PXC News Past Issues

Perisher X-Country NEWS, 18 July 2023 Newsletter #49



Welcome Archive!

Welcome to this Early- Mid Season Newsletter - Plenty Inside


Here we have Alexei and Dana. We welcome Dana as our new State Coach.

Let’s Get Started

Despite a forecast of a warm and dry winter, typical of an El Nino weather pattern, so far we have had sufficient snow to keep everyone happy. For those, like me, who have seen quite a few winters, experience tells us not to talk too early, but up to now, no complaints.

Our website has a full array of Snow and Weather Reporting sites to keep you well informed. Just go HERE to find them.

In other good news, Geraldine and Arnold are managing the Nordic Shelter for another year. This is Geraldine's 7 year and Arnold's 5 year. Being further away from the Covid years of 2020- 2021, let's hope their time as managers, this winter is less challenging and an enjoyable one!

To the cross-country skier; our winter brings the opportunity to improve our skills and to get significantly fitter and healthier than our pre-winter condition. We are an energetic bunch and for those who persist, the rewards of feeling strong on our skis and being able to get over that crest without slowing too much are immeasurable. I don’t know if I will be strong enough to ski all the way to the top of the Porcupine trail in one hit, but I will give it a crack.

Alternatively, if you are quite happy with your present fitness and just keen to explore the mountains, either on or off the trails press on and enjoy.

This winter we again have a full dance card of events catering for all levels of skiers, including the highlights of this year’s Cross Country (XC) Ski Week with the mystery coffee tours being the social extravaganza.

We are very fortunate to have not one but two high levels coaches, with Alexei Sotskov and now Dana Hatton, training our juniors and master skiers. Please support all the good work that Snow Australia, NSWACT XC management have done to have these fine people here. Alexei, whilst being the NSWACT XC head coach does have other responsibilities taking care of the National teams. Supporting the program is not difficult. You can volunteer to help with the various events that are being run or even cooking a few snags on the BBQ.

Ski strong, live long.

Wayne P

A big thank you to John Sim for being the proof reader/ editor for this edition of PXC News

In this full edition we have the following topics/

  • Welcome Dana
  • For the Competitive Ones – Snow Australia NSWACT XC Ski Programs
  • XC Ski Week
  • Events this Winter
  • Social Media
  • Kore Grunnsund
  • APSI
  • Summer Grooming
  • Our Sponsors
  • Nordic Shelter Donations

Welcome Dana

Dana Hatton, NSWACT XC Coach for 2023 winter, came to Jindabyne from Maine (USA) on May 29. Dana is providing coaching to all the NSWACT XC athletes, from juniors to Master skiers.

Dana’s university degrees and broad practical experience in all aspects of XC coaching (dryland and on-snow), including training, competition, athlete support, event management and sport administration, made her selection for the position an easy one. She is currently the Head Nordic Coach of a strong New England high school Nordic Team (Yarmouth High School, Maine) and has recently held responsible positions at universities including as Assistant Nordic Coach at Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire), Chief of Race at the Dartmouth College Carnival and Graduate Assistant Nordic Coach at St Lawrence University (Canton NY) while completing her Master’s degree.

Dana’s experience in working with teenagers was deepened by her participation in a significant project as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Boston, completing a school year of service as assistant partner teacher in a high-need inner city middle school.

She will be working side-by-side with Alexei, team-coaching sometimes and off with a group or individual at other times. She came highly recommended for this position and is well prepared for anything that Australian winters might throw at her.

This is Dana’s first trip to Australia and it is bound to be a great adventure for her.

For the Competitive Ones – Snow Australia NSWACT Skier Programs.

Alexei Sotskov and Dana Hatton, working out of the Perisher XC centre, head up the coaching of our Junior, under 23, Open and Master skiers. Alexei has many years of coaching experience and is constantly adjusting his coaching to the latest technique and training methods from around the world. What Alexei and Dana provide is truly world class.

To be able to ski for Australia, whether it is in the Youth Olympics, World Juniors, U23's, World Cup, World Championships or the Olympics, it takes a coach to oversee each individual’s progression in both technique and training/ fitness. It is just not possible for an athlete to achieve their potential on their own. Fitness and technique training needs to be planned year-round so that high intensity training is well balanced with rest and recuperation times. 

The NSWACT XC Squad and Team members total approximately 35 athletes with spaces still available. 

The 2023 AUS XC Junior Team includes NSW skiers; Noah Bradford, Phoebe Cridland, Vincent de Souza, Zana Evans, Hugo Hinckfuss, Samuel Johnston, Heli Laajoki, Hannah Price, Phoenix Sparke, Boris Stanish and Bentley Walker-Broose. 

With Alexei’s expert input, in NSW, we have the tools here and now, to develop skiers to a very high level, with plenty of proof of this being in recent years in international championship races. For our developing high-level skiers, these are the events to aim for in the international championship calendar, each with different selection criteria; 

The Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea from the 19th January to the 2nd February 2024. 

The 2024 World Junior/ U23 XC Championships, will be held in Planica, Slovenia, from the 5th to 11th of February.

This coming northern winter will see a series of World Cup races with no World Championships held. The next World Championships will be held in Trondheim, Norway, from the 26/2/25 to 9/3/25. Our results in these championships will determine how many spots we will have in the following year's Winter Olympics which will be at Milan and Cortina, Italy from the 6/2/26 to the 22/2/26. So, if your sights are set on the next Winter Olympics, the races in Trondheim are very important. 

The World Masters Cross Country Ski Championships will be held in Finland early in 2024. 

If you are looking to improve your racing in events here and/or overseas, whether you are a junior, looking to represent Australia one day, or you are considering competing at World Masters think about joining one of the training programs facilitated by Snow Australia NSWACT XC.

To enquire about joining the NSWACT XC Squad, please email info@perisherxcountry.org

XC Ski Week

All the fun and appreciation of what we love the most, our cross-country skiing, is being celebrated again during XC Ski Week.  Starting on Saturday the 5th of August, the events continue through to the following Saturday when the Snowy Mountains Classic and the final Big Presentation are held. 11 events in 8 days, but if that is not enough, on the following Sunday you can take part in the NSW Ski Orienteering Championships. See the full event calendar by clicking HERE. To make it easier for the organisers, wherever possible, please enter on-line.

The Mystery Coffee Tour and the Big Presentation were added to the XC week in 2013. Also, another fun social event is the “Hello in the Snow”. Here PXC join with the Perisher Historical Society over a few drinks at the Marritz Alpine Hotel on the Tuesday afternoon.

The KAC X-C Classic, for the second year will be held on the Monday. Hopefully the Monday avoids the Wednesday jinx of bad weather in the past and encourages those flexible with work times to take a long weekend.

The great thing about XC Ski Week is that everyone can participate and if you have not performed up to your standard in a particular event, there is always the next one. Usually by the Snowy Mountains Classic at the end of the week, everybody is firing on all cylinders, plus if doing the long course, it is a great lead up to the Kangaroo Hoppet.

Like last year the Big Presentation will be at the Corroboree Lodge after the Snowy Classics presentations starting at 2.45 pm

Events this Winter

There is a huge array of events with plenty for all levels of skier. If not vying for sheep stations or selections to State and National teams, being part of a Tour race may be more up your alley. Here it is totally ok to try and ski a given course in the most efficient way possible as opposed to thinking you must reach the finishing line physically spent. After going in a few races, you may feel confident to push a bit harder. Our coach Alexei, always suggests to firstly think about skiing in the most efficient way. The more skiing you do, your fitness/ strength will come. Always more fun to be a part of it than to be looking from the sidelines. To see all the local events click HERE. To see only the events within XC Ski Week click HERE

Social Media

Social Media and its importance.

To build a larger XC skiing community, social media has a big part to play. With Snow Australia NSWACT XC’s full support, the Perisher XC FaceBook and Instagram pages, have been set up. To go to our FaceBook page, Click here.

These pages support the following;

  • Perisher XC Centre (the trails and the Nordic Shelter)
  • Other XC ski organisations (we are all about achieving the same goals)
  • Our racers (juniors and seniors)
  • Our recreational skiers
  • Our service providers
  • Our backcountry/ ski touring skiers

Why should we support these pages?

Now and in the near future we need new people to become involved so that we can continue to provide all the services we now provide and more. Strength is also in numbers to help secure funding to support better facilities at the Perisher XC Centre and for the sport.

Our Perisher XC Page is set up so that anybody who loves their XC skiing and shares the same goals of wanting to help the growth of XC skiing can make posts on the page. There are a number of people who already have posting rights. If you want to post, just call the present administrator on 0481 268 598, so he can send you an invite.

Strength is in numbers, so the more people who are posting, liking, commenting, and supporting the Perisher XC page, the greater the reach we will have in letting other people know about our Centre and XC skiing.


Get your pictures/ story onto our Instagram by tagging us (@perisherxc)  and #perisherxc us, of your cross country ski adventures!

Kore Grunnsund (September 10, 1925 - March 19, 2023)

Kore’s obituary featured on the 23/6/2023 as prepared by Henley Harrison and Kyyra Grunnsund, and a copy can be found by CLICKING HERE.

As a mark of respect for this great man, we have got together another supporting account of Kore Grunnsund as researched by John Sim through talking to Ken Baxter.

Ken like other top athletes of their time was directly inspired and motivated by Kore. One story as passed down by the late Ross Martin was that Kore would motivate him by saying that Australians can be every bit as good as the Norwegians.

There have been reports of Kore rollerskiing in Canberra, he may have been the first. CLICK HERE to get Ken Baxter's account of the life of Kore Grunnsund.


APSI Instructor courses are running at Perisher very soon, as follows:

  • Level 1. 15-16 July - Just Done
  • Level 2. 21-23 July
  • Level 3. 21-24 July
  • Level 2 and 3 Exam. 29 July

Recertification and Professional Development Day for qualified instructors. 29 July. 

The Level 1 course is the entry level course and covers the fundamentals of classical skiing and how to teach it. The course includes a half day on-snow exam. Candidates at the end of the course will receive a certificate and be able to instruct beginner lessons. The level 1 Instructor Course is also a requirement for those wanting to go onto the Coaching pathway through Snow Australia. For further details see https://www.apsi.net.au/what-we-do/become-instructor/alpine-level-one/#panel-1411

To do the Level 2 course you must have completed the Level 1 course. The Level 2 focuses on teaching classical skiing at the intermediate level and basic skating techniques.


Zac Zaharias
Nordic Technical Director

Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors

Phone| +61 2 64561255

Mobile| +61 4 02 286257

Email| nordic@apsi.net.au

Summer Grooming

A huge amount of work was completed both on the trails and at the Nordic Shelter, with well attended work parties. About 12-13 people turned up to each work party which were held on Nov 22, Feb 23, Mar 23, Apr 23 and May 23. It would be great to have even more people involved to lighten the load. Total number of hours over all work parties equated to about 1000 hours.

A great effort by Margaret Mahoney who not only was the leader in ensuring the Nordic Shelter is maintained but Margaret also completed the trail audit. Margaret was the lead co-ordinator for all working bees over the summer.

Trail work included the following;

  • Re-alignment of the trails (to dodge those rocks),
  • Removal of rocks,
  • The taking up and putting down of drainage half pipes and bridge coverings,
  • Replacement of broken ski poles (16 in total)
  • Installing Sighter poles and Snow fence reflectors to assist the winter groomer.

Out on the trail a big thank you to Greg Sharp, Peter Ward, Andy Nicholls, Arnold and Dirk Stuber and others for helping to complete all the projects. Alexei, our coach was also doing work out on the trails in the May working bee. After the May working bee, Greg Sharp and Garry McDougall did the remaining tasks so that a June working bee was not required.

The rock removal campaign was substantial and quite successful so much thanks again to Greg Sharp, Peter Ward and others for their fine work.

Thank you to NPWS staff where they installed more snow fences.

For the next summer grooming season put it in your diary to lend a hand as it quite rewarding and at the end of the day very social and fun. Feb, March, April, May working bees are generally held on the first weekend of each month.

Our Sponsors

A big thank you to the following sponsors. They all help in various ways from providing promotional support, right through to supplying funds. All monies go towards the costs of running the website and other promotional activities, through to paying for items/ materials to assist with summer grooming costs. Summer grooming having a direct effect on improving our winter grooming efforts.

Our sponsors are;

  • Corroboree Lodge
  • Jai Yoga
  • Eiger Chalet
  • Wilderness Sports
  • Rhythm Snowsports
  • K7 Ski School
  • Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa
  • Foodworks - Perisher
  • LendSure Finance
  • Sydney Clock Company
  • Salomon
  • Sundeck Hotel

Nordic Shelter Donations

The costs of running the Nordic Shelter are entirely covered by donations. These funds not just keep the place going but are vital to helping make improvements, e.g. the latest major project being the installations of solar panels to reduce electricity costs.

There are three ways where you can donate – Note: Tax deductible donation to Australian Sports Foundation can be made via the link provided in the daily grooming report or by clicking HERE.

Another way is to make a tap donations at the Nordic Shelter or to put cash into the Big Yellow Box in the North Room of the Shelter.

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With support from the following organisations

NPWS Snow Australia

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