Pre-season Training comes to an end.
What a great time we have had so far this season. The U-Athletes have had a great pre-season which has finally come to an end with a fabulous trip away trip
The three days at Saint-Sauveur/Avila, Edelweiss’s owner (allowing season pass holders free skiing until December 22nd,) and now three days at Sunday River have given our athletes a great start to this years training and races which starts on December 16th.
Our first training day was under the lights at Saint-Sauveur. All kids seemed to have a great time back on skis, some were a bit more tentative, while they got their ski legs back. With only two runs open there was limited terrain, but many laps were done and enjoyed by all. Most people had a slow ride back home due to some freezing rain as we headed back towards Ontario.
The second day was at versant-Avila, and unfortunately, was damp and rainy, Poncho’s were the clothing of the day. Far fewer people came out, but those that did; enjoyed it a lot.
Finally, the third day was again at versant Avila, a beautifully sunny day, the morning was spent doing laps on Express Ouest with hundreds of other racers.
The afternoon, was spent on lapping Devaleuse before heading home tired. All skiers slept well that night.
From December 7-10th we did a trip to Maine, a five and a half + hour drive to the south east. We stayed at the Sunday River Grand Summit Hotel. The hotel was ski-out and almost ski-in (a small 5 minute climb from White cap lodge as the inbound run wasn’t open yet) has small but adequate rooms, a good restaurant, nice fireplace, swimming pool, hot tub, and for those people that don’t think skiing is enough exercise a reasonable gym.
When we arrived, there was a lot of green around, but Sunday River, known for their snow making had managed to open 24 runs over four mountains and added 6 more runs by the time we left. On each day there was a college/university slalom race going on, so there were lots of racers about.
Day 1 was nice an sunny, with hard packed, nicely groomed slopes and few people, most if not all parents joined the kids out on the runs and had a great time. While some people had an early night, others were up into the early hours of the morning enjoying each others company.
Day 2 started out sunny, and clouded over in the late afternoon. Saturday was far busier as many people from the north east arrived to ski some of the largest terrain available in the east currently. By days end runs were getting very icy with soft moguls around. Skiing was fabulous, adult legs were getting tired, but the kids were still raring to go. A couple of falls due to a broken binding brought Matt Wheatley’s weekend to an end as his ski was unusable, (time for some new skis). Starting around 2pm it started to cloud over, and rumours were all over about snow arriving in the late afternoon. At about 4pm while in the outdoor heated swimming pool, the fat flakes of snow started falling, soon enough the inches started to accumulate.
That evening, we held a group dinner, thanks to Chantal Martel for organizing and getting a reservation) at the Sunday River Brewing Company. Hats off to the restaurant for managing to feed 75+ plus Edelweiss racers, coaches, and parents people on 24 hours notice plus the rest of the patrons.
By the time we left the restaurant there was a lot of snow on the ground. By 10pm there was 3-4 inches and it was still falling heavily.
Day 3 There was 6-7 inches of fresh by morning. Everyone was raring to go and all the kids/coaches, and a few die hard parents were suited up and ready to go by 8am when the lifts opened. Skiing the powder was a challenge for many of the younger kids and I expect for those skiers on GS skis. Early on there were smiling faces all over the mountain as great skiing was to be had across the open trails, however it was soon skied out and left hard pack between soft fluffy moguls. Many racers found a new open green run to practice tuck turns from the top of spruce which to some was the highlight of the day. Unfortunately, there were a few small injuries, we wish William and Alexei are better soon and will be back on their skis shortly. Skiers were all brought down to South lodge by 1:30 and everyone started to head home shortly thereafter.
Border crossings were simple in both directions. Actually both times by the time I crossed I was asked if there was a large group going as they had seen so many people crossing ahead of me. Few questions were asked and we were on our way in no time.
Skiers and staff at Sunday River were friendly and happy to help. We had a great time, and look forward to doing another pre-season trip in the future.
Thanks to Karen Benson for organizing the trip, the coaches (Mario Gagnon, Dave Waldrum, Federico Colasante, Fiona Wheatley, Mathieu Hebert, Martin Charron, Martin Poitras, Patrick Corcoran), Chantel Martel for organizing the dinner, and the parents for paying for and driving the kids to the hill.
We look forward to seeing everyone at Edelweiss this coming weekend for the start of the U athlete training.