PXC News Past Issues

Perisher X Country NEWS, 16/10/2019, Newsletter #16


Welcome Archive!

These newsletters are focused on what is happening within PXC, with special reference to the volunteers and to those who have a keen interest in helping grow the sport of cross-country skiing. PXC is a sub-committee of the northern division of Snow Australia and is responsible for growing the participation in XC skiing in Perisher Valley and beyond.


An early-in-the-season photo of the NSWXC Winter Program kids training at Blue Cow. A big thank you to Perisher (the resort) for providing groomed snow when there was very little on the XC trails. Perisher X Country (PXC) is all about promoting the activity of Cross Country Skiing to a wider audience so that one of the best-kept secrets around is not a secret anymore. Please encourage everyone to go to the PXC website (Contact Us page) and subscribe to PXC NEWS.

2019 Winter Wrap-Up

Another winter, almost done and dusted. I say almost as there is still good spring skiing to be had with mountains of snow up on the main range. Many people have been able to enjoy the spring skiing with the road having been cleared all the way to Charlotte Pass well before the Long Weekend.

It certainly has been a topsee-turvee season, in the end turning out to be quite a good one. With a record early start at the beginning of June and then a long wait for skiable snow till mid July, we were worried. Some early events were reduced in length, but only two events were cancelled - Clean out the Cob Webs and Clean out the Wax Box, Cooma Ski Club races. Once it started to snow, it came with nearly ideal conditions. Lots of snow, not much wind and cold temperatures – perfect for grooming. Even the 10km loop Was groom-able for much of September!

The main event of the season, XC Ski Week, went very well with only 3 events being affected by challenging weather, e.g. the Friday Coffee Tour was held at the Corroboree Lodge (not a hardship) and the Snowy Mountain Classic and the Sundeck Cup being reduced in length. More about this great week later in this newsletter.

Through the good work of Geraldine Blanch, the Perisher X-C Centre Nordic Shelter manager and Luke the Groomer, the quality of the trail grooming was excellent. In conjunction with NPWS, Geraldine manages the daily grooming request and sends out (early) the daily Perisher Centre XC Trails and Condition Reports. Luke is a very experienced XC trail groomer and has been doing a great job. He is always trying to create the best possible trail, assisted by investment in newer, better machines by the grooming contractor (Hans Oversnow). So if you know Luke and you see him, please say thanks for all his good efforts.

What's in this newsletter? Any more and it will be another "Bigger than Ben Hur edition" 

NSWXC Charlotte Pass Camp – October 2019

XC Ski Week Wrap Up

Help Required – A Note from the Wayne Pethybridge/ Chair

Northern XC Committee September Update 

Nordic Shelter & Trails Working Bees in 2020

World Masters Cup, Cogne Italy 5-15 Mar 20

Become a Nordic Ski Instructor

Nordic Shelter Donations

Articles Required

Thank you to Zac Zaharias for providing two of the articles and to Leslie Ludwig and Peter Ward for providing two more and for Leslie for her expert final editing and proof reading.

NSWXC Charlotte Pass Camp – October 2019

This year’s NSWXC Charlotte Pass Camp had 40 kids and 10 adult coaches and helpers, all having a great but no doubt exhausting time. A more detailed account of the camp is given in PXC’s Latest News story titled "Charlotte Pass and Beyond!!". Click here to read and see more (there is some great photo's too)

Other Junior XC development Initiatives (pre and during winter)

The Charlotte Pass Camp was the last of a series of great initiatives for Junior skiers throughout 2019, both on- and off-snow.

There are training groups in Sydney, Canberra and Jindabyne involved in pre-winter dry-land instruction and training. During the winter a very successful program was organised with international and local coaches on-snow to provide training, practical advice and competition support for an enthusiastic group of talented young XC skiers. During the school holidays in July, many thanks go to the Perisher resort for sharing their man-made snow and grooming at Blue Cow to tide things over until the real stuff came.  

For information about programs and training opportunities for young XC skiers, go to NSWXC Team App

XC Ski Week Wrap Up

XC Ski Week is one of the best kept secrets on the Australian XC Skiing event calendar with an enthusiastic group of regulars coming along and having a great time over the 8 days. Each year there are new faces and we would like to see lots more. Be sure to give enthusiastic recommendations to anybody that you see. It doesn't matter if they are new to the activity or have limited proficiency on skis as we all know this week is for all standards. If you are talking to our Victorian XC skiing cousins please let them know what a great Week it is and get them planning to come along.

For most of XC Ski Week we were blessed with great weather with a slow deterioration until Friday. For the second time in seven years the Mystery Coffee Tour was not such a mystery with short trip to the Corroboree Lodge instead. So this equates to only 2 in 14 Coffee Tours that we have had to take shelter off the trails. Considering that the day was not much good for anything else, the 20 or more that made it to Corroboree Lodge had a great time doing what comes naturally during XC Ski Week, being social.

From a personal perspective, I found the weather during the Wednesday KAC Classic better than usual with snow falling heavily only within the last 1 km of the race. Sure there was some wind but we all have had it much worse. What was surreal was even though I could not see the tracks my skis followed them regardless to the finish. It felt like the "Force was with me" in keeping my skis parallel and racing ahead. At that time in the race, not getting lost was an added bonus.

On their respective days, the weather was not as bad as forecast allowing both the Sundeck Cup and the Snowy Mountains Classic to be run safely. It should be noted that the Snowy Mountains Classic was into its 20th year having started on year 2000. Over the years this event has provided some great races with Peter Cunningham and his team running the race on the outer touring trails when possible. The race provides great training for the Hoppit, with the longest distance being 30km.

Click here for next year’s XC Ski Week poster (A4 size so OK for printing), and start planning for it now:

1. Put it in your calendar – 1-8 August 2020. 

2. Unless you are retired – organize leave early

3. Book that accommodation.

4. Then get your bones up to the Perisher XC Centre for more good times. 

A story aimed at enticing you to come to 2020 XC Ski Week has been posted on the PXC website’s Latest News. Click Here to read further.

End of XC Ski Week Presentations

Thanks to our sponsors the final (Huge) presentations did not disappoint. A big thank you to Wilderness Sports, Eiger Chalet, Sundeck Hotel, Rhythm Snowsports, Lake Crackenback Resort and to Salomon Skis & Boots for providing approximately $5000 - $6000 worth of prizes between them.

Apart from multiply lucky draw prizes the main prize winners were:

  • Eiger Chalet (3 x $100 Gift vouchers) - Garrett Russell (head junior coach), Fabian (assistant head coach), "we promise that the draw was not rigged" and Gale Funston
  • Lake Crackenback & Resort ( Weekend for 2) - Bentley Walker-Broose (Who quickly gave it to his parents to enjoy)
  • Salomon (Ski's/ Boots & Poles ) – the main individual prize, to the value of $2000 - Michael Stenning

Ski Club's "XC Ski Week" Competition

Last but certainly not least was the Ski Clubs Competition prize for the lodge/club which had the most participants during XC Ski Week. This prize is jointly sponsored by the Sundeck Hotel and PXC - the winning lodge/club gets to spend a cool $1000 at either the Sundeck Hotel or the Tathra Hotel.

A special mention goes to Cooma Ski Club who won it last year but were handicapped 50 participation points this year. Without the handicap system in place they would have won it again. The overall points (with out the handicap) for 2019 were:

  • Cooma Ski Club - 95 points (well done, great effort like 2018
  • Telemark Ski Club - 60 points (Good all-round effort)
  • Maranatha Ski Club - 54 points (got extra socialising points)
  • RAN (Navy) Ski Club - 44 points (consistent participation throughout the Week)
  • Canberra Ski Club - 34 points (again, consistent participation throughout the Week)
  • KAC Ski Club - 26 points (with nearly all points gained in the KAC Classic)

There was a total of 27 other Perisher/Smiggins/Guthega based lodges/clubs who took part. There were also ring-ins, non-mountain-based clubs like Birkenbeiner, Wangaratta Ski Club, Royal Island Bend Ski Club, SC Obergoms (Christoph's Swiss home club), Canberra CCSC and Snowy Mountains Nordic.

With the allotted Handicap of 50 points being applied to Cooma Ski Cub for last years great effort, Telemark Ski Club won the Ski Clubs 2019 competition by 15 points. It is rumoured that they will be celebrating their winnings down at Cliffy's Tathra Hotel before Christmas.

Next year Cooma's handicap will be greatly reduced with Telemark Ski Club having a small handicap applied to making it a 3 horse race to the main prize. Cooma will have every chance of winning it again but you never know, it might be Maranatha's turn.

The aim of the XC Ski Week Clubs Competition is to get people out of their lodges to take part in the many varied events of XC Ski Week. Interesting to see that last year Club's Competition the points for the 3 top clubs was Cooma Ski Club 97 points, Maranatha Ski Club 41 points and Telemark Ski Club 39 points, so Cooma was fairly constant with huge gains by Maranatha and Telemark (in spite of their tiny participant pool). New prize categories are being considered for 2020 – stay tuned!

XC Ski Week Photo's

A big thank you to the photographers who passed on their photos to the editor. By CLICKING HERE, you go to the PXC website Photo Gallery where you will see over 60 photos. There could have been more skiing shots but as you can see there was plenty happening at the various presentations and, of course, the final big one.

Here is one of those photos. Charlotte Pass Open participants.

Help Required – A Note from the Wayne Pethybridge/ Chair

Perisher X-Country (PXC) is all about promoting the activity of XC skiing and in improving the quality of the Perisher X-C Centre, including the development and maintenance of the XC trail system. During the winter PXC is involved in plenty of promotional activities, particularly in trying to increase participation in XC Ski Week activities.

Central to all that we do is our beautiful PXC website. From here we produce the daily grooming reports, the newsletters, display a huge amount of information and support our sponsors. PXC is responsible for maintaining and developing the Website.  There is plenty that can be done to make it even better, but it typically it comes down to available help.

With the chair being very time poor, the care of the website and production of future newsletters are at risk of being scaled right back. New, or old, people are needed to become involved in helping with the tasks at hand to avoid the possibility that the quality of what is provided will go backwards.

PXC is keen to get more people involved to help in any capacity within the maintenance or improving the website and/or in other areas of running PXC.

If you would like to find out more and are keen to find out where you might be able to help, please phone or email Wayne at info@perisherxcountry.org or call 0431 285 566. Texting is good too.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Northern XC Committee September Update

Peter Ward, the Chair of SSA's Northern XC Committee, gives a full update on all the areas that this committee has been working on. Click here to see Peter's update. The areas that this committee are involved in is wide ranging with the main emphasis being in developing the sport of XC skiing and supporting the athletes, from the newly introduced up to our nationally ranked skiers. 

Peter's update also details this committee's short history and all the people that are involved in running the various areas and sub committee's. Sub-Committee's or groups under the Northern XC Committee, include the running of  events, the Nordic Shelter and Perisher X-Country (PXC).

Nordic Shelter & Trails Working Bees in 2020

The good work done by the XC Summer Work Parties continues in 2020. Snow fence and pole repairs, summer grooming and further trail audits are on the job list.  There will also be work in and around the Nordic Shelter.

Bring food and drink, sturdy work boots, gloves, clothing for all conditions and be prepared for flies.

Please make note of the 2020 XC Work Party dates: 

-       Feb 1/2,

-       Feb 29/ Mar 1

-       April 4/5

-       May 2/3

-       June 6/7 

Please contact Peter Ward if you plan to attend – nswxc1@gmail.com.

Accommodation will be provided by Canberra Alpine Club. If you require accommodation, please contact Peter Cunningham - peter.petercunningham@gmail.com. Bring sheets and pillowcases, towels, food and drink.

Many thanks to Canberra Alpine Club and Cooma Ski Club for XC Work Party accommodation.  And also to the many Perisher clubs who provide financial contributions and other assistance.  Generous support like this has positive impacts right through to your winter enjoyment of XC skiing in Perisher.

Join us for active, productive and social weekends.

World Masters Cup, Cogne Italy 5-15 Mar 20

Over the last 16 years, Australian Masters skiers have been competing in the World Masters Cup, run by the World Masters Association (WMA) which sees 1200 Masters athletes from around the world. See http://www.world-masters-xc-skiing.com/en/ The 2020 Masters will be held in the beautiful resort of Cogne, Italy from 5-15 March in the Aosta Valley.  The competition is for cross country skiers of all abilities from age 30+ competing in 5 years age groups. There are three races covering short, intermediate and long distance in both classic and skate plus a 4 x 5 km relay. Skiers register for three of the six events of their choice. Australia has been sending a regular team from 2000 onwards (there have been individual participants before that) with numbers ranging from 1-14 participants and averaging around 5-6 per year. Camille Melvey and Jenny Altermatt have been the only Australian podium athletes although Jane Scheer came close in 2017 with a 4th position in her age group.

The standard of competition is high with many ex-World Cup and Olympic skiers competing. However, the atmosphere is more relaxed and there are a range of abilities competing from elite to moderate skiers. As well, the courses are of a high quality and you don’t suffer the crowding you get in most European citizen races. The next Masters World Cups after Cogne will be:

  • Canmore, Canada 2021
  • Les Saisies, France 2022

Registration must be completed by the end of the year. For more information contact:

- Warren Feakes, National Director: wfeakes@netspeed.com.au
- Zac Zaharias, Team Captain: zaharias@iinet.net.au
- Friedl Bartsh, Vice-captain: friedl.bartsch@yahoo.com.au

Yours Zac Zaharias

Become a Nordic Ski Instructor

Become a Nordic Ski Instructor through the Australian Professional Snowsports Instructors (APSI)

APSI is the Australian industry peak body for providing training and assessment to snowsport instructors and leads to employment opportunities in resorts and ski schools.  There are five disciplines within APSI; Alpine, Snowboard, Telemark, Adaptive and Nordic. The Instructor and Coaching courses are different pathways and organisations with the coaching stream run by SSA. The SSA coaching pathway  focuses on athlete development, while APSI teaches skiers how to teach their respective snowsport disciplines. Entry into the Instructor Scheme is through a two day Level 1 Course run on snow at a number of resorts during the winter (Perisher in NSW). It focuses on teaching basic classical technique and includes the Level 1 Exam. Graduates become qualified to Instruct beginner skiers.

Following further industry experience, APSI members can then progress through the next three levels as follows:

  • Level 2 Course: 3 days plus a 1 day exam. This course focuses on teaching basic skating and intermediate classical technique
  • Level 3 Course: 4 days plus a 1 day exam. This course focuses on teaching intermediate skating and intermediate to advance classical technique.
  • Level 4 Course: Approximately 12 days. This course is mainly for APSI Instructors who want to become APSI Trainers and is designed for the professional instructor. At Level 4, Instructors are expected to have a high level of classical, skating and teaching techniques.

On completion of the Level 3 Course, full ISIA certification nsi granted and employment is possible in most ski schools around the world

While the courses are designed for the professional instructor, increasingly many recreational skiers do the courses to improve their skiing and develop a deeper understanding of Nordic skiing techniques. Increasingly School groups, Clubs, outdoor education and other volunteers in the snowsports industry are required to have professional qualifications (often for liability/insurance reasons) and these courses provide the certification required.

For more information, visit the APSI web-site at www.apsi.net.au or contact the Nordic Technical Director, Zac Zaharias at zac.zaharias@apsi.net.au  or nordic@apsi.net.au or 0402-286257.

Yours Zac Zaharias.

Nordic Shelter Donations

The running of the Nordic Shelter is funded by donations. These donations are tax deductible and can be made by CLICKING HERE

Articles Required

Over the coming summer/northern winter, the editor is keen to get your skiing stories for inclusion in the 2020 pre-winter PXC EDGE newsletter. The 2019 pre-winter PXC EDGE edition featured stories about the World Masters Games, the World Championships, the World U23 Championships and several from individual skiers overseas experiences. Click Here to view the 2019 edition

Please send articles and photos to Wayne Pethybridge at  wpethybridge@fastmail.fm

From PXC & the Chair, please have a great summer break and see you either at Working Bee's or on the snow in 2020. Again for those lucky enough to be skiing overseas, love to hear from you with your stories and photo's.

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