in Lommedalen!":

Friday, October 19, 2012

Photos I took in the past 24 hours

I flew out to the Aleutian Islands yesterday for work.  Mount Iliamna is a volcano along the route:

The approach to Unalaska Island:

This morning.  Rollerskiing intervals at Potter Valley with Maya, Karina, and Cara:

And Patricia:

After ski practice, a quick afternoon flight to Cordova for work.  Here's the Chugach Mountains:

Glaciers flowing into Prince William Sound:

Downtown Cordova at 7pm on a Friday night looks something like this:

I never get tired of traveling to Cordova:


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scenes from this week

Today, we did some uphill double-pole intervals near Kincaid Park. 
Here's Andrew showing the technique he wants to see during the intervals.

Andrew waiting to jump in with Lucky and Viktor.

These four kept the pace high from start to finish.
 Meanwhile, I spent yesterday flying all around the Bristol Bay area for work.  I've been in bigger airports than the one in South Naknek. But none smaller.

Near Igiugik

I got really mad at myself, and I still am, for getting in this plane and flying to Igiugik when it was so heavily loaded in the tail. That front wheel is there for a reason - it's supposed to be on the ground. The stall warning alarm was buzzing like an alarm clock and I was stuffed way in the back of the plane telling myself I should have let this airplane go without me. Probably only the third or fourth time I've ever been scared in an airplane (and I fly three or four times every week).  I didn't follow my own rule about not getting in airplanes when I have doubts. But everything turned out OK in the end.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Twin Peaks

Yesterday, Danielle and I went hiking above Eklutna Lake, north of Anchorage.

I've never seen Eklutna lake so full.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The view from my office this afternoon

Nothing wrong with this picture...

And by the way, videos from yesterday, today, earlier this fall, and all of last year can be found on YouTube.  Just search for "adamverrier2" (the username I use for YouTube) and then click on the "adamverrier2 channel" and you'll find about 50 videos of the UAA Ski Team rollerskiing this fall, and snow skiing from last year, too.  You can also seach using the name of your favorite UAA skier, and there will probably be a video of him/her in there somewhere...

Hatcher Pass Rollerski

Today was the day for a couple hours of easy uphill rollerskiing up Hatcher Pass. We kicked the skiers out of the vans at 732 feet of elevation at the bottom of the pass, and picked them up at the top of the pass at 3,083 feet of elevation. (That's about 715 meters of elevation gain, for our Euro readers.) Often, we're using our snow skis at Hatcher Pass at this time of year, but it looks like the snow is a coming a little later this year. It's cold enough for snow, though:

If the team's van driver wants to go rollerskiing with the team, he has to stash his rollerskis in the bushes at the bottom of the pass, drive to the top and park the van, get on his road bike, and start the day with about ten minutes of downhill riding - 50 miles per hour at 23 degrees F.  Warm clothes are recommended.

This must have been a "coachable moment"

It was starting to snow as we left Hatcher Pass

Vicious Verrier Time Trial

Friday was the day for the second annual VVTT. 5.8 km uphill. Approximately 930 feet of elevation gain. ~22 minutes for the men; ~27 minutes for the women. This is just the second year for the VVTT, so there were ample opportunities to break old records. The men's course record was broken. The women's course record remains from last year. Every single skier set a new personal record. Of course, half our team is new this year and hasn't done this time trial before. But all the same, new personal records for everyone - not bad!
The pavement was not very soft today.



John and Davis

Cara, Lukas, Brandon

Maya and Marine


Endess calculations...

Here's a video clip of the last minute of Karina's time trial:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good Day Sunshine

We're in the middle of an "intensity week", in which the focus is on hard, fast workouts.  Lots of heavy breathing, high heart rates, grimacing faces... Rollerskiing intervals on Monday, bounding with poles today, uphill rollerskiing time trial later this week.  Here's what we did today:

Karina and Brandon

Marine and Davis



Bears know a good interval hill when they find one.  This bear was probably hoping to join us for our workout, but got tired of waiting for us - we didn't arrive until around 9am.  It did its intervals and left before we got there.  
(By the way, I don't have tiny feet.  They're normal-size - 42)
In the afternoon, I flew to Kodiak Island to look at some houses.  Great timing!  Just when the sun finally comes out in Anchorage, I come down here to the land of rain and fog.  The previous 27 (3 days' worth) planes didn't make it into Kodiak due to bad weather.  The rain and fog lifted for an hour this afternoon for my plane to get in, then closed down again.  It's anyone's guess when I'll make it back out...
Anchorage this afternoon

Friday, October 5, 2012

Flattop Mountain

The training you need to do to be a fast cross-country skier is very different from the kind of training you need to do to be a fast alpine skier.  Therefore, although we're all on the same team and the success of the alpine team is critically important for the success of the cross-country team and vice versa, we don't get to actually train together very often.  When we're out rollerskiing, the alpine team may be out doing agility training, and when we're out running with ski poles, the alpine team may be doing power lifting.  But today the teams had a chance to train together.  The training venue was Flattop Mountain, overlooking Anchorage.  The hike up Flattop is the most popular hike in Alaska because of its proximity to Anchorage - a fifteen minute drive from downtown, as well as its relatively easy access to high alpine terrain with a good view over the city.  The view wasn't so great today, of course, because we're in the middle of the rainiest autumn in the history of the world.  Nevertheless, here's what it looked like:

Galen, Kayla, Viktor

Brew and Lasse

Alpine and Nordic teams.
 The cross-country team actually ended up climbing Flattop twice.  After climbing up the front side of the mountain, we went down over the back of the mountain to the bottom, and then back up the "back side of Flattop" again.

Brandon and Viktor nearing the top of Flattop for the second time, from the "back side".

As you can see, it wasn't getting any drier up there...