Author Archive

Recovering from IT Band Syndrome

August 19, 2009

6 years ago I completed the Jay Mountain Marathon. As my first race it was to be the beginning of my running career. I was hooked and vowed to train harder and get faster.

from flickr.com

from flickr.com

The hiccup, that I ignored then, and continued to ignore for the next 5 years was the acute pain that developed in my left knee after a run. In fact after the race I did could not walk for a few days without a pitiful limp. The start of every season brought the same symptoms, brought on by over-enthusiasm, and inadequate preparation. Midway through last spring the story took a turn for the worse when the pain became so severe that I could not walk stairs or even climb into bed without cringing.

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Roaming on Rogers

April 23, 2009

I had the great fortune of being invited to Roger’s Pass for a backcountry skiing trip this winter. Reed Finlay and I got to tag along with, Steve Romeo from www.TetonAT.com who was headed to the Cold Smoke Festival in Nelson, B.C. and then to Revelstoke.

We arrived in Nelson at the tail end of a 21 day high pressure spell that had left the surface snow wonderfully faceted. We knew it would not hold up well once new snow came, but for now it made for great skiing on all aspects.

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Reed climbs Ymir

After a few days in the Southern Selkirks we were ready to meet up with Greg Hill and friends in Revelstoke, and get down to business on Roger’s Pass. We headed north into a large storm system that put an end to the high pressure and low danger. The avalanche cycle we all expected started in force and we kicked off numerous small and medium sized avalanches on the McGill Shoulder.      

The going gets good

The going gets good

The next day dawned high and dry, and with Aaron Chance and Greg Hill ready to go, we headed to the top of the pass. The weather was spectacular and we had assembled an all star team of backcountry skiers, but we knew we would have to keep our energy in check as the buried facets and surface hoar were likely to be reactive today. As a few of us stuck our heads in the snow to see what was happening beneath the surface we witnessed the sure sign of a disaster, 2 ridges to the east, a large avalanche released as a group of skiers made their way across it. Greg, a former ski mountaineering champion employed his high speed transition and was off skiing towards the site of the accident. 

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Ski Mountaineering Races

April 27, 2008

From November to March I turn my attention from mountain running to ski mountaineering racing, a budding sport in the US, with deep, deep roots in Europe. Since the WWII the Europeans have been hosting enormous and often very committing races climbing and descending on skis deep in the Alps. The races involve skinning up several thousand feet before ripping skins and descending steep faces and tight couloirs. Though strong downskiers can make up time on the descents–the race is won or lost in the climbs.

The sport is still in its nascent stages in the US where races are often shorter, but at higher elevation in colder temperatures. This last winter I had the great fortune of being a member of the US National team that competed at the World Championship in Champery Switzerland.Florent Triollet

The opportunity to compete at a World Championship level was tremendous, especially since this sport is dominated by the Europeans–who did not dissappoint with stellar performances.

I raced the team relay, which took place at night under flood lights with a huge core of spectators. This was a very short race involving two 7 minute laps on a skinning and booting course.

Early the next morning my teamate Steve Romeo and I raced the Teams event together, a crushing 3 hour event, with 6 climbs and 3 steep booting sections.

 

Teams Race

My last race was the vertical– a hill climb event.

on my way to the finish line

Over dinner and while roaming around town I met many competitors from around the world, including numerous members of the La Sportiva Teams of Europe.

Viva Sportiva!