Harvard Skiing put in some quality on-snow training over the Thanksgiving break. The alpine team headed to Vail and Copper Mountain in Colorado, while the nordic squad ventured up to Craftsbury, Vermont, and capped off a high volume training week with a race effort in the Craftsbury Opener on Sunday. Senior captain Akeo Maifeld-Carucci and junior Annie Harvieux led the Crimson in the individual-start ~10 k freestyle against a small but quality field that included UNH and Williams College skiers. Akeo took third in the men’s race, 14 seconds behind winner Eirik Fosnaes (UNH). Annie started her season with a bang by claiming sixth to lead the Harvard women, 12 seconds out of the top five. We’re excited for the carnivals to come! Full results can be viewed here.
Read on for an inside look at our training camps, as told by two current student-athletes.
Nordic Camp, by Annie Harvieux ’16
Coming back to snow is like coming home for Harvard Nordic. We all need a break amidst the hectic last few weeks of the semester, the flow of papers and midterms that seem to never end and the ground outside that stays eternally brown. Many people go home to where they grew up for Thanksgiving. Harvard Nordic goes home to Craftsbury.
Though our first night at Craftsbury brought rain instead of snow, we were skiing a 1.5k loop the very first morning thanks to the lodge’s top-notch snowmaking and maintaining capabilities. After a good night’s rest in the quiet of the woods and a hearty, delicious Vermont-grown breakfast (secret’s out, that’s why we REALLY like Craftsbury), we devoted the first day of camp to technical analysis and drills—the important transition from wobbling around like baby giraffes on skis to the smooth and powerful strokes we’d be racing with on Sunday.
As if just for us, Craftsbury began getting substantial drifts of big, downy snowflakes, the ones you see in movies, as we transitioned from basic workouts into some harder things. We got back into our element. Fueled by homemade Craftsbury bread and communal naps, plus sea shanties performed by our very own Haakon Sigurslid ’18, we put in intervals, speeds, early-morning core workouts, overdistances, and video sessions. We put in some study time. We tackled some problem sets and papers. We watched a couple movies while laying in piles. Let’s just say we got stuff done.
The week began drawing to a bittersweet close during Craftsbury’s Thanksgiving dinner, this year held in a beautiful new hall in the Lodge. Several teammates collaborated to make some additional pies, which we snacked on after a lovely post-dinner walk by the lake.
Finally, our week ended with the Craftsbury Opener race on Saturday. All team members raced, setting aside the exhaustion of a week’s distance training to get back in the racing game. We rolled out of Craftsbury together in the team vans rejuvenated by our love of the sport, and with great training hours, and memories, to carry back to school with us.
Alpine Camp, by Kelly Steeves ’18
On Friday, November 21, the Alpine squad arrived in Colorado eager to be back on snow again. The team started the camp off with two very productive days free-skiing at Copper and Vail and getting used to skiing again. Unfortunately a winter storm hit Vail after our first day on snow, which lead to less than ideal conditions for working on drills the following day. However, the team made the most of it and worked through the challenging conditions while also enjoying all the freshly fallen powder.
The following couple of days were spent at the race-training venue at Vail, training Giant Slalom. Though the weather was overcast and with light snow, far from the sunny, blue-sky conditions that Vail is known for, the snow was hard and the training was extremely productive. Everyone was working hard and excited to be back in gates once again.
After a day off where everyone caught up on schoolwork, the team returned to Vail for some more free skiing on Thanksgiving day. It was the most incredible day with perfect bluebird conditions and the team had lots of run ripping around on groomers.
The final two days of the trip were spent training at Copper Mountain where incredible snow conditions resulted in very productive training. After an early 6:30 a.m. training session on the last day, the team headed back to Harvard exhausted but happy after a great camp. Everyone made great progress and it was amazing to see how the team improved as a whole. The camp was an incredible way to start off the season and everyone is excited to be back on snow once again.