Dartmouth College freshman skier Emily Hyde is that quintessential bi-coastal athlete: she learned to ski fast in Bend, Ore., and she headed “back” East for the Ivy League academics and to race against some of the country’s best collegiate cross-country skiers. With the East’s grim snow year, Hyde is looking forward to coming home, for yes, on-snow training in June.
Bend is a nordic skiing hotbed. And Hyde took charge there early on. She was a four-time Oregon High School State Cross-Country Ski Champion and she won two Junior National titles her senior year. Perhaps there is no other way to describe it, but Hyde was a big fish in Bend’s somewhat-small pond. Fast forward to this past year, and Hyde held her own on the Carnival circuit and said she loved being pushed by her teammates.
“I think it was really awesome to sort of not be the big fish in a small pond anymore,” Hyde said on the phone. “My team was big enough that everybody was better at some things than everybody else. I know this girl will be really good on this day. Another girl will be really good on that day. But I think that was really cool, because it always kept you accountable. It was just cool to always have someone a a level above you in whatever you were doing.”
Hyde is that type of skier: she is always wanting to improve.
“Personally, I need to keep working on skate skiing,” Hyde said about what she’ll be working on this summer. “My first year in college it was back to back to back racing whereas at home , it was every other week or a week off and then a high school race. I sort of chose what races I was going to do. But this is every weekend and everybody does it. So I think just working on being consistent and being able to push through and be fast every single weekend for six weekends in a row. And I’m not entirely sure how I am going to do that yet. But I think just continuing to build the base.”
Hyde’s goals — improving her skating and building a big base — brings us to this Wednesday Workout which Hyde is a bit homesick for: “The Not-So-L1 Crust Cruising into Broken Top.”
Hyde was on the fence as to whether she’d call it a true Level 1 effort. “You go kind of fast, it feels so good to crust cruise and chase your friends around,” Hyde said. Higher up, as skiers gain altitude, the terrain changes. It morphs from a gradual climb with a few punchy steeps into a sustained grueling climb.
Broken Top, an extinct volcano, features a massive bowl resembling more of a headwall as it steepens and steepens.
“Once you get into the bowl, it is quite steep and quite high,” Hyde noted. “So you can’t really make that L1 unless you one-step and take a breath. I guess I don’t really think about doing it L1, I just want to get to the top.”
The nature of the workout, where the terrain dictates the effort, will help Hyde wake the body up as she adapts to her hometown stomping grounds for the summer.
“It’s going to be an altitude adjustment for sure,” Hyde said. “I think it is cool I’ll be back on skis, which is more natural and it will be the longest workout I will have done. It’s going to be hard in that sense and hard because it is at altitude. But I am not going to dread it. I don’t know if my legs can handle it for three hours — it will be hard but it is a good adjuster.”
Broken Top Crust Cruise How To’s:
– Watch the weather. Wait for a several day’s long high pressure system with clear cold nights.
– Head up to Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center on a bluebird day, head out the Common Corridor Trail, hang a left at the snow covered road, and head downhill to Todd Lake.
– Ski across Todd Lake, assuming it’s frozen, and head north. Gain the ridge, and aim towards Broken Top. The wide open bowl on Broken Top’s east-southeast flanks will be obvious as you ascend above tree line.
Round trip: approximately four hours.
Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.