December

Congratulations everyone on making it through the year 2014. It wasn’t a bad one for me, in fact it was probably one of my better years so far.

For the first time ever I got to start my ski season over here in Europe racing on the World Cup circuit. I’m used to following the World Cup circuit from back in the U.S. I must admit I wasn’t great at watching the races live but I almost always checked the results within hours of the finish. For some reason I always had a feeling the U.S. Ski Team was racing so much in the first part of the season. Now that I’m the one over here I felt like the first period zipped by. Luckily right now I’m enjoying sprint racing and distance racing equally so I got to start every race, total that was nine starts. Looking back at the nine races I felt like I learned something from each one and I’m overall pretty satisfied. Of course I would have preferred to have won at least a couple but I’m a patient person. Most guys ski on the World Cup for years, some even a decade before they get their first podium. I feel like I have a lot to accomplish in my lifetime so I don’t want to wait a decade but somewhere in between would be nice. 

Sometimes I feel like a beginner over here on the world cup so I thought this picture was fitting. This is my family and I when I was a real beginner.

Sometimes I feel like a beginner over here on the world cup so I thought this picture was fitting. This is my family and I when I was a real beginner.

The last part of period one(early season) races were held in Davos. Davos is a great place, a lot of the American team has spent long stretches of time there; doing preparation camps or just taking breaks from the World Cup. I spent three weeks in Davos two years ago before the World Championships in Val Di Fiemme. I really enjoy Davos, although this time wasn’t as winter friendly as last time. There wasn’t quite as much snow as there should be at this time and so the skiing was limited. Usually you can ski right from our hotel doorstep. This time I did a lot more running from our hotel, which as most of you know I enjoy running so it didn’t bother me to much. I was able to find some pretty cool single tracks to explore. Here are some pictures from Davos:

The hotel the U.S. Ski Team always stays at. The owner is a super nice guy and makes sure we feel at home.

The hotel the U.S. Ski Team always stays at. The owner is a super nice guy and makes sure we feel at home.

It's a very pretty place...

It’s a very pretty place…

Swiss style house

Swiss style house

After the Davos World cups, and the end of period one on the World Cup, we had a two week break. I spent that time in Villard De Lans, where my girlfriend is living. I’ve visited Villard the last couple of summers. It’s in the French Alps and feels a lot like the Methow Valley where I grew up, so it was the perfect little place to get some R&R, rest and recovery. There are a lot of top level winter athletes living there too, so it’s always easy to find some good training partners to show me around. Here are some pictures from my time in France:

Villard De Lans

Villard De Lans

Town

Town

It's a pretty fun town to wonder around..

It’s a pretty fun town to wonder around..

Lots of narrow allies..

Lots of narrow allies..

Grenoble is very close, just a 45 minute drive down a narrow road. This picture is taken right before the road drops into town.

Grenoble is very close, just a 45 minute drive down a narrow road. This picture is taken right before the road drops into town.

It was really fun to celebrate Christmas in France, little different then an American Christmas..

It was really fun to celebrate Christmas in France, little different then an American Christmas..

WAY MORE FOOD! 

WAY MORE FOOD! 

Marine

Marine

Sadie joined me for the last few days, it was sweet to finally introduce her to my girlfriends family and to show her around the area.

Sadie and Marine

Sadie and Marine