Most of y'all have been getting the emails about my trip to California for the World Cups in ski orienteering, but I figured I'd dump a bunch of photos here so you can appreciate the awesome sun and snow. Actually, they're mostly of me. I got a sunburn; that doesn't happen too often when I'm skiing.
This is Tove Alexandersson; she is Swedish, only 19 years old, and has won every world level ski orienteering race she's ever entered.
Ali Crocker, my teammate and training partner, killing it in the long distance race.
Then she got to stand on the podium at the award ceremony, with three Swedes, a Russian, and a Norwegian. Pretty cool.
This one is me. Sucking wind, hard.
Ali and me, about to head out training on our first day up high. Compare to the next photo...
This is after I've been moving for a few minutes. Need... more... oxygen...
Racing at 7000ft is not easy, incidentally.
Outdoor waxing is nice when it's always 50F and sunny.
We were at different venues each day, and they didn't all have waxing facilities. Here I'm making do with a picnic table and a railing to apply fluoro to my skis. Basically, without the CSU wax team, I'm hopeless.
Finishing one of the races - it is super hard to ski fast at that altitude, I had many issues just getting enough air to my lungs. Your legs don't get as tired, it's weird. After 4-5 days, I started to adjust; I could at least walk up a flight of stairs without keeling over at the top, but I never felt like I got my quickness back.
Mass start of the sprint relay.
They give you your map 15 seconds before your start. This isn't a heckuva lot of time, but usually at least lets you find where the first control is, and sort of plan a route, so you can start fast.
US ski orienteering team, in part.
Larry Berman tagging off to Sara Mae in the team sprint relay - CSU founders!
Snot rockets. Like a pro.
Ali is a woman of many talents.
Lithuanian team out training.
Skiing away through the trees. The crust skiing was actually really good, sometimes faster than the icy, rutted trails.
Cornering on a downhill. It was steeper than it looked.
Sometimes, you miss the trail and faceplant into the snow in front of all the photographers. Not like I'd know anything about that.