Week #2 / Day #1 "Something new"
We headed out the door at 5:05 AM and it was 41 degrees and pouring rain. As we started to gain altitude on Highway #26 the temperature started to drop 39-38-37, etc. When we pulled into Huck's the truck in the photo below had just pulled in and we knew that winter was back again.
We left Huck's at 5:45 and by mile marker #4 (2 miles up the Timberline Road) it changed over to snow and by mile marker #2 it was time to change to 4-wheel drive as the snow had begun to accumulate.
Given the conditions, we were on "stand-by" until 8:00 AM; at which point the Timberline management would make the call to open or close. The athletes did their best to bide their time but it can be really boring waiting.
While on stand-by Erich, Martina, Sarah & Uros decided that regardless of whether or not the area would open, the Sailer campers would go "Old School" and hike. As Sarah said "Years from now it will be days like this that they will remember".
I dropped off Uros & Chris and two bundles of gates just past the Timberline Lodge and they set 2 twenty gate courses. When they were done they radioed for the rest of the coaching staff and the athletes to head out for training; Timberline was closed for the day.
Everyone assembled on both sides at the top of the training lane and the coaches demonstrated hop turns, slow motion turns and javelin turns. The athletes then performed the same drills all the while being encouraged by the coaches and one another.
After 45 minutes of group drills it was time to start skiing and hiking the courses and everyone embraced the spirit of the day.
The most remarkable aspect of the training day is that no one complained, they just went about their business and at the end of the day everone had skied and hiked no less than 10 runs with Isaiah Nelson & Andy Cornish leading the charge with 14 runs apiece.
Our afternoon was spent picking up and setting up 30+ pair of test skis, tuning skis and doing boot work for campers and coaches alike. While we made the best out of challenging conditions, everyone is hopeful to get back up on the Palmer snowfield tomorrow.
"I want to ski. NO MORE HIKING!"