That’s it, summer skiing is over for another year! Having skied less in Europe I was well rested and ready for Chile. This year I was based in La Parva. It was great to be able to train on different slopes and stay in a new resort.
I flew out to Chile on the 23rd of September, 24 hours of travelling and 600euros in excess baggage (thank you Air France) I had landed in Santiago. After a few days of free skiing we were straight back into gates. The focus was on GS, where I had started to make some important changes in my skiing. We trained on super flat slopes, steeps and rolls. The snow was perfect every day. Due to the high temperatures we got perfect melt-freeze conditions meaning that one set of edges was definitely not enough for a training session!
The first set of races seemed to come around very quickly. I decided with my coaches that I would compete in the Giant Slalom in El Colorado, skip the downhills in La Parva and then maybe compete in the Super Gs. I was really excited for the GS as I knew I had been skiing fast in training. However, my run was a good wake up call that I was not ready to race. It was that feeling of suddenly being in a start gate and thinking OMG what am I doing here?! I didn’t ski well and got late on the line coming of the steep and missed a gate on the flat. A silly mistake but one that showed me that I needed to head back to training. I was really keen to compete in the Super Gs in La Parva and was ready to go but we found out at the meeting that the Super G would be going off a jump and since the last jump I had done I had broken my leg, it was best to stick with training until I was really ready.
We had another training block in before the speed series in El Colorado. I skied GS or SG every day: it was great! I got to train GS with the WC French speed guys too which was really fun. I had become so comfortable training GS that almost didn’t want to train SG! But I had so much fun training SG on the race hill and I could feel myself gaining confidence every run. The El Colorado speed races came around and I felt really ready to race in the Super G. I waited for my coaches to return from the meeting but when I went to see them they told me that they’d decided to pull me from the race! I was annoyed but they said that all the top girls had pulled out because of the poor snow conditions so I guessed they made the right call… they even got to say “we told you so” the next day when the race was cancelled! Rather than hesitating to race the next few days we decided to stick to training.
Unfortunately, the next day as I was sliding down with two sets of skis on my shoulders I bashed my knee off a rut which set off my bone bruising. My bone is completely healed around my break but there is still bone bruising so it remains delicate. Rather than inflame it more I took two days off. There were just two days left at the end of the camp and the coaches decided I should finish off in GS rather than push my knee in speed training. The last two days were pretty cool, I had a whole GS hill to myself which meant the resort had to run two extra lifts just for me. They even slowed down the chair when I was skiing and then sped it up just for me when I needed to go back up!
Not racing in Chile this year was a really smart decision. I got an extra 8 days of training in and I now feel really confident in my skiing for my next camp in Colorado in November, where I will hopefully be racing. A huge thank you to Chris and Jeff at ISRA for running an amazing camp and for setting me up with GS and SG training every day. (My slalom skis didn’t even touch snow!)
I am now at home for two weeks before I head off on my next two-month adventure…2 weeks in Annapolis, sailing from Maryland to the BVI, 10 days in the Caribbean and then flying straight to Colorado to ski! Back to the hard life 😉
There’s loads of photos from Chile on my Instagram and you can watch my skiing video on Facebook.