When you land in Alaska, you feel like some sort of adventure has begun. No matter what you come up here for, it’s a land away from everything else. And that’s a cool feeling. As ski racers, we get so used to traveling to places around the world that are so drastically different from home, that I think sometimes our sense of adventure shuts off and we cease to absorb the amazing characteristics of a place and culture. But in Alaska, there are so many things of everyday life that are familiar to us, that it becomes easy to not sweat the small stuff and start enjoying time spent in a truly wild place.
We’ve been in Anchorage for a week, and it very well could be the best week of weather the city will see all summer. It’s been sunny, clear, warm, and I haven’t seen one mosquito since we’ve been here (although most of us have been stung by yellow jackets at least once for some reason). Most mornings have been spent eating breakfast on our porch looking at Denali and Mt. Foraker 200 miles away in the clear morning air. Training with APU everyday has been awesome, and we all feel like one big collective team making each other better versus a bunch of individual domestic athletes trying to out-do each other. We’ve done everything from hard bounding intervals at Hillside to meandering skis through Anchorage neighborhoods to epic mountain runs in the Chugach Range. This morning’s OD was definitely a highlight of the camp so far. We parked up by Eagle River (north of Anchorage) and started our run from the Symphony Lake trailhead. An Immediate 2,500’ climb up to the ridge left us with 5 miles of outstanding ridge running before dropping directly down to Symphony Lake for a quick skinny dip and the 6 mile run back out to the cars.
Tomorrow we will meet our pilots at Alpine Air in Girdwood, and catch a ride for the 7-minute helicopter shuttle up to the Eagle Glacier where we’ll spend 6 days skiing at 6,000’. The focus of the on-snow portion of the camp will be volume, so we’re expecting to log lots of KMs and calories and sleep while we’re up there, which is perfect because there’s not a lot else to do there besides ski, eat and sleep. Stay tuned for some pictures from the glacier and thanks for checking in!