Contributed by Sandra Watt
Whitewater Ski Resort – Sunday February 20:
Sunday morning broke quite cold and clear – a beautiful morning. The temperature was -13 degrees Celsius at 8:30 a.m. when the young Summit Lake Racers arrived at Whitewater for a Nancy Greene Ski League Race.
After getting organized in the lodge, assisted by their volunteer coaches and able parents, the racers proceeded to the top of the Silver King chair, hung a right and skied over to the top of the stubbie slalom course. By this time the sun was starting to break over Glory Ridge and shine on parts of the ski area. What a fabulous day!
Racers from Red Mountain, Phoenix, Salmo, Whitewater, and Summit Lake converged on the top of the course which was set on the Sluice Box run.
The two courses were inspected by the kids (ages 6–12) and their coaches. There was quite a bit of discussion about good race strategy. The top of the course was steep followed by some close gates which made for some very quick turns, followed by more steep and a good run out at the bottom. The snow conditions were great; nicely packed and fast but not icy. Most of the kids agreed that it was some of the best conditions they had seen so far.
By 10:30 a.m. or so the races started and young skiers from all over the Kootenays were blasting down the left course.
After a quick lunch it was back up to the top for the second race down the right course.
Coach Barb Lewis said, “The course looked pretty challenging, particularly the first run with some tight turns and side hill gates to contend with…really made you stay on your skis and turn early or get caught back on your skis and have a hard time staying in the course … (the) second run seemed to have a better rhythm and the kids really seemed to like the flush at the top.”
Along the way and at the finish line there was lots of cheering and smiles – and of course the obligatory Smarties at the bottom.
When it was all over there was still lots of time for some free-skiing with friends and families. Congratulations to both teams for earning second place ribbons and three cheers for Ivy Tourand who received a bronze medal for E3 girls and to Solomon Tupper for his gold medal for E3 Boys!
“Great job racers,” exclaimed Daryl Katchen who went on to say, “It has been very rewarding watching these young skiers develop their racing skills so quickly.”
Two months ago some of these skiers struggled with getting down the hill. Now these skiers are hoping on the chair lifts and skiing down slalom courses on slopes that would intimidate most skiers.
Thanks to the Whitewater hosts, and a special thanks to our dedicated coaches and assistants and other volunteers for making this program so great for the kids! Zone Finals to take place at Summit Lake Ski Hill on Sunday March 6. Come out and watch!
For a photo gallery of submitted photos, visit us at www.arrowlakesnews.com.