Week #1 / Day #4 / Groundhog Day #3 -a.k.a. Thursday
Whenever the mountain looks like the following photo, Erich always recites the following verse: "Hat die munde einen hut wird das wetter gut. Hat die munde einen degen, kommt regen".
Translated it means that when there is a hut or "hood" on the mountain the weather will be good and when there is a degen or "dagger" around the mountain (a ring) there will be rain. Today it was a hood in the morning and thankfully no rain.
When I checked the Timberline webcam at 4:15 this morning it was raining and the forecast for today was a 80% chance of precipitation from 11 AM on. When we headed up we were thrilled to be above the clouds and precip below.
Courses were set, athletes took drill runs with the coaches and at 7:45 it was game on. Every time a course is set the athletes are instructed to watch the coaches as they take their pace-setting runs. Today's highlight was coach Sarah Schleper's new Mexican lion roar-totally awesome!
The entire group watched Sarah take her first GS turns on the > 30 meter skis and it was amazing to see her muscle memory kick in immediately. As a very wise coach once said "You can't unlearn what you already know".
The morning training session was extremely productive alternating between 3 and 4 runs in the course, a slip run and 2 to 3 more runs. It was then time for a reset and salting.
Today Pearson Neal from Fischer's Race Department, Ben Drummond from Head's Race Department and Jake Stevens from Rossignol's Race Department all stopped by the top of the lane to talk to the athletes and watch some of the training.
The clouds constantly moved further up the snowfield as the day progressed. The "degen" or dagger finally appeared just as training ended after noon and everyone headed down to Timberline; and then came the rain.
Our afternoon was a repeat of the previous days with test center pick-up and drop off and tuning skis. The athletes had a change of pace as there was no dryland today affording everyone a well needed rest.
Above is the Lane Assignment board at the top of Palmer. Below is a photo taken on our drive back from dinner which casted a long shadow of doubt in regard to training for tomorrow as the "chance" of precipitation is at 100%. I'm going to bed in hopes of a "hut" and not a "degen".