Dec 1, 2015 | Marmot, Winter 2015

Snow Sport Club Updates

Home Grown Heroes Start Here! "Life is about sharing our passion with anyone who cares to share with you." Cassie Sharpe


The Mount Washington Ski Club had a great summer, “the first summer I can remember when we were totally off snow,” Head Coach John Trimmer said. “The snowpack at their two usual haunts, Blackcomb and Mt. Hood, Oregon, was low and the Club worried training quality would be affected, so they took the summer off snow. The competitive level athletes instead held a summer camp in the sand on Hornby Island.

The Mount Washington Ski Club is a full-service Club for kids aged four to 20 years and offers programs that suit the abilities and needs of every child. These range from the FUNdamentals of Nancy Greene to the All Mountain rippers, to race programs. “Most people see the Mt Washington Ski Club as a competitive race club, but only the top 20 per cent is really race oriented,” Trimmer said. “The rest of the Club is about skill acquisition, proper technique and fun.”

The Mount Washington Ski Club turns 35 in 2016, and there are some special events planned, especially around the Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day weekend. Details have yet to be revealed. The Club will also host the Tech Series Coast Zone Finals Spring Dual Slalom April 9-10.

For more info and a lineup of programs the Club offers, go online to


Skiing can be more than just going up the chairlift and down the runs. Those wanting to add a little excitement to their skill set in a safe atmosphere, either recreationally or competitively, can check out single and dual moguls, aerials, skier cross, half pipes and big air.

The non-profit club offers certified training in all freestyle skiing disciplines: moguls, rails, big air, terrain park and “steep and deep” powder skiing. It all starts with Jumps and Bumps, a 10-step program for entry-level freestyle beginners, and ends with participants becoming “all mountain” skiers.

The coaching staff features former members and those who have been on the BC and Canadian National Ski Teams in the past. For more info on the Freestyle Club, go online to


The Vancouver Island Riders will kick off their 2016 season with two days of training January 9–10, 2016 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. This non-profit organization has offered freestyle snowboard training since it was formed in 2007. Some of the best Snowboarding Coaches in the Province are in charge of the Program, and they take a two-pronged approach to teaching their students both physical and mental skills. The Program is designed for riders aged 10 and up who have some experience on a snowboard but who want to take their freestyle skills up a notch. The Club is a great springboard for athletes looking to improve their skills. Canadian National Team Member Darcy Sharpe is a graduate of the VI Riders.

For more information visit


The Strathcona Nordics Cross-Country Ski Club had a shortened season last year, but still managed to pull off the Teck BC Midget Championships in mid-February before Mount Washington Alpine Resort closed.

“They are optimistic that this year will be a better snow year,” Club spokesperson Barbara Kelly said. The first home training weekend was held in late November on a frozen Battleship Lake. Two weeks prior to that, some Club members attended a fall snow camp at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre and Silver Star Resort near Vernon. According to SN Head Coach, Andrea Stapff, the camp was a big success.

Strathcona Nordics who attended the camp included Tallon Noble (BC Ski Team), Connor McGrady, Ross Lamon (BC Dev Squad) and Matthew Salmon, Emmy Stapff, Amelia Wells, Aiden Noble, Stephen Lamon, Gabe Gledhill and Zander Swift (all BC Talent Squad. The Nordics will host their own camp at the end of December, with special guest, BC Team head coach Chris Manhard.

The Nordics also hosted the inaugural Dave Battison Pediatric Sports Medicine Symposium at the Resort as well as Vancouver Island Mountain Centre in honour of their late coach. The symposium, which took place in June, was created as a resource for medical professionals such as doctors, physical therapists and other health care providers who work with youth athletes.

For more info on Nordic ski training at Mount Washington, go online to


“The VI Biathlon Club is teaming up with Strathcona Nordics to offer some joint programming this year”, club president Pat Douglas said.

Biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and small bore rifle marksmanship. In order to give biathletes a chance to excel at both disciplines, they will participate in Strathcona Nordics skiing programs while learning marksmanship from the biathlon coaches.

“While the two clubs will remain separate, both clubs feel that by joining forces, we will be able to better serve the needs and aspirations of the Nordic community,” a VI Biathlon spokesperson said. Both clubs have a long history of collaboration.

Biathletes will be required to hold membership in both clubs, no matter if they are in the competitive or recreational stream.

Anyone wishing more information can e-mail


Snow sports are accessible to everyone, that’s the underlying philosophy with the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports, which offers lessons in Alpine, Nordic/Cross Country skiing and Snowboarding to people with physical or developmental challenges at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

VISAS will hold its Winter Snowsports Festival at Mount Washington from Jan. 3-7, 2016. Traditionally held the second week in January, the Festival is offered to people with learning challenges looking to expand their horizons and learn about one of the three core snowsports.

They also host the Herb Bradley Challenge in February, their main fundraiser; and Canadian Forces Veterans National Ski Week from Jan. 31–Feb. 5, 2016 (injured members of the Canadian Forces are given the opportunity to either return to or try out winter sports).

For more info on Adaptive Snowsports opportunities visit


The 2015-16 First Nations Snowboard team is ready for a winter of learning and camaraderie at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The program has been in operation at Mount Washington for several years as part of a national effort between Canada Snowboard and First Nations Snowboard Team to deliver the Aboriginal Snowboard Program. In the Comox Valley, the program is run as part of the Wachiay Friendship Centre in Courtenay. The team offers a 10-weekend program, a six-weekend all-girls program, Cedar Program (three intro sessions at Easy Acres) and earned passes. Athletes are required to own or rent gear.

For more information on this program, go online to, First Nations Snowboard Team – Vancouver Island on Facebook or e-mail

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