ISMF Training Camp 2010

*Blog-master’s note-  Mel Bernier sent me a copy of a writeup she did for the technical training camp offered by the ISMF in sicily, during the week before worlds in Andorra

Location:  Nicolosi, Italy

Coaches:  Andre Dugit and Adriano Greco

Coming from countries where ski mountaineering racing is still fairly young, the idea of a sport specific training camp was really appealing amongst our North and South American National Teams.  So the  Canadian National Ski Team  jumped at the chance to spend a week immersed in the technical side of ski-mountaineering.  

Our well-accomplished mentors, Andre Dugit and Adriano Greco, it quickly became clear we were in good hands, possible the best.  Andre and Adriano’s level of expertise on the terrain as well as their background in the mountaineering world instantly triggered our trust and deep respect which grew throughout the duration of the camp.  With the World Championships upon us, this camp came just in time to give us the opportunity to have a highly productive and beneficial taper week. 

The program of the week had been established in a well-organized manner taking us through all the different aspects of the sport. We started the camp with a break down of the sports specific material.  We talked about the good and not so good sides of some equipment and we also brought up the question of maintenance and pre-race preparation.  Then a quick session on the Mt. Etna Volcano allowed all of us athletes to get more familiar with the terrain and gave to our instructors the opportunity to quickly evaluate our personal level and draw a pretty accurate picture of what each and every one of us would have to work on over the camp. 

The end of each training session was highlighted by amazing feasts, Italian style,  followed by information sessions on different topics. 

In the field, we worked on the basics of ski mountaineering.  The skills where broken down and we started from square one.  From the way we walk and the ergonomics of the movement, to switchbacks techniques and the perfect and efficient kick-turn, to smooth transitions that save time and energy. 

We also worked on our down hill stagies and the different techniques to cover ground quickly and rest our legs for the next ascent.  

In order to put in a race scenario all the new tips and techniques acquired over the week, we concluded the camp with a small race course. It was a great opportunity to practice under a bit more pressure and see how significantly all the Euro tricks allowed us to improve. 

It was a privilege to be part of such a camp, which to our eye was a rich experience on both an athletic and personal level.   

Thank you to Andre and Adriano for sharing their knowledge, experience and their passion for the sport.  Ski mountaineering Racing is really lucky to have such dedicated people like them and with a similar attitude this great sport can only become more popular around the world. 


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