I just returned from my first week of on snow training up on Eagle Glacier, about 40 miles outside of Anchorage, and 6000 feet up from the city. We were scheduled to helicopter up last monday, but due to some crazy weather and bad flying conditions, we were postponed until tuesday afternoon. Finally a little hole opened and we were able to zip up to the mountains on one of Alpine Air's helicopters. 

Looking down on Girdwood and the ocean from our house.

For six days I lived the "eat, sleep, train" life up on the glacier with 16 other APU athletes. From the second I was dropped off from the helicopter that first day, I spent the next six days in a sort of awe/daze. It was unbelievable to me that we could jump in a helicopter at sea level, and five minutes later live like we were in the middle of the winter.

the youngest bunch of the team.

The weather was a little funky most the time- rain/hail/snow mixed with super strong winds, which made for some hard core training. I spent the entire week in my rain jacket with exception to one day when the sun came out. When the sun did shine though, it really couldn't have gotten better! There is nothing like skiing in a t-shirt and seeing mountains for miles and miles.

Mountains and more mountains!

 It was actually good it was only sunny one day, because I would get so distracted looking around and snapping pictures constantly that I would forget that I was supposed to be skiing.

Erika and I soaking in some vitamin D

Our two interval days were by far the worst weather- which was a little ironic.  Nicely enough we were thinking about going hard, so we were forgetting about the winds that you would occasionally need to duck down in order to keep yourself from blowing over, or the rain that seemed to soak you to the core within the first five minutes on snow. But at the end of the workout you always came in feeling like one hard core bad-ass! Our coach Erik was constantly reminding us these are the days that make the champions.

Amazing trails- thanks to Casey's bomb grooming!

The 16 athletes and the two coaches lived in this little house perched on the side of the glacier, right on the top of a huge cliff down to Girdwood. Living conditions are great up there.

Eagle Glacier Holiday Inn and Suites

 Plenty of drinking water, plenty of food, plenty of books and movies, and plenty of heat. The house has this sweet drying room set up where you hang your boots and all your clothes right when you walk in the door- and then everywhere else in the house stays dry and warm. 

brilliant drying system in the entry way filled with clothes and boots.

The upstairs has a bunch of bunk rooms that everyone lives in and then this little strength area where we knocked off some dead lift, squats and pull-ups halfway through the week. We spent a lot of time in those bunk rooms- sleeping 10 hours a night and 2 hour naps in the day.

my bunk room- we do make our beds sometimes

Our weight room designed for keeping up on the beach muscles!

One thing you have to get used to is sleeping in the light though. Perched on the top of a glacier in Alaska means it never gets dark at night! 

10 PM on our roof. Too excited about the blue sky to go to bed!

I have never realized how lucky it is to ski during the summer. It is just a nice way to break up all your dryland training and rollerskiing as well as keeping a constant check on your winter skiing technique. Erik spent a lot of time going over technique videos as well as filming out on the snow and reviewing during the day.

Erik working with other new team member, Reese Hanneman during training.

 I have never seen two people work their butts off so hard in my life. The coaches, Erik and Casey, were constantly on the run grooming, hauling gear around the glacier, talking with athletes, and fixing everything so everyone was comfortable. It was amazing to see how hard they worked, and how much fun they had doing it. Super great!

Klister, Klister and more Klister. Everything in this little waxroom is sticky!

Patrick Johnson busting out the kilometers- on average I think he passed me three times a day!

I am back in Anchorage training now for three weeks before I head up to the Glacier again for my last camp of the summer. Looks like I will be participating in the Alaska REG uphill time trial this friday so check for more updates. I have added some photos from the glacier- but more to come! I only took out my camera on the nice days- so don't let it fool you :)