Usually when you head to Europe in the last few days of October, you think the temperature would start to drop and you'd witness a rapid transition from Autumn into Winter. All the stories I've heard of undeniably cold Novembers, up on glaciers in the midst of a windy snow shower have been so incredibly far away from what I've actually experienced for my first early season extravaganza. It has been ridiculously warm since I arrived three weeks ago. Today (it's drizzling) is the first spot of bad weather I've seen so far, although thankfully, it is supposed to get colder this weekend. With all this warmth circulating Europe, decent snow is few and far between, yet we've still managed to squeeze a set of races in already. We were planning on heading to Sweden but with the lack of snow up there my first week or so was spent up Kitzstienhorn, a glacier near our base in Leogang, training GS. We headed over to Solda in Italy for a couple NJR GS races to kick off the season. Despite it being quite flat for a lot of the course, I skied well the first day, placing 10th and scoring my best European result of 40.94 points! The next day I made some mistakes which cost me time I was unable to make up on the flats. Having seen that glacier of Solda was in pretty decent condition we managed to snag some training after the races. We stayed on for another three days, smashing in some decent Slalom training. We headed back to base for the weekend, only to return to Solda on Sunday night to continue training as the variety of pitches and flats combined with the solid snow provided for some epic GS and SL training. Next week we're likely to head back to Italy again for a couple days training and another set of NJR GS races scheduled in Solda (this time on the steeper slope!). So far we are managing well, finding the training we need despite the lack of snow.
It's good to be back with the Ambition crew with a few new faces joining the team! Us internationals are beginning to rival the brits in numbers of our full time team. Joining Marc on the coaching side is Tom White, and the new athletes are Floor van Ameyde from Holland, Rudy Dickson-Sommers from Mexico and Fraser Middleton from Scotland. Also good to catch up with Sabina Majerczyk and her coach who've also been training in Solda. Sabina was skiing with us in the New Zealand season so it was awesome to train with her again. The never ending sun has been great but we really need a snowstorm to set us up for the rest of the winter. Fingers crossed that the temperature sticks to the forecast and it snows in Austria this weekend!!