The ski season is in full swing. It’s been snowing, the mountain is almost all open and the race season has begun. We have had 2 races now and a big road trip to come.
Our first races were a SL and GS in Breckenridge, December 6th and 7th. This is normally a good warm-up race and a gentle way to begin. This year it wasn’t exactly like that. We got over 10 inches of snow the first day and several more inches the next. While I was pleased to see the desperately needed snow, it is not what we as alpine ski racers want to see. Fresh snow makes the course very soft, uneven and holes are created almost immediately. These types of conditions are a test to even the most experienced racers.
I had two decent days of racing with 2 solid finishes, but I definitely did not ski the way I wanted or expected. I told myself that it’s the first race of the year and I’d just take the good things and build on them.
I spent the next couple of weeks training here at home in Winter Park and trying to ready myself for the races here. We had one GS and two SG races the 17th-19th. Prior to the races, I had finally gotten all my new skis, had been training well and the snow was good. I felt very prepared and confident. It was the first time in a long time that I felt comfortable on my Super G skis. I guess confidence and performance do not always match up. At the end of the 3 days, I had 3 mediocre finishes at best. Once again, I had skied parts of each course very well, but then made mistakes here or there that ended up costing me a lot of time. It only takes one wide turn, a poor line choice, a few skidded turns down the pitch, and you’re way out of the mix. Ski racing is an unforgiving sport.
For the next week, I’m going to go over video, reflect, ski and try to figure out how to make it better the next race. I’ll be headed to Park City, UT on the 31st for races the 1st-3rd. From there it’s off to Europe for some World Cup races in Abtenau, Austria.