• Dahria Beatty, a member of the national junior cross-country ski team, races for her home club, the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club. (Photo courtesy of Dahria Beatty)

Dahria Beatty is a member of the national junior cross-country ski team. Born and raised in Whitehorse, the 19-year-old currently trains and lives in Canmore, Alta., the national team’s headquarters. But she hasn’t forgotten her days at the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club. She tells Canadian Geographic why any skier trained at the club is one to watch.

CG Whitehorse is known for its ski culture. How has that influenced you as an athlete?
DB There’s a really good core group at the club because of the skiing culture in Whitehorse. The saying “excellence breeds excellence” is really true there. My teammates at the club were a great motivator and I was very lucky to have such a strong team during my time there.

CG What separates the club from other clubs you’ve skied at?
DB It’s continually getting bigger, and more of the community is taking up skiing and using the amazing trails the club has, which are all within walking distance of the chalet. It’s also right in town. Many athletes have to drive to get to their ski trails, but not us.

CG What’s your favourite trail on the club’s grounds?
DB The upper valley trail. When you get to the lookout at the top of the climb, it’s gorgeous, no matter what the weather.

CG You still represent the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club when you compete, but how does it stay relevant to you when you live in Alberta?
DB The club has a history of being very involved with their competitive athletes. When I go home I get the feeling that I’m not just racing for myself but for the club too. They always know my results and they’re always very proud. It’s like one big skiing family.