Monday, September 15, 2014

Sun to Snow

The snow last week jolted me into the realization that summer is officially over! Training was based out of Canmore for most of the summer with a short camp to Invermere in July. Big thank you to the Renner family for hosting the girls' team! Chris and I went on some adventures of our own including the Rockwall Trail and a family reunion in Big Sky, Montana. 

The Rockwall has been on my trip list for a long time so I was happy to finally get a chance to hike it in July over 3 days. As you can see, the views were incredible and we spent a lot of time hiking through high altitude meadows surrounded by mountains and glaciers: 




Nice view to wake up to!




Looking down on Floe Lake, one of my favorite spots on the trail:



I spent early August training in Canmore then headed up to the Haig Glacier for 3 days of skiing. We had every type of weather including a lightning storm that chased us off the glacier. As always it was great to get on snow and spend a few days high up in the mountains.


After the Haig, Chris and I drove to Big Sky, Montana for a family reunion. We all stayed in a house at the top of the resort. It was so nice to reconnect with my dad's side of the family!

We spent 2 days in Yellowstone National Park checking out geysers, steam vents, and bubbling mud pots. We were privileged to witness the Beehive Geyser thanks to a "Geyser Gazer" who directed us to it just before it went off:



My favorite geyser was Grand Geyser:



And we some other cool stuff...




Some of my family above chromatic pool:



A herd of buffalo crossed the road in front of us, they are massive animals!



We also did some exploring around Big Sky, Chris and I hiked up to a ridge and got a great view of the area:


In sad news, Chris flew to Thunder Bay in early September to finish his degree at Lakehead University. It will be good for him to get his degree done but the house is way too quiet without him!

I had a bit of nice weather  in Canmore before an abrupt switch to winter. This is what Canmore looked like Wednesday morning:


Early snow makes training quite difficult because there's not enough to ski on but the roads are too dangerous for biking or roller skiing. We improvised for our morning workout and attempted to ski...


Certainly not the most productive training session but fun to be on skis!

In other exciting news, I am honoured to be sponsored by Armstrong company Rancho Vignola this year. My parents have bought their products for years and shared them with me so I can truthfully say they are the freshest and most delicious nuts and dried fruits you will eat!

For those who don't know, Rancho Vignola imports fresh nuts, seeds and dried fruit from suppliers around the world every autumn and distributes it to customers. They just opened up their wholesale ordering which means you have until Sept.29 to order online and they will ship it to your door! There is a $500 minimum order but it is easy to buy that much for a family or couple and you can also split an order with friends. You can find more info here.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Utah Adventures

I decided to take a less traditional approach to May training this year. Some ski seasons are more draining than others and after 2 tough years I knew I needed to take a bit of extra time to let my body and mind recover and reset for a new training season.

I love Utah and it didn't take much to convince Chris to go South for a spring roadtrip! We were able to get away for 3 weeks and we packed as much as possible into our time there. We camped (mostly in free spots) the entire trip, mountain biking in Moab and Fruita and hiking in Canyonlands, Arches and Colorado National Monument. Here is a selection from the 100's of photos we took! 

Our first full day was spent at Arches National Park:


Delicate Arch

The Needles District of Canyonlands was one my favorite spots. The wildflowers were incredible, especially against the backdrop of needles.


 


Fisher Towers near Moab: completely different from everywhere else we went, and awe-inspiring!




The view from Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands:




One of the few campsites we actually paid for, it was sure nice to have a picnic table!




We didn't take many photos mountain biking because we were having too much fun riding but this one is above the Colorado river in the Kokopelli trail system near Fruita.




Chris had fun chasing lizards, this collared lizard is my favorite!



We also saw a few of these... I was always the one to almost step on them and I let out a few good shrieks before realizing they were gopher snakes not rattlesnakes!



The trip was the perfect way for me to get a bit of base fitness back in the most relaxed setting possible! I returned home ready to train and excited for another year of ski racing.

The week after I go home I was back on snow, skiing at Sunshine Village. Thanks to RMR for letting me tag along for 2 beautiful days of skiing! Quite the shock to be on snow after the desert!



As a final note, there's a cool initiative going on in the Okanagan to turn a discontinued rail line between Vernon and Kelowna into a multi-use path (and it goes along 3 beautiful lakes!) If you are at all interested then please send them an email of support, info is at http://www.okanaganrailtrail.ca/.