SNSC News — November 25, 2015

Snow Camps


Can you feel it? The subtle shift in temperature and the hint of snow in the air?

This past weekend we found some of our dedicated athletes getting in some early season play-time (ahem, hard, gruelling training) on a frozen Battleship Lake.

Race Team revels in the presence of white stuff. Photo: T. McGrady
Race Team revels in the presence of white stuff. Photo: T. McGrady

While some people skied, others were overcome with joy and spent unknown periods of time lying prone, communing with the frozen natural environment… whether this was from the shock of seeing snow or just pure physical exhaustion is yet to be determined.


Continuing the theme of early season skiing, athletes across the province gathered in Vernon two weekends ago.

“From Nov. 11-15, a record-breaking 79 skiers and 14 coaches from around British Columbia ascended to Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre and Silver Star Mountain for the annual Fall Snow Camp hosted by Cross Country BC.”

Athletes in attendance from SNSC included Tallon Noble (BC Ski Team), Connor McGrady, Ross Lamon (BC Dev Squad) and Matthew Salmon, Emmy Stapff, Amelia Wells, Aiden Noble, Stephen Lamon, Gabe Gledhill, Zander Swift (all BC Talent Squad) as well as Andrea Stapff (Dev Squad coach) and Margaret Salmon (parent helper).

“This is the first time on snow for most of our athletes, which makes for a lot of excitement, but they are encouraged to ski slowly and smoothly to adjust to early season conditions and the higher altitude,” said CCBC provincial coach Chris Manhard.

According to SN Head Coach, Andrea Stapff, the camp was a big success.


And of course, for those of you looking for camps a little closer to home, registration is now OPEN for the the upcoming snow camp hosted at our very own mountain from December 28-31st! This is great chance to get out, have fun and train hard with some of SNSC own excellent coaches, as well as a special guest, BC Team Head Coach Chris Manhard.

If that’s not enough incentive, athletes between the ages of 8 and 16 get a SNAZZY Teck t-shirt.

All camp information can be found in the Camp Notice on the Zone4  registration page.

Race Notices

TECK COAST CUP #1 – Callaghan Valley, BC

Last call to register for the upcoming race in the Callaghan Valley set to go off on November 29th (this weekend!) For most, this will be the first race of the season and a good opportunity to dust off ye old ski booties. Strathcona Nordics already has 37 club members attending the event, amongst which there are 22 racers! Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend, with great skiing conditions reported in the Callaghan.

Last day to register is November 26th (tomorrow!)

Registration can be done on the Zone4 registration page


Another exciting upcoming race on the weekend of December 12-14. This is the first big race of the season, and always a lot fun.

Last day of registration is December 7th.

Registration can be done on  Zone4 registration page


Calling all skiers born in 2001 or 2002!

It’s your chance to join other skiers your age from communities throughout British Columbia for a weekend of cross-country skiing competition and fun!

Eight zones will be represented – Kootenay, Okanagan, Lower Mainland (3), Vancouver Island, Northwest and Northeast. Eight skiers, 4 boys & 4 girls, from Zone 6 (Vancouver Island) will be selected to take part in the cross-country skiing events.

In order to qualify athletes MUST compete in the Zone 6 Trial Race taking place on January 2nd at Mt Washington. All athletes selected to compete in the Games must be a member in good standing with Cross Country BC.

Skiers born in 2002 may compete in the Midget or Juvenile age category at the Games and at the trials. Skiers born in 2001 must compete in the Juvenile category at the Games and the trials. Competitors may only be entered in one age category at the Games.

The cross-country ski events at the Games will include:

  • Interval Start Race: 15 second intervals, classic technique, 3.5k (Midgets) & 5k (Juveniles)
  • Individual Sprint Race: free technique, distance 400 metres
  • Zone Relays: 2 boys, 2 girls, mixed techniques, combined age categories, 4 x 2.0k

Coaching Workshops

Club members practicing technique during 2014 snow camp. Photo: A. Stapff
Club members practicing technique during 2014 snow camp. Photo: A. Stapff


Interested in getting involved? The Club is offering two coaching courses in January, and YOU could benefit! Improve your own skiing, and help the club out with some coaching support!

Check out these two courses (below), running in early January before the Rabbit Program begins:

  • January 2-3 – ICC – Introduction to Community Coaching – 10 hours – For coaching children 6 and under.
  • January 8-10 – CC – Community Coaching – 16 hours – For coaching children age 6-9 (includes 2-3 hours on Friday night)

You can attend one or both courses, but you must take ICC before you take CC course.

To confirm which courses you would like to attend email Marilyn:

Note: the Club pays the course registration fee, in return for your commitment to do some coaching for one of the programs.


The ICC Workshop is designed for parents and other beginning coaches. This workshop focuses on building individuals confidence in their coaching role, and teaches basic strategies including how to deliver a series of age-appropriate skill development sessions under the guidance/supervision of more experienced coaches.

The ICC focuses on fundamentals of technique, growth and development considerations in the athlete model, and also provides strategies for creating a fun learning environment, including instruction on how to set up a ski playground. The course is oriented towards working with skiers of all age groups, but with an emphasis on working with children under six years of age (the “Active Start” stage of athlete development).

There are no prerequisites except enthusiasm and the minimum age requirement of 14 years.

10 hrs / workshop. The workshop fee for CCC/CCBC members is $80.00.  The workshop fee for non-CCC/CCBC members is $160.00. NOTE Club pays your course fee


The CC Workshop is the second step in the NCCP coach education program. It provides essential training for coaches by delivering an effective skill development program to children six to nine years of age (the “FUNdamentals” stage of athlete development).

This program is designed to train coaches to teach children skills through select games specifically designed to reinforce techniques being taught. In addition, new coaches are taught how to design and lead on-snow sessions, select and prepare equipment for young children and most importantly, how to make learning FUN. Successful completion of the ICC Workshop, enthusiasm and a minimum age of 14 years are the only prerequisites.

16 hrs / workshop. The workshop fee for CCC/CCBC members is $100.00.  The workshop fee for non-CCC/CCBC members is $200.00. NOTE Club pays your course fee


Coach refresher sessions are FREE and open to ALL SNSC coaches – Skill Development and Recreation Program Coaches, Race Coaches, Ski S’kool Coaches, and any new aspiring coaches intending to take the ICC course Jan 2nd/3rd.

All levels of skiing and coaching ability are welcome and encouraged to come out. These refreshers are for you to work on your own skills, learn more about how to teach the skills, enhance your repertoire of games and increase your confidence in your skiing and coaching. Video feedback will be offered at each refresher session.

So mark the dates on your calendar! Come and join your SNSC coaching colleagues for some fun times on skis!

Contact Andrea Stapff or Marilyn Atkinson for more info: or

  • December 27 – 9:30am-12pm – orientation & classic technique, 12:30-2pm -games on skis
  • January 23 – 1-3pm – classic technique
  • February 21 – 1-3pm – skate technique
  • March 12 – 1-3pm – skate technique



Don’t forget to register for the 2016 season! Support the club, the mountain and the sport of cross country skiing and be a part of a wonderful, encouraging community of people who like spandex and snow just as much as you do!

It’s easy, just click the register button at the top of the left sidebar!


Cross-country skiing is a great family activity, so come on out and bring the kids! Our Head of Jackrabbits, Marika Galik says she is looking forward to another fun season.

Registration deadline December 31st!

The Rabbits brought winter back to the mountain with a fun beach party! See "Rabbits" story below. Photo: C. Wilson
Photo: C. Wilson

New Developments


The Strathcona Nordic Ski Club and the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club are excited to announce a joint initiative to coordinate programming in support of biathlon development on Vancouver Island. The clubs have a long history of working together on infrastructure development, so this is a natural partnership.

Under the programming initiative, biathletes will develop their skiing technique through participation in one of the ski club programs and hone their shooting and competition skills through the biathlon club programs. The two clubs are working together to promote this initiative and develop fee arrangements and scheduling options that will encourage people to participate in biathlon at both a recreational and competitive level. Membership in both clubs will be a basic requirement due to PSO and insurance requirements.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.24.01 PM

Those interested are encouraged to visit our website, and the biathlon website (vibiathlon) for membership and programming details . Further details about scheduling and fee options will be posted over the next few weeks as the potential number of participants and ski program choices for 2015/16 become clearer.

In the meantime please contact Len Apedaile at or Pat Douglas at to express your interest in biathlon and/or to discuss ski programming options!


Dear ski club members,

Thanks to all who came out and supported the AGM and ski swap and thanks to the entire organising team, in particular Patty Johnson, for a succesful event that saw over $6300 in transactions and raised $1080 for the club. I’d like to welcome new board members Marilyn Atkinson (Coach Development) and Freya Wasteneys (Communication). Marilyn has been a long time club coach and program coordinator and a perfect fit for this role while Freya is a club ski team alumnus who knows the club’s inside from an athletes perspective and brings her passion for the sport and its promotion to the board. Freya currently lives in Vancouver where she is studying Communications. Freya will be supported locally by Barb Matson who has volunteered to help with the Communications portfolio. I’d also like to welcome Patty Johnson into her new role as Club Treasurer moving from the dual role of Vice President and Secretary. This leaves these two positions open and I will be working to fill these as the season gets going.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in the board, both these positions on the executive are excellent entry roles for learning the ropes and contributing to the clubs governance. Also still open is the role of Officials Chair with responsibility for officials development and competition planning.

It was great to be back on snow in Strathcona Park last weekend and it looks like a positive start to the season with more fresh snow yesterday. Get out and do some early season exploring!

Len Apedaile
Club President



Help our racers! Use your Thrifty Foods Smile Card and have 5% go to our ski club wax program. Help our skiers grip and glide across the island, province and nation everytime you buy groceries at Thrifty’s with no extra cost to you. Earning your cape was never so easy!

Contact Patty or a member of the race team to get your super exclusive super hero Thrifty’s Smile Card.

Everyone knows the power of a smile…

Photo: A. Stapff
Photo: A. Stapff

SNSC News — November 4, 2015

Swap and AGM

It’s time to go through your nordic ski gear if you haven’t done so already and see which items you hope to find and what you’re going to sell at the swap on Saturday, November 7!

Kiss your gear good-bye or welcome some new gear at the swap on Saturday!
Kiss your gear good-bye or welcome some new gear at the swap on Saturday!

Saturday, November 7
Queneesh Elementary in Courtenay, next to the new hospital

  • 9:30 to 11:30am — Drop off gently-used skate and classic ski gear for tagging
  • 11:30am on — Enjoy a delicious chili lunch
  • 12pm to 1pm — Catch up on the island’s cross-country ski news at our AGM
  • 1 to 3pm — Buy gently-used xc ski gear at the Swap!
  • 3 to 3:30pm — Pick up your unsold gear

Note: People attending the AGM will get in first to the gear sales.
No alpine ski gear.
Anything remaining after 3:30pm will be donated.


Registration is open for winter 2016! For our weekend programs, use the “Register” button on the left sidebar. If you are a school group, look for the “School Groups” link in the sidebar. 


At the swap on the 7th of November, the CIBC Wood Gundy School XC Ski Program is looking for donations of mitts, hats, and any outwear such as wind/rain pants, ski pants, ski or rain jackets to have on hand for students who may not have appropriate gear for their school ski lessons. The School Program will have a box with a sign on it at the ski swap for donations!

Keep smiling

The Thrifty Foods Smile Card program is active again. If you shop at Thrifty’s, contact Patty to pick up a Strathcona Nordics Smile Card — or if you still have it, continue using your Strathcona Nordics Smile Card.

At no extra cost to you, Thrifty’s will donate 5% of your purchase to our ski club wax program and help our racers as they represent our club and island across the province and nation.

You can still collect air miles with every purchase and use your Smile Card at any Thrifty Foods store. Contact Patty or a racing team member to get a card.