With the summer holidays coming to an end I think it’s about time we had a look back at our incredible summer camp in Fonna, Norway.  After a tricky summer camp in 2015 in Tignes, France with sub-standard snow conditions we opted to take the plunge and dive into the unknown – a summer camp in Scandinavia, not the Alps!  After sending Eilidh off on a recce to Norway in Aug 2015 she arrived back in the UK full of excitement at the prospect of training in Norway, and in Fonna in particular.  This gave us the confidence to turn the camp into a reality and although going somewhere new is always a bit of a risk, thankfully for us this move seriously paid off!

We ran the camp from 16-30 July 2016 with our Kandahar 1st Team arriving on the 16th and then the main group joining them from the 22nd onwards.  Kandahar Racing’s momentum continues to build camp by camp and this was our biggest camp in recent history – 54 trainees and 10 staff, so it’s safe to say that we took over the Folgefonn Gjestetun in Jondal by night and the Fonna glacier itself by day!  We ran a 2 week training programme that included technique, skills, drills, drill courses, stubbies, SL gates, GS gates, SG free ski, SG gates, speed jump training, Ski Cross, Pro-Slalom training and a Pro-Slalom races.  Training opportunities like this don’t come around very often during summer in the northern hemisphere and so we took full advantage of it by training long days from 0900-1600hrs whenever possible.  One of our priorities for the camp was mileage and time on snow for our trainees – and so with a quick turnover on the T-bar we packed in as many training runs as possible.  Thankfully Fonna’s salting system kept the snow conditions in great shape through the day which also maximised the value of the training.  It really did feel like we found our own secret little training base in the middle of the worlds most stunning Fjords – it was the ultimate playground for our trainees.

The fun didn’t stop either once we headed back down the hill to Jondal on the shores of the Fjord at the end of the day.  Our northerly latitude blessed us with long summer afternoons and evenings to pack in plenty of fitness and activities.  Trampolining on the hotels front garden was a daily occurrence, Brano’s BBQ’s won’t be forgotten for a long time, the sports pitches saw lots of hard work on the fitness front and thankfully the beach and diving board into the Fjord were just a short stroll away to cool off after long days of skiing and fitness.

Clearly nothing ever goes 100% to plan and unfortunately for us we trained in Fonna during the wettest July in 47 years, and the west coast of Norway is known for rain at the best of times!  It wasn’t the end of the world however as we had a 50/50 split in the weather, with half the camp running in blazing sunshine and the other in lots of rain.  Another saving grace was the fact that the rain actually helped the salt firm up the snow conditions even more, meaning that on the wet days the snow conditions were actually brilliant – perfect for those tough enough to train in the rain.  So as a team we battled through the wet days, but clearly we’ll have our fingers crossed for more sunshine next July!

I’d like to say a big thank you to all the coaches and pastoral staff for helping make the camp such a success – Eilidh, Dan, Amanda, Hope, Mark, Jake, Adam, Nikki & Mick – you have all definitely earned a summer holiday!  Thanks to Brano and his team at the Folgefonn Gjestetun for looking after us so well and for cooking such great food.  Thanks to Andreas and his team at Fonna for being so accommodating and helping provide us with our best training camp to date.  Finally the biggest thanks goes to all the trainees who worked so hard throughout the camp and who all behaved so well, you were a credit to the club.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and I look forward to seeing everyone in Saas Fee in October ready for another top training camp!

Matt Shepherd

Pat Shepherd