Wednesday, March 13, 2013

JNs Report and Photos

Greetings from AK!  It's getting colder up here, as the car thermometer can attest (see photo from our trip to the race venue this morning). It has been warming up nicely during the day, however, and we have been treated to beautiful blue skis and sun filtering picturesquely through the stands of birch trees (turns out the venue is, indeed, aptly named!).

My apologies for only sending pictures without any sort of write-up so far. Time is tightly scheduled around here, with skiing, study hall, team meetings, and the like. Our Internet connection is also quite temperamental, necessitating my writing of this report on my phone which is proving quite cumbersome and laborious!

We're staying at the Wedgewood Resort, a complex comprised of many apartment-ish buildings surrounding a central hotel-lobby type building where we eat and hold team meetings. All other teams are housed here as well so we are surrounded by young, nordic-skier-looking types whenever we venture out.

The skiing is absolutely great. The snow is cold and dry with firm classic tracks. Monday's skate course descended into the "black hole," a one km downhill with fabulously fun twists and turns. Skiers paid for this in kilometer two, however, with a steep, sustained uphill. Today's 3.3 km classic relay race was more rolling; although it lacked the dramatic ups and downs of yesterday's course it was tough nonetheless given the decided lack of flat sections. This is no Weston Ski Track!

After our first ski my niece commented that she hoped the course would remain in good shape for the next day's race. When I asked her to elaborate she said she was concerned that the powder might get scraped off leaving the turns icy. I had to assure her that this isn't New England where powder is defined as the two inches of snow that cover up ice--it's powder the whole way down!

The NE Girls J2 group has been stealing the show up here, sweeping the podium yesterday and taking the top spot in the relay today. Although NE had been in the lead for the bulk of the first lap a wrong turn at the finish by the scrambler meant Leah took the tag in second place, but quickly closed the gap and handed off to Julia with a hefty lead. Julia skied solo for the entire course, but still managed to post one of the fastest times, culminating in an uncontested--yet exciting--first place finish.

I won't attempt to list everyone's placings, as you folks back home have equal access to results, but rest assured that all CSU skiers are racing hard and posting impressive times. It's been fun to reunite with former teammates Calvin and Hamish, to watch newcomer Sonya remain unphased by the competition, and see seemingly mild-mannered Nathan turn into hard core scary-face guy once the starting gun goes off. I wish I could write a personal write-up for every CSU skier here but there are just too dang many of them here to do that.  Ah the trials and tribulations of being part of such a successful club!  (Speaking of which, I've had two different gentlemen pull me aside to say how impressive our club is, and what a quick accession we appear to have had to success!)

Thanks to all of you back in the "lower 48" for your support and good wishes. We are looking forward to kicking it into high gear for our sprints on Thursday!


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