Snow

It started snowing mid-morning yesterday and has yet to stop. This is the biggest storm I’ve been in for several years. We must have gotten close to two feet overnight.

Lots of Snow in Toblach, Italy

The road over the pass to Cortina, Italy has been closed all day right in front of our hotel.

Closed Road from Toblach, Italy to Cortina, Italy

It made moot any thoughts I had of driving to Cortina to go powder skiing. There was big time snow removal going on all day.

Snow Removal in Toblach, Italy

Here’s a comparison picture from yesterday to today of the wax cabins:

Wax Cabins with New Snow in Toblach, Italy

We were able to order delicious pizza for lunch. I was incorrect when I predicted that my pizza outing with Sophie Caldwell and Liz Stephen last week would be my last pizza in Italy. Today’s pizza was delicious.

Delicious Pizza in Toblach, Italy

I again waited till the afternoon to head to the venue for my pre-race ski because I wanted the full attention of my technique coach Zach Caldwell and my technician for the weekend, Matt Whitcomb. Interestingly, the Norwegian wax truck isn’t here this week. I wonder if it is on the way to Russia. I believe many of the wax trucks are not going to Russia at all because you cannot drive to the venue, so they would have to park at the bottom of the gondola.

Wax Trucks in Toblach, Italy

I am really impressed with how many camera placements they have on the distance course. You can get away with airing an individual start cross country ski race (like tomorrow’s race) with very few cameras (as evidenced each year by the races in Davos, Switzerland) because you can show each athlete ski through the same split station. However, I believe the coverage is incredibly boring when they only have a few camera placements. I’m glad they have most of the course covered here.

Camera Placements in Toblach, Italy

There are generally two cameras (above) at split stations, one for long range and one for short range shots. Here’s the angle from those two cameras:

World Cup Split Station

Here’s Zach looking quite confused at me taking his picture:

Zach Caldwell Confused Look

And Matt:

Matt Whitcomb Skiing in Toblach, Italy

I’m not very good at feeling skis and deciding which pair is best, so I just let Matt and Zach talk it out and come to a conclusion.

Matt Whitcomb and Zach Caldwell Discussing Skis in Toblach, Italy

Our head wax technician Peter Johansson was out testing glide wax on skate skis.

Peter Johansson Testing Skis in Toblach, Italy

And here is head coach Chris Grover who was helping Peter.

Chris Grover Skiing in Toblach, Italy

I felt really good during my ski. I treat my workouts here with Zach just like I do my technique sessions with him when I’m in Putney, Vermont. I don’t have a plan for the session or an agenda while I’m out there. I just go hard while I’m focusing on certain technique cues and ski easy the rest of the time. Zach decides when we’re done, but I’m rarely out there for more than 45 minutes. This method has worked well in the past, as I’ve had some of my best races while Zach is around.

Tomorrow’s race is 15 kilometers individual start classic. It is my last World Cup before the first Olympic race next weekend. I have had disappointing classic results thus far this year, but I am still feeling good about my potential. I believe I can have a top-15 result tomorrow. In order to do that I need to ski smart, start under control and focus on my technique cues. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. The race starts at 2:15 p.m. here in Italy which is 8:15 a.m. on the East coast of the U.S. and 6:15 a.m. in the Rocky Mountains. You can stream the race here. Results will be available here.

Lastly, I have one complaint about Italian hotel rooms. There are too few outlets. There are exactly two outlets in my entire room (including the bathroom). That includes the one for the T.V.

Italian Hotel Outlet

15 thoughts on “Snow

  1. Noah – our family has been thoroughly enjoying your blog! We’ll be thinking of you and cheering you on tomorrow at our Eastern Mass Bill Koch practice. We’ll try to be loud enough for you to hear. As Tucker said in the movie Racing Stripes “don’t look back, leave it all on the track!” Good luck! We’ll be cheering for you and the rest of the team tomorrow and all through the Olympics!

  2. hoff that picture of zach is, in anya’s words, “Grumpy Pants!” i think the description fits 🙂 make sure you let him know i mentioned that point.

  3. Okay, so Finns, Swedes, Germans etc. aren’t going to have their trucks at the XC stadium in Sochi. I remember reading an article last year that Norwegians were lobbying hard for having their truck there but organisers resisted it by explaining there is no room for such monoliths.

    But if it is so it’s interesting indeed where the Norwegian truck is now? 🙂

  4. It looks like Cortina and Aspen are on similar weather patterns. 24″in the past 24 hours. So deep we decided to not take our kids for fear of getting stuck. We have 20+ in Carbondale and I’m thinking +30 on the mountain and still coming down. We just skied around or neighborhood before the plows take it all away.
    Everyone reading your posts believe in you and want you to make the most of your time on the WC and Olympics. No regrets!
    And please don’t powder ski for another 4 weeks. Then you’ll have 4 years of great powder skiing until the next Olympics.
    -Wheeless family, RFV

  5. The Norwegian wax truck is with the junior/U23 team at Val di Fiemme. Sounds like the snow won’t let it get to Toblach even if that was the plan.

    PS GO Noah!

  6. Love the blog. Looking forward to watching you and the rest of the team in the coming weeks. Go get em!

  7. Wish you could send some of that snow to eastern Mass, if you’re not using it all!
    Good luck Noah and all the US skiers!

  8. Really helpful to get a sense of what you think about as you prepare for your races, and interesting to learn that even at your top level you still need a team of coaches and advisers to get you skiing your best.

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