View Full Version : Kersten's Blog - direct from Chile

09-14-2009, 09:06 PM
Follow Kersten's week in Chile, right here!

09-21-2009, 09:56 PM
To the degree that you are comfortable with, we would enjoy hearing more about your racing background:

* Masters racing experience - USSA division/town league/club team, favorite races, best results by discipline, regional/national level results/awards, video analysis software used/other helpful training aids, favorite NASTAR venues. How did each training aid specifically help you to improve as a racer (any specific habit(s)/movement(s) that it helped you to correct)?

* College racing experience - NCAA/USCSA team & conference, lowest points levels in each discipline, best results by discipline, regional/national level results/awards, video analysis software used/other helpful training aids. How did each training aid specifically help you to improve as a racer (any specific habit(s)/movement(s) that it helped you to correct)?

* Junior racing experience - academy/club/high school team, lowest points levels in each discipline, best results by discipline, regional/national level results/awards, video analysis software used/other helpful training aids. How did each training aid specifically help you to improve as a racer (any specific habit(s)/movement(s) that it helped you to correct)?

* During your junior, college and/or masters racing experience, did you ever race against anyone that ultimately became or was a national ski team member? If so, who and if you recall what was the highest level event that you competed against each person? What was the highest racing level that you have competed on for each discipline - FIS, Europa, NorAm, Junior Worlds, Whistler Cup, Trofeo Topolino, Junior Olympics, state championships, etc.?

Also, while you are in Chile, we would enjoy seeing videos of you and ski team members doing gate training and freeskiing drills. Please list a detailed breakdown of your schedule for each day and include the names of both gate training and freeskiing drills the team used.

Finally, if possible, video analysis of you and other ski team members with overlay (Dartfish Simulcam/V1 Sports), side by side, sequential (Dartfish Stromotion/V1 Sports), and slow motion footage from gate training and freeskiing drills in the various disciplines SL, GS, SG, DH.

What advice would you give in the following topics? If you happen to remember the source of the advice, feel free to include that as well.

If the advice varies by type of course (GS vs. SL) please discuss both.

Also if the advice varies by level, please use the following levels: First Time Racer, Bronze Racer, Silver Racer, Gold Racer, Platinum Racer.

1. Course Inspection (fall-aways, knolls, terrain changes, trail turns, hairpins, flushes, delays/under gates, snow conditions, lighting conditions, finishing gate sequence)

2. Race Day Routine / Rituals / Warm Up (drills, exercises)

3. Start Technique (mental thoughts & imagery, type of start - kick start vs. pole start, # skating steps, impact of start ramp angle / start ramp length / direction of first gate relative to starting wand)

4. Actual Race (tactics)

5. Finish Technique (tuck, reach with one hand forward to break timing beam, line from last gate through finish)

6. Free Skiing Drills (thousand steps, one ski, Schlopy/Heisman, javelin, etc.)

7. Gate Drills (Wagner, etc.)

09-25-2009, 06:45 PM
Hello all,

From the moment I won NASTAR nationals I have been dreaming of my trip to Valle Nevado Chile. I was checking the days off the calendar, reading books on the culture, the ski area, thinking about what to take, and wondering how in the world I was ever going to keep up with the great racers of the US SKI TEAM.

I am back from Chile now and I am very excited to tell you about my ski trip to Valle Nevado with the US Ski Team.

I left Thursday September 10, 2009 from Denver. When I arrived in Atlanta before getting on the plane to head down to Chile I met most all of the girls that I was going to be training with, along with a few of the coaches. I met up with Kaylin Richardson who is the ambassador for NASTAR and is a Minnesota native like me. I remember when I would race in Lutsen, Minnesota she was there racing as well and it was so much fun to race with an incredible racer like Kaylin is. All the girls were really cool and interesting and made me feel included. However, I was scared to death about training with them even though I knew I was going to be fine and that it was going to be an amazing experience. Once I got on the training hill the first day my fears disappeared. It was such a fun time as well as exhausting.

After arriving in Chile, and after customs it was about 10 oclock on Friday morning and the girls, coaches, a doctor, and I got on a bus to head through Santiago and up to the resort where we were going to be staying. We made a stop at a grocery store in town and it is not really like a US grocery store. When I looked at the prices I thought everything was so expensive because it read 700.00 which in American money is only about $2 but seeing 700.00 on the bottle shocked me at first, so I had to get use to converting money right away.

As we drove I had a bit of a major culture shock. Driving up the curvy road (I will load a picture of) I saw dogs on the side of the road that clearly did not have a home, wild horses climbing the mountain side, and dilapidated houses with gates.

Finally, I see the snow and the mountains. The resort we were staying at was nearly at 11,000 feet which is nuts, and then to ski at an even higher elevation. I have never been that high at resting level; however, the scenery was amazing. Mountains surrounded me in from the world everywhere in turn there was snow and no tress or anything of the sort.

It was a bit hectic when we got to the hotel with tourists, all the skiers from Santiago, and the race teams trying to check in, I was a tad intimidated by it all yet in complete awe. We made it up to the resort by 1 oclock and there was lunch waiting for us. Surprisingly the food was really good and they had a big variety for us to choose from. After lunch all the girls went outside to the pool, laid out, and some even got in (brrr), I was not one of them. We had pretty much a lazy day, got settled, and prepared for the next early morning of free skiing the mountain.

Saturday September 12, 2009

We had to meet at the top of the chairlift at 9 AM to split into groups to free ski the gorgeous Valle Nevado with coaches. It felt as if we skied the whole entire mountain, I got to see so much. From the very top you could see the city, I forgot my camera in the excitement to get out of my room and to ski, but it was an amazing view. Today I skied with Sterling and Megan, we did a lot of drills and I could even tell that after doing them just a few times my skills improved; though I had a lot to work on, I knew I was on my way to accomplishing a lot. There are not many chairlifts; however, there are a ton of pomas. If you do not know what a poma is--it is a single bar that hangs down from a cable that has a round plate at the bottom that you put between your legs and it pulls you to the top. The one poma we used the most that day, to be specific about 7 times, was three miles long it even had a 90 degree angle turn in it. I had such an amazing time, I learned so much and loved every minute of it. We finished at noon to eat lunch at 12:30, for the first few days we were only doing half days to get acclimated. I want to tell you I went for a run or road a bike after eating lunch but to be honest I was so pooped and worn out after even just that half a day I could not even think about moving my legs in any sort of work out. Therefore, the rest of my day consisted of drinking lots of water, talking to my family on the phone, taking a good nap, and hanging out with the other racers.

Sunday September 13, 2009

Wake up call, 6 oclock AM, today we got to train with gates, slalom gates to be exact, my favorite. I was so thrilled to be getting back into gates. Today, I skied with Kaylin, Jessica, and Sterling; we did drills the whole time with a variety of tools that would help us get back into the swing of things. Like yesterday, the drills helped me so much, and even more than yesterday though I could tell I was improving my skiing which made me ecstatic!! I could not have been happier with how things were going. The coaches were even proud at the improvements I was making just from the run before this run or the run before that. Every run, every time I went through the drill course I made some sort of improvement. By the end of the day we had made so many runs I could not even attempt to guess how many runs we took, but I was so pleased with the day. After lunch I actually went for a little jog, but that is just it, a little jog. I am not a runner in the least bit nor am I a runner at that altitude but I needed to move my legs before I could not move them anymore.

Monday September 14, 2009

Early morning training again. I trained with Kaylin, Jessica, and Sterling; we started off doing slalom drills like we were doing yesterday and slowly moved our way into bigger gates. Though we did not get to train a full course, I again had such a great learning experience. By the end of today I practically fixed what I was working on yesterday and now was moving onto something new. I was thrilled with how my skiing just from yesterday had improved and I cannot put the credit to anyone else but the coaches who helped me to get there. Thank you so much!! After skiing today I was not feeling the greatest, I came down with a sinus infection, and had really no energy to do much else besides ski. After lunch I packed most of my stuff I needed to for leaving the next day and finished getting presents for my family and friends back home in Colorado.

The end of my tripĶ Although I was bummed to be going back so early and wished I could have stayed a few more days, I learned an amazing amount and the experience with the US Ski Team in those three days of skiing is priceless. I learned so much, matter-of-fact, that is an understatement; I learned an incredible amount that I will never forget. I gained this experience by winning the NASTAR championship and simply put, it was incredible. From the moment I came down the mountain in Steamboat at the championship and crossed the finish line and heard my name as the winner, to receiving the US Ski Team attire, to packing, to arriving in Chile and skiing with an amazing group of racers and coaches, to coming home from an exhausting yet exhilarating experience has been nothing short of AMAZING. Thanks Evan and all the NASTAR people and race workers for putting on an incredible race. See you all in Winter Park in 2010 for the NASTAR championship.


09-25-2009, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by skibny
has been nothing short of AMAZING

So glad you had a blast! Can&#39;t wait to see your times on fis-ski.com this year!

09-25-2009, 08:01 PM
Here are some pictures from my trip.

The curves driving up to the hotel

Where we were driving too

Only about 1/8 of the road up

The view from my room

Looking up the mountain from the base

The valley looking down

The mountains surrounding the resort

The resort and hotels at the base

09-26-2009, 01:29 AM
Hey Kersten:

Thanks for the blogs and the great pictures! Sounds like you had an awesome time.

Hope to see you around the Forum.

The Bear