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The Judge’s Perspective: The Best Cure For Jet Lag

The Judge’s Perspective: The Best Cure For Jet Lag

[ January 23, 2010 - 10:08pm ]
Freeride World Tour, Russia
When you travel from the U.S. to Russia, the best way to get adapted to the new time zone might just be to ski all day and skip lunch and afternoon naps. Freeride World Tour judge Tom Winter checks in from Krasaya Polyana, Russia, the venue for the first competition on the big-mountain tour.

Jet lag is unavoidable for athletes who travel to Sochi for the Freeride World Tour’s Nissan Russian Adventure. In fact, it’s an unavoidable byproduct of the FWT’s global reach. After all, the events span the planet, and it’s a long way from Krasnaya Polyana to Squaw Valley. So, while this judge didn’t come all the way from Squaw, a good 30-plus hours of travel from Denver’s International Airport to the hotel nestled beneath the crags of Caucus Mountains, did take a toll.

At least that’s the excuse I’m using for missing the first shuttle to the lift this morning. After catching the second one, riding three chairlifts and finding more than 35 centimeters up top, I realized that it was time to buy a Swatch wristwatch with a very loud alarm. Jet lag sucks on powder days and the snow had whipped the mountain into a creamy nirvana of steep untracked tree lines.

But while I still need that Swatch, I shouldn’t have worried too much about missing the first shuttle. I’d beaten a lot of other people to the hill, including many of the athletes and most of the Russian vacationers. They’d show up later, after my fourth or fifth run, and after I’d started to understand exactly what Putin was thinking when he put his considerable political weight behind Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana’s successful bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The snow was deep, light and forgiving. The trees perfectly spaced for powder skiing and the terrain steep and varied enough to make it one of the best destinations I’ve ever carved at turn at.

Better yet, the storm kept tickling the peaks, the shifting light creating stunning panoramas one moment and then socking in the hill with fog the next. It made for tricky skiing at times, but the snow was so good, so deep and so, well, damn amazing, that stopping was out of the question. One last run turned into one more and then one more after that. Finally it was time to go. The clouds opened as we headed down, and finally we could see across the valley. Massive peaks loomed in the distance, with more behind them, an endless parade of geologic masterpieces, all coated in white.

As I joined a few other stragglers at the bottom of the mountain for a beer in the 360 Pub (the après ski destination du jour) our eyes gleamed with contented bliss. It was then that I realized that I hadn’t had any lunch, hadn’t had an afternoon nap and no longer felt jet lagged at all. The cure, it seemed, couldn’t be purchased in any store, but had to be earned, turn by turn, lap by lap, until the legs burned and the adrenaline buzzed.

And, with more snow predicted tonight with clearing in the morning, the adrenaline will certainly be buzzing as the Nissan Russian Adventure is set to kick off tomorrow, conditions permitting. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to go look for that Swatch alarm clock. Tomorrow won’t be a day to sleep in, jet lag or not.

Check out Tom's last update from Russia. Or read his column, Winter on Winter.


This Russian Adventure sounds

This Russian Adventure sounds like a perfect spot for competitive racing. The best judges will always be the athletes themselves. They can compare and contrast the various sites to determine where the best overall skiing results will occur. If Tom Winter is that impressed with the Russian location than it would be good stop for the Olympics. casino online

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