Bormio and Stelvio

I have updated the “Events” page of this website with my race schedule for the 2015-16 season. I am very excited about this year’s schedule because there are a lot of races (35) and most of them play to my strengths and are great opportunities for me. With no World Championships or Olympics, this year provides an opportunity to focus on consistency throughout the season. Any one of the 29 World Cup races are equally important and exciting.

After the conclusion of the U.S. Ski Team camp and Toppidrettsveka roller ski races in Norway last week, I flew down to central Europe to meet up with my coach Zach Caldwell and his wife Amy. The inter-Europe tickets were surprisingly expensive, so I ended up flying to Munich, Germany because it was the cheapest option. I then took the train down to Bolzano, Italy where Zach and Amy picked me up.

I am enamored with the European train system (and public transit system in general). It took over five hours to get to Bolzano, but I only had to switch trains once, at München Ost. Taking trains is definitely less fun with a ski bag than it would be if I were travelling light.

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When Zach and Amy picked me up we drove from Bolzano to the beautiful ski resort of Bormio, Italy. In Bormio, Zach and Amy visited the headquarters of Ski Trab as part of their business Caldwell Sport. I took the opportunity to do some beautiful running around the mountains and to relax in town.

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After Zach and Amy had finished their work in Bormio we headed up Stelvio Pass to the Stelvio Glacier. For three days last week Zach and I worked on technique. (Amy enjoyed herself skiing.) We rarely have the opportunity to work on technique on snow (as opposed to on roller skis) and it was super valuable. We worked on lengthening out my skate stride and we found some new cues in classic that have put me in a much better position than I have been in for the last three years. (See the Caldwell Sport Facebook Page for a bunch of pictures and some video of my technique and Zach and Amy’s time at Stelvio.)

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Amy did some waxing for me, which I am eternally grateful for…

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The altitude here at Stelvio is high, over 10,500′. It’s hard work. Zach was feeling the effects.

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Central Europe had a very warm summer. The glacier is very dirty. Right now we’re in a freeze-thaw cycle. The snow is super abrasive in the mornings so we’re having trouble holding kick wax on the skis. (See the picture below.) However, the skating is very good on the fast tracks and the classic skiing is very good in the soft conditions in the afternoon. Overall, the skiing is excellent and I’m psyched to be on snow!

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After our traditional three-day technique block, Zach and Amy left me here to do a training block. They headed back to the States. I owe them a huge Thank You for taking the time to come here to coach me.

It’s a little lonely being up here on the glacier by myself, but I’m training a lot so I don’t have much energy anyways. Plus, it’s not a bad place to be stuck alone.

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