Alison Crocker and I are out in California right now for the first round of ski orienteering World Cup races this winter, up at 7000ft in the beautiful Sierras.  We're joined by two men from the US team, and a whole bunch of other ski orienteers from around the US (Larry, Sara Mae, Aims, and Terry from CSU!) as well as 90 of our closest international ski orienteering friends, so there is a bunch of hubbub - fun!   It seems that the international teams have brought their top tier of racers, and left the slower people at home, so that makes for some stacked fields.  16 of the top 20 ranked men (in the world) are here to race!  
Ali and I got here Friday afternoon, and have been desperately trying to acclimate.  I have a head cold, which isn't making things easy on my body, but after two days of easy training up high, we tackled the first world cup this morning - a long distance race (27km and 550m of climb for the men, 17km and 440m climb for the women), at Tahoe Donner XC.  Things have been getting really warm during the day, and then freezing up solid during the night, so we knew it would be fast and icy.  We were both on medium-cold grind skis, with Toko blue HF and SkiGO C44 topcoat, not like it mattered in the ice.  
They started the World Cup race at 8am, so things would stay hard and fast for the whole thing.  440m of climb is a LOT, so my plan was to attempt to pace myself - like that ever works!  Every time I saw Ali, she was skiing über fast and smooth, and things paid out for her, with a 4th place finish!  This is the best finish we've ever had from an American at a ski-o race, so we're all super excited.  I was slightly less successful in my battle with the altitude, and slipped from 6th place at about 2/3 of the way, to 11th by the end.  Apparently, when your legs are sucking up all your oxygen, there is little leftover for the brain, and it turns out orienteering actually uses your brain.  But, this is still within the World Cup points, so I'm psyched.  
Tomorrow we have the North American Championships middle distance race, Wednesday is a World Cup sprint race, Thursday is a World Cup middle distance race, and Friday is a team sprint World Cup.  Then we have the US Championships sprint race and middle distance race over the weekend.  This is what we call a PACKED schedule.  
There should be live GPS tracking for Wednesday's race - here is the link.  To check for live results (today there was no cell service, so the organizers are having some issues getting the results online) and other information, the main website is here.  And finally, if you want the play-by-play for our races, you can read about Ali's here, and mine here.  
Thanks for reading!  We'll send another update after the sprint race on Wednesday.