The Haig Glacier is located in Kananaskis Country and it is one of my favourite places. We live in three huts that are located a 45min hike below the glacier. Our gear and ski bags are flown in by helicopter, and the athletes run the 18km trail in. We live at 2200m elevation and ski at 2800m (9500 ft). One of the challenges of the camp is to deal with the effects of the elevation and still do a week of hard training without getting too fatigued.
I have had a glacier camp each summer for the last 5 years. It is always a lot of work and hard training. It is incredibly gorgeous up there and there is nothing nicer than stretching on the helipad in the evening. The only downside is the ever-present smell from the burning toilets! This year we had great weather with sun every morning while skiing and only a few rainy afternoons. The ski conditions were excellent with harder skiing at the beginning of the ski, getting softer and slower as it warmed up.
This year training was a bit different from other years. I had two big training days with some easier days in between. Tuesday and Friday were the hard days consisting of a 45min hike to the glacier, 3 hrs skiing switching to classic at the halfway point, and then a 30min run down from the glacier. We had the early afternoon to nap then we went back to work with a core/strength circuit in the late afternoon.
The other days were slightly shorter and included some fun sprinting. On Thursday we did 5x10s double poling sprints in 4-person heats. On Sunday we did some short 5s skating sprints working on our starts and our finishing lunges. I’m sure I’ll be very grateful we worked on this when I’m sprinting in the winter!
Shayla and I lunging to the finish
Overall I had a solid week of training. It is interesting to keep track of small improvements from previous years. One of the improvements I noticed was for the hike/run into the camp. 2 years ago it took me 3:15 hrs, last year it took me 2:45 with an average heart rate of 140 and this year it took 2:30 with an ave HR of 138. It is encouraging to see these small improvements and realize how far I've come over the years.
This week is a medium training week as I try to recover from the hard training and altitude. I have to be careful not to let my guard down because it is easy to get sick when your body is tired. The team is planning to have another shorter Haig camp at the end of the August so I'm looking forward to some more glacier skiing next month!