Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Race Season Recap

E's first race season at Glacier Ski Club (based out of Mount St. Louis-Moonstone) was a success.  He has one more optional race to do at the end of the month, but I think now is the appropriate time to do a recap.

A little background on E's skiing. We got him up on skis one time when he was 2, then put him in ski lessons at Centennial in Toronto when he was 3.  We started him in lessons at Snow Valley when he was 5, and he's been doing some sort of program ever since.  He did the "Race Squad" at Snow Valley but that wasn't really a racing program.  This was his first year in a formal race program, and this was the year we switched to Mount St. Louis-Moonstone so Glacier was the choice there.  

We didn't know what to expect but we have been very pleased.  The program is really great, despite the lack of snow at other hills and race schedule taking a bit longer than normal to finalize.  We had to learn a lot of new lingo (slalom, GS, panel slalom, etc.) and what equipment was required for each type of race (face guards, hand guards, shin guards). We met some new people, filled in our volunteer hours (mostly Dave setting up the race track and netting on an almost weekly basis), and saw some different hills. We had to get to the hill both days on the weekend which was a lot, but wasn't so bad and the rest of us enjoyed the hill too, we had lovely weather and only one day that was really cold. E's instructor was amazing and he learned a lot.  E has never really found "his thing" but he embraced the race program, and had a lot of fun too.  He won the Spirit Award at the year end banquet and that sums up his personality to a T. He was also well known by the entire team because of what happened at their first race.  He sat on his poles to go up the lift (not uncommon for the kids) but pushed them back too far so when the bar moved up, the poles snapped in half.  Brand new poles before his first race even started.  The kids shared their poles and it was a bit of "musical poles" at the top of the course, but he made his mark!

First day, we caught E and his friend B on the life on the way up.  No special lines for the race club kids, but the lifts are always running fast so no real issues.

Fresh snow.

Sporting one of two new race suits

Race at Hidden Valley.  It was a snowy day.

Staying warm at the top before his run.

Race at The Heights.

Sunny day at Moonstone.

Second race at The Heights.

E and his coach.

His group.  There are several more U12 kids but they are divided into 3 or 4 groups.

As for the actual racing skills he developed, well this was his first year and some of the kids have been in the program since they were 7 or 8 (by the way we are putting Q in this next year), so there are some really good kids, but E has a good sense of the hill and he's not afraid so he usually ended up middle of the pack.  He loves it but still wants to do better.

A summary of his race results:

1. Snow Valley - Panel Slalom - 1st run 34.44; 2nd run 34.13.  38 out of 77 racers
2. Hidden Valley - Kombi - 1st run 37.31; 2nd run 24.95.  33/81 racers (10/20 Glacier Team)
3. Heights - GS - 1st run 28.30; 2nd run 28.61. 33/84 racers (8/21 Glacier Team)
4. Mansfield Invitational - GS - 1st run 36.94; 2nd run 36.34. 35/44 racers (4/6 Glacier Team)
5. Heights - Slalom - 1st run 35.80; 2nd run 35.86. 28/85 racers (9/22 Glacier Team)
6. Club Championship - Panel Slalom - Only run 37.73.  8/16 racers.

We bought some professional photos that were taken each racer at the Mansfield race. 

Next year he will be in the U14 group and has the option to do OCUP, which is the next level for training, but it is a very big commitment for the kids (and parents!) with lots of missed school and so much travelling.  For a family where both parents have full time jobs and we don't have a cottage/chalet in the area, we think it would be too much for us.  We will have two kids in the Glacier program next year and we are looking forward to seeing how they improve.  Q has already improved so much this year and he is raring to go!


  1. Thanks for the update and great pictures. Cliff

  2. What a great race season! Shame about E's poles but it was nice that his team mates shared and helped him out. The professional photos look amazing and E looks like he is a very good skier.

  3. This looks like a fun sport. I don't think I've ever known of someone who does ski racing so it's really interesting to get a different perspective on a new (to me) sport. And clearly we missed the skiing boat with our kids since they only skied for the first time at ages almost 13 and almost 11. Hahahaha!!!