Let’s Go Ski

Because sometimes you gotta mix up the disciplines. Here are photos from skinning up Pole Creek and the Silver Peak area with another farmer, Noah.






























































I’m logging it as Over Distance training.

Music: KEXP’s song of the day today. Jenn Grant “I’ve Got Your Fire”

The Luckiest High-Schoolers Around

This past weekend I went with the North Tahoe Nordic teams to Mammoth Lakes, CA to help coach at the high school race, and- in the process- have a really, really, really, good time.

First we raced on Klister (which I like for the good kick and glide it provides):






Then we ice skated:





















Then we alpine skied at Mammoth Mountain:







Then we came back home to a beautiful Tahoe sunset:






















Which has me thinking that these guys, and myself as coach, are the luckiest people around.


Music: This song came on in the van, and I was a little afraid that the guys wouldn’t know who Weezer was. I was glad to find out that some of them did.

Wishing You Luck

Good luck to The Farmers and the rest of the Far West racers at US Nationals this week. I hope my old home course, SoHo, is treating you nicely. Those climbs can be brutal, but remember that there is plenty of rest too, so go out there and HAMMER!

Below is a t-shirt I got from my brother for Christmas. I think it represents a lot of what our life looks like during race season.



Music: Kacey Musgraves is going to have a really good album coming out soon, I think. Here is the single thats getting a bunch of play: Merry Go Round

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.


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


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.



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.

Channeling My Inner Camp Counselor

I hear there’s pretty good snow at ASC, and I am going to check it out this weekend, but most of my week has been spent dry-land training in Tahoe City. Both Kara and I have been trying to keep things interesting for our athletes at North Tahoe, with the absence of snow to ski on at Tahoe XC. We run, jump, play games, do strength training, and whatever else we can think of to get our athletes primed for when the snow flies for real.

Today, for something to mix up the dreary dry-land atmosphere, we decided to hold an athletic scavenger hunt. Objectives included running to (and taking pictures at) landmarks on the trail system, doing a certain number of collective push-ups and sit-ups, gathering various items, and my personal favorite: write and perform a song about your coaches. Running a scavenger hunt reminded me of being a camp counselor.

We had several talented wordsmiths for the songs. Here is only one of their creations: Kara And Gus: Best Coaches Ever (I hope that link worked. I don’t know how to embed video here yet)

After practice I hurried down to get pictures of the lake at sunset.

That’s it for now. See you at ASC and the Far West Kickoff Party at Cottonwood this Sunday.


Music: I’m digging This Train. You don’t know how long I searched for a rendition of this song that I liked. I had been hoping to find a Woody Guthrie version, but- to the best of my internet research skills- I don’t know that it exists. There are also pretty sweet versions with Mumford and Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Edward Sharp and The Magnetic Zeros; and a bluesier version by Big Bill Broonzy.

I’m A Nordic Coach Again


As the title might suggest, I’ve begun coaching at North Tahoe High School with their nordic team. I haven’t been an official coach of anything since I was in Utah working with TUNA when I was 19 years old. It’s interesting to see skiing as a high school sport because I grew up with it only existing as a club thing you did outside of school. I found I had to do a lot of explaining to my friends in high school about how racing worked in the Intermountain region, as it wasn’t a part of the normal school-sports scene. I like the extra sense of community and pride that skiing for your high school brings to the experience. I think its easier to be recognized and supported by your peers when it’s part of your daily school life.

Hopefully later today we will get some snow to go skiing, but for now the high school practices have been good-ole dry-land training. It seems like a lot of the athletes are coming off of xc-running season, and as a result, they are kicking my butt in all the running we have to do. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, but it takes me a good 20 mins of what I consider level 1 before I feel ready to push the pace at all. These guys are fast from their first steps onto the trail.

So that’s it for now,



Warning: there will be links. Here are three songs to which I’ve been listening. Here are three songs I’ve been listening to (sounds better, but ends in a preposition). The first is Atlas Genius’ Trojans. I like it because it has a beat and the pulse for grooving right alongside. The second song that’s been on repeat in my small shack of a house is Oh Woe by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab. I’ve read hipster descriptions of Ben’s new stuff saying that they were excited for him to come out with a solo album, post-Dechanel breakup, because they wanted a return to the depressed, angst ridden, vaguely worded songs of the Death Cab they fell in love with before they were mainstream, but I’m very pleased to announce that the hipsters are disappointed with the un-ironic, catchy tunes he’s producing. Maybe you could argue there’s irony in producing a song with an upbeat melody and marching-ly driven guitars entitled “Oh Woe”, but I don’t buy it. And third: the Blue Scholars have just put up a video entitled “Anna Karina” on their you-tube channel. I won’t link it because it has curse words and this is a family friendly blog, but I really can’t rep them (or any other NW hip-hop artist) enough.

Finally, I probably don’t have to share this link if you have skier friends because you probably saw it on Facebook yesterday, but here’s the trailer for the new Sherpas Cinema movie, Into The Mind. They’re the same guys who brought you the sick LCD Soundsystem backtrack in JP Auclair’s Street segment in All.I.Can.