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Archive for September, 2010

Why I Love Skiing

29.Sep.2010 by Hannah Dreissigacker

One sunny day in New Zealand we put on lots of sunblock, grabbed our skate skis and headed for the hills. We headed for the farthest-out point on the Snowfarm trail system, paralleling the groomed trail to stay out where the perfectly-smooth crust hadn’t been defaced by the groomer.  Soon we were out in the backcountry, climbing steadily up rolling white hills of crust. It was an almost hour-long climb, steep at times, and my legs were still sore to the touch from a hike a few days before, but the draw of “the top” was irresistible.

Soon we were at the top of Mt. Pisa, with a 360 degree view that made me want to shout and sing and dance a little jig on my skis! But instead I just ate some cookie and then took off. Now we were in a playground of perfect rolling white hills studded with huge outlandish rock outcroppings. You could ski anywhere (except preferably not off the cliffs to the east), and you could go FAST. There were endless interesting rocks to circumnavigate, natural jumps to test out, and perfect lines to take.  Over every hill was another smooth white hill. I decided that if there were a heaven, this is what it would be like!  This was nordic skiing in it’s purest form–no grooming or trails necessary, and no better way to travel than on a pair of skate skis.

After 3 hours of this tomfoolery, we had used up our cookie supply and our water supply, and started the cruise back down off of the ridge. The sun had softened the crust to make for perfect turning conditions, and I pretended I was in a slalom race.  Soon we hit a trail, and begrudgingly headed back to civilization.  I’m pretty sure it was the best ski of my life.

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Wheee!

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Wahoo!

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These days, my transition back to Pepa’s regimented training plan is going about as would be expected.  She says that I have to do lots of extra speed and strength work to catch up, and I know she’s right.  But thats fine with me–it was totally worth getting a bit behind to remind myself of why I love to ski!

Rollerski uh-ohs

26.Sep.2010 by Patrick O'Brien

I normally don’t tend to break too much ski equipment but recently though I have been going through a streak of bad luck. My faithful old pair of V-2 920’s that I got in high school finally broke in spectacular fashion. While doing striding speeds one workout I managed to rip the front wheel completely off the plastic fork mid stride. Needless to say I was taken a bit by surprise but managed to stave off a nasty crash and the shame of yard sailing in front of some kids on razor scooters and BMX bikes. I only started to get a little grumpy when I did the same thing to two other skis in the following workouts. In a temporary lapse of judgment they both ended up somewhere in the woods. Whoops! I also noticed a little later in the week (doing speeds again..) that my Marwes were getting a bit squirrely. Turn out I had also broken both of those shafts as well.

All these skis in a week??

All these skis in a week??

This can't be good...
This can’t be good!

So at this point I decided it might behoove me to get some new skis. Some replacement skate shafts and swanky new Swenors (thanks FinSiSu and Swix!) and I was back in business!

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In my college days I got into a habit of getting every last mile out of my equipment. 6+ years out of my V-2s and 4+ years out of my Marwes, I certainly can’t complain about the durability of either of these skis. But there is something to be said about having new equipment. Skiers spend the majority of their training time not on their skis. Having new skis and wheels that track straight means less time thinking about not falling and more time concentrating on actually training.

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I have only used the new Swenors a couple of times but have been really impressed with how the ski. With the #2 wheels speed is comparable to Pro-ski C2s and the composite shaft helps dampen road vibrations and feel about as close to a snow as roller skis are ever going to be. The skis track straight and the wheels seem to hold up well to wear. And with all the broken bits of my old skis I decided to do a little tinkering. What could mimic ski feel better than a real ski!

I am optimistically betting that I can get 10 minutes of skiing out this baby before catostrophic fork failure/wipeout... Test results to come!

I am optimistically betting that I can get 10 minutes of skiing out this baby before catastrophic fork failure/wipe out... Test results to come!

Hannah’s Kiwi Adventures

23.Sep.2010 by Hannah Dreissigacker

I just got back to Craftsbury after spending about a month and a half in New Zealand.  Its going to be hard to summarize it all in one blog post without it turning into an epic, but I’m going to try, and then I might give more in-depth accounts in future posts.  So with no further ado:

I lived down in the valley by Lake Hawea (shown below) with Nils, his brother Ben, and Zoë Acher.  It was a 5-minute walk to the lake, which was probably the prettiest lake I’ve ever seen, and it was surrounded by excellent skipping stones.

Lake Hawea

Lake Hawea

We worked teaching ski lessons at the Snowfarm, a nordic ski area (as far as I know the only one in NZ), which was located at the top of a high rolling ridge. A crazy switchbacked guardrail-less dirt road brought us up to work each day. The trails were all carved into the hillsides. When it was sunny and well-groomed, I went on some of the best skis I’ve ever been on.  When it was in a cloud, ungroomed and windy I went on some of the most miserable skis ever.

At the Snowfarm

At the Snowfarm

When we weren’t up at the Snowfarm working, we went on lots of adventures–mountain biking, trail running, hiking, wallaby hunting, beach running, you name it:Sheep on the way to Mt. Aspiring National Park for a run/hike.

Sheep on the way to Mt. Aspiring National Park for a run/hike.
A marsh we biked past near Dingle Burn (on our bike along lake Hawea)

A marsh we biked past near Dingle Burn (on a bike ride along lake Hawea)

Running along the beach with the southern alps in the background.

Running along the beach with the southern alps in the background. Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand, is on the right.

The huge magical hedge that you could walk on! It was at a family friend's of the Koons' in Warrington, which is on the east coast.

The huge magical hedge that you could walk on! It was at a family friend's of the Koons' in Warrington, which is on the east coast.

Some typical scenery from the sheep farm where we hunted wallabies.

Some typical scenery from the sheep farm where we hunted wallabies.

Wallabies were accidentally imported to a small area of New Zealand, where they are a pest to farmers, one of whom we were "helping out" by hunting on his land. Nonetheless, it was sort of sad when I actually shot one.
Wallabies were accidentally imported to a small area of New Zealand, where they are a pest to farmers, one of whom we were “helping out” by hunting on his land. Nonetheless, it was sort of sad when I actually shot one.

I had a terrible time picking out which pictures and adventures to include here, so I guess I’ll just have to write more soon!

If you want to see lots more pictures, I’m working on a Picasa album, which you can find with the following link.  eventually i’ll get it organized and put in a few captions and things.

http://picasaweb.google.com/hdreissigacker/NewZealand?authkey=Gv1sRgCLuPwKueidLnEQ&feat=directlink

Sun Valley and Onward…

21.Sep.2010 by Ida Sargent

Tim and I just finished up a great dryland camp in Sun Valley with a huge group of skiers there from the USST, Sun Valley ODT, Methow, and CXC.  After having barely ventured out of Craftsbury all summer it was nice to mix up the training with a new location and some new people.  It was hard training with a lot of intensity, a few very tough time trials,  and some awesome OD runs and hikes in the mountains.  I also added some golf training to the plan with a few recovery sessions at the Sun Valley Club putting greens and a round of “Cabin Golf” at Mikey Sinnott’s cabin on Petit Lake.  The mornings were quite chilly adding the excitement of fall but with the exception of one cold rainy day, Sun Valley lived up to its name with lots of sunny skies.  Here are a couple pictures from one of our runs up to Pioneer Cabin at 9400′.

The view from Pioneer Cabin

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I’ll try to post a few more pictures as soon as I upload them from my camera.  Also check out www.nccsef.org where Pete Vordenberg has posted lots of updates and great pictures from the camp.

It was a really fun camp so I was sad to leave but luckily there are many more adventures ahead!  Late last night I flew back to Vermont and now I’m headed to Dartmouth as soon as I finish hurriedly throwing all my belongings into the back of my car.  School starts bright and early tomorrow morning…..uh oh!