Monday, December 5, 2011

Back in Europe and praying for snow

After loading up my ski bag with boxes and boxes of Carmen’s muesli bars, Milo, and some Cadbury hazelnut chocolate (the good stuff…), I am all set for the four-month winter season ahead.

Last Tuesday I left Melbourne at a sunny 35 degrees, and arrived in Munich where it was just below zero. A bit of a shock to the body at first, but it’s not particularly cold for Europe at this time of year. In fact there’s not much snow at all. It doesn’t look like it’s snowed once since we left Europe back in October.

(Something cute I saw in Austria during my travels...)

(Marcos and the van)

(It's times like these when I wish I did beach volleyball. All I'd need is a couple pairs of bathers instead of all of this!)

Luckily, there’s still snow sitting up on the glaciers above 3,200m. We went back to Stubai glacier for a few days of training, and now we’re in Saas Fee, Switzerland. I’ve skied a few glaciers over the past few years… Stubai, Hintertux, Molltaller, Blackcomb, just to name a few, but I’ve never experienced anything like Saas Fee. The sheer size of this glacier is spectacular. Blue ice walls that extend for hundreds of metres above sheer rock cliffs looks like something out of an Everest movie. It’s almost like a surreal lunar experience, being up on the glacier with hardly anyone around and an endless expanse of snow, rock shelves and ice.

(Sass Fee, Switzerland)

 (Check out the ice wall behind the t-bar station)

(Not a bad view when you're in the start gate)

(The clouds creeping up)

(Sami, Nick and Anton crammed into the electric car 'commuter' in Saas Fee)

We’re here training on a ski cross track with the Swiss and Swedish National Teams, in preparation for the first world cup of the season which is in just under two weeks away now.

Fingers crossed Europe gets some more snow before then, otherwise it could be an interesting race!