The Silitch Family

Adventures in the Alps and Beyond

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Skiing at Flegere

Nina taking advantage of the copious amounts of snow still at Flegere which is now open for the summer season!

Recovering with SportLegs
View of Les Drus
The sheep love the snow too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Land & Tour de Suisse- Stage 2

Sortie to Happyland

The Chamonix Judo club spent their end of year outing to Happyland in Switzerland, just past Sion in Switzerland tucked against the wine vineyards in the heart of Valais. My youngest son, Anders said, "Mommy, is Happyland is a place where you get happy?" Surely it did make them happy! It was like pulling teeth getting both boys to leave.

Upon return traffic was blocked by some police and we curiously pulled off the road to find it was stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse. Cool...we got to see the cyclists pass by 2x going up and down a hill. It was exciting, and even more exciting was that Lance Armstrong was riding among the group. Here are some photos from the race.

Michael road all the way from Chamonix and to Saint Leonard- Granges - 84Km and was able to catch the riders coming through. Here he is about to sign on to Team Radio Shack.


Monday, June 14, 2010

The IRON Terrific-

June 12, 2010.... A race apart from any other race.
You have all heard of biathlons and triathlons, this was a septathlon: It consisted of a multitude of events. Normally this race, held at the famous Swiss Ski Resort, Crans Montana in the canton of Valais, is done as a team. 2010 was the first year the Terrific had an IRON division. Somehow I decided to take on this challenge, along with 4 other women and 35 men. There were over 150 teams in the relay division.

Here were the multitude of sports involved and the order for the IRON division:

1. Swimming: 600 meters in a high alpine lake of 14-16 degrees (wetsuit required!) Believe me, you want that baby and make it a full one! I am no expert swimmer, learned to dog paddle when I was younger and can make my way across a pool. My few sessions with theChamonix Adult Swim group have improved my stroke but I am no Dara Torres that is forsure.

2. Mt Biking #1: 7.5 km 750 m climbing on a 10% grade!- Pretty new to this one....still have my Gary Fisher Paragon from 10 years ago- front suspension- but happy to go up!

3. Trail Running #1: 4.5km, -300 m descent and +240 climbing- Love this but managed to get lost on this one and was wandering around for about what felt like 5min

4. Ski Mountaineering: 4.5km, 650m climbing, -90 descent- don't need to say any more here! Love this one!

5. Cross Country Skiing on Glacier at 2700m: 4.8km, -110, +50- Love this!- super fun up high -interesting snow -can we say like mush....had to carry the skis the last little bit. My wax was super fast!! Thank you M! Double poled past many other racers!

6. Ski Mountaineering: Return +90, -650- Don't need to say much here!

7. Trail Running #2, 2.2 km, +140, -127m- Pretty technical rocky and scrambling-Fun!

8. Mt Bike #2 (down) 5.2km, -710m VERY TECHNICAL!- Was pretty much in tears on this...walked 1/2 way down. Did not crash!

9. Road Bike: 19.5km, +560 meters Got on my road by 2 times this season and 1 the year before, again no expert here but I did not crash!

10. Trail/Cross Country Run: 7km +120/-120- Fun run even though at the end, through woods and fields up and down

A few tidbits from the terrific....A gear intensive event! Had to make sure all your ducks were in a row for this one! And needed a trailer to get it all there! There was a lot of calculating on how many gels were needed throughout the race, and which sac to put them in!

Terrific Athletes happy to be done!
Severine and Nina on the Podium. The women's race was tied by the Morretti sisters, some very strong Swiss women in their late 40's (impressive), and then Severine Pont Combe 3rd- member of Swiss Ski Mountaineering Team, followed by Sabine Hammer a strong runner and ski mountaineer of Switzerland and then me! I was happy to finish, not sink in the swim or crash on my bike! Bravo to Yann, our ski mountaineering coach from Chamonix, who took 2nd for the men and to all the others who finished this crazy terrific endurance challenge!

A terrific event, well organized with a great ambiance! See you next year!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Training for the Terrific

Ok, I know how to swim, did a few swim lessons when I was younger, I even did a few triathlons back in the day in college. I think one of them was even .75 miles long. I can't quite believe how I survived that one, but I did. Somehow I convinced myself to sign up for this event in Switzerland called the IronTerrific next weekend. This race starts with a 600 m swim in a high alpine lake with water temps of 14-16 degrees Celsius (58-60 f) . I had to do the conversion too! Yes, just the thought of that part would scare most people away! It sure scares me!
I managed to borrow a full body wet suit, and spent a day at the lake and got some tips from Lynds who is a real pro at swimming. My goal is to just finish that leg and not sink!! And have the energy for the next 6 legs which compose of:
Mt Biking, Mountain running, ski mountaineering, cross country skiing and back down the mt in the way you got up to your road bike and then finishing with a road run.
Lac Passy... A great place to spend a sunny Sunday in the Alps!
Monday, I decided I should probably get on my road bike even if it is just 20km that we will be biking in the race and it has been about a year it has been sitting on the wind trainer at home so...allez off we went on a
Girls ride!

Lynds, Nina and Colleen and top of Col des Montets
Lynds (definitely a rider/ triathlete with tons of ex and already has about 1000km under her belt I think! And Colleen- ex pro team rider and me...I think I have about 15 road rides in me in my life. We set out and had a ball. Road a couple cols over to Switzerland and back. Fortunately the flats were on the way back and yes the girls did a great job changing the flat. I just took notes!