Green Racing Project Blog Header Image
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center Logo
  • Concept2 SkiErg Logo
  • Podiumwear
  • Start Skiwaxes
  • Rudy Project
  • Ibex Outdoor Clothing
  • Mammut
  • Caldwell Sport
  • Sauce Headwear Logo

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

A Week of Falling Trees

15.Dec.2014 by Caitlin Patterson

The skiers returned from Montana to Craftsbury last week, on Tuesday, a day that also marked the beginning of a week of falling trees.  Tuesday morning or afternoon (I’m guessing, since I wasn’t actually here) it started to snow, and by the time we landed in Burlington at about 5pm, there was a thick coat of slushy wet slop on the ground with more falling.  During the drive to Craftsbury the precipitation turned decidedly more solid, but still wet and heavy, huge flakes and clumps of snow.  All of us were relieved to make it safely to Craftsbury, and we settled back into our house and fell asleep amid a continuation of the storm.

The next morning I remember waking up a bit of rain/sleet on the window, and noises of wind, but nonetheless a beautiful wintery landscape, complete with snow-pasted trees and deep banks of white.  As we prepared for a morning ski, an email message came through from Pepa informing us that there were many branches knocked down onto the trail and it would be great if we could help pick up some of them while out skiing.  From our house, nothing seemed particularly out of place, though the trees had an above average amount of snow coating branches and trunks.  However as soon as a few of my teammates and I entered the woods on our skis, it became apparent what the storm had been like – branches all over the place, big clumps of small sticks protruding from the middle of the trails like pins in a pincushion, and larger branches strewn about, and an occasional entire tree across the trail.  The groomers were only able to take the machines around a few of the small core-trail loops, and even that I’m sure took considerable clearing.  Beyond the few short loops of freshly groomed trails, all hands were on deck cleaning up the rest of trails.  Kaitlynn and I skied a few of the core trail loops, and then ventured out onto Ruthie’s Run, which took a record-long time to ski around, between the constant pick-up-sticks and ungroomed 8+ inches of snow with an icy and grabby top crust.  We counted big trees down on just Ruthie’s out and back trails – chainsaw-worthy trees – and our count reached 12 by the end, in addition to at least 15 small trees (actually mostly tree-tops), and at least 10 bent-over trees that would need to be cut or helped to straighten.

Andrew strides up an ungroomed hill on the first day after the big snow

Andrew strides up an ungroomed hill on the first day after the big snowstorm

Kaitlynn picking up sticks

Kaitlynn picking up sticks

Arches all over

Arches all over

As it turned out, it wasn’t the bit of wind that accompanied the original storm that caused most of the problems – it was the weight of the heavy, wet snow that coated all the trees.  Because Day One of major tree clean-up was followed by Day Two, and beyond… It seemed from reports that easily as many trees fell the night after the storm as the night of the storm – collapsing under the weight of the snow, tipped over the edge of their breaking points by more snow that continued to fall.  We’ve had intermittent power outages at the Outdoor Center and the GRP houses since Tuesday night. On the second major clean-up day, I joined the crew out on the trails for the afternoon, dragging branches and trees and picking up countless sticks. Ruthie’s Run had been completely cleared the day before, but we spent 3 hours with 7 people out clearing it again.

One of the chainsaw crews: Lucas Schulz, Eric Hanson, Alex Howe, Ben Dann

One of the chainsaw crews: Lucas Schulz, Eric Hanson, Alex Howe, Ben Dann

Trail clearing crew

Trail clearing crew

A Pisten Bully is useful for pushing trees out of the way and grooming as you go

A Pisten Bully is useful for pushing trees out of the way and grooming as you go

Another one

Another messy tree

View from the back of the Pisten Bully after the trail has been cleared

View from the back of the Pisten Bully after the trail has been cleared – it’s a little messy with tiny branches and bark left behind, but really nice skiing!

Thanks a ton to the grooming crew including Keith, Lucas, DJ, Eric Schulz, Eric Hanson and all of the GRP athletes and everyone else who put in hours and hours clearing the trails and making them skiable again so quickly! And for operating the generators when needed and keeping the Outdoor Center going!

The rate of trees falling seems to be finally declining, and hopefully we’re nearing the end of power outages too, here a week after the storm. It’s still wise to be a little bit extra cautious on the trails when rounding blind corners, you never know what might have fallen down since the last time you skied the trails!

Kaitlynn skating during one of our distance skis on Sam's Run

Kaitlynn skating during one of our distance skis on Sam’s Run

After a relatively uneventful ski, 4-5 days after the storm, we came across this 14+ tree pile-up

After a relatively uneventful ski, 4-5 days after the storm, we came across this 14+ tree pile-up

Completely uprooted!

Completely uprooted!

Candlelit evenings with no power, but not quite device-less...

Candlelit evenings with no power, but not quite device-less…  (In which I happened to be reading about Powerlessness, apparently!)

Wintery landscapes

Wintery landscapes

Icy trees

Icy trees

Throwback to Montana - we haven't seen much sun in Craftsbury, but wintery snowy landscapes make me almost as happy as sunshine and the smiling faces of my teammates!

Throwback to the women’s team in West Yellowstone, Montana – we haven’t seen much sun in Craftsbury, but wintery, snowy landscapes make me almost as happy as sunshine and the smiling faces of my teammates! This week has been a bit unusual, but I’ve actually enjoyed it, and we fit in lots of great training sessions!

Awesome wax techs Bryan Cook, Nick Brown, Brayton Osgood (L to R) in sunny Bozeman, where they nailed kick and glide two days in a row! Thanks guys!

And one more photo from Montana! Awesome wax techs Bryan Cook, Nick Brown, Brayton Osgood (L to R) in sunny Bozeman, where they nailed kick and glide for our classic race weekend! Thanks guys!

Icy trees

Bozeman SuperTour Photo Update

14.Dec.2014 by Liz Guiney

It’s been a little while since the Bozeman SuperTour races wrapped up last weekend, but I have a bunch of good pictures from the races that I wanted to share, so I figured it’s never too late for a post!

The GRP skiers raced a classic sprint and a 10k/15k mass start in Bozeman. Conditions on the course slightly resembled an ice rink: warm temperatures during the day and freezing overnight made for some scary downhills on the twisty-turn-y course. Luckily, it also made for really nice klister skiing, and our 3 wax techs for the weekend, Nick Brown, Bryan Cook, and Brayton Osgood gave us fantastic skis for both days. Thanks guys! It was great to be skiing in the sunshine and mountains, even if we did have to practice our best alpine turning techniques.

Check out our website for full race reports and results from the weekend, but highlights were Caitlin Patterson’s 3rd place in the classic sprint (and her first SuperTour podium of the year!), Kaitlynn Miller’s 5th place sprint qualifier, Caitlin P’s 4th place in the 10k, and the fact that the GRP women were all in the top 10 both days! The top men’s result of the weekend was Gordon Vermeer’s 15th in the sprint.

The skiers are now back in Craftsbury and enjoying the new snow, but also have been without power for a while due to the crazy storm and downed trees! Next up on the race docket: the opening Eastern Cup at Rikert in Middlebury. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the pictures!

Showing off our green post-classic sprint

Showing off our green post-classic sprint

 

Mass start mayhem

Mass start mayhem (Photo Anya Bean)

 

Cresting the hill in the 10k classic

Cresting the hill in the 10k classic (Photo Anya Bean)

 

Kaitlynn Miller putting the hammer down on her 9th place finish

Kaitlynn Miller putting the hammer down on her 9th place finish (photo Anya Bean)

 

Caitlin, me, and Kaitlynn getting ready to cheer on the guys in the 15k

Caitlin, me, and Kaitlynn getting ready to cheer on the guys in the 15k 

 

Gordon heading up the first hill...

Gordon heading up the first hill with Alex Howe hot in pursuit (photo Anya Bean)

 

Andrew Dougherty on his last lap. It got a little slick for the guys near the end, and most of them were herring-boning on this hill

Andrew Dougherty on his last lap. It got a little slick for the guys near the end, and most of them were herring-boning on this hill (photo Anya Bean)

 

Gordon again, must have been having a photogenic day!

Gordon again, must have been having a photogenic day! (Photo Anya Bean)

Canmore Races

9.Dec.2014 by Mike Gibson

15973553805_ab830d501e_oAfter a long training season and a few cold induced cancellations, our racing season began! But first, let me back up a little.

The first weekend was full of canceled races due to the bitter cold, and it left a few of us a little bitter ourselves.  Never the less, Monday rolled around, and with temperatures warmer (but just barely) Eth and I tried to put in a good speed session.  With cold, slow, squeaky snow – it turned into a brutal workout.   As we were driving away, we caught a glimpse of someone throwing explosives from a helicopter to set off avalanches.  So that was pretty sweet. Wednesday, we all (CGRP, MWSC, USBA X/B/D team) piled into cars and drove into Banff National Park to ski at Moraine Lake. Our car thermometer said it was -24 C when we started.  I was under dressed.

IMG_0792

It’s not much more than a groomed access road, but makes for some fantastic classic skiing.  Yes, biathletes still like to classic ski.IMG_0797 At the end of the grooming, there was a sign warning us about avalanche danger ahead.  We decided it wasn’t worth testing out.

IMG_0264

This is Lake Louise.  It’s just up the road from the trail, has a gorgeous hotel where we changed, and -most importantly- sells coffee and hot chocolate.   Somewhere inside, sitting on a radiator, drinking a cup of coffee, I started to thaw.

Which brings us to the weekend.

First Sprint 2014

Temperatures warmed up to just around freezing, and the races went off without a hitch.  Saturday, Eth and I did a 10k sprint.  Neither of us felt great, but I had a fun time pushing against Casey (pictured above).  He is skiing well, and I struggled to keep in contact with him.

IMG_0813

Sunday was warm and sunny.  This is a picture of people zeroing their rifles before the race.  Ok, it’s mostly a picture of cool mountains.

The picture up at the beginning, and the race pictures were taken by Jacob Ellingson. Check out some more photos here. If you want.

Sunday was a 15k Mass Start, which was interesting because there is a new format for starting this year.  As the photo at the top depicts, there are three lanes of skiers, and we can start skiing immediately. Gone are the days of the double pole start.

15972876785_3d26a863cd_k

Here is Ethan leaving the range.
15787194097_c45881f5cb_k

And here I am, leaving the range and catching up to MWSC athlete Brian.

Eth and I both wish we were higher up the results, but also agree that this was a really fun race.  The whole field was pretty close, and he and I skied together and fought it out on the last two laps.

15973479892_d4dee35f42_zseth

Both of us owe a huge thanks to these guys.  Seth (Maine Winter Sports Center) kind of adopted us for the two weeks.  He helped us get two and from the venue, zero rifles, and in general was our foster coach. I tried, but couldn’t keep Travis (National Guard Biathlon) from helping us with our skis. Thanks guys.

We just got to Grand Rapids, MN, met up with Liz and Miro, settled in, and did some much needed laundry.  Next up, IBU Cup trials!

 

 

‘Tis the Season

5.Dec.2014 by Clare Egan

The racing season, of course! I am in Canmore, Alberta for my first biathlon races of the season. Since trials in October, I survived enough cold, rainy training days to fulfill my lifetime quota, and now I am enjoying some much-needed western sunshine. This is my second trip to Canmore, and first for racing. I came with the GRP two years ago for an October training trip on the “Frozen Thunder” man-made snow loop. Canmore is a sunny place, but very cold. It has been in the single-digits since I arrived last Sunday days ago, which I am viewing as acclimatization for my next racing destination: northern Minnesota.

Yesterday we took a trip into Banff National Park, where we skied on Moraine Lake Road. The road is closed in winter except to skier traffic, and it is lined with tall, snow-covered pines. There is a moraine lake at the end, but I’ve never made it all the way there. There are continuous gorgeous views of the Canadian Rockies, including this one featuring the Lake Louise alpine World Cup venue:

And here is a picture of Lake Louise, covered in snow:

Find info and results for the NorAm races this Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7, here.