Jul 1, 2012 | Marmot, Summer 2012

Ski Clubs don’t melt away with the snow, nor does their passion for sliding!

The snow is melting, the winter season is over: how do these athletes fuel their passion for sliding on snow during the summer?

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is home to several sporting groups, offering lessons and competition in everything from skiing to snowboarding, biathlon to Nordic skiing, freestyle to slopestyle.

The Mount Washington Ski Club took a breather at the end of the winter season, but began ramping up the summer/ fall season again in June with some goal-setting initiatives.

‘Goal setting becomes more and more important as athletes progress in the program, and we have started to outline the physical, technical/ tactical and result-based goals for next season,’ coach John Trimmer said.

Once the skiers set their goals, coaching staff helps them decide how those goals can be achieved.

With the younger athletes and their parents, the Ski Club encourages multi-sport involvement. Coaches introduce them to Long Term Athlete Development.

The Club also conducts physical testing in the summer and fall, which gives athletes, parents and coaches a snapshot of current fitness levels and insight into the developmental stages each athlete is currently in, Trimmer said.

‘We will provide individual fitness support through the summer to our older athletes as well as a four-day fitness/ team building camp on Hornby Island at the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre.’

The Ski Club will hold a 10-day snow training camp at Mt. Hood in August, Trimmer said. ‘Mount Hood is an amazing area and provides great on-snow training in the summer,’ he said.

‘Kids are ski racers because they love to ski and compete, so on-snow training in the States in the summer is awesome fuel for the fire.’

At the Mount Washington Freestyle Club, members have also taken a breather. Sue Walker was elected President at the Club’s spring Annual General Meeting. Simon and Gina Stubbs, who have served as Co-Presidents for several years, saw the Club host a successful B.C. Freestyle Championships event in March.

The Strathcona Nordics Ski Club’s training season began in May with the annual snow camp in which more than 60 club members participated. ‘Since we race in the winter, what we do for training during the summer is paramount to our success during the winter,’ president Len Apedaile said.

‘We will continue to have weekly training sessions for our development, junior and masters teams and will be running a series of weekend club excursions and dryland training activities throughout the summer.’

Some of those sessions include working at the Vanier Track on core, balance and running exercises; a weekly plyometrics session at Seal Bay Provincial Park, where participants do exercises that emulate cross-country ski motions; endurance runs every Sunday for two to three hours; and roller ski sessions on Saturdays.

‘In addition to fitness and technique, these sessions foster a good team relationship,’ communications director Barbara Kelly said. ‘Team members continue to come out and work hard at each session because they have a lot of fun as a group.’

The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club is examining the idea of running a series of summer mountain bike biathlon races at Mount Washington.

‘Alternate manifestations of biathlon involving bikes or running have been quite popular elsewhere, and we thought it would be great to offer folks on and off the Island the opportunity to try something new,’ said Christoph Dettling, a Biathlon Club board member.

Because of the deep snow base, the Club has tentatively planned two races: one for August and one for September. They would roughly follow the guidelines for summer biathlon, as set out by the International Biathlon Union.

‘Depending on a number of factors, such as number of athletes, fitness level and age, we would then set up different categories in order to make the races as fun and fair as possible,’ Dettling said.

In the future, the Club would like to hold summer training camps at Mount Washington, focusing on physical conditioning.

Anyone interested in the summer mountain bike biathlon races can contact the club at vibiathlonclub@gmail.com or go online to http://vancouverislandbiathlonclub.wordpress.com.

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