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.

Our crust-cruise day last year, on the most perfect of days! (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

On a bluebird day, the tracks look fake, like an over-edited image that can’t possibly be real.

I mean…this backdrop can’t possibly exist in real life…right? (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

First tracks!

Because there are around 65-70 kilometers of groomed trails here and you’re never bored.

Headed out to “hanging valley” loop!

Kelsey enjoying “the loop”

The crew climbing “Kirsty Burn” trail up into the mountains (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

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.

Jumping over the mountain range! (photo from Jason Cork)

Enjoying a ski with Emily from the Canadian team before she flew home (photo from Jason Cork)

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.

Feeling on top of the world! (photo from Kelsey Phinney)

Skiing up the tiered trails in “the glen”, near the Snow Farm lodge (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

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!

Hammering out some intensity work! (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

Loving a long ski up the “Kirsty Burn” loop! (photo by Kelsey Phinney)

Switching leads back and forth with Ida during intervals. We use each other to keep getting faster and better! (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

We’ve got an awesome training group here, and it’s the US Ski Team plus Stratton, and Craftsbury came in after a week.

Sophie, Katharine, Ida, Kelsey, me and Alayna! (photo from Sophie)

Sprinting it out, just because! (photo by Kelsey Phinney)

Snack and drink breaks on top of one of the most beautiful trails in the world! (photo by Kelsey Phinney)

Kelsey and Sophie goofing around

Me and Katharine on a sunset cruise (Kelsey Phinney took the photo)

Hi from Down Under!

Enjoying the sunshine and great skiing with Julia! (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

Loving a fun trail up on the Pisa Mountain range! (photo by Matt Whitcomb)

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.

The hike up was ridiculously cool (photo from Sophie)

Water breaks never looked so good! (photo from Sophie)

An awesome run from Glendhu Bay to Wanaka down below. (photo from Sophie)


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.

The group – before Craftsbury Green team got here, so now we have even more! (photo from Simi)

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!

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