As the first flakes have fallen here in Craftsbury, winter is just around the corner. I was lucky to already have a little taste of winter in the form of a 2km ribbon of snow saved from last winter in Canmore, Alberta. Every year the Canmore Nordic Center buries a pile of snow under a mound of wood chips and digs it up in mid-October to spread around a loop, aptly named Frozen Thunder. The 2km track takes anywhere from 6-8 minutes to ski depending on how fast the snow conditions are that day. Since we would usually ski for two to three hours every morning, it was important to find technique or pacing cues to focus on or a good friend to chat with, anything to keep the mind active and distracted from counting laps or looking at your watch as we skied round and round. In years past we have had colder weather and have had some natural snow or at least new manmade snow added to freshen the track. This year, though, the temperatures were warm and it rained a few days so many days Frozen Thunder was not very frozen. Over the eight days that we were there, the depth of the snow decreased noticeably and certain sections of the track were much less elevated from the ground than they were at the start. But a huge thank you needs to go out to the grooming staff for an awesome job maintaining the snow and the ski conditions were awesome all week despite the unseasonably warm weather.
Since I had skied in September in Ramsau, Austria with my Craftsbury teammates, the transition back to snow was remarkably easy. I was very grateful to have had the glacier skiing just a month earlier because skiing felt natural almost instantly in Canmore, rather than having the normal few days spent trying to navigate the awkward skis which feel helplessly long compared to rollerskis. Most of the skiing we did in Canmore was just distance training but Cross Country Canada also organized a couple races which were a really fun opportunity to put on a bib and go hard. The lung burn and tired legs were a quick reminder of what racing actually feels like but made me more excited than ever for the World Cup season to start at the end of the month!
I didn’t take any pictures this week so I stole some from Noah’s blog. Thanks Hoff J! I have a couple weeks of training in Craftsbury now before leaving for Europe so I’m taking advantage of my last bit of time at home before hitting the road! Happy trails and don’t forget to do your snow dances!
|Sunrise at the Canmore Nordic Center|
|Canmore is one of my favorite places to train and race!|
|Noah got artsy with his skiing shots and I think this is a cool image of me skiing over the top of the hill|
|Some one pole skiing to work on technique early in the season.|