11/11/11 @ 11:11:11

FasterSkierNovember 11, 2011
MK refueling at the junction of the Jerusalem and Long Trail.

Most of us woke up today sore from yesterday’s tough double session.  Thursday morning we did running intervals with an emphasis on time progression through the intervals.  The first set of four was approximately 1200 meters on wooded running trails and then we shifted to the track for a set of four 200’s.  The kids did great work and improved their times from the end of September — spending some time in the pain cave in the process.  The afternoon session started with soccer for warm-up and then a devilish (3 sets of 6 reps) strength session focused on the upper body.  We concluded the set with 100m repeats on the SkiErg in prep for the World Champs this weekend.  There was great comradery in the gym, with coaches, alum Preston Butler, and the team pushing each other to heavy metal music — something to do with this mornings soreness…

Baby Gap Morning Light.

In hopes of finding mental and physical relief yesterday’s intensity we loaded into the vans and headed to the hills.  The goal was an adventurous distance session to round out our last volume week before heading to West Yellowstone.  Maybe it was the great phenomenon of 1’s lined up on top of each other, or maybe it was just by chance, but there was a nice blanket of snow coating the mountains this morning.  Above Mad River Glen we stashed bikes in my truck and shuttled to the west side of the Greens in the van, where we parked at the base of the Jerusalem Trail.  We hiked and jogged upwards into increasing whiteness and reflected on the last year, Dev was quick to remind me that on this day (11/11/10) we had skinned and skied Mad River Glen, and the stark change in the weather over the past two days — we’d worked out in shorts and t-shirts in the past days.

Raf’s reflective-anti-hunter-garb was a hit with the kids.

The cold air always feels nice and the new snow makes the heart of nordic skiers race — we couldn’t help push the pace a bit as we ascended to the ridge and the junction with the Long Trail.  After 2.5 miles we were right up in winter and we took a left — to the north — and headed toward Mad River Glen.  We left our bikes at the top of the Practice Slope so we could roll down Route 17 and return to school under our own power.

Dev and Ryley headed into the white.

Atop the ridge, the sun was poking through the clouds, affording brilliant light contrast.
A happy crew poses for the camera.

We reached Mad River Glen and the Starks Nest where Coach Beckwith took advantage of some perfect snow angel conditions.  Rafter stayed true to his desires of being as human-like as possible, “Dad, that looks like fun.”

 Looking out the window of the Starks Nest down into the frosty Mad River Valley.

 The boys decided to take a run down Chute, while the girls opted for the work road which wraps around the mountain.

MK and Heidi checking out the lifts.

After lacing our way down the slopes and slip-sliding over the snow covered moss and grass we arrived at the bike stash spot just in time for the magical 111111111111 moment that was spent airborne (blog top photo).  We changed into dry layers and prepared for a quick, but cold decent to the Valley floor and a hot lunch awaiting us at campus.

I don’t think any of us expected to be hiking in the snow today, but it was a welcome change from the third summer we experienced this week.  We spent the morning with contagious smiles and wandering imaginations … what will this season bring, how lucky are we to live in this beautiful place, and how long till we can ski again in the VT?


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