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Yes, the snow conditions are probably not the powder filled runs we've all come to expect. But, there is still much improvement to be made during these less than perfect times.

During my years on the women's US Ski Team, we would travel the world in search of snow and optimal training conditions. This often entailed rock hard, water-injected, skating rinks in the middle of no where. One of my favorite spots of such characteristics was a hill in New Zealand. This wasn't the majestic peaks of Queenstown or Wanaka. No, this was on the shores of Lake Takepo.  40 hours of travel and an entire hemisphere crossed would bring us to an aberration of world cup skiing in itself. 300 vertical feet of one t-bar and solid ice was our haven for 8 days of relentless training and testing.

You can just imagine our excitement after leaving our hotel at 5:30am, driving an hour on a dirt road while dodging innocent, adorable rabbits making a break for it and arriving at Round Hill for our world class training. Our coaches didn't waste any time breaking down our little primadonna-esque complexes and getting back to basics. Drills, painfully slow turns, hop-turns, single ski runs, wedge turns, pole plants and many more god-awful exercises were all we did for days on end.

One run, one t-bar, a lot of dead bunnies and 8 days of boring drills later we had literally broken down and rebuilt our techniques. That season we went on the be ranked 2nd in the world for the entire women's world cup. Even more, we all grew to love the basics and the fine tuning of our skiing.

What's the moral of this silly story? No matter where you are or what the conditions bring you can make enormous gains. Go back to basics and focus on the little things that are weak in your skiing or snowboarding. The annoying habits that we have but are too busy to deal with. Now is a perfect time to address those and when the Champagne Powder arrives, YOU WILL BE READY TO SHRED.

Until then, look for me still working on my hop turns.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Teammate Kaylin Richardson and I are all smiles on Round Hill, New Zealand.

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