Over 60 of the best nordic athletes and coaches from the Western United States have come to test their mettle in the sunny Sierra Nevada this week. Perfect conditions and a full menu of activities greeted everyone on Sunday, starting out with a special team-bonding experience of a special orienteering contest around Donner Memorial State Park in Truckee. Athletes were divided into teams, with maps, compass, and instructions on how to best navigate the course near Donner Lake. Activities included ski walking, rock climbing, chin-ups, swimming, and more, with some extra twists to make things really interesting (including the task of buying a hot dog or marshmallow from any nearby campers). Results were not concluded as of this writing (but suffice it to say that the coaches team did not win the event).
Activities resumed Monday with lactate testing and roller skiing, and will continue throughout the week until Friday. Athletes and coaches are staying at the Sierra Club’s Claire Tappaan Lodge on Donner Summit, close to Royal Gorge Cross Country ski area. Coaches include Ben Husaby, Gordon Lange, Travis Jones, and U.S. Ski Team’s Pat Casey, along with Far West’s Ben Grasseschi, Sara Salo, and other nordic coaches from around the Western U.S., coaching some of the top juniors in the country.
Pat Casey and fellow US Ski Team Developmental coach Matt Whitcomb have been traveling around the country this summer assisting with various regional elite camps. Two weeks ago, Pat was in Alaska and Matt was on the east coast for respective camps.
Source: Mark Nadell, Far West Nordic