Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Land of Love

The staff here at the UAA Nordic Ski Team Blog are nothing if not curious, and it is in this spirit of inquisitiveness that our cub reporter was sent to Colorado with the chairlift riders to see what happens on the alpine hill. It's the week of the annual preseason training camp in Summit County, Colorado, where skiers come from all over the world each November to prepare for the World Cup season, the Nor-Am season, and the NCAA season. Summit County's high altitude, cold nights and many ski areas concentrated within a small area make it an ideal place for ski racers worldwide to congregate for early season training on perfect (read man-made sheet of ice) snow. The team has spent the entire first part of the week at Loveland Ski Area, skiing at 11,000 feet.  Today the team moves to Copper Mountain for the final two days of training.

Assistant Coach Anna leading drills and giving instructions on day one on the hill.

Ski Ballet. 

"Morning Warm-up". Most days this week, this happens at 5am.  I'm not kidding.

Charley and Li

Setting giant slalom before sunrise.  Tamara McKinney was helping us out that morning.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you who Tamara McKinney is.

Sparky Anderson.  Here in his native habitat.

Setting up the timing system is a hands-on affair for Anna and Sparky.

Apparently, when you crash and slide into a GS gate at Mach 1, you get to take the imprint of the gate home with you as a souvenir.

Or, you can just ski GS the normal way, without crashes, and go home with bruises on the back of your arms anyway.

Or on your back, depending on how you ski your giant slalom.

Here's Martins, doing his thing.

Cruzer, the freshman.

Li, the freshman.

Georgia, the freshman

Mike, the freshman.

Li offered to take a break from tuning her skis and give Erik.

Everybody wanted in on the action.  Not sure if the masks were necessary, though.

Here's Charley, slaying it in giant slalom at Loveland:

Georgia and Alix, preparing dinner at the team house.


Charley Field.  The only reason this photo is here is because Chuck doesn't want it to be.


The Sheely's invited us over, as every year, for "Chili Night At The Sheely's" in Frisco. As always, we had a wonderful evening. Thank you Ross, Dana, and Miranda!

We came home from the Sheely's to find someone had driven their car into a telephone pole somewhere during the snowstorm and left us without power. I know it looks like the lights are on, but they're not.

As we'd lost heat for the night, Erik and Anna fired up the wood stove.

Video analysis beside the fire.

Our team house in Silverthorne.

Anna Berecz

Our final day on the hill. Waiting for the Italian National Team to leave.

Powder day at Copper!!!  But the last thing ski racers want is a powder day.  So the first thing they do after a snowstorm is hose down the ski hill.  Seems like such a shame...

Sparky explaining how to do it better.

After our last run of the the last day of camp.  Smiles all around.

Martins and me.

You couldn't really argue that Martins wasn't the winner of training camp, putting down fast runs all week.  Coming off last year's broken ankle, it's good to know he still knows how to ski.

Thanks to Utah's coach, Jaka, for taking this picture.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ski Swap Madness!

This was going to be a blog post about our annual Ski Swap fundraiser which is happening this weekend.  But I forgot to bring my camera to the ski swap. And photos of people haggling over skis aren't very exciting anyway. So instead of writing about the ski swap, I'll post a couple pictures of our training session at Hatcher Pass yesterday.



Marte again

Marine & Marte

Marine & Marte

Hannah's family is in town for a visit from Minneapolis. Craig and Kim mentioned the blog when I met them in the parking lot. Everyone knows the penalty for mentioning the blog is you have to be in the blog. So here's a picture of Hannah's dad, Craig, hanging out with Marine near the end of our workout.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


We went out yesterday and ran uphill for about an hour or so with our ski poles.



Von Messerschmitt
I need to interrupt this photo essay to say something about this workout.  It was Halloween, and Andrew somehow got it in his head that it would be appropriate to jump out of the brush at about the halfway point of the workout and scare the crap out of the Hewolves and Shewolves, in honor of the holiday. His first victim was Tracen and I swear that man just about crapped in his lycra.  It was so funny that I figured I'd better switch my camera over from "photo" mode to "video" mode to catch the next episode, because Tracen jumped so high and made so much noise that he even scared me - and I was just a witness.  But the next one to come down the trail was Jenna.

Related image
Fairbanks footwear

Jenna is from Fairbanks. Fairbanksans not afraid of anything. They take everything in stride. Take the cold, for example. It can be -78 degrees in Fairbanks and nobody even says a peep about it being cold. They just put on their leather mukluks, some fur mittens and an old beat-up parka and go about their business like it ain't no thang. Fairbanksans are the Alaskans that Anchorageites wish they were, but can never be.

So anyway, Andrew jumped out of the bushes again when Jenna came down the trail, but this time there was no easy target like Tracen.  Jenna didn't even flinch. She did jump off the trail, but that wasn't because she was startled. It was because she didn't want to collide with the coach. She was carrying ski poles without baskets, after all. Someone could have gotten hurt.

Hailey. And that's probably Hannah behind her.

Lupua and Andrew

Some bird.


On Powerline Pass.