While most people have moved on to other sports by May, the more obsessive skiers are starting the new training year on snow.
Canada’s “first” cross-country ski “races” of the 2017/2018 season were held on May 6. “First” because, while we haven’t exhaustively researched this, it was the first Saturday after May 1, which is the traditional new year for the Northern Hemisphere. “Races” is also a bit misleading as most athletes were viewing the events as an opportunity to do some intensity.
Here then, in the order which photos arrived, are the places where people are skiing in May. Did we miss one? Share in the comments below or email photos with caption and credit info to email@example.com.
Sovereign Lake, Vernon, B.C.
The Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre (SLNC) re-opened from May 4 to 7 for the Spring Fling camp and the “SLNC 1st Annual Pushups Classic Time Trial” race. The May camp has been running for years, but was moved to earlier in the month to ensure prime conditions. A number of clubs brought athletes out for technique lessons and long snow sessions. Canmore Nordic broke the pattern by focussing on low-elevation training with shorter training sessions. As the Canmore athletes live at 1,400 metres above sea level, the opportunity to train at 400 metres was more exciting than skiing at 1,700 metres.
The Canmore Nordic Centre lost its snow at the end of April, but Sunshine Meadows just a short drive west in Banff National Park hosted a large group of skiers starting May 9. Ivan Babikov is leading a training block for the Canmore-based national team members, Chris Jeffries has the Alberta World Cup Academy crew, and a number of other groups are there as well.
OK, not in Canada, but Canadians Dahria Beatty and Russell Kennedy went and enjoyed some superb skiing conditions. They raced at Bysprinten in Mosjøen, Norway, and then moved on to Sjusjøen’s 100 kilometres of trails.
Menihek, Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador
The Menihek Nordic Ski Club is officially closed, but has snow and will set track for Mother’s Day, according to club president Gerry Rideout.
Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler, B.C.
This venue is closed to the public, but has been hosting camps on natural snow. Biathlon got the first weekend of May and cross-country has the Victoria Day weekend. These photos are from the biathlon camp on the Olympic trails, mostly below 900 metres in elevation.