Snow Cross course comes to Sun Peaks

Skiers compete at a past Sun Peaks snow cross event. | PHOTO SPIN

Racers at the Telus Nancy Greene Alpine Classic this February will face banked turns and rolls on a brand new snow cross course.

For the 21st year of the competition the race has changed from a traditional alpine dual race to a recreational snow cross race. The course will be designed by White Industries’ Jeff Ihaksi, who has designed courses for the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cups.

“White Industries is recognized around the world as building not only the high performance courses but also recreational courses that can be converted should the opportunity present itself,” said Nancy Greene Raine, director of skiing for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR).

Funds raised at the event are donated to the Sun Peaks Health Association, Kamloops Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and Sun Peaks Racers.

“It is a nice way for them (the racers) to make a donation,” she said.

The course will be built on the Sun Catcher run. Four skiers or snowboarders will race as a team, starting a few seconds apart with the total team time used to determine the winners. Trophies will be awarded in two categories, Sport for the Telus Cup and Masters for the
McSporties Cup.

Olympic ski cross gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor will also be on hand to guest coach participants and help introduce them to a sport she introduced to the world at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Greene said she’s excited about the alterations to the event and believes it will attract a different crowd than in previous years.

“We are hoping that it will attract a whole new group of participants and for returnees that it won’t be intimidating,” Greene Raine said. “Everybody that I’ve talked to is very excited about the changes.”

After the Feb. 24 and 25 competition the course will be open for public use.
With no air-time, the course will be designed for all ages with an intermediate skiing or snowboarding ability.

The new feature may continue into future years with the help of summer grooming and snowmaking.

“The resort is looking at opportunities to continue it,” said Christina Antoniak, director of marketing and communications at SPR.

“It’s a great addition for families,” Antoniak said. “A confident skier or boarder can feel good about coming into it.”

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