Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vail - Days 5 & 6

We finally moved into the lane space at Vail and the ladies were given the opportunity to try out the new skis in a GS setting.  We set two sections of apex GS and they did a great job throughout the session.  It is difficult to begin with when it is the first session in gates, or brushes, and having to turn where someone else wants you to turn.  The first few runs were definitely a learning experience but as the session went on, they all made progress.  After training, they took a team trip to the movie theatre in Vail to see the latest Hunger Games movie.

Vail lanes

Bottom of the training lanes at Vail

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Today, the girls had their scheduled day off.  Lori moved their study hall to the morning and then the ladies were able to go cruise the town of Vail for the afternoon and not have an evening study hall session.

Courtney, Michelle, and Sandra traveled to Loveland for the first of four NJR's.  Today, they raced GS after the men's NorAM on the same hill.  To say the hill was firm would be an understatement.  Much like the first day of training is challenging, the first race is always a mix of emotions from nerves to excitement.  All three of them had solid days with Michelle throwing down a fast second run finishing 17th, Sandra skiing in her first FIS race and having a solid performance moving from bib 69 to finish 22nd, and Court finishing the day in 13th with her best GS result ever, scoring a 66!  Tomorrow they will race GS at Loveland following the men's NorAM.  The rest of the girls will be training GS at Vail, building upon the apex GS from Friday.

Top of the Loveland GS

Bottom of the Loveland GS

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vail - Days 3 & 4

We have had two more successful days on snow.  The conditions are still absolutely perfect at Copper.  Yesterday, the majority of the group continued on their GS progression, working on balance and being stronger in the top of the turn.  On the new GS ski, it is vital that the athletes create edge angle in the top of the turn in order to get early pressure.  The ladies have made some great progress and many of them are finding more stability in the new, longer skis.

Today, we were greeted at Copper by quite the snow storm.  The Vail Pass closed for a couple of hours shortly after our arrival due to road conditions.  Even with the fresh snow on top, they were able to continue to be productive on their final day of free skiing before moving into lane space at Vail.  We ended up cutting our day off at noon for fear that the Vail Pass would close again, leaving us stranded in Copper.  We returned to Manor Vail around 1:00pm and the girls we given the afternoon off to do as they pleased without a structured dryland or stretch.

We have three girls who will be racing out here November 23rd through the 26th as they spent two weeks out here training late October.  They spent the last two days training SL preparing for the races.  Yesterday, they trained at Vail with three girls from Ski Club Vail and today they joined Stratton Mountain School at Copper for more SL training.  They will be representing MMSC in a NJR series at Loveland, wish them luck!

Tomorrow, we will be staying at Vail and bringing our skills to lanes.  We will start with some apex GS to continue with the progression of creating edge angle, and pressure, above the gate.  It is always challenging the first day it is dictated to you where to turn, but I suspect they will all have success throughout the morning of training.  However, it is being predicted that we will receive a possible 16 inches of snow, or which case we will be powder skiing at Vail!  Don't feel too badly for us...

Copper from the highway

Top of the Vail Pass

Training lanes at Vail

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vail Trip! Day 1 &'s good to be back!

The season is upon us, which means we have traveled West to seek a quality surface to start the season.  We have not been disappointed.  For the first two days, we have made the 25 minute trek from Vail to Copper to do some technical free skiing.  The snow has been unbelievable.  That might be an understatement, but I can't think of another word to describe the conditions.  On top of the perfect snow, we have had two bluebird days with temps in the mid-30's, so it has been a great start to the year.

For most of our ladies, yesterday was their first time on the new radius GS ski.  We started the day with a 6:30am warm-up jog and dynamic stretch.  The jog somehow turned into a sprint...reminiscent of our first day out here with Dougie Clark a couple of years ago!  Breakfast followed the warm-up and then we departed for Copper at 8:15am.  While it took a couple of runs to become familiar with the sport as well as the new skis, by mid-morning they were ripping around Copper as if it was February.  We spent the morning just making laps as a group, trying to get many miles in the first day while working on some technical skills to help them get their brains focused on skiing again.  In the afternoon, they were able to go free ski on their own and enjoy the perfect combination of weather and snow.  We skied from 9:15am until 2:15pm, making somewhere in the range of 14 to 16 runs.

Today, we spent the better part of the morning working on balance.  The ladies worked hard through the drills and reintroducing themselves to some important skills.  They endured a 45 minute one-ski drill run and all saw some great improvement.  After lunch, they partnered up and chased each other around the mountain.  It is great for them to follow each other so closely, trying to stay in their partners tracks and turn where they turn. After a couple of runs, they were cut loose to free ski for the final hour and 15 minutes.

Tomorrow, we will continue with a GS progression, unless we have a powder day!  It is snowing right now, so we can hope...

6:30am warm-up

Copper Mt., CO

All smiles with the weather and snow!

View of the training lanes at Copper