Where’s All The Snow?

4 Nov

Halloween in the mountains is a funny thing. From a young age we learned to incorporate warm clothes into our costumes. “I want to be a fairy!” Well… you better have a pink snowsuit that you can wear under your fairy wings. Once we were old enough to make our own costumes, more often than not we were something that was naturally warm, like a bear or a snow queen. You always see pictures of girls dressed up (or not quite dressed) as a “sexy nurse” or a “sexy pirate” but us mountain folk know we can’t get away with that unless you want to get frostbite on your cleavage.

Now that I have that image in your head, I know you’re also imagining snow on the ground. Well… sorry to disappoint but there isn’t much of that here so far. You know me, I’m a ski racer. My life literally depends on snow. Ok. That’s a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean. Without much snow, there isn’t much skiing. Thankfully, there are smart people out there that invented these amazing machines that actually make snow. No, not this kind of machine…

Disney classic... The Ultimate Christmas Present

Disney classic… The Ultimate Christmas Present

I digress. We’ve had some really awesome training despite the fact that there is not very much snow. A lot of start training, which is something I’m working hard on, and yesterday we even skied a full length GS!

Some people are freaking out because of lack of snow, but I believe in the weather and I know that we will eventually get a dump and forget all about this!

Is It Still Summer?

28 Aug

This summer has flown by! Holy cow. It’s been pretty busy too, at least for me. After my last post in… May, May?! Wow, time has gone by quickly. Anyways… after my crutches fiasco, I moved out to Park City for some summer training.

Park City (aka PC) is such a fun place to be in the summer, granted I’ve never been there in the winter (although I’ve heard it’s pretty fun). There is always something to do there whether you want to hang out in the park, go for a ride (mountain or road), hike up a mountain, float down a river, or drive 20 minutes to Salt Lake City, you will find yourself doing something 24/7. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s sunny like… every day. However, summer classes at Westminster (yes I go to school, kind of) started in June and I found myself not doing as many of the fun activities I’m used to. With work outs, physical therapy, school, and babysitting, I was a little more busy than I was prepared for.

So June and July flew by like they were nothing and all of a sudden I was about to leave for my first ski camp of the summer, which is where I am right now! What! Good ol’ Mount Hood! Did you know I’ve been to Mt. Hood every summer (besides two) since I was 10? That’s not exactly factual, but it’s close. The point is, I’ve been here a lot. There are only a few differences between being here now and then and they are as follows:

  1. I’m not staying at the Huckleberry Inn anymore.
    1. This means a few things. I don’t get 4 milkshakes a day anymore (I think that was the most I ever got in one day). I don’t buy Bubblicious bubblegum by the 5 pack anymore and try to eat every piece at once. And I don’t share a bunk room with 3 other girls anymore.
  2. I don’t have nearly as much energy.
    1. We used to wake up at 6AM, take 15 ski runs, get off the hill with more energy than what we started with, then go play capture the flag in the woods for 2 hours full on sprinting through the trees, and then somehow still have way too much energy for the rest of the day.
    2. Now we still get up at 6, take maybe 12 runs (on a good day), get off the hill wiped out, go on a hike for recovery, take a nap, and go to bed at 8.
  3. We make our own dinners.
    1. That’s pretty self explanatory.

The skiing is still awesome, the snow just as hard in the morning, the sun just as bright. It hasn’t changed that much.

I’m here for another four days, take about ten days at home (YAY!) and then we head down to Chile, which is beginning to turn into another Mt. Hood for me (this will be the sixth birthday that I’ve celebrated there). I’m not complaining, don’t worry, I just hope there’s enough snow, I’ll let you know (that was an unintentional rhyme)!

 

This is only from 5 years ago. Only 5... Mt. Hood X-Factor camp in 2009.

This is only from 5 years ago. Only 5… Mt. Hood X-Factor camp in 2009.

This is from 6 years ago, so my first camp in Chile. I turned 16!

This is from 6 years ago, so my first camp in Chile. I turned 16!

 

 

 

 

 

Dondé Esta el Autobus Amarillo?

20 Jun

abbyghent:

In case you haven’t seen Erika’s new summer blog, here’s a little snipit. It’s pretty awesome. Go ahead, indulge.

Originally posted on HEL-lo Euro:

Our day began in a very civilized manner. We were organized, prepared and caught the early train from Madrid to Valencia. When we successfully got to our seats on the train, we thought to ourselves, “Great! We are winning this day!”‘ We spoke too soon.

Here’s what happened next:

1) Upon arriving at the Valencia train station, gigantic packs on our backs, somehow a bug flew into Hannah’s eye and stung her in the eyeball, rendering it blood shot for hours. True story. Stung. In. The. Eyeball.

2) Our directions told us to find the “old” train station. Once we arrived there we had a skip in our step, and said to ourselves, “Booyah! We got this day in the bag. Gonna be on the beach by noon.” HOWEVER… We still had to find the mysterious yellow bus, line 190, which was supposed to arrive every hour on the hour…

View original 543 more words

Adventures on Crutches

21 May

The first ski camp of the summer, I fractured my tibial plateau. Sounds bad, but it could’ve been a lot worse. I sustained no ligament damage and the fracture was small enough that I didn’t have to get surgery! The only downside is I have to be on crutches for four weeks with limited weight-bearing. Being on crutches really limits you in the activities you can do, but I am making the best of it and found some things to keep me busy this past weekend.

I was trying to come up with an idea for things to do while the Crazy Canuck was in town. He left on Monday so I thought we could go down to Denver and find something to do. Thinking of everything fun down there was difficult because I am so limited. I did however think of how awesome it would be to go to Elitch Gardens. Then I remembered how long I would be standing in lines, so I emailed them and figured out a way to get a line-cutting pass because I’m a gimp. ;) It totally worked! We got to skip all the lines and, even better, got to sit at all of the front of the rides! It was a very good shoulder/hand/wrist workout for me, and I got tired fairly quickly, but we definitely got our money’s worth!

Then we went to Boulder, I took a nap, and Crazy went out on his new bike, which then broke. He came back and, with a little help from our bike expert, Chris, he fixed it up and decided to go back out again. Not long after, we hear him outside and hear him say, “This has not been my day for biking… and I need a nurse.” He had crashed and ripped up the skin on his knee pretty good. Gimpy as I am, I think I’m a pretty good nurse!

Dustin's Boo-Boo... He really is crazy.

Dustin’s Boo-Boo… He really is crazy.

The next day we woke up early and drove to DIA so Crazy could fly to Calgary. :( I then drove back up to the mountains on a lovely spring day only to get stopped on Vail Pass because of a vehicle fire. What the heck! Fortunately I was right next to the exit and knew of a road less traveled that would get me home. Tennessee Pass is a beautiful pass through the high mountains up to Leadville, a very old town that has some great history. So great, that I had to stop in and go to the Mining Museum. I’m kind of dork like that. But let me tell you, it was impressive! I was on crutches, and it took me about two hours to tour the whole place on my own. There were some cool sections they had made that took you through what appeared to be an underground mine shaft, with mannequins and sound affects and “Warning” signs and rail tracks and… you get the point. There was an elementary class that was touring too, and I felt like asking the teacher for one of her handouts so I could learn like an elementary student again (I told you, I’m a dork).

Mountain lake on the drive up to Leadville.

Mountain lake on the drive up to Leadville.

I went mining for a day.

I went mining for a day.

After I had my fill with mining history, I popped in at the cutest cafe in Leadville, Cookies With Altitude. The nice lady made me a delicious sandwich, and I picked six different cookies to bring home to share with my mom and dad. I decided to make my lunch a picnic and got in my car and drove a few minutes past the Continental Divide to Camp Hale. For those who aren’t familiar, Camp Hale was home to the 10th Mountain Division, the only Alpine specialized army group in the United States, which makes this site extremely cool.

The remains of an entertainment building at Camp Hale.

The remains of an entertainment building at Camp Hale.

Can you imagine 15,000 soldiers living here in the winter?!

Can you imagine 15,000 soldiers living here in the winter?!

I finished my sandwich, took a bunch of pictures, and then drove down past the Gilman mining ghost town (one of the first mining towns open during the Colorado Silver Boom, and was closed down because of toxic pollutants in the water), and stopped in Minturn for one last adventure on my crutches. A couple months ago a huge slab of rock slid all the way down from the ridge right onto the railroad tracks, sliced them right in half! I had to see it.

Creepy...

Creepy…

Sliced right through!

Sliced right through!

 

 

Summer Is On It’s Way!

25 Apr

Summer is almost here in the Rockies, although I have already spent two and a half weeks in summer. The Crazy Canuck and I went to Maui to rest up after a long winter. This season was interesting, for both of us. You can read about his on his blog: www.dustincook.ca .

My season, was very difficult, mentally and physically. After dislocating my elbow at the end of October, I missed my opportunity to start the World Cup circuit. I never another opportunity and without any World Cup starts, I had no chance to qualify for the Olympics, which was a long-shot no matter what, but disappointing nonetheless.

The hardest challenge I faced this year was getting my head back into actually racing. I thought I was racing right when I went out of the gate the first time this season, but what I didn’t realize was that I was mostly going to the motions of racing instead of trying to win. It was hard to realize that, but once I did, I knew that my injury threw off my game a lot more than I anticipated and I had to approach things differently. I trained a lot more than seasons previous, but not quite enough for my race mode to be automatic.

Eventually, I had two good races and won the NorAm Overall in Super-G, which was unexpected! This title allows me World Cup spots in Super-G for next season, which is a huge relief! The US Ski Team is pending announcement. Cross your fingers for me, as I await their decision.

Dustin and me with our trophies and hats.

Dustin and me with our trophies and hats.

On the podium!

On the podium!

Now that I’ve told you, roughly, about my season, I can tell you about MAUI!! Crazy Canuck started planning our vacation some time in January. Because of our crazy schedules, we basically had to pick a date and hope that our coaches wouldn’t schedule any camps during that time. It ended up working (surprisingly) and we spent two and a half weeks in paradise. Randomly, we were there at the exact time that seven of our friends were there, staying in the same town! What are the chances!

The first few days of the trip, Crazy and I did the touristy thing, rented a Jeep and drove the Hana Highway. It rained most of our drive which made for some spectacular waterfalls, and some slippery hikes. We bought the world’s best banana bread (which was so delicious) and walked through a bamboo forest. The next week and a half was filled with fun group activities; a lot of surfing, barbecuing, sun bathing, hiking, and for the ladies, some bathing suit fittings. Yes I said fittings. Resi Stiegler has a friend that makes bathing suits, and we got some Maui appropriate bathing suits. We pretty much looked like locals by the end.

Maui local?

Maui local?

Looking through the tops of the bamboo. So much bamboo!

Looking through the tops of the bamboo. So much bamboo!

Heavy flowing waterfall.

Heavy flowing waterfall.

 

A beautiful Maui sunset.

A beautiful Maui sunset.

 

Fundraising

12 Nov

The season has officially started! The first World Cups were a few weeks ago in Sölden, Austria, and the first FIS races in America were a few days ago! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compete in them due to an injury I sustained the first day of training on the 28th of October. I dislocated my elbow when I fell and crashed into the B-net training GS. Don’t worry, I’m healing! I just got my elbow brace today and I have been doing physio everyday. I will hopefully be skiing again very soon and racing in the next two-three weeks.

That is not the reason why I am writing this blog post though, I’m writing to inform you that I just launched my fundraiser on RallyMe.com! https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/214/abby-ghent

Crowd funding is a platform that many athletes are turning to these days, and with Ski Team fees at $15,000 this season I’m reaching out to my supporters to try and offset some of the costs. Donations are greatly appreciated and sharing my fundraiser is also a huge help! The more people that know, the more likely donations are.

I’m excited for my season to really start and test out my new strength I gained over the summer! I’m keeping my eyes on the horizon and trying not to think about the training I’m missing. Anything can happen and I’m hoping this will be my best season yet! Funding my season is a tremendous weight off my shoulders so check out the video below! Until next time!

It’s Been A While…

25 Aug

I know, I know. I haven’t been very good about updating this blog. I want to throw out some excuses like, “I’ve been really busy” (which isn’t fully true), or “I haven’t had internet…” (ha.. that’s not a very good excuse), or “nothing has been happening” (which is almost never true).  So here I am, updating.

Let me see… the last update I remember… New Year’s! Wow. It has been a while. A lot has happened since then. I think the best way to go about sharing my experiences with you is through pictures, otherwise, this would probably turn into a three page post. So without delaying any longer, here’s a little summary based on a thousand words per picture. :)

Training in Hochgurgl, Austria.

Training in Hochgurgl, Austria.

A bit of snow and wind makes great pictures in Austria!

A bit of snow and wind makes for great pictures in Austria!

First World Cup in Europe! Very exciting, and kinda scary!

St. Anton World Cup. First World Cup in Europe! Very exciting, and kinda scary!

Look familiar? This is our other favorite place to train in Europe, Maria Alm, Austria.

Look familiar? This is our other favorite place to train in Europe, Maria Alm, Austria.

Stopped in Vienna on our way to Slovakia. Artsy fartsy (or trying to be at least).

Stopped in Vienna on our way to Slovakia. Artsy fartsy (or trying to be at least).

Another shot from the church in Vienna.

Another shot from the church in Vienna.

We had some beautiful mornings in Slovakia.

We had some beautiful mornings in Slovakia.

We made our way back to North America, to Apex, British Columbia.

We made our way back to North America, to Apex, British Columbia.

Then across the country to Quebec to ski at Le Massif for World Juniors. Stairway to heaven? Thank goodness we didn't have to climb up those this trip.

Then across the country to Quebec to ski at Le Massif for World Juniors. Stairway to heaven? Thank goodness we didn’t have to climb up those this trip.

Two ski racers driving across the country to spend a month in California… we have to bring everything! Duh!

Two ski racers driving across the country to spend a month in California… we have to bring everything! Duh!

Water on the Salt Flats by Salt Lake City, Utah.
Water on the Salt Flats by Salt Lake City, Utah.

Donner Lake is on fire!

Donner Lake is on fire!

Happy, sunny, exciting day in Squaw at NorAm Finals. I scored my lowest score ever!

Happy, sunny, exciting day in Squaw at NorAm Finals. I scored my lowest score ever!

I won the Super-G at NorAm Finals! That was a happy day.

I won the Super-G at NorAm Finals! That was a happy day.

Yea… I don't know about the modeling, but being a passenger in this car was a blast!

Yea… I don’t know about the modeling, but being a passenger in this car was a blast!

That's Lake Tahoe in the distance! What beautiful weather we had a US Nationals in Squaw Valley, CA this year!

That’s Lake Tahoe in the distance! What beautiful weather we had a US Nationals in Squaw Valley, CA this year!

One of my favorite places on earth, Lake Tahoe!

One of my favorite places on earth, Lake Tahoe!

Stopped at my one of my mom's favorite attractions, the Bodie Ghost Town in California.

Stopped at one of my mom’s favorite attractions, the Bodie Ghost Town in California.

Spooky! Off to Mammoth!

Spooky! Off to Mammoth!

So if my calculations are correct that’s 19,000 words! I think that’s sufficient enough. Next time I’ll update you on what’s been happening this summer! Exciting stuff leading up to Olympic year! Thanks for reading… or looking!

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