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Canadian XC prospects get some late season training



With the snowline retreating further into the alpine, Callaghan Country Wilderness adventures opened up its network of groomed trails to the   cross-country development team this week with a camp running from June 1 to 8.

Whistler Olympic Park, operated by VANOC, is providing the grooming in the alpine area, which still had a snowpack of over a metre last week at an elevation of 1,400 metres. Between seven and 15 km of trails will be open to the athletes, which belong to the Callaghan Valley Training Centre, a national athlete development centre based in Sea to Sky.

After the camp, the groomer will be left at Callaghan Country’s lodge to start grooming trails for the athletes in the early fall. With the partnership, athletes can train on snow eight months a year.

“I had my first ski at the lodge on Oct. 2 last year, and now we’re working together to offer a national development camp in June,” said Rob Bernhardt, director of cross-country skiing for VANOC. “Having such a long length of season is a great asset for developing athletes and we are looking forward to working with Callaghan Country to deliver more early and late season skiing opportunities in the future.”

There are 12 athletes on the development team, many of them now based in Squamish. Amy Caldwell, who moved to the area at the start of last winter, is coaching the group.