Alta Gas Report – January 2014

Alta Gas Report

Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

January 2014


With two months of skiing under our belts, the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club is marching forwards with a head full of steam! Our programming begins with three year-old Bunnies and carries on through to Master’s skiers with more decades on snow than you can count on one hand.


The basis of our program is rooted in our Race Team, comprised of athletes from nine to 17 years of age. These athletes train as group three to five times weekly under the direction of Coach Matt and with the generous support of coaches Bruce Granstrom, Rory Luxmoore and Katie Nash. Thus far in the 2013-14 season, we have competed in three significant races (NORAM, Okanagan Cup and two BC Cups) and one loppet (Reino Keski). Over the course of the racing season, the team will compete in the Okanagan Cup Finale, the Midget Championships, Western Championships and the BC Championships. Coaches all agree how wonderful it is to work with a group of young athletes who are committed to improving their fitness and technique, gaining experience on the race course and realizing their season’s objectives!  Below is a compiled list of our top results this season – great work skiers!


NORAM, December 7th & 8th at Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club

8th Alana Brittin (Juvenile Girls, 5km Interval Classic)


Okanagan Cup, December 29th at Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

1st Simon Blackie (Midget Boys 1, 3.5km Interval Classic)

1st Alana Brittin (Midget Girls 2, 3.5km Interval Classic)

2nd Nelson Luxmoore (Bantam Boys 1, 2.5km Interval Classic)

3rd Francesco Morrone (Pee Wee Boys 1, 1.5km Interval Classic)

3rd Miika Park (Midget Girls 1, 3.5km Interval Classic)

3rd Elizabeth Elliott (Midget Girls 2, 3.5km Interval Classic)

3rd Tayla Koerber (Junior Girls, 10km Interval Classic)


*This Okanagan Cup served as a BC Winter Games Qualifier. Our four eligible athletes: Kate Granstrom, Beth Granstrom, Elizabeth Elliott and Alana Brittin qualified to compete in the event held in Mission/Callaghan Valley on Feburary 22nd – 24th. Coach Matt will be the co-coach for the Okanagan region at the event.


BC Cup, January 4th & 5th at Caledonia Nordic Ski Club

1st Alana Brittin (Midget Girls 2, 3.3km Interval Classic)

2nd Alexandra Luxmoore (Pee Wee Girls 2, 250m Skate Sprint; 1km Interval Classic)

3rd Nelson Luxmoore (Bantam Boys 1, 400m Skate Sprint; 2.3km Interval Classic)

3rd Simon Blackie (Midget Boys 1, 400m Skate Sprint; 3.3km Interval Classic)

3rd Miika Park (Midget Girls 1, 3.3km Interval Classic)


BC Cup, January 25th and 26th at Overlander Nordic Ski Club

1st Simon Blackie (Midget Boys 1, 3.75km Mass Start Classic)

1st Alana Brittin (Midget Girls 2, 3.75km Mass Start Classic)

2nd Francesco Morrone (Pee Wee Boys 2, Interval Skate)

3rd Nelson Luxmoore (Bantam Boys 1, Interval Skate)

3rd Simon Blackie (Midget Boys, Interval Skate)




A new addition to our event calendar has been the Headlamp Heroes (HH) Wednesday Night Race Series. These friendly toonie races have already begun to stir up rivalries amongst good-hearted competitors. The inaugural event on December 15th was sponsored by Skookum and saw 34 skiers race either a 1.5km, 3.75km or 7.5km Classic Individual Start event. On January 15th the second HH event was an exciting Skate Sprint held within the confines of our stadium sprint loop. 42 competitors were treated to high-speed action, including falls and finish line lunges, topped off with a chili feast courtesy of the Village Idiot. On February 5th, skiers will compete in a 1.5km, 5km or 10km Skate Mass Start event sponsored by Free Spirit Sports. Flowt will be proudly sponsoring the series finale, a four-person team relay. The first two 2.5km legs will be classic and the final two 2.5km legs will be skate. The best part about all these events is that you no longer need an excuse to sport your most fluorescent spandex get-up!


Currently, there are have 12 individuals who participate in our technique-based Adult Intermediate and Advanced classes run on Tuesday evenings OR Thursday afternoons. New for this season is our Wednesday Night Open Sessions on non-race night Wednesdays. Participants may either classic or skate during these fitness-based sessions aimed at offering an option for adult skiers who want a group training opportunity. In addition to the Adult Classes and Open Training, we have had 26 skiers take part in our One Day Ski Clinics!


Finally, Columbia Park Elementary has kicked off our Ski Skool program for this season and will be sending their fourth graders to the Pirate Loppet in Salmon Arm. Begbie View and Arrow Heights will be joining us for their February Ski Skool bookings.


With lots of great skiing left in the season, it is important to mention how the continued support from Alta Gas has provided Revelstoke Nordic the opportunity to provide an extensive development program. Stay tuned for more to come!


Matt Smider

Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club Head Coach


Headlamp Heroes Wednesday Night Race Series

The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club

Headlamp Heroes: Wednesday Night Race Series


December 18th – Classic Individual

January 15thSkate Sprints

February 5th Skate Pursuit

March 5th – Mixed Relay

All ages and skill levels

$2 entry for RNSC members

Trail fee extra for non-members

Registration 6pm onwards at the Macpherson Nordic Lodge

Racing begins at 7pm

Draw Prizes!

For more information contact:

Thanks to our local sponsors:

Village IdiotFSSnewlogo-320x209flowt_bikegraphic_cropSkookum-logo

2013/14 Programs

Nordic Skiing Programs

The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club offers Nordic ski programming for children and adults based out of the Mount Macpherson Nordic Lodge, located 8km south of town on Highway 23.

Team ScreamBunny Program (ages 4-5)

Focus on fun and introduces basic movement skills on skis. Starts January 4th. $50

Jackrabbit Program (Ages 6 – 9)

Provides skiers with the fundamental skills of classic and skate technique in a fun and playful environment. Starts Saturday December 7th.
Jackrabbits Level 1,2 & 3 (Age 6-8) Saturdays: 9:45-12:00 15 sessions: $75
Jackrabbits Level 4 (Age 9) Saturdays: 9:45-12:00 Wednesdays: 4:00-5:30 30 sessions: $120

Track Attack (Ages 10 – 12)

Aims to produce technically competent Nordic skiers, focusing on skiing for fitness and competition. Includes dry-land training in the fall. Skiing Starts December 7th. $250

Junior Development (Ages 13-18)

For skiers wishing to compete at a provincial and national level. Skiers follow a year-round training program oriented around achieving their goals as competitive cross-country skiers. Year-round. $350

Trailblazers (Ages 10+)

For skiers who want exposure to adventure activities (e.g., avalanche awareness, environment, survival). We continue technique development for the recreational skier. Saturdays from 10:00 – 12:00. Starts December 7th. $125

Adult Beginner Program

It’s never too late to learn and stay fit on our fabulous trail system! Adults will get excellent instruction to ski with confidence. Starts January 4th. $125
Wednesday Night Races / Group Training

Team ScreamAdult Intermediate and Advanced Program

Choose either Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30pm OR Thursday afternoons from 12:30 – 2:00. Sessions will alternate between classic and skate focusing on all major components of both techniques. Starts January 7th. $125

Wednesday Night Race / Training Program

Think you’re fit and want to test your skills against the young racers? Never tried racing and want to give it a shot without the stress of a big competition? Want to keep your competitive streak alive without weekly bike races? 4 Wednesday nights, 4 racing formats, $2/race, innumerable prizes and unlimited fun! December 18th, January 15th, February 5th and March 5th are race nights! Like the idea of training in a group setting? All other Wednesdays during the ski season are FREE group workouts (for RNSC members). Based on your skiing goals and experience, interested skiers will be assigned a workout group for the evening session. Workouts will begin ASAP once the snow arrives. All Wednesday activities will begin at 7pm.

One-Day Ski Clinics

Ideal for intermediate / advanced skiers who cannot commit to our full adult program. Sunday, December 15th OR Sunday, January 19th. Classic: 10:00 – 12:00; Skating: 1:00 – 3:00. $20 / 2hr Clinic

Private / Semi-Private Lessons

1.5 hours. $40 private, $30/each semi-private, $25/each groups of 3+. Trail fee extra for non- members.


Sign up at Members Night, November 4th, 5pm at Machpherson Nordic Lodge. Or go to
Registration deadline for children’s programs: November 30th.
For more information contact: Matt Smider, Head Coach Ian Brown, Ski League Director
We are always looking for volunteer coaches for the Ski League programs! Please let us know if you are interested in helping out.

A Brief History of Skiing in Revelstoke

A Brief History of Skiing in Revelstoke

Skiing in this region dates back to sometime before 1890 when Ole Sandberg used a pair of home made skis to descend from his mine to the railway station at Albert Canyon. Sandberg and other Scandinavian immigrants brought skiing to the community both as a sport and as part of their work. Ole Westerberg, for one, used skis to deliver mail 80 kilometres north of Revelstoke, a job he kept for 35 years. Along his mail route he also delivered supplies, ran a trap line, and had misadventures with grizzly bears and thin ice. Revelstoke merchant F. B. Wells was the first to retail skis and alsohelped established the Revelstoke Ski Club in 1891 (the oldest continually operating ski club in Canada). Travel by means of “Norwegian snowshoes,” as skis were initially known, quickly caught on in Revelstoke, a community with one of the highest annual snowfalls in the world.

Photo: Revelstoke Ski Club 1893 (note matching jackets) – Photo courtesy of B.C. Archives #B000764.

The late 19th century saw a growth of interest in skiing which spread from Norway to central Europe and North America. Ski jumping became a specialized branch of cross country races, which had included leaps from terrain features.

The Revelstoke Ski Club first organized cross-country races and ski jumping events on Mount Revelstoke in 1915, attracting international competitors for the next six decades. In the years prior to the opening of the Trans Canada Highway in 1962, winter access to Revelstoke was only by train. To help accommodate the influx of thousands of visitors to Revelstoke during competitions, extra passenger railcars were left on a siding during the competition as a place for visitors to sleep.

The Mount Revelstoke site, still visible from downtown Revelstoke, was the last of series of jumps built in this area. It was the largest natural ski jump in Canada, and the only site in Canada where world records were ever set. The slope had an ideal shape, requiring little in the way of alteration. The site needed no artificial tower for the jumpers’ approach, and the run-out followed a natural contour. The combination of conditions here made record jumps possible, which is what attracted jumpers and spectators.

Photo: Mount Revelstoke Ski Jump 1950’s – Photo courtesy Revelstoke Museum and Archives.

Flying off the Mount Revelstoke jump in 1916, Nels Nelsen, a Norwegian immigrant to Revelstoke, set a new world record of 186 feet. He held the Canadian record until 1932, breaking his own record five times and setting world records here again in 1921 and 1925.

Nelsen intended to work his way to Europe on a freighter to participate in the 1928 winter Olympics, but team organizers in Britain declined to include him on the Canadian team. More concerned with appearances than performance, they considered his style of travel unbecoming of a gentleman. His ski career ended in 1932 after he lost a hand in an accident with a rifle.

Bob Lynburne did make it to the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid. Back in Revelstoke the following year he established a world record with a 287 foot jump. A brain injury suffered on a crash landing ended his ski career. He continued to work for the railway but was never quite the same. He had the habit of long walks in the woods and one day he did not return. His body was never found.

Isabel (Pat) Coursier set the world record for women on the Mount Revelstoke jump in 1923 and was the only woman that year to compete unassisted. Other “glider girls,” as they were known, went off the jump holding hands with a male partner. Coursier went on to competitions across North America, often breaking new ground for women’s competitive sport. Her record remained uncontested until her retirement from jumping in 1929. She studied physical education at McGill University and worked as a teacher in Canada and Scotland, returning in her retirement to Revelstoke and later to Penticton.

John McInnes, North American ski jumping champion in 1969, also competed in the Olympics. He continues to operate a business in Revelstoke. His brother Alan McInnes, also a jumper at the time, would take three weeks off work prior to a competition to prepare the jump. The entire slope of snow was first broken with a shovel, boot packed, and then smoothed with skis. Later, a system employing a heavy roller, raised and lowered by a winch, was used for finishing the surface.

The last improvements to the facilities on Mount Revelstoke were made in the early 1960s, which included the judges’ tower that still stands. Lift serviced skiing moved in 1969 from Mount Revelstoke to nearby Mount Mackenzie with the intention of someday expanding to the summit. The last jumping event took place in 1974. The advent of the large constructed jumps nearer to urban centers supplanted to need to travel to remote natural jump sites like Revelstoke. Also, Revelstoke’s heavy snowfalls required a great deal of manual packing—a volunteer workload that was difficult to sustain. Today, the Revelstoke Ski Club continues as an alpine ski racing program. Over the years several local racers have competed internationally.

Cross country skiers split from the parent club to form the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club in 1989 when the group purchased a track setting machine. The Nordic skiers operate a network of ski trails on Mount Macpherson under an agreement with the British Columbia Forest Service.