Ella Hall

HomeAuthor Ella Hall

Growing up in Washington’s Methow Valley, Ella was immersed in skiing and the ski community from a young age. From early days bundled in the pulk, to learning to ski as soon as she could walk, to junior racing, a few seasons of collegiate racing, and then to coaching, she has experienced the ski world in many forms. Now, as a recent graduate from Dartmouth College, she finds herself living in France splitting her time between teaching English at a university in Lyon, avidly following ski racing (and now writing about it!) and adventuring in the outdoors as often as possible.
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At the end of October, Team Birkie headed west for three-weeks. Leaving the midwest in search of a higher altitude training venue and snow, they headed first to Park City, UT, then north to Canmore, Alberta, where winter has already settled in. Coach Caitlin Gregg had several objectives for the camp, primarily related to training time above sea-level. Her first goal for the team was to get in a three-week altitude block, in order to...

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This World Cup coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and their A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage please contact info@fasterskier.com. In just two days, the World Cup season will be kicking off in Ruka, Finland. For the American squad, this means they have left behind the final throes of...

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For those who have yet to experience the beauty of Canmore, Alberta, a Google search for photos of the town alone should provide sufficient motivation to put it on your travel bucket list. A dramatic skyline of rugged and imposing peaks provide a backdrop to main street, the Nordic Centre, and pretty much anywhere else you could visit in the Kananaskis Valley. Smaller than its perhaps better-known neighbor, Banff, the streets of Canmore are lined...

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Fans of ski-mountaineering, mountain-running, or ultra events will likely have heard of Emelie Forsberg. A Swedish athlete representing Salomon, Forsberg has an impressive racing resume including, numerous ski-mo World Cup victories, World Championships titles from the Sky running ultra distance series and the women’s Fastest-Known-Time (FKT) on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Grand Teton, and more. Her partner, Kilian Jornet, is a world-renown athlete whose many feats are too numerous to list here. The two...

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There’s no denying that participation in a sport like cross country skiing is a privilege, from which many people are excluded. Whether it be the cost of gear, the investment of time, the inability to access a trailhead by public transportation, or simply the lack of representation in the sport, there are a number of significant barriers that would-be participants face. FasterSkier has already highlighted the fact that our sport is disproportionately white, and as...

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At the end of September, Madshus USA announced that they had hired Lina Hultin as the new Race and Service Manager. According to the press release, “Lina will work towards finding, developing, and retaining the most talented and influential Nordic athletes in every age category. She will also work closely with the rest of the Madshus team to develop, and execute, a club and coach program that supports the brand and its dealers throughout the...

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Perhaps the only downside of a love for cross country skiing is the general inability to slide on snow year-round, without significant travel. Consequently, those looking to keep the spirit (and specific strength) alive are bound to find themselves with a pair of wheels strapped to their feet during the snow-free months of the year. The frequency of this phenomenon exists on a spectrum.  For athletes training to race, rollerski sessions are an integral part...

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When you’re out exercising, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your clothing. There are any number of more important thoughts that should be occupying your mind, like: “Don’t trip on that rock;” “Look at that beautiful view;” “What’s my heart-rate?” and so on. Unfortunately, all too often, clothing malfunctions can get in the way of a perfectly good outing. Maybe your shorts are chafing, or maybe they keep riding down as...

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The World Cup season is around the corner, and it’s adding a new stop. Already the site of the annual Transjurassienne ski marathon and recent host of the nordic combined and ski jumping events at the Youth Olympic Games in 2020, Les Rousses, France is ready to put on the country’s first cross-country World Cup since 2016. As stated in a FIS press release, recently, the FIS cross-country World Cup team met up at the...

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With temperatures dropping steadily each day and the first signs of winter visible on distant mountaintops, the mind of a skier inevitably turns towards thoughts of snow. For the professionals this goes one step further: how and when can they get on snow before the season starts? In the US, pre-season snow time is limited. Once the snow disappears on Mount Bachelor, the Eagle Glacier in Alaska is typically the only domestic pre-season skiing available,...

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While the majority of the members of the World Cup squad are based in either Vermont or Alaska during the summer, 28-year-old Kevin Bolger has continued his streak of seasons spent above the 60th north parallel. FasterSkier caught up with Bolger just as he was returning to the U.S. from a few months of training in Sweden.  Just before his return, Bolger had competed in the Alliansloppet rollerski races, taking place as part of the...

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Nordic festival are two words most North American ski fans can only dream about. Skinny skiers here are unlikely to experience the reality of such an event for themselves unless they make a trip across the Atlantic. For residents of France, the opportunity to participate in the second edition of the Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival presented itself this weekend and there were many eager attendees. This lucky expat was among the masses. For those unfamiliar...

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Thinking about a summers-end backpacking trip and wondering what shorts to bring? Or perhaps you are searching for the best pair of shorts for a run/hike/lake-dip outing? Look no further than the Norrøna’s Loose Shorts. These shorts top the ratings in terms of versatility and offer plenty of good pocket options to boot.  Made of more than 50% recycled synthetic fiber, the shorts are breathable, lightweight, and durable. Weighing in at 140 grams (that’s just...

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Most FasterSkier readers will be familiar with the name Peter Graves, also referred to as the voice of cross country skiing (and incidentally, the author’s uncle). This summer, Graves lent his voice to the cycling venues near Tokyo for the 2020-turned-2021 Olympic Games. For Graves, this marks his twelfth time announcing at the Games, including summer and winter appearances. Needless to say, he has a wealth of experience. FasterSkier connected with Graves on a recent...

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After a year of postponement caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the summer Olympics are going ahead, with the opening ceremony on Jul 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Setting opinions aside about the lingering threat of COVID or other Olympic-related controversies, the coming weeks will provide countless moments of great sport. Although we are a winter-focused publication here at FasterSkier, we’ve done a little research into how you can best view the upcoming games. NBC is...

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As the Western US experiences unprecedented early summer temperatures FasterSkier reached out to some U.S. Ski Team athletes to get their tips and tricks for training in the heat. (Dehydration is serious. Look out for these signs that your fluids need to be replenished: Extreme thirst, infreqent urination, dark urine, fatique, and lethargy.   We reached Kevin Bolger in Bozeman, Montana (the temperature at the time of writing: 94°F) where he was training before heading...

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I used to think cross-country skiing was a niche sport. Any self-proclaimed Nordic skier can relate to telling someone you’re a “skier” and having them automatically assume you mean alpine skiing. And if you bother to explain what kind of skier you actually are, there’s a good chance they will still have no idea what you’re talking about. Now combine Nordic skiing with the similarly-niche (though better known in Europe) sport of orienteering and you...

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In a statement on social media last week, Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall announced that she had made the decision to step down from her position as a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes Commission. “Unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances in my personal life have made it difficult for me to contribute the energy and attention necessary to fulfill my IOC roles at a level consistent with my values,” wrote Randall.    Members of the...

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Following the FIS Cross-Country committee meetings in May, the FIS Council approved the race calendar for the upcoming season. On the list of events is the newly approved Mixed Relay (4x5km) and Mixed Team sprint, both to debut Sunday, March 13th, 2022 in Falun Sweden. The Swedish Ski Federation and the “Svenska Skidspelen” organizers conducted a study on the feasibility of these formats before approval. At last year’s Swedish senior national competition in Falun, they...

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No two bodies are alike. This holds true for athletes and non-athletes. As activewear becomes an increasingly popular outfit choice, the clothing market has seen a proliferation of brands — from Lululemon to Athleta, to Girlfriend, the options seem endless. In spite of the availability of activewear, it is perhaps not always designed with a spectrum of athletic body types in mind. Enter Indura Athletic, a small-business startup run by nordic skier Abby Drach. Her...