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Back from Lake Louise

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
What a trip. What a result page.

The trip started on Tuesday with my old Landcruiser on a 5ton flatbed trailer behind my one year old Ford F350 6.0L diesel 4x4. For those of you who know BC, I left Whistler and headed to Vernon via the Duffy Lake road, through Cache Creek and Kamloops to drop the old Toyota at my brother's new house. I left the trailer there for the duration too. I stayed the night with him, and while he went to work in the morning, I removed a kitchen cabinet for my sister-inlaw so they could get their new fridge in. Over night, it had snowed about 3 inches, but by the time I left at 9:00am, it had started to rain and the snow became slush. While driving north on Hwy 97, I saw a bunch of cars in the ditch from the earlier snow. Around Armstrong, the slush turned to compact snow, but the warmish temps created a nice coating of ice. It got even more wintery the closer I got to Siccamus with even a snowplow in the ditch. I still hadn't locked the hubs (which is required for me to use 4wd). I just drove carefully. I do have dedicated winter tires with studs. I drove in 2wd until about 3 Valley Gap where I finally decided to lock the hubs, but still did not engage 4wd yet. Shortly thereafter, I saw the remains of a flipped truck towed to a pullout, and just after that a semi in the ditch. Then everything came to a halt. All I saw in front o me was a line of cars and semis. After about 1/2 hour, the traffic started moving again. I finally put the truck into 4wd and made use of the traction and power and passed most of the traffic. It was a steady flow until Golden, but not quick. After Golden, the temp dropped and the snow dried out so there was a lot more traction and I made up some time. I pulled into the Chateau at about 3:30pm PST (4:30pm local time) and checked into my shared room. Then it was booze time.

I had an athletes/coaches/service pass so I ate meals with all the racers. Bode, Daron, Herman, Benni, Lasse were all there. Salmon, sea bass, bison, venison, lamb, crab, were offered in the buffet at different times. Lots of dessert choices too. On thursday morning, I headed up the lift and waitng to get on, Benjamin Raich and Mario Scheiber squeezed through the lineup and rode up with me (I had my last season's Atomic uniform on, I haven't received my new one yet). We talked about nothing in particular... weather in Europe, how they're enjoying it here, yada yada. they asked about MY skis, Metron B5. I went and looked at the course and then had a couple of runs on the training hill. I felt pretty good for the first day on snow for the season. The B5 worked very well on the hard snow. I got into position for the training run and watched everyone and was glad I didn't need to race on that ice. Firm and fast. That night, my room mate arrived form Toronto. Next day was spent much like the first, except the beer started flowing right after lunch, and was accompanied by ceasars, vodka tonics, wine, shots, more beer and more vodka tonics and shots. Race day was gorgeous, except my head hurt, and booze-feet created too tight boots. I thought the fresh air would help, but the altitude prevented the much need absorbtion of oxygen. I watched the first 15 from Coaches Corner, and then slid down to Fish Nets/Fallaway to watch the next 15 racers. This is the breakover where Bode decided to use his third edge in his familiar holy crap style. One of his coaches was freaking out, but once he crossed the line he freaked out again from joy. I slid my way to the finish and made my way into the restricted area. Sunday was cold and clear. I was in the finish area the whole time helping Rudi Huber (Head of Atomic Racing) strap every Atomic athletes' skis and helping him record the ski's info. As the racer left the finish area, he went through a gate where FIS took one of his skis and measured it (binding height, length, turn radius). The other ski came to me where I waited for the other one. The info regarding waxing and soforth was recorded by Rudi and I strapped them. As I was strapping, the racer went into the tent and had a boot tested by FIS for height. By the time he came out, his skis were ready to do his interveiws. At awards, I helped get the retail version of the GS:11M ready for the podium.

All in all, I had a great time and got as close as anyone could to the best ski racers in the world. Had a great chat with Daron. He's bummed about his results at lake Louise, but be prepared for a good showing in Beaver Creek because that type of aggro course suits him better. I got into the tuning room, saw the base patch presses in use, talked to the Atomic boot guy, talked to the ski tuners (all DH, SG, and GS use a 3 degree side edge, the SL 5 degrees) and saw lots of different versions of GS skis with some using true Beta profile, and others more square. The very square 183cm women's version is because it is thinner to be softer than the men's version which is also square-ish, but has a distinct cleavage. Most men's GS skis were over 190cm with turn radius of 27 to 29meter.
post #2 of 19
Thanks for the rundown! Sounds like you had an absolutely fabulous time. I am envious and sure everyone here would really enjoy that close a look at the elite level of the sport.

Best regards,

A-man
post #3 of 19
So, nothing exciting happened? :
post #4 of 19
I never heard of " Booze Feet" before. If its not punishment enough to have a headache and a queezy stomach, your feet have to hurt too to provide reminders of the night before.
post #5 of 19
thanks for the look into a magic life.
post #6 of 19
Betaracer, sounds like a good time. What would be a good starting point for a tune on a 214 pair of Salomon World Cup downhill skis? What does Atomic use?
post #7 of 19
Damn, sounds like a kickass time. Lucky bastard

Maybe you can enlighten me on something I noticed when watching on TV. Some racers (Bode, Eric Guay?, a few others) were on skis with top sheets like the current retail GS:11's, while some had ones with last year's top sheet design. Is there any actual difference, or is it just a different top sheet with the same ski underneath?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
Damn, sounds like a kickass time. Lucky bastard

Maybe you can enlighten me on something I noticed when watching on TV. Some racers (Bode, Eric Guay?, a few others) were on skis with top sheets like the current retail GS:11's, while some had ones with last year's top sheet design. Is there any actual difference, or is it just a different top sheet with the same ski underneath?
Keep in mind that virtually all world cup skis are handmade...all they have in common with retail skis is the cosmetics and that they go on snow.
post #9 of 19
You sure you didn't flip your truck after all, and this post is just a dream from the afterlife?

what a trip report! Sounds humbling and real to be around all those guys who work so hard to make it look easy... then again, you're one of them, thanks for the peek inside the bubble B-racer ---
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FanOZakk
Keep in mind that virtually all world cup skis are handmade...all they have in common with retail skis is the cosmetics and that they go on snow.
Yeah, I'm aware that the only thing WC skis and the off the shelf and general race stock skis have in common are the looks and the fact that they slide on snow I just used the comparison to the retail GS:11's just to describe the look. Still curious if the two different looks have the same stuff underneath or not...
post #11 of 19
maybe they haven't got round to repainting the old DH/SG boards with the new graphic? in some cases the ski may have been repainted 3-5 times if it was fast enough to keep in the fleet.
post #12 of 19
Hmm, that brings another question to mind. How many races will a WC racer ski on a given set of boards?
post #13 of 19
betaracer would probably know better, but I was under the impression, Bode was skiing on some pair of Eberharter's skis that were proven to be a very fast pair.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some of last season's cosmetic skis were used because they are proved to be fast. With the Aerospeed tops, it is not so easy to re-graphic the ski anymore. All the new skis are white.

Both Bode and Daron have use of Eberharter's skis and technician. I don't know who gets first pick though.

All the SG and DH skis have a 1/2* base and 3* side edge angle. What grind is only known to the technician, I didn't get the code book to decipher.

A ski will be used as long as it is fast. Base burn is now repaired in the tuning room with a pneumatic heated press which travels with the tour. Delaminations are repaired at the factory as required. If you consider the punishment a World Cup DH and SG ski goes through in one run, you'll understand that there is a higher than usual chance of delamination as the ski flops and chatters at 120kmh.
post #15 of 19
Thanks Beta, interesting info.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer
If you consider the punishment a World Cup DH and SG ski goes through in one run, you'll understand that there is a higher than usual chance of delamination as the ski flops and chatters at 120kmh.
Or even GS:

http://www.meadowsraceteam.org/Schlo...%20Soelden.jpg
post #17 of 19
Beta racer I hope those were two pillows you had your hand between. Kyle's wife probably won't want to hear about any spoonin'!!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ha!! What happens at ski resorts stays in ski resorts. Jamie has nothing to worry about. She could kick my ass.
post #19 of 19
Betaracer, thanks for the info on DH tunes. We will be in your neighborhood Dec. 13,14,15.
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