Lindsey Vonn wins 3 world Cup titles!
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Europe (Friday March 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm)

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Vonn in women’s Super Combined

Photo: Agence Zoom
Vonn’s recent winning streak shows that she has recovered from her earlier concussion plus more!

In the past week, she placed second in  the Super-Combined in Tarvisio to win the World Cup  Super-Combined Title.

This video shows her first run in Tarvisio, Italy.

the next day, Vonn clinched the World Cup Downhill title by placing second in the Downhill in Tarvisio, which gave her 600 points over Riesch’s 457 in the downhill standings.

The video of her run  is particularly interesting in that it discusses how she must be more subtle in her skiing, and how once she makes a mistake by getting her wight on the inside ski. Sweden’s Anja Paerson won the Downhill, with World Champion Elisabeth Goergl in third place.

On day three, Vonn  won the World Cup Super-G in Tarvisio to clinch the World Cup Super-G Title - three titles in three days!

Julia Mancuso placed second, and Maria Riesch came in third.
The video of this race shows her turns particularly well - note how she jumps onto her new edges in one turn, how early the edge changes occur, and also watch the discussion of tactics and line.

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Vonn in the Super-G - note the edge angle at the beginning of the turn
Photo: Agence Zoom

Screw shoes for hiking and running on snow or ice
Posted by sibylle in ice, Germany, Switzerland, Europe, Colorado, Idaho, Canada and PNW (Thursday February 24, 2011 at 11:14 am)


My running shoes with screws added for traction

Two years ago, my son made me  “screw shoes” for Christmas (when he asked what I wanted, I said that I wanted  “screw shoes”). I hike in these even in snow, by using gaiters over the show and a vapor barrier inside the shoe. This can be a fancy vapor barrier liner sock, as made by several suppliers, or as simple as a plastic bag. I use grocery bags over my socks, which keeps my feet dry and warm down to zero degrees.

You can also turn hiking boots into screw shoes, and simply remove the screws in spring. I like running on snowy trails, so I use running shoes.

I’ve had the above pair of screw shoes for two years now, and they’ve held up well. Use a relatively new running shoe, with a thick sole, and make sure the screws are short (about 3/8 inch), so as to not feel them

Other outdoor hikers prefer the Yaktrax,  or the Kahtoola MICROspikes work with a heavier hiking boot, but I like traveling light and fast.

Matt Carpenter, 17-time winner of Pikes Peak ascents and marathons,  describes how to make a screw shoe on his website.

Tina Maze, Slovenia, wins gold in GS at Worlds
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Germany, Europe (Thursday February 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm)


Tina Maze in the Giant slalom, Alpine World Championships
Photo - Agence Zoom
Maze is the first person from Slovenia to win a gold medal in alpine skiing at a World Championships or Olympics. Federica Brignone of Italy, and 0.48 in front of Tessa Worley of France placed second and third, respectively. Julia Mancuso, at  16th, was the top American finisher in the World Alpine championships in Garmisch, Germany.

Lindsey Vonn, still suffering  from a concussion she sustained several days ago, withdrew from her remaining events at the world championships.


Tessa Worley, France, in GS

Photo , Agence Zoom

Worley was considered a favorite to win the giant slalom, but in a race where hundredths, or tenths of seconds separate first and second place, changing  snow conditions during the course of a race can have a huge effect.
For the ski students and aspiring racers, note the high edge angle of Maze’s and Worley’s skis. Maze is still above the gate in this photo, and if you think of a turn a part of a circle, she’s between the 12 o’clock and three o’clock position.  This means that she has moved onto her new edges before crossing the fall line.

In lessons, we talk about getting onto the new ski edge — here you see world champion  examples of getting onto that edge.

The men’s GS and slalom will be among the next events.

Goergl wins Downhill at Ski World Championships
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Germany, Europe (Tuesday February 15, 2011 at 11:07 am)

Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl won her second gold medal in the Alpine Ski World Championships.


Goergl’s winning run in the Downhill

AP photo

Goergl defeated favorites Lindsey Vonn and Maria Riesch to become the first woman besides Riesch and Vonn to win  a  top-level downhill in two years. Vonn, despite suffering from a concussion after a February 2 crash, won the silver and Riesch placed third to win the bronze.

Julia Mancuso, who won silver in the Super-G, placed sixth in the downhill and Laurenne Ross was 10th, giving the U.S. three top-10 finishers in the world championships.

Austria’s Goergl wins women’s Super-G
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Germany, Europe (Sunday February 13, 2011 at 11:02 am)

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Goergl’s winning run in the Super-G in Garmisch
AP Photo

Elisabeth Goergl won the Super-G,  first race of the 2011 World Championships, in Garmisch, Germany with Julia Mancuso (USA) in second place, and Maria Riesch (Germany) in third.

Most expected that  Riesch or three-time  World Cup champion Vonn would win, but Lindsey Vonn suffered a concussion  on Feb. 2 when she crashed training GS in Hintereit, Austria. She posted a video of her crash in which you can see that she hit her head so hard that it bounced.  After this crash, she skipped the Slalom and GS in Zwiesel on February fourth and fifth.

Vonn raced the Super-G, despite not recovering fully from her concussion, to place seventh.
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Vonn racing in the Downhill, Garmisch

AP photo

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Vonn’s training helps her win Super-G in Cortina
Posted by sibylle in Italy, skiing, women, Europe (Monday January 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm)


Lindsey Vonn on her way to win the Super-G

AP photo

Vonn beat her closest competitor, Maria Riesch, by 0.05 seconds to win her second Super-G only a day after spraining her MCL during the Cortina Downhill race.

Riesch won the Downhill, during which Vonn lost control and narrowly avoided crashing.

I watched videos of both the Downhill and the Super-G and found her recovery from the near crash close to miraculous.

Vonn ascribes her ability to recover - and also her tendency to nearly crash — to being much stronger as a result of her training program.

Vonn trains 6 - 8 hours daily, 6 days per week, including 3 hours of cardio, often riding a bike uphill in the alps.

Her workout includes squats, deadlifts, and cleans.

AP photo of Vonn - Val-d’Isere Downhill

At 5′10″ and weighing 160 pounds, Vonn is also one of tallest and heaviest  female racers, and this size gives her an advantage in Downhill races.

Lindsey Vonn wins 2 out of 3 in Italy
Posted by sibylle in Italy, skiing, women, Europe (Sunday January 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm)


Julia Mancuso racing the Super-G

Photo from Getty images

Vonn  won the Super-G in Cortina, Italy on January 21, with  teammate Julia Mancuso in fourth place.

On Saturday, January 22, Maria Riesch won the Downhill, with Mancuso in second place and Vonn in third.

Most amazing was Vonn’s recovery after catching an edge and looking about to crash (see video).  Vonn said it was “the best recovery I’ve ever made.”

Her leg twisted severely  sideways after catching an edge left her with a sprained MCL in her knee.

A sprained MCL didn’t stop her from racing Sunday –  and Vonn won another Super-G!  Watch the video of the race - the reporter mentions how her angulation gives her more power.

Skiers  who’ve taken lessons with me will have heard me talk about angulation, and here you can hear about it at a world class level.

Also note in  the photo of Mancuso how forward she keeps her hands.


Mancuso placed 4th in this Super G

Photo, Getty Images

US Women ski Racers Rock!
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Europe (Monday January 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm)


AP photo of Lindsey Vonn winning the World Cup super-G

in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Lindsey Vonn, named 2010 AP female athlete of the year, continues winning races this year (second place female athlete was the horse Zenyatta).

In the 2010 Olympics, Vonn became the first US woman to win a gold in the Downhill, plus a bronze in the Super G.

In Zauchensee, she won the DH and came second in the Super G.


AP photo of  Julia Mancuso in Semmering, Austria

Mancuso came 5th in the Semmering,  Austria GS with  Vonn in 7th place. France’s Tessa Worley won  third consecutive GS for 2011.

Vonn placed 3rd in the Semmering Slalom, which Maria Riesch won.

Next will be a slalom race in Flachau, Austria on Tuesday night. Vonn and Mancuso both hope for podiums, though Vonn hasn’t been racing well in Slalom. She hopes that she’ll do well since it’s a night race, and she loves racing under the lights.

Marlies Schild  won every slalom but one so far this season  and Riesch has four 2nd places, so Vonn and Mancuso will face tough competition.

Watch either videos of the races on Universal sports, or see a slide show.

To skiers who take lessons with me, I’d like to point out some things in the photos above.

Note the high edge angle of Vonn’s skis. To achieve such a  high edge angle ( needed at high speed and on an icy, steep slope, the racers also use angulation, especially apparent in the photo of Mancuso.

Watch videos of these races and others to get an idea of skiing at its best!

German Christmas books again
Posted by sibylle in skiing, Germany, Europe, Colorado (Tuesday December 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm)

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In Germany, instead of reindeer pulling  the sled in which Santa rides, he walks through the night, an angel by his side. He carries the toys in a patched sack, while hiking through deep snow.

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On Christmas eve, December 24, the Christ child (Christkind, or Christkindl in Bavarian) brings presents for the children.

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The day after Christmas, the children  play outside, skating, sledding and trying their new skis.

I’ve definitely played outside most days on, and  after Christmas, on nordic or alpine skis!

When Tristan was growing up, I took Christmas day off work (teaching ski lessons) to ski with the family at Vail or Beaver Creek.

This year, Tristan has a broken leg, but we hope that he can try double-poling on the nordic track in Frisco on New Year’s Day.

Park Guell, Gaudi museum again
Posted by sibylle in Spain, Europe (Saturday March 14, 2009 at 9:54 am)

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Guell museum

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Roof detail

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