Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Italian Adventures

After the Val DiSere races ended and we heard Kitz was cancelled I started driving toward Innsbruck, Austria via the Frejus tunnel. Our plan was to have two days off then start training in Untental, Italy. I didn't feel like spending my downtime in Innsbruck. I wanted to see something new. As I was driving I was wondering what I could do? Where could I go? Then right above me there was a sign! Yes a real sign that said Venicia. And I remembered my friend Carlo lives there. So I gave him a call and he wasn't there but he was a hour and a half away in Cortina D'Ampezzo. Which I hadn't been to either. So I decided to head up there, sleep and hike around the National Park the next day and then head to Venice that night. I had my plan and I was on my way.
For some reason my FM transmitter broke when I let my parents use my car. I only had one CD in the car which my friend Charlotte gave me and it was getting a little old. So I got out my Ipod and head phones and kept charging toward Cortina. I was half way from Venice to Cortina when my car started spurting and I realized I ran out of gas. I didn't hear the warning beep because i had my head phones on. By that time it was midnight and I was stranded in the middle of the Dolomiti foot hills. Thanks Mom and Dad for whatever you did to that transmitter. So I whipped out my trusty old cell phone and called Carlo. Right then it beeped low battery, luckily I got a hold of him and wasn't stuck for the night on the side of the freeway with no way of getting help. Carlo ended up driving 45 minutes down and rescuing me with a little tank of gas. It was a pain but I did get some good reading time in. I also had to deal with the local Italian authorities whom disturbed my indeapth reading session. Long story short, Carlo rescued me and my cell phone almost ran out of batteries as well. We didn't get to bed until 2 but the next day was awesome.
I woke up to a light rain but we still decided to go hiking. Carlo wanted to show me some of canyons of Cortina and some waterfalls. So we went trekking though the national park. Usually this time of year it has a meter of snow covering it. We were lucky to have a few centimeters. It did make for good hiking though. I don't know how far we hiked but we just kept going up and up. We should have been more careful. After the main waterfall the trail stops and we decided to go free climb up some loose rocks, snow and ice to see if there was more above the normal trail. There wasn't much above it but we had a great adventure.
That night we went to Venice and I roamed the streets until 2 AM. Carlos brother Antonio was probably the best tour guide I could have had. He knew every little street in the complex maze of Venice. I visited corner stores and had some amazing food. I saw a lot of famous monuments and got the Italian interpretation of it. I also saw the normal life side of Venice. Carlos's family was more than generous to put me up and even cook for me. Thank you Salminis!
By the way Carlo started Slytech which makes those arm guards you see on all of the American racers in GS and SG. Check his site out at slytech.it He also makes Shingaurds and Shred Goggles.
Enjoy the pics

Oh yea and I got to go powder skiing finally!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's Real

I know it is cold right now in Utah but over here it is ridiculous. All season long we have had race delay, to postponement, to cancellation. It has been tough.
Some of the stuff I have witnessed has been astounding. Currently I am in Val DesIere, France, home of the best snow I have seen in Europe during 2007. For the first time we can actually ski outside of the race venue. It feels like we are at an actual ski resort. But then again, it rained all last night up to 3000m and they cancelled our training run for today. The storm that just hit is supposed to be followed by a huge warm front which is going to threaten our up coming races in Kitbuhel, Austria.
In Kitz, they have been trucking and helicoptering snow in just to get their races off. The Hannenkam is the biggest event of the year for that region. It generates roughly 8-11 million euros for the city during the 3 days it is held. They will do anything to get these races off. To race down the Hannenkam surrounded by green Tyrolean mountains may seem weird but it is a common occurrence on the World Cup Ski circut this season.
I have been trying to talk to locals in some of these regions to see what they think about the weather. Responses have varied. Some of the youth agree with the global warming but they say the old folks say this happens every 50 years? It seems to me during those droughts it was actually a drought and the weather was still cold? And the lack of snow was due to lack of storms. We have had several storms this season but it seems to rain with every storm.
Maybe I am brain washed because of the books I have been reading, but I do see the signs they warn us of. I am witnessing the sadness and chaos every day I am over here. I must admit, it is nice to ski and then get in a T Shirt and have lunch out on a deck and enjoy the sun. But soon I think the skiing may be gone!!
Right now I am reading a book called Weather Makers by Tim Flannery. It is a more in depth scientific journal about the cause and effects of Global Warming. I highly recommend it. We need change in this world and as soon as possible. Our government needs to makes some moves fast but the best way we can go about this as individuals is by being examples. Gain some knowledge about the subject and make a difference. Check some of this stuff out as well, it can be quite convincing. http://www.worldwatch.org/, look at the state of the world books, and http://climatecrisis.org/
I hope everyone is well where they are right now and they ar enjoying the substances mother nature has provided for them.

Here is a good quote from Edward Abby, another author I highly recomend.

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am --- a relunctant enthusiast . . . a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half for yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breath deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will out live the bastards."

Happy Birthday Blake!!

Wengen this year!!! Last season I would walk out my door in the morning and see kids sledding to school! This season you could run in shorts and a T shirt every afternoon!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Them Leggins

Heres a brief recap of my time at home with some pics.
Good flight but bad jet lag.

There is some good snow in Utah and skied with my lady and my bro and some other friends at Alta. We hiked up Wolverine Cirque and had some excellent turns.

Blake and I made Christmas Card shots.

Blake had to visit mother nature.

Hayley crashed
I skied some more at Solitude
I got an MRI and figured out I have some bone bruising on my Tibia and Femur heads so I have to stay off them to let them heal.
Went Skiing anyway at Snowbird because it was dumping snow but there was mach loony winds and you couldn't see anything.
Had an excellent dinner at Franck's in SLC (which I highly recommend)
Woke up early to catch my flight but the plane was broken and we missed our connections so I got to stay home one more night.

Now im in Chicago waiting for my flight!