August 15, 2011


Well the summer is dwindling down here in AK, both because we start school next Monday and because the weather is cooling off. So with that in mind we decided to hit the road this weekend. Hope was our destination. It's a small, actually tiny, town across the Cook Inlet from Anchorage where mining was once a way of life there. Now it survives on tourists money. Needless to say, there is some very fantastic scenery.

Sadie and I had to do an overdistance workout on Saturday so we decided to run on a trail that follows the coastline. Scared as we are, we had our bear bells out, but were shamed into putting it away as the boys made endless fun of us. As we began down the trail however, we passed about 10 piles of bear poop in the first 1/2 mile of trail, and they all looked fresh. So, we got the bell back out and began conversing about anything and everything we could think of (luckily, that's not a hard task for either of us). We made it a ways out this trail, but the trail became very overgrown and our fear of bears in combination with the millions of spiderwebs we were plowing through led us to turn around and start heading back. We met a nice Russian couple on the way back that asked us if we had reach the end of the trail. We explained that our fears had gotten to us so we turned around. He took one look at us and said "bears? you guys are so loud, you won't see a thing." We laughed and kept on our way. Less than a mile from the finish, we heard something in the bushes so we stopped and started yelling, it was most definitely a bear. It seemed to be running away, as it should, so we stopped yelling for a moment, but then it began to run again, this time it sounded like it was running towards us. So again we put our hands up and yelled some more. The bushes were thick so it was hard to tell how big, what type, which direction it was going or anything making it all the more spooky. Unsure of which direction was the safest, Sadie convinced me we should head backwards to her boyfriend you was hiking just a little ways behind us. We slowly walked down the trail, yelling and hollering until we reached Jo. Then all of us set forth again, hoping that we did a sufficient job in scaring the bear away. We kept up some hollering and made it through without any encounters. Sadie and I were very pleased to have survived our first bear incident. I was thinking that I had kept my cool and didn't get too scared, however, the evening all I did was dream about bear attacks so clearly my fear lives on.

After that nice adventure, Sadie and I decided to get some culture so we checked out "downtown" Hope. There was some square dancing going on in the Social Hall and many people fishing in the stream. We went to the museum and learned a thing or two about the gold rush there. Both of us came to the realization that Alaskans are all a little crazy because they have descended from people that decided it would be a great idea to move from the lower 48, probably the eastern half, all the way to Alaska. Growing up, we were taught the hardship people took crossing the country on the Oregon Trail, but that seems an easy task compared to those that ventured up here.

Sadie and I on the trail

Looking across to Anchorage and pondering why I drove 2 hours around the Cook Inlet when I could have swam

Sadie's first fish!

It was a great weekend to get out of town and see some sights. Now we are back to intensity week here in town before heading back to the glacier next week.

August 9, 2011


During the first few days of Girls Camp, we had a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News follow us around and put together a piece about the glacier and APU.

Here is the video
and here is the article that goes with it. Enjoy

August 7, 2011

Glacier 2-Girls Only

7 days, 25 hours of skiing, 15 girls, and just 1 small building on top of a glacier.....sounds a bit daunting

I won't lie, I was skeptical about the 2nd week of Girls Camp, that's a lot of girl in a small space, add in some serious fatigue and tired bodies and you've got a recipe for disaster. Turns out this week was the best week I've had this summer, for sure! Girls Camp was AWESOME. The first few days provided some nasty weather, but as the week went out the sun came out and we skied a lot. When we weren't skiing, we cooked some gourmet meals, watched lots of chick flicks, played some fun games, and did some singing, dancing, and guitar playing. Everyone was just exstatic about the success of the camp and the power of training with that many girls. I believe everyone, myself included, was reminded of the power of a team. We are all in the process of brainstorming what it means to have that many fast girls together, what we can accomplish, what we need to do to keep the momentum rolling and how we help to motivate the rest of North America to train and push themselves in a team environment. I believe this camp will most certainly be happening again and after the plethora of pictures that have been going around on the internet there will be way more girls pushing to get an invite to this camp. So with that, some pictures from the week on the glacier!

Nothing like spending hours following someone better....

and getting followed.
Spent many hours skiing with old teammates and catching up! Missing Dartmouth all the time

We had 3 cook crews and every group cooked twice. Without the boys there our meals tended to have less meat and more rabbit food.

The A Star is the helicopter that flys us up. It fits 4 in the back and 2 in the front.

Alpine Air is our faithful band of helicopters and pilots and Chandra (2006 Olympic Gold Medalist from Canada) provided us with live music throughout the week.

We have a serious drying room up at the glacier! Its pretty wet up there between the soft snow, occasional rain storm, and training a lot. When we come in we leave all our wet stuff here to prevent mildew problems in the building and to get a couple training sessions out of our clothes.

Lots of Rudy Projects!

Nothing quite like a team!!!

August 2, 2011

What to do with an afternoon off

During our first week of girls camp, we did manage to get some free time. I took advantage of some incredible sunshine and headed to a very small port town named Whittier with my visiting Dartmouth teammates Sophie and Ida and our local guide and Dartmouth teammate Eric. In order to get to Whittier you must travel through a railroad tunnel that is about 6 miles long and because it was built for trains, it is only about as wide as a train making it a one way tunnel. It is therefore only open for about 15 minutes every hour so timing is everything. We were a little behind schedule on your way to the tunnel so we had to do a little bit speeding and were lucky enough to just barely make it before they switched directions!

The tunnel

Everyone in Whittier lives in this building or a newer one that is close by. There is a couple ticky tacky tourist shops, a couple place to get fish n chip and ice cream and a bunch of fishing boats and thats about it. It is on the north west part of the Prince William Sound so there are barges that bring supplies up and then they are loaded on the train to bring further north.

Sophie spotted a seal

Me, Ida, Sophie!

A traditional Alaskan fishing boat

Eric and his ladies

Hey Char, look, it's your boat!

Dartmouth represent!