Pause in Training due to Glandular Fever

I fell ill with a bad cold on the 22 September, from which I still haven’t recovered. After visiting different doctors and completing blood tests, I’ve finally been diagnosed with Mononucleosis Infectiosa, also called Glandular Fever, “Pfeifferischer Drüsenfieber” or kissing disease, caused by the EBV-Virus. The disease typically begins with cold-like symptoms, sore throat, sore joints, swollen lymph nodes, then one just remains tired and weak for a month or two.

I’ve been told it’s actually a harmless viral disease, except for the risk of splenic rupture. Roger Federer was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 and consequently had to pause his tennis training for a month. I’m going to pause my training and skiing until my respiratory infection has cleared up. I can only hope it won’t be too long.

My goal is still to compete at the first main women’s event of the Freeride World Tour in La Clusaz on the 15th January. Whether this is a realistic goal I’m not able to say right now. I’m feeling pretty bummed at the moment since I won’t be able to prepare for competition season like I had planned. I’ll keep you updated right here, don’t forget to subscribe to my entries (see link in the footer).

Training and Playing in Wanaka, NZ

I decided to spend 2 months in Wanaka, New Zealand, again this year. I felt fantastic after 3 months training and competing here last year, and was skiing stronger than ever. There was a down-side though: after back-to-back winters of skiing and not enough time in the gym, I’ve started developing tendinitis in my patella on my operated knee. Wake up call! So it’s back to the gym to do some strengthening work. Luckily for me, I’m under the very competent care of Ginny Bush from Wanaka Physio, chief physiotherapist for New Zealand’s Winter Olympics team.

Strength training in the gym

Lots of strengthening work can be done outside the gym too

As a skier, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to train than Wanaka. Freeriding at Treble Cone ski resort, park skiing at Snow Park and Cardrona resort, mountains for hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, 2 fully equipped gyms, Wanaka skate park, olympic sized trampolines, Yoga, Pilates, you name it!

Hiking up Mt. Roy

It's never too late to learn something new!

After a week off skis, I was able to head up to Treble Cone again today on a perfect, blue-bird day. Conditions have improved after a substantial dump of fresh snow of 20cm on 7th August. Temps have been low since then so the snow is still dry. The knee is feeling good.

View from the Summit at Treble Cone. Notice Mt. Aspiring in the background, top right.

The New Zealand Freeski Open Big Mountain, which I’m prequalified for, is on 16th August. Other comps here include the K2 Big Mountain Chill Series and the Export 33 Extreme in Mt. Ruapehu. I’ve decided to compete if I’m feeling fit and strong enough, so stay tuned to see how I go!

Back to the snow: Wanaka, NZ

After having spent 3 weeks in Wanaka last year, I decided right then and there to do a whole season in this awesome lakeside town located on the South Island of New Zealand. Only a 30 minute drive to Treble Cone, arguably NZ’s best ski resort, Wanaka is to be my home for the next 3 months.

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Here I will ski and compete in the New Zealand Freeride Series, consisting of: the NZ Freeski Open Big Mountain at Treble Cone, the K2 Big Mountain Chill Series at Craigieburn and Mt. Olympus, and the Export Gold Xtreme at Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu. This is the first ever Southern Hemisphere Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) Event and I’m stoked to be part of it!

I’m pre-qualified for the big mountain finals for the NZ Freeski Open because I podiumed last year. The finals are on the 14th August, wish me luck!

NZ Freeski Open_Logo

"Pieps" Freeride & Safety Day

Pieps is my new avalanche rescue equipment partner. The market leader in avalanche beacons invited its riders to a day of safety training and skiing in Obertauern. We spent the morning comparing the ranges of the various beacons on the market, both in ideal and unfavorable positions. The Pieps DSP was the only beacon which had the same outstanding range all around in all directions, regardless of how the searcher holds the beacon. It’s probably the most fool proof product on the market. The rest of the day was spend skiing some Obertauern freeride runs – which were impressive – and discussing some new guiding techniques for groups. All in all a great day of learning and freshening up important and possibly life saving skills.

Pieps Safety Training Day