Mount Washington Ski Clubs
MOUNT WASHINGTON SKI CLUB
Mount Washington Ski Club creates all-mountain skiers
Last season was a huge shot in the arm for skiing on Vancouver Island: new ownership at Mount Washington Alpine Resort and great snow equaled a rebirth of skiing at the Resort. “The energy was also felt in the Mt Washington Ski Club,” Head Coach John Trimmer said. “Our Programs had solid numbers and our competitive athletes had some great results.”
The Club had a low key off-season, only running one on-snow camp in the summer and another in the fall. This was deliberate, Trimmer said, as it allowed Ski Club kids to participate in other activities and sports. “We are huge believers in the need for multi-sport involvement in children,” he said. “Strong physical literacy gives them the foundations to enjoy sport for a lifetime.”
Fall was full of e-mails and calls from people asking about the Club’s Programs. Trimmer said he spent a lot of time explaining that the Club offers myriad programs for all levels of skiers.
“One of the biggest misconceptions that I hear from people is that the Club is all about racing,” he said. “While there is no doubt that we are a Race Club, our main focus at all levels is to create great skiers, in all terrain and snow conditions. A great skier is one who is balanced and athletic on their skis, someone who has the ability to turn wherever and whenever they want, or need to,” he added.
Coaches use gates and other turning aids in all their programs as tools to help create solid fundamentals, accelerate skill development and increase fun. “Skiing is a lifelong sport and learning strong fundamentals will allow kids to be safe and have fun for a lifetime,” Trimmer added.
For more info on the Club’s Programs, go online to www.mtwashingtonskiclub.com or call 250-897-6058.
MOUNT WASHINGTON FREESTYLE CLUB
Freestyle Club carves out niche on Mount Washington
The Mount Washington Freestyle Ski Club is Vancouver Island’s only Ski Program focusing on Moguls, Slopestyle and big mountain skills. “In a team environment kids will learn turn carving, jumping, rails and mogul skiing in one of the Province’s best all-round Ski Programs available for all levels of Freestyle Skiing,” says MWFSC President Roy Krejci.
“Our Club offers competitive, development and beginning freestyle Programs. (We) provide a fun, safe skiing experience for competent skies six years old and up. Certified training in all freestyle disciplines will give skiers a well-rounded set of skills.”
The Freestyle Club hosted the Provincial Timber Tour and BC Freestyle Championships last spring, where more than 120 skiers from around the Province competed in the third and final of a series of Provincial Freestyle Events. The Club had just six weeks to prepare for the Provincials, as they were originally slated to take place at a different Resort.
“It couldn’t have happened without the support of the crew from Mount Washington Alpine Resort, the parents, the volunteers from other hills, and the mountain staff,” MWFSC president Roy Krejci said.
For more info on the MWFSC, check them out online at www.mwfreestyle.com.
VI Riders Season kicks off Jan. 7
The VI Riders Freestyle Snowboard Training Club’s season kicks off on Jan. 7, 2017. Coaches Bryn Lucas, Evan Fair and Andrew Kondrat offer a combined 55 years’ experience in snowboarding with the club, which helps its participants hone their technical snowboarding skills and promote personal development too. While there is a competitive stream to the Club, competing is not mandatory for Club participants.
For more information, go online to www.viriders.ca.
It’s all about ‘camp’ for the Strathcona Nordics!
The Strathcona Nordics’ season traditionally starts in May, long after Mount Washington Alpine Resort has closed for the snow season. This year the Nordics spent a lot of time camping at the beginning of their season - training camp, that is.
They started with a Spring Snow Camp at Mount Washington at the beginning of May, along with skiers from the Lower Mainland. Skiers were actually able to ski on 10 kilometres of maintained trails during the Camp, following a good snow season.
In July, 12 athletes participated in an Interprovincial, Multi-Club Camp in Kaslo, BC. Three athletes (all BC Ski Team or BC Development Squad) went to Haig Glacier Ski Camp in Kananaskis, AB.
The Nordics held a Summer Exchange Camp with Team Hardwood from Barrie, ON, organized through Experiences Canada for eight days. The Nordics’ Junior Team will travel to Ontario in February 2017 for the second part of the exchange.
The Nordics held a fall Teck Regional Camp for 55 athletes and coaches at Miracle Beach Provincial Park in mid-September. Besides camping and campfires, athletes participated in training sessions and team building games like a roller skating time trial, roller skiing technique session, strength and agility training, forest and beach running - and the younger athletes’ favourite game, Bone Collector, a version of tag.
Strathcona Nordic Ski Club Head Coach Andrea Stapff noted that it was exciting to see so many young, eager faces at the Camp. “The high participation numbers and keen attitude that the skiers had…is a good sign that a fun season is not too far ahead.”
CCBC Para Nordic Head Coach Jessica Heyes brought three Para Nordic Team athletes from the Mainland to train for the weekend as well.
“Camps like this build buzz for our sport, and we’re looking forward to growing participation numbers again this season,” said Dudley Coulter, Athlete Development Coordinator at Cross Country BC.
The racing season started Nov. 27 in Callaghan, Whistler Olympic Park. Other events Nordic athletes will attend this season include the BC Champs in Kamloops, BC Midget Camps in Kelowna, Western Canadian Champs in Callaghan, Eastern Canadian Champs (with Team Hardwood exchange) in Gatineau, ON and the Ski Nationals in Canmore, AB in March. Home events include December Camp Dec. 27–30, Coast Cup Race March 4–5 and the VI Loppet on April 1. The Strathcona Nordics recreational programs begin Jan. 10–11, 2017. Deadline to register is Dec. 31, 2016, but Swift cautions programs usually fill up early.
For more information on the club, go online to www.strathconanordics.com.
VANCOUVER ISLAND ADAPTIVE SNOWSPORTS
Snowfest brings out the best in snowboarders.
In 2007, Julia Tait had her first taste of adaptive snowsports at a winter festival at Mount Washington Alpine Resort known as Snowfest. She was 11 years old. Snowfest is an annual event put on by the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS). The free event allows differently-abled participants to experience four consecutive days of snowsports instruction, including lift tickets, rentals and two banquets.
Tait attended her first festival on a pair of downhill skis. It was physically challenging for her to keep her legs close together and “it was suggested that I might try to snowboard,” she says. She hasn’t looked back since. “I love snowboarding,” she said. “People are often surprised that I can snowboard and they think it’s cool.”
Learning to snowboard has been a process for Tait, who has had her fair share of challenges. “I have a rare syndrome that affects my upper body and arms and I am legally blind and hearing impaired,” she said. “I need assistance with my bindings, getting up and seeing on the slope.”
Sometimes she is fearful of new things or changes, and she said VISAS Coaches understand. “They are very good at letting me go at my own pace - even when I want to go fast,” she said. Tait has already purchased a season’s pass at Mount Washington for 2016–17 so she can get out on the slopes and snowboard as much as possible. Her goals for the upcoming season are to try some more jumping and spend more time on the Eagle and Sunrise Chairlifts. “The trained instructors are key to me being able to snowboard,” she affirmed. “They are knowledgeable, energetic, enthusiastic and fun.”
The 2017 Winter Snowsports Festival runs Jan. 8 - 12, 2017 at Mount Washington. Applications are now being received. www.visasweb.ca/Learntoskifestival.htm
As well as Snowfest, VISAS provides lessons seven days a week during the winter. Total costs for students are kept to a minimum to allow people of diverse abilities and varied incomes to experience sliding on snow.
The club also hosts the annual Herb Bradley Challenge fundraiser (Sunday, March 12, 2017) as well as the Soldier On National Ski Week from Jan. 29–Feb. 4, 2017.
For more information, check out the VISAS website at www.visasweb.ca or call Peter at 416-363-4972.
VI BIATHLON CLUB
Biathlon: Where Skiing and Shooting Intersects!
The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club is looking forward to a solid season ahead of them, thanks to increased participation from parents, spokesperson Christoph Dettling said. “We will be offering not only the usual two Programs; Bears and Masters, but also a new Program: the Competitive Youth Program.”
For the first two Programs, no previous experience is necessary, although prior skiing experience is helpful, Dettling said. “While Biathlon consists of skiing and shooting, it is quite unlike these activities separately. That is, all out skiing does not demand of the athlete to suddenly slow down one’s pace and mindset as when coming into the range to shoot.
“In the same vein, marksmen do not have to worry about having to shoot with a pulse of 160 beats per minute. Thus, I would define the sport of biathlon as that intersecting point between skiing and shooting.”
VI Biathlon Coaches encourage participants to look to the Strathcona Nordics’ skiing Programs for extra practice. “We have specifically scheduled our Programs so that folks looking to get in some skiing practice too won’t have to worry about schedule conflicts.”
As with other Clubs at Mount Washington, VI Biathlon offers both competitive and non-competitive streams. Athletes have the opportunity to attend BC Cup Races, but they aren’t mandatory, says Dettling.
The Club will offer two fun races at the range on Mount Washington so athletes can test their newly-minted skills. “Parents may be worried about their children handling firearms,” Dettling said. “Marksmanship isn’t about violence. Rather, it’s about developing a calm mind, awareness of your body and the ability to perform under pressure. These are skills that biathletes will be able to use for the rest of their lives.”
Complete descriptions of all the Club’s Programs as well as registration information can be found at www.vibiathlon.ca/programs.