Foret Montmorency GRP camp, times 2

My team (the Craftsbury Green Racing Project) ventured north into Quebec in late October and early November, to take advantage of saved-and-rolled-out snow at the Foret Montmorency. We spent Monday through Thursday of two consecutive weeks at “the Foret”, returning to VT in between to compete in the Nensa Elite rollerski race at Trapps.

Foret Montmorency is a unique place – we refer it it most usually as simply “the foret” which is pronounced “4-A”, an English-speaker attempt at the proper French word for forest. This undoubtedly confuses many a border patrol agent on our crossing north: “where are you going?” us: “the forest”.  The Foret is a heavily forested area north of Quebec City, featuring a collection of dorm-style residential buildings and ski trails, owned and operated by the University of Laval. The Foret is one of only 2 venues in North America that save snow from the previous winter under woodchips, so that they can ensure early skiing (the other being Canmore Alberta). This year’s loop was about 2 km long, mostly a wide swath of snow for skiing in both directions with a tear-drop loop on either end. For our 2nd camp, one of the tear-drop loops had partially melted out so we were down to an out-and-back on that end.

We spent many productive hours on snow, with distance sessions, technique-focus speeds, and quite a number of intensity sessions.

We arrived the day of a huge rainstorm. It was a little startling to find the trail in this condition, but we gamely strapped on our skis and spun loops. The next day the trail had been patched up nicely and was much better.
Teammates Ben and Hallie enjoying a Halloween ski
Costumed up for our ski! It’s not every day that you can ski in a really weird outfit (ie my dress, posing as the oil slick or aurora borealis, or a paint-by-numbers zebra), so we embraced it on Halloween. Left to right: Liz Guiney, Kait Miller, Hallie Grossman, and me
Things snap. Off the trail crash during classic intervals. Luckily this was only a pole, not bones, or my mind… though I did get a bit grumpy with the difficult conditions of camp 1
Nice day for a ski! And yet look at the texture of that snow – ice chunks! Made for some tricky classic intervals.
Quick weekend break from the snow – rollerski racing with the Nensa Elite group up to Trapps in Stowe. Thanks Nensa for hosting this fun event. I was happy enough with 5th place, and my extremely-hard race effort, especially considering that there were highly variable wheel speeds out there (yes, read it the way I’m implying: my rollerskis are slow). Photo: NENSA
Rollerski race face. Photo: Dave Priganc
Camp 2: Rejuvenated by a few days down south, we returned to the Foret with Liz Stephen in tow. It was great to ski around, hang out, and do intervals with Liz before she flies to Europe this week. Here’s a selfie with Liz and Ida acting goofy in the background
For our first week’s camp my skating sessions felt difficult, but by camp 2 I’d made a few slight but noticeable technique changes that really helped me feel more relaxed and comfortable on skate skis! It’s great to see improvements like this, it makes me happy! Photo by Pepa
Not a very thick layer of snow… but it works. The last few days were considerably better than the melted-out first day of our first camp, so overall I think we were pretty happy with our skiing experience.


Thanks Pepa for all the video and coaching – she skied back and forth, staked out the sides of the trail for hours, took many hours of video to help us make technique changes.
Happy in week 2 at the Foret!

We’ve now returned to Vermont, where there’s a dusting of snow on the ground and it actually feels kind of wintery! The Craftsbury Outdoor Center has been able to run it’s 3 snow guns for several of the past nights, and there’s a chance that the snow will be spread out later this week or on the weekend. Then we’ll have more loops, more speeds, more technique videos to review. The season is coming up, and we’re putting the finishing touches on our fitness as we get back on snow and remember how to make the most of winter.

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