Simi Hamilton


Archive for May, 2013


From Winter to Summer Back to Winter

Topic: General News

We’ve had a great training camp here in Bend, Oregon. Although the snow has been much thinner than when we’ve been here in years past, the lack of sunshine at Mt. Bachelor has meant that trail melt has been at a minimum and the snow speed has stayed relatively fast during our morning training sessions. It’s taken me a few years to learn my lesson, but I finally made the wise decision to pack two rain jackets and a plethora of fry layers every day we head west in to the mountains. It’s been pretty funny to wake up every morning under sunny, warm skies and then get in the trucks and drive into the cloud bank that’s been sitting over Bachelor for the last week. Every after noon we can at least look forward to a warm ride on the single track behind the house.

Fortunately for us, our day off from training last Saturday was a classic Bend spring day. Warm temps, lots of sunshine, and no wind made for a great opportunity to hang by the river and catch some rays. Thanks to our generous friends Andy Fecteau and Dennis Oliphant of Sun Country Tours we were able to cruise the Deschutes on SUPs and surf skis. After a quick depth check under this bridge we felt obligated to throw some synchronized back flips into the 50 degree water. There’s no better way to bond as a men’s team than some air time.

The boys of the USST xc (minus the Hoff, sorry dude, hope shoulder recovery is going well)

A huge thanks to Andy and Cathy Fecteau, longtime friends and supporters of our team, who hosted us at their house for a great (albeit slightly rainy) BBQ afternoon. It was great to take a break from training to eat some burgers, drink some beers, and stand by a warm fire.

We’re out of here on Friday. It’s been a great week of skiing, riding, running, strength, and I even found an afternoon to get up to Smith Rock to climb an uber cool 4 pitch route with my friend and ex-ski team coach Pete Vordenberg. I knew that rope and draws would come in handy one of these days! Headed to Park City for a couple weeks where we will all be day dreaming of snowy skies and fast tracks. Good thing we got our May fix in… only two and a half months until we’re back on snow in New Zealand!

Who says coaching has to be so serious all the time? Matt demonstrating how you can kill two birds with one stone: helping athletes in the gym and napping




One of the many beautiful CO days in the back-country this April. Too bad I forgot the sunscreen on this tour.

Back At It

Topic: General News

One crazy spring… that’s pretty much how I would sum up the last 2+ months since I returned from Europe. Needing a bit of a physical and mental break from training, racing, and everything else with the words ‘cross-country’ in it, I spent the majority of the “off season” at our cabin above Marble, CO. Nestled at the base of Chair Mountain (if you have a new U.S. Passport, you can pretty much see our secret spot in the Aspen’s on one of the stamp pages), our little gem sits right smack in the middle of one of Colorado’s best snow avenues. Consistent, dry, big storms make for pretty unreal skiing from November-April, and you can generally count on pretty stable conditions when it seems like the rest of Colorado is sliding down to the dirt.

In fear of giving away too many more secrets, I’ll stop there and just say we got in some great turns during a big spring in western Colorado.

A week in Costa Rica surfing 6 hours a day pretty much flew by way too fast. I’ll be back there soon for sure. Great waves, good company, hot sand, and plenty of cold Imperials for the end of the day. Pura Vida.

The low point of the spring came on April 25th when I went under the knife to get my tonsils removed. Kind of a blur from surgery day until the day I got off the Vicodin program. 22 pounds less and 2.5 weeks later, I emerged from a drug-induced trance tonsil-free. I think it will make a huge difference going forward with staying healthy, especially since my last few seasons have been severely hampered by persistent  strep throat and chest colds that start out as minor sore throats. Simi 2.0 is here, watch out. A huge thanks goes to Dr. Goodstein and his staff, and the awesome nurses at Aspen Valley Hospital, for doing such a great job. Thanks guys.

Okay, caught up? Good. As we speak, I’m sitting in the blazing morning sun in Bend, OR, coffee in hand and looking forward to our first day off during our annual on-snow camp at Mt. Bachelor. This place is awesome and I always look forward to the two weeks we spend here every spring. Great skiing in the morning is usually followed by either ripping single track down in town in the afternoon or exploring new trails by foot right out our backdoor in Mt. Bachelor Village. There’s never enough time to do all the things I want to do here. Every year we come out, I throw my climbing pack in the back of the truck in hopes of sneaking away to Smith Rock for an afternoon of clipping bolts. Usually I succeed, but I’d love to come here someday with a few more weeks planned to explore all of the riding, BC corn skiing, climbing, and paddling that this place has to offer. This town is the ultimate cliche of what an outdoor town should be, but it’s a well-deserved cliche.

Training has been going well so far. My energy and speed is coming back after a long and rough recovery from the tonsil surgery. Our speed and interaval sessions have gone better than I expected, and my fears of not remembering how to stand on my skis at high speeds or getting my HR high during intensity sessions have been put to rest after a great first week of skiing and hard workouts. Our team as a whole is more unified and family-oriented than ever… everyone is excited for each other’s season goals and the morale is high. It’s great to be back with this dysfunctional family. Here are a few photos to sum up the last couple months, check back soon to see some more good ones from the snowy land of Bachelor as we finish out our camp here this week.

One of the many beautiful CO days in the back-country this April. Too bad I forgot the sunscreen on this tour.

Booting a 2,000 ft, 50 deg. couloir with step-dad Al and friend Drew in tow. Pretty damn good turns on the way down.

Big storm in Chair Basin opening up, giving us 3,000 ft of blower powder for the way back to the cabin. Beers and sandwiches on the deck afterward. Yes.

Family. I guess they're okay.

Last BC ski of the spring. May 13. 80 deg F at 11,000 ft. Didn't forget the sunscreen on this one, thank god.

Mt. Bachelor training before the cold front came in. 24 hours later we had mid-January conditions in blowing flurries.

This is May, right? If it means good skiing, I'll take it!



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Aspen, CO 81611