XC 2021 Winter Season Wash Up

Summary of Events Held in Winter 2021

Hi all,

I am happy to be able to give you a rundown on the ski events and activities at the Perisher XC Centre this winter. So, get comfy, grab a coffee and take the time to check out all the news.

Yes, some of us have been very lucky indeed, lucky that COVID did not come our way at the very beginning of the ski season. NSW regional areas and ACT skiers were able to take part in events during July and half of August where 17 different events were run (not including the two coffee tours). The Snowy Mountains Classic being the last event held. Thanks to all those involved, but particularly the two Peters, Peter Ward and Peter Cunningham, for again being the driving force behind getting these events on snow. The number of volunteers assisting the two Peters are many so thank you all.

Thanks to Bolt and his crew from the Cooma Ski Club for running their two events and for Tim Greville for running the first event of the season, the Paddy Pallin Juniors. Thanks also to the Canberra XC Ski Club for organising the Kosciusko Tour (see photo below). The Come and Try event had over 70 people taking part which was hugely supported by K7 Ski School with additional support coming from Wilderness Sports. The Perisher XC Cup was small in numbers, but we sure did have fun.

Start of the Kosi Tour - 31/7/2021

On August the 7th and 8th, the Australian XC Sprint and Distance Championships were run with some strong competition coming from a limited number of Victorians that were allowed to travel courtesy of the border bubble. It was a huge success with great tracks, great racing and great organisation. More information is given about these two races later in this newsletter.

Thanks to the NPWS and Hans Oversnow for supplying the expertly groomed trails. This was Daniel’s first year as groomer. He did a great job and received many compliments about how well he worked with the, at times, difficult snow conditions and was able to produce a wonderful skating surface and excellent classic tracks. The scheduling of grooming was extremely well managed by NPWS and Geraldine (our Nordic Shelter Manager).

You can read all about what happened at XC Ski Week later in this newsletter as it has been allocated its own section.

All results for the season can be seen by CLICKING HERE

Perisher X-Country & Our Skiing Community

The organization, Perisher X-Country (PXC) exists to promote XC skiing and the Perisher XC Centre. To do this, PXC encourages all forms of cross country skiing; elite racing, recreational racing and track skiing for fun and exercise. The Perisher XC Centre is the hub of these activities and provides many facilities for the comfort and safety of skiers. To continue this role, PXC requires the support of many volunteers and new volunteers are always welcome to ensure the XC skiing continues to grow.  

We also need to support our precious few companies that supply ski Instruction, sales and hire services, those being K7 Ski School, Wilderness Sports, Rhythm Snowsports and Snowline Sports. Without them we don’t have access to instruction or expert advice when purchasing equipment.

To advance XC skiing in Perisher and the Snowy Mountains there are two main ways we can do this, either by word of mouth or social media. It is worth considering the role of social media in our attempts to improve communication by using social media platforms such are FaceBook and Instagram. This gives a broader audience and is at zero cost. 

Perisher XC FaceBook & Instagram

From the start of this winter, we have opened our FaceBook to those who regularly ski at the Perisher XC Centre. It is still a private FaceBook page but you can be invited to be an editor. If you want to contribute to the page, just send a FaceBook message to either Edward E Roberts - Robert Eddy’s FaceBook name or Wayne Pethybridge or email us at info@perisherxcountry.org.

Next winter I hope more people get involved, so please send us a message and we can set you up. If you see an invite in your Notifications, please click YES, and get on board.

If you have your own FaceBook page and you are an editor of the Perisher XC FaceBook page, all you need to do is SHARE your stories. Our posts are about events, sights and people involved in an event or just recreational skiing. It would be great to get some of your best pictures to our Instagram account by using  #perisherxc.

Thanks to Alexei Sotskov, Alan Levy, Marg Mahoney, Heather Walker-Broose, Zac Zaharias, Tim Greville, Jenny Kent, Edward E Roberts also known as Fast Eddy and finally a HUGE shout out to Kaz Forman for putting up all those fabulous posts of the events, the sights and most of all the people that go to make up our community. Kaz & her daughter Gabby are fairly new to XC skiing and by the looks are really enjoying their new found sport/ activity.

As we are part of Snow Australia, the following is our Social Media Policy, Click Here to see a copy  

Perisher X-Country Tasks

The PXC Committee and task managers have essentially been the same for the last few years and it sure would be good to get others involved to assist with some of the yearly jobs that go towards the running of Perisher X-Country.

Annual tasks include updating, reviewing our website, which includes updating the event calendars, getting rid of obsolete information and links. Other tasks are in helping to promote XC Ski Week and other PXC sponsor events. Other tasks include managing our sponsors and completing new projects. The final area where people may be able to help, is in producing this newsletter.

The Chairman (Wayne Pethybridge) and others in the committee are certainly open to new people getting involved to add their input into the running of this organization. I would love to be in a support role helping new people to get involved. If you would like to find out more please email, Wayne at info@perisherxcountry.org.

Our Volunteers

As a skiing community, many volunteers have had to pitch in to try and make this winter as normal as possible. The key to finding some normality was getting the Nordic Shelter open and when numbers and weather allowed having the BBQ running too. Thank you to all who volunteered to be Covid Wardens and who helped on the BBQ. Thanks to the Nordic Shelter committee which had to work in with NSW Health, Snow Australia and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), to be Covid compliant. This was not an easy task. Well, done to Margaret Mahoney and committee for navigating their way through this winter.

Thanks, must also go to Geraldine and Arnold for keeping the Nordic Shelter open. Their keenness to provide that service shines through with them being there to open-up again after the recent relaxing of the “Stay at Home” orders in the Snowy Mountains Shire area. Apart from Arnold assisting Geraldine with all day-to-day tasks, he has taken on the role of our resident IT specialist to allow us to have reliable internet and snow cams operating. Geraldine’s Trail and Grooming reports have been hugely appreciated by the skiing public.

Summer Working Parties

If you enjoy skiing the trails and have not had much of a chance to volunteer during the winter, here is your chance. There is always plenty of work in doing maintenance or making improvements to the Nordic Shelter and the ski trails. We try to have one working bee in November followed up by the first weekend of each month, February to June.

Bridge Building - May, 2021 

There will be a newsletter informing you about the November working bee with information about the bridge building project. This is an important project to help nullify the effects of wet areas on our ski trails. If you would like to help, email Peter Cunningham at peter.petercunningham@gmail.com.

Thanks to Peter Cunningham and the Canberra Alpine Club (CAC) for providing accommodation for the working bees. Staying at CAC is a great opportunity for volunteers to socialize with each other.

If you like to attend a working bee, email Peter Ward on nswxc1@gmail.com.

A working bee is planned for the November 6th and 7th depending on possible COVID restrictions, in the Local Government Area and the ACT.

Our projected working bees are planned for the following 2022 weekend dates;

  • 5-6 Feb
  • 5-6 Mar
  • 2-3 April
  • 7-8 May
  • 4-5 Jun

XC Ski Week

Including the Australian Championships, ten events were held with eight of them being run before the Canberra Lockdown was announced.

Considering we were missing our Sydney cousins, the various events were well attended with plenty of highlights. The Boonoona Open, Twilight Relays, Tuesdays Coffee tour, KAC Classic, Sundeck Cup and Snowy Mountains Classic were all well attended.

The Twilight Relay was a hoot, check out all the photos, complements of a great FaceBook post (9/8/2021), by Kaz Forman,,, Click HERE.

Twilight Relays 9/8/2021 - Womens winning team - Rhonda, you need skis.

The Tuesday coffee tour had 46 people plus baristas. It was a bit windy but once everybody found the mystery café, the wind was soon forgotten. As per usual all had a great time. Thanks to the newly appointed apprentice Barista (Craig Alexander) who changed his job remit in mid-flight to become the PR manager at the champagne bar. Hence Craig will have to come back next year to complete his Barista training. Thanks to John Sim, who once again took care of base camp, registering people and appointing and organizing the various group leaders and tail-end charlies.  

Coffee Tour - 10/8/2021

Typically, the weather was not looking good for another KAC Classic. Talk of rain was forecast several days out. On the day the weather was clear. The rain did not come till 3-4 pm and continued into the evening where there was an amazing lightening display given. Traditional post-race celebrations were held at different venues throughout Perisher all in a Covid compliant way.

Speaking from my personal experience, the more races I went in, the better I skied, with the highlight being the 3-way finish in the KAC Classic classical race, with Rick Martin and Matt Murtagh being my adversaries.

The Sundeck Cup had 45 competitors with Jeff Standen, winning the Golden coat. Cliff Wallis (Sundeck Owner) supplied German sausages and drinks at the presentation outside the Nordic Shelter, plus a cheque for $5000 to go towards the National Ski Team. Frustration for Jeff as the NSW lockdown came only 2 days later, restricting his opportunity to use the Golden coat to his advantage up at the Sundeck Hotel, with free food and drinks. Hopefully we will see Jeff next year.  

In the Snowy Mountains Classic there was some tight racing with 3 guys within 37 seconds after 21 km of racing, well done to the victory in this little battle – Robert Chamberlain, then Garry McDougal and 1 second back Alex Ziezak.

To see results of all events, CLICK HERE.

Over the many years I have been taking part in XC Ski Week, I have noticed that the earlier races can be a struggle, but in the later races I often achieve much better results, leaving me feeling fit and strong and looking forward to next year’s XC Ski Week. For us XC skiers, there is nothing like having a good race, feeling strong.  

Due to the Canberra Lockdown the End of XC Ski Week Presentation was cancelled. Having said this it is important to still recognize all the sponsors that provided great prizes even though their business were facing significant challenges due to the Greater Sydney lockdowns. The Sponsors were as follows;

  • Snowline Sports
  • Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa
  • Rhythm Snowsports
  • Eiger Chalet
  • Wilderness Sport
  • Combined Sundeck/ PXC sponsors for the Club Competition prize. e.g. the Bronze ski.

Thank you to all sponsors for your continuing support.

Hopefully next year we can run this presentation with the above or more prizes on offer.

Our 2021/2022 Northern Winter XC Ski Team.

Our own local NSW/ACT XC Head Coach, Alexei Sotskov is leading a team of our best skiers overseas for a packed winter of competitions. Congratulations go to Bentley, Hugo, Rosie, Phoebe, Zana, Hannah, Seve, Fedele and Aimee, and some of the younger skiers who are getting ready to travel north as well.

Alexei has written a great letter (CLICK HERE to open) describing in detail about the planned competitions and how you can help by making a contribution towards the costs of their team transportation van.

Tax deductible donations can be made here AUSXC European Tour Team Van (asf.org.au)

NSW XC Legends Presented With Snow Australia Medal 

Cross Country skiing Olympians Bruce Haslingden, David Hislop and Anthony Evans were presented with their Snow Australia Medal at the Perisher XC Centre on Thursday (12/8), as part of the NSW XC Ski Week activities.

It was a fitting venue to present the Snow Australia medals to the three recipients, who all started their competitive skiing careers at Perisher and have many memories of competing on the Snowy Mountains trails. The occasion also gave the NSW Cross Country skiing community an opportunity to celebrate with the medalists. To get the full story with videos  CLICK HERE 

Alexei's First Winter in Perisher - At Last!

Alexei Sotskov has just completed his first winter as Snow Australia NSWACT XC Head Coach working with young NSW and ACT XC athletes on the Perisher trails. The kids thrived under his direction through/in spite of restrictions and lockdowns and sometimes even relative freedom. It was easy to tell where they were on the trails – the laughter and his booming Russian accented cheering and teaching could be clearly heard for a distance.

Although this was his first winter on Australian snow, it was not the start of his association with the NSWACT XC skiers. When COVID-19 first seriously disrupted life here in March 2020, Alexei applied to provide remote coaching to a group of young athletes who were isolated and in need of a coach’s direction. Motivation was evaporating as it became clear that 2020 was not going to be the winter that the young skiers were counting on to improve, train and achieve. Alexei’s pedigree as an athlete, coach and educator was just what was required. He taught them how to train by themselves but still be part of a virtual group with plans, diaries, communication and Zoom Team Meetings. All of this occurred from Vermont in the wee small hours of Alexei’s mornings.

Remote coaching continued through 2020 winter, then spring, 2021 summer and autumn, supplemented by coaching provided by young Australian coaches overseen by Alexei, but in the absence of most organised events and activities. And the young skiers hung in there. They had Alexei’s support with the promise of his imminent arrival, which was continually delayed by COVID. The planets aligned in June 2021. When Alexei arrived in Australia he hit the ground running, beginning the day he arrived in quarantine, and he hasn’t paused to this day.

Now, with the northern winter ahead, Alexei leaves soon with the best of the Australian XC skiers to experience their first real competition in two years and to experience the wonders of travel to amazing snowy places. The Olympics beckons for a few and all of them will be well led by Alexei and his wife Victoria. At the same time, the enthusiastic group that are staying home will benefit from Alexei’s remarkable remote program, anchored by weekly Zoom Team Meetings that have become as entertaining as they are purposeful.

Alexei has become an important fixture in the Perisher XC community through his enthusiastic embrace of …. everything, really. If you didn’t get to meet him this winter, you will next year. He is here for the long haul – he has kids to coach and a community that he feels very much a part of.

Thanks Leslie Ludwig, for this story.

In April 2020, prior to Alexei arriving, he wrote of his excitement to be making it to Australia and also gave us a run-down of his vast experience both in Russia and North America. To read Alexei letter, ALEXEI INTRODUCES HIMSELF TO US - APRIL 2020 - CLICK HERE

Australian XC Sprint and Distance Championships – FIS and Continental Cup – August 7/8 2021

These events were the only FIS XC races to be held in Australia this season. A small number of Victorians were able to travel from their border bubble into Perisher for these events. Another first for our organisation was the event timing process. Our own resident timing guru, Peter Heeley, was unable to be present at Perisher for the events but we were able to coordinate with Michal Trnka in Mt Beauty. The timing system was set up at Perisher and with a new internet arrangement at the Nordic Shelter, thanks to Arnold, we were able to transfer the data from the timing system to Michal in Mt Beauty who processed the information and produced the results. Live timing was also available during the running of the event. An amazing concept that ran like clockwork without any known faults or errors.

Results for the Sprint Finals:

Casey Wright (VIC) 1ST,   Zana Evans (NSW) 2ND,   Aimee Watson (NSW) 3RD.

Phillip Bellingham (VIC) 1ST,         Seve deCampo (ACT) 2ND,            Fedele de Campo (VIC) 3RD.

Results for Distance Classic 10K – L, 15K – M

Zana Evans (NSW) 1ST,    Aimee Watson (NSW) 2ND,           Rosie Fordham (NSW) 3rd.

Phillip Bellingham (VIC) 1ST,         Seve de Campo (ACT) 2ND,           Mark Pollock (VIC) 3RD.

Full Results are available by CLICKING HERE

Thanks to Peter Ward for the story.

Our Annual Sponsors

Thank you to the following Advertiser/ and Sponsors who have helped us to fund the running of PerisherXCountry, such as the website and promotional activities and to purchase capital items that go towards improving our trails. Last year important purchases included the motorized wheel-burrow, the Cormidi and the motorized post hole driver, total cost $6500.

Rhythm Snowsports – Ski equipment and hire – Thanks to Mick Klima and his team

Wilderness Sports – Ski equipment, hire and instruction – Sponsors of the WILDCAM – Thanks to Bruce & Ros Easton

Snowline Sports – Ski equipment and hire – Sponsors of the SNOWCAM – Thanks to Les Smith and the owners

Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa – A long time provider of major prizes for the XC Ski Week presentations – Thanks to Bruce Marshall

Eiger Chalet – Accommodation, Fine food and Bar – Thanks to Hayley & Adrian Gooley

Corroberee Lodge - Accommodation, Fine food and Bar – Thanks to Bob & Anna Tait

Foodworks Perisher – Has been a long-term supplier of food for the Nordic Shelter BBQ – Thanks to Peter Marshall

Jindabyne Yoga Shala – Loosen up and relax after a hard day outdoors – Thanks Jane Corben for your support

LendSure Finance – A new sponsor - For free finance/ lending advice or to subscribe to get the regular (every 3 weeks) loans information newsletter, email - wayne@lendsurefinance.com.au

Nordic Shelter Donations

Donations towards the Nordic Shelter are as important as ever. You can make your tax deductable donation by CLICKING HERE

Winter 2022

We can assume that with more and more people getting vaccinated that finally after 2 years we hope to be able to run all our normal winter events. 

We plan to have XC Ski Week back where all events are on including the final big presentation. We plan to have the Bronze ski on offer again to the club/ lodge with the biggest attendance in events, vying for the $1000 prize. Next year, XC Ski Week is starting on the Saturday the 6th of August.

Wayne's thought bubble; To have a promotion that would link your participation in the Cooma Open, the PXC Cup and the Kosciusko Tour. Billed as the trifecta of skiing. 

So, start planning early to book your times on the snow. If you are able to get to XC Ski Week, book early as this is one of the busiest weeks in the year as far as club/ lodge bookings go.

Finally, get involved with volunteering, if not during the winter, over the coming summer period as there is always plenty to do. Enjoy the great main range spring skiing.

Kind regards -  Wayne Pethybridge