Rossland's Daniel Merlo and the Black Jack Ski Club journeyed to the stunning Haig Glacier earlier this month for four days of training on summer snow.

Black Jack skiers ‘made in summer’

Skiers from the Black Jack Ski Team trained hard at summer camp in Kaslo and the Haig Glacier in Kananaskis Country earlier this month.

Training is a year round endeavour for Black Jack Ski Team members and becomes even more important once the snow melts.

Led by Black Jack ski coach David Wood, local skiers stepped up preparations for winter cross-country ski racing with eight members attending an eight-day training camp split between Kaslo and the Haig Glacier in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country earlier this month.

“The summer training is crucial,” said Wood. “We say that the skiers are made in the summer.”

Fifty-five athletes from Black Jack, Canmore, Calgary, Foothills, Kimberley, and Comox met up for four days of rigorous dryland training in Kaslo, before ascending to the Haig Glacier for another four days of snow training.

In Kaslo, athletes trained on roller skis, road bikes, running and hiking along scenic Kootenay Lake with coaches and parents providing support. The dryland aspect provides high-intensity training that simulates cross-country skiing and is critical for elite athletes competing on the Haywood Nor-Am cross-country ski circuit.

“A typical training season will have a skier doing 70 per cent of their training volume by Dec. 1,” explained Wood. “Once the racing season begins, athletes will actually train less as they use days travelling to competitions and cannot train as much with racing.”

Athletes then hiked into the Haig Glacier camp, which sits about 2,400 metres above sea level, their home for the next four days. The camp is a series of domed huts built for skiers with a steady stream of helicopters bringing in supplies.

Although the snow conditions were less than ideal this year, the glacier provides relatively flat and stable terrain with few crevasses, and is a favourite among cross-country ski teams and biathletes across North America looking for snow during the summer months.

The Black Jack athletes put in three solid days of training at altitude working on technique and fitness.

“Skiing on the Haig is like enhanced spring skiing,” wrote Daniel Merlo on the Black Jack skiing blog. “In the morning the track is bullet proof, fast forward two hours and it’s the complete opposite. Because of these challenging conditions it is the perfect opportunity to improve technique. In short, if you can ski with good technique on the Haig Glacier then you can ski with good technique anywhere in the world.”

The Black Jack skiers have another week on the Haig planned in August, a dryland camp for Juniors in September, and a long dryland camp in September-October with the senior athletes.

“After that we are waiting for the snow to fall,” added Wood. “The past few years we have gone to Canmore for skiing in late October. They store snow over the summer and spread it out mid to late October.”

Just Posted

Trail liquor store held up Friday night

The perpetrator was brandishing a weapon that appeared to be a gun, according to the Trail RCMP

Trail Smoke Eaters lose in shootout to Coquitlam Express

The Trail Smoke Eaters battled the Express in a tight checking 2-1 shootout loss on Friday

Lest We Forget

Crowd fills downtown Trail for Remembrance Day ceremony

Remembering Trail veterans

The Trail Legion now has 14 veterans from the Second World War

3 games, 3 wins for the Vees

Penticton wins 4-3 over Smoke Eaters

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Most Read