Hello to everyone in Canada from New Zealand's Snow farm. I thought I should really write an article and let people know the snow situation in the southern hemisphere and what I have been up to.
As most readers will know, I moved back home to Melbourne, Australia last December after two fantastic years living in Ottawa. Since then I have gotten married to long time girlfriend, Victoria, bought a house, two cars and started working full time as a physiotherapist. Talk about a life change!
With all these changes I have astutely noticed a few things.
Firstly, I can't train as much. In fact I struggle to train at all. Rollerski sessions are now done after work in the dark in suburban streets with lots of lights to ward off the masses of traffic around Melbourne. Gone are the days of double poling two loops of the Park with Karl, noooooo. Now I do 15 minutes on the double pole machine in my garage after doing housework.
Enough of the boring stuff, I have actually managed to ski a little bit this season in my last ditch attempt to qualify for a second world championships. Yes, it is a long shot, but I thought after all the hours of training and skiing in Canada, it was worth a gamble.
Luckily we have had a cracking ski season down under, with large amounts of snow falling each week. I have managed to ski every weekend and had some races in there too.
I am now writing this from the Snow Farm in New Zealand, where myself and the rest of the senior members of the Australian XC Ski Team are here to try and gain some good FIS points courtesy of the Japanese ski team and Robin McKeever of Canada.
Conditions here have been amazing so far with cold, dry snow and temps around -3 to -10. It really is like skiing in Europe or North America most of the time, until the weather comes in and the exposed trails really turn nasty, very quickly.
Tomorrow is the skate sprint (not my specialty event as you know), but my real focus is the 10km skate on Sunday, where myself and other Aussies have a good chance of qualifying for Worlds if we are on our game and have fast skis. According to the forecast, another 20cm of snow is coming down in New Zealand and Australia over the weekend, which will take our base at some resorts to over 1.5 metres.
In news closer to home,the Kangaroo Hoppet is likely to run on the full 42km course, so if any of you get inspired by this article to scrape the travel wax off your skis, then get on a plane and come down and experience the Kangaroo Hoppet.
Hell I have a spare bedroom now, come and crash at my house!
Enjoy the pics and dream of snow.......
Andrew training at the Snow Farm.
No longer used to the cold.
New Zealand (formerly Australian) skier Katie Calder.
A room with a view of the course!
Andrew still representing XC Ottawa down under.
Some photos of skiing in Australia
Great snow year in Australia, over a 1m base.
Skiing among the Gum trees at Lake Mountain Resort.