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2002 Foret Montmorency Training Camp Report
By:  Skeets Morel   (2002/11/18)


For the past 9 days or so, XC Ottawa and NADC Ottawa-Gatineau skiers were at Foret Montmorency for our annual on snow training camp. The camp was held between Nov.7 to Nov.17 at Foret Montmorency, about an hour north of Quebec city. The camp was held a week earlier than last year's camp, since last year there was a lack of snow. But let me tell you: when we first got there, their was plenty of snow to go around. I though it was Christmas time there was so much snow. The ski trails were in such good conditions that we were actually using race skis. We were using race skis in November! It was so amazing, some people were saying "there is so much snow it will never leave." Boy what a big mistake saying that was, because about 4 days in mister snow king decided to move else where and let prince rain and princess warm come in. It rained so hard and got so warm it changed the conditions like that. By the next day the snow conditions had deteriorated back to fall skiing, so we were back on rock skis.

So, what actually happened at the camp. It is quite simple, actually: we slept, we ate and oh yeah we skied. Boy did we ski. Must of the members who were at the camp for the entire time got about 30-50 hours . That works out to about 3 to 6 hours a day. The typical day started at 6:30 am with a 30min ski or soccer game. It was followed by breakfast in the cafeteria. What a treat that was not having to cook for ourselves, just coming in from a ski and getting to eat. After breakfast we had about an hour to relax before our morning ski. Some members did homework, others waxed skis and the smart ones slept. The morning ski was usually 3 hours with one group doing technique for a bit. During the ski we would ski for an hour then go back and visit Pavol, where we would eat some food, have a drink and re wax if needed. Eating was a very important part of the training camp. Pavol wanted us to eat every hour because it helped to replenish our energy supply so we could ski for hours at a time everyday. My favorite snack was mini wheats mixed with chocolate chips, raisins, and peanuts, but we also had energy bars or granola bars. The brave ones of us would drink molasses and others would drink nice hot tea or coffee that Pavol had made for us.

Following the morning ski would be lunch in the great cafeteria. Then after lunch the group that did technique in the morning would watch themselves on the TV as Pavol analyzed their technique. The other part of the group would relax and have an afternoon nap. After the video and naps it was time for the afternoon ski which was usually 2 hours. During this time the group that didn't do technique in the morning would do technique and the ones that did technique in the morning would be working on improving their technique from the tips that Pavol had given them. Following our afternoon ski we would have another amazing cafeteria meal, where we would clean out the cafeteria of food. After the joyous meal we would usually have a meeting where Pavol would give us one of his inspiring speeches. Once the meeting was over, Pavol would analyze the technique of the afternoon group, while the rest of us waxed skis, did homework, played pool or ping pong, or made some important phone calls. After the playing and calling it was time for bed and let me tell you we were all ready for bedtime. We would all settle down around 9:00pm and have a very enjoyable sleep which we deserved. Then the routine would start all over again.

Although our days were quite full we still had lots of time to enjoy ourselves. We got to go into Quebec City for a dinner at a Crepe Restaurant. We also got to see the coolest store of all time. It was a Christmas store full of lights and ordainments and other Christmas stuff. It is one store I will never forget.

This training camp was my first real training camp and it will definitely not be my last. It was a time to make new friends since I am a relative newcomer and a time to get closer to the friends I already had. Thank you Alicia for organizing the camp, thank you Pavol for all those technical tips and the nice warm drinks, and most of all thank you kitchen staff for all those wonderful meals that you cooked.

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