It’s strange to think this way, but the dusk has set in on my summer. In the next 24 hours, I will travel back to New Zealand for the team’s three-week on-snow training camp. It has always been an adjustment to go from near (or above) 30°c to Winter’s chill, at the Snow Farm, of -5°c or so. It is not just the temperature, or seasonal change (from high Summer to mid Winter) that I think makes the greatest impact from this camp. For me, the New Zealand camp acts as a turning point in the training season. Returning home from the New Zealand camp, the rest of the training season seems to flash by, before the sudden realization of being on the eve of the competitive season. This camp seems to act as the starting point for the late Fall and Winter’s planning. The realization that Winter is near.
At this point, the Snow Farm Lodge is perhaps my second home. Over the past years, the number of nights spent at the Snow Farm Lodge is second only to my place in Canmore. That familiarization adds to the efficiency and the gains that are made year after year at this camp. Being there checks all the boxes required for an excellent camp. There, it’s easy to focus in on what is needed to get faster. Over the past few months, I have been working on my technique mostly on roller skis. The next three weeks allow me to train with these techniques on-snow, to truly become efficient with them. Putting them to the test. There is no need to be at my fastest here in August, but I do get the chance to taste ski speed. In the end, it is just enough of a taste of that speed that I leave hungry to get to there again. Especially this year getting to that top speed is only needed come March 10, 2018.
It has been a fantastic summer despite it coming to an end for me, so to speak. I was in great shape going into the Bend Camp in June. Bend was one of my best camps ever. Though, I had to put a kink in the armor with a fall off my mountain bike on the last day. Lesson learned (well…maybe not…). I, unfortunately, felt the effects of some travel I did post the Bend camp which forced me to take a few extra days to recover. Hitting up the intensity block with some solid efforts, making great gains with each session. I ended July in Canmore with some great training. Including two terrific new hikes I’d never done before; Red Ridge and Tent Ridge. Both are amazing adventures amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Red Ridge, in particular, is possibly a new favorite of mine. The views, though, from Tent Ridge are some of the best you can find and hard to beat.
I had a unique opportunity last week, participating in the Shaw Charity Classic Shootout at the Meadows. It is a fun head-to-head shootout between athletes, media, and personalities from around Calgary. The shootout serves as a promotional event for the main event held the final weekend in August. Some of the big names participating in the main tournament are announced during the shootout. For a change from the lunchtime shootout in previous summers. This years shootout was held at night. Aiming at a large glow stick that was the pin, roughly 140yards away, with glow sticks marking out the green. Using glowing balls, each participant attempted to get closer to the pin than their partner to then move on to the next round. I came up just short in one of the first round’s closest pairings. Losing out to an eventual semi-finalist. It was an enjoyable event and awesome experience to golf in the dark.
I look forward to getting back to snow and another incredible camp at the Snow Farm. Let the snowflakes fly!

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