XC Ottawa Continues the Early Season Training Camp Tradition at Montmorency
By: Sheila Kealey (2013/11/18)
XC Ottawa athletes are gearing up for the start of the racing season after many months of dryland training.
Our final camp takes place this coming weekend, with XC Ottawa's traditional first "on snow' camp at Universite Laval's Foret Montmorency, a forestry station and outdoor education center located about 1 hour north of Quebec City. For the last few years, the weather gods (or global warming) have not been kind, and this camp was postponed from our traditional Remembrance Day weekend date, but a hard core group of athletes kept the Montmorency tradition alive, travelling north at the first reports of snow.
This year we can count on skiing, thanks to the efforts of La Foret staff. With snowmaking and snow preservation (they stocked 6,000 m of last year's snow under a thick coat of sawdust), they have built a 1.3 km track and opened for skiing November 1st. Sheila was there with Nakkertok athletes for the opening weekend, and despite arriving on a rainy and warm afternoon, the skiing was still good. Although it's a short loop (1.3 km), it offers steep uphills, downhills, and technical turns, ideal for honing early season technique in a way that parkway skiing can't.
Sheila at Montmorency for November 1 opening weekend
Beyond the 1.3 km track, as soon as snow permits, Montmorency offers many kilometers of great skiing, with early season tracks mostly on logging roads that follow river valleys. Early season snow is the biggest draw, but Montmorency is a great venue for a training camp for many reasons. The ski trails are just outside the door, hearty "lumberjack" cuisine is provided (no matter how many hours you ski, you won't go hungry here!), the waxing facilities are good, and common rooms with ping pong tables, games, tables are great for relaxing.
Just how long has XC Ottawa been going to Montmorency? For over 10 years . . . so it's got to be a good thing! Have a look at the following links for stories and pictures of Montmorency training camps over the years.
Craig Storey, Wayne Dustin, and Tom McCarthy enjoying the snow
2006 uphill technique
Great conditions in 2007!
Lee, happy to be on snow!