Here is a weekend wrap up from the last individual world cup in Claut, Italy- the Italian Dolomites. It was about 7 hrs drive from Chamonix and I was glad to travel with the French National Team who were very kind to share some space in their team van.
The course started above town which made for a good warmup. It wove up some old summer alpage roads through the trees and broke out above treeline with two technical sections. The first one was a boot pack where boot crampons were required and the second was without. There was also a fixed line to clip into with a sling. All in all the course had 1840 meters of climbing (skinning plus the boot pack) and 1780 meters of descent over a distance of 18 km. Some of the descending was steep and through the trees. It was a pretty course, especially up high where we traversed a limestone ridge. There were exceptional views of the classic limestone Dolomite towers.
Claut is next to Cortina, normally a summer resort town but they are ski mountaineering fanatics and really proud to host a World Cup this year as well as the World Championships in 2011. There are kids not much older than my 6 year old son who are kitted out in ski mountaineering equipment and cheering on the sidelines of the course. Here are some race photos:
It was a great chance to get to know some of the other teams and learn from the Italian and French and Swiss. This terrain is know for its technical difficulty for skins and I did have some skins troubles on the 2nd climb which caused me to loose at least 5min or so but I was happy with the result of 9th place especially against the tough competition in the World Cup division. The skins are getting re-glued so they will be in top shape for the next race.
The pasta was amazing…and of course the cappuccino’s (The Italians love to decorate their coffee. This one was one of the cutest and tastiest yet!).
Sunday we had great family ski day on the slopes!
Next world cup is the team event in Switzerland. In the meantime I look forward to a fun race- The Cenise Bargy– a combination of ski mountaineering and skate skiing (http://www.cenisebargy.fr/cenise_hiver_home.html)
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next update! (editors note: Nina got 9th place beating three wolrd cup men! MS)