15 Dec CADS Learn to Race group heads West for training camp
On November 15th, The CADS LTR group travelled out West for their first training camp of the 2021-2022 season. The group flew into Calgary, and started the camp staying in Banff and skiing at Sunshine Village. Conditions at Sunshine were spectacular for early season skiing: 103 cm base with fresh powder daily! On the first day of skiing only three lifts were open but by the end of the week all of the main lifts were running. The first five days of training camp were spent getting accustomed to new equipment, new terrain, and building speed at Sunshine in anticipation of spending the last five days of the trip at the Panorama camp. From the 16th to the 20th, the group was up by 6 AM in order to be at the hill for 8, and skied until early afternoon. The afternoons and evenings were spent adjusting equipment, cooking healthful meals, recovering, and fine tuning the season’s training plans. The group also did a quick stop at Lake Louise to admire the view!
For the second part of the training camp, the LTR group travelled to Panorama and joined provincial, national, and international athletes at the Western Para Alpine Training Camp for training and classification. Some of the national teams in attendance were Great Britain, USA, Slovakia, and Argentina. Panorama was not yet open to the public, and conditions were significantly warmer than they had been at Sunshine; most days were only -5 instead of the -19 they were in Alberta. There were two runs available to the training camp as there was limited snow, and the training courses were being set on Showrunner. The group travelled from Canmore to Panorama on the 21st and got settled into their new accommodations and unpacked their gear. The next morning, the athletes were able to train with the OPAST team in two hour blocks on their course. Later that day on the 22nd, both women had appointments with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) classification board to complete an Athlete Evaluation.
The classification board determines the level of impairment of each athlete and also which sport class they will compete in. In order to complete the classification, both athletes were required to race in one of the races being held by World Para Alpine Skiing that week so the classification board could observe them skiing. After the evaluation, the women had one more day to practice GS gates with the OPAST team prior to their first race. The GS race was held on Skyline/Oldtimer on November 24th and consisted of 63 para alpine athletes from 9 different countries; 29 women and 34 men. Although both LTR athletes did not finish, the classification board was able to complete their certifications. After the race, the group packed up and travelled back to Canmore for their last evening, in order to catch their early flights out of Calgary the following morning. Overall it was a very successful training camp, with both LTR participants getting classified with IPC and gaining confidence and experience on snow.