Mount Washington Ski Clubs
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is the home mountain for a number of ski and snowboard clubs, and they are a busy bunch. Here’s what they’ll be up to in the 2017-18 season...
MOUNT WASHINGTON FREESTYLE CLUB
“Growth in all programs has exploded and energy and enthusiasm are at all-time highs! It’s amazing what two bad snow years can do to skiing on the Island though and how deeply it can affect a club,” he said.
“While numbers and enthusiasm in the Club have returned we seem to have lost some of our culture along the way. “It’s been two years now since we offered on-snow opportunities in the summer and fall but we are returning to snow this fall for a five-day Camp in the Interior; this gives the older athletes an opportunity to really jumpstart their season,” says Trimmer. “Whether this is a return of our past culture or the beginning of a new culture is yet to be seen but it’s exciting either way.”
The hard times the Club went through won’t be forgotten, he added, “They were a huge learning experience for us and have definitely made us stronger. We are more committed to and more organized than ever to offer our great programs to Island families.”
The Ski Clubs vision is to provide a family-oriented environment in which members make friends, develop a passion for alpine skiing and alpine ski racing, and achieve excellence in a sportsmanlike culture.
The Club may be known for its racing, but its main focus at all levels is to create great all mountain skiers: it offers programs for children five to 19 years of age.
For more info on the Club’s Programs, go online to www.mtwashingtonskiclub.com or call 250-897-6058.
MOUNT WASHINGTON FREESTYLE CLUB
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-around ski programs available for all levels of freestyle skiing.
The Freestyle Club has six programs coming up for winter 2017-18: Try Freestyle, a free half-day camp for kids who have never been involved with the Club before, takes place Dec. 27. A two-day Jumps & Bumps Christmas Camp for intermediate to advanced skiers aged six to 12 years is scheduled for Dec. 28–29, and a four-day Christmas Camp for intermediate and advanced skiers (12 and older) will take place Dec. 27–30. There is a 13-week Jumps & Bumps Program starts in January 2018 (one- and two-day weekend options).
This Program is for entry-level freestyle skiers working on skills development. Skiers aged six and older must be comfortable skiing steeper Blue runs and be able to load onto a chairlift unassisted.
There are also 13-week programs for the Freestylerz and Competitive teams. Freestylerz is an intermediate program for developing athletes aged 12 and up considering competing in the sport or athletes that have reached this skill level. The Competitive team is the advanced program for athletes competing in freestyle events. This program includes six days of coaching at competitions plus the four-day Christmas camp.
Mount Washington’s Tallon Noble moves up the Canadian Ranks checking off National Podium performances.
Strathcona Nordics’ skier Tallon Noble has relocated to Kelowna, B.C. and is skiing with Team Telemark under the tutelage of coach Adam Elliot. “Over the past few years I have slowly moved up the Canadian ranks under the meticulous coaching of Andrea Stapff, finally checking off national podium performances at the 2017 Canadian Ski Nationals in Canmore,” Noble said. “With new teammates and new training environments I am ecstatic for the snow to fall and to see how my hard work will pay off.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Noble can check out his goals and sponsorship package here.
Other members of the club have been fundraising for the Dave Battison Athlete Development Fund, named after the late Nordics’ coach. The fund helps pay for team members’ travel and other expenses.
Club members will participate in the 2018 BC Winter Games in Kamloops 22–25, and can be expected to attend a number of events off of Vancouver Island this season. The club will hold a BC Winter Games trial on Dec. 30 at Mount Washington.
Recreational programs kick off Jan. 13–14, 2018. The Feb. 10–11, 2018 weekend will be a busy one for the Nordics, with the Coast Cup No. 5 and No. 6 happening, as well as the Vancouver Island Loppet.
The club is dedicated to coaching, and will host a number of coaching clinics and refreshers this season. They encourage people to get involved as coaches to help the next generation of Nordic skiers.
For more information on cross-country skiing and what the Strathcona Nordics offer, please see their website at www.strathconanordics.com.
VI BIATHLON CLUB
The ‘Give It A Shot’ program is open to anyone who would like to try shooting the biathlon rifles and get a feel for the sport.
The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club has a world-class biathlon facility at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, and they plan on making good use of it this season. If you’ve never tried biathlon before, they are hosting a “Give it a Shot” introductory program on Dec. 30 from 1-3 p.m. and again Sunday, March 11 from 1–3 p.m.
Biathlon is a sport that combines the marksmanship of target shooting with the sport of skate skiing. The Give It A Shot program is open to anyone who would like to try shooting the biathlon rifles and get a feel for the sport, as well as learn more about programs VIBC offers. Registration is available through www.zone4.ca.
The club offers opportunities from beginners as young as age nine right up to master-age athletes.
The club is planning to attend four BC Biathlon Cup events this year: Jan. 26-28 in Prince George; Feb. 9-11 in Whistler; Feb. 16-18 in Burns Lake; and March 2-4 in Kelowna.
Members of the Competitive Youth Team, who train year-round with both VIBC and the Strathcona Nordics JR Racing Team, plan to compete this season at the four Biathlon BC Cup Races.
Are you interested to see what they can do? You can watch the team training in the range on Saturday afternoons throughout the season, and may find them on the biathlon course near Raven Lodge any time they can fit in some extra training.
For more information on the biathlon club, visit their website at www.vibiathlon.ca. They are always looking for volunteers, and club members are encouraged to help out as officials at club events.
The VI Riders Freestyle Snowboard Training Club is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.
When VI Riders was incorporated in 2007 as a non-profit organisation, its goal was to fill a need for a Mount Washington snowboard freestyle/park program. Over the past 10 years the Club has fulfilled this need and more. As Mount Washington Alpine Resort has developed its Terrain Park, VI Riders have ensured a generation of young athletes learn how to safely hit jumps and rails with qualified instructors that know them and that they trust. This year, the Club has partnered with the Mount Washington Snow School to introduce a 10-week Freestyle Development Program for snowboarders. The focus of the Program, according to the Snow School, is “learning new tricks and mastering the fundamentals of snowboarding.” Riders signing up for the 10-week Program will work on their skills on snow and master tricks in the Resort’s Terrain Park. “Rider development is of a freestyle nature and training is in a fun, confidence-building atmosphere,” the Snow School notes.
For more information on the VI Riders, check out their website at or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vancouverislandriders.
VANCOUVER ISLAND SOCIETY FOR ADAPTIVE SNOWSPORTS (VISAS)
Connor and Megan Wells are 10-year-old twins who have grown to love the sport of skiing thanks to the Winter Snowsports Festival, and the Vancouver Island Society of Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS).
The Festival is an annual event that provides opportunities for participants who are differently-abled to experience snowsports in a fun and supportive environment. Each participant is provided with four consecutive days of snowsports instruction, lift tickets and rentals, everything someone needs to get started on snow. The twins’ mother Michelle Wells remarks, “skiing with VISAS has become a special part of Megan and Connor’s lives.
The program has increased their confidence and allowed them to realize that they can really be good at something.” Megan and Connor Wells were born prematurely, resulting in a variety of physical and developmental disabilities for both children.
“Megan tends to become overwhelmed easily, and needs breaks and ways to calm her anxiety. Connor is a very social and chatty boy, who is distracted easily and needs clear direction,” shares Wells.
The Instructors at VISAS are trained and certified to assess their students and provide individualized instruction to meet their needs.
While Megan benefits from regular snack breaks, opportunities to practice breathing exercises and a clear plan, Connor benefits from a different approach. He needs instruction to be delivered step-by-step, in simple terms with a dash of humour and consistent re-direction to the task at hand.
Wells is grateful, adding, “the accessibility of the Adaptive Snowsports program has made the idea of learning to ski so easy. The instructors are able to customize and adapt a learning strategy for [both] Megan and Connor’s needs.”
Skiing with VISAS and at the Winter Snowsports festival has helped give the twins a sense of belonging and “has really helped Megan and Connor build their confidence in their day to day lives as well as challenging them in ways they wouldn’t be otherwise,” Wells said proudly.
Both children have been asked to join the VISAS Snowsports Development Team when they are older, which is helping to motivate them to keep pushing themselves to become better skiers.
Applications are now available for the 2018 Winter Snowsports Festival, which runs from Jan. 7–11, 2018.
FIRST NATIONS SNOWBOARD TEAM
The First Nations snowboard team empowers Aboriginal youth by using the winter sport of snowboarding as a fundamental tool for excellence.
The team represents First Nations from across the Province, including members selected from Campbell River, Comox Valley, Qualicum Beach and the West Coast areas to practice at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. Team members go through a selection process in early October, and commit to a minimum of 10 on-snow sessions.
The club has a website, www.FNriders.com, and a Facebook Page where Aboriginal youth can learn more.