This week, the Middlebury nordic team was treated to something quite unusual, possibly a first. Corduroy, perfect tracks, and a couple feet of snow coverage at Rikert Nordic Center on November 15th! This was the result of a stretch of some cold weather earlier this week, an incredible snowmaking system and a snowmaking crew and groomers fit to match, and a ton of work and investment over the last several years by a large number of people committed to skiing, the preservation of snow and winter, and a willingness to give of themselves for the benefit of others. This week proved an incredible outcome to this process; while there’ll be a lot more great developments coming out of Rikert in the future, the training that the team has been able to do over the last few days marks a pretty darn cool milestone!
[caption id="attachment_3699" align="aligncenter" width="225"] A view of the stadium on Friday, November 15th.[/caption]
On Friday the team enjoyed their first ski at Rikert. We did an easy distance session with some technique drills and a focus on getting comfortable on skis again. It’s a remarkable thing how easy that is to do with a deep snowpack and good grooming!
[caption id="attachment_3700" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Stella and Kaitlin working on a little no-pole skating.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3701" align="aligncenter" width="225"] While it may not be the longest trail in the world, right now it feels like it’s about the most fun! The terrain is fast and challenging…[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3703" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The sun started to go down…[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3704" align="aligncenter" width="225"] …and the moon started to come up![/caption]
Today, we got up early to get back at it. We have a period of warm weather now, and we thought our 7:30 AM departure from campus would ensure good skiing.
[caption id="attachment_3705" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Patrick and Dylan warming up.[/caption]
We were right – the conditions this morning would be hard to beat at any time of the winter. Firm base, fast snow, and a sunny day to boot!
[caption id="attachment_3706" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nick getting after it![/caption]
We did some intervals today. While the team dealt with the typical early season adjustment to the slippery white stuff, they skied great and it was a very fun workout to observe. While rollerskiing is our best way to train in the summer and fall, it’s just not quite the same as the real deal. It’s always exciting to watch the transition from wheels to snow, and to see how the team can adapt what they’ve been working on all summer to real skiing.
[caption id="attachment_3707" align="aligncenter" width="300"] We like to finish our workouts with some plyo’s![/caption]
That’s it for now – we have a strength workout in a few minutes and this old man has to get warmed up! Until next time, if you’d like to keep a real-time eye on what’s happening at Rikert, check out this link to their webcam.