Training has been going well, and things are progressing nicely. Been switching it up between running, XC skiing, and skinning. Here in the valley, if you are running it is hard to get in anything greater then 1,200' of gain. You can do laps, but the two courses with the biggest vert are both 9 miles and 1,200' of gain - not really into doing two of those for a regular run. One is a hilly course that takes me 1:17ish (PR is 1:14) and the other is a standard gentile climb with 1,200' gain over 4.5 miles (the out-and-back takes roughly 1:04). However, to really simulate some good hill climbing, on Saturday nights we have been hitting Sleeper for some solid vert. Last night during the storm I got in 2,200' of gain in just 1.5 miles and :45 minutes of effort. Coming back down in the dark is really fun, with only a headlamp providing light as you ski down. I really find it interesting how much the steepness of a slope can change the time: 9 miles of rolling hills and 1,200' gain takes 1:17 while one long climb and then all down (9 miles, 1,200') takes only 1:04 and can go under an hour easily. I think the variety is key, mixing in long climbs, rolling hills, lung-busting hill climbs, etc. I'm working to get in the 50,000' vert in a month like GZ tried. Seems like a good goal to try for in winter, although it is harder then one thinks. In the summer, this is no problem, but in winter when the big vert runs are all shut down, trying to accumulate 50,000' vert in 30 days can be a challenge. Well, challenge accepted.