Jason Albert

HomeAuthor Jason Albert

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.
https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Caldwell18220vt053.jpg

Perhaps, by the time you read this, Sophie Caldwell will have already sped her way around the sprint circuit in Ruka, Finland. The World Cup begins on Friday. At once Caldwell possesses a down-to-earth humility and a killer’s instinct to find the gaps and repeatedly progress through World Cup sprint heats. Off the course, she’s more likely to ask about your day than she is to dwell on a World Cup podium. We caught up...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/11/U23-2019-1242x720.png

Molly is a rare dog, although let’s go with this premise, all dogs are good. But some, like Molly, might be slightly better. Hailing from a working line of Springer Spaniels in Northern Ireland, Molly now resides in Sweden with her caretakers, Joanna and Michael Sjöö. Both are part-time doping control agents with the Swedish Sports Federation.  Molly is six years old and also works a part-time gig with the Swedish Sports Federation. With a...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/Maubet-Bjornsen15122019fm3213.jpg

The cyclic nature of the U.S. Ski Team can be described as a slow churn. The team, most often, invests considerable time and resources on developing promising skiers. Roster turnover, from year to year, is rare. Among those rarefied athletes we take for granted as nearly always being part of the elite of elite is Sadie Bjornsen. Originally from the Methow Valley and now a resident of Anchorage, Alaska where she trains with APU, the...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2009/02/craftsbury-church.jpg

On short notice in October, the International Ski Federation (FIS) reversed its fluoro wax ban for the upcoming season. Bryan Fish, Cross Country Sport Development Manager for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, explained this was termed a “delayed implementation”. What had been expected to be a fluoro-free racing scene at the FIS level, became a business as usual wax policy for 2020-2021. In short, fluoros, C8 or otherwise, are allowed at FIS sanctioned events. The FIS...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2016/12/rendezvous-trailhead-e1480942919981.jpg

With a massive low-pressure system flowing off the Pacific, over the Cascades, and onward to the Northern Rockies, it means the watch is on for snow in West Yellowstone. But, these are not normal times. We’ve written similar sentences in the past. Yet the message remains essential when speaking of traveling from point A to point B. We’ll say it again: be safe.   The 2020 Yellowstone Ski Festival is a go with some expected...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2018/04/031718_Masters_Oksana_2077_Reis-2.jpg

The magic brew. The secret sauce. The omniscient wax-tech with encyclopedic knowledge of all things ski wax and the ability to bestow the goods onto a ski base. Ah, those slick and slippery skis. And that bite of kick in slush. The mythology of wax in this sport looms large. And the few wax-mixologists of note live among their peers as deities. The popular myth is this: some are gifted with the wax gene, most...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/03/Johaug07032020fm14198.jpg

Covering doping in sports like biathlon and cross-country skiing here in North America can make one feel self-rightous. The U.S. and Canada run clean systems if positive doping tests are the benchmark for suspicion. As far as we can tell, there’s been a single case involving a North American nordic sport athlete. In 1987, an American caused a stir after the 1987 Nordic World Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. Kerry Lynch, a nordic combined skier, admitted...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/10/Dutch_hil_4-1280x720.jpeg

Something a bit different on the podcast today. In the spirit of high mountains and the autumn season which is often the time many seek any iteration of mountain film. During normal times, we flock to touring mountain film festivals to celebrate. You know, solid storytelling and vibrant images to help us dream a bit bigger. Some of you may have already watched LHOTSE, a film featuring ski mountaineers Hialree Nelson and Jim Morrison as...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/02/50k-legkov.jpg

Last week Matt Futterman of The New York Times wrote two stories of interest to readers of FasterSkier. One piece was titled “Winter Sports Athletes Are Crisscrossing Europe for Races. Is That a Good Idea?” Futterman advanced this story on Twitter with the following statement: “It’s a really strange moment for the Olympic winter sports schedule to begin. All you have to do is everything medical experts have been telling us to avoid.” It’s a really...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/10/Web_Photo-by-Christian-Pondella-2020-signature-image-1280x720.jpg

  Within my pay-grade back in November 1993 was the cost of a weekend pass to the renowned Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival. Living in Northwest, Montana at the time, the drive north and across the border and up to Banff was a streamlined affair. Beyond my means, however, a warm place to stay near Banff. Even back then, the somewhat tony Canadian town had a posh flare. So a friend and I...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/10/Sara-in-the-kitchen.-photo@Noel-Rogers-1280x720.jpg

When we began this series, The Escape, we imagined it would be a slippery slope. It turns out the slope is blue-ice slick. Cabin-lust is real.   This past spring, just as Covid-19 began making headlines in the U.S., one of the best treat makers on the planet, Zoë Roy, was chef at Talus Lodge. Roy, along with a friend who is rumored to ride bicycles in all forms, settled at the lodge for approximately two-months...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/10/2020-Sunapee-Tri-11020-1280x720.jpg

  “I train because I like to race but I also train because I enjoy it, so I never took a pause,” said Kris Freeman from his New Hampshire home. That’s straight-up Freeman. Focus. Intensity. A plan. Even during COVID. Let’s face it, enjoying the process became a necessity for many as public sporting events have been mostly cancelled since mid-March. Six feet distant, mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing have become as much a part of our daily...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/10/Untitled.jpeg

FOMO: Fear of missing out. FOMO through the lens of envy is probably not the way to thrive. FOMO through the lens of seizing the day, on the other hand, has a lovely ring to it. Chad Salmela: biathlete, skier, running coach, forever linked with “HERE COMES DIGGINS”, husband, and parent. He is also the lone member of his family of four without a Finnish passport, although he has Finnish ancestry. His wife, Mimmu, hails...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/09/Ganz27122019fm4072-1200x720.jpg

When the country began shutting down in March, sporting good retailers initially shuddered. It appeared many if not all sectors of the economy would bottom out. “Everything was dicey in February and starting early March,” said Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) founder Nathan Schultz about the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was about to head off to Italy for the World Masters to wax there. Everybody in the Midwest was getting ready for the World...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/Egan211219vt217.jpg

Thirty two years old and wise as wise can be. Clare Egan brings a calm intellect to the sport of biathlon. Speaker of many languages and head of the International Biathlon Union’s athlete committee, Egan is respected by her peers for on-snow performances as well as her leadership in the IBU board room. We spoke to Egan earlier this month as she was training in Antholz, Italy with U.S. women’s head coach Armin Auchentaller. The...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/09/coronavirus-data-explorer-1-1280x720.png

With the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, two months out from our article titled “Covid-19 Trends and Early Season World Cups“, we thought it an appropriate time to review Covid-19 trends in Europe. If the International Ski Federation chooses not to modify Period 1 and Period II on the World Cup, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy will host already calendared events. In early June, when we first examined Covid-19 in those countries, the overall...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/49226028026_d74494c8a1_c.jpg

A clean slate cancelation of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s cross-country national racing calendar. That’s a piece of the collateral damage in the niche world of domestic ski racing. The cancellation includes SuperTour, U.S. National Championships, SuperTour Finals, and the Junior National Championships. We’ll get to how these races may be replaced in a moment. First, U.S. Ski & Snowboard set forth a series of bullet points regarding the reasoning and considerations for the wholesale cancelation....

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/09/NENSA-VT-map-1-1-854x720.jpeg

For skiers and race organizers, remaining nimble and realistic are keystone 2020 attributes as the global pandemic commands our attention. Amidst the disruption, the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) remains committed to organizing races for the 2020-2021 season. Justin Beckwith, Competitive Program Director at NENSA, said the aim is clear during uncertain times: under-promise and over-deliver.  As a case study, New England poses several challenges. Geographically several states with differing Covid-19 mandates share borders...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/08/Screenshot-2020-08-21-at-4.46.15-PM-1.png

This won’t be easy. Seeing a “normal” World Cup season go down will take considerable coordination, stakeholder buy-in to behavioral modifications aimed at community wellness not necessarily individual needs, and broader control over the spread of Covid-19. Here in the U.S., the major sports, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MSL, and MLB, have opened their respective seasons. The models for each league differ, the NBA maintains a relatively strict bubble, whereas the MLB chose a more lax...