Intensity Week!

Week 2 is when everything starts to pick up speed—just as classes are beginning to get more intense, so did our training plan! The goal for this week was to get some good hard intensity sessions in, while keeping the easy days light to ensure optimal recovery.

We started the week off at 7 am on Monday with some max squat testing. While it’s certainly not my favorite way to spend time in the gym, it’s nevertheless rewarding to see my teammates getting stronger. We headed out in the afternoon for an easier session of double pole technique in a location we refer to as “the neighborhood,” which is indeed a small suburban neighborhood street in Hanover. Smooth pavement and minimal traffic make it an ideal place to practice more difficult maneuvers such as “no-pole” double poling.

Tuesday morning was a skate interval session at Occum Pond. It was the perfect workout to focus on being quick and smooth rather than going super hard, and to finally enjoy some shorter L3 intervals. We re-convened at 6pm in Alumni Gym for a yoga session, where we not only reaped the restorative benefits of stretching and breathing exercises, but also learned some Sanskrit numbers!

On Wednesday, we had a very boring mandatory meeting at 8am in Robo basement. At least, that’s what the freshmen were anticipating on Tuesday night. Little did they know that the rest of the team would be waking them up at 6am for “special practice”—a beloved tradition that doesn’t involve an actual workout, but does involve dressing up in flair and going to breakfast at Fort Lou’s in Lebanon.


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No Snow?!

The East Coast is continuing its streak of no snow. Following frigid racing at Dartmouth carnival and an over distance ski in -15 degrees, Hanover made a 60-degree weather shift, and by Tuesday it was 40 degrees and raining. But weather doesn’t stop the Dartmouth ski team! -15 degree racing? No problem. Spin bike workouts because there is no snow anywhere near campus? No problem. So, on Tuesday the team cranked up the jams and got pumped about “spin-tervals,” The positive mentality on this team is unwavering. My teammates are excited whether they are gliding along freshly groomed tracks in Silver Star or spin biking and running in February. And on the bright side, we still haven’t resorted to roller skiing!

IMG_5394Grass skiing?

The results don’t change either. In fact, the team just keeps improving. Last weekend we traveled to the Williams Carnival in Lake Placid. On Friday, flying freshman Lydia led the team with a fifth place in the skate 10K, followed closely by Emily Hannah in sixth. This set the team up well for a killer 5k classic pursuit in some of the craziest conditions I’ve ever seen. We awoke to 40 degrees, rain and nearly impossible waxing conditions. Half the team chose klister, the other half decided to ski on zeros…I don’t know if any of our skis actually kicked, but everyone made the best of it and we ended up with some great results. Mary had the third fastest time of the day and moved up to seventh overall! I think the most credit goes to our amazing coaches. We must have tested every klister, hardwax and combination of the two. Cami and Ruff kept a steady pace all morning, juggling our testing information, scraping and re-waxed our skis and re-sanding our zeros.

IMG_5367Mary waving the flag high after her speedy 5k classic

So, here’s to positive teammates, great coaches and crazy weather patterns! Keep the snow dances coming.

IMG_5377 Mary hitches a ride to the awards ceremony

Grit and Determination!

IMG_0384What a week it has been on the Dartmouth Ski Team!

I have always thought that this team had grit and determination, but I think this week was exemplary and brought out the best in all of us. This week was the camel’s hump of the Dartmouth 10 week term and it is typically when everything starts to hit. Final projects aren’t that far away any more, midterms are stacking up, and the fatigue truly sets in. Being a very kind and intelligent coach, Cami made this week the ultimate rest week. We were able to ski at the beginning of the week up at Green’s, which was a prime agility session on the icy trails, but also very beautiful. On Tuesday, we ventured over to the Golf Course in hopes of finding patches of snow and were pleasantly surprised. We started a great game of capture the flag between the upper and underclassmen which encouraged lots of skiing, sprints here and there, and nourished a great competitive atmosphere. The upperclassmen won, but that’s just cause they know the golf course better and it would be rude for us youngins to not let our respected upperclassmen win!24309476224_d17b336bc4_z
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Zoe’s Camp Post

23921133431_29f837c552_zThe past two weeks have been some of the best training of the year. For those of us traveling from a warm Thanksgiving in New England, we were entering a different world. After spending a night in a hotel across from the Kelowna airport, and eating one of the most delicious hotel breakfasts I have ever consumed, we headed off in a coach bus to Silver Star, gradually breaking through the cloud cover and finding ourselves surrounded by feet of snow, 30 degree weather, and our reliable gold and purple houses.

The next couple of days were marked by exclamations of awe and adventures in which each ski seemed to be better than the last. Snow fell reliably almost every day, and skiing along the Paradise trail that circles the mountain through tunnels of frosted trees could not have been more perfect. My only complaint was that whipping down some of the black diamond trails on especially snowy days transformed the soft snow flakes into pellets attacking my face. But when too much falling snow is your only complaint, how can you really be complaining….


After a couple of days of adjusting, we entered the first of three intensity sections of the two weeks. Saturday was made up of a 30 to 40 minute L3 intensity session, Sunday hit us with L4 ladder intervals followed by lifting, and Monday culminated with a 3 to 4 hour over distance ski. By the end of the 72 hour section, the girls were definitely feeling ready for our Tuesday off day, a day that was marked both the midpoint of the camp and a second particularly delicious breakfast of the week. Continue reading

Emily Hannah’s Update

This week was the first recovery week of the term, giving us a chance to absorb the training we put in during the first three weeks. With the Homecoming bonfire on Friday we also got to see some alums and enjoy a festive weekend on campus.
We started the week with skate agility then did L3 running intervals on Tuesday.  Here is Molly showing off some especially beautiful leaves we found during the cool-down.image1

Our OD Classic ski on Wednesday was marked by perfect weather and views of Lake Fairlee.  With such a nice day to ski, we were all very excited on the bus.


Now as a westerner I don’t think I am qualified to decide whether we have hit peak foliage or not, but the trees are stunning right now!image5

Solid training on Thursday and Friday led up to the big event of the week… the Homecoming bonfire!
Here is the bonfire just after it was built and then later when it was set on fire.


For anyone in the Hanover area, be sure to check out the ski swap next week!


The First Week

The first week of term was a whirlwind for all, yet certainly an exciting one. The girls are full of strength and vigor as we move into the fall training season. We are happy to welcome Lydia Blanchet, Emily Hyde, and Taryn Hunt-Smith to the Dartmouth Women’s XC team as freshmen!

The team began official training on the first day of classes, September 16th. This last first day of school was a scary thought for the senior class, so we figured a classic Robo steps photo was necessary.


Caption: The ’16 girls are ready for the last first day of school! (photo by Lindsay MacMillan)

A few days in we had a strong showing for the 3000 meter time trial on a hot NE day, where nonetheless the team presented impressive results.

Just in the past week the nights have been getting chillier and chillier, making for some cool early morning practices. The trees are beginning to change and we can smell fall in the air!


Caption: The tree in front of Robo is already showing signs of fall!

The team decided an early fall apple picking outing was a must.


Caption: Meg loves her teammates and her apples (photo by Zoe)

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Spring Series in Sun Valley

It was great to end the season with some spring racing.  We headed to Sun Valley in March for the the Super Tour Finals and Distance Natl’s.  Our chance to race against some of the country’s best (and see many former Dartmouth skiers).  The team (Julia, Corey and Zoe) had some good results, and even more importantly ended the season loving what we do more than ever.  We missed those of you who couldn’t be there, maybe next time. Happy Spring!


Spring Break!


Prairie Creek Tour


Post ski lunch in our home away from home




More selfies!




Mountain tour


Race Day!




Tourist shots


Go Big Green!


Lovin the life!


Spectacular Galena venue


End of the season!!


How to be on the Dartmouth Women’s Ski Team

When I joined the Women’s Dartmouth Ski Team, I knew I was about to be a part of a group of fast skiers, and, based on those I already knew, a group of pretty cool people as well. In retrospect, I really had no idea what I was getting myself in to…

The ski season is coming to an (almost) close, though many are still racing in the weeks to come and some are planning on heading west for Super Tour Finals during our Spring Break. While we all have very different schedules in the winter, this weekend was off of racing for most of our women (apart from the lovely Eliana who crushed the Stowe Derby on Sunday), and it was a really good week for us to be able to get back together and regroup for a strong end of the season. We pounded out a great training block with all different types of skiing. We started the week in the strength room and got in some good agility practice on Tuesday. Later on we threw in some intervals and -our favorite- downhill practice. Oak Hill is a great place to take some risks on the downhills. The 10km course lends some super technical turns ending with the infamous s-turns. We have some really strong downhill skiers on the team, and it’s been great for me to push my comfort zones with them this year. On Saturday we headed over to Oak Hill (in the -7 degree weather), for another solid interval session. We did skate relay sprints in Kendall Field, and everyone did an awesome job pushing through the cold weather. We’ve done intervals like this in the past, and I find that they are really beneficial for the team as a whole. In an individual sport, it’s fun to be able to work with a teammate every once in a while.

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Cally’s Carnival Chronicle

While I don’t know much about the first half of the week because I was sick, I can tell you all about what seems to be the season’s most anticipated event: Dartmouth Carnival! Hosted by the one-and-only Craftsbury Outdoor Center (now with awesome renovations!), this weekend of racing is definitely one of the best of the year. The Carnival began on Friday with a freestyle sprint, which was followed by a 10K freestyle interval start on Saturday. Congrats to Corey for placing second and third, respectively, among the college women! Some skiers also stayed to race the 10K classic mass start on Sunday.


Carnival fun! And Julia shows off her selfie skills.


Corey on the podium! Creds to Hilary

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Week 5!

How are we already half way through the term? 15W seems to be flying by and the ski season is rushing right along with it.

We started our volume week with an OD ski and some exciting agility, bouncing around Oak Hill and doing a couple one on one speeds as the boys flew by us down the slopes of the ski area.


On Wednesday, after a few intervals, we did a mental huddle with the piney team. Considering that we share the same locker room, I feel like we usually don’t get the opportunity to sit down and chat with them all and so the opportunity to do so was definitely a luxury! We generated some very productive conversation about overcoming obstacles and it was great to hear a different perspective on the subject.

By Thursday the varsity team was off to the St. Mike’s carnival at Sleepy Hollow in preparation for a 5k classic and mixed relay race.  The course featured a large climb, and gradual downhill, and then another climb to the finish. The team had some outstanding results, and I would like to highlight Mary’s top 10 finish in the 5K and a third in the mixed relay!

10961668_1045710982110665_1385391651_nOver in Craftsbury, VT, another group of girls were racing a whole different selection of races. On Saturday, there was a huge turnout for the marathon (50 K) and half marathon (25 K) races. The temperatures were freezing, but everyone did extremely well with some stand out performances – Emily had a 2nd place finish in the 25K. Continue reading