I had a free lift ticket voucher, so I skied the hill on Friday. The freezing levels had risen quite high and things were not looking too promising, but I quickly realized during the gondola ride up that conditions up high would be game on. I had some of the best runs that I have ever had there and it was hard to resist the urge to keep skiing so I called it quits with an hour until close :) . I was put up in some accommodation that I had won during last summer's Kicking Horse Cup, so a good sleep was a given.
|A great view of the top 4 in the race. Photo: Malcolm Taylor|
In previous years, I have made use of the included lift ticket and the noon start to burn off a couple of laps in the morning, but this time, I decided to sleep in instead. After a pretty brief warmup, it was time to do battle.
Course: Again, this is the best course in Canada, with lots of transitions, steep skiing, and bootpacks to test your technical skills. The course was modified from two previous years with the last descent changed to the final descent from my first Dash! Leg burner! Otherwise the same 2 non-selective first climbs and the 3rd and 4th, which separate the men from the boys.
Gear: Fresh off my Europe trip, my gear was dialed. Needed the grippy skins for one of the ascents, but I wish I could have spent more time on the faster gliding skins.
Technique: Again, fresh out of Europe, my technique was feeling dialed. My transitions were fast, kickturns were dialed in, and my skiing was feeling the best it has been. Very few mistakes.
Engine: Although I made the mistake of doing some trail breaking to "string out the group" on the first 2 climbs, I was feeling like a hero...until Scott Simmons, up from Colorado sped away on the flat section of the 3rd climb. Eric Carter and I were skiing together all day, pushing the pace hard. He was stronger than me on the day, but I am surprised that I collapsed as bad as I did to lose a minute at the end of the final climb.
TSN Turning Point: The 3rd climb again proved decisive and I was able to settle into my spot ahead of Brad, Ben Parsons from Montana, and Nick.
|Suffering hard. Felt like I was lacking in the end battle, but I was spent at the end. Great to hear so many people cheering for me, even my Mom!|
After a great buffet dinner, we prepared to battle in the relay race the next day. It was snowing hard, and I opted to race wearing goggles for once! I teamed up with Martin Lafontaine, and wearing jerseys from the teams of our respective provinces, we became "the Separatists". I love the relay format as it is spectator friendly, easy to set up, and is really beneficial to the athletes from a training and technique perspective. We both threw down some fast laps and just barely lost out on the win to the Skintrack.com team of Stano and Eric.
Malcolm was out taking some amazing pictures.