The Western Mountain Sports Nordic Ski Team spent Thanksgiving week training and racing in West Yellowstone, MT at the Yellowstone Ski Festival. The team uses this annual trip to build fitness, enhance skills, and cultivate a strong sense of team. This year, the team arrived on Saturday, November 18th and immediately got to work with two training sessions per day. Despite variable snow conditions throughout the week, the Rendezvous Ski Trail system once again proved to be perfect terrain for long distance ski sessions, interval workouts, technique/video analysis, and night skiing.
In total, the team traveled 15 skiers for this training camp, including 7 new team members; which led to a great week of team bonding and memories. Staying in one large house helps the team unite and get to know each other through cooking meals, kitchen clean-up, daily chores, and a variety of games and activities.
A typical training day for the team consisted of:
- 7:00am – wake-up
- 7:15am – morning run
- 7:45am – breakfast
- 9:00am – ski session #1 (approximately 2 hours ski time)
- 12:00pm – lunch
- 1:00pm – 3:30pm – quiet time, homework time, nap time
- 4:00pm – ski session #2 (approximately 1 hour ski time)
- 7:00pm – dinner
- 8:00pm – 10:00pm – team talk(s), hang-out time, homework time
- 10:00pm – lights out
With 9 days of training like this, one can imagine the vast quantity of food consumed by a group of 15. The cooking and clean-up from this much food also allowed for the most significant team bonding throughout the week; with freshmen and seniors alike working side-by-side. In addition, this food fueled the team’s first race of the season – the National Ranking List (NRL) points race 5k/10k skate event, on Saturday 11/25. The team lined up against top domestic professionals, top NCAA racers, and many of the nation’s top junior skiers to race their opening event of the season. Top performers for the Western men in the 10km race were seniors Nate Maddox and Kevin Geisen, followed by freshman Luke Bodewes and junior Gordon Gianniny. On the women’s side, Western had a strong showing in the 5km event by all three freshmen – Anna Johnson, Rya Berrigan, and Lexie Abric. Well done all.
The Western Nordic Team will be traveling to Frisco, CO on December 15th to continue their race season at the Rocky Mountain Nordic Junior National Qualifying events, which will also serve as a qualifier for the USCSA National Championships. Go Western!