Brian and I drove up to Whistler on Tuesday with grand plans of a 3 or 4 day mini-camp at Whistler Olympic Park (aka the Callaghan Valley.) We were concerned about the snow conditions, and that concern turned out to be quite appropriate.
The nordic area had about 7cms of snow on the groomed trails. The amount wasn't as much of a problem as the consistency and quality of the snow. It was completely rutted and practically frozen. A condition which can be described with the acronym C.R.A.P.f.
The CRAPf snow created very tough conditions for practicing technique (which was our objective.)
Brian is visually impaired - so seeing the ruts wasn't possible.... this made skiing a pretty much impossible thing to do. I could be his guide on the trail but I couldn't point out every single rut. Even if I could, there was nothing but frozen ruts so they couldn't be avoided.
My difficulties were not in seeing the ruts but in being able to control my prosthesis as it got caught in them... not easy.
So, the result was Brian and I wiping out all over the trail on 7cms of rock hard frozen snow. The downhills were death-defying....
We packed it in. Part of being 30-something, (and in Brian's case 50-something), is that when you are hitting the deck repeatedly it does a lot more damage than good.
It seems that we weren't the only ones who found it treacherous, as I just checked the site and found this (click to enlarge):
Somewhat dejected, we hit the gym at Meadow Park and worked up a sweat on the exercise bike and lifted some weights. We decided to try again the next day but it was no different.
So, the plan now is to leave for Silver Star on Sunday. The conditions sound a bit better there. The amount of time on snow in preparation for the Nor-Am race next weekend is going to be minimal... It could be somewhat embarrassing - c'est la vie.
The new lodge at the Callaghan Valley - seemed very nice. I am sure it will be overloaded with people during races and relatively empty at other times...
Brian posing in front of the ski jumps....Tweet this!