Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ski Mountaineering World Championships - Day 1

Jari & I made it to Claut, Italy! After leaving the Gunnison airport mid day Thursday, we arrived into Venice on Friday midday.  We met up with race organizers who shuttled us and our gear for 2 additional hours up to the town of Claut.  Claut is best described as the Crested Butte of Italy...minus a ski area.  I say that because its at the end of a long valley, tough to get to...but once you are here, you are psyched!

We jumped through the "registration hoops" along with 22 other countries from around the world last night, met up with the rest of our teammates, got dinner and went to bed....lots of jet lag to say the least.
Most of the team got in Wednesday and Thursday and had a day to go recon the pairs course which will be Sunday.  Above is a photo of the team loading up this morning from our hotel in Barcis...about 9km from Claut. 

The big news so far is the lack of snow, which has forced a reschedule of the Sprint race that was scheduled for Saturday (Day 1).  It has now been rescheduled for Wednesday....and because of some new snow they got yesterday (about 20-30cm) the organizers did not allow any one to go preview the Pairs race course, which will be Sunday.

With that option disallowed by the race organizers, the team set out to a ski resort, Piancavallo which will be hosting the Vertical race on Tuesday.  The conditions we good, but warm.  Above is a few of the team members leisurely ripping skins at the top of the course.  We were only out for about 1.5 hours as we want to remain fresh for tomorrow and ofcourse needed to make it back for the lunch in Claut. 

We end up spending lots of time shuttling around in the team vans as everywhere is a bit of a drive.  The scenery is beautiful and the roads are very tight and curvy, so with a loaded car full of gear and people, its makes things interesting....no one has gotten "car sick"...yet!
Above is the team at lunch today, enjoying a typical Northern Italian meal...getting ready for the Pairs Race tomorrow.  Eat past ski fasta!

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