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Green Racing Project Blog

All Quiet on the Western Front

18.Oct.2014 by Liz Guiney

 

But not anymore!

Caitlin, Ida and I are currently in Park City, UT joining the USST for their annual fall altitude training camp. Tomorrow is actually the last day of the camp, so we’ve pretty much done a terrible job of keeping you updated thus far. This is mostly because I haven’t taken many pictures during the camp, but also because it’s been surprisingly busy staying on top of 2 training sessions a day, catching up with our favorite skier friends, and seeing family and friends. I decided to just steal some photos from other sources to get something up on the web (thanks guys, don’t worry, credit is given in all the captions).

It has been an incredibly productive camp in PC. We’ve managed to squeeze in 2 speed sessions, 2 level 3 workouts, one hammer-sesh bounding workout, a time trial, 3 marathon strength sessions, and a couple of OD’s and distance workouts, all in a 10 day span! We also took to the trails for a mountain bike adventure, which ended abruptly when my seat fell off my bike. Oops. But overall the quality of both the training and the training partners has been fantastic, and we’re really glad to have made the trip out here. Also thanks to my Mom for putting up Caitlin and I during the duration of the camp! Okay, without further ado, here are some of the top photos from the camp.

 

Day one of the camp, an OD classic roll up American Fork Canyon to the base of Timpanogos, also one of the more beautiful places I've ever skied. Tired here, but happy to be skiing with friends new and old! (Photo USSA Nordic)

Day one of the camp, an OD classic roll up American Fork Canyon to the base of Timpanogos, also one of the more beautiful places I’ve ever skied. Tired from travel here, but happy to be skiing with friends old and new! I’m second from the back, in bright yellow (Photo USSA Nordic)

 

Day two- skate speeds in a parking lot near the COE. Here's the women's group getting instructions before the start. There are some quick ladies here at this camp. (Photo USSA Nordic)

Day two- skate speeds in a parking lot near the COE. Here’s the women’s group getting instructions before the start. Head-to-head starts and finishes are the best way to work on pure, raw speed (Photo USSA Nordic)

 

Day four- a 3.5 hour run on Mid Mountain Trail, one of my favorites in Park City. Awesome running buddies made this session go by as quickly as 3.5 hours of running can... (Photo Jennie Bender)

Day four- a 3.5 hour run on Mid Mountain Trail, one of my favorites in Park City. Awesome running buddies made this session go by as quickly as 3.5 hours of running can… (Photo Jennie Bender)

 

Same day- a little further down the trail. It's past peak foliage here, but there are still some vibrant stands of aspens up high.

Same day- a little further down the trail. It’s past peak foliage here, but there are still some vibrant stands of aspens up high. This one I actually took!

 

Day seven- the best clubs in the US unite for a distance ski up Wolf Creek Pass. APU +Craftsbury + SMS-T2 + SVSEF+ BSF = so many fast skiers!

Day seven- the best clubs in the US unite for a distance ski up Wolf Creek Pass. APU +Craftsbury + SMS-T2 + SVSEF+ BSF = so many strong skiers! (Photo Jennie Bender)

 

Day nine- Caitlin and I hit our culinary stride with this masterpiece. Sweet potato gnocchi and antelope meatballs with a side of asparagus. Lots of training = hungry skiers

Day nine- Caitlin and I hit our culinary stride with this masterpiece. Sweet potato gnocchi and antelope meatballs with a side of asparagus. Lots of training = hungry skiers

 

And finally, day ten! L3 Classic intervals up East Canyon, some of the nicest classic terrain around. Here we are warming up with the T2 and Sun Valley ladies (Photo Jennie Bender)

And finally, day ten! L3 Classic intervals up East Canyon, some of the nicest classic terrain around. Here we are warming up with the T2 and Sun Valley ladies (Photo Jennie Bender)

 

Double poling and practicing drafting on some of the flats on East Canyon (Photo Pat O'Brien)

Double poling and practicing drafting on some of the flats on East Canyon. I’m third in this train (Photo Pat O’Brien)

 

Tucking in behind Erika Flowers and Annie Pokorny of SMS-T2 near the top. These two are fantastic classic striders and I was happy to be able to follow them for much of this workout (Photo Pat O'Brien)

Tucking in behind Erika Flowers and Annie Pokorny of SMS-T2 near the top. These two are fantastic classic striders and I was happy to be able to follow them for much of the workout (Photo Pat O’Brien)

 

So what’s next? Caitlin and I will stay in Park City for a few more days and get in some fun (and hopefully uneventful) mountain biking and hiking before heading back East (Caitlin) and to Bozeman (me) for a quick visit. We’ll be back in Craftsbury soon though to get in our final prep work before the season starts in November. Ida will head to Frozen Thunder in Canmore and get some on-snow time before she returns to Craftsbury in late October.

Many thanks to the USST for inviting us out to this camp and providing awesome training opportunities. Also thanks to Pat O’Brien, SMS-T2 coach, and Colin Rodgers from SVSEF for adopting us for a a few workouts and taking video and giving shuttles, even though they had their own athletes to worry about. We really appreciate it, and it makes it much easier to be out here without a coach!

More Glacier Skiing

25.Sep.2014 by Kaitlynn Miller

Here is a video from yesterday’s classic distance ski. In addition to skiing footage, it also includes some well-integrated scenic clips. In my opinion it was the best day on the glacier so far. We were treated to a clear sky, fresh powder, and hard wax conditions. I didn’t want to stop skiing!

However, the weather on the glacier is extremely changeable and today the conditions were less ideal. We’ve been taking the first tram up to the glacier in the morning (around 7:45am). When we showed up at the tram station this morning the recorded wind speed at the top was 58 km/hour. Earlier this week we had experienced 43 km/hour wind which was rather unpleasant so we decided to switch our morning and afternoon workouts and try skiing in the afternoon instead. The wind had subsided substantially when we returned to the tram station in the afternoon and we decided to go for it. We were the only ones on the glacier when we first arrived. It was sleeting and the visibility was extremely poor which made following the serpentines difficult. I had to keep one foot in the track on the downhills to ensure I didn’t ski off the trail and the light was so flat that I kept loosing my balance. Despite the suboptimal weather, the skiing was quite good and the conditions lent a sense of adventure to the workout. As we were skiing, the wind picked up and the recently groomed tracks began to fill with snow which made following the trail even more difficult. Liz and I skied together and took turns leading.  We also each took a turn skiing into a snow bank because we couldn’t see the trail!  We all decided to implement the buddy system this afternoon to ensure that no one got lost or left behind.

Very low visibility!

Very low visibility!

 

Pepa sharing some pre-workout advice

Pepa sharing some pre-workout advice

This photo really captures what the views from the glacier today

This really captures the views from the glacier today.  If you look closely at the center of the photo you can discern some very faint figures.

Tomorrow will be our final day in Austria and our last time skiing on the glacier. It’s forecasted to be clear, but you never know what the weather will do!

 

Adventure OD Day

20.Sep.2014 by Liz Guiney

When you wake up to this, you know it’s gonna be a good day!

Doesn't get much better than this!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Today the GRP skiers had a long OD in the morning with multiple options. We were all planning to ski up at the Dachstein in the morning, so we headed up the tram bright and early. However, we’ve found that the quality of a ski workout up there quickly drops off after 2 or 2.5 hours, mostly due to the altitude and the track breaking down to slush. So we all planned to add some distance in with running. One group took the tram down and ran from there to the base station, an 1 hour descent to the valley floor. Another group came up with an even more adventure-some plan: to send our skis and gear down with some of our really nice teammates (thanks guys!) and then venture off the glacier and pick a route around the tallest mountains, eventually ending at the house. We weren’t sure exactly what we would encounter on the trail, or how long it would take, but that’s why they call it an adventure, right?

Tram cables heading up into the mist

Tram cables heading up into the mist

Once we got up to the glacier, Kait Miller and I couldn’t resist heading up the mountaineering trail above the usual groomed trails. We had a tough 15 min climb, but were rewarded with awesome views, a freshly groomed track, a sweet hut tucked into the cliff face, and a ripping downhill!

Skiing up the mountaineering trails, with hikers in the background

Skiing up the mountaineering trails, with hikers in the background

 

Dizzying heights. A 3,000 ft drop-off to the base of the tram

Dizzying heights. A 3,000 ft drop-off to the base of the tram

 

Most of the big mountains around here have big crosses on top, which only adds the picturesque beauty. Here's Kait soaking it in

Most of the big mountains around here have big crosses on top, which only adds the picturesque beauty. Here’s Kait soaking it in

 

Cliff face? Sure, seems like a good place to build a hut

Cliff face? Sure, seems like a good place to build a hut

 

The regular ski trails down below. If you look really closely, there are some skier ants way down there!

The regular ski trails down below. If you look really closely, there are some skier ants way down there!

We then did a few laps on the trail, and then laced up our running shoes. The first bit of the hike was the most exciting. In this part of the world there are normal hiking trails and then there are “Kletterstieg” routes, more commonly known in Italian as via ferrata. These consist of steel cables and iron ladders built into the rock face, and can make serious mountaineering routes more accessible. The real way to do a via ferrata route is with a harness and two bungee cords that clip into the cables. We ran into a little bit of via ferrata on our way down, but luckily it was all really easy, nothing that required special equipment.

Steel cables to help with the climb down

Steel cables to help with the climb down

 

This is some serious Klettersteig, nothing like what we attempted. This one comes straight up the cliff face and ends at the hut on top of the glacier

This is some serious Klettersteig, nothing like what we attempted. This one comes straight up the cliff face and ends at the hut on top of the glacier

 

Looking back towards the lower glacier trails

Looking back towards the lower glacier trails

Once we got below the lowest lift tower of the glacier, we had a great running traverse ahead of us. The landscape started out looking just like the moon, with no vegetation in sight. Gradually we reached mossier sections of the trail, and finally saw the mountain pass we needed to cross in order to get down to Ramsau.

Rugged terrain, but the worst of the descending was still to come!

Rugged terrain, but the worst of the descending was still to come!

 

Ladies enjoying the day

Ladies enjoying the day

 

Luckily for us, the entire trail was well marked with Austrian flag blazes. If you see a flag, you know you're on the right path

Luckily for us, the entire trail was well marked with Austrian flag blazes. If you see a flag, you know you’re on the right path

 

Dramatic peaks in all directions

Dramatic peaks in all directions

 

This way to the Guttenberghaus!

This way to the Guttenberghaus!

 

Here's a game, find the GRP skiers behind the giant cairn!

Here’s a game, find the GRP skiers behind the giant cairn!

 

Can't get enough of these mountains..

Can’t get enough of these mountains..

 

Beautiful

Beautiful

 

Moonscape

Moonscape

Our mountain destination was the Guttenberghaus, a high-altitude hut tucked into the pass above Ramsau. There are huts like this dotted all over the hillsides around here, and they all seem to serve food, coffee, and most importantly, beer! The treckers around here don’t have to carry much with them when they can restock at every hut along the way.

DAS Guttenberghaus!

DAS Guttenberghaus!

At this point in the hike, it was just myself, Caitlin Patterson, Kait Miller and Nick Brown, our wax tech. We could see the Guttenberghaus, but we could also see a nearby peak, Mt. Sinabell, that looked temptingly close. Turned out the opportunity was too good to pass up on such a nice day, so the girls quickly hit the top and enjoyed the views of the valley and the surrounding alps.

But Mt. Sinabell drew us upwards instead

Mt. Sinabell drew us upwards

 

We had one more climb in our legs

We had one more climb in our legs

 

And we made it! Looking down towards Ramsau from the top

And we made it! Looking down towards Ramsau from the top

 

A high-altitude mountain top pasture on Mt. Sinabell

A high-altitude mountain top pasture on Mt. Sinabell

 

We found this little guy with his black sheep mama hanging out on top

We found this little guy with his black sheep mama hanging out on top

 

Successful day all-around! Psyched to be here enjoying the awesome training, beautiful scenery, and great company.

Successful day all-around! Psyched to be here enjoying the awesome training, beautiful scenery, and great company.

It was a long descent from there down to the valley floor, and we had to dodge hikers, overcome rolled ankles, and fight off the “burning quad” feeling, but we eventually turned up in the driveway of our house, extremely tired, hungry, and happy to be be done after almost 5 hours in the books. Now my watch and my body are both telling me it’s time for some recovery, so we’ll take tomorrow off before finishing up the last week of camp.

OUCH

OUCH

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more updates during our final week here.

Bluebird days in Ramsau

18.Sep.2014 by Pete Hegman

After some rainy days on the glacier we caught a break and were treated to blue skies, sun and perfect skiing! The skiing has been unbelievable the last few days, and despite the warm t-shirt weather the tracks have been hard and have been holding up throughout the day. We skated yesterday and classic skied this morning…Below are some photos!

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View from the top of the alpine slopes, We have to walk down a little to get to the nordic track

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Another look at the alpine slopes

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Early morning, we have been taking the first tram up with most of the skiers, the groomer is usually about half way around the glacier when we start skiing

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A look up the glacier

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Incredible skiing! Doesn’t get much better than this!

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Mike towards the bottom of the Glacier

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Rossi bros side by side

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No shirt and vest kinda day

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Andy goes full red!

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Caitlin ripping around the glacier!

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Liz climbs back up from the bottom of the glacier

 

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If you can believe it, we actually did not plan our outfits….

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Caitlin followed by Nick (our wax tech)

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Wow wow wow

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Waxing was a little tough today but everyone found some good skis and got some good skiing in!

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Klister days

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Heading back up to the tram after a good days work!

 

And last but not least, Pepa’s famous training videos from yesterday and today…