While it was warm at home a group of Sun Peaks Alpine Club racers ditched their hiking boots and bikes for skis in preparation for another winter of competition.
Forty athletes between 12 and 18 years old from three B.C. clubs attended a ski camp in Mt. Hood, Ore. Sun Peaks’ 14 representatives joined others from Fernie, Rossland and Vernon from Aug. 20 to 26.
“Our club hasn’t had a camp there for four or five years,” said Montana Molyneux, coach of the Sun Peaks Alpine Club (SPAC).
“Mt. Hood had an amazing snow year this year and perfect weather.”
During the five days on snow racers had the chance to learn from multiple national level coaches and athletes as well as coaches from other teams. That variety, Molyneux said, is an important part of learning.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to expose the athletes to other skiers. By combining forces (with other teams) we had amazing coaching. Everyone got a chance to ski with the other coaches.”
“Everyone got a lot of runs in, everyone had one or two things they could take from the camp and something to feel good about.”
It also gave the group a chance to get on skis and try out new equipment before snow falls at home.
In addition to skiing, racers explored local rivers and lakes during afternoon adventures, had campfires and spent time bonding as a team.
One morning of training was especially memorable as the summer’s solar eclipse occurred with near totality overhead.
“We all had glasses, they would ski then look up and watch. It got pretty darn cold. It was a cool experience and the coaches were even more excited.”
Now the team is home they are focusing on getting back to school and achieving good grades to ensure they can take time off to race and travel. They also participate in physical conditioning twice a week throughout the fall.
“Now it’s time to make sure they’re organized physically and make sure they’re doing well (in classes.)”