Monday, November 22, 2010

Ski Mo Training Camp

This last weekend was the second training camp of the season for the Canadian Ski Mountaineering Team. We have been long waiting for the precious white gold to come down and we got blessed with precipitation just before the camp so the conditions in the Asulkan Valley @ Rogers Pass were close to excellent for the event. Some team members headed to the cabin early on Thursday just to enjoy a longer stay. As for myself, I made my way in mid-day Friday with a gigantic backpack (maybe not as big as Reiner’s but still) and got to the cabin just on time to have a nice rewarding run down the trees in knee deep powder. We then waited for the other team members to get to the cabin and shared a nice meal. Andrew, Ian and myself then decided to go do some night skiing since by then, the clouds rolled away from the valley and unveiled a beautiful almost full moon. We also wanted to give ourselves a head start by breaking trail for the following day! We had an amazing run back down to the cabin and dreamt of all the turns to come the following day!

We woke-up above the clouds to nothing less then a blue bird day and the valley to ourselves. We skied multiple laps around the cabin exploring the area, looking at the glaciated terrain, taking information on the snow pack and of course making some fantastic turns. We started by skiing conservative lines and built our way up to steeper terrain at the end of the day. It felt so very good to be back on big skis, making turns under the sun in nice deep powder! What a feeling! We all gathered back at the hut for some amazing food once again, sharing stories and reconnecting with one another.

Sunday was a bit more cloudy but still really nice. We first had a quick multiple beacon search (thx Ian for coordinating the search) as Jeff set up a short racecourse for us to practice transitions and technique (thx Jeff for doing that!). We did a few laps just to refresh the memory of our muscles and just to get our mind ready for the upcoming 3 hours race this weekend in Calgary! We then switched the light skis and spandex suits for regular gear and headed back up for a final glory run, packed everything and skied back down the valley. Thx team for a great weekend and see you all the Vertical 180 next weekend for the season opener!

As people were coming in and out of the Asulkan Cabin on Sunday, I realized that people are getting more and more aware of what Ski Mo racing is all about. A few months ago, the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) has put together a great video that showcases the sport and describes very well what it is all about. Here’s what we are training for!

Thx to the ACC for facilitating the Camp!

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