Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Evil Eye- Saas Fee

After being here for a few days, we are now getting into the rhythm of things there. I no longer blame jet lag for everything that happens. The days have been beautiful, so beautiful in fact that these might be some of the warmest days I experienced this summer. However, it stays cold enough up on the glacier for the snow to stay hard. Every morning we leave our place at 7am to walk to the gondola. We then take two gondolas and a tram to get up to the glacier; traveling from 1800m to 3600m above sea level.

Thankfully they have a special line for the coaches and World Cup athletes, because the pushing to get onto the gondolas can get violent. When I was 15, I got cut in the line up and had to hold my hand under the cut in the gondola to catch the blood... not fun.
Anyways, once the doors open everyone rushes to the turn stalls that scan our tickets, then we quickly move up the ramp towards where we load the gondola. But it isn't like North America. Helpers do not take your skis from you and put them into racks on the side, while you comfortably take your seat. It is a "free for all", which in this case means... fit as many people as you can into the gondola.



Usually this is much more aggressive, but they shut the gates on the rest of us, so that only those 15 people could fit in.
After this first gondola, we walk quickly to the next gondola and repeat the process. -Just stick your elbows in and follow the crowd.
After that we get herded into a room to wait for the tram... 
It's like herding cattle through a very small gate.
Then we push and shove onto the tram, trying to make sure our bags don't get closed in the door.  

I need to practice this before training tomorrow... Giving the evil eye on command.


Finally, we are at the top ready to ski!
I guess I learned that there are a few rules of etiquette when it comes to squishing as many people in such small places:
1) Showering is a must
2) A little dab of deodorant goes a long way
3) It is not okay to put your hands on both side of another person
4) When close to a person, lean away, not towards them
5) Don't move too much, especially very quickly as if something is wrong
6) And most importantly... DO NOT FART

Our training has been very good these past few days. We bring everything we have to the hill, and don't seem to have much left when we come home.


At this altitude and with the extreme sun, hydration is VERY important.. and it doesn't matter where you do it!

After skiing we usually nap for 1-2 hours, then head groggily over to dryland at the sports complex!

It is a beautiful place to workout after a tough day on the hill!

I have to make sure to never take these places for granted, no matter what my days hold!

After dryland, we walked up to a cold pool to do a cold tub and help get the blood flowing in our legs again.

The cold water was more inviting than usual after spending some time in the sun. 

 But we may have been a little self- conscious with these guys staring at us.

I wonder who he is watching...

Despite the interval training we do in the morning to get to the glacier, it is a beautiful place to come and train.

There are so many things to do and see, that sometimes I have to pick and choose my activities because I am here to focus on skiing and make sure I have the energy to do that.

But there is always time to enjoy the views-



The European houses


 The colours

And the streets of Switzerland

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