Trip Report: Mont Blanc

Lars Erik cruising across the Bossons Glacier just after jumping off the Midi.
Lars Erik cruising across the Bossons Glacier just after jumping off the Midi.
My next few posts will unfortunately be a bit out of order as inspiration is coming in spurts to tackle the second half of my Europe trip. Near the end of my time in Chamonix I was preparing for the team race Mezzalama. Unfortunately the race was postponed due to the weather. This did however give us the chance to get out for an awesome adventure on Mont Blanc.

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Slovakia Part 2

Skinning up to Teryho Refuge on our first day.
Skinning up to Teryho Refuge on our first day.

After World Championships, we took two days of train and car travel to get to Slovakia. I’ll be honest and say that I was a bit skeptical about leaving the Alps, mecca of all things ski mountaineering, in the middle of the season to visit a tiny country in Eastern Europe. We came to visit Andrea’s family. Her parents immigrated to Canada before she was born and her extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends – are all still there.

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Slovakia Part One

Finishing Puchar Pilska (Martin's Photo)
Finishing Puchar Pilska (Martin’s Photo)

Typically communication is an important part of the team event in skimo racing. Racing the Puchar Pilska Teams race in Poland over the weekend, the only common language between my partner and I was ‘go’ and ‘dobre’ (‘good’ in Slovak). Luckily these were really all that was necessary.

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World Championships – Teams Race

Teams race start (Andrea's Photo).
Teams race start (Andrea’s Photo).

While I knew all along that the vertical race would be my best shot to place well in the Championships, the teams race was certainly what I was looking forward to the most. The teams event best embodies the spirit of ski mountaineering with two athletes racing together, never skiing far apart and sometimes connected by a rope. Continue reading World Championships – Teams Race

World Championships – Vertical

Amazing view from the finish area of the vertical race. (Andrea's Photo)
Amazing view from the finish area of the vertical race. (Andrea’s Photo)

I qualified to race two of three possible races at the World Championships – the Vertical and the Teams. The vertical race is pretty far from actual ski mountaineering in it’s true sense however it is the race I was most likely to perform well in. Racers ascend moderate slopes (think blue groomed run) from start to finish without descents or transitions. The Verbier course is one of the biggest on the circuit with around 850 meters of elevation gain for the men. The race began below the main village and climbed onto the streets of Verbier, right through the centre of town. Once out of town, we turned up the ski runs until reaching the high gondola station and the finish line.

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