Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last 4 days in Never Never Land

I am into my last 4 days at the Snowfarm, and it has gone by way too fast.  We had some storms last week and are expecting more tonight through Thursday, but the snow has been amazing.  The team arrived a week ago and so training has taken a step up, not to mention the social aspect they bring.  We went down to the Cardrona Hotel on Saturday night and had a dinner off the rock and spent our off day on Sunday in Queenstown.  We geared up for a time trial today, a classic sprint for most of the team, but Morgan Arritola and I did a 10K classic.  Overall I think it went very well for everyone, as it is July and most of us have not done too much really hard workouts yet.  

Intervals with Bird and Kristina Stranberg.  Just in case you are worried about how Bird's training is going, he is just chilling in Level 1.
View of the ski trails from the lodge.
Whitcomb doing some video.
Sunset off of Mary's Trail!
Not sure if you can pick out the skiers in the distance, but they are skiing in perfect tracks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Zealand Part 1

Over the last 2 months, some of you may have been worried that I fully dropped off the edge of a cliff never to be seen of heard from again.  Fortunately, that is not true, although short of that kind of story, an excuse as to why I have not posted becomes meaningless, so I will not even try.  After a good two months of training in Park City, Utah, I am now in New Zealand, training at the Snowfarm.  If you are a cross country ski enthusiast, there is pretty much nothing about this place that wouldn't interest you.  Let me explain...

The Lodge: This is the Lodge.  It is situated on the top of a mountain, and all around you, every direction you choose to look, there are mountains.  These are Lord of the Rings vistas, they are scenes of paradise, and the best part is, all of this placed on 50K of perfectly groomed ski tracks.  I have come to the Snowfarm a week before the rest of the team will arrive, as my cousin, Josh, is getting married to a wonderful lady named Kate, so I have been hanging out with the locals and the fellow enthusiasts.  Meet the crew:

Bernie.  Bernie has been coming to the Snowfarm for the past 6 years.  He is from a town right outside Rochester, NY and coaches cross country running, skiing and track at a high school there.  He simply loves to ski and is here to do just that.
Andi and Ben.  Andi is from Wellington, but splits her time between Vernon, Canada and "The Farm".  She started skiing 2 years ago and went to World Champs last year!  Quick learner.  Ben owns land about 2 1/2 hours from here.  He mines for gold on his land, parts of Lord of the Rings was filmed there, as well as one other movie.  He is a biathlete and a cross country skier and owns a movie projector and an enormous screen.  He's dialed.
John and Tim.  They are the TORO guys.  They are the snowthrower guys, not to be confused with snowblower guys.  They are here simply to test the quality of a given snowthrower.  The other day they put in 13 miles with these things, and not on simply flat ground.  These guys were throwing snow up and down steep hills. through slush and powder, and no problems reported yet.  But we had to see for ourselves...

Bernie and me trying out the machines, and boy did they run like a charm!!
More to come later, including ski pics!!
PS: If you want to be Kiwi, all you have to do it add a Y or an O to the end of any word and you will automatically sound like a local.  Cheers!