Summer Times

Every other word was 'wow' today. Taking in the vistas at Glacier National Park, Montana.
Peelix - sup?
There was a time, when I first started blogging, that I said I would do an update every other week. It's been two months since my last update but today is the first day of my new blogging life! The highlighted version of my summer life since my last post includes two on-snow Haig Glacier camps, some RnR in Invermere, gardening, some heli-yoga, a dryland camp in Montana, finishing up an Anthropology and Business course and finally a shift at Assiniboine Lodge.

The Haig Glacier camp consisted of two, 4-day camps complimented by some ski bounding sessions in Canmore.

Chez Helipad!
A definite highlight this year was doing some mangé-mangéing on the helipad. Awesome night for it!

After the July block of training, I headed for some warmer weather. Invermere is such a convenient escape, only a two hour drive and offers at least 10 degrees of warmer weather. 

Joey - Trembling Falls
 Joey and I ended up running 'an epic' up to Trembling Falls from the Numa Falls turn off on Hwy 93 South. Worth the bushwacking!

Garden harvest! Snap peas, radishes, kale and Swiss chard

My garden may be small and not mighty - but I am easily impressed when it comes to things sprouting from soil so I think highly of it. Winter Kale, Olympic Kale (I may have bought the seeds based on the name...), radishes and snow peas! Kate and I have adopted a plot at the Community Garden in downtown Canmore where we experiment and try our best to produce some produce.  



 Janelle and I were offered an amazing opportunity to do a couple of yoga poses as part of a Travel Alberta photo shoot. I'd say it was a job I'd definitely do again. Blue bird day and I even got to steer the helicopter!
Heli yoga? Yup! Janelle and I near Lake of the Falls
He let me steer the helicopter?! I'm not even kidding. That is the look of excitement trying to masque terror
Lake of the Falls, Alberta
 Our most recent camp in Whitefish, Montana was without a doubt the training highlight of the year so far. Only 6 hours away, our friendly neighbours to the south offered up some lake side living and spectacular scenery.

Hidden Lake below Bearhat Mountain - 2 647m
We drove 1.5hr east of Whitefish and into Glacier National Park for a volume day of training. I think it is safe to say the most scenic rollerski I've ever done - at least in the top 5 - up the Going to the Sun road. Absolutely amazing! We finished off with some high alpine running atop Logan Pass, down to Hidden Lake, then out a 'sweet little ledge trail', not sure what else to call it?
Highline ridge trail. Reynolds Mountain (2 781m) in the background
Skied the whole dang thang. Going to the Sun Road. The road summits at Logan Pass (2 026m) then descends. This road was built in the 1930's!!

New Adidas Evil Eye - thanks Shades on Caribou!
Other highlights of our Whitefish camp included water park action, combining efforts with Chandra Crawford , Perianne Jones and Amanda Ammar for a stellar atmosphere and finishing off the camp with a 10km Pursuit rollerski time trial.

Do work. EmNish striding the American pavement.
The coolest ranger that ever was. And the coolest hat.
And a quick trip to Maui! Kidding. But it could be? Janelle, Rebecca and I taking in the last sunset in Whitefish

A large gaggle of girls waiting for the gondola. Big Mountain Summit - Whitefish, MT
It can be said that ski racers live in a bubble. I live in a world where I surround and am surrounded by people and resources to make me the best at being a ski racer. Safe to say, I feel at home in a ski bubble because it's my passion! That said, in my opinion, it's crucial to have outlets to reality. Little escapes that remind  you of the real world that your bubble functions within. Upon returning from Whitefish, I immersed myself in a school bubble (OK - bubble to bubble travel doesn't count as reality but it happens) in order to finish off an Ancient Anthropology and Introduction to Business courses due at the end of August. It was a different kind of perseverance than I was used to on the ski trails, but I finished them up nonetheless. I was able to time the exam just right to be able to end the month of August and begin September at Assiniboine Lodge!

This is the good stuff. Running in Assiniboine Provincial Park
I started working at Assiniboine Lodge when I was 15 and worked on and off until I was 19. Many of my summer training hours over the years have taken place exploring the trails around Magog lake, up Wonder Pass or to the top of Towers. Being able to train where Sara Renner trained growing up added to the inspiration of the mountains!

I always knew Assiniboine had special meaning to me, but it wasn't until I returned this year that I realized just how much the people and the mountains in the park have shaped me. I often look up at the mountains  in Canmore and dream of what is happening at the lodge and in the park just beyond the the closest range. I can't tell you how excited I was to get a chance to go back for a shift, albeit for only 5 days.

Snowy sunrise. The photo doesn't begin to do it justice!
Cozy staff accom we call Pack Shack. My view as I walk to work in the morning - full moon still out!
Staff dinner in a newly renovated Assiniboine kitchen! Doesn't get any better (or better looking) than this.
Since returning from Assiniboine, I feel refreshed and even more realigned with my goals for the season. The Academy girls reunited after the Whitefish camp for some hard fought testing including an uphill double pole and prologue test. Rollerski testing is a great opportunity to compare yourself to previous tests and gauge your training efforts because we are able to control as many variables as possible (e.g terrain, skis, timing). Although there are many variables that effect the test that are out of our control, namely weather and temperature, it is still extremely valuable information. My goal going into the prologue test (four times a 1.3km uphill course) was to be as consistent with my times as possible. The format of the test is to simulate a sprint day and I am happy that I kept my times within an 11 second span. This still allows plenty of room for improvement, but is a huge improvement from my 20+ second discrepancy from the last bout of testing.

September in Canmore has always offered up some of the best blue bird days of the year. When the changing colours begin to creep down the mountain side and declare the season of fall in the valley is when I start getting antsy for winter. The cooler mornings have arrived to my tomato plants' shock, but that means that it's less than 100 days until the World Cups come to Canmore and that is some exciting stuff right thurr.

May the best of your today's, be the worst of your tomorrow's!
Towering and Rockbound Lake on a gorgeous Bow Valley day