Wednesday, July 31, 2013

France Camp - Day 1

The blog is back live, this time from Les Deux Alpes, France!  This place is absolutely beautiful.  Hopefully the pictures will do it some justice!  We are traveling with a group of 20 MMSC athletes and coaches.  Lorant and Pat are here with 13 athletes from the men's program and attending the camp for the women's program this year are Elly, Ingrid, Neza, and Sandra.  I am sure they will all tell you...put this camp on your schedule for next summer!  We departed Montreal, CAN for Lyon, France at about 8:45pm on Monday night, flew through the night to arrive in France on the morning of the 30th, which, coincidentally is Ingrid's and my birthday, so happy birthday to us!  We finally arrived at the hotel around 2:00pm and ate lunch, unpacked, went for a walked around town to get some fresh air, had dinner at 7:00pm and then to bed!

Here are a few photos from traveling, our arrival, and the birthday cake!


The view from our hotel

Clearly, she is pumped!

We just completed our first full day of camp and it was a great success.  It was the first day for the girls on the new 30 meter radius GS skis.  The skis are also significantly longer than their GS skis last season so they will take some getting used to before they are comfortable.  The camp will give them a great opportunity to get on the new skis and simply work on technique, without the pressure of upcoming races.  We free skied all morning with limited direction except to make turns of different sizes, rather than trying to make "cookie cutter" GS turns.  The amount of terrain open here is shocking so we were able to get many runs on different terrain.  I was very impressed with their ability to adapt to their new skis and they all looked like they were feel comfortable by the end of the morning.  The skiing was incredible.  The snow was very firm to start of the day and as the sun warmed the surface, it softened a bit but it was still very firm throughout the morning.  It was only on our last run that it seemed to get a bit soft.  That is simply not the case at Mt. Hood.  Not to mention they have a subway that runs to the midpoint of the mountain...yes, a subway (see below).  I took a ride t-bar ride with an Italian coach who told me this is the best he has seen the snow here in 20 years!  Lucky us...

Step 1 - walk to the lift

Step 2 - after riding said lift, get on the tram

Step 3 & 4 - after riding the tram, fight your way into the gondola, then put on your boots

A few of some of the training lanes from the first t-bar

This random group of athletes got in the way of my picture...still nice though!

A view of the upper part of the mountain

A helpful warning sign to not fall head first into a crevasse

Another helpful sign...

The subway...inside the mountain

Conditions are amazing

After skiing, we made the entertaining and challenging trip back to town.  I will let the girls describe that experience when they write the blog...

This afternoon, we went for a hike to a lookout point that I can't quite put into words...good thing I had my camera!
The view of town early in the hike

The hike required a small bit of rock climbing

The view of town from the lookout point

View of L'Alpe de Venosc

Tomorrow, we will continue working with the new GS ski and figuring out how to ski on them.  We are getting on the lift at 7:00am, giving us an early start to the day!  For is nearing bedtime after a long first day.  The weather is looking good for the rest of the week, we will try our best to enjoy ourselves...ha!

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