SNSC News — March 23, 2010


The Olympic and Paralympic Games are over, hugely successful in part due to the volunteer efforts of many SNSC members, and the main races of the season, ranging from Coastal Cups to Midget Championships and the Nationals in Whitehorse, are done.  Racers both young and aspiring have done well thanks to our volunteer coaches and Head Coach Dave Battison.  And of course the annual Rabbit Tourney took place last weekend, as always filled with happy faces and the great energy of our young skiers.   Our Masters and Rabbit programs have been well attended and received positive feedback from participants once again.

Thanks so much to the many volunteers, mainly coaches and program leaders, who coordinate and structure all of this on-snow activity that is the heart of our club.  We simply would not exist without such willing participation and effort from so many.  As always, the executive is looking ahead to next season and there is a need for “new blood.”  Of particular note is the soon-to-be-vacant role of Rabbit Coordinator, as Laura Johnston is stepping down after 4 years of full-on commitment to the program that brings in most of our membership.  Anyone interested in this important role will find that Laura has done an amazing job of streamlining this role, so that is in fact a very manageable job, with most of the load occurring in October and November.

And the last official club event of the season in this weekend’s Vancouver Island Loppet.  See further info below for registration or to get invovled as a volunteer.  We are looking forward to a great race day,  and hope to see many members there of all ages to participate in a fun day of racing to end the season.


Rob Grantham

Club Veep

Andrea Lee finishes in 2nd place at Nationals!!
Andrea Lee finishes in 2nd place at Nationals!!


There are only a couple more days to register for the 28th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet. Registration closes on Thursday, March 25 at 6 pm. There is no late registration! Visit the Races page to find the race notice. Go to Zone 4 to register. Email us if you would like to volunteer


Reminder – Backcountry Ski Trip up Mount Becher this Sunday! Contact Andrew at: to sign up.


Congratulations to all our racing team on skiing well and representing our club well at the Canadian Cross-Country National Championships in Whitehorse. Highlights from the week of races include three medals for Andrea Lee–a 2nd place in Interval Start Classic technique, 2nd place in Interval Start Free Technique, and a 1st place in Mass Start Classic technique. Andrea finished in 2nd place for the individual aggregate awards!


People have until April 11 (last day for the Raven Lodge) to buy some beautiful art and have the club benefit from the sale. The proceeds from Brian Scott’s paintings and prints that appear in the Raven Lodge will go to our ski club. You don’t have to be a club member to buy the art, but the club will benefit from the sales.


Wow!  What a fantastic season of Rabbits.  We had an excellent weekend wrapping up the Saturday instructional sessions and on Sunday our annual Rabbit Tournament for both the Saturday and Sunday groups.  It was a great time for all, Bunnies, Jackrabbits, volunteers and parents.  Thank you to everyone who helped out this weekend to make it such a wonderful success.

A very special thank you to the 25 coaches that gave so many hours of their time and creative and patient energies into teaching and coaching the Rabbits to be better skiers and develop of a love of the sport of cross country skiing.  All of your efforts and dedication are sincerely appreciated.

This coming weekend is an opportunity for Rabbits to show off their skiing skills at the Loppet, either in the 2km or 5km categories.  This is a fun family event, and we encourage all Rabbits to participate.  Look for registration details on the club website.  Also, if any parents are interested in providing some motivation/encouragement along the 2km course, and making some cookie medals for the Under 6 category, please contact Laura at

Finally, looking ahead to next season, new Skill Development Coordinators will be needed for both Saturday and Sunday.  If you were inspired by the fun weekend we just had to provide leadership for the Rabbits program, or would like to coach, or get your spouse coaching, please contact Laura at

Thank you to all the parent volunteers to gave some of their time over this past year, and those who will be still involved with their year-round duties to make this program a success.

Looking forward to seeing you all next year in Rabbits (or seeing you skiing by if you’re a future Devo),

Laura Johnston

Rabbits SDP Coordinator

SNSC News — March 16, 2010

There is one more week to register for the 28th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet. Registration closes on Thursday, March 25 at 6 pm. There is no late registration! Visit the Races page to find the race notice. Go to Zone 4 to register. Email us if you would like to volunteer

The Devo Team had a very successful Open House with many enthusiastic visitors who enjoyed a good ski, some drills, and fun relays. It was great to see good skate technique from the group. If anyone has questions about the Devo Team and participation for the coming season please contact Tim McGrady, .

Devos skiing up a storm on Lake Trail.
Devos skiing up a storm on Lake Trail - photo by Bill Boham.

Sunday, eight Devo skiers skied the Lake Trail in some challenging blustery conditions. Now we will concentrate on preparing for the Vancouver Island Loppet on March 27th. We hope to see lots of kids and families entered for the Loppet.

Intro to Backcountry Skiing
Spring forward with Andrew Pape-Salmon in an introduction to Backcountry skiing! Join him on a cross-country ski to Mount Becher and learn (or refresh) basic touring techniques and navigation. There is no cost to SNSC members.

The plan is to summit Mount Becher on Sunday, March 28th from the former Forbidden Plateau ski hill parking lot.  The mountain has an elevation of 1,385m, with a total elevation gain of about 800 meters up Mount Becher from the parking lot.

The trip will start at 9am and include an avalanche beacon practice early in the day.  Gear requirements include: backcountry ski gear, skins, avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, sunglasses and/or goggles.  Note that skis, skins, boots, poles, avalanche beacons, probes and shovels can be rented from Ski Tak Hut and Valhalla Pure.

Contact Andrew if you are interested in this trip at

Watch out for a stadium full of Rabbits this weekend! The Rabbit games and wind-up take place this weekend. Be sure to send in your best photos from this Rabbit season to liven up our web pages!

Our racing team has three more races at Nationals this week. A highlight from today’s five km classic race — a seventh place finish for our own Andrea Lee in a field of 87 Junior Female racers from across the country!!! Best wishes to all our racers this week. We are proud of all of you.

Child Fitness Tax Credit
If haven’t already received your receipt, contact your child’s coach or If you were among the approximately 16 Rabbit families with an incorrect year on your tax receipt, please record the amount for your immediate records and return the receipt to your child’s coach this weekend. The Membership Director will print a new receipt with the correct year and mail it back to you.

The Art of Skiing
There are a few weeks remaining to buy some beautiful art and have the club benefit from the sale. The proceeds from Brian Scott’s paintings and prints that appear in the Raven Lodge will go to our ski club. You don’t have to be a club member to buy the art, but the club will benefit from the sales. This perhaps a good opportunity to purchase an early Mother’s Day present!

Congratulations on a good season! Remember to send in your winter 2010 ski photos for the website.

SNSC News — March 9, 2010

SNSC Talent at Paralympics
Rob Trainor–You may have seen the story in the newspaper about Strathcona Nordic member Rob Trainor assisting the Chinese Paralympic Team. The Chinese Team were so impressed with the help they received from Rob Trainor at the IPC World Cups on Mount Washington in 2006 and 2009 that they asked him to be a coach for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games. Rob will attend the Friday Opening Ceremonies as part of the Chinese Team and will stay with them in the Athletes Village in Whistler. Rob enlisted the help of Ski Tak to outfit them with all of the equipment they will need to wax competitively at the Paralympics. Rob will be coaching their team of six standing skiers and one sit skier. Marilyn Atkinson will be assisting Rob with waxing.

Officials–Another large group of Strathcona Nordic officials left this week for the Paralympic Winter Games. They’ll be working in a variety of positions in the cross-country events. These officials are very committed to the Paralympics. All have worked as officials in the last two IPC World Cup Finals that took place at Mt. Washington Nordic. Some officials have worked for both the Olympics and now the Paralympics and have been training for up to three years for their roles at the Vancouver 2010 Games.

They are anticipating the Paralympics to be a less stressful atmosphere than the Olympics. Susan Denny said, “Everyone will be happy to be there. Athletes and officials. It’s very awe-inspiring to see the para-athletes. I am certainly heading over to the Whistler Olympic Park with less pressure — and to really enjoy the achievements of the athletes.”

Susan Denny joins Carol Bell, Susan Cormie, Jay Dahlgren, Jerry Feniak, David Gibson, Lo Lanning, Marianne Muir, Kate Pierce, Colleen Roy, Harriet Rueggeberg, and Bruce Stevenson as course marshals. Becky Stewart and Val Wootton are working in the race office. Doug Herchmer is part of the biathlon range crew. Joe Bajan is working in the biathlon. Len Apedaile is Assistant Chief of Competition. If we have missed you on this list, please let us know

You can learn more about the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games at Vancouver 2010

Curious about the Devos?


The Devo Team will be holding an open session on Saturday, March 13th from 10am-noon for all interested skiers aged 10-14. Bring your skate skis and come meet our current Devo Team members and incoming coach Tim McGrady. The Devo Program is a developmental group for keen skiers in the 10-14 age range and is presented in a fun format. Our focus is on personal ski technique development, having fun as a team and introducing kids to racing. We present the idea of racing as a personal challenge and help young skiers to see the steps involved in preparing for a race.

In the fall we have group dryland training after school on Wednesday afternoons, and we often participate in some weekend all-club hikes. Dryland activities include light run sessions and games with strength and balance exercises. In the winter we ski after school on Wednesdays and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Most members ski with us once during the week and then attend either the Saturday or Sunday session although attending both is also an option. For more info contact Tim McGrady 250 890 1061 or

Congratulations to all the Rabbit skiers who participated in the Sprint Races this past weekend. There were many very fast times for this short sprint races, with almost half of the skiers earning the top Gold Beckie Scott Sprint award.

There is only 1 more instructional session for Sunday Rabbits, and two for Saturday before the annual Rabbit Tournament on Sunday March 21st. We are still in need of approximately 4 parents volunteers to run activity stations. No experience necessary, all instructions provided for a great time. Please contact Laura Johnston at if you are able to assist with the Tourney.

Back Country Trip
Interested in exploring the back country on your skis with an experienced guide? Conact Andrew Pape-Salmon about the Sunday, March 28 Mount Becher ski tour.

BC Midget Championships

The coaches were extremely proud of our young racers in Salmon Arm over the weekend. Our club was very well-represented by our team of Max Brown, Darien Walker, Jared Jones, Connor McGrady, Sally Brown, Sylvie Stewart Grantham, Sofia Conradi, Morgan Meckert, Avalon Wasteneys, Andy Walker and Austin Long . Each and every one of them showed great spirit and determination. Cross-country skiing is often considered an individual sport, but our team spirit shone through at every race as the kids cheered each other on in both the team relay and individual events.

Even though we were only 11 racers in a crowd of 200, our kids clapped and thumped the tables the loudest when our own Andy Walker and Avalon Wasteneys went to collect their second place medals for the 2 km classic race at the banquet. It was a good night to be a Strathcona Nordic. And congratulations to Sylvie Stewart Grantham and Sofia Conradi for placing first and second respectively in the intraclub handstand contest in the swimming pool before the banquet! On Sunday in the individual skate sprints, congratulations to Andy Walker on his third place medal and to Morgan Meckert on her fourth place medal.

BC Winter Games

Photo of "Alec battles for Fifth Place" from

Ten racers and two coaches headed to the BC Winter Games in Terrace on the weekend where they skied on the low snow pack at the Onion Lake trails and were hosted by the Snow Valley Ski Club. Excellent race results and personal bests were achieved by all of the racers.

In Classic long distance – Ariel Becherer received a silver medal in the Juvenile Girls and Emalee Vandermale was in a strong fourth place, just 3 seconds out of bronze. In Midget Girls Malia Irvine placed fifth, Sarah Stewart Grantham seventh, and Sydney Vandermale ninth.  In Juvenile Boys, Jamie Wasteneys was a strong fifth, and Sheridan Meckert ninth.

In the sprint races – Ariel placed fourth in Juvenile Girls. Three skiers placed first in B Finals for fifth place overall: Alec Stapff, Emalee Vandermale and Malia Irvine. Congratulations to Michelle Boham for a strong seventh in Juvenile Girls.

In the 4×2.2km relay the Juvenile team of Jamie, Ariel, Emalee and Sheridan was just edged out of the medals, finishing in a very strong fourth place. The Midget team of Alec, Sarah, Malia and Alex Brown finished ninth, with Alex running a speedy skate leg.

We were proud of the maturity, focus and spirit of all the racers. They were all great ambassadors for our team. In addition the team enjoyed some of the special events including the hypnosis performance and the sumo wrestling!

Thanks to Marilyn Atkinson and Dave Battison for coaching and leading the group!!

The Strathcona Nordics will be represented at the Canadian National Cross-Country Ski Championships in Whitehorse next week by the team of Freya Wasteneys, Sylvia Watkins, Sarah Peters, Willie Herchmer, Michael Ravensbergen, Ariel Becherer, Emmalee Vandermale, Sydney Vandermale, and Sheridan Meckert. Coach Dave Battison will lead the team and be assisted by Brian Vandermale — and our own ANDREA LEE will be racing at the Nationals with the BC Team. Go Andrea!! Go SNSC Team!!

There are 2 weeks remaining to register for the 28th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet. See the Race Notice on the bulletin Board in the Raven Lodge, or find it on the Races page. Register on Zone 4. Email to volunteer.

SNSC News — March 2, 2010

THE GAMES ARE OVER, BUT the exciting racing is not!!

Now that we are done cheering on the world’s elite nordic athletes, it is time for many Strathcona Nordics racers to hit the road for some exciting events.  This weekend our Devo Team skiers will head with Coach Tim McGrady and Wax Guru Hardolph Wasteneys to Salmon Arm for the BC Midget Championships. The next age category up races in the BC Winter Games this weekend, and the skiers who qualified through our trials race to represent Zone 6 and SNSC will head to Terrace with Coach Marilyn Atkinson and Club Coach Dave Battison.  More details are below.

And the National Championships are in Whitehorse this year, beginning on March 14th.  SNSC is entering a full slate of skiers, including Sarah Peters, Andrea Lee, Freya Wasteneys, Sylvie Watkins, Ariel Becherer, Emalee Vandermale, Sydney Vandermale, Michael Ravensbergen, Willie Herchmer and Sheridan Meckert.  Coach Battsion and Brian Vandermale will lead the team on this northern expedition.

We wish all of these skiers good luck, and hope they will do their best and enjoy their race experience.

We are closing in on the March 21st Rabbit Tourney which is always a fun day for our young skiers, thanks in large part to the volunteer parents who help organize the activities.

Only 3 weeks away is a chance for all skiers to participate in the 27th annual Vancouver Island Loppet.  It’s a great way to end the season and we hope to see many skiers out enjoying a fun event.

Good luck everyone,

R. Grantham

Club Veep


Back country ski touring toward Mount Becher in late January. photo Andrew Pape-Salmon

Please contact: if you would like to sign up for the Back Country ski trips on March 14 and/or 28.


Artist Brian Scott loves cross-country skiing. In fact, he has many fond memories of skiing with the Forbidden Plateau ski club as a youth. Now, Brian Scott is going to help the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club by donating to us the proceeds from the sale of his paintings and prints that are currently in the Raven Lodge. When you buy a Brian Scott print or painting in the Raven Lodge, you not only get a beautiful work of art, but you help your local nordic ski club at the same time!

Brian scott is donating the proceeds from his prints and paintings in the Raven Lodge to the SNSC.
Brian scott is donating the proceeds from his prints and paintings in the Raven Lodge to the SNSC.


The Strathcona Nordics Racers on the Zone 6 team are heading to Terrace for a full weekend of racing at the BC Winter Games, March 4-7. The Club and Zone are well represented by Emalee Vandermale, Ariel Becherer, Malia Irvine, Sarah Stewart Grantham, Jamie Wasteneys, Sheridan Meckert, Alec Stapff, Alex Brown, Sydney Vandermale, Michelle Boham and by Maya DeVos. The group is coached by Dave Battison and Marilyn Atkinson.

The BC Winter Games Team representing Zone 6, Vancouver Island.
The BC Winter Games Team representing Zone 6, Vancouver Island.

In the three days of racing on the Onion Lake trails, the races are Classic middle distance, Free technique sprint, and 4 person team relay race. The Club sends wishes for Fast Skis and Safe Travels to the Team!


Many members of the Devo Team are also packing their bags and cleaning the klister off their skis as they prepare for the BC Midget Championships in Salmon Arm this weekend. Racing for the Strathcona  Nordics in the Peewee and Midget categories are Avalon Wasteneys, Sofia Conradi, Sally Brown, Sylvie Stewart-Grantham, Morgan Meckert, Austin Long, Andy Walker, Connor McGrady, Jared Jones, Darien Walker, and Max Brown. Fast skis and safe travels to the Devos as well!


Some Rabbits were sighted in the Far East country last weekend. Way to go Rabbits! Rabbit families can look for a Rabbit News email this week with lots of details about upcoming events and happenings in the program.


Tax receipts for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit are now ready, and coaches will begin distributing receipts for program and membership fees to families who had skiers under the age of 16 at the beginning of 2009.  Please contact Andrea Prager, Director of Memberships, at, should you have any questions about your child’s receipt.  For more information on the credit, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.


If you’re not racing this year, why not volunteer!! It’s a very fun event, and volunteers are eligible for great prizes. There are many jobs to choose from. Look for the Race Notice on the club website “Races” page, or find it on the bulletin board in the Raven Lodge. Register to race online at Zone 4 before 6pm on Thursday, March 26.