Sunday, 22 February 2015

Howelsen Intro

I woke up early and went to wash the car and get gas. Morning looking at main Steamboat hill. 

Drove over to look around Howelsen before it opened. 

Statue of a skier remembered whom died too young. 

Working on the "rap" in the morning. 

Quite a bit of new snow. They said it hasn't snowed for weeks. 

Slope where we'll race. 

Fresh lines on skis not exactly made for fresh lines. 

Race check in. 

So how were the first runs?  I was third up the Poma, partly as I offered to carry up gates to make myself useful. That kind of routine and just helping out helps with nerves. It was fresh tracks. Nice new snow. Sorta wish I didn't have racing skis on. First they've had in weeks. I tried to use the snow as knee bend depth checking making sure I could feel it on my down knee. 

We then slipped.  I stood behind the Swiss team for the first jump pre run.  They approach things very systematic and orderly, funny how some stereotypes  hold. They all have matching suits and even just queue up in nice form. I just remind myself that your outfit doesn't mean your arms and legs work better, although it does likely mean you're exposed to more institutionalized guidance. And... When it was my turn... It was fine. I don't mind flying. The nailing it right and hitting a turn perfectly is the art, but just doing it is within my comfort. Some skiers were going pretty wimpy at it. And some were just making art of it. At least I'm calm enough to be sentient in the air and think about it. 

After that it was to the gates for a full run. Snow was grippy. My skis are digging in so much more than the hard pack at Nakiska. It's great. I'm over nerves, mostly. I'm not going to get fired or not be able to feed my family if I fail, so there's really not much to worry about. Failing is sitting at home and not chasing dreams. On top of that the crowd is all very helpful.  I got a good set of tips from the US guys . Telemark people are helpful.  Chatted with the Slovenian girl a bit. There's always things to work on, but I feel comfortable at least now. 

Dinner was fabulous at the Colorado Mountain College with a beautiful view of the hill. Top notch. The funny thing is why the half dozen Norwegian guys weren't sitting with the half dozen Norwegian girls. My Quebec comrades and i observed that as a direct fail, just saying. 

My Québécois roommates are great but are stressed. They arrived travelling light - with backpacks only. After sleeping on the Denver airport floor. No skis at a ski race sucks. At least he has boots. They are on calls with airlines, whom have no idea where the luggage is but they saw it on the Denver tarmac when their flight left. The luxury of driving is I brought a lot. Partly to be honest is because I worried about stuff like this if I flew. I can fill in ski pants, goggles, race skis of approximate fit and very close to the radius he skis,  poles, etc. but we still hope it arrives!  Geez... stressful. 

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