I got back to Elinor’s a couple of days ago from a few week hiatus on the west coast. Pepa and I had talked about getting a solid block of altitude training in during the fall, and with friends in high places I took advantage of my college teammate Simi Hamilton’s hospitality in Ketchum, Idaho during most of September.
This place is unbelievable for training. In three weeks I barely dusted the surface on the miles of singletrack that unroll from the edges of town. I took advantage of the thin air by really pushing the volume for the 20 days I was out there, logging over 60 hours and also joining in with the USST on a few speed works during their training camp. With a slight heel injury towards the end of my time in Sun Valley, I was able to really push the mountain biking hours without a guilty conscience. It’s funny now that I’m back in VT where it’s too wet to ride right now, my foot is miraculously feeling much better. I suppose Pepa’s gypsy remedies might be partially responsible as well.
Simi and I headed down to southern Idaho towards the end of my stay to catch the tail end of the summer heat and get in some climbing and camping at the City of Rocks. I had never been down there before, and three days wasn’t nearly enough to soak up all the radicalness that place has to offer. Simi, a geology major at Midd, informed me on our drive down that the rock there is a giant granite basilisk, which I am 90% certain is the big snake Harry Potter killed in his 2nd year at Hogwarts. Upon closer reading of the National Reserve website, it turns out Simi was actually correctly informed (but he is still 2 credits short of earning that elusive college degree). This batholith offers some of the coolest granite spires I’ve ever climbed. In the few short days we were there, we basically climbed while it was light and slept when it was dark. With plenty of fire-cooked dinner each evening, followed with of course dessert, we were ready to rally in the morning. I was even fortunate enough to make acquaintance with a kindly Welsh fellow who ended up giving me a ride to SLC and saving Sim the trek.
All in all- a great training camp with solid company and a superb ending. Despite the three days of torrential rain I’ve been greeted with back in VT, it’s good to be home and smell fall in the air and chase the leaves as they head to the ground. Now it’s down to business taking care of all the little details before the ski season starts. We head to Lake Placid camp with the USST next week, and then on the 25th it’s go time to find snow across the pond in Finland. I’m ready for it.