Lots of Podiums for Melanie - Canadian Ski Mountaineering Season Recap

G3 ambassador Melanie Bernier put in quite the performance this past ski mountaineering race season. Take a buzz through her season recap below, and see if you can count how many 1st's are in there! Congratulations Melanie...

Despite the fact that there was no World Championships for us this season (the next one being in 2013) our National Ski Mountaineering team had a busy race season. Between our Canadian Calendar and races in the States, we got busy putting in some fast times running around in Spandex!

The season started at the Calgary Olympic Park in December for the Vert 180. Our National team dressed up and paired with people who had never raced before for 3 hours of lapping around COP. The highlight of the night was certainly the snowstorm that rolled over the area as we started to race. By the end of the 180 minutes, we were getting face shots while straightlining the hill! It was a great night event and such a good way to set the tone for a great season!

Shortly after the holidays, a few of us traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to racing in the US National Championships and the following day, the Grand Targhee Classic. Despite the lack of snow in the area and racing at higher elevation, we had a great time!

I will certainly never forget the Jackson Hole course, which covered near 8000’ of vertical gain and started with a very steep climb up an icy groomed run! Ouch! Fortunately, after a weekend of suffering, we spent time with great friends skiing Teton Pass and the Teton National Park and had some amazing days recovering and recharging the batteries for the following events. I need to add and highlight the great performance of Luke Nelson and Sari Anderson both from the US National Team who are the US national Champions this year!

At the end of January we drove further south to meet with the rest of our Canucks team to race in the Continental Championships in Crested Butte, Colorado. The Championships was a two day event with both Sprint and individual races. We brought back home some “Bling bling” with Reiner Thoni and Andrew McNab 1st and 2nd respectively in the sprint race. I took home the fastest time for the sprint race. As for the individual race, Reiner took the highest step on the podium and received the title of Continental Champion for the 2nd year in a row. Andrew McNab was very close to the podium with a 4th place. Congratulations to Janelle Smiley from the US national championships who received the Continental title on the ladies side.

Back at home after a month on the road was our own Canadian Championships in Kicking Horse, BC. The Dog Tooth Dash is one of our favorite events in the calendar as it is a really nice course and the skiing is always really good. This year, Reiner Thoni and myself redeemed the National Title (Reiner for his 4th year in a row and myself 3rd).

A few weeks later we traveled to Whitewater near Nelson for the ROAM Randonnee Rally our oldest running race in the circuit. Andrew McNab took the 1st place and so did I. Worth noting is that Andrew also ran for the King of the Kootenay (Rado race, Poker Run, Booter Fest and Backcountry Olympics) and took home the title! To top up a perfect weekend, the area received an amazing amount of snow making for some great powder skiing!

Then finally, this weekend the team gathered for the last time this season for the Lake Louise Ken Jones Race. For the 2nd year in a row and under sunny skies, we covered a large amount of terrain. Reiner Thoni took the first place and so did I.

Now is time to relax and enjoy some great spring ski tours and eventually move on to summer sports.

I would like to congratulate all the member of the National Ski Mountainnering team for a great season. Here is our 2011/2012 team...

Reiner Thoni, Andrew McNab, Ian Gale, Stano Faban, Niall Glaason, Steve Sellers, Peter Knight.
Also part of the team are Alex Wigley, Brad Schalles, Jeff Colvin & James Minifie.
On the girls side, Julie Matteau, Kylee Ohler, Billie Velisek, Martha Burley and myself.

These are also the people who will be representing our country at the next World Championships.

Thank you to the Alpine Club of Canada for the support (Dave Dornian, Team Director and Ryan Johnstone, Race Director).

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