I’m rooming here in New Zealand with my teammate Andy Newell. Andy is a great singer and guitarist. He’s also getting into song writing now. It’s fun to be his roommate and hear him play.
Both yesterday afternoon and this morning we had two hour skate sessions. We did a little bit of video and technique. Here’s coach Chris Grover working with Simi Hamilton.
Yesterday evening I played the board game Settlers of Catan with the Canadian men.
We have been frustrated with the grooming here at the Snow Farm. The staff has chosen not to groom on multiple occasions. The decision not to groom has made training difficult and less productive. When they have groomed they have done a limited number of trails. This morning they did not groom because it was “too foggy to see”. A couple of days ago the snow was “too wet to groom”. We, the athletes training here, don’t understand the excuses because we have skied all over the world in more adverse conditions than they are experiencing here at the Snow Farm. We have seen groomers produce great trails in very extreme weather. Here is the Canadian team checking out the conditions in the fog this morning.
The training was tough because the trails were icy ruts.
The fog made for some cool ice formations:
The sun eventually came out, and we had fresh grooming for the tail end of our ski.
I skied for a while today with Canadian Paralympic (vision impaired) Gold Medalist Brian McKeever. I had a lot of fun chatting with him.
Today was the Merino Muster 42 kilometer skate marathon here at the Snow Farm. It is a big citizen race. Not very many of the high level skiers training here did the race. Reigning female World Cup Champion Justyna Kowalczyk got second overall. We watched the start from the lodge during lunch.
Kowalczyk is second row far left in this picture:
Today was our first recovery day of the camp. I had the afternoon off and headed down to Arrowtown to hang out with some of my friends on the U.S. Ski Team for Alpine. Their total operation down here is a little bigger than ours. They have a ton of staff here. Here is the wax room for the technician who works with Ted Ligety and Bode Miller.
My friend Nolan Kasper and I went to Queenstown with three of the staff members to play disc golf.
Here is downtown Queenstown across the bay.
I really liked the course. It was up and down and in a cool forest. When I play in Utah, every hole is par 3, but here, some of the long holes are par 4. I was therefore able to play a respectable round of one over par. Nolan shot an impressive six under par. Some of the holes were short enough that they were reasonable birdie opportunities even with my limited range.
Here is a view from the course across Lake Wakatipu:
After disc golf I played tennis with tech skier Colby Granstrom.
It was a really fun afternoon and a great opportunity for me to get away from the Snow Farm. Here is the sunset on the drive home.