Members of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club race team wax their skis at the club's new lodge earlier this month.

Members of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club race team wax their skis at the club's new lodge earlier this month.

Nordic Club racers benefit from new facilities during ongoing season

By Sally Thomson

Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

The Sparkling Master’s XC Ski World Cup will be hosted by the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre in Vernon, B.C., from March 3-11, 2011. This event is hosted in Canada infrequently and to be hosted at a nearby locale is very exciting to clubs throughout western Canada.

Local Masters athletes are ramping up their training and are focussed on this event this season. Pete Smillie is a welcome addition to the club. He has organized a Masters program to provide joint skiing and fitness opportunities for adult club members and drop-ins alike. The program is most suited to those who have strong intermediate and advanced skiing skills.

Masters skiing is held weekly on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m., meeting at the new club lodge. A time trial will be held on Jan. 29 and clubs from the surrounding region are invited. For race notice and further information email

Throughout the fall season, 27 athletes who are members of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club (RNSC) and part of the club’s Track Attack and Jr. Development programs were in full swing, participating in weekly dry land sessions to prepare for the race season. With the early arrival of snow and co-operative trail conditions, the team was able to hold regular ski practices, working on fitness and skill improvement. The new lodge has offered a whole new dimension supporting club athletes more than ever. We can now film and review video, use waxing facilities and change equipment and clothing.   

Of perhaps greatest importance will be attending the B.C. Championships at the Overlander Club in Kamloops and the Canadian Western Championships, hosted by the Telemark club in Westbank, B.C.. The Club hopes to send a contingent to the Haywood Ski Nationals 2011 in Canmore, Alta., in March. We are hoping to qualify some team members and receive athlete sponsorship as special members of a B.C. Development team.

Some early season results are worth mentioning: Hanna Thomson placed 2nd in the 5 km classic at the Alberta Cup No. 1 held Dec. 5-6 at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Later that month, at the Haywood Nor Ams in Silver Star, she faced off with a broad competitive field of athletes from clubs across Canada, managing a 10th place in 5 km free technique and 18th in the 1 km sprint classic out of 42 girls, competing in this race format for the first time. Given that her age juvenile age category was merged with an age classification two years older, Thomson a is pleased with these results.

Following the opening of the new lodge on Christmas day it seemed an appropriate moment to celebrate achievements by holding a club competitive event. On Dec. 29, the RNSC held its first time trial, inviting clubs from the region. A classic endurance event was held in the morning followed by sprint action christening the new 350 metre sprint course.

The mission of the early season time trial was varied: have our experienced athletes engage in high paced intensity training and give our newest athletes an orientation to a competitive setting before the season’s race circuit begins. For race organizers, it was a dress rehearsal for more things to come as the club intends to purchase a new timing system and to hold its first sanctioned race next season.

The RNSC boasted some great results at the recent Larch Hills Fun Race on Jan. 2 but forfeited a trip to Prince George for the B.C. Cup No. 1 last weekend due to road closures. The club’s race team along with several Masters skiers were foiled again by highway conditions and closures to attend the Reino Keski Salmi Loppet in Larch Hills.

News travels fast. Rob Bernhardt, Chief of Race for the Whistler Nordic venue for the 2010 Olympic games stopped in during the holidays to ski our trails and check out the new facilities. He provided some excellent guidance on how to move forward expanding our club competitively.

A huge thanks to the unending and enthusiastic support of the RNSC club coaches: Wade Viznaugh, Bruce Granstrom and Angus Woodman. Equal appreciation to parents and the continued commitment and hard work of our club athletes. We look forward to more reporting on our club athletes as the season progresses!