Sunday, February 24, 2008

Silver Fox Trot and Cheri Walsh Races in Photos

I'm sick as a dog and did not race either race but did manage some photos. Click on photos for full size. Here are some of them. The rest are posted if you go to the photos link. If anyone wants to send me a write up of their races I'd be happy to post them. These were two of the most beautiful bluebird ski days in years.....sunny, nice temps, great skiing and good courses.
They were fun races to watch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CSU Jr Ski Camp - Part 2

Fortunately the rains ended on Monday with little damage to the amazing snow-pack at Jackson since the temperatures never got out of the 30s. However, the frozen Ellis River was another thing....we all witnessed the sudden, massive break-up of the ice on the river as a wall of water and ice surged downstream. A small tree went by still encased in ice as well as logs, debris, ice, etc. It was quite a sight to be looking at an icy river one moment and the next a maelstrom of ice chunks plowing down the river clearing everything in its path! At one point on the Ellis River trail the ice and water had flowed up over the bank and across the ski trail. Most of us will likely never see something like that again at the exact moment it occurs.....

On Tuesday we decided on a change of venue and headed up to Great Glen. They had groomed the frozen snow into nice and wicked fast sugar snow so we skated since there was little to no track. Mt. Washington was visible in all its glory in the morning before afternoon snow showers came in. Howie Weymss gave us a conference room for our use during the day which was really great, giving us a place to dump our stuff and take a short nap after lunch. We had a blast in the morning flying around the fun, rolly trails for a couple hours. In the afternoon there were Frisbee relays and some speed and resistance training.

If anyone is looking for a real challenge, Great Glen is putting on the Ski to the Clouds on March 9th, billed as America's Toughest 10km. Race info can be found at: The race will start on the ski trails for 4km and then go up the auto road to the half-way point at treeline. Sounds like an awesome event! The big question is do you skate it or do it classic? You have your choice and there are no separate categories. Should be interesting!

For our last workout on Wednesday morning we were back at Jackson and skied up Halls, around Maple and then Popple Mt and down to the far end of Ellis River on beautiful classic tracks. The downhill was fast and freezing, but loads of fun. Then a furious double pole back down Ellis. It was a great ski camp and I'd like to thank the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation for the great grooming and being so helpful to us during the week!

Monday, February 18, 2008

CSU Jrs Ski Camp at Jackson

There is a ton of snow at Jackson and on Saturday and Sunday the skiing was awesomely good and the grooming was wonderful and Mt. Washington was as bright and white as I've ever seen it! Today we did intervals in the drizzle and fog after Jackson Touring Ctr went out and groomed up the half frozen surface. This afternoon classic skiing on the Ellis River trail.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CSU Jrs at the State Championships

CSU had a banner day yesterday at the State Championships, a skate race, held at Notchview. Isaac Hoenig took home the gold in the boys race and Olga Golovkin the silver and Julia Paino the bronze in the girls race!! Awesome! Congratulations!!

Here are the CSU results:

1. Isaac Hoenig
7. Chris Stock
8. Luke Siebert
9. Jimmy Burnham
10. James Tracey
14. Michael Goldberg
24. Tom Rummel
26. Chris Burnham
27. Neil Garrison
35. Will McCartney
48. Nick Serbedzija
67. Nevin Zais
74. Matt Worth

2. Olga Golovkina
3. Julia Paino
8. Blair Robinson
9. Hannah Smith
12. Sophia Myerson
25. Heather Fischer
38. Kelsey Colpitts
47. Debby Parker
49. Liz Liebling

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend JOQ Races at Prospect and Vt. Academy

Saturday - Prospect 10km skate

Well, Saturday shouldn't have happened for me. I should have been smart enough not to race, but obviously I'm not that smart. As a coach, I'd tell a kid who was tired to go ski easy and not race if he or she was this tired. But I'm not very good at coaching myself sometimes. I was exhausted all week and died in Tuesday's Weston race 1/2 way through the first lap. I went into the Masters wave and they had me seeded first for some unknown reason. I tried to make it look good at the start but was pooped before I got out of the double pole zone and it went downhill from there while the course went uphill. Charlie Gunn was the first to go motoring by, never to be seen again, then Damian Bolduc, John Brodhead and the whole rest of the field and I couldn't hang with a single one of them. When Victor went by I hopped in behind him. If you can't draft behind Victor then something is wrong. As big as he is he creates the perfect vacuum. At Weston if you are behind Victor and there is a wind in your face you won't even feel it. But.......not Saturday. I was spit out the back, fried, cooked, toasted, barbecued, spit and bonked and I hadn't even gone 1/2 way around the first lap and I had the uphills to go! God, what torture! I hung in there and on lap two, completely alone out there, I actually started to move a bit better....but not much. Anyway, I was miles behind everyone else....what a disaster!

On the other hand, CSU was a strong presence in the race. Rob skied very well in the younger guys wave and many of the CSU jrs had good races.

19 Chris Stock
25 Isaac Hoenig
48 Luke Siebert
49 Jimmy Burnham
56 Rob Bradlee
62 James Tracey
85 Andrew Reed
92 Evan Doucett
95 Victor Golovkin
98 Jamie Doucett

14 Hilary Rich
19 Alex Jospe
29 Olga Golovkina
47 Juliana Slocum
50 Blair Robinson

J2 Boys
7 Jackson Rich
16 Neil Garrison
17 Chris Burnham
21 Nick Serbedzija

J2 Girls
16 Hannah Smith

Sunday - 10km classic

Sunday was interesting. Very interesting. Interesting weather. Interesting waxing. Interesting snow. First, about 4-5 inches of new, wet snow overnight. Slushy. I went out to load the car and said to myself "orange klister". When I arrived at Vt Academy sure enough Rob, who had arrived early to test waxes, was trying orange klister covered with a variety of hard waxes for the J2s. At least for the J2 race the conditions remained somewhat consistent. However, given the glazing tracks Jackson Rich wisely went for the waxless Rossi ARs and then hammered his race to take 2nd place! Some of the kids with klister had issues. Issues like slipping. Issues like icing. Very interesting issues.

Then the weather got interesting. Very interesting. The snow started, nice big flakes. Interesting wet flakes. It started snowing hard. Hilary Rich then grabbed the ARs from Jackson and off she went. And Hilary hammered home in 3rd place! Gotta love those ARs!! I went out to do a warmup lap during the women's race and the weather got more interesting. Very interesting. It snowed hard for a while, it got windy, the wind blew snow in curtains off the trees and you couldn't see where you were going. That made the downhills interesting. Very interesting when you can't see where you are going. Those with the klister and hard wax combination slipped quite a bit. It was a tough day out there, for sure.

For the men's race it got even more interesting. It stopped snowing. It stopped blowing. The tracks glazed even more. It started to get colder. Those who had waxless skis grabbed them. Some without waxless opted to make hairies and that worked great.......for a while. Evan took our ARs, which we share, so I waxed with Orange and covered with Swix VR75. It seemed to work acceptably well. I was getting kick. Not great kick, just interesting kick. Like sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. On my first lap I was getting kick, but when younger guys on their 2nd lap passed me I had to hop out of the track.....and that induced icing. Interesting icing, not bad icing...I could kick it off when I returned to the tracks, but nonetheless that slowed me down. Chris Nice went double poling by on an uphill. Interesting....he had no kick either. Ben Haydock's hairies stopped working at 3km....interesting. Evan's ARs didn't work so well on lap 2....interesting. Rob passed me and disappeared around a corner on the next downhill, until I passed him sprawled out in the middle of the track.....interesting. On lap 2 I got into an interesting rythm...hop out the track to run the uphill....hop back into the track before the top to start kicking the ice off before the course flattened out or went was an interesting rythm.

It was an interesting day. Just like Craftsbury was interesting and the Bogburn was interesting and the Mass Qualifier race at Prospect was interesting. I'm tired of interesting. I'm looking for boring. Special Blue about that?

J2 Boys
2 Jackson Rich
17 Eli Hoenig
10 Nick Serbedzija

J2 Girls
9 Corey Stock
20 Hannah Smith

24 Chris Stock
28 Isaac Hoenig
50 Rob Bradlee
67 Evan Doucett
81 Jim Stock
85 Jamie Doucett
86 James Tracey

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mass High School Classic Qualifier Results

The Mass High School Qualifier Classic race results are posted at:

CSU had an excellent day. 29 CSU kids skied in the race. We qualified 18 for the Eastern High School Championships to be held at Trapp's in March and qualified 11 for the J2 Championships to be held in Jackson, NH in March. Hilary Rich and Chris Stock were also the race winners. Way to go team!

Goodbye, Bonkville!

Bill Holland's report on Craftsbury. He wins the prize!

After reading so many reports of people second-guessing their wax, I'm reassured that my going waxless was the smartest move, given my lack of klistering prowess. In pondering the options as I drifted off to sleep Friday night, I had vivid images of having decent kick for about 10K, then
losing it all by the end of the second or third corkscrew downhill scraped clean of powder. So I decided, "To heck with prepping four pairs of ski a al Rob Bradlee! I'm going waxless." As it turned out, my trusty Fischer Crowns (with Helix sprayed on the pattern) were pretty marginal on icy sections of track, but they worked great on snowblown powder where I often found myself diagonal skiing through the herringbone tracks of my predecessors. Had the anticipated sunniness occurred, and things softened up a bit, they might have been great. As for the downhill sections, I never felt I was giving away anything to the kick-waxers. On the contrary, that's where I would often start reeling people in.

Having started at the very back of the first wave, I had a lot of catching up to do. As a result, I overdid it over the first 25K, often relying overmuch on the upper body to propel me on slippery uphill sections. Once we hit the Outdoor Center trails, I could feel the arms going, so I backed
off the pace for a while and didn't start feeling strong again until after the big downhill following Ruthie's Run. It was during this phase that five or six people, including Wes, caught up and passed me. But even though I wasn't setting any speed records, it felt great to pass so many spots where I'd bonked in previous races: as you enter the Outdoor Center trails, at the bottom of Ruthie's Run; at the top of Ruthie's Run, where I once crawled inside a car; on that little open area just before you hit the trail along the lake; at the final aid station by the soccer field; and, of
course, on that last huge uphill. I passed those spots like those little crosses you see next to the highway, and each time I thought, "Wow! I've still got gas in the tank. What a novel sensation!"

As we approached the Common, I examined the urge to kill myself with one final superhuman burst of DP-ing. I remember thinking, "Here comes the trusty old Superego, telling me that only if I push myself to the point of collapse will I feel like a real man. Think I'll just let that one slide."
I settled for just finishing smoothly and congratulated the Dartmouth girl, who passed me in the final stretch and was coughing her lungs out on her hands and knees. More power to her!

Looking back, I feel my intuition before the Jackson 30K proved on target. That was the race to go all out for: the perfect distance, the perfect course, the perfect conditions. Craftsbury, I sensed, would be more about simply going the distance and banishing the ghosts of bonks past. And thanks to lots of work last fall and summer on the vertical Concept II rower with the Taylor bar draped over the handle, that's how it worked out.

Bill Holland

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Craftsbury Tales

Let's hear some tales from Craftsbury! Add yours by going to comments below. Here are a few photos - of Andy putting the hurt on Rob up the last hill, Wes finishing and Dave Currie fighting the wind across the last flat.