Zermatt British Team Glacier Training…

Just got back from my first glacier training camp with the team and what an amazing week it was! Didn’t really take my camera up the hill much so sorry for the lack of on snow photos but heres how the week went.

crazy as clouds on way to Geneva

So I flew Edinburgh to Geneva and it just so happened that one of the lasses from the team was on the same flight as me which was cool. From Geneva we caught the train which leaves from the airport to Zermatt with just one change in Visp. Hassle free travel and the swiss being famous for their time keeping skills made sure everything ran bang on time!

Visp train station

So the riders that were present on the camp were (no particular order) Tom Bankes, Jamie Barrow, Myles Mcneany, Tom Farrow, Jennifer Osbourne, Maisie Potter and Marlies Neuner.  There is normally one or two others but they couldn’t make this camp. Coaches were Simon Whyte and James ‘Jimbo Airways’ Foster. We were all pretty knackered after long days traveling so ended up just waxing our boards and getting an early one.

Jamie Waxing up!

The first day we were all up early as it takes about 1hr 30min to get to the top of the glacier. Felt so so good to be back on snow and it wasn’t long before the coaches started breaking down our riding to slowly start building it up again. My stance for the past 5 years has been +15 -12 and pretty dam wide. Obviously this is OK for freestyle but not ideal for Snowboard Cross. Over the first two days my stance changed and ended up on +21 -6 and a bit narrower which is a huge difference! We would spend the first 2 days re learning how to carve and progress could be seen in all of our riding.

We would end up coming off the hill most days at about 1.30pm when we would head back to the apartment and grab some grub before doing some fitness stuff. So glad I had been preparing for this since the summer as a managed to hold my own and set a good pace in the running and other fitness tests. We did various fitness sessions ranging for 3k runs to cross-fit sessions.

On the third day we had a 90kmph winds on the glacier which meant it closed. By then we all needed a rest from riding and we spent the day wondering around town and then hit the gym later.

Down Day in Zermatt

No petrol vehicles in Zermatt, just these wee electric buggies. Apparently they cost £50k though!

Most of the team, from top down. Jamie Barrow, Tom Farrow, Maise Potter, Marlies Neuner, Jen Osbourne and Myles Mcneany.

Dumping!

After a wonder round town it was time to hit the gym! Been a good week since I’d last been in the gym and I was almost starting to miss it! Was pretty small wee gym but good chance to show the coaches what we had each been doing for pre season training.

Tom Farrow busting out some squats when he wasn't leg pressing 1/3 of a ton!

The infamous 4 man press up!!

30 second exposure

Gondola in the morning

We mainly spent our time either carving or in the half pipe as many of the skills there are transferable to snowboard cross. The style of riding itself with the different stance ended up making it feel more like hard booting. We did a morning training session at Treble Cone last summer where Kyra Londus taught us few different techniques which came in very useful for this new style of riding.

Coachs, Jimbo and Si giving Tom a few pointers

Tom Bankes about to bust out an almighty Euro Carve!

Most of the team about to stright line the glacier

Maise owning the lads!

One thing that didn't change in my riding was keeping my tonge in my mouth!

Head Coach and Lord of the Mcflurry, Simon Whyte

After the week finished I headed back to Geneva with Tom Bankes and stayed at the Barrow residence which was epic! Such nice family and really nice location. Chilled out in the hot tub with few, well earned, beers and recovered from the week. Next day Jamie showed me around Geneva/Nyon and I managed to not get tazered which was always a bonus!

Lake Geneva from Nyon

About to land back in Edinburgh

On the flight home I ended up sitting next to Shelagh Mcnab who has just started up a new web site (going live in a week) called skiposts which is going to be like a green adds but for resorts around Europe. So if you have any skis etc you are wanting to shift then it could be worth putting them up on there!

Easy jet rating for this jounrey.... 8/10

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