Spring XC Skiing Offers

There are great deals available in the spring time for XC skiers and snowshoers. Check with a resort near you and for a full article click Spring XC Skiing. Here is a quick sampling:

Garnet Hill Lodge in North River, NY has the Spring Ski & Stay Specials with rooms from $150 per night double occupancy including a trail pass and BF throughout March, Check the website or call 518-251-2444.

At Lapland Lake in Northville, NY from Mar 5 to Apr 1, lodging rates for two guests begin at $150 per night weekdays and $190 per night on weekends. Additional guest charges are reduced to $50 per night for adults and $25 per night for kids 6-17.

Irish Dinner & Celebration at Izaak Walton Inn on Sat Mar 18. Crazy March Special offers Empire Builder Rooms starting at $99 or Classic Cabooses starting at $129 per night with skiing included (rental equipment additional).

Book 3 nights and get 1 for FREE during midweek Apr 1 - Jun 9 (nonholidays) at Sorensen's Resort in Hope Valley, CA.

 

Caricature Created by Ski Cartoonist

RB Lohr of XCSkiResorts.com

RB Lohr of XCSkiResorts.com

Fellow snowsports journalist Mike Roth of the Albany Times Union blog and www.Snowsportsna.com recently created a caricature of the XCkiResorts.com editor, which captured the true essence of the man. If you are interested in your own ski-related cartoon, contact Mike via www.SnowsportsNA.com

 

Nordic Skiing Championships on TV and Live Stream

The FIS Nordic World Championships were held in Lahti Finland on Feb 23 – Mar 5 had 21 disciplines of Nordic racing and 700 athletes competing from 60 countries. There were some Americans on the podium including Jessie Diggins, who took silver and Kikkan Randall, who won bronze in the individual freestyle sprint. The classic team sprint bronze was taken by Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen, while the American women's four skier relay just missed the podium with a 4th place. Canadian Alex Harvey won the gold in the men's 50 km. Congratulations!

Have you seen the Eliquis advertisement on TV recently? The Defib medicine features a guy XC skiing in groomed tracks. He is gliding along while the pitch is given to combat the potential of stroke, and then he meets three other XC skiers.  They all definitely look the part.

 

The Art of XC Skiing Featured in Unique Outdoor Trailside Gallery

Jackson Ski Touring Center in NH featured two local abstract painters, in a display of art with nature in February. Click here for the full article. Instead of a white walled gallery, in its place were walls made from snow, hemlocks, and birches, all places for paintings to hang from.

Hundreds of skiers and snowshoers viewed the gallery. The artists hoped to develop a new language by using radically different color palettes to represent local places, landmarks and the weather of New England. Many of the canvasses were non-representational, measuring four feet by three feet with high contrast colors to express abstract landscapes in the area.

The painting duo, Rebecca Klementovich and Kristen Pobatsching call themselves the "Femme Fatales of the North" and they are working to bring more attention to female painters in northern NH, especially abstract artists. They believe that the snowy cross country ski trails will be a perfect place to host their work. The art scene in Jackson is emerging as a small gem with four galleries and one museum.

 

American Birkie Cancelled

The American Birkebeiner is the biggest cross country ski marathon in the US and though it was cancelled this year in Cable-to-Hayward, WI, it annually attracts more than 10,000 participants. When in the region, stop by the Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner for a piece of cross country ski history. Check out our Personalities story at Tony Wise Museum.

 

Jackson Ski Touring Center Special Offers

The Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, NH has a variety of offers to encourage people to come and ski or learn to ski.

 Alpine Sunday – Alpine skiers and snowboarders can get some exercise before they head home. They’ll receive a 33% discount on a trail pass, lessons and rental equipment at Jackson Ski Touring Center just by showing an alpine pass valid from the previous week. On the “getaway day” hit the trails in the morning and then head home feeling that you burned some calories and enjoyed the outdoors at the same time.

 Super Saver Learn to Ski – Includes a daily trail pass, rentals and a one-hour beginner class at Jackson Ski Touring Center for just $45. All instructors are PSIA certified, friendly and patient. They are ready to suggest what trails to experience, where to find a good lunch, interesting viewpoints and more.          

Learn to Skate Super Saver – All-day trail pass, skate ski and boot rental, and a one-hour private lesson for $65.

Get 4 and Go – This is the way to get an introduction to cross country skiing! For $199, receive four days of cross country ski and boot/pole rentals, two group lessons, and two private lessons to fine-tune your skills. When completed, you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement and a season pass for the rest of the winter season, a total value of $423 being offered for only $199.            

Children under 10 receive free daily trail passes every day of the season a Jackson Ski Touring Center. For the little ones, parents can rent Chariot and Mountainsmith pulks – specially designed kid-sized sleds they can tow behind. The rate is $18 for the first day, $16 for each additional day. Sure it’s an extra workout for mom or dad, but kids love to be included out on the trail.

 

Six Colorado XC Ski Areas - One Pass

The Colorado Cross Country Ski Association (CCCSA) is making exploration easier with a multi-ski resort pass good at six of the Nordic ski areas in the state. The CCCSA 2016-17 Punch Pass is on sale now for $99 and it allows purchasers to discover the snow on Nordic trails at six different resorts.

Rocky Mountain High on trails at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

Rocky Mountain High on trails at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

“Colorado has some of the finest Nordic experiences in the country and we want people to have the opportunity to explore them,” said Igor Guziur of Devil’s Thumb Ranch. “With six different resorts to experience, it’s a great way to see a side of Colorado that you may not have visited before.”

The punch passes are valid for two trail passes to Breckenridge Nordic, Crested Butte Nordic, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Keystone Nordic, Snow Mountain Ranch and Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The passes are transferable, so two people could share a pass for double the fun at each resort. Additional discounts on rentals, tours and lodging with specified partners are also included in the pass.

“These punches are for trail pass access,” Therese Dayton with Breckenridge Nordic added. “Depending on the usage at each resort, you could try cross country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing or even fat biking with this pass. The Punch Pass also makes a great gift.”

The 2016-17 CCCSA Punch Pass is on sale now for $99. Visit http://www.coloradocrosscountry.com/Punch-Pass to purchase or for more information.

 

Carter's XC Centers Now Has Fat Bikes and a Weekly Ladies Ski Tour

Carter's XC Centers in Bethel and Oxford, ME has added fat biking available for $50 (includes the bike rental and trail pass). At the Bethel site, Anne Carter will lead a weekly Guided Ladies Tour for a $15 trail pass with rentals available for an extra price. The tour will be 1-3 PM and lessons would be available at the beginning of the session for $10. A minimum of 3 ladies must participate for the tour.

 

Michigan Cross Country Ski Area Improvements

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association announced changes and improvements to ski areas across the state for the upcoming season. Here's the lowdown:

Cross County Ski Headquarters in Roscommon acquired a new Kubota Tractor and ice power tiller and developed a new snowshoe trail that will reach 5 km long when finished.

Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville developed new fat bike trails and dedicated snowshoe trails and added a zipline course.

Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls added new Nordic ski signage.

Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs acquired a new cross country ski trail tracker to improve trail grooming conditions.

Nubs Nob Ski Area in Harbor Springs acquired new XC ski rentals to update the fleet with Fischer skis and boots.

Mackinac Island has the President's Day Bash weekend on Feb 17-20 which includes cross country ski events and the chili cookoff.

Michigan Technological University is near Hancock, MI which has recently been named the third snowiest city in the US by The Weather Channel.

Mount Bohemia in Houghton has a new cabin that is ski-in and shuttle out that is located on the XC ski trails. It sleeps up to five people.

 

Hats Off to Inductees to the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

XCSkiResorts.com would like to extend a hearty congratulations to some of the 2016 Inductees to the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame who have crossed paths with me over the years:

Bernie Weichsel - ski show promoter and ski industry grand pooh-bah; Michael Berry - NSAA President; Jeff Hastings - ski jumper, Olympic TV personality and neighbor; Shaun Palmer - snowboarder icon; John and Dan Egan - big mountain skiers on video.

The induction celebration will be hosted in Stowe, VT in early April.

 

Jackson Ski Touring Invests $500,000

Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, N.H., celebrated the most extensive expansion in its 44-year history. The nonprofit facility hosted a ribbon cutting on Monday, Nov. 14, at the Rocky Branch trailhead parking area, Route 16, Pinkham Notch.

The newly expanded 154 km (96-mile) facility has added four new trails totaling six km (3.75 miles) and eight new trail bridges. Funds for the expansion were raised during a two-year capital campaign. The $500,000 expansion, the largest in the northeast this season, and one of the largest in the U.S., includes:

Ellis River trail - .4 km; Hall trail - .8 km; Keeney trail - 4 km; Kellogg trail (named for Olympian Charles Kellogg - .8 km. Additionally there are two new bridges with lengths of 16- and 22-ft. long, on Hall trail; four new bridges ranging from 20- to 35-ft. on Keeney trail; and two replacement bridges include the 60-ft. Meserve Brook bridge, and 35-ft. Spruce Brook bridge.

“The trails have been prepared with a conservation mix of hardy grass and hay and are ready for the first significant snowfall. Snow has already fallen on our new trails and bridges, leading us to be optimistic about a Dec. 10 to 15 opening, although we have been known in the past to open Thanksgiving week. If that happens, we'll be really thankful for sure," said Breanne Torrey, executive director.

Shopping at Ski Swaps

Looking for inexpensive used skis, boots, snowshoes, and other gear? Ski swaps are a traditional outlet for finding products at a low price. It is suggested that you Google "tips for ski swaps" to find articles that review the pros and cons of shopping for gear at ski swaps. Additionally, on Google you can find ski swaps in your area.

For Nordic (XC) skis and boots, the bindings on the skis are a key issue - they must match the boot type (NNN or Salomon and all of the specific versions). If you are considering waxless bases, check the pattern on the ski base to see that it is not too worn out or "too old to hold." Of course, there are also the ski swap shopping techniques for finding that specific item and beating someone else to it.

If you want to sell products at a swap be aware of the dates to drop gear off and price them low to move while remembering you will have to split the proceeds with the swap organizer (25-50% depending on organizer). Many of the swaps include ski retailers, who offer a larger selection of gear and price products at much higher than the individuals price their gear to sell. Contact your local XC ski area, retailer, or club to ask if they know about upcoming ski swaps that will have XC ski gear. It is suggested that you call in advance to make sure that there will be XC ski or snowshoe equipment available at the swap.

Great Glen, NH Offers Unique Deal

HUGE DEAL! Spend $444 or more on a ski package and get to ski free at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Gorham, NH for the season. Your kids ski free, too! Open House on Nov 18.

 

Garnet Hill Lodge, NY Changes Hands

 

According to a story on PostStar.com, the Garnet Hill Lodge in North River, NY changed hands recently. Jim and Frances Rucker have a vacation home in the area and they were regular visitors to the lodge and skied the trails. They plan to modernize the lodge but keep its rustic charm.

The 175-acre property and renovations will commence in the spring and take about two years. New visitors to the 25-room lodge will enjoy more modern décor and amenities including TVs in the rooms. The size of the bar area will be increased and include more of the amazing views. The ski lodge will also be renovated and they plan to increase the food offerings there.

There are no changes planned for the 55 km trail network but plans are being laid to also use the site for hikers, bikers, canoeists and kayakers and leaf peepers.

New Hampshire XC Ski Areas Announce Changes & Improvements

Ski New Hampshire, the state ski area association announced changes and improvements to ski areas across the state for the upcoming season. Here's the lowdown:

Bretton Woods XC - Investments made in the alpine and Nordic grooming fleets. Fat bike rentals will be available, with dedicated trails for winter biking.

Eastman XC - Nordic Center building completely rebuilt.

Great Glen Trails - Snowmaking system improved to maximize efficiency. Two trails reconstructed, allowing the trails to be opened earlier in the season. Addition of a second snowmobile for early season and low snow grooming.

Jackson XC - Addition of 6km/4mi of new trails this season as part of a $400K capital campaign. This is the largest trail expansion/improvement project in the organization's history.

Nordic Skier XC/Wolfeboro - XC Addition of a new John Deere Gator grooming machine to the fleet, plus a 108" Yellowstone Ginzugroomer. Upgrades and improvements to many trails making them skiable with less snow cover.

Pine Hill XC - Two bridges refurbished on Robb's Hut trail.

Windblown XC - New Warming Hut, available for rent year-round, has eco-friendly solar power and sustainably harvested timber. The new "Clear View Camp" tiny home also welcomes guests. The Lodge at Windblown is now a full-service event space available May through November with a commercial kitchen and outdoor spaces for events.

 

Bob Frye of Cross Country Ski Headquarters to MI Ski Hall of Fame

Bob Frye, founder of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake, has been inducted by the board of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association to the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame. He enters the Hall of Fame as a "Snow Sports Builder", someone who has made major contributions in areas of organization, promotion, or development of the skiing industry in Michigan.

Says Frye, "We started with a simple mission, and that mission lives on today: get people outside and having fun on the snow. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in that mission, and especially my wife, Lynne, for her tremendous support, and without whom none of this would have been possible."

Since starting Cross Country Ski Headquarters in 1974, Bob and Lynne, and later their daughter and son-in-law, Mariah and Stu Colie, have grown the business to achieve national recognition, not to mention a large statewide following. Named by Outside Magazine as a "Nordic Skiing Mecca", Cross Country Ski Headquarters has become one of the most distinguished cross country ski destinations in the country for its groomed trails, large retail selection and expertise, and warm, welcoming staff.

"Bob and his shop and ski area have attracted more people to the sport of Cross Country Skiing than any other entity in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. They have always been a beacon to those wanting to begin an adventure into snow sports and cross country skiing in particular." – Ernie Brumbaugh, President, Michigan Cup Race Committee.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters is located in Higgins Lake, in the heart of Michigan. It is open from October 29th through March 31st, and also for its annual Labor Day Weekend Sale. Featuring a vast ski equipment and clothing selection, product expertise, groomed ski trails, a café and day lodge, ski rentals and lessons, Cross Country Ski Headquarters invites one and all to "Come ski with us!"

 

Maine Ski Museum Exhibit to Open in Bethel

The collaborative exhibit of skiing in Maine opens in Bethel, Maine on June 24 and runs one year. The Ski Museum of Maine is teaming up with two other organizations to present this exhibit illustrating a large swath of skiing history in this state.

The exhibit is titled "The Mountains of Maine: Skiing in the Pine Tree State," and it has been open to the public for the past year at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, New Hampshire. NESM has graciously loaned it to the Ski Museum of Maine, which will re-mount it in the Robinson House of the Bethel Historical Society.

NESM's display comprises about 60 photographs taken from its own collections and borrowed from others. It covers most of Maine skiing history, from the arrival of the first Swedish immigrants in Aroostook County in the late 1800s, and the narrative continues into the modern era.

The principal focus of the photo collection is the development of commercial and non-profit ski areas both large and small. Many of these ski hills, particularly the smallest ones, disappeared decades ago, but others, such as Sunday River, Mount Abram, Black Mountain of Maine and Shawnee Peak, remain important to the state's skiing lifestyle. The exhibit will be supplemented with artifacts and photos from the collections of the Ski Museum of Maine.

The Bethel Historical Society is currently marking its 50th anniversary, and Executive Director Randall Bennett notes that because skiing is such an important part of the region's social and economic landscape, it's very fitting that this exhibit will be on view in Bethel for 2016-2017.

The exhibit will open on June 24 and remain on display through the spring of 2017. Hours will be Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. during July and August. The Society's museums are closed November 1 through Thanksgiving. Nearby lodging at the Bethel Inn. Call 800-824-2910 or visit bethelhistorical.org for more information.

 

Quarry Road Awarded by the Mid-Maine Chamber

According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, the Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville, ME has been selected by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce to receive the Community Service Project of the Year Award of 2015.

Groups involved with the development of the park collaborated in Waterville, Maine. They extended the XC ski trails, acquired and operated a snowmaking system, and built a welcome yurt.

The nonprofit group called Friends of Quarry Road and other groups are recognized for creating a year round hub of recreational activity and becoming a catalyst of the local economy, which has been a boon to the health and wellness of the community partnership between the Friends and Waterville.

The rec area has been ongoing since 1938 and it was expanded by Colby College to include snowmaking, night skiing, and a ski lift in the 1960-mid 1970s. When the operation ceased there were 100 acres that became vacant and now it has been expanded to 220 acres with 2.2 miles of snowshoe trails, 5.6 miles of groomed XC ski trails and a sledding hill. The new snowmaking equipment was installed in 2012 and events have been conducted at the site.

The Quarry Road Rec Area helps the entire town and business people appreciate the winter activity. It is becoming a resource for all seasons for hiking, walking, and running. There'll also be more focus on mountain biking, kayaking, and a summer race series.

There are plans at Quarry Road Rec Area for a parking lot and lighting with a 2014 grant and funds raised by local groups including the Friends, Inland Hospital and Maine General. XCSkiResorts.com joins the Mid-Maine Chamber in congratulating the Quarry Road Rec Area and all those that support it.

 

Tahoe Donner Announces Expansion

Tahoe Donner in Truckee, CA home of Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area has announced a decision to purchase and preserve 640 acres in the Crabree Canyon adjacent to and south of Tahoe Donner's existing 7,000 acres. The property is a gateway between the Euer Valley and the Carpenter Valley and there is a permanent conservation easement on the land.

The easement will protect Tahoe Donner's borders from future development and create new recreational opportunities. About 16% of Tahoe Donner Cross Country Center's terrain will be reopened. The land, which was previously closed due to land use concerns was acquired for less than $800 per acre.

Nonmotorized trail use for summer and winter activities will be encouraged on the new parcel of land and there are plans to link Tahoe Donner and the Independence Lake Preserve via a new trail system.

The Forestry Department at Tahoe Donner is actively working to protect this terrain and minimize threats of wildfire. The land will be open to the public for the first time in more than a century. Tahoe Donner is a homeowner association with 6,500 properties, 25,000 members and 7,000 acres.

 

Cross Country Skier Magazine Sold

Cross Country Skier Magazine was sold to Height of Land Publications (HOL) to return to its roots in Vermont. HOL out of Jeffersonville, VT is currently the publisher of Alpinist and Backcountry Magazine. Former Cross Country Skier Magazine owner and editor (and old friend) Ron Bergin will stay on as an advertising sales rep and a writer for the magazine.

HOL CEO Adam Howard commented, "This feels really natural to us. Kind of like wearing Spandex." A goal was for the magazine to reach well beyond print and Howard said, "Cross country needs a little more cowbell…and Cross Country Skier is the logical choice to ring it."

With a reference to Spandex, it sounds like the magazine will continue its heavy content on cross country ski racing. For you television fans, we're not sure if Howard was referencing the famous Saturday Night Live "more cowbell" skit with Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell. One of the all time "Best of SNL" skits, Christopher Walken plays producer Bruce Dickinson, who keeps calling for more cowbell from Will Ferrell, the cowbell player in a seventies rock band playing Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper."

 

Seniors Skiers – Golden Opportunity to be Mined

In a recent (Jan 2016) subscriber survey conducted by SeniorsSkiing.com to determine information about the website's subscribers, it was revealed that the average age of the respondents was 66 but they perceived themselves as 46 years old! The respondents were equally split between male and female.

The survey respondents were 91% alpine skiers with 48.5% of them expecting to ski 20 or more days and 20% expecting they'd ski 50 or more days! The secondary snow sports activity showed that 31% were into snowshoeing and 29% were also cross country skiers.

The seniors annually visit an average of 6 ski areas on day trips per season and they visit 2 resorts per season on weekend or vacation trips. Are ski area marketers reaching out to the senior market in their region? It is a great idea because 35% of the older skiers go with friends and 25% ski with their spouse while 18% bring their children or grandchildren. Only 15% indicated that they ski alone.

Some of the older skiers said they take lessons (29%) at the beginning of the season to adapt to their changing physical needs or to improve while 69% stated that they do not need to take lessons. Of the respondents, 73% were married.

With regard to planned purchases, 57% of the the respondents to the SeniorsSkiing.com survey said that they expected to purchase base layers (underwear) and about one-third would buy skis, 29% new goggles, and 25% boots, gloves, ski jackets, or ski pants. For more info, check www.SeniorsSkiing.com

 

Yankee Magazine Poll of Best Winter Towns in New England

The Yankee Magazine selected a list of the Best Winter Towns in New England. They looked for places that even nonskiers would love as a getaway, too. They didn't discriminate against big or small locales, inland or coastal areas, and based the selection on the following essential categories:

*Towns had to be known as a winter sports getaway that offers many of the snowsport and winter recreational activities.

* Scenery.

* Variety of lodging.

* Village charm.

* Cultural attractions such as a museum, a library, historic homes, a theater for plays and live music, or a place to see first-run films. * Guided winter tours and ease of finding winter gear rentals.

* Après-ski scene.

* Accessibility includes the ease of driving to the town and whether the place offers public transportation or a shuttle.

Here are the towns with associated pages on XCSkiResorts.com:

1. Stowe, Vermont - Stowe Area AssociationTrapp Family Lodge

2. Bethel, Maine - Carter's Cross Country, Bethel Inn

3. Jackson, New Hampshire - Jackson Ski Touring Center

4. Woodstock, Vermont - Woodstock Inn Resort

5. N. Conway, New Hampshire

6. Waitsfield, Vermont

7. Rangeley, Maine - Rangeley Lakes Outdoor Center

8. Camden, Maine

9. Middlebury, Vermont - Rikert Nordic Center

10. Ludlow, Vermont

Click here for the full Yankee Magazine article.

 

USA TODAY 10Best 2016 Selects Top Cross Country Ski Resorts

USA TODAY asked three Olympians (all current or former members of the U.S. Nordic Ski Team) to nominate their favorite cross country resorts in North America. For the past four weeks, USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting for their faves, and the results are in! The top 10 winners in the category Best Cross Country Ski Resort are as follows:

1. Trapp Family Lodge - Stowe, Vt.

2. American Birkebeiner Trail - Hayward, Wis.

3. Tahoe Donner Cross Country - Truckee, Calif.

4. Devil's Thumb Ranch - Tabernash, Colo.

5. SilverStar Mountain Resort - Vernon, British Columbia

6. Lone Mountain Ranch - Big Sky, Mont.

7. Craftsbury Outdoor Center - Craftsbury Common, Vt.

8. Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort - Soda Springs, Calif.

9. Jackson Ski Touring Center - Jackson, N.H.

10. Mount Bachelor Nordic Center - Bend, Ore.

A panel of XC ski racers picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Sadie Bjornsen, Holly Brooks, and Sophie Caldwell were chosen based on their extensive cross country skiing experience.

Additional nominees in the category Best Cross Country Ski Resort included Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center in Mont., Hatcher Pass, Kincaid Park, Methow Trails in Wash., Rendezvous Ski Trails in Mont., Soldier Hollow, Stowe Mountain Resort Cross Country Center, Summit Nordic Center, Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center in Idaho, and Olympic Sports Complex Trails in Lake Placid, N.Y.

XCSkiResorts.com congratulates the cross country ski areas named in the USA TODAY 10BEST poll. Just click the area to see a full page of info on the resorts on the site.

 

White Grass Does it Again! Video Celebrates Cross Country Skiing

The joy of cross country skiing at White Grass Touring Center in Canaan, West Virginia. They are celebrating the Jonas snowstorm that dumped 19 inches with some great downhill runs and shots of the fun at White Grass. Click for video https://vimeo.com/147547370

 

Ski For Heat - Fund Raising for Heating Fuel Assistance

Bromley Mountain, an alpine ski area in southern Vermont turned up the heat in support of Ski for Heat, a volunteer nonprofit committed to raise funds to provide heating fuel assistance to low income families and individuals in communities throughout Vermont. Fuel assistance is provided to those with demonstrated need, often in an emergency situation where they don't have enough money to keep themselves or their family warm. There are many thousands of Vermonters who depend on fuel assistance support in emergency situations. Since its inception in 2000, Ski for Heat has raised $250,000 for fuel assistance.

To receive more info check Ski for Heat's website, www.skiforheat.org Martha Robertson, Ski for Heat SkiForHeat@myfairpoint.net or call 802-779-2227.

What's more, Bromley's Wild Boar Tavern offered a plate of six super hot all natural boneless chicken tenders for $9.99. Each slathered in Chef Eileen Armet's homemade Bromley Bomb Sauce containing ghost peppers rated up to 500,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Finish the fiery plate in five minutes and the chicken is free, with Bromley donating $25 to Ski for Heat, and one free lift ticket to each winner with the iron constitution.

Wild Wings Ski & Yoga in Peru, VT also offered a special $5 all-day, all-trail pass to any XC skier or snowshoer, who made a donation to Ski for Heat on January 31. (Kids 12 and under will ski free.) The first 40 participants who had donations or pledges of $35 or more received a long-sleeve t-shirt.

 

Learn to Ski Program Offers

There are a variety of learn-to-ski deals available for anyone who has ever had an interest in in learning to cross country ski. For example, during the month of January ski areas across the nation will encourage people who have never cross country skied before to embrace winter and try something new with the Winter Trails program. This program now in its 21st year promotes an introduction to snowshoeing or cross country skiing sometime during the month of January at nearly 100 participating cross country ski areas across the nation. For a list of participating ski areas check WinterTrails.org

Discover Michigan offers a learn to cross country ski package with trail pass, rental equipment, and a lesson for $20 during the month of January. Michigan's Cold is Cool Passport program provides 4th and 5th graders a coupon book to get up to 3 learn to cross country ski packages at a participating ski area anytime during the coming winter for $20. Check the GoMichigan website for an application. Participating ski areas include Boyne Mountain, Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Crystal Mountain, Shanty Creek, and others.

Six cross country ski areas in New Hampshire are offering special packages during January for first-time skiers. The cross country package includes a trail pass, first-time lesson, and rentals for $19, and is available at Bretton Woods Nordic Center, Granite Gorge XC, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, Gunstock XC, Jackson Ski Touring Center, and Windblown XC. The Snowsport Passport program offers one trail pass per ski area to 4th and 5th graders for $35 and part of that amount is donated to Make A Wish. Check SkiNh.com for details.

In Maine, the Winter Kids Passport is for 5th-7th graders for $25 and scholarships are available to those who are unable to afford the offer. Check WinterKids.org.

Vermont has the Fifth Grade Passport offer of a booklet for 5th graders with coupons that are good for XC ski area trail passes at each of the participating resorts. There is a need to be accompanied by an adult and there are some blackout dates. There is a $10 fee for registration. Vermont also has an app program to win prizes for skiers that visit many of the XC ski areas in Vermont called Check in to Win. For details, check SkiVermont.com.

 

Tahoe Donner's Alder Creek Adventure Center Grand Opening

After several years of planning, the Alder Creek Adventure Center will open its doors to the public for the first time on Nov. 26 with a grand opening party on Nov 27. The free event includes live music, appetizers, family entertainment and activities, and a no-host bar from 5 – 7 PM.

We are beyond excited to debut the building," said Sally Jones, Tahoe Donner's Cross Country Ski Area manager. "So much planning went into this project and it's wonderful to see it come to fruition. Skiers will be treated to luxury this winter season with much more space, new rental racking systems, expanded wax rooms and ski tuning services, upgraded locker rooms and more."

The new retail shop has one of the largest selections of Nordic attire and accessories available in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region for both function and fashion, and will be open every day starting Nov. 26. Jackets, sweaters, pants, gloves, hats and more are available from leading brands.

Within the Alder Creek Adventure Center, visitors will enjoy spacious seating, large windows overlooking Hawks Peak, a grand fireplace and the Alder Creek Cafe, complete with a bar and televisions. "Our concept is simple," said Mike Peters, Tahoe Donner's food and beverage director. "We want to use only fresh, organic ingredients, resourced locally when possible, to bring healthy, delicious options to the plate." Items from the menu include fresh grab and go meals, house-made soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods with beer and wine selections available as well. "Our bar will also be open until 7 PM on Thursday through Sunday for the winter season with a great selection of unique beer and wine choices while nibbling from our après tasting plates."

With comfortable dining offerings and new and improved cuisine, the Alder Creek Adventure Center will be a popular place to visit for cross country skiing and snowshoeing alike this winter season, but winter sports enthusiasts are not the only ones who will benefit from the building. The Alder Creek Adventure Center was designed to accommodate large parties, weddings, corporate meetings, banquets and more year round.

Throughout the design and construction at the facility, there were even opportunities to further protect the surrounding environment. "Energy efficiency and an environmentally conscious design were essential to us from the beginning of the design process," explained Forrest Huisman, Tahoe Donner's director of capital projects. "Extensive research and resources went into the building design to ensure we improved our environment and surroundings, while creating an architectural vision that contributes to our mountain community."

In the summer, the building will house Tahoe Donner's Equestrian Center and Bikeworks operations, while allowing access to the extensive trail system of Tahoe Donner and the remote beauty of Euer Valley.

The Alder Creek Adventure Center and Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area are located at15275 Alder Creek Road, Truckee, CA 96161. Call 530-587-9484 or visit www.tahoedonner.com/cross-country for more information.

 

Cross Country Ski Headquarters Wins Awards & Recognition

Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, MI was voted winner in two categories in the "Vote 4 the Best" contest of WDIV News in Detroit. The categories were "Winter Sports & Recreation: Cross Country Skiing" and "Winter Gear & Outdoor Apparel."

The ski area also was recognized as a Nordic Skiing Mecca in Outside Magazine in an article that included the comment that at Cross Country Ski Headquarters ski area and shop "It's almost a guarantee that beginners will walk away glowing with the joy of a newfound love."

 

The Inn at Ellis River Celebrates 30 Years

The Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, NH celebrates 30 years as a Bed & Breakfast! The Inn at Ellis River began as a personal residence for its original builder and his family in the late 1800's. With a long history of hospitality for friends and relatives since 1893 it is no surprise it eventually became a B&B in November of 1985 as the Ellis River House. The inn started as a 6 guest room house and expanded over time. Now known as the Inn at Ellis River, it has grown to 21 rooms and a rustic cottage.

 

Canmore Nordic Centre to Open Trails First

Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta, Canada plans to open about 1+ km of groomed trails at the centre on October 23 in 2015. The Frozen Thunder Trail is covered with machine-made snow that was stored over the summer. The early trail access is used for team and athlete training on Monday-Friday from 9 -12 and then open to the public from noon until 9 PM. The weekends will be open all day to any XC skiers who want to get in some early season skiing. Night skiing is available from 5-9 PM and is FREE.

According to Sue Taylor, Canmore Visitor Experience Supervisor, all of the Canmore Nordic Centre facilities will be in operation during the early season including the Day Lodge, Fresh Trax Café, wax rooms and gym. A special pass covering the period of October 23 – November 13 is available for $90 or the daily skiing trail fee is $15. Rentals and lessons are available via Trail Sports, the service provider at the centre. Access to the trails by regular Canmore Nordic Centre season pass holders begins on November 14 and does not include the early season trail fees.

For a story about snowmaking at XC ski areas see the most recent article entitled Snowmaking Becomes Imperative at XC Ski Areas.

 

New Articles in the Green Room

I don't know the psychographic research regarding cross country skiers' interest in sustainability, but the notion that cross country skiers are highly interested in it makes great sense. The XCSkiResorts.com "Green Room" reflects informative sustainable goings-on in the snow sports world.

Among the current Green Room features is a list of the most sustainable cross country ski resorts in North America from Stump Sprouts in western MA, which produces more electricity via solar panels than it consumes to Nipika Mountain Resort, which is off the grid in British Columbia.

Olympic XC ski competitors speak about what they've witnessed and voice their concerns in three different Green Room articles and green efforts at XC ski product companies are also featured. One story gives a snapshot of Burton Snowboards, which exemplifies a product company committed to social and sustainable responsibility.

Other articles featured in the Green Room look at a statewide upgrade of snowmaking efficiency and an electric car event up the Mt. Washington toll road. There's also an overview of the impact of climate change on the snowsports world, which when you think about it may very well be the canary in the coalmine of businesses that have much to lose because of global warming.

So click on the Green Room for some stories about snow sports people and businesses leading the way to a more sustainable world.

 

Walk More Often for Health & Fitness

The nation's doctor, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recommends a brisk walk to stay fit and urges groups to work together and create communities that are more walkable and easier to go out for a regular daily walk.

Some of the real barriers to people walking outdoors more often include finding time in their busy daily schedule, busy city streets, crossing traffic lanes, neighborhood crime, concern about stranger danger, older people's concern of falling, and zoning laws (private or public property that is not open).

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has called for "safer people, safer streets initiatives" to help communities create safer walking and biking networks. Clearly, support and funding from transportation legislation that has been stalled in Congress would give walk and biking initiatives a boost of adrenaline.

What is a brisk walk? It has been said that walking is brisk enough when "you can talk but not sing." I don't know about you, but I really like to sing as I walk or go Nordic walking with poles, so I guess I'm not much of a brisk walker!

 

2022 Winter Olympics Site Selected

In a report from USSA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has selected Beijing, China, as the host city for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Beijing's vision for the Games seeks to incorporate winter sports into people's lives, with the ultimate goal of improving overall fitness and health.

Beijing 2022 has offered a regional concept intended to develop a winter sports market for more than 300 million people in northern China. The Games vision also aims to accelerate the development of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Sport, Culture and Tourism Belt, offering a new impetus for China's economic growth and sustainable development in Beijing and Hebei Province, where the snow sports competitions would take place.

Beijing has proposed a three-zone event venue plan that relies on six existing and six new competition venues. The three zones will be linked by high-speed rail. The venues for skiing and snowboarding are in an existing winter sports region, but have yet to be constructed. The Zhangjiakou Zone, approximately 160 kilometers (96 miles) from the Beijing Olympic Green, will house venues for Nordic combined, ski jumping, biathlon, cross country skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. For a full story on aview of the site selection process for these Olympics click 2022 Winter Olympics.

 

Responsible Down Standards

For years, winter clothes have incorporated down feathers (from geese) for insulation and in 2013 information about the mistreatment of geese that are raised for this purpose was broadcast in the media. It sounds like there has been some mean stuff being done to geese to get the down feathers.

Get the low-down on responsible goose down harvesting and look for the "Responsible Down Standard Certified" logo in products that have down in them. For more info on this issue, see articles in Outdoor Gear Lag and SeniorsSkiing.com http://www.seniorsskiing.com/is-your-down-jacket-responsible/

 

LL Bean Named Among Top 100 Workplaces List

In a Fortune.com article, LL Bean, the retail catalog store based in Freeport, ME has been named to a list of the 100 best workplaces for employees. LL Bean has grown to 26 stores and 10 outlets with a total of 4,966 employees.

The company has many employee perks and benefits programs including free on-site health screenings, fitness classes, and on-site massages. There is tuition reimbursement, a pension plan, and paid work days to enjoy the outdoors. The article referenced cross country skiing and snowshoeing and there was mention of an employee ski trip to Rangeley Lakes in western Maine. Employees also receive 33-40% off of company-made items.

In the article, LL Bean revenue was quoted at $1.6 billion and a vice president of human resources commented that employees are given the chance to have (experience outdoor activities) what they want to impact the customers.

 

Reefer Madness in Colorado?

The National Ski Club Newsletter reported about Colorado's marijuana business quoting a state-produced analysis saying that 90% of recreational sales in mountain resort communities are to out-of-state visitors. There are 18 tour operators running "marijuana bus tours" to Colorado and probably some family visitors have traveled elsewhere due to the law, which allows marijuana sales but not smoking in public places.

The ski town breakdown:

Aspen has 5 cannabis shops. Nearby Snowmass Village has instituted a moratorium on pot shops until 2017. Breckenridge voters disallowed pot shops downtown, but there are 5 shops in Breck.

Crested Butte has 2 medical marijuana outlets and 2 recreational shops.

Durango has 3 pot shops.

Steamboat Springs has 3 shops, but has banned them from old town Steamboat and at the base of the ski area.

Telluride has issued 4 marijuana licenses compared to 3 liquor stores in town.

Vail voted to ban pot shops until the summer of 2015, but Eagle-Vail has 3 pot shops.

 

The Hills Have Been Alive for 50 Years

The Sound of Music movie premiered on March 2, 1965 and the 50th anniversary tribute of it is currently all over the media including the medley of songs performed by Lady Gaga at the Academy Awards show and more than a million and a half downloads of it on YouTube.

One of the most popular movies of all time, The Sound of Music was originally created as a Broadway stage musical with Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. The connection to cross country skiing is that the Von Trapp family, which is featured in the movie and stage show started the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT and it became one of the first cross country ski resorts in 1968. Today the lodge is one of the most successful resorts in the business. For a full page about the resort click Trapp Family Lodge and for a full story about the youngest of the Von Trapps, who moved to America in the 1940s, click Johannes Von Trapp.

A new touring stage production of the Sound of Music is currently being planned and is scheduled to open in LA in September 2015.

 

Resort Reviews on HighOnAdventure.com for Royal Gorge and Woodstock Inn

For an in-depth HighOnAdventure.com article on Royal Gorge Ski Resort in Soda Springs, CA by Larry Turner click: http://www.highonadventure.com/Hoa01dec/Royalgorge/royalgorge.htm

For an in-depth HighOnAdventure.com article on Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, VT by Roger Lohr click: http://www.highonadventure.com/hoa15jan/roger/woodstock.htm

 

Bohart Ranch in Bozeman MT Sold to Local Biathlon Club

According to a story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Bridger Biathlon Club in Bozeman, MT announced agreements to buy the Crosscut Ranch and the Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center in Bridger Canyon to create a 500-acre Nordic ski venue. The organization signed a 3-year lease and purchase agreement with Jackson Financial Group, which acquired the 259-acre Crosscut Ranch at auction last March.

The club formed in Bozeman last fall plans to raise $10 million by November 2017 to complete the purchase of the properties and make some upgrades. A new biathlon range has been installed at Bohart Ranch and about 30 km of Nordic ski trails are planned.

The Crosscut Ranch was operated as a Nordic ski facility from 1982 to 1987. Jean MacInnes owner of the operation at Bohart Ranch said she is pleased to be handing over Bohart's legacy to the Bridger Biathlon Club and that she is confident the club will carry on Bohart's dedication to accessible and affordable cross country skiing in the community. Bohart will donate grooming efforts on the Crosscut Ranch this winter. A spokesman for the club stated that the deal will result in a world class training facility for biathlon commenting that the facility located in Bozeman, which is a ski town in a hook-and-bullet state, is a natural fit.

 

Research Shows that Hiking Makes You Happier

In a recent Outside.com article, it was reported that British and American scientists have published new research showing that nature walks help us combat stress while boosting mental well-being.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and Edge Hill University in England evaluated 1,991 participants in England's Walking for Health program, which hosts nearly 3,000 walks per week for more than 70,000 regular participants. They found that the nature walks were associated with significantly less depression in addition to mitigating the negative effects of stressful life events and perceived stress. The findings were published in the September issue of "Ecopsychology."

Sara Warber, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and senior author of the study, said that the large sample was a defining factor. "We observed behaviors of a large group, in which some chose to walk and some chose not to, instead of us telling them what to do," she said. "After 13 weeks, those who walked at least once a week experienced positive emotions and less stress."

According to Warber, it is recommended that walking outside in nature at least three times a week to experience benefits. Short, frequent jaunts are more beneficial than long, occasional walks. While stress isn't ever going to go away, it is important to have a way to cope with it, and walking in nature is a great coping mechanism with benefits that are more than just physical.

 

Plans to Reopen The Balsams in Northern NH

A recent North Country Chamber of Commerce presentation described the 1st phase of a $100 million investment in the reopening of The Balsams in northern NH by 2016 to become a world class resort with golf, alpine and XC skiing, ATV riding, and weddings. The Balsams hotel closed a few years ago after changing ownership a couple of times and it had become a tired grand old hotel outside of Colebrook, NH. Les Otten formerly of Sunday River Ski Resort and the American Skiing Company, is one of the investors in the project. After a debt crisis caused the American Skiing Company to succumb, Otten invested in the Boston Red Sox and then some other businesses in Maine, where he lives.

 

New XC Skiing Instructional Model Under Consideration

There's been recent discussion between PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors and USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association) regarding the Cross Country (XC) Skiing Technical Model of instruction.

The six elements of the PSIA XC skiing instructional model represent the "what" of XC skiing. These elements include skills, stance, movements, timing, power, and continuous forward motion. The skills for push off, weight transfer, and glide are the fundamental aspects of what XC skiers do to create "continuous forward motion."

Common terms used to clarify each of the PSIA skills include:

Push off - wax set, edging, and weight transfer;

Weight transfer - moving from ski to ski;

Glide - pole recovery, arm return, and foot return.

The USSA performance triangle represents the "how" of XC skiing performing the skills by blending the:

Fundamental athletic stance - flexed ankles and knees, rounded back and shoulders, core over base of support;

Fundamental movements - rotary, flexion and extension, and speed;

Timing - to coordinate the movements while applying Power (force and speed) to create "continuous forward motion."

Will this make teaching XC skiing or learning to XC ski any easier? Who knows, but it makes sense to continue to refine instructional models if it helps more people to attain a higher level of enjoyment more quickly.

 

Double dating Strengthens Relationships

The USA Weekend Magazine recently had a blurb about double dating and its effect on sparking romance and passion in a relationship. The research cited that getting acquainted with a new couple spurs passionate feelings about your own partner. Beyond bowling or going to a movie, the double date must include conversation and opening up because it conveys understanding and validates feelings of passionate love (toward your partner). The studies show that novelty and new experiences reinvigorates long term romantic relationships. Sharing time with the other couple increases a positive mood and adds passion to your existing relationship.

What does this have to do with skiing? Well, when you are on a XC ski outing you often stop along the trails and that gives you plenty of time to chat with another couple. Alpine skiers get time on the chair lift rides where the quad chairlifts (4 skiers sit on the lift) fit the bill perfectly. Of course, during a ski outing there is often a break for lunch when meaningful conversation can take place between couples, too. Go on more double dates!

 

Ride the SnowCoach Above Treeline on Mt. Washington

Winter on the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH officially opened in mid-December this year with custom-built four wheel drive Chevy passenger vans and their four massive treads ferrying passengers up the road to an elevation of 4,000 feet. The SnowCoach goes about two-thirds of the way to the summit of Mt. Washington, the Northeast’s highest peak. “The specially-trained SnowCoach drivers can take anyone at any age into the alpine environment that they may never see otherwise,” according to Auto Road General Manager Howie Wemyss. “It is really a comfortable adventure for the whole family to see an unforgettable place.”

The SnowCoach ride up Mt. Washington takes about 75 minutes and departs daily, weather permitting. Many passengers bring their skis to going XC skiing back down to the base lodge at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center.

The price of the SnowCoach tour is $45 for adults, $30 for kids aged 5-12 or part of the Total Trails Ticket ($69) that includes a SnowCoach tour, all day trail pass, tubing pass, and snowshoe or XC ski rental equipment at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center.

 

Biathlon Proliferates at XC Ski Areas

Biathlon is now on target at many XC ski areas across the country. The sport of biathlon combines cross country (XC) skiing and target shooting. The roots of biathlon are traced to Scandinavia in the mid 1700's, and currently in Europe it is the most popular winter sport attracting 700 million annual television viewers. XC ski areas in the US are now offering programs with real 22 caliber biathlon rifles, laser rifles, and even paintball markers (guns). Some of the XC ski areas that conduct biathlon programs include the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, NY, Tahoe Donner Cross Country in Truckee, CA, Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone and Bohart Ranch in Bozeman both in MT, Craftsbury Outdoor Center in VT, and the Nordic Heritage Center in ME. See the full article on the Resort Features Page.

 

Outdoor Recreation is BIG Business

Go on a trip to recreate lately? According to a ForbesLife article about Conservation Funding, the outdoor recreation industry (biking, skiing, hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, etc.) is worth $646 billion, is responsible for 6.1 million American jobs, and $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue. This industry is a larger part of the US economy than pharmaceuticals ($331 billion), motor vehicles and parts ($340 billion) and gasoline and other fuels ($354 billion). In Utah, the Office of Outdoor Recreation has been created to help Utah increase its involvement with outdoor activities and increase its rate of recreational tourism. The Outdoor Industry Association website has state-by-state info regarding outdoor recreation for spending, jobs, wages/salaries, and tax revenue within the respective states. The organization's objectives include encouraging federal agencies to coordinate their efforts, improve recreational access and funding, protect recreational destinations and provide funding to maintain them, and ensure fair and predictible trade and business environments.

 

Telemark Lodge Saga Continues

Last year, the new owners of the Telemark Lodge in Cable, WI announced that they're turning the power off at the resort. "Renovating the heating and cooling system alone would cost $1 million and the lodge is in a state of disrepair that poses just too big of a mountain to climb, " said Rick Carpenter of the Mount Telemark Partners. James Bolen, executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce still holds out hope that an interested party will arrive. While the lodge won't be available, the owners have agreed to lease the property for this years's American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race.

According to a story that was updated in late-October on the Wisconsin Public Radio News the Telemark Lodge and Resort in Cable, WI was sold to a company now called Mount Telemark Partners, a Colorado company at a sheriff's foreclosure auction for $926,000. The new owners have stated that there are no plans for the resort to reopen in time for America's largest XC ski marathon, (the American Birkebeiner held in February). An earlier story in the Duluth News Tribune said the purchase was for 975 acres and that the new owners viewed it as a good land buy, but are not motivated to open the Telemark Lodge. Also, one of the new owners has reportedly skied the Birkebeiner once. According to a story in the Superior Telegram, the Telemark Lodge, an 1,100 acres property is a 41-year-old facility, which closed in March of 2012.

The new owners have told business leaders in the Cable area that they'll listen to proposals to reopen the resort, which has been the starting point for the Birkebeiner for many years, but they have no interest in running a resort. The newest info from Wisconsin Public Radio News also reported that the new owners have property in the Cable area and are part of the Johnson-Lewis family, which owns Johnson Wax products. One proposal could involve using the lodge as a training headquarters by the CXC, an international XC skiing organization. Olympic World Cup competitions have been held on the site in the past.

A program on the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” program visited the 150-room (some reports claim the resort has 215 rooms) lodge and cited potential but revealed that significant work is needed to bring it back to eminence. The mortgage holder says a buyer would have some upfront expenses the problems are not insurmountable. The region depends on the 10,000 participant Birkebeiner to bring in business every year and the Telemark Lodge would play a significant role in accommodating those racers.

 

Fat Bikes Now Welcome & Offered at More XC Ski Areas

Last year, the Methow Valley Sports Trails Association (MVSTA) in Winthrop, WA opened selected cross country ski trails to fat bikes in 4 different locations among the organization's 120 miles of groomed trails. Fat bikes are specially-made with ultra-wide tires that can be run at very low pressure to allow the bicycles to roll over packed snow-covered trails. Many XC skiers are also mountain bikers so fat bikes provide an opportunity to combine these interests during the winter months.

The Fat Bike pilot program gave people another way to play in Methow Valley's dry, sunny, cold, snowy climate. In the right conditions, the fat bike tire tracks stay on top of the snow with less impact than a pair of skis.

A trail pass is required for snow bikes on the trails.

Fat bike rentals are now available at Sun Mountain Lodge, WA; Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure and Royal Gorge in CA; Rikert Nordic Center and Kingdom Trails in VT; Flagstaff Nordic Center in AZ; Cross Country Ski Headquarters in MI. We'll add more areas to the list as we hear about them. There are trail ethics involved with fat biking with regard to sharing the trails with other trail users and being a good trail citizen. If a rider has to get off the bike and push or carry it or the bike is leaving a rut on the trail deeper than an inch, then the snow is too soft and he or she must get off the trail. See full story at Resort Features.

 

Bolton Valley, VT Protects Coveted Land

It took two years of fundraising to purchase 1,114 high elevation acres in Bolton, VT, which includes land that hosts Nordic and backcountry ski trails at Bolton Valley Nordic Center. The Vermont Land Trust campaign raised $1,050,000 in 15 months and that was matched by $800,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. In mid June, the Land Trust transferred the deed for the 1,114 acres to the state to become part of the Mount Mansfield state forest.

The property, which was threatened by interested developers is the largest state land conservation acquisition in more than a decade and it includes a long section of the Bolton Valley Nordic Center to Trapp Family Lodge ski trail.

 

Top XC Ski Racers May be at Higher Risk to Heart Problems

In a story that has virally spread on the Internet on June 12, findings in a study published in the European Heart Journal stunningly revealed that cross country (xc) skiers, who completed the 90 km (56 mile) Swedish Vasaloppet marathon, may be at greater risk of developing heart arrhythmias with the rhythm of a heart beat. Those skiers, who completed the most races and had the fastest finishing times, had a higher chance of developing atrial fibrillation (abnormally fast heartbeat) or bradyarrhythmias (abnormally slow heartbeat).

The study did not find a direct causal link between xc skiing and heart problems but it suggests that there is a dose-response relationship: the more races skiers complete and the faster they go, the greater their risk. The research included 52,755 xc skiers who completed the marathon between 1989 to 1998 and were tracked through 2005. These skiers all pursued more physical activity during their leisure time than the general population and smoked less, had lower fat, higher fiber consumption, and better mental and physical health. The study showed that 1.74% (919) had some kind of heart rhythm problems.

There was a 29% increase of having atrial fibrillation for skiers who completed 5 or more races compared to those who just completed one; and those who had the fastest finishing times were 20% more likely to have the problem than those who were in the slowest group. The risk of bradyarrhythmia went up 110% in those who completed 5 or more races compared to first-timers.

It is expected that similar results would be seen in other endurance athletes but researchers emphasized that exercise can protect the heart from cardiovascular diseases. They did not find any increased incidence of the heart problems leading to sudden death and the Vasaloppet participants are less likely to die during the follow up period than the general population and that mortality decreases with increasing number of races.

The American Center for Disease Control recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities at least twice weekly.

 

UVM Nordic Ski Team Aids Adirondack Rescue

In an article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise it was reported that members of the University of Vermont women’s Nordic ski team joined with a local outfitter and forest rangers to conduct a backcountry rescue of a woman with a serious leg injury on Dix Mountain on March 30th in the Adirondack Mountains west of Route 73 in NY.

The woman was snowshoeing and had injured her ankle. Seven forest rangers responded with a state police helicopter and they parlayed with the UVM ski team, who were on an end-of-the-year outing with the owner of the Mountaineer gear shop in Keene Valley, NY.

The woman’s leg was splinted and stabilized and a makeshift sled was created from ski poles, ski skins, a harness, and rope. The group worked together to get the woman to a landing zone clearing in the area and she was hoisted out of the wilderness on the helicopter. The UVM women’s team had recently taken 3rd place in the NCAA Championships held at Rikert Nordic Center in Middlebury College…but this might have been an unexpected highlight of the season.

 

Cross Country Downhill Fun to Music

We received this video to music this morning http://vimeo.com/57040530 celebrating the snow and some great runs at White Grass in WV. That's Chip Chase and friends ripping it up on xc skis in the trees and yes, doing telly-copters (360 in the air and then landing it). Who says cross country skiing is boring or too much work? Spend 4 minutes with the video to learn the answer to the question, "Why do we love cross country skiing?"

 

Mountain Top Resort Named Most Pet Friendly

Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, VT was named among the most pet-friendly resorts on PawNation.com because it gives your pup a retreat at another level beyond just allowing dogs on the trails. There is a $30 per night fee associated with having your dog accompany you on a cabin vacation, but overnights at Mountain Top provides Fido with a dog bed, a bowl for food and water, and a welcome treat. Your dog is welcome to enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride with you and pet sitters are available if you want to leave your dog in the cabin while you treat yourself to dinner in the restaurant.

In most of these xc ski area dog offerings there is a trail fee for both the skier and the dog. Check the area’s policy because some allow dogs to run loose while others require a leash or harness. There are some resorts that require proof of rabies vaccination.

A full list of 70 xc ski areas that welcome dogs and the amount of dog-designated kilometers within their trail networks are at CCSAA Dog Trails List. Other resorts named as the most pet-friendly included the Lake Placid Lodge in NY, The Little Nell in Aspen, CO, and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta.