Cross country skiers around the region can smell snow in the air and are busy preparing for the coming ski season.
A number of them converged on Kimberley this past weekend for the annual Fall Dryland Camp hosted by TECK, Cross Country BC, and the Kimberley Nordic Club (KNC). Despite all of the COVID restrictions in sports, the KNC was able to safely host a regional camp on the weekend of Sept 25th-27th.
By separating the groups into two different cohorts, the KNC ended up with 27 Track Attack Program kids aged 9-12 years old with 7 coaches, and 36 Junior Racers 13-18 years old with 9 coaches. Clubs from Rossland, Nelson, Golden, Invermere, Fernie, and Kimberley took part in this great event. COVID precautions included having all activities outside with use of the lodge only for washrooms, masks for many activities, physical distancing, and a catered outdoor meal with individually portioned meals provided by Julie St. Jean from Julie’s Cook Shack.
One of the intentions of the weekend was to further develop skill sets on roller skis, which closely match the actions of skate skiing. The youth buzzed around two identical parallel obstacle courses (creating some fun head-to-head races), did a 3.8km uphill time trial from Gym 67 to the Nordic Club, and some athletes even went for a long ski down the Rails 2 Trails on Sunday morning, covering up to 60+ kms.
Skiers also engaged in a training session with Shenoa Runge that focused on core development, balance, and strength using the skiers’ own body weight. Other activities included trail running and team-building games. The 9-12y age group completed an orienteering session on the KNC trail network with Jim Webster from Kootenay Orienteering Club. On Saturday, local yoga and meditation instructor Kirsten Guest led an outdoor breathing and visualization exercise. The youth were so quiet and relaxed that they did not notice a blue grouse land in their midst in the middle of the session! Sunday morning activities included a trail run for those older athletes who did not roller ski to Cranbrook and a hike up the ski hill and down Musser’s Plateau for the younger athletes..
KNC was fortunate to have Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Canadian World Cup skier) from Canmore and coach Graham MacLean from Cross Country BC join us as guest coaches, along with the head coaches from all of the regional clubs. The contributions from all of these coaches made for an amazing weekend of learning for these young skiers.