28 November, 2009

Team Canada Training Camp - Day 1 & 2

After work on Thursday I jumped in my car and drove all night to the Canadian Ski Mountaineering Teams Training Camp in Revelstoke and Rogers Pass, BC.  The goal of the weekend was to get tons of long slow distance training in, and lucky as we are, we've been skiing powder.  (Photo Left:  Ian Gale and Billie Velisek)

The first day, we skinned up Balu Pass, to ski down the backside to go skin and climb up Mt Catamount.  Everyone was stoked to ski, and with hero snow, we were in for a great day.  The Catamount ridge was a bit win hammered, but was good training for sketchy terrain, and worked courses.  Topping out we had perfect weather, little wind, and great views.  The downhill was really good, skiing off the shoulder down the steeper face, and to the valley was a good leg blast.  Andrew McNab, tore up the the top section of the mountain so hard, everyone was worried if he bailed we'd be dragging him out on a rescue sled!  As usual, he didn't, and made it look easy.

We toured out over the headwall at Balu, noticing a large 2.5-3.0 crown line on Mt Cheops, and kept the track nice and mellow avoiding the problematic terrain features.  Perfectly timed, we skied out in the fading light, with a fantastic sunset behind us.  Regrouping in the parking lot, we drove back into town for an awesome dinner at Jeff Colvin and Julie Matteau's place.     

More Day 1 photos from Ian Gale here.

And Day 2 here.

 (photo above:  Mel Bernier and Julie Matteau)

(Photo Above:  Andrew McNab and Rob on Catamount Pk)

 (Photo Above:  Andrew McNab ripping it)

The second day needs little description.  It snowed, and with the unreal snow conditions, and blower powder, no photo's were taken.  We skied McGill shoulder, blasting three wicked laps, and finished off with a hairball descent down the barely covered summer trail.  Time for a bit of sleep, more good food, and more skiing tomorrow!

First Day Elevation Gain:  2266m
Second Day Elevation Gain:  2150m
(Photo Above:  Andrew McNab, Billie Velisek, Mel Bernier)


  1. We really incorporated every element of skimo racing. We had to bootpack, skin, ski downhill, have variable conditions to negotiate. I don't think there is a bushwack element in any race, but maybe one day!

  2. Ian and Alex, sorry for missing the days when you were out and thanks for recording them for good on your blogs. At least I was there for the final day of face shots with the rest of the group. I posted some photos on SkinTrack. I have more I just wasn's sure whether I can go public with them without consent :)

  3. Well they can't be that bad. Probably just some tired faces!