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Jumping Crevasses (and other adventures in Austria)
By:  Colin Abbott   (2009/10/21)

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The Dachstein glacier is one of the best known locations for summer/fall skiing in the world. It's location is impeccable. Situated in central Europe, international airports are a short drive away, there is infrastructure throughout the area and many of the major ski manufacturers have factories nearby. The glacier itself is at high elevation (nearly 3000m) and the surrounding valleys are much lower (1200m or so) which makes it ideal for training at elevation and recovering well at the same time. Throughout the summer and fall, skiers from all over the world flock to the Dachstein to get quality training in. There are national teams from every corner of the world, cranking out the kilometers, club teams trying to give their athletes a new experience, mothers with their children going out for an afternoon tour, master skiers with a lot of money and every other type of skier out there.
For two weeks in late September and early October this year I was fortunate to be invited to travel to the Dachstein and participate in an on snow training camp with the CNEPH training center and junior national team. The focus of the camp was volume and technique.
Here�s what a typical day looked like:
Wake up at 7:00. Check heartrate. Run downstairs and stuff myself with croissants, porridge, eggs, yoghurt, bread, fruit and nutella. Change into ski gear. Pack bag for the day and run to the vans hoping I�m not the last one out. Drive up a switchbacking mountain road for 15 minutes to the base of the gondola. Grab skis from gear van and try not to get klister everywhere (invariably failed at this). Run into ski lodge and hope to catch next departing gondola. Miss gondola and wait in line for 10 minutes. Cram into next gondola with 60 other skiers and gear. Get taken up a vertical kilometer in about 5 minutes. Walk from gondola terminal across glacier and down to the start of the ski trail. Put on boots. Ski for 1 hour. Eat a bun with nutella on it. Switch techniques. Ski another 1-2 hours. Walk back to gondola, sweat and pant going up the last stairs. Ride down. Drive to lunch and eat copious amounts of carbs. Back to hotel. Nap. Wake up. Do video and technique work. Drink a red bull. Run for a half hour, do a core strength workout, play soccer. Run back to hotel. Sauna and shower. Eat supper, drink fizzy water. Watch a movie. Late night snack of chocolate rice crispies, fruit, bread and jam. Crash for the night. Repeat.
This was how it went for most of the 2 weeks, and I couldn�t have been happier! The skiing was decent most of the time, we even got some cold weather and a bit of snow halfway through the time we were there. However, we were still skiing over crevasses, jumping across creeks and avoiding black patches of snow most of the days we skied. The dryland training was almost as good as the skiing, thanks in a large part to a paved track built specifically for roller-skiing. In all, it was a spectacular trip, but coming back to the reality of school was difficult to say the least. For now, I�m back to the grind, training lots and hopefully skiing soon!

Check out the roller-ski track in Ramsau, link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls2WY9AALvw



Der Dachstein!


Andrew and Steffan getting ready for a long burn.


Crowded skiing...


Spandex is the rule here.


This girl is fast!


Same with these guys.


The Alps.


Tourists heading up a 3000m peak...on a pisten bully groomed trail.


This is what we skied on.


Just a little sloppy.


With crevasses.


And dirt.


And creeks.


The trek up to the gondola.


Red Bull! Andrew S-J shows us how it's done.


The Quebec boys keeping it classy.


End of the line.


Loving the roller-ski track, 5 minutes from our hotel.


Trying out a slackline setup on the side of the roller-ski loop.
 
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