XCFeedsSpring (or Winter)? Continues!

FasterSkier FasterSkierApril 4, 2011
Yesterday is a day we look forward to all year — The Sugarbush Triathlon.  The event tests your mettle with four events: a five mile road run, a six mile river paddle, an eight mile road bike and an arduous up-and-down xc ski on the alpine trails at Sugarbush.  Each of the events are solid challenges — and when you combine them back-to-back it makes for an event tough enough to, “rob you of your will to live.” (Luethi)

As you can tell she got over the pain of the final leg rather quickly as we basked in the sun and recreated our journeys.  It was a special day for GMVS athletes in a couple ways: Elena was our first GMVS female Iron Woman and she took second — David, coming off a stellar ski season was ready to take his coach (and race winner for past few years) down — and well… coach made it too :), David took second and JB third for men.

The skiing continues to be great — and a plenty ample excuse for not being in top running, biking or paddling form — it’s just too good to stop schussing.  Here is the snowpack on the south-west aspect of Romance Mountain high above Blueberry Hill in Goshen.  That’s a solid meter of snow folks.

Last week a few of us took a Catamount ski which took us from Waitsfield to Huntington Center, via the Huntington Gap.  Here we cross the Long Trail as we move from the east to west side of the Greens.  Over approximately five hours we covered about ten miles of trail with powder and transforming snow.  The corn cycle over the past weeks have made for the most amazing canvas to ski — you can literally go anywhere your mind allows you.

There is a bench between two hills below Mt. Ira Allen that always warrants a stop.   We stopped for a long lunch, as a broken ski and slow snow prompted us to make some game day decisions and limit our ski to half the original intended distance.  We took our time and shared the goodies from our bags; oranges, granola bars, sandwiches, coffee, apples, and Elena’s Doritos!  The sun was super intense and we were able to relax on moss covered rocks and have a unique peak at Sugarbush and MadRiver from the north — with their classic trails like F.I.S. and Chute picture-framed by maple branches.  From this spot we had a bit more skiing and then a 1500 ft. decent to the finish of the ski.

Ryley contemplating life and sun and dreaming of skiing again tomorrow.

The second and successful mend of Elena’s broken ski.  A ski pole was to rigid of a splint and it would snap the duct tape lashings which prevented the ski from flexing backward.  This splint of poplar made it though several miles and one wicked decent.  Elena gets GNAR points for sure for making this wounded ski last and never complaining about her misfortune.

A neat juxtaposition — and a reality when you have an amazing snowpack with consistent temperatures.  I was invited at the beginning of last week to a canoe, ski and camping trip on the White River.  We literally paddled in our ski boots and navigated ourselves to the bottom of steep chutes that ended riverside.  We had two runs of over a thousand feet and it was amazing how easy this mode of transport made this adventure.  Look at http://www.adventureskier.com ( a website created by Brian Mohr of Moretown) for more photos and thoughts about adventuring in the Greens and beyond.

A quick shot from my canoe of Brian and Emily getting down to the river and taking off their skis.  The woods on our second run were so open you couldn’t help but hoot and holler the whole way down…

Two springs in a row–  tele skiing at Mad River with and Olympian.  Last week, Devlin, Tim and I met up with Garrot Kuzzy and Bill Hegman (Pete, Jack and Ben’s Dad) to have a fun Nordic-Tele-Alpine rendezvous on the slopes of Mad River in softening conditions.

Antoine and Dev got some while we were away at Junior Nationals — including what some of the locals say was the best powder day ever…

The Woodstock boys: Fields, Tucker and Bassette after their sweep of the podium at EHS.  We look forward to training with these fellows this Summer!

Another highlight of my year, getting to hang out and ski with TC (Tim Caldwell) during Junior Nationals.

Ryley snapped a photo of me during wax testing before the classic race.

Ryley made a two-year goal this season — here he looks just fine in the New England JO uniform.  Ryley has made incredible gains — a hundred USSA point drop since 2010 — and we look for more from him in the coming year.

Elena Luethi — three top-tens at JO’s.  Super solid and super psyched to take her A – Game to Williams College next year and start her Carnival career alongside her brother.
An artsy little glimpse at the floor of my truck on return from EHS.
Wax be gone.
And so it’s that time of year, so many directions to choose, so many adventures at our fingertips.
We have one more week together before Spring Break where we will reset our personal clocks, evaluate the 2011 ski season, and make plans for the summer and following year of training.

Life is none short of awesome in Vermont right now.

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