With the weather getting colder and the ski season seeming more and more imminent, around mid-week last week I finally decided to break the question to one of my teammates “So…. when do you start seeing snow on the mountains?” When he replied, “Probably not for another couple weeks. Usually around the end of September or start of October” I felt neutral; excited that it was close but disappointed that it was not “probably gonna start snowing tomorrow!!!! YEAH!!”

So, when I woke up the following morning I was totally not expecting to see tasty looking powdered sugar all over the mountain tops!
Instead, the following morning looked somewhat like this…

Got out of bed, checked my resting HR, ate a bunch of oatmeal, noted the low clouds, the rain pouring down outside and the sub 10 degree temperature, dressed appropriately but then checked Environment Canada to see if the radar would give any warning as to when this kinda fall-bleakness would let up–and that was when I saw it. In the comments about the day’s weather it mentioned “snow line moving down from 2400m to 1800m (FYI: Canmore altitude is about 1300m and the surrounding mountains reach up to around 2k altitude I think).”

It was at this point that my outlook on the day’s workout changed. What would otherwise have been me feeling about as stoked as a kitty-cat facing the prospect of swimming the bering strait in January, now, was me feeling 100% as stoked as an amur tiger eagerly starting upon the trail of a new day’s hunt. A SNOW HUNT.
And just like that a fairly bland, rainy workout turned into an exciting one. As the clouds cleared toward the end of my ski, I got a view up into the mountains from my vantage point at the Nordic Centre rollerski track. And there it was. Snow had sprinkled down majestically, coating the tops of all the mountains in divine white frosty goodness (yum… that description does sound tasty!)!

Taken today! There was more of it last week when it fell out of the sky

Why so much excitement over snow way up high that I can’t interact with at all? The snow is another reminder of just how close we are to being able to strap our boots onto regular skis and take of into the Winter wonderland. For athletes like me it is now a time to reflect and refocus. What have I done so far this year that’s worked great? What hasn’t been so good? What do I need to focus on for these last couple months so that when the snow flies I will be flying with it?

Interestingly enough, the story of my first (kinda) snow-day out west is a bit of a microcosm of my last couple weeks. Since getting back from my trip home I’ve been feeling a bit more tired than I would like, I hadn’t got a chance to mountain bike for quite awhile and our Haig Glacier camp got canceled for the second and final time this year (the groomer broke the day before we were to head up). These facts added up to make a not super-stoked Zeke.
With the coming of new snow, the motivation of an awesome time trial I did last Saturday (a time trial that both Ivan Babikov AND Devon Kershaw were also taking part in!! What joy!), and some solid recovering, I am now feeling ready to take on the world–and of course these last couple months of training.

Me! Offsetting my way up to 2200m elevation at the top of the Highwood Pass in K-country. This was during one of the 4+ hr workouts we did during our supposed-to-be-on-the-Glacier-camp. Thanks to Kevin for the shot.

Moral of the story? Sometimes life will rain on you. Find ways to turn that rain into snow and you will take your first strides out into that snow feeling better, and stronger, than ever.

Dream Big, People!

P.S. Sorry about putting out my Monday blogs quite late in the day for the last number of days. The other thing that fall means is that now on Sunday afternoons I’m not like, “oh! Let’s write a blog!” I’m like, “oh! Let’s do psych. homework!” C’est la vie. I’ll try to change this.


I apologize about getting my blog post out a day later than usual; I have had a pretty hectic, but super-fun, last couple weeks. “Why hectic?”, you say, “why super-fun?” Hectic because I traveled across the country and back, and organized (with the help of many) a running race fundraiser event! Fun for reasons similar to those stated above and because the destination of my travels was home!

One of the advantages of being back home: visiting my favourite Bike/Ski shop!

Shortly after my blog post two weeks ago I jumped on a plane and flew back to the beautiful National Capital District to visit my friends and family! This trip was dominated by the set-up and execution the Nordic FUNd Run (see one of my previous blog posts). The goal of the FUNd run was to encourage younger Ski Racers in the Ottawa area, put on a fun event and raise money for myself and two other top Canadian U23 skiers as we work to afford the cost of training and racing year-round.

The start/finish area at the FUNd Run. Photo credits to George for these two pics!

Huge thank you everyone who supported our event! Thanks especially to Ottawa Race Weekend, for supplying equipment for the race and to Camp Fortune for donating the use of their venue!

Happily, the event went extraordinarily well! Huge thanks goes out to everyone–the volunteers, the sponsors and the competitors–who supported the event! Thanks so much guys!

Although a lot of my visit was spent planning/stressing for the FUNd run I still had some time to have some fun of my own, hanging out with my family! To list some of the highlights apart from the FUNd run…

I played a game of Dog Attack! with my little siblings (the game was actually created by said little siblings) at the local park. The game involves one player being an vicious dog and the other players trying to get up, out of the dogs reach on the play-structures. It was wildly entertaining.

My brother, not playing Dog Attack, in front of the Nakkertok ski barn.

I watched a Billy Talent concert at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa! To sum it up, live concerts are amazing and Billy Talent is pretty much the best band ever.

Just before BT came on! The excitement!!!!

I went to the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the Aviation museum! I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan myself but I definitely appreciate the movies–and they had a Darth Vader costume that was worn in the first trilogy on display! It was pretty cool.

The Star Wars exhibition was inside this rather intimidating looking building

“You shall not pass!!”–errrr–“Keyser Söze!!”–errr–“I am your father!!!” One of those quotes…

Now that I am back in Canmore life is returning to its normal rhythm (i.e. eat, train, sleep–not necessarily in that order). I’m heading up to the Haig Glacier for an on-snow camp on Wednesday, which I’m super stoked for, so look for all the cool details of that up here in the next couple weeks.

Until then, Dream Big, People!

Back in Canmore and stoked about organic quick oats