Former biathlete, current coach….all round nordic enthusiast!

An elite athlete competing in the sport of biathlon: nordic ski racing combined with marksmanship

Sunday, December 2, 2012

West to Bozeman and on to SUN VALLEY!

A few photos from my last ski in West Yellowstone on the plateau. It was stellar.

After a week in driving up to ski on the plateau in West Yellowstone my biathlete teammate, Raleigh, and I decided to migrate to Bozeman, MT with our cross country counterparts. Bozeman hosted the next three Super Tour races on the cross country circuit but more importantly, they had better snow. Had being the key word here. Click on any photo to view them all larger in a slideshow. 

Awesome conditions on the plateau. 

Raleigh practicing "recovery eating": don't waste too much energy moving food from your plate to your mouth!

We drove up to Bozeman on Tuesday. Wednesday was a training day and then on thursday some of us, myself included, raced a skate sprint at Bohart Ranch. In a cross country sprint everyone does a qualifying round where they ski the 1.5k course as fast as possible. The fastest 30 skiers move on to elimination heats. Having not done any kind of XC sprint event in a few years I didn't have very high expectations given the tough field competing. I qualified 30th but got eliminated in the first round. My brother Alex qualified 6th in the men's event and skied through all the heats to a 4th place finish in the "A final".

Alex (L) and I skiing the sprint races. 

Last night I got to visit with family at the Bozeman Christmas Stroll on Main Street. My dad's cousin Chum and his wife Sally live just outside of town in Belgrade. Alex and I met up with them and their son Chad and his family for dinner. Chad has two daughters that are absolutely adorable daughters, Sophia and Faith.

Sophia (L) and Faith are all smiles!

Chum and Sally took their bernese mountain dogs, Stella and Murphy, to a berner gathering a local shoe store in Bozeman...there were a whole bunch of dogs there. 

The conditions at Bohart deteriorated quickly after thursday's races prompting the organizers to move the final two races up to higher trails that were holding onto snow a little better. Saturday was a classic sprint and Sunday was mass start classic; 10k for women and a 15k for men. Saturday I trained on my own and missed most of the racing action but I got to watch both the 10k and 15k on Sunday. The races were exciting but the dreary sight of snow melting put a bit of a damper on the day.

The first long uphill during the men's 15k classic race. 

Given the deteriorating conditions we've decided to change our plans yet again. Initially the plan was three solid weeks in West Yellowstone. We got one. The second plan was to stay the last two weeks here in Bozeman. We could stay here but there's not much skiable snow left so we're rethinking that idea. Tomorrow all of my teammates head east again but Seth and I are heading south to Sun Valley Idaho. They've gotten about four feet of snow in the last week and have more forecasted to fall in the next few days. I've really excited because I've never been there and all the photos I've seen today look like they have some pretty outstanding ski conditions right now. (Check out the Sun Valley link to see photos of the amazing conditions where we're headed).

Check back soon for another update on Sun Valley!

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