Campra Mashed Potatoes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Unfortunately, for many unexpected incidents, or accidents, recorded media is rarely present.  Oh wait, I already started a blog this way….  Luckily this one wasn’t a significant injury or anything other outside of the normal, just racing.  With the senior men being the last race of the day, I didn’t get a chance to take photos of the earlier races and struggled to photograph myself. Also everyone seemed to manage to miss taking photos of me.  So you will have to make do with photos of my teammates.

Racing on the final day in Campra became even more of a slog fest than the blizzard the day before.  The snow had continued to accumulate overnight. Even constant grooming could not mitigate the softness.  In addition, the large accumulation had created a unique problem: avalanche hazard.  Unlike the freeskiing world tour, this is a relatively uncommon occurrence for our races.  With one avalanche taking out the warm up loop and another chute threatening the largest hill on the 5 kilometer course, the organizers recognized the safety concern and altered to a 2.5 kilometer loop further away from the steep hillsides. Unfortunately, now we had to practice our midrace math.  Counting to six is hard.

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Tyler trying out the powder skiing. It was awesome to have more APU teammates around for Campra. (Photo: Annie Pokorny)

Even away from the steep hillsides, this course had several good hills and a technical corner to keep us on our toes.  From the start, it was clear that the course had been decimated by the three prior races.  Downhills changed to deep ski tracks with every skier taking the same line. The uphill bore no resemblance to fresh corduroy. Instead, someone had dumped mashed potatoes everywhere. We were left to search for the imaginary zones that felt slightly firmer.  In these conditions, I managed to race all six laps while only causing one person to crash and even picking off a few.  It was another race that wasn’t exactly something to write home about, but it obviously is worthy of a blog post.

The real interesting part of the race became the downhill corner.  On a day where everything was soft, the racers managed to scrape down to a nice section of ice.  However, the skier packed tracks leading up meant that speed control was not on the menu.  Instead for six loops, I ripped into the downhill, skidded around the off camber corner, and tried to ignore the crash pad hanging in the gully off the side of the course.  Even with ice and my inner foot riding the corner about two feet higher than the other, I managed to successfully navigate the corner each time!  I can consider this an accomplishment although it wasn’t a super race for on no occasion yet this trip have I needed to inform medical personal that I am on blood thinners.  Hopefully, I can say the same until I no longer require thin blood. Now, off to Rogla.

Thomas and Jon getting the van ready to go.
Thomas and Jon getting the van ready to go.
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