Monday, 19 December 2016

Cross Country Ski Coaching : Bear Valley, California

American friends we met at the Masters Worlds Cup of cross country skiing and Silver Star resort in Vernon, (Pat and Cindy),invited Pat to join them at their annual Ski camp at Bear Valley, California in December,2016 and coach the elite group of athletes. They lived part time in San Jose and part time north of Yosemite NP with time spent in the winter to manage the cross country skiing at Bear Valley, approximately 4 hours east of San Jose in the Sierras, 1 hours drive south of Reno. Dave was asked to come along. We said sure.

Flying into San Jose and seeing the millions of vehicles clogging the freeways made us feel priviledged that we live in a quiet backwoods where driving anywheres is not a challenge or gridlocked. Drive the 4 hours east of San Jose and end up in a cute ski village where the only problem is lack of snow. This is the lodge where we will be staying for the week.

Pat sitting out a wicked rain storm at a deserted local shopping mall. What we have been told is that this area gets big dumps of snow followed by sunshine. There is a big storm pounding the Sierras dumping tons of rain, 3.5 inches in 2 days, temps not getting below 38F. Dissapointing for the snow groomers, coaches and camp athletes.

After hanging around inside avoiding the deluge, the morning after the storm promises to be sunny. Pat in front of the Bear Valley sign with ditches full of water. Elevation 6600'.

Poor Bear is frozen solid after all of the rain soaking his pelt and freezing overnight.

Tracks are a bit icy and we are limited to where we can ski. Lots of open water where there should be feet of snow. Pat skating in the sun getting the feel of the terrain before the lessons start.

Dead flat practise area that is used as a landing field when the snow leaves. Beautiful in the sun.

Showing the style and power befitting a world champion in her age category.

Mike Manley, head coach putting athletes through a stretching regime before the camp.

A mixed bag of participants, young and old, some experts, some beginners. There are 4 different levels of instruction to include everyone.

OhOh. Someone trying to ski through a creek at speed. Lucky she made it over the water before crashing.

Mike giving instructions to the group in the morning before splitting up and going to their respective instruction classes.

Pat giving instructions to the advanced group of keeners on how and when to unweight ski when doing the  skating technique.

Time to head back to Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre Silver Star PP near Vernon BC. Met some great folks, ate too much, drank too much hydration fluids, ya sure super Dave, conditions were good despite having no new snow. Later on that winter, this same area would be closed down for short periods because of too much snow. Go figure.

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