Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alaska glacier camp to....NORWAY!

Oh, my life is so tough:)  I flew to off Eagle Glacier in Alaska last Saturday night and was in Oslo by Wednesday evening.  It is amazing to be back in my happy place again, Scandinavia in the summer, and the training the last 4 weeks has been with all my best friends!  I am so lucky.  I will be here in Oslo through tomorrow and then I fly to Sandnes, Norway where I will compete in some rollerski competitions called the Blink Festival.  I competed in these races 2 years ago with Kikkan after another Scandinavian adventure together and it was a blast, so now I am heading back to fire it up again this weekend.  It's great practice to move fast on rollerskis, around corners, mass starting with 30-60 other women, and especially good practice for me, as I am very tentative on my skis.  

Here are some pictures from this week in Norway and from last week on the glacier, but all you really need to know is that I am training hard with all of my best friends, seeing new places, pushing new limits when I can and having the time of my life.  I hope all that read this feel the same way about your own lives!  

Explore, Dream, Discover. -Mark Twain

Team sprint workout.  Whew.  That was a hard one.  Left to right is me, Sadie, and Celine.

Kikkan and I in our Bjorn Daehlie summer training gear.  Can you say pink?

The whole crew skiing together on the last day.  It is pouring rain in this picture and Sophie's lips are actually blue too.  We were all jealous of Kik's rain suit.

Glaicier Women't Crew for NAWTA camp 2014.

I jetted to Hope, Alaska with Holly early on Sunday morning to make it in time to jog the Wagon Wheel 5k, an annual race in Hope that is really fun.  Here is the crew that joined.  It was so fun to see Holly's cabin again, 1 year after I saw it last time.  Rob has been working really hard and it is almost livable inside.  In fact 4 of us slept in it that evening and got a great night of sleep!

Katie and I in our boa's on the start line.

It was hard not to be this pumped with the beauty that surrounded us for 3 hours.  It was really a special trip.

Katie and I.


Astrid driving us to the mainland for training.  I spent the first 4 days at Astrid's parents summer house on an island off the south coast of Norway in a place called Sogne, near Kristiansand.  We drove a boat to the mainland twice a day for training which was a fun start to the session each time, as the temperatures were hot and the sun shining every day so being on the water was key to staying cool.

The summer house.  It is a beautiful place.

Our first day training with a former skier named, Marthe.  Now she is in medical school and was visiting her parents at their summer house in Sogne.  Super fun to go on a long run all together, and extremely nice of them to basically only speak english the whole way. 

Astrid was our nightly grill master!

Astrid, her Mom, Britt, and Britt's twin sister Ann.  Both Britt and Ann played on Norway's National team in Handball back in the day and Ann actually is a Handball World Champion!  Really fun for me to meet other people's families and hear their stories of growing up.  Ann owns a fruit farm in Denmark, where the girls grew up.

Astrid's grandparents and her Father, Frede.  Dinner on the water in the sunset every night followed by a delicious dessert and coffee was a wonderful way to spend the evenings in this weather.

Sometimes it was followed by a swim and a few pull-ups on the diving board!

Astrid and her parent's dog, Ekko, silhouetted by the setting sun.  I really like this picture.

A boat owned by some local guys that comes by every Friday night of the summer holidays with a huge boom box and speaker playing music.  Really fun.

We went fishing for Mackerel one day, but I was the only one that caught any and the one that I caught I let jump off the line right before I got it into the boat!  We had to call Britt and tell her to take out some backup food from the freezer for dinner. 

Frede and Britt on a cruise out on the ocean with us.

This morning's run with Marthe Kristoffersen and Astrid.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Jessie split her knee open earlier this week and it took us to the ER for 6 stitches.  I was pumped, as nursing I believe is in my future.

Numbing needle...OUCH!

The 6 beautiful stitches and she was all fixed up!

Eric Packer made me some replicas of my feet and his to take to the Rossignol boot guys to be able to help them make us more precise boots for our feet.  It was such a cool process.

And they look creepily real with veins and everything.

Went on a sweet point to point run yesterday with a great crew of people.

So fun to have so many healthy friends to train with and do cool adventures with.

Erika Flowers, Holly and Matt on the way up.

The views were incredible and so was this little lie down.

Like I said....gorgeous.


The crew near the top before a long descent over rocks and boulders which took all my concentration, so I don't have too many pictures of it.

And bears outside our window!!  A mom and two cubs came to raid a neighbors trash and eat some salmon.  I was a bit jealous as I constantly crave salmon up here.  We also have seen a mama moose and her two babies outside our house and a brown bear on a run!!! It was at a safe distance so pretty awesome.  GOTTA GO TO THE GLACIER!!! TOOTLE LOO!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Major Catch Up!

First, a bit of catch up from last week.  I had an amazing week in Park City before I left for Mt. Hood.  I visited babies and kids, participated in our first book club for young people meeting, challenged myself in Sufferfest, spent time with a friend and supporter from Pennsylvania who comes to town every summer for a vacation, got inspired by something some other friends did, and participated in a kids camp that I used to attend when I was a young alpine skier called, Eliteam.  It was a great week. Then I headed to Mt. Hood to try and summit it with my brother, Andy, and his girlfriend, Brenna, as well as visited some good friends in Portland afterwards.  Now I am in Alaska at our training camp for the next 2 weeks!  I am living the life.

Baby 1: Hazel Luna Schiller. Cute as they come.

Kid 1: Josephine Dandelion Vordenberg
Baby 2: Eloise Huckleberry Vordenberg
Cute as they come and awesomely fun kids. Josie being a great sister.

Book club!

Sufferfest is the USSA annual bike race up Sundance.  It is a handicapped race and the first person to cross the line is the winner, rather than the person with the fastest time.  It makes for a super fun race and is a really hard race.  Troy, the winner, holding the trophy!

The event is followed by a DELICIOUS brunch at Sundance Resort.  Here is just a small sampling of what's available.  It does not suck.

Hans, one of the interns for the summer at USSA and I on the way down.  Hans is a gamer and lifts with me every time I am in the gym, bikes to work every day and rocked it up this mountain too.

Jason and Hans (both in the internship program) and Bobby (men's alpine strength coach)

Jason rode the race on a mountain bike.  Not the fastest or most enjoyable choice of transportation.

Matt (another intern from Florida) rode it too.  It took Matt a long time and quite an effort to get up this mountain, but it was incredibly inspiring watching him never give up.  You don't have to be good at everything or anything, but you HAVE to try your hardest.  That's the key to life.  Matt took the bull by the horns and never gave up.  You rock, Matt.

Cork and his girlfriend, Jessie, were our timers and cheering squad for the day!

The crew at the top cheering people on.

Most of us went down and rode with Matt for the last couple miles of his ride to keep pushing him and encouraging him.  He rocked this day and it was really cool to see the camaraderie of the USSA staff, athletes, and fellow interns come together.

It's a hard climb, that's for sure.

Agility with Eliteam.  Eliteam is a kids camp that focuses on inspiring kids to be the best they can be, having fun with sport, pushing through what is challenging and learning to ask more from your body and mind than is easily accessible.  It is run by Doug Lewis and his wife, Kelly, who were both Olympians and are both kids at heart.  The amount of energy they bring to each session and day is unmatchable.

The kids getting into it

My good friend and supporter, Alan Hughes, was in town and it was great to catch up with him.  Unfortunately our paths only crossed for a couple days, but we were able to catch up a bit and spend some time with a couple of our other friends from town who.....

....QUIT SMOKING AFTER WAY TOO MANY YEARS!!!! I am so proud of you, Chris and Liza.

Me, Alan and Liza

Me at the Rose Garden in Portland

Just one of the many beautiful blooming varieties

Andy and I walked on this trail which is a 50k trail through Forest Park, right in the center of the city. It's unreal!

The packing begins.

Brenna, Andy and I ready to head out on the adventure!

The beginning part of the hike to the base of Mt. Hood was through an old burned area with a constant view of the mountain ahead of us. I seemed to get more and more excited with each step, though I can't say that my shoulders were feeling the same excitement with the feeling of the unfamiliar, heavy pack on my back.

Andy and me

Our fearless guide!

Almost to the glacier!

First steps on snow!

Getting close to our campsite for the night.

Brenna and the Hood River Valley in the backround.

Our sleeping spot for the night!  Andy had us dig a nice platform to sleep on with all the amenities needed, such as a cooking site for breakfast in bed in the morning/at midnight when we would wake up, a walking path and the most important part, a sun and wind block barrier as we would be going to bed at 7pm when the sun is very much still up.

These would be our first steps in the morning, but as it was pitch black when we began I took a picture of the route the night before.

Dinner! Chef Andy!

Our comfy bed

Andy and Brenna

Andy and I

We had an amazing trip.  I had never done any sort of mountaineering before and so this was a big moment for me.  I was with my brother who had become a very experienced and knowledgable guide and his girlfriend (who I also want to brag a bit about as she just finished her second year of residency in pediatrics and will be going into her third year as chief resident of her program!! Congrats Brenna!) and I was really in absolute heaven.  Unfortunately it was not the reason I was worried about that we did not make it to the summit.  I have a pretty real fear of heights, so I was expecting that would be the biggest challenge for me, but when we reached about 10,000 feet or so, I was hit with debilitating nausea and light headedness and we had to come down.  I hated to stop Brenna and Andy from summiting, but when altitude sickness hits, the only thing to do is come down, so that's what we did.  I cannot wait to try again for the summit, and they were both really cool about the whole situation, saying, "This mountain isn't going anywhere." which I really appreciated.  Thanks Andy and Brenna for a life changing experience for me and the wonderful company. I cannot wait to try for the summit again with you both next year.