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Over the weekend Golden’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort hosted the Canadian Ski Mountaineering National Championships for a fourth time.
Saturday saw the championship race over the 6000 ft course while most of the participants battled on the Enduro’s 4000 ft route. On Sunday, in a cozy atmosphere, elite racers helped the new guys with some skills tips and both raced on a short but a very technical course relay style.
The facts of the weekend were:
- great overall turnout despite missing some regular racers
- 14 racers were women
- and, the previous champions are king and queen once again
How it happened
This video captures the atmosphere, write up below provides more details. Enjoy.
43 people took part in racing on Saturday. This number could have been more than 50 if schedule conflicts or illness didn’t take out a couple of regular participants. Large groups came from Calgary and Valemount, and challenging the size of the home crowd. Overall, it is a good sign of things to come because we saw lots of new faces.
In men’s elite category Reiner Thoni captured his 4th straight national title with a commanding performance. He completed the 6000 ft course in 1h 49min and shaved over 10min from his last year’s winning time! The podium was rounded by Andrew McNab and Steve Sellers.
Three new names - Erich Peitzsch, Eric Carter, Nick Elson – and mixed with Peter Knight gave a good chase to the top three and only at late stages of the race Steve Sellers secured his 3rd place.
Women’s elite race went down less dramatically but with great performances from all. Third national title went to Melanie Bernier who is Canada’s most committed racer and is progressing dramatically every year. Her long time challenger, Julie Matteau, came in second with Billie Velisek taking third. It is also notable that Michelle Roberts was the 4th woman completing the whole challenging 6000 ft course and once gaining more experience she should become a force because 3.5h on such a course would put to shame a majority of strong ski touring men.
The 4000 ft Enduro course saw the biggest field and couple of great battles:
Igor Bernas won the men’s category ahead of Dominic Unterberger who is only a junior. Third place was decided after a fierce sprint to the finish line by two local ski patrolers - Brad Lorrimar and Ken Macdiarmi. Fifth overall was the second in junior’s category, Martin Carnogursky, who was still leading Dominic after 3/4 of the race.
The women’s category top spot went to only a junior racer Katarina Kuba who lead with a good gap in front of the other women - Amber Steed, Sheena Johnson and Jana Skerlak.
Enduro course was also completed by four splitboarders where top honors went to Nigel Fisher and Nicole Walker.
» Saturday’s event – Canadian Ski Mountaineering Championships
» Sunday’s relay event