WEEK OF 2/3-2/9


Enjoyable weekend in Steamboat. Result wise we had some pluses and some minuses. Effort wise we were good, but from a overall team perspective I really think we need to continue improving on our ability to push ourselves during races, especially on a course such as Steamboat. The skate race was definitely better and I am glad we get a both a chance to sprint next weekend and another shot at mass start skate.

Results can be found @ Four Corners Timing.


We will depart from VSSA at 7am on Thursday. Final equipment packing will be after training on Wednesday.

The race information sheet and waivers have been added to the Calendar.

All skiers will need a TUNA and a Soho Waiver. Non-USSA members will also need the USSA waiver.

This week will look quite similar to last week as far as scheduling goes, except for the change of venue for Monday.

Week of 2/3-2/9 

2/3 – Monday – PM: Classic Skiing at Maloit Park. 3:30-5:30.

2/4 – Tuesday – AM: VSSA 9:30-11:30 Intensity. Classic L4

PM: Non-VSSA – 3:30-5:30 Intensity. Classic L4

2/5 – Wednesday – AM: VSSA 10:00-12:00 Easy Skate 1hr and then packing

PM: Non-VSSA – 3:30-5:30 Easy Skate 1hr and then packing

2/6 – Thursday – 7:00am – Depart for Soldier Hollow. Please pack a separate bag with you ski clothes so you can easily change upon arrival, we will skate.

This is as detailed a schedule we have at this time. We will likely not have a more detailed schedule until Thursday evening. Note that Saturday goes youngest to oldest. Dan will be sending out information in regard to lodging, food, and payment. I’m looking forward to going back to SoHo!

2/7 – Friday – Classic Sprint

Fri, Feb 7 9:00 AM Classic technique sprint race qualification, 15 sec interval start, boys then girls in each class U20/U18, U16
Followed by: Mass start 1 or 2 km –U8, U10, U12, U14, Novice
Heats at five minute intervals quarter finals, semi finals, U16
Finals, U16
Heats: quarter and semi finals, U20/U18
Heat finals, U20/U18
Awards at venue immediately following races

2/8 – Saturday – Skate – Mass Start

Sat, Feb 8 9:00 AM Free technique races – mass start, boys then girls in each class
Start order subject to change: U8, U10, U12, U14, Novice, U16 U20/U18
U20/U18 M -15 km, U20/U18 F-10k , U16 M&F-5k, U14 M&F- 3k, U12 M&F -2k, U8-U10 M&F-1k , Novice M&F-3k


2/9 – Sunday – Ski at Soldier Hollow 1.5hr then depart for home

2/10 – Monday – OFF

For attachments click on links below.


Soldier Hollow release form

The Utah Nordic Alliance liability waiver_13-14

Super Hollow SuperQ 2014-race information and schedule


Celebrating 50 years!

Eric Pepper

Nordic Program Head Coach

VSSA XC Running Head Coach

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

598 Vail Valley Drive

Vail Colorado 81657

O: 970.790.5129

C: 303.513.8717 – preferred




Crested Butte results can be found here if you haven’t viewed yet – CB JNQ Results

Click here for podium pictures for all the age groups that we had representatives who were there. Unfortunately the background of the pics is nice but the lighting on the faces could have been better!

RMN Points Lists

Click here for current RMN Points lists for all age groups – separate files for U20-U16 and U14-younger. Selection Criteria information can be found @ RMN Junior National Selection Criteria  Most athletes have had questions answered if they had any in regard to the criteria.  If any parents have questions please let me know. Each athlete is able to count their best 4 out of 8 possible races. We will hopefully have some athletes prequalify next week at Senior Nationals (then they don’t count against our quota), which would open up spots in some age groups. We will know more about that come January 10th.

For U14 & younger overall championship will be determined by the best four out of eight Junior National Qualifying races.  Top skiers in each class will win an RMN Red Class Championship Jacket.

% Back

I have calculated percent back, from the top 3 finishers of each age class, for the Classic Sprint Qualifier and the Skate Distance race. This is something that I do throughout the season in order to track athlete progress. Click here.

Colorado Cup Standings

For Colorado Cup points after the first JNQ click here. We are currently in second place which is pretty darn good with how many scratches we had from sickness!

Any questions let me know,


Eric Pepper

Nordic Program Head Coach

VSSA XC Running Head Coach

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

598 Vail Valley Drive

Vail Colorado 81657

O: 970.790.5129

C: 303.513.8717 – preferred


NORDIC NEWS-12/23-12/31



Busy week with Crested Butte just wrapping up and now into the Holidays. Enjoy this break from school and hopefully find some fun stuff to do. We will run a lot of training during this period and I realize that a lot of people have family things going on. We will be taking a very competitive group to Senior Nationals and this is their final prep period for those races. For those not attending Senior Nationals this is a great opportunity to fine tune some of the deficiencies and strengths that you realized at the first JNQ weekend in Crested Butte. We opted to go with training times of 9-11, that way you get to sleep a bit but also have the afternoon off to pursue other things. If anyone would like individual sessions during this period let me know and we can make that happen.


I will send out a more detailed summary of Crested Butte once I have time to collect some pictures and look at some data. When RMN points are available I will be sure to get those out. For now results from both days can be found here –  CB JNQ Results


Below is a great photo from the J2 Boys Final in the Classic Sprint when one athlete was was able to out lunge another.

Evan Barbier & Kai Sharman CB Sprint Final

12/23 – Monday – 3:45-5:15. VSSA Maloit Park. Optional easy classic skiing in some coordination with Future Stars.


12/24+25 – Tuesday-Wednesday – Off for the Holiday


12/26 – Thursday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00. Classic


12/27 – Friday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00


12/28 – Saturday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00


12/29 – Sunday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00


12/30 – Monday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00


12/31 – Tuesday – AM: VSSA Maloit Park 9:00-11:00


For the Senior Nationals Group I have talked to each of you about how we will approach things going into Senior Nationals. The key here is for everyone to be well rested and healthy. If you want to do your best at this competition you really need to focus on recovery. It is your choice. If we are having an easy recovery day and you follow that up with 3-4 hours of alpine skiing that is no longer a recovery day and you will likely not be at the level that you desire come the races.


Dec. 23 – Easy Ski
Dec. 24 – Easy Run – easy run/ski – OYO 1hr – or this would be a good day for some safe/light alpine skiing
Dec. 25 – Christmas – Light run – 10-15 minutes just to get the blood moving
Dec. 26 – Intensity (Ladder 2-3-4-3-2-1-1) rest will be interval length +1 minute – Classic
Dec. 27 – Easy Ski – 1hr
Dec. 28 – OFF –  Light run – 10-15 minutes just to get the blood moving
Dec. 29 – Intensity (6-8 x 2min w/ 4mins rest)
Dec. 30 – Easy Ski – 1hr
Dec. 31 – Easy Ski – 1hr + Van packing
Jan. 1 – Travel / Intensity (6-8 x 1min) – Skate
Jan. 2 – Easy Ski
Jan. 3 – Race Prep
Jan. 4 – Classic 15km
Jan. 5 – Skate Sprint
Jan. 6 – Easy Ski
Jan. 7 – Easy Ski/Race Prep
Jan. 8 – 30k Skate
Jan. 9 – Easy Ski/Race Prep
Jan. 10 – Classic Sprint



Things have been going well in Rossland, BC so far. Today in the Skate Sprint Sylvan qualified 2nd, .1seconds off the win and Ryan was 6th. Sylvan advanced to the Finals and ended up 4th for the day. Unfortunately Ryan broke a pole at the start of his semifinal heat and was unable to regain contact after that. In the morning we have a 15k classic in what will probably be one of the trickiest kick waxing days I have ever seen, should be fun! It’s on the hardest course in North America. Super cool place if you ever make it up here!

Sounds like you had a really fun ski on Tennessee Pass today.

Here are a few video clips from the Skate Sprint in West Yellowstone courtesy of Channing Boucher – West Skate Sprint

Week of 12/16-12/22

12/16 – Monday – 3:30-5:30. Vail Nordic Center. Skate w/ Speeds. VSSA Athletes please come out after school and make your way to Brick Hill.

12/17 – Tuesday – Recovery/Off Day

12/18 – Wednesday – AM: VSSA 9:30-11:30 Classic Intensity.  Maloit Park.

PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:15 Classic Intensity. Maloit Park.

12/19 – Thursday – AM: VSSA 10:00-11:30 Easy Skate. PM: 4:00pm Pack up and depart for Crested Butte from VSSA. More details TBA

12/20 – Friday-Sunday – Crested Butte JNQ – A Game!

Eric Pepper

Nordic Program Head Coach

VSSA XC Running Head Coach

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

598 Vail Valley Drive

Vail Colorado 81657

O: 970.790.5129

C: 303.513.8717 – preferred


It was a forgettable weekend here in Bozeman. Very cold. We were not able to race on Saturday and Sunday there were a lot of DNFs and even some tears. Cold. It sounds like Grand Mesa was also a real joy weather wise… I promise we won’t race at 10,600 feet again this year, or probably ever for that matter…

Saturday’s distance session will be at Vail Nordic Center in order to give you a little more track to work with for the long ski. Please make sure that you have your classic skis/poles with you after Friday training so that you have them for Saturday.

After Noah’s 0 point FIS race last weekend when he skied the fastest time of the day in Ruka Triple Pursuit he wrote the following piece for the National Nordic Foundation. It’s worth a read.

“I have a tendency to qualify my success and discredit my achievements and results. When I get a complement about finishing second at the 2012 Under-23 World Championships I will say, “thank you, but I got a ride for 12 of the 15 kilometers” and “the race was at altitude which is a huge advantage for me.” When I get a complement about finishing top-10 in the World Cup in Canmore, Alberta last season I say, “thank you, but it wasn’t a full World Cup field.” And when I get a compliment about finishing 15th at the 2013 World Championships I say, “I had the best skis in the field and I got a perfect ride from Lucas Bauer.”

I can’t think of any way to qualify my 9th place finish in the Ruka Triple last weekend. The opening World Cup weekend is traditionally one of the toughest fields of the year, and this year wasn’t any different. (I could always point out that Cologna is injured and Jönsson is sick.) The races were held at sea level. I can’t make an honest claim that my skis carried me to the front of the pack. I didn’t get any ride in the individual start race, and I skied past some of the best skiers in the world in the pursuit.

So, I have to accept that I actually belong here at the World Cup level. Of course that doesn’t mean I’ve arrived at any sort of destination. My career goals are still a long ways away, but I’ve made a lot of progress from the skier who was very disappointed to miss qualifying for Junior Nationals as an under-15 (years-of-age) athlete.

“Was the success accidental or is it repeatable?” That is a question my coach Zach Caldwell asked me hypothetically four years ago in a conversation about achieving some success in the future. Our goal was never to achieve accidental success. We wanted to control the process and understand how and why we made each step. Of course there is never a guarantee of the outcome. If there was then I wouldn’t bother doing it. And maybe last weekend was accidental success. Maybe I’ll never again reach the World Cup top-10. Instead, I hope that someday I’ll laugh at myself for considering a top-10 result “success”.

My sense is that we achieved deliberate success because of the way we (my coaches, mentors, family and I) got here. My strategy for everything in my life, but primarily my ski career, has been to make informed decisions. I never want to have a decision made by indecision. Anytime somebody asks me why I’m doing something I want to have a clear and thoughtful answer. I never want to do something just because somebody else is doing it.

I don’t have control over everything. I hate the fact that I can’t control my feelings and emotions. But in my skiing I believe we’ve attained a level of control that allows us to “steer the ship”, learn from mistakes and know where the next step will take us.

My confidence comes from the world class team of coaches, mentors and family that I have supporting me, and the incredible role models that show me how it’s done, starting with my teammates. I’m not doing it alone and that relieves all of the pressure.”

Week of 12/9-12/15

12/9 – Monday: Helping out with Future Stars. 3:30-5:30. Vail Nordic Center.

12/10 – Tuesday – AM: VSSA 10-11:30 Distance Skate. Maloit.


12/11 – Wednesday – AM: VSSA 9:30-11:30 L3 Skate Intensity.  Maloit Park.

PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:00 L3 Skate Intensity. This may be modified in order to join with Town Series. Dan and Lenka were going to discuss the conditions in the valley and see what would happen otherwise please plan on Maloit.

12/12 – Thursday – AM: VSSA 9:30-11:30 Continuous Distance Ski. Classic. Maloit Park

PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:00. Continuous distance ski. Classic. Maloit

12/13 – Friday – AM: VSSA 9:30-11:30 L4 Classic Intensity.  Maloit Park.

PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:00 L4 Classic Intensity. Maloit.

12/14 – Saturday – AM: All athletes we will do a long distance ski at the Vail Nordic Center. Classic. 8:30-11:00

12/15 – Sunday – OFF


Celebrating 50 years!

Eric Pepper

Nordic Program Head Coach

VSSA XC Running Head Coach

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

598 Vail Valley Drive

Vail Colorado 81657

O: 970.790.5129

C: 303.513.8717 – preferred




Thank you all for a great West Yellowstone Camp! Special thanks to the parents who were here helping us, preparing meals, etc. It was awesome and would have been painful without you!

Lots going on at the moment. For articles on the races in West Yellowstone, Fasterskier.com is a great resource.

From the World Cup, Noah Hoffman posted a personal best today. In a 3 day stage race you start the last stage behind the leader based on your cumulative time over the first 2 stages. After the Stage 1 Sprint Noah was 108th. In Stage 2 he moved up to 38th in the overall. Starting the last stage in 38th placed he skied the fastest time of the day and finished the mini-tour in 9th place. This was a tremendous result! I’m thinking that is the first 0 point FIS race by an American male in 30+ years?!?  Congratulations Noah! Article Here

For VSSA athletes this week, Hans, Inge, Sasha, Anna please schedule some additional sessions with Dan and Lenka for Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. We want to take advantage of you not having school this week and get in some easy skiing that will be very technique focused.

Tomorrow those of us in West have a off day from training. I will be using it to catch up on my massive to do list. I will hopefully send out individual emails to each athlete who was at the camp and I am also hoping to get to some pics and video editing. I will be in touch!

We will do some good training this week and not worry much about results in Grand Mesa. Then we will rest up and go crush it at Crested Butte!

I attached a few pics from our 3 hour ski before we had Thanksgiving Dinner.  SEE BELOW POST.

Week of 12/2-12/8
12/2 – Monday: Rest and Recovery, also Dan and Lenka might have given you plans for getting equipment Monday afternoon, not sure.

12/3 – Tuesday – VSSA 3:30-5:00. Classic – Focus on Double Pole
12/4 – Wednesday – VSSA 3:30-5:00. L4 Skate Intensity.
12/5 – Thursday – VSSA 3:30-5:00. Continuous distance ski.
12/6 – Friday – Travel to Grand Mesa and Course Preview – Details TBD.
Saturday-Sunday – Grand Mesa Races


Eric Pepper
Nordic Program Head Coach
VSSA XC Running Head Coach




We are currently at our annual Fall camp in West Yellowstone, MT with 20 athletes. We will be racing USSA Super Tour races on Friday and Saturday. This year we decided to celebrate our Team Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night to give the pie a chance to settle before the races. Wednesday morning we did a 3hour classic ski with our junior group. Below are a group photo during a little snack break and athletes working on kick double pole. The focus this week is on a lot of training and then the races on Friday and Saturday.

Juniors Skiers

Sasha Horn DP Kick

Linnea Andersson DP Kick



I just got back from a two and a half day Endurance and Training Clinic at the National Strength and Conditioning Association, lots of good new things to implement!
Looks like great skiing in West Yellowstone, which is awesome. If you go on the right hand side of the Ski Festival page you can click a link to their Facebook page and they have a video and a couple pictures, http://www.yellowstoneskifestival.com/
In honor of us going to West Yellowstone and a Training Camp I have a few throwback videos that some of you maybe haven’t seen. First, here is Red Guru Kick, which is one of our favorite waxes, shot 2 years ago in Bend, lyrics and vocals by our ever so multi-talented Sylvan Ellefson.
Lastly, also shot two years ago in West, the often times disturbing, Fireside Chat. (turn up the volume!)
Week of 11/18-11/24
11/18 – Monday – AM: 6:30 strength at VSSA for those interested. PM: 3:30-5:30. (VSSA Students come out after School 3:50) Skate @ Maloit Park. Intensity.
11/19 – Tuesday – VSSA 9:00-Lunch. Skate Distance/Speeds and Ski Prep. Maloit Park VSSA. PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:30 Skate distance and 1 lap technique times. Maloit Park VSSA.
11/20 – Wednesday – VSSA 9:00-Lunch. Location and mode TBD by snow. PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:30 Location and mode TBD by snow. Late PM: VSSA Strength at SSCV 5:00-7:00
11/21 – Thursday – VSSA 9:00-Lunch. Location and mode TBD by snow. PM: Non-VSSA 3:30-5:30 Location and mode TBD by snow. Parent Meeting 6pm VSSA
11/22 – Friday – OYO easy distance 1hr.

11/23 – Saturday – Depart for West Yellowstone 6am VSSA.

Celebrating 50 years!

Eric Pepper
Nordic Program Head Coach
VSSA XC Running Head Coac



Saturday morning we will ski at the Vail Nordic Center. The snow on the rec path is quite good. We will skate. Plan to meet at 8:30. Ski until 11:00. 

Please get skis/poles from VSSA today to bring home tonight so you have them tomorrow. I will not be able to go to VSSA in the morning to pick things up for you, so if you need equipment and will not be there today please notify me by this afternoon.





Canmore Update

We are staying at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge in Canmore for Frozen Thunder. The Nordic ski area here in Canmore is very impressive and has hosted a number of World Cups over the years. Facilities are far beyond anything the United States has to offer.
Saturday we flew into Calgary, 1988 Olympic venue, and then drove 1.5hrs to Canmore. Back in February they stored a bunch of snow in what is sort of like an underground half pipe. Then about a week ago they start spreading out the snow on a 2K loop and grooming it for club and national team skiers. There are a lot of skiers on the 2k loop, 200ish maybe?!? There are even some top level European athletes. You can view some of the grooming process here – http://skitrax.com/63925/?c
We haven’t participated very directly with a lot of the national level skiers because they have been doing a lot of intensity and we have been doing a lot of volume, but our athletes are constantly passing and getting passed. It is an interesting mix of really cool and kind of hectic. We have been skiing for at least 2 hours non-stop each morning and running or skiing for 1-1.5hr in the afternoon.
Sylvan put together a quick edit for one of his sponsors, HWK Ski Wax, imported by Kevin and Karl Hoechtl. The clip shows some of the scenery nicely – http://vimeo.com/77567682
USST and SSCV member Noah Hoffman also has a few cool pics on his blog:

Here is one last video for now from the USST Men with some clips of their skate speed workout – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCOPpIIW6Uw
When the internet begins to work even remotely mildly halfway decently I will try to upload some of the stuff I have shot.
Eric Pepper
Nordic Program Head Coach