Traveling abroad always puts a little extra stress on the airport experience, especially when you add 30+ SSCV athletes, 60+ pairs of skis, and 9 bundles of training gates…. Not to mention all the books, boots, tuning equipment, radios, drills, wrenches, etc. that are required for a 3-week training camp.  Despite the hassle of traveling with so much gear, the group arrived in Nevados de Chillan, Chile (via LA, Lima, Peru, and Santiago, Chile) more than 30 hours after leaving Vail.  More astonishing was the fact that all of the gear arrived as well.

Some of the group was a little shocked at the size of our living conditions, which typically held four athletes in a room about the size of a college dormitory.  Feeling cramped is something that these young athletes will surely become more and more familiar with as their racing careers continue! Teams from the French and Spanish National Teams, Stratton Mountain School, Burke Mountain Academy and the British Columbia Provincial Ski Team also joined team SSCV in the hotel.

The group immediately took advantage of absolutely perfect snow conditions by freeskiing, performing drills, and working on fundamentals for a few days.  Once the team jumped into gates, it looked like no one had skipped a beat since their last training, and it was clear that all those hours in the gym were paying off in the form of speed.

Life at training camp is fairly non-stop.  Between 6 am wake up calls for breakfast and training, to study hall, dryland sessions, ski tuning, video sessions, team meetings and meals, there is barely enough time for a game of ping-pong and some Facebook before bed.  The athletes have remained focused on what is important though, and have been putting in a great effort on the hill, as well as in study hall.

On the latter half of the camp, SSCV has battled deteriorating snow conditions due to warm weather.  Although the perfect training conditions that Gold Peak offers are tough to complain about, sometimes it is training in adverse conditions that can teach the best lessons.  The athletes are remaining tough and look primed to finish out the camp strong.

Stay tuned, and keep an eye on the podium for more from the SSCV alpine teams.

-Ian Lochhead