Eagle Glacier Final Training Camp

I just recently came down from my final training camp of the summer up at Eagle Glacier. This camp was a bit different than all the rest... weather wise mostly!

Me on the new beautiful PistenBully

We were fortunate to have the Sun Valley Olympic Development Team come for the week and join us. As always, it was fun to have new blood and new people to ski with on the glacier.

Girls Team on the way down to the trails

This camp was unique in that I skied two of the six days on powder snow! Powder snow in August... how crazy??!! The weather jumped between being warm and foggy to being full blown blizzard, cold, and snowing. I guess its true what they say "august can be anything". We sure got anything! With the powder snow on top of the glacier snow, waxing got a bit tricky. There was one day the snow was so funky that Casey drove the PistenBully around, while all 16 of the skiers were following closely behind on the fresh tracks without powder in them. It was like a mother duck with all her ducklings following close behind... a site to see!! One of those days that makes you tougher though :)

Snow in the morning!

Erik B hammering out some intervals

APU boys during intervals

The final day everything cleared up, so we had an amazing sun set on the mountains the night before, giving us a little preview of the following days weather. It was super pretty and maybe topped one of the prettiest sites I have seen up on Eagle.

Beautiful sunset over Eagle Glacier

APU classes started this week, so between training I was busy doing lots of homework and attending class on my little cell phone connection to the computer. Writing research papers gets a bit challenging up there when you are without internet. I tried to print a bunch of stuff out before going up.... but there always seems to be something missing! I have to say it's a bit less challenging then getting up at 3:30 in the morning to attend class when I am in Europe... so I have to hold myself back from complaining!

Not sunny.... but pretty!

August always brings a change in the Glacier. With lots of warm weather this winter, and a low snow year, there were some new crevasses that opened up a few camps ago. To keep us safe, they started having us ride down to the trails on the PistenBully, instead of skiing the trail down. This made it fun, mostly because I felt like a school kid in the morning trying to catch the bus. Fortunately it made me get going quicker in the mornings and afternoons before training, instead of going out at my own time. It also made it so that all the girls would start at the same time, so I got to do a lot more skiing with the group this camp... which was awesome!

Walking down to the bus in the morning

On my way back into town, I saw my boyfriend and his buddies doing some rock climbing along the ocean- so I quickly ran home and grabbed my harness and shoes... just to top off the week of training and fun. I have never done any rock climbing here in AK, but it was sure awesome. Every time I go climbing with really good climbers, I have this new excitement to get better, because it is so awesome to watch them move up the rock quickly and effortlessly. I love how it is sort of a different challenge than skiing!!

Jo Climbing

For now I am back in full school and a rest week. Following this week I have another good block of training before heading to Park City in October for my final training camp. I looked over my training from the year, and it seems I have trained close to 100 hours on snow this summer!! That is more skiing than I normally did in a winter several years ago. Thanks to APU for making that possible. We are lucky we have this opportunity... I believe there is only one other place in the world where you can live right on the glacier and train!

I am still in the process of planning my fall of racing- but whatever it be, I think it will be new and exciting!! With the weather already starting to change here in AK... the racing excitement and feelings are starting to wake from hibernation!!!

NAWTA Glacier Camp

I apologize for my late post for the glacier. Immediately following the last week of the NAWTA (North American Woman Training Alliance) training week, I took off on a plane for my five day summer vacation at home. Since getting here I have been packing in as much activities and sunshine as possible, so I haven't yet taken the time to get on my computer.

Kikkan showing what a lot of muscles looks like last week

The last week of the training camp was amazing. We got so lucky with our weather, 1.5 weeks of sunshine in town and a solid week of weather on the glacier. This is the "Alaska" I knew and wished was coming!! Between the six days on the glacier we hammered out some great intervals, speed relays, distance training, core and strength, and lots of technique work as we followed around the best skiers in North America.

Skiing many k's with Olympic Gold Medalist- Chandra Crawford

Taking our first laps ever on the glacier in our sports bras

Kikkan Chandra and I working on skiing fast :)

By the end of the week we were all dragging our tails around as we struggled to finish every workout. 2.5 weeks of super solid training leaves you a bit tired by the end. It didn't help that between training sessions we did what girls love to do.... dance, sing, play guitar, read cosmo, watch lots of chick flicks, bake cookies, run around outside in the sunshine, and lots of girl talk. Between all the energy spent on the trails and all the energy I spent being a girl with 15 other skiers.... I think that was my hardest block of training ever!

Pure Exhaustion!

Lots of skiers!


Post Interval Celebration


It was awesome to have a bunch of new faces training up in AK and then on the Glacier. After my fifth glacier camp ever, I was beginning to forget to appreciate the small things. I like having new people up there, because their excitement reminds me just how lucky I am. With a male coaching group, we managed to balance things out and everything was super successful. I am super pumped to see where this excitement and motivation is going to bring the North American woman. Not only the group that was at this training camp, but all the other girls out there in the US and Canada getting it done. We just recently finished our Video Challenge that the US Ski Team ladies put out, and I was amazed at how much enthusiasm woman training groups have, and just how many of them there are. It's an exciting time.

Kikkan making some dinner in the rain

I am posting the APU ladies video, because I am not sure I have posted it yet. Check it out- lots of fun at APU!

Pain Face!- this is what it's about.

More updates from my week in Winthrop, but for now... here is to the sunshine and some family time!! Yehaaa

Thanks to Matt Whitcomb for many of these great photos!

Thanks Grover, Matt and Erik for an awesome Training Camp. Also thanks Mikey and Casey for all the hard work. SWEEEEET grooming with the new PB!!!

US Ski Team Camp- Town Training in AK

For this past week we have been training in town with a massive group of top ladies from US and Canada. We have now been renamed the "North American Training Alliance". It has been so much fun though, around 20 girls a day rippin around on the rollerski paths, running trails, and gyms.

North American Training Alliance

Double Pole durability on the way out to Girdwood

Focusing in behind Olympic Medalist, Chandra Crawford

With all our fluorescent Rudy Helmets and bright Bjorn Daehlie clothing we have been making quite the scene coming down the trail. The benefits you get from doing speed workouts and intervals with all your closest competitors is endless. It is fun to see how much more you can accomplish as a group. Our first interval workout of the camp APU girls were cutting 30 seconds off our fastest times..... magic of a group.

Team bringing it in after intervals

Massive group hammering out some skate intervals

TRUE group training!

Besides being intense it has been tons of fun. Everyone is staying on the row in Univeristy Housing, so for the first time ever we have been cooking BBQ's in my front driveway and hanging out on the streets. Lucky for all of us the sun hasn't stopped shinning, so this has become my all time best week in Alaska. I am beginning to really fall in love with this place.

3hrs into our OD... still smiling!

Skate Speed

The Fluorescent Bunch taking up the road

Yesterday I set a rollerski distance PR. We decided to do "The Tour de Anchorage" where we ski down the chester creek trail, down into the heart of the city, along the ocean coast line, through Kincaid, past all the shopping centers, up along Campbell Creek, and finishing off at the University just under 51 kilometers and 3.5 hours later. Along the way we ran into some wildlife, spent at least 1 mile on a single track dirty trail, and crawled under five bridges.... all with our rollerskis on. My old roommate started the challenge of doing the Tour of Anchorage without taking your skis off, so I had to top him, and I made sure that everyone else did too :) I caught some hilarious pictures of the group climbing along the boulders and river bed with our skis on.

The group off-roading under the bridge

Ida and Jessie living the "alaska adventure" to its fullest!

We have one more day of training, which includes a time trial and strength before heading to the Glacier for the week.

Getting chased by the Crawf during skate intervals

Knock on wood, but with the weather we have been having, the glacier is going to be amazing!

Too fun!!

Thanks to Lauren Loberg, Matt Whitcomb and Holly Brooks for many of the photos

July Glacier Camp

Just returned late last night from my second glacier camp of the summer. This camp was a bit different than usual for several reasons.

1) New faces- we had lots of new team members, skiers from other teams, and outsiders coming to join us for this camp. New people means new training partners, new skills and strengths, and new jokes. It's fun to mix it up every once in a while.

2) Good weather- this is the first camp I have been never been to Eagle Glacier when we have had so much good weather. The first two days I skid in shorts and a tank top. The final days were a bit darker with some wind and overcast... but not too much fog and not very much rain.

and sometimes the weather is not so nice......

3) Soft Snow- I think my "soft snow skiing" improved 300% over the course of the week. July is always a transition between glacier snow and winter snow, so we get some super soft days. With only one clear night, things weren't really freezing at night. I think I had my hardest 3 hour workout of my life mid-week when we had a 3 hour skate ski in the slush. I felt like I was swimming through a pond! At 2.5 hours I was seeing metallic colors and going down fast. Old school HUGE ski baskets were the money this week!

4) New Pisten Bully- Gradually throughout the week parts of the new PB were being flown up to the Glacier. The final day this huge chopper flew up the body of the machine... it was amazing to watch. That thing is heavy! Next camp should be awesome. I don't think I have ever seen Casey and Erik so happy in their life!

PB waiting to come up at the beginning of the week

The parts coming in at the end of the week

5) Coming Away Alive- for the first time in the four camps I have attended, I came off the week glacier camp with the wheels still attached. Normally by day four or five, I begin fading, and fading fast. Thats what its all about though- training and getting faster! GOOD FUN.

Don laying down the law.... trash your trash right!

6) Speed Ball Championships of the World- for the first time I played speed ball with the APU team up on the Glacier. Last year I was dealing with some bad knee injuries.. so I sat inside for this session, but this camp I got to join in. I had no idea! This team plays more aggressively than a football team! Biting, tackling, kicking, heckling.... all things allowed. It was HILARIOUS! Between chasing the soccer ball from one side to the other, I couldn't stop laughing at this hilarious game. Look for Reese's video to come out soon with what exactly it looks like.

7) Erik Flora Cooking- Enough said- that man can do more than coach.... turns out he can make a mean gravy and pot roast as well.

The rest of the week was full of school work, lots of training, resting and technique analysis. I now have a couple days rest before jumping into the Alaska REG Time Trial. Following that, the US Ski Team camp starts. One week of training in town and then one more week on the glacier. Should be some good training and good fun coming soon!

Also- one more week for the Womans Video Challenge!! Submit your videos. APU womans coming soon!

Park City Testing and Rookie Camp

For the past five days I have been moving along in overdrive down in Park City for a series of tests and Rookie Camp. The first two days in town we spent the entire day in the US Ski Teams new central gym called the Center of Excellence. That place is amazing; it gets you fired up just walking in to the place! With pictures and banners posted everywhere of all the successful athletes, you can't help but get instantly excited. Not to mention there are famous people everywhere doing the same thing you are doing, just getting some work done.

A view of one side of the Center of Excellence

Warming up with Ida- getting a little inspiration from Ted in front of us :)

Jessie and I had a little fun in the foam pits where the freestyle skiers practice. Here I practice my swimming dive into the pit...


Starting day one, we kicked off with a series of treadmill tests, blood tests, concussion tests, and then the following day hit two more treadmill tests, strength tests, functional movement tests, physicals, dexo scans, body composition tests, and probably a few more that I can't remember anymore. The schedule was tight with only two days and six athletes to get through, so I felt like a lab rat for a bit, just jumping from one thing to the next. In the mean time I was trying to fit in school work and some outside training, since the sun was seriously shining.

Treadmill Max VO2 Testing

I have watched so many people do the max tests on the treadmill with rollerskis on, so I was anxious to complete my first VO2 max test, and rollerski on the massive treadmill for the first time.I was surprised. It was pretty easy to get used to the motions of skiing on a treadmill. At first it was hard to remember to keep your skis straight, but within a few minutes it felt natural like skiing on snow. We would warm up on a separate treadmill, sometimes with another person- and then for the testing period we would transfer over to the treadmill with all the tubes, computers and harness hook up. In order to ensure that we didn't go shooting off the back when we skid to maximum effort, they would attach a harness to your back, which would catch you when you went to a point of no return. I only got to try this out once, as the other two times I just grabbed onto the bar in front of me when I felt I could go no further. It is a funny point to go to maximum effort, because most times in races you know you have to keep going and finish the hill, so you hold yourself back from going to that place where you can no longer hold yourself up.

You had a team of about 15 doctors and coaches standing around the treadmill with each test either pricking your finger for blood, waiting to catch you when you fall, holding your breathing tube, reading your heart rates, running the machine, or simply just cheering you on. I swear the rest of the athletes in the gym that were not nordic skiers were all watching, thinking us nordic skiers are absolutely crazy! With a tube stuffed in your mouth, you are not able to talk, so Matt Whitcomb would just stand in front of us watching our face expressions for pain, and cheering us on. It was really a neat thing.

Matt encouraging me as I get in the zone during the test.

treadmill test 2

The other tests were hard in a different way. Strength tests measured our jumping power, or various mobility muscles, our stability muscles, and a few other. It turns out, all of us nordic skiers need a lot of work in that field. The concussion test was hilarious, as I felt like I failed it before I even need to be tested for a concussion. The rest of the tests were good, and it was fun to get a baseline measurement to see where I will progress from here. I have never had the opportunity to make many of these measurements, so its great to have all of this as a resource to us now.

Squat test- we push against this bar that is impossible to move to measure the force we put on the scale below our feet.

Vertical Jump Test

The following three days we attended a US Ski Team class session, otherwise known as Rookie Camp. In three days, I learned more important information than I could have imagined. There were 42 athletes attending, who have just this year been named to the US Team, so it was fun to get to know these other alpiners, snowboarders, mogulists and aerialists. I don't know much about any winters sports besides alpine, so I had tons of fun learning about these sports and what they do for training and competition. Besides that part of the three days, we also got to meet all the managers and various people that work in different areas of the US Team. A lot of times we communicate with these people over the phone or email, but we never know them by face, so I enjoyed getting to put a face to the voice or name. We also had media practice, met some trustee's, learned about USADA, learned about Nutrition, got to speak with some of the top athletes on the team, and hear their experiences, learn about US Ski Team marketing and fundraising, did some team building exercises, played some outdoors games, and simply learned about all the various resources offered to us when you are part of the team. Starting at 6:30 in the morning when we woke up, to about 9:30 PM when we would return to the hotel- we were on a role, one thing after another!

The Rookies

Media Practice- explaining our story with Benji Farrow, KC Oakley, and Robby Kelley

With most of us in training at this time of year, they wanted to take the smallest amount of our time, but educate us as much as they could, so it was a successful process- plus I got to know a lot of talented athletes just introduced into the team that will probably be super famous one day!

The bird-man towering over me on the bikes!

Park City was so nice when we were there, like 85 degree days, but because we were inside testing all day, or inside doing meetings for the majority of the day, I had limited time in the sun. Somehow I still managed to completely fry my shoulders during day one of rookie camp at our ropes course. When you become used to living in Alaska, you forget about sun screen sometimes.....

For now, I have a week of dryland training in town before taking my second trip up to the glacier for a week. One thing after another- there is really no way I could get bored doing what I do. It is great!!!

Hopefully I will have more pictures from Rookie Camp coming soon!

Home away from Home

Eagle Glacier- June 2011

Super pumped on my helicopter ride up!

After only spending three weeks of my life now in the green building on the side of the cliff, I am beginning to feel like it is my home away from home. For this past week I have been training my heart out up on Eagle Glacier, about 6000 feet above Girdwood. I just recently returned from a 10 day on snow camp in Bend, Oregon, so after 3 days of resting in town I headed for the snow again.... this time a bit closer. Eagle Glacier is a very unique training atmosphere very different than any other training camp. Because you are perched on the top of a glacier, there is limited activity to do other than skiing, thinking about skiing, and dreaming about skiing. This is what makes it super fun though. You are constantly surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of training hard and getting one step closer to your goals.

The house- literally perched on the side of the cliff!

Dropping in on our home away from home

Welcome to the Glacier!

Clouds moving in- chasing some skiers in the background :)

Monday morning Alpine Air flew us up from cloudy Girdwood to a pleasant surprise of sunshine and great afternoon skiing. In my three glacier camps, there has only been about 5 days that I have spent on Eagle Glacler that have been crystal clear, where you can see mountains forever. So, when that happens I have this uncontrollable excitement where I want to be taking pictures constantly. Unlucky, but also lucky for me, I forgot my camera in town this week. So thanks to Holly Brooks and Greta Anderson for all the photos. As much of a bummer as this was, I honestly think my training greatly benefits from a mistake like this. I am still in the tourist stage that every five minutes I think the view is better so I have to take a picture. Or the conditions are soooo crazy bad that I have to take a picture. There is a lot to document in a week on a glacier!

Erin, Holly and I enjoying some sun just after arriving.

My brother soaking in Eagle Glacier skiing on his first trip with the team

Tuesday morning, and the majority of the rest of the week we woke up to socked in clouds that allowed you to only see about 3 feet in front of you. As much of a bummer as this was, it made for quite the adventure. Because the light is so flat on the glacier, and everything looks the same, many times you loose track of the ski trail. Luckily there are wands placed every 20 or so feet, but you would be surprised; you can easily get lost in 20 feet. There were a few times that I was at the point of near delirious exhaustion that I was beginning to wonder if I was lost in the cloud. Luckily I was always saved by the orange wands that would appear from the mist. I am convinced that if someone were to have videotaped some of the 180 degree corners, they could have for sure submitted the tapes into America's Funniest Videos. You would be ripping down the hill, and out of no-where the corner you were anticipating 20 seconds further down the trail would appear and shoot you flying this way or that. This became especially crazy in the afternoons when the snow was soft and we were in our little classic boots with no support. There were some hilarious tracks to watch!! I got a good chuckle every time.... even when it was me getting flung off the trail!

Erin and Pete throwing down some hard efforts in Intervals

Woman's Team following our first L3/L4 interval session in the fog

Holly Brooks racking in some kilometers- training hard and loving it!

In my two Eagle Glacier Camps last year, I was suffering with knee injuries, so I was only able to classic ski. With skate skiing being added into the mix, I was able to train a bit more and hit some more specific workouts. I have been working a great deal on technique this year with my coach, so the glacier provides for the ultimate "playing field". Learning various technique's is all about trying things out and playing around with what you feel. You can watch videos for hours and hours, but the magic comes from going out and feeling things out. Aiming for training between 4-5 hours a day leaves ample time to try one thousand different tricks. Between Monday and Saturday we were able to fit in many different workouts with many different goals. In order to keep our volume high for the week, we limited our week to two sets of intervals both with L3/L4 focus, some speed sessions, some relays in the mist, strength workouts, core routines, and lots of solid hard distance skiing. By the end of the week it simply becomes work to walk up the stairs 3 times a day. Once for a change of clothes after training, once for a nap, and once for bed.

Erik demonstrating some technique ideas

A view of the trails from our house. If you look closely you can see the little ant tracks on the hillside.

Tired muscles make for painful core routines!

APU ladies givin 'er all, and soakin 'er in!

My favorite part of the camp is always the last night. Everyone is so tired that they go into this stage where its as if they are looking through goggles, and everything slows down and becomes really funny. When your body gets to a point of being so tired, it simple goes into auto pilot and you loose control of what you are saying, what you are doing, and everything becomes hilarious. For many of us, six days of training meant between 20-30 hours of focused work and upwards to 400km of skiing. The final night of cooking dinner was just awesome. We were all cutting up random things, stirring in odd concoctions, and being lead by our stomachs. I think it actually took four boys to lift the bowl of pasta sauce onto the table. I was waiting for someone to fall asleep on their plate, I am sure there were several of us that were nearing that point!!

Erin Phillips- training hard, cooking hard, eating hard!

Between training, cooking, napping, video review and chores I spent the remainder of my time studying. I have been taking an online class this summer, so things got interesting thursday night during class when I had to get creative in order to attend class. Holly Brooks is also taking masters classes this summer, so luckily there were a couple of us to try the system out. We were able to tether internet from an iphone and then connect on our computer. Seems pretty crazy you can be up on a glacier training and still going to school. Not a bad life, I must say!!

Thanks to Erik Flora, Mike Matteson and Casey Fagerquist for putting on an awesome camp. Awesome grooming, drinking water, electricity and plenty of energy and enthusiasm! Rock on!

The video man. Catching all the best moments :)

For now it is back to dryland training in town for a week before taking off for Rookie Camp in Park City. I have had quite the month filled with lots of skiing, so I am actually excited to jump on the rollerskis for a bit. I am especially pumped because I just got some new marwe's, brand spanking new, thanks to Finnsisu! I am having a hard time taking them out in the dirt because they are so pretty... so maybe I will save my first time for the treadmill testing in Park City next week.

Saturday we get a new teammate, and a good friend of mine Rosie Brennan. I am super pumped to have a new talented, motivated girl on the team! There is nothing like having a huge woman's group to train with, I truly believe that is the magic! So welcome Rosie!!!

Newell Video from Bend

Thanks Newell for this short and sweet video from Bend Training Camp. Pretty much sums it up!!!

US Ski Team Camp- Bend, Oregon

Today marked Day 7 of Bend Camp, so exactly one week of training with the new group of coaches and athletes. It has been tons of fun, and more importantly, tons of fun to erase all the scary stories and assumptions about this group of people! It has been a joy getting to know some of the older athletes, training alongside them in a non racing situation where stress levels are much lower, and energy is much more accessible. To top it off, team Canada has been training along with us for all the workouts... and you know what they say about Canadians... so how could it not be amazing!

Little Canada blood with the Americans

A little "Rookie Joy"

We have been getting lots of group training sessions together for intervals, technique work, speed workouts, DP intervals, running, strength, and just distance skiing. It is amazing the energy and excitement that comes out of simply training in a line with 5 other US girls and 3 Canadian chicks that are just as pumped and stoked as you. Then you add in some matching pink shirts... and it begins feeling like training with my APU team! Bottom line, it's only one month into the start of a new training year and we are all fired up to do something big. Between all the hard working and fired up Canadian and US ladies, we have the hopes of becoming the new Scandinavians... minus the "Carl Gustav, can you hear me?" comments.

US Ladies in our pink Bjorn Daehlie shirts

Enjoying the sunshine!

The weather has been a little crazy since we got here. Not the typical west spring weather I have experienced for my entire life growing up... but then again not a disaster. For the first couple days we had a mixture of sun and clouds, followed by a few days of pouring rain and cold wind that managed to make you feel pretty hard core when you finished the workout. Nothing compared to an extreme day on Eagle Glacier... but pretty good for the west. We have had some frustrating and tricky waxing days- but every day we have finished the workout accomplishing something. Luckily ever interval day and speed day has been nice weather, so I really can't complain. When I hear all the stories and news about the other parts of the country right now, I consider myself VERY fortunate!

US Woman's Team getting a little silly in our team picture

One of the sunny days looking up at the alpine resort as we finish our ski... there have been a couple days I am wondering why I am not skiing down the hill instead of up :)

As with every training camp, the days have been packed full. Between training twice a day, trying to fit in a short power nap, meetings with various resources the US Team has, homework, and eating... there is not much time to spare. We have been packing it full! We alternate dinner duty between coaches, girls and boys, so tonight the girls got excited and put together some Shish Kabobs, something I have never managed to attack on a ski trip, but they turned out awesome. It's always nice to find new things to make for a large group, as we travel in huge bunches all winter and summer. It makes me appreciate those mothers that are cooking for large families every night. That would be hard!

Ladies Dinner

From here I have 4 more days of camp, hopefully one huge crust ski, a couple more intervals sessions, some gym work, some sports psychology talk, nutrition talks, hopefully a BBQ if the weather clears up, and an extremely important tournament of baseball against Team Canada.

A little concentration in my OD today.

Following that I have about 4 days of rest at home before heading up to the Eagle Glacier for my first glacier camp with APU. Hope the weather stays nice up there in AK. I guess if the weather is going to be crazy everywhere else in the lower 48, someone should be experiencing the normal weather and sunshine.

Thanks to Pete Vordenberg for many of these pictures!