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Green Racing Project Blog

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…


 

Running in the Alps

17.Sep.2014 by Alex Schulz

Morgen!

Our stay in Ramsau so far has been nothing short of spectacular.  We have been hitting the training hard since arriving last Monday with some long runs, several hefty ski sessions up on the Dachstein glacier, and a little bounding workout in the mix as well.  The opportunity for running and exercise here in Ramsau is astounding.  There are trails all over town, connecting the local grocery store to the tallest peaks and everywhere in between.  In the afternoon of our second day here the guys crew went for a run out behind our house, choosing a trail at random and seeing where it would take us.

Heading up.

Heading up.

Near the top.  Note the trail we climbed switchbacking up on the left.

Near the top. Note the trail we climbed switchbacking up on the left.

After hitting 2164 meters in elevation, time to turn around and run home.

After hitting 2164 meters in elevation, time to turn around and run home.

Since that day the weather has taken an unfortunate turn for the worse.  We have been treated to a steady amount of rain, both down here in town and up on the glacier.  Still, a bit of rain and wind and cold is not enough to throw off our game, and the training has continued unabated and with enthusiasm.  The team went on a long cruise through the mountains this past Sunday, starting down the mountain range from town and looping up past the tram that takes us to the glacier, and eventually back to our house, close to four hours of running and hiking later.

Starting our journey into the foggy mountains with Ethan looking around apprehensively.

Starting our journey into the foggy mountains with Ethan looking around apprehensively.

The big man crossing a steep scree field.

The big man crossing a steep scree field.

Some of the crew descending out of a very foggy pass.

Some of the crew descending out of a very foggy pass.

Although wet, foggy, and at times pretty chilly, this long run was one of the better runs I have ever been on.  It’s hard not to enjoy running through the Alps, rain or shine.  Nowhere else have I encountered such dramatic and stunning terrain.  One particular highlight was rounding a corner on the trail and coming face to face with a large cow.  Said cow was looking pretty stubborn and unwilling to move until a friendly (and far more brave) fellow hiker came up the trail in the opposite direction and gave it a stout wallop on the rump with his umbrella and a loud “Hiyah!”.  The cow took off and our run continued.

The weather has cleared since Sunday and we have been treated to bright sun, blue skies, and warm temps.  Some of my fellow GRPers have already put of some updates about our day-trip to Salzburg and other from the past few days.  Keep checking back for more updates!

–  Alex

More Glacier Skiing Video!

16.Sep.2014 by Gordon Vermeer

Pepa has been hard at work tromping all over the glacier, filming the athletes, reviewing their technique, and compiling the best clips into video synopses. Enjoy these videos from a gorgeous day on the Dachstein!

She would also like everybody to know that because we are in Europe, the music selection on her iPad is limited.