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I left the OTC at 3:30am Sunday morning with teammate Sara Studebaker to begin the trip to Vancouver. It had been a cold couple of days in Lake Placid but I braved the weather anyway, figuring that if I had survived Minnesota in December, I could take on anything. That’s not to say I went unprepared: handwarmers, toewarmers, balaclava and windproof outer layers were all a part of my ensemble. The good news is that Lake Placid received a bunch of snow after the rainstorm early in the week and with the trail maintenance crew working hard to clear off debris, the trails are in great condition. Red glide wax and sub-0F temperatures is not the ideal combination for an easy, relaxed ski, but I managed to knock out a set of level 2/3 intervals where most of the hard work went into pushing my ski forward beyond its contact point with the snow just enough to barely keep me moving up the hill.

We’re getting an early start out to western Canada because we’ve got a training camp on Mt. Washington, on Vancouver Island. There are quite a few teams and disciplines also taking advantage of the ski resort and 20-point shooting range, which I’ve never visited before.

On day 1 I set out in the morning for what was planned to be a short and easy classic ski. Several minutes into the ski I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. With temperatures right around freezing and fresh snow falling, hard wax just wasn’t doing the trick and I hadn’t brought any klister with me. I struggled around for about an hour before I finally caved in and started skating the uphills and doule-poling the flats, worried that I might not make it back in time for lunch. In spite of the challenge, I still managed to take in some of the beautiful scenery of Mt. Washington. Out on the “Far East” trail I saw only a few people but lots of snow-covered wooded hillside. The quiet was a comforting escape from the hustle and bustle of the airport I’d experienced for 12 hours the day before. There is quite a lot of snow here, and it’s warm. By the time we went out for afternoon training, fresh snow had covered the tracks from the morning and made some of the trails unrecognizable.

It’s nice to be able to relax just a little ways outside of Vancouver while we fine-tune our skills for the last time before the Games.

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