I just got back from my first ski here in Silver Star. We (my team, NDC Thunder Bay, and some OST skiers) arrived in Kelowna, BC late yesterday afternoon and drove up through Vernon (where we did a grocery shop) to our accommodation at Silver Star mountain. It’s hard to believe this is my 5th consecutive year coming to Silver Star for early snow, and my third year staying in the same house (craazy). It makes me feel old. The excitement of being here isn’t getting old yet though.
This morning we were greeted with fresh snow and mild conditions (-4C), a much appreciated change from the -20C dry old snow and 0C freezing rain we were getting in Thunder Bay. There aren’t any waxing facilities in our accommodations, so we do our basic scraping and waxing on the porch.
We drove over the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, which is just down the road, for our first ski. We took some nice selfies in the van on the way over. I don’t usually take selfies, but Silver Star is a special place and this was a special occasion. Also just noticed, looking at this photo, that our Ford Flex real has sunroof(s).
The altitude here is about 1600m, so my focus for this first workout was to stay super relaxed, and not get too excited and start hammering. This was also the message the coaches were pressing on the crew. We were allowed to hammer, however, during the ~10second sprints we did. It was a lot of fun. We did a few big line sprints across the stadium, then some around the sprint course in smaller groups. A few people chose to classic ski, so it was interesting to see that the difference in speed was negligible over the short distance
There isn’t a NorAm at Sovereign Lake this year, just a BC cup, so it’s much quieter than I’m used to. I think only our crew and CNEPH are here right now. Nakkertok and Big Thunder are supposed to be arriving in the next few days. Andy and Bob are down in West Yellowstone racing the SuperTour, along with the AWCA. I am writing this as the skate sprint races take place. They don’t seem to have an active live-results stream, so I’ve been following the FasterSkier posts on Twitter to see how things shake out. Andy qualified 3rd, and Bob in 19th. So far only results for quarters are done and it looks like Andy is the only Canadian to make it through to semi’s. Update at the end of the post if the heats have finished by then.
Yes, so this afternoon I will be getting organized, doing some schoolwork and maybe prepping some of my new skis. This week in Silver Star will be a good opportunity for me to practice testing skis and to get a feel for my new equipment. I have more skis this year than ever before so I need to be better at testing as well, in order to make the most of my fleet.
It may seem ridiculous to anyone who comes from outside the competitive ski world, to have a dozen pairs of skis. And it kind of is. But when you’re travelling and racing in a wide range of conditions, it’s important to have appropriate equipment. Okay, maybe appropriate isn’t the right word, because you don’t just want appropriate skis, you want fast skis! And the only way to tell if a ski is fast is to compare it to another ski. This quickly evolves into having lots of skis. Shout out to Salomon for awesome skis.
And that’s that. The races down in West Yellowstone are still underway, although they seem to be dealing with some result hiccups. Racing continues in America tomorrow with a 15k skate, then next weekend in Bozemen, before the Canadian race circuit kicks off on December 13th in Rossland, BC.
Updates to come spontaneously throughout my time out west! I write exams on the 8th and 10th, so probably not on those days (probably, strange things happened when I’m school stressed).
PROOFREADING UPDATE: I found a video lifestream thanks to a SkiTrax tweet: http://new.livestream.com/xcountrylive/events/3616169/images/69769649
So far I have only heard wind noises, seen some rec skiers and spectators pass by.
2nd UPDATE: The live stream isn’t really live, and idk how to make it work. I need a nap. Bye.