Saturday, February 15, 2014

Exploring a little

It was great to see Leanne Smith ski again this morning, as I made my way up to Rosa Khutor for the Super-G.
Leanne is heading home in a couple of days and will be home for a few days before heading back on the road to continue skiing in Europe.
After watching Leanne ski, I had a few hours to kill in the mountain cluster before I made the trip up to the sliding center to see a little skeleton action.
So, instead of boarding the bus back down to the Gorki Media Center, I took the long way there. I boarded the cableway at the alpine center and made my way across the valley to the extreme sports park, where I exited and headed up.
Up was approximately 4,235 stairs. It was breathtaking in more ways than one. For this out of shape old bastard, all the climbing took its toll on me and it was also breathtaking to look out at the amazing views surrounding me as I continued to climb.
The stairs eventually led to the Mountain Village, where I hopped on another cableway and made my way down the mountain to the village of Rosa Khutor. I had driven by the southern end of the village numerous times on my way to and from the alpine resorts, but I had yet to really see it.
And I’m glad I did. Rosa Khutor was a gorgeous village tucked away in the notch between mountains, with a river running through the middle of the village and buildings on both sides filled with shops and hotels.
I walked down through the village and eventually made my way all the way to the Laura Transportation Hub, which serves as the start of the cableway up to the cross-country and biathlon stadiums, a cableway I have ridden a couple of times.
But rather than get on for another cableway ride, I caught the bus back to the Gorki Media Center where I killed some time by writing my story on Leanne’s race and watching the US-Russia hockey game on the television.
Finally, I need to offer up a nice thank you to Leanne. I was waiting in the mixed zone when she came through, but before she could get to me, many of the writers for the larger magazines and newspapers stepped in with their questions.
After she dealt with them, she easily could’ve headed out of the venue, but she made her way over and talked to me and a few others who had been unable to squeeze in on her first interview.
It’s great to know that good people don’t always change. Leanne was a great person when I knew her in high school and she’s obviously still a great person and her time was greatly appreciated.

The view of Rosa Khutor from the cableway down from the mountains

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