|Just like in XC skiing, rudimentary drills are necessary at the start of the season.|
Everyone knows that alpine skiers like to do their sport on a tilted sheet of boilerplate ice. Powder days? No thank you. If it does snow, they plow the new snow off to the side so they can get back down to the ice again, and they ski on that. In alpine ski racing, they call that sheet of ice a "good surface".
|Ski lessons are in session.|
It started snowing heavily in Anchorage last week, and now we're in the midst of setting a new all-time November record for snowfall in Anchorage. Several feet of snow now clog Anchorage's roads and provide dreamy ski conditions on our nordic ski trails. But we UAA alpiners knew immediately what to do last week when we saw all that snow coming. We loaded up the trucks and drove to a place without any snow on the ground. And so here we are in our secret fall training spot, without any of the school closures and piles of snow that are causing all the trouble in Anchorage, as they struggle to get the snow plowed and reopen schools and businesses.
It doesn't matter that our secret training location doesn't have more than around an inch or two of snow on the ground. There is snowmaking here, and our team is raving about the "good surface" at the ski hill. As every year, we continue to say that this is the best place for us to spend the second half of November. Several of our athletes are reporting significant improvements in their skiing so far this week, and they're attributing it, in part, to the quality of the skiing here.
As for me, I'm having a great time, and thankful that the alpine skiers and coaches agreed to let me come along with them again to our secret fall training spot in the Klondike.
|Sparky Anderson and Carmen Nielssen.|