Now in its sixth year, the annual Pacific Northwest Troutlake Junior Development Camp, was moved to the Seagle Ranch in nearby Glenwood, WA this past week where 37 skiers from Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and New York gathered for a week of training, technique instruction, and camaraderie. Attracting national talent and a superb coaching staff, the Glenwood-Troutlake camp has easily become one of the premier dry-land junior development camps in the country.
With clouds hanging ominously on the flanks of Mt. Adams, the week began with a 17-mile rollerski up through winding canyons into the ranches and prairies that surround Glenwood. Focusing on speed and technique, skiers were able to roll through the countryside virtually alone; the few cars that passed slowed to gawk at the spectacle and were gone.
Somehow the rain held off, caught where the foothills of the Cascades separate eastern and western Washington. Blessed by cool temperatures and partly cloudy skies, athletes were able to comfortably train between 15-20 hours during the camp, spending their mornings rollerskiing after lectures that focused on proper technique and the differences between rollerskiing and snow skiing. Afternoons were dedicated to intervals, runs, circuit strength, hikes, and games.
What is it that makes the Glenwood-Troutlake camp so special? Certainly the coaching staff, led by the knowledge, experience, and excitement of Ben Husaby (head coach of the Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation), provides the essential dedication and drive to inspire young athletes to train and perform. The presence of two former Olympians, seven junior national champions, and three world junior team members bring a level of accomplishment to the group that is unique and challenges those who are still at the beginning of their ski careers to look upward and see that, if they are careful, if they train properly and listen to their coaches, the path is there for them to follow.
Or maybe it is Mt. Adams itself that provides the camp its heady air. Looming there, always on the horizon, its western slopes buffeted by snowstorms in July, its summit ripping clouds apart as they pass over. The mountain is a symbol of power and toughness. A reminder of why we are out here in the first place, and all that it takes to be the best.
Are we all in? Do you even need to ask?