Bond returns for Nordic camps

Nordic trails file photo.
Fresh Nordic trails, file photo.

Glenn Bond plans to bring the latest and greatest in Nordic skiing to Sun Peaks Resort this winter.

The cross-country connoisseur is offering a pair of weekend camps to classic and skating-style skiers of all skill levels — the first on Dec. 10 and 11, the second on Jan. 7 and 8.

“We’ll be using the latest techniques that are on the World Cup circuit currently,” said Bond, a former Western Canadian champion who’s been cross-country skiing for 31 years.

“We want to make sure everyone’s having fun and has a comfort level with the coaches. We want to challenge them, for sure, but we don’t want to take them out of their comfort zone.”

Groups that wish to learn together during the camps will be accommodated, with Bond expecting about 30 to 40 people to attend each camp.

Bond aims to have one instructor per six students, a ratio that allows for plenty of one-on-one coaching.

“We’re not using a ton of trails and we’re not just going out for a ski,” he said. “We want to give them as much information as possible, so they can build on that.”

The camps, which include morning sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. each day, cost $169. Extra afternoon sessions, which run from 2:30 to 4 p.m., cost $80.

Bond, who spent 10 years managing the Nordic program at Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, is a fan of the trail network at Sun Peaks, where he has been conducting camps for the past five years.

“It’s great and the village is phenomenal and there are more than 30 kilometres of trails,” Bond said.

In his experience coaching clinics across North America, Bond has found the most popular trails are often the easiest and simplest to navigate.

“Once they build a trail around McGillivray Lake, then they’re going to see things really take off,” Bond said.

Phil Youwe, Sun Peaks Resort’s Nordic co-ordinator, is waiting for snow like everyone else, anxious to see how off-season work will improve the trail network.

“In the summertime, we were able to go up and brush all of Holy Cow. It’s a real big improvement,” Youwe said. “We’ve groomed and widened that trail from top to bottom.

“And, on Whiskey Jack, our well-used dog trail, last year the second corner was very sharp and difficult to navigate. We’ve widened that out considerably.”

Youwe said Nordic skiing at Sun Peaks is beginning to take off, with increased sales in five-day passes, more people signing up for lessons and a growing JackRabbit program for young skiers.

“You can ride the Morrisey lift and get up onto the trail system, which provides for some really nice downhill and cross-country terrain that takes you out to the McGillivray cabin,” Youwe said.

“It’s well-balanced between green, blue and more difficult black trails, and we’ve got a dog circuit, a portion of that on-leash and a portion that (is) off-leash.”

The resort is offering Starlight Nordic Ski Adventure to McGillivray Lake tours on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30. The peaceful, guided trips to the McGillivray Lake log cabin finish with a nightcap at Masa’s restaurant.

Sign up for the Bond camps and starlight skis online at sunpeaksresort.com.

“It’s great to see people coming here now for Nordic holidays,” Youwe said. “We have two cats that work on the system every night and we have some of the nicest groomed trails around.

“We’re hoping to eventually expand the network a little more and incorporate a few
additional trails.”

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