Simi Hamilton

 

Archive for November, 2012

Mustaches=warmth (and they're sweet)

Period 1

Topic: General News

Race season is knocking on the door, and Gallivare, SWE is a fitting place to answer the call. The last two times that we’ve been here, the skiing has been superb. This year is no exception. Although I do have to say that the slightly higher temps this time around are more welcoming than the last time the season kicked off here (two years ago my watch read -38 degree C during a dark and ominous afternoon ski by the river). The race venue is a bustle, with the TV crews and course workers stringing cables and pinning up Veissmann banners. Fortunately, our training days on the course have been smoke-free thus far, but that’s sure to change during the races this weekend when the scores of Swedish ski fans insist on cooking their reindeer stew and warming their booze over the blazing fires that roar all day long only a meter from the race trail. It’s nice to be back in the stressful and anxious atmosphere that is the WC circuit. Whether it’s dodging wax techs testing skis in the classic tracks going the wrong way on the course or diving into a parking lot snow bank to avoid a plow driver hammering his CAT in reverse, it all cumulates in a feeling that is like when your mom nags at you to clean your room when you’re visiting home for the weekend. It’s not relaxing, but you’re still home…

Mustaches=warmth (and they're sweet)

I am planning on putting my name in the hat this weekend for the 15 km individual skate race. I love this course and it will be a pleasure to race amid the Swedish cheers and wafting smoked reindeer aroma. With the first WC sprint of the year 10 days away, it will provide me a great opportunity to go hard sans pressure all the while giving me valuable distance race experience… which is a pretty wild thing at this level!

On a completely non-related note to skiing (or maybe it’s 100% related considering we spend so much time in our hotel rooms, on planes, and in cars), I just finished a great book, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window andĀ Disappeared. A great read that was the perfect anecdote for jetlag during all those early evenings when I would start to nod off way too early. It kept me laughing every night during those crucial times when my body was adjusting to the time change, and during the early morning hours when my body thought it was time for dinner and refused to go back to sleep.

 

11.21

2012

We found some pretty exciting mixed climbing and chilly temps while heading up Capital, one of Colorado's harder 14'ers

Business Time

Topic: General News

Like a good omen for the season to come, it was 3Ā° F at my house this morning when I woke up to drive (slide) to the airport. Fall seemed to last for only a day and it turned into winter overnight. I’m not complaining, I love it. There’s nothing better than layering up for a long and cold ski on a short day, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing in a few hours. Like many of the other businessmen and women sitting around me in the Denver airport, I’m en route to a destination where I’ll get some work done. In 24 hours I’ll land in Rovaniemi, Finland (the actual home of Santa Clause and probably best known for being directly on the Arctic Circle), drive 200 km north of that dark city, and begin the season in the heavy and cold air of Muonio. I’m fired up to connect with all my teammates and coaches again, dial in my skis this week, and resume the elusive search for wireless throughout Europe (a task that seems to consume most of my time during the winter). Next weekend’s World Cup opener in the small mining town of Gallivare, Sweden will bring out the crowds and excitement that accompanies European xc racing, novelties that many of us forgot about during the long summer months. The weekend after marks the first World Cup sprint in Kuusamo, Finland, a resort town nestled on the Russian border that’s probably best known for its per capita beer consumption during ski comp weekends. One thing you can count on the Finn’s for: having a good time at ski races. Then it’s a quick (knock on wood) trip back to North America to race atop the cobble streets of Quebec City before Period 1’s final race weekend in Canmore, Alberta. Boom, kazaam, in, out, Christmas.

One thing I always take for granted before the season starts is a few days at home to catch my breath. It never occurs to me how much I need that until after it’s passed. This time around, I ticked off some pretty awesome adventures with my amigos and finally got a start at chipping away at a to-do list that I’ve been adding to since 2009.

We found some pretty exciting mixed climbing and chilly temps while heading up Capital, one of Colorado's harder 14'ers

There's no better place to find oneself than on a cool ridge in the backcountry

Buddy Mark Falender contemplating loose, exposed, 5.4 dry tool/finger jam boulder problem. And the looming darkness

Well. I’m off. Got a plane to catch, so to speak.

11.12

2012

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