SNSC News — May 5, 2011

May Camp

This weekend you can enjoy a spring ski on freshly groomed trails! Join our Devo, Junior, and Masters racers on the west side trails (West Passage, Lower West, Upper West), which you can access from the bottom of the Hawk Chair.

    SNSC members can ski:

  • Friday, starting at 4pm
  • Saturday, all day
  • Sunday, all day

The club must pay Mount Washington grooming fees for this, so we are asking anyone coming out to enjoy the trails to please contribute $10/each or $20/family to help cover the cost of grooming.

    You can give the money to Coach Dave or any Junior racing team members that you see at/on:

  • The Strathcona Park Lodge, which is the first chalet on the right when you turn onto Henry Rd.
  • The trails if the racers are not in the lodge. They should be recognizable on the trails.

Note: There are no freshly groomed trails around the Raven Lodge or in the meadow.

Looking ahead

The snow to surf race last weekend marks the end of another successful winter ski season, and I would like to thank all of our club staff and volunteers for their contributions to the club and to the sport of cross-country skiing. Special recognition goes to your hard working board of directors and all the club coaches, leaders, officials, and program coordinators without whom we could not do what we do. Thanks are also due to Marc Lyster and his team for all the support and facilitation they provide us including the superb Raven Lodge.

With the end of this season we are in full planning mode for the 2011/12 season and beyond with program reviews, calendar planning, and grant applications. As we develop these plans I would like to ask the membership for their feedback on the season and any ideas for the future. One key initiative we are working on is to hire a club program coordinator to assume many of the behind the scenes program planning, coordination and administrative duties that currently rely on volunteer effort and to improve on our overall program delivery and marketing. We are excitedly looking forward to the opening of the Vancouver Island Mountain Sport Centre this fall and working with VIMSS on developing nordic sport programming and use of the facility for club activities. We also are considering the development of a long term event hosting strategy to guide preparation and bidding for future major event hosting opportunities that the club might pursue including Nationals, NorAms, IPC World Cups/World Championships to name a few. We plan to discuss these further at the AGM in November but also welcome your input before then. Email

In the meantime our summer season starts this weekend with the May Camp, and I encourage all members to come out for a late season ski (for a small trail fee to help us cover the grooming) and to get involved in our club activities over the summer. You can join in on a regular practice for some ski specific dryland training or for one of the weekend hikes. Remember that it is what you do over the summer that prepares you for a great next ski season on snow! Hope to see you out there!   Len Apedaile, Club President

Backcountry Ski Tours – A Fantastic Season!

SNSC and Alpine Club members on Mount Albert Edward, April 2011

The conditions were stellar for SNSC’s second season of organized backcountry ski tours in recent years. Having completed a mountaineering course in Canmore, AB in 2009, the tour leader Andrew Pape-Salmon was keen to share his passion for the mountains with SNSC members. Three tours went forward for the 2011 season – all near the Comox Valley, with two accessed from Raven Lodge at Mount Washington Ski Resort. Andrew has described the snow conditions for all three tours as “Rogers Pass like”. While Strathcona Provincial Park doesn’t offer the alpine terrain and elevation gain of the mountains in Glacier National Park, it does offer a diversity of routes through the sub-alpine and plenty of decent powder in a good year.

The tours included a combination of great conversation, hard physical exertion, mountain education (e.g., avalanche awareness), blisters, jubilation on the summits and fun downhill turns. In 2010, two tours went forward with minimal participation. In stark contrast, a total of 20 people attended the first tour of 2011 on Mount Brooks (1,500 meter elevation), followed by 18 people for Mount Becher (1,385m) and 12 for Mount Albert Edward (2,093m). Participation also included members of the Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver Island Section.

Here are Andrew’s photos from the three tours in 2011 (click on slide show to see full screen): Mount Brooks, Mount Becher, and Mount Albert Edward.  The trip for March up Mount Cokely near Qualicum Beach was delayed due to poor road conditions.


Congratulations to Strathcona Nordics racers who were recognized by CCBC with appointments to provincial teams and squads. After a highly successful year training at the National Development Centre in Thunder Bay, Andrea Lee was named once again to the BC Ski Team. Michel Ravensbergen was also named again to the BC Ski Team after another excellent season.  Ariel Becherer enjoyed strong performances on the BC Cup circuit and was named to the BC Development Squad.

Additionally, Alec Stapff, Avalon Wasteneys, Jamie Wasteneys, Malia Irvine, and Sheridan Meckert received CCBC nominations to the BC Talent Squad. Well done team and kudos to Coach Dave Battison!


Many SNSC members and our five grant recipients recently attended the VIMSS Beach Bash. They enjoyed a BBQ buffet, silent auction, games, tours of the new Mountain Sport Centre, and helped VIMSS raise more money to support more young Vancouver Island mountain athletes. If you would like to become a member of VIMSS or to donate, visit

Grant recepients had a ball at the VIMSS Beach Bash.