Monday, November 20, 2017

One Camp to Rule Them All

This year our team decided to consolidate resources and only travel to one camp, since this camp was going to be all the way down in New Zealand... I'll be the first to admit I was initially skeptical of the camp mostly from a travel perspective. I don't particularly like flying (pretty sure most people feel that way) and I generally have little success sleeping on planes. However, despite almost two days of travel (just to get there), sitting out the first week of camp with strep throat, and experiencing some puke-inducing carsickness, I would still rank the New Zealand camp as our best camp to-date. The skiing far exceeded my expectations with almost 30k of groomed trails and endless kilometers of crust cruising. The landscape was like nothing I've ever seen before with what I consider very disparate biomes all occurring within a close proximity. While my phone camera certainly won't do the scenery justice, I think it will do better than a description! Another positive aspect of the camp was its simplicity. We stayed at the Snow Farm, which was right on the trails, so we didn't need a rental car for most of the camp and the food was incredible.  It's perhaps best described as an Asian/British/Indian fusion, and in the three weeks we were there we didn't have a single repeat meal! Although there were plenty of meals I would have gladly consumed a second time.  Anyway, enough with the words and onto some photos!

Cardrona Valley viewed from the Snow Farm access road
Looking towards Wanaka

The Southern Alps

The Snow Farm as seen from the Glen

First day out skiing in Hanging Valley!

Snow cave city

Taking a self-directed tour of snow cave city...


A misty morning overlooking the Glen

One of the clearer foggy days!
And one of the less clear foggy days...
Caitlin, where's the trail?!


Racing!! We got to jump into some FIS races 
that were part of the New Zealad Winter Games.
(photo: Sophie Caldwell)

A clear day for intervals!
(photo: Nick Brown)

Nick getting artsy with his shots

Lake Wanaka on our off-day

Fun in the sun
(photo: Ben)

Cruising the crust up to Mount Pisa

Can you spot mini-Liz?

Top of Pisa

Pepa and Ben affixing our chains. We had a rather 
hair-raising descent from the Snow Farm upon our departure!

Grader vs camper van on a slick road

Looking over Lake Wakatipu from
the Queenstown hill

The obligatory wildflower photo

Enjoying a tropical moment

Running along Lake Wakatipu

A flowering magnolia tree in the
Queenstown botanical gardens

Flowers the size of your face

And some very large trees! 
(Or is it mini-Caitlin?!)

A very happy Ben with his very large burger

We followed up burgers with ice cream.
No better way to end a camp!

I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to train in New Zealand. It was a unique experience and a valuable camp that would never have gotten off the ground, let alone gotten us to New Zealand and back, without the support of Pepa, Nick, and the Outdoor Center. We're now headed off to West Yellowstone for our first races of the season! With all the down-under ski training under our belts, it won't feel strange to strap on skis again. Thanks for reading :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Summing up Summer

I think this might be the longest I've gone without posting... That definitely wasn't my goal which is why I'm not going to extend that time any longer! So without further delay, here's a brief summary of my summer. It's been over 6 months since I last posted, so I'm actually going to to start with a few old pictures of notable moments from the end of last season. And I threw in few pictures from my spring vacation... because who doesn't want to see a few wildflower photos!

In March, four of my teammates and I
competed at World Cup Finals in
Quebec City (not pictured is Ben and Ida).
It was really fun to be there with my GRP
teammates and to have so many friends
and family members cheering for us
(photo: Gretchen Powers)

We wrapped up our season with SuperTour Finals in
Fairbanks, AK. The definite highlight of the week was the
team relay. Our wax-tech/friend Ollie stepped up to the plate
and raced the anchor leg so we could have an official team
which was awesome and a ton of fun!
Exploring Virginia! My mom and I camped on Lake
Moomaw for a few days which was lovely.
 It reminded me a bit of Vermont. 

More Virginia scenery

And, of course, some wildflowers!
This is a Bloodroot flower
(Sanguinaria canadensis)

And a flowering Eastern Redbud tree
 (Cercis canadensis)
One of my spring projects involved making a few
cork boards from wine corks I collected in middle school
from the park in front of the Eiffel Tower! As you can see,
I've been meaning to do this for a while...

As always summer has flown by in a blur of training, work, and family time. We do the bulk of our training volume in the summer as well as most of our work for the Center so we are kept on our toes. It's also the most time we spend at home in Vermont which makes it the perfect opportunity to hang with my family. I find it easy to be busy, but much harder to take the rest time I need. I'm getting better at that though! This summer we were again joined by three college skiers who were a lot of fun to train with and get to know. Here's a smattering of summer photos to illustrate some of my summer activities/adventures. There are quite a few nature photos, but just know that I did weed out a lot of them...

View from the top of Belvidere Mountain during 
an early summer hike with my sister
Looking out from Heavens Bench at Kingdom Trails.
I was quite happy to make it to Burke twice this summer
to go mountain biking!
Drafting some farm equipment (photo: Pepa)

Local barn dance fundraiser at the Rowell's! The barn
floor was bouncing so much I thought it might break!

Roof rafters

Finally some good weather for the weekly Tuesday Night
Citizens' Race! We have notoriously rainy/thundiferous
weather every Tuesday so we're always grateful when the
 sun peaks out. The solar panels also appreciated
the rays...  And the rainbow was an added bonus!

Got to spend every Wednesday afternoon 
biking with this fun crew!
My favorite view driving home to Elmore

Some cows chilling in their field

George the hiking newt

A Wood Turtle munching its leafy lunch

A dewy spiderweb

Some Chicken of the Woods

Off to the Entmoot!!
Millers on vacation - knitting and napping on the beach

One of the giant spinning machines at the Green Mountain
Spinnery! I had a lot of fun checking out all the machinery
and would love to see them in action sometime.
So much yarn! I've been doing some knitting
this summer in preparation for restocking
my Etsy shop this fall.
Summer at Elinors!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and my next post will be from snowy New Zealand! And I won't wait six months to write it!