Dec 1, 2011 | Marmot, Winter 2011

Mount Washington Ski Clubs

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is home to six snow sport clubs and one summer sport (mountain biking) club whose members spend their seasons practicing and competing on their “home” hill.

Mount Washington Freestyle Club

Gina and Simon Stubbs are back as Co-Presidents for another term with the Mount Washington Freestyle Club. They have hired a new Head Coach this year, Jamie Tanner, who has been promoted after spending three years with the Club.

Tanner comes from deep roots in freestyle skiing, being a former member of the Canadian National Freestyle Ski Team. “It’s very positive for the Club,” Simon Stubbs said.

Tanner has helped initiate a new program with the Club, called Park and Slopestyle. Those are the two disciplines being accepted into the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, so there has been increased emphasis on both the Half-Pipe and Slopestyle.

“For the Club to do this, it’s a no-brainer,” Stubbs said. “Mount Washington’s park is one of the top parks in western Canada so this works really, really well.”

The Club will continue to offer the same freestyle programs like mogul skiing and all-round skiing.

The Club, along with the Resort, will host the BC Freestyle Championships at the end of March. At least 130 athletes will compete in moguls, dual moguls and slopestyle for the three-day event. “Holding the BC Championships on our new freestyle site is going to be huge for us,” Stubbs said.

The Club has graduated three athletes to BC teams recently: Max Heard of Duncan went to the Mogul Team two years ago and is now on the Park and Pipe A-team for BC. Donnie Ottosen made the Park and Pipe Development Team, and Peter Stubbs made the BC Freestyle High-Performance Mogul Team.

Vancouver Island Biathlon Club

Summer was a mix of good and not-so-good for the VI Biathlon Club. On the one hand, the Club’s hut has been completely sided and stained and is ready for the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Club’s target frames. They sustained a lot of damage due to heavy snowfall last winter, Club President Pat Douglas said.

Lack of funding and a late start to the summer season means the Club won’t be able to fix all the targets until next spring. But it doesn’t mean the end of the winter season, Douglas said. “We’ll do what we need to do and we’ll make enough targets functional so we can use them this year,” she added.

The Club held two fundraising events in the summer, setting up laser rifles at both Canadian Tire and Driftwood Mall for people to try. Both events were popular with adults, and Douglas hopes that will translate to more members or volunteers.

Douglas, who took over from Past-President Joe Bajan last year, is organizing a coaching clinic for the pre-season. She is also looking for officials to help at various events this season, such as the Cadet Zones and B.C. Winter Games trials on Jan. 8, 2012, and the Cadet Provincial Competition on Feb. 4.

Four biathletes will be chosen from Vancouver Island to attend the B.C. Winter Games.

The Biathlon Club will also host the Cadet Provincials this year, which will see 84 athletes from around the Province compete at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The top 12 from this Event will attend the Nat. Championships in 2012.

Mount Washington Ski Club

The Mount Washington Ski Club had a good spring and summer of training, taking advantage of the late season snow to conduct two camps after the Resort closed.

“There was just too much snow on the ground to pass up opportunities for high quality training here at home,” Head Coach John Trimmer said.

“We also did an eight-day on-snow camp at the end of August at Mount Hood, Ore. This camp never ceases to amaze me and once again the weather was perfect and we had great freezes at night. That equaled awesome snow for training.”

Mathieu Leduc has been training with the Canadian skier cross team this summer and also attended a camp located in Switzerland. Trimmer said the Club is hopeful he will be selected to join the team (selections were done after the Marmot went to press), but if not Leduc will focus on the NorAm circuit in both skier cross and alpine.

­The Ski Club will host several races on the hill this season: the Teck K1 (11–12) zone race, Jan. 13–15; Club Nancy Greene Toy Race Feb. 18; Rio Tinto Alcan Nancy Greene Race March 3–4; Club Skier Cross and Slalom Event April 7–8.

“ The Teck Zone Finals April 14–15 is our biggest race of the season,” Trimmer said. “This is the Coast Zone Final so we will have all the racers from all the teams on the Coast join us for the last event of the season.”

Vancouver Island Riders

Vancouver Island Island Riders Snowboard Club is busy preparing for another amazing year on Mount Washington. With a number of their former athletes now competing Provincially and Nationally, the riders are looking to fill the development and competitive squads to keep the Club moving in a positive direction

“We have some incredibly gifted athletes on this island and the VI Club and coaches are excited to watch our alumni and competitive athletes move on to new challenges and higher level competition,” Club President Kelsa Donald said.

The Club has recently created a strong female development and competitive program, which is setting a new standard for emerging female freestyle snowboarding athletes on the mountain.

“With the announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include the immensely popular spectator sport of freestyle snowboarding in the 2014 Olympics, there has been quite a buzz in the air,” Donald said.

“This is the domain our athletes have been training in for the past five years and this is very exciting news for the snowboard community.”

Vancouver Island Society For Adaptive Sports

The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS) will hold its Learn to Ski Winter Sports Festival from Jan. 8–12 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “Anyone with a disability is welcome to attend,” said Bob Hodgson, Co-Chair of the Festival.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involve and receive four consecutive days of ski/ boarding instruction from our nationally certified instructors.”

VISAS provides free instruction, lift passes, equipment, two banquets, daily transportation from Courtenay “and a good time,” he said.

In its 19th year, VISAS’s volunteer instructors are getting ready for another exciting year on the mountain. More than 80 VISAS ski and snowboarding instructors volunteer their time seven days a week to provide those with a physical or mental disability a chance to learn to downhill ski, snowboard or cross-country ski, and at very little cost.

For more information on the festival or on VISAS, please visit the website at, search VISAS on Facebook and Flickr, or call Hodgson at 250-339-6833.

Strathcona Nordics

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has named Strathcona Nordics’ President Len Apedaile a finalist for the Exemplary Paralympic Games Official Award.

According to the Club’s website, the nomination noted in part, “As the sport manager for the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee for Nordic Skiing, Apedaile acted in a critical role to maintain successful operations of the event both prior to and during the Games.”

The Nordics held a successful Annual General Meeting and equipment swap at Comox Rec Centre last fall. The new board of directors was also elected.

Len Apedaile remains President. Other members include Alison Stocks, Vice-President; Jae Yon Jones, Treasurer; Andrea Stapff, Secretary; Georgina Price, Membership Director; Larry and Shannon Reynolds, Sponsorship and Fundraising Co-Directors; Barb Kelly, Director of Communications; Alix Wilson, Chair, Skill Development and Director; Berend Henckel, Chair, Athlete Development and Director and Doug Herchmer, Chair, Coach Development and Director.

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