It has been a rough start to my Europe trip so far. I am like a baseball player on a bad day 0 for 4. I have yet to inspect a course let alone race. All of my first four races have been cancelled due to weather.
I arrived in Europe on Tuesday, the 2nd, to brilliant sunny skies. From Munich I made my way over to Oberjoch, Germany where we were scheduled to have two gs races. I went to sleep my first night here excited for the next day’s race. When morning came we were greeting with pouring rain. It was not encouraging at all. My only hope was that it would be snowing up at the mountain.
Driving up to the mountain the rain changed over to a wet heavy snowfall. I was rather optimistic riding up in the cocoon that was the bubble chairlift. When I opened up the bubble at the top my hopes were dashed. I stood at the top of the racecourse for 15 minutes while everyone waited to hear if we would race. Sure enough they cancelled the day’s race.
Half an hour after cancelling the first race the organizers also canceled the next day’s race. The decision turned out to be a smart one because it was too windy for the lifts to even run the following day.
From Oberjoch I hit the road and headed for two FIS super g races in Wengen, Switzerland. It was about a four-hour drive. Along the way my teammate and I stopped at the Head ski factory in Austria so he could pick up some skis. Walking into the factory was very cool to say the least. I was surprised with how friendly and open the employees were. They let us roam around and explore.
After getting what my teammate needed we were back on the road in more pouring rain. Shortly before leaving we found out the first super g in Wengen had already been canceled. We decided to head there a day early anyway. I had never been to Wengen or that part of Switzerland before and was really psyched about the trip. It is famous for the world cup downhill that it has hosted for the last 81 years.
The town of Wengen is not accessible by car; the only way in and out is via train. This made for quite the production of getting our equipment there. We pulled into a large parking garage, loaded all of our stuff onto carts, took the elevator up a floor, wheeled the carts to the train track, unloaded the bags, and then loaded the bags onto the train once it arrived. After a 20-minute ride up a mountainside through what I imagined to be beautiful terrain, I couldn’t see anything through the fog; we arrived in the town of Wengen.
We repeated the whole process again in Wengen. We unloaded everything off the train, put it on carts, wheeled the carts to the other side of the train station, and then waited for the small electric car from the hotel to puck us up. When I arrived at the hotel I was informed that I missed an important memo. The hotel owner informed me that the races had been canceled earlier that day. From the look on their face they clearly felt bad for me.
Initially a bit of panic set in. We had no idea what to do. After a bit of brainstorming we decided to come to France two days early and race in a resort just outside of Grenoble called Chamrousse. It was a complete spur of the moment decision. Just a few hours ago we arrived after repeating the whole process to leave Wengen and four more hours in the car. As we pulled into town the sky was clearing and we found a place to stay at the last minute. It looks like things are turning around.