Skiers Ready for Carnival Season to Start

With Fall term exams completed on Nov 25, the full Men’s Alpine of 12 assembled for the first time this year when we gathered at the Bob Downey residence in Keystone Colorado for the start of our first on snow training camp.  The Downey house has been the base camp for our training camp for the past three years.  It provides us with the ultimate team atmosphere where we can train hard during the day and relax and regenerate at the end of the day. One of the best parts of every day is being able to all sit down at one large table to enjoy the daily feast provided by our guest chef, Josh Michaels.
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Not only does the Downey house provide us with warm beds and spacious places to gather but it is also the ultimate training facility with a full size gym and indoor pool. Daily recovery workouts include volleyball matches with the Women’s Team as well as badminton and basketball matches and recovery roll out sessions.

New Alpine Assistant, Kate Anderson, who is trained in advanced training recovery techniques was able lead water recovery sessions in the indoor poolIMG_1745

But all was not luxury living. The training conditions were outstanding and the training volume and intensity was at full maximum. The guys were taking full advantage of the long winter break from the demanding class class work to get the most out of our most important training block.

The training venues at Copper Mountain,IMG_1761
Vail
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as well as Echo Mountain and Loveland were outstanding. We were often training side by side with a host of international World Cup and top Junior Teams as they prepared for the upcoming World Cup and Nor-Am races.

After 18 days of outstanding Colorado high altitude training as well as some tune up races at Echo Mountain and Copper Mountain. The team split up for two competition trips.  Half the team headed north to Panorama BC, Canada for Nor-Am races. The competition in these races included the all best skiers in North America along with many international teams just below the World Cup level. This is the level of skiing required to win at the NCAA Championship level and we need to challenge our team to compete at this level.

The view from the start in early morning.IMG_1766

 

While podiums were tough to achieve against the National Team skiers the men performed well agains the best of the collegiate skiers

Following the Nor-Ams were 4 FIS level races in Panorama and for those who traveled back East there were 2 slalom races in Val St Come Quebec and 4 FIS races at Sugarloaf.  After the team returned to campus in the new year the team competed in 3 final FIS tune up races at Waterville Valley. These were races where we needed to compete to win.  Indeed, in these 13 competitions Dartmouth placed a skier on the podium 13 times. Including 3 victories, 5 second place and 5 third place finishes with seven different skiers placing.

Kevin Read 2nd in Panorama slalom
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Brian McLaughlin 1st at Waterville GSIMG_1782

 

Now its time for the NCAA Carnivals to begin. The Alpine Men have put in the hard work and are ready to go!

 

Training Camp!

It has been a great couple of weeks in Silver Star, BC for the Nordic teams.  The travel was somewhat epic, thirty four of us flew into Kelowna.  Even with one flight cancelled including half the team, we all made it to our rental houses by late on the 2nd.  A couple extra hours of sleep, and easing into the training and we were good to go.  Skiing in Silver Star is magical, and we enjoyed it to the fullest.

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The team…

This year we were able to get four or five days of skiing in before the first race.  It was a 5 and 10km Classic race, the Sovereign Lake Open.  Paddy Caldwell ’16 made the podium with a 3rd place finish, and not too far behind was Oscar Friedman ’16 in 5th.  On the women’s side, Corey Stock ’16 also made the podium in 2nd , followed by Molly Siegel ’16, Julia Harrison ’15 and Emily Hannah ’16 in 4th, 5th and 6th.

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Race day!

After the race, we settled into some quality training with lots of volume, including four and five hour days of training and nor-pining.  The weather did not fully cooperate, with some warm and wet days we were forced to buy some klister to get by, but the skiing never disappointed.  Camp ended with a couple of bluebird days for long ODs.  The team heads home for the holidays tired but smiling and ready for the race season to start in earnest.

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Women’s Alpine Colorado Camp

Winter has arrived and the Women’s Alpine Team is back on snow!  Athletes started arriving in Colorado for some pre-camp skiing as soon as they finished their exams, and our camp officially started on November 26.

DWA enjoying the sun in Loveland, CO

DWA enjoying the sun in Loveland, CO

We started out at Copper for the first five days, where the terrain is gentler and free skiing is readily available before and after training.  They hadn’t received much early-season snow, but there was a big dump the week before we arrived and then another storm during our first training block.  As a result, the ski area was reporting 79 new inches in the ten days before Thanksgiving!  It was certainly refreshing to see the ground blanketed in white, but the racer mentality in us was hoping for the new snow to settle into a harder surface so we could have some productive training.

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Lizzie Kistler ’16 arcs over the top of a breakover during training at Vail

Our wishes came true when we went to Echo Mountain on day seven.  Echo sits on the Front Range and generally receives less natural snow than the bigger resorts in Summit County.  However, at an elevation over 10,000 feet, it gets cold temperatures and they are able to prepare a hard man-made surface that is ideal for race training.  It was our first time on hard snow since last winter and everyone was smiling at the good fortune of feeling the speed and intensity cranked up to a whole new level.

Maisie Ide '16 searches for speed at the end of a GS turn during training at Loveland

Maisie Ide ’16 finishes a GS turn in training at Loveland

Since that time, we’ve had nothing but high quality training days.  We have split our recent sessions between Loveland and Vail.  Vail offered a water injected, icy surface with many World Cup skiers training nearby, while Loveland had firm man-made snow, undulating terrain, and a laid-back atmosphere.  Both were great sources of variety and quality that we are lucky to have this early in the season.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Copper for our first race of the season.  After a fall of physical preparation and two weeks of on-snow training, everyone is ready to finally pull a bib over their shoulders and get the competitive juices flowing again!