Bogus Skiing

Been skiing at the home course, Bogus Basin, in Boise, Idaho over xmas break with family and old friends from my junior days. great snow right now, especially compared to last year when snow at Bogus Basin was just that – bogus (it didn’t open until January last year). Bogus also has the only solar-powered LED trail lighting system in the US! (see picture) It gets dark kinda early in December up here at the 43rd parallel, in Idaho, the 43rd state. So having a lighted trail system is pretty swell.

Looking forward to a good “Bogus Challenge” 6km skate mass start tomorrow. Gotta take down the master blasters and maybe even win a water bottle or bar of ski wax. Just like old times. Plus, the entry fee is only like $5, and it goes to my old junior ski team, the Bogus Basin Nordic Team.

Happy New Year

 

 

Did You Know?

The 2nd ever World Cup sprint race was in 1993 in Strbske Pleso, Slovakia and featured some of the best prizes I’ve ever heard of in a World Cup.

Pictured below, is the first prize for men, a car which was immediately sold to the Swiss women’s coach, and the second place women’s prize, a fur coat. Then 21 year old, Thomas Alsgaard won a license to hunt bear in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia for 2nd place. Vegard Ulvang won a live pig as an honorable mention for 4th place. The pig was later butchered and smoked for him and the rest of the Norwegian national team during the 1994 Olympics at Lillehammer.

 

Also I’ve become a fan of Thomas Zipfel’s Cross Country skiing cartoons which you can find at: http://www.fiscrosscountry.com/fan-stuff/thomas-zipfel-cartoons.html

Here is one about the upcoming Tour de Ski, STARTING IN 2 DAYS!!

SnOverload

I do love winter
I do love it when it snows
But plane delays blow

Anyway’s I’m excited to spend the holiday’s with my family and spend some time in Salt Lake City getting ready for Senior Nationals. Here are some photos I’ve collected in the days just before the most recent dumping of snow, so try and imagine 4 more feet of snow in the image.

A nice sunset glow on Castle Peak

The top of Judah at Sugarbowl, could probably use some more snow eh?

Pescado Frito, tasty but maybe more so not under a meter of snow

Skier Problems

I have three nordic related jobs. I’m an athlete for the Farm Team, a coach at North Tahoe High School, and a ski instructor at Tahoe Donner XC. Running between these jobs on a daily basis has made me appreciate the art of packing. I’ve found both body and mind focused on the act for itself and its metaphorical resonances. It’s very Zen. I still don’t understand what Zen means though, even after reading that article.  Both zen and packing seem to have paradoxical natures. We put these things in a bag only to take the majority of them out of the bag, only to put them back in the bag. It’s a little like ski waxing, actually. Wax on, only to take it off again. If this was twitter or instagram I’d hashtag it #skierproblems

minor variations on this theme are placed into bags every day.

Gus

Music: Here’s a simple song which I really like. It’s great how much Buck Owens can get out of a few words like “love’s gonna live here again”. Also, just because it was featured in a windows 8 commercial, don’t forget how wonderful this song is: Kishi Bashi‘s Bright Whites

Why you should join the farm team

Here is a substantial list of reasons a skier should join the farm team. I’m very grateful to be where I am.

 

1. We have a lot of snow before and after most other places in the country have snow. So instead of doing things other than skiing, like roller skiing and running, you will do what you came here to do, SKI!

2. Unlike other places that also get a lot of snow we have 8 hours of daylight on the darkest day of the year to ski in the snow

3. While you are skiing on all that snow in all that daylight, it will be warm. Despite what locals here might say, compared with most other ski towns in the country Truckee is pretty warm. This week was especially cold and I skied in high single digits once.

4. There are two ski areas with each 100+ km of skiing, which makes over distances (and all skiing) awesome

5. Our coaches are not only some of the best I’ve worked with but also some of the nicest people you will ever meet

6. The area has a strong nordic community with a number of generous sponsors who are commited to making you feel at home here and supporting cross country skiing. The amount of support I have received here beyond what was in my contract, from housing to finding a job and making sure I’m fed well, has been amazing.

7. Despite flying a bit under the radar nationally the funding the Farm Team is on par with a majority of clubs in the U.S.

8 There are a ton of junior skiers to workout with, coach, be role models for and silly with. Even though I’m supposed to be the one getting them excited about skiing, I find it often works the other way.

9. The college summer training program Martin Benes runs brings a very solid group here to train each summer.

10. Truckee is a cross training paradise. With good late season/summer snow tons of road and mountain biking, trail running, and of course paddleboarding

11. It doesn’t rain here. It is either sunny or snowing. This season I have trained in the rain a grand total of 2 times, enough said.

12. Despite being at high altitude it is quite feasible to go train at lower altitude with out driving more than an hour. This also feels really good.

13. The Far West regions is one of the smaller ones in the U.S. and despite being a small region there are a lot of big name reps. This is a great combination to get equipment support.

14. California has awesome produce and really good Mexican food.

15. Being a ski bum (as that is what most people not familiar with professional cross country racing call it) is a completely acceptable lifestyle here.

16. All of your friends back home will be jealous of your rad tan and ripped body from all the pushups you will do.

17. Ski areas here are committed to hosting big races. Tahoe Donner XC’s interest and support is the reason Supertour Finals are here this April and Auburn Ski Club is as consistent a host for Junior Nationals as any other area.

18. On your days off, that other kind of skiing is pretty good here. Pictured here is fellow Farmer Noah thoroughly enjoying a typical day here.

19. It is beautiful here. Photo from Auburn Ski Club a few days ago.

20. Let’s be honest do you really need any more. . . Okay fine. There is a pretty cool lake near by. I hear it’s fairly large, blue, and beautiful. If big lakes aren’t your thing there are a lot of other smaller ones that make for great swimming all summer long.

I’ll post a list of why you shouldn’t join the farm team once I come up with a few reasons. . .

The Coaching Life

Today was my first race as a ski coach…and I loved every minute. All the local high schools gathered at the Kirwood meadow for some super fun and funky relay races. Highlights of the day:

1. The boys totally outdid the girls in the costume contest…I saw several middle school boys sporting tutus and wigs…

2. The middle school boys race course was…well, let’s just say it wasn’t very well marked and we had a few dozen middle schoolers on the highs school course…oops. After figuring it out, I spend a good 45 minutes yelling directions at middle school boys since I didn’t have any flagging.

3. I skiied one leg of the middle school course with a girl who didn’t know how to skate ski and was trying to classic without any wax..She was getting a wee big frustrated so I nominated myself as her cheerleader in the hopes that she wouldn’t quit cross country skiing the minute she finished.

4. Standing at the turnaround point of the high school race, yelling my head off for every racer…and being very proud at how many names I could actually remember. I was in desperate need of a cow bell though in order to project my lone voice and so immediately texted my mom to have it sent with my xmas presents…which may or may not ever come.

All in all, a terrific day- complete with both sunshine in the morning and snow in the afternoon. Congratulations to all the racers…especially those for which this was their first high school race…or first race period!

Cheers

Yesterday I got the new Far West Farm Team uniform, and I was really excited to wear it around skiing at Auburn Ski Club with some of the Farmers. We’ve decided that there are a few options for ski team chants: my favorites are “EE I EE I O” and “Farmers Hoe!”. I think the Old McDonald version is perfect for cheering during races. It goes nicely alongside the “hup-hup-hup” and “Hi-yah hi-yah hi-yah” staples of the sport.

It was also Summit Sunday that day, and we got a couple of summits while skiing and enjoying the California sun. We made a human pyramid with Wyatt at the summit, showed off the new uniforms, and skied to the top of the jumping hill.

-Gus

 

Music: Check out San Cisco’s “Awkward“. I heard it on KEXP‘s song of the day. I’ve always been a little fascinated with the Northwest in a sort of idolized way. I visited Seattle once on a band trip in high school, but I have to admit that the formation of the area in my head is based on little actual information. Its got the same mysterious draw that Alaska holds for some other people. I used to dream of moving to Seattle, and listening to KEXP was a big part of that dream.