Category Archives: News & PRs

National Team training camp at Asulkan Hut, Rogers Pass – Nov 22-25, 2013

Words by Peter Knight – 2013 Canadian SkiMo Champ (his blog is here)

With a high pressure system locked in, we were certainly not expecting the daily refills we enjoyed last year in the Tree Triangle. A warm summer leaving the glaciers full of poorly bridged crevasses and a recent avalanche cycle led to a slight change in ambitions. But any reservations regarding ski quality vanished with the first descent down from the hut where we enjoyed some fast skiing in settled powder from snowfall earlier in the week. We then climbed up an efficiently-angled skintrack that Brad and Igor had put in the day before and skied multiple laps there until the slopes above started to warm up. Then we headed to the other side of the valley and proceeded to put more tracks down a moraine feature.


After hauling our carcasses slowly back up to the hut, it was time to begin the recovery process so that we could go just as hard the next day. Fortunately there was lots of food to eat and we enjoyed excellent sleep, going to bed early in the cozy Asulkan Cabin generously provided by the Alpine Club of Canada. We would need to bring our A-games as Melanie had just rolled up sporting her race gear.

rogers-pass-camp-3Sunday began as expected: with the boys chasing Melanie. I think everyone was able to exhibit some of their strengths. Melanie, Brad, Steve, and I were all skiing fast for the first half of the day. Marg skied up at the front during a midday lap, while Michelle, revived after a brief stop at the hut, was able to put in some additional laps above the hut to add to her impressive vertical total.

According to my legs, the end of the camp came at the perfect time after a tiring ski down the Asulkan drainage under the weight of a big backpack. I was content to simply drive away from the best skiing that I have had so far this year, while Melanie, Brad, and Michelle pushed on for another day.


Fracture line on the slope leading up to Youngs Peak.

Announcing the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Team 2014!


The Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Competition Team was selected for 2014 based on interest, potential, and ranking over 2013 races at home and abroad, they are:

Men’s A                                                               Women’s A

Stano Faban                                                       Martha Burley

Peter Knight                                                       Melanie Bernier

Brad Schalles                                                     Michelle Roberts

Steve Sellers                                                      Women’s B

Reiner Thoni                                                      Marg Fedyna

Andrew McNab                                                 Sheri Foster

Last winter Stano, Peter, Brad, and Steve fought it out on the male side for the Canada Cup, and Martha dominated the females while Melanie was on the European circuit with Reiner and Andrew.  All the athletes’ investment and effort paid off, with personal-best results moving into the realm of international recognition. Track them this season via, Twitter, or the good gossip on

Stano Faban (left) and Peter Knight during their one-day Wapta Icefield Traverse in April 2013.

Stano Faban (left) and Peter Knight during their one-day Wapta Icefield Traverse in April 2013.

Overall Canada Cup Championship for 2013 went to Stano Faban, who brought peak conditioning to exactly the right events to deliver a narrow win over resident  American Eric Carter. A man who has grown up walking his talk, Faban also leads as a consistent mentor to Junior competitors, a race organizer and official, and as the wrangler of the leading English language website for our sport –

Young and promising Peter Knight became the Canadian National Ski Mountaineering Champion in March where he was able to use newly picked up skills from just a month before during the 2013 World Championships.

For 2014, National Team selection policy has been reviewed and fine-tuned, and those with ambition can find details here: Cheer them on! Join them!

Thanks and eternal gratitude to Niall Gleeson and Ian Gale, retiring from team efforts, but never from mountain skiing and their commitment to adventure. Ian is handing over leadership of the Dogtooth Dash to focus on new family. Niall will push the Vert 180 SkiMo race for one more year, and continues in a committee position, managing national rankings.

Thanks as well to Rab, and The Alpine Club of Canada for their help and donations to the cause.

9 – 15 February 2013 – ISMF World Ski Mountaineering Championships

Carla McKirdy, Melanie Bernier, and Martha Burley at the 2013 Worlds.

Carla McKirdy, Melanie Bernier, and Martha Burley at the 2013 Worlds.

Canada took a team of 8 to Pelvoux, France and turned in its best results ever. We finished 12th in the nations rankings (of 22 or 23 countries, many with many more athletes entered). Particularly strong performances were witnessed in Sprint, Relay, and Individual races.

Reiner Thoni, Andrew McNab, Brad Schalles, and Peter Knight during the same event. Missing on the photo is Steve Sellers.

Reiner Thoni, Andrew McNab, Brad Schalles, and Peter Knight during the same event. Missing on the photo is Steve Sellers.

Detailed results and rankings at Next World Championships will be in another two years, but there will of course be a complete World Cup calendar to contend in the 2014 winter. Expect more! Our team will outdo itself.

Sponsors and Links:

2013_ACC_Logo_Web_ColourThe Alpine Club of Canada (the SkiMo National Sport Federation for Canada) and  Our most generous and consistent event sponsor has always been Mountain Equipment Co-op. Good regional source for skimo gear.

rab-small-logo Rab kits our National Skimo Team with both warm and breathable jackets.

We will be at the Calgary MEC Snowfest

mec-snowfestCome celebrate the snow with us!

MEC Snowfest is taking place on Saturday, November 16th at the MEC Calgary Store, and the Vert180 and Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada is going to be there!

Activities include: a gearswap, kids’ activities, snow clinics, ski/board consignment sale, ski waxing, avalanche safety workshops and much more!

Full details can be found at:

See you there!

2010/2011 Canadian Ski Mountaineering Race Schedule

Dogtooth Dash, photo credit:

Dogtooth Dash, photo credit:

1.  The Vert 180 - November 27, 2010
COP, Calgary, AB

2.  *Selkirk Classic – December 4-5th, 2010
Golden Alpine Holidays, Golden, BC

3.  The Tiki Torch Dash - January 15th, 2011
Kicking Horse Resort, Golden, BC

4.  Sunshine 5000 – February 5th, 2011
Sunshine, Banff, AB

5.  ROAM Randonee Rally – February 26th, 2011
Whitewater, Nelson, BC

6.  Canadian National Championships “The Dogtooth Dash” – March 26-27th, 2011
Kicking Horse Resort, Golden, BC

7.  Sun Peaks Race – April 2nd, 2011
Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops, BC

8.  Lake Louise Race – April 10th, 2011
Lake Louise, Banff, AB

9.  *Esplanade Epic – April 16-17th, 2011
Golden Alpine Holidays, Golden, BC

Note:  Race noted with a * will not be counted towards the point total, due to limited entrance numbers.
The American Schedule is looking pretty packed as well and can be viewed here. Expect bigger and more diverse races and course styles, this year is going to be a good one, both here at home, continental, and internationally.  See you on the start line.  Register for the season or any race HERE.

MEC / Sunshine 5000 2010 Results

The race ran at 9:37 a.m. on the morning of 06 Feb 2010, at Sunshine Village ski area, starting from the Gondola Mid-Station at the base of Goats Eye Mountain.

It was a beautiful day for racing, calm, with little new snow, valley fog lifting as racers moved into the alpine along the course, and finishing in the bright sunshine at minus 4 degrees.

Awards and prize presentations were held in the Gondola Base Skier Services Room shortly after 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

Winners were Reiner Thoni, of Valemount after a very close finish with Team USA skier Brandon French, and Melanie Bernier, of Revelstoke, leading the Competitive women. Sharisse Kyle and Paul Watson took the honours for the Recreational Female and Male categories respectively.

Complete results are here: mecsunshine5000results2010.doc