Young skiers showing improvement

The Whitewater Ski Team reaches the midway point of the season.

Elka DiGiacomo Parker flashes a smile as she competes with the Whitewater Ski Team.

La Niña has provided the Kootenays with prime skiing conditions this winter, from a cold, deep holiday season, to a race-ready high pressure in January, and to the last few weeks some of the best powder skiing in a decade.

The enthusiasm in the air is palpable, and has been rubbing off on Whitewater Ski Team’s formidable roster of athletes and coaches — this year totaling 140 racers and 17 coaches.

Young athletes from the Nancy Greene Ski League have had their work cut out for them this season, with a series of tough race courses at Red Mountain Resort and Phoenix Mountain in Grand Forks.

The dual slalom at Red on Jan. 22 had a steep top section with a tricky cross-slope gate that got the edges chattering.

Meanwhile, at Phoenix Mountain on Jan. 29, a right hand traverse out of the start led to a nearly blind rollover into the first gate, requiring the athletes to take an aggressive, but important leap of faith. There was some minor carnage, but it was fascinating to watch these young racers begin to push their own boundaries, and reap the lessons that only mistakes can teach.

Through it all, the spirit of community and sportsmanship rang true, and the kids got another healthy glimpse into the traditions, friendships, and rewards that an early morning ski race road trip can offer. They also received a healthy dose of poutine, donuts, medals and ribbons for their efforts.

Up next, Salmo will host its annual West Kootenay Nancy Greene zone race, and then Whitewater will host the Zone Finals and Ski Racing Festival on March 4.

As the race season comes to a close, the coaches will keep the focus on fun, with plenty of powder skiing to complement the training. In this way, the team will graduate not only technically proficient ski racers, but lifelong lovers of the sport as well.

Just Posted

Kootenay Lake ferry labour dispute ends with ratified agreement

The deal was approved by 83 per cent of members

CP Holiday Train returning to Nelson next week

Train will stop at Lakeside Park railway crossing on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Nelson police searching for missing woman

Heather Gunderson hasn’t been seen since Sunday

New system to keep Nakusp-area snowmobilers, caribou from meeting

GPS tracking keeps caribou safe while opening up the backcountry for sledding

Marina at former Kutenai Landing site will be half non-motorized

Council says limits will reduce noise and greenhouse gases on the lake

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

University of Victoria researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

Threats to the Fraser River at ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Grandparents raising children: Shuswap grandma sees need for support

Peer group formed for those who have unexpectedly taken on the role of parenting

Final appeal rejected for man convicted in deaths of missing Alberta seniors

Lyle and Marie McCann were in their 70s when they left their home in St. Albert in 2010 and vanished

Most Read