And just like that, after a 3-day blurry of workouts, adventure, presentations and loads of fun the first ever Skintrack training camp is over! Everyone is tired but with a huge smile on our faces.
First of all, Eric and I want to say Thank You to everyone that attended, in some cases travelling hundreds of kilometres. You guys put faith in us and believed that when you show up the two skimo junkies will have no choice but to deliver all everything they promised
Next, we (and on behalf of all participants) want to thank to Dynafit North America, Escape Route, Clif Bar Canada and The Alpine Club of Canada for their great support of this summer skimo training gathering.
As it all happened
To recount our three days for those that couldn’t come, here are some facts:
- 17 athletes attended, either the whole camp or couple of sessions
- Another 20 or so attended the 2 speaker presentations
- 5 training venues
- Over 13 hours of training
- Around 3700m of vertical
- About 80km covered
- And 1 birthday celebration
Day 1 – Friday, Sep 13
We started the camp off by meeting for a trail-running session up Squamish’s iconic Chief and over its three summits, amazing views all around.
Afternoon brought us to Callaghan Valley for a roller-ski session. The valley is located between Squamish and Whistler, and was the venue for cross-country skiing during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
One the way to Callaghan and then back we made sure to take advantage of the lakes along the scenic Hwy 99. Cold water in two Alice and Brohm lakes relieved pain in our muscles while we soaked in September sun.
Friday’s night presentation belonged to a slideshow from my recent trip to Kyrgyzstan and China (here you can read part 1 and part 2) inside Escape Route outdoor shop. I am proud to say that everyone seemed to really enjoy it.
Day 2 – Sep 14, 2013
Saturday’s itinerary was looking big and thankfully the weather held on.
In the AM hours our group swelled to 13 as we were joined by a group of athletes from the UBC Nordic ski team. Some people roller-skiing, some biking, (me driving) one by one we made it up Cypress Bowl road that brought us to 930m above sea level and to another 2010 Olympic venue, Cypress Mountain.
A very thick fog was sitting above Vancouver and the ocean at around 600m so we were treated to heaven-like experience.
After some rest and a light lunch in the sun we started our long trail run from Cypress Mountain to Lions Bay. During this session we ended up splitting into three groups – one returning back the same way after about an hour (led by Eric), the second running to Lions Bay (3.5h), and the third, led by me, did a detour to scramble to the summit of West Lion thus extending the session to over 4h.
Later in the afternoon, we all met in Lions Bay and went for a plunge in the Pacific Ocean before heading back to Squamish.
The second night started with a sushi dinner before a presentation on performance nutrition from a professional coach Bjorn Ossenbrink. The take home message seemed to be that proper fueling and recovery are very critical to athletic success.
Right after the presentation I got a big surprise in a form of birthday cake (complete with candles) and a bottle of 7-year old red wine. Then to make sure we remember all that was said during the nutrition talk we headed to a pub for a round of birthday beers.
Day 3 – Sun 15, 2013
Eric and I thought a strength session specifically targeting skimo muscles should be included in camp’s itinerary and so Eric arranged a coach and a gym from Challenge by Choice for 2h of suffer-fest given the training load on previous days. Muscles hurt but fun was had all around. This workout topped the most-sweat-lost charts.
The final workout went almost as planned, only cut short by an approaching lightning storm. Yet still, we did about 3h of running over superb trails inside the beautiful Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Once done and 50 hugs later, everyone took off in different direction in search of a couch at their homes.
See you all next time, we will try to make it as soon as we can