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A Good Week So Far

It’s been a great week so far in Fairbanks, AK. The week started out relatively warm, being about 30-32 degrees Fahrenheit on our first day of skiing. However, its gotten much colder since. It was about 5 degrees this morning while skiing. The skiing was very, very slow this morning with such cold snow. I would almost have been satisfied with the kick I was getting for a classic race even though I was on my skate skis. All the same, it was fun. I really like Birch Hill as a ski area. The pitching, turning trails are really fun and exciting.

We’ve been doing a lot of fun activities here as well. This afternoon we visited the Permafrost Cave. It was built during the Cold War by the US Army testing and experimenting for how to build tunnels in Greenland. The tunnel itself goes to a depth of about 90 feet underground. In there, there are frozen (not fossilized) bones of all sorts of Pleistocene mammals such as wooly rhinoceros and mammoths. There are also areas where plants and other roots come down through the ceiling of the tunnel. the permafrost itself is permanently frozen ground, which makes a loud metallic sound if you tap on it. To keep it from thawing because of people doing work in there, the entrance has been blocked off and the tunnel has basically been turned into a giant refrigerator.

The flag battle with PNSA has been much lower key than last year. They stole our flag on Sunday by telling the front desk that they were Patrick and getting a room key, and then storming his room with the entire team. I stole their flag from them on Tuesday by just grabbing it out the hands of one of them.

Sam Zabell

Age: 15
Hometown Truckee CA
School: Sugar Bowl Academy
Team: Sugar Bowl Academy
Age first skied: 1.5
Favorite Book: Anthem
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Jessie Diggins
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Cycling
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Andy Schleck
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
My most memorable Far West experience was after the skate sprint at the 2013 Super JNQ in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Far West had just taken podiums in all four age divisions, with three first place finishes. Afterward, I was able to go around and nearly everywhere I went, from the announcer to groups of parents, everyone was talking about us and how strong our team was this year. l was especially motivated by this.
Best Racing Experience:
My best racing experience was at the skate sprint at the 2013 Soldier Hollow Super JNQ. I had had a very good preliminary and quarterfinal. In my semifinal, I was coming down the big hill in good drafting position and ready to take the lead. However, I was taken out by another competitor and finished last in my heat. In the B final that followed, I managed to break my pole in the first 100 meters. I did get a new pole quickly and hammered the entire course. By the end, I had fought my way back to second place. Though my race was marked with misfortune, I see it in a positive light because of how I managed to stay positive and focused throughout.
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I would choose the power to communicate telepathically. This would prove useful for many situations in which an immediate con-bro-sation is necessary.
What is something most people can do that you cannot?
Something I cannot do is to back down once an argument has been initiated or even hinted at. Even if I am arguing for something I know is incorrect, I will fight for it for an inordinate amount of time.
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