I feel so spoiled, living here at the Snow Farm in New Zealand! I’ve been to a LOT of training camps in my life, but this one takes the cake….Every. Single. Time. Why? Because every time I ski here, I feel so inspired. The rolling mountains are jaw-dropping.
On a bluebird day, the tracks look fake, like an over-edited image that can’t possibly be real.
Because there are around 65-70 kilometers of groomed trails here and you’re never bored.
Because some of the trails hug the edge of the mountain and it looks like you’re about to ski right off the edge of the world.
Because the Lord of the Rings were filmed here, duh! And one simply does not ski around the Snow Farm without listening to the theme song of the movies.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re earning our stay here by putting in some serious hours on the snow, working hard at improving our technique. But it’s hard not to ski around smiling all the time, and when it’s this nice outside, hard work doesn’t feel so hard!
We’ve got an awesome training group here, and it’s the US Ski Team plus Stratton, and Craftsbury came in after a week.
We also had an absolutely EPIC mountain run down in Wanaka last week. We ran 5 miles up into the mountains, then ran along the ridgeline for another hour or so, then ran back down. It was incredible views of Lake Wanaka on one side and Lake Hawea on the other, and being out in the mountains like that makes my soul happy.
Then it was time for the Merino Muster! I love, love, love this race. It’s such a fun atmosphere and the conditions were incredible – fast snow and fun skiing the rolling courses. I did the 42km race again this year, and it was fun winning the women’s race and seeing Simi take the men’s title again. But the best part is that women and men all start together so we got to race against the guys, too! And unlike the World Cup, we’re racing the exact same distance, so that’s pretty awesome.
Tomorrow we start the New Zealand Winter Games races; a 5/10km individual start skate, a skate sprint and a 10/15km mass start classic race. I’ll race the 5km and 10km race and it should be fun getting back in touch with the shorter distance race feelings!