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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

New Zealand – favorite photos

Camp has ended and now it’s time to recover a bit and let all those hours of training (and a few hours of racing, too!) sink in. I flew back home to Minnesota for 4 days after our time in New Zealand was up, and now I’m on my way back to Vermont and my SMS training buddies. Here’s a mostly-photo blog of some of my favorite photos and memories from the last few days of camp!

Leaving one of the most amazing places on earth!

Leaving one of the most amazing places on earth!

I’m not someone who usually has their nose pressed to the plexiglass oval of the airplane window, but on the flight out of Queenstown to Auckland, NZ, I couldn’t tear myself away! If you look carefully, you can even see the snow farm from the airplane. We’re the huge patch of snowy mountaintop and what really stands out is the winding dirt road up to the trails from the valley.

You can see the dirt road of the snow farm going up to the snow!

You can see the dirt road of the snow farm going up to the snow!

In our last week of training, we were fortunate enough to race in some FIS races with the Aussies and South Korean teams.

Racing in the 10km classic (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

Racing in the 10km classic (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

Striding up the bottom of a big climb (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

Striding up the bottom of a big climb (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

There was a classic sprint, a 10km mass start classic and a 5km skate. I raced the first two and cheered for Liz and Simi in the third before heading off on an AMAZING crust cruise! The day before had been really warm and sunny, melting the snow into a smooth layer before freezing up into a fast crust overnight. You could take one step and glide 5 feet!

Looking out over the Crown Range Mountains! Photo from an awesome paraglider that I met up by the summit.

Looking out over the Crown Range Mountains! Photo from an awesome paraglider that I met up by the summit.

It was a bluebird day and I skied myself up to the summit of the Crown Range mountains and overlooked the valley on either side. The mountain range at the Snow Farm is breathtaking and the para-gliders I met up on the ridge agreed with me.

A panorama looking over the other side of the ridge!

A panorama looking over the other side of the ridge!

Erika and Sophie cruising around off-trail.

Erika and Sophie cruising around off-trail.

Walking out to the floating tree in Wanaka on a day off (photo from Erika)

Walking out to the floating tree in Wanaka on a day off (photo from Erika)

A view from the beach in Wanaka!

A view from the beach in Wanaka!

The eels and fish that hang around the dock. I guess the eels are famous!

The eels and fish that hang around the dock. I guess the eels are famous!

Getting ready for intervals at a trail junction.

Getting ready for intervals at a trail junction.

The morning that we were set to fly out, on our never-ending day – we crossed the date line so although we traveled for close to 30 hours, it was technically only a 12 hour travel – we got up reeeeeeeeally early. Why not make a long day even longer? Right. Exactly. Early mornings aren’t really my thing, but for a 6:30am sunrise ski, I’ll make an exception.

The crew on top before we turned around in the fog! (photo by Matt)

The crew on top before we turned around in the fog! (photo by Matt)

We hiked it up into the mountains, in the same direction I took my crust cruise earlier. There was a ton of fog up there, making us a little snow blind!

The sun finally showed up!

The sun finally showed up!

Then, right as we got to the top and turned around to come back down towards the lodge, the sun came up and started burning off fog. Within 10 minutes, the mountains cleared up and we had a beautiful clear view all the way down!

Starting to see the mountains on our way down...

Starting to see the mountains on our way down…

Having fun bombing around on the crust! (photo by Matt)

Having fun bombing around on the crust! (photo by Matt)

I was just a wee bit excited (photo by Newell)

I was just a wee bit excited (photo by Newell)

I wanted that ski to never, ever end. We found fun natural terrain to play on and Newell showed off his cat-like jumping skills. It was such good skills practice for me, and by the end of the ski I felt so comfortable on my feet and was turning and jumping much better!

Andy "sending it for the boys"

Andy “sending it for the boys”

Sadly, the ski did have to end, but our friend Steve who runs the Snow Farm made us all outstanding flat white coffees to send us off in style! Then I was off. Travel was going really easily until I ran out of time in a connection in Houston, after doing customs and bag check and security. I was in one of those awful panic-filled sprints through the airport, backpack banging against my shoulders as I got to the locked and closed gate. I am not ashamed to say that there were some frustrated tears. Luckily, I thought to stand at the gate window even though I know that as a rule they never open the gate. But this time someone saw me! Since I probably looked like an unaccompanied minor with my hair in braids and glasses on, they let me onto the plane and I finally made my way back home.

Back home and foraging around in the garden!

Back home and foraging around in the garden!

Having a few days with my family was wonderful! I got to go out on the St Croix river with my parents, and all of us jumped off the boat! I was the only one attempting a backflip from the deck, and as a result I was the only one who had a red slap mark on their arm after rotating too much.

Mid-spin!

Mid-spin!

Dad and I jumping off the top deck!

Dad and I jumping off the top deck!

We went to the Guthrie theatre as a family, which was really fun. My younger sister Mackenzie is really into theatre and the arts, so, like skiing, this is something we can all enjoy together! I’m really excited to see her perform in a lead role she landed in a show when I visit home again in October.

On a bike cruise with my parents!

On a bike cruise with my parents!

Sister time and getting to see a play! Yay!

Sister time and getting to see a play! Yay!

I love to cook and garden, so it stands to reason that I’m unreasonably happy when I get to cook with things FROM the garden! Plucking cherry tomatoes, kale, beets, green beans, cucumbers and zucchini and cooking up pasta sauces and salads with them for my family was so fun.

Hunting for Hobbits!

Camp has been outstanding so far. There have been a few really windy days up at the Snow Farm, and last night we got an amazing snow storm that literally tore flags off the poles, the winds were so high. So in addition to skiing, a couple of us decided…

First week of Winter at the Snow Farm!

Getting to ski in real winter conditions in the middle of our summer is such a dream come true! I’ve been waiting and waiting to finally get back down here after last year’s amazing camp…and this year has proven to be another awesome start to the training camp. The Snow…

Last week of summer!

The time warp that is traveling to New Zealand can leave anyone a little confused. How, exactly, did I completely skip a day? August 29th, for me, simply didn’t happen. And that’s really strange. On the return trip, I will get to live a day twice and, technically, I will…

Long run + fun week = sore legs.

This past week wrapped up a solid 3 weeks of training here in Stratton, Vermont! It’s been busy with camps visiting in town and jumping into training sessions, which keeps each day exciting with fresh faces and enthusiasm for new training venues. We had the SMS Summer camp here at…

A little more travel, a lot more smiles!

Family is so important to me, and every time I get to spend time with my relatives it gives me an extra spark, that special energy that you get when you’re with people you love. So although it can be challenging to fit in extra travel around a grueling training…

Rest week, and ready to go again!

After Alaska camp, my coach and I planned to give me a week where I wrote my own training plan, kept the hours and intensity extremely low, and focused on recovery. It was nice to have a mini-vacation in the middle of summer training, just to hit the reset button and…

Alaska, part two: The Glacier

I hope I say often enough just how much I LOVE my job, and how lucky I feel! The past week of training was hard work, of course, but anytime “going to work” means getting dressed up in spandex and skiing on a glacier for 5 hours, you know life…

Alaska, part one: the running

This first week of camp in Alaska has been beautiful, fun, adventurous…and a lot of great training! Almost every day has included a running workout where we pick a new mountain, big or small, and go climb it! Or, we’ll do a fun running loop to a super cold lake…

An Open Letter to Airports

As I traveled to Alaska for our second US Ski Team camp of the summer, I spent quite a bit of my time in airplanes and hanging out in airports. It occurred to me that I might write a letter to tell the airport exactly how I feel about it….