Thursday, 3 March 2016

AYC 2016 - Bragg Creek - Course Map

Course Map - Individual and Wave Start races at Alberta Youth Cross Country Ski Championships 2016 - Bragg Creek

Base elevation at West Bragg Ski Trails - 1404m

Total Distance:  2.4km

Total Climb:  66m

Max elevation: 1470m

Course description:  Racers start travelling east through stadium; loop back on the chickadee trail; across 200m bridge; west along Moose connector trail; climb to summit on crystal link 4; descend on middle crystal to sundog to trail head bridge; onto chickadee to finish

This course will be used for the 2.5km interval skate race on saturday morning.  On Sunday, the wave start classic race - minimidgets ski 2.5km and midgets ski 5km.

The relay follows the same beginning as the the skate interval start race but turns on the crystal link 1 200m past the 200m bridge; then loops back onto sundog and across the trailhead bridge and back to stadium.

Monday, 29 February 2016

2016 AYC is a Go!

2016 Alberta Youth Cross Country Ski Championships is ON!

Greetings Coaches, Parents, Athletes attending the 2016 AYC in Bragg Creek,

We are very pleased to announce that the 2016 AYC will take place at West Bragg Ski Trails from March 4-6, 2016.  The organizing committee met yesterday at West Bragg Trails to make a decision about the conditions.  After skiing and walking the trails, the organizing committee has decided that conditions are suitable for the event to be held at West Bragg Ski Trails. Yesterday the trails were hard packed with new snow over top and very skiable.  The forecast for the week has several days of snow and cooler temperatures and with our renovator, we believe we can have very nice trails to ski on come friday.  Our organizing committee will be meeting on thursday evening to make a final decision on race loops to be used for saturday's indiv skate race and relay.  

Don't expect stellar corduroy conditions.  Do expect skiable conditions on snow covered trails.   Snow is very granular ice cystal snow mixed with fresh snow.  Trails are all white - no brown, no sticks or needles - what I would describe as very skiable trails.  There is considerable snow in the forest alongside the trails and so even if we get a week of +15, we have alot to work with and a series of smaller loops that we can use for the race trails if we need to.  We have a shovel brigade organized for wednesday this week to shovel some snow onto key places.  Our stadium area is in excellent condition.  Trails are safe to ski on, but not the Canmore Nordic Centre.

West Bragg Ski Trails are at 1400m, the same elevation as the Canmore Nordic Centre.  The competition trails at West Bragg are all on a north facing hillside that are protected from most of the direct winter sunlight.  In addition, the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association have purchased new equipment the last couple of years and so the trails are in great shape considering the weather all over southern Alberta.  We saw this last year as well, where the trails had snow coverage, and yet there was no snow to be seen anywhere in southern Alberta.  

Here are a few images from yesterday, Sunday Feb 28, 2016.

Moose Connector Trail

Track set trail on Moose Connector heading west

West Bragg Trail map

Bridge over Bragg Creek at west end of Stadium

Sundog trail at east end of race loop 

Crystal Link 1 

our renovator/track setter

mountain road, stadium area off to left

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Feb 20, 2016 Alberta Youth Cross Country Ski Championships Update - This event is going to take place!

Greetings coaches from AB, NWT, and Sask

The organizing committee of the 2016 AYC is pleaesd to let you know that we are planning full steam ahead for this years alberta youth cross country ski championships.

As the largest provincial event for minimidget and midget age skiers in alberta XC Bragg Creek Ski Club is happy to once again be hosting the event in Bragg Creek march 4-6, 2016

We wanted to let you know that we have secured Canada Olympic Park Ski Trails in Calgary as our back up venue for the event.  We will share our decision as to whether we will be at COP or at West Bragg on Tuesday March 1, 2016.  Our first choice remains hosting the event at West Bragg although we are prepared to move the event to COP if necessary.

Snow conditions at West Bragg are currently skiable, but marginal.  there is considerable snow in the trees and we are preapred to harvest snow from the trees during the week of March 1 to add to our base there.  

Camp Kiwanis will once again be our camp facility for the event. 5 meals will be provided including a snack on friday night, breakfast on saturday and sunday, a bag lunch on saturday and sunday, and a banquet on saturday night.

Many familiar and popular features of AYC remain including:
- medals to 10th place in each individual category

- single year age categories

- official, unofficial, and coaches relay categories (bring a costume)

- club aggregate banner 

- effort and sportsmanship awards

- the biggest draw prize event in the world (even great draw prizes for coaches)

- camp style accommodation - bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, towel, and toiletries

- a guest speaker at our banquet - this year the organizing committee has asked national junior biathlon team member and three time world jr championship competitor Matt Strum to share his joiurney.  Matt has been a member of the Alberta Ski Team and Alberta BIathlon Team and grew up in Bragg Creek.  He was the classic late developing december birth month kid who regularly finished 25th as a midget and juvenile in AB Cup races.  Matt has an inspirational story for kids in that he persevered without much success for much of his teen years.  In a sport like ours kids who finish far back in the pack as teens are easy to overlook. Matt's story is one that every successful athlete faces - adversity and setback - an important message for kids to hear.

A couple of important notes

1. registration is still open until Monday Feb 29, 8pm Newfoundland Standard time (430pm MST) 

2. bunk room assignment will happen on tuesday March 1 and will be mailed out to coaches on wednesday march 2.  historically we have grouped kids in club bunkrooms and for smaller clubs put them together with other clubs.  There should be an adult from each club or two or more (ratio of 1 adult to 8-10 kids) who are supervising kids at camp.

3. there is a waxroom available at camp kiwanis - roper arts and crafts building - same one as in previous years.

4.  there is no electricity or running water on site at west bragg creek and should we be at COP, we will also not have elecrtricity available - therefore bring a generator and appropropriate equpment - many clubs bring their own waxing tent to set up at west bragg.

5.  race trails at west bragg will be open to the public during the race - our course marshalls and course selection and signage will all encourage the general public to ski on alternate trails

6.  west bragg trails are 100% natural snow and are maintained by K country and the greater bragg creek trails association.  Snow holds very well at these trails as they are mostly on a north facing tree covered slope.  exact race trails will be determined closer to the date of the race so as to make best use of available snow conditions.

7.  no open fires are permitted at west bragg trails.

8.West Bragg Meadow is the stadium just south and west of the parking lot

9.  Transportation - as part of our use agreement with K Country, we are providing bus transportation from camp kiwanis to west bragg (or COP) on saturday only.  We are assigned the west parking lot at west bragg trails for our use, It is not a really large parking lot so please have one coach vehicle per club and for smaller clubs, please try to share a vehicle.  Since Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association have taken over most of the grooming at West Bragg, it has become the busiest of all K Country Ski trail sites due to it being the closest K Country trails to Calgary. As such, K Country has stated that it is important that we leave room for general public at the site.

This is a really fun event for kids.  Being able to do three events in two days and ski on trails that kids dont get to usually except at AYC makes it a special event.  Plus staying at a camp, sharing meals with every body from around the province (and NWT and Regina the last number of years).  

Thank you for your support of this event.  It is successful because it is important to clubs from all over the province and because XCBC has really taken it on as their big yearly club event.

Please share this email with anyone and everyone that you know who might be interested - including every kids family who is in your club minimidget and midget proigrams as well as any club coaches who i might have inadvertently omitted from this email (my apologies).

You will hear from me next on Tuesday March 1 regarding our decision about where the ski events will take place.

Good news is - this event is taking place! please spread the word!

thanks everyone