Yesterday we squeaked in a day of training on lower west Palmer before the skies opened up and dumped rain. Our first GS course was 8 gates of even rhythm, set at 22 meters distance. The second GS course was 14 gates, on more moderate terrain, and varied in distance and rhythm. Everyone finished their training on a high note and made plenty of progress. Kids made great progress and really hung tough considering that this was our 6th day in a row and the weather was not optimal. We decided not to ski today due to the fact that it would be our 7th day on and the weather forecast is not looking promising. Instead, we will sleep in for a bit longer, pack and head to Portland for flights. We are so proud of the progress made over the past week. It was truly a great group of kids who stayed positive and worked hard towards the goals we set at the beginning of the trip. The weather wasn’t always pleasant and the courses were difficult but they never stopped smiling and their improvements are a product of their positivity.
Today we set two GS sections on Upper Mile. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the terrain at Mt. Hood, Upper Mile is a steeper and more advanced section. It was awesome to see improvement and the kids responding better today to the hard snow and the pitch. Some weather blew in late in the morning but nevertheless we got a pretty full day. We tried to go to the alpine slide this afternoon but unfortunately it was closed because the track was wet. Luckily, sunglasses shopping proved just as fun. Tomorrow we will be on Lower West Mile, which is a bit better terrain for learning and applying the progress we made on Upper Mile.
It was a beautiful day to ski some GS yesterday! The sun was out but the snow stayed firm so we had a great surface for our first time on GS skis. On Upper Palmer, we had one 8-gate section and one 12-gate section, both 17m in distance with considerable offset. We really emphasized solid tactics with a focus on depth, and the courses were difficult enough to provide kids with immediate feedback when they missed the mark. In the afternoon we walked around trillium lake for dryland. We are looking forward to continuing our GS progression and build on the progress we made today!
The weather didn’t appear to be all that promising when we first arrived this morning. It was misty, windy, and the snow hadn’t set up overnight. Nevertheless we set stations similar to yesterday’s and salted. We can happily report that the salt took much better than expected, and things went great. Once the snow hardened, we worked on proper gate strikes in hairpins and flushes. Steve coaches U16 girls at the GMVS academy, where he says the most common tactical mistake in slalom is improper clearing in combinations, which can throw skiers off balance and result in mistakes in these sections. For that reason, focusing on habituating the correct combination tactics is a great focus for younger athletes who haven’t had a chance to develop bad habits yet. We are excited about the progress and the positivity that we saw from the kids on the hill today. Matt Beers from Rossignol is stopping by the house today to discuss ski prep, which is an awesome opportunity for the kids to learn the basics of ski tuning. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we are packing away the slalom skis and shifting to GS for the next few days.
It was a beautiful and sunny day on the mountain and it froze last night so the snow was firm and held up well for many runs. We took advantage of the hard snow and we set five difficult sections on the Mile. To start, we used a similar drill course to yesterday, (picket fence brushes), to make hop turns. Then we had a 10 gate paneled slalom section, which is a great tool for those working on a deeper line. Then we had a rhythm section incorporating both stubby and tall pole gates to work on striking the gate properly while maintaining a good line. For the fourth section, we set two side-by-side tall-pole sections with a stubby at the top of a hairpin to promote proper entrance into combinations. Finally, we finished with a 10 gate stubby course. Needless to say, the kids got a lot turns in today and are all pretty exhausted this afternoon. They’re making great strides, staying positive, and having fun. Tonight we are having a barbecue at Wildwood Recreation Area and playing soccer, capture the flag and volleyball, (photos forthcoming!). Tomorrow we will level-up our efforts with combinations and really challenge athletes to habituate the right way to approach a variety of sets.
Our third day was awesome! We had four different training courses set up, each with a particular tactical focus. The first was a picket fence, followed by two paneled slalom courses and we finished with a stubbie course. Lines were relatively short so the kids got a lot of runs in. This afternoon we had an agility-focused dry-land session in the parking lot. In addition, we took a van into town to get demo skis for those interested and Huck’s shakes. Tomorrow we are going to work our way into more challenging sections and try to apply what we’ve been working on in the beginning of our progression and learning about in our tech talks. Kids are working hard, getting along, and staying positive. It’s a fun group!
Due to inclement weather, snow, sleet, and high winds, the ski area was closed today. We are bummed to lose a day so early in the trip, but are thankful that we stuck it out yesterday and got some mileage under our belts. Today we kept busy doing some dryland training in the rain, played cards, watched the Women’s World Cup soccer game, and baked brownies. Right now the camp is in Gresham playing a couple rousing games of laser tag. After dinner we will wrap up the day with a tech talk to prepare campers for the next step of our slalom progression: tactics and turn shape. We are optimistic about the weather looking forward and excited to get back on the mountain tomorrow.
It was an eventful first day on the volcano! We had a delayed start due to high winds, but we were one of a handful of teams who waited it out and when the wind lifted we had much of the hill to ourselves! We were able to get a lot of runs with no lines working on fundamentals. We did drills like the "up-and-over drill", which is a great way to find your balance and we are encouraging athletes to incorporate it into their daily warm-up exercises. Because of the delayed start, we stayed late and returned to the condos around 1 where we made sandwiches and had some quiet time. This afternoon coaches ran a light regeneration session consisting of a jog, dynamic stretching, and core activation. Tonight, we had a goal-setting meeting to help athletes clarify long-term goals as well as specific camp goals. We are currently going over video in small groups with our coaches. Ultimately, the winds made the first day challenging but the kids did an awesome job staying positive and are excited to continue our slalom progression tomorrow!
The 2019 Summer Race Camp has begun! We are so excited to have you! With a new set of coaches this year and a schedule designed to get the MOST out of every day, this could be our best year yet. Campers will be arriving at Big Bear Little Bear Condos shortly, unpacking ski bags and meeting their new roommates and coaches. After a good night's rest, the plan for tomorrow is to get our slalom feet moving again with an introduction to slalom technique. We will be doing lots of drills for balance and coordination, including garlands and single-ski skiing. Check in here for daily blog posts to stay up to date.