WMSC U18/U21 Program Update - January 14-20

Posted by Conrad Pridy on Jan 14 2020 at 09:22PM PST in 2018-2019 season

Hello U18/U21 Team,

What a difference a few days can make! The snow is piling up in droves and the temperatures are primed to turn any lingering precipitation into even more. It’s maybe a little cold, but the current level of frigidity feels like the hero we deserve after weathering the extra 2 months of Autumn. Finally, we’re on track to get back to our normally scheduled programming. On that note, please read the following for a NewPano Recap, The Kimberley Speed Trip Sheet, and a Call for Empty Beds needing Filled. As much as I like words, we’ll keep this one brief so everyone can get to the end. Ready? Begin:

NewPano FIS Races – A Small Series with a Big Heart
December is always an aggressive wake-up call to start the season. The fields are deep, conditions deteriorate, and it always seems a little darker than it should be; simply put, regardless of the training leading up, it’s hard to perform your best at the first races of the year. The experiences are always of the “learning” variety, however, and by the time the holiday reset has finished, racing better is the new norm. Enter NewPano (formerly Red Mtn.): a small event, in a reliable venue, with excellent snow. Throw in 150 U16’s from across the province and you’ve got the perfect storm for developing and further honing the ability to race.

Flipping perspectives by taking a group of underdogs and putting them in winnable races (ie. minus the usual Nor-Am field) has profound changes on the approach these racers take when stepping into the gate. When you break it down, ski racing is the same whether it’s a FIS race or a World Cup; there is a focus and a plan to get down the hill as fast as possible. However, in a more comfortable environment it’s easier to keep your mind open to the process without having to deal with the worries surrounding a bib-70 start number and aiming to limit the damage rather than excel. Again, it’s the same no matter the caliber of race, but trusting your self-belief is a skill and developing it properly takes the right environment.

On top of an exciting number of bibs in the draw each night at meeting, we also found ourselves racing alongside much of our future competition in the U16 Teck Open Series. Any opportunity for the older athletes to be role models is valuable, and to do so in an environment where they are poised and focused makes it that much more empowering. The majority of the Team took this role seriously by being their usual professional selves, and not only upped their game as mentors but also found a little more giddy-up in their own skiing as a result.

The whole trip was as incredible growing experience; both in terms of technical and tactical improvements, race day approach, and the enjoyment of good old-fashioned competition. We all came a long way as a Team supporting and learning from each other, and the once novel routine of improving during training AND races seems a little more common place now. We even got a few results to validate the process! A big thank you to all of the volunteers for running a tight ship and putting on an amazing series, and to the athletes for checking their boxes every day and pushing through 8 big days in a row of training and racing.

Kimberley Speed – Trip Sheet and Registration
The Trip Sheet and Registration link is now LIVE for our upcoming Kimberley Speed excursion. Historically, this trip has been an excellent introduction to FIS Speed Racing, and a great a tech training opportunity on the side. If you are planning on attending this event, please head over to Active Camps and register! Travel for this trip is will include the possibility to fly into/out of Cranbrook (the airport is only 20mins from Kimberley), but vehicles are set so the cost of flights will unfortunately not offset the trip cost. A few notes on flying:
- Arrival times MUST be for January 27th. The crew driving on the 26th will be arriving late but can pick you up at the airport in the morning the next day.
- Departure times for February 5th MUST be in the evening (the later the better). We will be able to get you to the airport as soon as the races are complete.
- Gear being transported in the Trailer should be labeled and deposited in the Ski Room at the Club Cabin prior to departure on January 26th.

More details for this trip will be available soon, for now please see the Trip Sheet in our Program Documents Section. If you have any questions, please send Conrad ( a message.

Grouse/Whistler Races – February 26-March 8
We’re a big Team from all over the Sea-to-Sky corridor. We have a number of local races coming up at the end of February and we are doing our best to avoid booking hotels in an attempt to keep costs to a welcome minimum. If you are able to house an athlete or two in Vancouver from February 26, 27; or in Whistler February 28-March 7 (or have made arrangements already), please let me know ( This event is gaining traction and we would love for it to become a staple on the FIS Calendar for years to come. The more accessible we can make it, the better! Thank you in advance if you have space to spare.

We’re back now for a short break and a little actual training at home. Feels good! Eat, Sleep, drink lots of Water, and let’s get ready to hit it again this weekend.

Conrad Pridy
U18/U21 Lead Coach
Whistler Mountain Ski Club


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