Just another blog: ski racing, school, exercising, and a wedding.

If you haven't read my about plans for the 2017/2018 season, stop reading this, and go do that. If you've done that, and are still curious what I've been up to over the past few months, and have literally nothing else to do...then go ahead and take a gander. As I mentioned in those plans, I'm planning on writing more blogs that actually provide a commentary, or some kind of insight on relevant aspects of ski racing. I'm working on keeping my "dear diary" blogs ( like this one)  to a minimum :). Enjoy.

U.S. Nationals

I finished up a season plagued with reoccurring injuries with a solid 3rd place at U.S. Nationals at good ol' Sugarloaf USA in Maine. It was awesome to share the podium with Hig, as we both skied independently from the U.S. Team last season after being teammates on it the year before. Tim Jitloff is also now racing independently from the U.S. team...

Foggy weather and variable snow conditions made things interesting.

Foggy weather and variable snow conditions made things interesting.

Myself, Hig Roberts, and Tim Jitloff share the GS podium.

Myself, Hig Roberts, and Tim Jitloff share the GS podium.

Another Senior Spring..

After U.S. Nationals I was reminded how fun potholes make driving horizontally across the east coast, and I rallied back to Dartmouth for another senior spring.. Well not really, but I chipped away at another term at Dartmouth. After finishing ten terms, I'm just two terms away from the real world flooding my LinkedIn with job requests. If my double major in Psychology and Philosophy doesn't scream real world job opportunities, I don't know what does. However, I think all this school has actually brainwashed me because I'm enjoying my classes more and more every term. Special shoutout to my roommates Nick Krause, and Martin Anguita for being the best condo mates a 24-year old college student could ask for.  Also, it turns out the east coast can be pretty nice during the right time of year. 

The east coast, road biking, and fast glasses, at their respective bests. 

The east coast, road biking, and fast glasses, at their respective bests. 

2016 KiefferChristianson.com and @kieffer_c blog superstar, Ms. Josefin came to visit too :)

2016 KiefferChristianson.com and @kieffer_c blog superstar, Ms. Josefin came to visit too :)

I Have a Sister! (in-law..)

After classes were finished (but before finals started) I zipped up to Alaska to save Josefin from being forced into illegal slave labor by my family as they got ready for my brothers wedding. That's right, there's another Christianson in the family, and yes she's female. A big congrats goes to Charles and Courtney (of all the Instagram hyperlinkee's to follow, they will undoubtedly be the most grateful, they're kind of old) for tying the knot and daring to invite 150 people to Sitka, Alaska to laugh, cry, dance, and have a great time.

PC: @asia.dore

PC: @asia.dore

Brethren. PC: @asia.dore

Brethren. PC: @asia.dore

We got reasons to get fancy clothes. 

We got reasons to get fancy clothes. 

Alaska Life

After months on the road and at school, it felt great to get back to the great state of Alaska. It was made even better with Josefin alongside. She's from roughly the same latitude of Anchorage in Sweden, so she knows the value of summer sunshine. After finishing finals at home, I got back onto a full-time workout routine. I found a new gym in town, AK Alpine Strength, that has everything you need train, Alaska people check them out.

Josefin learning about all things good and  Lyn Ary park near my house  in Anchorage. The, birthplace of my childhood glory at shortstop. 

Josefin learning about all things good and  Lyn Ary park near my house  in Anchorage. The, birthplace of my childhood glory at shortstop. 

Please ask my brother Nicholas if this place looks familiar.. 

Please ask my brother Nicholas if this place looks familiar.. 

AK Alpine Strength 

AK Alpine Strength 

After exercising for hours around Alyeska, the brand new Girdwood Brewery CO has the best recovery beer in town.

Josefin on a long upper winner creek hike.

Josefin on a long upper winner creek hike.

Hammering up to the tram.

Hammering up to the tram.

We finished our trip to Alaska with a little overnight at Lost Lake, near Seward. 

Hiking Lost Lake Trail, near Seward.

Hiking Lost Lake Trail, near Seward.

The view on the left below is what we arrived to in the evening after hiking for a few hours to get to our campsite. The view on the right shows how lucky we got the next morning :)

And a quick jaunt to Utah..

Since I had to leave school so quickly for my brother's wedding, we flew back east to get my car, and drove to Utah to consolidate my ski gear and help Josefin move out of her place here. Since we've been here we've mostly searching for bodies of water and trying to avoid the sun while exercising. We'll be coming back home to Alaska soon.

Stay tuned for my blogs about the things I think may ski racing cool. If you have ideas or questions that could help facilitate a new blog, lemme know. If you made it this far, you deserve a prize.

Thanks for reading,

Kieffer

Enter Rage Academy

Hello Everyone! I'm sure you didn't notice until I started telling you right now, but it's been a while since I've updated this place.. But don't worry! I can confidently say I'm going to keep it more regularly updated with stories from the road this year! If you're interested, I wrote a few paragraphs about my plan for the 2016/17 season here. 

In order to keep a more regularly updated blog, I'm going to keep most of them short and sweet, until I find a specific point to right on (I'm all ears to any suggestions) and keep them mostly to pictures and videos, because we all know nobody likes to read anymore :)

Below is a quick timeline in photos and videos of my life since finishing my 9th (of 12) term at Dartmouth this spring.

Alaska!

After an emergency landing in Buffalo, 3 missed connections, a broken plane, and a forced overnight in Seattle, I finally made it to Sitka, where I could attempt to reclaim my "Island Boy Skills" after 10 weeks on the east coast. (but relax, it's only New Hampshire, not the Hamptons)

The benefit of a nordic skier coming to visit you is you run to find really cool places in your back yard likes Medjevie Lake on the left, which you have never been to. The downside is that you have to run to get there. She also enjoyed kissing dead salmon heads, so it was a win win. The picture on the right is us with my two younger cousins on the deck of ( the "soon" to be cabin) "Surfhouse" on our family island outside of Sitka. My grandfather, or more affectiontly "Daddy's Daddy",  homesteaded the Island after sailing his homemade 44-foot sailboat from Minnesota back in the day before Alaska was a State.

After a nice week in Sitka I spent a week zooming around Anchorage doing errands, meeting with sponsors and chasing my old coach Duffy up Alyeska.

I can't official confirm it, but I think this may have been Duffy's first selfie. We had an awesome time skiing down on our shoes after hammering up..Aaaaand of course I couldn't leave Girdwood without loading up on all-you-can eat sourdough pancakes at the Bake Shop.

Mt. Hood

Rage Academy's first official camp on snow meant 5 days on snow and 2 days in the rain. We did a lot of free skiing, much of which on one ski, went to the gym, and even played golf in the rain. 

Rage Academy may be banning phone's soon

Rage Academy may be banning phone's soon

Trace and Kieffer nailing it.

Trace and Kieffer nailing it.

Bruce not nailing it.

Bruce not nailing it.

Possibly Bruce's first selfie.

Possibly Bruce's first selfie.

Trace getting after it.

Trace getting after it.

Bruce doing intervals with his eyes closed and U2 going.

Bruce doing intervals with his eyes closed and U2 going.

Oops

Oops

You see a lot of weird stuff in Mt. Hood..

You see a lot of weird stuff in Mt. Hood..

We stuck to slalom skis in Hood, as it is a major goal of mine to get my Slalom rolling this year.. And to be honest GS in Mt. Hood is just not that awesome. Here are a few shots and clips!

Photo Credit: Joe Sipe

Photo Credit: Joe Sipe

Photo Credit: Joe Sipe

Photo Credit: Joe Sipe

Our next trip on snow is in August to Australia/New Zealand. I'm super excited to keep working on my Slalom and get a chance to get on my GS boards again, as well as do some racing.. 

Swedish Summer 2k16!

From Mt. Hood I hopped on plane that took me directly from Portland to Iceland, and onto Oslo. Summers are short for skiers, and moving around from place to place makes it difficult to get a concentrated workout block in. I've spent the last 6 summers in Park City, but I decided to mix it up this summer and go spend time with that nordic skier I mentioned earlier (ps she does have a name, it's Josefin). We have a lot of fun training together so far. Our workouts don't usually match up exactly, but we find ways to push each other! Before getting to Sweden we spent a day in Oslo, and checked out a Viking ship museum.

Apparently they call the thing in the background on the left a castle, and in the middle a warship. I have a theory that all of the hardcore Vikings came to America, and the sissy ones stayed home.. Josefin doesn't like this theory very much.. But seriously the vikings ships were pretty badass.. And no trip to a city is complete with some street entertainment (on the right).

Most of our days are spent training outside or in the local Gold's Gym, pictured in the video below..(Spoiler Alert) this Gold's Gym is a trailer that has been made into an awesome little paincave with all of the essentials, and nothing else. Plus you can blast the music as loud as you want and you don't have to wear a shirt :). 

We also have been spending time at her cabin a few hours away, which means a lot of training outside and looking like this.

No gym at the cabin means brining the gym on the road! Here's a time lapse of one one round (of three) of a little power/strength circuit.

You can expect my upcoming blog posts to be much shorter, but probably not any funnier. If you have any suggestions or things you want to hear me blog about, please let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Kieffer

 

A New Beginning!

It has been way too long since my last update to possibly cover everything that has happened since then! Cutting straight to the chase-- I placed second in the final Nor-Am GS of the year, .09 of a second behind the winner Trevor Philp of Canada, and finished 3rd among North Americans in the standings with 249 points. Finishing third means I just missed out on a guaranteed World Cup spot by 5 points. I also scored my lowest FIS result of my life in that race. Needless to say I experienced a bizarre array of emotions that day ranging from feeling ecstatic, to being bummed out, to feeling invigorated and drained, all at the same time. It was the second time I have finished 3rd in the Nor-Am season standings, the first time was two years ago when I missed 2nd place by an entire 21 points. 

It was so windy during the Slalom races at Waterville that the lifts closed and we had to inspect and get to the start the old fashioned way.

This hike made you appreciate char lifts.

This hike made you appreciate char lifts.

Any other event other than slalom would have been cancelled. PC: Kim Bownes

Any other event other than slalom would have been cancelled. PC: Kim Bownes

I had a few more good races to to finish up up Nor-Am finals, U.S. Nationals, and spring series to end the season. A career low FIS result and 2nd place finish at the Sunday River spring series Super-G solidified my world rankings, guaranteeing me a spot on the team next year. I am very grateful for the support I got from the U.S. Team coaches and serviceman I got last season as an invitee, and I also learned a lot about myself traveling and planning my logistics at times. Driving stick shift across Europe with no GPS by myself was an invaluable experience I may never get to do again, but ultimately I am very excited to be 100% back with the U.S. Team. I got to race three World Cups last season (Adelboden, SUI; Garmisch, GER; and Kranjska Gora, SLO) and I am looking forward to working towards racing more next season. This season wouldn't have been possible without overwhelming support from all of my sponsors and supporters, so THANK YOU to everyone who made last season possible! Below is a youtube video with some of my best race runs from last season, and a few random photos from the road.

Training in Reiteralm, Austria

Training in Reiteralm, Austria

Morning leg swings with the boys training at Hinterstoder.

Morning leg swings with the boys training at Hinterstoder.

Me, Rubie, T-Ford, Chowder, Jit, and Mark after a morning of training on the World Cup hill in Hinterstoder.

Me, Rubie, T-Ford, Chowder, Jit, and Mark after a morning of training on the World Cup hill in Hinterstoder.

A shot from the Garmisch World Cup last season. It was the longest GS of the season, with times reaching 1:30 for one run! PC: Agence Zoom

A shot from the Garmisch World Cup last season. It was the longest GS of the season, with times reaching 1:30 for one run! PC: Agence Zoom

Rubie's home made RISK board while training in Austria.

Rubie's home made RISK board while training in Austria.

The greatest card that ever lived. Megacart 

The greatest card that ever lived. Megacart 

Kranjska Gora Start. Good Vibes from Bryce and Ronnie.

Kranjska Gora Start. Good Vibes from Bryce and Ronnie.

After the season I completed my 8th of 12 terms at Dartmouth, so I am officially 2/3 done with College! After finishing school I went straight to Mt. Hood, Oregon for one week of training with the U.S. Team, and one week coaching with Tichy Racing Camps. It was my first time really coaching younger kids, and I had a blast. It was by far the least snow I have seen in Mt. Hood, but it was also the best snow! After two weeks in Hood I drove to Park City where I am now, working out every day getting ready for New Zealand. I am looking forward to getting a quick fishing trip in at home before heading down under for almost a month of on snow training. 

I already posted a summary of my plans for next season here earlier. Basically, as a member of the B-Team I need to raise $20,000 to help cover my expenses. My goal is to score as many World Cup points as possible to establish my World Cup ranking and position myself for a medal at 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. I'm working to improve my relationships with my current team of supporters, while also always looking to expand my team. If you are interested in joining my team for this season, please contact me or visit the donation station. 

Thanks for reading!

K

Restart your engines!

November 14th. That was the date of my last blog post. Since I can't possibly adequately describe everything that has happened since then.. Here's a whole bunch of pictures to fill you in! I am writing from Canada where we will kick off a very important 6 day Nor-Am race series tomorrow. I am rested, healthy, and motivated to ski fast in the second half of the season. I am really grateful to have the support of such amazing sponsors and friends who have made this season a success so far. Thank you to:

Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic clinic. Alaska Frontier Constructors. Alyeska Resort. Girdwood 2020. Alaska Community Foundation and Alaska Winter Olympians foundation. Davis Constructors and Carl Swanson. The Odom Corporation. Oscar Ferguson. The Yarmon Family. Don Stevens. Art Davidson. Ken Eggers. Andrew Biggs, G'ma Faith and many more!

Also a big thank you to the best companies out there: The Tecnica Blizzard Family. Ruesch. POC. Swix. Ortema. Dainese.


Remembering Ronnie and Bryce

As many of you know by now, we lost two amazing members of the ski racing world to start the new year in an avalanche in Solden, Austria. We will never live down the sadness of this tragedy, or be able to move on as if it never happened. Instead we will remember what selfless positive energy each of these boys brought to the world. We will do our very best to support and energize those around us, as these boys did so well, and continue to do as their spirits live among us. The video below gives a good explanation of the feelings and remorse felt throughout the skiing community. Since the accident it has been amazing to see the support and camaraderie throughout the entire team and ski racing community honoring these boys. Ski in Peace Ronnie and Bryce. We miss you.

Link to Video:

http://universalsports.com/video/universal-sports-network-tribute-to-fallen-skiers-berlack-and-astle/


For those of you interested in what I've been up to, and where I have been this season check out the photos below!

Levi, Finland Europa Cups- Nov 20-24

The sunsets and sunrises were just ridiculously beautiful, plus at a latitude of 67 degrees, 110 miles north of article circle, they happen at reasonable times of the day!

Afternoon training under the lights.

Afternoon training under the lights.

Midday morning sunrise!

Midday morning sunrise!

AJ and Mark looking awesome.

AJ and Mark looking awesome.

Awesome hot sauce rack with the American flag to confirm its badassery

Awesome hot sauce rack with the American flag to confirm its badassery

I was told this was the "grandfather" reindeer

I was told this was the "grandfather" reindeer

We got some awesome training in and it was fun to start racing again but my skiing wasn't quite dialed in yet, and my best placing was a 27th in the first GS. The main things to remember from Levi: how awesome the mustaches of my teammates AJ and Mark were, the american hot sauce rack in the grocery store, and how to kiss a reindeer.

Panorama, British Columbia, Canada Nor-Ams Dec 12-19

After Levi we returned to Colorado and took a short break to gear up for the opening Nor-Ams in Aspen. I promptly got so sick I could literally barely get out of bed and was forced miss those races, which meant I missed the opportunity to qualify for the Beaver Creek World Cup. My season was off to a slow start so I opted to go to Panorama for Nor-Ams instead of go back to Europe. Luckily things can go well just as quickly as they go bad in ski racing. Coming into the first Super G I had trained exactly 0 days of SG and had taken 5 freski runs ever on my race skis so I had absolutely no expectations to do well, all I could think about was feeling my outside ski, keeping my hands forward and going fast. I ended up scoring a career low Super G result and best Nor-Am place ever.After the race I realized...waitttt a second, I think we're onto something here! The rest of the series I kept my focus strictly to the movements of my own skiing, and I finished with a career low in GS and ended the week tied for 2nd in the GS standings among North Americans! Pano was a lot of fun, and I was ready to keep the good vibes rolling into more races but I was also very ready for some time at home!

Alyeska Resort, AK, Christmas at home!

It was great to get out on the fat boards and salvage what snow mother nature blessed us with for Christmas. Every year at Christmas I'm reminded how soft ski racers are when after few hours of non-stop freeskiing I'm ready to go eat at the bake shop. It was also great to take some runs in the gates with the Alyeska Ski Club Juniors and Masters.. I get asked where my favorite place is to ski a lot when I am traveling and the answer has always remained the same... ALYESKA remains the best mountain on earth!

Jan-Feb European Race/Ragefest

Every year January and the beginning of Feburary is crammed full of races all across Europe, and this year was no different. Because I would be bouncing between groups I rented my own car, a black station wagon aka The Black Pearl. It was super liberating to have my own rig and I got way better at driving stick shift! A HUGE dankeshon to Johannes Erhard for helping me get the car at a good price!

I didn't have to worry about being in one spot for too long..

I didn't have to worry about being in one spot for too long..

D-Teamer Addison Dvorcek and I arrived to Europe together before some of the other guys showed up so we spent a solid 12 hour day touring Munich by train and bus fighting jetlag and feeding the ducks..Next up it was to the U.S. Team base in Dorfgastein, Austria.. We don't actually train at Dorfgastein but it offers some amazing views and awesome freeskiing!

The view up the valley from Dorfgastein.

The view up the valley from Dorfgastein.

Riding up the veryyyy longggg Gondola to the top

Riding up the veryyyy longggg Gondola to the top

Decent view.

Decent view.

We spend most of our time training on small cow field serviced my a t bar called Hintereit, its 99% ski racers and you'd be hard pressed to find a ski racer in Europe who hasn't trained there. It's an ideal place to train because the snow is almost always in good shape, but personally I like going there to play with the cows..

The road driving to Hintereit

The road driving to Hintereit

Moooooooo

Moooooooo

Adelboden, Switzerland- World Cup

I didn't take this picture, that's why it looks so good, but you get the point.

I didn't take this picture, that's why it looks so good, but you get the point.

Adelboden was my first race since Panorama and my first World Cup since racing there a year earlier. It was definitely nice to have already been on the hill before, and I felt much more confident than I did last year in the starting gate. My two older brothers made the last minute decision to come and cheer me on again too, it was great to see them again! I came out of the gate charging, and had a few mistakes before leaning in DNFing on one of the infamous rolls in the middle of the course. I was pretty upset that I had squandered what seemed like a good opportunity to score points from bib 55. Once I made my way to the finish I learned that in fact bib 34 was the ONLY bib from outside the top 30 to finish inside the top 30 and get a second run. I thought the snow held up ok, the very top layer just softened enough to make the course much slower for the later bibs.. 

Trying to go fast!

Trying to go fast!

Good Vibes Only for Ronnie and Bryce during inspection.

Good Vibes Only for Ronnie and Bryce during inspection.

After the races we got to stay and train for two days on the race hill! It was an awesome experience and should prove very valuable for next year :-).. I'll have to say the hill looked a lot less intimidating without all of the nets and crazy drunk swiss fans cooking fondue along the side..

And then the race tour around Europe began..

Pila, Italy FIS GS Races

Italians aren't as precise about their timing as the Swiss. Racers waiting for the lift to open..

Italians aren't as precise about their timing as the Swiss. Racers waiting for the lift to open..

The view from the top of the course.

The view from the top of the course.

Felt good to share the podium with two guys that  have been scoring World Cup points this season :-)

Felt good to share the podium with two guys that  have been scoring World Cup points this season :-)

Radstadt, Austria FIS SG Races

After my good races SG in Panorama I wanted to continue to get some time on my SG boards so I raced two SG in one day in Radstadt. The course is very long at 1:35, and it is never super easy but never super challenging..to be fast you simply have to be consistent the whole way.. I had some good turns but mistakes cost me.. no podium pic here ;-).

View from the top.

View from the top.

Val D'Isere, France Europa Cup SG

I decided to take the black pearl and rally 10 hours by myself to meet up with the EC speed boys in Val D'sere for some EC and FIS SG races. I spent the night in a little town called Annecy on the way.. After a week in a France I can confirm the rumors, crepes are indeed the best part of the country.

What season is it?

What season is it?

The EC in Val D'isere was once again very demanding, but sooooooo much fun. It had everything from big technical turns, to fast sections, air, and gliding on the flats. I went to Val D'sere to get some miles on my SG boards on difficult terrain, and thats what I got!.. In the FIS  race I actually scored a result too, which is always nice. Anywhere you looked the views were just ridiculous..

Top of the DH run..the SG started just at the end of those flats you can see on the left..

Top of the DH run..the SG started just at the end of those flats you can see on the left..

Lelex, France -Europa Cup GS

I was very excited coming into these races to try out a new racing format FIS is experimenting with at the Europa Cup level before possibly implementing it at World Cup to make viewing more exciting.. The first run is a full length run and a FIS race, and serves as a qualifying run for the 2nd and 3rd runs. The top 30 from the 1st run qualify for the "Europa Cup" and everyones times are erased entering the 2nd and 3rd runs, which are shortened to sprint style. Only the top 15 following 2nd run get a 3rd run.. This all sounded very exciting but the picture below sums up my feelings about the races.. the hill was very flat, the snow was very bad, and I didn't execute very well. Learned some good lessons from the guys who skied well. Onto the next!

Crans-Montana, Switzerland Europa Cup GS (and cancelled SG)

Crans is one of my favorite places to go throughout all of Europe. The views speak for themselves and the SG is super technical..Last year I almost exploded going too straight of a jump in SG so I had been waiting all year for redemption.. Unfortunately, the snow was absolutely terrible and after the GS basically none of the coaches were going to let their athletes race the following SG  races, so the organizers were forced to cancel.. I was hoping they would hold the races anyway and we could have a race with just a few athletes, but alas... It was definitely the right decision, during the second run inspection for GS they had a cat literally grooming the line behind the racers inspecting in an effort to solidify the bad snow.. *spoiler alert* it did not work.. I had a really rough first run and was 31st by .01 a second behind my teammate Tommy Ford. 2nd run I hacked my way down and was very happy to be in once piece at the end of the day. 

Scene at the start, waiting for inspection.

Scene at the start, waiting for inspection.

First run views.

First run views.

That cat on the left followed me down second run in the race line..

That cat on the left followed me down second run in the race line..

Budapest!

After a hectic month of racing we had a small break in the schedule before getting rolling again. Alaska is a long ways from Europe so i decided to go on an adventure to Budapest for a few days instead of flying half way across to globe just to return a few days later.. It was awesome to check out a part of he world that is totally removed from ski racing! I rented a bike and spent most of my time just cruising around town and taking in the views. It was really refreshing to a different side of Europe. Some of my favorite moments aren't the most perfect picturesque ones, but just glimpses of people doing things that seem like normal everyday things to them, but are hilarious to me. Catching these moments are really difficult if you're not traveling by yourself, as your attention is usually at least somewhat preoccupied with your friends. I'm glad I get to spend most of time traveling with friends, but traveling alone is really refreshing from time to time. I was also lucky enough to not be completely alone in Budapest, Alyssa, a good friend of my older brother lives there, and she showed me some cool restaurants and parts of the city I would have never of seen otherwise! Thanks Alyssa!

I arrived in Budapest with no plans and no idea what I was doing.. this sheet at the airport wasn't that helpful.

I arrived in Budapest with no plans and no idea what I was doing.. this sheet at the airport wasn't that helpful.

Jeans on a city cruiser bike is the best way to spend all day on a bike..

Jeans on a city cruiser bike is the best way to spend all day on a bike..

So you can get to views like this.

So you can get to views like this.

Good to see The Mountain Tees have made their way to Hungary!

Good to see The Mountain Tees have made their way to Hungary!

I don't know exactly what this roasted sweet bread was, but it was delicious.

I don't know exactly what this roasted sweet bread was, but it was delicious.

The everything-free craze has made it to Hungary!

The everything-free craze has made it to Hungary!

This couple just killing it with a selfie stick

This couple just killing it with a selfie stick

Pizza delivery man with some plastic bags ducted to his handlebars for warmth. Awesome.

Pizza delivery man with some plastic bags ducted to his handlebars for warmth. Awesome.

The baths shown here were maybe the highlight of the whole trip! I spent about five hours soaking in the outdoor baths and making my way through the labyrinth of saunas, steam rooms, and pools inside.

In conclusion I had a awesome month of January and after a little break, some rest, training and racing I am ready to get back at it in the second half of the season. Thank you again for everyone who has made it possible so far this season!

K

 

Moloradoland!

I'm posting this blog from the Helsinki airport en route to Finland for the opening Europa Cups of the season.. I'll be posting pictures of our reindeer sleigh soon, but in the meantime here is a little update from the past few weeks..

It’s snowing in Colorado, moustaches are growing across the ski racing world, and we’re headed to Finland to race! For those of you not from planet earth, Movember is November’s better looking mustached twin, during which men shave clean on Nov. 1 and grow their mo’ all month. It’s not just a month to make men look ridiculously good looking either, those furry upper lips are there to promote prostate cancer awareness. Last year Movember.com raised $147 million alone. If you haven’t already, check it out and join a team. Ladies, don’t be shy, there’s room for you too. Here are some shots of some Mo’s to start the month..

IMG_6876.JPG

Some guys are just blessed with more masculine upper lips, some guys may have started Movember a little early. There’s no way to know for sure..


Much like the beginning of Movember , Colorado looked pathetically bleak and patchy when we first arrived at the end of October. Unfortunately it stayed that way for most of the time we were there, but we had a surprisingly good snow surface for training despite the lack of coverage.

Downloading after slapping plastic

Downloading after slapping plastic

We had to beat the heat, which meant 6:30 am lift rides

Coffee

Coffee

"OMG Timmy, prof pic!!"

"OMG Timmy, prof pic!!"

Greg and I showing off the Blizzard's

Greg and I showing off the Blizzard's

Daver and Nolan catching the first chair

Daver and Nolan catching the first chair

Like clockwork, as soon as we started packing to fly halfway around the world to go skiing it started dumping in Colorado. Flying to Finland means pit stops in Minneapolis, Amsterdam, and Helsinki before finally landing in Kittila, the town we will be staying in for Levi. The first World Cup Slalom of the season is tomorrow! Women on Saturday and Men on Sunday, below Ted and Mikaela share a snow machine while slalom training at copper... I think the two of them are going to be very fast this weekend :-)

Copper sunset saying goodbye!

Copper sunset saying goodbye!

More updates from Finland soon to follow!

K




Knock Knock!

The season is just around the corner with the opening World Cup in Soelden taking place this weekend, and ski resorts already open in Colorado. As the season approaches we are finishing up our final high intensity conditioning block in Park City, Utah, and I am making a concentrated fundraising push before we get on snow. 

Finishing our last dry land block is exciting to me as a skier, because it means instead of spending 6-8 hours a day trying to be the best at exercising, I get to.. well, go skiing. Being an animal in the gym is a completely necessary part of our sport that I actually enjoy suffering through during the summer and fall, but it's all just a prerequisite to go fast come winter.  Ski season arriving should also be exciting to you as a reader, assuming you exist, because going skiing means pictures of adventures to all kinds of interesting places around the world. My goal is to give a fresh insight into these adventures, and provide the blogosphere with something other than the standard explanation of what I ate for breakfast, what my favorite ice cream is, or how many slalom gates I hit today. (Reader beware: any, or all of these topics may actually appear on this blog at some point this season ;-))

My season is planned as well as possible considering it's October: I'm headed to Colorado next week to begin training, and I have plane ticket to Finland in November for the opening Europa Cups, and back to Colorado for the opening Nor-Ams and hopefully the Beaver Creek World Cup... after that it's just an excel sheet with a bunch of colors and columns of options A, B, and C until March... Ok, that might be an exaggeration, because I actually have a very distinct set of goals for the season, but being flexible is imperative to having a successful season. 

I am confident in my approach, my equipment, my coaches and my teammates going into the new season. I have worked hard to ensure that each of these contributing factors are dialed in and can help translate my efforts on the hill and in the gym into fast skiing. The biggest obstacle I face as the new season approaches is funding. Despite the fact this is not an Olympic season, there is in fact a complete year of racing ahead, including World Championships, which will take place in Beaver Creek, CO. Fundraising is always easiest coming into an Olympic season, but our costs remain the same each year. Last season I used a pre-fabricated web platform to help raise money to fund my season. This season I have elected to use my own website to avoid fees and surcharge, and to communicate directly with my supporters! I have already received some tremendous support from a variety of people, businesses, and foundations. However, as the season is knocking at the door I need to continue to raise money to cover my expenses this season. My current goal is to reach out to those who I haven't yet, for one final fundraising effort to cover my remaining estimated expenses of about $20,000. If you are interested in contributing and haven't done so yet, please check out the donation station for instructions on how to do so, and SWAG in the SWAGSTORE. I am extremely grateful for ANY support you can provide. As mentioned at the donation station, contributions can be made via check or through the website. However, those supporters who are looking for their name to appear on my exclusive training bib, which I will be wearing all season please check out how you can do so here. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you so much for reading!

K

..Here are a few links to get the rust off of those neural pathways you have stored away for ski racing (or watching it...)

A look at my run down Adelboden WC last season...looking for revenge this year ;-)

Ted embarrassing the field 2 seasons ago in Alta Badia. Text book.

And in anticipation for Movember, check out all time great Michael Von Gruenigan making the swiss cheese suit as good as possible back in '96.


New Zealand!

I got back from New Zealand a few weeks ago, so this Blog is a little behind schedule, but I'm revamping my site, and I will be keeping it up to date the rest of the season! It was a great first camp as the new US Europa Cup team, coached by Ian Lochhead and TJ Lanning, and serviced by Nico and Toyo (they don't have last names).. And it's Monday, so check out these pictures instead of doing your work.

Enjoy!...

The trip started out with a BANG when all of my bags stayed strapped to each other, but not to the roof of our our awesome mini-van on the highway. Super coach Ian Lochhead seen here inspecting the scene of the crime, luckily no serious damage was done to my new skis! 

IMG_5432.JPG

Our first day at Round Hill on Lake Tekapo was epic, even though I decided to drag some face on my third run of the day.. 

Round Hill

Round Hill

The weather gods swiftly turned against us after a magical first day and gave us four days of rain. After watching 27 movies and playing 100 games of speedball during the first two cancelled days we traded our speed suits for our swim suits and rallied to the coast to enjoy what felt like summer..

No gym, no problem.

No gym, no problem.

This little guy bit off a scientist's hip, but he liked us.

This little guy bit off a scientist's hip, but he liked us.

He especially liked Mark's music

He especially liked Mark's music

On the 4th day in a row of cancelled skiing we started reconsidering our career's as ski racers for becoming bank robbers. A final decision has not yet been made..

When the sun finally did come out we had moved to a ski area called Ohau, which is an awesome funky little place with a real skiing soul. The views speak for themselves..

Mark taking in the view.

Mark taking in the view.

Freshies!

Freshies!

Bryce being tall.

Bryce being tall.

Summer camp beds, no internet, "tenoccer" (tennis-soccer) games to 100 on an epic concrete court, and lots of animals to keep us entertained.

Lake Ohau 

Lake Ohau 

A few of these marathon Tenoccer games went to overtime, final soccer 107-105.

A few of these marathon Tenoccer games went to overtime, final soccer 107-105.

The Ram

The Ram

Who's who?

Who's who?

After a successful couple days at Ohau we moved to Arrowtown to train and race at Coronet Peak. We stayed at The Turret B&B on Lake Hayes which offered us amazing views everyday, anyone visiting NZ should give them a call! The training at Coronet was cold and dry, almost like Colorado snow, and I made some key changes to my new boots and skis that had me feeling good about the upcoming races. Unfortunately, skiing well in the summer and finding top speed racing can be two different things and I didn't perform in the races like I could have. That frustration compounded with my sudden knee pain didn't lead to any results on paper. I stayed down in NZ after the rest of the team left, to race more in Australia and back again in NZ.. My knee continued to bother me off and on the rest of the trip and I didn't have any results to write home about. But most importantly, I made some critical changes to my technique and equipment which I am confident will come together into speed at the bottom of the course some November when I race again.. Here are some more pics from the rest of the trip.

Lake Hayes

Lake Hayes

Tanman during an early morning at Coronet Peak 

Tanman during an early morning at Coronet Peak 

View from the top of Coronet

View from the top of Coronet

Been skiing with this giraffe for way too long..

Been skiing with this giraffe for way too long..

Skiing in Australia was a fun experience, it kind of had a little bit of everywhere combined into one very unique feeling. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Mama Laidlaw who put up half of the race at her house, AND cooked for us. At the end of the trip all of the boys went Melbourne and saw an Aussie Rules Football, or "footie", game. The stadium was absolutely gigantic, with capacity at around 100,000 fans! Against the strong recommendations of the Aussie's the Kelley brothers and myself are now die hard Collingwood fans!

Mt. Hotham race hill

Mt. Hotham race hill

Luke and I snagging some training during the races.

Luke and I snagging some training during the races.

AFL game, crazy aussies..

AFL game, crazy aussies..

When we got back to New Zealand we had a few days before the races started to "rest." Obviously to a group of ski racers this means buying a car for $300 and jump it till it dies. In a landmark event that will go down in history as me feeling like the oldest and lamest man alive I elected to skip jumping the car due to my series of serious concussion and guaranteed whiplash. Congratulations to Warner Nickerson and Nolan Kasper for spearheading the operation and Adreas Adde, Espen Lhysdal, Michael Ankeny, and some other crazy Norwegians for jumping the thing. 

Mid flight

Mid flight

And she's done.

And she's done.

Last moring at Coronet

Last moring at Coronet

Spring time coming down under.

Spring time coming down under.

THANK YOU to these guys who made my extended stay down under possible. From L to R: Warner, Daniel, Johnny.

THANK YOU to these guys who made my extended stay down under possible. From L to R: Warner, Daniel, Johnny.

Starting my 58 journey home.

Starting my 58 journey home.

This trip wouldn't be possible without my team of supporters from funding it, or without my amazing teammates and coaches, and everyone who helped in-between including (but NOT limited to): The Lazor Family, the Laidlaw's, Warner Nickerson, Daniel Ericsson, Johhny Davidson, and more!

 

I am looking forward to skiing in Colorado in a few weeks and continuing my fundraising.

Thanks for reading!

K

Welcome!

Welcome to KiefferChristianson.com! I will use this blog to share pictures, stories, and adventures from travels this season! If you have any suggestions or questions about the site let me know.

I am currently in Park City, Utah working and getting ready to head to New Zealand July 27. I working on a prep period fundraising to pay for skiing this summer. Please check out the "donation station" for more information.

Here are a few pictures from my travels this spring.

More to come!

 

Alaskan summer sunset!

Alaskan summer sunset!

Getting strong..Alaska style.

Getting strong..Alaska style.

A view from the top of a course in Mt. Hood

A view from the top of a course in Mt. Hood

Beautiful Mt. hood in the morning!

Beautiful Mt. hood in the morning!

Thanks for visiting!

Kieffer