Thursday, October 20, 2011


Though we’re having an unusually nice and warm fall, the skiing is up and running (Oct. 15)! The Canmore Nordic Centre has opened its “Frozen Thunder”- a 2.5 Km loop consisting of snow they stored over the summer. I personally watched the process of moving the snow onto the trail last week while mtn was an amazingly complex process. Not just the building of the trail, but how they dug a massive pit to blow the man-made white stuff into last winter, then insulating it with sawdust and now moving it with multiple dump trucks and loaders . It must have cost a lot of money.

This is the 3rd or 4th year of early October snow at the Nordic Centre. The new director Mike Roycroft has done a wonderful job of meeting serious skier’s needs. Our nat’l team would normally be somewhere in Europe training, but they’re all here looping around Frozen Thunder.

It’s kinda cool to be skiing when the temps are still hitting between 5-10C in the afternoons. You can go for a real nice mountain bike or run in conjunction with your ski.

In addition to the xc skiing I’m meeting some of my Canadian skimo teammates at the Farnham glacier this weekend for some early season turns and vert training. Winsport Canada previously had set up a summer training site for alpine skiers, but it became too much of a “money pit” according to a friend of mine that formerly ran the camp. Mike told me that it’s a very “active glacier”, so they were constantly having to fill in crevasses and mold the run to the racer’s expectations. A good friend of mine, Jan Hudec, used to train there but as one of Canada’s super elite downhill aces, got to sleep at Panarama resort just over a line of mountains and then they choppered the guys over every day (after their massages, etc.).....we’re sleeping in our cars.

We’re also bringing avi gear (for those crevasses). Ropes, prusucks, atc’s, harnesses, ascenders, etc. Hopefully we won’t need them, but you never know when it comes to glacier travel.

I spent way too much time yesterday scoping out the whole scene on Google Earth and my GPS software. I wanted to make sure I didn’t get lost on the many forestry dirt roads out there (and be another GPS casualty lost in the wilderness).

I guess all this to say that winter is just about here and it’s time think snow!

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