Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Today was pretty brutal. Well, not just today but the past couple days. I started my trip in Beaver Creek, Colorado then headed to Denver to fly to Munich, Germany. Once we arrived in Munich (roughly 14 hours later) we went to a hotel to meet up and reorganize everything. The plan was for two coaches, Will Brandenburg, Dave Choudunsky and myself to go to Switzerland for a day of slalom training before going to Val d'Isere for the race this weekend. Unfortunately, there isn't much snow anywhere due to an abundance of rain the past few days. This caused for our plans to change and so instead of going to Switzerland, we were headed for France to settle in and train there.

There were 4 people trying to get into 3 seats in the car so it was decided that an epic Rock-Paper-Scissor battle would take place for "shotgun" and that battle was between Mr. Warner Nickerson and me. It was a fierce battle, the winner would claim the front seat of the car and the loser had to wait another hour for the next car to come. As usual, the best of 3 match went to the deciding throw and I won it, I actually won the premier seat! My scissors shredded Warner's paper and left him waiting to get picked up with some of the other guys.

So I jumped in a car with Will, Dave and our head coach, Mike Day, and we started our journey that was supposed to take a bit under 9 hours. The GPS in the car was leading the way and we all soon realized that we were not going what anyone would consider the normal way. Our map was set to send us south going from Germany to France, through Switzerland and Italy. Things were going smoothly until we misinterpreted a command at a tricky intersection and had to backtrack through Milan to get righted. There was a solid 30 minutes lost to an already daunting drive. Not even 45 minutes later, a difficult to read sign left us on the wrong side of a barrier that one way headed north of Val d'Isere and dropped in and the other to continue south towards Torino, Italy and come up over some Tour-de-France-esque mountain roads. Since we missed the turn and the GPS knew the next best way to go, we kept going to head over the mountains.

The small town off the highway that began this mountain road had some signs in italian that we could not interpret. All we knew was that they said something about the boarder to France and snow. The road looked fine so we proceeded up the mountain becoming more and more skeptical the entire time. Finally, we got into France but only a few hundred yards past that, the road just stopped being plowed. The meaning of the signs became clear and we were distraught. Only 70km was between us and our destination and we would have to turn around and go another 230km to missed the closed mountain passes... A lot of tolls and a fair amount of driving later, we arrived in Val d'Isere, 10 hours and 30 minutes after we started our journey.

Bummer... And Warner's car beat us to the hotel starting an hour later.

Bedtime now, jet lag is also tough, especially coming all the way from Colorado.


  1. Nolan, I hate to say it, but, SUCKS to be you! Let's hope all that bad luck means you will have good luck this weekend.

  2. Look on the bright side. ... oh wait. Isn't one. Race well
    Hank McKee

  3. Where you rolling from Munich? Zurich-Geneva-Albertville is the route my friend.

  4. Sounds rough, but mostly hilarious. Gotta love life sometimes.

    Also just though you should know, you're kind of Super massively attractive.


  5. Pretty cool how you turn things around to see the humor in them - great luck this weekend!