The Silitch Family

Adventures in the Alps and Beyond

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ski Mountaineering World Championships Opening Ceremony and Individual Short

Mom arrived mid morning and we had a nice birthday celebration for Anders. It was a special day for me as it was Anders 2 year birthday. I felt proud of where we have come in 2 years and proud that I was going to the World Champs.

I set off after lunch for a short hour and a half drive over to Switzerland. Lyndsay and I caravaned together and stopped at our favorite store to stock up on some food. You never know what you are going to get in the small Swiss towns and it is nice to have fresh fruit and cereal on hand w/ some PB and J too!

We checked in and did our equipment check, found our lodgings and met the others on the US team. There were 9 guys and only one other woman, Monique Merrell who had done quite a lot of endurance competitions.

The opening ceremony was fun. All the nations paraded in together. The best part was seeing my family in the stands, Michael, Birken, Anders and my mom and Anna. They came over to watch from Chamonix which meant a lot to me.

I rarely get the flu and was feeling in the best shape of my life, but this time it really snuck up on me and the wrong time. I came down with the flu and strep throat all at once on this opening day. As much as I wanted to race on Sunday for the individual, I could not physically. And knew if I had it would seriously hinder my recovery for my other big races coming up. I will rest up for the possibilty to race the long individual on Friday. These things happen and in the big picture it is not a big deal. I have done a lot of races this season and still have the Pierra Menta and Patrouille des Glaciers to come.

I headed out Sunday to cheer and watch. It was great to be out supporting Lynds and the other US guys and the UK guys I knew. It was actually very cool to be on the other side and watch these amazing athletes, many of whom have been doing this sport since a very young age. The mens start was fast and furious. I have enclosed a few shots of the race and a video of the start.

Check out this amazing video of the individual race. It will give you a real taste of what ski mountaineering racing is about.

Individual World Championship 2008 from on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2nd place TSF-Millet Feb 9th and 10th

We had an exciting weekend of racing. Lyndsay and I took 2nd place in the TSF-Millet! A famous French ski mountaineering race. 2 day Stage race which had over 2000 meters of climbing each day and sections on both days with crampons. The weather was spectacular. Sunny blue sky days on both days. It was the real thing in ski mountaineering. You carry all the food and water you need for 3 hrs of racing. We started early, 8 am to avoid the snow getting to wet or heavey and to avoid afternoon slides. Saturday we finished in the lead by 4 1/2 minutes. There were some great decents which was advantagous to Lynds and I and helped put us in the lead. The snow was gnarley....death cookies, carton, iced out moguls, you name it. I popped out of my skis a couple times but managed to hang on. On the ridge, we had crampons on. I caught a glimpse of Lac Annecy over my left side and the view was stunning. A racer lept 3 feet and bumped Lyndsay forward launching her ski overhead. Luckily we managed to catch it and did not loose much time. On sunday we lost some time, Lyndsay had some skin failures but with that we managed to pull off 2nd overall which was exciting for us. The hard work is paying off.

We are resting and recovering now and gearing up for the World Championships which start on the 23rd of February in the Portes des Soleil, Switzerland. This will be an exciting week of racing where teams from all over the world will be competing. We are looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the crew from the States!

Check out the slide show for some shots of of some training days here in the Champnix Valley.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ski Mountaineering Resume 2008

Nina Silitch – Ski Mountaineering Resume, Updated January 2008

● born: December 5th, 1972
● Home town: Sugarloaf/ USA, Maine
●Currently resides: Chamonix, France
● Education: Carrabasset Valley Academy, Holderness School,
Dartmouth College BA Fine Arts, Lesley College MA Ed.

Ski Mountaineering Racing Winter 2008

● Qualified for Ski Mountaineering World Championships
● Competed in World Cup Ski Mountaineering Race Circuit
2nd Place, TSF-Millet- 2 day stage race in France, 2-9 & 2-10’08
● Valerette Altiski World Cup– Switzerland, 1-26-08, 16th place
● 3rd place, Le Verte Envers- uphill, France, 2-12-08
● 3rd, Praz-Sur Arley uphill-France, 2-2-08
● 4th, Torgon uphill- Switzerland, 1-22-08
●5th, Trofeo du Grand Paradis, Italy, 4-12-08
● 6th, Trophee Tete de la Balme- Switzerland, Suisse Cup, 1-5-08
● 9th, Vertical Trophee Gryon- Switzerland, Swiss National uphill champs. 1-12-08
● 14th , Pierra Menta 4 day stage race, France 2-3000+ m each day-10,000 total
● 7th, Patrouille des Glaciers- Switzerland- teams +3994 -4090, 53km

Winter 2007 highlights:
●2nd, Alpiniski des Marecottes Switzerland, 1-28-07
● 5th , Trophy du Muveron, Switzerland, Swiss Cup, 3-25-07
● 6th , Flaine- France- uphill night, 3-21-07
● 8th , Les Houches Khandahar , France, Night uphill, 2-6-07
● 10th , Tour du Rutor, Italy world cup teams, 4-7-07
● Tropheo Mezzalama –Italy high altitude ski mountaineering race- April 2007

Winter 2006
● second child was born feb. 2006 – No racing this winter

Winter 2005 highlights
● 4th place overall in night uphill race series Chablais Switzerland, series of 7 races
● 2nd, Leysin- Switzerland, uphill night skin 1-29-05
● 2nd , Trophy du Gastlosen, Switzerland- teams, 2-13-05
● 3rd , Les Mosses, Switzerland, uphill night skin 3-4-05
● 4th , Les Diablerets, Switzerland uphill night

Other Ski Mountaineering Experience
● Valley Blanche –Grand Envers, Classic, Italian- off piste
● La Toule Glacier-Italy off piste
● Haute Route-Chamonix- Zermatt (2003 and 2005)
● Ski touring and descents in Chamonix, Zermatt and Alps since 2001
● Colorado ski touring, 10th Mountain Division Hut System
●Mont Blanc, The North Face - April 2007

Nina has been in the field of education, sports and mountains since graduating from University. She is proud to help promote women in mountain sports. She hopes that through her efforts in ski mountaineering she will help encourage other women and mothers to get out and enjoy the mountains and in doing so help raise awareness for good health through philanthropy. She lives in Chamonix, France with her husband and UIAGM mountain guide, Michael Silitch of and their two sons, Birken and Anders, 4 and 2 years old.

Alpine Ski Experience
● On snow and skis for 30 years. Grew up in Vermont/ Maine
● Alpine raced at Carrabasset Valley Academy
● Telemark skier -15 years Colorado, Utah, CA, Maine
● 10 years of mountaineering in the Alps
● Began Ski mountaineering racing in 2005 in the Alps
Cross Country Ski Experience
● Captain of Cross Country Ski Team- Holderness School 1990
● Dartmouth College Cross Country Ski Team- 1990-1994
● World Loppet- Birkebeiner 54k classic, Norway 2003
● World Loppet- Transjurassienne 54k Skate, France- 49th place 2005 Elite Women
● World Loppet-Engadine Ski Marathon- 42k skate, Switzerland 2005, qualified Elite women
● Other Swiss races and French night races in 2005 and 2007 (had a baby in 2006)
● Chamonix Ski de Fond Club

Rock Climbing and Alpine Mountaineering
World Cup Ice Climbing Comp. Saas Fee, Switzerland, Speed 7th pl. 2002
● NOLS mountaineering and climbing instructor ’95-99
● Climbed extensively in US both trad and sport- can lead up to 5.10 trad and 5.11 sport
● Climbed in Alps: France, Switzerland and Italy
● Wind Rivers, WY-Wind River Peak, Cirque of Towers- other alpine rock climbs
● North Cascades- Mt Baker + 10,000ft.
● Bolivia (NOLS Mountaineering Instructor Training) + 19,000ft
● Kenya – NOLS (Mt Kenya 16,000+ 3x) 96-97
● Chamonix-Mt Blanc Valley Pt. Lachenal, Arrete des Cosimiques, Brevent- Frison Roche
● Swiss Chablais Alps
● General climbing competitions in New England

Marathons, Running and Other interests
● Cape Cod Marathon 1995
● Anchorage Midnight Sun Marathon 2000
● Paris Marathon 2003
● Countless 10k and ½ marathons on and off trail
● Various sprint triathlons
● Moms in Motion Trail Running Team leader for Chamonix-Mt Blanc Region
● yoga , artist

RUNNING summer 2008
- 2nd place Combleux 18k trail
● Marathon du Mont Blanc 40km June 2008 10th place women
● Ultra Trail du Mt Blanc, Chamonix, Courmeyer, Champex, 100k, August 2008

Past Work Experience
● Director Girls Outdoor Program- Aiglon College, Villars- Switzerland 2002-2006
● Rock Climbing Guide- Atlantic Climbing School, Acadia National Park, Maine
● Trekking Guide- Distant Journeys- GR5 Chamonix- Nice
● Elementary School Teacher- Colorado
● National Outdoor Leadership School Instructor- 1996-2000 mountaineering courses in North West, Southwest, Africa, Wyoming
● Cross Country Ski Coach- Dartmouth College Dev. Team ‘95

Certificates, Courses, Memberships
● UIAA international ski mountaineering licence
● FFME membership mountaineering/ climbing association in French
● Avalanche Awareness, AIARE Level 1
● Crevasse Rescue Course- NOLS, Chamonix, Swiss
● Safety Coordinator Dartmouth Outing Club 94’
● Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) certificate 1993
● CPR certified

Friday, February 1, 2008

Team America skis the Valley Blanche after Kandahar

Chamonix hosted the Mens World Cup Downhill and Combined- The boys and Anna experienced their first World Cup in the Alps no less. We rung the cow bells and waved the USA flag!

Then Team America joined us on the Valley Blanche and got a taste of what Chamonix is really about.

click on the link below to see pics of the race and the Valley Blanche