Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Alex Autumn 2

Alex clearly slept too well last night and so was still dreaming even at 1 pm in the slalom. His prescribed remedy is an early morning run around the lake and preferably a dip in the lake too! The video compilation is taken from 4K photos - so it's slightly experimental!

Password protected technical report here:

La Plagne this morning (opposite my home)...

Monday, October 30, 2017

Alex Autumn 1

After a disappointing Sunday when the mountain was closed due to high wind and there was continuing confusion over constraints being imposed on lift passes, this afternoon turned out to be perfect. With other glaciers closed this autumn and the French holiday period in full swing the mountain was obliged to split up the day in to 4 hour blocks (some overlapping) to ensure everyone would have to opportunity to train or just ski. Ineffective communication made it tricky to find clarity on the limitations and the organisation - but a calm, clear sunny afternoon and excellent training snow/ice conditions made all of that stress evaporate with the sort of magic than only mountains can manage.

Bernie assisted me in getting the course set up quickly while Alex had some free skiing to warm up. He'd already had a telling off for predictably not dressing for mountain (winter) weather - but today he was lucky because the sun would keep us warm despite the cold maintaining good snow conditions. The new drill was excellent on the boilerplate ice and the high tech poles are very rapidly deployed. (The new key for removing them at the end of the day was brilliant too - all great time savers) Thanks to Bernie also turning up a bit early at the end of the session we were able to take down the course in 10 minutes flat and make the final lift with 4 minutes to spare!)

Full technical report for Alex here: data encrypted/password protected

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Swimming Progress?

First scene is in Le Torrent des Glaciers at 3.3°C yesterday. Need more cold adaptation!

The proper swim in the Lac d'Annecy at 21.5°C today.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Landgraaf 3 - Lowlands Championship

Having spent a relatively sleepless night in the car at Geneva Airport, having checked in online and then rushing through security at 6am, I looked up at the information screen to discover my flight had been unceremoniously cancelled. Not cool! Everything was organised around synchronising my arrival at Dusselfdorf for onward travel to Landgraaf and an early start on the training couloirs with Alex. With the next flight at 12:30 pm the plans were slightly compromised - pretty much guaranteeing a 4pm arrival at landgraaf. I was going to book a cheap car to drive myself when arriving at Dusseldorf - at only €90 for the four days - but we agreed that a taxi would be simpler. Thankfully, when at the taxi stand in Dusseldorf I asked the price of the 109km ride and it was quoted at a ridiculous €500 !!!  The only economical option is to book a small hire car before the flight and then they have to upgrade it with no extra charge if they can only supply a big car. The real underlying issue though is that for a place like Landgraff you need to be there the night before if you are training through the day. Alex meanwhile did very well - training from morning until 7pm despite his own lack of sleep! Note: Geneva does not respect the European data roaming charges! Fortunately my telephone data connection cut off automatically after €60 to limit the rip off. 

Thankfully Alex had managed to attach himself to various training groups and just worked away at the things he had learned the previous week. The good quality of his skiing was commented on by other coaches and ex international racers. 

Although Alex was skiing well he was still struggling with consistently getting to the bottom of the courses, so there was a bit of work to do - though we didn't quite expect the very messy mixture of ice and weirdly formed ruts that the actual race would present....

Alex's favourite training run...

My favourite training run...

Alex - the day after the Lowlands Championship - back in the UK.