Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Turn that frown upside down. Hey, that's not an upside down frown

So there were some rough times in Val d'Isere this weekend. Other than Ted absolutely dominating the gs for the second weekend in a row (and second out of two races this year), nobody else scored points. There was some hope in sl with Ted and Will Brandenburg cruising to two first run top 15s but both straddled during the second run. One of these days you know something big is going to happen in for the U.S. in sl so we always have that to look forward to. The next world cup on the schedule is a speed series at Val Gardena and then Alta Badia gs next Sunday. Sl won't be until Zagreb in early January. For us techy guys, we have some european cups that will essentially host a full world cup field because there are really no other races going on in Europe right now. Back to back night sls will definitely be the highlight Friday and Saturday.

We had another 8-9 hour drive out of Val d'Isere to get to Paganella, Italy yesterday afternoon. Luckily, I rode with Ted and Dane Spencer and had a good audio book to listen to. Made the ride seem a lot shorter than it was, and being super tired helped a little bit. The book we listened to was SuperFreakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. All I can say about it is that I'm sure there is much controversy about many of the topics they discuss, especially the chapter on climate change. I'm not going to comment on the subject for lack of knowledge but from what I had read elsewhere and learned at school this spring, this book is definitely someone's opinion backed by the experiments of that same person. You tend to find things the way you want them to when you build your research and experiments around it...

I am in the process of sorting out details to start writing blogs for Outside Television, operated by the same company that publishes Outside Magazine, is what was formerly known as RSN Television(resort sports network). I will probably post the same blog that I submit to them but I encourage you to check out some of their other blogs and info on the site. Looks to be an "every other week" blog with Laurenne Ross (U.S. Women's Alpine) blogging on the off weeks. More details to come.

----Video teaser coming very soon----

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.