at the Meissner snow shelter during our full-moon back country XC adventure
So my X-mas break was pretty epic. I cross-country skied 3 times, one of which was under a full moon and in the back country. Two times I went at the Olympic Nordic Center in Canmore, Alberta. I played on a playground in -20 degree weather in a foot of snow with my dog(s). I played mounds of music with family and friends. I got to start my new year with my best friends. I skied the Summit of Mt. Bachelor the day that it opened after a storm that brought 6 feet of new snow with it.... Needless to say, I was lucky and busy during my seemingly short stay in the states for the holidays. It was fantastic. And I took pictures of that fantasia. And they are here....
at the playground in Canmore in the early frosty morning (when I couldn't sleep due to jet lag)
I really wanted to play on the monkey bars...
a winter wonderland at home in Oregon
up at the Nordic Center in Canmore, Alberta
full moon of wonder
with the family (plus Austin) :)
Nadi and Midna wrestling
friends and fresh air
Canadian Rockies (Allana is happy about it)
happiness in the dark
just another junction
getting nuts in the Meissner shelter
cold cold sun
the deformed trees are always the prettiest (I love you mum)
Well, that's all folks. I'm so excited to head back to Cortina on Wednesday for another weekend of speed! Standing within vast mountains and beautiful cliffs always makes me feel small, makes me smile, deepens my breath. I'm glad for that, and I'm glad that Cortina is one of those places. I breathe easy just thinking about it... and I'll be there soon. For now, I'm taking advantage of this here couch under my bum and enjoying every minute of it. Peace and love.
In a tunnel on our drive from Val d’Isere, France to Sölden, Austria
And 2012 is gone. Just like that. The days pass quickly when you live in clouds and dance around clocks. I can’t remember thinking this last year, but that’s probably due to the rapidity at which I move from thought to thought. There’s a drone in my head that helps blind me from actuality. Which is nice.
Another nice device: we lived through the end of the world! But what a fuss. It’s intriguing to think about the end… when it’s coming, where it’s coming from. What kind of mayhem will ensue. Hopefully it will come in a long, long while, but for all we know it could be just around the corner. So that’s a bit frightening. Speaking of fright, on my trip home from Europe, in my sleepless state of delirium, I wrote a bit about fear:
I am a mountain. I am agile, resilient, fierce. I am a weapon against myself, ever fighting my fear. Fear. Owning, birthing doubt, hate, sadness, time, confines. Earning its’ place in darkness—a something inevitable, intangible, limitless. An ocean of blackness. An invisible road. A mere thought. Like everything, stemming from nothing—from a place dreamt. A timeless dream, pursuing the unconscious, the unfathomable. Fighting joy and priorities and memories and love. Fighting breath, a dying burden…but passing, fleeting, fear.
At the base of the Copper Mountain Speed Center
Maybe you can understand…
I often look back and realize that my thoughts were far too serious. Perhaps there is a rationale behind silliness, fantasy, and carelessness. I’ve got to delve in it more. Like booming laughter, boundless hugs, bottomless chocolate milks. Cause life is just yummy, and even though it stings sometimes, you’ve got to like it quite spicy. Otherwise fuzzy peaches and sour patch kids and chocolate covered stuff would be just standard: nothing notable.
In the start of the Lake Louise downhill
Stacey’s celebratory glass of alien slime
I can’t seem to find sour patch kids in Europe. Or Oh!’s, good hot salsa, a good taco for that matter, popcorn, a decent mango, kombucha, or a proper bagel. But when I do I’m gonna eat ‘em all day.
Having tea at a café in St. Moritz, Switzerland
I am now in Schladming, Austria, waiting for the skies to stop pissing and the clouds to stop misting. Something out there really doesn’t want us to train. We’ve had a bit of bad luck this year on the world cup speed circuit, but I am sure that the badness can do nothing but turn around and off with itself. I suppose we’ll see…
On the way down from Val d’Isere after an extreme snow storm
We’re heading to St. Anton in a few days. I heard it was supposed to snow a meter there over the next few days (apparently along with everywhere in Austria…in Schladming it’s coming down in the form of water), so hopefully it clears out by Thursday, when our first training run happens. I’m excited to ski on a new course….It sounds steep and very fast, something we’re not particularly accustomed to on the Women’s circuit….Should be exciting!
Some sort of movement
I’ve been taking a few photographs over the past month or so. I occasionally forget that I have such a wonderful camera and such magic to capture with it. But I’ve kept it by my side lately, and have come up with these.
Also taken on the drive from Val d’Isere to Sölden, in the rainy, bright night
Anna Marno and Katie Ryan at the base of the Copper speed run
Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook playing in the snow (throwing snowballs at me)
Wine by the fire in St. Moritz, Switzerland
Julia Ford and her stuff in the Calgary airport
A neat chandeliertypething
At home: moon and branches
I have more from my Christmas break in Canada and Oregon, and will post those soon. Until then, I’ll just be fighting dragons and words and noodles. I’ll keep you posted on that.
I'm amazed we made it out of that place... what a crazy weekend! Before heading to Val d'Isere, we heard that it had been non-stop snowing there since December 1st. After watching the men's GS and SL race, it was clear that there was a ridiculous amount of snow and that the world cup races were difficult to host. It's tough to turn 3 meters of fluffy powder into compact, raceable snow, but the crew in Val d'Isere did an incredible job to make it happen.
On the day that we arrived in Val d'Isere (Monday), it was still dumping snow. We had Tuesday off, and woke up to even more snow falling from the sky, with hopes that it would clear for our training runs and races. Incredibly, when we woke up on Wednesday morning, the skies were bluer than my eyes and completely cloudless. So our first training run was a bit soft and slow, but fun nonetheless. After training I couldn't help but head out to powder ski... two years ago when our Super G race got canceled (due to 1 meter of new snow over night!), we went exploring on our powder skis. I think about that day of free skiing a lot--the snow was so fun and the runs were so steep and challenging. So I had to go out again....
Alice, Julia, and Anna (Julia's physio) joined me for some shredding Wednesday afternoon. The snow was perfect--it was such a cold day, and there were so many areas left untracked, it was hard to call it a day. But with another training run on Thursday and two races on the following days, I knew I had to save a bit of energy. The powder skiing was so refreshing. It's pretty rare that we head out for free skiing off of the runs that we train and race on, but it feels good to get away from all of the intensity that we endure within the ski racing world. It is restoring and allows me to gain a balanced perspective, which I sometimes forget about. It's easy to get caught up in pressure and expectations, and by free skiing I somehow can relieve myself of those negative feelings.
The second training day was very different from the first. The lights were out and it was impossible to see the ground. The snow hardened up a bit, but was definitely bumpier and it felt a bit faster. Come race day and the weather seemed to be cooperating (despite previous reports), it was somewhat sunny and, although the start was moved down due to wind, the wind was relatively calm up top. I had bib 28, and I felt pretty good about the day. When I went I noticed that the light was pretty flat and it was a bit windy up top, though none of that mattered since I lost control and went out on the 5th gate anyhow.... It was a tough race, the course was pretty bumpy and conditions changed throughout the day, but that is part of our sport. I was pretty bummed to have gotten tossed out of the course, but when I got to the bottom I saw that Leanne was in 2nd. NUTS!
I am so psyched for Leanne to have gotten her first podium. I would have guessed that she was going to do it in Super G, but she had a great run and put it together to do it in Downhill. It is so crazy to see all of my teammates skiing so fast. It is inspiring and also comforting, because I know I can be right there with them. I know luck will come my way one of these days and my hard work will pay off. I am just going to enjoy the ride, and trust that I'll ski well as long as I am having fun.
After an excruciatingly long drive yesterday to Sölden (10 hours!), I am enjoying a day off: watching some ski racing (women's and men's world cup GS), doing some laundry, and catching up on emails, blog posts, etc. I am staying here in Sölden for a few days of training before heading back home for x-mas. I am happy to have a few days to train and figure out some equipment issues I have been having, but I am already missing the race scene and can't wait for St. Anton. Until then, I'll post some pictures, videos, etc. of my travels and adventures. I am in the perfect place....
a funny angle of beautiful snow
scoping it out
walking through town (later we got to ski through town...!)
yewww enjoying some pow
adventures to and from, here and there, home and away, around the world--through my eyes, lens, and mind