West Yellowstone 2011

West Yellowstone Report

A week can bring a lot of perspective. Last week, 19-27 November 2011, 12 Far West athletes and 3 coaches were happily skiing, training, and racing in Montana for the annual West Yellowstone Ski Festival and Supertour races.
Every day for a week the athletes would get up, eat, go ski, eat, nap/homework(?), snack, ski, eat, watch tv, play games, do homework(?), create chaos, sleep; repeat. A whole week of that! What a grateful way to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday. The snow was white, even plentiful- for West Yellowstone, the temps were moderate, actually warm- for West Yellowstone, and the athletes were Happy, Content- for athletes;).
While we have most of those ingredients here in Far West, we are missing one minor, tiny, tiny thing; SNOW!!!
Yes, we have been skiing on snow at ASC since our return but it is not the same perfect blue hardwax conditions every day, all day, that we had in West Yellowstone. Here the snow is dirty and thin, there it was sparkly white and all the trails were open. Here we have 10ft of cold East wind each day, there we had fresh snow at night and bluebird conditions for the daytime. Here we have race cancellations, there we had athletes participate in 1 to 4 USSA Supertour Races (Wednesday, a Classic and Skate Sprint, Prelim Only; Friday, a 10 or 15km Skate Race, and on Saturday, a 5 or 10km Classic race) – with solid results for our FW skiers, especially considering that it is early season skiing and racing- we don’t want to race our fastest now, we want to be speedy in February and March!
And, while it is a snow-less December so far here in Far West, I am not complaining at all. You see, we only just quit skiing on 3 July, 2011 and we skied early season snow in October(!) and again in November.
And, while the rollerskis are getting extra mileage this month, I am grateful for the athletes’ attitudes and happy to provide them the opportunities/experiences we had to be on snow; training, racing, and having fun in West Yellowstone, Montucky 2011!