Regional Report will keep you informed of what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Our contributors have compiled news about events, clinics and news of interest to anyone who would rather be outside skiing on cold winter day. Send your suggestions to
by Roger Lohr
Soldier Hollow Olympic Legacy
The legacy from the 2002 Winter Olympics held at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah is cross country skiing for the masses. With an extensive schools program planned, Soldier Hollow invested in 10 kilometers of new easier trails, now part of a 31-kilometer trail system. There are 360 pairs of rental xc skis and 110 pairs of snowshoes. A tubing lane and biathlon range is open to visitors who want to try shooting at targets. But the kicker is Soldier Hollow’s "30 minutes or your money back" guarantee which is an invitation to encourage people to try xc skiing. (435)654-2002 or at www.soldierhollow.org.
Frisco Nordic Center to Shine at Night
The Frisco Nordic Center in Colorado is planning to install experimental lighting on a three-kilometer loop this season. The lighted trail will be open several evenings each week. For more info regarding either xc centers in Frisco or Breckenridge see www.colorado.net/~nord or call (970)453-6855.
Tamarack Lodge’s Tour de Taste
The Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, California celebrates its Tour de Taste on April 6. Situated on Twin Lakes at 9,000 feet above sea level and two miles outside of Mammoth Lakes, the lodge dates back to 1924. It was made famous by the Bob Hope movie, "The Seven Little Foys." The Foy family that first owned Tamarack created it as a celebrity retreat. There are 26 cabins (some updated as luxury accommodations) and 11 rooms in the lodge. The Lakefront Restaurant features French-California cuisine. Ski on 45 kilometers of trails with all the accoutrements of a modern Nordic ski center. (760)934-2442, www.tamaracklodge.com.
Spooner Lake XC Skiing Tips
On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe is the Spooner Lake Cross Country Ski Area.
Located on 9,000 acres of the Nevada State Parks on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, Spooner Lake XC has 80 kilometers of groomed trails. The Lake Tahoe Wilderness Cabins in the park can be reserved. The cabins are complete with queen and full size beds, kitchen facilities and a wood heating stove. For more info about Spooner Lake or Lake Tahoe Wilderness Cabins call (888)858-8844 or at www.spoonerlake.com.
The Northwest’s Best Kept Secret
Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, located in North Powder, Oregon is only 940 miles from Los Angeles, but for the most affordable snowcat tours it can’t be beat. The snowcat brings skiers uphill to access 1,000 – 1,700 feet of vertical runs in 2,000 acres of steeps, bowls, and glades. A half-day of hitchhiking with the snowcat costs $75 and a full day is $150. The price includes a lift ticket at the Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort alpine ski area for the remainder of the day. Reservations and a minimum of 12 people are required. Anthony Lakes also has 23 kilometers of groomed ski trails. For more information call (541)865-3277 or visit www.anthonylakes.com.
West Yellowstone Youth Festival
Young cross country skiers will find lots of competitive events in West Yellowstone, Montana on March 9. Kids aged 3-15 can participate in fun events such as an obstacle course, matched sprints, relay and speed trap on the Rendezvous Ski Trails. The West Yellowstone Ski Educational Foundation conducts the event, which was developed and maintained in a cooperative arrangement between the community and the U.S. Forest Service. And while you’re there, check out Yellowstone National Park, known for exploding geysers, gurgling mud pots and smoking waters. When in West Yellowstone, don’t miss the Grizzly Discover Center and the Yellowstone IMAX Theatre.
For more info call (406)646-9222 or at www.skirendezvousskitrails.com.
Northstar Gets "Green" Ribbon
The California Integrated Waste Management Board named Northstar-at-Tahoe in Truckee, California a winner in the 2002 Waste Reduction Awards Program for the sixth consecutive year. Northstar has both alpine slopes and Cross Country and Telemark Ski Center. Practices evaluated include waste prevention, materials reuse, recycling, recycled product procurement, and employee education. Northstar also donated a portion of the area’s ticket sales to Wildlife Shelter Inc., a local organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured local wildlife as well as educating people about co-existing with nature and wildlife. (800)GO-NORTH or www.skinorthstar.com.
Ski for Light Annual Shindig
Imagine Nordic skiing up and down hills blindfolded or without the use of your legs. If you could do that, you could accomplish just about anything. Ski For Light is a non-profit organization that exposes people with disabilities (visual or mobility impairments) to the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle through mentoring events using Nordic skiing. The SFL International summit will be held February 23 through March 2 in Anchorage, Alaska. At this event able-bodied experienced skiers help guide people with disabilities pairing up for a memorable week of Nordic skiing. For information on supporting the group or participating in this or other regional events call (612)827-3232 or at www.sfl.org.
Telemark Resort Adds Machine-Made Snow
Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin has created the XC Fever Trail, a two-kilometer loop that will provide early season skiing with machine-made snow. Telemark Resort is the home of the American Birkebeiner, the marathon extravaganza that is the largest Nordic ski race in the United States. The new trail is in a sheltered wooded valley and will allow Telemark to schedule early season events with more certainty. To contact Telemark Resort, which is celebrating its 55th anniversary call (715)798-3999 or visit www.telemarkresort.com.
Ski Your Way Through College
Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan is one of just four colleges that have their own Nordic ski trail system. This year the university has invested more than $200,000 in improvements including 11 kilometers of new trails and new grooming equipment. The trails have been widened to accommodate the snowcat, renovated to fill mudholes, and more than 40 culverts have been installed to control water drainage. The 20-kilometer network of trails will be groomed seven days a week and includes snowshoe trails and a skijouring trail. For more information about the school and its Nordic ski programs contact (906)487-2578 or www.keweenawtrails.com.
Minnesota Expands Trail System
The Minnesota Nordic Ski Association (MNSA) recently announced the results
of their cross country ski trail survey for trails in Minnesota. MNSA worked closely with the Minnesota DNR Trails and Waterways Division to achieve the
results. A comprehensive survey form
was sent to managers of all known community trail systems, whether publicly or
privately operated. Survey questions included the length of the trails, grooming information, location of the trails, and fees for their use.The results of the survey revealed that there are over 3,300 kilometers or 2,000 miles of ski trails in Minnesota. A previous survey conducted by the Minnesota DNR indicated that there are approximately 500,000 people in Minnesota who have tried cross country skiing. Results from the
survey can be viewed on the MNSA
website at www.mnnordicski.org.
Best Undiscovered Inn Award
The Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, Vermont has been selected by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the year’s best undiscovered inns. Selected as one of the top 30 great inns in the nation and the only representative in Vermont, Mountain View Farm is a 440-acre historic estate in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. The area is home to the Kingdom Trails, a network of more than 35 kilometers of Nordic ski and snowshoe trails, friendly farm animals, guided snowshoe treks, horse-drawn sleigh rides and more. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800)572-4509.
Put Your Golf Clubs in Your Ski Bag
The Okemo Valley Nordic Center in Ludlow, Vermont, features 28 kilometers of Nordic ski trails and 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails. Located at the Okemo Valley Golf Club, the Center has added all new rental equipment this year. But what is most unique at Okemo is the Indoor Golf Academy, which offers a 700-square foot putting green, swing station and a computerized virtual golf simulator. The indoor facility and instructional programs provide an ideal way for Nordic skiers who golf to maintain their swing during the winter months. (802)228-1396, www.okemo.com.
Bethel, Maine Owns Record for Tallest Snowman
The town of Bethel, Maine offers 120 kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails and is home to the Sunday River Inn, Bethel Inn and Carter’s XC Ski Center. In 1999 the town set a Guinness Book record for the World’s Tallest Snowman, a towering 113 feet, 7 inches. The town’s Winterfest runs from January 31 through February 9 featuring activities ranging from hot air balloons, ice sculptures, River Polar Bear Plunge, Snowbox Derby and evening entertainment with fireworks. For more information contact the Bethel Chamber of Commerce at (800)442-5826 or at www.bethelmaine.com.
Friends of the Earth Ski Free
Sleepy Hollow Inn in Huntington, Vermont offer its Friends of the Earth program whereby anyone who drives a hybrid, electric or bio-fuel diesel vehicle to the area receives a free day pass for both winter and summer recreation. No need to be a mathematician to realize that offer constitutes a free season pass! They’ve also lengthened the night skiing trail by 2.5 kilometers and added more lights. And for those who are more hedonistic, Sleepy Hollow has built a new sauna that is available to day skiers for $5.00 per person. (866)254-1524, www.skisleepyhollow.com.
Galusha Hill Offers Simple Overnights
Galusha Hill Backcountry Recreation Area in Topsham, Vermont offers free trail access to non-motorized trail enthusiasts. There are 900 acres of snowfields, glades and trails and great views. Accommodations include a hilltop log cabin, a yurt, a lodge and a log hall. For overnights call for rates and pay with a credit card over the phone and they will send you registration information. Call (800)872-4578 or visit www.phillipsbrook.org.
More Skiing Just for Women
The Vermont Ski for Women is scheduled at Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center in Warren, Vermont on February 16. The day includes a Classic Challenge and a Skating Challenge, where teams of women can be comprised of friends, relatives, or mother/daughter. Various team categories will win prizes such as Highest Combined Age and Largest Age Difference. The entry fee will include clinics, child care and kid’s events. Men are welcome to volunteer to help with the events. For more information call (802)496-3430 or visit www.olesxc.com.
Tuonela Trails in Nova Scotia
In 1997 the Tuonela Trail Association was founded in the province of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, where the maritime’s only lift-served Telemark hill exists. They boast 400 feet of vertical and a 1,400-foot run with steep chutes, a spaced maple and birch forest, and vehicle and rope tows. There are trails throughout the Cape Breton area in a guaranteed snowbelt serviced by Sea Spray Outdoor Adventures. The Tuonela Trail Association offers guided backcountry trips, 16 kilometers of groomed trails for classic and skating, telemark rentals and retail, cabins and bunkhouse accommodations and certified telemark instructors. The moose are plentiful and the views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean are unparalleled for Nordic skiers. There’s also springtime backcountry skating in April and May. For more information see www.skituonela.com or www.cabot-trail-outdoor.com/ or call (902)383-2732.
Season Pass to Parks in Quebec
Consider planning a winter outing in one of Quebec’s national parks, wildlife reserves or tourist centers. Sneak away for a romantic weekend or family vacation. Complete packages start at $39 per person per day. Huts and cabins start at $20 per day. A season pass to all of Quebec’s Sepaq parks for youth and seniors is $105, adults $170 or a family for $300. For more info call (800)665-6527 or www.sepaq.com.
Strathcona Wilderness Centre Loves Families
Three upcoming special family events at Strathcona Wilderness Center in Sherwood Park, Alberta are scheduled for this winter. On Sunday, January 26 the Ski Fest will include snow games, ski lessons and the “Track ‘n’ Trails Time Will Tell” family ski. On Monday, February 17, look for Family Day activities and prize drawings all day. Tasty pastry goodies will be featured at decorated pastry stations along the trails sponsored by community groups and local businesses at “The Great Pastry Caper” on the afternoon of Sunday, March 6. For more details about these events and Strathcona Wilderness Centre call (780)922-3939 or www.strathcona.ab.ca.