Category Archives: Race Results & Reports

Melanie Bernier’s first ever World Cup medal for Canada + Canadian Skimo Series rankings as of Mar 2, 2014

The Canadian skimo story of this season so far is Melanie Bernier’s bronze medal at a World Cup sprint race in Val Comelico, Italy. This marks the first ever skimo World Cup podium placing for Canada!

Melanie on the very right.

Melanie on the very right.

Canadian Skimo Series news:

Canadian current skimo racing season has been severely compromised so far – two races got cancelled due to extremely low temperatures, one was very compromised due to weather as well – which leaves us only with one proper race.

Attached is a PDF version of the Canadian series rankings spreadsheet. You will need to zoom-in to see all details but in short here’s a recap of the season so far:

  • First scheduled race was cancelled – Dec 7, 2013 at COP in Calgary.
    (not included in the spreadsheet)
  • Second one at Castle Mountain was run on a very limited course – Jan 11, 2014.
    (included in the spreadsheet)
  • Third round, the Ken Jones Classic, was cancelled – Feb 8, 2014.
    (not included in the spreadsheet)
  • Fourth round, at Whitewater Resort, went as scheduled – Feb 22, 2014.
  • (included in the spreadsheet)

Rankings in short:

  • Two Americans are currently leading the men’s Canadian Series!
    Eric Carter leads Ben Parsons and Peter Knight
  • In women’s rankings this are also interesting:
    Marg Fedyna leads 19-year old Katarina Kuba and Melanie Bernier who spent most of her season racing on World Cups in Europe.

» And here’s the file, remember to zoom in – 2014 02 24 – 2014 Canadian Rankings

Results & Report: Castle Mountain Resort Ski Mountaineering Race – January 11, 2014

The 2nd annual Castle Mountain Resort (CMR) Ski Mountaineering Race (Skimo) is in the books. 29 racers joined in the fun with 14 volunteers in support. The representation in all divisions (Recreational & Competitive, Junior & Masters) was a particularly positive outcome.

The recurring theme for the pre-race track setting and Skimo race was wind.  Of significance in relation to the wind is the hard work of CMR’s Mountain Safety Operations (MSO). These professionals had a mountain(s) to keep operational and they managed that plus, they were oh so accommodating in support of the Skimo event! Huge kudos to the MSO group and CMR Management for their support throughout the weekend.

The Skimo route as depicted on the race poster morphed four times between Friday afternoon and the eventual start of the race at 11:00AM Saturday.

Track setting on Friday by volunteers was obliterated likely as soon as the track was put in. A volunteer was blown over on Friday in the alpine. A snowmobile reconnaissance into the alpine early on Saturday morning returned with a very white and windy report. A key takeaway for race organizers of future Skimo events with high wind is that route pin flags should be zip-tied to tree branches, bushes, boulders, and snags. That way they won’t blow away to Lethbridge and Skimo won’t be seen to litter.

CMR’s MSO staff and Skimo organizers met a number of times to discuss what effect the wind was having on their operations and the Skimo route(s).

By 10:00AM (the race was only delayed an hour) it was decided to do two laps on the Huckleberry and Haigh Ridge terrain, with the competitive division doing two laps and the recreational division one full and one shorter lap. The competitive division racers ascended/descended approximately 4168’ while the recreational division racers ascended/descended approximately 3168’.

The skiing and boarding public witnessed the race start. Racers skated right by the day lodge in front of the Blue Chair. It was cool to field inquiries from the public during the race start and from the Huckleberry terrain enthusiasts. Everyone wanted to know what was going on! Some folks thought this was a great idea and others were dumb-founded that people would climb when there are lifts.

During the awards ceremonies racers and volunteers alike reported that the event was a good one despite some minor delays and route changes. Divisional 1st, 2nd & 3rd place male and female finishers jumped up and stomped on the new Ski Mountaineering Competition Canada Podium.

FULL RESULTS: 2014CastleMtnResults

The Castle Skimo organizers, racers, and volunteers gratefully acknowledge the support (in cash and/or in product) of the following sponsors;

  • Secure Energy Services,
  • MEC
  • Ortovox Canada,
  • Voile.

Thanks to all racers, parents, partners, spectators, media, and volunteers. Thanks again to CMR management, mountain safety operations and to the entire Castle community for embracing Skimo.

Respectfully submitted 2014-01-13
Castle Skimo Volunteer Race Director
Brent Harris

2011 National Championships: The Dogtooth Dash at KHMR in Golden, BC

The Dogtooth Dash race has been the diamond on the Canadian skimo racing circuit for some time now, and it hosted the National Championships for a third consecutive year. That says it all about the passion of the organizing crew and the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort itself.

The racing

There were three race courses to choose and the main one went over numerous climbs, ridges and descents to total about 5300 feet of climbing.

Canadian National Skimo Champions for the 2011 are Reiner Thoni and Melanie Bernie. They were followed by Andrew McNab and Ian Gale, and by Julie Matteau and Billie Velisek.

The results and rest of the report will be added soon.

Race day in video

Filming and editing done by Stano Faban (feel free to embed in your blogs):

World Championships 2011, Sprint Race

The following race report is courtesy of Skimo Canada team member Alex Wigley via

Another race done for the Ski Mountaineering World Championships 2011, the Sprint Race.  The Sprint is a fairly new event in Skimo racing, but really encompasses every skill into one lung busting 120m climb, with a fast downhill and skate ski section. (Photo Below:  Josef Rottmoser during his insanely fast sprint race)

The course start with a 40m climb that is fairly low angle, to a 20m switchback section, into a 20m bootpack, then another 20m climb, transition and downhill into a slightly uphill skate ski.  Transitions, racing, and descending times are always expected at around 3-4 minutes.  The more technical a racer can be the more time he/she can shave off of this short course, but don’t forget the mega power endurance that comes from training for specificly for an event like this.

The race starts with racers being sent off every 30 seconds, running solo on the course, and trying to hit their top speed for a cutoff for a quarter final round, semi final, and final round devised of six heats.  The best way to describe it would be to do some long intervals, that would have bootpacking, switchbacks and transitions, at your best pace or until you taste blood.  (Photo Below:  Melanie Bernier (CAD) in the Final Heat)

The fastest times were unbelievably fast, as the long distance enduro athletes North America produces, wasn’t up to par with the Sprint Specialists that Switzerland, Germany, France, and Spain brought.  That being said, Canada’s Melanie Bernier was the exception (again).  Mel, came blasting out of the start gate, making it into the Semi Finals right off the bat.  In the Semi’s she then led out of the start, resting slightly on the bootpack, but then tearing by the rest of the women in the transition gaining three positions putting her into the Final Heat.  In the Final heat, she started out strong, but when the Women who had been training specifically for this event put on the gas she just missed a high level finish.  Coming in at 5th, is the best result for North America at a World Championships ever (which was recently broken yesterday at the Vertical by Janelle Smiley placing 7th).  A strong race for Mel, and another step up for North America!

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