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Spinning past the autumnal equinox into fall, the West looks back on a summer marred by wildfire smoke. Here in Colorado, the Aspens have dropped their golden leaves, snow encrusts the high peaks, and I’m struck by the beauty of my backyard, which spent the majority of June, July, and August muted by smoke that — thankfully — blew in from elsewhere.  Over the last six weeks, checking AirNow before training has been phased out...

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The cost of providing World Cup athletes with competitive skis is mounting at an alarming rate for teams without deep pockets.  This spring, coaches of US National Team athletes and staff from the Center of Excellence in Park City huddled around zoom for their annual meeting, called “Moving USA Skiing Forward.” Among the topics discussed were plans for the US Ski Team to keep pace with what Head Coach Matt Whitcomb calls the “waxing arms...

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This summer, the U.S. Ski Team announced that it had hired Greta Anderson as the new Development Team Coach. FasterSkier caught up with Anderson on the afternoon of the official announcement to delve deeper into her coaching philosophy, precise job description, and only sort of tongue-in-cheek plans for world domination. Anderson’s hire was widely praised by both current and former athletes. Here’s Luke Jager, who’s known Anderson for nearly a decade starting in Alaska junior...

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If you didn’t catch the ending of the triathlon during the Tokyo Paralympics, prepare for the chills. Spoiler alert: in an all out, last gas effort in the final meters, dual-season athlete Kendall Gretsch edged out Australia’s Lauren Parker by one second for a Gold Medal victory.  This is Gretsch’s third Olympic gold, alongside the two she earned during the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Games, first in the 6-kilometer biathlon sitting sprint and again in the...

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As summer turned to fall, skiers from the Stratton Mountain School T2 team (SMS T2), the Sun Valley Gold Team (SVSEF), and the Bridger Ski Foundation Pro Team (BSF) met in Lake Placid, NY for a collaborative training camp, capped off with two stages of rollerski racing. The weekend featured a freestyle sprint event — The Keys to the Castle — on the rollerski track at Mt Van Hoevenberg, followed by a distance stage dubbed...

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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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On the heels of our coverage of the Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival and the Alliansloppet Action Week, we turn our attention to the Northeast where the burgeoning New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) rollerski race series is well underway. The next round of racing will take place this upcoming weekend, starting with a freestyle sprint event dubbed “The Keys to the Castle” on September 18th at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, NY, followed by...

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Over the last six months, an increasing number of athletes have posted photos and videos from their training sessions that include a small circular pod attached to the back of their arms, near the triceps. As it turns out, the pod is a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), specifically the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor which partnered with a new company, Supersapiens, to design an interface that allows athletes to monitor and optimize their blood...

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This is Part 4 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility, and Part 3 on single limb stability. ——————————————– Upper body power is a major contributor and perhaps even a determinant of cross country skiing performance. Poling accounts for up to 60%...

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On July 24th, Scott Patterson toed the line outside of Girdwood, Alaska, for his eighth run of the Crow Pass Crossing, a roughly 22 mile race with nearly 3,000 feet of vertical gain through the rugged Alaskan backcountry. Two hours fifty minutes and five seconds later, he crossed the finish line at the Eagle River Nature Center, shattering the 11-year-old course record set by ultrarunning legend Geoff Roes at the peak of his career by...

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Julia Kern finds herself heading into an Olympic season as one of the veterans for the US women’s cross country ski team. At the age of twenty-three, she’s ready to take on the leadership role left by the retirements of long-time team members Sadie Maubet Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell Hamilton. After a lackluster season — by her own lofty standards — she has shaken off the disappointment, along with a hamstring injury she picked up...

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Will there be enough skis this season? That’s the question every ski shop and many consumers are asking. With demand predicted to remain high this winter, and some unique challenges faced by ski producers, ski scarcity may remain a reality. “I imagine if demand stays high we will see some significant shortages this season,” said Nathan Shultz, owner of Boulder Nordic Sport. The problem, from a supply-side, started with the pandemic. “In the beginning, everyone...

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This is Part 3 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, and Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility. The ability to balance and be stable on one leg is where the rubber meets the road (or ski hits the snow). True, we generate propulsion with strength and endurance,...

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On July 28th, the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA) announced the hiring of Kikkan Randall as its new executive director. If you’ve found your way to this publication, we assume that Randall needs no introduction, but Olympic Gold Medalist, three-time World Cup Sprint Champion, mother to Breck, the example of success at the international level needed to propel the American women’s team into their current powerhouse status, and cancer survivor are just a few...

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*This is the last piece of a multi-piece series on photographing skiing, ranging from capturing skiing on your smartphone to taking a deep dive into how professionals capture skiing on the World Cup. Take a look at the last three pieces in case you missed them. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.  From making the most of your smartphone in your pocket to picking the right camera for your photography goals, and to experimenting with...

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This is part II of an interview with U.S. biathlete Susan Dunklee. In her final season racing World Cup, Dunklee has decided to take on a leadership role, as an Athlete Ambassador for gender equity, with the International Biathlon Union. You can find part one of the interview here. This portion of the interview focuses on an incident that crystalized Dunklee’s resolve to foster cultural change in her chosen sport. Dunklee posted a two-Instagram post...

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*This is the third piece in a multi-part series on photographing skiing, ranging from capturing skiing on your smartphone to taking a deep dive into how professionals capture skiing on the World Cup. Take a look at Smartphone Photography and Manual Camera Basics in case you missed them.  The first step to manual camera photography is understanding the parts of your manual camera. Once you have a basic understanding of how a manual camera works, the functionality built into...

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Back in 2008, Susan Dunklee chose to become a biathlete after finishing her collegiate ski career. This was a solid decision both for Dunklee and for the US Biathlon program. With two World Championship silver medals, she is the most decorated biathlete from the U.S. women’s team. Born and raised in Vermont, Dunklee finds comfort in familiarity. During the offseason, she is based near Craftsbury and can often be found training with her Green Racing...

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We often hear of the pipeline in Olympic sport. The path to the highest level of elite competition. The pipeline is not consistent in diameter: Wide-mouthed at its start, tapered to needle-wide at its terminus. There are many ways to identify talent within a pipeline. In the cross-country ski world, there are incremental benchmarks to progress to the next tier. Within U.S. Ski & Snowboard, for example, skiers in the pipeline begin in the club...

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This is Part 2 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction and Part 1, which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture. There are many ways to conceptualize biomechanics, but they all need a starting place. If we think about ski technique, where do we want to start? On the glide leg? With the poles? At the hips? For this...