We certainly had quite the cold spell early February but it didn’t affect the enthusiasm for the BC Midgets Championships hosted by the Larch Hills Nordic Society on Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 8 and 9.
Saturday was forecast to be very cold so the decision was made Friday to delay the start until 10 a.m. in hopes of the temperature rising to the critical –15 C, the lowest temp for Midget racing. Folks arrived at the hill early Saturday to –17 C, but indeed it “warmed” up so we could start at 10 a.m. As volunteers, we had the luxury of putting on loads of warm clothes – down parka, insulated ski pants, down mitts, wool toque – whereas the young racers were dressed in their lightweight racing suits as they lined up for their individual starts in the classic event.
I give these kids full marks for dealing so well with such chilly conditions. With great tracks, a well set-up stadium, efficient running of the races and quick, accurate results, the event hummed along well. There were more than 200 skiers entered so it was important to provide a spot out of the weather for the racers to gather, rest and eat, so the tracksetter shed was transformed into the “Olympic Village,” with tables set up for lunch, hanging out, etc. Our chalet isn’t quite large enough to fill the bill.
The Midget age classification for this meet is Grades 4 to 7. A super idea to have a meet dedicated to this age group to maintain and foster their enthusiasm for racing. Clubs from around the province were represented – Revelstoke, Prince George, Mt. Washington, Kelowna, Vernon and Nelson – as well as Metthow Valley, Washington, who were so pleased to come to this meet since they had had very little, if any, snow at their ski area.
The compliments to the organizers were numerous and we all came away with a great sense of accomplishment. Nice to be able to host these larger events. We now have the stadium, knowledgeable race organizers, a major number of volunteers and a super track setter and operators.
A couple of weeks back Peter Mair, with assistance from Hermann Bruns, Phil McIntyre-Paul and Warren Staff, built an igloo on the 400-meter bog in honour of Hermann’s birthday. Having stomped down the area to compact the snow, the guys went for a ski to let the snow set, then came back and cut out blocks and built the igloo. Peter says he acquired the skill during an outdoor course while in high school in Prince Rupert. It’s important to know how to properly build an igloo in order to avoid having the structure collapse on its inhabitants.
Three of the guys then stayed overnight in the igloo. Winter camping at its best!
Lots of skiing on Shuswap Lake. Last Wednesday’s ski team practice was on the lake down near the wharf.
Super to see 70-plus young skiers out doing their drills, taking advantage of the closeness of this venue to town and not having to travel to the Larch Hills.
We’ll enjoy this latest snowfall as we ski to town from Raven.
Best of luck to the skiers competing in the BC Championships in Kelowna from Feb. 28 to March 2, and those off to the National Championships in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland March 15-23.