CampsTrainingFar West Summer Camp Recap

FasterSkierSeptember 7, 2007

It’s been an incredible summer of Nordic training in the Far West region, with the division wrapping up it’s final training event of the season over Labor Day weekend at the 3rd Annual Bliss/Lake Tahoe camp. We thought we’d share a few notes and photos with the readers. For lots more photos, you can click to and go to the Photo Gallery pages for a complete list of camps and images. All photos in this article are by Mark Nadell.

The training camp season started off with a bang with Far West and Auburn Ski Clubs hosting the Western Regional Elite Group Camp at Claire Tappaan Lodge on Donner Summit, near Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area (Far West REG Camp Report). 50 athletes and 14 coaches, including USST Development Team Coach Patrick Casey, found the training and terrain to be spectacular in the Sierra Nevada in June. With almost a full week of camp, athletes were treated to great roller skiing, running, swimming, and some special strength workouts at the local park, including a unique orienteering experience at Donner Lake.

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Rollerskiing on one of the great local roads near Truckee, at Boca Reservoir

Dayna Stimson of Crowley Lake engages in some of the agility exercises at the R.E.G. camp

The month of July found the Far West Nordic juniors heading down to the incredible Eastern Sierra Nevada for the traditional June Lake Camp, led by former Olympian and National Champion Nancy Fiddler. Since the mid-90’s, this camp has taken advantage of the spectacular scenery and training opportunities in the Sierra highcountry. Designed for serious junior athletes of all skiing levels, the June Lake camp is Far West’s opportunity to integrate the strong eastern Sierra contingent from Mammoth Lakes and Bishop with the northern Sierra crew from Truckee, Tahoe City and environs. Roller skiing with breathtaking Sierra backdrops, hill bounding at the alpine hill, and climbing either 12,000 ft. + Mt. Conness or North Peak in Yosemite National Park are the highlights from this 4-day camp.

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The June Lake rope swing is always one of the highlights of camp for Russell Kennedy

The August training camp has traditionally been designed for the top-level Junior Olympic-qualified athletes, and in recent years has traveled to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, but this year found a new location for training in the Northern Sierra, in the Gold Lakes area north of Truckee. Perfect terrain for roller skiing, ski walking, and running, Gold Lakes provided a great new opportunity for the top athletes to work hard and enjoy a new location for training.

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Spectacular sunsets while camping inn the Eastern Sierra

Rollerskiing doesn’t get much more spectacular than on the Gold Lakes Road

Justin Ondry enjoys the jump after the long run down to the American River

Finally, the Labor Day weekend found a large contingent of athletes of all levels training at beautiful Lake Tahoe for the Bliss State Park camp. With a multitude of activities packed into a tight 2 and a half days, it was non-stop training and fun for the crew, and included a spectacular run along the Rubicon Trail of Lake Tahoe, a kayak session from Bliss Park to Emerald Bay, a roller ski up Blackwood Canyon on Tahoe’s west shore, and finally a run up 8,700 ft. Ellis Peak, overlooking the entire lake. And perhaps the most lasting memory for some at this camp was a 1 am visit from a local bear, and included gunfire shots into the air from the park ranger in an attempt to scare it back into the woods.

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Accessible mainly by kayak, the Indian Head rock offers some superb cliff jumping into the chilly waters of Lake Tahoe

Sand ski relays at the beach offer some alternative methods for getting in some speed work

After all the fun and games and training of the summer, the Far West Nordic Juniors are ready for the more serious training of Autumn to prepare for this year’s race season. For more information about Far West Nordic’s programs, email us at or go to the website at

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