Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home for Christmas!!

I’m done with the early season races now and am resting before another month and a half on the road. Looking back to the first NORAM cup races in Loveland and Aspen, Colorado makes me see how much I have progressed in the past month. I was having some trouble “cutting the line off” at the top of the turn in those early races. I noticed it more in Giant Slalom than anything else, but still felt it occasionally in my Slalom. I was 0-4 in that series, but didn’t let it get me down. I think it’s really important to use times like that to focus on the little things that went well and poorly without the distraction of a result or a time. It’s the perfect training for the mind.

After those races we went to Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek to forerun the World Cup Downhill. Unfortunately I didn’t get to run, but I was still there and got to inspect the track and watch all the big guys on the hill. What an experience! It’s hard to go to a hill like that with the best athletes in the world and not be impressed and a bit awed. Pretty cool stuff.  During the free time between inspection and the race each day I had the opportunity for some GS training, and felt like I got a lot more work done on the line. I really like having races followed by some time to train and work on the different aspects that weren’t performed well in competition.

After Colorado I went up north for the NORAMS in Lake Louise, AB and Panorama, BC. I felt like I really had a breakthrough in speed in Lake Louise. It is hard to describe, but it felt like I was moving differently on the skis and getting much more power out of them than I ever have before. I scored in one of the Downhills, and had a pretty bad mistake in the other, but was very pleased with the series as a whole. From there I went to the tech/Super G series in Panorama. I had some trouble in the Super G’s on the soft snow, and felt like my pressuring was too aggressive for the conditions. I lost the pressure on the outside ski every time the snow gave out, and ended up running a low line—not very fast on a flat hill. I skied much better in the Giant Slalom the day after, but crossed my tips in the first run and went down on my side right before a flat. I ended up 58th after the first run and thus qualified for a second run, in which I executed my plan very well, finishing 40th overall. The slalom was a blast! I always like slalom, but the ridiculously turny course set on steep terrain with variable snow made this one more fun and exciting than usual  I skied really well and felt like I was very solid and comfortable on my skis, which was an accomplishment I thought, considering it had been 3 weeks since I touched slalom gear. All in all I am happy with where I am right now and feel confident moving into these next 40 days of racing!

Skiing at home with my team and local friends is great. I’ve coached the younger kids a couple of days, trained some slalom (although the snow is too soft), been the pacesetter for NASTAR, and done a lot of free skiing. I’ve missed free skiing thus far this year; I feel it helps every aspect of my racing. I got some sweet powder skis for Christmas, it’s supposed to storm tonight, and I’ve got a seat on the Selkirk Powder Company Snow cat tomorrow.. Should be a great day! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Time!

The Vail camp is finished, and to be perfectly honest I’m already salivating for some turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy! The ladies of the family are coming up for Thanksgiving in a few days; I can’t wait to have the whole family together again! The camp concluded on the 20th, and these last few days have found me hanging out, lifting, and schooling in Dillon with our family friends the Johns. I just realized while at the gym today that its been five weeks since I’ve had a serious leg workout, so put in my time under the squat rack and the cleaning pads this afternoon. It feels great to get the power muscles going again!

The Giant Slalom race the USST hosted at Vail didn’t go quite as well as I would have liked, but it was still a good experience and a confidence booster. I had a few mistakes in costly areas, but ended up decently placed amongst the field. I could have done much better, but sinced I’m skiing really well that's all that really matters. I had one more week of training in Vail after the race, and man it was a long one! The double sessions every day really took it out of me! Six hours of amazing four event training in the morning led to great bounds in performance, tired legs, and lots of afternoon naps. I’m really feeling fast right now and can’t wait for the NORAMS in Loveland and Aspen the 27th-30th. That said, I still have some turkey pounds to pack on before then! :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


So I am in Colorado for the whole month of November training in Summit and Eagle counties. I’m staying with the US team in a lavish hotel named Manor Vail right at the bottom of Gold Peak. I wake up every morning and walk 100 feet from the room to the bottom of the lift… how can you beat that??  The team injected the slope last week and the surface is about as good as I’ve seen. I think it’s helped my skiing a lot to get on a solid, icy surface that makes me work to hold an edge. It took me a little while to figure it out, but now I feel great on it. A good confidence builder for sure!

I’m really feeling good on my skis right now and am getting a lot of power in the top of the turn. “The move” that I have been working on the last 6 months is now automatic, but I still have to focus on giving my body room at the gate in order to get the full benefit. I’ve got this annoying tendency to pinch off the top of the turn and hammer the panels, (It feels way sweeter but it’s definitely not the fast line) so fixing that is one of my biggest focus points. There is a USST race next week in Vail for all the Team guys and a few selected invitees. It should be a fun race and hopefully a good points opportunity!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back on the road!

Chile was great fun, but coming home felt really good. After relaxing and catching up on laundry I hit the gym hard for two and a half weeks. Unfortunately, I had my wisdom teeth pulled on the 15th, which brought all workouts to a halt. (I must say though, my mothers Chocolate shakes made that experience much more enjoyable ;-) The month ended with pre-season physical assessments at the COE in Park City, followed by a “Team Building” camp at Moab, UT.

We all loaded up for Moab on the 26th and spent four days camping and biking around Canyon-lands and Arches National Parks. What a great spot! Several of the guys had been there before and they led us on some tough rides in marginal terrain. I was on an “old school” bike, so my hands and legs took quite a beating. I had a great time just the same! We did a lot of bouldering and rock climbing as well, which I really enjoyed. Dad caught up with me on the 29th and we’re now in Colorado for 36 days of training and competition.

This next week should be a lot of fun. We’re going to ski with our Canadian friends, Matt and Michelle, at their camp for 5 days. They are a constant laugh and I can’t wait to spend some time with them again! On November 5th I join the team at Vail for on snow training. It will include speed training at Copper Mountain in the early mornings, and tech at Vail and Loveland. I’m really looking forward to the start of competition November 27-30!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home again, home again....

Well I must say there is no place like home! I had a great time in Chile, but I was ready to get out of the snow and rocks and back into the forests of the North West. J The last few days were GS and I really felt like I was skiing well. Having only two days of it didn’t give me a ton of time to get the feel, but I still felt pretty good, all things considered. After packing out on our last day, we got to spend a few hours down in Santiago. We stopped in a small “crafts fair” type thing with hundreds of little one room shops which openned into walkways that displayed their owners hand-made items. Things were pretty expensive, but it didn’t matter.  Anything bought there was the only one like it in the world, so I figured it was totally worth it.
The flights home seemed to take forever to me. That was partially due to the fact that my seats on the ten hour flight were located right next to the restrooms in the rear of the plane, and there were no complementary nose plugs. :P Not too much sleep for me! When we touched down in Atlanta, the first thing one of my buds and I did after clearing immigration was to buy a couple of huge Cinnabun’s each..  and honestly, junk food has never tasted so good! Mine disappeared in about two minutes. Then it was just eight more hours of travel to Spokane Airport and a hour and a half long drive home from there. It felt great to sleep in my own bed that night J

Sunday, September 26, 2010

C'est finis!

The past two weeks have sure gone by in a blurr! With only two days left in the whole camp, I've been trying to slow time down a bit and reflect on how my skiing changed while here in Chile. I worked all summer on getting my new outside hip over the up hill ski in transition (an idea that gave me numerous fits in my last 8 weeks on snow), but I think I finally have it. It isn't evident in every turn, but that's just a matter of time. I can really feel the power it gives in the fall-line, and the resulting speed. It's a good feeling! I can also feel that all the strength training I did over the summer is paying off. I was in the gym 6 days a week and wow, was every second worth it!

I was sick with some sort of bug the past two days, and that's left me feeling a bit weak. Thankfully one of those days was a planned day off, so I only missed the first day of Giant Slalom this week. Today (the second day of GS for the team) consisted of three, 20 gate, sections on perfect, rock-hard snow. What better way to get into a new event?!? It took me a few runs to get into the flow, but I started to feel it by the end of the day. I hear we have a timed,two minute long, GS course tomorrow... Hopefully I'll still be standing on unlocked legs when I reach the bottom, but somehow that is doubtful at 12,000 ft. ;) I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Half way!

So today was the half mark of this camp here in Chile. What great training it has been! Speed in the morning and Tech in the afternoon, followed by GREAT food.. What more could I ask for?!

These next 3 days are going to be primarily DH and SL, but we might get to do a bit of GS as well. With the snow coverage diminishing, it is a very good thing we are getting speed out of the way now so we can focus on tech later in the camp. We are all working hard to keep our bases smooth, but its pretty rough right now! So as far as equipment goes, my Atomic Slalom skis are the only new items I have with me. Wow, they are something else! The turning radius is shorter this year, and that coupled with a much lighter binding makes them a pretty sweet ride! I'm feeling really good in all events right now and I'm looking forward to a great rest of the camp and hopefully a great season!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I am here in La Parva, Chile for the first “winter” camp of the 2010-11 season. What an interesting place! Upon arrival in Santiago, I noted that the sky wasn’t visible through the smog. Trash littered the sides of the large river flowing through the city; it was stacked meters deep. I was relieved when after travelling 45 km East and climbing 10,000 ft., everything cleared up and revealed a beautiful mountain with tons of terrain and no people! The photo above was taken at sunset from my room.

Today was the fourth day on snow and things are going great! I skied Super G really well these past three days, and am really feeling “the move” I’ve been working on since the spring. The timing system was broken today, but tomorrow hopefully it will be operational and I’ll be able to see where I stand compared to all the guys. I can’t wait! Oh, and tomorrow starts the first day of a 3-day celebration here in Chile, so there will be live bands and dancing all over on our day off. Should be a good one!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mt Hood camp

I am now back training in Mt. Hood, Oregon. It's the first summer in 6 years that I've trained, and wow I had forgotten how much fun it is! It was hard to leave my baseball team back home to come out here, what with it being the middle of the season, but being here brings back a lot of good memories. This is a tech camp with 4 GS and 3 SL days. We just finished the slalom portion and gosh, I am feeling a little bit rusty! Today was a day off because of the poor conditions up at the mountain, so the team and I went down to the Columbia for some windsurfing and had a blast! Tomorrow starts the GS training block, which will last through the end of the camp on the 23rd. Warmups start at 5:45 in the morning, so I'd best get off to bed!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Home and the US Ski Team

I got home from the first D-Team camp at Mammoth, CA on Tuesday, and it's been hectic ever since. Although three of us had already met criteria for the team, the camp doubled as try-outs for the final 5-6 slots.  All of us found out on the last day of the camp who made the cut for next year, and even though I'd made criteria, it was great to be officially offered a spot! The night after the official phonecalls were made to each of us who made the team was spent calling/writing everyone who attended the camp, trying to find out who the other 5 guys were. Fortunately, I really like all the other guys who made it and am looking forward to skiing with them next winter! I can't even put to words how excited I am to have achieved this goal, even though it is just another step on the road. Just the other day I was thinking about last year and how I had hoped to make the team, but honestly didn't know if it would happen. Things are working out really well!

This summer is going to be pretty crazy with all the training blocks at Mt. Hood and Park City. It looks like I will be on the road about 2 weeks per month either skiing in Hood, or weight lifting at the high tech "Center of Excellence" located in Parl City.  My time at home will be spent biking, playing baseball, working, lifting, and doing schoolwork to get ahead for next ski season. I am already starting my Baseball season as well! We actually just finished the first double header of the year yesterday, and it is soo great to be back on the field with the hometown guys. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the summer!  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mammoth, CA

There is an old saying in ski racing about the weather that all too often seems to come true. "If you want it to snow, just schedule a race." So here I am in a blizzard in Mammoth, CA at this USST camp. The first few days were perfect; 50 degrees and sunny with good solid snow, Randy, the head D-Team coach, came out a few days early to help the groomers create great terrain features for training. These features are set up in waves approx 24 meters apart from crest to crest, and 5 feet deep. The GS courses are set through the middle of 'em, talk about sweet training! Right now my focus is giving my feet room at the gate so that I can create angles and really get the power out of the top of the turn. I feel like its coming along well!
We got to loaf today.  They have us doing three days of training, then a day off.  Although I wasn't tired yet, the day off felt good.  I'll be interested to see what they throw at us tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New season starts?

I apologize for not posting at all late this season! My busy schedule aside I should have been on top of it, and I promise to do better starting now. On the other hand, I did stay focused and achieve the performance and mental goals I set for myself at the start of the year.

So I don't exactly know if this is the end of last season or the start of next. Things just seem to be flowing one into another. Right now I am in Park City, UT for physical assessments at the Center of Excellence. (the US Ski Team's main headquarters) With its great gym full of high tech lifting machines, and big staff of doctors, physios and trainers, it's a heck of a place to work out!

Today I got to meet one of my new coaches, and I like him a lot. I wasn't too worried about who it would be with as far as coaches go, but I must say it's nice to know that I'll be spending this next year with a cool guy. Even after 20 days off skis, I am already feeling the urge to get back on the snow. I got to see a lot of my buds from the circut today, and I dont think I'm the only one "chomping at the bit" for some white stuff right now! They are a really good group of guys and I look forward to training with them this season!

Tomorrow I head to Mammoth, CA for 10 days on snow with the team. For some of the guys who haven't made criteria for the team yet, this camp will serve as a tryout. Fortunately I already made it, so the stress won't be quite as high. No matter what though, in this sport -- at this level, you have to keep pushing as hard as you can. Maintaining focus is a big part of success, so I'm trying to keep everything in perspective. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Two days in

. I just finished the first two days of this 4 day series in Snow Bird, Utah. The run the slaloms were held on these days was injected, and pretty icy. I kind of let it get in my head on the first day, and struggled through both runs. Last night I was a little frustrated, and decided to watch some World Cup videos and visualize. I looked at today’s race as an opportunity to sort out a few issues I have had on this hard snow. I made quite a few mistakes, and didn’t score, yet in my mind today was still a success. The next two days are going to be GS’s at Park City. I have had success on this hill in the past and am excited to be back on it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tuning up

I am once again back on the road after having 7 days off at home over Christmas. I free skied, ice skated, and relaxed with my family while giving my knee a few easy days to recover from these last weeks on the road. Now Dad and I are in Jackson tuning up for the FIS Elite tech series next week in Park City, UT. The snow here is great for training and I feel we are getting a lot accomplished! After skiing each day I have been playing some hockey at the public rink. Two days ago I had a momentary balance issue during a pickup game and smashed my chin down pretty hard on the ice. Got 7 stitches but fortunately didn’t miss any training. I am really looking forward to these next few days of competition!