Thursday, 21 February 2013

World Champ Recap

Day two started with 30cm of blower snow that fell overnight before the sprint race. This was the first sprint race I had ever entered and my first international race, so it was a full on experience to start my first World Championships. A sprint race is basically a three minute variation of an individual race. It combines all the technical aspects of the individual race with explosive power of a sprint. Everyone raced a qualifying lap, and the top 30 competitors advanced to head-to-head heats to determine the ultimate winner.

Mel in the sprint race.
The course was laid out with a short lower angle skin transitioning to a steep switchbacking section. This was followed by a boot pack transition (skis off of the feet and on to your pack) and a boot pack. After that, we put out skis back on our feet for a short skin to top, where we transitioned and began to ski down. After a quick ski down through the gates and a short skating section, we arrived at the finish line. All of this is finished in around three minutes, so even a small mix up can end the race for a competitor. Only the top 30 continued on to the heats and I was 11sec off of this.

Andrew near the top of the sprint course.

The day after the sprint race was a day off followed by the individual race the next day. The individual race was a blast with 1700m of elevation gain and loss in about 1 hour and 45 minutes (for me). The course was in a beautiful position, we we had bluebird skies and powder turns. I did not seem to be feeling in top form, but I pushed hard and was happy with my performance in the end.

The following day was the vertical race with 610 vertical metres of pain, which I covered in 30:51. The final day was the team relay. This was like doing two sprints back to back as the course was on the long side. Our team finished 9th, which we were very happy with.

Team Canada 2013

Mens Relay team.

World Championships was a great learning experience and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity   to take part. It was really good to finally race in Europe and see what is possible on skis. I have taken lots away from this trip and am now going to work towards applying it to my racing in North America and at Worlds in 2015. :)

Thanks for cheering!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

World Champs - First days

Welcome to Pelvoux! We have been having great weather the last few days, and yesterday was no exception so Andrew, Reiner, Peter, and I went out for a ski to check out the first ascent and last descent on the individual course. It's great to see some well set skin tracks to race on, which will make the racing fast. A good skin track is lower angle and has had a few people go over it to pack it down, and there are double skin tracks set in most places here. It reminds me of the time and effort that is put in for the Dogtooth Dash.

After the ski we headed down to the opening ceremonies. It was cool to see all the different countries represented amongst the 200 competitors. We ended up leaving early to prepare for the teams race the next day. Stay tuned to my twitter feed for Canadian results in the teams race. There are two mens teams comprised of Peter & Steve as one team and Reiner& Andrew as the other. On the female side we have one team, consisting of Martha and Carla. Mel and I are resting for the sprint races the following day.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Off to Europe!

I am heading to Pelvoux, France to represent Canada at the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Championships. 

Races begin this weekend on the following schedule:
February 9th - Opening Ceremonies
February 10th - Team Race
February 11th - Sprint Race
February 13th - Individual Race
February 14th - Vertical Race
February 15th - Relay Race

Results will be posted here:

Hopefully I'll be able to keep you updated as the week progresses, but we'll have to see how easy it is to come by Internet.

After the races, I'll be spending a week skiing in France. We hope to hit up La Grave, but we'll have to see what the weather and the conditions are like.

I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Happy 125th Birthday Julbo!

Just wanted to share these cool retro glasses Julbo is releasing for their 125th Birthday. They are a version of Vermont glacier glasses updated with some modern lenses, and I think they look pretty awesome. But if these don't do it for you, Julbo has a lot of other great frames in their line up.

125th anniversary Mythic Vermont glacier glasses
I've been using the Dust frames for training and racing and I really like them. The half frames vent well and look fast.

I've also been using the Whoops. They are great for smaller (or skinnier) faces. They have a tighter fit, a more casual look, and are great for skiing on really sunny days.

Both of the frames I have are equipped with photochromic NXT lenses, and I'd say that the lenses are the feature that really shine with Julbos.

Julbo makes many different lenses for many applications, and I've been using the Zebra and the Camel. The Zebra lens is great for low-light, rainy training days because it lets in more light. The Camel has been my go to lens for really sunny days out on the snow because it has a darker tint and polarized lens. They are both photochromic so there is some adjustment back and forth as the light conditions change. But for me, the best feature is the quality of the lens optics. I've had more than one friend try them on and say:"Wow, these make my vision better."

Julbo Dust, one of my favourite frames.

If you are in the market for some new shades or goggles check out Julbo. I think you will be happy you did - I was!