Back in the Saddle, Again

FasterSkierOctober 23, 2012

The ski world is abuzz with news of recent snowfalls, exciting athletes and enthusiasts to don the summer-stored lycra and rock skis and hit the new-fallen freshies. We of the Methow Olympic Development Squad are no different; when the weather turned wintry and Washington Pass received its first decent dump, we quickly filled the car and headed up in altitude. Local Toko representative and avid skimeister Dave Ford graciously spent his morning dragging track sled around the Overlook road, a 1.8km loop of pavement which usually provides our first on-snow experience of the year. Despite there being a scant 6-8″ of snow on the road, Dave managed to make a very decent track, and Brian, Caitlin and I were able to get a good hour and a half of distance classic skiing in this afternoon.

First tracks of the year, with Silver Star Peak in the rear        

Each year it gets easier to transition from rollerskis to snow; today I felt great on the snow, and though my triceps will probably be sore from relying more on my arms than usual, it was a good first run.

We’re into some of the most crucial training of the year right now. Not that we’re changing up the workouts that much, but there is more emphasis placed on proper recovery and maximum absorption of the training load. We’re too close to the start of the season now to have mistakes occur; sickness, fatigue or injury would be a much greater derailment now than in July.

Brian, expressing immediate confusion at the strange brand of skis in his hands.

As the weather pushes further and further into winter here on the Valley floor, it will become more difficult to conduct our normal dryland routine. Hopefully the snow on the pass will hold for a few weeks until we can migrate up to Silver Star Resort in B.C. for our annual pre-season camp. I love getting up to Silver Star in mid-November; there is hardly anyone else there and usually the snow is great. It’s a perfect loading dose of on-snow time before launching into the big show at West Yellowstone.

Stay tuned for more, as things start to ramp up!

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