NSWACT XC Charlotte Pass Spring Camp Returns – Young XC Athletes are immersed in a different XC experience.
Late afternoon games on amazingly wonderful spring snow!
THE FUN BEGINS - 2023 CHARLOTTE PASS SPRING CAMP
There is not a groomed trail in sight, only the vast expanses of the Main Range. There is plenty of skiable snow to be had for the price of a hike over beautiful alpine terrain, starting from the Charlotte Pass turning circle. Fun and camaraderie are the order of the days ahead as the 2023 CP Campers share their time on the snow and as residents of a ski lodge for most of a week.
Geraldine, from the Nordic Shelter, has been the main driver of this special project of NSWACT XC Committee (a subcommittee of Snow Australia) since the first Camp in 2014, with some COVID-related years off. This year she handed the reins to Annie Wright. Thank you both and all of those who supported you.
After a winter of programs, training, competition and groomed tracks, the aim is to give XC kids a chance to put wild kilometres under their skis, learn to make their own trails and create their own activities, add in fun ways to do strength training and all while living and co-operating with a group of peers with the same interests. Over the years Camp staff and volunteers have included coaches, elite athletes, physios, NPWS people, teachers, back-country specialists and even ski-orienteerers. Participants have been young XC skiers with a range of skills and aspirations, many of whom have matured into elite skiers, coaches and people who just love XC skiing.
Previous years have seen the groups accommodated in Charlotte Pass at KAC Ski Club, with this year finding them in the historic Knockshannoch Lodge – always fully catered and looked after by resident lodge managers. As everyone knows, this has been a season of challenges. Planning for the 2023 camp was no exception. Early end-of-season lodge closures caused some palpitations, but KAC management assisted with alternative arrangements to occupy Knockshannoch under the kind care of manager/chefs Lily and Max.
The 2023 Charlotte Pass Spring Camp started on Sunday 24 September with a BBQ (of course) at the Nordic Shelter in Perisher Valley. Camp participants then set off in their hi-vis to run/jog/walk nearly 9km accompanied by Head Coach Alexei Sotskov and assisted by Valdis Bodnieks, Adrian Blake and Arnold d’Bras. Some made it to Charlotte Pass in record time and got their choice of beds. Others took a more leisurely pace and probably enjoyed the scenery and beautiful weather more.
Packing and exploring the lodge, including finding the board games, filled the afternoon while coaches explored the higher reaches for snow. Long stretches of good snow were located beside Kangaroo Ridge, ensuring that good skiing, reasonable weather and varied activities are the order of the week ahead. A challenging strength session ended the afternoon. A sustaining dinner and evening activities were followed by what was surely a very good night’s sleep.
Monday morning found the group transported to the CP turning circle to start their hike to the top of the Charlotte Pass Chair where strips of snow and some shrubbery-hopping took them to the good stuff. Downhill practice provided thrills and spills. The photos tell the story! Tuesday sessions sent the kids telemarking and orienteering. Their remaining brain energy was tested with Trivia.
The rest of the week continued with consistently fine weather, daily ski sessions, hikes, a talent show, swims in the creek and fencing (the kind with epees) and a daily quiet session.
Coach Alexei Sotskov (Snow Australia National XC Head Coach and NSWACT XC Head Coach) had this to say: “It was a great camp. With very warm weather prior to the camp there was lots of uncertainty about ability to ski. With the expertise of Arnold it was solved and camp participants enjoyed 5 x two hours ski sessions on almost perfect snow. Great hike to Kosci mountain and every night team activities were very well organized by Adrian. Fun relays and morning runs were led by Valdis and obviously strength and fencing fun tournaments were just another great addition to the camp.
Thank you athletes for your strong commitment and hard work at every session. Ski (no misprint) you next camp, have a great and ski productive summer training.”
The Camp concluded on Saturday 30 September. NSWACT XC is excited that young XC skiers were able to have this special experience and grateful to those who helped bring the 2023 Charlotte Pass Spring Camp to fruition.
All involved are looking forward to the 2024 Charlotte Pass Spring Camp! For more information (when available) please subscribe to the Perisher X-Country Newsletter - https://www.perisherxcountry.org/contact-us/
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