|NSDT Update: Fortress Camp|
By: Tasha Betcherman
Last Monday marked the beginning of a two week training camp for the athletes of the Quebec and Canmore training centers. Along with our coaches and support staff we made our base camp at Fortress Mountain.
For those of you who arenít familiar with Fortress Mountain itís located in the heart of Kananaskis country at a considerable altitude. Itís an ideal training location because of itís amazing rollerskiing, mountain trails and roads. The hotel is situated high in the hills as part of a downhill ski resort and is currently uninhabited except for us.. The morning temperatures have been cool and crisp with snow falling daily. The golden colours of Fall look truly spectacular against the barren mountain background and steely grey sky. On many days we seem to be above the clouds, the sun disappearing quickly when training in the valley. A few of my teammates have commented that it reminds them a bit of a scene from a Rocky movie: while training in Russia for a fight, Rocky isolates himself in Siberia, using makeshift training methods like running through the snow, lifting rocks and logs, and climbing mountains - just like us.
As part of the camp we were fortunate to be able to ski at the Haig Glacier for two days. Things can get very unpredictable this time of the year, but thankfully we had great weather and perfect skiing both days. Blue hardwax and big smiles accompanied the short but effective time on snow.
The camp so far has included many long mountain runs, rollerskiing and strength conditioning. The interval sessions are all staged at lower altitude so as to maximize power output. While in Calgary for one of the intensity sessions we attended a seminar with one of the top Physiologists at the University of Calgary on a variety of topics pertaining to cross country skiing. Resources such as this really help when studying the physiological underpinnings of our complex sport.With only a few days left in the camp, and snow so tangible in the air, it seems the ski season is mere moments away.
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