Lyndsay and I drove to Cervinia to meet Tara our 3rd on our Patrouille des Glaciers team. She is dutch/canadien but lives in Cervinia and speaks fluent Italian. It was a very windy day- 80km winds at the Plateau de Rosa- at 3840 meters. Our goal was to train together as a team- practice skiing with the rope up and down and sleep at the Rifugio Guide del Cervino- which is at 3840 to get some altitude training in. We managed to get all our goals in despite the high winds and cold temps. The hut was friendly and warm with good italian food. One other PDG team of men arrived later in the afternoon to do the same as us. At first we thought it was just 6 of us that night, but just before dinner 12 Swiss National Team men arrived. It turns out that all of them work for the Swiss Border Patrol- Douane Suisse. They were also doing some altitude training up high to prepare for the big race. It was helpful to talk with them and get some tips as well on training and the race itself. Michael did an amazing job preparing the rope. Thanks to him we were in good shape and got the thumbs up from the Swiss team for the rope. The next morning we were the first up. The wind howled all night and shook the shutters. I managed to get a good night sleep anyway. We set out into very low visability and did some rope training in the high winds. Skiing down and doing a bit of skinning. It was a good training session in tough conditions. To find out more about this famous Swiss Ski Mountaineering Race put on by the Swiss Military click http://www.pdg.ch/
Click on this link to see a very cool inspirational video on the PDG http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8665918782449100195
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