Summer Skiing

The Haig Glacier, a.k.a. the Becky Scott High Performance Training Center is a staple of summer training for Canadian Nordic athletes. Tucked away in the heart of the Kananaskis country, the Haig Glacier is a one of a kind place that allows athletes, such as myself to train on snow during the summer months. Accompanied by the Canada WinSport and Alberta ski team, the Alberta World Cup Academy and the Canadian National Men's Team athletes spent eight days on the big piece of ice, eating, sleeping, and training....occasionally playing a game of Catan too.

High up in the mountains amongst the rocky giants, skiing on the Haig can be some of the best training athletes do all year. With crisp clean air, the huge bluebird skyline and the very fact that you are on skis during the summer, (maybe its the thin air talking) to me the Haig is an amazing place to train. It just depends what side of the bed mother nature wakes up on.

Out of the eight days of the training camp, about half were story book-picturesque (take the under on that actually). Going up in late August is the tail end of the glacier camps scheduled for the year, so anything goes in terms of weather. Being up there so late in the summer gave us the opportunity to see the glacier truly exposed. Staring over edge into the abyss of the cracks and crevasses of the ice, leaning and wrenching your neck to get a glance down without getting too close. 

Weather aside, training was fantastic everyday. This was my third trip to the Haig glacier. In past years I have found the camps to be extremely taxing on my body, both mentally and physically. As an elite athlete everything that you do before and and after your workout is arguably just as important as the training itself. Training on the glacier just amplifies the significance of recovery and preparing for each day. As a younger athlete I may not have put the emphasis that was needed to get the most out of each day spent at 2100-2400 metres. Now older, maybe wiser, with many more hours under my belt (even though you wouldn't know it-still a 30") I was able to ski everyday at a high quality, and end the training block with energy to spare. 

I am feeling great about the volume block that my teammates and I have put in over this period. Next on the docket, Park City, Utah. Until then, enjoy the photographs below. 

Snow dusting on the hike up.

Photo Credit: Russell Kennedy

Graeme and Yannick finishing a long day of training.

Photo Credit: Russell Kennedy

Mattias and I beginning our ski on what was one of the best days on skiing of the entire camp.

Hard tracks, fast skis, stellar views.

Graeme and Jesse exploring one of the many exposed crevasses.

Staring into the abyss.

Russell Skiing through the cloud cover of one of the best days of skiing. Photo Credit: Russell Kennedy

Our little city above the clouds.

Mountain flowers.

(Insert life metaphor) Photo Credit: Russell Kennedy

Time to head home, peace out!