Spring Training, Summer Skiing
I’m sitting by the window watching the rain pound down outside for the second day in a row. It’s too stormy to go outside, so I figure it might be nice to write a blog in the middle of my camp rather than during the in between stage that is filled with simultaneous reflection and anticipation.
First a recap. I ended the season last year with a third place at US Nationals in the Giant Slalom at Sugarloaf Maine in March on a crazy day where the wind was blowing the gates to the ground and the snow covered up the dye on the course minutes after it was sprayed. It was my second third of US nationals, and I was happy to end the season on the podium. That being said, the conditions, and my other end of the season results, left me with a feeling of incompleteness. But I don’t think I will ever feel ready for a season to end.
The Nor-Am season also wrapped up in Sugarloaf. I won the Super-G Nor-Am Title and tied for the Super-Combined Nor –Am title with fellow teammate Nina O’Brien, which means I have my own spot for all the World Cup (WC) super-g’s and super combines next season!!!! (If I wish to use them). I also got third in the overall Nor-Am standings. I was most excited with the super-g win because super-g has always been my break through event, even though I am usually the underdog in it because I grew up in NY and am not a speed skier. I’m hoping to be able to use some of my WC super-g starts on more technical hills this season. Unfortunately WC super-g’s are set for the speed circuit which means they are usually a lot more open and straight than Nor-Am super-g’s because most of the people skiing them are downhillers, not tech skiers. This definitely does not suit my style, but there are some steeper, faster hills that are more technical and those are where I will have the best chance.
Mom drove Nina and me straight from the GS at Us Nationals to school at Dartmouth, and I began my third term. Ten weeks flies by, and I always wish I had more time by the end of the term. But ten weeks is better than none, so I’m glad spring term works so well into my schedule.
With my Super-G title I made B Team criteria and was named to the team in May. I had my first camp in Squaw Valley in May with Nina, Resi, and our coaches Magnus, Jeff, and Andrea; our new World Cup Tech team. Even though it was only a week long, this was the most productive camp I have ever been to. The weather was amazing, the snow was great, the coaching fantastic, and best of all, the team environment was super awesome. We were able to get close to twenty runs in the course every day for six days straight, which is unheard of. This camp made me especially excited for the year ahead, and played a role in me deciding to not attend school in the summer and focus entirely on my ski season.
After the Spring Term I had a couple days break before I headed to Mt. Hood to join the US Ski Team Europa Cup team for a week of training that was unfortunately shortened by rain and fog and dangerous conditions. I did get the chance to mountain bike in Hood River with a couple of the guys on one of our cancelled training days, and it was so much fun. It was raining and slippery, (and I almost fell off a bridge five minutes into the ride) but the trails were the best I’ve ever ridden and super fun to slide our way down. Studies say that mountain biking is one of the best-proven ways to cross train for skiing, and I absolutely love doing it.
I then stayed in Mt. Hood to try to get some extra on snow time and make some money coaching the ten-day long National Development Camp for the top U14’s to U16’s from across the country.
After three weeks in Hood I was ready to come home and focus on my dry land training while helping Andrew run our seventh year of Camp Mangan. It’s crazy to think that some of the kids coming to Camp weren’t even born when we first started! Camp Mangan is always really fun, and really tiring, and I was in the middle of an intensive summer training block, so I was especially beat at the end of every day.
I was also planning my first overnight Adventure Camp for nine girl ski racers, which I held the following week to raise money to fund my season and also to mentor and spend time with NYSSRA athletes who love skiing as much as me. This camp was different than Camp Mangan and with the help of Mary we planned a weeks worth of super fun dry land activities, afternoon adventures, and fun crafts and challenges. The week flew by, and I hope the girls had just as much fun as I did.
After this I flew to Park City for a week to do my fitness testing and get my equipment dialed in. It was awesome to be in Park City and I wish I had more than a week to spend there. There are so many activities to do constantly in Park City, and I tried to fill every day with my as much mountain biking, roller blading, volleyball, and evening park sessions as possible, while also doing our dry land program at the Center of Excellence every day. At the end of this week I spent a weekend in Sun Valley with a group of friends mountain biking, hiking, camping and exploring Idaho. It was really nice to get one weekend away with friends adventuring, and this was definitely the highlight of my summer.
I flew home right after the weekend was over and was home for two days before leaving for Japan and China with Connor, Andrew, and Peter. This was my first trip out of the country that wasn’t skiing related and also the first time I had traveled just with my siblings. We saw a ton in our ten days in East Asia and it was incredible to experience the different cultures with my brothers.
After a 24 hour trip to Shanghai, I traveled to New Zealand, which was only an hour shorter of a journey than my teammates traveling from the US!
I am now in New Zealand for four weeks training, racing, and hopefully getting faster! The landscapes continue to take my breath away every chairlift ride, long car drive, and hike.