Marie and I just got back from an amazing trip to Hawaii. We were on the island of Kauai for 7 days and had a blast doing everything from hiking and snorkeling, to stand up paddle boarding and just laying on the beach! It was a great trip!
So we heard about this place called 'Secret Falls' from the Kauai guide book and thought we would check it out on our way driving from Lihue to Princeville (where our condo rental was) up on the north shore. To get there you have to kayak up the Wailua river (the only navigable waterway in Kauai) as far as you can until the current gets too strong, and then you ditch the kayaks and hike up through this jungle like forest for about 45 minutes until, out of the deep forest canopy, Secret Falls appears. It is an amazing waterfall about 90 feet tall that plummets into this perfect swimming hole. You can swim right under the falls and take a natural shower, although the water falling from that height creates a strong wind and the water droplets almost hurt as they hit your skin. But it was amazing getting to swim under a thundering fall like that, and was very refreshing to jump in the fresh cool water. On the kayak back, we took another fork in the Wailua river up to a fun little rope swing and swimming hole, and then on our return paddle visited fern grotto, which is this natural 'grotto' with water seeping out of the cliff side and many colorful plants and flowers all around. Back at the kayak rental place they also had a native Hawaiian village. It was cool to see the old Hawaiian huts and learn a little about the culture of the native islanders. All in all a very fun adventure!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Recently I took part in the Mammoth Invitational, a fundraising event for the Mammoth Community Foundation as well as World Cup Dreams. There were 37, five person teams battling it out in Mammoth. There was a dual GS race, as well as a banked slalom, with a US Ski Team athlete as the "team captain" of each team. It was a very fun event and I cant wait to defend my tittle next year of 'fastest run of the day'!
station for dinner.
station for dinner.
Posted By Travis Ganong at 6:03 PM
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I wake up in the morning to unfamiliar sounds. Cow bells are ringing, people are singing and dancing in the streets and the beer is already flowing freely amoung the revelers. These are the sounds I jump out of bed to as I wake up for my third World Cup Ski Race: The Lauberhorn Downhill, Wengen Switzerland.
The previous three days have been spent in relative normal ski racing circumstances with just a few spectators watching us racers complete our training runs on the worlds longest downhill track. By relatively normal I am only talking about the crowd before race day, as the Lauberhorn is not normal. It is over three miles of the most challenging downhill on the planet. The classic old start haus sits above tree-line and all you can see as you look out is the daunting north face of the Eiger, and the massive glaciers of the Junfraujoch. The view on a good day rivals anywhere in the world. So with all of these natural wonders around, now you have to focus and ski DH! Pushing out of the gate you drop immediately into your tuck where you quickly are up to speed and set up for the first big left footer triple turn. There was a huge hole exiting the first turn that caused some trouble but it is relatively easy. Then you traverse on a short cat track and then out onto the spine of the ridge on the mountain where there are no trees or fences for reference. Just wide-open fast downhill turns into the first jump. After the short flight you land on yourright foot, and start a very long traverse leading you off the spine of the ridge and towards a crazy 180-degree carousel turn. Here they made a huge turn to slow you down from 70 mph to about 40 in preparation for this really cool jump through a cliff band, with rocks on your left and below you and a fence on your right. You literally have to thread the needle there between the rocks and fences getting as close to the fence as you can in the air and drop through what feels like an elevator shaft.
Upon landing is one of the most technically challenging section with a compression into a two gate right footer with a jump exiting into a huge bank turn to a fall away left footer where you want to not get pushed low that exits you onto a narrow road. Now comes the scary part. You are nuking down this cat track that is 20 feet wide with a fence on your left and a snow bank on your right with no gates, and all you can see in front of you is a b net fence wall. Here you have to swing way out to the left of the fence almost touching it and then bend up you 215 Dh boards on the flat road to avoid hitting the fence for the first 90-degree left footer. This is followed up by another quick right footer 90-degree turn over a bridge where you come extremely close to the safety pads on the exit and where many people have crashed in the past. These are the famous “S” turns of Wengen.
After the “S” turns you take a deep breath and relax for a second knowing that the hardest part is over. You pop off a little jump coming out of the forest and drop down a steep face and then through the also famous train tunnel into the SG section. By this point you have already been skiing for a minute and a half, which is close to how long most DH’s are and you legs are burning. But Wengen at this point is just beginning. You definitely start getting really tired by the train tunnel and I also remember thinking
Posted By Travis Ganong at 8:07 PM