Yesterday I flew from Vermont to Beitostolen Norway in order to get on snow and take advantage of some super competitive early season races here this weekend. The US Ski Team squad was just scheduled to travel straight over to Finland for the first World Cup weekend, but since I will be traveling home for 3 weeks in December this year I opted to fly over a week early and come to Beitostolen.
I flew into Olso in the morning and rented a car from the airport to make the 3-hour drive north to Beitostolen. This summer when I was in Norway by myself I went with the super little, golf-cart style car but this time thought better of it and upgraded to a sweet Mercedes… and I’m glad I did. Not only could I fit skis in, but also Norway has had one of the most epic starts to their winter in years and there is snow everywhere! Awesome for early season skiing but slower going on the road so I’m glad I had decent wheels for the drive. I rolled into town in time for an evening jog before dinner.
Even though I’m without US Ski Team support I’m definitely not just flying solo out here either and should have plenty of training partners this week. Andrew and Cam are in town enjoying the skiing along with several hundred xc skiers and biathletes from around the world. Picture west Yellowstone on steroids. Just about every Norwegian skier in the country will be here which makes for great competition but also a fun chance to catch up with some of my training partners from the Lillehammer training group I joined this summer. After two nights in my current hotel I’ll be moving in with the BNBank team and joining them for through the weekend.
Day one in Beito didn’t disappoint. I woke up to some light snow -4C and a perfectly groomed race loop in the stadium. Andrew is here visiting Cam so although I guess I technically do have a wax tech here we also didn’t travel with any waxing gear. I knocked on the door of the national team wax truck so see if I could jump on a bench and score some kick wax but they of course just grabbed my skies and told me to get the hell out of there, the skis would be done in 3 minutes haha. Sure enough a few minutes later a perfectly waxed pair of classic skis came out of that fancy truck. It’s really nice of them to help me out and it just goes to show you how friendly most nations are to one another on the World Cup.
The racetrack was in perfect condition and it was great to ski around on some great hard wax skiing conditions. Here in Beitostolen there are a lot of tourist trails that are skiable with the current natural snow but we stuck to the 5k for the most part today. The races this weekend will begin on Friday with a 15k classic, 10k skate on Saturday, and a sprint on Sunday. I’m not expecting huge things from these races but I’m excited to make a smooth transition to snow and get things tuned up to start off the World Cup season as strong as possible.