Canadian Skimo Training Camp – Farnham Delivers

Members of the Canadian Skimo Team got together last weekend to head up to the Farnham Glacier to get in some early season mileage to round out the training programs.  The crew was small but keen and we all made the 60 km drive from Radium BC on old logging roads to the snow-line where the road climbs steeply into the alpine and becomes not safely drivable.  The road accesses the site that the National Alpine Ski Team and Ski-cross teams used to do their summer training on.  Once the Olympics were over the money dried up for the multimillion dollar camp and eventually it was torn down, all except a basic warming hut.  Fitting then that without helicopters and snowcats the only National Ski team left that can train there is the Ski-mountaineering team.

The road to the camp weaves through some pretty impressive avalanche terrain so the window to safely access the glacier(without helicopter or snowmobile support) is narrow.  There needs to be enough snow on the glacier to ski but not too much that the large paths that the road cuts through reach their snow depth threshold to release.  As it turned out we timed it perfectly and on our ski home at the end of the camp we noticed one of the gulleys had avalanched and left a couple of meters of debris to ski over, an obvious sign that conditions were changing.

The skiing on the glacier was great, but due to the heavy snowfall, a whopping 40 cms in the time we were there, visibility was limited so when we did get a glimpse of the peaks and the glacier above we blitzed to get up high.  The camp was a great opportunity to share one of my local spots with the team and it felt great to get back out on the planks again, it’s funny how skiing frames the winter and gives a sense of purpose.  I’m looking forward to the next November camp where the skiing will be a bit more formal and race specific but for now it was a fun time getting to know some folks who are new to the team and getting out with old friends I haven’t seen since the last time we slid on skis through snow.

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2 Responses

  1. dang, too bad I couldn’t be there. I’ll try to make the November one, but no guarantees. I haven’t set foot on a glacier, is that a problem?

    • Not a problem Peter, we’ll do a bit of glacier training and keep the group to appropriate terrain. The focus will be more on skimo techniques and speed than moving through complex terrain

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