On the first Sunday of October, a big crew of COC staff headed down to Hardwick for an afternoon Bike Festival. Held at Atkin’s Field, the site of Hardwick’s newly built biking pump track, the Festival was primarily a kids’ biking skills clinic. The coaches and participants had a great time riding around the skills features and pump track, before heading out for a brief trail ride at the end. Check out the gallery below for images from the day.
Craftsbury Outdoor Center Blog
Meet Nick Brown, the GRP wax tech/ski guru for the Nordic ski and Biathlon teams. The interview and article was written by Hallie Grossman and photos were taken by Caitlin Patterson, both members of the GRP ski team
Nick Brown is the GRP ski team’s wax tech and ski guru. Nick has been working with the skiers full time for four years now, and on-and- off before that. When the team is on the road, Nick is there too, whether to local Eastern Cup races or to World Cups. Last year he split his time between domestic races and World Cups, including going to Europe to support Caitlin and to Canada with Kait. Nick is a waxing extraordinaire and has the ability to make really good skis for us regardless of the conditions, which is a huge part of a successful ski race.
Nick grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire, before moving West. He currently spends a substantial part of the year in Colorado, but is constantly working on GRP projects. Keeping up with suppliers, placing equipment orders, and planning logistics is a year round task. He also helps his partner, Sara, with her garden design and maintenance business. When not engaged in GRP or garden duties, or waxing skis, Nick likes “picking skis. Or testing wax.” Or putting that all aside, he likes to cook, fly fish and explore in the mountains. When we go to Europe for our annual fall training trip, he is sure to have his via ferrata-ing gear with him, showing how game he is for all adventures.
Before coming to Craftsbury, where “Pepa,” was the reason for his return East, Nick worked at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. He was part of the math department and lived in the dorms, while spending time outdoors leading backpacking trips and coaching cycling and skiing. Along this vein, Nick noted that he isn’t certain what unites the various work that he done and continues to do, but that he likes “working to remove barriers so people can excel and/ or find open doors.” This fits nicely with what Nick likes most about his job with the GRP: “work hard to help people be their best.” This is evident in everything that Nick does. He constantly strives to make us better athletes and people in general, always lending a hand with skis and a listening ear to whatever we are talking about, whether skiing related or not.
Last May, a bunch of GRP ladies helped with two mushroom projects. One was constructing a bed of hardwood chips, mushroom sawdust spawn, and straw for the King Stropharia also known as wine cap. Last week, the bed produced a few mushrooms. Very exciting!
The other project was inoculating logs with spawn of shitake, mahogany and oyster mushrooms. The logs at HP are definitely full of mycelium, but not fruiting yet. Amy/Eric and Pam/Bill also inoculated many logs at their places in Johnson and mushrooms are sprouting. We check the logs at HP almost every day…
It’s Harvest season at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center! Amy Schulz and Pam Japsersohn, the Center’s Farm and Garden Gurus, have been assisted by Katie Black and Andrea Carpentier at this busy time of the year. Winter squash, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, melons, eggplants, and many other vegetables are all grown at the Center and feed its guests year-round. This year, Pam and Amy also experimented with growing mushrooms at Hosmer Point early last spring. Excerpts below are from Amy Schulz:
“Friday, September 23rd, a few of the staff did a cross fit session at Ruthie’s. The forecast was for freezing temps on Saturday. So, rain or shine, the million pounds of winter squash and pumpkins had to be harvested! To say nothing of the peppers, and the last of the melons.”
How many miles of carrying a 40 lb bin of squash did Andrea do? That would be 4 miles. Yes, 4 miles. Pam, Katie and Amy had to work hard to keep up!
Last Sunday, a group of Craftsbury juniors made the trek to Stowe to compete in the annual Race to the Top of Vermont. The race winds its way up the Toll Road on Mt. Mansfield, gaining over 2500 vertical feet in the course of 4.3 miles. It’s an uphill course that tests the determination of even the fittest competitor.
The Craftsbury juniors had awesome results in both the bike and run categories, taking many top honors in their respective age groups. In the 14 and under male run category, Bjorn Westervelt took first place in a time of 44:43, which put him in 23rd place overall! Brian Bushey took 2nd in 14 and under, and Cormac Leahy took 4th. In the 15 to 19 male age group, Matthew Lawlor took 4th place, and 16th overall.
In the 14 and under male bike category, Craftsbury swept the podium, with Trey Jones taking the win and 47th place overall, followed by David Moody in 2nd, and Trey’s brother Owen Jones in 3rd. Alan Moody and Sage Grossi finished 5th and 6th.
Enjoy some photos from the day!
Editor’s note: Last month, Craftsbury junior skiers Phoebe Sweet and Callie Young attended the National U16 Training Camp at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Here’s an account of their travels and a few photos, too.
During the last week of July, we attended the National U16 camp in Duluth, Minnesota along with nine other New England skiers and about 40 other U16s from all around the country. To qualify for this camp you must be ranked top 20 in the country from your results at Junior Nationals. Each region gets a discretionary boy and girl pick as well. The week started for us with a fun afternoon shopping and overnight in Boston then an early morning to catch our 7:00 flight. After the flight and a long shuttle ride, (made bearable by a stop at an awesome bakery) we arrived at the St. Scholastica college campus to get settled in for the week.
The first day we had an easy skate roller skiing workout where we focused on technique followed by a tough strength test in the afternoon making us sore for many days to come. The next day we hopped in vans and headed to Spirit Mountain for a challenging uphill run rest. The test was difficult but Minnesota’s mountains are quite different from those we are used to here in Vermont! Even driving to the highest mountain nearby, the ~1.7 mile course contained more flat sections than we are used to at Elmore. The following day we headed to a bike path north of Duluth to classic ski with a focus on double poling. The workout included a technique station and some speeds where we had the opportunity to go head to head with new people. It was really cool to do speeds against people we will be competing with next winter at JNs! The second workout of the day was agility and coordination drills lead by U.S ski team development coach Bryan Fish followed by a fun afternoon of field games and tug of war. A favorite workout for both of us was a skate sprint simulation where we raced an untimed prelim, then self seeded ourselves into heats where we raced against two other athletes we may not have gone head to head with before.
Some more relaxing afternoons included cliff jumping in Lake Superior, paddle boarding, and exploring downtown Duluth. Nearly every evening we had presentations on topics ranging from basic trainings strategies, collegiate skiing, and even a presentation from Jessie Diggins. It was very cool to have Jessie come for a day! She joined a roller ski and gave an evening talk about her experiences racing from Junior Nationals up to the World Cup. She emphasized how much of a role psychology plays in how fast you can go in a race which is definitely something we will both be thinking about going into next race season! The week as a whole was an awesome experience training in a new place, meeting new people, and learning more about our sport.
Our Hilltop Cabins are now open! We’re excited to share these new accommodations with Craftsbury Outdoor Center guests. Enjoy the gallery below, which showcases the insides and outsides of the cabins.
Sunday dawned cool and clear, a perfect day to run as fast as possible up a steep hill. Twelve members of the masters crew (including a few first timers!) took to the slopes of West Hill for the second time trial of the year.
Every runner who ran in June improved on their previous mark for the year. Of the returning runners, five set new personal bests. Congrats to Judy, Patrick, Sung-Hee, Lindy, and Linda (and props to Dick who was 5 seconds off his best time). Special thanks goes out to the GRP’s Mary O’Connell for assisting with timing.
|Runner||.6mi Time||1.1mi Time|
|Ken Walker (no poles)||8:18||14:17|
In early June, Mia Zutter was named to the US Paralympic Development Team. Mia is a 16 year old visually impaired skier from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. This young athlete came to Craftsbury in January to compete in the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Nordic Skiing Continental Cup and US Paralympics Nationals. I had the opportunity to ski with Mia as her guide in two of the races: a classic sprint and a biathlon race. Two other Craftsbury community members, Linda Ramsdell and Peter Harris, were also Mia’s guides. The responsibility of the guide is to provide verbal direction to the skier as they navigate the course. Mia has limited peripheral vision, so our job was primarily to warn her about things directly in front of her, such as a classic track coming to an end.
Throughout the entire week of racing, Mia was consistently near or at the top of her race category. Her exemplary performance in Craftsbury, as well as the potential that the National Team coaches saw in her, qualified her to compete at a World Cup test event in Finesterau, Germany in late February. In addition to racing at the World Cup, Mia continued to do well on the Wisconsin high school circuit. Due to her strong results on international stage, Mia earned a spot on the US Paralympic Development team. Next year is a big year for the team, including World Championships and Olympic test events, as well as World Cups in Finland, Ukraine, and Japan.
Being a guide was a completely new experience for me. As a junior, I saw sit ski athletes racing in Rumford, Maine during Senior Nationals but that was the extent to which I had been exposed to Paralympic racing. When the IPC races were set to come to Craftsbury, I planned on being part of the timing crew for the week of racing. This seemed like a big enough responsibility, being a back up timer for a national championship! On the second day of racing, some scheduling conflicts pulled one of Mia’s guides away from skiing with her, and one of the US Team coaches, BethAnn, asked if I would like to ski with Mia. The race was the next day, so I didn’t have much time to think about the task that lay ahead – if I had, I certainly would have been more nervous. The first race I did with Mia was a classic sprint. We skied together for about a half hour before the race began, with BethAnn in tow to make sure everything was running smoothly. BethAnn provided pertinent coaching for both Mia and me in the short amount of time we spent skiing together.
In the same fashion as any cross-country sprint race, there are multiple rounds of racing, but due to the limited field size of these races, Mia did a qualifying round then proceeded directly to the final. Throughout the race, I had to be alert to the other skiers around us, terrain changes, and track changes. I spoke through a microphone with a speaker attached to my back for Mia to hear.
Near the end of the final, my enthusiasm and cheering got the best of me when we almost passed the competitor ahead of us and I temporarily paused my verbal instructions and it was all replaced by cheering. I apologized to Mia afterward, but she graciously assured me that it really was okay.
Friday brought the next day of racing: biathlon. Both Mia and I were complete biathlon novices. Visually impaired athletes shoot with an auditory rifle, where the tone of the beep changes when they are on target. This was a biathlon sprint race, so racers skied a loop, shot once, skied another loop, shot once more, then skied one final loop. As with all biathlon sprints, this race was 7.5k, which was Mia’s longest race to date. This made the race an entirely new experience for Mia, as pacing became a much larger part of the game, as well as shooting.
Being a guide for Mia was yet another reminder to me about the multifaceted aspects of the ski world, as well as the welcoming nature of the Craftsbury community. It was amazing to see so many community members come out and cheer on these high caliber athletes as they challenged both themselves and each other. Though I was only there for a small blip in Mia’s ski career, I am immensely proud of what she has done thus far and can’t wait to see what she does in the future, especially as a newly minted member of the US Paralympic team.
This past week kicked off the 2016 summer training season for the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club masters group. After easing in Wednesday with a light version of our traditional circuit strength, the crew assembled at the foot of West Hill Road this morning for the year’s first pole running time trial. We had our largest group yet. Results are below:
|Runner||.6mi Time||1.1mi Time|
|Carol Van Dyke||8:35||15:05|
|Gina Campolli (bike)||n/a||13:05|