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.

Andy Newell Playing Guitar

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.

Chris Grover and Simi Hamilton New Zealand 2013

Yesterday evening I played the board game Settlers of Catan with the Canadian men.

New Zealand Settlers of Catan Game

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.

Canadian Team in Fog at Snow Farm, New Zealand

The training was tough because the trails were icy ruts.

Rutted Snow in New Zealand

The fog made for some cool ice formations:

Icy Grass in New Zealand

The sun eventually came out, and we had fresh grooming for the tail end of our ski.

Fresh Grooming in New Zealand

I skied for a while today with Canadian Paralympic (vision impaired) Gold Medalist Brian McKeever. I had a lot of fun chatting with him.

Brian McKeever Skiing in New Zealand

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.

Merinl Muster 2013 Start

Kowalczyk is second row far left in this picture:

Merino Muster 2013

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.

Ted Ligety and Bode Miller's New Zealand Wax Room

My friend Nolan Kasper and I went to Queenstown with three of the staff members to play disc golf.

Nolan Kasper Queenstown Disc Golf

Here is downtown Queenstown across the bay.

Lake and Downtown Queenstown

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.

Queenstown Disc Golf Short Hole

Here is a view from the course across Lake Wakatipu:

Lake Wakatipu

After disc golf I played tennis with tech skier Colby Granstrom.

New Zealand Tennis with 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.

New Zealand Sunset

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