Summer in Canmore: Episode I

Canada’s World Cup Team united with the Senior Development Team for the first time this season on June 30th. The camp consisted of some long distance training at higher altitude as well as lower altitude intensity sessions and strength workouts. Originally the plan was to ski on the Haig Glacier for two higher altitude stints, however weather (too much SNOW if that makes any sense…) forced us to cancel any glacier plans for the first altitude stint.

So on the 30th we met early in the morning for a long classic rollerski & run up to Sunshine Village. The comment of the day was “Wow this is a big group!” The women’s team was a little short-handed in comparison, as the men’s team of 12 athletes rolled out in the morning. It’s a group filled with talent and I felt privileged to be a part of it.

Canada Day celebrations were limited to BBQs and watching Canmore’s fireworks (very impressive this year!) before crashing in bed. It’s a good thing I slept too because the pace of the next day’s zone 1 skate rollerski around Minewanka and back to Canmore was pretty quick. We covered the same distance as we did the previous day only in 2/3 the time. We were really cruising coming down the bike path to Canmore with coach J. Wads pushing the pace on his first rollerski of the year. Our first distance block finished with a classic/skate rollerski up Highwood Pass. And just because summiting the pass once seemed easy, we bombed down the other side of the pass and then summited it again.

After a lighter training day we mixed it up with some classic rollerskiing intervals and hit the gym in the afternoon. Time to rest and recover right? Well…for one day, then on to the second half. Fortunately we were able to go up to the Haig Glacier for the second altitude stint.

In the Heli on the way up

Flying onto the glacier in a helicopter was a highlight of the camp. In five minutes I went from standing in Ranger Creek to crust skiing on the Haig. Not a bad turn around time! The weather was sunny and HOT (heat wave?) so it wasn’t long before the crust softened and we were stuck on the groomed trail. I’m not complaining though, being on skis was great! On our 3rd day up at the glacier the hot sun was hidden behind grey clouds… stormy conditions meant no helicopter was coming to pick us up. Bummer. Running out was plan B. The good news? There wasn’t too much post-holing through deep snow; the previous couple day’s high temps must have melted a significant amount of snow on the trail.

The NST guys crust skiing on a sunny day

What would the Haig Glacier be without Peelix?

Another light training day, a rollerski intensity session up Silver Tip in the AM and a strength workout in the PM on July 10th and the camp had come to an end. Having the whole National Team together to do some good quality training was really positive and I’m looking forward to doing it again in Whistler later this year. For now, I’m chilling out in Canmore and resting up in anticipation of my next training camp with the Thunder Bay crew beginning July 21st.

Till next time,