Saturday, August 10, 2013

France Camp - Final Day!

Today was our last day on-snow and it was phenomenal!  The surface may have been the best surface we have had yet.  The girls switched gears and moved into slalom for the final day.  After a couple of freeski runs, they jumped right into gates to have some fun before returning to the USA.  They were skiing with boys who have points in the teens, 20's, 30's and 40's for the day and they were quite inspired.  As the day progressed, they all started to ski very well and were pleased with their performance after a camp primarily focused on GS fundamentals.

After skiing, we went back to Venosc to hike to a waterfall.  The hike was not very long but was demanding in spots and the end result was worth it!

Tomorrow morning we fly home and by morning, I mean we are loading the bus at 4:30am...we will see you all soon!

France Camp - Day 10

Second to last day...another blog posting from the girls...

           Everyone had a grin on their face this morning when we woke up to no rain and sunny skies.  The morning started out slowly however because safety checks were required for all the lifts due to thunderstorms from the past couple of days.  Once we arrived at the top we were not surprised by the low visibility.  Riding up the T-bar you could barely see the person just ahead of you!  Luckily after a couple runs the fog cleared out for the most part and we enjoyed freshly groomed hero snow all morning.  Today was our last day on GS skis and we are excited to carve out some slalom turns tomorrow!

            Unfortunately tomorrow is our last day on snow here in Les Deux Alpes.  We have all had a blast so far and are looking forward to progressing in the upcoming ski season!

Quotes of the Day:

Neza:  "Jamie...your supposed to hit the volleyball with your hands, not your head!"

Ingrid: "Guess how many chocolate bars I bought today...5!  (they are gifts, don't worry I won't eat them all!)"

Sandra: "If your poles are flying around your head while skiing...I think you may need to revaluate your life."

Elly: "I'm going for a run."  Everyone replies: "I'm so tired, how can you RUN?"

Tomorrow, we will be making the shift to SL for our final day on-snow in France.  It will be nice to have a change of pace for our last day here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

France Camp - Day 9

A blog entry from the girls and their trip to Grenoble...

           We woke up to the depressing sound of rumbling thunder and rain drops on metal roofs and our hopes of skiing today were diminished.  As we ate breakfeast our fears were confermed as we were told that again today the mountain would be closed.  Although as teenagers we were excited to sleep, we were brought to Grenoble, an hour and a half away.  We explored castle ruins, watched an overflowing muddy river, shopped, and some of us (Elly) ate frog legs.  We had a relaxing evening with chocolate mousse for desert (which excited everyone). 

            The clouds are breaking and the sun is emerging which is making us all even more excited to ski tomorrow!  We are all glad that the bad weather will be gone for our last two days in Les Deux!

Quotes of The Day:

Sandra: "Ingrid, your comupter is so light, I could throw it accross the room!"  Ingrid:  "How about we don't try that..."

Ingrid:  "Hey...the boys are acctually sitting with us for dinner, this interaction is good for them, they need more estrogen in their lives...seriously."

Elly:  "Guess what I ate today!...Frog Legs!"

Neza:  "No, Nick, I'm not addicted to my phone!"

Some photos from Neza

Tomorrow the weather is looking quite nice.  We are planning on being on our GS skis again since we missed out on skiing the previous two days.  The forecast is looking great for our last two days on-snow in France!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

France Camp - Day 8

The 8th day of camp proved to be our most challenging.  With high winds, thunder, lightning, and some rain, the mountain did not open today.  While the extra rest was nice, it was a bit frustrating to not be out there after some productive days.  It rained on and off much of the morning but stopped after lunch.  In the afternoon, we got together for some dynamic stretching followed by an hour and a half of volleyball.  The temperature has dropped significantly and the forecast is calling for nights to be in the 30's and days in the 60's so we could be looking at a very firm surface for the last few days of camp.  This should allow us to be very productive for our time on snow as the surface will stay hard throughout the morning.  Tomorrow's forecast, however, is looking much like today's, but hopefully being in the mountains will prove the forecast to be wrong.  Either way, we will be ready to go tomorrow morning if they run the lifts.

The girls discovered in a French magazine that Denali Balser had been hiding her modeling hobby.  The secret is out, it just took a trip to France to find one of her ads!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

France Camp - Day 7

We had another productive day on the glacier.  The snow was great for a majority of the morning, allowing the girls to ski without any soft snow issues.  We primarily worked on hip movement today, doing a series of drills to help the girls be active with their hip movements and feel the difference when they get their hips moving.  We worked on drills throughout the first session of the morning and after snack, the girls were able to just "ski." They were to try to incorporate the movement into their GS skiing, without the actual drill forcing them into the correct position.  I attempted to get some action shots of them out on the hill, although with just my iPhone it is a bit challenging...

Ingrid laying it over

Elly looking strong and level

Sandra showing off a solid body position

Neza in great position

Quotes of the Day

Topher - "Have you guys been to the bathroom in the lodge yet? I ran into Neza there...its a coed bathroom."

Sandra - "Ugh, my ear is fine! I'm going to kill my dad.  I say that a lot..."

Elly - To a group of Swiss people, "how do you say 'hi' in Swedish?" Swiss folks - "We are Swiss..." Ingrid - "Look it up on Google Translate."

Neza - "My head isn't high enough to hit the pillow on the chairs." Topher - "Get taller."

Ingrid - "Yes, they have chocolate mousse for lunch!"

This afternoon was filled with more volleyball and some very competitive games.  We are looking forward to another day on snow tomorrow and more GS skiing.  The girls are feeling very fortunate to have this "no pressure" set-up to continue building their GS skills.  Thanks for getting them here!

Monday, August 5, 2013

France Camp - Day 6

We have passed the halfway point of the camp which is both sad and exciting.  Sad that we are closer to leaving this beautiful place, but exciting that after 5 days on snow, the girls have made great progress in their skiing.  Today, we incorporated some new drills after our morning warm-up.  The snow was VERY firm to start the day...a bit too firm for the likes of my edges.  The girls handled it quite well and were very productive with their early runs.  As the morning progressed, the surface softened and we were able to be very productive with our drills.  They are starting to understand how to turn their new skis and are each developing their own keys to success.  It is fun to watch video and hear them talk about their skiing in such an enlightened way, seeing some of their issues and understanding what they will need to do to improve their skiing.  We also managed to get Pat Quiet to take a couple of team photos for us up on the hill, see below.

This afternoon was filled with another 2 hours of beach volleyball.  The girls are becoming known for their consistent serving ability and are vital members of whatever team they are on for the afternoon!

Tomorrow will be much of the same, GS fundamentals!  We are hoping for another solid day of drills and free skiing and then possibly working into some brushes and/or gates with the boys.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

France Camp - Day 4 and 5

Sorry for the delay and lack of post after yesterday, but here is what has been happening over the past two day of camp...

Day 4

This was the first day we actually saw clouds.  Yes, it was quite shocking to us as well!  The temperature stayed a bit warm over night and the snow was not as firm as we had been used to for our first runs of the morning.  It was still solid enough to be productive in working through the GS progression.  The girls took the opportunity to do some drills for their warm-up runs and are really buying into how important this camp is to work on their fundamental base, especially with the new GS ski radius.  We incorporated a couple variations of the drills we have been working on, and the girls are finding success on the new skis.  They all are making some great strides in their skiing in a relaxed atmosphere.  I think they all would agree, and probably have told you, they are making some of the best GS turns they have ever made!

In the afternoon, we played a solid 2.5 hours of beach volleyball!  The teams were constantly getting mixed up and everyone had the opportunity to shine.  The girls represent some of the best and most consistent servers in the games, although as they eluded to in the previous blog, testosterone tends to take over on the courts.  Nonetheless, it is very entertaining to get out there and dive around in the sand!

Day 5

With the weather report showing questionable conditions for today, we decided to move our day off to today and then finish with 6 straight days on snow.  The following is the girls entry...

           Today we had our day off.  After Sandra got us lost and sweaty trying to find a way to the gondola, we took a (sketchy) ride down a very steep hill to the little village of Venosc.  We could be easily identified as American tourists as we went picture crazy and attempted to communicate with a waitress who only spoke french (as Neza's quote exemplifies).  We enjoyed delicious crepes and gelato for desert. 

            After we arrived back to the hotel we enjoyed long naps and a relaxing period before we ate dinner at the hotel.  After dinner we analyzed our skiing through video and got pumped up for skiing tomorrow morning.  Hopefully it will be another blue sky day in the Alpes!   

Quotes of the day:

Ingrid:  "This coconut mousse taste like the smell of sunscreen."

Sandra: "Guys...the gondola goes down the hill."  Topher: "Yeah, we all know it goes down the hill."

Neza:  (talking to a French waitress) "What kind of cheese is this?  Cow?  Like... MOOOOOO?"

Elly: Woman working in the store (speaking in French) "Are you just looking, or would you like to try something on?" Elly, pretending to understand the question (speaking in French), "Yes." Woman working the store then repeats the question in English...

Tomorrow, we will be skiing GS again tomorrow and continuing to build their fundamental base.  We had a great video session tonight with a few serious "lightbulbs" going on, so they are anxious to get on snow tomorrow!